Secrets of Eberron Revealed (Part 7)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on June 16, 2010

Even though we’ve spent a lot of time discussing Dark Sun over the past few weeks we still play our weekly game in Eberron and are still committed to bringing you Eberron-specific articles. With this latest installment in our ongoing series, Secrets of Eberron Revealed, we look at how Dragonmarks are permanently removed and how Dragonmarks can be made to manifest for a short time.

  • Every member of a Dragonmarked house knows that one of the harshest punishments they can receive is to be excoriated – permanent banishment from the house. But when the house brings in The Effacers the punishment becomes so much worse.
  • Have you every wished you had a Dragonmark, even for just a short time? The Drakes may be able to help you.

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 Effacers

When a member of a Dragonmarked house is excoriated there is more at stake than suffering the social indignity of being erased from the house records. Few outside of a Dragonmarked house may even know of an excoriate’s circumstance, especially if the excoriate still posses a true Dragonmark. Anyone bringing shame and disgrace to their house shall not benefit in any way from association with the house nor from a Dragonmark on their person. To ensure a complete separation of the excoriate from the house, steps may be taken to physically remove the excoriate’s Dragonmark. In these extreme cases the Dragonmark emblazoned on the excoriate’s skin is forcibly removed from their body – permanently.

In circumstances where removal of the offender’s Dragonmark is deemed necessary, the houses rely on the services of the Effacers. This secret organization ensures that family allegiances and emotional ties don’t interfere with the edict of the Dragonmarked house. The Effacers have perfected their craft over the years and perform their task as swiftly and as humanely as possible.

Should a Dragonmark be removed by traditional (and excruciatingly painful) means, the mark will manifest itself somewhere else on the excoriate’s body. This causes the excoriate a tremendous amount of physical pain and puts the house right back in the same position it was in when they started. By using various techniques (arcane, divine, primal and psychic) the Effacers ensure that when they remove a Dragonmark it does not manifest again on that person.

The Effacers rarely collect coin for their services, preferring instead to collect favours from Dragonmarked houses. When the favour is redeemed the Dragonmarked houses always comply with the request, no matter how outrageous. After all, the Effacers know the identities (and likely the current whereabouts) of former members of the Dragonmarked house. Members the house does not want anyone else to know about.

Adventuring Hooks

  • A PC with ties to a Dragonmarked house is approached by an excoriate. The disgraced member of the house seeks revenge against the Effacer who robbed them of their birthright.
  • A PC is asked to join the Effacers and the first task is to track down a renegade member of a Dragonmarked house. When captured, the PC will be initiated by participating in their first ritual to remove a Dragonmark.
  • A Dragonmarked PC is wrongfully disgraced within his own house and is sentenced to excoriation. He must avoid capture and prevent the Effacers from removing his Dragonmark.

The Drakes

True Dragonmarks only manifest on those of carefully groomed bloodlines. Those who possess Dragonmarks are treated like royalty within their own house and are immediately accepted into the upper echelons of most societies. The Dragonmark also gives its possessor some minor magical ability.

To say that people are envious of the Dragonmarked heirs is an understatement. There are people who would give anything to have a true Dragonmark. And if you know where to look, the Drakes can help you manifest one for a short time.

The Drakes have the ability to craft potions that when consumed will cause the imbiber to manifest a true Dragonmark. The effect only lasts for a few minutes, but depending on the need, a few minutes is often more than enough time to accomplish one’s task.

The Dragonmarked houses deny even the possibility of a potion that can produce a true Dragonmark, even if it is only for a short time. Dragonmarks are not something that can be bottled and sold. But in this case, the houses are completely wrong. What they don’t know, nor does anyone outside of the Drakes, is that the Drakes and the Effacers are part of the same organization. The magic the Effacers use to remove the Dragonmarked flesh from house excoriates captures the power of the mark in the flesh. It is later used to create Dragonmark potions.

Because the flesh needed for the material component is so rare, the potions are difficult to come by and are quite expensive. After all, the Dragonmarked houses don’t go around excoriating members of their own house with great regularity. The Drakes know that if they are discover by the Dragonmarked houses, they will likely be exterminated. Therefore they rarely deal with new customers unless referred by someone they already know.

Dragonmark Potion (Level 15)

Level 15. 1,000 gp. Minor action. When you drink this potion you must expend a daily magic item use. The type of Dragonmark the potion causes to manifest is determined when the potion is created. The character chooses where on their body the Dragonmark manifests and it lasts until the end of the encounter. It functions in all respects as if the character had the appropriate Dragonmark feat. The potion offers no benefit to a character that already has a Dragonmark feat, even if the potion is for a different Dragonmark then the one they already possess (a character cannot possess two Dragonmarks). If a character that already has a Dragonmark feat drinks a Dragonmark potion he does not expend a daily magic item use, but the potion is wasted.

Adventuring Hooks

  • One night in a crowded tavern something is slipped into a PC’s drink. When the beverage is consumed the PC manifests a visible Dragonmark attracting the wrong kind of attention.
  • Only a person bearing a true Dragonmark can complete the task the PC’s are hired to do. They can try to enlist such a person or they can get a few Dragonmark potions and try it themselves. The only problem now is where to find the Drakes.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Last Rogue June 16, 2010 at 10:55 am

Good stuff. I especially like The Drakes. Not playing Eberron now, but will keep them in mind.

2 Thorynn June 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Cool options for suspense in a very intriguing setting! Nicely done!

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