IFAQ: Owlen, Wealthy PCs, Bahamut and the Plight of the Dragonborn

When time allows, I like to answer interesting questions posed by my Patreon supporters. Here’s a few that have come up this month…

With Strixhaven coming out, I have a player who wants to play an Owlen. How would you add the Owlen to Eberron?

I’ve discussed some basic principles about adding new species to Eberron in this article. The basic question is what your player is looking for in playing an Owlen. Do they just want the racial traits? Do they specifically there to be an Owlen nation with a significant role in the world? Or are they open to the idea that there could be just a handful of Owlen?

If you’re playing a Strixhaven style game at, say, Arcanix, one of the first things I’d consider would be that the PC Owlen could be ENTIRELY UNIQUE—that they could have been the owl familiar of some legendary faculty member, and when the wizard died, one of their last acts was to transform their familiar into this form. So some of the current staff might see them as a sort of mascot, and there could be an ongoing legacy tied to their late master that you could explore over the course of the campaign.

If I were to add Owlen to MY campaign, I’d personally say that there’s a community of Owlen in the Bazaar of Dura in Sharn, who assist the giant owls and support the Owl in the Race of Eight Winds. They’ve been doing this job for hundreds of years; they aren’t found anywhere else in Khorvaire; and at this point, NO ONE KNOWS where they came from. Some believe the first Owlen came from Thelanis. Others claim a crazy Vadalis race fan magebred them. It’s beyond the living memory of the current Owlen, and THEY don’t know the answer. But the key point is that they’re a small, tight-knit community based in the Bazaar, with connections to a lot of Bazaar businesses and a particular focus on the Race of Eight Winds. The owl councilor Hruitt definitely has a Owlen valet who helps him with things that require hands… and the Owlen PC could potentially have a patron in Hruitt.

For me personally, either of these options—both of which give the character an immediate tie to NPCs, plot hooks to explore, and a unique role in the world—are more interesting than just saying that there’s an Owlen nation in the Towering Woods or something similar.

PCs can often end up getting incredibly rich by the “normal” standards of the world, sometimes still wandering around as a bunch of itinerant eccentrics, hoarding incredible wealth. Avoiding the trope of punishing characters for getting rich, what suggestions would you have for interesting, “Eberonn-y” ways of encouraging them to spend or use that money if the PCs aren’t coming up with any themselves?

Personally, I tend to downgrade wealth rewards, using superior equipment, influence, and favors as rewards rather than wealth. We’re eight episodes into my Threshold campaign and I think the only monetary reward has been some old Dhakaani copper pieces! However, the question is certainly valid, and with that in mind…

What do people in OUR world spend vast sums of money on? Property is certainly one option, and owning property also gives people a stake to protect; would someone like a mansion? Consider Schitt’s Creek; perhaps they buy a Brelish title and discover that they’ve actually taken responsibility for a small town, which frankly could use a lot of work. If not through title, any way you can get the players attached to a community is an opportunity to soak up cash. The town needs a speaking stone! Wouldn’t the cleric like to fund a beautiful church? Wouldn’t the fighter like to shore up its defenses, or perhaps establish a martial academy?

Another possibilities are for the characters to be asked to fund an adventure. A Morgrave professor knows the secrets to enter a Cul’sir tomb—but he’s not going to travel with the adventurers unless the fund a fully staffed expedition. Or perhaps the players are asked to invest in mystical research; if successful, it could have a transformative effect on their nation or their world. While we’re at it, don’t forget social causes. Do they support Brelish democracy? Oppose elemental slavery? If they’re Cyran, would they like to support housing for Cyran refugees or general improvements to New Cyre? If they’re Thranes, why don’t the just donate some of that gold to the poor? If a PC picks a cause and supports it both with significant funding and with their reputation, you could decide that it actually helps drive change with in the world—that they help to make New Cyre a prosperous city, or shift public opinion (one way or the other) on the future of the Brelish monarchy.

Since the Daughter of Khyber seems to be the representative of Tiamat in the Eberron setting, is there an equivalent representative for Bahamut? And if so, would they be more affiliated with Eberron or with Siberys?

II’ve addressed this before in the context of “Is there an Angelic/Celestial equivalent to the Overlords?” Here’s that answer.

