IFAQ: Fizban’s Treasury and Eberron

As time permits, I like to answer interesting questions posed by my Patreon supporters. This month there’s been a number of questions related to Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons. As always, my answers here reflect what I would do in my personal campaign and may contradict canon material!

How would you incorporate either the draconic echoes or the Elegy of the First World into Eberron?

To answer this question, you first need to answer another: Do you want your Eberron to be part of the greater Multiverse? Eberron has its own cosmology and a very different approach to deities than many of the other core D&D settings. One option—as we suggest in Rising From The Last War is the idea that Eberron is part of the multiverse, but that it was sealed off; that traffic to other settings is possible, but very difficult. On the other hand, if you don’t WANT to use elements of other settings in your Eberron campaign, it’s easy to just ignore the Multiverse and focus on Eberron as an entirely independent setting.

By canon, Eberron has its own creation myth that explains the origins of dragons. The funny thing is that it’s not entirely incompatible with the Elegy of the First World. The Elegy asserts that three dragons created reality and dragonkind (if you count Sardior). The Progenitor myth asserts that three dragons created reality and dragonkind. The Progenitor myth asserts that the first dragons were born from the drops of blood that fell on Eberron; nonetheless, this still matches the basic concept of the Elegy, in that the dragons were the first children of the Progenitors, but “were supplanted by the teeming peoples” that came after them.

Personally, I LIKE the story of dragons being formed from the blood of Siberys—the idea that they alone believe that they have a direct connection to both Siberys and Eberron, an idea that explains their innate arcane power. In MY Eberron campaign, I’m not likely to abandon this concept in favor of Eberron’s dragons being linked to other dragons across infinite settings.

If you want to add the First World to Eberron WITHOUT adding the Multiverse, a simple option is to just put it AFTER THE PROGENITORS. The Progenitors create reality. Bahamut (a native celestial who favors a draconic form) and Tiamat (the Daughter of Khyber) unite the dragons and create the First World on Eberron—an idyllic civilization that predates the Age of Demons, which was ultimately shattered BY the Age of Demons, presumably set in motion by the Daughter of Khyber. This aligns with Thir, saying that the “Dragon Gods” existed before the Age of Demons but left reality when the First World was broken; this ties to the idea I’ve suggested elsewhere that Eberron’s version of Bahamut would have sacrificed themselves in the Age of Demons and could be the core of the Silver Flame.

If you want to incorporate the Multiverse into your Eberron campaign, then you can just use the First World exactly as it stands in Fizban’s. In this case, the Progenitor myth is presumably FALSE, since it has a very specific story for the origin of dragons; but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with saying that the Progenitor Myth IS ONLY A MYTH… or even that the Progenitor Myth is just a garbled version of the Elegy.

As for draconic echoes, the idea that each dragon is mirrored across realities: If I wanted to use this, what I’d do is to assert that every reality has a Draconic Prophecy, and Eberron is simply the only one where people have recognized this. Draconic Echoes reflect the fact that the dragons are prophetically significant. But if I was going to do that, I’d personally want to add OTHER echoes across settings; even if they don’t manifest dragonmarks, you might have echoes of dragonmarked heirs in other worlds, and you’d definitely have echoes of especially Prophetically significant characters—IE player characters. But I personally prefer NOT to mix peanut butter with my chocolate. I’m happy to explore alternate incarnations of Eberron, as with the Gith, but I’ve never brought the rest of the multiverse into any of my personal campaigns (though I HAVE played a “far traveler” character from Eberron—a warforged cleric searching for pieces of the Becoming God—in someone else’s non-Eberron campaign).

How would you incorporate the alternative half-dragon origins from Chapter Three of Fizban’s? Would that change how you present Dragonborn?

Keep in mind that all things that use the stat blocks and basic shapes of dragons and dragonborn don’t have to share the same origin. For the primary dragons of Argonnessen, I LIKE the fact that while they are imbued with arcane power—children of Eberron and Siberys—they are still ultimately MORTAL. They are an ancient and advanced species, but they aren’t multiversal echoes and they’re more grounded than the immortals. They live, learn, have jobs, pursue research. So for the dragons of Argonnessen, I wouldn’t say that they reproduce by divine origin or parthenogenesis or when someone steals their hoard… because they are are ancient, long-lived, and imbued with arcane power, but they are STILL MORTAL CREATURES OF EBERRON. This principle likewise applies to dragonborn who trace their roots to Argonnessen. It seems likely that the original dragonborn were magebred by the dragons from some sort of humanoid stock. But I don’t think those original dragonborn were formed from greed or true love. WITH THAT SAID…

