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JulianAmici
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PostSubject: Background Information, Maps and other items of note   Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:35 pm

Sharn



Sharn is often called "The City of Towers". Sharn is the largest city in the kingdom of Breland and indeed, the continent of Khorvaire. It is a melting pot of all races, with the human population being the largest but still only a third of Sharn's some 212,000 citizens.
A vertical city, Sharn is linked with the plane of Syrania, granting enhanced power to flight and levitation magic, a feature that the city's residents have used to build towers that rise higher into the sky than any other place on Khorvaire and possibly the world of Eberron. Due to the myriad of cultures that live and have lived in Sharn, examples of architecture from all over Khorvaire can be found. Most of Sharn's wealthiest inhabitants live in the upper regions of the city, enjoying the freshest air and least claustrophobic views.

For much more information on this city and other topics, go here.


Central Plateau Quarter

The Central Plateau is the heart of Sharn. Its upper levels house the city government and finance districts, and the middle ward hosts the enclaves of the dragonmarked houses and embassies of the other nations of Khorvaire. The central location makes its residential neighborhoods highly sought after and its marketplace is the busiest in the city.
Upper Central Plateau Middle Central Plateau Lower Central Plateau 
Social Class: Upper Class Social Class: Middle Class Social Class: Middle Class 
Councilor: Javan Tomollan Councilor: Sorik Sensos Councilor: Sava Kharisa
Highest Towers Ambassador Towers Boldrei's Hearth 
Civic district Embassy district Inn district
Korran-Tiven Dragon Towers Myshan Gardens 
Finance district Guildhall district Average residential
Mithral Tower Sovereign Towers North Towers 
Wealthy residential Temple district Shops
Platinum Heights  Sword Point Olladra's Kitchen 
Fine shops Garrison Tavern district
Skysedge Park Tradefair Vallia Towers 
Park district Marketplace Average residential


Dura
Dura, one of the largest and oldest quarters of Sharn, rises from the ruins of the cities that predate modern Sharn. Though Sharn has grown since those days, Dura has been left behind. Today, many consider it a blight on the city riddled with poverty and crime. Dura is home to the majority of the lower classes of the city, and the lower ward is little better than the Cogs.
Upper Dura Middle Dura Lower Dura
Social Class: Middle Class Social Class: Lower Class Social Class: Lower Class 
Councilor: Borian Haldorak Councilor: Hruit Councilor: Ilyra Boromar
Clifftop The Bazaar Callestan
Adventurer's district Marketplace and shops Inn district
Daggerwatch Broken Arch Fallen 
Garrison Average residential Slum
Highhold Hareth's Folly Gate of Gold 
Dwarf neighborhood Tavern district Tenement district
Highwater Rattlestone Malleon's Gate 
Average residential Apartment townhomes Goblin slum
Hope's Peak Stormhold Oldkeep 
Temple district Average residential Apartment townhomes
Overlook Tumbledown Precarious 
Apartment townhomes Tenement district Warehouse district
Redstone Underlook The Stores 
Shops Inn district Warehouse district

Menthis Plateau

The Menthis Plateau is the hub of Sharn’s entertainment industry, as well as its most diverse ethnic quarter and the seat of Morgrave University. Its districts include gnomish “Little Zilargo” (officially Den’iyas), Everbright (the city’s only magic district), two different theater districts; Torchfire and Smoky Towers. Like the Central Plateau its location allows it to draw visitors from all over the city to sample its entertainment offerings, and it also draws tourists from across the Five Nations.
Upper Menthis Plateau Middle Menthis Plateau Lower Menthis Plateau
Social Class: Upper Middle Class Social Class: Middle Class Social Class: Lower Class 
Councilor: Thurik Davandi Councilor: Caskar Halavik Councilor: Savia Potellas
Den'iyas Cassan Bridge Center Bridge 
Gnome neighborhood Shops Average residential
Ivy Towers Everbright Downstairs 
Average residential Magic district Tavern district
University District Little Plains Firelight 
University district Halfling encampment Red light district
Platinate Smoky Towers Forgelight Towers 
Wealthy residentia Theater district Average residential
Seventh Tower Warden Towers Torchfire 
Fine shops Garrison Theater district
Northedge

Northedge is a quiet, peaceful, residential quarter, inhabited by honest crafters and common folk. Far from the bustle of heart of the city, the prices in Northedge are quite reasonable. The Central Plateau division of the Sharn Watch patrols Northedge, but the area has little crime.
Upper Northedge Middle Northedge Lower Northedge
Social Class: Upper Class Social Class: Middle Class Social Class: Lower Middle Class
Councilor: Maza Thadian Councilor: Doan Cantar Councilor: Shassa Tarr
Shae Lias Holdfast North Market
Elf neighborhood Dwarf neighborhood Marketplace
Crystal Bridge High Hope Stoneyard
Wealthy residential Temple district Apartment townhomes
Oak Towers Oak Bridge Longstairs
Wealthy residential Average residential Apartment townhomes

Tavick's Landing

Home to the Lightning Rail station and the end of the Orien Trade Road, Tavick's Landing is the gateway to Sharn. Tavick's Landing is an eclectic quarter full of residential areas, commercial and entertainment districts, and visitors from across Khorvaire. During the Last War, foreigners were carefully monitored as they entered the city, and this mistrust can still be felt today, particularly in the Cyran refugee district of High Walls.
Commander Iyanna ir'Talan has been purging corrupt officers from Tavick's watch garrison in recent years. As such, the quarter has the most honest and helpful watch members in the city.
Upper Tavick's Landing Middle Tavick's Landing Lower Tavick's Landing 
Social Class: Upper Middle Class Social Class: Lower Middle Class Social Class: Lower Class 
Councilor: Bestan ir'Tonn Councilor: Dalaina Ironhand Councilor: Kilk
Copper Arch Cornerstone Black Arch 
Professional district Tavern district Garrison
Dalan's Refuge Dancing Shadows Cogsgate 
Wealthy residential Inn district Warehouse district
Ocean View Deathsgate Dragoneyes 
Wealthy residential Adventurers' quarter Red light district
Pinnacle Graywall Foundation 
Temple district Average residential (Karrn) Apartment townhomes
Silvergate Kenton High Walls 
Fine shops Apartment townhomes Refugee slum
Sunrise Little Barrington Terminus 
Average residential Average residential Caravan district
Twelve Pillars Tavick's Market Wroann's Gate 
Professional district Marketplace Caravan district

The Cogs

The towers of Sharn may reach high in the sky, but its tunnels stretch deep in the earth. Below the lower wards of the city lie the Depths, the ruins of old Sharn and the goblin city of Shaarat, and further still in the earth are the Cogs. Further down still, lie the Sewers, where the city's waste rots, just above the lava pools in the bowels of Eberron.
The great furnaces and foundries of the Cogs form the industrial base of Sharn. Few people live in the Cogs by choice; most who work in the foundries usually live in Lower Dura or Lower Tavick's Landing. The pporest of the poor live in the Cogs, along with criminals and fugitives hide from the law in the Cogs, and forbidden cults practice dark rituals. These "cellar dwellers" live dangerous lives, eking out a meager existence, and battling one another for territory.
The Depths The Cogs The Sewers 
Ruins Social Class: Lower Class Social Class: Scavengers 
Councilor: None Councilor: Nolan Toranak Councilor: None
Ashblack
Industry district
Blackbones
Industry district
Khyber's Gate
Poor residential & shops
Other Wards

Some of Sharn's wards lack the strict vertical structure of the rest of the city. The Skyway, where the wealthy and elite live in opulent splendor, floats above the highest towers of the city. Filthy, destitute Cliffside hangs from the side of the cliff below Dura, dropping into the waterfront. The City of the Dead houses the city's crypts and mausoleums in the surrounding cliffs; it is home to caretakers, priests and necromancers.
Skyway Cliffside City of the Dead 
Social Class: Upper Class Social Class: Lower Class Social Class: Lower Class 
Councilor: Evix ir'Marasha Councilor: None Councilor: None
Azure Grayflood Dragon Crypts 
Wealthy residential & shops Waterfront district Necropolis
Brilliant Ship's Towers Halden's Tomb 
Wealthy residential & shops Waterfront district Necropolis
Mud Caves
Shantytown
Sharn's Welcome
Red light district

_________________
"Be strong and do as you will. The swords of others will set you your limits." (Marauders of Gor, p.10)

After the lights go out on you/After your worthless life is through/I will remember how you scream
I can't afford to care/I can't afford to care ("Lights Out" Breaking Benjamin)


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PostSubject: Cost of Living and Housing   Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:27 pm

Cost of Living:
An adventurer's primary source of income is treasure, and his primary purchases are tools and items he needs to continue adventuring—spell components, weapons, magic items, potions, and the like. Yet what about things like food? Rent? Taxes? Bribes? Idle purchases?

You can certainly handle these minor expenditures in detail during play, but tracking every time a PC pays for a room, buys water, or pays a gate tax can swiftly become obnoxious and tiresome. If you're not really into tracking these minor costs of living, you can choose to simply ignore these small payments. A more realistic and easier-to-use method is to have PCs pay a recurring cost of living tax. At the start of every game month, a PC must pay an amount of gold equal to the lifestyle bracket he wishes to live in—if he can't afford his desired bracket, he drops down to the first one he can afford.

