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Entry

Droaam is a nation of monsters. It is ruled by the Daughters of Sora Kell. Each of these three hags is a legend in her own right, the subjects of tales used to frighten children. Eleven years ago they laid claim to the lands west of the Graywall Mountains and founded the nation of Droaam.

While these barren lands were claimed by Breland, Galifar had never tamed this wild region. It had long been a haven for host of creatures. Gnolls, orcs, and goblins are the most common, but ogres, trolls, harpies, minotaurs, medusas, tieflings, changelings, lycanthropes and many more dwell in this region. In the past these creatures fought one another more often than they raided human settlements. Under the leadership of the Daughters of Sora Kell, they have been given new purpose... and the Daughters use an army of ogres and war trolls to maintain order. To date, the other nations of Khorvaire have refused to recognize Droaam, and it was not part of the Treaty of Thronehold. Most people believe that it can’t last—that even the Daughters can’t hold this disparate alliance together—but currently it is stronger than ever.

Droaam works closely with House Tharashk, selling the services of monstrous soldiers and laborers and bysehk ore, a form of metal with magical properties. Beyond that, it is a frontier nation that is still expanding. As Droaam isn’t bound by the Treaty of Thronehold, it’s become a haven for war criminals and deserters, along with other criminals and mages pursuing forbidden paths of magic.

Many of the monsters that make up Droaam have their own unique subcultures. Most worship the Dark Six, but there are other religious traditions as well


Interesting Things About Droaam

  • Droaam uses the supernatural abilities of its citizens as tools, just as other nations of Khorvaire use magic. The Daughters of Sora Kell keep their people fed with troll sausage and use harpy’s song to quell brawls. When dealing with monsters in Droaam, consider the practical applications of their abilities.
  • When the Church of the Silver Flame purged lycanthropy from the Five Nations, a number of lycanthropes escaped into the region that later become Droaam. The Dark Pack alliance of lycanthropes, worgs, and other supernatural predators hunts southern Droaam.

Droaamite Characters

Minotaurs, orcs, gnolls, tieflings, changelings, and other monstrous species all have a place in Droaam. Consider these questions when making a Droaamite character:

What Makes You Different? The people of Droaam aren’t just humans with horns or green skin. Think about the unique aspects of your people and what makes you different from humanity, both physically and culturally.

What Are Your Ambitions? Citizens of Droaam are proud of their nation. You know that the rest of Khorvaire considers you a monster. Do you intend to prove that you and your kind are capable of deeds humanity can’t imagine? Or are you driven solely by your personal desires, or the goals of your family or warlord?

How Does Your Background Shape You? The diverse creatures of Droaam could include a kobold city-savvy rogue urchin, an orc outlander barbarian with little knowledge of the outside world, or a tiefling warlock sage versed in Arcana and History.

Rising Ch. 4

Once, Droaam was a wild frontier that marked the edge of civilized Khorvaire. Today, it is home to one of the strangest nations on the continent. In the streets of the Great Crag, ogres and minotaurs rub shoulders with gnolls and goblins. Gargoyles and wyverns circle in the sky, while harpies call work crews to the quarries with their songs. Under the rule of the enigmatic Daughters of Sora Kell, this land grows stronger with each passing year.

Thanks to the guidance of the hags, the diverse inhabitants of Droaam are learning to work together and finding ways to use their supernatural gifts to help build and sustain society. A medusa might use its petrifying gaze to preserve the life of an injured ally until medical attention can be obtained. Harpies in the taverns of Droaam use their hypnotic songs to entertain rather than to harm. When you bring creatures from Droaam into the campaign, consider how different monsters can work together in unusual ways and how their special abilities could be used outside combat.

Droaam offers a way to introduce monsters into any adventure, and for characters to encounter these monsters in untraditional ways. Droaam demonstrates that even monstrous creatures want the same things that members of other races do, more or less.

Droaamish monsters of a civilized bent could appear anywhere in Khorvaire. House Tharashk brokers the services of Droaamish monsters across the continent. Some of these monsters can appear in traditionally aggressive roles, as mercenary soldiers, a crime lord’s bodyguards, or assassins in the shadows of Sharn. But Tharashk also provides less violent services. Ogre laborers put their strength to practical use in many of the continent’s cities. Gargoyle couriers are in high demand. Though monstrous workers of these sorts are still rare in many nations, their numbers are growing.

Conversely, a visit to Droaam gives adventurers a chance to explore a land untethered by the laws of the treaty nations, a realm where they are the outsiders and the monsters are at home. Adventurers might have to pursue a fugitive or a war criminal into Droaam, or go there in search of unusual services or information found only in the land of monsters.

Politics

Political Structure

The nation of Droaam, which has only existed for eleven years, has a general structure established, but it’s constantly evolving. The Daughters may implement new ideas or institute new offices tomorrow, and a rebellious warlord could be crushed and replaced on a moment’s notice. As it stands, Droaam has been split into lheshat—a Goblin term meaning “domain of a warlord.” Each lheshat is governed by a warlord who answers directly to the Daughters; each is charged with maintaining a military force that can serve the Daughters.

For now, each warlord has the power to rule their domain and organize their own army as they see fit. There is no standardized system for either bureaucrats or soldiers; in the former Barrens, the most powerful local official is still called the chib, though they may no longer be the largest or most physically menacing creature in the community. In the cities where multiple species live side by side, the common populace is divided between soldiers, skilled laborers, and the general labor force; these are organized by and under the direct authority of the local chib. Such cities have a grist mill (discussed later in this section) and a series of barracks, providing food and shared shelter for all workers. You won’t own property unless you have valuable skills or an impressive position, but you can find free food and shelter in any city— though as the cities are still expanding to meet capacity, in many places, that shelter is a bedroll in a tent.

Katra’s vision is that all creatures of Droaam would work together, part of the greater whole. Ideally, a laborer who works hard should have no fear of abuse—foremen shouldn’t beat (or eat) their crews on a whim, an improvement over life in the Barrens. Katra wants the workers to be respected for their efforts, much as the golin’dar are treated with respect among the Kech Dhakaan. But while the Daughters promote this ideal, it doesn’t always work out in practice; there are still lheshat that treat laborers cruelly. Even where workers are treated well, it’s balanced by the understanding that anyone who challenges the Daughters or the warlord will be crushed without mercy.

In any given lheshat, the warlord governs their domain and the chibs beneath them lead each community. But there are three forces that operate outside this system, working directly for the Daughters and wielding authority throughout the land: The agents of Katra’s Voice are envoys and entertainers, diplomats and mediators. Their task is to maintain morale and lines of communication, and to help resolve disputes before they get out of hand. Most of the agents of Katra’s Voice are changelings, but medusas, tieflings, and even harpies can be found in this role. Many focus on their role as entertainers, sharing stories with the common folk and painting tales of the bright future that lies ahead. Others are focused more on mediation and the administration of justice, especially if there is unrest between the chib and laborers. A few elite soldiers of Maenya’s Fist usually accompany an emissary of Katra’s Voice; if the Voice can’t soothe troubles, the Fist will end them. These armored trolls and ogres are deadly and utterly devoted to the Daughters; a single war troll can crush a band of insubordinate minotaurs.

The agents of Teraza’s Eye are sages, versed in the region’s history and diverse customs. They survey ancient ruins and identify manifest zones and planar conjunctions. They often offer unsolicited advice to local warlords. Though the smallest of the three branches, some believe that those Eyes that are seen are merely the tip of the ankheg—that Teraza is served by changelings and other hidden agents who carry news of all developments back to the Daughters.

These names are the titles both of the organization and its officers; an agent acting on official business simply says, “I am Teraza’s Eye, and you will tell me what transpired here.”

Law and Order

Droaam isn’t bound by the Code of Galifar, and there is no uniform code of justice. Justice is thus entirely in the hands of the local chib, unless Katra’s Voice overrides them. Every chib maintains their own force of guards. In a small village, this might be a handful of Gaa’aram orcs, but in a large city like Graywall, the guards are a versatile and significant force: orcs, minotaurs, and ogres with support from harpies and gargoyles. Any major community also has a garrison of Znir gnolls. These mercenaries serve as peacekeepers when needed, but they serve the Daughters directly, not the chib; in part, they are present to deter a chib from turning against the Daughters.

Ultimately, Droaam is a wild frontier. For the most part, the law is simple: don’t mess with the chib or anything that belongs to the Daughters. The guards don’t care about random street brawls or bar fights. They don’t care if someone stole your purse. They aren’t interested in what laws a fugitive may have broken in some other land. However, they do care about significant damage to buildings, or about any situation that could result in the death of multiple laborers—anything that threatens the overall productivity of the community. So player characters can get away with a great deal in Droaam, as long as they are careful. The local guards won’t interfere when a Sentinel Marshal arrests a war criminal hiding out in Graywall—but they also won’t interfere when three trolls the criminal hired attack the marshal in return. First and foremost, the guards protect the town and the chib; personal rights and property mean little in Droaam for lesser citizens. If you want justice, you usually have to enact it yourself.

