As you put the finishing touches on your new characters, assemble your first adventuring party, and prepare to begin your exploits in the Eberron campaign setting, you might find it helpful to have a basic idea of where you're going. Since it's entirely likely that your campaign will primarily be set on the great continent of Khorvaire, this overview gives you a general frame of reference for each of the major regions you'll explore or hear about in your travels.
A Little History
In ages long past, the entirety of Khorvaire was ruled by goblinoids. Those goblinoid nations were already in ruin when humans first arrived, nearly 3,000 years ago. Humans quickly settled the area that became known as the Five Nations (Aundair, Breland, Cyre, Karrnath, and Thrane). As dragonmarks began to appear and the dragonmarked houses began to grow in power, humankind was also spreading out and interacting with the other races it encountered. Human beings traded and formed other partnerships with the dwarves, gnomes, and halflings they encountered. Humanity also came into conflict with and drove off goblinoids and other monster races. Elves migrated from Aerenal, seeking a new way of life on Khorvaire, and soon allied with the other humanoid races. As exploration continued and other portions of Khorvaire were settled, the Five Nations united to become the kingdom of Galifar.
During the nearly 900-year reign of the Galifar kings and queens, human-settled lands continued to expand and the powerful dragonmarked houses were set firmly in place. The wondrous Korranberg Library and Sharn, the City of Towers, were established and grew in reputation. The lands of the kingdom of Galifar stretched from the Barren Sea to the Lhazaar Sea, covering every mile of the continent, though the government was only able to maintain reliable control of the central region. The closer one traveled toward the outer edges of the continent, the more undeveloped and uncivilized the land, and its inhabitants, became. These frontiers gave rise to missionaries, settlers, profiteers, and other explorers.
In 894 YK, King Jarot, the last king of Galifar, died. With his death, the kingdom of Galifar collapsed as civil war erupted, sparked by the scions of Jarot as each battled for control of the eroding kingdom. This terrible conflict, which became known as the Last War, lasted just over a century and came to an end with the signing of the Thronehold Accords by the twelve standing nations: Aundair, Breland, Darguun, the Eldeen Reaches, Karrnath, the Lhazaar Principalities, the Mror Holds, Q'barra, the Talenta Plains, Thrane, Valenar, and Zilargo. Other regions formed during the war include Droaam, the Shadow Marches, the Demon Wastes, and the Mournland (which covers the land formerly occupied by the nation of Cyre.) These various nations and regions make up the current-day continent of Khorvaire, which you can begin exploring with the aid of this interactive map.
The EberronCampaign Setting hits the shelves at your favorite hobby shop or bookstore this month. So, pick up your copy and start exploring.
For more insight into the world of Eberron, check out Dragon magazine for the next installation of a six-part monthly series: "Countdown to the EberronCampaign Setting."
Issue #320 (that's the June issue, which went on sale last month) gives you a look at the mysterious and powerful dragonmarks, along with information about the influential families that carry them.
Issue #319 (May) gives you a look at some of the magic that fills the world of Eberron, including an assortment of new spells and clerical domains, and a preview of one of the more interesting and dangerous creatures spawned by the Last War: the living spell.
Issue #318 (April) takes a long, hard look at the fourth unique character race created especially for the EberronCampaign Setting: a sentient race of constructs known as the warforged.
Issue #317 (March) introduces you to three of the unique character races created especially for the EberronCampaign Setting: Changelings, the Kalashtar, and Shifters (with a close look at shifters), along with a glimpse at how all the standard character races fit into the new world.
Issue #316 (February) gives you an idea of how all of the standard character classes fit in the setting, introduces you to an all-new character class -- the Artificer -- and introduces you to another of the setting's prestige classes: the master inquisitive.
Issue #315 (January) offers more insight into the tone and attitude of the new D&D world, along with a little of Eberron's most recent history.
About the Author
Mat Smith is a copywriter who's been playing roleplaying games for a disturbing number of years, and now gets to spend an astonishing amount of time thinking about clever ways to get more people to do the same.