      Notes Specific to various feats, races, and character types.
      Characters with the Favored in House Feat: Anyone with the Favored in House feat may live free of charge at their House Enclave at an Average level. Wealthy and Extravagant cost normal amounts. If the character chooses to live outside of the House Enclave, or its holdings, then they must pay the normal Cost of Living upkeep.

      Characters with non-aberrant Dragonmarks: Any character who is marked with a non-aberrant dragonmark get a small stipend from their House in return for services rendered upon demand. This stipend is enough to fund a Poor Lifestyle for free, or an Average lifestyle for 7 gp per month. It has no appreciable effect on Wealthy or Extravagant lifestyles.

      Warforged Characters: Despite the fact they don't eat, warforged characters still have expensive upkeep needs in terms of repairs of the minor sort, materials for their hobbies, etc. As such they pay full price for any Cost of Living Upkeep.

    Destitute (0 gp/month): The PC is homeless and lives in the wilderness or on the streets. A destitute character must track every purchase, and may need to resort to Survival checks or theft to feed himself.

    Poor (3 gp/month): The PC lives in common rooms of taverns, with his parents, or in some other communal situation—this is the lifestyle of most untrained laborers and commoners. He need not track purchases of meals or taxes that cost 1 sp or less.

    Average (10 gp/month): The PC lives in his own apartment, small house, or similar location—this is the lifestyle of most trained or skilled experts or warriors. He can secure any nonmagical item worth 1 gp or less from his home in 1d10 minutes, and need not track purchases of common meals or taxes that cost 1 gp or less.

    Wealthy (100 gp/month): The PC has a sizable villa or a nice suite of rooms in a fine inn. Ten times per month, the character can secure any nonmagical item worth 5 gp or less from his belongings in his home in 1d10 minutes, and need only track purchases of meals or taxes in excess of 10 gp.

    Extravagant (1,000 gp/month): The PC lives in a mansion, castle, or other extravagant home. This is the lifestyle of most aristocrats. Ten times per month, the character can secure any nonmagical item worth 25 gp or less from his belongings in his home in 1d10 minutes. He need only track purchases of meals or taxes in excess of 100 gp.
Housing: All lifestyles assume living in inns, staying with friends, acquaintences, and more. No static place is assumed for any length of time. A character can, if they choose, rent a home, building or other structure. In addition to it's own costs, it also provides a discount for certain lifestyle choices. These lifestyle discounts never go over 50%.

    Palace: The heads of the most important groups within Sharn stay in large tower palaces of their own. Palaces are generally larger and more well-appointed than keeps, but cost less because they don’t require special permission from the City Government to exist. A typical palace is one five-story tower, with one or two two-story towers supporting it (stables, kitchens, skydock, and private gardens are most common). Palaces are never for rent (there are easier ways to make money), but when fortunes rise and fall one is occasionally for sale.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes: A character who owns this sort of housing option pays nothing for a Wealthy lifestyle when at home. The character must pay normally for any lifestyle costs while on the road, in addition to the upkeep costs for the palace. If the character lives an Extravagant Lifestyle at home, that character finds it reduced in price by 10%. They receive no such discount while on the road.
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing: 10% of purchase cost

    Keep: These kind of military structures are not allowed in Sharn unless they are used by the government itself. As such they are not available for rent or purchase.

    Tower Manor: Far more common than keeps or palaces are tower manors, large and comfortable "apartments" that are far cheaper (and more practical) than larger structures. They are typically stacked arranged in larger towers for defense and ease of access to markets and transportation. Tower manors are typically four stories and contain no fewer than five bedrooms, a study, a parlor, two privies, a bath, a large kitchen and pantry, and a cold room. Most have “great halls” that can be used as family rooms, feast halls, or grand reception rooms (depending on the occasion). Most Tower manors are located near soaring garden and walkways, and gorgeous panaoramas. Very few manors are for rent, but a visiting dignitary might be offered the use of one by a wealthy family looking to curry favor.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes:
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing:

    Villa: One of the more common types of dwellings, villas look like small manors, with one or two floors holding up to four rooms, a privy or two, a bath, a kitchen and pantry, and usually a cellar. Most villas do not have a great hall, instead employing smaller, function-specific rooms (such as a den or family room). Villas have their own yards, usually consisting of narrow strips of hardy plants. Moderately successful families and heads of powerful guilds often live in villas.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes:
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing:


    Townhouse: Most business owners and relatively successful families in Sharn reside in townhouses. A townhouse is a narrow dwelling that abuts another building on at least one side. Most townhouses begin on the second floor of a building, rising above a shop or other business of some kind. Townhouses otherwise resemble small villas. Most townhouses are owned by their residents (and this ownership usually extends to the ground-floor business space), but a few are always available for rent by newcomers thinking to set up a new business in the City at the Center of the World. A townhouse that has a meeting space on the lower floor, and is owned by an organization or guild, is referred to as a lodge.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes:
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing:

    Flathouse or Apartment: Some buildings, especially near major markets, schools, and docks, contain nothing but living spaces. The largest and nicest of these buildings contain flathouses, one-story dwellings with one or two bedrooms and all the amenities of townhouses. Normally multiple flathouses are built on the same level, with each having a door accessing an outer balcony that wraps around the building. Flathouses can be purchased or rented.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes:
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing:

    Flop: Flops are single-room dwellings that share communal privies, baths, and kitchens. Flops are smaller than flathouses, with as many as four flops taking up the space of one flathouse. Two to four flops might be built together around a single set of communal rooms, or they might be part of a multistory flophouse cramming up to 40 flops in a single building. A flop has just enough room for a bed, chest, chair, and desk, and is a common dwelling for visitors to the city (who don’t plan to spend much time in their room anyway), students, and the poor. Flops are rarely well-kept, as most are rented, but small flops owned by their residents can be quite nice.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes:
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing::

    Bunk: With a name taken from the simple hammock or cot common to low-rank sailors on ships, a bunk is the simplest accommodation in Sharn short of homelessness. It consists oflittle more than a bed and a few places to store possessions. Bunkhouses provide a cheap place for short-term visitors (and those unable to afford better) to at least sleep out of the rain. Most provide just a curtain for privacy, with two locked drawers for securing possessions. It’s also possible to find bunks in the kitchens and stables of higher-class establishments, to allow menials to sleep near their workplace. Less common are free-standing bunks, but a few tiny buildings (sometimes as little as 20 square feet) exist that are bunks for one or two owners.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes:
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing:


_________________
"Be strong and do as you will. The swords of others will set you your limits." (Marauders of Gor, p.10)

After the lights go out on you/After your worthless life is through/I will remember how you scream
I can't afford to care/I can't afford to care ("Lights Out" Breaking Benjamin)


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PostSubject: The World of Eberron and Life Across Khorvaire   Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:39 pm

Eberron, figuratively and literally, is a world in three parts. Mythology suggests that the three parts correspond to three great dragons of legendary times—Siberys, the Dragon Above; Khyber, the Dragon Below; and Eberron, the Dragon Between. This figurative interpretation makes its way into religion, philosophy, and folklore, and every culture has a version of the legend of the creator dragons.
In literal terms, the Dragon Above corresponds to the ring of dragonshards that encircles the world high above the equator. The Ring of Siberys can be seen in the southern sky, appearing as a luminescent band of golden specks that begins the winter equinox narrow and intense and becomes wider and more diffuse as the year progresses. It can be seen best at night but is visible during the day as well.
Khyber, the Dragon Below, comprises the underdark of the world, the labyrinthine caverns that snake beneath the surface and fill the depths of the planet. Khyber consists of twisting tunnels that open on vaults of varying shapes and sizes. This subterranean expanse mirrors the world above, a dark reflection of underground rivers, still lakes, and fiery streams of molten lava.
Between the two, the surface of Eberron stretches from horizon to horizon, a patchwork of fi elds and forests, oceans and mountains, deserts, swamps, jungles, tundra, and more. Beneath a yellow sun, Eberron’s varied environments give way one to another across each continent. Mountains rise, valleys fall, and water surrounds the land.

