Dragonmark: Provinces of Riedra

In June, my Patreon supporters called for an article about Sarlona. The first part dealt with the role of Riedra and how to bring it into fifth edition. To conclude, I’m delving deeper in a subject that is only touched on in Secrets of Sarlona: the history and unique elements of the eight provinces of Riedra. I am posting the full article for inner circle patrons on my Patreon, but here’s the introduction and the first two provinces: Borunan and Corvagura.

The Unity of Riedra is a single political entity. It’s one nation. But it’s made up of eight provinces, and each of these provinces were once unique nations. Those nations were shaped by environmental factors, by religions, arcane discoveries, and most of all, by planar influences. While they are now unified—and while the Inspired work to discourage any strong sense of provincial nationalism in modern Riedra—understanding these fallen nations is crucial both to understanding the landscape of Riedra, the history of the Five Nations, and the secrets or wonders that adventurers might travel to Riedra to uncover. RIEDRA may be one nation, but you’ll have very different adventures in Borunan and Ohr Kaluun.

Secrets of Sarlona implies that the old kingdoms were fairly advanced—that they had wizards, sorcerers, divine champions. If so, why did these techniques not travel to Khorvaire? And in general, why don’t the Five Nations show their Sarlonan roots more strongly? We’ve said that while most followers of the Sovereign Host in the Five Nations know that their faith is “the Pyrinean Creed,” very few actually know that this means it originated in the Sarlonan nation of Pyrine. Why have these nations been forgotten?

There’s two important factors. The first is that the Sarlonan “settlers” of Khorvaire weren’t the paragons and pride of their nations. We’ve called out that Lhazaar was a pirate, and it’s no accident that her lieutenant Malleon was known as “The Reaver.” Many of those who followed Lhazaar were outlaws, renegades, or rebels of one brand or another. Later waves of colonization were largely driven by refugees. These weren’t organized efforts to preserve the culture and achievements of the old kingdoms. Equally important is the fact that they couldn’t transport many of their greatest achievements, which is another reason why there weren’t more active programs driving colonization. Because one thing Sarlona has in greater amounts than any other continent is planar influence. Manifest zones, wild zones, reality storms, and more—Sarlona is closer to the planes than Khorvaire. This creates both threats and opportunities. Depending on their traits, manifest zones and wild zones can be extremely dangerous—but as seen in Sharn, Shae Mordai, and Dreadhold, they can also enable wonders that can’t be replicated in the mundane world. Manifest zones can be a source of unusual flora, fauna, or other resources. The drug known as absentia is created using a root that grows in certain Xoriat manifest zones, while the pomow plant—the mainstay of the Riedran diet—was developed in Lamannian zones. Beyond this, the more powerful zones leak planar energies into the surrounding region. This can be tapped to produce magical effects, and can also subtly shape the personality of mortals. Creatures that live in the vicinity of a Shavarath wild zone are more likely to be aggressive—and to have an instinctive knack for developing martial skills. So the wizards of Khunan and the sorcerers of Corvagura were channeling planar magic… and when Khunan wizards fled to what’s now Valenar, they found that their magic didn’t work there. So the reason the Five Nations don’t seem to be that much more advanced than the fallen kingdoms of Sarlona is because they had to rebuild their arcane science… in the process, creating forms of magic that are more reliable and versatile. Nonetheless, it is possible that adventurers sifting through the ruins of the old kingdoms may find rituals, relics, or spells that are a match or even superior to modern techniques… though it might take the skill of an exceptional arcanist—or a player character—to adapt these techniques to the modern style! (Side note for the Arcana-proficient: the old Sarlonan style of magic—drawing on planar energies—is referred to as “Externalist” or “wielding external forces.” The most common form of arcane science employed by the Five Nations is “Siberyan,” and manipulates energies exuded by the Ring of Siberys.)

So what follows focuses on aspects not covered in Secrets of Sarlona: the impact of the planes and interesting aspects of the old cultures. But always remember that the Inspired have worked to suppress the old traditions. In particular, the Edgewalkers are an elite order tasked to protect innocents from extraplanar threats, and one of their major duties is patrolling the borders of wild zones. Many zones do contain deadly threats; but in other cases the Inspired don’t want the locals to find ways to use the zones as their ancestors did, or to be influenced by the zone.

