Zilargo is the homeland of the gnomes, and at first glance it appears to be a paradise. The streets are bright and clean. The universities and libraries are the finest in Khorvaire. Everyone seems happy and helpful, and crime is all but unheard of. But Zil society is filled with layers of intrigue and blackmail that are often invisible to human eyes. And below that lies The Trust, a ruthless secret police force that eliminates any threat to society.

Zilargo isn’t a tyranny. Each major city has a democratically elected ruling council and a seat on the Triumvirate that governs the nation; the Trust reports to the Triumvirate. The Zil gnomes built this system, and they are quite happy with it. Their streets are safe, and as long as you play by the rules of the game, the Trust won’t target you. Outsiders find this casual acceptance of preemptive assassination to be terrifying, but the Zil actually trust the Trust.

Every Zil gnome is in a web of intrigues. This is condoned by the Trust, as long as no laws are broken and the state itself isn’t threatened. It’s fine for a gnome charlatan to connive another gnome out of a jewel mine—as long as this is accomplished through cunning, negotiation, or deception rather than violence or outright theft, and as long as the mine stays in Zil hands. The same applies to adventurers planning schemes in Zilargo: violence will get one targeted by the Trust, but is perfectly acceptable.

The Trust itself is a network of spies and assassins. Most agents of the Trust simply pass information through dead drops; some estimate that a third of the nation works for the Trust in this capacity. When the Trust identifies a threat, it acts preemptively. If a problem can be solved without violence—by sharing a piece of information, or a whispered warning sent via message—that’s what they’ll do. But the Trust won’t hesitate to eliminate a threat, whether with poison, spell, or a blade. Typically, a target will never even see the agent that kills them.

Interesting Things About Zilargo

  • Most consider the Library of Korranberg the finest repository of knowledge in Khorvaire.
  • The Korranberg Chronicle is the leading source of news in Khorvaire. Gnome chroniclers travel across Khorvaire in search of stories.
  • The major cities of Zilargo maintain temples and shrines dedicated to every religion. Most Zil explore a few faiths before settling on one; others practice multiple religions.

Zil Characters

As you develop a Zil character, consider the following factors:

Family Ties. In a nation shaped by intrigue, you need someone you can rely on. For the Zil, that’s family. Unless you’re an orphan, discuss your family with your DM. What’s their business? Who’s your favorite relative? Are you currently involved in any family schemes? Family members might call on you for help over the course of your adventurers, but they can also be a resource for you.

Knowledge and Power. The Zil prize knowledge above all else. Sage is a suitable background for any Zil; charlatan and spy are also appropriate, reflecting their love of intrigue. Classes that specialize in melee combat are rare among the Zil. The soldiers of Zilargo include rogues, bards, wizards, and artificers.

The Trust. In creating a Zil character, consider whether you have any ties to the Trust. A vast number of gnomes serve as the eyes and ears of the Trust, reporting interesting information to a Trust handler. As an active agent, you could receive missions tied to your current adventures. If you and your companions are fighting the Emerald Claw, you might have a secondary assignment to eliminate a specific Claw agent or acquire a particular object from their base. While the spy background is a logical choice for a Trust agent, the agency recruits characters of every class and background. Your class abilities reflect specialized training and granted abilities—the magical equivalent of spy gadgets!

Outside the bustling cities of Zilargo, life is still full of intrigue, but of the gentler and kinder type. Arguments over the precise location of a fence post or the ownership of a particular ram are common, but outsiders the gnomes are warm and welcoming. Every gnomish village is constructed with medium-sized visitors in mind, making travel through Zilargo a comforting experience. In fact, House Ghallanda has very few formal enclaves, and the Gnomish tendency to reject foreign influence means few hostels bother with Ghallanda accredidation. Similar to the clan financing,

The forests of Zilargo are free of dangerous beasts, long since removed by the city states and other adventurers. Even as the Last War raged on, Zilargo remained safe and secure, so unlike the five nations there was no opportunity for a resurgence of creatures that lurk and hunt in the dark. The biggest threat is the fey, whom the gnomes do not generally consider a threat but can cause trouble for adventurers. The fey are especially fond of humbling the arrogant, meaning that any traveling party of adventurers is almost certainly a target for Thelanian tricks and games.


