Secrets of Eberron Revealed (Part 6)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on March 2, 2010

The Dragonmarked Houses try to keep some secrets of Eberron from being revealed. In this installment we focus on the best kept secret in Khorvaire – true Dragonmarks manifesting outside of the normal racial boundaries. Power and fortunes hang in the balance if Dragonmarks loose their exclusivity to a particular house or race.

In The Gorgon Returns members of House Cannith are shocked to learn that their house patriarch, Starrin d’Cannith, may not have died on the Day of Mourning. The Dragon’s Teeth act on orders from the Dragonmarked Houses to track down anyone manifesting a true Dragonmark outside of recognized bloodlines.

Click on the Eberron tab above the Dungeon’s Master banner to find the previous installments in this ongoing series as well as many other great Eberron articles and resources.

The Gorgon Returns

Starrin d’Cannith, House Cannith’s patriarch was killed on the Day of Mourning. With no clear heir, a struggle to control the house erupted. House Cannith, the most powerful Dragonmarked house, eventually split into three competing factions.

Rumours recently began surfacing that Starrin d’Cannith is still alive. Letters were sent to each faction of House Cannith from someone claiming to be Starrin. In each letter he revealed specific details about House Cannith and its Dragonmarked heirs that an imposter couldn’t possibly know.

A neutral-site meeting was arranged between representatives from each faction and Starrin d’Cannith. The Cannith heirs were shocked to discover that the person claiming to be The Gorgon, Starrin d’Cannith himself, was actually a Warforged. However, as proof of his legitimacy, the Warforged revealed his Dragonmark – a perfect Mark of Making identical in size, shape and positioning to that of the former house patriarch.

Could this Warforged indeed be Starrin d’Cannith? Cannith’s Dragonmarked heirs haven’t dismissed the possibility. If anyone could transfer his life-force into a Warforged it would be The Gorgon. After all, he pioneered the creation forges. And they cannot overlook his perfect Dragonmark.

Starrin has agreed to keep his true identity and his Dragonmark secret for the time being while House Cannith decides how to proceed. He’s not interested in returning to the position of house patriarch, but he does want the factions to come together again. Will they accept his claims of identity and embrace him or will they attempt to destroy him before he can spread his lies any further?

Adventuring Hooks

  • The PCs are hired by a member of House Cannith to capture a damaged Warforged. The mysterious employer seems genuinely concerned that the mind of this poor Warforged is damaged. The Warforged is delusional and believes he’s a Dragonmarked heir. He’s even used magic to create a false Dragonmark on his body. House Cannith fears for the safety of those around this Warforged should he become more irrational.
  • An emissary of the Lord of Blades contacts a Warforged PC. There are rumours that a Warforged has manifested a Mark of Making. The PC is implored to find this marked Warforged and ask him to enter the Mournland to meet with the Lord of Blades. The Lord of Blades has creation forges ready to procreate his species and lacks only a true Mark of Making to power the devices.
  • A PC bearing the Mark of Marking is approached by a Warforged claiming to be The Gorgon, house patriarch Starrin d’Cannith. Starrin is trying to convince as many heirs of his identity as possible. Does the PC believe him? Does the PC report him to House Cannith?

The Dragon’s Teeth

Every Dragonmark is tied to a specific bloodline. The Dragonmarked houses go to great lengths to ensure the bloodlines remain pure. If the bloodlines are inadvertently or accidentally mixed the result is often manifestation of an Aberrant Dragonmark.

An Aberrant Dragonmark is clearly not a true Dragonmark. But the Dragonmarked houses are getting reports of true marks appearing outside of established bloodlines, and in some extreme cases even outside of the expected racial norms.

Putting traditional grievances aside, The Dragonmarked Houses have sponsored squads of elite soldiers called The Dragon’s Teeth. The squad’s purpose is to track down anyone outside of established bloodlines bearing a true Dragonmark. Special emphasis is placed on locating anyone who manifests a Dragonmark outside of expected racial boundaries (e.g., the Mark of Sentinel appearing on a non-human, the Mark of Warding appearing on a non-dwarf or the Mark of Scribe appearing on a non-gnome). Representatives from each house have volunteered to provide their unique services to ensure success.

The Dragon’s Teeth have orders to capture their targets alive. However, as most targets are killed during pursuit, it seems like The Dragon’s Teeth are more interested in preserving the purity of bloodlines than welcoming new members into the folds of the Dragonmarked Houses.

Adventuring Hooks

  • A PC manifests a Dragonmark not normally associated with his race. After flaunting his mark in public (or not taking the proper steps to keep it hidden) he gets an anonymous tip that the Dragon’s Teeth are after him. Will he confront them or flee?
  • The PCs are hired by an old merchant to protect his daughter until her marriage five days hence. She is betrothed to a nobleman from a distant land and the marriage will complete a lucrative trade agreement between the families. The bride-to-be recently manifested the Mark of Storm despite no Elven ancestry. Yesterday she was nearly killed in an “accident.” Her father fears another accident in the days to come.
  • A party with true Dragonamarked PCs is approached by one of the Dragonmarked Houses to become part of The Dragon’s Teeth. They are offered incredible wealth to capture three people bearing marks not normally associated with their race. If they accept one of the PCs (probably the one bearing the Dragonmark) is offered an additional bonus if the targets are killed during pursuit.

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1 Dungeon Newbie March 3, 2010 at 12:59 am

Umm… What are Dragonmarks all about? I just bought DnD and I dont know anything much

2 Ameron March 3, 2010 at 8:23 am

@Dungeon Newbie
Dragonmarks are part of the Eberron campaign world. Essentially they’re magic tattoos that grant certain powers and bonuses.

In Eberron the families who bear these Dragonmarks are the leaders of industry. For example House Cannith, a human family, bear the Mark of Marking. Cannith are the best engineers in Eberron. Their Dragonmark mark gives them a magical edge when they’re building and constructing. It was House Cannith engineers who created the Warforged race and flying air ships.

In 3e D&D only Humans PCs could choose the feat that gave them the Mark of Making since it was exclusive to Humans. However, in 4e D&D the rules changed and now any PC regardless of race can take any feat that grants any Dragonmark (although a PC can only have 1 Dragonmark).

Check out the 3e Eberron Campaign Setting or the 4e Eberron Player’s Guide for more about Dragonmarks.

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