IFAQ: The Houses At War

Today I want to continue the discussion of the Dragonmarked Houses with a few questions raised by my Patreon supporters. The first comes from Joseph:

My understanding is both Lyrandar and Orien participated in the supply lines of the nation’s militaries, not just civilian supplies. Was their neutrality respected? Was that part of the price? Or did attacks happen, probably while trying to disguise the source?

To begin with, it’s important to consider the nature of the Last War. It was never a total war, fought with the intent to utterly annihilate the enemy. The goal of every nation was to place their ruler upon the throne of a reunited Galifar… which in turn meant that severe destruction of infrastructure and attacks on civilians were discouraged, because ultimately you’re hoping that all of it will be YOUR infrastructure and that those civilians will accept your leader’s right to rule. So to begin with, just consider our rules of war. We can be sure that the Five Nations were operating under similar restrictions, if not necessarily identical: Targeting civilians was a war crime, and civilians, aid workers, and medical personnel should be protected. In the early days of the war, the Twelve established a basic set of principles with the leaders of the Five Nations. Essentially, house forces were to be treated as noncombatants, even if on the battlefield… and in turn, would not be expected to engage in combat. A Cannith artificer might be present with a unit of soldiers to maintain the warforged and artillery, but they wouldn’t engage in active combat and offer no resistance to an enemy. A Jorasco healer would only heal soldiers of the nation that contracted their services, but again, they wouldn’t fight members of an opposing nation. This would in turn apply to their vehicles as well. The lightning rail and Orien carriages were forbidden targets. If a coach was transporting military personnel or supplies, it could be STOPPED and those supplies could be confiscated or personnel taken prisoner, but the coach and its Orien crew should be allowed to pass.

That’s the basic principle, and it further increased the value of those services; a purely Karrnathi coach is a valid target for Cyran attack, while an Orien coach is inviolate. Of course, this is the PRINCIPLE, but there’s a number of additional factors.

  • There were always commanders and soldiers willing to disregard the rules of war (just consider the destruction of the White Arch Bridge or the bombardment of Korth). Just because you weren’t supposed to target the lightning rail doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
  • Any House personnel or vehicles actively engaging in conflict forego this protection. So first of all, Deneith mercenaries are treated like any other combatant. A Orien coach that’s got a mounted weapon and fires on soldiers can be destroyed. And if the Cannith artificer disobeys House orders and fights alongside the unit they’re embedded with, they become a valid target. Certainly, there were times when soldiers would claim House personnel offered resistance even when they hadn’t.

With both of these things in mind, bear in mind that the primary incentive against this behavior was financial. House personnel serving with the enemy were not to be killed, but they would be taken prisoner and ransomed back to the house. There was a clearly established rate of exchange and this would be applied against that nation’s bills with the house. Meanwhile, the houses would impose financial penalties and raise rates when nations violated their rules. So As a soldier, if you kill a Jorasco healer, you’re costing your nation gold—while if you take them prisoner, you’re saving money. It’s not simply a good idea; officers would enforce this seriously.

So in short: people generally respected the neutrality of the Dragonmarked houses. It was rare that they would, for example, blow up an Orien caravan even if it was carrying military supplies. However, they could STOP the caravan and confiscate those supplies. Or they COULD blow it up, likely trying to pin the crime on another nation. But if it was the truth was discovered, they would suffer financial penalties. So you can be sure it happened, just not constantly.

A secondary point to consider here is the fact that the houses wield monopolistic power unrivaled by any corporation in our world (because we have laws preventing it!). For many of the services they provided, there simply was no reliable alternative. Nations certainly worked at it: the Arcane Congress surely worked to develop a system of arcane communication that could take the place of the Sivis speaking stones, Thrane assembled a corps of adept healers, etc. But none of these had the full scope of the services the houses could provide. You couldn’t just buy your warforged from somewhere else, and if you didn’t work with Orien your goods would take longer to reach their destination. Every nation relied on the services of at least SOME of the houses. There was undoubtedly at least one incident where an officer seized control of house facilities, essentially seeking to nationalize them—or even just used a house facility as a shield for military operations. This is where the Twelve was vitally important, because while ONE house might have trouble challenging a nation, no nation could make do without the services of all twelve. So an attack on a Vadalis facility could result in a rate increase from all houses—or even a service blackout for a particular region. Again, these things surely happened—and there were consequences when they did.

