What Defines the Mror?

Image by Júlio Azevedo for Exploring Eberron

In March’s poll, my Patreon supporters selected Mror dwarves as the subject for this article. Exploring Eberron covers the Mror in more depth, delving into the history of the Holds, the cultures of the ruling clans, and further information about the ongoing conflict in Khyber—along with the symbiont that have been claimed as spoils of war. So there’s lots more (Mror!) to look forward to… but today, let’s look at what it means to be Mror.

Dwarves aren’t human. In creating a Mror character it can help to reflect on the ways in which dwarves differ from humanity. Clan plays a significant role in Mror culture, but there’s a few common things that can be born in mind for any Mror character.

DARKVISION

While the dwarves of the Realm Below may have spent their entire lives below the surface, the Mror dwarves were born on the surface of the Ironroot Mountains. Mror dwarves appreciate sunlight and color, and their buildings typically have windows. However, dwarves don’t need light. While in total darkness a dwarf suffers disadvantage on sight-based Perception checks. This is inconvenient, but not unbearable. Areas where people need to do skilled work will have at least dim light. But many mine tunnels and stretches of the Realm Below have no light sources.

A more general impact is that the circadian rhythms of dwarves are more flexible than those of humans. While it’s important to maintain a regular schedule, day and night have little meaning for the Mror. Mror communities are active at all hours, and major Mror businesses are continuously open. “Nightlife” isn’t a concept in Mror society, and entertainment can likewise be found at all hours; traveling Mror are often frustrated by the limited opportunities in human communities.

THE WAR BELOW

Characters from the Five Nations are shaped by the Last War. Mror are shaped by Dol Udar, the War Below. Currently this conflict is simmering, with a stalemate along the deep siege lines, but there has been no victory and the threat remains. When the war was at its height, all Mror lived in daily fear of aberrant attacks and the full resources of the holds were directed to the war effort. The Mror Holds are smaller than the Five Nations, and the impact of the conflict was intense. All civilians engaged in combat drills in preparation for dolgrim assault, and everyone was expected to contribute to the war effort—repairing or producing arms and armor, maintaining fortifications, or fighting.

For the Mror, this is the source of the Weapon Training and Tool Proficiency racial features. In creating a Mror character or NPC, consider how the war affected you and how this is reflected by your class and proficiencies. A few questions to consider…

  • Did you fight on the front lines, battling aberrations in the depths? If so, what’s the most terrifying thing you saw in the conflict? Are you scarred by your experiences, or does nothing scare you anymore?
  • If you didn’t fight in the Realm Below, did you serve on any civilian support brigades? Did you spend your childhood sharpening axes and repairing armor (proficiency in smith’s tools) or working on fortifications (mason’s tools)? Were you kept out of the conflict by family connections, or did you refuse to serve?
  • Who or what did you lose to the conflict? Did you have a stake in a colony or mine that had to be abandoned? Do you have a sibling or lover lost in the depths—and if so, do you know that they’re dead, or could they be prisoners of Dyrrn?
  • Do you dream of delving deeper into the depths, or would you rather see the Realm Below sealed away forever?

If you use your racial Tool Proficiency for brewer’s tools, you may have been involved in creating supplies for soldiers. However, this is also a common choice for Mror who venture beyond the holds. As mentioned later, the alcohol of the Five Nations is extremely weak by Mror standards, and some consider the ability to brew personal supplies to be a basic survival tool when traveling in foreign lands.

FAMILY FIRST

The Mror Holds are a feudal society. There are twelve active holds. Each is governed by a ruling clan, which gives its name to the hold; Droranathhold is ruled by Clan Droranath. Each hold is then broken up into smaller territories known as spires, each ruled by a clan; there are ancient ties of kinship and marriage between clans and the ruling clan. Within a spire, families maintain tenant relationships with the local clan. Land is held by a clan or family, and most businesses are family businesses. Families are long established, and the creation of an entirely new family is a rare event.

