Eberron - Karrnathi troops with black Karrnathi banner vs Cyran troops with green Cyran banners.

New Eberron Campaign – Secrets in Eberron?

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Introduction

New Eberron Campaign

Our DM announced that he wants us to start a new Eberron campaign in 2 weeks. I luv Eberron! If you do not know what Eberron is, then I have some links about this amazing setting in the Eberron post linked to below.

Right after our DM confirmed this idea with the group I wrote a huge post on how to use the wonderful storytelling tools of the Fate Core System with Eberron from campaign creation, character creation, to assembling the campaign here:

Fate is an amazingly power storytelling engine which can be used to tell great stories in any system. Here are:

He wants the campaign to start where we do NOT know anything about the other characters. Character creation should be a SECRET from each player, so that each player does NOT know anything about the other characters until we meet and learn as we go during the game.

Our characters will start as strangers on the Lightning Rail in Zilargo, the home of the gnomes, headed north from Zolanberg to Sterngate which is about a 11 hour ride. We have to create a backstory as to why our character characters are there on the train.

Our Players Do NOT Read and Further!!

If you are a player from our group do NOT read and further. I do not believe any of them frequent my blog except for our DM, but… just in case!

Character from Playing with Eberron

Once I had originally purchased the DnD Beyond version of the Eberron book I created a character or two and the single character I kept from that small amount of playing is the one that I am using for this campaign. I am going to be playing a House Deneith Dragonmarked Human Male Fighter. This is a smidge significant, because I NEVER play humans. Yes, I am that guy. Oooh, I did play a human female in our first FFG Star Wars game a several years ago though! Also, I typically like defense ad stealth and I did NOT go with that. I went with 2-weapons. Here, I was specifically looking to play a soldiery dragonmarked character

Also, I used the character process from my above post to fill out my character: The Fate of Eberron 5E. I am also hoping to use a slightly modified version Unearthed Arcana’s Rune Knight which I am calling the Siberys War Scribe. I still have to get the OK with the DM, but we shall see.

So, here he is – Garrick Dorn (d’Deneith):

Garrick Dorn (d’Deneith)

DnD Beyond Character Sheet

Fateful Aspects for Garrick Dorn

Character aspect layout is from here: The Fate of Eberron

Aspect Description
High Concept War-torn Dragonmarked Marshal (mostly train) from House Deneith based out of Starilaskur in northern Breland.
Trouble The lone tower standing in an ocean of bloodied visages of the war.
Unresolved Issue The Breion Family’s ritual murder in Aruldusk, Thrane – has not solved the case.
Character Trait Not at all interested in politics, which is what brought us war, the wails of the innocent, The Battle of Ketter’s Fjord, and The Mourning.

Does not like flying or the Karrnathi undead.
Character Trait Vivid visions of a draconic mentor, dragons, and runes.
(Siberys War Scribe – fighter subclass)
Personal Ideal Justice for the People.
Vigilance, Compassion, Honor, Duty
Bond Found a powerful form of peace and activism within the Community Center, a small community center and worship space for Boldrei in Aruldusk, Thrane.
Personal Regret Running from the shrieks of the Battle of Ketter’s Fjord in north-western, Thrane.
Debt Money (200 gp) to get Audra Breion out from the orphanage and into a boarding school (or other lucrative training) in Aruldusk, Thrane until she reaches adulthood.

Background Inventory

Dragon Mark

Dragonmark Quirk: Your dragonmark which is on your upper-left pectoral tingles and shifts to a more copperish color for a moment when you’re within 10 feet of someone with the same mark. (Dragonmark Appearance)

Organizations

Deneith Marshals of Starilskur

Issue – Some suspect that some House Deneith marshals may be covertly working for a national power.

Community Center (Aruldusk, Thrane)

Issue – Some Community members are attempting to cast the Sovereign Host down for the Silver Flame.

Places

Aldistan, Karrnath (north-western Karrnath)

Issue – Daelkyr sightings

Garrick’s home town which is in war torn ruin.

Ketter’s Fjord Thrane (north-eastern Thrane)

Issue – The riverfront is still red.

The location of the minor blood bath called the Battle of Ketter’s Fjord.

Faces

Arend Taggart (Starliskur Marshal)

Aspect – That other marshal can take care of it.

A fellow disaffected Karnnathi and Marshal.