Deneith seems like it would have substantially higher casualties than the other houses due to its focus. Do they ransom their heirs if they’re captured during house business? Do they do anything special to keep their numbers up?

As noted above, Deneith personnel serving as soldiers are valid targets and don’t receive the same protections as a Sivis stonespeaker or a Jorasco healer. With that said, the general rules of war likely prohibited killing soldiers who are too injured to fight or who surrender (again, that doesn’t mean it didn’t HAPPEN, just that people were supposed to accept surrender). So Deneith soldiers would have to fight fiercely enough that people would actually want to hire them: but they could surrender if seriously injured. And just as with all house personnel, there was surely a system of ransom for them. The rate would vary based on the position of the person: a marked Deneith heir would bring in a good ransom, while a mercenary with no blood tie to the house would command a fairly low rate. But soldiers would know that if you could take a Deneith officer alive, it’s best to do so.

Having said that, it’s also important to remember that the bulk of Deneith soldiers aren’t blood heirs of the house: they are mercenaries licensed and trained by the house. In some cases—look to the Ghaal’dar and the Valenar—they weren’t even trained by the house; the house simply served as a broker for their services. So losing a Blademark unit is a loss to the house because they’ll have to recruit and train new soldiers—but they’d only lose a few blood heirs in the process. So they certainly had higher casualty rates than the other houses, but not every slain mercenary was a Deneith heir.

Thanks to my Patreon supporters for keeping this site going! I’ll be posting the topic poll for the next major article soon.

31 thoughts on “IFAQ: The Houses At War

  1. I’ve seen a lot of questioning about how the Warforged Colossus wouldn’t count as a violation of House neutrality because:

    A) They were piloted by House agents (of at least three Houses).
    B) Were considered a “decisive” end to the war.
    C) Were not in use by other nations.

    My assumption, which I think is enforced by this article, is that the House agents piloting them would be treated similarly to Deneith soldiers. Valid targets, more valuable alive, and not violating neutrality because they are simply under contract (and not specifically refusing those contracts to other nations).

    As far as “decisive” I view that as the view of the Cyran government, not necessarily House Cannith’s view. And even if it were the Cannith leadership’s view, their weapons working effectively isn’t a violation of neutrality.

    Lastly, as to other nations not having Colossi, they were funded by Cyre so of course they would have them first. It’s not as if House Cannith denied other nations the opportunity to purchase them. The floating fortresses of Breland being a similar case scenario.

    Does this all sound like a reasonable application of the article towards the question on Colossi? I don’t see House Cannith only making a sale until all nations agree to buy a new weapon as the kind of neutrality the Korth Edicts are meant to enforce, even if that weapon has potential war ending consequences.

    • My assumption, which I think is enforced by this article, is that the House agents piloting them would be treated similarly to Deneith soldiers. Valid targets, more valuable alive, and not violating neutrality because they are simply under contract (and not specifically refusing those contracts to other nations).

      Yes, that’s exactly how I would interpret things. Lyrandar airships engaged in transport are protected. On the other hand, in the novel City of Towers, there’s an airship that is being used for military purposes and the Cyrans shoot it down. Cannith pilots operating a purchased weapon of war aren’t violating the neutrality of the house, but they also aren’t protected by it… though they are high value prisoners that should be taken alive if possible.

      And I agree with your other points. With the colossi, Cannith provided a weapon that was commissioned and paid for by Cyre. Once that weapon was proven in the field, they’d most likely offer it to other nations. We’ve called out that Cyre was the first nation to employ warforged in large numbers, but Cannith then sold them to every other nation. The other possibility is that the colossi would be a unique design for Cyre, just as the floating fortresses were unique to Breland… but if Cannith wouldn’t sell colossi to other nations, you can be sure they’d offer those nations something new that was specifically designed to counter colossi. It could be argued that the colossi themselves were presented as a counter to the floating fortresses.