The Mror engage with their history through stories, and clans and families are the characters in those stories. Typically, a Mror tale refers to heroes and villains solely by their family names. So in Mroranon and the Troll King, it doesn’t matter exactly when the story took place or WHICH specific Mroranon it was; it’s a story about Mroranon, and any Mroranon dwarf should strive to live up to that example. Where the Tairnadal elves seek to emulate specific ancestors, Mror dwarves view their family as a greater whole. It’s only natural that you’d help a family member in need, and betraying a family member is like stabbing yourself in the hand. This drives feuds and alliances; if you’re wronged by a Hronnath dwarf, the blame lies with Clan Hronnath, not simply the individual. This reflects the elves in another way. The Aereni elves preserve their ancestors as deathless undead. The Mror don’t feel that need to preserve individuals; you preserve your FAMILY by living up to its character and by adding to its story. The Mror also aren’t as particular about precisely following the traditions of ancestors, as shown by the clans that are currently using symbionts; what you do is less important than the way in which you do it, the values you stand for and the lines you will not cross.

This doesn’t mean that Mror don’t take personal responsibility for their actions or feel pride in their personal deeds. For one thing, the deeds of living dwarves are generally acknowledged by name, as are most events that have occurred within the last century. But looking to your place in history, your name may not be remembered, but you hope that your deeds will be added to the trove of stories told of your family… and that you won’t forever shame your family with the stories of your misdeeds.

In creating a Mror character or NPC, consider your family. Are you part of a clan or ruling clan? If so, are you close enough to power to take the noble background, or are you a lesser heir? Are you from a tenant family, and if so what is your family’s business? Once you’ve considered this, the crucial question is what is the character of your family? While this isn’t as concrete as the Tairnadal, when people tell stories about your family, what are the virtues they highlight? Are there any particular things your family is known for, any celebrated deeds you might emulate, anything a member of your family should never do? Some families do have specific taboos; a Tronnan must never break their word, while a Holladon never turns away a guest. Does your family have any such traditions?

Another thing to consider is how your family was affected by the Dol Udar. Did they invest deeply in the depths, only to suffer grevious loses when the horrors rose? Did they fight on the front lines, or largely remain aboveground? Do they have a family treasure recovered from the Realm Below—a legendary item or artifact you might some day have the honor to wield? Are they willing to embrace symbionts, or are they disgusted by the tools of the daelkyr?

Finally, what is your standing with your family? If it’s good, why have you left the Mror Holds? (Rising From The Last War includes a table with suggestions for this!) If it’s bad, what happened? Is this a situation you hope to fix, or have you turned your back on your family? As a player, you should talk to your DM about the role your family might play in a campaign. Do you want to have cousins showing up in need of assistance or to be drawn into new feuds, or would you rather that your family remain in your backstory? 

LONG LIFE, TREASURED STORIES, AND STORIED TREASURES

The Mror attitude toward family is one example of how they deal with their long lives. A dwarf can live to be up to 350 years old. Intellectually they mature at about the same rate as humans, but they generally aren’t considered to be full adults until around 50 years of age. This ties to the fact that dwarves have a low rate of fertility, and their reproductive peak is between 50 and 120. While under fifty, a Mror dwarf is usually learning the family trade and working for their elders; at fifty and above, a dwarf will start thinking about starting their own branch of the family tree and the family trade.

In stark contrast to the elves of Aerenal, the Mror dwarves deal with their long lives by largely ignoring the passage of time: by not trying to record every detail or remember every person, simply holding on to the best moments and ideas. The story matters more than the concrete facts. Individuals come and go, but the family remains and the story continues. Tied to this is the fact that the Mror love stories. Like the dar, the Mror prefer stories to be based on fact as opposed to being absolute fiction… but a story should always be entertaining, and as long as the spirit is true it’s fine to exaggerate a few details. The talespinner bard thus does serve as a keeper of history, but their role as entertainers is as important—if not more so—than their role as sages. In playing a Mror character, you might come up with a few old stories you love. But you may also take joy in dramatically retelling the story of your adventures—the deeds of both you and your fellow adventurers—celebrating and highlighting their finest moments.

