IFAQ Lightning Round: Q’barra!

Recently my Patreon supporters posed a number of questions about Q’barra, and I wanted to share the answers where everyone could see them! These get fairly deep into the weeds of Q’barra lore, so here’s a few quick explanations for terms you might not know.

  • Masvirik is the fiendish overlord bound in Q’barra, more commonly known as “The Cold Sun.” The Poison Dusk are the servants of Masvirik, a blend of corrupted lizardfolk, kobolds, and dragonborn.
  • The Masvirik’uala are an alliance of lizardfolk sworn to protect the region from the Poison Dusk and Masvirik. To ensure that they never forgot their mission, the couatl bound the lizardfolk to a shared dream that would forever remind them of their purpose. This is discussed in more detail in this article.
  • The Trothlorsvek is the dragonborn culture in Q’barra, and are also discussed in the previously linked article. Their ancestors came to Q’barra with Rhashaak, the last dragon sent to protect the region from Masvirik.
  • Dusk shards are eberron dragonshards infused with fiendish power.

Before I dive into the questions, I wanted to call out that there’s just 24 hours left for people who want to submit an entry to play in my next Threshold session; you can find more information here.

Previously you made an off hand comparison that “Masvirik is to the lizardfolk as Katashka is to humans” – what did you mean by that?

Some servants of the Poison Dusk are undead and some aren’t, but those that are undead aren’t like Mabaran undead. Masvirik’s champions channel the overlord’s power, which can cause mutation. After death, that aspect of Masvirik can continue to animate the body, creating a form of undead. Keep in mind that when I say “aspect of Masvirik” that doesn’t mean he himself is consciously driving all these beings; like most overlords, Masvirik is essentially dreaming. Possession starts as just a general drive to serve the Poison Dusk. Physical mutation generally occurs as the spirit grows stronger and begins to edge out the mortal spirit; ultimately this can kill the vessel, leaving an undead being entirely driven by the evil within it.

What role do the Blackscale Lizardfolk play in Q’barra?

It wasn’t clearly defined in the 3.5 ECS. The approach of 4E was to say that Masvirik’s servants are vessels for its power and that this physically transforms them — and that the colonists mistakenly assumed these were distinct species, whereas in fact they are corrupted. So the classic “Poison Dusk lizardfolk” weren’t pygmy lizardfolk, but rather corrupted kobolds—with Dungeon 185 noting that the kobolds of the region are the most vulnerable to the influence of the Cold Sun, thus driving that idea that most of the time, people encountering “The Poison Dusk” encounter these small scales. It goes on to note that with Masvirik’s dusk shard champions “Many are physically transformed so that they possess serpentine or draconic traits and specifically resemble a black dragon” — so Blackscale lizardfolk aren’t a SPECIES, but rather corrupted champions of Masvirik. As such, they largely aren’t encountered outside of the Poison Dusk and don’t play a distinct role in Q’barra separate from the Poison Dusk. 

The ECS states that the Cold Sun are primarily found in the “north and east”. Would you then say that the Dragonborn/Trothlorsvek are actually the primary scales in Hope/New Galifar? Or is that outdated canon?

It’s outdated canon. With that said, I wouldn’t say that there ARE “primary scales” in Hope and New Galifar. The Masvirik’uala form the bulk of the population, but what Dungeon 185 notes is that “the lizardfolk proved willing to cede certain regions to the outsiders”. They don’t have a concept of owning land and they essentially moved out of the regions the colonists moved into; they largely avoid contact with the settlers when possible. I think they can still be found in Hope and New Galifar, but again, they essentially move to stay out of the way of the colonists, so you don’t FEEL their presence strongly. By contrast, the Trothlorsvek are few in number and their cities are largely in the unclaimed region, but they are more open to interacting with the settlers when they do meet; High Elder Bhisma has forged an alliance with Newthrone and forbid clans from attacking human cities, and it was likely Bhisma who participated in the Thronehold discussions. But the Dragonborn have their ancient duties to attend to and aren’t TRYING to integrate with the settlers, which again is why the settlers know so little about them.

Is the shared dreamscape of the Masvirik’uala in Dal Quor, like the Uul Dhakaan, or is it separate from the plane?

