IFAQ: Immortal Alliances

When time permits, I like to answer interesting questions posed by my Patreon supporters. Today I want to answer a few questions about immortals in Eberron.

In the past I’ve said that one of the most important differences between mortals and immortals in Eberron is that immortals lack free will. With a few notable exceptions, immortals can’t change. They may LOOK like humans (or humanoids), but they are essentially cogs in a metaphysical machine: created to serve a specific purpose. The gear in a watch didn’t DECIDE to be a gear, and it can’t suddenly quit being a gear; in the same way, the typical angel of Shavarath didn’t DECIDE to fight in the war, nor could it choose to stop.

So: immortals come into existence with an established purpose and with the knowledge and tools needed to play that role. The deva in Shavarath didn’t have to learn how to use a sword, and more important, over the course of hundreds of thousands of years of war, it’s never gotten any better at it. Again, one of the strengths of mortals is that they can change. They begin with no skills whatsoever, but they can follow any path they choose. This isn’t to say that immortals can’t learn new facts. And this does vary by immortal. Hektula, the rakshasa Librarian of Ashtakala, has surely learned new spells over the last hundred thousand years. However, she may not have gained any new class levels in that time. She’s broadened her knowledge, but she is at the peak of her potential and can’t push beyond it.

Or course, there are exceptions! The radiant idols are fallen angels of Syrania. The kalashtar are bound to quori who rebelled against il-Lashtavar. It’s possible that you could find an angel of Shavarath who has abandoned the eternal war. But these are exceptionally rare. We’ve never said how many quori exist, but for sake of argument, let’s say there’s a hundred thousand… mostly lesser spirits like the tsoreva, and mostly devoted to duties in Dal Quor. From the perspective of the quori, the current era of Dal Quor has lasted for 400,000 years. In all that time, we’ve called out 67 quori who rebelled to become kalashtar. Let’s imagine there’s another 33 who were either caught and destroyed or who have managed to remain undetected. That’s still around a .1% rebellion rate over the course of 400,000 years… not too bad. Essentially, these are malfunctions. They’re gears that came into existence with the wrong number of teeth. Which is why the Dreaming Dark seeks to destroy rebel quori — to that energy can be drawn back into Dal Quor and reforged into a proper, compliant spirit.

So, keep these basic principles in mind. Most immortals come into existence with a clear purpose and with the skills they need to accomplish that function. They choose how they pursue that purpose, but they cannot change it. They are powerful, but they cannot learn new things as mortals can. Some of them have existed for a million years of subjective time. They don’t grow bored; they don’t desire change. They are what they are.

With that in mind, let’s look at a few questions.

How common is it for a fiend or cult to serve multiple overlords?

This depends on your definition of “Serve.” Most lesser fiends are bound to their overlord in the same way that the quori are bound to il-Lashtavar. Mordakhesh didn’t DECIDE to work for Rak Tulkhesh; the Shadowsword is essentially an extension of Rak Tulkhesh, the embodiment of one of the many ideas that falls under the Rage of War. Serving Rak Tulkhesh is part of his spiritual DNA; it’s not a choice, it’s what he IS. Thus, he will never feel that same loyalty to another overlord; it’s not in his nature.

HOWEVER: It’s possible that Rak Tulkhesh and Sul Khatesh could have a common goal, and that they might work together to create a cult that serves both of them. The mortals in that cult might feel equal loyalty to both overlords, just as devotees of the Restful Watch revere both Aureon and the Keeper. The fiends associated with the cult might work toward its common goals, but it doesn’t change the fact that every one of those fiends is devoted to EITHER the Rage of War or Keeper of Secrets, not both. They pursue the alliance because it serves the purposes of their overlord, but there is never any question that THEY serve their overlord and only their overlord.

Ultimately, this sort of alliance is why the Lords of Dust came into existence—to facilitate cooperation between the servants of different overlords. With that said, it’s more common that this simply extends to preventing fiends from fighting one another as opposed to actual alliances like I’ve described above. In fact, I’m not sure there IS an example in canon of two overlords working together in that way. Part of it is because their natures are SO different that it is hard for them to forge a lasting alliance; a second aspect is that the things the overlords require for their freedom—the Prophetic “combinations” to their chains—typically have nothing in common. Keep in mind that the reason the overlords were defeated was because they wouldn’t cooperate… and that while we mortals would learn from that mistake, immortals can’t change. So it’s not IMPOSSIBLE to have a fiendish cult that serves two overlords, but it’s not common and not likely to be long-lived.

In theory, it’s MORE plausible with the daelkyr, because the daelkyr were all originally on the same side. They have shared resources; Dyrrn created the dolgrims and Belashyrra created beholders, but both can be found serving any daelkyr. However, it’s also the case that most daelkyr cults are shaped by the mental influence of their daelkyr patron, and this is a powerful and unique force; a mortal bound to both Dyrrn and Belashyrra would be mentally torn in two very different directions. So again, it’s more likely than an alliance between overlords, but still not likely to be a long-term alliance.

There’s one wild card here: non-native fiends. NATIVE fiends have a bond to a particular overlord. But we’ve called out the fact that there are immortals from the planes who have broken from their planes and joined with the Lords of Dust… essentially, rather than a fiend rebelling to become an angel, it’s a fiend rebelling to be a fiend somewhere else. Two canon examples of this are Thelestes, a succubi who serves the overlord Eldrantulku; and Korliac of the Gray Flame, a Fernian pit fiend allied with Tul Oreshka. Such fiends are already outliers, because they have broken their original path, which again most immortals can’t do. As such, there’s nothing that prevents them from choosing yet ANOTHER path. CURRENTLY Thelestes serves Eldrantulku… but she could decide to serve Bel Shalor and the Wyrmbreaker as well, or to simply break her ties to the Oathbreaker. Ultimately, as with all things, the end answer is do what’s best for your story. Most quori can’t rebel against il-Lashtavar, but SOME CAN; if you want a new rebel quori in your story, then there’s a new rebel quori! If you decide that the Wyrmbreaker is betraying Bel Shalor and working with Eldrantulku, so be it (though like the Devourer of Dreams, it’s not entirely odd to think that the chief servants of spirits of betrayal and corruption might themselves betray their masters!).

Can immortals be promoted or demoted? Can an immortal gain power?