As I said, NOT ALL DRAGONS AND DRAGONBORN HAVE TO HAVE THE SAME ORIGIN. Many of the options described in Fizban’s—from someone becoming a half-dragon after stealing from a dragon’s hoard, to eating forbidden fruit, to a tree on which dragon eggs grow like fruit—don’t sound like Argonnessen to me; they sound like THELANIS. First of all, you could have any number of dragons who appear as “supporting cast”—they would have the stats of dragons (though I’d likely make them fey as well as dragons) but the point is that they aren’t entirely REAL. They don’t have goals or desires beyond serving their role in the story. The dragon in a cave guarding a sword in a stone truly has nothing better to do. Beyond this, I could also imagine a dragon as one of the archfey of Thelanis. I can see two paths here. My personal impulse would be to have a single archfey dragon who encompasses all the legends of dragonkind—the greedy hoarder, the destroyer of cities. But I could also imagine there being two archfey dragons—the Bright Dragon and the Night Dragon, essentially filling the STORY role of Bahamut and Tiamat, even though they wouldn’t take direct action on Eberron. Still, it would be one of these entities who could potentially bestow Cradle Favor or have a tree that grows dragon eggs (because as archfey they wouldn’t reproduce like mortal dragons do). With that in mind, I feel it’s either in Thelanis or in a Thelanian manifest zone that you’ll have someone becoming a dragon or half-dragon due to greed or by bathing in dragon’s blood. And you could thus have dragonborn who have such origins—or heck, who spring up because you sow a field with dragon’s teeth. But they aren’t the most common forms.

Regardless of how I present dragonBORN, we had half-dragons in 3.5 Eberron. The most infamous of these is Erandis Vol. Her creation is described this as involving a program of magebreeding, so I think it’s a form of True Love’s Gift, but I don’t think it’s quite as simple as “I love you, you get to be part-dragon” (UNLESS you’re in Thelanis!); I think you’ve got to work actual magic into the picture. In the case of Vol, I think the Emerald Claw and his kind were trying to create sustainable, “true” half-dragons; I could easily see some rogue dragon using less reliable techniques to create sterile half-dragon mules.

I am fine with the idea that infusions of dragon’s blood could have a dramatic effect on other creatures, and could be a basis for sorcery; again, dragons have an innate force of arcane magic. But I am more inclined to make that essentially scientific in nature. If there’s a place where just living there causes you to become a half-dragon, I’d make that a Thelanian manifest zone, not just something that happens to anyone who hangs out in a mansion in Argonnessen.

The main thing is that many of the Fizban options present dragons as fundamentally mythic beings. The dragons of Argonnessen are legendary, but they are also VERY REAL. They have a civilization, families, politics, and so on. With all that said, the final option I’d consider if I wanted to use multiversal echoes and the like would be to have a number of dragons who are literally physical embodiments of the Draconic Prophecy. These could be essentially immortals, aware of their nature and their purpose; or they could be scattered among the mortal dragons, essentially an immortal seed reincarnated many times, and that has echoes across the multiverse.

Have there been any notable half-dragons in Khorvaire’s history that weren’t Kill On Sight? Anyone that famously claimed draconic heritage or might similar to Hassalac Chaar?

There’s a few factors here. Personally, I don’t think half-dragons ARE kill on sight. In my opinion, the issue with the line of Vol wasn’t solely half-dragons; it was the attempt to create and control apex dragonmarks through the medium of half-dragons. I also think Argonnessen disapproves of the idea of dragons trying to create any entirely new true-breeding species without approval. However, if we assume that most dragons are sterile or otherwise can’t pass on their traits, I don’t think Argonnesen will care about them, and I can personally imagine individual dragons creating half-dragons for specific purposes. Beyond this, I don’t think it’s going to be easy to identify a half-dragon AS a half-dragon. I think half-dragons with different origins could have very different physical traits. Does your sorcerer who claims dragon’s blood actually have scales and claws, or is it purely an explanation for their power in spite of their mechanically using a different ancestry? Regardless, in a world with dragonborn, blackscale lizardfolk, yuan-ti, and magebreeding in general, I think a lot of times rare oddities will just be seen as curiosities.