Logically, it makes more sense for it to be isolated from the plane. It was created by the couatl, who have no personal connection to Dal Quor or reason to have influence over it. Furthermore, if it’s in Dal Quor it’s easier for it to be manipulated or corrupted by outside forces, so it’s SAFER for it to be isolated. So my inclination would be to say that the lizardfolk dream is IN THE SILVER FLAME. The main thing is that this would mean that the Masvirik’uala should be IMMUNE TO THE DREAM SPELL, because like kalashtar they don’t dream in Dal Quor. On the other hand, if you want adventurers to be able to explore it or want it to be corrupted by the Quori you could place it in Dal Quor… But again, it seems illogical to me that the couatl would have the ability to permanently transform Dal Quor. Yes, on the one hand the Couatl host had more raw power than Jhazaal Dhakaan, and she created the Uul Dhakaan… but on the other hand, as a mortal, Jhazaal had a tie to Dal Quor and a deep understanding of stories, while as native celestials the couatl have no connection to Dal Quor.

Would you say that the Draconic Eidolon has existed undisturbed since the rise of draconic power toward the end of the Age of Demons? Would it have weathered the Turning of Ages, undisturbed? I assume the Draconic Eidolon might have been attacked in the past by quori, but remained impenetrable?

I’d be inclined to say that it’s more recent than the Age of Demons. It’s supposed to be an arcane artifact—something the dragons CREATED—and to me, it’s an example of the fact that even at their more advanced level of magic, dragons are capable of innovation and evolution. With that said, one possibility would be to say that it was created by Ourelonastrix and that it holds the spirits of the dragons who inspired the myths of the Sovereigns; in that case, yes, it would be that old.

What kind of magic do the lizardfolk use? Dragons of Eberron mentions that Vvaraak taught many other groups of druids, including that ” lizardfolk boast Gatekeepers in Q’barra and Xen’drik” while Rising from the Last War says that lizardfolk culture “blends druidic traditions with the beliefs of the Silver Flame”

The general principle is that where there’s contradictions, the latest source takes precedence—notably, the intentional change of the Blood of Vol over the editions when compared to the ECS. Rising intentionally contradicts prior canon on a number of points. So I would use Rising’s statement here: the Lizardfolk have a tradition that blends primal magic and the power of the Silver Flame. I see no reason that Vvaraak would have had anything to do with it, and beyond that, the Masivirik’uuala AREN’T GOOD AT LEARNING NEW THINGS. The whole reason their culture has remained as stable as it has for tens of thousands of years is that they rely on the dream for their traditions. If Vvaraak taught them something entirely new, it would be forgotten in a few generations because it’s not embedded in the dream. So I’d ignore Dragons of Eberron on this point — though it could be advanced as a crackpot theory by a Morgrave scholar.

As noted, they wield a blend of divine and primal power… so, for example, an Ancients paladin or a Nature cleric are both solid choices for the lizardfolk, though rangers and druids are also options. They do not have a Keeper or Voice of the Flame; the shared dream of the Masvirik’uala serves the role of a Voice of the Flame for them. 

Do the Shulassakar play any role in the region? The dragonshard on them says “The shulassakar devote their energy to guarding Krezent and other couatl ruins scattered across Eberron.”

No, the Shulassakar don’t play a major role in the region. The lizardfolk predate the Shulassakar and the lizardfolk dream is essentially a self-sustaining system; they don’t NEED shulassakar assistance (just as there’s no significant shulassakar presence among the Ghaash’kala). The Shulassakar guard Krezent because there’s no one else to do it. I expect that there may be some Shulassakar OBSERVERS in Q’barra, but they aren’t integrated into the Masvirik’uala.

When did Rhashaak arrive? How has he survived? Was he the first draconic guardian of Haka’torvhak?

