IFAQ: Dreams and Quori

As time permits, I like to answer interesting questions posed by my Patreon supporters. Here’s a few about Dal Quor and its denizens.

Do prophetic dreams occur in Dal Quor and if so do the Dreaming dark collect or research them?

Exploring Eberron has this to say about dreams in Dal Quor:

Dal Quor doesn’t have layers like other planes. Instead, it can be seen as a vast ocean. When a mortal dreams, they fall into that ocean and create an “island”: a dream pocket, shaped by their memories and desires. When they wake, this island disappears. So at any given moment, Dal Quor contains millions of islands, but none last for long. 

I’ve bolded the important piece. The key point here is that the quori don’t create or even monitor all mortal dreams. There are far more mortals then there are quori, and at any given time there a hundreds of thousands of dreams that the quori know nothing about. Most dreams are just dreams, shaped by the dreamer’s own memories and mind. Quori CAN interfere with mortal dreams, but so can other creatures—night hags, any creature using the dream spell. Mortal creatures can even create permanent islands, such as the Draconic Eidolon or the Uul Dhakaan.

The point here is that the quori aren’t omniscient or omnipresent within Dal Quor. Other forces can shape dreams, and it’s entirely possible for this to occur without the quori being aware of it. So YES, there can be prophetic dreams in Dal Quor. Such dreams could be actively shaped by powerful beings (again, all it takes is the dream spell). Looking to divine visions, the existence of prophetic dreams doesn’t necessarily prove the existence of the Sovereigns. We know that there is a divine power source that channels power to worshippers of Boldrei. It could be she’s an actual goddess who actively sends a message to her priest; or it could be that “Boldrei” is a spiritual construct that lies within the collective unconscious, and the priest’s dream is drawn from those subconscious depths. Either way, it’s possible to have a vision from Boldrei; but just because you can meet her in your dreams doesn’t mean that she exists in a form you could meet in the flesh.

Does the Dreaming Dark collect or research these dreams? I’m sure it does, IF IT OBSERVES THEM. Again, there are more mortals than quori, and at any given moment a third of the world is asleep; there’s no way for the quori to monitor them all. And personally, I don’t WANT the quori to monitor them all. I like the fact that I can say that the group’s cleric has a divine vision and that the quori don’t know about it. With that said, part of the role of the hashalaq quori is to monitor mortal dreams and dreams and to keep notes. The hashalaq are the loremasters of Dal Quor, and when the Dreaming Dark wants to perform an act of manipulation, it turns to the hashalaq to identify the most effective targets to carry out those goals. So the hashalaq do monitor the dreams fo people the quori have identified as significant, and they maintain a broad “map” of the Ocean of Dreams. Thus, they COULD have observed and recorded any prophetic dream and could well have a vault filled with accounts of thousands of “Dreams of Interest” they’re studying. But it’s ultimately up to the DM to decide if any given dream has been noted and recorded, or if it escaped the many eyes of the Dreaming Dark.

Are there any limits to the Quori ability to shape dreams?

Yes and no. If you’re familiar with Star Trek, think of Dal Quor as a holodeck. Normally, the dreamer shows up and runs their own program. When a creature uses dream, they are overriding that and placing the dreamer in a program of their own design. And that can be ANYTHING. A quori has an even greater degree of control than a wizard using dream. They can control every detail and they’ve had tens of thousands of years to hone their talents at creating dreams.

WITH THAT SAID… This is a game. It’s fun to have adventures in dreams where adventurers can potentially overcome challenges, and with that in mind I wouldn’t want to make quori omnipotent when shaping a dream. So personally, I’d go back to the holodeck analogy. The quori can PROGRAM the dream. They can personally take the place of any creature in the dream, intervening directly. But adventurers can defeat the challenges a quori places in their path. The quori can make you dream about a terrifying dragon, but you and your fellow adventurers could DEFEAT THAT DRAGON; this reflects your will and heroic drive overcoming the quori manipulation.

WITH THAT SAID… That primarily only applies to LUCID dreams. Most dreams don’t get played out as adventures. And with that in mind, that’s why the dream spell has a saving throw! You could look at a successful saving throw as meaning that the caster can’t shape the dream at all; or you could look at it as the caster creating a nightmare but the dreamer defeats the nightmare. So if the quori gives you a dream of a dragon ravaging your village, if you fail your saving throw the dragon destroys your village, kills everyone you love, and then kills you, and you wake up horrified (taking psychic damage and failing the long rest)—while if you MAKE the saving throw, you still dream about a dragon, but in the dream you DEFEAT the dragon. Your subconscious overrides the quori manipulation, and your self-image is so strong that you reject the vision the quori tries to impose.

Do Quori create figments or enlist drifters for the Dreaming Dark?

Let’s look back at Exploring Eberron.

A figment can be anything—a friend of yours, a zombie version of that friend, a demon, a dragon—but the catch is that it’s drawn from the mind of the local dreamer. When you dream about your old drill sergeant, they can’t tell you a secret you don’t already know, because they’re part of you. On the other hand, if you’re in someone else’s dream—or if a quori has taken control of your dream—then the figments can surprise you, because their capabilities and knowledge are drawn from someone else’s mind.

Figments are just part of the basic mechanics of Dal Quor. Any time a dream is created, it’s populated with figments. Look back to the holodeck example: figments are all the NPCs in a holodeck scenario. So yes, the quori create figments that last for the duration of the dream and then dissipate.

DRIFTERS are a different story. Per ExE, “Occasionally, a remarkable figment develops the ability to persist beyond the dream that created it—becoming a truly sentient spirit instead of a simple manifestation… Such free-willed figments are called drifters.” Generally speaking, the Dreaming Dark doesn’t employ drifters and most drifters will do their best to avoid the quori, because DRIFTERS ARE A FLAW IN THE SYSTEM. Why SHOULD a quori deal with a free-willed, unpredictable drifter when it could just use a figment that will do exactly what it’s supposed to do? This is one reason drifters may help adventurers; they themselves aren’t part of the system and have no loyalty to the quori; quori will typically destroy drifters as they ARE flaws in the system. Having said that, it’s possible an unusual drifter could make a deal with the Dreaming Dark and gain greater power through such service. But most drifters won’t take that risk.

The dominator Tirashana is a powerful Inspired mentioned in multiple sources. What kind of quori is she? Sharn: City of Towers doesn’t say, Secrets of Sarlona says she’s usvapna, and the ECG says she’s a kalaraq.

This is what happens when you are dealing with an evolving setting and multiple editions. When Sharn: City of Towers was written, the tsucora quori were the only quori that had been defined. We knew that there WERE others, but we hadn’t solidified any of the details. SECOND: When Tirashana was created, mind seed was a high-level power any psion telepath could potentially manifest. As such, we established Tirashana as a 17th level psion—she had the power to mind seed, but she did it in the same way any other creature could do it, if they happened to be a 17th level telepath.

By the time Secrets of Sarlona came around, we’d introduced more types of quori. The kalaraq quori, in particular, had the innate ability to perform mind seed by binding the essence of a victim. But we’d already defined Tirashana as a 17th-level telepath, so we chose to make her an usvapna—a powerful and respected quori caste, but not kalaraq.

Then fourth edition came around. Fourth edition had no player-facing form of mind seed. We had a version of it associated with the kalaraq, but it was a unique thing. So: the usvapna didn’t exist in fourth edition, and even if they had, we could say Tirashana was an usvapna with enough telepath levels to manifest mind seed, because it didn’t exist in fourth edition. So, in fourth edition we made Tirashana a kalaraq because it meant that DMs would ahve a stat block they could use for her and because it was the only way she could do what she was supposed to do — create mind seeds.

The key point here is that the lore isn’t consistent because the RULES weren’t consistent. We changed the lore to meet the needs of the story. Ultimately, the most important thing was that Tirashana is a quori who can mind seed people. Given that she’s unlikely to ever appear in the flesh, it doesn’t really MATTER is she’s usvapna or kalaraq; what matters most is that she can mind seed people and the DM knows how mind seed works.

So: in fifth edition, I’d personally make Tirashana a kalaraq quori for the same reasons we did it in fourth edition: we have a stat block for kalaraq quori and we don’t have an usvapna block, and a kalaraq quori has a way to plant mind seeds.

