When it Rains
Continents of Eberron
Capital: Shae Cairdal
Population: 2,650,000 (77% elves, 19% undying, 3% halfelves, 1% other)
Exports: Crafts, bronzewood, densewood, livewood
Languages: Elven, Common, Draconic
The island-continent kingdom of the elves radiates with magic. Jungles of bronzewood and densewood blanket the land, and the boundaries between life and death have become blurred and indistinct in the ancient elf civilization. The honored dead of Aerenal walk among the living. The Sibling Kings call upon the ancient lords of the Undying Court for guidance, and the ranks of the elf armies overfl ow with heroes who died in glorious battle. In the depths of the City of the Dead, the elf kings of ages past chart the movement of the Ring of Siberys and prepare for greater days to come.
The elves of Aerenal have always revered their ancestors. Once slaves of the giant tribes of Xen’drik, the ancient Aereni elves bought their freedom with blood and magic, and elf bards still sing of their heroic deeds. In the center of the island-continent lies a region where necromantic energy fl ows easily, and it was here that the elf Priests of Transition discovered the rites and rituals required to preserve their elders beyond death. Sustained by the veneration of their descendants, these undying elves have guided their country for more than twenty thousand years. The strength of the deathless has carried Aerenal through confl icts with hobgoblins, humans, and even the dragons of Argonnessen. Yet the Aereni have never sought to conquer; their undying armies have always fought in defense of the nation.
Argonnessen, the land of the dragons, remains a mystery to most of the rest of Eberron. Few have dared explore the huge continent, and those who have set out to see the great cities of the dragons have never returned to share their tales. Even the Aerenal elves, who battled the dragons in ages past, have never seen more than a glimpse of the continent’s interior
North of Khorvaire, beyond the icy coldness of the Bitter Sea, the barren Frostfell covers the top of the world. This land of perpetual winter is locked in ice and snow. Sometimes, when winter gets the upper hand, storms blow out of the Frostfell and temporarily turn other regions into semblances of this frozen waste. The dwarves believe they originated in this frozen land, and legends of strange monsters, unrestrained demons, and hordes of undead are featured in tales of the Frostfell. The only known expedition to reach the ice plains and snow-covered peaks and return to tell the tale was led by Lord Boroman ir’Dayne of the Wayfi nder Foundation. More often, the Frostfell sends bitterly cold winds, snowstorms, and great icebergs to punish the southern lands.
The Last War has ended, but much of the anger and pain remains. The new nations of Khorvaire, while technically at peace, continue to vie for political and economic supremacy. In the wake of war, new treaties and alliances are forming, new weapons and armies are being built, and another great war is inevitable. Still, that war is years away. In the meantime, a new age of exploration and growth creates an exciting era in which to adventure.
During the Last War, not everyone saw action and not every location was a battle zone. Great portions of every nation never suffered invasion or attack. On the other hand, locations in every nation did suffer through the war, and some sites switched hands a dozen times or more as the century-long conflict unfolded. Particularly along the borders of the nations, bloodshed and violence came and went as the war progressed.
The Treaty of Thronehold was signed on the 11th day of Aryth in 996 YK, thus ending the Last War. After more than a century of war, soldiers and kings alike must learn to live in a peaceful world. The long struggle and the shocking destruction of Cyre, which occurred in 994 YK, have left deep scars on the psyche of the continent. There is an undercurrent of despair and doubt, a fear that the fate of the Mournland may herald the doom of Khorvaire itself.
This sense of trepidation has provoked many different reactions. Crime is on the increase in the major cities of the nations; many question moral standards, as people no longer believe in the security of their old way of life.
Murder and theft are far more common than they used to be. Sinister conspiracies such as the Aurum and the Order of the Emerald Claw are using the overall sense of confusion and uncertainty to increase their own power and influence. The elves of Valenar have been ignoring the Treaty of Thronehold, and elf forces continue to clash with the Karrns, the Talenta halflings, and the Q’barrans. Rumors tell of graft and corruption even within the Church of the Silver Flame, the traditional bastion of law and order.
Not everyone gives in to despair, however. Academic institutions such as the Library of Korranberg and Morgrave University have redoubled their efforts to explore the mysterious continent of Xen’drik, seeking knowledge and wonders. There are those who fight to make Khorvaire a safer place, battling in the shadows, the streets, and the courts of the land.
This is a time of opportunity and adventure. The lost treasures of forgotten civilizations are only beginning to be recovered. Untold wealth and powerful artifacts can be gained—assuming one can get past the deadly guardians and cunning traps that protect them. Crime lords and corrupt priests clash in the cities. Spies, courtiers, and assassins battle with words and swords in the courts of Khorvaire. Mad wizards, ancient demons, and sinister cults pursue deadly schemes that could threaten Eberron itself. This is a time when new heroes must arise to replace those slain in the Last War, to find a way to restore light and hope to the people of Khorvaire.
The underdark of Eberron, Khyber stretches below the surface to depths that few can imagine. Known as the Dragon Below in some myths and revered by vile cultists across Khorvaire, Khyber remains a dangerous, foreboding underworld that only reluctantly gives up any of its dark secrets. While Khyber exists beneath every continent, few paths lead directly to its sinister depths. Across Khorvaire, the most well known passages can be found in the Demon Wastes, Droaam, and Q’barra, and rumors of other less frequented (and perhaps less guarded) portals are whispered of among the Cults of the Dragon Below.
Tens of thousands of years ago, the vast continent of Sarlona was the cradle of human civilization. Three thousand years ago, the first human colonists set forth from Sarlona, setting in motion the events that would shape modern-day Khorvaire. Over the past fifteen hundred years, Sarlona has become an insular land of mystery. This change is due to the influence of the Inspired, a powerful dynasty of psychic overlords who serve as vessels for quori from Dal Quor. The continent is devoid of either Eberron or Siberys dragonshards.
It rises out of the mist to the south of Khorvaire, beyond Shargon’s Teeth and the Thunder Sea. Today, Xen’drik is a continent of secrets and mystery, a wild place full of promise and danger. In the distant past, Xen’drik was home to a great civilization of giants, and the remains of these kingdoms hide within the dense jungles of the continent. Giants of all types still roam the jungles and mountains of Xen’drik, but they are primitive and disorganized compared to the society of the distant past. The elves of Aerenal also trace their origin to these mysterious shores, and the dark-skinned elves called drow still live among the ruins of the giant civilization.
All text quoted from the Eberron Campaign Setting