This is a question that simply isn’t going to have a logical answer, which is why my general principle is NOT to try to pin down every scrap of history in these vast stretches. Per 5E dragonborn lifespan is equivalent to humans. Barring a supernatural force like the Uul Dhakaan or lizardfolk dreams, it’s hard to envision a dragonborn civilization enduring for *75,000* years with no significant change — and still being around to have an empire that clashed with the Dhakaani. One way to explain it would be to suggest that they have gone through multiple rises and falls, being nearly decimated by the Poison Dusk only to eventually rebuild, in which case past civilizations could be entirely different. A simpler alternative would be that Rhashaak was the LAST guardian, not the first; that with all previous guardians, Argonnessen eradicated them AND their dragonborn retinue when they became corrupted. With Rhashaak, they realized that while he was corrupted, he was both contained and containing Masvirik—that rather than replacing the cork in the bottle over and over, they could just LEAVE it. So in that case, Masvirik could have been put in place in the Age of Monsters, allowing his dragonborn to establish an empire around the same time as Dhakaan.

For story purposes, whether Rhashaak’s reign lasted one thousand years or three thousand years is largely irrelevant; it lasted for a long time, a long time ago. However, if you want to nail it down, there’s two possibilities. Either it’s artistic license — even the dragonborn likely don’t have perfect records, and who else would even know? The lizardfolk don’t record history in that way—or Rhashaak was ALWAYS SUSTAINED BY THE POWER OF HAKATORVHAK—that part of BEING the guardian of Haka’torvhak was spiritually bonding with the city, and it was always just a question of how long he could sustain it without being corrupted.

What’s the big difference between a dusk shard and a khyber shard with a demon in it? Is it just that dusk shards, being based in Eberron shards, were a more convenient storytelling mechanism for Q’barra?

The short form is that there weren’t enough Khyber shards IN Q’barra, so Eberron shards were used instead, which is why THEY DON’T WORK AS WELL. In general principle, think of a dusk shard as a sponge used to soak up Masvirik’s malefic power; it’s better than leaving the mess on the floor, but you’re going to get wet if you touch it.

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

43 thoughts on “IFAQ Lightning Round: Q’barra!

    • Would depend, I’d imagine, on which source of lycanthropy is involved. Dyrnn’s lycanthropes could easily pop up but the Wild Heart and the shifter population are mostly on the other side of the continent.

      However, 3.5 had the saurian shifters running around the Talenta Plains and they could easily be a source for the “Olarune” strain of dino-lycanthropes. And once you have those, you pretty much have the Wild Heart able to take root.

    • In my Q’barra campaign I had Masvirik’s corruption cause mammals to manifest reptilian traits. While I didn’t use it that way, this certainly could have been presented as a reptilian strain of lycanthropy.

  1. What sort of evil does Masvirik actually represent? What is the crossover with Tiamat? If Masvirik corrupts scaly, reptilian creatures, does that cover dragons as well, or even couatls?

    What is Rhashaak’s actual motivation? Is he aware that his death will weaken the bonds on Masvirik?

    • Well from older articles here/articles in Dungeon magazine, Rhashaak might be aware or might not be as the story you want to tell requires. He might be thoroughly corrupted, he might be faking it waiting to die or even working against Masvirik.

      I’d imagine since dragons and couatls are only *cosmetically* reptilian, they likely fall under the Daughter of Khyber (or not at all with couatls) and the reptilian humanoids and dinosaurs are Masvirik’s. The Cold Sun seems to be awake where other overlords are more chained, seems to sustain the reptilian races unnaturally (both without need of heat (the “Cold Sun”) and beyond death). There is a primal fear of the reptile, so unlike the mammal, so predatory but also so still and quiet and watching. The fear our ancestors had of the tree snake lives within us now, I’d personally describe Masvirik’s domain as that

    • Rhashaak’s motives are discussed in the Lizard Dreams article linked above (and here).

      The Daughter of Khyber is very specifically linked to DRAGONS and has no power over reptiles in general. Masvirik is broadly linked to reptiles and things that slither in the shadows and has no particular power over dragons. His ability to corrupt guardians like Rhashaak is more of the broad form of corruption that any overlord could inflict on a long-term guardian; Rhashaak is supposed to have withstood it for centuries before being overcome by it. As Matthew has suggested, Masvirik is more that primal fear of the lurking serpent or the alien gaze of the lizard; Tiamat specifically embodies the tyranny of dragons.