If you mean “Is there an incarnate force that’s called something like ‘The Cuteness of Kittens’?” No, there isn’t. If you mean “Is there any sort of native celestials on Eberron,” there WERE: the couatl. They were never as powerful as the Overlords, and were more on par with the rakshasa… and they sacrificed themselves to create the Silver Flame. On some level you could say that the Silver Flame is the good counterpart to the Overlords, which is why it can bind them; it’s simply less concrete and more abstract.

Why is this? Look to the progenitor myth. Khyber killed Siberys and was in turn imprisoned by Eberron. The Overlords are Khyber’s children, and like Khyber, are forces of evil that cannot be vanquished, only bound. Eberron doesn’t produce incarnate spirits like the Overlords: her children are mortal. So Eberron DID create a thing that embodies the cuteness of kittens: she created kittens. Meanwhile, Siberys would be the source of native celestials, and he did create some, like the couatl – but they were created from the blood of Siberys after his defeat, and thus lack the power of the victorious Khyber. From a purely practical worldbuilding standpoint, there’s a simple reason for this. Eberron is designed to be a world that needs heroes. All the powerful forces of good are limited. Jaela Daran is a child whose power is limited beyond Flamekeep. Oalian doesn’t leave the Greenheart. When evil rises, the world needs you; there is no ultimate good force that can step in and solve the problem for you. The Silver Flame can empower you to solve the problem, but it can’t solve the problem for you.

Looking to Bahamut specifically, I ‘m fine with the concept that Bahamut COULD have existed in the past. One fan theory from the Eberron Discord is that Bahamut—known in Eberron as The Last Breath of Siberys—was a powerful celestial who existed in the Age of Demons, who led the effort to create the Silver Flame and became its heart. Rakshasa are the most common fiends, but Khyber can produce others; likewise, just because couatls are the most common native celestials doesn’t mean that they were the only ones. With that said, even if the Last Breath had the same statistics as Bahamut, it could still be presented as a couatl-dragon with rainbow feathers or even as an incarnate being of silver flame. Regardless, the point is that while the Last Breath may once have walked the world, now it exists only as the Silver Flame—and as in the above quote, it affects the world by empowering mortals. The Discord theory suggests that this could be the basis for a Silver Flame path in Argonnessen, in which the Last Breath is revered in the same way that Tira Miron is honored in the church of Thrane.

What might an Argonessen-based dragon say to a Q’barra-based dragonborn character when asked “Why did you leave us to our fate? For thousands of years we have had to mop up what comes out of Hakatorvhak. We’ve been fighting this losing battle for generations. Why haven’t you come to help us?! We worshipped you, we died for you, and you left us!!!”

First comes the question of whether a dragon is going to even bother to answer such a question. It’s like a rat asking a scientist conducting cancer research “Why are you doing this?” The scientist doesn’t consider the rat an equal who’s either deserving of an answer or capable of understanding it. They are a resource and a tool, short-lived creatures incapable of experiencing or understanding the world as a dragon does. The dragon doesn’t owe the dragonborn an answer, and likely doesn’t think the dragonborn could understand the answer if they gave it. But let’s assume they choose to answer. The dragon might well say something like this…

What would you have us do, little one? We contain the greater threat. Rhashaak gave his very soul to contain Masvirik, and he continues to do his duty to this day. The Poison Dusk is the mold that grows around his grave. It can never be permanently destroyed, merely contained. We cannot do it for you; prolonged action would risk raising the Daughter of Khyber and unleashing a threat far, far greater than the Poison Dusk. This is why your ancestors pledged to fight this battle, to contain this evil.

You call this a losing battle. We have been fighting this war across the world for a hundred thousand years. It is a war that cannot BE won, little one; but by fighting you allow countless others to live their lives never knowing of the danger. This was the battle your ancestors swore to fight. It was their children who lost their way and led your people into disaster through their desire for glory. Now you have returned to your duty, but you fail to understand it. This is not a war that can be won. But it is a war that must be fought—and we cannot fight it, lest we release an even greater evil upon the world. This is your battle. Rhashaak still serves his purpose, though it cost him everything. We ask no less of you than we asked of him. Will you stand strong? Or are your needs and desires more important than the fate of the world?

