In this instalment of our ongoing Eberron series we reveal the secrets of the Magebred army that threatens Khorvaire from just within the Mournland, and we meet a Warforged Sentinel Marshal who knows secrets about House Cannith that they will kill to keep secret.
Today Dungeon’s Master welcomes guest poster Alton (a.k.a. Marc Talbot) author of the gaming blog 20ft Radius. Alton shares our passion for D&D as well as the Eberron setting. When he proposed writing an instalment of “The Secrets of Eberron Revealed” we were happy to let him make his contribution to this ongoing look at our favourite campaign setting. If you enjoyed this article, I encourage you to visit 20ft Radius and check out more or Alton’s work. – Ameron
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Magebred in the Mournland
Before the Day of Mourning, House Cannith had a monopoly supplying all sides of the war with mechanized, artificial beings – Warforged. House Vadalis realized the potential for profit and began creating their own artificial soldiers, Magebred people. However, before Vadalis could reap the benefits of their latest enterprise the Day of Mourning changed everything. With the only Magebreeding facilities located inside the Cyrian boarder, House Valais assumed that their venture was destroyed. It was not. Today the Magebred are led by Empress Donata (herself a Magebred being), and she is not content to remain hidden behind the Mournland’s mists any longer.
Frustrated since the Day of Mourning, Empress Donata has not been able to replicate the successes of her Vadalis predecessors and create viable Magebred soldiers. She’s had her people scouring the remains of Metrol for any knowledge or information that might help her refine and exploit the process for creating Magebred and increase the size of her armies.
Recently, an expedition returned with news of a hidden intact library found in the lower levels of Easton. The tomes are part of a collection of banished books that detail the Mark of Death, the lost Dragonmark. Donata tried using this knowledge and the spells contained within to imprint her latest batch of Magebred soldiers with the Mark of Death. The results were mixed.
The Magebred did end up with Dragonmarks, but not the obsolete Mark of Death. Instead they soldiers all manifested an Aberrant Dragonmark on their right arm. Every one had the exact same Dragonmark in the exact same location. It made the soldieries stronger and viable. Donata is finally able to create her army and can start her plans to invade the rest of Khorvaire.
- The heroes are hired by one of the Dragonmarked Houses to disprove rumours that the Mark of Death has returned to Khorvaire. They can confirm rumours that a band of soldiers, all bearing a Dragonmark that looks like the Mark of Death on their right arm, has been attacking towns and villages along the border of the Mournland. If the Mark of Death has resurfaced it seems like the Mournland is the place to find answers.
- While camped near the Mournland’s boarders; the PCs discover the bodies of two Elves, their Dragonmarks removed from their skin. There are signs that the Elves fought their assailants and that the victors fled into the Mournland. Evidence suggests that the Dragonmarks were removed before the Elves were dead. A History check reveals that this was a common practice by the House of Vol but has not happened since the Mark of Death was eradicated from Khorvaire.
Ferrous the Warforged Secret-keeper
Ferrous was created in 974 YK. He spent the majority of the war serving as a guardian for House Cannith’s highest officials. His need to be close to those he protected allowed him to see and hear some of House Cannith’s most private dealings. Cannith built Ferrous to be loyal and instilled within him orders never to divulge any information he heard.
Just before the war ended, something incredible happened. Ferrous manifested the Mark of Sentinel on his chest. The Cannith household was stunned. Never in all their years of creating Warforged did any ever manifest a Dragonmark. No one though it possible, yet in their midst stood a Warforged with a Dragonmark.
Realizing the potential benefits and hazards this might present to House Cannith and House Deneith, Ferrous was to be studied and eventually destroyed. However, he was saved by the events on the Day of Mourning. His dismantling was put on hold and after the Treaty of Thronehold was signed he was given his freedom along with all Warforged. As soon as he was released from Cannith’s service he disappeared.
Years later Ferrous resurfaced as a Sentinel Marshal employed by House Deneith. Does House Deneith know about his Dragonmark? What other secrets might Ferrous have revealed to House Deneith to earn the privilege of becoming a Sentinel Marshal? Has he remained loyal to House Cannith? House Cannith is unwilling to take any chances and has put out a sizable bounty for the head of the Warforged called Ferrous.
- House Cannith asks the party to apprehend a Warforged thief names Ferrous. This Warforged used to be a guard and was able to bypass several wards undetected. House Cannith seems less interested in what the Warforged stole than seeing him punished for his crime. The party is told that Ferrous is currently posing as a Sentinel Marshal and is trying to infiltrate House Deneith.
- The heroes see a lone Warforged being beaten by a gang of Warforged thugs. The assailants flee when the party approaches. The Warforged victim thanks the party and introduces himself as Ferrous. He explains that he’s working for House Deneith and trying to capture a runaway criminal, a member of the Warforged gang that was assaulting him. He offers to split the bounty with the party if they help him capture the fugitive. [The Lord of Blades has heard that Ferrous has a Dragonmark. He mistakenly believes that it’s a Mark of Making. The Warforged runaway has sought refuge with the Lord of Blades’ army which will make capturing him considerably more difficult and dangerous.]