  2. How was the process for heirs being declared orphans in order to hold title or serve in their country’s military? I have a player who is playing an Orien heir who served in the Knights Phantom during the Last War and she’s interested in if becoming an orphan to serve in the military is a reversible process once the war is over?

    Did Aurala’s marriage to Sasik d’Vadalis occur during the War proper or after the destruction of Cyre? Or after the Treaty was signed even? Would this have caused tension with the other nations seeing so blatant a power move by Vadalis?

    Medani is noted to favour Breland, how did that interact with the other nations having “access” to their services in the war? Did the other four nations not trust Medani, or did Medani help Breland more? This is mostly for my own interest as my Order of Rekkenmark war cleric had an attache who was a Medani orphan and I’m wondering if that was weird . . .

    • Medani is noted to favour Breland, how did that interact with the other nations having “access” to their services in the war? Did the other four nations not trust Medani, or did Medani help Breland more?

      This is addressed in Dragonmarked (though I’ll note that I didn’t write this section):
      During the Last War, Medani maintained the same steadfast neutrality as the other dragonmarked houses. However, it is rumored that a good portion of the wartime intelligence directed to Breland from its allies in Zilargo might have originated with Medani—the house using connections of Sivis to assist its homeland while maintaining necessary secrecy.
      So there may have been RUMORS, but there was never any concrete evidence of bias. In general, to the degree that there was any clear favoritism it would have been tied to favorable rates or the fact that Medani had more operatives in Breland——which the house would justify as it being their center of operations.

      How was the process for heirs being declared orphans in order to hold title or serve in their country’s military? I have a player who is playing an Orien heir who served in the Knights Phantom during the Last War and she’s interested in if becoming an orphan to serve in the military is a reversible process once the war is over?

      Good question. I think it would depend entirely on specific circumstances: who is the heir in question, who are their parents and family, what skills do they bring to the family, under what circumstances did they leave? I don’t think it’s a trivial process; it represents a conscious and legal decision to break ties with the house, and most house leaders won’t easily forgive that. But for an heir with valuable skills and strong family, I’m sure it can happen.

      Did Aurala’s marriage to Sasik d’Vadalis occur during the War proper or after the destruction of Cyre? Or after the Treaty was signed even? Would this have caused tension with the other nations seeing so blatant a power move by Vadalis?

      Aurala has three children with Sasik; it seems unlikely to me that they managed to squeeze that in over the last two years, unless they are triplet toddlers. The ECS clearly calls out that Sasik severed his ties with the house. This is an established process that surely happened on multiple occasions over the golden age of Galifar. The ECS does call out that some of the other houses are annoyed by it. On the other hand, Vadalis doesn’t have any major enemies in the Twelve. As for the nations, the main question is “What are you going to do about it?” Does it seem likely that Aundair is going to get favorable rates on dragonhawk breeding because of this relationship? Absolutely. So… what are you going to do about it? Stop buying magebred bears? It’s not like anyone believes that this relationship will somehow completely bias Vadalis against conducting fair business with every other nation; it just means Aundair will likely get some favorable deals and be willing to turn a blind eye to Vadalis violations of the Edicts within Aundairian territory.

      • On the topic of heirs “being declared orphans”, does this equate to excoriation, where on top of being a normal citizen liable under the code of Galifar but also not bout by the edicts, do they give up the ability to use their own Houses services? Or is there a way to just give up your rights and leave the house without Excoriation or marriage? Like for the heir who WANTS to fight for X country in the war because of patriotism or other reason.

        • No, an orphan isn’t an excoriate. An orphan is no longer considered to be a member of the house, but they aren’t inherently CONDEMNED by the house. In the case of Sasik, it’s noted that he still has very strong ties with the house; he just isn’t legally considered a member of the house. So that’s where the point is that a lot of the severity of being an orphan will depend on the circumstances under which you left. Sasik was likely ENCOURAGED to leave in order to marry Aurala. So, if you wanted to leave the house, did you have a polite conversation with the local seneschal, and did they sympathize with your reasoning? Or did you swear at the seneschal and break your honor blade over your knee?