In most communities, a chib punishes serious crimes with immediate execution. For lesser crimes, a victim is branded and either severely beaten, maimed, or given trial by combat; most large cities have an arena that serves this purpose (though people can also be gladiators by choice). Those that survive their punishment are freed.

There is one recourse for those who seek justice: Katra’s Voice includes magistrates who have the power to administer justice. Magistrates travel between smaller communities, while larger ones, like Graywall, have a resident magistrate. The current fashion is that magistrates are medusas. If a magistrate believes a case has merit, she orders the chib to deal with it—but if she considers the complaint to be frivolous, she petrifies the plaintiff. As a result, very few people take the risk of seeking justice—but it’s a comfort to the laborers to know that they could.

Graywall has a sizable foreign quarter, the Calabas. Xor’chylic, the illithid warlord of Graywall, has granted Kundran Torrn of House Tharashk the right to prosecute crimes committed in the Calabas; this means that in that quarter, much of the Code of Galifar holds sway. This system could be applied to other communities that have a sizable eastern population.

A few basic principles to keep in mind when considering law and order in Droaam: while the local guards generally don’t interfere in casual street fights, deadly violence isn’t as common as outsiders think. There’s an unspoken rule that larger creatures have the right of way; the goblins know to vacate the path of a troll. There are, of course, exceptions; everyone clears a path for a medusa. Beyond this, most of the Droaamites living in the large cities want to be part of Katra’s plan. The troll knows that the little goblins, annoying though they might be, are supposed to be her little brothers. She’ll give a little brother a smack if he pushes her—he needs to know better—but she won’t go out of her way to kill him, and she won’t eat him. If you antagonize a troll, it may slash you with a claw; but if you immediately show contrition, the conflict ends there. Conversely, if a group of easterners start picking fights, the Droaamites feel no such obligation to these outsiders; even if the guards don’t interfere, other citizens might, and a wise human keeps a low profile in a city of monsters.

Inhabitants

Exploring Eberron

The population of Droaam is staggeringly diverse. In addition to the sentient creatures that are part of this culture, the region is home to a remarkable number of monstrosities and exotic beasts. In part, this is due to the ancient influence of the daelkyr and the more modern experiments of Mordain the Fleshweaver. There are a considerable number of manifest zones in the area, along with passages to Khyber. But most of all, this has been a frontier for thousands of years. The central region of Khorvaire has long been home to powerful civilizations, and over time, its people actively worked to eliminate dangerous threats. Some monsters were exterminated, while others were driven away— and Droaam is one of the places they were driven to. There may have been a time when trolls and manticores roamed freely across all of Khorvaire; now, Droaam is the land of monsters.

So Droaam is a place where you can meet three impossible things before breakfast—and one of them may be the one serving you breakfast. While there are enclaves—such as Cazhaak Draal and the Venomous Demesne—that are largely populated by a single species, most of the great cities of Droaam are diverse communities hosting all manner of monsters. It’s important to recognize just how varied the inhabitants of Droaam can be. There are significant differences in basic biology, psychology, and intellect. Ogres, trolls, hill giants, and ettins possess great physical power but are not as intelligent as humans, and Droaam’s other citizens know to express things in ways they can understand and not antagonize them unnecessarily. Gargoyles are elementals and don’t eat or drink; if you want to make a kind gesture to a gargoyle, you don’t offer it a drink, you present it with a riddle.

Here’s an overview of the most common sentient creatures in Droaam and the roles they play in society.

Changelings. The changelings who leave their city of Lost often work directly for the Daughters. Most use their skills as part of Katra’s Voice, serving as entertainers, mediators, and bards; others gather information as Teraza’s Eyes. Unless they have reason not to, the changelings of Lost wear their true faces; however, they use their shapeshifting aesthetically, creating exotic or ever-changing patterns across their skin. Skindancing is a changeling art that blends physical motion with transformation, and it can be a remarkable experience.

Gargoyles. Since the rise of the Daughters, gargoyles have been deployed across Droaam; they are also favorite recruits of House Tharashk. Civilian gargoyles serve as messengers and couriers, while most warlords also have a unit of combat-ready gargoyles that serve as scouts and rapid response. As elementals, gargoyles don’t eat, sleep, or drink, and they can remain motionless for months or years. While gargoyles have traditionally been depicted as cruel predators, the fact is that they love the thrill of hunting. They yearn for challenge, and love riddles and puzzles almost as much as hunting prey.

Giants. The mountains of Droaam are home to ettins and hill giants, both of which are native to Khorvaire. Ettins are distantly related to orcs, while the hill giants of Khorvaire are a form of ogre; while they use the same stat block as the devolved hill giants of Xen’drik, they aren’t actually related. In the Barrens of the past, giants would come down from the mountains and dominate groups of goblins and kobolds. In Droaam today, they have primarily been drawn into heavy labor, as well as providing raw power to the armies of Droaam. Giants are not especially bright; as long as they are fed well (which requires a lot of food!) and celebrated for their efforts, they are generally content to serve their purpose.

Vralkek is also home to a small contingent of giants from Xen’drik that found a home in this land of monsters. Most serve the fire giant Gorodan Ashlord, or at least acknowledge him as their spokesman to the Daughters of Sora Kell.

Gnolls. The gnolls of Droaam are described in more detail later in this section, and playable racial traits are presented in chapter 6. Every major city has a garrison of gnoll soldiers, who protect the interests of the Daughters. These gnolls aren’t part of Maenya’s Fist, and generally serve as peacekeepers rather than being used in punitive actions. Some warlords hire additional gnolls to serve their own personal agendas. While almost all gnolls in Droaam serve as mercenaries with the Znir Pact, there are always those whose services aren’t currently contracted. Idle gnolls often work as hunters, selling fresh game to the local markets; grist is sustaining, but there are many creatures who prefer other meat when they can get it.

Goblins and Kobolds. Both goblins and kobolds were once oppressed underclasses within the Barrens, dominated by almost every other species in the plains. Over time, they developed their own shared culture that’s entirely different from the cultures of either species elsewhere in Khorvaire; when someone says “goblin” in Droaam, it’s understood that they mean “goblins or kobolds.” Most goblins and kobolds feel a close kinship and look out for each other. They learned long ago to value cunning over strength; the heroes of their tales are quick and clever. They are patient and enduring, and tolerate endless suffering while waiting for an opportunity to present itself.

Those goblins who serve the Daughters of Sora Kell lead far better lives than their ancestors in the Barrens, and they are among the most numerous inhabitants of the large cities—and the most devoted supporters of the Daughters of Sora Kell. Most are especially excited about Kethelrax the Cunning, the kobold warlord; they believe that this marks the beginning of a new age where goblins will be recognized and rewarded for their work. However, there are still goblins in the domains of some warlords—notably Turakbar’s Fist—who live miserable, short lives. While most goblins are content to focus on their work, some seek to help their oppressed kin or take petty vengeance on ogres and giants for the vast suffering inflicted on their people.

Harpies. The harpies of the Byeshk Mountains claim to be the children of the Fury, and they take joy in flight and song. They are wild and passionate, embracing love and hate alike with reckless abandon. Those harpies who left the mountains to “sing Katra’s song” have embraced her vision and are thrilled to be building a nation with their voices. They are generally more intelligent than the standard harpy in the Monster Manual and have more control of their supernatural voices, being capable of inspiring a range of emotions. Harpies call the hour and summon workers; they also help with crowd control, serve as town criers, and entertain the people.

In representing a harpy character or interacting with one, highlight their passion. Harpies love what they do; if they don’t, they won’t do it. Singing isn’t merely a magical tool; it’s a joyful act, a communion with the Fury and a work of art woven together. Whether singing weary goblins to sleep in a grist mill or acting as a courier in Sharn, harpies embrace life with absolute zeal. But harpies hate just as strongly as they love—and there are harpies who hate the Daughters and the entire idea of Droaam.

Humans. Most humans living in Droaam are easterners— brigands or renegades evading the law, or merchants seeking opportunities. However, a few are natives, serving Droaam as part of the Venomous Demesne. While the demesne’s nobles are tieflings, humans are a significant part of the population, and Demesne humans can be found serving as magewrights in other cities. The humans of the Venomous Demesne have little in common with the people of the East and feel no kinship to the Five Nations.