I’m not saying the dragon is right or that the character’s anger is misplaced. But that’s what they’d say. The dragons can’t step in and wave a magic wand and win this battle. The Poison Dusk will always return. The dragons can’t exert force over time without risking the rise of the Daughter of Khyber; that is why they needed the Dragonborn in the first place, to fight the long term battle. The character’s ancestors agreed to fight this war KNOWING it was forever. So uphold that bargain.

Now, perhaps the character means “Give us more support! Give us magic weapons! Send MORE dragonborn!” These could be entirely reasonable requests, and if the character somehow actually managed to make this case to the Light of Siberys—to say that the dragonborn can’t continue to contain the Poison Dusk without some form of additional support (that’s not just “Send dragons to solve the problem”), perhaps the Light of Siberys WOULD send that support. This is exactly the sort of way in which the actions of a player character could have a greater impact. The dragons believe that Q’barra is stable, that it’s contained. If a PC can actually present a case that the dragonborn need some form of aid—not just “Why don’t you solve this problem for us?”—perhaps they could get that help.

The last answer is a decent way of escalating a Q’barra campaign, and bringing in Argonessen politics without risking blowing up the region. Would you say that the dragons empowering the lesser races like that; being hands-off but still powerful influences on the world; would still risk the DoK waking? To put it simply: “Would the dragons still be able to ‘rule the world’ remotely from Argonessen without causing the Daughter of Khyber to wake?”

The short answer is that if the dragons could rule the world in this way without risk they already would. The longer answer is they’ve tried it before and it didn’t end well. How do you think the dragons KNOW about the threat of the Daughter of Khyber? Notably, we know almost nothing about the history of Khorvaire before the Age of Monsters. Why is that? In my opinion, it’s because whatever civilizations flourished there in the past were destroyed by the Daughter of Khyber—that it was in Khorvaire that the dragons learned a harsh and deadly lesson. Looking to the modern world, the point is that what we see the dragons do is the extent of what they believe they can safely maintain—which is largely observing with critical nudges in the right direction. We know a dragon accompanied Lhazaar, but they didn’t command her, they advised her. The general idea is that the Daughter of Khyber amplifies the tyranny of dragons, their desire to rule over lesser creatures—that the more direct power they exert, the greater the risk of corruption. So they could send the Q’barran dragonborn a shipment of weapons without much risk. But if they began to actively direct Q’barra and to treat it like a client state, it runs the risk of those involved becoming hungry for greater power, seeking to reestablish the dragonborn as an empire (one which properly glorifies their draconic masters, of course) and eventually becoming puppets of Tiamat. The status quo—where Argonnessen trusts forces like the dragonborn and shulassakar to defend key sites with little or no draconic involvement—reflects the lessons they’ve learned over the last hundred thousand years about what they can do safely.

That’s all for now! Thanks again to my my Patreon supporters, who make these articles possible!

45 thoughts on “IFAQ: Owlen, Wealthy PCs, Bahamut and the Plight of the Dragonborn

  1. The last answer is a decent way of escalating a Q’barra campaign, and bringing in Argonessen politics without risking blowing up the region. Would you say that the dragons empowering the lesser races like that; being hands-off but still powerful influences on the world; would still risk the DoK waking?

    To put it simply: “Would the dragons still be able to “rule the world” remotely from Argonessen without causing the Daughter of Khyber to wake?”

  2. I am interested in what you think the origins if gemstone dragons /dragonborn could be. Are they left over dragons from the destruction of Githberron? or did they always exist and are actually part of Argonessen?

    • This is really part of a larger question, which is how I’d apply Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons to Eberron. I’d want to closely review the book before I made a decision on that—and because of time pressure, I haven’t yet had a chance to do so. Githberron has been my answer for Gem Dragons in the past, but I’d want to review the book to see if it changes my mind. The role of Fizban’s could be the subject of a future article if the patrons support it!