High Mother Agathis (The Community, Aruldusk)

Aspect – Stern but compassionate matriarch.

From the Community Center.

Audra Breion (Aruldusk)

Aspect – Traumatized from witnessing family’s ritual murder.

Arludusk, Thrane

Kezralor – Copper Dragon

Aspect – Preparing mortals for the dangers that are coming is my duty.

Teacher of Siberys War Scribe runes.

Thalinth Laln (The Twelve)

Aspect – Exiled dragonmarked member of The Twelve who spoke out against the Dragonmarked Houses’ and the Twelve’s war profiteering during The Last War.

Character History

Personal Historical Timeline

Year Events
968 YK Garrick is born in Aldistan, a small town in north-western Karrnath.
980 YK At age 12 Garrick’s Dragonmark manifests and he is quickly pulled to work with a retired Dragonmarked House Deneith soldier and village constable commander, Cordon Lath, within his hometown.
984 YK With the supply of living troops flagging, at age 16 Garrick is drafted into House Denieth service and then is sent to serve the Karrnathi military near the Thranish front. As a fresh Sentinel marked soldier he is assigned guard duty for shifting supply depots which moves closer and closer to the Thranish front until he trains more and toughens up.A little while after he joined the Karrnathi forces Garrick received word that, in a complete freak of chance, Thranish forces made their way to his hometown of Aldistan and burned the entire community to the ground, killing every last man, woman, and child. They were soon after defeated by a Karrnathi Undead legion who re-established control over the area.
986 YK The week before the Battle of Ketter’s Fjord Garrick started to have these dreams, visions, about dragons, runes, and dragonmarks.Barely at age 18, Garrick was conscripted to be apart of what was to be known to only major Last War historians as “The Battle of Ketter’s Fjord” or “The Battle of the Crimson Beach”. Taking advantage of an opening in the Thranish riverfront just north of Thaliost, Karrnathi leaders quickly assemble a large force to invade Ketter’s Fjord to gain a minor strategic foothold in Thrane. 
991 YK At age 23 Garrick was shifted from minor frontline leadership duty over to protecting air ship and train supply transports throughout eastern Thrane near the city of Aruldusk.
994 YK At age 26 Garrick had to fight and slay his fellow Karrnathi countrymen to defend Thranish supplies on a House Lyrandar airship, The Dragon’s Coppers, which was downed near Shadukar by a lucky stealthy strike force.Following the Dragon’s Coppers incident he was reassigned to Arludusk city watch and for scouting for Cyran units.
995 YK At age 27 Garrick was not able to solve the murders of the Breion family in Aruldusk which haunts him to this day. He did arrange for the single surviving daughter to be taken in by a good orphanage and for someone to watch over her until he could afford to get her someplace else.
996 YK At age 28 Garrick and with the war, ended his request to be permanently assigned to the Deneith Marshals @ Starliskur was accepted.
998 yk At age 30 Garrick finds himself on a train in Zilargo from Zolanberg to Sterngate which is about a 11 hour ride after having escorted a minor functionary to a  dragonmarked house to Zolanberg.

Basic History

Childhood

Garrick was born in Aldistan, a small town in north-western Karrnath, north of Taer Syraen and the Karnwood, far enough from the coast that his family had only been to the coast a few times during his childhood and only because they had family members there to visit. 

He was the second of 4 children – older brother, 2 younger sisters. His family owned a farmstead and his mother was a baker who used their farm grown food to bake fresh breads to sell and trade for supplies or services, as well as traded any extra food too. Garrick, his older brother, and one of his younger sisters typically helped with the farm. 

His older brother was also an amateur bowyer and a great hunter which was useful in supplementing the family food supply, protecting the homestead, and trading. When his brother was gone hunting and bowyering, which was a little too often, Garrick was tasked with picking up his brother’s slack with the farming. He did not like the extra work so much, although he appreciated the workout, but instead preferred working (well, watching and smelling) with his mother baking, and then like a big boy attempting to protect his mother from urchins and pickpockets when they went into town for supply runs and trading.

Military tradition runs strong within Karrnath and their stead was no different which was also used as a meeting place for the local militia to train and drill. On those days the militia members would also help out with some of the farm work as a physical training. =) His older brother was quickly taken on as the primary instructor for the few bowmen in their ranks. Their father was the main trainer for basic arms techniques, while others had their specialties for the finer points of the specific weapons. Garrick was likewise trained with weapons from a young age too just like the rest of his siblings. They received even more training on drill days where the adults and children from the area would come and train.