In general, however, this ties to the general point that canon isn’t ironclad or infallible, because it wasn’t created in a vacuum. Tirashana couldn’t be an usvapna in the Sharn sourcebook, because usvapna didn’t exist when we wrote it. Canon is a place to start, but it does have contradictions and errors, and it’s up to each DM to decide how to reconcile those in their campaigns.

What are some other types of quori?

I don’t have time to stat out additional quori in this space, but what I will say is that the general idea of quori is that they generally manipulate and feed on certain types of emotion or aspects of the mortal psyche. Tsucora specialize in fear. Du’ulora manipulate rage and hatred. Hashalaq understand pleasure. Kalaraq twist pride and ambition. I didn’t create the tsoreva or usvapna, so they aren’t designed with that in mind; I’d personally probably make the weak tsoreva tied to spite, and the usvapna—described as the judges and inquisitors of Dal Quor—as manipulating concepts of duty and tradition, albeit in the focused path of tyranny and persecution.

With that in mind, what are some other types of quori? I could imagine quori that inspire greed and avarice; quori that sap motivation and thrive on sloth and indolence; quori that thrive on misery; quori that inspire envy. Quori are children of the Dreaming Dark, so they are generally tied to NEGATIVE aspects of the psyche. Kalashtar quori still have this heritage, but turn it around; a tsucora kalashtar understands fear, but can use that knowledge to help people overcome their fears and find their courage.

I don’t understand quori possession. Rising From The Last War says the Quori must be within five feet of the creature it wants to possess, and if it is expelled it appears next to them? I thought quori couldn’t manifest physically?

That’s because quori have access to TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT FORMS OF POSSESSION. The form of possession that is presented in the stat block is something the quori can do IF it is physically present. An important detail is that it can use this form of possession on an unwilling target! It would be extremely difficult for a quori TO physically manifest on Eberron—it would involve some sort of unprecedented story hook—but IF IT DID it would be capable of forcibly possessing any humanoid using this technique.

But the catch is that this isn’t the form of possession the Dreaming Dark generally employs, because the quori CAN’T physically manifest in Eberron. So instead, the quori normally possess humanoids through their dreams. The quori crafts a dream (essentially, casting dream) and within that dream, has to convince the target to voluntarily allow the quori to possess them. The victim may not understand exactly what they are agreeing to—the quori could present itself as an angel, as the ghost of an ancestor, etc—but they know that they are agreeing to let an outside spirit temporarily assume control of their body. If they agree, the quori takes possession and maintains control until either it chooses to depart or until it is driven out by magical means; in either case, it returns to Dal Quor. Once the quori leaves, it can’t possess the victim again unless the victim AGREES to the possession again. In some cases, the quori may manage to cultivate its relationship with the victim such that the victim will allow this; again, they may believe the quori to be a guardian angel or an ancestor, as long as the actions the quori takes don’t disprove this. On the other hand, if the quori isn’t trying to maintain a relationship with the host, it may not bother to maintain such a masquerade.

The Inspired are possessed using this second form of possession, but the catch is that each Inspired is bound to a particular quori spirit and they have no choice when that spirit chooses to possess them. However, an Inspired could also voluntarily allow a different quori to possess it, if it served a useful purpose.

This raises a key point, which is that per Rising, forcible possession doesn’t allow the quori to use the proficiencies or class features of the target. The idea of the cooperative possession (or the Inspired) is that the possessed individual DOES have the proficiencies and abilities of both quori and host. This is how the quori can maintain a disguise and why it’s useful to the Inspired quori to have vessels with different skill sets; a particular quori could have one vessel that’s a tough fighter and another that’s a sly assassin, and choose the host that serves its current needs. Likewise, the reason an Inspired might allow a different quori to possess it would be because it needs the particular skills of THAT quori to accomplish its mission. So part of the idea has always been that when dealing with Inspired or with voluntary hosts you’re dealing with a gestalt entity. The quori is in CONTROL, but it gets to draw on the skills and knowledge of its host.

As this second form of possession is different from what’s described in the book, it raises a number of questions. Can a quori possess one of their specially-bred Chosen/Inspired link at any moment, even while that Chosen/Inspired is awake?

Yes, a quori can possess a Chosen vessel at any time. The quori has a direct spiritual connection to its Chosen and this doesn’t require the victim to be asleep.

Does the Protection from Evil and Good spell stop a Chosen/Inspired from being possessed by their linked quori?

An empty vessel who is protected by protection from evil and good can’t be possessed by their quori, and this is something we’ve previously called out as a way that fugitive Chosen could remain free. However, the spell specifies that the target has to be a willing creature, so you couldn’t cast it on an unwilling Inspired to break their connection to their spirit.

Does the Magic Circle spell stop a Chosen/Inspired from being possessed by their linked quori?

If the unpossessed empty vessel is protected by the circle, they can’t be possessed. However, I would again say that this wouldn’t BREAK an existing case of possession; you can’t create a magic circle and then push someone into it to exorcise them. It prevents a possessing spirit from attaching itself to a mortal host, but it doesn’t drive out the spirit once it’s present. At least, that’s the ruling I’d make at MY table (and if your DM disagrees, that’s fine—but this is MY ruling).

Can the Dispel Evil and Good spell drive out a quori from their linked Chosen/Inspired? If so, what stops the quori from immediately repossessing the Chosen/Inspired?

This is addressed in the 3.5 Eberron Campaign Setting entry on Inspired, and the rule seems sound here.

Resist Exorcism: The quori spirit inhabiting an Inspired is subject to a dismissal spell, an exorcism, or a similar effect. Use the total of the human vessel’s character level and the quori’s Hit Dice for the purpose of determining whether the spirit resists dismissal or exorcism. If the effect is successful, the quori spirit is temporarily driven back to Dal Quor. This effect lasts for 10 minutes per caster level of the character who cast the spell or performed the exorcism, after which point the quori spirit can return and possess the human vessel again.

Combining hit dice doesn’t quite work in Fifth Edition, but the point is you can do it but it’s supposed to be hard—I’d probably give the Inspired advantage on their saving throw.

If an Inspired currently possessed by their linked quori is reduced to 0 hit points and knocked unconscious, but not killed, is the quori driven out? Or does the quori stay?

No. The “Brute Force” possession in the quori stat block can be broken by dropping a creature to zero hit points, but rendering a creature unconscious has no effect on either an Inspired or on a creature that has voluntarily allowed a quori to possess it.

Can a possessing quori allow the victim to retain control of their actions—to play the role of an “advising spirit”? Or is it always in full control while possessing a victim?

A possessing quori can always choose not to exercise the full power it has over its victim, but it CAN exercise that full control at any time. So the victim may not REALIZE that they are fully possessed; they may believe it’s some sort of symbiosis or partnership. Which is great, until the quori has a reason to take full control, and which point it will take full control. With that said, the person agreeing to possession is aware that they are allowing possession—that they are allowing the spirit to reside within them. In a situation where the quori doesn’t plan to assume control it may present this as guidance, partnership, etc — but the victim still knows I am allowing a spirit to reside in my body.

How much awareness does a quori have over the status, thoughts, emotions, location, current activities, etc. of its linked Chosen/Inspired, while those Chosen/Inspired are awake and uninhabited?

Very little. For example, we’ve never suggested that if you get into a fight with an empty vessel that its connected quori would somehow be instantly aware of the threat and pop in. Keep in mind that a quori could have HUNDREDS of empty vessels. I’d be inclined to say that the quori would notice the death of a vessel—because it would feel the sudden severing of their link—but even then, if the quori has a lot of vessels I might have them make a Perception check to see if they notice it right away.

When a quori possesses someone, how much access to the host’s memories does the quori have? Does this change based on the possession method: brute force, voluntary possession, linked Chosen/Inspired possession, etc.?