      • I for one personally love the Githberron explanation and their (mutually unknown) vulnerability to the Inspired (with possible personal canon of the obsidian dragon being closest to this sympathy) but the one constant in my time of loving Eberron is that whatever I’ve thought was a cool idea, your twist on it was usually even better

        I look forward to an analysis of Fizban’s (a book I admittedly care little about otherwise), though not as much as Syrkarn, the Tashana Tundra, Adar or the Devourer…

      • First of all I apologize in advance as usual when I cite my DMs Guild Eberron products in a post shamelessly. Anyway, I just used Fizban’s Dragonflesh Grafters as a new Cult of the Dragon Below which members want to PHISICALLY become incarnations of Khyber 😀

      • Has the “Gem Dragons in Eberron” sidebar in page 109 of 3.5 Secrets of Sarlona explanation been supplanted by the Githberron explanation? Is there a way to combine the two ideas, such as by saying that the gem dragons from Githberron have been used as quori vessels?

        • I think the two ideas are entirely compatible. If gem dragons are survivors of Githberron they are rare and exotic. The Inspired could have cpatured a number of gem dragons and discovered that they are uniquely vulnerable to quori manipulation.

          But, as I say in the previous answer, I would want to actually read Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons and consider what it adds to the canon lore on gem dragons in order to be able to make a fully informed decision on what I would want to do with gem dragons in Eberron.

  3. How would wereravens and avian based lyncanthropes fit into eberron? And Owlen possibly being a shifter of wereowls?

    On the idea of bahamut being a silver flame, he might have become the constellation and the stars are silver flames in the night sky.

  4. Well, I did it. There was so much potential in Eberron for a spy thriller campaign that I decided that hey — there’s room for James Bond in Eberron. My players are coming up with some good ideas that is Bond-like. I told them that it’s a mix of James Bond, the movie RED, and Lord of the Rings.

    One player is submitting a halfling wizard who passes for a child-like human. Another player submitted a Khoravare witch. One guy has come up with a scion of Thuranni. We’re not having a blast yet running the campaign, but with the Last War gone cold, there is opportunities for Bond Action and Bond Women. Although I don’t know if anyone submitted a womanizing spy yet.

    Well, what are your thoughts on running a James Bond campaign?

    • Well, what are your thoughts on running a James Bond campaign?
      It’s definitely a solid archetype—one of the reasons we included Espionage Agency as a group patron in Rising From The Last War. If you’d like to see how *I’D* do an espionage campaign in Eberron, check out the Thorn of Breland novels I wrote—a trilogy of novels centered around one of the King’s Dark Lanterns.

  5. First of all I apologize in advance as usual when I cite my Eberron products in a post shamelessly. But in Eberron there is literally a bunch of stuff to buy with coins! The latest fashion or techy stuff available in Phiarlan and Cannith Catalogues, magic delicacies in the Ghallanda Menu, exotic piratish stuff from the Principalities… not to talk about Dezina Museum art or Korranberg books on the black market! I think I wrote a lot of my Eberron DMsGuild contents just to provide my players with means to buy interesting things 🙂

  6. I actually used the owls of sharn as the explanation for Owlin, but took them a step further, Owlin ARE Giant Owls. They visually appear as strait up owls who can manipulate objects use a minor form of mage hand that basically works like floating gloves (very toony I know). They speak giant owl and have a kinship with the owls of sharn working as merchants and organisers of the Race of Eight Winds. And my version of Hruitt IS an Owlin. This is all of course just how my Eberron works and it’s cool to see you had the same idea of sharn.

    As for a question. I do like the idea of Bahamut as the Silver Martyr of the Dragons, and I agree he shouldnt be an active player in Eberron. That being said, what about the Draconic Pantheon? Are tiamat and Bahamut worshipped through thir? If so, is Bahamut seen there still as a Herald of the flame, or are they two different beings, similar to how you have tiamat and the daughter of Khyber?

    • +1 to reskinning Owlen as Giant Owls, its the way I would go. I don’t even think you need the mage hands idea, many birds are quite adept at standing on one foot and manipulating objects with their spare talon, and melee weapon attacks could be treated as beak attacks.

  7. How does Mishva Garodya Stormhorn, from the 4e Eberron Campaign Guide, fit into what you have said about Argonnessen and Q’barra in this article? It seems that at least some dragons of Argonnessen are willing to send greater support to the dragonborn, if only to install a leader.