Adolescence (age 12+)

He was born to a family who had distant ties to the Deneith line. Distant enough that several generations of their family tree bore no dragonmarked heirs so that they did not consider themselves to be truly Deneith anymore, and just a normal peasant family, so it was an extreme surprise when Garrick’s dragonmark manifest in a wrenching and yet tickling shower of light blue and copper light right while he stupidly (or bravely) tried to protect his mother from thugs during a trading run in town. He pulled out the not quite sharp dagger and put himself into the way of the thugs and their blades as his mother shrieked in fear at what her son was endangering himself more than at the attack itself. Garrick’s fearful aggression and crazed and agonized look along with the the light show which started from his dragonmark manifesting caused their confused attackers to quickly give up their attack, although not before Garrick took a deep slice from dagger below where the mark manifest which is a scar he bears to this day and remembers it proudly. 

Their village’s primary constable, Cordon, was quick to show up after he heard a distant shriek and heard mumblings of magic or a cursed boy. He popped into view from around a corner, blade in hand, with a fellow village constable in tow who were basically never seen together. They quickly bound his wounds and Cordon had a talk with his mother who was so confused – Garrick manifested a dragonmark? They had not seen one in their family in so many generations. After Cordon was able to get through his mother’s anxiety, her son’s safety, and her dragonmark-manifestation-haze they discussed the ramifications of what the dragonmark meant for Garrick’s potential future and his duty to House Deneith and Karrnath. 

Cordon escorted Garrick and his mother home so that he could also talk with his father about what happened and the next steps for him. It was a short conversation. His father was surprised like his mother, but was proud that his family had a Deneith heir. They brought in Garrick into the conversation. Cordon sat down to his level and talk about what the mark meant and its magical potential. Garrick was still dazed and confused from the whole thing, still in pain from the dagger slash, but was hesitantly excited about the adventure that might be coming once he heals up. Garrick kind of nodded positive, but Cordon knew that shrug. He did the same thing at this age too. 

Cordon would return once Garrick healed up. In the meantime a celebration was held for him and people brought small gifts to the family. His mother and father broke out some books and stories to start his education in the short time they had before Garrick would be leaving so that Cordon could train him properly. Garrick had heard these stories about dragonmarks, heroes, and the war but it was not something they had experienced too much here. He soaked it all in during a sort of a dreamlike haze. His parents did what they could in the short time they had.

The day came when Cordon came by to collect Garrick for his future service to House Deneith and to Karrnath. Garrick bravely took the pack of stuff his parents packed for him, as well as a sharp and freshly forged short sword which was a collective gift from their militia group who named the blade Gharsthar which is draconic for “Sentinel” and it even bore their family’s older Denieth family crest on the pommel.

Cordon began Garrick’s training in earnest working with armor, weapons, but more importantly to learn the power of his Dragonmark. Through quite a few trials and even more errors of which he has the scars to show, he eventually figured out how to use the mark and it’s abilities to defend others and that he had heightened senses which made him a higher quality guard and that he could use this as an advantage over his enemies.. He also realized that his mark tingles and changes color with other Deneith marked heirs are closeby too, which is not something that Cordon had really heard of. Cordon kept Garricks custom short sword safe while he practiced with an older and well used blade so that he does not wreck such a fine gift as that sword.

During this time he acted as the constable’s assistant performing a lot of guard duty on the few prisoners or innocent bystanders affected by crime, as well as watching for cut-purses and other social miscreants when then traveled, which was a lot of the time. He successfully protected a few people with his mark against ruffians and thugs and, as usual, he took a slight blade slash or three for his work, although not so bad this time with his shield and Shield spell to protect himself and others.

One of those people he protected was a beautiful girl about his age, named Kora, and following that they started to see each other more often until… As their relationship was just beginning to finally blossom into a full-on romance, he received the orders that he was to be shipped out to serve House Deneith and Karrnath on the Thranish front lines. 

On the Western Front in Karrnath (age 16+)
Called to Serve

Garrick was devastated to say goodbye to this new found love who Cordon had to carefully pull him from their sobbing embrace. As Cordon escorted the distraught Garrick to the rally point, he handed him his gifted short sword Gharsthar. “Practice with it so you can get used to its weight and let such a great weapon serve and protect you and your companions well.