Another aspect that has been highlight about the Mror is their love of objects—their love of treasure. In part this ties to a deep appreciation of quality of work. The dwarves appreciate beautiful things, but durability and functionality are far more important—as shown by the willingness of many dwarves to embrace grotesque symbionts. Beyond this, the Mror are deeply interested in objects with stories of their own. Every family has family treasures. Sometimes these are the most powerful magic items the dwarves have acquired, and this is notably the case with artifacts and legendary items that have been recovered from the Realm Below over the last century; part of the pride of the ruling clans is derived from the treasures they can boast of. But a family treasure can also be a mundane item that has been a part of many epic stories. As noted earlier, no one cares which specific Mroranon heir was the hero of Mroranon and the Troll King. But the fact is that the house still has the bracer that hero made from the troll king’s nose-ring, and carrying this relic is a tremendous source of pride. As a Mror adventurer, when you find treasures, you want to know the stories they are already carrying—who forged this Flametongue? What battles has it seen? But beyond that, consider the items you possess that you feel a strong attachment to—and consider whether their stories are evolving along with yours.

GRAND GREETINGS AND GIFTS

Mror dwarves can be seen as boastful by outsiders, quick to share tales of their exploits. The truth of the matter is that they love stories. It’s not that they seek to dominate every conversation with their tales, it’s that they expect others to share their stories as well; and if they don’t, Mror will be quick to boast about the deeds of their companions. Anyone who spends much time around Mror will quickly grow used to the phrase tol kollanor the Common rendition, “that reminds me of a story.” Mror hate quick meetings; any gathering should have time for tales.

While there are certain families known for their thrift, generosity is an important virtue towards the Mror. As much as they value their storied treasures, there is joy to be had in giving the perfect gift—in showing that you can afford to give away a treasure, and that you recognize someone who will appreciate it and make good use of it. A common tradition at a grand feast is for each of the greatest heroes present—typically, the scions of ruling clans—to offer a gift to the host along with a tale of how they came by the gift; the one who gives the finest gift is served first at the feast.

While you may not attend many feasts, consider this tradition when you have time and opportunity. Is there a chance to give a comrade a perfect gift? Is there a treasure you possess that might be better suited to one of your companions?

FASHION

Clothes tell a story, and Mror dwarves love to tell tales. As with most Mror possessions, the quality of clothing comes first. Because of this, dwarves from lesser families may only have a single set of clothing, but these are durable and well made. With this in mind, Mror place great stock in accessories. A Mror outfit typically has elements that can be reversed, shifted, or removed. Brooches have important cultural significance, and include family crests, the seal of the ruling clan, the symbol of a Sovereign whose favor is sought, or even moods; there are brooches that mean leave me alone and looking for company. Other forms of jewelry—rings, chains, bracelets—are commonly worn by dwarves of all genders. This is an opportunity to show wealth, but decorative ornaments of iron are often worn by common folk. The dultar (“blood blade”) is a dagger worn both as a utilitarian tool and as a statement of allegiance; each of the ruling clans has a distinct style of dultar. Any Mror dwarf can immediately identify another dwarf’s clan from their dultar; for an outsider, this requires an Intelligence (History) check.

Other affectations are tied to clan and family. Some families prefer neatly trimmed beards. Many clans weave beads into facial hair or braids, with the design of the bead invoking the favor of a Sovereign or honoring a clan. Hair dye is often used as a form of personal expression.

Clans that have embraced the used of symbionts—notably Soldorak and Narathun—have developed many exotic fashions over the last century. For such dwarves, wearing symbiont clothing or accessories is a sign of courage and power—much as a hunter might wear the hides of animals they’ve defeated. Living clothing typically has a texture similar to leather, though chitin plating or hornlike protrusions are possible. Patterns or colors may shift to reflect the mood of the wearer; a living cloak may ripple or billow of its own accord. Living clothing is self cleaning and mending, and feeds on the excretions (primarily sweat) of the host. Narathun currently has the finest artisan-breeders working with living clothing, and styles are constantly evolving.

CUISINE

When approaching Mror cuisine, there’s an important thing to keep in mind: Mror dwarves have exceptional constitutions and are resistant to poison. The dwarves live in high mountains and subterranean settlements; while some of their meats and vegetables are familiar to the people of the Five Nations, they also use a wide variety of mushrooms and moss. Red pudding is a form of peaceful ooze raised as livestock. While these are entirely harmless to any creature resistant to poison damage (many Stout halflings of the Talenta Plains enjoy Mror cuisine), Mror stew can sicken creatures with more delicate stomachs.

Alcohol is also a form of poison, and Mror spirits have to be exceptionally strong to satisfy sturdy dwarves. Mror brewers often use mushrooms to produce alcohol, and also produce a number of mushroom-based beverages with light hallucinogenic effects. Most Mror hosts will be careful to keep travelers from buying drinks that could kill them!

