The Treachery of Thronehold
Lands of Eberron
The Five Nations
The Five nations were once united as the Kingdom of Galifar, and their combined area encompassed most of Khorvaire. After the death of King Jarot, the leaders of the Five Nation fought for control of the kingdom, pulling the continent into the Last War, a truly devastating conflict that raged on for a hundred years. Today, all of the Five Nations have lost much of their original territory, and they are really only four, but their citizens still refer to the Five Nations as the cultural and political power center of the continent.
Aundair can be seen as a coin with two sides. On one side, Aundair is filled with pastoral villages and farmlands among the most fertile of the Five Nations. But at the same time, Aundair is rich with cosmopolitan cities alive with commerce and various institutions of higher learning, especially of matters arcane. But whether side they live on, Aundair citizens speak of their whole country with great pride. The population of Aundair is mostly human, but half-elves, elves, gnomes, and even halflings ar also fairly common.
Of all the Five Nations, Breland has made the greatest social and economical recovery since the end of the Last War, due in part to the strong leadership of King Boranel. The greatest of the current Five Nations in area, it produces more food than needed to feed its population, which has led to a society of great personal liberties. However, this freedom also translates in a greater rate of crime and corruption than elsewhere. Worthy of mention is the metropolis of Sharn, also known as the City of Towers. Most populated city on Khorvaire, it can almost be treated as a nation on its own, where everything and everyone can be found. The population of Breland is made up mostly of humans, with a sizable minority of gnomes, as well as half-elves, elves, and dwarves. The same can only be said about Sharn to a lesser degree, as every race of Khorvaire can be found in good numbers.
Formerly a strong military bastion of Galifar, Karrnath sufferes greatly during the Last War. It had to resort to use necromancy to create undead legions from the soldier fallen on the battlefield. Though it still boasts the mightiest military power on the continent, in part due to its mandatory miltary service, Karrnath now struggles against plagues and famine. There is much feuding and infighting between the various landlords and nobles of Karrnath, but so far King Kaius III has managed to keep them in chack. Like all the of the Five Nations, Karrnath’s population is composed mostly of humans, along with a great number of dwarves. Halflings, half-elves, and elves are also sizable minorities, and a very small but growing population of dragonborn is starting make its appearance.
The Mournland (formerly Cyre)
The former nation of Cyre is no more. Formerly known for its artistic refinement, beautiful Cyre suddently died four years ago. Without warning or explanation, foul gray mists swept across the nation, killing every living creature and leaving behind a broken, twites land of horrors. The cataclysm was so horrible that it led to the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold two years later. Today, no one except rogue warforged and undead – and allegedly fowl aberrations – resides in Cyre, but many surviving citizens of Cyre, mostly humans, half-elves, and halflings, mourn their loss. A majority of them has taken residence in the recently renamed city of New Cyre over the Breland border.
While surrounded by the other Five Nations, Thrane has managed to remain a strong economic and military power. Its theocratic government is ostensibly devoted to stamping out evil and making life better for all. The Church of the Silver Flame is the true power here, Queen Diani holding functions that little more than symbolic. Thrane is by far the nation on Khorvaire with the greatest proportion of humans among its population. Half-elves, elves, and dwarves reside in small number, but many races like shifters, changelings, or tieflings are unwelcome in Thrane, and these in kind try to avoid the area due to the purges of lycanthrope, doppelgangers, or devils oprated by the Church of the Silver Flame in ancient times.
Although many would see the Five Nations as the cultural, historical, and political heart of Khorvaire, a great variety of nations exist beyond the borders of ancient Galifar, each with their own cultures, beliefs, and agendas. And the Five Nations themselves have for the most part lost a great portion of their territory since the start of the Last War, creating a handful of new independant nations.
A land of goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears built on the ruins of Cyran settlement seized through treason, Darguun is seen as a sickly scab by most one Khorvaire. Nevertheless, the Thronehold Treaty signed at the end of the Last War recognized the newly created goblin nation. Darguun goblins sometimes conduct slaving raids on nearby communities, and foreign visitors don’t enjoy any rights unless they carry a writ of passage bought in a Darguun city or at a Darguun embassy.
The Demon Wastes
At the northwestern edge of Korvaire lies a monster-filled land of dried soil and cracked rock. Legacy of the Age of Demons from several thousand years ago, the area has barely recovered at all. Barbarian clans of orcs and humans, roaming packs of gnolls, and the odd tielfling make up much of the population. In addition, the Demon Wastes count tens of thousands of lesser demons and fiends escaped from Khyber. Exprditions are sometimes sent there to search for dragonshards or for magical artifacts, but otherwise the rest of Khorvaire would rather forget the Demon Wastes entirely.