THE WORLD OF EBERRON
Eberron is a world of extremes. Thanks to an abundance of magic and its effects on the environment, the world possesses great beauty as well as terrible darkness. Who is immune to such awe-inspiring sights as the mountainous ice fl oes of the Bitter Sea or the spectacular bluewood trees of the Towering Wood? On the other hand, who can withstand the horrifi c majesty of the lava rivers of the Demon Wastes or the shattered blight of the Mournland? North or south, east or west, Eberron contains natural wonders undreamed of on other worlds.
Looking up into the night, one can see the Ring of Siberys charting a golden path across the sky. Beyond it, any of twelve moons, some full and bright, some only slivers, and a few so far away as to appear to be stars, might be seen on any given evening. Farther still, the moons give way to stars gathered in constellations, each named for a dragon lord of legend, the eleven now worshiped as gods by the dragons of Argonnessen.
Seas and oceans separate the continents. The heart of the world, at least for humans, is Khorvaire. All the common races can be found on the continent—the human nations, the dwarf, gnome, and half ling homelands, as well as communities of elves, half-elves, half-orcs, shifters, changelings, and goblinoids. A number of monster nations have also formed due to the repercussions of the Last War.
The continent of Sarlona is Khorvaire’s neighbor to the east and the west. To the north, the frozen continent of the Frostfell looms. Directly to the south of Khorvaire lies the mysterious land of Xen’drik, a treasure trove of ancient secrets and unfathomable artifacts from a time before humans roamed the land. To the southeast, the subcontinent of Aerenal, home to the elf kingdom, presents as many dangers as it does opportunities. Beyond Aerenal, the continent of the dragons, Argonnessen, remains off limits to most of the “lesser races,” as the dragons refer to all but themselves. Here, the dragons engage in activities that no one but these ancient creatures can contemplate, studying portents, signs, and omens in the movement of the moons, the positions of the stars, and the appearance of dragonmarks throughout the land.
Here, we examine the world of Eberron from the point of view of the people of Khorvaire. The societies of the fair continent, despite the influence and dominance of humans descended from the great kingdom of Galifar, are a melting pot of cultures and ideas. Khorvaire’s nations meld human, elf, dwarf, gnome, half-elf, halfl ing, half-orc, and a host of goblinoid and other monster races together to form something stronger than the sum of the individual parts. The continent’s mixed heritage, although it has led to confl ict and war, also gives the people of Khorvaire an advantage over the other civilizations of Eberron because of their diversity.

TIME
The people of Khorvaire mark the passage of time according to the standards developed by the dragonmarked houses (partially based on draconic measurements) and sanctioned by the rulers of Galifar almost a thousand years ago. Days are 24 hours long, divided into day and night. Seven days make up a week, four weeks a month, and twelve months a year. The months correspond to the twelve moons of Eberron, and the prominent moon carries the name of the month in which its orbit brings it closest to the planet. The moons and months are tied to the dragonmarks by tradition and legend, as indicated on the table below. A thirteenth mark and moon once existed. It was a dark mark devoted to abilities concerned with death and the undead. Most consider the thirteenth mark to be nothing more than legend, but there are those who know better.

MARKING THE YEARS
While a particular culture may count the years dating from some signifi cant event in its past, the common calendar of Khorvaire is the Galifar Calendar. This reckoning of years was developed during the reign of Galifar the Dark, third ruler to sit upon the throne of Galifar. It counts from the founding of the kingdom to the present day. The dragonmarked houses adopted and use this calendar, as do the governments and peoples of Khorvaire’s nations. The Treaty of Thronehold was signed in 996 YK. The campaign begins in the year 998 YK (the 998th Year since the Kingdom was founded).

Days of the Week
First Day Sul
Second Day Mol
Third Day Zol
Fourth Day Wir
Fifth Day Zor
Sixth Day Far
Seventh Day Sar

Months of the Year
Month Season Dragonmark
Zarantyr Mid-winter Storm
Olarune Late winter Sentinel
Therendor Early spring Healing
Eyre Mid-spring Making
Dravago Late spring Handling
Nymm Early summer Hospitality
Lharvion Mid-summer Detection
Barrakas Late summer Finding
Rhaan Early autumn Scribing
Sypheros Mid-autumn Shadow
Aryth Late autumn Passage
Vult Early winter Warding

Constellations (Gods of the Dragons)
Constellation Draconic Association
Aasterinian Invention and trade
Astilabor WealTD
Bahamut Protection and good fortune
Chronepsis Fate and prophecy
Falazure DeaTD and decay
Garyx Chaos and destruction
Hlal Humor
Io Magic and knowledge
Lendys Justice and law
Tamara Life
Tiamat Greed and power

LIFE ACROSS KHORVAIRE
The Last War has ended, but much of the anger and pain remains. The new nations of Khorvaire, while technically at peace, continue to vie for political and economic supremacy. In the wake of war, new treaties and alliances are forming, new weapons and armies are being built, and another great war is inevitable. Still, that war is years away. In the meantime, a new age of exploration and growth creates an exciting era in which to adventure.

During the Last War, not everyone saw action and not every location was a battle zone. Great portions of every nation never suffered invasion or attack. On the other hand, locations in every nation did suffer through the war, and some sites switched hands a dozen times or more as the century-long confl ict unfolded. Particularly along the borders of the nations, bloodshed and violence came and went as the war progressed.

The Treaty of Thronehold was signed on the 11th day of Aryth in 996 YK, thus ending the Last War. After more than a century of war, soldiers and kings alike must learn to live in a peaceful world. The long struggle and the shocking destruction of Cyre, which occurred in 994 YK, have left deep scars on the psyche of the continent. There is an undercurrent of despair and doubt, a fear that the fate of the Mournland may herald the doom of Khorvaire itself.
This sense of trepidation has provoked many different reactions. Crime is on the increase in the major cities of the nations; many question moral standards, as people no longer believe in the security of their old way of life.
Murder and theft are far more common than they used to be. Sinister conspiracies such as the Aurum and the Order of the Emerald Claw are using the overall sense of confusion and uncertainty to increase their own power and infl uence. The elves of Valenar have been ignoring the Treaty of Thronehold, and elf forces continue to clash with the Karrns, the Talenta halfl ings, and the Q’barrans. Rumors tell of graft and corruption even w ithin the Church of the Silver Flame, the traditional bastion of law and order.

Not everyone gives in to despair, however. Academic institutions such as the Library of Korranberg and Morgrave University have redoubled their efforts to explore the mysterious continent of Xen’drik, seeking knowledge and wonders. There are those who fi ght to make Khorvaire a safer place, battling in the shadows, the streets, and the courts of the land.

This is a time of opportunity and adventure. The lost treasures of forgotten civilizations are only beginning to be recovered. Untold wealth and powerful artifacts can be gained—assuming one can get past the deadly guardians and cunning traps that protect them. Crime lords and corrupt priests clash in the cities. Spies, courtiers, and assassins battle w ith words and swords in the courts of Khorvaire. Mad wizards, ancient demons, and sinister cults pursue deadly schemes that could threaten Eberron itself. This is a time when new heroes must arise to replace those slain in the Last War, to find a way to restore light and hope to the people of Khorvaire.

GOVERNMENT
Galifar was a feudal monarchy, as are most of the nations that formed after the Last War shattered that legendary kingdom. In addition to the rural farmers, a middle class of laborers and shop owners has developed in the larger towns and cities. The mercantile barons that control the dragonmarked houses align themselves with no nation, which allows them to operate independently and in all nations, though most can’t help but associate more strongly with one nation.

DRAGONMARKED HOUSES
The thirteen dragonmarked houses constitute an aristocracy of commerce and industry across Khorvaire. The blood members of each family have wealth and social status that puts them firmly in the middle to upper classes of Khorvairian society. The house nobles and their immediate relatives share the highest status in the land, equivalent to the royal houses and the highest-ranking clergy. Scions further removed from the main bloodline share and take advantage of this status as the nobles allow, but on their own they rank in the middle class.

RURAL LIFE
Farmers dominate the countryside of most of the nations, raising crops and providing food. In some nations, farmers are serfs indentured to the lords that control their lands. In others, farmers are free workers who own or lease their land and pay taxes for protection and other services they require of the ruling class. Farmers toil through the daylight hours and rest when darkness covers the land. They live within a mile or so of a trading village, which is guarded in turn by a local lord and his keep or castle. When legal disputes arise, it is the manor lord (or his appointed officer) who settles disagreements and issues rulings.
Some farmers have magic to help them with their chores. This magic might be provided by their lord or purchased from a dragonmarked house. While some farmers in every nation saw firsthand the degradations of the Last War, most have to worry more about bandits and marauding monsters than the armies of the neighboring nations. The average farmer doesn’t wander far from his or her home, but every family has a member that went off to fight the war or seek employment in a city, and everyone knows someone whose brother or sister decided to become an adventurer and leave home in search of fame or fortune.

CITY LIFE
Some townsfolk and city-dwellers engage in a craft or trade of some kind, though for every professional there are three or more common laborers working in the city. Merchants and shop owners, smiths, leatherworkers, and artisans of a ll descriptions live and work in the c ities. Many use some magic to ply their craft; magewrights cast magecraft themselves; others hire magewrights to assist them when the funds are available.
People live in close proximity in the cities, shopping in the markets, working, relaxing as the opportunity presents itself. City-dwellers have a bit more access to the conveniences of magic than their rural counterparts do. The dragonmarked houses maintain pavilions and emporiums in many good-sized towns and cities, where their services can be purchased on a regular basis. Magewrights are more abundant in the towns and cities, and even the least well-to-do city has everbright lanterns to light at least the major thoroughfares and exchanges.
In a city, law and order prevails—or at least it tries to. A city watch patrols the streets, a local garrison protects the trade roads and caravan routes passing nearby. Courts and councilors hold sway over matters of law, deciding disputes and determining guilt or innocence through something akin to due process.

ECONOMIC MEANS
From the rural communities that dot the countryside to the villages, towns, and cities that rise wherever need and circumstance come together, the people of Khorvaire fall into three economic categories: poor, middle class, and wealthy. There are ranges and degrees of wealth in each category. Six out of ten people in the Five Nations are common farmers, unskilled laborers, and tradesfolk who are in the poor economic class, having no more than 40 or 50 silver pieces on hand at any given time, and most having considerably less.