This ties to the point that when I say that someone becoming a dragonborn or half-dragon by bathing in dragon’s blood would be tied to Thelanis, it’s because of the idea that there are stories about it happening. So yes, I am certain that there ARE an assortment of legendary heroes and villains across all of the cultures of Eberron—the fallen kingdoms of old Sarlona, Xen’drik, even Dhakaan—of rare half-dragons, whose powers were a blessing or a curse. We have one concrete example in canon, and that’s the Draleus Tairn, the dragonslayer elves; Dragons of Eberron notes “Rumors exist that the Draleus dragon slayers can take the powers of their victims; that their blood burns like dragonfire; that they can spit lightning or breathe acid; and that their blood rituals increase their life span and even imbue them with the strength of the dragon. Perhaps these stories are mere myths. The tales could also reflect the presence of half-dragons or dragon shamans among the Draleus Tairn, with these powers derived from spilled blood instead of shared blood.” At the moment I don’t have time to make up examples of such heroes or villains, but I expect there’s a few examples in almost every culture. Following the Thelanian example ofthe half-dragon created through greed, I love the idea of a half-dragon giant lingering in a vault in a Thelanian manifest zone in Xen’drik.

How do Moonstone Dragons, which as presented in Fizban’s are tied to both the fey and to dreams, fit into your Eberron?

Personally, I see no reason to tie Moonstone dragons directly to Dal Quor. Fizban says “Moonstone dragons can project themselves into the realm of dreams to communicate with the creatures that sleep near their lairs.” Thus, they are related to dreams in the same way as a night hag or any mortal wizard who can cast Dream: they are skilled at USING and manipulating dreams, but that doesn’t mean they are natives of Dal Quor. Likewise, I personally wouldn’t make them dragons of Thelanis. In my earlier suggestions regarding Thelanian dragons, the main idea that Thelanian dragons would fill iconic draconic story archetypes which don’t really make sense for mortal dragons of Eberron—IE, when you find a dragon guarding a hoard in a cave in the woods, with no logical reason to be there other than to guard that hoard, THAT might be a Thelanian dragon and the cave may be in a manifest zone, because most Argonnessen dragons have SOMETHING BETTER TO DO than to hang out in a cave in the woods. The Moonstone dragon doesn’t fit that role either; it’s more exotic and unusual than iconic.

So WITH THAT IN MIND… The dragons of Argonnessen are the most ancient civilization on Eberron (and have seen cultures rise and fall). They have forgotten arcane secrets other species have yet to learn. In the process of their history they have surely studied the planes, manifest zones, and wild zones. I would say that Moonstone dragons trace their roots back to a flight of dragons devoted to the study of the planes and to Thelanis and Dal Quor in particular, who were changed through their long interaction with those planes—either intentionally (magebreeding themselves to strengthen their ability to operate in those planes) or by the “background radiation.” I would say that they serve as Argonnessen’s ambassadors to Thelanis and as mediators to Fey in general; Argonnessen has manifest zones tied to Thelanis just like everywhere else, and where some cultures have fey pact warlocks, Argonnessen has Moonstone dragons. The dream aspect I’d tend to use just as described—a tool they use to communicate and inspire mortals, but not reflecting a deeper connection to Dal Quor.

I think the idea that they love creativity and like to inspire mortals is fine, and I can see this bringing a lot of Moonstone dragons to the Chamber—that they actually LIKE working with the “lesser species” and giving them inspiration in ways that don’t hurt the Prophecy or carry the risk of Aureon’s Folly. But personally, I’d largely keep them on the material plane. If there are Moonstone dragons in Thelanis, I’d make them envoys or immigrants rather than natives.

That’s all for now! Thanks to my Patreon supporters for asking interesting questions and making these articles possible. And just to be clear: I’m happy to clarify my answers to the above questions, but I do not have time to answer addtional new questions about other aspects of Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons; it’s a big book and covering it in its entirety would require a longer article.

47 thoughts on “IFAQ: Fizban’s Treasury and Eberron

  1. Have there been any notable half-dragons in Khorvaire’s history that weren’t Kill On Sight? Anyone that famously claimed draconic heritage or might similar to Hassalac Chaar?

    Thanks Keith!

    • This is a good clarification to make on the half-dragon question. I’ve added my answer to the main article. The short answer is yes, absolutely, but I don’t have time to create specific details right now.