    • In particular, I am looking at the bottom right paragraph of page 152 of the 4e Eberron Campaign Guide:

      “Secret Knowledge: Mishva’s true motivations are more complex than even her closest allies know. Shortly after Shamash’s death, Tarmahkan, an elder blue dragon of the Vast in Argonnessen, sent envoys to Mishva. The elder blue plans to use the young dragon born warrior to establish a new dragonborn kingdom in Khorvaire, seeing that as the first step to placing his own dragon clan in control of Haka’torvhak. With the power of Argonnessen behind her—including a magic sword and a number of young dragon allies already provided by Tarmahkan—Mishva is a more dangerous foe than any in Q’barra realize.”

      If Haka’torvhak is currently controlled by Rhashaak, then that would necessitate ousting Rhashaak, correct? If so, that would require Mishva to gain considerable support from Argonnessen.

    • How does Mishva Garodya Stormhorn, from the 4e Eberron Campaign Guide, fit into what you have said about Argonnessen and Q’barra in this article?
      I used to start every article I wrote here with the statement What I write on this website isn’t canon and may contradict canon sources. I stopped because I felt that it went without saying, but I probably should start up again. Eberron has many authors, and in my personal campaign I don’t use all of their creations. Consider that the 4e Eberron Campaign Guide also includes Baator as a full plane—and even beyond that, the description of other planes is quite different from what I wrote in Exploring Eberron. So keep in mind that what I write is how *I* use Eberron and it’s not going to match up to every aspect of canon.

      WITH THAT SAID: The 4E ECG says “The elder blue plans to use the young dragon born warrior to establish a new dragonborn kingdom in Khorvaire, seeing that as the first step to placing his own dragon clan in control of Haka’torvhak“. In my opinion, a dragon seeking to establish a kingdom in humanoid lands is in all likelihood either an unwitting pawn of the Daughter of Khyber or potentially already corrupted. As an unwitting pawn, their motives could be pure; they could believe that their vision will make a better world. But that’s a way for the Daughter of Khyber to sink her claws into a dragon’s heart. Perhaps Tarmahkan believes they will keep things small and controllable… but once they raise Mishva to a throne, they will find a creeping desire to do more. Why stop with a kingdom? Why not an empire? Why stop with Khorvaire? As they expand, they will lure other dragons to their cause—first their own kin, easily infected by their loyalty to their own blood. Then others, won by the vision of draconic glory. And soon you have flights of dragons coming to support Emperor Mishva. Worse yet is if Tarmahkan has a rival, who raises a kingdom against Mishva. Again, this may be why we know nothing of 70 thousand years of history in Khorvaire; because we may already have had kingdoms that rose with the aid of dragons, only to be torn down by the Daughter of Khyber.

      So the short form is that while it’s not a story I created, I could certainly use the story of Mishva and Tarmahkan—but it would be a story of the threat posed by the Daughter of Khyber, how she worms her way into the hearts of dragons, feeding on hubris and pride. Tarmahkan could be a tyrant already, or he could be well-intentioned; but dragons helping establish kingdoms in humanoid lands is absolutely the first step on a road that leads to chaos and devastation, the “far greater threat” the dragon in my example refers to.

      • Is the story of Vyssilthar, over in the 3.5 Dragons of Eberron book, also an effective starting point for an unwitting pawn of the Daughter of Khyber? Page 100 says: “Roe has gathered a small band of allies who believe in her cause, and she wants Vyssilthar to take the lead in uniting the Principalities. At first Vyssilthar resisted, but after interpreting countless threads of the Prophecy, she is beginning to believe uniting the Principalities could be the reason that she went to such extraordinary lengths to extend her existence.”

  8. The new Fizban’s book makes Rhashaak the iconic black greatwyrm. In this case, the “greatwyrms” of D&D 5e are much more powerful than the “great wyrms” of D&D 3.5.

    This is a significant step up from Rhashaak’s power level in both D&D 3.5 and D&D 4e. In particular, as a chromatic greatwyrm spellcaster, Rhashaak could cast up to eight 9th-level spells per day.

    Does this significantly change the power dynamic in Haka’torvhak? Fizban’s makes Rhashaak arguably the single strongest non-sealed entity in all of Khorvaire.

    • Does this significantly change the power dynamic in Haka’torvhak? Fizban’s makes Rhashaak arguably the single strongest non-sealed entity in all of Khorvaire.
      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.