When Galifar swept across southern Khorvaire, conquering what is modern Breland, the gnomes offered to join the new nation on the condition they would retain most of their autonomy, only paying taxes to the Brelish governorship. When Wroann seceded in 892 YK, those taxes went to the freshly independent Brelish crown. In 962 YK, Zilargo declared itself an ally of Breland - no longer paying taxes or other forms of dues, but continuing in trade relations and material support of Breland's war effort.

In the early days of Galifar the gnomes decided to mimic the stylings of the human nobles with the ir' prefix. In Zilargo, a gnome may use the prefix if and only if they sit on a Council of Nine. As such, the title is much rarer and not tied to heredity, unlike the rest of Khorvaire.

Outside of the major cities, the semi-democratic nature of gnomish communities makes landed titles irrelevant.

The Zil take faith seriously, to the extent that many gnomes explore different religions before settling on one faith. Others continue to adhere to multiple (and sometimes conflicting) beliefs all their lives. Shrines and temples for every faith can be found in the major Zil cities, from the Sovereign Host to the Cults of the Dragon Below (though Zil devotees embrace the Cults on a strictly philosophical level).

Villages and towns are scattered across Zilargo, all of them friendly and welcoming. The gnomes go to great lengths to make their homes accessible to foreigners. In virtually every community, buildings have doors and furniture sized for Medium creatures, and even the smallest village has a roadhouse designed to accommodate larger visitors. However, unwary outsiders can quickly be drawn into local intrigues, which can be dangerous. The Trust has eyes in even the smallest Zil village.

For a small nation, Zilargo exports a large array of goods and services. The gnomes are known for diplomatic expertise, and the demand for gnomish translators, advocates, and mediators is high. House Sivis regulates these services, as well as maintaining a lock on communications in central Khorvaire. The gnomes’ talent for words extends beyond mediation and scribing. Gnome poets and orators are celebrated across Khorvaire, while Zil bards weave words and magic together to produce dazzling shows of illusion and song.

In addition, the Korranberg Chronicle, full of news and stories, reaches common folk throughout the Five Nations. The Library of Korranberg and its associated colleges don’t quite measure up to the magical research and artifi cing techniques going on in Aundair, but it might possess the greatest source of general knowledge on the continent.

The gnomes of Trolanport are among the greatest ship wrights and cartographers of Khorvaire, and even Lhazaar princes travel there to commission gnome-made vessels. Tremendous wealth pours from the jewel mines of Zalanberg, and the gnomes have discovered a method for binding elementals into vehicles, armor, and weapons.


Jungle Rats

The first mention of the gnomes can be found in the records of the Empire of Dhakaan. The Ghuurash Codex provides details about the first Dhakaani campaign against the "jungle rats" that infested the coast between the Howling Peaks and the Seawall Mountains. The gnomes of ten thousand years ago were feral and primitive -- a far cry from the civilization seen today. The hobgoblin sages believed that the gnomes were rodents that had been twisted by a conduit to Thelanis, or stunted, thin-blooded wererats that had lost the ability to shift forms. Proponents of this theory cited the small size of the gnomes, the strong instinctive bond within a family, the gnomish preference for burrows, and the racial ability to communicate with burrowing mammals.

The savage gnomes were no match for the disciplined armies of Dhakaan, and the empire spread across the region. The gnomes were enslaved or forced deeper into the wilds. But conquest was far easier than occupation. While primitive, the gnomes were masters of their environment and had a particular gift with poisons; they could not fight Dhakaani armies, but they could poison wells and ambush supply trains. While they never presented a true threat to the empire, the gnomes remained a thorn in the side of the goblin invaders for many hundreds of years.