Yes, just not in the same way that mortals can. Time and experience aren’t how immortals improve. Essentially, the way to think of any particular group of immortals—the quori, the angels of the Legion of Justice, the fiends of Rak Tulkhesh—is as a pool of energy. The amount of energy in that pool is static and cannot change. If there are a hundred thousand quori, there will always be a hundred thousand quori. Kill one—or a hundred—and their energy flows back to il-Lashtavr, which eventually reconstitutes that energy and spits out replacements. This is why people bind immortals instead of killing them; you can’t destroy that energy, but if you can take it out of circulation, that’s a win.

So: this pool of energy is static. But it’s not distributed equally. A powerful immortal like Mordakhesh holds more of that energy than a typical Zakya rakshasa. A powerful immortal can redistribute that energy. So it is POSSIBLE for a deva in Shavarath to be elevated to the position of planetar… but only if a planetar is demoted to deva, or if the deva is taking the place of a planetar that was destroyed rather than it being reconstituted. Likewise, Rak Tulkhesh could STRIP Mordakhesh of some of his power, and then invest that power into another fiend. So yes, the higher powers CAN elevate or promote the immortals below them; but only by redistributing that energy from somewhere else. There will always be devas in Shavarath; Justice Command can’t just promote them all to the rank of solar.

However, there’s one other possible twist. The energy within a pool is static. But the other way for an immortal to gain power is to TAKE energy from somewhere else. This is the idea of the Devourer replacing il-Lashtavar: that an immortal could USURP another immortal’s power. Another possibility is that an immortal could somehow draw power from an artifact or some other outside source. So Mordakhesh doesn’t gain levels just by killing things. But if he found some way to literally absorb the essence of a coautl, maybe he COULD gain strength. The main thing is that this would be a momentous event that is shaking the metaphysical balance of the multiverse. It’s quite possible that it would be dangerous and potentially unstable… that there would be some way to restore the couatl, pulling the power back out of the fiend.

What are the attitudes of the Daelkyr and the Dreaming Dark towards one another? What about the Lords of Dust?

The Lords of Dust, the Dreaming Dark, and the daelkyr are the three most powerful malevolent forces in the setting. Their ultimate goals are mutually exclusive. The Dreaming Dark seek a stable world dreaming their dream. The overlords seek a return to primordial chaos. The daelkyr seek to transform reality into something unrecognizable. There’s no vision of victory that will allow two of these groups to both be satisfied. It is also the case that they are DANGEROUS. A rakshasa doesn’t fear death; it knows it will return. But can a daelkyr change the ESSENCE of a rakshasa—driving it mad or turning it into something new and horrifying? If you’re a rakshasa, you don’t want to find out. Essentially, NO ONE in their right mind, immortal or otherwise, wants to fight the daelkyr if they can avoid it.

These groups don’t actually know much about one another. The daelkyr and fiends don’t dream, so the quori can’t spy on them that way. The Dreaming Dark holds its councils in Dal Quor where none can spy of them. Riedra is hidden from the Draconic Prophecy. The daelkyr don’t care what the other two are up to, and their actions are inscrutable. Dreaming Dark mind seeds and daelkyr cults can appear anywhere, subverting long-established Lords of Dust agents without even realizing it. So more often than not these groups will stumble onto one another accidentally—and when they do, the first one to realize it will usually act to eliminate the threat. Consider that the Edgewalkers of Riedra are specifically trained to fight fiends and aberrations!

On the other hand, if you WANT these groups to work together in your campaign, go for it. The main question is why. The easiest ally is the Lords of Dust, because their goal of manipulating the Prophecy could require one of the other factions’ schemes to succeed. The main thing is that in any sort of alliance, each faction likely thinks it’s coming out ahead in the exchange… because in the end, they can’t both get what they want.

Personally, I rarely use all three of these as equal threats groups in the same campaign. All of these factions have been scheming for centuries or even thousands of years. There’s no reason that all of their schemes have to come to a tipping point in 998 YK. It’s entirely reasonable to say that the stars won’t align for the Lords of Dust for another decade, or that the daelkyr are currently dormant. So you can have alliances or conflicts between them, but you also can choose to ignore one or more completely.

You could also have the groups work against one another, using PCs as pawns.

Certainly. As noted above, in my opinion if their plans conflict, they will oppose one another, and the player characters could be caught in the middle of that. The main thing in MY Eberron is that the Chamber and the Lords of Dust are actively at war (though a very cold war). They are playing a game on the same board—manipulating the Prophecy—and they understand one another. By contrast, neither the Chamber nor the Lords of Dust really have a clear picture of the daelkyr or the Dreaming Dark. So they eliminate these threats when they interfere with their plans, but they don’t see the big picture of what they are trying to accomplish — while the dragons and fiends DO have that picture with one another.

What’s a “native outsider?” Are they basically the same as immortals that live on other planes, only native to Eberron, or is there more to them than that?

“Native outsider” is a holdover term from 3.5 and can be thought of as “native immortal.” It means that the immortal is a product of the material plane. Native fiends are apocryphally said to be children of Khyber, while native celestials are children of Siberys. First of all, this means that when the immortal dies, it will be reborn on Eberron——while if you destroy a Shavaran devil on Eberron, it will be reborn on Shavarath. It’s also the case that immortals in some way embody the concept of their planes of origins. So take a pit fiend. If it’s from Shavarath it is ultimately a spirit of WAR and tyranny. If it’s from Fernia it is first and foremost a fiend of FIRE. If you just want a generic “I’m eeeeevil” pit fiend, than it should be a native immortal tied to one of the overlords, such as Bel Shalor. As a side note, the night hags of Eberron are native immortals, but aren’t tied to the overlords; they are their own faction.

Regarding stuff like efreet, salamanders, or similar entities, would you have them all follow the same template as fiends and celestials in that they generally maintain a particular alignment or distribution of alignments, or is this not a fundamental aspect of some groups of immortals and the alignment of a group is more dynamic in some cases?

My definition of “Immortal” means the following: the creature is tied to a specific plane; it came into existence with its skills and knowledge in place, and did not need to learn; it does not reproduce naturally; it has a static population, and when it is destroyed, either it will be reborn or a new creature of its type will appear to take its place. As long as it meets these criteria it doesn’t matter if a creature is a celestial, elemental, fiend, or aberration. If it does NOT meet these criteria, it is not immortal under these terms. Thus, for example, a vampire is immune to aging, but it won’t be replaced if it is destroyed and it has a method of reproduction. It’s not an immortal; it’s a mortal that is channeling the power of Mabar, which sustains its life.