  2. About the draconic echoes, wouldn’t it be possible that the echoes, instead of being divided among different settings in the multiverse, they would instead be divided among dragons in the different realities across the time maze of Xoriat?

    So for example, a antagonistic Dragon could be looking for his counterparts (to obtain immortality) lost in the astral plane, multiple dragons who escaped their realities demise. Hell, the dragon wouldn’t even need to originate from Eberron, so he could be immune from the eyes of argonessen before they obtained too much power.

    Perhaps, they could ally themselves with the Gith, with the objective to bring back their reality, because their githeberron self did not escape, or even the Daelkyr, as the final echo of themselves could only exist in a new reality.

    • It’s definitely possible that you could play Draconic Echoes as beings that will exist in any version of Eberron. But there again, I’d be inclined to tie this to a FEW SPECIFIC BEINGS—some dragons, some not—who will appear in some form in any version of Eberron because of their role in the Prophecy as opposed to saying that EVERY dragon has a counterpart in every version of Eberron. Again, the idea of Argonnessen is that it’s a NATION of dragons; not every individual in that nation is important enough or remarkable enough to have reality twisting to accommodate it. I’ll also note that I believe that there are dragons from Githberron in the astral plane; this is one possible way to incorporate gem dragons into the setting.

      • Thank you! and yes! I was thinking about them when I wrote the comment, I think the book mentioned that echoes didn’t need to be from the same type.

      • I think there’s an interesting idea here of the Draconic Echoes in Eberron being that, fundamentally, through some quirk of being made from Siberys’s blood, every dragon is pre-destined to exist.

        Basically, the Draconic Echoes, but across timelines instead of universes. No matter what you change in Eberron’s timeline, the same dragons will always be born, regardless of whether they are personally important.

        • I think the issue to me is one of scale. By canon, there’s around fifty thousand dragons in Argonnessen. They have a CIVILIZATION; there are dragon artisans, dragon scholars, dragon entertainers. It seems kind of overkill to say that every one of those fifty thousand is a predestined force that must exist in every world. I’m more inclined to make it like player characters among humanoids; there are dragons that are Prophetically significant and THEY cast echoes in every reality — and there are humanoids who are Prophetically significant and cast echoes. But not all dragons or all humanoids do this.

          • Can I ask, is Argonessen’s population that high in Kanon too? Would you change it to a lower (or higher?) number if you could? I always felt that even with it being a fairly large part of the continent, the Thousand must get crowded for Dragons.

          • I don’t have an issue with it. First, keep in mind that the number includes wyrmlings, young, and adult dragons; it’s not fifty thousand ancients. Second, the point of Argonnessen is to throw out all preconceptions of dragons. They AREN’T loners huddled over their hoards. The Thousand, the Tapestry, and the Light of Siberys are civilizations where dragons live and work together. They are home to COMMUNITIES of dragons, to dragon cities. A draconic community may well look very different from what we’re used to; DoE suggests that some dragons in the Thousand like to have a few miles between themselves and their neighbors. But that’s because flying a few miles—or teleporting—is trivial for a dragon. The Thousand still has CITIES… and beyond that, it’s called “The Thousand” because it’s home to a thousand recognized clans. The idea that a clan has around thirty members hardly seems shocking. New York state has 932 towns and it’s a single state; expand that over half a continent and say that each town has forty inhabitants and you’ve got the Thousand.

            If I made adjustments in Kanon, the main thing I’d change would be to highlight that point that outside of the Vast, the dragons of Argonnessen largely live in communities, and while these don’t look like the cities we’re used to, they ARE like cities. They have infrastructure and industry; it’s just both that it’s spread out wider than we’re used to, incorporating natural features, and using a level of magic that’s far beyond the Five Nations. And as I mention in another comment, the flights have unique customs and traditions; the Thousand isn’t just one monolithic blob.

      • Wait, so if they exist in “every version of Eberron” as a consequence of the prophecy, does that mean some version of the prophecy is always at play?

        Is this a sort of butterfly effect/multiverse where the if/then statements of the prophecy trigger the creation of parallel Eberrons and there’s an infinite number of Eberrons out there (most of which are ruled by Demon Overlords because most of the “alternate” branches the Prophecy didn’t go down are pretty bad)?

        …Am I about to run a “Crisis on Two Eberrons” mini-campaign?

