Today we’re taking a look at the Elves and Dwarves of Eberron–they wield powerful, if specialized, Dragonmarks. Come and see the Mark of Shadow and the Mark of Warding.
Journey once again to the magitek wonderland of Eberron in our series on the Dragonmarks of Eberron. These powerful Sigils grant even the most mundane of mortals extraordinary power. The least Dragonmark can empower a crafter, and the greatest of them can found Houses nigh unto dynasties themselves. Passed down along family lines, Dragonmarks are beacons of power and destiny–funnily enough, where Half-Elves and Humans have many, the Elves and Dwarves of Eberron all manifest only a single Dragonmark each.
Now if you haven’t been following along, these function as alternate subraces, so Elves will gain these traits in addition to the normal Elf traits, and Dwarves will still gain the bog standard Dwarf template plus the Mark of Warding.
With that in mind, let’s take a look the Mark of Shadow, and the Mark of Warding.
Mark of Shadow
The Elves that bear the Mark of Shadow might belong to one of two different houses. Originating with House Phiarlan, the Mark of Shadow manifests its powers for those who skulk in the shadows. The mark of spies and subterfuge, the “artisans” of House Phiarlan are renowned performers and entertainers and companions who use their craft to mask their clandestine activities.
House Thuranni is a rebel and rival House that has risen in opposition to House Phiarlan. The youngest of the houses, House Thuranni has made a name for themselves, not as Spies and Thieves–but rather as Assassins.
Either way, the Mark of Shadow lends itself to deception and delight in equal measure. It is tied to illusory powers, and lends itself well to Bards, giving you a +1 to Charisma on top of the normal Elf +2 to Dex–though Sorcerers or Rogues looking for a boost to their magic might find them useful as well.
Natural Talent gives credence to the cover story of ‘entertainers’ granting proficiency with a musical instrument or Performance, and Gift of the Shadows allowing you to use Intuition on both Performance and Stealth checks. The real meat of the Mark though is that you gain minor illusion thanks to Shape Shadows and Slip into Shadow’s ability to Hide once per rest, as a bonus action even if there’s no cover or you’re being observed. If you want to be stealthy, this is the Mark for you.
Mark of Warding
The Dwarves of House Kundarak maintain the Warding Guild. A service that can safeguard any and all who employ them. Whether valuable cargo or VIPs, the members of House Kundarak employ their craft and cunning to secure you’re goods. Now if you’re thinking these Dwarves are stalwart defenders–you’re heading in the wrong direction.. Masters of protective magic and cunning trapmakers both, they can secure anything from anyone. As long as the price is right.
The Mark of Warding tends to skew Dwarves more towards the Arcane. They make excellent Wizards, Arcane Tricksters, and Finesse-based Eldritch Knights with a +1 to Dexterity and Intelligence on top of the normal Dwarven Constitution bump. You also get Master of Locks which lets you use Intuition on History, Investigation, or Thieves’ Tools checks (as long as traps or locks are involved), and Wards and Seals which lets you cast alarm as a ritual spell and arcane lock once per long rest once you hit 3rd level.
And that’s the Elves and Dwarves of Khorvaire. If you have played with these or have feedback at all, Wizards wants to hear from you. Fill out the Dragonmark survey below!
Be sure and check back next week for Halflings and Gnomes–as always, Happy Adventuring!