Once they arrived at the rally point Cordon vouched for Garrick, his training, and his dragonmark, and then started the paperwork to get him officially into the House’s roles and into service. Cordon looked him over one last time, gave him a big hug, and told him:

Remember what I taught you, Garrick. Look out for your charge, for you have the ability and the duty to do so. Vigilance, Compassion, Honor, Duty.

Cordon smiled warmly and then left. Garrick watched him go, his form eventually vanished from view. This was the last time Garrick would ever hear from him again.

Guard Duty

Being 16 he was still a bit young to really be of significant help militarily, so they started him with guard duty which is something that a Sentinel dragonmarked heir should do well at, and he did. While he was acting as a guard for supply depots which moved closer and closer to the Thranish front line, he trained in weapons and armor to help round out and improve his military training, and to build some muscles, instincts, grit in this green Karrnathi village boy. 

Early during this period he received 1 letter from home, from his girlfriend, whose letter was despairing and tear stained which tore him apart. This was the last time he heard from anyone from his hometown of Aldistan. He carries her letter to this day.

A little while after he joined the Karrnathi forces Garrick received word that, in a complete freak of chance, Thranish forces made their way to his hometown of Aldistan and burned the entire community to the ground, killing every last man, woman, and child. They were soon defeated by a Karrnathi Undead legion who re-established control over the area.

Dreams of Runes, Dragons, and Dragonmarks (age 18)

The week before the upcoming Battle of Ketter’s Fjord Garrick started to occasionally have dreams or visions, about dragons, runes, and dragonmarks which seemed to continuously reprise a single copper dragon. He had no idea what they meant if anything, or if it was just the stress of war.

The Battle of Ketter’s Fjord (age 18)

After 2 years of guard duty, training, and having his post move closer and closer to the Thranish front lines he had participated in a few skirmishes, been given some tower sentinel jobs, and had lost a few people in combat that he had started to think of as friends. He had finally tasted war and it was an acrid amalgam of despair, loss, rage, and pain. He did NOT like it at all. How many lives were lost? What good was it doing? Who was it helping?

Barely at age 18, Garrick was conscripted to be apart of what was to be known to only major Last War historians as “The Battle of Ketter’s Fjord” or “The Battle of the Crimson Beach”. Taking advantage of a perceived opening in the Thranish riverfront just north of Thaliost, Karrnathi leaders quickly assemble a large force to invade Ketter’s Fjord to gain a minor strategic foothold in Thrane.

This victory, which lasted just less than a day, cost the lives of almost all of the human troops thrown at it, whose sacrifice was enough to have considerably weakened the Thranish defensive positions and had routed a few positions too, but the Karrnathi living soldiers had taken the majority of the engagement’s bloody historical toll. 

When a large troop of Karrnathi undead came to the fjord Garrick and the few living soldiers remaining were assigned to protect their keeper to make sure that the undead don’t become out of control. With the help of the contingent of Karrnathi deadborn they finally took the fjord. 

The undead mercilessly swept through and slaughtered anyone left even lightly breathing – man, woman, or child. Their bloodlust knew no bounds. He saw the viscera and visages of terror and agony on the men, women, and children left in their bloodied wake. He threw up several times as they went through to verify the area was clear. This was his first real time dealing with the undead and he hoped it was his last.

Protecting the Caster (age 19+)

Unfortunately, this was not his last time with the deadborn. Unfortunately, he performed well enough with protecting the priest who controlled the dead while at Ketter’s Fjord that he asked to have Garrick assigned to protect him, and so it was. Garrick never slept well during this time. He could always feel their vicious gaze pass over him and he was just waiting for the moment that their surprise attack would happen. The palpable tension in the air from just their very presence made it seem as if they would unleash their ferocious rage and slaughter upon their reviled controllers, but it never seemed to happen. That feeling of not ever truly being safe and being on edge never truly left while in their presence. 

He was unfortunate enough to have been assigned to protect the priest for much longer than Garrick would have liked. During which they saw a few engagements, so he was able to see their heartless handiwork personally several times more, however, fortunately, the priest was not-soon-enough called to another front which needed the dearborn’s compassionless skills which also meant that Garrick’s presence was needed elsewhere. He was never more thankful for anything in his whole life than to be free from those abominations.