Three out of ten people are in the middle class, including skilled laborers, prosperous traders and shop owners, skilled artisans, most nobility, low-level adventurers, and some members of the dragonmarked families who normally have a few hundred gold pieces or more on hand. One out of ten people fall into the wealthy category, those with access to a few thousand gold pieces at any given time. This class includes merchant lords, barons of commerce, the patriarchs and matriarchs of the dragonmarked families, the most popular and successful artisans, mid- to high-level adventurers, and the ruling royalty.

EDUCATION
Throughout the Five Nations (or at least what’s left of them), formal schooling is considered a right and a necessary part of every child’s training. Rural manors maintain schools for the sons and daughters of the peasants and laborers. Private tutors provide an education for the children of royal and economic nobility. In towns and cities, schools cater to all who wish to attend. In no case is education mandatory; however, most people understand the advantages offered to them by the remnants of the Galifar education system. Higher education and study is available at a number of colleges and universities, as well as among the religious institutions. For those who don’t want to become scholars, apprenticeships and on-the-job training replace higher education. The exception to this system involves magewrights and wizards, who must attend one of the magical colleges for at least some of their training.

ADVENTURERS
The heroes of the world, adventurers often break most of t he r ules c oncerning life in Khorvaire—and when a rule doesn’t exist to cover what they do, they invent one. Adventurers move easily among all walks of life. They can champion the common folk, protect the middle class, or engage in missions for the wealthy. Adventurers form into groups, knowing that whatever one can do, four can do better. No single adventurer possesses all of the skills and abilities necessary to succeed; the team provides the capabilities and companionship required to get the job done. Groups come together through chance meetings, fortuitous circumstances, open calls, and guild connections. They stay together if they work well as a team and learn to trust each other.

While many adventuring parties operate as freelancers who take up each quest as it comes their way, some acquire patrons who pay their expenses and provide the missions that drive them. Now, any adventuring party can hire itself out for a mission or two. A patron, however, often defi nes the party’s motivation and reason for sticking together. A patron can be a wealthy noble or merchant lord, an organization, or a government. Patrons command allegiance based on gold, an exchange of services, or a common goal. A dragonmarked house, a church, a university, the Brelish crown, and the Korranberg Chronicle are all examples of adventuring party patrons. Whatever the case, the common folk love to read about or hear stories and ballads concerning champions of good and agents of evil. The Korranberg Chronicle, in particular, presents stories that follow adventurers from the towers of Sharn to the mysterious jungles of Xen’drik and back again on a regular basis.

LANGUAGE
Due to the widespread infl uence of the dragonmarked houses across Khorvaire, Common developed into the language of the land. Commerce and diplomacy use Common to communicate on a level basis. It is prevalent and as universal as any language could be across the continent. Common is the primary language of the Five Nations. It is a necessary second language in the Mror Holds and Zilargo, and used extensively even in the Talenta Plains. Other prominent languages on the continent include Dwarven, Gnome, Elven, Halfling, Goblin, and Orc. Scholars and arcanists also study Draconic, the ancient language of dragons and magic.

In Aerenal, the Elven language dominates the land, though Common is retained for trade and diplomatic purposes. The Inspired of Sarlona speak Quori, while the lesser c lasses speak Riedran, which combines Old Common with a scattering of Quori words and phrases. The barbarian tribes of Seren and Argonnessen speak a mutated form of Common called Argon, while the dragons speak Draconic and have at least a passing familiarity with the languages of the lesser races.

KHORVAIRE
The main continent of Eberron, at least from the point of view of the humans and their closest kin, is Khorvaire. In ages past, the goblinoids ruled the continent. By the time the fi rst human settlers arrived 3,000 years ago, the goblinoid nations were already in ruin. Their time had passed, and the stage was set for humans and the other newer races to carve out their own age.
On Khorvaire, humans settled what became known as the Five Nations. Dragonmarks began to appear, and the dragonmarked families developed into the mercantile houses as time went on. Humans interacted with the races they encountered—trading and forming partnerships with dwarves, gnomes, and half lings, conflicting with and driving off goblinoids and other monster races. In time, humans and their allied races (including elves, who migrated from Aerenal to forge a new way of life on Khorvaire) controlled the central region of the continent. They settled large portions of what is now the Eldeen Reaches, Aundair, Breland, Thrane, Zilargo, the Mournland, Karrnath, the Talenta Plains, the Mror Holds, and the Lhazaar Principalities.
Eventually, the great and wondrous kingdom of Galifar arose from the joining of the Five Nations—the original human settlements. During the reign of the Galifar kings and queens, human lands expanded, the dragonmarked houses stabilized, and wonders such as Sharn, the City of Towers, and the Korranberg Library were established. The shining kingdom was legendary, even in its own time, and for good cause.
Many of the most amazing accomplishments of Khorvairian civilization came to pass during Galifar’s almost nine hundred years of existence. The mastery of magic and the arcane arts, which developed through the efforts of the Twelve, King Galifar I’s Arcane Congress, and similar enterprises that followed, led to the construction of great cities, wondrous monuments, magical conveniences, and powerful weapons of war. Massive civil works projects, bolstered by magic, paved the way for the metropolitan centers of central Khorvaire. Magic helped crops grow and herds prosper, so hunger rarely struck the inhabitants of the kingdom.
In its day, Galifar stretched from the Barren Sea to the Lhazaar Sea, covering every mile of the continent. In practical terms, the crown claimed the entire continent but was only able to govern the central region with any proficiency. The farther one traveled toward the edges of the continent, the more wi ld, undeveloped, and uncivilized the land became. This fact was especially true in the areas that would eventually become the Shadow Marches, Droaam, Darguun, Q’barra, and Valenar. These frontier regions attracted some humans, but were more likely to be home to the monstrous races. The humans that did make the trip to these areas fell into a few categories: explorers, profiteers, missionaries, and settlers.
Profi t made an excellent incentive for sending people into the wilderness. There were resources to discover and gather, trade routes to open, maps to create, and money to be made. Some explorers set out for crown and glory, others just to see what was out there. More often, however, explorers were attached to profi teering projects designed to open up some part of the wilderness for use by the civilized regions. This led to the construction of trading posts and supply outposts from which additional expeditions could be launched.

Trading posts developed into settlements in some locations, and there were always those who sought to find new and better lives in new lands. Settlers had hard lives, and many fell victim to monster raids and other hazards, but a few settlements survived. The human–orc communities of the Shadow Marches, for example, are in this category.

Missionaries occasionally delved deep into the wilderness to bring the message of their faith to the natives. Some, such as the Sovereign Host, went to teach. Others went to destroy, as with the lycanthrope extermination launched by the Silver Flame.

In 894 YK, King Jarot, the last king of Galifar, died. With his death, the kingdom of Galifar collapsed. Civil war erupted as his scions refused to uphold tradition and instead battled for the crown. This conflict, which became known as the Last War thanks to headlines plastered across many years’ worth of Korranberg Chronicles, lasted just more than a century. When it ended, the makeup of the continent was changed. Cyre, one of the original Five Nations, was reduced to a blighted, decimated region called the Mournland. The peace conference that resulted in the Thronehold Accords and ended the war created twelve distinct nations from what was once mighty Galifar. The recognized nations, who each signed the treaty and are now in place on Khorvaire, are Aundair, Breland, Darguun, the Eldeen Reaches, Karrnath, the Lhazaar Principalities, the Mror Holds, Q’barra, the Talenta Plains, Thrane, Valenar, and Zilargo. Regions formed during the war but not yet recognized as sovereign include Droaam, the Shadow Marches, the Demon Wastes, and the Mournland. Though the original Five Nations have been reduced to four, the common usage remains: “By the Five Nations” continues to be the pledge (or curse) of choice.

WARFORGED IN KHORVAIRE
The newest race to appear on the continent is the warforged. This created race of l iving constructs first appeared in their current form in 965 YK. Throughout the fi nal decades of the Last War, the living constructs became more and more associated with the ongoing conflict. Though they were originally deemed property, as time went on it became apparent that the warforged were as sentient and free-willed as any of the other prominent races of Khorvaire. In a startling move, Breland pushed for a change of legal status during the peace conferences. With the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold, the warforged were legally recognized as free and living beings. Each nation interprets this status slightly differently, but the lot of the warforged has improved since the war ended.