      BUT, again, I haven’t read Fizban’s yet and thus don’t know the full ramifications of Greatwyrm status.

  9. Where do giant owls (not owlen, but the “original” giant owls) come from to begin with? Why do they have a non-negligible population in Sharn?

    • Where do giant owls (not owlen, but the “original” giant owls) come from to begin with? Why do they have a non-negligible population in Sharn?
      IIRC they come from the Towering Woods. They were originally imported by King Galifar II, who was intrigued by their potential as intelligent aerial scouts. They were thus part of the Race of the Eight Winds from the beginning, and quickly built up a fan base. Of the creatures who participate in the Race, they adapted more quickly to life in Sharn and developed a community beyond just the racers.

      • Why do Tharashk-hired (and presumably Droaamish) gargoyles handle aerial courier services in Sharn, rather than these giant owls?

        • Shadows of the Last War pg 4, I think you’ll find the giant owls do it as well.

          Personally I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention something a friend keeps pointing out though. Sharn is noted for rain, and owls (especially much larger ones) can’t fly in the rain, as the same special feathers that make them silent in flight don’t shed water like other birds’ feathers do

          • Yeah, I have to agree. These AREN’T OUR OWLS. They’re GIANT TALKING OWLS… and notably, nothing in their D&D stat block says that they can’t fly in rain. So I don’t think the limitations of terrestrial owls are an issue here.

          • Matthew is correct. In other places both harpies and owls have been mentioned as providing courier services. The gargoyle courier corps is notable because it is a large, organized force. But there are any number of other types of couriers, flying and otherwise. Beyond that, there’s aren’t thousands of owls spread across Sharn. There’s a small community of owls primarily based in the Bazaar district of Dura. Many are involved with the Race of Eight Winds, and I expect that it’s very common for them to be involved in aerial sports because of this. But we’ve also called out owls as merchants and Hruitt as a politician. I could imagine a giant owl being a playwright, or pursuing another artistic profession. First of all, just because they have wings doesn’t mean they have to use them in their job; and even those who choose to fly for a living may choose to do so in sporting events, as they came to Sharn for the Race of Eight Winds and that remains the pillar of their community.

            But again, as Matthew noted, there are some owl couriers in Sharn.

  10. Considering the wealthy PC’s issue. What could be top tier services a Dragonmark house could offer to this kind of player?
    Things really rich people would have/use.

    I can imagine buying an airship from Cannith and paying a Lyrandar pilot to fly it, for example.

    • The Dragon article on the Aurum specifically calls out that Antus Soldorak has purchased just such an airship, using hired dragonmarked pilots. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to do a breakdown of every house. Consider that the top tier services that have been described, such as teleportation and resurrection, are far too expensive for most people to use at all. Your truly wealthy person might have one or more dedicated dragonmarked hirelings; it’s not just that Loyal Daison uses teleportation to travel, it’s that he’s paid Orien to establish a teleportation circle in his manor and keeps an heir on hand to operate it.

  11. What do people in Eberron consider a miracle, as opposed to what a player character can do at level six? Are there Eberron equivalents of what raising the dead or giving sight to those born blind would be in our world, or is it magic all the way down?

    • I think spells over 5th level, divine intervention as per cleric feature or the wish spell. I think a miracle might also involve the prophecy. Tira defeating a overlord would be a miracle for example.

      • I agree with Falionna. A spell like wish or miracle is still miraculous. And Tira’s sacrifice is a definite example of something celebrated as a miracle.

  12. Hey, sort of unrelated to the current post, but I have a question about quori. Was reading the Five Nations sourcebook and it mentions that near a Brelish ruin (the Eruunstone), there are “mindless breeds of quori” as a threat along the river bank. I always thought that quori couldn’t usually manifest on our plane except by possession (the Inspired etc). Did the writers of Five Nations just have different ideas about the quori?

    • I din’t work on Five Nations, so I don’t know what the writers had in mind. Most likely, it’s an oversight. On the other hand, devils and demons can appear on many planes and can be spawned directly from Khyber. There’s no reason that the same couldn’t be true of quori—especially when these are strangely described as “mindless.” These could be native fiends spawned by Khyber that have the STATISTICS of quori, but which have nothing to do with Dal Quor.