It depends entirely on the form of possession. The brute force possession provides no access to memories whatsoever, which is why the quori “doesn’t gain access to the victim’s knowledge, class features, or proficiencies.” Voluntary possession does grant access to the host’s memories and skills, as specifically called out in the 3.5 ECS: “A possessing quori has immediate access to all of the vessel’s thoughts and memories… The quori spirit combines its skill ranks with those of its vessel.” With that said, while voluntary possession grants full ACCESS to the host’s memories, I’d see this as a human gaining access to a library. You can read any book you want, and when you NEED a specific piece of information you can immediately acquire it, but you most likely don’t have time to read every book in the library. So it’s not like a quori knows every one of your secrets the instant it possesses you; it has to have a reason to dig for a specific piece of information, and it’s quite possible it never bothers to look back to your childhood and find that moment you made a deal with a dragon.

What’s your opinion of the tsoreva and dream master quori from Magic of Eberron? Would you redesign them if you converted them to fifth edition?

I didn’t work on Magic of Eberron. The tsoreva is fine; it’s useful to have a low-CR quori and I can see them as spirits that feed on spite—essentially, lesser tsucora. But I don’t like the dream master. First, it doesn’t follow the naming pattern. We retconned this for Secrets of Sarlona, naming it the usvapna. But beyond that, its basic design doesn’t follow the model used by other quori. The original idea of the quori is that they manipulate and feed upon a particular emotion. This is concretely reflected by their abilities. At a quick glance…

  • A tsucora (fear) has Terrifying Sting, which mimics the effects of phantasmal killer, and it regains hit points when it kills someone with this power. When it stings you, it afflicts you with a nightmare so intense it can kill you, and if it does, it feeds on that fear.
  • A du’ulora (rage) has Fury Aura—which induces rage in creatures around it—and Burning Rage, which kills a creature with its own anger… and which heals the quori when it kills a creature in this way.
  • Hashalaq (pleasure and pain) has Intimate Knowledge (it knows your desires), Empathic Feedback (the attack shares its pain), and Idyllic Touch (which overwhelms with pleasure)… and when it kills a creature with Idyllic Touch, it regains hit points.

The tsoreva is such a minor spirit that it doesn’t have space to follow this pattern. But the dream master is a POWERFUL quori, but it doesn’t have a clear associated emotion or unique powers; it’s a powerful psion, but there’s nothing that reflects a theme. So yes, I might keep the broad concept and form of the usvapna, but if i converted it to 5E I’d want to give it a more defined theme.

That’s all for now! Thanks again to my Patreon supporters for making these articles possible.

93 thoughts on “IFAQ: Dreams and Quori

  1. Do Inspired tied to certain types of Quori prefer wearing the corresponding sentira? A tsucora-Inspired would prefer one which is made from the fear of others, for instance? Or is that more of a happy little coincidence on their part, like that a du’ulora-inspired is likely to be a warrior so of course they would in turn wear the anger/hatred fashioned sentira?

    • Do Inspired tied to certain types of Quori prefer wearing the corresponding sentira? A tsucora-Inspired would prefer one which is made from the fear of others, for instance?

      I think it’s likely that they LIKE wearing their matching emotion, but I don’t think it’s something they are REQUIRED to do, and they can choose the best tool for the task at hand. But if there’s no compelling reason to wear a different emotion, they’d prefer to wear their personal flavor.

  2. Do these prophetic dreams have a connection to the Draconic Prophecy? If the answer is “yes,” how is it that the Draconic Prophecy is manifesting so significantly in a plane other than the Material Plane?

    • They could, but the Draconic Prophecy is written down in runes and shapes that appear, or in imagery. The marks that form dragonmarks are part of that language. So I don’t know if the Draconic Prophecy is appearing in dreams . . . .

      And this once again becomes a “if you want to do it, do it” and the question of why (powerful entity manipulating with the dream spell? Actual design set forth by the Progenitors? Quori politicking?) becomes yours as the DM to flesh out

    • Could be from a force that using the knowledge of the prophecy to give the information is a sneaky way to the person. Could be a sphinx in a dream quest, or a dragon or fiend.

    • Do these prophetic dreams have a connection to the Draconic Prophecy?
      Possibly, but not automatically.

      If the answer is “yes,” how is it that the Draconic Prophecy is manifesting so significantly in a plane other than the Material Plane?
      It’s NOT “manifesting so significantly” in another plane. It’s manifesting THROUGH the mortal dreamer, who is a creature of the material plane. Dreamers create their dreams when they enter Dal Quor, shaping them from their memories and subconscious. If the Prophecy shapes the dream, it is acting through the dreamer’s subconscious, not as an external, separate presence in Dal Quor.

      Also, just as a note—you’ve asked seventeen questions here. I don’t have time to answer all of them. You can always ask as many questions as you like—other people may have ideas to offer—I just need to be clear that *I* can’t personally answer every question that’s been posed.

  3. How do the quori feel about the Uul Dhakaan? Is it an island they want to eradicate from the ocean of dreams, a tolerated nuisance, or a constant emotional food source?

    • Well, fun fact: what the Inspired are doing in Riedra is CREATING A STABLE, STATIC DREAM because they believe that will help them anchor the age. The Uul Dhakaan is a STABLE, STATIC DREAM. It is possible that the Uul Dhakaan actually INSPIRED what the Inspired are doing in Riedra — that they studied it and said “We need more of this.” If you want to go deeper into conspiracy theories, you could propose that Jhazaal Dhakaan WAS HERSELF INSPIRED… though personally I WOULD NOT DO THIS as I prefer the Uul Dhakaan as its own, independent thing.

      But essentially, the existence of the Uul Dhakaan doesn’t hurt the Dreaming Dark in any way and may actually be helping it. The Chot’uul guardians specifically work to keep quori or other spirits out of the Uul Dhakaan, and there’s no particular reason for the quori to pick a fight, so I don’t see them typically using it as an emotional food source. So largely, I think the Dreaming Dark keeps an eye on the Uul Dhakaan but otherwise leaves it alone.

  4. “If they agree, the quori takes possession and maintains control until either it chooses to depart or until it is driven out by magical means; in either case, it returns to Dal Quor. ”

    Dragon Magazine #412’s article on the Sovereign Swords implies that a possessing quori can simply linger in the background while offering advice. Is this still the case, or does it have to be full control at all times?

    • The Vessels of the Sovereign Swords are specifically called out, so one might assume they’re special. They’ve developed a relationship with the quori. Likely what’s happening is the possessing quori is simply “relaxed” and letting the vessel move and act on their own, like a dog on a lax leash

  5. 3.5 Eberron books had various Inspired and mind seeded NPCs with psionic class levels, and the Dragon Magazine #412 article on the Sovereign Swords makes it quite clear that the Swords wield psionic powers.

    How is it that quori can teach people psionics by mind seeding or possessing them?

    In the case of someone who was possessed, how do the psionic powers linger after possession?

    Can a quori teach someone psionics simply via dream manipulation?

    • I imagine it’s like a warlock gaining powers from Sora Kell/Katra/Teraza or Sul Khatesh, instruction comes in the dreams or in visions and stays when the direct feed isn’t up.

  6. “It would be extremely difficult for a quori TO physically manifest on Eberron—it would involve some sort of unprecedented story hook”

    There is always Taer Lian Doresh, no?

    Also, page 157 of 3.5 Secrets of Sarlona says, “Recently, quori have manifested physically in some of the wild zones of Riedra, though they cannot move beyond these regions.” What is this about, then, particularly when there are no manifest/wild zones of Dal Quor?

    • No Taer Lian Doresh doesn’t work:

      “Taer Lian Doresh now exists between Dal Quor and the
      Material Plane. The eladrin of this feyspire can freely pass to
      both planes, but other creatures can only enter Taer Lian Doresh
      and return to their plane of origin; they can’t use it as a portal
      from to the other plane. Thus, quori and adventurers can walk
      the halls of the Fading Dream together, but the quori can’t cross
      over to physically enter Eberron itself, nor can the denizens
      of the Material Plane (including eladrin of other feyspires,
      humans, and all other creatures of Eberron) enter Dal Quor”

      As for the Wild Zone inconsistency, as parts of Secrets of Sarlona weren’t written by Keith, I’d guess it’s likely some other writer put that in when editing for space.

        • If the humanoid stays there. no nothing is stopping them. But since the brute force possession seems to require being on the same plane, once the humanoid leaves that becomes an “ask the DM” sort of question. And is likely something the Eladrin of the feyspire wouldn’t take kindly to . . .

