Knives in the Dark
Magic is the lifeblood of Eberron, encircling it like the Ring of Siberys and seeping up through the earth from the bones of Khyber. Perhaps the clearest manifestation of this pervasive magic is the appearance of dragonmarks among seven of Khorvaire’s common races. Dragonmarks are elaborate skin patterns—more intricate and colorful than birthmarks, more distinctive than any tattoo—that also grant their bearers innate spell-like abilities. There are twelve families of dragonmarks, each one associated with a number of closely related manifestations.
Also of note are the Aberrant Marks, Dragonmarks not associated with any of the houses and holds unpredictable abilities.
When it is used, a character’s dragonmark grows warm to the touch. It becomes fever hot when its magic is used up for the day, and must be allowed to cool before its power can be drawn upon again.
House: Each dragonmark appears among the members of one large extended family (or, in the case of the Mark of Shadow, two families). By no means does every member of a dragonmarked family possess a dragonmark, but it is extremely rare for a person who is not a recognized member of one of these families to develop a dragonmark (and such cases usually result from indiscretions on the part of a lesser scion of the family). Each house specializes in a trade or service for which its mark gives its members a competitive advantage, and it controls guilds that regulate commerce in its area of specialization. Each family is made up of a mix of marked and unmarked members, since dragonmarks manifest randomly even among those with the ability to possess them. The guilds employ both dragonmarked and unmarked people, who may be family members or unrelated retainers. The dragonmarked individuals perform their specialized magical functions for the house, and the unmarked handle the more mundane aspects of the trade. For example, both marked and unmarked members of the Windwrights Guild, controlled by House Lyrandar, work aboard ships; the marked heads of the family produce the wind to power the ships, while the unmarked masses fill the other crew roles aboard the vessels.
Marks: Each dragonmark appears in three increasingly powerful aspects and grants a single spell-like ability to characters who have the mark. If more than one spell-like ability is mentioned for a specific mark, a character chooses one that he possesses permanently thereafter. (Anyone who carries a least dragonmark also gains a bonus to a certain kind of skill check; this benefit is in addition to the mark’s spell-like ability.) A dragonmarked character can use his mark’s spell-like ability a certain number of times per day. He uses the ability as a sorcerer with a caster level as indicated in the descriptions of the dragonmark feats earlier in this chapter. Each more powerful aspect of a dragonmark stacks with the less powerful aspects, so that a lesser mark retains the power of a least mark, and a greater mark retains the powers of its associated lesser and least marks.
|Finding||Tharashk||Half-Orcs, Humans||Finders Guild|
|Making||Cannith||Humans||Tinkers Guild, Fabricators Guild|
|Passage||Orien||Humans||Couriers Guild, Transportation Guild|
|Scribing||Sivis||Gnomes||Notaries Guild, Speakers Guild|
|Sentinel||Deneith||Humans||Blademarks Guild, Defenders Guild|
|Shadow||Phiarlan||Elves||Entertainers and Artisans Guild|
|Storm||Lyrandar||Half-Elves||Windwrights Guild, Raincallers Guild|
|Warding||Kundarak||Dwarves||Banking Guild, Warding Guild|