Medusas. There are relatively few medusas in Droaam, but their intelligence and mystical power makes them a vital part of this growing nation. Medusa architects direct construction in the blended cities, laying the foundations of what this nation will become. Medusas who choose to serve as Voices of Katra are often called upon to resolve disputes and enforce justice, for who dares challenge the ruling of a medusa? Cazhaak Draal is also the seat of the most organized religious tradition in Droaam—the worship of the Dark Six—and most powerful priests of the Six are medusas. Compared to many denizens of the region, medusas tend to be calm and rational; however, they expect to be treated with respect and aren’t above a few harsh lessons to make a point.

The medusas of Droaam are capable of receiving visual impressions through their serpent mane, and can close their primary eyes to prevent any threat of petrification. Medusa magewrights can also master a ritual—the Medusa’s Kiss—that undoes the effects of medusa petrification, allowing this power to be used in a number of useful ways (such as preserving the life of a creature about to die). Medusas can control the movements of their serpents, and the medusas of Cazhaak Draal have developed a simple sign language called Serpentine that uses the movements of the serpents to convey messages. Other species can learn to understand Serpentine as an exotic language, but there’s no way to speak it without a mane of living serpents.

Minotaurs. The minotaur clans of Droaam are spread across the plains. They are fierce barbarians and warriors who dominated goblins, kobolds, orcs, and other creatures in the days of the Barrens, and to this day, it is these clans that often lead raids into Droaam. However, this fierce aggression has prevented the minotaurs from becoming a major power, due to the long, destructive feuds between the clans themselves. The minotaurs believe that they are the chosen warriors of a being commonly known as the Horned Prince, and they hone their skills in battle so they may join the Prince after death. Each clan has their own private name for the Prince and their own beliefs about the conduct he expects of his followers. In most cases, the Horned Prince seems to be an analogue to the overlord Rak Tulkhesh, desiring only bloodshed. However, the Red Hooves worship He Who Walks Behind, who is much like the Mockery; they focus on the use of terror and in deceiving their enemies. The Blade Breakers worship One Horn, who rewards strength and courage—much like Dol Dorn. The Dawn Harvest was a clan whose version of the Prince—the Dawn Gorer—encouraged followers to fight with honor and to defend the weak, two traits rarely seen in Droaam. The Dawn Harvest was destroyed by Maenya’s Fist after refusing to accept Rhesh Turakbar as the warlord of their region; a few members of the clan survived and are now scattered across Droaam.

Minotaurs are fierce and brave, but they generally lack patience and discipline; they are terrifying raiders, but most have trouble with large-scale tactics and operations.

Ogres. Ogres are more common than their giant cousins, but fill much the same role in society. Physically powerful but somewhat dimwitted, they pursue simple pleasures: food, drink, and crushing small creatures that annoy them. The warlords charm them with harpy song and fill them with grist, then set them to work lifting heavy things and smashing things that need to be smashed. They’re often recruited in local “brute squads” and serve as basic shock troopers in the armies of Droaam.

Ogres fall below human standards on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma; not only do they struggle with rational thought, they’re impulsive and relatively weak-willed, and in many ways can be treated as mighty children. While physically powerful, they’re easily swayed by strong personalities and compelling stories. They are very emotional—though they can shift between emotions rapidly—and love stories and songs, even if stories need to be kept simple. It’s not uncommon for an ogre to develop a deep attachment to its favorite harpy or changeling storyteller.

Oni. The origins of the oni are a mystery. Some people believe oni are the offspring of hags and giants, and that some are children or grandchildren of the Daughters themselves. Other stories claim there’s a kingdom of oni in Khyber, likely a demiplane, and that the oni of the surface world are criminals banished from this wondrous realm. While rare, their intelligence and power make them valuable to the Daughters of Sora Kell. The oni Tzaryen Rrac is a trusted warlord, while other oni serve as commanders in Maenya’s Fist, inquisitors in Katra’s Voice, or administrators throughout the realm.

Oni are cunning and curious. Some serve the Daughters in exchange for treasure, others for arcane lore, while some are simply content with the power they hold as agents of the hags. You could tie their broader goals to their true origin—if the oni are exiles from a hidden kingdom, they might be building power to reclaim that kingdom. If they are the children of the Daughters, they could be competing with one another to impress their parent, and generally engaging in sibling rivalry.

Orcs. Over countless generations of life in the Barrens, the orcs of the region developed two distinct cultures. The larger of the two are the Gaa’aram—Children of Wrath. The Gaa’aram embraced the chaotic, raiding lifestyle of the Barrens. Where the goblins and kobolds were often forced into service by more powerful creatures, the Gaa’aram voluntarily rallied around the most powerful leaders and served as fierce warriors. To an orc of the Gaa’aram, who you fight for is less important than the fact that you fight and fight well. As such, Gaa’aram orcs were often encountered as raiders; they’re the reason for the name of the Orcbone fortress that guards the Gap of Graywall. Gaa’aram orcs can be found in all of the diverse cities, and they’re usually passionate supporters both of Droaam and their local warlords.

In the days before Droaam, few people of the Five Nations had even heard of the smaller of the two cultures, the Gaa’ran— Children of Sacrifice. The Gaa’ran orcs are pacifists and farmers—one of the only cultures to farm in the open Barrens. They believe that violence stains the soul—that those whose souls are pure pass beyond Dolurrh, but that killing another forever destroys a piece of your soul. The Gaa’ran held firm to their beliefs even in the face of torture and death, and over time it became common for the Barrens chibs to allow Gaa’ran settlements to stand—with the understanding that the local raiders would regularly show up and take their produce. While this was a harsh life, the Gaa’ran have prospered under the Daughters of Sora Kell. Though grist is the primary source of sustenance in Droaam, the Daughters recognize the value of agriculture, and Gaa’ran tribes have been given resources and placed in charge of a number of agricultural projects.

The Gaa’aram and Gaa’ran are both local cultures with no direct ties to other orcs of Eberron. Gaa’aram orcs are among those monstrous mercenaries House Tharashk has recruited in Droaam. The Gaa’ran have a talent for primal magic that suggests they were once tied to the Gatekeepers of the Shadow Marches, but they are not Gatekeepers and don’t fight aberrations; their interest lies solely in cultivation.

Shifters. There are a significant number of shifters among the humanoid population of Droaam. In the former Barrens, shifters were largely mixed together with the Gaa’aram orcs, much the same way that the goblins and kobolds of Droaam have formed a collective culture. These orcs call shifters taarka’va— wolf brothers. Pairings between shifter and orc can produce offspring, but the resulting half-orcs are almost always sterile.

Another group of shifters are found in the Watching Woods. They call themselves Ur’haakar—First Panthers. These shifters shun civilization and take pride in their primal connection. Experts at stealth, they possess both Hunter rangers and Living Weapon monks. A few of the Ur’haakar have joined the Dark Pack and left the woods to serve the Daughters and Droaam, but most of the panthers prefer their isolation and consider the lycanthropes of the Dark Pack to be corrupted shifters.

Tieflings. The Venomous Demesne lies in the west of Droaam, hidden by powerful illusions. It was founded by tiefling refugees from the ancient Sarlonan kingdom of Ohr Kaluun, and its four ruling families possess great knowledge and vast arcane power. Tiefling wizards and warlocks can be found serving as Katra’s Voice or Teraza’s Eye. The people of the Venomous Demesne— including a significant human population—look down on both the inhabitants of Droaam and the Five Nations, but they value their alliance with the Daughters of Sora Kell and are willing to suffer some indignities for this cause.

Trolls. In the Barrens, trolls often established themselves as chibs. A clever troll would gather a band of Gaa’aram orcs and dominate (and occasionally eat) a pack of goblins and kobolds, ruling a tiny fiefdom with strength and fear. This arrangement still persists in places, especially around Turakbar’s Fist. Elsewhere, trolls have been drawn into the greater society of Droaam, serving in the military or performing heavy labor; those trolls who refuse to cooperate are “sent to work at the grist mills.” Given this, most trolls aren’t too disruptive to society. However, trolls expect to be treated with respect by smaller creatures—if you’re killed after you insult a troll, it’s considered an unusual form of suicide, not a fault on the part of the troll.

Trolls are proud of their strength, and enjoy engaging in tests of strength, like tug of war or lifting, with other trolls or ogres. While they generally dismiss smaller creatures, a troll is impressed by anyone that performs remarkable feats of strength; they generally respond better to intimidation than to diplomacy

Worgs and Lycanthropes. In the wake of the Lycanthropic Purge, many lycanthropes fled to Droaam. Most congregated in the Watching Wood under the leadership of the werewolf Zaeurl. However, there are a few independent lycanthropes scattered across the region. At the end of the Purge, the power of the curse of lycanthropy was weakened, and most of these survivors couldn’t spread the curse to others; they could only pass it to their offspring. Keen to avoid any chance of further persecution, many of these renegade lycanthropes spent their lives solely in animal form. Even today, most members of the Dark Pack are born in animal form and consider it their true form. The natural lycanthropes of Droaam have the ability to speak in beast form, as worgs do, though this gift isn’t passed on to creatures they afflict with lycanthropy.