Immortals are SYMBOLS more than they are living creatures. They have purpose, even if often that purpose is simply to represent an idea. The basic definition of “fiend” is that it embodies an EVIL aspect of an idea, while a “celestial” embodies a GOOD aspect of an idea. Shavarath is the plane of WAR. Devils represent war fought in pursuit of tyranny; angels, war fought in pursuit of justice. So for these spirits, alignment is part of their core concept. Elementals aren’t as clear cut and don’t have an automatic alignment bias. But as they are immortals, they represent IDEAS. So the key question is “What is their idea?”

In MY Eberron, what the efreeti represent is the beauty and glory of fire… but also its capricious and deadly nature. The raging bonfire is beautiful and awe-inspiring, but if you are careless it can burn all you hold dear. So too with the efreeti. They are glorious and powerful. But anger them and they will burn you in the blink of an eye. What we’ve said in Eberron is that alignment doesn’t tell us WHAT you’ll do, it tells us HOW you’ll do it. You can have an evil king who wants peace or a good queen who pursues war; it’s just that the evil king will be ruthless in his pursuit of peace while the queen will be kind as she pursues war. Efreeti don’t necessarily want to DO things we would consider evil. They want to celebrate their wealth and power. They want to outshine their rivals. An efreet might invite you to a grand gala in its brass citadel, with no hostile intent. But if you insult it, or embarass it by using the wrong fork, it will burn you with no remorse. THAT is what makes efreeti evil. It’s not that they are all conquerors or torturers; it’s that like fire, they have no mercy and no empathy. They BURN, bright and beautiful, and if you aren’t careful they will burn you.

So efreeti are not universally pursuing an evil CAUSE in the same way that the devils of Shavarath are. But they still have evil ALIGNMENTS because it’s in their nature to be merciless and unrelenting… even if a particular efreeti has no grand designs we would see as evil. Meanwhile, the beings who embody the purely benevolent aspects of fire are celestials, and those who embody SOLELY its destructive aspects are fiends. The Azer are spirits of industry and are neutral. Efreeti are both the beauty of fire but also its danger; they won’t necessarily pursue evil goals, but they have no remorse when their actions cause suffering.

That’s all for now! Thanks as always to my Patreon supporters for keeping this site going!

71 thoughts on “IFAQ: Immortal Alliances

  1. Would Thelestes and Korliac reform on their home planes if defeated or have they been tethered to Eberron long enough to gain a respawning foothold?

    • There’s no canon answer. My inclination is that they would reform on their original planes. If they reformed on Eberron, it would be because they have actually formed a direct spiritual bond to an overlord, and in that case I would remove their “free agent” status for the same reason most rakshasa aren’t free agents.

  2. I hadn’t really considered Daelkyr cults in Riedra before…oddly satisfying. Does this madness (and the threat of fiend cults) present itself often in Riedra? I know Tashana and Syrkarn have fiend cultists, but do could the Daelkyr be an explanation for the strange terrors of Syrkarn’s mountains and jungles?

    Also, do Radiant Idols reform in Syrania “reset” to angels, or has the transfiguration changed their energy?

    • Seems like something that would involve Ohr Kaluun, given that the Xoriat zones are there. Probably also some in one of the Syrkarn provinces.

    • Also, do Radiant Idols reform in Syrania “reset” to angels, or has the transfiguration changed their energy?

      Their transfiguration changes their core concept, which is why they are exiled instead of just being destroyed. This is the same reason why rakshasa are afraid of daelkyr. The quori solution—kill and reset—doesn’t work in all cases.

      • On that note, what *does* happen to radiant idols if they are killed? If they don’t reform on Syrania, do they reform on Eberron even though they would have been changed before their exile, since the change is the reason for the exile? I assume there is assumed to be roughly some sort of balanced changes like this going around all of existence keeping things from inevitably tipping (unless that’s the story you need), and I suppose part of what Mabar and Irian are doing is kind of ultimately sorting out these messes eventually. Does Irian create new bits of reality to eventually compensate for the cosmological deficits?

        • Good question on Radiant Idols. Exploring Eberron notes that it is interaction with the material plane that threatens to corrupt angels of Syrania; essentially, it’s dangerous for their feet to touch the ground. It’s possible that an inherent PART of this corruption is switching their bond from Syrania to Eberron. If so, it’s very likely that sages have misinterpreted their “punishment”… it’s not that other angels cast the radiant idols out of Syrania, it’s that the corruption itself pulls them down to Eberron.

          And yes, Irian does create new immortals and pieces of reality, which is discussed in ExE.

  3. In the example you gave of a deva being promoted to a planetar when another planetar died “instead of the planetar reforming”, would that mean the dead planetar’s energies would actually be split? The greater portion going towards the deva’s promotion, and a lesser portion reforming as a new deva, to replace the “deva slot” left empty by the promoted deva?

    • That’s correct. Imagine on a cosmic scale that the deva is worth 10 points and the planetar is worth 30. The planetar is destroyed and 30 points returns to the pool. 20 of that is used to promote the deva to planetar, and the remaining ten becomes a new deva.

      (It’s definitely not ACTUALLY scored like that, but the principle applies.)

  4. Two questions!
    One, how do you pick the names for the Overlords? They seem to all have a common thread or convention, and I’m dying to know what it is.
    Two, how might a warlock (or other class!) drawing energy from one of these immortals play into this? For example, if you’re being given power by Rak Tulkhesh, are you actually draining power from one of his servants each time you level? Might you even be indirectly responsible for the death of one of his minor rakshasas every 5 levels or so? If so, that puts a whole new spin on how to flavor the idea you presented in a prior article of “hacking” an Overlord’s power…

    • One, how do you pick the names for the Overlords? They seem to all have a common thread or convention, and I’m dying to know what it is.

      I think this is better addressed as a separate IFAQ. It’s definitely a fun question, but not really tied to immortal alliances. To clarify, are you asking about proper names (Rak Tulkhesh), titles (The Rage of War), or both?

      Two, how might a warlock (or other class!) drawing energy from one of these immortals play into this? For example, if you’re being given power by Rak Tulkhesh, are you actually draining power from one of his servants each time you level?

      It’s entirely the DM’s call based on the story of the character. Many warlocks aren’t supposed to be directly dependent on their patron; they’ve been TAUGHT something, but if the patron breaks their connection, the powers aren’t lost. In the example I gave of a warlock STEALING power, yes, I think it could be a great idea to say that they are stealing the energy of a particular lieutenant — which would lead to a mid-campaign scenario of the lieutenant being desperate to find the thief. On the other hand, when I originally ran the campaign, the idea was simply that it was coming directly from the overlord, whose power was so great that it didn’t necessarily notice… but that it was slowing its release.