_________________
"Be strong and do as you will. The swords of others will set you your limits." (Marauders of Gor, p.10)

After the lights go out on you/After your worthless life is through/I will remember how you scream
I can't afford to care/I can't afford to care ("Lights Out" Breaking Benjamin)


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PostSubject: Re: Background Information, Maps and other items of note   Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:54 pm

New Cyre (Large Town, 4,200): What started as a refugee village in the wake of the destruction of Cyre has rapidly grown into a large town with over four thousand inhabitants. While the disaster that destroyed the nation to Breland’s east wiped out much of the Cyran population, those living near the western border had enough time to cross over into the Brelish countryside ahead of the strange wall of dead-gray mist that eventually stopped just a few miles to the east of Vathirond and Kennrun. King Boranel took pity on the refugees and established the camps that evolved into a village and then a town.
Today, New Cyre sits on a trade road southeast of Starilaskur, in the middle of Breland’s eastern farm country. The prince of the city, Oargev ir’Wynarn (LN male human, aristocrat 3/fi ghter 1), is the last son of Cyre’s ruling family. He was serving as an ambassador to Breland when the mysterious disaster befell his nation and has since become the unoffi cial leader of the Cyran refugees scattered throughout the other domains. He hopes to one day gather all of Cyre’s homeless children to this refuge in Breland. His other desire revolves around discovering the truth behind the destruction of his kin and country, and exacting revenge on the guilty parties. Until then, he graciously accepts the hospitality of Breland (even if the Brelish have given him unwanted land in the middle of nowhere) and works to rebuild the confi dence and honor of his subjects. He serves as mayor of New Cyre while also playing the role of a king in exile.
The people of New Cyre work as farmers while their prince plots and plans the future glory of the Cyran crown. Prince Oargev regularly seeks out news and information from those foolish or brave enough to venture into the Mournland. He has been known to fund expeditions into the blasted, wasted remains of his once-proud nation, hoping to discover some hint or clue that points to the cause of Cyre’s demise. In the meantime, Oargev works to improve the plight of his people and dreams of rebuilding Cyre—either in a restored Mournland or someplace else entirely.

_________________
"Be strong and do as you will. The swords of others will set you your limits." (Marauders of Gor, p.10)

After the lights go out on you/After your worthless life is through/I will remember how you scream
I can't afford to care/I can't afford to care ("Lights Out" Breaking Benjamin)
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PostSubject: House Cannith in Sharn and Breland in general   Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:46 pm

House Cannith

“It is as though the world dare not draw breath for fear that delicate balance should shift and fall, and a new Day of Mourning be upon us.”
—Jarlen d’Cannith,
House Cannith Chronicler and Lord Seneschal

From a few bands of roving artisans and tinkers, House Cannith has risen to dominate commerce and industry in Khorvaire. For every advance made in magic, odds are good that Cannith had a hand in it—from everbright lanterns to the lightning rail, from the warforged to the secret experiments now lost deep within the wastes of the Mournland.
With its power and creative genius, the house commands both respect and fear. Despite its accomplishments, however, Cannith stands in turmoil. Unable to agree on a new ruler in the aftermath of the Day of Mourning, the house splintered into three factions, each with its own agenda. This rift has caused unease among the houses and beyond, giving monarchs and entrepreneurs pause even as they cautiously back one of three would-be leaders.

MAKERS OF HISTORY

Since its incorporation prior to the War of the Mark, House Cannith has been a leader among the dragonmarked houses. It pioneered the marriage of magic to the needs of daily life, and members of the house are the foremost experts on the use of dragonshards. Along with the gnomes of Zilargo, the house created the elemental ships that cross the seas. In partnership with House Orien, it forged the lightning rail that once spanned Khorvaire.
Cannith’s most indelible mark on history was made in 965 YK with the creation of the warforged. The mastermind behind the warforged was Merrix d’Cannith, who set out to create a sentient construct that could fight in place of living creatures. First commissioned by King Jarot, the last king of Galifar, the warforged instead went to battle on behalf of his children during the Last War.
Merrix’s son Aarren gave sentience to these living constructs. For thirty years, the sale of warforged kept Cannith prosperous, with each of the Five Nations commissioning troops from Whitehearth, Cannith’s ancestral forgehold. The house seemed destined to prosper as the Last War dragged on. Then came the Day of Mourning.

PARADISE LOST

On the Day of Mourning, a blast of arcane power obliterated Cyre, leaving empty wasteland. Most Cyrans perished that day, including the patriarch of House Cannith: Baron Starrin d’Cannith, known as “the Gorgon” for both his intimidating manner and the symbol of his house. What caused the Day of Mourning, none can say. It seems that of the cities of Cyre, Eston suffered the greatest damage. Whitehearth’s destruction claimed the life of not only the baron, but also many of the house’s prominent leaders and dragonmarked heirs.
Almost as great as the loss in blood was the loss of the forgehold itself. Whitehearth had been the center of Cannith ingenuity and invention for centuries. Only projects concurrently researched in Sharn by Merrix d’Cannith, grandson of the first Merrix, survived. Whitehearth is never far from the minds of House Cannith’s leaders, with Merrix in particular striving for its recovery. Increasingly, though, the cost associated with that recovery effort has exacerbated the rift within the house. Some seek to resurrect Whitehearth one day; others wish to turn their backs on the tomb of the past and focus instead on the future.

THE TREATY OF THRONEHOLD

Two years after the loss of Cyre, the Treaty of Thronehold was signed, putting an end to both the war and the nation of Galifar. No one profits during war like a weaponsmith, and no one suffers as much from war’s end.
For House Cannith, the treaty brought more than the end of a profitable market: The signatory nations recognized the warforged as a free people, due the same rights as other sentient races. The treaty also forbade Cannith from creating more warforged, ensuring that the house’s crowning achievement would be remembered as little more than a bloody postscript to past glory. Having no choice but to agree to the treaty’s terms, the heads of the fractured house returned to their respective homes, plotting in silence while they went through the motions of retooling House Cannith for peace.

THE THREE-HEADED GORGON

When Starrin d’Cannith died, he left no direct heir or immediate relations, but it did not take long for claimants to the house leadership to appear. Typically, upon the death of the patriarch, the title goes to either his closest living relative or his named successor. Starrin’s named successor was his only son Norran, who died with his father in Cyre and left no children of his own. When succession becomes murky, the elders of the house interpret the will of the former patriarch and choose a successor. However, with the ranks of the house leadership decimated, no effective or fair vote could be held. Cannith was paralyzed, with three heirs emerging to claim leadership: Merrix d’Cannith, Jorlanna d’Cannith, and Zorlan d’Cannith. Though each had a valid claim to the patriarch’s seat, a more problematic set of candidates would be hard to find.

Merrix d’Cannith

Merrix is the grandson of the first Merrix, the son of Aarren d’Cannith, and the former patriarch’s grandnephew. The youngest candidate, he was little more than a baby when the warforged were invented. His age and lack of political expertise give him the weakest claim, but his inheritance of Merrix’s legendary skills in research and innovation forces his relatives to take him seriously. He wishes only to pursue his secret experiments in peace, but knowing Jorlanna and Zorlan, he is convinced that a firm hand will be required to keep House Cannith on course—not necessarily his hand, but one of his choosing.

Jorlanna d’Cannith

Jorlanna d’Cannith is a proud, attractive woman in her fifties. She is far closer to the age of a proper matriarch than Merrix. Her claim is stronger too, as the daughter of Starrin’s second wife, Elsabet. Regardless, Jorlanna is considered least likely to attain the title.
She has a strong vision for a united house, allies among the Twelve, and the personal magnetism to lead, but the Cannith elders distrust her judgment. In her youth, Jorlanna engaged in a scandalous romance with an heir of House Deneith.
Both families put a stop to it once they became aware of the relationship, and the lovers disappeared from public view for over a year. It was rumored that Jorlanna bore a child during her time away—product of a coupling forbidden after the War of the Mark. However, when she finally resumed public life, she did so alone. Today, whispered rumors of her indiscretion haunt her, and critics use them as proof of her lack of judgment where the good of the house is concerned.

Zorlan d’Cannith

Zorlan d’Cannith is a distinguished, shrewd scion of the house. His talent with finance and eye for profit made him a trusted advisor to the Gorgon, whose cousin, Xerith, was Zorlan’s mother. Zorlan’s gifts are countered by a cold, cruel personality that unnerves many within the house. His time in Karrnath is rumored to have drawn him into the customs of that land, including worship of the Blood of Vol. Some fear that Zorlan’s ambition could lead him to make pacts with dishonorable groups.
Merrix, Jorlanna, and Zorlan are each determined to become the next leader of House Cannith. Between them, they have divided the lords seneschal so evenly that a new patriarch will likely never be chosen. As it stands, the divided leadership makes it increasingly likely that only death or disaster will change the balance of power.

CANNITH SOUTH

Under Merrix d’Cannith, Cannith South is considered by many to be the closest replacement for Whitehearth the house will ever see. With his enclave concealing the last Cannith creation forge, Merrix rules his house’s southern interests (including expeditions to Xen’drik and the Mournland) with an iron fist.
Cannith South workshops and enclaves dot Breland, Zilargo, and even Darguun, making Merrix the most expansion-minded leader House Cannith has seen in an age. Some say he plans to open facilities in Xen’drik to support his expeditions and interests there. Cannith South denies these plans, but house members regard such moves as all but certain. Merrix has already secured holdings to expand the enclave in Stormreach.
The heirs of Cannith South are driven to achieve — advancement is dependent on how closely one’s ideals and ambitions match those of Merrix. Worship of the Traveler in his artificer aspect has taken a slow hold among the members of Cannith South. This affiliation with one of the Dark Six troubles members of Cannith West in particular, but Merrix shows no sign of sharing their concern.