          In the Dreaming Dark novels, Daine is a Deneith orphan who chose to leave the house to fight for Cyre; in City of Towers he talks with another Deneith orphan who left to marry a noble. This doesn’t carry the same weight as the character who’s excoriated.

  3. “The lightning rail and Orien carriages were forbidden targets. If a coach was transporting military personnel or supplies, it could be STOPPED and those supplies could be confiscated or personnel taken prisoner, but the coach and its Orien crew should be allowed to pass.”

    Was there any practical way devised to stop a lightning rail without damaging the train and/or disrupting the tracks?

    Would collecting hairs from Orien personel when their shipping is stopped, then using them to scry the location of future shipments be prohibited?

  4. Keith, thanks for the article, I skimmed it. So, it’s probable that the houses were attacked during the Last War? Wouldn’t that cause a Dragonmarked House to revoke it’s neutrality for a time?

  5. Keith, on the point about Deneith mercs mostly not being heirs, and the fact that Deneith trains mercenaries… does that mean that Deneith trains the mercenaries to use things like Shield and Warding Bond?

    I guess my question is… anyone can be highly skilled at combat and train others to be skilled as well. But Deneith has conquered this market because of the Mark of Sentinel. Is that because they are training people that can go on to use these defensive spells?

    It’s a little different to other services; Vadalis is giving you magebred animals that they make, Orien is carting you around on the Lightning Rail, Sivis is sending your message a thousand miles away.

    I remember you mentioning once (and I know you probably see this all the time so forgive me lol) that the Guilds train regular people in the talents of the Dragonmarked. So Arcane Lock is almost exclusive to Kundarak outside of accomplished spellcasters. But a magewright can learn in the Warding Guild how to cast Arcane Lock and become a locksmith.

    Is that the case with Deneith? The answer is probably obvious but I never thought that the trained mercenaries were learning how to fight but also how to cast Sentinel spells. Is that the case?

    Thanks once again!

    • I guess my question is… anyone can be highly skilled at combat and train others to be skilled as well. But Deneith has conquered this market because of the Mark of Sentinel. Is that because they are training people that can go on to use these defensive spells?

      If you have access to Sharn: City of Towers, the information you’re looking for is on page 148. First of all, consider the difference between the Blademark and the Defender’s Guild. The Defender’s Guild covers bodyguard services, and the sourcebook calls out that all members of the Defender’s Guild are Deneith heirs. By contrast, the Blademark has four different rankings, from black blade to gold blade. According to the sourcebook, Deneith has 451 soldiers in Sharn, of which 59 are Deneith heirs. Those heirs are divided between the top two tiers of the Blademark, and also serve as officers, coordinators, and administrators. I think the numbers are a little low, but the RATIO is the important part. Deneith heirs are ELITE mercenaries, but not every job requires an elite mercenary. There are times when a black blade is all you need. And no, that black blade can’t cast shield or warding bond. But the fact that they are a licensed mercenary of the Blademark tells you that they are at least confident and trustworthy, and that Deneith puts its reputation behind them – that they will serve to the best of their ability (although that ability is only that of a black blade, not a full Deneith gold blade). If you want that elite Deneith heir you’re going to pay for it.

      So on the battlefields of the Last War, there are times when people needed a small unit of elite gold blades, and they could get them. But there’s other times when what they needed was two hundred black blades commanded by a gold blade — when what they needed wasn’t superior skill on the part of every single soldier, but just a significant number of people with decent basic training and the knowledge that they would be a well disciplined, reliable unit.

      So getting back to the question: Deneith training isn’t intended to make a normal person the equal of a Deneith heir. Again, most Deneith heirs are white blades or gold blades; they need SOMEONE to do the gray blade jobs! However, COULD they teach someone some of those spells? Well, a typical wandslinger has two cantrips and a single first level spell. So sure, you could say that there’s elite blademark “Sentinel Training” that grants the ability to cast true strike and blade ward as cantrips and shield once per long rest (if a player character wants this, it’s called “Magic Initiate”). But again, I wouldn’t expect black blade troops to have that training.