      • I think this is better addressed as a separate IFAQ. It’s definitely a fun question, but not really tied to immortal alliances. To clarify, are you asking about proper names (Rak Tulkhesh), titles (The Rage of War), or both?

        That’s totally fair lol. I was mostly referring to the proper names, although I’d be interested in titles too, to be honest!

  5. Past articles here and now of course Exploring Eberron highlight that Irian and Mabar can seemingly create and destroy energy respectively – how does that work here? Does Irian have the job of replacing Radiant Idols?

    • I would expect that any energy that is changed too much to return would eventually be replaced. Each plane wants to return to its original state. Likewise if somebody figured out how to bind more energy into the system, then some energy wouldn’t form new immortals after ones were destroyed.

    • Yes, I would expect that it does. Irian can create new immortals. Its most OBVIOUS role is creating new seeds to replace regions consumed by Shavarath, but I would assume that it would also correct imbalances in the planar energies like immortals being removed from the system. The interesting counter issue is if Mabar then acts to maintain that balance by consuming some form of immortal energy from Eberron to account for the addition of the Radiant Idol. A very likely possibility is that eventually Mabar will consume the radiant idol–it just might take a few centuries or even millennia to get around to it, because on a cosmic scale that’s still pretty slow. But if you think of the cosmology as a grand machine, Irian and Mabar are there to help maintain the balance.

      • The progenitors sure did seem to spend a lot of time creating a self-harmonizing system, would be a real shame if someone shot a hole in the thing by cutting out a part.

  6. In one of my games I have a celestial warlock PC that has a celestial phoenix patron from Fernia (or at least good aligned, I haven’t statted them yet). I was considering one of the phoenix’s goals was acquiring an artifact from Eberron that would be capable of effectively reviving one of the phoenix’s old allies, at the cost of some equivalent Fernian immortal power. I was thinking that with Fernia skewing a bit towards evil, the phoenix wants to try to push back against that skew by bringing back a “good” aspect of fire that is no longer represented in Fernia, as well as specifically restoring it to one they knew in ages past. A lot of what you talked about here with immortals reforming is fiend to fiend, celestial to celestial, of the same plane and “grouping” (angel, devil, demon, quori, etc), but do all the planes play by this rule or do some have a more dynamic cosmic pool, where the pool total is static, but the distribution among fiends, celestials, and other immortals is not? How would you see Fernia regarding this, especially since it seems to lean more heavily to elemental immortals (provided any elementals even properly fall under this label)?

    • Exploring Eberron takes a different approach toward Fernia that the original ECS. Personally, I lean toward groupings having specific pools — always X efreeti, Y salamanders, etc — but this definitely falls into the category of “Do what makes a good story!”

      • Thanks for the reply! I don’t really have a lot to go on in my head regarding Fernia other than I read that it leans slightly more towards evil than good. What had got me thinking in that direction was the fact that the quori weren’t always like how they are now. In that in a previous age of Dal Quor they were fundamentally different, so perhaps I should do something similar with changes occuring in Fernia (though perhaps not the same sudden slurp them all up and spit them back out thing Dal Quor has going on). Or maybe there was a shift in Fernia and this phoenix found a way preserve themself, much like what the Dreaming Dark ultimately wants, which is not to be rewritten.

        And regarding stuff like efreet, salamanders, or other groups like this, would you have them all follow the same template as fiends and celestials in that they generally maintain a particular alignment or distribution of alignments, or is this not a fundamental aspect of some groups of immortals and the alignment of a group is more dynamic in some cases?

        • And regarding stuff like efreet, salamanders, or other groups like this, would you have them all follow the same template as fiends and celestials in that they generally maintain a particular alignment or distribution of alignments, or is this not a fundamental aspect of some groups of immortals and the alignment of a group is more dynamic in some cases?

          The difference between a salamander an an effreet is like the difference between a sprite and an archfey; one is a minor spirit of little importance, while the other is a significant part of the story of the plane. The salamander will be replaced if it dies, but it won’t retain its personality. It’s a background character, while the efreet is a protagonist.

          My definition of “Immortal” means the following: the creature is tied to a specific plane; it came into existence with its skills and knowledge in place, and did not need to learn; it does not reproduce naturally; it has a static population, and when it is destroyed, either it will be reborn or a new creature of its type will appear to take its place. As long as it meets these criteria it doesn’t matter if a creature is a celestial, elemental, fiend, or aberration. If it does NOT meet these criteria, it is not immortal under these terms. Thus, for example, a vampire is immune to aging, but it won’t be replaced if it is destroyed and it has a method of reproduction. It’s not an immortal; it’s a mortal that is channeling the power of Mabar, which sustains its life.

          Immortals are SYMBOLS more than they are living creatures. They have purpose, even if often that purpose is simply to represent an idea. The basic definition of “fiend” is that it embodies an EVIL aspect of an idea, while a “celestial” embodies a GOOD aspect of an idea. Shavarath is the plane of WAR. Devils represent war fought in pursuit of tyranny; angels, war fought in pursuit of justice. So for these spirits, alignment is part of their core concept. Elementals aren’t as clear cut and don’t have an automatic alignment bias. But as they are immortals, they represent IDEAS. So the key question is “What is their idea?”

          In MY Eberron, what the efreeti represent is the beauty and glory of fire… but also its capricious and deadly nature. The raging bonfire is beautiful and awe-inspiring, but if you are careless it can burn all you hold dear. So too with the efreeti. They are glorious and powerful. But anger them and they will burn you in the blink of an eye. What we’ve said in Eberron is that alignment doesn’t tell us WHAT you’ll do, it tells us HOW you’ll do it. You can have an evil king who wants peace or a good queen who pursues war; it’s just that the evil king will be ruthless in his pursuit of peace while the queen will be kind as she pursues war. Efreeti don’t necessarily want to DO things we would consider evil. They want to celebrate their wealth and power. They want to outshine their rivals. An efreet might invite you to a grand gala in its brass citadel, with no hostile intent. But if you insult it, or embarass it by using the wrong fork, it will burn you with no remorse. THAT is what makes efreeti evil. It’s not that they are all conquerors or torturers; it’s that like fire, they have no mercy and no empathy. They BURN, bright and beautiful, and if you aren’t careful they will burn you.

          So efreeti are not universally pursuing an evil CAUSE in the same way that the devils of Shavarath are. But they still have evil ALIGNMENTS because it’s in their nature to be merciless and unrelenting… even if a particular efreeti has no grand designs we would see as evil. Meanwhile, the beings who embody the purely benevolent aspects of fire are celestials, and those who embody SOLELY its destructive aspects are fiends. The Azer are spirits of industry and are neutral. Efreeti are both the beauty of fire but also its danger; they won’t necessarily pursue evil goals, but they have no remorse when their actions cause suffering.