HOUSE CANNITH AS AN ORGANIZATION

“We alone have created a new form of life—and that will be the least of our achievements.”
—Aarren d’Cannith
House Cannith is a dragonmarked house of humans who carry the Mark of Making in their bloodlines. It is among the leaders of the dragonmarked houses, and the greatest artifice of modern Khorvaire is of Cannith design.

JOINING HOUSE CANNITH

Membership in House Cannith is primarily by blood, though more than a few members have entered through
marriage. Hirelings receive benefits, such as equipment, and recognition, but are little more than servants as far as Cannith is concerned. A rare few associates might be recognized as honorary members after long service, or even given the opportunity to marry into the family. Warforged are never recognized as members of the house.

In House Cannith, artificers, sorcerers, and wizards are common, given the house’s focus on magical creation.
Members unskilled in arcane magic find it difficult to rise within the ranks. Characters who are members of House
Cannith must choose Cannith South, West, or East.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Race: Human.
Special: Must be related to a member of House Cannith by blood or marriage.

House Cannith relies on magical research and invention to remain prosperous, and arcanists are the house’s lifeblood. Wizards research new ideas and evaluate magic from outside the house, from ancient relics to the latest spells. Artificers transform that study into physical reality, and they control the use of the Cannith-created items. Sorcerers represent the house in the wider world, undertaking expeditions, guarding inventions, and retrieving (or eliminating) relics and people as necessary.

HOUSE CANNITH BENEFITS

Given Cannith’s position as an affluent and influential house, its members have access to a wide range of benefits. However, the aftermath of the Day of Mourning has left the house divided in resources as well as loyalties.

Economics: House Cannith covets magic items, especially those of Cyre and Xen’drik. Members who find such items are strongly encouraged to bring them to the house, which then researches them or loans them to those on house assignments. Items are evaluated, and the member who found them is paid 65% of the estimated worth. In addition, Cannith South will subsidize up to one-half the total cost of house expeditions to Xen’drik or Cyre, as long as such expeditions leave from Sharn and include at least one Cannith South member.

Gear: Members of House Cannith are always well outfitted—anything less would be an affront to the house’s pride. Those on Cannith business are fully outfitted with mundane equipment, and those on personal business pay only 25% of the standard cost for mundane gear.

Information: Members can have magic items identified for 50% of the normal cost and get access to maps and reports from Cannith explorers in Cyre and Xen’drik.

Access: Only members of the house and their associates have access to the house’s forges and workshops.

FAVORED IN HOUSE BENEFITS

Though all members of House Cannith have a level of privilege, the split in the house has led to ill will between
competing factions. Requests from members of Cannith East might be ignored by Cannith South unless the southern faction feels generous or will profit in some way. A party from Cannith West can ask for a warforged bodyguard from Cannith South, but have less chance of receiving them than a party affiliated with Merrix. The following table indicates the types of favors a Cannith character with the Favored in House feat might request. In addition to general favors, each arm of the house can provide special favors, mainly to its members.

DC Benefit
10 One free use of the least Mark of Making - a loan of 100 gp at 10% per month
15 One free use of the lesser Mark of Making
20 One free use of the greater Mark of Making - free use of a 3rd-level member of the Fabricators Guild or Tinkers Guild (least dragonmark) for 1 week
25 Free use of a 5th-level member of the Fabricators Guild or Tinkers Guild (lesser dragonmark) for 1 week

CANNITH SOUTH AADDITIONAL BENEFITS
DC Benefit
10 Free passage with a house expedition to Xen’drik for four characters
15 A gift of a wand with base value 2500 gp with 10 charges left (500 gp value)
20 Use of a warforged bodyguard (fighter 4) for 1 week
25 Free use of a nonexpendable medium wondrous item for 1 week

PLAYING A MEMBER OF HOUSE CANNITH

You are a proud member of the leader of all dragonmarked houses and the creator of the wonders of modern Khorvaire. Your social standing is exceeded only by that of the nobles of the realm—and not always by them. You owe no allegiance to anyone outside the house, and it took all Five Nations together to put a leash on the Gorgon, the symbol of your line. Some might call you arrogant, but arrogance and self-assurance are often confused by the envious.
The wonders of Cannith are known throughout the world, and you feel responsible for continuing that legacy. Whether you have a dragonmark or not, you are expected to contribute to the success of your house through invention, scholarship, business, or diplomacy. Even more is expected of the dragonmarked heirs of Cannith, who serve apprenticeships in the guilds during their training, then move up into house business as their talents are honed.

However, beneath your pride lurks a lingering concern. No matter where your loyalty lies, you know a house divided against itself inevitably falls, and you cannot help but feel bitterness toward those who follow these pretenders to the seat of the Gorgon. When your chosen leader takes command of the house, supporters of the would-be usurpers will be dealt with. Until then, it is up to your side to keep Cannith’s glory from degenerating further.

COMBAT

Members of House Cannith never shy away from combat, though they are seldom found in the thick of it. You use every tool at your disposal to ensure victory, including spells, magic items, and construct mercenaries. As a member of the house, you always have the best gear, focusing on protective or damage-dealing magic items. When Cannith goes to battle, there is no such thing as overkill.

ADVANCEMENT

In House Cannith, magic is an integral part of your surroundings. Magical training is available and strongly encouraged, but should you prove incapable of mastering the arcane arts, you will be tutored by clan elders in business, administration, and diplomacy. A career in combat or divine magic requires a strong will and demonstrable aptitude, but once you gain permission, the house will arrange training with the best tutors money can buy. For a Cannith, to do anything but excel is unacceptable. You know that continued innovation is the fortune and lifeblood of your house. Power is the ultimate goal, and any steps needed to attain it are acceptable. This is not to say that you personally embrace an ethos of immorality, but there can be no doubt that your house does. You are wise enough to pick your battles—whether physical or social—with care. Once committed, you accept nothing less than complete victory, no matter what it takes.

_________________
"Be strong and do as you will. The swords of others will set you your limits." (Marauders of Gor, p.10)

After the lights go out on you/After your worthless life is through/I will remember how you scream
I can't afford to care/I can't afford to care ("Lights Out" Breaking Benjamin)


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PostSubject: HOUSE DENEITH   Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:37 am

HOUSE DENEITH

“Galifar lies in ruins, destroyed by its own folly, but our rights and duties cannot be set aside. Our oaths bind us still. Let those who would oppose the law know us, and end their days in fear.”
—Endira d’Deneith,
Sentinel Marshal of House Deneith

From its beginnings as an order of mercenaries and soldiers to its modern incarnation as the human face of law
and battle, House Deneith has maintained its position as the primary force for security and defense in the Five Nations. Though its fortunes rose during the Last War, the services Deneith renders are no less valuable in times of peace. Today, the house is as prosperous as ever, with its position of neutrality firmly established and a host of eager clients ready to use its services. This prosperity tells only half the story, however, and Deneith’s past fortunes might not be enough to guarantee the house’s future.

Neutrality and Law

Throughout the Last War, Deneith maintained a position of neutrality, serving the whole of Galifar rather than any of its fractured parts. Although this position caused unrest in the house’s home of Karrnath, the Deneith patriarch, Baron Breven d’Deneith, saw the need for a balance of idealism and practicality. Although Deneith’s military forces were nearly the equal of any kingdom, joining with one side (likely Karrnath) would have overwhelmed the house’s resources as it was targeted by the other nations. As it happened, its neutral position served Deneith well. At the Treaty of Thronehold, the right of House Deneith to maintain a standing military force was recognized once more. Further, it was agreed to allow members of the house to travel unimpeded by national boundaries for the sake of defending the Five Nations against external threats. Before the war, Deneith bodyguards made up a significant portion of the royal retinues of Galifar, services that remained in demand both during the war and after.
The central philosophy of House Deneith is built upon fulfilling the letter of the law, with contracts and codes governing every action its members take. The Sentinel Marshals serve an ideal of justice, chasing down criminals no matter where they might hide. For the Defenders and Blademarks Guilds, the law of the land is not half as important as the law of their contract, wherein their services are pledged to a nation or individual under specific circumstances and for a specific length of time. No matter what side of the house one falls on, honor, ethics, and an adherence to oaths sworn form the bulk of a Deneith heir’s reputation. One who keeps his word and fulfills expectations is valued highly, whether his heart tends to good or evil. One who is unreliable or capricious, on the other hand, will find few friends within the house.

Dissent Within the Ranks

House Deneith’s position of military strength and influence in Khorvaire goes largely unchallenged. Though Deneith is not preeminent among the dragonmarked houses, it has never aspired to be. By maintaining its neutrality and refusing ties to any one nation, Deneith has instead become a force that others must rely on. Today, however, this reputation of strength and security means less than at any time in Deneith’s past. In the aftermath of the Last War, the house is quietly buckling under pressure from within and without, and its resources are strained to a degree that few outside the leadership see.

KARRNATH’S CHILDREN

House Deneith’s headquarters is in Karrlakton, and its roots are set deep in Karrnathi soil. The features and temperament of the Karrns can be found at all levels of House Deneith, from Breven d’Deneith to the mercenary
captains of the Blademarks. Deneith is proud of its heritage, but the day of reckoning for that birthright might soon be at hand. When the Last War began, House Deneith had a good excuse to claim neutrality. It served Galifar, and would continue to do so even without a crowned king or queen. That neutral stance garnered an amount of respect among the Karrns, who were content that Deneith did not serve their king as long as it served no one else. Galifar is little more than a memory now, formally dissolved by the Treaty of Thronehold. The king of Karrnath no longer fights for a place upon the Throne of Galifar, but rather clamors for peace among his brethren. In the eyes of many of his people, Kaius III’s embrace of peace weakens his land.

