A dragonmark is a magical symbol that manifests on the skin, but its color immediately differentiates it from any mundane tattoo. A dragonmark is etched in shades of blue, green, and purple so vivid that they appear to glow, though the mark provides no real illumination. A dragonmark is associated with one or more magical abilities, and a person who carries a dragonmark can exercise these powers. When a bearer invokes the power of a dragonmark, its colors shimmer and flow, and the skin grows warm to the touch. The mark grows warmer each time its power is used over the course of a day; by the time the bearer has expended his full allotment of spell-like abilities, the mark is fever-hot and cannot be used again until it cools.

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Nearly a quarter of Exploring Eberron is devoted to the planes of Eberron, providing a deeper look into these different layers of reality. While this addresses the supernatural cosmology of Eberron, my Patreon supporters have posed a number of questions tied to the Material Plane. What do the people of Eberron know about the physical universe beyond Eberron? What is the nature of the moons? Could there be a space race in Eberron? Others have raised more practical questions: how do the many moons of Eberron affect its tides?

Ultimately, this begins with a crucial question: what is the Material Plane? In the myth of the Progenitors—a tale told in some form by nearly every culture—the three Progenitors work together to create thirteen planes, each one an idealized exploration of a particular concept: Life, death, war, peace.

Following this effort, they rest in the emptiness that lies at the center of the planes. There the Progenitors quarrel. Khyber kills Siberys and tears him apart. Eberron enfolds Khyber and becomes the world itself, forming a living prison she cannot escape. So the first thing to bear in mind: There is nothing natural about the universe of Eberron.

The story of the Progenitors might be fact or it could be mere myth. But Eberron does appear to be the center of its Material Plane. It is the fulcrum of the 13 planes, the point where they all intersect — and as shown by Dal Quor and Dolurrh, the creatures of the Material Plane are tied to the other planes. Which is to say, this is a supernatural reality.

Now, this may be because Eberron as a setting is a created artifact—that some form of the myth of the Progenitors is true. This initial section examines the known facts about the celestial objects of Eberron. This is followed by a discussion of the possible space race, which goes into more detail about what might be found on the moons or in the ring. Lest it go without saying, this is my vision of Eberron and may contradict existing sourcebooks.

In the Progenitor Myth, the three Progenitors rested in the Material Plane after creating the planes. They created the sun, Arrah, much as mortals might kindle a campfire. This fire remained even after their battle, and continues to provide light, heat, and comfort to the world. There are limits to the Material Plane, and the stars mark those limits; whether or not you embrace the concepts of Spelljammer , you can think of them as glittering points in the shell of a crystal sphere.

The closest celestial object is the Ring of Siberys, a brilliant equatorial band of light that dominates the sky. Twelve orbiting moons are visible from Eberron. Canon descriptions of the moons can be found in this article. The connection between the planes and the moons is reinforced by the fact that within a plane, the associated moon is the only one that can be seen in the sky assuming that any moon can be seen; not all planar layers have a visible sky. It may be fixed in a single phase—such as in Lamannia, where the moon is always full, or it could change from layer to layer.

By canon lore, no humanoid has ever visited one of the moons. Because of this, their nature remains a mystery. They could be similar to the moon of Earth—harsh and barren. A third option lies between these two: that the moons are habitable planetoids that are strongly influenced by the planes they are tied to. By canon, Eberron is the only planet in its material plane.

The Ring of Siberys is a clear target for any advanced nation. Beyond the ring you have the moons. And just as in our world, a space race gives a clear, tight focus for the current cold war. The people of the Five Nations may be afraid to start the Last War anew… but which nation will be the first to plant their flag in the Ring of Siberys? What are the obstacles that have to be overcome? And what might people find? If all that it takes to reach the moons is to fly straight up, people would have done it long ago.

Even though airships are a relatively recent innovation, surely in three decades SOMEONE has determined just how high they can go… and while airships may be new, brooms of flying and similar devices have been around. So as a DM planning a space race, consider the following factors.

The Ring of Siberys is too vast for any nation to claim dominion over it. But the first nation to establish an outpost in the Ring or on the moons with have the first opportunity to explore the environment, to harness its resources, and to establish contact with whatever creatures could be found there.

The idea is that no nation or dragonmarked house has had unlimited access to Siberys shards; no one knows what could be done with that reliable source. One option is to focus on the Five Nations: this is about Breland, Aundair, and Karrnath racing to the sky. Personally, my inclination is to focus on the Five Nations—emphasizing that the Last War has been replaced by a cold war. Thrane is currently a minor player in the race, though the Argentum is exploring the possibilities for an engine that harnesses the power of the Silver Flame itself.

Likewise, New Cyre lacks the resources to compete with these main players… but Oargev dreams of establishing a true new Cyre on Olarune. The Five Nations may be working to win the space race, but someone else likely won that race long ago. However, the Ring of Siberys is vast and the dragons are secretive; their outposts are surely well hidden, both physically and magically. Having said that, the dragons may not have bothered to explore the moons—so they could be a truly unexplored frontier.

And if a DM wants to introduce a powerful force of giants or empyreans, they could have used a powerful sequester effect to conceal a base in the Ring or on one of the moons. The Ascendant Counselors explore the universe in astral form and have no need to do it physically. These are creatures of Eberron who might have settled above it; possible natives are discussed below. The Ring of Siberys is the logical first stop in the space race, being closer than the moons and having a clear strategic value.