      • Masvirik’s purview seems decidedly more focused than that of, say, Rak Tulkhesh or Eldrantulku.

        What are some ways to interpret “things that slither in the shadows” more broadly and metaphorically?

        • No one says the Overlords have to be broad in focus; the Daughter of Khyber has a very tight focus, and the Killing Cold is about literal, physical COLD, no metaphors involved. With that said, part of the point of Masvirik is the mammal’s fundamental fear of the reptile. As noted in another comment, one of the main ways I used Masvirik in my Q’barra campaign was by having mammals — both humanoid and otherwise — become reptilian, both in outlook and ultimately physically, shedding their skin to reveal scales beneath it. Beyond that, the shadow aspect is important; Masvirik is the Cold Sun, the idea that the sun could lose its light and heat and leave us stranded with those things that slither in shadows.

          But again, not all overlords are equally broad in focus; it’s okay to have Dral Khatuur simply be the Killing Cold, without adding an additional metaphorical layer on top of that.

  2. How vulnerable are the dusk shards? If someone uses one up i. A spell or magic item is that much more of Masvirik’s freed?

    • An individual dusk shard typically only holds an atom of Masvirik’s essence, but yes. Eberron shards are generally consumed when used, and when a dusk shard is consumed, that spark of Masvirik is released.

  3. The Lizardfolk & Dragonborn are often described in terms of their relation to the newcomers in Q’barra. In your campaigns, how do they relate to each other; are there cultural exchanges, regular trade, continuous/periodic raids & skirmishes, long-term sieges, campaigns of total destruction? Do the Masvirik’uala and Trothlorsvek coordinate strategies/tactics/logistics against Black Scale and/or Masvirik? Does Rhashaak’s partial corruption cause them to support both sides (chief Sméagol vs warlord Gollum)? What would a Masvirik’uala individual do to contain Masvirik that a Trothlorsvek individual would not, and vice versa?

    • Have you read the article in Dungeon 185? This addresses difference in tactics and tools, and also does discuss how the Masvirik’uala and Trothlorsvek interact. Part of the point is that the lizardfolk and dragonborn have peacefully coexisted in the region for thousands of years and have clear, established systems for dealing with one another (or more often, NOT dealing with one another) while the newcomers are a disrupting force neither culture knows how to deal with. A small piece from that article: “While the lizardfolk and the dragonborn both oppose the Poison Dusk, they rarely work together. The dragonborn consider the lizardfolk to be superstitious primitives, while the lizardfolk have the same problems communicating with the dragonborn as with humans. Besides that, they still remember that it was the first failing of the dragonborn that nearly unleashed Masvirik ages ago.

      Essentially, the dragonborn and the lizardfolk know each other well enough to know how to stay out of each other’s way, but rarely work together. Overall, the dragonborn can be seen as being broadly similar to humans in the way that they interact with the world—they want to build empires! They have conflicting views and rivalries within their own culture!—while the Masvirik’uala have a very alien way of looking at the world, which in turn shapes their culture and their interactions with others.

  4. Though obviously the narrative is more important than the crunch, what kinds of undead does Masvirik create from his followers? Would the equivalency between him and Katashka suggest that the majority are ghouls, wights, etc., avoiding the more “Blood of Vol” ones like mummies, vampires and liches, or would they be more like 5e’s Revenants, or simple zombies and skeletons?

    Also, interesting about poison dusk lizardfolk being corrupted kobolds! Makes sense and a lot less work than “evil has made them small, like Edward Hyde or Gollum” which was my previous explanation.

    In my games I’ve mostly had NPCs unable to distinguish (or unwilling to care to) “scales” from each other. A blackscale lizardfolk, a normal lizardfolk, a small poison dusk lizardfolk, a dragonborn, a troglodyte and a kobold all just look to the average person like variations on a theme, and something only academics really care about finding the reasons for (or people interested in understanding the culture caring that they’re different). A dragonborn is just a lizardfolk from a less primitive part of Q’Barra (still pretty primitive if you ask the people in Newthrone). Kobolds just spread farther, and that’s why they’re smaller (treating it like an odd biology “truth”, less mass fewer needs) and why you don’t see the big hulking lizardfolk as far afield.