Note that manifest zones to all planes (save Dal Quor) can be found anywhere in Riedra. What are called out in these sections are the most common and powerful planar influences in a region, and the common wild zones. But manifest zones to Thelanis can be found in any province, for example; in the novel The Gates of Night, the protagonists travel between Xen’drik and Sarlona using manifest zones tied to Thelanis.

BORUNAN

In Borunan, you might…

  • Be drawn into the schemes of oni and ogres plotting rebellion.
  • Find an ancient forge where oni crafted weapons for ogre champions.
  • Be forced into an extension of Shavarath, where celestials and fiends fight an endless war.
  • Use a passage from Khyber to enter Riedra.

In the days of the old kingdoms, the ogres of Borunan were peerless warriors. The champions of Borunan possessed inhuman strength, martial discipline, unshakeable courage, and weapons forged in Fernian flame. Time and again, they repelled the legions of Nulakesh and the crusaders of Khalesh, and yet Borunan never sought to conquer any of its neighbors. Some might wonder why this was. Borunan is a harsh land; did the ogres never consider claiming the more fertile fields of Nulakesh? What kept their population so low that they never needed to expand?

It’s commonly known that the people of Borunan considered their neighbors to be “unworthy foes” and the common assumption was that the ogres were cruel brutes who constantly fought one another. In fact, the ogres were waging a truly divine war—fighting alongside angels in an endless struggle against devils. The center of Borunan contains a wild zone to Shavarath where a fragment of the Eternal Battleground extends directly into the material plane, and the ancient ogres devoted their might not to conquest, but to defending this keep against the forces of tyranny.

Borunan contains multiple wild zones tied to Fernia and Shavarath, along with multiple passages into Khyber. The forerunners of the ogres emerged from a demiplane within Khyber; tectonic activity destroyed this passage, leaving them stranded in this barren region of rocky desert and hills. Of the Shavaran wild zones, only the one—known to the ogres as Gul Dol, the Gate of War—is a direct passage to the Eternal Battleground. But the ogres built their fortresses in the other Shavaran zones, and over generations the influence of Shavarath helped shape them into fierce warriors. The origin of the oni is a secret long forgotten, but one possibility is this: just like the rakshasa and the overlords, the immortals of Shavarath cannot be permanently bound. But during their service in Gul Dol, the champions of Borunan found a way to bind defeated fiends to their own bodies—sort of an involuntary version of the process that created the kalashtar, trapping a fiend within a bloodline of ogres. Thus the supernatural powers of the oni may be tied to the essence of devils bound to the bloodlines. This could be why many oni are drawn toward evil; but the oni of Borunan resisted those sinister instincts, using the power of their defeated foes to fight alongside celestials.

In addition to being fierce warriors, the oni of Borunan forged their weapons in the Cauldron, a wild zone tied to Fernia. Their weapons weren’t as well-crafted as the arms and armor of the Dhakaani, but the oni spell-smiths were able to channel the energies of Shavarath and Fernia to imbue their creations with powerful magic. While most of these weapons were destroyed long ago—not to mention being designed to be wielded by ogres and oni—legendary items or even artifacts could remain in Gul Dol, the Cauldron, or other ancient ruins.

The ogres of ancient Borunan cared nothing for the Sovereigns or the Silver Flame. They were entirely devoted to the battle for Gul Dol. The angels of the Legion of Freedom battle the devils of the Legion of Tyranny for control of this massive fortress, which is broken into multiple rings and wings. The angels believe that the balance of this war reflects the balance between tyranny and freedom across the multiverse. Of course, this is only one of countless fronts in the eternal war between these forces, but the ogres embraced this idea and believed that in fighting alongside the angels they were fighting for freedom for all people.

The Fall of Borunan. Despite the might of its champions, Borunan was easily laid low by the Dreaming Dark. The humans of the surrounding regions had long feared the ogres, and it was easy for the quori to fan these flames. Within Borunan itself, the quori sowed doubts and created feuds, shattering centuries of unity. Were the oni secretly in league with devils? Was the battle for Gul Dol a pointless sacrifice? Civil strife decimated Borunan and left it vulnerable to outside attack.

