Excerpts 01/16/2006

Player's Guide to Eberron Excerpt
By James Wyatt, Keith Baker,
Luke Johnson, Steven Stan! Brown

Add depth to your Eberron characters with the help of Player's Guide to Eberron. Presenting information in an innovative spread format, this comprehensive gazetteer covers key topics a character should know about, from Aerenal to Zilargo, house politics to the Last War, dragons to the Lords of Dust, without revealing information meant for Dungeon Masters only. New feats, prestige classes, magic items, and spells are included in the relevant entries. The excerpts give you a look at building a character plus some location-based information.

Gold Fuels Old Feuds

The Mror Holds are home to twelve great dwarf clans. Each clan has its own stories, customs, and territory (which the dwarves call holds). Many years have passed since the dwarves fought each other in the mountains, but their memories are long, and the clans neither forget nor forgive the feuds they have with one another. These feuds were once bloody affairs settled with axe and shield, but in these enlightened times, dwarves use more sophisticated tactics. They battle over business contracts or games of skill; they support different athletes and undercut each other's mercantile enterprises. Some dwarves still turn to blades to settle their disputes, but the weapons are now wielded in shadow and gleam with poison.

Mroranon is one of the most powerful clans in the holds, and it lends its founder's name to the nation as a whole. Its mines produce the best iron ore in Khorvaire, allowing Mroranon to build strong diplomatic and mercantile ties with Breland. Mroranon seeks the destruction of the Jhorash'tar orcs, who hide in the Ironroot Mountains. The clan has feuds with Kolkaran, which uses its mineral wealth to undercut Mroranon's iron trade; with Soranath, whose founder quarreled with Mror in times of legend; and with Toldorath and Tordannon, who seek to grant the Jhorash'tar the full political power of a Mrorian clan.

Doldarun is wealthy, with a large number of gold and silver mines within its hold. Doldarun has also discovered deposits of mithral and adamantine in its territory, and it is deeply embroiled in foreign affairs. Doldarun dwarves are master entrepreneurs, playing their customers against each other and always finding the right market and highest prices for their goods. Historically neutral in the dwarven wars, Doldarun has no feuds with individual clans, but no firm allies either. Doldarun seeks to use its wealth to outmuscle the other clans and emerge as the de facto ruler of the Mror Holds.

Droranath is a throwback to earlier times. Its warriors are temperamental and train to enhance their natural rage; naturally, the clan boasts a large number of barbarians. It battles the Jhorash'tar continuously, which puts it at odds with Toldorath and Tordannon. Droranath has a lesser concentration of natural resources than most other holds, but it contains enough to make it a decent power and a worthwhile ally. Droranath mercenaries command high prices throughout Khorvaire.

Kolkarun shifts allegiance constantly. Its history includes feuds with each of the other clans at one point or another, and its allies change as rapidly as its enemies. Nevertheless, Kolkarun dwarves are shrewd entrepreneurs and charismatic negotiators, and their wealth allows them to supply potential allies with gifts. The other clans view Kolkarun as opportunists, while Kolkarun dwarves see themselves as smart enough to always pick the winning side. Currently, Kolkarun has diplomatic ties to Aundair, Karrnath, Zilargo, the Talenta halflings, and the Emerald Claw. It counts Mroranon and Soldarak among its allies in the holds, and for the last couple of decades it has maintained a growing feud with Doldarun, which seeks to discredit Kolkarun.

Clan Kundarak has become House Kundarak. It has no voice on the Iron Council, the Mror Holds' ruling body, and claims to be neutral. Despite that claim, Kundarak has great influence, and the other clans constantly vie for its favor.

Laranak's feud with Londurak is legendary. All dwarves know of the mutual enmity these two clans possess, and it was only with reluctance and gifts from the other clans that the two agreed to work together to present a unified front at Thronehold. Their councilors disagree with each other out of habit and ancestral hatred more than reason. Now, the two clans wage their private war in whatever socially acceptable ways they can, each shifting alliances with the other clans to outplay the other.

Narathunhold contains mines of precious gemstones, and Narathun jewelers are among the best in the world. They work with Mroranon to create ceremonial weapons and with Doldarun to create fine jewelry. Narathun feuds with Droranath, which it says reneged on a business deal long ago, and with Toldorath and Tordannon, which it believes robbed it in ancient times.

Noldrun disappeared about four hundred years ago. Rumors abound as to the cause, and most consider its lands haunted and avoid them. Mroranon, Toldorath, and Tordannon (all of which feuded with Noldrun) were not unhappy to see it go.

Soldorak is wealthy, and it envies House Kundarak's power and prestige. It attempts to discredit and undercut the dragonmarked house whenever possible and uses its wealth as a weapon against the other clans. Its uncompromising business dealings have put it at odds with most other clans, particularly Mroranon and Doldarun, but it works with Soranath to find markets for their mutual goods.

Soranath possesses excellent crafters, who work with other clans to produce finished goods from their raw materials. As such, they are friend to all, though the other clans resent being unable to match Soranath's skill. Sor, the clan's founder, quarreled with Mror in ancient times, and their clans continue the feud today.

Toldorath and Tordannon are longtime allies and persuasive diplomats. They currently lobby to grant the Jhorash'tar orcs full clan status, a proposition that Mroranon finds reprehensible but that the other clans are willing to consider. Toldorath and Tordannon are the most adept at using their wealth as weapons, and many members of the Aurum hail from these clans. They have longstanding feuds with Droranath and Narathun.

What Do You Know?

Knowledge (geography)

DC 10: Once part of Karrnath, the Mror Holds is now a nation composed of several semi-independent dwarf clans.

DC 15: The governing body is the Iron Council, which rules on matters that affect all the clans in the Mror Holds. The clans do not cooperate especially well; many have longstanding feuds.

DC 20: The Aurum has a strong presence in the Mror Holds.

Knowledge (history)

DC 15: The dwarves fought each other for thousands of years before Karrn subjugated them and forced them to swear fealty to Galifar. The dwarves broke from the Five Nations during the Last War.

DC 25: The dwarves' ancestors came to the Mror Holds about twelve thousand years ago. The current clans are the descendants of exiles; nothing remains of the dwarves' original homeland in Khyber.

Knowledge (local)

DC 10: The dwarves are renowned bankers and entrepeneurs. They place great stock in personal appearance.

DC 15: A tribe of orcs called the Jhorash'tar shares the mountains with the dwarves. The two races have battled repeatedly over thousands of years.

DC 20: Mrorian dwarves like to stand out on the battlefield. They wear enameled armor, name their weapons, and develop distinctive battle cries.

Knowledge (nobility and royalty)

DC 10: House Kundarak, the dwarven dragonmarked house, has its headquarters -- and wields considerable influence -- in the Mror Holds. House Sivis assists Kundarak in its banking endeavors.

DC 15: The ruling family of each clan has the same family name as the clan.

Knowledge (religion)

DC 15: The Sovereign Host is the religion of choice in the Mror Holds. Most dwarves revere Kol Karan.

DC 25: An active volcano called the Fist of Onatar stands in the southern Mror Holds. The dwarves believe it is sacred to Onatar.

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