This conflict of ideals is causing unrest in Karrnath, and could lead to Kaius’s undoing. At the same time, those Karrns who long for battle against the upstart nations of Khorvaire now wonder how Deneith can refuse to fight for its rightful king, especially when they imagine the glories of a shared Deneith–Karrnath army against the poor remnants of Khorvaire’s other nations. Should Kaius III be deposed and Karrnath led again to war, Deneith’s much-vaunted neutrality might be put to the test—and the sword.

SUPPLY AND DEMAND

For centuries, House Deneith cornered the market on mercenary forces in Khorvaire. The Blademarks Guild has done business with every major militia and town watch in the Five Nations, as well as provided security forces for other dragonmarked houses, private citizens, and expeditions across Khorvaire and beyond. The Last War changed all this, drastically reducing the available pool of experienced soldiers and mercenaries. It was an unpleasant surprise, then, when House Tharashk entered the mercenary market in the dying days of the war. Deneith had never before encountered competition for its services on any meaningful scale, and for another house to engineer such a challenge with the help of the monstrous races of Droaam was a bitter insult.

House Deneith heirs are human, and humans make up the majority of their forces. Though a smattering of warforged, shifters, and half-elves can be found in Deneith ranks, half-orcs usually prefer to work with House Tharashk, and other races are rare. For Deneith’s work within the Five Nations, human troops were once an advantage, but the outlook in Khorvaire has changed. In urban areas such as Sharn, civilized monsters can walk the streets without fear as long as they obey the laws of the realm. House Tharashk helped to pioneer this change and its actions have placed the house squarely in Deneith’s sights. Deneith is determined to conquer this new mercenary market, either by wresting control from Tharashk or building its own pool of monstrous talent to draw from.

Neither house admits to any open conflict with the other, but covert clashes occur on a regular basis. If the situation escalates, the rift between the houses might well become irreparable. The dragonmarked houses have traditionally abstained from interfering in intrahouse feuds, but no houses have ever before maintained their own standing armies. Open warfare between Deneith and Tharashk is a prospect few among the dragonmarked care to dwell on.

AMBITION’S THRALL

Security and ambition are uneasy companions at the best of times. One requires safety, while the other demands risk. Though Deneith’s position in Khorvaire is largely secure, some within the house are convinced that security is simply another word for stagnation. They see the house’s position and wealth as resources to be spent in a larger plan, not treasures to be hoarded. With its martial strength and established presence across Khorvaire, Deneith could be the equal of any of the Five Nations and the master of all the houses. It could be Galifar reborn. Those agitating for change within the house believe that the time for a Deneith dynasty is at hand. The house provides security for the crowned heads of the Five Nations and a substantial portion of the nobility, as well as important members of the Twelve and the dragonmarked houses.

Deneith forces guard Thronehold, with the house holding the throne in stewardship until a new king or queen is crowned. How better to ensure that happens than to seize the crown for themselves? Baron Breven d’Deneith is aware of this movement, but calls it madness. Taking the throne and setting House Deneith to rule Khorvaire would necessitate throwing away everything the house has built and stands for. Such action would pit the house against not just the Five Nations and the other dragonmarked houses, but potentially against the Chamber if the draconic Prophecy were thought to be imperiled. Deneith would be irrevocably ruined—possibly even destroying the Mark of Sentinel as a result.

Other members of his house do not share Breven’s perspective. In particular, Shirin d’Deneith, a minister within
the house, keeps the dark dream of conquest foremost in the thoughts of house members. Though Shirin holds little power from his position alone, he is a charismatic individual. Well spoken and articulate, he has used these gifts to draw like-minded individuals to him. He has also joined the Blood of Vol, using the cult to grant him access to the Order of the Emerald Claw. In doing so, he takes a great risk, since opinion within the house might turn against him if his actions were known. If Shirin has his way, his association with the order will not be discovered until Breven is dead or deposed, and he has seized control of the house.

HOUSE DENIETH AS AN ORGANIZATION

“The nature of humankind should never be violence, and yet the presence of the Mark of Sentinel makes an argument for this core part of our nature. We should rejoice in the law and its controlling effect on these forces. For without it, who knows what House Deneith might yet become?”
—Kester Shirl, professor of history at Morgrave University

House Deneith is a dragonmarked house of humans who carry the Mark of Sentinel—the oldest of the human dragonmarks—in their bloodlines. House Deneith’s Blademarks and Defenders Guilds provide security and mercenaries for clients throughout Khorvaire, while the house’s Sentinel Marshals have special dispensation to mete out justice in all nations signatory to the Thronehold Accords.

JOINING HOUSE DENEITH

The number of characters Deneith hires without house affiliation is at least equal to the number of true heirs in the house. Although differences in status and benefits divide hirelings from full members, Deneith respects its hirelings and treats them well. Those who stay with the house through long years of service are often granted honorary house membership in the end. Honorary membership gives an individual the same rights as a regular member of the house, but does not confer that status to the individual’s spouse or children. However, an honorary member who is single and well respected has a greater chance of marrying into the house than a common hireling. Nonhumans can achieve honorary status, but almost never successfully marry into the family line.

Members of House Deneith serve in one of its guilds at some point in their lives, almost without exception. This obligation ensures that every member of the house is familiar with the day-to-day life of a soldier or bodyguard, and makes it unusual for a house member to not have levels in rogue, fighter, or paladin. Even Deneith spellcasters learn martial skills and tactics during their time in the house.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Race: Human.

Special: Must be related to a member of House Deneith by blood or marriage, or must be granted honorary status
by the house patriarch. House Deneith’s focus is the safety and security of Khorvaire and its citizens. It employs its members to that end, making use of their skills to protect and serve as needed. Rogues act as scouts, diplomats, and tactical experts in the field. They are especially welcome in the Defenders Guild, though they are common among the Blademarks as well. Experienced rogues often go on to positions of leadership within the house, thanks to their quick wits.
Fighters are the core of the house, and are common in the Sentinel Marshals and both guilds. Paladins frequently serve in the Sentinel Marshals, where a passion for law and justice is an absolute requirement.

HOUSE DENEITH BENEFITS

House Deneith’s power is obvious to anyone who has ever seen its mercenaries on the march. Its operations are spread across Khorvaire, and the house has major enclaves in each nation.

Economics: House Deneith manages contracts and certifications for the members of its guilds, including the negotiation of bonus pay for hazardous assignments. Deneith also undertakes the collection of debts from
former clients on behalf of its hirelings.

Gear: Members of the house furnish their own gear, but both regular and masterwork weapons and armor can be purchased through the house for 75% of the standard cost. House Deneith also covers the costs of travel associated with important contracts.

Services: Members of House Deneith can request the services of house guild members for 25% of the regular
cost.

Access: House Deneith has arranged for Sentinel Marshals to have free transport on elemental airships, the lightning rail, and Orien caravans during commission of their duties. House Deneith members also have access to all house enclaves and to training at Rekkenmark Academy.

Favored in House Benefits

Members of House Deneith have access to a wide range of martial benefits. The following table indicates the
types of favors a Deneith character with the Favored in House feat might request.

10 One free use of the least Mark of Sentinel; loan of a +1 weapon for 1 week; free use of 1d4 black blade Blademarks for 1 day; a loan of 100 gp at 10% per month
15 One free use of the lesser Mark of Sentinel; free use of 1d4 gray blade Blademarks for 1 week; one week’s training at the Rekkenmark Academy; loan of a +1 weapon for 1 month
20 One free use of the greater Mark of Sentinel; free use of a 3rd-level member of the Defenders Guild (least dragonmark) for 1 week; free use of 1d4 white blade Blademarks for 1 week; one month’s training at the Rekkenmark Academy; loan of a +2 weapon for 1 month; gift of a masterwork weapon (DM’s choice); a public border crossing for four characters without proper papers
25 Free use of a 5th-level member of the Defenders Guild (lesser dragonmark) for 1 week; free use of 1d4 gold blade Blademarks for week; free use of a +3 weapon for 1 month; a secret border crossing for four characters

PLAYING A MEMBER OF HOUSE DENEITH

As a member of House Deneith, you understand the importance of duty and honor, and of the laws used to govern and maintain those concepts. Deneith prizes tactical skill and an analytical mind, but also the importance of knowing what your word is worth—and it treats that word as though it was written in blood. Order and strategy govern all. Your house has taught you from a young age which rules can be bent and which cannot.

Combat

Combat training is a staple of life in House Deneith. Every heir, barring infirmity or other disability, is schooled in martial training from a young age. You are trained not to seek out combat, but you do not shy away from it. You won’t break the rules of honorable combat if your opponent requests them, but you won’t find yourself hampered by them if he doesn’t.