          • This has been really helpful. One of the things I’m interested here is if there is an immortal “group” (likely one where alignment isn’t part of the core concept) that has a mixed and unspecified distribution of alignments. Like you have a pool of X, and X1 here is say good, and is killed, then X2 that forms to replace might be good, neutral, or evil. Obviously this doesn’t happen with say devils in Shavarath, as their immortal “group” is partially defined by being lawful evil in method.

            In regards to phoenixes, I’m not sure where your typical D&D phoenixes would be found in Eberron (Lamannia? Fernia? Eberron?), but if I have a benevolent immortal phoenix, does Fernia seem like the right place? I was going with Fernia because that seemed best at the time, but I don’t have a lot nailed down on it yet and if there is a better place, I’d want to look into that.

          • if I have a benevolent immortal phoenix, does Fernia seem like the right place?

            Ultimately, it depends on what it represents. The basic principle of the phoenix is that it is reborn from ashes. If, in your opinion, the fundamental defining principle of the phoenix is FIRE—if it is about FIRE’S ability to cleanse so people can start anew, than it belongs in Fernia. On the other hand, if it is ultimately a symbol of HOPE and NEW BEGININGS——that even after the gravest defeat, we can rise stronger than before—then I would saw that it belongs on Irian. Essentially, is the fiery aspect what DEFINES it, or is the fire just a cosmetic way to represent REBIRTH and RENEWAL?

            One of the things I’m interested here is if there is an immortal “group” (likely one where alignment isn’t part of the core concept) that has a mixed and unspecified distribution of alignments.

            It’s hard to bring one to mind. There are many planes where you have immortals of different alignments, but part of the idea is that it’s a machine that has been running for eons. Fiends, celestials, elementals — they are still SYMBOLS and those symbols generally don’t change when they are reborn. Essentially, the REASON they are immortal is BECAUSE those symbols are eternal.

            The closest idea that immediately comes to mind is Thelanis, because the immortals of Thelanis have no alignment as a group. On the other hand, what they represent are STORIES, and part of the point there is that as long as the story remains relevant, the fey tied to it remain immortal. However, if you wanted to put a spin on it, you COULD say that if an archfey is destroyed in a certain way, its story dies with it; the people of Eberron will simply stop telling that story and an entirely new one would take its place. And stories can be good, neutral, or evil, certainly. But by default, it’s not supposed to be that simple to get rid of an archfey.

            On the other hand, on the principle of “Do what makes the best story” there’s no reason you couldn’t pick a plane like Shavarath and say that while there are pools for Justice, Cruelty, Freedom, Tyranny, etc that there is a SEPARATE POOL that is wild in nature, whose members DO shift with every rebirth… if in Shavarath, one could argue that these represent the unpredictability of war. If so, killing one of these would be a boon for a legion, because thei might increase their numbers when they’re reborn.

          • This is great! Thank you! I’ll have to talk with my player about what they have in mind regarding their patron. Irian might be a better fit, I guess I just have more trouble figuring out what agendas a patron from Irian would have regarding the material plane.

          • I guess I just have more trouble figuring out what agendas a patron from Irian would have regarding the material plane.

            An immortal of Irian could charge a mortal to be a source of light and hope—to inspire those in need of inspiration, to help people reach their full potential. On a more concrete and practical level, an agent of Irian could be charged to counter the influence of Mabar, potentially by eliminating powerful undead.

  7. Thelestes breaking her bond to Eldrantulku the Oathbreaker would certainly seem pretty on theme given her chosen patron.

    • It certainly would. This is another case like the Devourer of Dreams: MOST of the minions of Eldrantulku have their own secret schemes and agendas, because that’s part of their core nature. It’s EXPECTED that they will betray one another, steal each other’s power, etc… but the pool of power remains constant, and they still work toward the ultimate release of their overlord, who draws strength from their intrigues.

  8. “Which is why the Dreaming Dark seeks to destroy rebel quori — to that energy can be drawn back into Dal Quor and reforged into a proper, compliant spirit.”

    Why do they imprison other rebels in Elans then?

    • Sometimes, powerful enough immortals will retain memories when their energies reform into a body. I believe the case with Elans is they’re used for quori too dangerous to kill and let reform randomly somewhere on Dal Quor, free to continue their subversive agenda.

    • In my opinion, the spirits bound to eland aren’t rebels in the same way as the kalashtar. They aren’t GOOD quori; they’re EVIL quori who have simply broken from the path of il-Lashtavar, much like Thelestes and Korliac are fiends who have abandoned their causes (this may not be what SoS says, but it’s what makes sense to ME).

      With this in mind, one option is what Anthony has suggested: they aren’t certainly they WOULD be reset on death. But how I’ve always seen it is that they don’t want to give the spirit that release: that being TRAPPED in a mortal body, powerless, is torture for the spirit. EVENTUALLY the quori will reclaim the elan and destroy it. But they’ll let the spirit suffer for a few centuries first.

      • Thanks

        Not relevent to your main point, but Elan aren’t actually “mortal”. The XPH errata removed the maximum age from them, which the SRD reflects that errata while SoS refers to the binding being “eternal impotence”. They still take aging penalties, and being stuck in Tithonus for potentially forever would suck more than being stuck in a mortal for… Actually, that’s a good question: When are Elan put in the host?

          • I’m a big fan of the Elan role in Riedra but Keith has said he didn’t write that part of SoS and they don’t feature into his version.

            “Elans and dromites are races that were added in the 3.5 Psionics Handbook and given a place in Sarlona. Immortal elans were described as being living prisons for exiled quori, [….] Elans play such a trivial role in the setting that it’s not something I’ve personally taken steps to correct. ”

            Personally I’ve always just gone with the elan prison being done before childhood, in infancy. Leaving the quori impotent and the elan able to be kept in the dark about what they are, given tasks that align with their low charisma, psychic powers selves

        • Oh, I know elans don’t have a maximum age. But they aren’t indestructible. My point is that when the quori decide they want the prisoner back, they will find and destroy the elan. It might take a few years for them to track the elan down, but it’s not like they expect to be in a rush.

          With that said: I don’t personally use elans in my campaigns, which is why I didn’t include them in the Riedra articles. The immortal prisoner concept is a way to explain them, but I personally leave them out; if I were to use them I’d actually probably make them daelkyr or Mordain experiments, not tied to the quori. I think this fell into the category of “All XPH races should be in Sarlona” — but Xoriat is also a source of psionic power.