In time, Zaeurl forged an alliance between the renegade lycanthropes and the native worgs of the Watching Wood, and this bond—the Dark Pack—remains strong to this day. However, just as there are a small number of lycanthropes with no ties to the Pack, there are worg packs scattered across Droaam. Worgs would often ally with Barrens chibs, and gnolls of the Barrakas clan often form bonds to worg companions. In general, the people of Droaam are quite comfortable with the presence of large predators, and it’s polite to say ta kuur—You speak?—to a beast you’ve never met before.

In recent years, the potency of the lycanthropic curse has returned. Under the rules of fifth edition, all lycanthropes can spread the curse, but the Daughters and Zaeurl both wish to avoid spreading lycanthropy—at least for the moment. The Dark Pack follows strict instructions—don’t bite unless you intend to kill. As with trolls, most town guards understand this rule; if your friend picks a fight with a werewolf, sorry, it has to kill them after biting them; that’s just a matter of public safety. Sora Katra is studying the curse of lycanthropy and may develop ways to prevent accidental contagion . . . or instead, she might develop a program of carefully managed infection to create a new corps of lycanthrope soldiers.

Others. These are the common species of Droaam, but there are many more that could appear. Mordain the Fleshweaver unleashes strange things into the world. Manifest zones can create monstrosities. And in general, the creatures of Droaam haven’t been subject to the expansion of a great nation and their subsequent extermination, unlike other regions. There may be a colony of yetis in the mountains. A lamia may rule over an ancient Dhakaani ruin. There may not be a large community of manticores, but you could easily find one living in Graywall. The Daughters of Sora Kell find a place for every creature.

Why Go to Droaam?

Source: Exploring Eberron

Droaam is a wild frontier filled with monsters. It stands outside the laws of the Five Nations. The common races of the East are outsiders here, and unloved. Why would sensible adventurers ever go to this dangerous place? The simplest answer is that it provides opportunities for stories you can’t tell anywhere else, precisely because it is beyond the laws of the Five Nations. It’s a place where you can interact with creatures that are found nowhere else in Khorvaire, a chance to explore what these creatures can do with their supernatural gifts when they aren’t just eating adventurers or sitting on piles of gold. It’s an opportunity to make bargains you couldn’t make anywhere else, and to find adventures that don’t exist elsewhere.

Patrons

The Daughters of Sora Kell could serve as a group patron for a party of adventurers, as described in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. The party could be agents of Daask, which is considered a criminal organization outside of Droaam. But the Daughters are heads of state, and the characters could also be legitimate envoys of the nation—even if Droaam isn’t currently recognized as a legitimate nation. This is a great opportunity for players to create a team of monstrous characters. While some creatures don’t easily translate to low-level play—there’s no simple way to make a 1st-level war troll—it’s easy to play orcs, shifters, changelings, goblins, kobolds, and minotaurs. In addition, chapter 6 presents new racial traits for creating gnoll characters. In creating a monstrous character, consider if you’re from one of the new blended cities or from an old enclave; is your first loyalty to the Daughters of Sora Kell, or to your personal warlord? Do you aspire to become a warlord yourself? As agents of Droaam, adventurers could be sent on personal missions for the Daughters: perhaps investigating a mystery that threatens to cause an uprising, dealing with a rebellious warlord, or recovering an important artifact from a Dhakaani ruin. Or they could act as envoys in the wider world, whether negotiating with possible allies or simply acting as goodwill ambassadors showing people that the nation of monsters need not be feared.

Peculiar Needs

There are many unusual items that can only be found in Droaam—perhaps an artificer needs basilisk eyes to complete their latest invention. Droaam is also the only source of a number of strange alchemical concoctions, such as dragon’s blood and blood gin; it’s also possible that a character from the Five Nations is sent to Droaam not to obtain dragon’s blood, but to find out exactly who’s creating it and how. Droaam is also a place where you can openly interact with powerful priests of the Dark Six; if the adventurers need the help of a high-level cleric of the Keeper, Graywall may be the closest and quickest option.

Peering Into The Past

Droaam contains a significant number of Dhakaani ruins, as yet untouched by the greedy hands of Morgrave explorers. In some cases, these ruins remain unspoiled because they’re haunted, infested with twisted aberrations, or claimed by wild monstrosities or other monsters, such as the medusas living in Cazhaak Draal. Both Graywall and the Great Crag are built atop Dhakaani ruins, and whether adventurers are searching for lost artifacts of the dar or terrifying tools of the daelkyr, there could be legendary treasures hidden in the depths. The daelkyr Orlaask was active in this region, and there are passages to its demiplane prison beneath Cazhaak Draal and Suthar Draal. Dyrrn the Corruptor was also involved in ancient battles in this region. According to some accounts, it was here that Dyrrn released the contagious curse known as the Kapaa’vola (discussed later in this chapter), and this is why the region’s goblins are so different from the Darguuls and the Kech Dhakaan; could the key to undoing the curse be found here?

Politics

Breland is worried that Droaam is preparing for a major assault on its western border. Other nations—especially Aundair—might encourage such an action. The Daughters of Sora Kell could repeat their request for recognition; the Eberron novel The Queen of Stone covers such a summit. Meanwhile, all of the dragonmarked houses are interested in possible business opportunities in Droaam. Any of these interests could take a party of adventurers to Droaam, whether they are acting as spies or working openly as envoys.

Pursuit

Droaam—and Graywall in particular—is a common destination for dissidents, deserters, brigands, and war criminals. It’s a growing city that stands outside the laws of the Five Nations. While it’s is a city of monsters, it has a thriving foreign quarter, home to a major enclave of House Tharashk and a growing number of dragonmarked outposts. It’s the perfect place to hide out, and a group of adventurers could be hired to retrieve someone from Droaam, or have a more personal stake in things. A villain whose scheme goes afoul in Sharn could flee to Graywall; how badly do the characters want revenge? Or the adventurers could learn the location of someone who plays a role in the more distant past: an old enemy from the Last War, someone responsible for the death of comrades-in-arms or the destruction of their home village. Are they seeking an Aundairian war mage responsible for countless civilian deaths, or a Brelish noble who tried to assassinate King Boranel? Alternatively, the characters could find that an old friend is hiding out in Graywall, but they are being targeted by a powerful enemy; can the adventurers reach them in time to help?

Monster Manual 3

Boneclaw

Droaamite necromancers working for the Daughters of Sora Kell have learned how to transform ogre magi skeletons into boneclaws. During the Last War, spies from Karrnath failed to steal the secrets of boneclaw construction from a cabal of necromancers operating within the Great Crag (Droaam’s capital). Through careful negotiation, however, Emerald Claw agents have succeeded where the Karrns failed and have begun creating their own boneclaw killers.

Swamp Strider

Swamp strider swarms are deadly nuisances in the Crawling Swamp (in the Shadow Marches) and the Vile Marsh (in western Droaam). Dozens of swamp strider swarms surround the ruined keep atop Karthoon Tor, located in the Vile Marsh—drawn to the presence of the vermin lord that lairs there (see the Vermin Lords in Eberron entry, page 185, for more information).

Vermin Lord

Vermin lords occasionally rule their own vermin-infested cities and demesnes in the heart of Xen’drik. They occasionally form pacts with the drow, but these alliances are tenuous at best. Although most vermin lords keep a low profi le, a vermin lord calling itself Miirkym has taken residence in a ruined keep atop Karthoon Tor, a hill rising from the Vile Swamp in western Droaam. Adventurers seeking to destroy the vermin lord and retrieve the keep’s buried treasures have been driven back by deadly swarms of insects surrounding the structure and larger kinds of vermin within the ruined keep itself.

A few vermin lords have found their way to Khorvaire, taking up residence beneath large cities such as Sharn and Korranberg

Descent into Droaam: My Trail to Terror

The Korranberg Chronicle

We’re all going to die. That thought echoed through my mind as the wagon carried us toward the Great Crag. The diplomats around me intended to speak with the Daughters of Sora Kell. All I could think about was the stories my grandmother used to tell me. Sora Maenya can crush a giant with her bare hands. She can eat the whole creature and still be hungry. If you’re bad, she’ll come in the night and carry you away. She’ll make a lantern of your skull and torment you until the end of time. And she’s the least frightening member of the Daughters of Sora Kell!