  7. Can a quori possess one of their specially-bred Chosen/Inspired link at any moment, even while that Chosen/Inspired is awake?

    Does the Protection from Evil and Good spell stop a Chosen/Inspired from being possessed by their linked quori?

    If the sidebar in page 244 of Exploring Eberron is in play, does the Magic Circle spell stop a Chosen/Inspired from being possessed by their linked quori?

    If the sidebar in page 244 of Exploring Eberron is in play, can the Dispel Evil and Good spell drive out a quori from their linked Chosen/Inspired? If so, what stops the quori from immediately repossessing the Chosen/Inspired?

    • Quori are still aberrations in 5e, and Protection from Good and Evil notes aberrations as affected by that spell. pg 244 of Exploring Eberron doesn’t change that.

      But the Chosen would need to be willing for that spell.

      Dispel Evil and Good would likely have little in the way of it mechanically repossessing, but story likely trumps there. The quori is likely pulled a great ways into Dal Quor, and needs to navigate back at the very least

    • Adding to this, if an Inspired currently possessed by their linked quori is reduced to 0 hit points and knocked unconscious, but not killed, is the quori driven out? Or does the quori stay?

      If the quori is driven out, what is stopping the quori from immediately repossessing the vessel, whether while the vessel is still unconscious, or the moment the vessel regains consciousness?

  8. In the rising statblock Sul Khatesh has castings of Dream, given that sul khatesh is sleeping in the flame. Would she still be able to cast it to give omens and dreams to manipulate people. Make eldritch bargains thru casting the spell and such.

    And I take this is another instance where dreaming dark doesn’t want to interfere with the machinations of the overlords.

    • I would consider her stat block to be the abilities she can use while unbound or partly unbound. While bound, she can still exert power over people’s minds, emotions, and dreams, but not by casting spells.

  9. Was the seven deadly sins analogy with possible quori types intentional or just inevitable since you were going for negative emotions? Ofc we already have others but you did go for sloth, envy, greed.

    • Was the seven deadly sins analogy with possible quori types intentional or just inevitable since you were going for negative emotions?
      I was certainly aware of that when I chose those three, and one could argue that with the existing quori we have wrath (du’ulora), pride (kalaraq). As spirits of pleasure, hashalaq could be tied to gluttony or lust. But I don’t see that as a LIMITATION — I’ve suggested tsoreva as spite, and I don’t think tsucora Fear maps to a sin. So it’s not accidental, but it is primarily “These are good examples of negative emotions.”

      • Anxiety, Depression, and Loneliness are three I’ve used in home games (no stats was just for Inspired) that also don’t map well. There’s also lots of interesting nuances to fear that the Greeks explored – aging and death come to mind – that could easily be their own types, rather than trying to clump all of fear together.

        • There’s also lots of interesting nuances to fear that the Greeks explored – aging and death come to mind – that could easily be their own types, rather than trying to clump all of fear together.

          It’s certainly an option. My personal approach is that quori specialize. Tsucora broadly deal with fear, but each tsucora has a specialty—an aspect of fear that serves as its personal signature; I think this was discussed in one of the Dragon articles? It’s the same with all of the main types in my opinion. Du’ulora focus on rage and aggression, but one du’ulora may focus on REVENGE while another focuses on PREJUDICE. Both du’ulora, but very different in personality and the flavor of rage they induce in their victims. This is particularly important for kalashtar (which was the subject of the article), because the question isn’t just what type of quori you’re linked to, but what its particular specialty is. In the article I believe I discuss a kalashtar tsucora who originally specialized in gothic horror and fear of the undead, who now specializes in fighting undead and helping people overcome that fear.

        • One theme I’ve brought up with Keith in person is sorrow, and my current DM figures this would also include regret.

  10. Could a quori be part of a magic item for the intent of a forceful possession? Not unlike the cursed sword of vengeance or the seemingly benign docent?

  11. How much awareness does a quori have over the status, thoughts, emotions, location, current activities, etc. of its linked Chosen/Inspired, while those Chosen/Inspired are awake and uninhabited?

    • Generally none. However, over time the Chosen can grow more and more like its possessing quori (a la Mind Seed), to the point where they essentially become that quori in personality and purpose. They just don’t have an active “uplink” to the quori while not possessed, nor do they generally possess the quori’s level of ability/knowledge.

  12. Apart from the fact that it would not make a fun story, what stops the dreaming dark from just giving troublesome mortals nightmare after nightmare until they just die of exhaustion?

    • I would think in the current age, most people could see Jorasco or even a hedge medic/clergymen to alleviate ongoing nightmares. Might be a magewright ritual blessing or something minor akin to the scope of a protection from evil just for a night’s respite. If something malignant and evil is suspected, servants of the Flame or Host might have some good night remedies. Just my 2 CP

    • In principle? Nothing. Any sufficiently powerful wizard could attempt the same thing. In practice, this is why you have exorcists in the world. I’d likely say that a powerful exorcist could perform a ritual similar to magic circle that would protect a creature from dream while they remain in the circle. This is an example of a case where I’d bend the rules for an NPC magewright/adept because they are more specialized than a PC. The exorcist would need to identify the nature of the threat (“A fiend is invading your dreams”) and could then construct a specialized form of magic circle that would protect against that specific threat — so the circle WOULDN’T grant all the benefits of a standard magic circle, but would protect against this. Depending on the power of the exorcist, I could see either making it absolute protection or just saying that it grants advantage on a saving throw against the nightmare effect — not perfect protection, but the exorcist is essentially able to aid another… Normally not possible for a saving throw, but again, we’re bending the rules for a special case.

      • I was playing in a sequel to Imogen’s excellent Escape from Riedra adventure, and the plot hook was the DD had to send physical agents to disrupt the protections set around the Empty Vessel that the party rescued in Escape from Reidra.

    • In 3rd edition, lack of sleep only caused fatigue and prevented arcane casters from regaining spells. The Red Hand of Doom module makes it explicit that Lesser Restoration can allow a creature to function without sleep indefinitely.

    • I don’t think Eberron, or Khorvaire, has a Big Bang Theory. If anything, the rival Steady State Theory applies.

      • Heck, in my Eberron the debate is more about whether the story of Siberys, Eberron, and Khyber should be taken as a literal account of a fight between draconic deities, or whether it’s a metaphor for something like a three-way planar collision creating the Material Plane and drawing nearby planes into its orbit. A “big bang” as we know it wouldn’t even be on the table.

  13. Using a secret Inspired npc as the mayor of a town in my Q’barra campaign. He’s trying to stoke fear and violence in the populous to keep them afraid of the “scales” leading to more tense encounters. So that he can use any violence against the town as a reason to request more protection from Newthrone hopefully leading to Newthrone requesting more help and having to turn to Riedra for that help. PCs are picking up on something going on, which leads to my question.

    How much ire would someone draw from the Quori if they were to kill a possessed Chosen in a remote area? Is there enough of an Inspired presence in Q’barra that a Quori would have multiple Chosen to possess in Newthrone if one were to die or would it have more of a setback and need to get more from Riedra?

    • How much ire would someone draw from the Quori if they were to kill a possessed Chosen in a remote area?

      Really, it’s up to you. What we’ve said in the past is that you can imagine the Dreaming Dark as someone playing a thousand chess games in a park. They don’t EXPECT to win them all, and the loss of a game isn’t a cause for bloody vengeance, they just move on to the next game. They may not even pay too much attention to the person who defeated them because they’ve got 999 other games going on, and again, they expect to lose some of them. When the SAME PLAYER beats them two more times, THEN they may start to take notice.

      The short form is that if any victory against the Dreaming Dark resulted in targeted vengeance against the offending PCs, it would be impossible to tell a story involving the Dreaming Dark involving low level PCs. Thus, it’s simpler to say that the Dreaming Dark is prepared for the idea that many of their plans WILL fail and they don’t go berserk any time they suffer a defeat. The fact that this region is in a remote area and they can’t immediately salvage it is surely frustrating, but again, they’re playing a thousand games; they know they’re going to lose some of them, and they’ll move on with other plans in other parts of the world.