Borunan Today. In the present day, the ogres of Borunan are kept from the wild zones that served as the strongholds of their ancestors, and largely kept from any form of war; they use their strength for manual labor as opposed to battle. The oni are raised to believe in a twisted form of their actual history. Riedran oni are taught that their gifts are the result of being living prisons for fiends; it is the duty of the oni to redeem the fiend within them through their own devoted service to the Inspired. Largely, this has proven successful, and the Horned Guard—an elite corps of oni soldiers—is one of the most powerful weapons in the Riedran arsenal. However, over the course of the last two decades a group of Borunan rebels has been forming a resistance movement, the Horned Shadow, that seeks to protect the ogre-kin (ogres, oni, eneko). This is still a young movement, struggling to build power while avoiding the gaze of the Thousand Eyes. It’s up to the DM to decide if the Horned Shadow is entirely heroic—a throwback to the champions of ancient Borunan, who devoted their lives to defending freedom from tyranny—or if the oni leaders are driven by fiendish impulses and have malevolent goals.

Keep in Mind. Borunan has many passages to Khyber. These could provide ways for adventurers to cross from Khorvaire into Riedra, intentionally or by accident. This could also be a vector that could bring the minions of a daelkyr into Riedra. The Edgewalkers monitor these passages, and have sealed those that can be sealed. The public is kept away from the wild zones that hold the ancient ruins of Borunan, and believe them to be the domain of foul altavars (the Riedran term for fiends). The two most powerful zones are the Cauldron (a Fernian zone in the Broken Blade Mountains and the seat of old Borunan’s oni spell-smiths) and Gul Dol. Today, the majority of the Gate of War is in the hands of the Legion of Tyranny, but the angels still hold an isolated keep. Their forces include a number of Borunan sword wraiths—the spectral vestiges of the ogrekin champions that fought and died alongside them.

The ogres of Borunan are generally more intelligent than their cousins in Droaam, with an average Intelligence of 9. It’s likely that the ancestors of the ogres and oni of Khorvaire were transported by a planar anomaly; this might explain their reduced Intelligence and the lack of any Borunan traditions. Another possibility is that the ogres of Khorvaire are a separate branch of the species—that they came from the same demiplane but emerged in Khorvaire instead of Sarlona, and were untouched by the influence of Shavarath.

CORVAGURA

In Corvagura, you might…

  • Seek to sabotage the teleportation network of Durat Tal.
  • Explore a mysterious magebreeding facility in a Lamannian wild zone.
  • Try to save a youth who’s manifested sorcerous powers.
  • Explore the tomb of a forgotten sorcerer-king.

Corvagura is a tropical region marked by deep jungles and lush fields. It has long been the most densely populated region of Sarlona, and it was one of the most powerful and influential of the old kingdoms. Corvagura includes manifest zones and wild zones tied to Lamannia, Mabar, and Thelanis. It’s the influence of Lamannia that lends unnatural fertility to the region and its inhabitants. The influences of the other planes were made manifest in two powerful lines of sorcerers. Anyone born within the sphere of influence could potentially develop sorcerous powers; Corvagura was born when leaders rallied these sorcerers into two noble houses, and used their powers to conquer the city-states in the region.

  • The House of the Sun drew its power from Thelanis. Its members had the Wild Magic origin. Their magic tended towards glamour and glory, twisting the thoughts and emotions of others or striking down foes with bolts of flame. Though biologically human, members of the House of the Sun often had fey features and could be mistaken for Khoravar. The sorcerers of the House of the Sun were taught to be proud and glorious, demanding adoration from their subjects.
  • The House of the Moon drew its power from Mabar. Its members had the Shadow origin, and their magic drew on darkness and inspired fear. They never animated the dead, but they could command shadows and summon specters. The sorcerers of the House of the Moon were taught to be calm and cruel, instilling terror in any who might challenge them.

While these houses were presented as families, position was based entirely on sorcerous power. Anyone who manifested such powers would be adopted into the appropriate house, while any heir who failed to show sorcerous talent by their 18th birthday was cast out. The majority of the sorcerers of Corvagura were convinced that their powers elevated them above the common people, and were infamous for their casual cruelty and tyrannical rule. But they did protect the common people from a number of deadly threats, from the colossal beasts that emerged from Lamannian wild zones to the restless dead and capricious fey unleashed by the other wild zones.

The Fall of Corvagura. The quori attacked Corvagura on three fronts. They encouraged the cruelty and narcissism of the worst of the sorcerers, pushing their subjects past the limit of what they would endure. They created a deep, paranoid rift between the houses, leading to destructive vendettas. And they encouraged the spirit of revolution among the people—culminating in the appearance of early Inspired, commoners wielding supernatural powers capable of defeating the sorcerers.

