How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Eberron
When dragonmarks began appearing among the races of Eberron, it was a surprising and world-changing phemonema. In time, these powerful individuals drew together, consolidating their power. These houses soon became key power players in Khorvaire, both in politics and commerce, and became recognized as the Dragonmarked Houses.
- House Cannith
- House Deneith
- House Ghallanda
- House Jorasco
- House Kundarak
- House Lyrander
- House Medani
- House Orien
- House Phiarlan
- House Sivis
- House Tharashk
- House Thuranni
- House Vadalis
- The marks themselves are manifestations of the Draconic Prophecy, a sort of index of the future written on material surfaces on Eberron. Until the founding of Aerenal, these marks had usually manifested on geological features, or in large-scale biological patterns (like the shadings of a forest as seen from above). But as the non-draconic races became more familiar with magic, the marks began to appear, with specific marks confined to particular regions and races.
- -2200 YK: The first three marks, the Mark of Shadow, the Mark of Death, and the Mark of Hospitality appeared on elves in the eastern parts of Aerenal and the halflings of the Talenta Plains. The dragons of the Argonnessen Conclave quickly discovered the marks, much to their shock.
- Up to this point, they had thought the minor races unimportant in the grand scheme of the Prophecy, but the marks appeared regularly and had powerful magical energy tied to them, unlike many marks that manifested on rock. This shock laid the foundation for the long-running feud between the dragons and the elves. The elves took the mark as a sign of their worth, showing them to be peers with the dragons, as well as blessed by the gods. They also took it as an impetus to begin studying the Prophecy, a secret held closely by the dragons. After the events surrounding Errandis d’Vol’s birth, the Mark of Death was extinct, and those bearing the Mark of Shadow felt it necessary to leave Aerenal. Out of these events, the Khorvar were born, as well as the draconic Chamber and House Phiarlan (and later House Thuranni).
- -2000 YK: While the first humans began colonizing the Lhazaar Principalities, the Mark of Healing began appearing on other halflings on the Plains.
- -1800 YK: As the city states of Zil (later Zilargo) grew in prominence, the Mark of Scribing appeared among gnomish bloodlines. Because Zil society is one of intrigue and power struggles, the new dragonmarked heirs worked hard to avoid becoming targets, and separated themselves from politics, creating a precedent for the way dragonmarked houses would operate, as neutral operators. Gnomish envoys then began the search for other dragonmarks, eventually finding all 12.
- -1600 YK: The Mark of Sentinel appears in central Karrn, and militant humans gather around, creating the foundation for the Sentinel Marshals and the armies of Karrn and Galifar. Meanwhile, the Mark of Death was made extinct with the destruction of House Vol.
- -1500 YK: Both the Mark of Making and the Mark of Warding appear, and the formal structures of House Cannith set a precedent for the hierarchal structure of the modern house.
- -1000 YK: During military expeditions, the two halfling marks are discovered, and after meeting Cannith and Sivis representatives, both tribes took on a more traditional structure as houses. Meanwhile, the Mark of Storm appears, and the Khorvar begin a monopoly on sea trade.
- -900 YK: The Mark of Passage appears, and the Orien teamsters quickly establish themselves as the main international mode of communication and transport, especially among the dragonmarked.
- -800 YK: Outside the burgeoning nations, deep in the Eldeen Reaches, the Mark of Handling appears, and the families set themselves apart by gathering profit only as a necessity.
- -500 YK: Amidst growing paranoia about aberrant dragonmarks, the established dragonmarked families classify half-elves with the Mark of Detection as a proper dragonmarked house, and with reluctance, they formed House Medani. Shortly after, Khorvaire was enveloped in the War of the Mark.
-3 YK: While uniting the continent, King Galifar set about consolidating the laws and regulations of the land, and he established the Korth Edicts. The Houses had grown in power, both political and financial leaders became worried at the growing monopolies the Houses held in various industries. When Galifar came to power, he realized that it would be foolhardy to try to rule over the Houses, but he knew some restrictions would be necessary to be kept in check. While he established the other legal codes of the new empire, Galifar spent time in Korth discussing the issue with dragonmarked officials and legal experts. Finally, they came to a compromise, the Korth Edicts. Under these edicts, no dragonmarked house or heir could outright own land in Khorvaire. Instead, they rented land from the crown, creating a revenue stream for the new empire. Also, no person could hold both noble title and official position in a house, so when heirs of a house or a royal family married, one of the couple had to give up their status. Lastly, no house could hold a direct stake in agricultural interests. The houses threw their support behind Galifar, and his conquest became inevitable.
- The Houses have found ways to circumvent these edicts. The Houses own land outside of Khorvaire, notable Stormreach and the House Lyrander enclave on Stormhome, off the coast of Aundair. Although royalty and the dragonmarked marry, they still have strong unofficial influence on their former families. And agriculture could not function in Khorvaire without Cannith inventions, Lyrander rain, Orien transport, or Kundarak loans.
- -2 YK: Much to the surprise of most, dragonshard hunters returned from the west with tales of half-orcs and humans with the Mark of Finding, 500 years after humans made their appearance in the orc-heavy swamps. This also fulfilled a prophecy from Alder d’Cannith that there would twelve established dragonmarks.
- 15 YK: Establishment of the Twelve and the Arcane Congress.
- 22 YK: Lyrander privateers help subdue the Lhazaar pirates in the Galifar-Lhazaar conflict.
- 106 YK: House Kundarak is offically welcomed as a member of the Twelve.
- 150 YK: A joint venture of House Deneith and House Kundarak, the prison island Dreadhold is established as an independent holding facility for the criminals of the new empire.
- 347 YK: The Lyrander island of Stormhome is established.
- 498 YK: House Tharashk is founded after advice from Sivis envoys.
- 789 YK: House Sivis introduces the speaking stone network.
- 797 YK: Mordain the Fleshweaver, then provost of the Twelve, is excoriated from House Phiarlan.
- 801 YK: The houses establishes enclaves (on land they legally own) in the new port of Stormreach.
- 811 YK: House Orien begins construction (with Cannith forges) of the lightning rail system, to be completed in 827 YK. Soon after, Sivis identification papers and Kundarak universal bank accounts become public fixtures.
- 878 YK: Fort Cail is established, and House Deneith begins widespread use of goblin mercenaries.
- During the Last War (894-998 YK), the houses play a vital role in every aspect of the war:
- Phiarlan spies infiltrate enemy lines, Deneith mercenaries aid every army, Cannith warforged fill ranks, Kundarak loans fund arms and supplies, Sivis speaking stones transmit vital information, Tharashk-found dragonshards power martial magic, Lyrander ships transport troops, soldiers march on Orien roads, Ghallanda barracks are constructed and re-constructed, Jorasco healers are attached to every army, Medani inquisitives perform counter-espionage, and Vadalis steeds are in every cavalry.
- 978 YK: The Shadow Schism. In the midst of the war, Baron Elar Thuranni of House Phiarlan is given information implicating the Paelion family (also members of the house) in a plot to assassinate Kaius III, and seize the throne of Galifar. He and his agents exterminate the entire family, and in response, his line is excoriated. Defiant, Elar established his own house, House Thuranni, based on his loyal client base and the former clients of the Paelions.
- 990 YK: The first Lyrander airship comes into service.