Excerpts 11/06/2006

Dragonmarked Excerpt
By Keith Baker, Michelle Lyons and C.A. Suleiman

Learn more about dragonmarks and those marked by them in Dragonmarked, an accessory for the Eberron campaign setting. Within this book you'll find prestige classes, feats, items, and further information detailing the various houses, among other useful topics. To get a taste of what's in store for you, take a look at these excerpts, which include information about House Cannith, the silver key prestige class, new feats, and several items. If you're curious about the topics covered in this book, please peruse the Table of Contents we provided earlier!

House Cannith as an Organization

Baron Jorlanna d'Cannith of Fairhaven

"We alone have created a new form of life -- and that will be the least of our achievements."
-- Aarren d'Cannith

House Cannith is a dragonmarked house of humans who carry the Mark of Making in their bloodlines. It is among the leaders of the dragonmarked houses, and the greatest artifice of modern Khorvaire is of Cannith design.


Membership in House Cannith is primarily by blood, though more than a few members have entered through marriage. Hirelings receive benefits, such as equipment, and recognition, but are little more than servants as far as Cannith is concerned. A rare few associates might be recognized as honorary members after long service, or even given the opportunity to marry into the family. Warforged are never recognized as members of the house. In House Cannith, artificers, sorcerers, and wizards are common, given the house's focus on magical creation. Members unskilled in arcane magic find it difficult to rise within the ranks. Characters who are members of House Cannith must choose Cannith South, West, or East.


Race: Human.

Special: Must be related to a member of House Cannith by blood or marriage.

House Cannith relies on magical research and invention to remain prosperous, and arcanists are the house's lifeblood. Wizards research new ideas and evaluate magic from outside the house, from ancient relics to the latest spells. Artificers transform that study into physical reality, and they control the use of the Cannith-created items. Sorcerers represent the house in the wider world, undertaking expeditions, guarding inventions, and retrieving (or eliminating) relics and people as necessary.


Given Cannith's position as an affluent and influential house, its members have access to a wide range of benefits. However, the aftermath of the Day of Mourning has left the house divided in resources as well as loyalties.

Economics: House Cannith covets magic items, especially those of Cyre and Xen'drik. Members who find such items are strongly encouraged to bring them to the house, which then researches them or loans them to those on house assignments. Items are evaluated, and the member who found them is paid 65% of the estimated worth. In addition, Cannith South will subsidize up to one-half the total cost of house expeditions to Xen'drik or Cyre, as long as such expeditions leave from Sharn and include at least one Cannith South member.

Baron Zorlan d'Cannith or Korth

Gear: Members of House Cannith are always well outfitted -- anything less would be an affront to the house's pride. Those on Cannith business are fully outfitted with mundane equipment, and those on personal business pay only 25% of the standard cost for mundane gear.

Information: Members can have magic items identified for 50% of the normal cost and get access to maps and reports from Cannith explorers in Cyre and Xen'drik.

Access: Only members of the house and their associates have access to the house's forges and workshops.

Favored in House Benefits

Though all members of House Cannith have a level of privilege, the split in the house has led to ill will between competing factions. Requests from members of Cannith East might be ignored by Cannith South unless the southern faction feels generous or will profit in some way. A party from Cannith West can ask for a warforged bodyguard from Cannith South, but have less chance of receiving them than a party affiliated with Merrix.

The following table indicates the types of favors a Cannith character with the Favored in House feat might request. In addition to general favors, each arm of the house can provide special favors, mainly to its members.


You are a proud member of the leader of all dragonmarked houses and the creator of the wonders of modern Khorvaire. Your social standing is exceeded only by that of the nobles of the realm -- and not always by them. You owe no allegiance to anyone outside the house, and it took all Five Nations together to put a leash on the Gorgon, the symbol of your line. Some might call you arrogant, but arrogance and self-assurance are often confused by the envious.