      • Maybe a small group of quori tried an alternative way to save themselves from the turning of the age in Khorvaire, using a now defunct manifest zone to move there and binding themselves to the land itself. Yet when the age turned and they tried to contact Dal Quor, the Dreaming Dark changed them and broke their minds.

      • Thanks for the reply! I may use this explanation in-game, so the PCs can encounter a quori (or rather a Khyber “quori”)

  13. Would those in favor of a Brelish republic commonly degrade Wroann’s claim to the throne, or would it be too taboo with the recent war and be too much of an insult to independent Breland itself?

    Something like
    “The monarchist say that upon Boranel’s his eldest surviving child should take the throne. They will gladly tell you this is because Boranel was Boranex’s eldest left, and they will repeat this up the line, until you reach the question of why Wroann claimed Jarot’s throne. Oh does their tune then change! Gone are their talks of “hereditary right”, “sacred bloodlines” and “Aureon’s Blessing”, and in their place are claims of Brelish culture and support of the people. The very claims they now oppose! […] If you believe in hereditary rule, then the legitimate claim is that of Prince Oargev, heir of Mishann, heir of Jarot, and heir of Galifar. If you believe Breland’s leader should be one to represent Brelish culture and support of the people, then the only choice is a product of Brelish culture chosen BY the people.”

  14. Re: Gem Dragons/Dragonborn, given the less alignment-bound nature of Eberron and how any being may run the gamut of alignment from an evil Gold Dragon to a lawful good Gnoll, is there anything within canon/your Eberron that would require dragons to even fall into categories of Chromatic/Metallic/Gem in the first place? By that I mean any lore that relies specifically on, say Rhashaak being a Black Dragon exactly, or something that precludes one of the rarer types like Mercury Dragons existing at all? I’m planning to run my first campaign soon and introduce my group to Eberron, and I’ve been toying with the idea that, since alignment doesn’t really matter, Dragons in the setting might just as well be wholly unique beings from birth rather than falling into predetermined categories.

    Given, you would still probably rely on existing stat blocks for the sake of balance, but what’s to stop a character that uses the Red Dragon stats from simply being a dragon covered in rock-like scales with molten eyes and “lava breath” where another is of a prismatic sheen like burned metal and exhales super-heated flame that resembles a blow torch? Likewise, if someone wanted to insert a “gem dragon” into their campaign, who’s to say that it isn’t simply a dragon using those stats that is pearlescent and channels radiant energy?

    Basically, is there anything you can think of that *requires* dragons to exist within this hierarchy that they ended up existing in previously simply due to differences in alignment? Or might the dragons of Eberron be a “race” that is made up of wholly unique individuals that might share an elemental affinity between others of their kind but otherwise be completely visually distinct and not beholden to a classification of coloration? Or would the fact that a Dragon is specifically a Gem Dragon have massive implications on world lore, or likewise that Chromatic and Metallic Dragons have some special reason that they *must* exist as these separate classifications?

    • Certainly, nothing prevents you from making every dragon an entirely unique entity. I’m a big fan of exactly the sort of reskinning you describe; just because something uses the stat block of a red dragon doesn’t mean it has to be an actually red dragon.

      With that said, the reason canon Eberron HAS stuck to the classic draconic types even though it hasn’t held to the alignments is based on the idea that at the end of the day, dragons are just another mortal species. They are an ancient species with the oldest and most powerful civilization on Eberron, but they aren’t fiends are celestials. They live a long time, but they eventually die of old age. They have families. For that reason, we’ve essentially always treated a silver dragon and a brass dragon as having the same relationship to one another as, say, a dwarf and a gnome… or, perhaps, a golden retriever and a pug. They are broadly similar, but they are biologically different species… and in some cases, they are significantly different (as with the fact that white dragons are notably weaker and don’t live as long as gold dragons). With that in mind at some point one could actually explore the different subcultures and relationships that exist between these different species.

      So there’s absolutely no reason that you couldn’t abandon the whole idea of color and us the varying stat blocks as archetypes that any dragon could evolve into. However, canon Eberron will likely stick with the colors because again, red is to gold as human is to elf; members of superficially similar and yet fundamentally different species who often work together.

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