Corvagura Today. Today Corvagura is the heart of Riedra, both in terms of population and administration. It’s home to both the capital city of Durat Tal and the primary eastern port, Dar Jin, along with a number of other important bastion cities. The influence of wild zones tied to Mabar and Thelanis are largely contained by the Edgewalkers; the Shanjueed Jungle has been called out as the largest Mabaran manifest zone in Eberron, dwarfing even the Gloaming of the Eldeen Reaches. Lamannian wild zones and manifest zones have been tapped to contribute to the agricultural programs of Riedra; this includes the creation of unusual hybrids, such as the pomow plant. As the Inspired keep people out of the wild zones and work to contain their influence, plane-touched sorcerers are rarely born in Corvagura. People know what to watch for and know that such sorcerers are vessels for Altavars, responsible for chaos and bloodshed in the days before the Unity, and sorcerers identified by the Thousand Eyes will either be killed or forced into service with the Edgewalkers. However, as with other provinces, there may well be a few who have managed to conceal their powers or who managed to flee into wild zones and survive there—rebels who could assist player characters. On the other hand, some such sorcerers have internalized the teachings that these powers are the gifts of fiends, and believe that the path to greater power lies in performing vile acts; such criminals are exceedingly dangerous. It’s worth noting that while the sorcerer-princes of ancient Corvagura were human, there’s nothing stopping a Corvaguran changeling, shifter, or member of another species from developing such powers.

Keep in Mind. Corvagura is the heart of Riedra. Dar Jin is a center for trade and diplomacy. Durat Tal is the administrative center of the Unity, and it is also the hub for the network of teleportation circles that allow the Inspired to swiftly move troops and supplies across the length of their realm. Because of this, Corvagura has the largest number of hanbalani monoliths and the greatest effort made to ensure the loyalty of its people; while there could be a few rogue sorcerers, Corvagura is a difficult place to find support for any sort of rebellion.

The manifest and wild zones tied to Mabar and Thelanis provide all sorts of potential for adventures. These zones may contain ruins associated with the Houses of the Sun and Moon, along with the forgotten treasures of the sorcerer-kings. Mabar zones may yet be haunted by the specters of ancient tyrants or by newly animated undead. The Edgewalkers are dedicated to keeping fey and undead contained, and the Thousand Eyes ensure that no one tells the stories of the fey. But this can still be another way to enter Riedra; Thelanian zones often allow passage to the Faerie Court under the right circumstances, and adventurers exploring the Twilight Demesne in Khorvaire could accidentally end up facing Edgewalkers on the edge of a forest in Corvagura.

That’s all for now! The full article—covering Dor Maleer, Khalesh, Nulakesh, Ohr Kaluun, Pyrine, and Rhiavhaar—is available to inner circle Patreon supporters. I’ve spent far more time on the last two articles than on anything I’ve ever written for the site, and it’s only the support of my patrons that makes that possible. Thanks to all of you who have shown your support!

35 thoughts on “Dragonmark: Provinces of Riedra

    • I honestly don’t know. I can’t afford to write articles of this length without additional Patreon support, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much reason for people to be supporters unless there’s exclusive content. So it’s basically an ongoing process to determine what makes the Patreon worthwhile for people.

  1. With so many planar zones and so much influence, I would like to think there are more genasi, Aasimar, and tieflings in Sarlona than other places. There’s only a single paragraph about all of them in SoS though. Can you tell me anything about how they’re treated in Sarlona, or just Reidra?

    • 4E Tieflings (the dumb ones that were retconned from highly variable mutants into a true breeding race with consistent features due to a fiendish pact) were said to originate with something from the ancient civilization Ohr Kaluun in Sarlona. Like everything about 4E tieflings, I tend to pretend it never existed.

      • Well Nanashi, I rather like 4E Tieflings, and 4E in general, and I Love The Venemous Demesne introduced in 4E. So, Pbbbbbtttttt!

    • Certainly, planetouched individuals are more common in Sarlona than in Khorvaire. Aasimar surely appear in Pyrine and Khalesh; one way to view the shulassakar is as a form of aasimar tied to the Silver Flame. Ohr Kaluun is noted as having magebred hereditary tiefling bloodlines, which have founded the Venomous Demesne in Droaam; but with its zones tied to Mabar, Kythri, and Xoriat, Ohr Kaluun is a likely source for planetouched tieflings as well.