    Is this level of ignorance among the average citizen accurate, or are people in Khorvaire (or Q’Barra specifically) aware that “not all scales are one race”?

    • “Unwilling to care to” is the general idea; most people are willfully ignorant. It’s not that they look at a lizardfolk and a dragonborn and can’t see that they are different, it’s that they don’t bother to educate themselves as to what that difference actually means. You can sort of think of it like dogs. Some people can identify every breed of dog and say “That’s a Great Pyrenees, and that’s a pug” — while someone else may look at those same two dogs and say “They’re DOGS. Who cares what kind of dog they are?”

      So yes, the idea is that most people just don’t care. But I think people who deal with lizardfolk or scales on a regular basis are likely to at least know the unique aspects of that species—a merchant who deals with the Trothlorsvek wants to know about their partners. So it’s not purely limited to scholars, but the average miner just doesn’t care.

      As for undead, certainly skeletons, zombies, and ghouls are all viable. But I could also see a mummy equivalent as a more powerful champion of Masvirik.

  5. Wouldn’t it be easier to just say that whoever takes over guarding Hakatorvaak also adopts the name Rashaak? Then you could have had multiple dragons rotate through that spot over millenia but they’d always be black dragons, they’d always be named Rashaak and the dragonborn wouldn’t exactly question that when it happens. Plus I’d expect that once someone is in that spot for a while maybe they have to be killed after like the guardian for Tiamat’s prison. With the current Rashaak being the exception because he has bonded with the prison to such an extent that killing him risks releasing Masvirik so the Conclave is still considering what exactly to do with him.

    • I’m not sure what problem this solves, but I have no issue with it. The problem I want to solve is that I don’t want the existing dragonborn civilization to be tens of thousands of years old. From the Pit of Five Sorrows we have a clear precedent for corrupted guardians being destroyed, so I like the idea that the previous dragonborn servitors were often killed along with the corrupted guardian… which both solves the issue of keeping the current dragonborn civilization relatively short term and further emphasizes that dragons have little empathy or sympathy for humanoids; they aren’t spotless champions of all that is right and good.

      Either way, the idea is that Rhashaak today is an unusual exception, who has been corrupted but who is also trapped by Haka’torvhak.

  6. Your answer on Shulassakar makes me wonder what is worth guarding in Krezent that drew the Shulassakar to reside there in the first place? I don’t recall Krezent being called out as serving a particular purpose beyond being a ruin inhabited by feathered yuan-ti, but would it serve as a cork for a bound Overlord or lesser fiends, or does it contain holy relics to the Silver Flame?

    • Checking the “Shulassakar: The Feathered Servants” Dragonshard article it looks like Krezent extends into Khyber and there are “terrible forces” bound in the foundations so consider this asked and answered!

  7. So are the references to Blackscale lizardfolk (and for that matter lizardfolk in general) in Secrets of Xen’drick pp. 62-63 not Kanon? Or are there still lizarfolk in Xen’drick?

    • There’s certainly lizardfolk in Xen’drik. However, I don’t believe that they necessarily have anything in common with the lizardfolk of Q’barra and I don’t support the idea that the lizardfolk of Q’barra came from Xen’drik (I wasn’t involved with that section of SoX). With that in mind, I’d say that the lizardfolk in Xen’drik have no tie to Masvirik, and as a result you don’t have the Poison Dusk as it exists in Q’barra. However, there’s no reason you can’t have forms of lizardfolk in Xen’drik that use the same STATISTICS as blackscale and poison dusk lizardfolk that simply have different origins, and likely different appearances—the same way a balor from Shavarath and a balor from Fernia use the same statistics but are different in appearance and motivation.

      So sure, I see no issue with their being blackscale lizardfolk in Xen’drik. But I wouldn’t describe them as having the traits of a black dragon or having any fiendish aspect; they are simply a subspecies of large, powerful lizardfolk.

  8. I know this isn’t about Q’barra, but it might come up in a future session of mine.

    What’s the full story of the Sleeping Prince? Specifically, the Brelish version, featuring Sora Katra. Why did the Woodcutter’s Daughter take up the task of saving the Prince, why did she need to take the giant’s tongue and how did she kill him?