Other War Experience (age 20+)

He spent the next 3 years flitting from guard duty, to tower sentinel, makeshift sniper, to low level command or tactical positions all while achieving a few commendations for heroism (ie using his mark and protective skills to protect others). 

Vigilance, Compassion, Honor, Duty … but what for and why?

Reassigned to Arludusk (age 23+)
Reassigned

At age 23 Garrick was shifted from minor command duty within the Karrnathi military over to being based out of the city of Aruldusk protecting House Lyrandar’s airships (mostly) and trains (a few) which were transporting military supplies throughout eastern Thrane.

His dreams of dragons, rune, and dragonmarks continued to happen every so often, but he still did not understand them, but he was beginning to see a pattern in there somewhere. Now, only if he could figure out what that pattern was?

The Dragon’s Copper Down (age 26)

At age 26 Garrick had to fight and slay his fellow Karrnathi countrymen to defend Thranish supplies on a House Lyrandar airship, The Dragon’s Coppers, which was downed near Shadukar by a lucky stealthy strike force. Thanks to the senior Lyrandar heir who was piloting the ship they were fortunate enough to have more people survive the crash landing than the scouting party could handle and he and the ship’s crew were victorious in protecting what remained of the military supplies until a Lyrandar patrol could rescue them with a military patrol ship.

This was the first time he has ever had to slay his own countrymen. Shedding the blood of his countrymen shook him to the core. What did it all mean? He was working for both sides Karrnath, Thrane, House Deneith. So many dead and for what gain?

Assigned to Arludusk City Watch (age 27+)

Following the Dragon’s Coppers incident he was reassigned to Arludusk to assist in scouting for military threats coming out from Cyre, and to support the Arludusk city watch.

Breion Family Investigation

Garrick was assisting the city watch which, at this moment, was considerably understaffed due to a disease running rampant which House Jurasco was not able to stem as of yet. The Breion Family was murdered in an almost ritual way – husband, wife, son, and daughter. They were not able to solve their murders which haunts him to this day.

He did arrange for the single surviving daughter which witnessed the murder to be taken in by a good orphanage and for someone to watch over her until he could afford to get her someplace else like an apprenticeship or boarding school of sorts. Little Audra Breion (age 10) saw the whole thing but she was suffering emotionally from witnessing their murder and they have not been able to get anything useful from her to be able to bring her family’s murders to justice.

Community Center

Even prior to the Breion Family murder Garrick had found himself drawn to The Community Center due the local community work and activist work done for the everyday people which sort of reminded him of his home village and how they worked together as well as they could so that people were not left behind.

Also reminding him of his family he heard the hymns to Boldrei being sung which reminded him of this mother and sisters singing while working around the house. He also heard the hyms and marches of Dol Dorn and Dol Arah which reminded him of his father and brother, and Cordon, and of his comrades at arms throughout the war. It all pulled on his heart strings for he had never really dealt with any of their losses. He had never been back to Aldistan to view its wreckage for himself or to mourn for their loss.

High Mother Agitha was saddened by the Breion’s murders and helped to arrange for Audra to be taken care of at a Host’s orphanage.

It was also during this time that Garrick had heard of Thalinth Laln, a dragonmarked heir, who was an exiled member of The Twelve who spoke out against the Dragonmarked Houses’ role, including the Twelve themselves, in sustaining The Last War and profiting from it while the people suffered.

Assigned to Starliskur (age 28+)
Starliskur Marshals

With the war ended, and age 28, Garrick’s request to be permanently assigned to the Deneith Marshals @ Starliskur was accepted. He spends his time going from rail line to rail line all throughout Thrane, Zilargo, and Breland looking for crime and helping where he can. On rare occasions he will be specifically assigned to watch over an airship or caravan, but he really dislikes this. He really prefers the lightning rail – the speed, the constant hum of the background noise, the closed in space, the control – the fact that the people are different each time, no one to attach to – just the work to be done and help to be granted. He will also take the time to stop in a place to tour it and will offers his services for a day or two to local law enforcement if they need something while he is there.

Zolanberg Escort (age 30+)

At age 30 Garrick finds himself on a train in Zilargo from Zolanberg to Sterngate which is about a 11 hour ride after having escorted a minor functionary of House Kundarak to Zolanberg.

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