        • Or, alternatively, does “every version of Eberron” just mean some things are always the same, and the Prophecy keeps restarting things until it “gets it right?” in a sort of Oscillating Universe?

  3. While we’re on the subject of dragons, just how powerful are the dragons of Argonnessen, both individually and collectively? Are there dozens of ancient dragons each with the power of an archmage or are these individuals exceptional like the PCs? Moreover could any nation or group of nations challenge or slow down the draconic army? On that subject, how difficult would it be for the dragons to unite against a common physical threat?

  4. Thanks Keith, as always.

    I think Fizban missed the opportunity to give us a Dragon pact for the Warlock. But since, Dragons are different in the Eberron setting, I was wondering how would a pact with a Dragon look like. I’ve seen many homebrew Dragon pacts go the elemental route with scales, breath weapons and wings. However, I feel that the pacts made with the Dragons of Eberron might be different.

    FYI, I have a player who wants to play an Aereni Elf Dragon-pact Warlock.

  5. Keith, I know you asked for no expansion questions, but this is a yes/no:

    If lauths are the preferred form of “family grouping” in Argonessen, and thus mundane hidecarving is a more common practice (ex. Light of Siberys ranks, Conclave positions, “tattoos”, etc), would that change how strange Zenobaal is for carving Prophecy Marks into his skin?

    Basically would Zenobaal be “senile hermit on the hill” if we assume hidecarving is common in Argonessen?

    Thanks for taking a look at this question.

    • If lauths are the preferred form of “family grouping” in Argonessen…
      I don’t think this is a sound base assumption. Fizban’s describes a lauth as 3-5 dragons, usually of different colors—meaning that they aren’t biologically family. Canonically, Dragons of Eberron says that The Thousand is largely split into clans along family lines. I think the answer lies between the two, on multiple levels. First of all, I see no reason to think that even within the Thousand you have a single monolithic culture within Argonnessen. Even setting aside the possible collapses, their civilization is tens of thousands of years old; that’s a tremendous amount of time to develop unique cultures and traditions. I think it’s reasonable to think that the dragons of the Axalyr Valley are as different from the dragons of Hazlarax Peak as the humans of Thrane are from those of Breland. In this analogy, the Thousand is Galifar. It imposes a set of common customs and laws that unites the Axalyr and the Hazlarax dragons, allowing us to speak of them as “the Dragons of Argonnessen.” But on a DAY TO DAY level, they likely have a range of unique social customs and traditions.

      So: I don’t see the Lauth as the common form of family grouping in the Thousand, because I see FAMILIES as the common form of family grouping. However, I think lauths play a significant role in other regions of Argonnessen. First of all, the Light of Siberys brings dragons of all colors together and organizes in “squads of up to five”—sounds like a lauth to me. Likewise, the Tapestry is called out for having dragons of different colors working together with a few partners at a time on shared interests… though it does call out that they may change up these groupings every few decades or centuries. Again, sounds like a lauth.

      However, I think the question of “Are lauths common throughout Argonnessen” is a different question than “Is hidecarving common in Argonnessen.” Lauth or no lauth, I think hidecarving is a common practice in Argonnessen. As you suggest, I think it’s absolutely a standard practice in the Light of Siberys as a way of denoting ranks, with simple patterns for low ranks that expand as you rise in rank; but I also think you could see it as both a form of expression and as a practical tool; if humans could create magical tattoos that imbued the bearer with power, over the course of thousands of years we’d probably see them becoming part of daily life. So, I think lauths play a role in Argonnessen and hidecarving plays a role in Argonnessen, even if neither one is exactly the same as the role presented in Fizban’s.

      So coming back to the question is Zenobaal seen as crazy—well, I think this is explained by DoE: “His markings are indecipherable even to experienced sages, and many would like to think of the marks as meaningless self-mutilation.” Imagine someone with tattoos carved by hand into their body that cover their body with gibberish words and conspiracy symbols. That’s what we’re talking about with Zenobaal. And I call out “By hand” because my point is that there’s surely magical tools used for hidecarving just as we have tools for tattooing, and I don’t think Zenobaal used them. So the fact that Hidecarving is a common, respected practice doesn’t change the fact that Zenobaal has mutilated themselves and covered their body with crazy gibberish, and that other dragons find it disturbing.

      Any other yes or no questions? 😛

      • Thank you, Keith. (“^_^), guess I should have known better than to presume a simple answer. No, I’m good with questions.