      In Riedra, the most likely answer is that all planetouched would be killed. Aasimar would definitely be killed as soon as they were identified; the last thing the Inspired want is to have individuals who are ACTUALLY guided by celestials running around. It’s possible that other forms of planetouched would be preserved and incorporated into the Edgewalkers—the same way that changelings and oni have been transformed into tools of the Unity. But I think it’s far more likely that they’d keep it simple and kill them.

      Elsewhere, it depends. I’d think that genasi would probably be welcomed in the Syrkarn and Tashana. It’s quite possible that the reason the Adaran monks were ready to become Kalashtar is because they already HAD experience with aasimar.

      As for tieflings, it’s all a question how you view tieflings. In MY Eberron, I emphasize the point that tieflings aren’t feared simply because of their appearance but because of superstition; that what a tiefling IS is a person touched by the malevolent aspects of a plane. Here’s an excerpt from my previous writing on the subject:

      In Eberron, a tiefling isn’t specifically the result of an infernal bargain; but it is understood that tieflings are touched by darkness. Eberron lies balanced between thirteen planes—planes of madness, war, death, and more. The influence of the planes can be seen in manifest zones, where traits of the plane bleed through into the world. And they can be made manifest in a tiefling child, a living vessel for the powers of one of the malevolent planes. And this in turn leads to the fear and prejudice that tieflings face. Through no fault of their own, tieflings are tied to dark powers. People believe that this evil clings to a tiefling, that it follows wherever they go. It’s common superstition that violence follows wherever a Shavaran tiefling goes, that people and animals sicken and die if they spend too much time around a Mabari tiefling. Letting a Fernian tiefling sleep in your house is an invitation to have it burn down.

      So, tieflings would likely be killed in Riedra, but they wouldn’t be WELCOME anywhere. That’s the difference between a fire genasi and a Fernian tiefling; the genasi is just touched by elemental forces, while the Fernian tiefling is channeling an EVIL power.

  2. Oh hey, an mention of eneko! I only remember them because of how “off” they seemed in SoS, like they were a draft that slipped by editing. Will they get a proper fleshing out in Exploring Eberron?

    • No, Exploring Eberron doesn’t include Sarlona. If I were to write an article about the Syrkarn, I’d address them there.

  3. Map-wise, Rhiavaar is painted with lots of browns, contrasting with the greens of the eastern coast. Should Rhiavaar be more green?

    • Secrets of Sarlona describes Rhiavhaar as “temperate plains and marsh.” It’s not as fertile as Corvagura, certainly, but it’s not supposed to be desert.

  4. I’ve already asked one question, but if it’s alright I’d like to ask another.

    If a manifest zone (or wild zone, if the distinction matters) to Dal Quor were to exist, what would it be like? Would there be any differences based on the current Age of Dal Quor? What kind of importance might it have to the Inspired or Kalashtar?

    • First of all, it’s important to call out that if one exists, it would be a bizarre miracle. The actions of the Cul’sir Dominion severed all direct connections between Eberron and Dal Quor, including all manifest zones. But if one did exist? The short form is that Exploring Eberron describes traits for all planes. The most comment aspect of a manifest zone is that it has one or more of the planar traits of the connected plane; and under the correct circumstances it allows passage to the plane. So, ExE will provide a number of examples of traits such a zone could have. Wild Zones either act as beachheads for a plane or resemble it, which in the case of Dal Quor, would likely mean that it would have a morphic environment that changes based on the subconscious thoughts and memories of the people in it.

    • As far as important, the main issue is that right now there’s no easy way for the quori to physically travel between Dal Quor and Eberron. If the zone serves as a gateway, it would be a boon for the Dreaming Dark, who could bring in all sorts of unpleasant things to help with their goals. I don’t see that it would have a lot of value for the Kalashtar, unless they wanted to sneak into il-Lashtavar for some reason.

  5. Design question – I see you used the “Planar Elements” entry from each of the Secrets of Sarlona provinces. Do you remember how those were picked?

    • No, I don’t remember. However, since I wrote the Riedra section, I’m sure I picked them. Each reflects the dominant themes of the region, though as I have more concrete visions of the planes now than I did ten years ago, I might change a few if I was starting again — for example, in this article I downplayed the role of Syrania in Khalesh. To me, it’s a simple reflection. Pyrine is Irian and Syrania: hope, light, peace, knowledge. Khalesh is Irian and Shavarath: drawn to the light, but shaded by war. Nulakhesh is Shavarath and Daanvi: War and discipline. And so on.

