Dragonshards
The Lhazaar Principalities, Part Two
By Keith Baker

Over two dozen princes exist in the Lhazaar Principalities. Some of the smaller islands -- such as Krag and Lastpoint -- are under the dominion of a single prince. The coastline and the larger islands are home to multiple princes, each claiming a port stronghold and the surrounding hamlets and thorps.

This article examines a few of the more powerful or unusual principalities. The Knowledge listing provides the skill check required for a player character to know of the principality. It is important to understand that leadership among the principalities is not based simply on level: While a player character could potentially rise to the rank of prince, she would need to win the support of the people of the principality and build a fleet of her own, not simply defeat the current prince in battle. There is more to leadership than level!

The Seadragons

Leader: High Prince Rygar ir'Wynarn (LN male human ranger 9)

Seat: Regalport, Greentarn

Knowledge: Geography (DC 20); local (DC 10); nobility and royalty (DC 15)

With a fleet of twenty ships and a host of loyal warriors, the Seadragons are the strongest force in the Lhazaar Principalities. Under the leadership of High Prince Rygar, they have been a stabilizing force in the region. While Rygar has sailed as both privateer and pirate, in recent years he has made the city of Regalport a center for trade in the eastern sea. The high prince fought for recognition at Thronehold, and the Seadragons have been staunch allies of Q'barra -- helping this fledging nation while gaining access to Q'barran dragonshards.

Rygar is remarkably clever and charismatic, with skills in diplomacy as well as the blade. He has earned a reputation as a man of his word, though he will not give his word carelessly. However, he is a Lhazaarite, and he respects the traditions of his people -- including piracy. Merchants who sail the Bitter Sea can pay for the protection of the Seadragons, and Rygar will strike at any ship that dares to raid near Regalport. But he feels no obligation to hunt down Lhazaarites who engage in piracy.

One of Rygar's earliest acts as prince was to grant House Thuranni land on Greentarn. This alliance between House Thuranni and the Seadragons is one more weapon in the high prince's arsenal. Some say that Rygar wanted to bring House Thuranni to the Principalities to guard against of the Gray Tide principality; if anyone can counter changeling schemes, it's the house of shadow.

Characters of all races and classes can be found among the Seadragons, making this a good background choice for PCs from the Lhazaar Principalities. Seadragons lean toward lawful or neutral alignments.

The Cloudreavers

Leader: Prince Mika Rockface (CE female dwarf barbarian 6)

Seat: Port Krez, Krag

Knowledge: Geography (DC 25); local (DC 10)

The Cloudreaver principality is based on the island of Krag. It is a blend of dwarves, orcs, and half-orcs -- traditionally enemies in the Mror Holds, these races have found common cause on the seas. The Cloudreavers have always been wild and unpredictable, prone to violent feuds and acts of savagery. They never gave up the practice of piracy, even during the height of Galifar's power; this has cost them dearly over the generations, and their power has waxed and waned with the luck of the sea. Currently the Cloudreavers have a fleet of six vessels, but these ships are remarkably swift; the Cloudreavers possess a number of windsails, which are magic items imbued with a permanent wind's favor. These treasures allow the Cloudreavers to range far from their homeland and to match the speed of elemental galleons. Typically, the Cloudreavers prey on the southeastern shores of Galifar, striking at Q'barran, Aereni, Darguun, and Zil vessels and villages; occasionally Cloudreaver captains even head into Brelish shipping lanes, attacking ships en route to Stormreach or Trolanport. The Cloudreavers prefer to strike at night, taking full advantage of the darkvision possessed by most of their sailors.

Prince Mika Rockface is an aggressive and boisterous woman with remarkable strength and an uncanny ability to inspire terror in her enemies. She believes that she has been blessed by the Devourer and that she gains strength for every vessel she sends to the bottom of the ocean. Whether this is true or simply a delusion remains to be seen!

The Cloudreavers are mostly chaotic dwarves, orcs, and half-orcs, with a few humans. Most Cloudreavers are warriors or barbarians, with a few fighters and rangers. Many Cloudreavers worship the Devourer, and some develop druidic abilities as a result of this devotion. The principality takes its name from this practice; tales speak of Cloudreaver pirates calling lightning from the sky to shatter enemy sails and ships.

The Gray Tide

Leader: Prince Kel (Unknown)

Seat: Lastpoint

Knowledge: Geography (DC 25); local (DC 15)

Changelings have always been viewed with suspicion by most of the people of Khorvaire -- and occasionally that fear has boiled over into something worse. Thirteen hundred years ago, the lords of the nations now known as Karrnath, Cyre, and Thrane began a campaign of extermination against the changeling race. Many changelings fled to Breland or Aundair, hiding among humanity. But one among them was not satisfied with survival. This changeling was named Kel, and he had a vision of a changeling homeland: a realm on the edge of the world, where changelings could live away from the fearful scrutiny of humanity. He traveled the land, speaking to family after family, and slowly an exodus began -- a journey that ended on the island of Lastpoint. There, staring into the disturbing wall of the Gray Tide, Kel declared that they had found their home.