The wonders of Cannith are known throughout the world, and you feel responsible for continuing that legacy. Whether you have a dragonmark or not, you are expected to contribute to the success of your house through invention, scholarship, business, or diplomacy. Even more is expected of the dragonmarked heirs of Cannith, who serve apprenticeships in the guilds during their training, then move up into house business as their talents are honed.

However, beneath your pride lurks a lingering concern. No matter where your loyalty lies, you know a house divided against itself inevitably falls, and you cannot help but feel bitterness toward those who follow these pretenders to the seat of the Gorgon. When your chosen leader takes command of the house, supporters of the would-be usurpers will be dealt with. Until then, it is up to your side to keep Cannith's glory from degenerating further.


Members of House Cannith never shy away from combat, though they are seldom found in the thick of it. You use every tool at your disposal to ensure victory, including spells, magic items, and construct mercenaries. As a member of the house, you always have the best gear, focusing on protective or damage-dealing magic items. When Cannith goes to battle, there is no such thing as overkill.


In House Cannith, magic is an integral part of your surroundings. Magical training is available and strongly encouraged, but should you prove incapable of mastering the arcane arts, you will be tutored by clan elders in business, administration, and diplomacy. A career in combat or divine magic requires a strong will and demonstrable aptitude, but once you gain permission, the house will arrange training with the best tutors money can buy. For a Cannith, to do anything but excel is unacceptable.

You know that continued innovation is the fortune and lifeblood of your house. Power is the ultimate goal, and any steps needed to attain it are acceptable. This is not to say that you personally embrace an ethos of immorality, but there can be no doubt that your house does. You are wise enough to pick your battles -- whether physical or social -- with care. Once committed, you accept nothing less than complete victory, no matter what it takes.


DC[1] Benefit

10 One free use of the least Mark of Making; a loan of 100 gp at 10% per month[3]
15 One free use of the lesser Mark of Making
20 One free use of the greater Mark of Making; free use of a 3rd-level member of the Fabricators Guild or Tinkers Guild (least dragonmark) for 1 week
25 Free use of a 5th-level member of the Fabricators Guild or Tinkers Guild (lesser dragonmark) for 1 week

Cannith South Additional Benefits[2]

DC[1] Benefit

10 Free passage with a house expedition to Xen'drik for four characters
15 A gift of a wand with base value 2,500 gp with 10 charges left (500 gp value)
20 Use of a warforged bodyguard (fighter 4) for 1 week
25 Free use of a nonexpendable medium wondrous item for 1 week

Cannith West Additional Benefits[2]

DC[1] Benefit

15 Access to the Twelve's magic library for 1 day
20 An introduction to a noble from Aundair or Thrane
25 Use of a sorcerer of the Twelve (sorcerer 5) for 1 week

Cannith East Additional Benefits[2]

DC[1] Benefit

15 Training at the Rekkenmark Academy for 1 week[4]
20 Use of 1d4 Rekkenmark cadets (fighter 3) for 1 week
25 Free use of 1d4 Karrnathi zombie soldiers for 1 week

1 If a requested favor involves an illegal or dangerous act, increase the DC by 5. Favors with DCs of 20 or higher always require additional service to the house.
2 If the character requesting a favor is from a different branch of the house, increase the DC by 5.
3 A character can have no more than one loan at a time.
4 Individual benefit to be determined by the DM. See Five Nations for more information on Rekkenmark Academy.


The missions House Cannith assigns depend on your faction. In Cannith South, you might explore the Mournland or Xen'drik. Alternatively, you might travel on diplomatic missions to Cannith East or West, playing one against the other. You could be appointed an emissary to Morgrave University, examining new finds. You might even report to Merrix with any information you gain -- or the items themselves, if possible.

As a member of Cannith West, you might accompany agents of the Twelve on expeditions as far away as Argonnessen or Sarlona, representing your house. You might research ancient druid ruins in the Eldeen Reaches. You could be sent to a gala to enlighten an important noble on a matter that concerns your house. You might even find yourself engaged in espionage under cover of guild membership, traveling across Khorvaire in support of Jorlanna d'Cannith's ambition to rule -- or inadvertently serving the Lords of Dust as they manipulate that ambition.