  6. Hey, Keith!

    Three small topics..

    Is there a reason for we don’t have a Feyspire on a nation of Riedra? I always thought odd a place with so much room for planar arc don’t have one. Edgewalkers, wild zones, etc… could have a good story about it. It is just something that didn’t happen or is there some motivation?

    I don’t know if I let pass in the full article or in Sarlona book, but I think that there was not a strong druidic tradition on nations that today are Riedra. In the same way that Giths and Dhakaan have problems against Xoriat aberrations, do you think that the lack of a strong druidic tradition as Gatekeepers could be a point that makes easier for Inspired conquer Riedra? This could be a advantage for Khorvaire? Or the way that Inspired act makes irrelevant the kind of magic?

    After read about Duergar as planetouched, I couldn’t let to think which plane could fit for Deep Gnomes as planetouched. Thinking about the deep gnome magic (non-detection at will, blur, blindness/deafness, disguise self), superior darkvision and advantage on rocky terrain, do you think that Dolurrh would be the choice or other plane?

  7. Speaking of manifest zones of Dal Quor: Presumably there were such in Sarlona before the Quori-Giant War. Granted that it’s been many millennia since then, would a Sarlonan region that HAD been a manifest zone or wild zone of Dal Quor show any residual effects in modern Sarlona, say, flora, fauna or topography? And, again, if so, would they hold any imporance for the Inspired. Might the dreamlily, for instance, have originated in such a zone and managed to survive to the present?

    • It’s quite possible, yes. Though again, to me, the main trait of a Dal Quor wild zone is that it would be MORPHIC; once it’s frozen in place, it won’t necessarily be strange. Consider your dreams. OCCASIONALLY they are truly alien and surreal, but most of the time if you dream about being in a forest, it looks like a FOREST. So part of it would be “Why is this warm forest in the middle of this cold desert” — and the issue there is that once the wild zone is gone, with forty thousand years of intervening time, likely the warm forest would die. You get weird things like that in Dor Maleer — the forest in the middle of the tundra — because it is continually sustained by Lamannia.

      But it’s possible, certainly.

  8. Answering questions I didn’t realize I even had, I now understand human arcane and divine magic traditions even better! Also the fact that neither ogres nor shifters emigrated with the humans with Lhazaar or during the Sundering makes a lot more sense for why their traditions are more cut off. As an aside, the Khyber origin for ogres is really cool, and makes me wonder if trolls (likewise just kind of there in Droaam and mentioned to be present in other continents in the books) also come from Khyber?

    Borunan was a source of much questions when I read SoS and now I think I’m even more in love with it than before, so kudos to you there. Also it seems each of the old kingdoms of Sarlona followed a cycle of two other planes of influence (some have three I can see) and I’m eager as I devour the much longer article on Patreon to see if my assumption is correct (as it’ll certainly help keep them straight, though simply fleshing them out some has helped immensely)

    I now have a lot of the stuff I needed to run a campaign set in Pre-Sundering Sarlona so that’s really exciting. When you write up Syrkarn will you go over details about Lamecha, Mae-Khree, Sunyagir and Khunan?

    One of the most dangerous creatures mentioned in SoS is the Essence Reaver, an aberration sort of creature that hunts and feeds on psionic energy. Were these apex monsters of Sarlona more prevelant before the Unity or did the hanbalani altas make them more likely to seek populated areas? Or are they mostly a rare monster at best?

    • When you write up Syrkarn will you go over details about Lamecha, Mae-Khree, Sunyagir and Khunan?

      That would be my plan, yes, though it will be up to the Patreon polls as to when I address Syrkarn.

      One of the most dangerous creatures mentioned in SoS is the Essence Reaver, an aberration sort of creature that hunts and feeds on psionic energy. Were these apex monsters of Sarlona more prevelant before the Unity or did the hanbalani altas make them more likely to seek populated areas?

      Secrets of Sarlona says “they shun inhabited areas for reasons unknown. Furthermore, essence reavers are never seen in proximity to the Inspired’s hanbalani, despite the documented psionic effect surrounding these monoliths.” With that in mind, my immediate thoughts…
      1. They’re a creation of one of the daelkyr. This fits with the aberration creature type; psionics are often associated with Xoriat; and given that Khyber touches Sarlona, there’s no reason daelkyr couldn’t be active there. And in this case, they could predate the Inspired.
      2. They are creations of the Inspired themselves. SoS suggests that the Inspired tried unsuccessfully to use them to “hunt down rogue manifesters and spellcasters in the Tundra and Syrkarn.” The fact that they avoid the hanbalani supports an Inspired origin.