    • I think not knowing the full story is the point, like any local variation of myth or folklore it leaves you the opportunity to fill in the details as needed for Your story.

    • Have you read this article? There’s no canon, complete version of the tale of the Sleeping Prince. It’s a general idea; as ExE notes, “the Sleeping Prince clearly follows the same basic principles as Sleeping Beauty or Snow White, but with an Eberron twist“. As the article says, “if the ADVENTURE needs more detail—the characters need to re-enact the conclusion—then I’ll add something that fits the adventure I want to run.”

      So I can’t tell you the full version of the story of the Sleeping Prince, because there IS no full version. I would have to make it up if I were to use it in my story. What is clear is that it’s a story of an innocent prince who’s cursed by a hag and is saved by a brave commoner. Why does the Woodcutter’s Daughter try to save him? Perhaps it’s because the King has offered a grand reward. Perhaps it’s because she sees him from afar and immediately falls in love. Perhaps it’s because her one friend, a fox, tells her that it’s her destiny. Which answer is going to work best for the adventure you want to run? MAKE that the answer, and present that version of the story to your players.

  9. So.. is Masvirik already released? I thought the only way to free an overlord is to unlock the prophecy but it sounds like if we just destroy all these dragonshards hes getting out.

    Did he become unbound and is being contained this way?

    • Yes, Masvirik was nearly released in the past and is essentially being contained by failsafe measures. From Dungeon 185: “The couatl that bound Masvirik left a failsafe in place. As the overlord’s power grew, a pulse of radiant energy flowed across the land, filling Eberron dragonshards with the light of the Silver Flame. This power weakened the influence of Masvirik and the Poison Dusk and woke ancient memories in the lizardfolk. This was the creation of the dawn shards, and this web of light has kept the darkness at bay for thousands of years. Now House Tharashk is harvesting these shards in record numbers, and Masvirik’s power is growing once more.
      There’s more detail in the article. But the point is that not all overlords are bound in the same way or to the same degree, as noted in the discussion of Ashtakala. Masvirik is in an imperfect prison being sustained by the dawn shards and Rhashaak’s imprisonment.

  10. How many of the Demihumans in Q’Barra are actually former Cyrans? Removing 40% (the figure given for Lizardfolk) from its population would give 180000, which is way too high to all be Cyran refugees as that’s over a 10th of Cyre’s pre-mourning population using the numbers in Five Nations.

    Now I’m all for ditching 1.5 million and upping Cyre’s population, since like most older Eberron population numbers the numbers (which total less than 20 million for the entire continent of Khorvaire, even with pre-Mourning Cyre’s) are absurdly low even for post-black death middle ages Europe (by one estimate, Europe had 50 million right after the plague killed 1/3rd the population), let alone a semi-industrialized society that literally controls the weather to improve crop yield. It’s just the official numbers exist.

  11. In my Eberron Rahshaak is L/G, and never was corrupted as he was so pure; He is tied to the Shared Dream and he is the living Seal of The Cold Sun; The Poison Dusk wantd to kill him.

  12. If you were to destroy a dawn or dusk shard, what would happen? Would breaking a bunch of dawn shards bring back a couatle? Or would the energy just return to the flame? Similarly, would breaking a bunch of Dusk shards bring back demons or let the energy go back to Masvirik with no imitate consequences? And regarding the Demon servants Masvirik, tiger-like demons don’t really seem to fit with Masvirik’s whole concept. Would the fiends serving him be more like black Abishi, wrasteriths or other demons that fit him?

    • The energy of a dawn shard would return to the Flame, while “burning” Dusk shards strengthens Rhashaak and Masvirik. As for demon servants, you’re correct that Masvirik’s servants would be more likely to be reptilian than tiger-like. Most of Masvirik’s servants are fiendishly corrupted/empowered lizardfolk and dragonborn, but if you want to use fiends, you could use the STATISTICS for any fiend that seems appropriate and just change their appearance. There’s no reason that a rakshasa HAS to look like a tiger; you could say that it looks like a yuan-ti in its natural form.