For Cannith East, you might find yourself loaned to Karrnath in pursuit of Emerald Claw agents, meeting with Lhazaarite princes to discuss business endeavors, joining the dwarf lords of the Mror Holds to stave off an incursion from Khyber, or leading a unit of undead and constructs on a clandestine mission for the Karrnathi crown.


"Jaxon d'Cannith . . . I remember him well. We were overrun by ghouls, and without a blink, he cast spells and left two guards standin' like statues, right in the path. Gave us time to run, but I can still hear the screams."
-- Guard Brennan Ensfield, Sharn Watch

Wherever magical power can be gained, House Cannith is nearby. Not content to let the Twelve do their work for them, the scions of the house claim any resource that might help them regain their former glory or exceed their previous achievements -- as quietly as possible, of course. Though the house is not wholly evil, many within Cannith can hardly be called souls of truth and righteousness. As a base of operations for the PCs, a bastion against truly dark forces in the world, or an evil empire, House Cannith can be a powerful force in any campaign.

The last patriarch, Starrin d'Cannith, left a lasting imprint on his house. Though Merrix and Aarren created the warforged, Starrin engaged the warring sibling kings of the Five Nations, persuading them both of Cannith's neutrality and of the warforged's usefulness in battle. His death was a blow from which the house has yet to recover.

Instead of a single patriarch, Cannith currently has three descendants claiming the title of baron, each managing a portion of the house's concerns. Though a council of lords seneschal would typically reign over the viceroys, Merrix, Jorlanna, and Zorlan's nominal status as the heirs to the seat of the Gorgon effectively makes them a triumvirate, over which the lords seneschal have little control.

Promotion within the house is judged by one's contributions to Cannith's continued growth and well-being. Members must strive if they wish to become more powerful within the hierarchy. Those who succeed are either brilliant at invention, uncannily aware of others' motives, or both. House members with no taste for politics succeed by lending their support to those so inclined.

NPC Reactions

House Cannith's position as the nominal leader of the dragonmarked houses goes largely unchallenged. Cannith and Deneith work well together, and individuals from House Deneith and the Twelve have an initial reaction of friendly to Cannith members. Members of the other dragonmarked houses have an initial reaction of indifferent. Notable exceptions include members of Tharashk and Vadalis, both of whom dislike Cannith's questionable morals and power-hungry ways. Members of those two houses often have an initial attitude of unfriendly.

Guilds in House Cannith

The roots of House Cannith are in its guilds, the historical face of the house and the most common Cannith presence outside its enclaves. The bulk of house business actually goes on outside the guilds, which are seen by house members as only training grounds or career footnotes.


The Fabricators Guild is a mercantile branch of House Cannith, well known as a training ground for arcane spellcasters and dragonmarked heirs. Outside the house, the Fabricators Guild has a reputation for fine, reliable goods. Guild shops offer a complete range of mundane equipment, and some accept commissions for unusual nonmagical items. Though most guild members keep to cities, some heirs are commissioned to travel with caravans and ships, to create or repair equipment.


The Tinkers Guild is a mercantile branch of House Cannith, and hearkens back to the origins of the house. Cannith was born from groups of human tinkers that moved from town to town, repairing broken items or making new ones to sell. The guild has a virtual monopoly on the repair of mundane objects, primarily by members with the least or lesser Marks of Making. Most Dragonmarked heirs of Cannith serve at least two years in the guild, acting as the public face of the house in Khorvaire. Those dragonmarked who decide that rank and power are not for them sometimes remain in the guild, balancing a lack of respect from others in the house with a life of relative freedom.


Associated Classes: Expert, fighter, rogue, warrior.

Associated Skills: Appraise, Diplomacy, Craft, Knowledge (local), Profession (tinker).


Associated Classes: Artificer, expert, magewright, wizard.

Associated Skills: Appraise, Craft, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Knowledge (local).


Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (nobility and royalty) can research House Cannith to learn more about it. When a character succeeds on a skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: House Cannith is the power behind the Tinkers Guild and Fabricators Guild. It can be found across the land, and dominate the craft industry.

