The Treachery of Thronehold
It may appear to the learned elite of Khorvaire that many things in Eberron come in baker’s dozens of twelve plus one. There are now twelve dragonmarks plus the now lost Mark of Death. Likewise, despite there being twelve dragonmarks today, there are now thirteen dragonmarked houses. Planar sages know of twelve planes of existence that wax and wane around Eberron plus one, Xoriat, that has thankfully stayed remote for thousands of years. The Treaty of Thronehold officially recognizes thirteen nations but one of them, the Mournland, is uninhabited and a few others, Droaam in the lead, are still bitter about not having received official recognition.
In the same spirit, a fledgling group called The Thirteenth has come into being on the island of Thronehold following the signing of its famous treaty. In this era of underhanded war, for many peace exists in name only. Every faction, be they nations, dragonmarked houses, churches, criminal gangs, prestigious universities, or secret societies, is fighting against its opponents on the political, economical, territotial, and magical levels, using almost every mean available short of open warfare to get the upper hand. Likewise, smaller organizations who wouldn’t have stood a chance during the Last War can now dare to play on the same gaming board as the major players. Under these circumstances, dissidents and criminals residing in Throneport for years have joined forces with newcomers sent by the nations in hope of playing on a level field with the bigger factions while at the same time staying beneath their notice. Biding their time, they’ve slowly but surely gained prime position in Throneport, so much that no one threatens their influence locally. Strong of their initial success, they now have their sights set far beyond the Scions Sound.
Referring to each others as bakers, members of the Thirteenth come from all slices of life. Many are criminals, exiles, outlaws, or the children of such, seeing the strongwilled organization as their best chance to rise above their current condition. But many members come from the more comfortable classes of society, perhaps disillusioned by how their former affiliations turned after the end of the war or frustrated by the obstacles and glass ceiling the limiting their personal growth. Part nation, part church, and part criminal gang, the Thirteenth nevertheless welcomes folks from all affiliations. Some may be ardent nationalists or devoted zealots, but all bakers agree to put the interests of each others and of the Thirteenth first, and to keep the organization’s workings from anyone else.
In a way. the organization aspires to become like those thirteenth nation, dramgonmarked house, plane of existemce, and so on, not officially recognized but still treated as a member of their respective groups. For now, the Thirteenth doesn’t have the strength or influence to be a major power player, although it’s probably for the best. being perceived as a threat might incite other groups to act against it before it’s ready. Instead, the Thirteenth attempts to increase its power as much as possible while staying under everyone’s radar in order to be too powerful to be brushed aside when the day will come to announce itself to the world.
The location of its headquarters on the island of Thronehold is no mere coincedence. Though each of the Four Nations controls a district of the city of Throneport, the island itself officially belongs to no one. No one nation would bother sending armed troups to secure an area it would have to share with its rivals, and the idea of all four nations working together against anything short of a continental threat is simply laughable given the circumstances following the end of the Last War. Only the symbolic power of Thronehold as the former capital of the Kingdom of Galifar, and the dream of some world leaders to someday settle there, could still motivate them to make sure no one else does.
For the time being, the Thirteenth is makign sure to either eliminate or ally itself with other factions in Throneport, in order to slowly become accepted as the de facto leader of the city. Meanwhile, it tries to gather as many political allie as possible who will be willing to recognize them officially when the times come to flaunt oneself openly, thereby inciting others to do the same, and to gather as much armament as possible in order to fend off those would would not recognize the new faction.