      Is there enough of an Inspired presence in Q’barra that a Quori would have multiple Chosen to possess in Newthrone if one were to die or would it have more of a setback and need to get more from Riedra?
      It’s your story—what do you WANT the answer to be? If it was MY story I would say that it would be a setback and they’d have to get more from Riedra, because I’d want the players’ achievement to feel significant as opposed to saying “And the new evil mayor shows up next week!” But if that’s the story you want to tell, tell that story!

      A secondary point, though: you’re asking if they need to bring in another Chosen vessel. As called out in this article, they don’t need to use Chosen to possess people. All they need is for someone to agree to be possessed. Such a host won’t have the extra bonus abilities of the Inspired, and if they ever lose control of the host they can’t take it back. So rather than the mayor secretly being a Chosen vessel, they could just be an ambitious human who was convinced to let a quori take control and who has been a puppet ever since. The adventurers could simply find a way to free the mayor from possession, at which point the mayor could seek to undo the damage they’ve done (which also raises the fun story of do you believe him for the players… do they trust that he truly is repentant, or is he going to go straight back to the quori).

      • I didn’t even think about the mayor potentially not being a chosen. That’s a really good option especially considering my players already saved a dusk shard corrupted Dragonborn that going into it I didn’t even think of the option of them actually saving them.

        Thank you for all the time and the passion you put into these articles (it shows) and answering the many questions we throw your way. It’s very appreciated.

  14. Most of the artwork regarding quori suggest their presence behind one of it’s vessels, but besides beign inside a dream… When are you actually going to use the stat block of a quori on a fight? They can’t normally manifest on the Material realm, but Can they plane shift to other Planes? And, What stops them from entering the Material realm from other Planes?

    • Most of the artwork regarding quori suggest their presence behind one of it’s vessels…

      I’m not sure I understand what you mean by this. Do you mean that the quori is literally, physically behind the vessel or that it’s present spiritually? Because most of the art I’m aware of — say, the Inspired image on page 294 of Rising From The Last War — shows the quori as a ghostly image, not as being physically present. Largely, this is supposed to be metaphorical—letting us, the viewers know the spirit is there. On the other hand, there’s also the Quori Nightmare, a 3.5 prestige class that specifically allows a kalashtar or inspired to manifest an ectoplasmic version of its quori spirit, which is also what these images could be. But they’re not supposed to suggest that the character is physically hanging out with its quori friend.

      Besides being inside a dream… When are you actually going to use the stat block of a quori on a fight?
      Not often! Taer Lian Doresh is an existing canon location where it can happen. But the other point is that if you’re the DM, it can happen anywhere you want it to happen. Consider the cover of Exploring Eberron. The description says “With the aid of Droaam’s enigmatic Daughters of Sora Kell, the bold adventurers known as the Badgers have opened a portal to Dal Quor—an achievement long thought to be impossible.” Adventurers do impossible things and find themselves in impossible situations. Perhaps Mordain, Merrix d’Cannith, or the Undying Court has opened such a portal and the adventurers have to deal with it or are trapped inside it. Perhaps there’s an artifact in Xen’drik that can allow quori to enter. The answer can be whatever YOU need it to be. The fact that it’s never been done is why it’s exciting when it does happen, not a bar that prevents you from ever doing it.

      With that said, I’ll note that one of the primary reasons we had quori stat blocks in 3.5 wasn’t because we expected people to fight a lot of quori, but because when they possessed people their skills, mental stats, and supernatural abilities carried over to the host; so even if you never fought a kalaraq, it was important to know how a Kalaraq Inspired differed from a Tsucora Inspired.

    • They can’t normally manifest on the Material realm, but Can they plane shift to other Planes? And, What stops them from entering the Material realm from other Planes?
      In my opinion, no. We talk about Dal Quor being out of alignment with Eberron because the players are generally on Eberron, but the intent is that it’s isolated from ALL of the planes. It’s not that a quori can just plane shift over to Daanvi and then planeshift from there to Eberron; it’s that Dal Quor is cut off from all of the planes, and the only way to easily reach it is through the psychic connection of dreaming. So it’s actually easier for a mortal to reach Dal Quor than it is for a solar, because the mortal can at least visit it when they sleep.

        • Do immortals never dream, even if they have to sleep?
          In my campaign, most immortals don’t sleep (in 3.5, creatures with the outsider type didn’t sleep). If for some reason they did, it would be more like an elf trance; they may engage in meditative reflection, but no, they don’t connect to Dal Quor and experience dreams the way mortals do.

  15. Something that’s been on my mind regarding the Quori: these spirits of rage, envy, fear etc. are trying to preserve their age through Riedra’s shared dream, tying Dal Quor to the Material Plane. But to keep control of Reidra most easily, that shared dream leads the Riedran common folk to feel peaceable, docile and safe under the Inspired’s protection. In short, it seems that what Il-Lashtavar is tying itself to is going pretty strongly against its own nature. That obviously does make it easier to control an empire, but do you see the approach causing any kind of difficulty for the Quori? Would it be particularly hard for them to go against their nature like this, or carry risks for the Quori to have this constant exposure?

    For myself, if I were to make this an issue in a campaign I’d make it a fatal flaw in the plan. The sronger the connection, the closer Dal Quor comes to the Turning of the Age. But perhaps being so tied at the time when wit happens will corrupt Il-Yannah – it would still be an age of benevolence, but possibly a smothering one, which tries to exert control over mortal dreamers to keep them from dangerous dangers and ambitions. (For a smaller, less disruptive plot, perhaps it’s already led to a few rebel quori with those traits, who are now active on the Material Plane. Would they be allies or antagonists?)

    • There’s a few elements to the question. The first is that I wouldn’t describe the quori as spirits OF rage or fear; I’d describe them as spirits that excel at MANIPULATING and CREATING rage and fear. The du’ulora quori can drive mortals into a rage, but the du’ulora itself is a careful tactician, not a berserker. The point remains: the du’ulora likes driving people into a rage, and it can’t do that with the Riedrans. But at the same time, Riedra is only a piece of the world; in Dal Quor, the quori have access to ALL the dreamers of Eberron. So the du’ulora commander of the armies of Riedra isn’t driving his own forces into a rage, but whenever he goes back to Dal Quor he can drop into the Sea of Dreams and mess with the dreams of people of Khorvaire to state his desire to spread rage.

      With that said, this is something that is slightly called out in Secrets of Sarlona. The quori are doing what they are doing in Riedra because they believe it is the key to their survival, and that if the age turns, they will be destroyed. They don’t like it, but they have to do it. Most Inspired quori see their work as an onerous duty, not something they take joy in. Further, it’s specifically called out that while the Devourer of Dreams wants to extend quori rule to Khorvaire, Lady Sharadhuna of the Thousand Eyes believes that Riedra is enough to stabilize the age and DOESN’T support further expansion—quite plausibly because she doesn’t want to eliminate the remaining prime emotional hunting ground for the quori.

      Anyhow, those are just MY thoughts. It’s certainly an interesting question and your proposed campaign sounds like a fun one!

      • In your previous article on Riedra in 5e, you said: “Likewise, the Dreaming Dark doesn’t believe that they NEED to spread darkness. This is an age of darkness. What they need to do is to stop the clock. The Inspired are trying to cheat and freeze time by essentially freezing mortal dreams—creating a shared, static dream and simply stopping change. But they are still AFRAID that the kalashtar, through their meditations, are moving it forward — and so, they seek to destroy the kalashtar.”

        Does this still apply? That is, the actual substance of the monolith-dreams is irrelevant, so long as it keeps everyone dreaming the same static dream?

        • Does this still apply? That is, the actual substance of the monolith-dreams is irrelevant, so long as it keeps everyone dreaming the same static dream?
          Largely, yes. I think it is logical that they want a dream that has aspect of the emotions they cherish — that has room for fear, for hate, for pride — but the specifics don’t really matter. As I said in an earlier comment, it’s entirely possible they saw the Uul Dhakaan and decided that was a good idea.