      Again, it’s the same principle as with the other houses. Anyone can train to be an actor be licensed by the Entertainer’s Guild, that doesn’t make them the equal of a Phiarlan heir. Any inn can be licensed by House Ghallanda if they meet standards of health and quality, but that doesn’t mean the innkeeper can cast prestidigitation. The marked heirs are the elite forces that provide the highest quality services, but all of the houses license people who provide basic services within their fields. Looking to the Defender’s Guild, the point is that they DON’T provide basic services; they are a smaller, more specialized organization that only brokers the services of elite heirs.

      • A secondary point is that Deneith hasn’t conquered this market just because of the individual skill of their soldiers, it’s conquered it because of the discipline and reliability of their forces. The reason you hire the Blademark isn’t necessarily because you need a soldier that can cast shield, it’s because you want a capable mercenary you can trust. Which is in turn why the actions of the Valenar and the Ghaal’dar were terrible for the reputation of the house——though in both cases, they weren’t directly part of the Blademark.

  6. One wrinkle that seems worth considering is abjuration magic and similar purely defensive spells cast solely for the purpose of protecting oneself and other House members — *not* to protect the actual soldiers. Would that legally be considered “participation in combat”? It seems like even if it weren’t, this would be the kind of thing that would result in a lot of mistakes — or faked mistakes used as excuses (“They were casting a spell! Clearly they were about to attack us!”). On the other side of things, there’s the possibility of trying to loophole one’s way into buffing soldiers…

  7. In light of current events this feels especially topical.

    Also funny that should share info from ICRC on the law of war, since I just finished a whole class on that exact subject! Deneith must be the setting experts on the law of armed conflict at this point, and I imagine would have had a seat at the table for the Treaty of Thronehold! Sivis would probably fill in more on the international criminal law side though, but unfortunately there’s lots of crossover between the fields.

    A few sources in Eberron mention named mercenary companies like the Red Gauntlet Regiment, Redcloak Battalion, Manifest Legion, and Blackwheel Company. How do you see Deneith interacting with and responding to the more famous named mercenary groups in Khorvaire after the Last War?

    • A few sources in Eberron mention named mercenary companies like the Red Gauntlet Regiment, Redcloak Battalion, Manifest Legion, and Blackwheel Company. How do you see Deneith interacting with and responding to the more famous named mercenary groups in Khorvaire after the Last War?

      Just to clarify on one point, the Redcloaks aren’t mercenaries. They are an elite unit of the Brelish army. They’ve been assigned to peacekeeping duty in Sharn and they aren’t thrilled about it. But they have nothing to do with Deneith: they directly serve the Brelish crown.

      Looking to the Red Gauntlets and the Manifest Legion, I think it’s a serious error that neither of these address their relationship to House Deneith. Personally, i’d expect them to both be licensed by Deneith, which means that they operate independently of the house, but that they have its seal of approval and quality. Again, the principle of the Dragonmarked Houses is that they DO regulate their industries and that people trust their brand. It’s hard to see how the Red Gauntlets would have become so successful in the first place without being licensed by Deneith—especially because if they WERE that successful and unlicensed, Deneith would have quite likely acted to sabotage them. So again, I’d consider them to be licensed: a LOOSE connection, but a connection nonetheless.

      Blackwheel is called out as being a small organization that specifically operates in Xen’drik and pursues the Caldyn Fragments, so I can see them as operating independently of Deneith.

      • This is a great clarification as the books seem to imply or outright state that the Red Gauntlets work independently of Deneith. Thank you Keith.

        There are a lot of questions that we always have about people infringing on House markets.

        Given that the Korth Edicts allow them to maintain a monopoly, do the Houses have to resort to unseen methods or sabotage, or can they simply take them to court? I guess now there is no court to take them to.

        That said… Deneith is supposed to uphold these laws if they get paid to. How does that work? Can someone pay Deneith to enforce the Korth Edicts on someone muscling in on Ghallanda’s trade let’s say?