RELIGION

Mror talespinners maintain that the dwarves are blessed by the Sovereigns, especially Kol Korran and Onatar. It is a curious coincidence that kol is the Dwarvish word for “commerce,” while dol means “war.” The talespinners say the Traveler stole the names of the Sovereigns from the dwarves during the Exile. The priests of Krona Peak say that Kol Korran came to the hero Mroranon and promised the dwarves wealth and prosperity for as long as they remembered his name and followed his path, while the talespinners of Doldarunhold swear that the hero Doldarun was the child of Dol Dorn and Dol Arrah. The records of the Library of Korranberg show that there were a number of Zil missionaries active in the Ironroots in the centuries before Bal Dulor, and some sages assert that these tales may have been the work of clever missionaries. Whatever the truth, there were already shrines to the Sovereigns when young Karrn led his forces to conquer the holds.

While the Mror broadly acknowledge all of the Sovereigns, Kol Korran and Onatar are the most beloved; Boldrei and Olladra are also often invoked. Clan Doldoran, Mroranon, and Soranath are especially devout, while Droranath, Soldorak, and Toldorath are the most pragmatic. The Blood of Vol and the Dark Six have small followings in Narathun, but other faiths have had little success in the holds.

WHAT ABOUT SUBRACES?

The general population of the Mror Holds includes both hill and mountain dwarves. Rather than being distinct ethnicities, these are primarily a secondary form of background, reflecting the nature of your upbringing. Mountain dwarves typically served in the hold militias and fought in the War Below, hence their Dwarven Armor Training. Hill dwarves were typically civilians, though this isn’t absolute; a fighter with the soldier background and a backstory of service in the war could still be a hill dwarf, as they receive armor proficiency from their class.

The Mark of Warding reflects a blood tie to House Kundarak. While this is typically limited to dwarves of Kundarakhold, Over the course of generations the Kundarak bloodline has spread throughout the holds. Such watered down bloodlines are less likely to produce a dragonmark, but you could play a Mror dwarf from another clan who develops the Mark of Warding. As with other foundlings, the house would typically be glad to accept you as Kundarak; will you embrace that, or do you prefer to maintain your allegiance to the family you were born to?

Exploring Eberron includes a new subrace with a particular (rare) role in the Mror Holds—so that’s something to look forward to!

That’s all for today. Thanks as always to my Patreon supporters. I’ll be posting the poll for the April article on Patreon soon, and we’ll have more short Q&A articles next week!

40 thoughts on “What Defines the Mror?

  1. What’s the general relationship between the Mror Holds and their neighbors, the Lhazaar Principalities? Mirror Lake seems really big in terms of geography, does that mean the dwarves have lots of sailing and boating capabilities?

    • This will be addressed in Exploring Eberron. There are valley clans that sail the lake and rivers, while the mountain clans have nothing to do with boats. There is commerce between the holds and the Principalities, and there are ties between specific clans and specific principalities that have regular dealings (Kolkarun has particularly cultivated relationships), while many of the holds largely ignore their eastern neighbor.

  2. Are the Frostfell dwarves, the Toldun Nordorthak, structured into similar clans and spires or is there less unity between those dwarves?

    • I would expect them to be a very different culture. The dwarves that came to Khorvaire established Sol Udar, the Realm Below, which was a very different civilization than the Mror Holds; in essence, the modern dwarves were thrown back to the dark ages and built their current culture over the course of thousands years AND interaction with humanity. So it would be fairly remarkable for a Frostfell civilization to closely mirror it—especially given the basic point that unlike the Aereni elves, the Mror dwarves aren’t obsessed with clinging precisely to the past.

  3. Reading this, the first thing I thought is: BARD. Stories, dresses, use magic items. Are dwarf bards more common in eberron than in most settings? Did you think to specific dwarven bardic traditions?

    • Talespinners are an important part of Mror culture, and are found in every clan. With that said, just as the common priest is an acolyte rather than a full CLERIC, the typical talespinner is an entertainer as opposed to being a full bard—it’s not like Dhakaan, where bardic magic is a core tool within the culture.