If the DM would rather focus on the moons, the magical energies of the Ring can be deadly to living creatures. If the Ring is the destination, the first question is whether the Ring has gravity and atmosphere.

This is the most magical place in existence, so anything is possible. The next question is whether the Ring is in fact entirely comprised of massive dragonshards, or if the bulk of it is some other material; it could be a soft stone, that some might see as the calcified flesh of an ancient dragon.

Even if there is an atmosphere, the Ring is entirely barren. Magic is dramatically enhanced within the Ring. One option is that all spells cast in the Ring benefit from the Distant Spell and Extended Spell Metamagic options presented in the sorcerer class.

With time, it could be that spellcasters could learn unique spells that can only be cast in the magic-rich environment of the Ring. Just as the energies of the Ring can be used to produce fireballs and lighting bolts, the Ring produces dramatic, unnatural weather effects—bursts of fire, acid rain, illusory manifestations, psychic storms.

The Ring also produces living spells, which linger for a time before being absorbed back into the Ring. Other native creatures are rare, given the difficulty of surviving in the RIng. However, just as the rakshasa are said to be the children of Khyber, the native celestials of Eberron—the couatl—are said to have been born of Siberys.

While most of the couatl sacrificed their existence to bind the overlords, there could be a few powerful celestials still bound to the Ring. Legends speak of the Irsvern—winged kobolds said to be blessed by Siberys. What powers might these children of the Ring possess?

Exploring Eberron provides more details about the planes, and will prove a useful resource whether the moons are planar portals or merely strongly influenced by planes. The main difference between the planar portal and the idea of the manifest world is the degree to which the adventurers can have a lasting impact, and the degree to which the world is an entirely new frontier. On the other hand, manifest worlds are an opportunity to explore entirely new and alien realms—to have first contact with unknown cultures.

This is another a way to introduce exotic races or elements from other settings; perhaps loxodons are from Olarune! Does Arrah orbit Eberron? If so, is it much further away than the moons? In the myth, the Progenitors finish their work and rest in the Material Plane.

They kindle Arrah as a campfire. They then fight: Siberys is killed, Eberron and Khyber entwined. Though another sage could argue that the Progenitors were clearly the focal point of creation and that Arrah would have been pulled into their orbit. The origin of lycanthropy remains a mystery.

All lycanthropes are influenced by the moons, but not all in the same way; this suggests that there may be multiple strains of lycanthropy with different origins. The first strain is only affected by the phases of the moon Olarune; this is typically associated with good-aligned lycanthropes. The second strain of lycanthropy is affected by all of the moons, and multiple full moons can cause extreme behavior; this is the effect reported by the templars during the Lycanthropic Purge, and it encourages aggressive behavior and drives victims to quickly succumb to the curse.

The third strain of lycanthrope is affected by the moon s that were ascendant at the moment of its birth or at the moment it was afflicted; this is common among natural lycanthropes. Exploring Eberron goes into more detail about how I use the Gith in my Eberron. How do the shifter Moonspeakers see the moons? Are they planar portals or more like spiritual guides? The Moonspeaker druids view the moons as spiritual guides. While the moons correlate with the planes, is there really a correlation with the Dragonmarks, too?

The lost moon is tied to Dal Quor, but the lost mark is the Mark of Death, which would have been tied to the same moon as Dolurrh, I would have thought. The moons and the planes are both part of creation; they have both existed since the dawn of time. Consider that Crya was lost tens of thousands of years before the Mark of Death even existed! And the people who made those assignments may not even know that there once was a thirteenth moon!

But it could also be entirely speculative. Having said that, consider what Dolurrh actually is.



Nearly a quarter of Exploring Eberron is devoted to the planes of Eberron, providing a deeper look into these different layers of reality. While this addresses the supernatural cosmology of Eberron, my Patreon supporters have posed a number of questions tied to the Material Plane. What do the people of Eberron know about the physical universe beyond Eberron? What is the nature of the moons? Could there be a space race in Eberron? Others have raised more practical questions: how do the many moons of Eberron affect its tides?


Dragonmarks in Eberron: Rising from the Last War

So… We finally got the Eberron official release we long waited for. With it, several new player choices arrived. Thus, I present to you the new feature included in the book: dragonmarks. Dragonmarks work in similar manner subraces do. They work as a separate option the players can choose and might want to have explained before making the final decision. Moreover, they provide both abilities and spells to be used by channeling it that vary depending on the dragonmark. Note: Dragonmarks are tattoos that appear on people during adolescence.


Artificers and Spells

You can still access the older versions of the dragonmarks and the Eberron races in the Unearthed Arcana articles: Dragonmarks and Eberron Races. For example, Rising provides additional information for the leaders of each dragonmark house and their headquarters. It did lose a few personality trait options in the editing process, it seems. Another major change to note is that the Greater Dragonmark feat is nowhere to be found in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. Previously, the Greater Dragonmark feat would increase the bonus a dragonmarked character would receive to certain skill checks, boost one of their stats, and grant additional spells. The Aberrant Dragonmark feat remains mostly the same. Whenever you cast the 1 st level spell you get from the mark, you expend a hit die and roll it.

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