Excerpts 07/06/2005

Five Nations Excerpt
By Bill Slavicsek, David Noonan, Christopher Perkins

Add to your Eberron campaign with the Five Nations campaign supplement. Five Nations offers players a rich source of information about playing and dealing with characters from the Five Nations of the Eberron world. As any play in the Eberron world is likely to involve the Five Nations or characters from them, the book is useful to anyone involved in an Eberron campaign. The individual nation chapters include information on culture, geography (including maps), guilds and factions and, new prestige classes, equipment, creatures, spells, magic items, and adventure sites. The excerpts below include introductory information, information on Aundair and some of its leaders, a prestige class, plus a creature.


The Five Nations refers to the ancient kingdom of Galifar, harkening back to a legendary time of peace and prosperity.

Once the great kingdom of Galifar stretched across the continent of Khorvaire, providing the stability needed for peace and prosperity to reign over the land. That all changed when the last king of Galifar, Jarot, died in 894 YK. His children, the lords of the Five Nations that comprised the kingdom, decided to break with tradition and throw off the rules of succession. Instead of a smooth transition of power to the eldest scion, the five lords each sought to take control of the kingdom. This led to the terrible, century-long conflict known as the Last War.

Over the course of the last hundred years, the character of each of the Five Nations changed and developed. Today, while each of the Five Nations obviously has its roots in the great kingdom of Galifar, each has grown into a separate nation with a character and outlook all its own.

During the war, alliances formed and were broken countless times. At some point during the century, each of the Five Nations fought side by side or against each other -- and in many cases these patterns were reversed time and time again as the conflict progressed. Now, though the Last War has ended and the Treaty of Thronehold promotes peace across the land, conflict continues to bubble below the surface of everyday life. Within the Five Nations, words of peace fill the air and hands of friendship extend across the borders even as various power groups secretly engage in endless intrigue and espionage, and those touched by the war struggle with mixed emotions of hatred, loss, relief, and revenge.

The Last War is over, but the current peace is nothing more than a prelude to the war to come. The Treaty of Thronehold didn't do enough to address the abundance of grievances, slights, pain, and fundamental disagreements that developed or were compounded during the century of war. The kingdom of Galifar was born in war, and it died in war. During this calm, the Five Nations work to gain every advantage so that -- individually at least -- they can weather the coming storm.

Most adventurers active in the land were born during the Last War, shaped and defined not only by this terrible conflict, but by the traditions and attitudes of the nations in which they were raised. Many fought in the Last War, either for national pride or for plunder and profit. Today, they must reevaluate the course of their lives and learn to work with or at least tolerate adventurers that hail from nations they once fought against.

Five Nations presents detailed information on the major countries that occupy the central region of Khorvaire -- Aundair, Breland, Karrnath, Thrane, and the Mournland, the area that used to be the nation of Cyre. It is an invaluable resource for anyone playing in or running an Eberron campaign.

Players will discover details about the nations their characters hail from or adventure in, as well as new options for spells, equipment, and prestige classes, among other things. Dungeon Masters will find all kinds of campaign hooks, adventure ideas, and a wealth of details to help their adventures in these regions come alive. For those playing in any other Dungeons & Dragons campaign, these five regions can be easily modified to drop into any setting. Don't pass on all these great ideas just because you're not using the Eberron setting.

The Five Nations

The Five Nations were named for the eldest scions of Galifar the First. The new king granted his sons and daughters -- his warlords -- these portions of the realm to govern in recognition of the help they provided in establishing the kingdom. Galifar had a vision for a unified empire that stretched across Khorvaire, and he trained his family for the many wars of conquest that would be required to establish his dream. As each son and daughter came of age, they became Galifar's warlords and generals, leading his armies to victory. Along the way, Galifar also trained them for the peace that would follow, honing five visionary leaders as he honed his weapons and troops for every battle.

Galifar's eldest daughter, Aundair, governed the northwestern portion of the kingdom and helped shape the region that would eventually bear her name. The southwestern portion of the kingdom became the domain of Brey, Galifar's second daughter. During her reign, the region came to be called Breland. Cyre, youngest son of Galifar, governed the southeastern portion of the kingdom and gave his name to the region in 32 YK. Karrnath, the eastern region of the kingdom, was turned over to Galifar's eldest scion, Karrn, to govern. This area was the original seat of Galifar's power, and it was only natural that his oldest son would be granted control of the area. The southern portion of the kingdom became the domain of Thrane, Galifar's middle son. As with the other nations, the region adopted the name of its governor-prince in 32 YK.

For almost a thousand years, the great kingdom of Galifar rose atop the pillars of the Five Nations to create an unprecedented age of peace and prosperity. For almost a thousand years, the scions of the kingdom governed the Five Nations and followed the rites of succession as put forth by Galifar the First during his forty-year reign. This honored tradition was abandoned a century ago, when the last king of Galifar, Jarot, died. For the first time in the history of the kingdom, the scions refused to honor the rites of succession. Each governor-prince eventually decided to claim the throne and the crown for himself or herself, and the kingdom broke apart in all-out war.

To understand the Five Nations as they exist today (in the year 998 YK as reckoned by the people of Khorvaire), it helps to understand the history of this important region.

The Origin of the Five Nations

Humans arrived in eastern Khorvaire some three thousand years ago. They traveled across the Sea of Rage, leaving Sarlona for reasons that have been lost to the passing years. For the next thousand years, humans spread westward, struggling with the goblinoid tribes for the best portions of the land. Eventually, five major human settlements arose in central Khorvaire. These would become the Five Nations.

For five hundred years, the five human settlements grew and fought with the neighboring goblinoids -- the remnants of the once-powerful Dhakaani Empire. Then, two thousand years ago, human imperialism began. Karrn the Conqueror established the first human nation, Karrnath, along the northeastern shores of the great five-spoked river that divided the central continent. His armies defeated and drove the remaining goblinoids to the south. Then he turned his attention on his human neighbors.

Karrn the Conqueror was a cruel and covetous man who believed that he was destined to rule over all of Khorvaire. He had built the most powerful human army up to that time, and after defeating the goblinoids he began a campaign to conquer the other four major human settlements. Karrn swept south, ostensibly to drive the remaining goblinoids into the wild regions, but actually invading the region that would one day become Cyre. Caught by surprise, the region fell to Karrn. With two nations now claimed as part of his empire, Karrn's forces massed on the border of what would one day be called Thrane and demanded the nation's immediate surrender. Before Karrn could claim another victory, the remaining three nations joined forces to stop the Conqueror's spread. What emerged from the carnage were five distinct human nations that spent the next thousand years alternately working together, competing for space and resources, and ultimately setting the stage for the great human civilization to come.

Of course, while humans were the most numerous and in many of the key positions of power, the other common races participated in the rise of the Five Nations. Thanks to the growing economic strength of the dragonmarked houses, all the common races found a place in the developing human countries. Dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, half-elves, and half-orcs started out as representatives and employees of their respective dragonmarked houses, but eventually members of each race settled down and made homes in the Five Nations. These neighborhoods began as house enclaves, becoming less attached to the houses as the common race populations in the nations grew.

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