DC 15: Some members of House Cannith have the Mark of Making, and can create or repair using magic.

DC 20: House Cannith created the warforged and sold them to many nations. The Treaty of Thronehold gave the warforged the same rights as other individuals and forbade Cannith from creating more.

DC 30: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn important details about House Cannith in your campaign, including history, notable members, the areas where it operates, and the kinds of activities it undertakes.


Though Cannith lost Whitehearth, Merrix d'Cannith's enclave in Sharn has taken over the house's creative work. The Sharn enclave is the practical headquarters for the business of the house, but those with political or investment interests more often approach Jorlanna or Zorlan.

Many look to Sharn for new wonders, but Cannith is not limited to one facility. The house has holdings across the continent, and beyond. Though Sharn has the only current forgehold, Cannith estates are found in Fairhaven, Flamekeep, Korth, Throneport, and Trolanport, with small outposts at Regalport and Varna. Abroad, the house has holdings in Pylas Talaear on Aerenal and in Stormreach on Xen'drik. The Tinkers Guild and Fabricators Guild are found in every major city in the Five Nations, and in larger centers in the lands beyond.


Any campaign involving the Mournland, Sharn, Xen'drik, Aundair, or Karrnath can naturally include Cannith as an ally or enemy. Cannith NPCs are proud, often bordering on arrogant. They are also practical, looking at situations -- and people -- from a standpoint of profit and loss.


House Cannith can remain central to almost any campaign. Without the warforged, Cannith could still be a former weapons supplier, now handicapped by the Treaty of Thronehold. The Day of Mourning and the devastation the house suffered could be replaced by a natural disaster. A DM can even take dragonmarks out of the picture, leaving an organization of arcanists and artificers converting magical innovation into wealth and power.

Sample Encounter

An easy way for characters to compete with House Cannith is over relics from Cyre or Xen'drik. Any new acquisition from Xen'drik interests Merrix, especially warforged schemas. House Cannith has a cadre of agents patrolling not just the university but all the levels of Sharn, looking for information, items, or threats to Cannith security.

EL 8: Jaxon d'Cannith is charged with protecting Cannith interests. He often serves as an escort into the lower levels of Sharn, using his spells to ensure the safety of house members. He is escorting a pair of house dignitaries when they are ambushed by three members of a local gang (4th-level changeling rogues). The conflict draws the attention of those passing by, including the PCs.

Jaxon d'Cannith, sorcerer extraordinaire
Male human sorcerer 6
LN Medium humanoid
Init +6; Senses Listen +0, Spot +0
Languages Common, Gnome

AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15
(+2 Dex, +4 armor, +1 natural)
hp 25 (6 HD)
Resist ring of counterspells (hold person)
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee +1 dagger +3 (1d4/19-20)
Ranged mwk dagger +6 (1d4-1/19-20)
Base Atk +3; Grp +2
Combat Gear 2 potions of cure light wounds
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 6th):
3rd (4/day) -- hold person (DC 16)
2nd (6/day) -- summon monster II, web (DC 15)
1st (7/day) -- burning hands (DC 14), charm person (DC 14), mage armor, magic missile
0 (6/day) -- detect magic, detect poison, disrupt undead, flare (DC 13), light, message, read magic
** Already cast
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th):
2/day -- make whole
1/day -- minor creation

Abilities Str 8, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 16
SQ familiar (none)
Feats Improved Initiative, Least Dragonmark (Mark of Making), Lesser Dragonmark (Mark of Making), Toughness
Skills Bluff +8, Craft (alchemy) +7, Concentration +8, Disguise +3 (+5 to act in character), Intimidate +5, Knowledge (arcana) +11, Listen +0, Spellcraft +13, Spot +0
Possessions combat gear plus amulet of natural armor +1, +1 dagger, 2 masterwork daggers, ring of counterspells

Hook "Most people think twice about threatening a Cannith. Too bad you won't get that chance."

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