  6. What role do Fizban’s greatwyrms (not to be confused with great wyrms) in Eberron? Rhashaak is the iconic black greatwyrm in Fizban’s, which is a significant upgrade from his presentation in 3.5 and 4e.

    How rare or common are greatwyrms in general? Presumably, the likes of Zenobaal, Silaesteron, and Dolarashynach would be greatwyrms. Are there enough to pad out a full roster of 12/13, or are they much rarer than that?

    Greatwyrms are very powerful. A metallic greatwyrm spellcaster can cast ten 9th-level spells per day, and that is before their dedicated combat capacities.

      • Yeah, I think what’s spurred this reposting is that ESE is looking to see if the answer changed now that Keith has read the book(?)

        “It does change the power dynamic; in the 3.5 ECS Rhashaak is only a Wyrm. However, I don’t have a problem with it, because Rhashaak IS sealed, in his own way; he has more freedom and agency than an overlord, certainly, but he’s still bound to Haka’torvhak. As a DM, I might further limit his mystical abilities based on that binding, saying that he can’t directly affect things more than 20 miles away from Haka’torvhak. Much like the Undying Court, he has vast power in his domain, but a limited ability to affect the world beyond it.”

        This one’s more about how common they are which considering the world, they’re likely fairly uncommon. Even among the Daelkyr or the fiends there isn’t just a whole legion of powerful, present and able to affect things entities on the Material Plane.

    • What role do Fizban’s greatwyrms (not to be confused with great wyrms) in Eberron?
      Having now read the book, I see why you’re asking the question. By Fizban’s, a greatwyrm isn’t simply the product of age; rather, they are the product of some form of epic ritual. In the case of Rhashaak, I think it works to say that this is a reflection of the fact that Rhashaak is fused with an overlord. In terms of other dragons, I think it is entirely reasonable to say that there are Fizban’s greatwyrms in Argonnessen, but that they are indeed rare and reflect the use of epic magic to ascend beyond dragon form. Dragons of Eberron includes a number of dragons who possessed significant numbers of class levels on top of being traditional great wyrms, and I think the Greatwyrm is a good way to represent this in fifth edition. Zenobaal is definitely such a greatwyrm, having dramatically increased their power through their work with the Prophecy. Dolarashynach would definitely be another. Part of the question of number would be what it takes to create a greatwyrm. Zenobaal has found their own path, but Dolarashynach is probably using a method developed by the Conclave. Fizban’s presents the idea that greatwyrms are created by combining mutliversal echoes of a dragon together. It could be that Concalve greatwyrms require the fusing the essence of a number of LIVING dragons—that Dolarashynach in part inherited their power by being fused with the previous Eternal Flame.

      I think it’s reasonable to think that there could be a dozen such greatwyrms—but I likewise think it’s reasonable to keep the number limited and make it something that requires a significant sacrifice (and likely, it’s something only an exceptional dragon can survive and master).

      • Thank you for your response.

        Fizban’s presents the idea that many of the “dragon gods,” including Aasterinian and Chronepsis, are merely greatwyrms. Inasmuch as these “dragon gods” are worshiped in the Thir religion, does the idea of greatwyrms as “dragon gods” have a place in Eberron? It seems similar to the “Sovereigns and Six as draconic champions” idea.

        • It’s not an idea I’d use. I’m suggesting that you could use Greatwyrm statistics for individuals like Silaesteron and Dolarashynach who definitely aren’t seen as gods. The idea of the Sovereign Archteypes—and the dragon gods among them—is that becoming a Sovereign involves ascending to a state of immaterial omnipresence, not gaining greater power in physical form. Dol Dorn is never going to physically appear on a battlefield, but he is PRESENT in every conflict. This also ties to the point that Tiamat in Eberron is different from Tiamat in other settings; in Eberron, I’d keep Chronepsis as an idea rather than an incarnate greatwyrm.

          With that said, I suggested that Silaesteron and Dolarashynach have undergone rituals to attain that level of power. It could well be that in terms of Thir, the dragons believe that this process is a necessary step towards becoming a Sovereign. So it could be, for example, that the dragons believe that Silaesteron will be the next Dol Dorn and Dolarashynach will be the next Dol Arrah. This would suggest that there could be a greatwyrm for each Sovereign… though it’s also reasonable to say “In the current age, no dragon has successfully managed this first step of ascension toward becoming Boldrei or Balinor.”