      • Thanks for your response! I think I muddled two considerations in my question – first, how individual quori cope with keeping Riedra quiescent, and second, whether Il-Lashtavar tying – Dal Quor? Itself? – to the shared dream of Reidra might have unintended implications for itseff. (To which you and the other commenters have some interesting thoughts further down.)

        Incidentally, I was looking at a couple of your older articles and there’s a bit that’s relevant to the quori’s nature and Riedra in this one: http://keith-baker.com/eberron-flashback-good-and-evil/.

      • Actually, another question about the quori themselves. In ExE, you describe the du’ulora quori: “Du’ulora quori are spirits of fury that feed on anger and inspire rage in mortals.” Clearly this doesn’t mean they embody rage; instead they manipulate it in others. (And tsucora quori have the same kind of relation to fear and so on.)

        I was wondering how the roles of particular types of quori within the Dreaming Dark related to their particular psychic abilities. For instance, is there something about the hashalaq’s function that ties them particularly to manipulating hedonism, or is there a different reason for it? Could a particular unusual hashalaq have learned an affinity with fear instead, or is it basically hardwired?

        • Could a particular unusual hashalaq have learned an affinity with fear instead, or is it basically hardwired?
          The general point of immortals is that they don’t LEARN things; they are incarnate ideas. created for a purpose and imbued with the abilities they need to do that. You can always have unusual immortals that are essentially mistakes in the system — like the kalashtar quori — but by default, it’s not that a tsucora quori chooses to have an affinity for fear, it comes into existence with an affinity for fear and it KNOWS that is its purpose.

          With that in mind, all of the quori I was involved with do have abilities that reflect their preferred emotion. The 3.5 tsucora’s defining ability is Terrifying Sting, which mimics the effects of phantasmal killer — and when the tsucora kills a creature with this ability, it regains hit points. This is concretely supposed to reflect the tsucora afflicting a victim with a vicious tailored nightmare so intense it can kill them—and if it does, the tsucora feeds on their fear, regaining hit points. The Du’ulora has Fury Aura and Burning Rage, and again, if it kills a creature with Burning Rage it regains hit points, feeding on their rage. The hashalaq has Intimate Knowledge, Idyllic Touch, and Empathic Feedback — and if it kills a creature with this Idyllic Touch, it regains hit points! So all three have a way to generate the emotion they are tied to, to kill a mortal using that emotion, and to feed off that emotion.

          So to the question, the hashalaq is a spirit created to manipulate pleasure. That’s its nature, and its abilities reflect that. A tsucora is a spirit created to manipulate fear. To a certain degree, I think that if a hashalaq truly became obssessed with fear, it might BECOME a tsucora — because if it’s focused on manipulating fear, it’s no longer hashalaq.

    • My own theory on the subject is that the shared dream of Riedra is not a pleasant one: it’s a perpetual nightmare. As you would expect, this is very emotionally taxing on the dreamers. Riedrans have never heard of having a good dream, or of waking up happy for no reason. According to Riedran propaganda, these nightmares represent the threats of the greater world that Riedra is protecting them from. It also has the side effect of stifling most people’s ambition, creativity, individuality, and other qualities that might threaten the Dreaming Dark.

      From an in-universe perspective, this is because the Dreaming Dark is made of nightmares and believes it must preserve Eberron in a constant nightmare to prevent the Turning of the Age. From an out-of-universe perspective, this is because otherwise Riedra is just too utopian to me.

      • I’d add that in Secrets of Sarlona, even IF the dreams are idyllic, the reality of waking is a subtle nightmare. There is security in Riedra, there is no hunger, disease or war within those borders. The Chosen work for a peace which is earnest and legitimate in the eyes of their people, dissidence is weak, scattered. The former kingdoms of Sarlona were a horror for the many, the commoners who had to serve the whims and wars of the mighty. The modern Edgewalkers protect the people from the very real threat of planar attack. The Akiak dwarves were a group that wielded immense power and wealth gathered from serving the conflicts of these former kingdoms.

        And this security and peace and the mighty arms that shield the commonfolk only ask you to not ask about those kingdoms, to trust in the infallibility of the Chosen, to understand that if you develop sorcerer or warlock abilities it’s best you either take up service in the Edgewalkers or die. Being neurodivergent, (possibly) being LGBTQ, developing the powers of a cleric or a paladin despite any choice on your part to the contrary, being possessed by fiends, being curious, having some genetic failing that would be passed on, or just developing a resistance to the shared dream and being lost in the terrifying chaos of your own mind as you sleep . . . these are things that leave you on the outside of that safety.

        The horror of Riedra is, to me, that even furnished with all the information up to “the il-altas are creatures of Dal Quor who seek to make the world (or some significant part of it) dream one dream to stop their death and they will kill foreigners to do it”, a lot of people would choose that security, gamble that they’d never be the ones to upset the community. The “ingroup” is a powerful thing.

        • It’s a good point. The Inspired want the people of Riedra to dream one dream, but that dream ISN’T a dream of perfect tranquility. The people fear the altavars and hate the kalashtar. They embrace the Inspired because they believe the Inspired protect them. But there IS fear, there is rage, and there is joy in the shared Riedran dream; it’s just carefully designed and directed. Which ties to the point that the du’ulora isn’t a spirit OF rage, it’s a spirit that manipulates rage and savors it. It’s also the case that even in Riedra, we have the sentira factories as places where specific emotions are generated with intense focus. If the du’ulora Inspired isn’t satisfied with the anger around them and can’t get to Dal Quor to give some Karrn angry nightmares, they can at least stop by the Rage Factory and bathe in the fury.

          • Why do the people fear the il-altas and hate the Inspired? That seems backwards in Riedra.

          • It was a typo. It should have been “They fear the altavars and hate the kalashtar.”

      • I’m not so sure about that, at least regarding canon. Secrets of Sarlona’s “A Day in the Life of Riedra” section describes its Riedran with terms like “invigorated and happy” and “she feels at ease”. The key feature of the Dream (repeated at start and end) is security, and it is focused on Riedra’s blessings and rewards. Even the scary xenophobic parts (which are only occasional) “leave her comforted”, secure that the Inspired will protect her. When she learns that these evil spirits got so close as to turn someone in her village, she feels grief rather than fear or hatred. (Is there a quori that manipulates sorrow?)

        I do agree with you though that a less utopian Riedra would likely be more interesting, certainly if the PCs are to spend much time interacting with it. (On the other hand, if I were looking at a high-level deal where the PCs might genuinely defeat the Dreaming Dark, I might prefer an idyllic Riedra for the moral dilemma. Are the PCs willing to take responsibility for the collapse of the happiness and security of millions of innocents?)

  16. When a quori possesses someone, how much access to the host’s memories does the quori have?

    Does this change based on the possession method: brute force, voluntary possession, linked Chosen/Inspired possession, etc.?

    • It depends entirely on the form of possession. The brute force possession provides no access to memories whatsoever, which is why the quori “doesn’t gain access to the victim’s knowledge, class features, or proficiencies.” Voluntary possession does grant access to the host’s memories and skills, as specifically called out in the 3.5 ECS: “A possessing quori has immediate access to all of the vessel’s thoughts and memories… The quori spirit combines its skill ranks with those of its vessel.” With that said, while voluntary possession grants full ACCESS to the host’s memories, I’d see this as a human gaining access to a library. You can read any book you want, and when you NEED a specific piece of information you can immediately acquire it, but you most likely don’t have time to read every book in the library. So it’s not like a quori knows every one of your secrets the instant it possesses you; it has to have a reason to dig for a specific piece of information, and it’s quite possible it never bothers to look back to your childhood and find that moment you made a deal with a dragon.

      • The skill combination function is missing from the 5e Inspired statistics block. Is it supposed to be represented there?

        • No. The Rising form of Inspired is vastly simplified from the 3.5 approach. At some point I would like to create a deeper conversion that captures more of the original intent, but that wasn’t the goal of the Rising version.

  17. Do you have any tips for running combat in a dream in Dal Quor? A Quori who is manipulating the figments on an “island” I assume would involve using whatever stat blocks are appropriate for the figment. But could People push out of the island and enter the “sea” and see the Quori manipulating the dream (I would use some sort of mental
    Saving throw to push out of the island)? Can a Quori be hurt by people who are dreaming, could they potentially kill one within the dream that the Quori is manipulating or would they need to physically go to Dal Quor to kill one?