  13. Hi Keith! I notice that talking about q’barra people focus on lizard folks and the overlord. I’d like to ask you a quick thought on Newthrone, a city built by people refusing war and trying to do something “good”. I see Newthrone like “the place to find real believers of the Sovereigns”, a little bit like the old gods of the north in Game of Thrones.
    Are they already doomed?
    Could they be a good patreon for the players?
    Recently you wrote an article about a player character becoming king. How do you see a player becoming king of New Galifar, a realm that really needs help?

    • It’s an excellent question and topic, but not something I have the time to get into here. Certainly, a group of adventurers focused around one being king of New Galifar is an interesting idea for a campaign.

  14. I believe in one of the Dragon magazine articles it’s mentioned that there is a ritual war to select the ruling clan, it also mentioned champions of each clan and them potentially wielding artifacts created by the dragons of Argonnessen themselves but for the most part it was all left vague. Do you have any fleshed out ideas in regards to how their ritual war works ie mass nonlethal combat or champion selected from each clan can challenge for rule Black Panther style? Also any ideas on what kind of artifacts they would have in Q’barra if they were created by dragons for the Dragonborn?

  15. “Primal power” as I understand it, was a 4th edition thing. I thought the separation of classes into “powers” was mostly enforced on Eberron by 4e’s design paradigm, but are you saying that these “powers” or at least primal power is still a thing in Eberron going to 5e? The lore as presented in the PHB is that druids use divine magic just like clerics do.

    • The primal magic distinction was one of the good moves made by 4e, and Keith still uses it in stuff. Official 5e doesn’t make it a clear thing, and the druids being divine casters officially in 5e is questionable at best, as nothing really talks about different magic types in any significant way.

    • Yes, in my 5E Eberron there is a distinction between arcane, divine, primal, and psionic power sources. This is discussed somewhat in the recent articles on arcane science and also in this article. The key is that there’s no mechanical difference and that it’s NOT tied to class. For example, typically bards are arcane spellcasters, but a Greensinger or a Lorghalen Stonesinger would be a primal spellcaster. Typically a druid is primal, but a Vadalis Monarch druid might be arcane. Again, there’s no mechanical distinction; it’s about how that magic is presented and about the role it plays in the story.

  16. Thanks for the response! This is a great article, I really want to run a Q’barra campaign now.

  17. I have a player who will be a Q’barran dragonborn druid of the Stars. I tweaked it so it’s more like the constellations of Io and Chronepsis etc. I based that idea on the religion of the dragons themselves as presented in Dragons of Eberron. But am I assuming too much here? Am I right to assume that the dragonborn believe the same as the Dragons themselves?

    Also, my DB is following a piece of Draconic Prophecy which he believes will in some way help to purify Rhashaak. But would the Dragonborn know about the Dawn Shards? Or is that something only the Cold Sun Federation know of?

    • But am I assuming too much here? Am I right to assume that the dragonborn believe the same as the Dragons themselves?
      When I played a dragonborn paladin back in the day, I had my paladin follow a draconic interpretation of the Sovereigns as opposed to worshipping the draconic gods, based on the idea that in Thir those are the gods of the dragons themselves; it is the Sovereigns who govern the world. But especially since you’re working with the constellations, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your approach.

      But would the Dragonborn know about the Dawn Shards?
      They know about them and generally leave them alone, but they aren’t as focused on them as the CSF. I think your idea is fine.

  18. Hi again!
    I was wondering what it might take to purify Rhashaak, and also what would a Dragon from Argonessen say if asked “Why haven’t you tried to help him?! You left him to rot. We dragonborn are forced to contain the darkness as best we can by ourselves. We’ve been fighting a losing battle. If you’re so wise and all-knowing, why didn’t you do something?!”

    I’m asking this because I know that my Dragonborn Druid IS going to meet Argonessen born wyrm, and no doubt the Q’barran Dragonborn are going to have a lot to say about their thousands of years of neglect.

    • This is a great question, but with the current demands on my time I can only answer questions either on my Patreon or in response to the current topic (which today is medusas). I’m sure you could find people willing to discuss it on the r/Eberron Reddit, or if you want my thoughts on the matter you could ask me on Patreon. Thanks!

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