The stalemate may have continued to this day, but destiny came in the form of the daelkyr. The extraplanar incursion crippled the empire, and the gnomes pounced on the weakened foe. In addition to physical sabotage and assassination, the gnomes began to employ the psychological techniques that would come to define their future nation. While the gnomes had yet to master the arts of wizardry, magic has always run through the blood of the gnomes. While many gnomes could summon a voice from the shadows, a few became full-fledged sorcerers, specializing in illusion. Combining magic with mundane arts of disguise and forgery, the gnomes took advantage of the shattered lines of communication in the empire to sow dissent among the commanders in the region, turning goblin against goblin and helping to ignite the civil wars that tore Dhakaan asunder.

The City-States Emerge

As the goblins pulled back, the gnomes seized cities depopulated by the daelkyr, voraciously devouring the knowledge left behind and building new civilizations in the ruins of what had come before. Slowly families joined together to form the city-states of Trolanport, Korranberg, and Zolanberg. They fought goblins in the lowlands and kobolds in the mountains, and at times they fought each other; but the gnomes always preferred to fight with guile and deception, winning conflicts with wits instead of steel. The gnomes always numbered few and felt no need to conquer the land -- they contentedly held off enemies and maintained the territory they had claimed.

But while the gnomes had no interest in expansion and colonization, they were always driven by a thirst for knowledge. At its deepest level, this is a survival instinct: The gnome knows that information is a weapon. The more he knows about an enemy, the more power he has -- and everyone is a potential enemy. Gnomes began to explore the continent, trade with the emerging cultures of Khorvaire, and learn all there was to know about land and water.

The Birth of Zilargo

The most critical moment in the history of the nation was the foundation of the Library of Korranberg. As the dragonmarks began to appear in Khorvaire, the loremaster Dorius Alyre Korran swore that he would build a fortress of knowledge -- an institute that would unlock every mystery of Eberron. This idea fired the imagination of gnomes across the region, and slowly this project became a national obsession. All three city-states donated resources to the Library, and soon the vaults began to fill with Dhakaani scrolls and the records of the first gnomes, which were carved on sticks of wood. The Library became a point of gnomish pride, and representatives of all of the city-states sat on the council of doyens.

Then came the first great wars of the Current Age. Malleon the Reaver swept the southern coast, and Karrn the Conqueror began the work that Galifar would eventually complete. The gnomes found themselves faced with twin dilemmas. Could any of the city-states stand alone against humanity? And could they trust the other city-states not to betray them? Ultimately, the leaders found one answer to both problems: Expand the alliance they'd created with the council of doyens, and formally bind the three cities as one. After a few social experiments, the city councilors settled on the Triumvirate, and the unified nation was born. The gnomes called the new realm Zilargo, "The Home of the Wise."

Working as one, the Zil gnomes held their own against human and goblin alike. The gnomes were equally adept at working with wood and words, and they had uncovered deep deposits of gems in the Seawall Mountains. The people of Trolanport and Korranberg gained fame as sailors and shipwrights, and gnome merchants, mediators, translators, and scribes spread across the Five Nations.

The Trust

The Zil alliance did not erase the feuds of the past. The Triumvirate could not eradicate the competitive nature of the gnomes -- and in truth, the cutthroat cunning of the gnomes was a point of national pride. But since these feuds began to threaten the interests of the new nation, it became clear that something had to be done. Once more the nation looked to the Library for inspiration, drawing on the example of the syndicate established to enforce honesty among students. Each Triumvir was authorized to select agents from her own city to create a corps of secret police -- an elite force who could be relied upon to place the interests of the nation above all else. Over time, all matters of law enforcement and national security were placed in the hands of the Trust. In many nations, gnomes serve as barristers and advocates, but in Zilargo there is no court of law: the Trust punishes the guilty, and its justice is swift and merciless. It is invisible and omniscient, staffed with spies, diviners, and assassins. Any Zil citizen could be an agent of the Trust. This calling comes above friendship and family. Even when you are alone, you might be watched by an invisible spy or scrying eyes. The Zil gnomes see this as a virtue; while they have little privacy, they also have the lowest crime rate of any nation in Khorvaire. The Trust is there when it is needed and invisible when it is not; even the members of the organization know only a handful of other members. In the eyes of the typical gnome, a loss of privacy is a small price to pay for security.