    • This is a great question, but I don’t have time to address it well; “Adventuring in Dreams” could easily be the topic for an entire article, and I’ll put it on the list of possibilities. I think quori can be hurt by dreamers, which is why a quori would generally work through figments when dealing with a potentially dangerous foe. With that said, quori are immortal. Following the previous discussion on immortals, Bob the Tsoreva might come back as Bill the Tsoreva if he’s killed, but a powerful quori like Tirashana would retain the majority of her identity if she’s killed and recovered. I’d probably see this like Dax in Deep Space Nine or the Doctor in Doctor Who; if Tirashana dies, a new quori will return that thinks of itself as Tirashana and has Tirashana’s memories, but it is still a NEW Tirashana and could have a slightly different outlook or personality quirks. The kalashtar quori do show the potential for unexpected evolution; the point is that the core “program” of Taratai is evil, but that one iteration of Taratai came out good; the quori seek to kill the kalashtar quori because they believe that if they are “rebooted” their evil nature will reassert itself. The main point is that Inspired quori don’t WANT to die, but they also don’t fear death the way mortals do; it’s more of an annoyance than an end. This is why they are so afraid of the Turning of the Age, because that represents an absolute dissolution of identity.

  18. 3.5 Secrets of Sarlona says: “The lords of the Dreaming Dark believe that control of Eberron might allow them to control the destiny of Dal Quor. Opinions differ as to how this can be accomplished. The dominant belief is that two steps are required. The first is to realign Dal Quor with Eberron, repairing the damage done at the end of the Age of Giants.”

    What does this actually mean in practical terms? How is realigning Dal Quor with Eberron supposed to help?

    Does it have anything to do with Crya? Are there fragments of Crya floating around in the Ring of Siberys? In your Reaching for the Stars article’s comments section, you suggested that the Blade of Siberys, which focuses on the Ring of Siberys, could secretly be the quori space program.

  19. Do aasimar dream in dal quor and is the celestial guide present in the dream island? Or would the guide use means akin to casting dream to communicate with the mortal aasimar?

    Would the celestial guide be able to guide or protect against quori? And if not is quori able to posses a aasimar? I’d imagine taking the form of the guide would be convincing.

    • Do aasimar dream in dal quor and is the celestial guide present in the dream island? Or would the guide use means akin to casting dream to communicate with the mortal aasimar? Would the celestial guide be able to guide or protect against quori? And if not is quori able to posses a aasimar?

      Most of these questions can be answered by simple mechanics. An aasimar sleeps and isn’t immune to the dream spell, therefore it connects to Dal Quor (as opposed to kalashtar, who sleep but are explicitly immune to dream). An asasimar has no mechanical protection against possession; if a ghost or another fiend can possess possess them in spite of their aasimar nature, there’s no reason a quori should have trouble doing it. Changing either of these things would be granting the aasimar a concrete mechanical benefit. With that said, it’s not a HUGE benefit, and as a DM I might impose it. But by default, aasimar dream and are not immune to possession.

      As for the presence of the guide, that entirely depends on the nature of the guide and on the role they play in the story. If the guide is, say, an angel from Syrania, they DEFINITELY aren’t present in any meaningful way and will connect using a form of the dream spell. If the guide is a couatl, they don’t travel to Dal Quor with the dreamer, but the point is that the dream IS still connected to their body and the couatl would be reaching them through that channel. So it’s presence is with them, but even if it appears to manifest, that’s just a figment and the guide can’t, for example, kill or be killed by a quori.

      But also, it’s your story: what do you want to have happen?

  20. I have some questions about the Turning of the Age. 1)Are there any cononical or (Kanonical) hists as to when the Age last turned, or how many times it has occurred since the creation. (I suspect this may be one of those “What story do YOU want to tell?” questions. )2) Assuming that the Age has turned at least once already, would the Giant/Quoria War have been one of those times? 3) Among mortal races, who might have records or legends of earlier Ages? The dragons of Argonesssen, presumably, but any others? If one had occurred since the Age of Monsters, would the Uul Dhakaan “remember” it? 4) Are the Ages bipolar or multipolar? Just Age of Darkness/Age of Light? Or is there another alternative? I could imagine a sort of Grey Age, with Quori spiris of Curiosity, Creativity, and Cooperation, instead of Hate/Wrath/Fear or Joy/Love/Compassion. 5) What would be the practical effects of living in an Age of Light instead of an Age of Darkness? Looking at the known history of Eberron, maybe there’s never been a Turning of the Age, since I can’t point to any era in which Light seemed to pervade.

    • The End of the Giant-Quori War is called out as one Turning of the Age, as the Quori used the existence of records they don’t recall from that time (and the relative ages of the planes versus Dal Quor) on the Material Plane as part of the way they reached their theory about the Turning of the Age.

      It might have been the first and only time (destruction of Cyra), but if there were other times they occurred before the Giant-Quori War, unless you as a DM want to put in more times since then. The Uul Dhakaan and the entire Age of Monsters occurred within this Age though, as there isn’t any knowledge of WHAT will happen to the Dream of the Empire if the Age Turns.

    • What story do YOU want to tell?

      Seriously: these are questions that aren’t answered in canon, and the whole idea is that THE QUORI don’t know the answers to these questions… and they’d like to. In MY Eberron, the last known turn of the age occurred in the Age of Giants, some time after the destruction of Crya. It’s hinted in a number of places that quori of that period may have been aware of the turning and trying to find a way to escape it themselves. In which case I’d say that there were one or two turns before that.

      There’s no reason to assume that ages are light-dark-light-dark. It could be; or it could be gray-dark-light; or it could be sorrow-dark-light-orange. Who knows? The only canon information we have about the previous age comes from the docent Shira in Secrets of Xen’drik, who mentions that her Quori Tarai was “The Dreaming Heart.” However, that doesn’t tell us much about that age, though she notably describes the current age of darkness as a contrast to her age. We don’t know what it means to live in an age that’s not an age of darkness, because we’ve lived in an age of darkness for forty thousand years. We don’t really KNOW what life was like eighty thousand years ago. But there’s also no particular reason to think it would have a vast transformative effect. In an age of light, there would be spirits who like to give people positive dreams and thrive on spreading positive emotions. That would certainly HELP spread positive energy, but it’s not like there would be no nightmares; again, most dreams aren’t the result of quori intervention. It wouldn’t instantly make the world a magical happy place — but it would make it happier. There would be spirits who like to give people a boost and thrive on joy, as opposed to spirits who savor mortal suffering.

      • Heck, a Dreaming Heart age could also be an age about spirits that savour passion and seek to foster it, be it for good or evil. Heck as you said “sorrow-dark-light-orange”; there could be an age with spirits of whimsy who love incongruity and do their best to make mortal dreams as weird as possible.

    • Most of these points have been addressed already, but on the point of the turning of the age, there are a couple of side ideas that have come up that might be interesting to contemplate:

      1) We know that the attempted quori invasion of Eberron occurred before the current age, *which means the current quori have no memory of it*. This raises the question of whether any of the current quori have some amount of interest in relics of the past that show quori influence, whether in order to better understand the nature of the turning of the age, or for other reasons… This kind of came up as a side discussion while I was brainstorming on the possibility of an Eberron take on Mahjong and what it might be like / where it might be from in-setting.

      2) There are definitely no quori of the previous age left in Dal Quor… but is it possible that some refugees actually managed to take shelter in Eberron before the turning of the age / the severing of Dal Quor’s orbit, and are still here? What have they been doing, and what allowed them to survive? (This was also an offshoot of the previous discussion)

      3) I don’t recall if there’s much canonical info on the reason for the quori invasion of Eberron… one thought that has occurred, though, is that perhaps it was an attempt at finding a way to survive a prophetically-foreseen turning of the age… with bonus points for the invasion itself having set in motion the events that led to the turning of the age.

      None of these are really questions about canon so much as idea points around things you could do with the quori; perhaps someone will find them interesting and/or useful.