      With that said, Mror culture definitely supports the widespread use of entertainers and bards. The specific college varies by clan; Narathun embraces the College of Whispers, while Kolkarun has a deeper interest in concrete Lore than talespinners of other clans. This is covered in more depth in Exploring Eberron.

  4. I’m sharing this immediately with my players in my current Sunday campaign as two of them are M’ror dwarves cousins.

    Great article as always!

  5. Would the Holds have any sort of lightning rail, perhaps small-gauge and largely underground? If not, how efficient is travel between holds?

    • The Mror haven’t developed something like that themselves. They’re skilled miners and masons and they have GOLD, but they aren’t especially skilled artificers and have no equivalent of the Arcane Congress or House Cannith. Beyond that, it’s only recently that they’ve truly united and would share resources for greater infrastructure projects; before the Iron Council, many of the holds were fairly isolated. So until fairly recently, you’d be dealing with shipping along Mirror Lake and then coaches running on trade roads.

      However, with the founding of the Iron Council I think it’s reasonable for them to have invested in greater infrastructure, and I could imagine a rail line connecting the major hold capitals. But this would be a LYRANDAR rail line, not a Mror creation… and I could see the idea that it’s still new and possibly unfinished in areas… in part, because that creates more opportunities for adventure than a perfect, long-established system.

      It is also the case that the ancient dwarves of the REALM BELOW DID have a more advanced form of long-distance transit, but the Mror haven’t recovered it yet. This is the whole point of the War Below; there’s invaluable resources and knowledge down their waiting to be recovered.

  6. If it’s not too many spoilers, what kind of things can we expect in Exploring Eberron about the War Below and symbiont weapons?

    • …and what kind of hooks can you see for why an adventuring party of non-dwarves might get tangled up in it?

    • Around eight thousand words on the War Below and symbionts, including new symbiont weapons and adventure hooks. For comparison, this current article is three thousand words.

      • Glorious! I’m dead keen on setting some plot under the Mror, and look forward to my players’ characters wading through gore and running for cover in the dark below the earth…

  7. “Red pudding is a form of peaceful ooze raised as livestock. While these are entirely harmless to any creature resistant to poison damage (many Stout halflings of the Talenta Plains enjoy Mror cuisine), Mror stew can sicken creatures with more delicate stomachs. ”
    Nice!
    I wonder what other type of Livestock they would have?

    Aren’t there some form of mobile mushrooms somewhere?

  8. I’m maybe forgetting 3.5 Eberron lore, but what about the Duergar sub-race? Do they have any relationship to Mror?

    • Nope. The duergar are part of the Akiak nation, found in the Tashana Tundra of Sarlona (covered in the 3.5 sourcebook Secrets of Sarlona).

  9. There’s a fleeting bit of lore in… one of the 3.5 books, I believe, that says one clan is pushing for citizenship for the orcs they share the mountains with. Is this still canon, and is there any info you can share on those orcs? They seem to be much more traditional “raiders who live in the hills” than the rest of the orcs of the setting.

    Also, I wanted to thank you again for making dwarves pop! They’ve long been a weak point of a setting I largely love otherwise, and these changes are stellar.

  10. How does Mror keep time without the sun? The water clock in 3E’s core, fiends being able to possess clocks in 3E’s ECS, various constructs using “clockwork”, and clockmakers being a listed trade in Sharn: City of Towers seem to imply Eberron uses normal, mechanical, clocks, but that seems kinda weird when everything else is magic powered.

    • In my Eberron, simple cantrips are used for timekeeping; I say that anyone who can cast prestidigitation, thaumaturgy, or druidcraft has the ability to magically tell time. Clocks are common magical items that use this principle.

  11. Since the Mror are so deeply involved with stories, is there any interaction between the Mror and the fey of Thelanis?

    • It’s a more complicated question than you might think.

      The short answer is NO. Just because you like stories doesn’t mean that fey magically appear around you. The planes are largely independent of Eberron. Shavarath EMBODIES war. It’s the platonic ideal of “War.” Some scholars argue that we have War because Shavarath exists; others say that Shavarath exists because we have war. But there’s no way to know the truth, and the simple fact is that there’s war in Eberron and war in Shavarath, but most soldiers are never going to meet a Shavar angel or a demon.