Advancement

Whether born into the house or not, no one is considered a true heir of Deneith until he has spent at least one year serving as a Blademark. If you are hired by the house, the first year of your initial two-year contract is probationary. Following that year, you are considered to have “tested your blood” and are treated as a valued member of the guild.
Though Deneith can help defer training costs or arrange specialized training for its members, house heirs consider it a mark of self-reliance to seek out training on their own. Hirelings are expected to provide their own gear and find their own mentors, while heirs of the house can seek training from within. In a sense, the Blademarks Guild is the training branch of the house, and even experienced heirs who are no longer members of the guild occasionally return for a few months to sharpen their skills.

Missions

Members of House Deneith are expected to risk their lives for their clients. Whether working as a mercenary for a minor merchant, protecting an Aundairian noble, or hunting a fugitive from justice across three nations, you are paid to put yourself in danger.

SENTINEL MARSHALS

The Sentinel Marshals are an elite law enforcement order administered by House Deneith since the rule of Galifar I and upheld as a multinatioanal force under the Treaty of Thronehold. Only the most trusted heirs of the house are honored with a position in the Sentinel Marshals, either after serving in both the Blademarks and the Defenders Guild, or by special dispensation of the house (see the Deneith warden prestige class). The Sentinel Marshals are elite agents authorized to enforce the law across Khorvaire according to the needs of regional authorities, and they have permission to ignore borders in pursuit of fugitives. They are never authorized to break the law, but are held accountable only to the Five Nations as a whole.

_________________
"Be strong and do as you will. The swords of others will set you your limits." (Marauders of Gor, p.10)

After the lights go out on you/After your worthless life is through/I will remember how you scream
I can't afford to care/I can't afford to care ("Lights Out" Breaking Benjamin)
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PostSubject: Re: Background Information, Maps and other items of note   Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:54 am

Cost of Living:
An adventurer's primary source of income is treasure, and his primary purchases are tools and items he needs to continue adventuring—spell components, weapons, magic items, potions, and the like. Yet what about things like food? Rent? Taxes? Bribes? Idle purchases?

You can certainly handle these minor expenditures in detail during play, but tracking every time a PC pays for a room, buys water, or pays a gate tax can swiftly become obnoxious and tiresome. If you're not really into tracking these minor costs of living, you can choose to simply ignore these small payments. A more realistic and easier-to-use method is to have PCs pay a recurring cost of living tax. At the start of every game month, a PC must pay an amount of gold equal to the lifestyle bracket he wishes to live in—if he can't afford his desired bracket, he drops down to the first one he can afford.

      Notes Specific to various feats, races, and character types.
      Characters with the Favored in House Feat: Anyone with the Favored in House feat may live free of charge at their House Enclave at an Average level. Wealthy and Extravagant cost normal amounts. If the character chooses to live outside of the House Enclave, or its holdings, then they must pay the normal Cost of Living upkeep.

      Characters with non-aberrant Dragonmarks: Any character who is marked with a non-aberrant dragonmark get a small stipend from their House in return for services rendered upon demand. This stipend is enough to fund a Poor Lifestyle for free, or an Average lifestyle for 7 gp per month. It has no appreciable effect on Wealthy or Extravagant lifestyles.

      Warforged Characters: Despite the fact they don't eat, warforged characters still have expensive upkeep needs in terms of repairs of the minor sort, materials for their hobbies, etc. As such they pay full price for any Cost of Living Upkeep.

    Destitute (0 gp/month): The PC is homeless and lives in the wilderness or on the streets. A destitute character must track every purchase, and may need to resort to Survival checks or theft to feed himself.

    Poor (3 gp/month): The PC lives in common rooms of taverns, with his parents, or in some other communal situation—this is the lifestyle of most untrained laborers and commoners. He need not track purchases of meals or taxes that cost 1 sp or less.

    Average (10 gp/month): The PC lives in his own apartment, small house, or similar location—this is the lifestyle of most trained or skilled experts or warriors. He can secure any nonmagical item worth 1 gp or less from his home in 1d10 minutes, and need not track purchases of common meals or taxes that cost 1 gp or less.

    Wealthy (100 gp/month): The PC has a sizable villa or a nice suite of rooms in a fine inn. Ten times per month, the character can secure any nonmagical item worth 5 gp or less from his belongings in his home in 1d10 minutes, and need only track purchases of meals or taxes in excess of 10 gp.

    Extravagant (1,000 gp/month): The PC lives in a mansion, castle, or other extravagant home. This is the lifestyle of most aristocrats. Ten times per month, the character can secure any nonmagical item worth 25 gp or less from his belongings in his home in 1d10 minutes. He need only track purchases of meals or taxes in excess of 100 gp.
Housing: All lifestyles assume living in inns, staying with friends, acquaintences, and more. No static place is assumed for any length of time. A character can, if they choose, rent a home, building or other structure. In addition to it's own costs, it also provides a discount for certain lifestyle choices. These lifestyle discounts never go over 50%.

    Palace: The heads of the most important groups within Sharn stay in large tower palaces of their own. Palaces are generally larger and more well-appointed than keeps, but cost less because they don’t require special permission from the City Government to exist. A typical palace is one five-story tower, with one or two two-story towers supporting it (stables, kitchens, skydock, and private gardens are most common). Palaces are never for rent (there are easier ways to make money), but when fortunes rise and fall one is occasionally for sale.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes: A character who owns this sort of housing option pays nothing for a Wealthy lifestyle when at home. The character must pay normally for any lifestyle costs while on the road, in addition to the upkeep costs for the palace. If the character lives an Extravagant Lifestyle at home, that character finds it reduced in price by 10%. They receive no such discount while on the road.
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing: 10% of purchase cost

    Keep: These kind of military structures are not allowed in Sharn unless they are used by the government itself. As such they are not available for rent or purchase.

    Tower Manor: Far more common than keeps or palaces are tower manors, large and comfortable "apartments" that are far cheaper (and more practical) than larger structures. They are typically stacked arranged in larger towers for defense and ease of access to markets and transportation. Tower manors are typically four stories and contain no fewer than five bedrooms, a study, a parlor, two privies, a bath, a large kitchen and pantry, and a cold room. Most have “great halls” that can be used as family rooms, feast halls, or grand reception rooms (depending on the occasion). Most Tower manors are located near soaring garden and walkways, and gorgeous panaoramas. Very few manors are for rent, but a visiting dignitary might be offered the use of one by a wealthy family looking to curry favor.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes:
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing:

    Villa: One of the more common types of dwellings, villas look like small manors, with one or two floors holding up to four rooms, a privy or two, a bath, a kitchen and pantry, and usually a cellar. Most villas do not have a great hall, instead employing smaller, function-specific rooms (such as a den or family room). Villas have their own yards, usually consisting of narrow strips of hardy plants. Moderately successful families and heads of powerful guilds often live in villas.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes:
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing:


    Townhouse: Most business owners and relatively successful families in Sharn reside in townhouses. A townhouse is a narrow dwelling that abuts another building on at least one side. Most townhouses begin on the second floor of a building, rising above a shop or other business of some kind. Townhouses otherwise resemble small villas. Most townhouses are owned by their residents (and this ownership usually extends to the ground-floor business space), but a few are always available for rent by newcomers thinking to set up a new business in the City at the Center of the World. A townhouse that has a meeting space on the lower floor, and is owned by an organization or guild, is referred to as a lodge.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes:
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing:

    Flathouse or Apartment: Some buildings, especially near major markets, schools, and docks, contain nothing but living spaces. The largest and nicest of these buildings contain flathouses, one-story dwellings with one or two bedrooms and all the amenities of townhouses. Normally multiple flathouses are built on the same level, with each having a door accessing an outer balcony that wraps around the building. Flathouses can be purchased or rented.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes:
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing:

    Flop: Flops are single-room dwellings that share communal privies, baths, and kitchens. Flops are smaller than flathouses, with as many as four flops taking up the space of one flathouse. Two to four flops might be built together around a single set of communal rooms, or they might be part of a multistory flophouse cramming up to 40 flops in a single building. A flop has just enough room for a bed, chest, chair, and desk, and is a common dwelling for visitors to the city (who don’t plan to spend much time in their room anyway), students, and the poor. Flops are rarely well-kept, as most are rented, but small flops owned by their residents can be quite nice.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes:
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing::

    Bunk: With a name taken from the simple hammock or cot common to low-rank sailors on ships, a bunk is the simplest accommodation in Sharn short of homelessness. It consists oflittle more than a bed and a few places to store possessions. Bunkhouses provide a cheap place for short-term visitors (and those unable to afford better) to at least sleep out of the rain. Most provide just a curtain for privacy, with two locked drawers for securing possessions. It’s also possible to find bunks in the kitchens and stables of higher-class establishments, to allow menials to sleep near their workplace. Less common are free-standing bunks, but a few tiny buildings (sometimes as little as 20 square feet) exist that are bunks for one or two owners.
      Lifestyle Discount Notes:
      Monthly Upkeep for Purchased Housing:


_________________
"Be strong and do as you will. The swords of others will set you your limits." (Marauders of Gor, p.10)

After the lights go out on you/After your worthless life is through/I will remember how you scream
I can't afford to care/I can't afford to care ("Lights Out" Breaking Benjamin)
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PostSubject: Re: Background Information, Maps and other items of note   

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