The Trust acts only if something threatens society. The Zil gnomes constantly engage in blackmail and intrigue. This is a way of life in Zilargo, and the Trust acts only if the intrigues threaten the security of the nation or cause laws to be broken. For example, if a blackmailer forces jis victim to give him a lucrative shipping contract, no harm is done; the wealth still remains in the nation. On the other hand, if the blackmailer forces his victim to commit a murder, steal a rare book from the Library, or give secrets of elemental binding to House Cannith, the Trust intervenes quickly.

This raises the following issue: If the Trust is so powerful, how can adventurers get away with anything in Zilargo? First, the Trust does not interfere unless Zil citizens are threatened. If a party of adventurers is chasing a Brelish fugitive -- well, provided that the adventurers don't disrupt the lives of Zil citizens in their hunt, they are free to do as they will. Of course, if the fugitive finds refuge in the home of a doyen, the adventurers need to find a way to extract the target without harming the household. Second, as noted earlier, intrigue isn't necessarily a crime. And most importantly, the Trust is not as omniscient as it wants people to believe. Anyone could be an agent of the Trust -- but not everyone is. Careless criminals and adventurers who think that they are above the law may be cut down to size by the Trust. But if the party acts carefully and cautiously by planning out its steps and taking advantage of disguise and abjuration magic, they can escape even the eyes of the Trust. Adventurers still can accomplish their goals in Zilargo -- they just need to use their brains instead of relying on sword and fireball to solve all their problems.

Galifar to the Present Day

The Zil gnomes have never sought to build empires; instead, they have always insinuated themselves into the nations of others. In the Mror Holds, the gnomes do much of the actual work of the banking industry. Gnome merchants and sailors have a strong foothold in the Lhazaar Principalities, and they live and work in coastal communities across Khorvaire. In Breland, gnome crafters and engineers labor closely with the centers of industry. In Aundair, Zil sages hold key posts in the Arcane Congress and the University of Wynarn. The message stations of House Sivis are the key to international communication, and the Korranberg Chronicle is the most trusted source of news on the continent. Gnomes are everywhere, and they are almost always overlooked. But few realize the tight bonds of family -- and this is what gives the gnomes their power.

Eberron Campaign Guide

Zilargo is a peaceful land whose people have always sought to avoid conflict, and a knack for diplomacy has helped the gnomes prosper throughout the ages. The Zil place great importance on hospitality, and they welcome strangers into their settlements and homes with open arms.

An independent province within the kingdom of Galifar, Zilargo remained neutral during much of the Last War before aligning with Breland in 962 YK. Though the gnomes committed few troops to the war effort, their alchemical and elemental weapons were devastatingly effective, and Zil spies were said to provide substantial intelligence to Breland.

The gnomes consider information to be a priceless treasure. The Library of Korranberg is the greatest repository of general knowledge in Khorvaire, and the doyens of the library regularly fund scholarly expeditions that take explorers across Eberron. The Korranberg Chronicle is the most reliable source of daily news in Khorvaire, and the gnome House Sivis controls the message stones that make international communication possible.

The Zil have always been skilled shipwrights and dedicated explorers, and they build many of the watercraft that ply the Thunder Sea. In particular, they are responsible for the construction and elemental binding of the magic vessels of House Lyrandar. It is said that the gnomes discovered the secret of elemental binding in Xen’drik, and that they guard this process jealously from any who might seek to steal it.

Zilargo is ruled by the Triumvirate, a council composed of representatives from the cities of Korranberg, Trolanport, and Zolanberg. Each city is ruled by a Council of Nine—representatives of its most powerful families. Family plays an important role in Zil society, with multiple families bound together to form powerful houses. The betrayal of a family member is a serious crime under Zil law.

The laws of Zilargo are maintained by a secret police force known as the Trust, whose members answer only to the Triumvirate. They are authorized to take any action necessary to preserve the peace, and Zilargo has almost no crime as a result. People who threaten the social order can be eliminated by the Trust without warning or trial, whether citizens or not.

The Trust began as an oversight force within the Library of Korranberg, eventually expanded to encompass the entire nation. Over the last two centuries, it has spread beyond Zilargo, becoming one of the most efficient intelligencegathering agencies in Khorvaire. The Trust intervenes only in matters that threaten the public peace or the security of the nation. As a result, private intrigues abound in Zilargo, but their perpetrators must be careful to keep their schemes and conflicts from escalating from private to public.

