Eberron

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An Elemental-powered airship

A setting for Dungeons and Dragons.

Since Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition was supposed to be a fresh new game, Wizards of the Coast set up a contest to allow a bunch of freelancers to submit ideas for a fresh new campaign setting. A dude called Keith Baker sent them Eberron and won. Unlike the Forgotten Realms, which is known for its distorted canon, Eberron's timeline will never progress and none of the novels are considered setting canon. This is a welcome change due to the ridiculousness that ensued due to the Drizzt novels among others, and allows the PCs to influence things without mucking up canon.

The one exception was the 4e adaptation, which progressed things by exactly one year to make room for dragonborn. It was controversial, but not disastrous.

The setting tries to steer away or at least subvert many of the D&D (and fantasy in general) stereotypes. It features dinosaur-riding halflings, jungle dwelling Drow who look like saints compared to their other counterparts, non-evil monster races, a fantasy equivalent of World Wars I & II, magic-powered trains and a more pulp, Indiana-Jones-esque approach to high fantasy adventuring. It also focuses heavily on intrigue, which is usually based around either the nations that survived the Last War or the Dragonmarked houses. The Last War was initially caused by a succession dispute that eventually erupted into a century long conflict which devastated the continent, broke up the Kingdom of Galifar, and obliterated the Kingdom of Cyre. The Dragonmarked houses are organizations that control various aspects of life in Ebberon due to the magical nature of the specific dragonmark that manifests on an individual.

Also a lot of tech is powered by enslaved elementals, like that airship. Eberron is a generally very "human" setting, where magic is ubiquitous, cheap, and readily-used by the world's inhabitants to make their lives better.

One popular change instituted by Eberron is a relaxed approach to alignment. Clerics of good gods can be Evil, and vice versa, opening up tons of fresh storytelling opportunities that would normally be restricted by the nature of the system, like corrupt or misguided clerics of turning benevolent faiths to evil ends, or deluded followers of evil scam-cults being all bright-eyed and idealistic about the religion they were born into. Racial alignments by-and-large do not exist. From orcs to goblins to gnolls, all the "monster" races have actual cultures and shit rather than just being blood-bags full of XP for PCs to murder, and while lots of them are evil, many of them are not, just like humans.

TL;DR: Halflings on dinosaurs. Pulpy Action. Fantasy Indiana Jones. Politics. Lots of awesome.

Also has a loli as the pope of the Church of the Silver Flame.

The birth-setting of the Shifter, the Changeling, the Kalashtar, and (most famously) the Warforged PC races.

History

Dhakaan

Dhakaan was an ancient goblinoid empire that dominated the continent of Khorvaire, until the coming of the extraplanar Daelkyr 16,000 years ago. The Dhakaani goblinoids could not stand against the might and madness of the alien invasion. By the time the Gatekeeper druids bound the Daelkyr and their servants in the depths of Khyber, the empire was a shadow of its former glory. Over the course of millennia it collapsed into savagery, and by the time humanity arrived on Khorvaire, all that was left of the empire was ruins and several clans trying to preserve the remains of the ancient lore and dreaming about the reestablishment of the Empire.

Recently some of the Dhakaani clans have begun to vie for control of Darguun with another goblinoid clan that currently holds control of that territory, the Ghaal'dar clan, which have wrestled the territory of Darguun from Cyre during the Last War.

Most of the Dhakaani clans reside near the Seawall Mountains. They are divided into Kech Volaar and Kech Shaarat clans.

The Last War

The most recent significant event in the Eberron Campaign Setting is an event called the Last War, so-called because the people of Khorvaire believed that after the war was over everybody would grow tired of war . Coincidentally, the Last War ended on the 11th Day of Aryth. It refers to a series of conflicts in Khorvaire over 102 years that began with a dispute over the throne of the Kingdom of Galifar and the ruling of the Five Nations.

Two years prior to the end of the Last War, the nation of Cyre was destroyed in an incident known as the Day of Mourning. (The Eberron Campaign Setting does not give an official cause for this disaster, but it had a similar effect to the atomic bombings that ended World War II. Even a magical "radiation" mutates flora and fauna alike, similar to stereotypical but inaccurate depictions of the results of the nuclear radiation.) This event helped expedite the end of the Last War. Now, the region that was once Cyre is referred to as the Mournland and is the home of living spells, preserved dead bodies, and a militant sect of warforged led by one called the Lord of Blades whose avowed goal is the total domination of the continent by the warforged at the expense of all "flesh and blood" humanoids. Those in the Mournland do not heal naturally, and magical healing has no effect. For all these reasons, few people enter the region.

The Last War officially ended two years prior to the start of the campaign, with the Treaty of Thronehold, as each of the Five Nations and most of the nations that broke off during the war officially became independent

Gallery

Dungeons & Dragons Campaign Settings
Basic D&D: Mystara (Blackmoor - Hollow World) - Pelinore
AD&D: Birthright - Council of Wyrms - Dark Sun - Dragonlance
Forgotten Realms (Al-Qadim - The Horde - Icewind Dale - Kara-Tur - Maztica)
Greyhawk - Mystara (Red Steel) - Planescape - Ravenloft - Spelljammer
3rd/3.5 Edition: Blackmoor - Dragonlance - Eberron - Forgotten Realms - Ghostwalk - Greyhawk - Ravenloft
4th Edition: Blackmoor - Dark Sun - Eberron - Forgotten Realms - Nentir Vale
5th Edition: Dragonlance - Eberron - Forgotten Realms - Greyhawk - Nentir Vale - Ravenloft