When I could set aside my sheer terror, I was learning a great deal about this strange nation. The Daughters invested power in warlords, each of whom rules a territory in their name. It’s sort of like Karrnath, except each of the warlords of Droaam is a horrifying monster. We were traveling through the territory of the Prince of Bones, an ancient troll said to be too evil to die. We’d already passed through the domain of Queen Sheska the medusa, where even the trees are turning to stone. Harpies. Gargoyles. There’s even a king of the kobolds. Our caravan was being protected by gnolls. Not protected from gnolls, protected by gnolls. I thought things couldn’t get any stranger. I couldn’t have been more wrong…

Industry

Exploring Eberron

Droaam has no established currency; the standard reward for daily labor is sustenance and shelter. Most Droaamites rely on barter for goods, skilled labor, or luxuries. However, most merchants in major cities accept the coins of the East, as well as two secondary “currencies.” Miners often trade using slivers, small chunks of precious metal or gemstone shards. It’s also common to barter and gamble with bounty-marked teeth. The Daughters of Sora Kell (through the chibs) offer a bounty on certain dangerous animals, paid by the tooth. A Goblin symbol identifying the animal it’s from is carved on each tooth, but most merchants won’t accept teeth unless they personally recognize the tooth—so you can’t just carve “wyvern” on wolf teeth. While the DM could treat bounty-marked teeth as another form of coinage—”the old goblin offers three displacer beast teeth, worth 10 silver”—adventurers who kill a dangerous monstrosity might wonder what the bounty is for their teeth. The DM could roll on the Individual Treasure tables in chapter 7 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide to determine the bounty offered for a creature of any CR. However, the tooth currency is based on the value the Daughters have placed on each bounty, and not every creature has a golden mouth. Some dangerous creatures might have a high value while others are worthless. The bounty is a way to encourage the elimination of threats, and if a creature doesn’t threaten the people of Droaam—or is perhaps even an ally—there won’t be a bounty on its teeth.

While bartering can be more time-consuming than dealing in coins, it’s also an opportunity to introduce interesting adventure hooks. Perhaps a goblin merchant can’t make change for a platinum piece, but she offers a scrap of vellum in exchange; it looks like a piece of a map, and she says it came from below the city. Dhakaani relics, odd remnants of the daelkyr war, an object pawned by a Brelish deserter—any of these could be worth little to the one offering it, but priceless to those who receive it.

Droaam’s main exports—brokered through House Tharashk— are byeshk and other ores from the mountains, Eberron shards from the plains, and the mercenary services of its people. But it’s also the source of unsavory goods that are often illegal in the Five Nations. Poison is a simple example, but there are other more exotic substances. Dragon’s blood is described in chapter 4 of Eberron: Rising from the Last War. Courage is a stimulant that grants a user advantage against saving throws to avoid being frightened; however, long-term use causes paranoia and can leave someone in a state of catatonic terror. Blood gin is a necrotic narcotic, distilled from berries from a Mabaran manifest zone that are fermented in the blood of someone who died by violence; it induces euphoria while replaying the final moments of the victim’s life, but frequent users can suffer dreadful nightmares. These are just a few examples, and Droaam is home to many unnatural goods that can’t be found anywhere else. It’s a source of organs and hides from exotic creatures, which may be critical components for creating a magic item; if you need the eyes of a luecrotta, the Graywall marketplace may be your best chance. The markets of Droaam also receive the spoils from bandits and odds and ends from deserters, war criminals, and renegades who come from the Five Nations. All in all, you never know what you might find in a goblin market!

In describing goods from Droaam, consider the vast range of styles and quality that can be found throughout the region, some of which are described on the Droaamish Artisanship table. The Barrens raiders had no smiths and fought with simple weapons of wood and stone, or with equipment supplied by Aundair or Karrnath. However, the Daughters have been working to improve the situation, and gnoll and medusa artisans can be found working in many of the more diverse cities. And the Venomous Demesne is a mystically advanced society; while they lack the industrial capacity of House Cannith, they’re skilled in producing magecrafted treasures beyond those of the Five Nations. Most magic items used by Droaamites come from the demesne.

Droaamish Artisanship

d8 Style
1 Barrens Primitive. The work of ogres and orcs, primitive and with no consistent style. Materials are stone, wood, and bone.
2 Znir Gnoll. Created by the artisans of the Znir Pact. Ugly to human eyes, but functional and very reliable. Excellent use of wood and leather; limited metalworking.
3 Cazhaak Draal. Made by skilled medusa artisans. More elegant than Znir or Barrens work, with smooth curves and engraved patterns. Reasonable metalwork, but they also work with stonewood, an exceptionally hard wood from the Stonelands.
4 Maenya’s Fist. Crafted for the elite soldiers of Sora Maenya. These include heavy armor and metal weapons. The metalwork is excellent; the style is brutalist in form, intended to intimidate.
5 Venomous Demesne. Magecrafted with superior arcane science. Fine metals and ceramics are common, and tools have colorful materials and enamels. Even simple items may have common magical properties.
6 Aravaat. Objects from the East—generally the Five Nations.These may be supplies given to Barrens raiders during the Last War, or brought in by traders or brigands in recent years.
7 Patchwork. Useful things scavenged and pieced together, a common practice among Droaamites—especially gnolls. A Dhakaani axe head could be on a haft of Znir design, or a suit of armor could be made from pieces of three different suits.
8 Ancient Dhakaan. Recovered from one of the Dhakaani ruins of the region. These goods are extremely ancient and may be well worn, but remain functional.

Eberron Campaign Setting

Droaam has developed little in the way of organized industry. The greatest resource it possesses is the natural power of its inhabitants. Over the past five years, the Daughters of Sora Kell have been making contacts across Western Khorvaire, most notably in Zilargo, Aundair, and Breland (despite the continuing conflict between the two regions). Now ogre laborers and minotaur bodyguards can be found in Brelish and Zil cities, courtesy of the rulers of Droaam. Thrane refuses to harbor any of these monstrous mercenaries, and many adherents of the Church of the Silver Flame find the practice to be somewhat disturbing.

In addition to these active resources, the land possesses considerable mineral wealth. Dragonshard fields (particularly Eberron shards) are scattered across Droaam, and the northern mountains hold veins of rare byeshk ore. In the past, this area has been too dangerous to survey, but House Tharashk has recently acquired the rights to mine within the kingdom of monsters.

History

Exploring Eberron

For the last millennium, children of the Five Nations have known the fate awaiting the naughty: they’ll be sent to the Barrens, where ogres will use them for footstools until the trolls eat them for dinner.

When Galifar was established, the province of Breland was granted dominion over all lands south of the Byeshk Mountains and west of the Seawall, extending to the waters of the Thunder Sea. This bold claim considerably extended the territory held by the preceding nation of Wroat—but it was nothing more than a claim. The Brelish people had no need of the lands to the west, nor did they want them. The Barrens—their name for everything west of the Graywall Mountains—were known to hold foul swamps and barren plains, an untamed region filled with all manner of deadly monsters. Explorers to Breland’s newly acquired territory soon confirmed these tales. The plains were filled with goblins and hungry gnolls. The mountains were home to harpies whose songs could lead the unwary into deep chasms, where trolls slept on piles of bones. The Barrens had nothing the Brelish believed worth fighting for, and so it was left alone. Occasionally, questing knights or bold templars would cross the Graywall to battle giants and slay ogres, but the region was largely ignored.

Over centuries, the Brelish slowly expanded west toward the Graywall. Castle Arakhain became a favored royal residence in the eighth century, bringing new prosperity to Ardev and Shavalant. However, the ensuing wave of western settlers was met by fierce raiders crossing the gap between the Graywall Mountains and Silver Lake. Bloodied settlers brought back tales of bellowing minotaurs, orcs, ogres, and goblins lurking in every shadow. An attack at Castle Arakhain led to the brief Westward War, the might of Galifar driving the raiders back across the Graywall and obliterating many of the marauding bands. The fortress Orcbone was established as the gate between the people of Breland and the monsters of the Barrens, and the king founded the Westwind Riders to patrol the border. The Riders held the line throughout the ninth century, and Brelish settlers even staked claims along the Graywall. This period peaked with the founding of the fortress-town of Stubborn in the foothills (now known as Stonejaw). Then the Last War changed everything.

An Ancient Land

The land known as the Barrens is far older than Galifar or Wroat. While less fertile than the fields of Breland or Aundair, this region holds rich mineral deposits. Some believe it was the original homeland of the goblinoids, a theory supported by a significant number of Dhakaani ruins along and below the mountain ranges, as well as below the Great Crag itself. In the Graywall Mountains, a set of thousand-foot statues commemorate the six kings who came together to form the ancient Empire of Dhakaan. But while this region may have once been important to the dar, it was utterly devastated in their war against the daelkyr, compounded by the return of forces long held at bay by the empire. Vicious gnolls swarmed south from the Towering Wood. Fierce orcs emerged from the western swamp. Trolls and ogres came down from the mountains. Those dar that remained were infected with daelkyr curses; instead of standing together against the invaders, they turned on each other, and centuries of chaos and bloodshed followed. By the time it was done, all that remained of Dhakaan was ruins. Hobgoblins and bugbears had been eradicated in the region, and goblins were scattered and divided.