      • Knew I should have checked my source! Hadn’t really considered the essence reaver being an inspired creation but I guess with quor-touched and quorbred and all the magebreeding it would fit!

        Thanks!

  9. So this is kind of adjacent but brought up here,: if the old Sarlonan magic techniques were dependent on the regional sources and didn’t work right outside that, and Siberyan arcane techniques rely on the Ring of Siberys, how do such techniques function outside the material plane? I don’t think I’ve ever seen the ring, unlike the moons, mentioned regarding any of the other planes.

    • Siberyan magic works on all the planes. There are two common theories about this. One is that it is the Ring of Siberys that holds the planes together—that it is the fulcrum of the multiverse—and thus its energy permeates the planes as well as Eberron. The other maintains that the Planes themselves ARE Siberyan energy.

      Also, to be clear: not all of the casters of the old kingdoms used externalist techniques. The influence of the planes helped the Kaluunites come up with their illogical breakthroughs and to reach their patrons, but the warlocks of the Venomous Demesne are still using the same techniques as their ancestors. Likewise, it’s not that Corvaguran sorcerers can’t cast outside of Corvagura, it’s that the sorcerers only EXIST because of the influence of the zones; those that left Corvagura found that their children didn’t inherit their abilities. So the Khunan wizards were actually the primary externalist path—but the central point remains, that most of the arcane traditions weren’t portable.

      • Thanks for the response! As well as expanding on the rest of it. I love actually thinking about the history of magic techniques and how they develop and evolve in Eberron. Most settings just end up going with “magic techniques have been largely at the same advancement since forever” mostly. It’s neat to think of a caster from 200 years ago being utterly shocked at what casters do now, much like we imagine scientist from 200 years ago might react to today’s advances.

  10. What are Dragonbones? Are they the bones of dragons or are they actually bones of Siberys? Would make sense to me that as his flesh and blood became the dragons and couatl, his scales are still up there and slowly falling but his skeleton which would be the heaviest dropped first.
    If one of the couatl that remained behind to guard sites and did not sacrifice itself is killed, is it likely it will be reborn in Khalesh or Pyrine?

    • Dragonbone is a virtually indestructible material the couatl used to create buildings and monuments in the Age of Demons. In this way, it’s similar to the “demonglass” that has been mentioned in the Demon Wastes, a nearly indestructible material used by fiends in the Age of Demons. it could be actual bones of Eberron or Khyber, or it could be something similar to the sentira material produced by the Inspired—a mystically generated building material.

      But if you WANT it to be the bones of Siberys, do that!

        • This series of articles has only dealt with Riedra, so Adar isn’t part of it. If I do articles focused on Adar, I’ll address them there.

  11. If oni are trapping fiends in their bloodlines, thus permanently removing them from the fight in Shavarath, is that having any effect on the balance of power there?

    • Undoubtedly. However, without knowing how many devils there are in Shavarath — it could potentially be millions — it’s hard to say how much. But it’s DEFINITELY having some effect. An interesting side question is if the devils are doing something similar to imprison angels. One option for an aasimar would be to say that the celestial guide hasn’t chosen the aasimar; they are literally bound to its bloodline.

  12. “The ogres of Borunan are generally more intelligent than their cousins in Droaam, with an average Intelligence of 9. It’s likely that the ancestors of the ogres and oni of Khorvaire were transported by a planar anomaly; this might explain their reduced Intelligence and the lack of any Borunan traditions”

    Hey, um, this feels kind of gross? Like, if ogres are advanced enough to have their own culture, what keeps them from being as smart as any human civilization? Sorta seems like in that case they should get the same treatment as Eberron orcs and not have innately lower Intelligence than average.

    • Sure! I have no objection to that. The scope of this article isn’t “ogres,” it’s “Provinces of Riedra.” Therefore, I changed the Intelligence of the ogres of Borunan, but didn’t make a blanket change to the existing rules. If you want to make ogres — or indeed, all sentient creatures — have the same range of intelligence as PCs, that’s fine with me. The next step would be to explore the culture and achievements of ogres in Khorvaire — since the current canon doesn’t take that into account — and again, that was beyond the scope of this article.

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