      • Canonically, most of these issues are addressed (though not in great detail) in the 3.5 sourcebook Secrets of Xen’drik. We’ve called out that the Inspired are interested in acquiring relics tied to the previous age. It’s suggested in a few places that the previous quori were attempting to escape the turning of their age. What remains a mystery is whether the quori were the aggressors in the conflict — if they attacked the giants — or if they in fact arrived as peaceful refugees and it was the giants who initiated hostilities. Canonically, the only known survivor of the previous age of Dal Quor is the docent Shira (who is described in Secrets of Xen’drik).

  21. Dal Quor seems so different to every other plane of existence in Eberron.
    Is the concept of the turning of the age and a soul of the age (Il-Lashtavar, Il-Yannah, etc.) something that appears in the planar structure of other planes?

    • Also another side question – Do native celestials/fiends have a connection to the planes like mortals do? When a hag sleeps does she dream in Dal Quor?

      • Do native celestials/fiends have a connection to the planes like mortals do? When a hag sleeps does she dream in Dal Quor?

        The first question is do hags sleep? But beyond that, no, even if they sleep, I don’t see fey or fiends going to Dal Quor. Instead they experience something more like elf trance… which is, in all likelihood, why elves trance instead of dreaming—because of their Fey Ancestry.

    • Is the concept of the turning of the age and a soul of the age (Il-Lashtavar, Il-Yannah, etc.) something that appears in the planar structure of other planes?
      No, it’s unique to Dal Quor. But every plane has its defining spirits that shape the plane. Mabar has the Dark Powers. Dolurrh has its Architects. Dolurrh has the Queen of the Dead. Shavarath has Command. With some planes—Kythri, Lamannia—these defining spirits aren’t known, but its assumed they are there. Dal Quor is already unique in than mortals move between it regularly and SHAPE the plane with their thoughts and desires. Mortals cast shadows in Mabar and serve as conscripts in Shavarath, but those echoes don’t shape their planes; they are incorporated into them. Essentially, Dal Quor is unique in that it IS shaped by mortals and that its form ISN’T permanent; a dream lasts for a moment and then it’s gone. We see this constantly in the Sea of Dreams, but it is reflected on a larger scale by the turning of the age.

  22. Good to see some of the points on possession fleshed out here. Part of the backstory for an important NPC in a PC’s background involves the Dreaming Dark having conducted experiments to try to create the draconic equivalent of an empty vessel. It Did Not Go Well. 😉 I figure the gem dragon in question can *technically* be possessed by a particular quori at will, but said quori tried it once and decided to *never try it again*.

    My thought specifically here is that up to a point, possession works as normal (for the voluntary version, w/ the empty vessel exception allowing a quori to possess without the subject being willing), except that the vessel can actually take control back at will, *giving them access to the spirit’s abilities* almost as if they were the one doing the possessing. Most likely, the spirit would at this point be trapped, needing to succeed at a saving throw to flee back to Dal Quor.

    • My inclination is NO. For most undead, the point is moot because they don’t sleep. However, in 5E this isn’t a blanket trait of undead. Nonetheless, my opinion is that when a creature dies, it severs the spiritual ties a mortal creature has to the planes… and that while a vampire may enter a state of torpor, it’s not the same as a mortal creature sleeping.

      With that said, you could argue that if a creature sleeps and isn’t stated as having immunity to the dream spell, that means it dreams. But ultimately, this feels like an obscure corner case that I’d leave as a DM’s call.

      • They might trance occasionally, if we argue there’s a biological aspect, a psychological aspect and a planar aspect to dreaming, an intelligent undead might need to snap back occasionally and let their mind unjumble their experiences in the psychological sense. Even then it’s likely just a weird light show/sensation experience like most non-imaginative dreaming in humans.

        Or that might only be in oathsworn, vampires and liches, who still somewhat ape mortality

  23. In other settings I’ve always found it easy to have my warlock patrons reach out to my players in their dreams.
    In Eberron I’m a little worried about the mechanics of having The Lurker in Shadow reach out to my Fathomless Warlock via his dreams, since those little meetings would take place in Dal Quor. I’m worried about an Overlord’s ability to do that (especially in such a weakened bound state state) since you’ve said in other places that if an Overlord went into Dal Quor the Quori would “put them in their place” (can’t remember the exact words you used).
    Would it make more sense for the Kar’lassa to be reaching out instead? That’s another Fathomless patron I’ve thought about giving him.

  24. Also, me again. Sorry.
    In my campaign I’ve actually had my party stumble upon some crucial information that could threaten the Dreaming Dark (long story short: they are searching for ancient weapons once used against the Quori by the giants).
    You have written here that the Quori are not omnipotent and can’t always locate one dreamer among hundreds of thousands, which is a relief.
    But would the fact that the players are all geographically close to each other make it easier for their Dream Spheres to be spotted? “Ah look, it’s those same 4 bubbles that keep appearing in the same part of the Sea of Dreams in close proximity. It must be those pesky goodguys! Let’s get em!”

    • But would the fact that the players are all geographically close to each other make it easier for their Dream Spheres to be spotted? “Ah look, it’s those same 4 bubbles that keep appearing in the same part of the Sea of Dreams in close proximity. It must be those pesky goodguys! Let’s get em!”
      First of all, why would it? There’s hundreds of thousands of people in Sharn alone. Do four pebbles stand out in a gravel pit just because they’re close to one another? Second, the Ocean of Dreams isn’t a PERFECT mapping of physical location. We’ve said that it GENERALLY reflects geographical position — that Breland is a “region” in the ocean — but it’s NOT SUPPOSED TO BE PERFECT. If the adventurers are sleeping in a room in Sharn, their bubbles will all be in the broad “sharn region” but they won’t necessarily be exactly next to one another. Likewise, THEY WON’T BE IN THE EXACT SAME SPACE TOMORROW NIGHT. You don’t have a personal parking space in Dal Quor that you always go back to; you just drop into the ocean in your general region.

      But beyond this, the main point is that if the Dreaming Dark was omniscient it would be impossible to use them in a story, because the story would be over before it began. We don’t WANT them to be able to perfectly track every dream.

      • Just as an analogy, consider the Nine Hells or the Abyss in other D&D cosmologies; it’s not like most devils or demons can instantly locate a specific mortal that happens to be there. And unlike Dal Quor, the Abyss isn’t visited by EVERY SINGLE SENTIENT MORTAL, while Dal Quor is.

        • This helps, a lot.
          “if the Dreaming Dark was omniscient it would be impossible to use them in a story.”
          I do sometimes worry how I could actually end a DD related story arc, short of traveling to the heart of Dal Quor, defeating the Devourer of Dreams, and bringing about the next turning of the age thus making all of our Kalashtar player’s characters lose their spirits.
          Any minor victory against some sub-boss, is just going to put you on their radar for the rest of their lives, and any other story I want to introduce involving one of Eberron’s many other villains will sort’ve feel like a footnote.
          Do you see what I mean? With enemies that will hunt you in your dreams, it’s hard to imagine what CLOSURE would look like short of absolute victory.

          I can imagine players proving that Zorlann is working for the Emerald Claw, and then he gets arrested and Merrix becomes their new best friend. Victory for the players, even if the world isn’t saved.
          I can imagine players unmasking the Lord of Blades, reversing the Mourning, stopping Kwanti from opening a damn portal to Khyber, and as a story arc it’s nice and comfortably over.

          • Any minor victory against some sub-boss, is just going to put you on their radar for the rest of their lives…

            That’s where I disagree. Consider that the Dreaming Dark is engaged in multiple schemes across the entire world and has been doing so for over a thousand years. A single defeat in a particular operation is essentially inconsequential to them. What I’ve said before is to think of the DD as a man playing 200 games of chess in a park. He EXPECTS to lose a certain number of those games, and when he does lose one, he just moves on to the next. In that first defeat, he’s likely not even going to take note of the person who defeated him; his attention is on the BOARD and the GAME, the player is inconsequential. The second time that person defeats him, he may say “Hey, is that the same guy?” the third or fourth time, he’ll certainly take notice. But even at that point, he may react more with curiosity than anger. Who are these troublesome mortals? Can I use them somehow? Again, they’ve been doing this for CENTURIES — it’s not the first time a plan has failed.

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