Eberron Campaign Setting

The gnomes of Khorvaire have lived in the area known as Zilargo for thousands of years. Situated between the Howling Peaks and the Seawall Mountains, the gnomes have thrived despite incursions by and confl icts with goblin oids, kobolds, and humans. They have always managed to maintain their independence, winning battles with words that they could never win with swords. After Galifar established his kingdom, he eventually set his sights on Zilargo. The gnomes met his forces in the valley north of Dragonroost and immediately surrendered. During the negotiations, the gnomes became an independent province within the kingdom. Galifar left in victory, and the gnomes secured a safe place in the new kingdom —all without spilling a drop of blood. Relying on wisdom and cunning, along with elemental-bound items and illusions, gnomes can be surprisingly dangerous opponents.

During the Last War, Zilargo spent part of the confl ict as a neutral observer before aligning with Breland in 962 YK. From that point on, the gnomes provided intelligence and elemental-bound weapons to Breland while avoiding most combat. As a result, Zilargo emerged from the Last War stronger than ever, and Breland owes the gnomes a debt for the services they rendered.

Some have compared the Zil gnomes to social rodents. The gnomes are happiest in groups. They are energetic and highly industrious, and they prefer to avoid conflict with larger creatures. But like rats, gnomes are survivors. Stealth, deception, and pure tenacity are the tools of the gnome -- and when cornered, a gnome can be a surprisingly dangerous foe.

The streets of Zilargo are bright and cheerful. The gnomes are helpful, attentive, and usually willing to lend an ear to the troubles of a traveler and a hand to those in need. Sometimes this is just what it seems. But the Zil gnomes are schooled in deception from childhood, and, all too often, their good cheer and friendly demeanor is an illusion. The Zil character has a paranoid streak, and the helpful nature of the Zil gnomes is rarely altruistic. While the gnomes are curious by nature, that curiosity is often fueled by the desire to gain leverage over every possible enemy. If you tell a gnome your problems, he may or may not help you. If he does, you owe him a favor. If he doesn't, he has learned about your weaknesses -- and in the eyes of the Zil, all information has value.

It would be an exaggeration to say that every Zil gnome is a ruthless schemer. While cunning and cautious, the Zil are people like any other. While some are cold-blooded opportunists, others do enjoy helping others. But even a goodhearted gnome may rely on manipulation and deception to accomplish his goals.

While energetic and cheerful, the gnomes are not childish or foolish. They are masterful merchants and negotiators, and they are adept at setting others at ease and weaving words into a pleasing tapestry. The people of Zilargo see language as an art, so Zil gnomes are typically well-spoken and sophisticated. Even a gnome farmer or miner has training in conversation and debate. The typical gnome is not a clown or a source of comic relief -- unless it suits her purposes to have others see her that way.

The Zil gnomes love games of strategy, but their favorite pastime is intrigue. The seemingly dull farmer could be involved in a dozen plots. Often these plots are tied to a local community: feuds to shift the balance of power between families, attempts to influence local romances, or economic schemes. Two gnomes may engage in a shadow war to acquire a certain rare book, not because either truly cares about the book, but as a game -- a test of cunning and wit. But beyond these innocent pastimes, the waiter at the bar could be working for the Trust, the Aurum, the Korranberg Chronicle, or any number of other cabals with international goals.

Beyond his personal schemes, every Zil gnome has a bond to his family and his clan, and each has its own economic and political goals. Business contracts, mining rights, government positions, influence within a trade guild -- in Zilargo, all of these things are determined by cunning and manipulation. As noted in Part One, the Trust intervenes only if the security of the land is threatened or if actual laws are broken. If the Lorridans and the Lyrrimans are feuding to see who will get the rights to Blackhowl Mine, the Trust doesn't care -- as long as no one is killed and the resources of the mine ultimately benefit gnomes. If the Lorridans started murdering the Lyrrimans, or the Lyrrimans made arrangements to sell the mine to House Cannith . . . that's when the Trust may get involved.