        • I may be wrong, but my impression is that the legal status of the House monopolies is more like: The Thronehold signatories agree not to pursue anti-trust action against the Houses, as opposed to the Thronehold signtories agree to eforce the House monopolies. Possible evidence for the latter: If the House monoplies were enforceable by law, wouldn’t Deneith have taken legal action against Tharashk for getting into the mercenary business, or Orien agains Lyrandar for tetting into the transporation business?

          • I may be wrong, but my impression is that the legal status of the House monopolies is more like: The Thronehold signatories agree not to pursue anti-trust action against the Houses, as opposed to the Thronehold signtories agree to eforce the House monopolies.

            This is an accurate understanding of the situation. The nations stay out of the way of the houses, and there is a broad understanding that the houses may use their influence to surpress potential competition. But the houses couldn’t take an artificer working on a new, better airship to a Brelish court.

        • Hmm… I thought there might be more of a complication for the Houses if they decided to buck the Edicts. In other words… you can have a monopoly but you can’t own land, hold noble titles, or have an army.

          Well, if they do any of those latter things, the obvious consequence is they can no longer have a monopoly.

          Now I understand Galifar is gone and the individual nations aren’t incentivized to enforce the Edicts.

          But if it’s a matter of just letting the Houses enforce their own monopoly, how would the Edicts have been enforced in the time of Galifar? Let’s just say it’s a United Kingdom and Galifar the Dark is ruling and one of the Houses decides to buck the Edicts. What happens?

          • But if it’s a matter of just letting the Houses enforce their own monopoly, how would the Edicts have been enforced in the time of Galifar? Let’s just say it’s a United Kingdom and Galifar the Dark is ruling and one of the Houses decides to buck the Edicts. What happens?

            Depending on the degree of the infringement, it could be any number of things. An embargo on vital supplies, a boycott on services and products, or even a military action seizing house property. The point is that under Galifar, there was ONLY ONE MARKET. It would hurt Galifar to lose the house service, but they could make that choice if they were willing to make it for the united kingdom. While now that Galifar is split, no one nation has that power. If Aundair decides to seize Cannith property, then THEY lose Cannith services… but Cannith continues to operate in Thrane, Breland, Karrnath, etc. And now not only has Aundair lost Cannith services (plus those of any other houses that stand with Cannith) but its ENEMIES still HAVE those services.

            Basically, Galifar had its own monopoly: the marketplace. The king of Galifar COULD shut down a house. The Queen of Aundair can only shut down a house IN AUNDAIR, and that will ultimately harm Aundair more than it will the house.

  8. Wonderful article Keith!
    In your article, refer to the Rules of War and, consequently, introduce the theme of war crimes.
    If I remember correctly, the Treaty of Thronehold has also set up war courts.
    How did the processes go? Is it correct to imagine it was similar to Nuremberg trials? What were the penalties imposed on the guilty? Are there any notable characters?

    If a criminal is a member of a House family, is it correct to assume that the burden of doing justice has been delegated to the Twelve? Could the penalty imposed on a member of a House go to excoriation?

    In my portrayal of Eberron, there are several war criminals still unpunished, who have hidden their identities and started a new life, many of whom are located in Sharn. I had also imagined a group of spies and assassins, established in 971 in Lathleer to track down and kill all these criminals.
    Do you think I’m wrong if I imagine that this group was founded and is still led by the only survivors of the Paelion family? These members disagreed with the Paelion plot and escaped a year before the Thuranni retaliation.

    • “War Crimes” is definitely a subject for a full article (or at least an IFAQ) — there are certainly interesting characters, and it would be interesting to explore the range of penalties, but that’s more than I have time/space for as a comment.

      One crucial thing to bear in mind that makes the Thronehold situation different from Nuremberg is that no one won the Last War. So no one nation holds a position of absolute authority or even the moral high ground; I’m sure that a significant part of the proceedings is a multilateral commission that has to evaluate each case to see if it has merit—and this likely involves a great deal of political intrigue; the Brelish representative might step aside with the Aundairian and say “I’ll support dismissal of General X if you’ll stand by me on Lord Y.” I’d argue that this commission is only two years old – established as part of the Treaty of Thronehold—but I could imagine that nations have personally condemned enemies as war criminals throughout the war, simply without unilateral acceptance of the accusation.