      The same goes with stories and Thelanis. The Mror tell lots of stories. Some are undoubtedly overblown tall tales. And if you GO to Thelanis, you might wander into a region where you say “Wait a moment, I KNOW this story! This is just like Mroranon and the Troll King!” But a) It’s NOT Mroranon and the protagonist won’t be called Mroranon; they’ll call themselves “The Warrior Prince” or something like that. It’s not a PERFECT match — it’s just the same essential plot. Which leads to b) It’s unclear whether this story exists because of the actions of Mroranon… or whether Mroranon and the Troll King in fact has varied from the truth over the centuries to be MORE LIKE THIS STORY, because Thelanis leaks into the collective unconscious.

      This is complicated by the fact that Mror stories are at least BASED on historic events, and Thelanis stories generally AREN’T — which is why we don’t have Tairnadal ancestors all over Thelanis in spite of the Tairnadal bards. Because those aren’t STORIES; they’re history. Because Mror stories are LOOSE history, you might have some overlap.

      But again, a) the MROR consider their stories to be absolute truth and wouldn’t celebrate any sort of evidence that suggests they’re faerie tales and b) just because you tell a lot of stories doesn’t mean fey appear; it just means you may have a strong personal connection to Thelanis.

    • Canon art doesn’t depict them with beards (nor does the art in ExE, as shown at the start of this article). But they could in your campaign!

  12. You’ve mentioned that most medium (common) races plus an orc or half-orc produces a half-orc child. Do the dwarves of Mror (especially Tordannon) have any opinions on dwarf/orc unions? Is it considered a likely consequence of bringing Jhorash’tar into the Iron Council’s numbers/including them among the people of the Mror Holds, or is even that simply too strange and aberrant an idea?

    Have the orcs also shunned the “haunted” halls of the Noldrun? Do the Mror keep any security to dissuade people from plundering those ancient mountain homes, or is it mostly free game?

    • I believe that an orc and a dwarf pairing would produce a half-Orc child. But I also think it’s very rare that pairing to PRODUCE a child. Dwarves are less fertile than humans, which is why there’s relatively few of them despite their long lifespans and them having been on Khorvaire longer than humans. It’s also the case that the Jorgun’taal are celebrated because they prove a special connection between the two species… which wouldn’t be very remarkable if orcs consistently produced children with other species.

      So I think it’s both culturally rare and biologically unlikely, though not impossible… which is to say, if a player in my campaign wanted to make a PC half-Orc who’s from a Jhorash’tar/Tordannon pairing, I’d allow it and be happy to explore that story. I think the Droranath would be horrified at the idea, while the Frosthaven clans (Tordannon and Toranath) would be welcoming; other clan opinions would vary.

      Noldrunhold and the relationship of the Jhorash’tar to the region is covered in Exploring Eberron.

    • One thing I will call out: you describe Noldrunhold as “haunted.” Remember that this is a world in which undead, fiends, and aberrations are very real! Which is to say, it’s not “haunted” with quotation marks, it’s HAUNTED, no question about it. We can debate WHAT haunts it, but dwarves have tried to resettle it and it hasn’t gone well.

  13. Does ExE give us a sense of scale of the Realms Below at all? Not absolute answers obviously, but like how deep have some clans explored vs others? Are we talking ruins of underground cities that housed thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds, millions? How hot is the war below? Dozens of new casualties a day? Etc…

    Re: the distinctive dultars… I’m already seeing a detective noir where the murder weapon was a dultar…

    • ExE discusses how far various clans have gotten. The current situation is essentially trench warfare; the clans with holdings below have established firm defensive lines that are able to repel casual assaults but are unable to push forward; some clans are planning their next big offensive, and no one knows when Dyrrn may launch a new major attack. As for the scale, the DWARVES don’t know, but what is known is that it was a NATION that stretched at least the length of the Ironroots and endured for at least a thousand years: so multiple distinct cities and outposts, likely supporting tens or hundreds of thousands. The Mror have certainly only touched the tip of it.

      But again, more information in ExE.

  14. My current campaign has the party journeying all over Korvaire chasing stanzas of the Prophecy. They were just in Drooam and an eccentric aged scion of Kundarak was there seeking to be ritually preserved as stone by the medusae fo Cazhaak Draal. They agreed to transport his statue back to the Mror Holds as they plan to be there next year. So they’re crossing Breland in a wagon with a porphyry dwarf and his last will and testament to eventually deliver to his heirs. This will give me lots of juicy material to prepare for their explorations when they get there.

