Dragonmarks are physical manifestations of the Draconic Prophecy. They have appeared on seven of Khorvaire's common races. They are more intricate than a birthmark and more distinct than a tattoo. There are twelve families of dragonmarks; originally there were thirteen, but no living creature on Eberron possesses the destroyed mark of House Vol. In addition to being a status symbol in Khorvaire , the dragonmarks provide the bearer with magical talents.
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A dragonmark is a magical symbol that manifests on the skin, but its color immediately differentiates it from any mundane tattoo. A dragonmark is etched in shades of blue, green, and purple so vivid that they appear to glow, though the mark provides no real illumination. A dragonmark is associated with one or more magical abilities, and a person who carries a dragonmark can exercise these powers.
When a bearer invokes the power of a dragonmark, its colors shimmer and flow, and the skin grows warm to the touch. The mark grows warmer each time its power is used over the course of a day; by the time the bearer has expended his full allotment of spell-like abilities, the mark is fever-hot and cannot be used again until it cools.
In keeping with their magical nature, dragonmarks are not simply skin deep. If a mark is cut or scarred, it reappears as the skin that bears it magically heals. If a warrior loses the hand that bears his dragonmark, the mark will manifest elsewhere on his body.
Creatures under the effect of polymorph, wild shape, and other shapechanging effects retain their dragonmarks unless they specifically will them to be hidden. Nearly all dragonmarked heirs first manifest the least mark of their house. A typical least dragonmark covers an area 2 inches square on the skin. Lesser marks are typically 3—5 inches across, while greater dragonmarks are 6—8 inches. Dragonmarks are tied to bloodlines. The dragonmarked houses are the descendants of the families that first manifested the marks, and a character with a dragonmark can always find a connection to a dragonmarked house somewhere in the roots of his family tree.
Though the appearance of marks cannot be consistently predicted, approximately half the children born to dragonmarked parents eventually develop dragonmarks of their own.
Common belief holds that parents with powerful marks are more likely to produce gifted children; likewise, children often develop the same powers as their parents. Within House Sivis , members of the Torralyn family typically manifest whispering wind, while Syrralans are more likely to possess the power of arcane mark. Houses often arrange marriages with marks in mind. Despite these beliefs, dragonmarks are clearly about more than selective breeding. A child born to parents possessing least marks might later manifest the greater mark, or no mark at all.
It is also known that the hybrid races cannot inherit the marks of their parents, so that a human cannot pass the Mark of Making to a half-elf child. The Test of Siberys Children are not born with dragonmarks. Rather, a dragonmark most often appears in response to a stressful situation in which the powers of the mark could prove useful. A Jorasco heir feels her dragonmark flare to life as her best friend lies dying. A Medani scion instinctively realizes the meal he is about to eat is poisoned, and in an instant of burning pain, his mark appears.
The Test of Siberys—a rite of passage undertaken by the adolescent children of the dragonmarked houses —is rumored to induce the kind of extreme stress needed for dragonmarks to manifest.
The test varies from house to house, and is based both on the powers of the mark and the traditions of the family. Though a person can fail the test and still manifest a mark at a later age as shown by the fact that a player character can manifest a mark at -any time , this is rare. As a rule, it is assumed that those who fail will never develop a dragonmark. The Test of Siberys shapes the future of a character.
Dragonmarked Houses: Masters of Trade The wealth of Khorvaire is built on magic, and the dragonmarked houses are the mortar that holds this magical economy together. The wealth and influence of the modern houses extends far beyond the power of dragonmarks, however. Though the unique magical abilities of the Mark of Making might have given Cannith smiths an edge over their mundane competitors in centuries past, the spell-like abilities of the dragonmarked are hardly novel in a modern society where adepts, artificers, and other spellcasters are far from rare.
Rather, it is the carefully crafted histories and reputations of the dragonmarked houses that are responsible for their commercial dominance in present-day Khorvaire. The skillful manipulation of magic and artifice has allowed the houses to use the dragonmarked as the keys by which even greater magic is controlled. House Sivis's speaking stones, the lightning rail of House Orien , Lyrandar's airships, and the Cannith creation forges have all kept the dragonmarked houses at the center of Khorvaire's economic, military, and social development.
To all our Our Patrons for their unwavering love and support. Toggle Menu. Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild. Go to Eberron Homepage. Articles under Dragonmarks. The Mark of Detection Generic article Sep 1, The Mark of Finding Generic article Sep 1, The Mark of Handling Generic article Sep 1, The Mark of Healing Generic article Sep 1, The Mark of Hospitality Generic article Sep 1, The Mark of Making Generic article Sep 1, The Mark of Passage Generic article Sep 1, The Mark of Scribing Generic article Sep 1, The Mark of Sentinel Generic article Sep 1, The Mark of Shadow Generic article Sep 1, The Mark of Storm Generic article Sep 1, The Mark of Warding Generic article Sep 1, Aberrant Dragonmarks Generic article Sep 1, Dragonmarked Houses.
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A dragonmark is a magical symbol that manifests on the skin, but its color immediately differentiates it from any mundane tattoo. A dragonmark is etched in shades of blue, green, and purple so vivid that they appear to glow, though the mark provides no real illumination. A dragonmark is associated with one or more magical abilities, and a person who carries a dragonmark can exercise these powers. When a bearer invokes the power of a dragonmark, its colors shimmer and flow, and the skin grows warm to the touch. The mark grows warmer each time its power is used over the course of a day; by the time the bearer has expended his full allotment of spell-like abilities, the mark is fever-hot and cannot be used again until it cools.
Dragonmarks: The Dragonmarked Houses
In the wake of the war, many nations still want to contain the power of the dragonmarked houses. The clearest example of this attitude is the provision of the Treaty of Thronehold that called for the destruction of the creation forges that House Cannith used to create the warforged. At the time the treaty was signed, House Cannith was divided, reeling from the loss of its baron and its Cyran holdings in the Mourning. The houses are not bound by national borders.
This would justify his setting's dungeonpunk theme and its magitek by way of industrialized magic motif. To do this, he invented two things. The first was the Magewright NPC class. The other was the concept of Dragonmarks. Connected in some mysterious way to the Draconic Prophecy, Dragonmarks are mystical symbols that appear on an individual's skin, and each of which bestows innate magical abilities based on that mark. Kind of like a birthmark that gives you a quick dip in Sorcerer for free.
Magic is the lifeblood of Eberron, encircling it like the Ring of Siberys and seeping up through the earth from the bones of Khyber. Dragonmarks are elaborate skin patterns—more intricate and colorful than birthmarks, more distinctive than any tattoo—that also grant their bearers innate spell-like abilities. There are twelve families of dragonmarks, each one associated with a number of closely related manifestations. A thirteenth mark, the Mark of Death , has faded from history, and no living creature on Eberron carries it. To possess a dragonmark, a character must take the Least Dragonmark feat. He or she can increase the power of the dragonmark by adding the Lesser Dragonmark and Greater Dragonmark feats, and by taking levels in the dragonmark heir prestige class.
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