  9. Can an immortal become a mortal, or vice versa? Some of the legends of the Sovereigns and the Six suggest that they were once mortal beings (usually dragons) who ascended. (Aside: The Traveller seems like it might still have free will, if any of that pantheon does.) Could it go the other way around?
    What about beings like the Raven Queen or the Undying Court? Do they lose their free will upon claiming that role, or are they not really immortals in the same sense as the overlords, fiends and celestials? What about Sora Kell and her daughters?

    • The story of the Sovereigns being ascended mortals is apocryphal. Even if you believe it to be true, they don’t become immortals; they became SOVEREIGNS, existing in an omnipresent state unlike any angel or fiends… that’s an entirely different order of being.

      While myths say the Traveler walks the earth, in MY Eberron that’s a mistaken view that’s perpetuated by the number of its followers — both mortals like changelings, and a handful of fey who have taken up the story — who play the role.

      We’ve never discussed an immortal becoming mortal, so that’s squarely in the category of “do you WANT it to be possible?”

      The Undying Court are like vampires, which I discuss in another comment. They AREN’T immortals in the same sense as angels; they are MORTALS SUSTAINED BY POSITIVE ENERGY. If they are cut off from that energy, they will die. As such, they maintain the foundation of their mortal identity, though the experience of living for thousands of years and their perception of the universe through a different lens undoubtedly combine to give them a very inhuman outlook.

      Exploring Eberron does call out ascended mortals in, among other places, Mabar; the Queen of All Tears is an ascended mortal. But it does call out that she’s no longer the mortal she was; the ascension has fundamentally altered her nature, personality, and memories and she is effectively trapped in her immortal role.

      Sora Kell is a native immortal. Her daughters are not. They are long lived, but they ARE mortal.

  10. What happens when multiple telepathic influences from major supernatural conspiracies affect the same mortal or group of mortals? For example, what happens when an already-zealous priest in Thaliost, affected by the shard of Rak Tulkhesh there, is further dream-manipulated by a quori, whether or not the quori is aware of the shard of Rak Tulkhesh? To complicate matters further, what if that mortal is then further mentally corrupted by the influence of Dyrrn from somewhere?

    • They are likely pulled in all directions at once, which will cause them to be erratic and potentially to have a complete breakdown.

      A side note is that a quori mind seed overwrites the personality of the victim… and quori possession gives the spirit total control over the victim, so it doesn’t matter what quirks the victim has. However, there’s nothing saying that fiendish or daelkyr influences couldn’t affect a mind seed or even a quori AFTER the seed has been planted Or possession has occurred. I’d be inclined to say that full quori spirits (NOT seeds) would be immune to the “background radiation” of an overlord, but who knows what the daelkyr are capable of?

  11. I would be curious what everyone thinks of how Determinism would play a role in the late stages of a campaign that either involves or centers around Draconic Prophecies, and how players who think they have free will and act as such can’t seem to escape the Prophecies in the end.

    Not to take away the ability to choose their route and means to get to the end, but that only knowing the full prophecy before engaging the end of it would have been able to change their path and, looking back, every “free will” decision was a product of all the variables in and around their lives driving them on this path AND, run again through the same scenario with the same variables a million times would produce the same outcome a million times.

    Also, how do you think the Traveller feels about the Prophecies?

    • I feel like this cheapens the concept and use of the Draconic Prophecies. Because from what I understand, they are supposed to be an extremely complex dynamic set of if-then statements. If this happens, then this other thing happens. Part of the whole agenda of the Lords of Dust and the Chamber of Argonessan is studying the prophecies so they can enact and prevent the outcomes that they want, but I think and important aspect is that all these outcomes can potentially be avoided specifically by the exertion of free will.

      Separately, forcing some specific fated outcome and getting deterministic is one of the things that will often ruin a game for me, personally. I normally hate prophecy stuff that is real and unavoidable in a game, but I loved the Draconic Prophecy once I understood how it is supposed to work.

      • I agree with WM. Prophecies can be “X will happen”, but much more often are “If X happens, Y will follow.” The canonical Eberron example would be the conditions for the release of an Overlord: “If X, Y and Z happen, Overlord A will be freed.” It doesn’t say that those things WILL happen. Conditional prophecy is also more in keeping with the Eberronian tenet that PCs are extraordinary beings who can change the world.

    • As others have already said, the canon approach to the Prophecy is that it’s NOT set in stone; it is a matrix of if-then statements, and it is more a map to possible futures than an absolute statement of what WILL happen. The goal is for player characters to be able to know the consequences of failure — if they don’t prevent thing X, Rak Tulkhesh WILL be released — but not to take agency away from the player characters.

      You could ADD an inescapable personal prophecy on top of that if it’s a story you want to explore (Oedipus-style) but that wouldn’t be the DRACONIC Prophecy; that could just be something that Sora Teraza tells a character, for example.

  12. I’ve been tinkering with an adventure idea that has a Daelkyr and the Lords of Dust come into direct conflict, and something you mentioned here caught my interest.

    You said that Daelkyr can change the ESSENCE of things. I read that as something like ‘Daelkyr can break the cosmic machine, causing parts to malfunction. They could possibly make new rebel Quori, new radiant idols.’ Have I got that right? Anything about that you care to elaborate on?

    • Essentially correct. The point is that no one knows what the daelkyr are capable of. They can certainly cause insanity, and thus they could potentially CHANGE the thought patterns of an immortal. But it’s an active theory that daelkyr created dragonmarks by binding the Prophecy to flesh. If they can physically manipulate the PROPHECY, who knows what they could do to a rakshasa?

  13. Where do sapient undead like vampires fall between mortal and immortal? Are they tools of the of the planes like outsiders, or is it more like the lycanthropic effect where their personality is drained by their connection to Mabar?

    • More like planar tieflings. They retain their mortal personality, but it is influenced by the plane. Vampires CAN retain their humanity, but the influence of Mabar drives them to become merciless predators, to see living creatures as prey.

      Likewise, Mabaran undead don’t have any limitations on their total number. Mabar seeks to consume light and life, and undead are an extension of the plane — even if they aren’t actively controlled by it.

      And of course there ARE vampires who are under the direct control of the entity that created them, but that’s a specific sub-case, not universal.

  14. You could also have the groups work against one another, using PCs as pawns.

    I had a campaign where I had first introduced an Inspired as a villain who got away. Some time later the PCs got involved with trying to re-imprison a daelkyr they had been tricked into freeing. This eventually lead to the Inspired helping them out with information, because the daelkyr’s goals were incompatible with his.