          • Could you please clarify what you mean when you say “though it’s also reasonable to say ‘In the current age, no dragon has successfully managed this first step of ascension toward becoming Boldrei or Balinor.'”?

            Do you mean it is reasonable to say that there are not any greatwyrms around?

          • Do you mean it is reasonable to say that there are not any greatwyrms around?

            That’s correct. It’s established canon that practitioners of Thir pick a Sovereign and emulate that archtype, seeking to become that Sovereign after death. I’m suggestion that there could be a sort of pinnacle to this process in life, in which a dragon recognized as an exemplar of a Sovereign Archetype could undergo a ritual in which they become a greatwyrm; think of this as saying “Dolarashynach has claimed the crown of Dol Arrah” by successfully completing the greatwyrm ritual. If I followed this path, I’d run with the idea that there can only be one greatwyrm of each Sovereign archetype at any one time; if another dragon is able to complete that ritual they would take “Dol Arrah’s crown”—and greatwyrm status—from Dolarashynach. But the point of that original statement is that while this means that there COULD be fifteen Sovereign-Archetype greatwyrms, it’s possible that in the present day there are one or more of those “Sovereign Crowns” that remain unclaimed. For example, at this point in time t could be that no dragon has successfully claimed the crown of the Fury.

            Now again, in this example “crown” is a metaphorical concept, not a physical object. But the point one be that you could have up to one greatwyrm for each member of the Sovereign Host (and Dark Six), and that this status could potentially be something that could be lost should a challenger become a greater exemplar of that archetype.

            If you take all this as fact, the next question is if it’s possible for a creature other than a dragon to claim one of these crowns, and if so what that actually looks like. It’s established that Dorius Alyre ir’Korran sought to become Aureon; could he have gotten so far on this path as to try to claim the mantle of a greatwyrm?

          • Under the scenario that there are no actual greatwyrms around, what would Dolarashynach, Silaesteron, Zenobaal, and similar dragons actually be?

          • They’re dragons with prestige class levels. There’s no existing creature if fifth edition that accurately reflects that, and 5E doesn’t generally add class levels to monsters. To do it justice, I’d want to do a unique design for each one that incorporates the most important features of those classes.

      • Just wanted to say that I’ve always liked Zenobaal as an epic villain and thought he could have been developed to the level of Erandis Vol or the Lord of Blades. Like the Chamber and the Lords of Dust, he is a player in the chess game of the Prophecy, but isn’t affiliated with either side. And it is ambiguous as to whether he’s right or crazy or maybe both

  7. Is it possible for a half dragon to manifest an aberrant dragonmark? And would they attain to the same sort of power that Erandis could’ve?

    • Yes and no. THere’s no reason to think a half-dragon couldn’t develop an aberrant dragonmark; anyone can. But Erandis’ mark wasn’t some random aberrant dragonmark. It was, first of all, a true dragonmark; and beyond that, it was the ultimate distillation of that dragonmark, produced through a carefully managed program of magebreeding involving brilliant dragons and elves. I don’t think that an Apex dragonmark could just pop up as a random mutation, at least not in my campaign.

  8. We have half dragons as a template in 5e, p180 MM.

    However on thelanis archfey dragons would faerie dragons be their supporting cast?

    Could other dragonkinds be due to residue/devotion of planes? Shadow Dragons to mabar and Deep Dragons to Xoriat perhaps?

    • However on thelanis archfey dragons would faerie dragons be their supporting cast?
      Definitely not as I’m imagining them. If you take the singular dragon archfey, the point of that dragon is to be the ultimate embodiment of THE DRAGON as it appears in stories… and dragons in stories are usually fearsome creatures that can lay waste to armies, that guard hoards, that hold secret knowledge. Having a host of adorable tiny dragons flitting around definitely doesn’t help tell that story. I think you’d see faerie dragons in places like the Moonlit Vale, where having a tiny adorable dragon flitting around reflects the magical nature of their environment. Basically, the supporting cast exists to support the story being told; so the question is “What story is being told?”

  9. How mechanically different would an archfey dragon be from an argonessen one, if at all, beyond the monster Type? Not asking for a statblock necessarily, just general guidelines to go about it or possibly mention of existing concepts.

