Secrets of Eberron Revealed (Part 5)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on January 22, 2010

More secrets of Eberron are revealed as we discover political plotting within The Twelve and we reveal the Mournland Express. Changes are coming for House Cannith. The ongoing internal family power struggle within House Cannith scares members of other Dragonmakred Houses. Other house scions plot to unify House Cannith by whatever means necessary. Take a trip on the mysterious Mournland Express, a secret subterranean lightning rail that travels safely beneath the Mournland.

Discover more Secrets of Eberron Revealed in our previous installments in this ongoing series.

The Twelve

Founded by the Dragonmarked Houses, the Twelve is an institute of learning. Nominally run by the Committee of Twelve, recent events during the last war have expanded the committee’s membership to fifteen members. Here representatives for the various Houses vie for control and resources. Each House puts its own ambitions above the needs or concerns of others. This is nothing new, but the fracture of House Cannith and the split of House Thuranni from Phiarlan has become a cause for concern with some committee members.

They fear that the fracture within these Houses may be perceived as a sign of weakness from the populace. Worse, they worry that a feud may erupt within House Cannith and between House Thuranni and Phiarlan. The results of such a feud could be devastating. While not as bloody as the War of the Mark or as devastating as the Last War, such a conflict could destabilize all the Dragonmarked Houses.

Several members of the Committee have gathered in secret. Their purposes, to force the merger or dissolution of some aspects of these severed Houses. Of particular concern is the split within House Cannith. The split within House Cannith has the potential to cripple the economy of several nations and cut into the profits of the Dragonmarked Houses.

Tornil d’Medani and Davin Lyrim d’Sivis are the leaders of this plot. So far they have not expanded beyond themselves. Their plan is to find or fabricate evidence that will severely weaken one of the factions of House Cannith. When the other Houses discover this evidence they will force that faction’s leader to surrender control to another area of House Cannith.

Adventure Hooks

  • The PCs are contracted to infiltrate a faction of House Cannith and sabotage its operations.
  • An unknown party has requested that the PCs plant damaging evidence against a faction of House Cannith. After the evidence is planted the PCs are attacked, as the employer wants to eliminate all knowledge of tampering. Will the PCs report on what they have discovered or track down their mysterious employer to return the favour.
  • The PCs are affiliated with House Cannith and have discovered a plot to discredit the House. The PCs are requested to find those behind the plot and remind them why tampering in House Cannith affairs is not a wise idea.

The Mournland Express

It’s well known that House Tharashk made a name for itself by locating Khyber Dragonshard deposits buried deep underground. What is not as well known is that during a routine expedition to locate Dragonshards shortly after the Day of Mourning, members of the Finders Guild discovered something much more valuable.

South of Vathiron, near the border between Breland and the Mournland, Tharashk prospectors discovered a series of natural underground caverns. What made this find so remarkable is that the passages go directly beneath the Mournland. None of the unusual activities that are present on the surface of the Mournland seem to occur so far beneath the surface. House Tharashk immediacy set to work mapping the cavernous expanse. It didn’t take long to discover that they went all the way from Breland to the Talenta Plains.

House Tharashk quietly struck a deal with House Orien and the two houses worked together to create a safe travel route beneath the Mournland. Confident that the route was secure, they contacted Artificers from House Cannith and have created a subterranean lightning rail that rockets beneath the Mournland. They are still performing test runs, but are almost ready to go public.

If the new lightning rail becomes fully operational and is proven safe and reliable many fortunes stand to be made and lost over night.

Adventure Hooks

  • House Lyrander just lost a lucrative contract to ship goods by airship from Gatherhold in the Talenta Plains to numerous cities throughout Breland. They know that House Orien has secured the contract. What they don’t know (and can’t understand) is how House Orien was able to under bid them. The PCs are hired to find out what House Orien is up to and how they were able to make such outrageous promises.
  • The PCs are contacted by House Tharashk, House Orien or House Cannith. They are told about the Mournland Express. The houses are about to go public with their latest venture, but have experienced some difficulties on the last couple of runs. They want the PCs to travel the whole route and “handle” any problems. If any of the PCs are members of one of these houses they realize the importance of this missions and know that their participation is not optional.
  • A group of Warforged emerge from the Mournland seeking an audience with House Orien. They represent the Lord of Blades and speak on his behalf. He’s learned about the Mournland Express. As ruler of the Mournland he demands tax on everything that pass though or beneath his country. The PCs are asked to enter the Mournland and negotiate a reasonable solution with the Lord of Blades.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shades January 22, 2010 at 9:25 am

Hey Ameron,
I really like the idea of the Mournland Express. The idea is cool and the economics/politics of the idea make a lot of sense. I’d use it if my campaign weren’t set 50 years in the past.

2 Ameron January 23, 2010 at 8:33 am

@Shades
It’s possible that the Mournland Express existed years before the war. In fact, the tunnels discovered by House Tharashk might be what’s left of the old lightning rail. Maybe an attempt to expand the secret subterranean line is what led to the Mourning? Maybe something better left buried deep underground was accidentally released?

3 Matthew Arcilla January 23, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Glad to see the return of this series, Ameron. By far, its one of my favorite ‘campaign ideas’ series in the D&D blogosphere. We’ve been running Eberron and I find it offers a kind of geopolitical intrigue that can’t be offered by other settings.

I’m seriously going to use the idea you had some time back about the tensions between House Lyrandar and House Orien and an airship sabotage crew. If only, because it sounds like an excuse to do free fall combat again.

The books themselves are actually a great source of ideas that aren’t really covered by the 4e campaign materials, and I’m thinking of using one about the airship fire elemental that has secretly plotted to kill the PCs. Think Event Horizon over the Mournland.
.-= Matthew Arcilla´s last blog ..Beat the Geeks: The Problems of Established Settings =-.

4 Ameron January 28, 2010 at 12:24 pm

@Matthew Arcilla
We know that not everyone plays in Eberron, but for those who do (like us) we think these articles are gold. Expect another installment in February. I’m glad you’re enjoying them.

House Orien’s Project Ascent from part 2 was Wimwick’s idea. Like you, I thought it was awesome as soon as I read it.

“Think Event Horizon over the Mournland.” Sounds pretty cool. Keep us posted on how that works out.

5 craftygamergirl June 19, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Love these articles. I want to start an eberron campaign in the fall and these are so cool.

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