The region was dominated by anarchy from then on—some believe this merely follows the natural instincts of the region’s inhabitants, while others point to the lingering influence of the daelkyr. There were a few bastions of civilization—the Venomous Demesne, the hidden village of Lost—but the people of these communities had no interest in expanding their culture; they were either fortified, hidden from the outside world, or both. Across the rest of the Barrens, history was marked by the rise and fall of countless mighty chibs. Chib is a Goblin term sometimes translated as “chieftain,” but it literally means “boss” or “big person”—and in the Barrens, the chib was often just the biggest creature around. Typically a band would form around an ogre, ettin, or troll—a creature powerful enough to assert their will over goblins, kobolds, or lesser creatures of their own kind. But while powerful, these creatures lacked the ambition or drive to build anything that could last. Occasionally a more intelligent leader—a minotaur warlord, a charismatic oni—would build a greater force, perhaps even establish a dynasty that would last a generation or two before being overwhelmed by the relentless, brutal tide.

The War Begins

As the Last War began, the harpies held the Byeshk Mountains, where their flights endlessly feuded. Cazhaak Draal was in the hands of the medusas that claimed it centuries earlier. Wise creatures knew to avoid the Watching Woods, home to worgs and worse. In the plains, the strongest leader was the minotaur warlord Rhesh Toraa; around her keep, countless minor chibs fought one another more frequently than they struck the settlers. The first days of the Last War led to a reduction of forces in the west of Breland; while it was a violent, unstable region, there were few settlers across the Graywall needing protection. Not all of the Westwind Riders were Brelish, and with Wroaan’s coronation, soldiers returned to serve their home nations, and Wroaan needed all the troops she could muster. She reduced the Westwind Riders to a minimal force—enough to patrol between the fortresses of Orcbone and Stubborn, but little more. Many Aundairians had been part of the Westwind Riders, and on receiving their reports, Spy Master ir’Galanatyr saw an opportunity. The Royal Eyes of Aundair worked with Rhesh Toraa and other chibs in the Barrens, providing equipment and training to support attacks against Graywall settlers and raids across the gap. With forces tied up to the east, it was up to the commanders of Orcbone and Stubborn to protect the west. But ultimately, the provocateurs from Aundair and Karrnath found the Barrens raiders undisciplined and impossible to unify, never posing the dire threat Breland’s enemies had hoped for.

The Daughters Arrive

The fortress-town of Stubborn survived decades of raids and skirmishes, as the chibs of the Barrens had no patience for sieges and no weapons for breaking strong walls. Many lesser settlements and claims were overrun and lost, but Stubborn repelled countless attacks by goblins and minotaurs. However, it was utterly unprepared for the force that struck it in the last decade of the war. A typical band of raiders might include a single troll or a handful of ogres, but in 986 YK, the soldiers of Stubborn found themselves facing phalanxes of armored trolls fighting with deadly skill, and squads of ogres acting with discipline and coordination. Stubborn’s defenders leapt off the walls in pursuit of harpies’ songs, and the walls were shattered by hurled stones. Survivors were herded into the plains to face the leaders of the army; this was the first recorded encounter with the assembled Daughters of Sora Kell, three enigmatic hags discussed in depth later in this chapter.

“Tell your rulers there’s a new power in the west,” Sora Katra told the people of Stubborn. “What you’ve called the Barrens, we now name Droaam. The land beyond the Graywall and below the Byeshk belongs to our people. Withdraw yours quickly and respect our claim; next time, there will be no survivors.”

Once news of the fall of Stubborn reached Orcbone, the Westwind Riders traveled west in full force. But Sora Katra was true to her word; there were no survivors, nor any records of the last battle of the Westward Riders. A retaliatory strike from Droaam—merely a fraction of the forces at Stubborn— inflicted terrible damage on Orcbone itself. King Boranel swiftly deployed all the soldiers he could spare to this new front, reinforcing and fortifying Orcbone. In 987 YK, he formally ordered all Brelish citizens to withdraw from the lands west of Graywall, but he refused to acknowledge the sovereignty of the Daughters, and over the next decade, clashes continued.

Building A Nation

To the people to the east of the Graywall Mountains, it seemed that the Daughters of Sora Kell appeared out of nowhere—and it felt much the same to the chibs of the Barrens. But evidence suggests that it was the culmination of years, or even decades, of planning. How long did it take to train the trolls and ogres now known as Maenya’s Fist? How did the Daughters acquire the armor and weapons wielded by this force? Some say that Sora Maenya assembled her troops in a forgotten Dhakaani fortress deep below the Byeshk Mountains, and that she oversaw the forging of their weapons in this ancient foundry. Sora Maenya calls the soldiers of Maenya’s Fist her children, and some scholars believe this might be literally true; both her war trolls and skullcrusher ogres are smarter and more capable than their common cousins. But how long would such an endeavor take? Melian Mit Davandi of the Library of Korranberg has advanced the theory that demiplanes may have been involved—that Maenya’s lair in Khyber could exist outside of the normal flow of time, allowing the schemes of the Daughters to be both a recent development and the work of generations. Sora Teraza approached the Queen of Stone and the lords of the Venomous Demesne in 985 YK, and the Daughters brokered the services of fully half of the Znir Pact mercenaries in this time. No one knows just how long the Daughters spent in preparation—but 986 YK is when they made their presence known.

Leading up to the attack on Stubborn, the Daughters spoke with—and dominated—the greatest powers of the Barrens. The chibs of the plains only understood force, and the Daughters displayed it; the scattered bands of raiders were forced to submit, and those who refused to bow to the Daughters of Sora Kell were executed in gruesome ways.

In 987 YK the Daughters of Sora Kell summoned the region’s most powerful leaders to the ruins now known as the Great Crag. There, Sora Katra presented the blueprint for the new nation, appointing warlords and specifying their responsibilities and regions. Work began on the greatest cities of this new nation: Graywall, the Great Crag, and the port city of Vralkek. The old fortress of Stubborn was repurposed and renamed Stonejaw. While some of the raider bands were left to follow their old ways, many were absorbed into the new nation. Thousands of goblins and kobolds were freed from their oppressive chibs and given opportunities in the new cities. This new order was maintained by gnoll peacekeepers of the Znir Pact. When that proved insufficient—when a chib refused to release their captive subjects or defied the Daughters— Maenya’s Fist would descend to destroy them. The message was simple: Change was coming. You could find your place in Droaam, or you could choose obliteration.

The Daughters’ ambitious plans were strengthened by an alliance with House Tharashk. For Tharashk, this provided access to the rich mineral resources of Droaam and the services of monstrous mercenaries, which opened an entirely new path for the house. For the Daughters, it tied them to a force with a legitimate voice and influence in the East. Tharashk agents convinced the Twelve to open up trade to Droaam—at least to the new city of Graywall. The house helped to organize laborers and build the new cities. Through Tharashk, the denizens of Droaam began to appear throughout the Five Nations, though tensions continued in the vicinity of Orcbone. Gargoyles and harpy couriers found a niche in Sharn. Ogre laborers could be found in Fairhaven and Wroat. In Sharn, the Gargoyle replaced the Bat in the Race of Eight Winds. Today, many citizens of the Five Nations are still uncomfortable around these creatures, but their presence is slowly becoming less remarkable.

The Present Situation

The Daughters of Sora Kell sent representatives to Thronehold for the treaty negotiations, demanding to be recognized as a sovereign nation. This petition was denied. In practice, Droaam is a nation, and most recent maps include its name and mark its territory. But legally, the land is still part of Breland. It’s debatable whether the Droaamites are legally invaders or rebels defying the Brelish crown, but either way, they aren’t considered citizens of Breland and aren’t entitled to the protections of the Code of Galifar. However, their standing outside the law makes them a haven for war criminals, dissidents, deserters, and others who can find no place in the Five Nations.Most of the leaders of the Five Nations are convinced that Droaam won’t last—that it’s unstable, that these monsters will turn on each other any day now. They might be right; the Daughters have already had to crush a number of rebellious warlords and lesser chibs. But after eleven years, Droaam is stronger than ever. Its new cities are expanding. Dragonmarked houses are exploring their opportunities in the region. One important question still remains unanswered: What do the Daughters of Sora Kell want? Will they attack Breland in force if their demands aren’t soon met? Or is there some grander scheme, tied to the prophetic visions of Sora Teraza?

Eberron Campaign Guide

The land beyond the Byeshk and Graywall Mountains has always been a realm of mystery and menace. Though claimed by Breland in the time of Galifar, it was never truly settled by humans. Western Breland instead remained a land of deadly monsters—a place where questing knights could seek their fortunes battling savage beasts.