    I maaay have leaned pretty heavily on Bester from Babylon 5 for this bit.

    • You could also have the groups work against one another, using PCs as pawns.

      Certainly. As noted in the article, in my opinion if their plans conflict, they will oppose one another, and the player characters could be caught in the middle of that. The main thing in MY Eberron is that the Chamber and the Lords of Dust are actively at war (though a very cold war). They are playing a game on the same board—manipulating the Prophecy—and they understand one another. By contrast, neither the Chamber nor the Lords of Dust really have a clear picture of the daelkyr or the Dreaming Dark. So they eliminate these threats when they interfere with their plans, but they don’t see the big picture of what they are trying to accomplish — while the dragons and fiends DO have that picture with one another.

  15. This is a really interesting article that gives me a lot to consider for my campaign.
    I do plan to use all three factions, but Mordakhesh will be the primary antagonist. He’ll be manipulating the agents of the daelkyr and the Dreaming Dark to create the conditions for Rak Tulkhesh’s release. The party will learn of these schemes and have a chance to push the other factions into actively opposing Mordakhesh’s goals.

    • That’s certainly reasonable—the Lords of Dust are the most likely to scheme to manipulate the others, because they may have to in order trigger an overlord’s release.

      I don’t avoid using all three in a campaign, I just don’t make them all equally important – I’m going to pick one that is the true apocalyptic threat, and say that the others are working on lesser schemes.

  16. Oh so you may have covered this in a previous article, but if say a devil of Shavarath, for example, is killed on the material, is that pretty much the same situation as if they had died on Shavarath, or do they just immediately reform intact on Shavarath, identity intact?

    • What we have called out before is that death in the material means little to one of the Inspired, because it’s only the death of the host — so the possessing spirit returns to Dal Quor and can immediately return to a new host.

      I don’t see this principle applying to outsiders that physically manifest on the Material. In my opinion, death in the material will have the exact same consequences for a fiend of Shavarath as death in Shavarath.

      What has been said before, however, is that not all deaths are equal. For the least spirits of Shavarath they just return relatively quickly with new personas. For the more powerful spirits they maintain their personas and memories after death. However, if they are killed in specific ways the death can remove them from play for longer or ensure that even a more powerful spirit has their persona reset. This is entirely a plot device, so it’s up to you to set the circumstances based on the needs of the story. It could be that Byeshk is disruptive to Shavaran outsiders; dying on the material isn’t a big deal, but being slain on the material by a byeshk weapon will eliminate them for a month instead of a day. Or it could be unique the the individual: Hastarak, the Spear of Cruelty, will have his persona destroyed and his energy bound up for a year if he’s killed with his own spear (whether on the material or in Shavarath).

  17. I’ve always been a little confused about what a “native outsider” is, exactly. Are they basically the same as immortals that live on other planes, only native to Eberron, or is there more to them than that?

    Also, since gargoyles are classified as elementals now, does that make them native elementals, or is it better to still treat them as just normal, earth-themed monsters that happen to look like statues?

    • I’ve always been a little confused about what a “native outsider” is, exactly. Are they basically the same as immortals that live on other planes, only native to Eberron, or is there more to them than that?

      “Native outsider” is a holdover term from 3.5 and can be thought of as “native immortal.” It means that the immortal is a product of the material plane. Native fiends are apocryphally said to be children of Khyber, while native celestials are children of Siberys. First of all, this means that when the immortal dies, it will be reborn on Eberron——while if you destroy a Shavaran devil on Eberron, it will be reborn on Shavarath. It’s also the case that immortals in some way embody the concept of their planes of origins. So take a pit fiend. If it’s from Shavarath it is ultimately a spirit of WAR and tyranny. If it’s from Fernia it is first and foremost a fiend of FIRE. If you just want a generic “I’m eeeeevil” pit fiend, than it should be a native immortal tied to one of the overlords, such as Bel Shalor. As a side note, the night hags of Eberron are native immortals, but aren’t tied to the overlords; they are their own faction.

      Also, since gargoyles are classified as elementals now, does that make them native elementals, or is it better to still treat them as just normal, earth-themed monsters that happen to look like statues?

      I haven’t changed my approach to gargoyles. General lore is that they are creations of Orlassk, the daelkyr Prince of Stone. Whether that’s true or not, the fact that they are elementals doesn’t mean they are NATURAL; they are indeed found in Eberron, but not on Fernia or Lamannia, two planes where natural earth elementals are found.

  18. So, since Mabar destroys/consumes energy, if you wanted to destroy an immortal could you just plane shift it to Mabar? (assuming it isn’t strong enough to just plane shift itself back out) either to let it slowly be drained by the plane or perhaps following it there to kill it?
    Or if plane shifting isn’t an option, use some magical device that draws on the power of Mabar (an eldritch machine in a Mabaran manifest zone?) (or maybe fight them in a mabaran wild zone?) to kill them permanently?

    • Keep in mind that if this was simple, the dragons and coautl would have done it to destroy the overlords rather than binding them. Mabar has the potential to destroy immortals, but it doesn’t simply eradicate them; it consumes and changes them. It’s not a fast process, and there will be SOMETHING left behind at the end — something potentially vengeful and possibly worse than what you had before. Just plane shifting an immortal to Mabar won’t trap it there; if the entity has its own methods of planar travel, it can simply leave. However, if it is claimed BY Mabar then it WILL be trapped there and it will eventually be consumed. This process is discussed in more detail in Exploring Eberron and I suppose it’s possible you could create an artifact or eldritch machine that could replicate this effect. But the main thing I’d say is aside from the fact that it’s NOT perfect destruction — that SOMETHING will linger, and it may be worse than the original — it’s also the case that doing this through some artificial means (as opposed to the natural cycle of Mabar) means you are actively disrupting the metaphysical foundation of a plane. Destroying a single rakshasa in this way might go unnoticed. But if you did this to an OVERLORD — a being who is a major part of the psychosphere of the plane — you are tearing a vast hole in the spiritual fabric of reality. EVENTUALLY (and it could be decades of centuries) Irian would repair the damage, but there’s no telling what would the interim effects would be. Frankly, I’d accept that as a possible explanation for the Mourning, that someone ripped an overlord tied to Cyre out of reality…

  19. Hi Keith! Great article that answers several questions.
    My question is: do dragons sleep? I guess the Quori are afraid of possessing a Dragon, but studying their dreams they could get a lot of informations… or the dragon dreams could move on the turning of the age.