Droaam is litteraly a land of monsters. Located on the western side of Breland, Droaam was not recognized as a nation by the Treaty of Thronehold, but the Daughters of Sora Kell – a covey of hags – rule it as one. Breland, in kind, has made little attempts to establish human colonies in Droaam. Gnolls, orcs, and goblins make up the greater portion of the population, but shifters and changelings are not uncommon and Droaam also counts good numbers of harpies, ogres, medusas, minotaurs, and even more exotic creatures among its citizens.
The Eldeen Reaches
The vast expanse of mostly untamed land west of Aundair is called the Eldeen Reaches. The West bank of the Wynarn River is populated with farmers who swore allegiance to the druidic Wardens of the Woods after the mobilization of the Aundarian army in the East left their side at the mercy of bandits. Still further West, dense forests unckecked by the walls of civilization provide a home for ancient trees and savage beasts, various druidic sects, mischievous fey and primal forces. Humans count for slightly less than half of all Reachers. Half-elves and shifters are also common, and gnome and halflings also make up a significant minority. The druidic sects are almost exclusively composed of orcs and humans, although members of other races come to join their ranks from time to time.
The Lhazaar Principalities
Consisting of a narrow strip of land on northeast Khorvaire proper and a vast archipelago, the Lhazaar Principalires are either home of the world’d best mariners or a wretched den of pirates, outlaws, and murderers, depending on who you ask. More a series of distinct territories grouped together than a truly unified nation, the Principalities struggle to shed their violent and lawless reputation and to get accepted as legitimate trading partners by the other nations. The human majority in Lhazaar is joined by a substantial population of gnomes, half-elves, and changelings. However, people of all races settled in the Principalies during the Last War, albeit most often as outlaws and deserters looking for a haven from the laws of the Five Nations.
The Mror Holds
Ancestral home of all the dwarves on Khorvaire, the Mror Holds are a confederation of dwarven clans holding dominion over a region of rocky plains and craggy mountains. Constanty warring against each other until they were unified by Galifar a thousand years ago, the Mror Holds were ironically the first to declare their independance during the Last War. Today the clans deal with outside nations by selliung them the finest ores and gems available on Khorvaire, or by providing banking services. Aside from an overwhelming majority of dwarves, many humans and gnomes have also immigrated to the Holds to establish their trades as merchants and miners.
A wild peninsula of unpenetrable jungle, only began to get colonized some seventy years ago when fugitives from the Last War saw it as a sanctuary from the bloodshed back home. Of course, Lizardfolk, dragonborn, and kobolds had inhabited the region for thousands of years and had no desire to lose their lands to the newcomers. Today, the refugees have succeeded in getting Q’barra recognized as a sovereign nation, but the jungle’s native inhabitants still outnumber the recent settlers, humans for the greater part, in a two-to-one ratio.
The Shadow Marches
The region may be an inhospitable land of fetid swamps filled with biting insects and poisonous reptiles populated by primitive orcs, but fate had it that it also holds some of the largest deposits of dragonshards on Eberron. The inhabitants of the Marches, mostly orcs along with half as many humans, dwell on a subsistence level. They construct houses on stilts, get about by boat, and raise the few food crops – rice being the most common – that thrive in the marsh.
The Talenta Plains
An enormous expanse of pristine grasslands and rolling hills stretches in eastern Khorvaire. Too dry for being used as farmlands, the Talenta Plains remain largely untouched by civilization. Across this vast area, dinosaurs still run wild and halfling wander in nomadic tribes, just as they have done for thousands of years. The Talenta Plains count a single permanent settlement: Gatherhold on the coast of Lake Cyre. It is where the Talenta Tribal Council meets at least three times a year, and where most of the few nonhalfling resident – humans, dwarves, and chamgelings for the most part – can be found.
The only true elven nation on Khorvaire, Valenar was seized by Aerenal elves who originally came to fight as mercenaries in the Last War, staking a claim to a progressively greater territory as the conflict progressed. Although their leader signed the Treaty of Thronehold, Valenar is in a state of constant conflict with its neighbors. A number of humans, half-elves, and goblins remain from the days before the elven rule. While only elves are considered true citizens, members of other races are peasants and serfs who perform the farming and administrative duties with which the elven leaders cannot be bothered.
Heir to a culture that predates the rise of Galifar, the land of the gnomes is plentiful, peaceful, properous, and almost too good to be true. Zilargo can boast of being the home of one of the world’s foremost universities, several experts on all matters arcane and alchemical, as well as the most reliable newssheet in Khorvaire. It is said that those who follow the laws of Zilargo never have to fear anything. But enemies of Zilargo see their secrets exposed and their plans countered before they’ve even acted. And individuals who break the peace or incite unrest sometimes vanish suddenly and without a trace. Gnomes are of course the numerous race in Zilargo, but humans, dwarves, and eladrins also count significant populations.