    • So I just clarified the section on Thelanian dragons with the following note…
      First of all, you could have any number of dragons who appear as “supporting cast”—they would have the stats of dragons (though I’d likely make them fey as well as dragons) but the point is that they aren’t entirely REAL. They don’t have goals or desires beyond serving their role in the story. The dragon in a cave guarding a sword in a stone truly has nothing better to do. Beyond this, I could also imagine a dragon as one of the archfey of Thelanis.
      A “supporting cast” dragon would be just like a normal dragon but with the fey type as well as dragon. An ARCHFEY dragon would be something entirely different. At the least it would be like a Fizban’s greatwyrm. But the point is that it would have its own barony within Thelanis and have other powers within that barony, similar to the Forest Queen in Exploring Eberron.

      • Would statting up an archfey dragon as a greatwyrm not make them enormously more powerful than the Forest Queen and the Forgotten Prince, as presented in 5e Exploring Eberron?

        • In terms of CR, certainly. But there’s definitely precedent for that; Zariel is more powerful than Geryon, and Orcus is more powerful than Fraz-Urb’luu. There’s nothing wrong with the idea that the iconic embodiment of dragons as depicted in stories would be able to beat the Forest Queen in a fight. On the other hand, CR isn’t everything; notably, the Forest Queen is a QUEEN and has hosts of loyal retainers. I would expect The Archdragon to be a loner—lurking in its cavern, gloating over its hoard and its secrets. Because as I’m seeing it, it’s NOT “The King of Dragons”—it is the embodiment of the dragon in tales, who levels cities, slays heroes, and hoards secrets and treasures. The Bright/Night Dragon would be something different, but personally I’m not likely to ever use that idea; I much prefer the idea of the Archdragon as an archfey.

          • The Archdragon certainly seems like a common tale though it sounds more like a supporting actor to someone else’s story.
            It be interesting to see an Archfey that comes from stories told among Dragons. I mean they are the oldest civilization on Eberron and they must also have stories of their own.

  10. “Dragons of Eberron” is full of great stories and lore, and is still to my mind one of the few books that really thoughtfully expresses how these incredibly intelligent and powerful creatures would operate in a world like Eberron. It seems like the only thing we’d need to change to use it with 5e are the stat blocks, many of which have close correlates in Fizban’s or other 5e sources. Are there any major lore changes for 5e to what is in Dragons of Eberron that you’ve written about in other places?

  11. I’ve created the Hoarder of Tales, a Moonstone Dragon Archfey whose story reflects greed and ancient knowledge. The Moonstone Bard is an archfey whose tale is one of needing to share what they find in their hoard (mainly hoarding stories) or risk becoming unintelligible (the jabberwock). Its a story about Draconic greed but also their ancientness and wisdom. They spread stories and art to others because that is their story, and they curse ans kill those who keep stories to themselves less they fall to the Jabberwock.

    I do also love your concept of Moonstone Dragons are Magebred ambassadors, but my take is more about playing into how Moonstone Dragons love to inspire art (in this case, specifically stories).

  12. “The dream aspect I’d tend to use just as described—a tool they use to communicate and inspire mortals, but not reflecting a deeper connection to Dal Quor.”
    Perhaps the Moonstone Dragon Statblocks can be used for avatars or projections from the Draconic Eidolon. The DE is in one fixed spot, but they occasionally send pieces of their gestalt form out to dreamers.

  13. 5e Exploring Eberron notes that dragons can be spawned in Dal Quor dreamscapes, dragons can die and go to Dolurrh, Fernia has no native dragons, Shavarath has dragon conscripts, and Thelanis might have fey dragons.

    Do other outer planes spawn their own unique breeds of dragons, unrelated to mortal dragons? Do Daanvi, Irian, Kythri, Lamannia, Mabar, Risia, Syrania, and Xoriat spawn their own dragons?

    • My interpretation: Dragons are mortals with a direct tie to both Eberron and Siberys; You could encounter one from Eberron travelling the planes, but a planar native is at most dragon-shaped and dragon-like. The fey dragons described in this article are fey first, dragon to support the story they represent. Shavarathi conscripts are echoes of the idea of a dragon at war, one that appears in a dream is probably a figment.

      So in the sense of “could I encounter a dragon native to Lamannia?”, the answers is both yes and no. No, it’s not really a dragon, in the same way that an angel from Syrania isn’t a person. But you could find a creature in Lamannia that’s an embodiment of “dragon as apex predator or natural disaster”, and which might use dragon stats.

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