During the Last War, monstrous bandits and war bands made increasingly frequent forays across the mountains and into western Breland. In 987 YK, King Boranel pulled his subjects back from the mountains for their own safety. In that same year, three hags—the Daughters of Sora Kell—rose to power within Breland’s ceded territory. Declaring that land to be the nation of Droaam, the hags united the monstrous warlords under their rule.

Droaam was not recognized by the Treaty of Thronehold, and most Khorvairians assumed that the monster alliance would quickly collapse in the aftermath of the Last War. However, the Daughters of Sora Kell have proven to be surprisingly capable leaders, creating a semblance of order among their savage subjects. The town of Graywall serves as the effective gateway between Droaam and Breland, and is governed by a mind flayer named Xorchylic.

Droaam is divided into territories, each of which is ruled by a monstrous warlord. The most infamous warlords of Droaam include the medusa Sheshka, known as the Queen of Stone, and the powerful oni Tzaryan Rrac. Gnolls, orcs, goblins, ogres, and minotaurs are the most common monstrous races of Droaam, but harpies, medusas, doppelgangers, gargoyles, trolls, and oni can also be found in this dark land.

The Daughters of Sora Kell petitioned for Droaam to be part of the Treaty of Thronehold but were denied. Rumors suggest that the hags remain intent on seeking the recognition of the Five Nations, though some say such diplomatic overtures are only a cover for Droaam’s secret military ambitions.

Religion

Exploring Eberron

Droaam is a tapestry of many cultures with diverse beliefs. The minotaurs revere a being known as the Horned Prince, but each clan has its own private name for their patron. The harpies say they sing with the Fury’s voice, but believe the Fury was Eberron’s cry of pain when she gave birth to the world. The changelings of Lost believe themselves to be the chosen people of the Traveler. The gnolls of the Znir Pact refuse to bow to any god or fiend, while the warlock lords of the Venomous Domain believe that there is no difference between gods or fiends; there are only powers that can be bound or bargained with.

Despite this vast diversity, there is broad acknowledgment of the Dark Six throughout the region. While each different subculture has its own favored deities and personal twists, most people know the basic principles of the Cazhaak Creed—an interpretation of the Sovereigns and Six codified by the medusas of Cazhaak Draal. Every multicultural city in Droaam has a host of shrines and idols tied to the lesser paths, but the true temple is one of the Shadow, most likely tended by a medusa priest.

The Cazhaak Creed acknowledges that the Sovereigns exist, but portrays them as tyrants who make demands of their worshipers while giving nothing. By contrast, the Dark Six support freedom and fair exchange. Under the creed, the Shadow is the patron of all those considered “monsters” by the people of the East. Aureon and the Nine hoarded their power, whereas the Shadow gave its children wondrous gifts: the medusa’s gaze, the troll’s regeneration, the ogre’s strength. As such, the Shadow is the deity most generally invoked by those seeking divine guidance or intervention.

Overall, the Cazhaak Creed assigns the same values to the Dark Six as does the Pyrinean Creed of the Five Nations, but it sees these concepts as virtues. The Shadow is the Sovereign of ambition and helps you find your path to power, even if that means stepping on others on the way. The Fury is the Sovereign of instinct and if you embrace your emotions, she’ll guide you through them; she’s also the Sovereign of revenge, which is merely the other side of justice’s coin. The Mockery shows the path to victory in battle, even if that requires you to embrace treachery or fear; in Droaam, courage and honor take a back seat to victory and survival. The Devourer wields the power of the wilds; he winnows out the weak, but those who survive his tests grow strong. Priests of the Keeper perform funerary rites, which vary by species—from the medusas that petrify their infirm so they never die, to the trolls and ogres that eat their dead. The priests also act as healers, for disease and infection are tools of the Keeper, and a priest can remove them for a price. The Keeper is the Sovereign of wealth and greed, and his priests are always willing to help a petitioner propose a bargain. The Traveler is rarely worshiped directly by any but the changelings, but it is always acknowledged.

All these are echoed in Droaam in many minor ways. For example, revels are ecstatic celebrations devoted to the Fury, where participants are encouraged to abandon all restraint and embrace their emotions. In battle, many Droaamites dedicate a kill to the Keeper, hoping to earn favor by adding souls to the Sovereign’s hoard; likewise, it’s customary to sacrifice part of an unexpected windfall to the Keeper so he doesn’t grow jealous.

Droaamites are very indulgent of the beliefs of others, despite (or because of) the many different faiths and practices. The Znir gnolls despise demons, but don’t interfere with the practices of the minotaurs or tieflings. Harpies don’t argue with medusas over the nature of the Fury; they know the true answer, and that’s sufficient. Everybody generally honors the Shadow, even if that means different things to different people. This principle generally applies to easterners as well. Droaamites think worshiping the Sovereign Host is foolish, but aren’t upset if you invoke Aureon, and don’t care what kalashtar or elves believe.

There’s one exception to the religious tolerance of Droaam— the Church of the Silver Flame. The Church considers it their mission to defend the innocent from supernatural threats, and many of the inhabitants of Droaam are considered “supernatural threats.” The Silver Flame has led many raids and quests into the Barrens, and the Dark Pack won’t soon forget the Lycanthropic Purge. Anyone who openly wears symbols of the Silver Flame receives, at best, a hostile reaction from most Droaamites, and it’s wise to never wander off alone.

Eberron Campaign Guide

Its longstanding crusades against monstrous creatures make the Church of the Silver Flame universally distrusted and despised in Droaam. Anyone wearing a visible symbol of that faith takes a –5 penalty to Diplomacy checks and is likely to be attacked without warning even in Droaam’s relatively civilized areas.

Though few creatures of Droaam adhere to the established faiths, priests of the Dark Six can be found in this land, most commonly those revering the Mockery and the Shadow. However, Droaam’s monsters have a different view of these deities from that of other worshipers, seeing the Shadow as a benevolent creator feared by Aureon. Fiend worship and the Cults of the Dragon Below are common in this land.

What Defines Droaam

Exploring Eberron

While all citizens of Droaam serve the Daughters of Sora Kell, each region is independently governed by a warlord in the name of the Daughters, and beneath them, chibs rule local communities. All citizens are expected to serve their nation when called upon, and to do whatever is asked of them. In exchange for loyalty and service, they receive sustenance, shelter, and pride—driven in part by the knowledge that they are defying the arrogant nations of the east. The people of Droaam are encouraged to believe that they are part of something glorious, something that has yet to be fully formed. “Today may be difficult, and tomorrow may be harder still. But look what we’ve done in one decade, and imagine what we’ll achieve in the next!” Within Droaam, some citizens have concrete, defined jobs— miners, masons, soldiers. Others are part of a general labor pool and may change jobs daily. This is especially true in the great cities, which are constantly expanding. However, Droaam isn’t yet a highly organized bureaucracy, and it’s easy to slip through the cracks if you choose to. Within the major cities, many citizens pursue their own businesses. Those who appear to be indolent or who cause trouble are swept up by a press gang, but people displaying industry and contributing to their city are largely ignored. Ultimately, Droaam is still a frontier; the nation is only ten years old, its cities are still being built, and there’s much change yet to come.

While many outsiders may think Droaam’s system sounds oppressive, most of its citizens are sincerely committed to their new nation. Their lives before the Daughters were brutal and ugly. Now they have all the grist—ground meat made of troll flesh—that they can eat, a roof and a bed in the local hall, and most of all, a sense of purpose. A goblin may spend their day in the mines, but they know they’re building a great city, not just serving the crude whims of a crass ogre chief. Additionally, many citizens are truly in awe of the Daughters of Sora Kell, a careful balance between fear and wonder—the practical fear of Sora Maenya and her Fist, and the dreams inspired by the words of Sora Katra. The people of Droaam know that the Daughters of Sora Kell are legends, that they possess untold powers, and that Sora Teraza knows what the future holds. Most truly believe that Droaam has a grand destiny, that they’ll defy the expectations of the world, and that together, they’ll build something glorious.

Language

Droaam has several exotic languages, from the chattering of the Znir Pact gnolls to the medusas that communicate with each other through the hissing and weaving of their snakes. However, this region was once dominated by the Empire of Dhakaan and Goblin has long been the common language of trade. Almost every Droaamite speaks, or at least understands, Goblin. When using stat blocks for a Droaamish creature, you should generally substitute Goblin in place of Giant or Orc. The ogres and trolls of Droaam have no ties to Xen’drik, where the Giant language was spoken. The Orc language was largely eliminated from common use thousands of years ago, and it’s nearly extinct in Khorvaire today, though there could be a community of Gaa’ran orcs that still speak it.