      The idea that the Twelve negotiated the right to persecute house members accused of war crimes is interesting and plausible, but bear in mind that house members don’t automatically have diplomatic immunity; if a Cannith member murders someone in Sharn, they are subject to Brelish justice. I think it makes sense in this case because we are talking about a special international court to begin with—not a simple violation of local law.

      What we’ve said in the past is that many war criminals have fled to Droaam, Hope in Q’barra, the Shadow Marches, and similar places. Droaam and the Shadow Marches aren’t Thronehold nations and are thus beyond the reach of its laws; Hope is a wild frontier. You certainly could have people hiding out in Sharn, but it’s definitely a bold move on the part of the criminal—unless, for example, the King’s Citadel has HELPED them hide, following an Operation Paperclip principle.

      • War criminals taking refuge in Droamm – that suggests that such individual are either very careful to lie low, or to make themselves useful to the warlords and/or the Daughters, so that they wouldn’t end up as bargaining chips the next time Droamm hakes a bit for Thronehold recognition. “Oh yes, once we’re recognized, we’ll tie a nice ribbon around General X and Baron Y, and ship them off to the war crimes commission. We know exactly where to find those rascals.”

        • Don’t forget that cities like Graywall have a significant foreign quarter. And be sure that General X isn’t walking around telling people “Hi! I’m General X!” It is certainly possible that their identity could be exposed and they could be used as a bargaining chip, but it’s far less likely than if, say, they’re doing the exact same thing in Sharn – and the law of Thronehold has no power in Droaam. Through Teraza, the Daughters COULD know, but Teraza doesn’t always share wehat she knows with her sisters. One adventure I’ve run a number of times deals with exactly this situation: the PCs are a group of monsters sent by the Daughters to capture a war criminal they’ve just discovered has been hiding out in Graywall… but part of the point is that they’ve only just discovered it, because Sora Teraza happened to volunteer the information.

  9. I had a mercenary unit exist without any Deneith licensing; the head of the group beated Baron Breven d’Deneith in a honour duel; as long as the current Baron lives the Silver Bastards will be unmolested.

  10. Hi Keith! Do you think there are differences in how different nations persecuted war crimes?
    I might imagine that karrnath was open to everything necessary to win the war, whilst the keeper of the flame might punish one of his generals who tortured or mass killed people even if no tribunal force her to do it.

    Also: you suggested that most of war criminals fleed in Q’Barra, Droam and Shadow Marches. Don’t you think Lhazaar is a viable option too? I can’t imagine princes asking too many questions if a good fighter want to work for them.

    • Do you think there are differences in how different nations persecuted war crimes?

      During the war? Absolutely. Today, bear in mind that it’s not individual nations addressing war crimes, it’s THRONEHOLD—a multilateral commission that has to agree on crimes and punishments.

      Don’t you think Lhazaar is a viable option too?

      Sure, it’s viable. The main point is that today, Lhazaar is a Thronehold nation, and a prince who shelters a war criminal is thus violating the Treaty of Thronehold and jeopardizing the status of the whole region. Q’barra is also a Thronehold nation, but that really only applies to the civilized Newthrone region, which is why I specifically called out the untamed frontier region known as Hope as where criminals would hide out. Hope has no leader and no law beyond what individual communities impose.

      • Thanks! This is an interesting point. What would happen if a Lhazaar prince violate the Treaty? We have a lot of examples of nations pushing the boundaries of the Treaty (Valenar first). How would this case be different?

  11. You say the Shadow Marches aren’t a Thronehold nation but they were declared as such in the earlier books. I always considered the existeance of a council of Orc Tribes and a sort of confederal leadership who signed the Treaty.

    • You’re mistaken. This is from page 134 of the original 3.5 Eberron Campaign Setting:

      The recognized nations, who each signed the treaty and are now in place on Khorvaire, are Aundair, Breland, Darguun, the Eldeen Reaches, Karrnath, the Lhazaar Principalities, the Mror Holds, Q’barra, the Talenta Plains, Thrane, Valenar, and Zilargo. Regions formed during the war but not yet recognized as sovereign include Droaam, the Shadow Marches

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