    Also, a thing that I have never properly understood: the Lords of Dust are trying to free the overlords. The chamber, basically young, non-epic dragons, are trying to prevent that by interacting with mortals. What are older dragons doing? Just sitting and studying?

    • Dragons do sleep and dream, something called out in Exploring Eberron. However, by the rules as written, quori do not have the ability to POSSESS dragons. And there are far fewer dragons than there are humans, thus the quori are focused on the masses of humanity for their spiritual anchor.

      As for the second question, have you read Dragons of Eberron? Because I wrote around 40 pages on what those older dragons are doing…

  20. I’m curious specifically about Flamewind the gynosphinx in Morgrave. She’s specifically called out as an immortal in Rising from the Last War, but is she a native immortal, or more along the lines of a vampire? How unique is she supposed to be, or are all sphinxes similar types of immortals?

    • Flamewind is included in the “Immortal Being” patron description, but that’s just a broad category for “Powerful Supernatural Patron.” I think that Flamewind is immune to the effects of age, but I believe that if you destroy her, she won’t come back — so she’s more like the Daughters of Sora Kell, an exceptional supernatural being with powers greater than others of her kind, than an immortal in the same sense as an overlord or an angel. All sphinxes are powerful, but Flamewind is an especially remarkable sphinx, just as the Daughters are remarkable hags.

  21. I have a couple of questions concerning the lords of dust, if the overlords are incarnations of mortal fears and when they fear it the overlords loosen there bonds and exert greater influence, such as when the last war ragged, Rak Tulkhesh grew in influence, what is stopping a Rakshasa in the service of Katashka from creating a Mabarian resonator in Sharn to create fear of undead. Or another Rakshasa telling them first warlord of Aundair how to create a weapon that could retake Galifar while killing thousands. Or a couple Rakshasa killing and taking the place of the nations then creating a massive war.

    Another question, Eberron rising from the last war and exploring Eberron describing Rakshasa as if they have an illusion or shape changing ability. However in their statistics there only power like that is disguise self witch is very limited. Should an Eberron Rakshasa take on a shapeshifting ability similar to the Sucubus/incubus, Couatls, or overlord ability.

    My last question is if a demon overlord such as Sul Khatesh was partially released (enough to physically manifest and exert regional influence) would they be bound to the region of there khyber shard prison (assuming they only have one such as Sul Khatesh), be bound to the region of there heart demiplane, or would they be able to manifest wherever they choose?

    • what is stopping a Rakshasa in the service of Katashka from creating a Mabarian resonator in Sharn to create fear of undead. Or another Rakshasa telling them first warlord of Aundair how to create a weapon that could retake Galifar while killing thousands.
      In principle? Nothing. A cult of Katashka could ABSOLUTELY create a Mabaran resonator in Sharn to generate fear of the undead; that’s a fine plot. As to “Then WHY DON’T THEY DO IT ALL OF THE TIME?”, it’s because it won’t actually ever achieve their actual goal. War STRENGTHENS Rak Tulkhesh but it will never RELEASE him. As described in this article, the only way to RELEASE an overlord is to lock in a very specific path of the Prophecy. It’s not just that there is war, it’s that there is war between two specific nations for a very specific reason and that as part of that war a specific person kills another specific person with a specific weapon. The Rakshasa can’t simply disguise themselves as those people and do it themselves, because THAT’S NOT HOW THE PROPHECY WORKS; it HAS to be the specific mortals set in the Prophecy, and they may well have to do things for specific reasons, so it can’t just be forced at gunpoint. This is what drives the Lords of Dust to be such careful puppet masters; they are staging specific scenarios that can stretch out over generations. It is HIGHLY likely that the Last War was in part engineered to release Rak Tulkhesh; and one very valid explanation for the Mourning is that the Chamber realized it couldn’t stop them and so DESTROYED CYRE to stop the war and thus sever the thread Mordakhesh was working on. The nature of the Prophecy is that there will always be a way to free an overlord, but if a thread is conclusively rendered impossible, a new one will form and the Lords of Dust will have to start over.

      Which is the SECOND reason they don’t just do the sort of random “Let’s take over the nations and kill everyone” approach. First of all, it won’t get them what they want. They need the mortal kings to make their own choices. Second, if they are obvious in their actions, they will draw the attention of the Chamber, who may take countering action. Mortals are essentially on a giant chessboard between the Lords of Dust and the Chamber, each making moves with ramifications that may take decades or centuries to play out.

      But check the linked article.

      Should an Eberron Rakshasa take on a shapeshifting ability similar to the Sucubus/incubus, Couatls, or overlord ability.

      Yes, that’s a change from third edition where the Lords of Dust are established. Essentially, the COMMON rakshasa doesn’t have to have more powerful abilities, but the rakshasa who serve as deep cover agents should definitely have more effective shapechanging; third edition also introduced a tool that allowed the wearer’s disguise to hold up to effects of spells like True Seeing while the bearer was in a particular form (essentially, killing the person, using their blood to create the amulet, which wearing the amulet, divination reads you as that person). That’s not a trivial tool, but it’s the sort of thing an important infiltrator could have.

      And a partially released overlord would generally be bound to the region around the prison, because they haven’t fully escaped the prison. But do what works best for your story.

  22. About sphinxes in general, in the MM Sphinxes have a capability to time travel a couple years while in their layers. Should they have this capability on Eberron? In Exploring Eberron it is mentioned that going Xorit and back could be an unreliable way of time traveling. And the dalker use this to destroy, corrupt and influence Eberron like a big experiment but if Sphinxes can time travel reliably and knew the draconic prophecy than wouldn’t they wield tremendous power? Should that ability just be taken away, used or something else?

    • The idea that sphinxes can time travel is an entirely new concept introduced in fifth edition; when Flamewind was established in the setting, they didn’t have this power. So it’s up to you as a DM to decide whether to change the setting to match the new lore, or change the lore to be consistent with the setting.

      Personally, I’d be happy to say that they have this power: that their oracular gifts comes from being able to SEE the paths of the Maze of Reality and that they can, if they choose, actually shift into Xoriat and walk it. HOWEVER, IF I said that, one of the things I’d add is that they HARDLY EVER DO. One of the typical limitations placed on powerful oracles is that they can’t manipulate the future because they KNOW the future, that it’s already a defining part of who they are. They know that they DIDN’T time travel to change things, and as a result they CAN’T time travel and change things… because they already know that they didn’t (Kind of breaks your brain, but that’s appropriate for Xoriat). The only time they would time travel to change things — which would effectively destroy the future they have seen and know — would be if they have already seen themselves doing it in their visions, in which case they know that they HAVE to do it.

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