Family loyalty is immensely important in Zilargo. In a society that thrives on deception, the gnomes find it extremely important to have someone they can trust without reservation, and for the Zil this is the bond of blood. While families may fight one another for position within a clan, betrayal of a direct family member is almost unheard of and would call for bitter and vicious vengeance. Likewise, favors and debts are a serious matter in the Land of the Wise. A web of secrets, favors, and debts binds this nation together, and a gnome may be called on at any time to repay a personal favor or a debt owed by her family. Failure to comply with a reasonable request threatens the entire system and can have grave consequences. Of course, this is a two-way street; a gnome PC is expected to repay her debts, but she can also call in favors from the people she helps during her adventures.

Zil spellweavers bind illusion into cloth, and the finest glamerweave comes from this land. Some tailors specialize in hypnotic abstract patterns while others weave clear images into their outfits: an evening gown might hold a breathtaking rendition of a sunset over the Seawall Mountains. Magical or no, most Zil gnomes prefer bright colors and loose, flowing designs. Hats are also popular, and a typical Zil street has gnomes wearing a plethora of different styles of headgear. Jewelry bearing both precious and semiprecious stones accentuates clothing; a gnome who cannot afford gold and gemstones sees no shame in wearing finely crafted ornaments of copper and glass.

Zil architecture is as beautiful as the clothing of the gnomes. Multiple types of wood and stone blend together to form pleasing patterns. Even the smallest communities are lit with continual flame, and, in large cities and metropolises, bound elementals provide heat, light, and other amenities. The gnomes go to great lengths to make their homes accessible to foreigners; in cities and towns every building have doors and furniture sized for Medium creatures as well as Small ones, and even in the villages at least one building is designed to accommodate Medium visitors. Zil houses are often filled with trappings from foreign lands -- Aereni woodwork, Sarlonan tapestries, and exotic plants from Xen'drik or Q'barra. Traditionally a guest brings a small gift to repay a host for his hospitality, and this often becomes a form of competition. A wealthy gnome might send a party of adventurers to Xen'drik to recover a piece of art from the Age of Giants, purely because she wants to present it at a party.

Gnomes use prestidigitation to maintain their personal appearance and to keep property clean; as a result, the streets are unnaturally bright, colors remain remarkably vivid, and the gnomes themselves have impeccable hygiene. Even in filthy foreign cities, a gnome takes pains to maintain her appearance, and a dirty gnome probably isn't from Zilargo. Likewise, ragged adventurers may be barred from certain Zil establishments and events unless they are properly groomed and attired. Gnomes also have a keen sense of smell, and scent plays a significant role in Zil fashion; men and women alike make use of perfumes and oils, many so subtle that humans can't even smell them. A social "language of scent" allows a gnome to indicate her current status -- seeking companionship, conversation, solitude, help, and so on. A gnome can recognize the intent of a scent by making a DC 10 Wisdom check and a DC 15 Knowledge (local) check. Other creatures with enhanced senses -- such as a shifter with the Wildhunt ability -- can identify these scents, but unless raised among gnomes they cannot deduce the social meaning of the smell.

The gnomish sense of smell and talent for prestidigitation are also reflected in Zil cuisine. The Zil gnomes make use of a wide variety of subtle spices, including certain flavors that can be produced only through prestidigitation. One of the most common beverages in the land is maleko, which is chilled water infused with faint traces of flavor; visitors are often baffled by the gnome who passes up a tankard of ale to savor a glass of water.


Cheliceras prowl the Howling Peaks, north of Zilargo, where they feed on mountain lions, humanoids, and other weaker predators. Their natural enemies include wyverns, chimeras, and manticores.

Crystalline Troll

Crystalline trolls inhabit the Seawall Mountains and prey on caravans passing through the mountain range. The gnomes of Zilargo have funded excursions into the mountains to wipe out crystalline troll enclaves, although their efforts have met with only modest success. Some crystalline trolls have been captured and enslaved by the goblin armies of Darguun.

Stworzone przez Joseph Meehan 4 lata temu. Ostatnio zmienione przez Joseph Meehan 1 miesiąc temu