Common is used as a trade language, and in modern times, many creatures speak it in addition to Goblin. Even before the arrival of the Daughters, the people of the eastern Barrens often knew a little Common from interacting with Brelish settlers and the Westwind Riders. Today, the Daughters are encouraging the spread of Common, and have even begun providing regular classes in the language in Graywall and the Great Crag, as understanding Common is useful for commerce and for creatures who could serve as Tharashk mercenaries. Ultimately, it’s up to the DM to decide if a particular creature should speak Common—and if so, just how much it speaks. It’s possible that an NPC may only know a few specific phrases in Common, or that a player character will have to make a Charisma (Performance) check to convey their meaning to a creature that understands little of the language.

Literacy is common in the more civilized regions of Droaam. Medusas, tieflings, and changelings are generally literate, as is anyone who works as a merchant or envoy. But at the moment, much of the general populace is illiterate, in contrast to the Five Nations, where education has long been considered a basic right. While Droaamites speak Goblin, they aren’t dar like the Dhakaani discussed later in this chapter; they have no interest in muut or atcha, and don’t use many other words integral to Dhakaani culture. Notably, they don’t use the terms chaat’oor or gath’dar to refer to humans and their kin. Instead, they use aravaat—easterner—to refer to people of the Five Nations, and more generally, to refer to humans, halflings, dwarves, elves, and similar species. Most Droaamites don’t bother to learn the names of the different nations of Khorvaire. The West is the Shadow Marches, home to Tharashk and the former home of Sora Katra. The North is the Towering Wood, former home of Sora Maenya. Everything else is the East, and that’s all most people really care to know about it.

Cruel World

Mercy and compassion are alien concepts in Droaam, neither expected nor offered. There’s little difference between justice and revenge, and if you want either, you’ll likely have to seize it. The world is split into predators and prey—and it’s always better to be the predator. Surviving to the end of a day is a victory, and having shelter and food should be celebrated, not taken for granted. The people of Droaam are steadfast allies to those they count as friends, and fight to protect the things they love. But they care nothing about the fate of strangers: if protecting a friend means causing suffering to a stranger, so be it.

Bear this in mind when creating characters from Droaam. If you are cruel to strangers, it’s because you believe the world to be a cruel place. You may pursue noble goals and be the most reliable friend anyone could wish for, but you were born in a harsh world, and it’s the only life you’ve known.

This cruel world is changing. The Daughters dangle the dream of a better world; Katra urges Droaamites to think of all of their comrades as family. Serve the Daughters and you’ll have food and shelter. But that’s all balanced by the fact that if you challenge them, they will crush you without mercy. And to most Droaamites, that’s a perfectly reasonable arrangement.

Cuisine

Why did it take so long for the people of the Barrens to build great cities? In part, this was because they couldn’t feed the population of such a city. Many of Droaam’s inhabitants are carnivorous, and those who aren’t lacked the discipline for the large-scale agriculture required to feed large populations like those found today in Graywall or the Great Crag. This simple issue of food kept the population of the Barrens in check.

While the Daughters of Sora Kell enforce their rule with Katra’s Voice and Maenya’s Fist, they also buy loyalty with food. The Daughters of Sora Kell promise that anyone who serves them will have shelter and sustenance. They have lived up to their promise, providing a seemingly endless supply of food. The staple is a ground meat called grist, served either as stew, pie, or sausage. Grist is tough and sour, but it is filling, and the “grist mills” have a seemingly endless supply of it. Few of the people of Droaam know or care where grist comes from, but visitors might be more squeamish—for grist is made of troll meat, ground and processed for consumption. The Daughters of Sora Kell hold the secrets to processing grist, which isn’t eaten anywhere else in Khorvaire. On its own, troll meat is highly toxic and carcinogenic, but the Daughters have devised a magical mixture of herbs and spices that’s blended with the ground meat and makes it edible.

Every major town has a “grist mill”—a public cafeteria serving grist. Grist mills include stables filled with trolls; some are kept as punishment, while others were bred for this purpose. Their flesh is slowly cut away, always leaving time for the creature to safely regenerate—though the pain of this process is still agonizing. The form of grist served in a mill changes daily—stew, sausage, meat broth—but the substance remains the same, and most easterners find it sour and unpleasant. The one saving grace of grist is that it’s free. So, enjoy a bowl of grist stew— there’s plenty more where it came from!

For those with slivers or teeth to spare, there are many more options. Meat is a staple of Droaamish cuisine, and most like it nearly raw; in fact, many of the lesser giants prefer to eat their meals live. Some food can be downright dangerous for humans; for example, trolls like to chew dried carrion crawler tentacles, which have a dramatic numbing effect on most creatures. Some dishes are served with a tiny living ooze, which Droaamites believe aids with digestion. Wherever you go, the cuisine reflects the exotic beasts of the region. Steamed chuul is much beloved on the coastlines, while spicy displacer beast is popular inland.

Eberron Campaign Guide

Monstrous merchants accept currency from across Khorvaire, but Droaam mints no coins of its own. Instead, its inhabitants barter for goods and services using a wide array of tokens, including the teeth of deadly beasts and slivers of precious metal.

The villages and smaller settlements of Droaam can be as dangerous as the wilds. However, House Tharashk has established strong connections with the Daughters of Sora Kell, and a group of travelers under Tharashk protection is generally safe within the larger towns and cities.

House Tharashk

Orcs have an easier time in Droaam than humans do, and over the last decade, House Tharashk has formed close ties with the Daughters of Sora Kell. In addition to securing prospecting rights throughout the nation, Tharashk helps the hags by selling the services of Droaam’s monstrous mercenaries and laborers throughout Khorvaire. Outsiders who wish to trade with the Daughters of Sora Kell are wise to negotiate through the house

Plots and Adventures

Ruins and dungeons from the Age of Monsters and the Age of Demons are scattered across Droaam, including some never seen by human eyes. This is a universally dangerous land, and adventurers are likely to be assaulted by hungry manticores, wild wyverns, or the forces of a local warlord. A party traveling with a Tharashk heir or under the flag of another warlord might be able to avoid conflict. However, the feuds constantly simmering in the kingdom of monsters have a way of boiling over at inopportune times.

The Warlord’s Gambit: Each of the warlords of Droaam has the potential to drive an adventure, whether as a villain or an ally. Characters who have ties to the goblins or the kobolds could become caught up in the struggles of Kethelrax the Cunning, possibly inspiring the PCs to become agents of the kobold lord. Sheshka could prove a strong ally against Tzaryan Rrac, or perhaps the PCs need to recover an ancient treasure from Cazhaak Draal, working beneath the Queen of Stone’s deadly gaze.

Pawns of Prophecy: Sora Teraza is one of the greatest oracles of the modern age. Previous adventures or a quest for a mighty relic might inspire the PCs to consult the hag, but the route to the Great Crag is a dangerous one.

Old Debts: Though Droaam is a new nation, the Daughters of Sora Kell have dwelled in Khorvaire for centuries. One of the PCs might discover that Sora Katra spared the life of an ancestor, incurring a pledge that the party must now fulfill. Alternatively, a PC can learn that Sora Maenya has the soul of a childhood friend trapped in her vault of skulls. Either way, the hags can make formidable allies or enemies.

Lost and Found: A vital artifact or dragon marked house heirloom is stolen from Khorvaire. The thief is a changeling from Lost, fleeing back to her hidden enclave. Can the characters discover the location of the secret settlement? And what else will they find if they do?

Droaam Adventure Hooks

Any adventure that takes place in Droaam or involves creatures that hail from that nation gives the players and their characters a chance to deal with monsters that don’t always behave monstrously. The Droaam Adventure Hooks table presents a variety of story links involving Droaam, the Daughters of Sora Kell, or both.

Droaam Adventure Hooks

d6 Adventure Hook
1 medusa sends authorities a broken stone finger bearing a distinctive signet ring, and invites emissaries to bring gold, a magic item, or some other ransom for the petrified individual’s release.
2 A House Lyrandar airship has gone down just beyond the Graywall Mountains. The characters must move immediately to rescue any survivors and secure a secret message the ship was carrying.
3 Sora Teraza appears in a character’s dreams every few nights, urging the character to explore a particular ruin.
4 The characters must entreat the Daughters of Sora Kell for knowledge of how to remove a seemingly unbreakable curse.
5 The characters must purchase or steal a daelkyr tome or artifact from the tower of Mordain the Fleshweaver, a powerful wizard banished from the Twelve who now makes his home in western Droaam.
6 An ogre warlord is accused of destroying a village just outside the borders of Droaam. The characters must bring the warlord to justice or work with the ogre to find the real culprit.

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Created by Joseph Meehan 3 years ago. Last modified by Joseph Meehan 9 months ago

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