  15. This is a peak example of what makes you and your work on Eberron great: taking mechanical traits from creatures’ description, and organically building a whole, original culture from them. It makes me regret that I have no plan involving the Mror Holds for now, be it as a DM or a player.

    A question that is tangential to the post’s topic, not to say a bit beside the point, but were the Lhazaar Principalities (at least the coastal part of the Principalities) part of the “grand Karrnath” when the Mror Holds were too? Or did the Ironfoot and Hoarfrost Mountains make such a barrier that it was one of those fringe regions, like Q’Barra, the Demon Wastes, and Droam and the Shadow Marshes, that were always at best nominally part of Khorvaire? (“Our Kingdom spans the entire continent! There’s just… ahem… Well we don’t really need to go and put a flag at every damn point to prove it.”) If the Principalities were part of Karrnath, how was that situation affected when the Mror Holds took their independence, scissoring the territory?

    • This is a peak example of what makes you and your work on Eberron great: taking mechanical traits from creatures’ description, and organically building a whole, original culture from them.

      Yes. This.

    • This is covered on page 184 of the original ECS:
      When Galifar proclaimed that his kingdom “stretched across the width and breadth of Khorvaire,” the Lhazaar princes ignored him. Their domains were far from the great cities of the Five Nations, separated by a formidable mountain range and the endless seas over which the princes ruled supreme… By 28 YK, King Galifar had fortified his hold over the Five Nations and turned his attention to the threat from the east… Thus began the Galifar–Lhazaar War, a series of naval engagements that lasted nearly a decade… Aided by magic and the help of some of the dragonmarked houses, Galifar was able to garner enough victories to force the Lhazaar princes to meet to discuss terms. In the end, the Principalities became part of Galifar’s kingdom but remained autonomous, the Lhazaar princes more or less independent within their own domains yet agreeing to pay tribute to Galifar and recognize him as the legitimate ruler of the mainland kingdom.

      • Thanks! I’ve been looking for that information for a while, and it escaped me it was simply there from the beginning. :-/

  16. So how does a Mror dwarf handle a story that features multiple members of the same family? Do they just choose one to be the protagonist and call that one by their family name and call the others by their relation to the protagonist (Mroranon and their sibling/parent/child), just refer to each of them by family name (Mroranon and Mroranon), or perhaps adding on an adjective (big Mroranon and lil’ Mroranon)?

    • Bear in mind that recent events and NEWS use proper names. If you’re talking about current events you can say “Lord Halak Mroranon ordered Jora Mroranon to lead a brigade into the tunnels below Jolan Spire.” So we’re talking about stories based on historical events. The first option is simple: change the facts. Do you NEED two Mroranons in this story, or can you conflate their actions? The whole point is that the character IS the clan—nothing stops it from being two or three members of the clan rolled into one for dramatic effect.

      Assuming that you do need them to be separate characters, the next immediate step I’d take would be to designate one as the primary and refer to others by relation. “Mroranon told his son to stay behind.” “Now, Mroranon’s father was a cautious man…”

      Essentially, if they are both perfectly balanced in their importance to the story, I’d just combine them into one character; if one plays a larger role than the other, they get to be “Mroranon” and the other is “Mroranon’s brother” or whatever. The critical point here is that these stories will sacrifice historical accuracy for purposes of making a good story.

  17. This question might be a little bit late but I’ve got a question about dwarves and classes.
    Two classes have been mentioned in relation to classes: Soldorak Warlocks and Droranath Barbarians. I take this to mean that these clans have a lot more of these than any other clan, not that they’re the only clans where dwarvern warlocks or barbarians come from.

    Are there any other clans that would specializes in specific classes?
    And are Droranath barbarians the fanciest looking barbarians?

    • Yup, there are other clans that specialize in other classes. Exploring Eberron discusses each Mror clan, including class suggestions. I still don’t have a hard release date, but we’re close to having one.

      With Droanath, the point isn’t that their entire society is barbaric; it’s that they embrace a combat style driven by inducing rage. They are MECHANICALLY barbarians, but yes, they are definitely fancy looking barbarians.

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