No outsider knows the full size of the Gray Tide principality. Some estimates say that there are over fifty thousand changelings in the Lhazaar Principalities, though it is impossible to know for certain. Changelings have spread out across the islands, and many of the brothels and theaters in the Principalities are run by changelings. Lastpoint changelings also serve as guides, interpreters, and mediators, serving as hirelings on ships of other princes. Some Lhazaarites fear that the changelings have spread far deeper into Lhazaar society than anyone knows. But most are willing to see the changelings as brothers on the sea, and they are more accepted in this region than anywhere else in Khorvaire.

The Gray Tide principality is ruled by Prince Kel, and it has been since its founding. Most outsiders believe that this is the work of one or more changelings -- a lineage that preserves Kel's image. Some say that Last Point is the seat of the secret society known as the Cabinet of Faces; if so, this is one more secret hidden on this island.

The Gray Tide principality is thought to have four ships, and common belief holds that it does participate in piracy. However, a host of rumors has circulated about the principality. Some say that the changelings can enter the Gray Tide without danger, and that they have a fleet hidden within it. Other tales claim that the changelings have developed ships that can shift appearance, so that their acts of piracy are blamed on others. The truth of these tales is in the hands of the DM.

This principality is inhabited almost entirely by changelings, most of whom are chaotic or neutral. Characters of any class can be found on Gray Tide ships, though experts, rogues, and bards are most common.

The Bloodsails

Leader: Prince Shaen Tasil (LE female elf cleric 7 [Blood of Vol])

Seat: Port Cairn, Farlnen

Knowledge: Geography (DC 25); local (DC 15); religion (DC 30)

When the Undying Court sought to destroy the Mark of Death, all elves carrying the blood of the line were slain. But the Line of Vol had many allies beyond its blood relatives. The Undying Court allowed these elves to surrender, but there was no place for them on Aerenal, and they left to find a new home on Khorvaire. Many of these refugees found their way to the island of Farlnen, making a new home in the long shadow of the Fingerbone Mountains. Today, many elves choose to remain in isolated communities deep in the Fingerbones, but others have embraced Lhazaar culture and the life of the sea. The largest of these is the Bloodsail principality, centered in Port Cairn (a town on the central southern coast of Farlnen).

The elves brought extensive knowledge of magic, archery, and woodworking to the Principalities; Bloodsail ships are some of the finest in the Lhazaar fleets. While the elves are interested in all fields of arcane knowledge, necromancy is especially important to them; every Bloodsail captain has at least one level in wizard (necromancer) or cleric (Blood of Vol). Farlnen is a center for the worship of the Blood of Vol, and almost all of the Bloodsails follow this faith. During the war, the Bloodsails served as privateers for Karrnath. This changed when King Kaius III denounced the Order of the Emerald Claw, and today the Bloodsails often raid Karrnathi ships and villages. Recently, the Bloodsails have formed an alliance with the Diresharks of Point Verge.

The Bloodsails are one of the most stable principalities, and Prince Shaen Tasil has ruled for over a century. Shaen is cool and calculating; she has no interest in holding the position of high prince, but she keeps a close eye on political struggles and has often served as a mediator. The previous leader was Prince Moren; according to legend, Moren was cursed for his dark practices and now sails the Bitter Sea in a ship of bones.

The Bloodsails currently possess seven ships. Tales say that they dye their dark sails with the blood of their victims -- but this could be a story spread to inspire terror.

The Bloodsails are largely lawful or evil elves, with a few humans, half-elves, and changelings spread throughout the populace. While most Bloodsail sailors are warriors, rogues, or swashbucklers, a significant number of clerics and wizards live in the principality.

The Wind Whisperers

Leader: Prince Koulton Brightwind (CN male half-elf ranger 4/dragonmarked heir 4)

Seat: Blackrock, Orthoss

Knowledge: Geography (DC 30); local (DC 20), nobility and royalty (DC 30)

Not all of the Aereni refugees sought shelter in the shadow of the Fingerbones. Some fully embraced Lhazaar culture, mingling with humans and creating a significant population of half-elves. The island of Orthoss is a haven for the Khoravar, and half-elves from across Khorvaire have found their way to the town of Blackrock. Notably, the Lhazaar lifestyle has attracted a number of members of House Medani and House Lyrandar over the centuries -- young rebels seeking an escape from the smothering traditions of their houses. Their blood has been spread across the island, and it has been spread quite thin -- but occasionally a child of Orthoss develops a dragonmark.

Those who develop the Mark of Storm generally find their way to the Wind Whisperers. Members of this small principality are as wild and unpredictable as the wind itself. They often help travelers in distress, but are known for raiding or otherwise interfering with Lyrandar vessels.

The current prince of the Wind Whisperers is Koulton Brightwind. Born Koulton d'Lyrandar, this gifted heir earned his place with the whisperers by stealing an airship and bringing it to Orthoss. House Lyrandar has put a price on his head, but Prince Brightwind has made arrangements with House Thuranni, and so far his head remains attached to his shoulders.

The Wind Whisperers have seven ships, including one airship and two elemental galleons. The remaining four ships are small and fast, and not as powerful as Bloodsail or Seadragon warships.

The Wind Whisperers are primarily chaotic or neutral half-elves, but members of any race or class live in this principality.

About the Author

Keith Baker has been an avid fan of Dungeons & Dragons since grade school. His life took a dramatic turn in 2002 when he submitted the world of Eberron to the Wizards of the Coast Fantasy Setting Search. In addition to developing the Eberron Campaign Setting and Shadows of the Last War, he has worked for Atlas Games, Goodman Games, and Green Ronin.


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