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ZEITGEIST Converting Zeitgeist 5th edition to the Eberron world

reighndragon

Explorer
It's been a while, but I've been writing a Player's Guide conversion to Eberron. I've finished part 1 to 4 in its first draft version. I copied and pasted liberally from several Eberron books so I think I would violate all kinds of copyright rules if I would upload them to this thread. I did make significant changes to the conversion from the original post, due to your comments and giving more thought to everything. Long post about the history of the Obs in Eberron coming.

History of the Obscurati
So one of the problems was a history of 500 years of the obscurati and the Mourning being 4 years ago. I couldn't solve this problem, so I changed it. I made Nicodemus a person from the time of the War of the Mark (1500 years ago) having an aberrant mark. For reverence to the war of the mark, see this article by Keith Baker: sidebar-tarkanan

Before the War of the Mark there was a war of Eladrin fighting against the human start up nations. Kasvarina and her husband fought against Bregor of Wroat (current Breland). Nicodemus and Tarkanan fought against them. Kasvarina was captured and Nicodemus took care of her, because Kasvarina's daughter had an aberrant dragonmark (causing infertility) . When the dragonmarked houses started to aid King Bregor, they ambushed the aberrants. Nicodemus and Tarkanan survived, and the aberrants and eladrin joined sides. The war spread to other parts of Khorvaire, and focused against the dragonmarked houses. During the war, Tarkanan asked Nicodemus to do peace negotiations with the dragonmarked houses. Kasvarina was chosen as the diplomat for the Eladrin. They were taken prisoner, and receive the ritual as described in the adventure path, although the demon is working for Sul Khatesh (overlord of arcane might and mystery). They are taken to Metrol capitol of Cyre and deliver the ritual to the dragonmarked houses. The dragonmarked houses perform the ritual on the daughter of Kasvarina and deliver her through a portal to the final battle of the war in Sharn. She is slain, and not only are most persons with an aberrant dragonmark slain (including Nicodemus, who lives on as a sort of ghost), as well most eladrin become infertile.
This causes the eladrin to retreat to their Fey Spires, and retreating the Fey Spire to Thelanis. The leaders of the aberrants do sacrifice themselves, destroying the city of Sharn, and causing madness and plagues in the area as described in Eberron canon. Kasvarina herself survives, and returns to Thelanis with the other eladrin.

The dragonmarked houses are shaken by the effect of the ritual decide to never use it again, and to rerwrite history to blame the aberrant dragonmarks for everything that happened, and never mention the eladrin in this war. They archive this ritual with house Cannith in Eston.

After approximately 470 years Nicodemus starts a philosophical enclave in Xandrar. The city has always been known for its tiefling population due to the many planar influence from the blackcaps mountains. This is described as the Pala part in the history of the Obs. Kasvarina joins him in the city and the Jierre family are the ruling nobles in the area. His philosophy is for a big part against the at that moment huge influence of the dragonmarked houses. When Galifar I enlists the dragonmarked houses with the first version of the Korth Edicts Deneith and Cannith want to help Galifar conquer the continent but the want to destroy the philosophical heretics in Xandrar. Galifar agrees and ultimately Nicodemus is burned on the pyre. Galifar wins his kingdom with the support of the dragonmarked houses.

A couple of years later the archduke of Xandrar Jierre develops an aberrant dragonmark and together with Kasvarina and Nicodemus they found the Obscurati. If I put it at this point in time, they have almost 1,000 years to grow and be influential in all layers of society. This is the shadow cabinet behind the later foundation of the Aurum. The Aurum is used by them to gain new members. One of the main goals of the Obs is to limit the power of the Dragonmarked Houses, and possibly the draconic prophecy itself.

Enter the Last War. After 100 years of war a big battle is going on in Cyre with armies of three countries making it very difficult for Cyre. The Queen of Cyre has spend enormous amounts of money on House Cannith for Warforged armies, but it still doesn't look good. The head of House Cannith proposes to do a ritual on the Queen to give her the power of all the people living in the country. The ritual is performed in Metrol again, but the queen is immediately afterward murdered by an Obs paid murderer, triggering the Mourning. As such Metrol will take the role of Methia as described in the adventure path. The Mourning caused the Eladrin Fey Spires to reappear on Khovaire and not be able to return to Thelanis. In my Eberron elves are descendants of eladrin, that lost their connection to Thelanis. Just for reference.

So one of the issues I have is the use of the ritual later in the adventure path by multiple persons. The sacrifice of gods is also illogical in the Eberron world, so I changed it. I think this is a good fit. Anyone with a different opinion?

So house Cannith is going to be important. As suggested earlier I'm going to make Pemberton in league with House Cannith South. He is in direct contact with Merrix d'Cannith. One of my player's wanted to play a Cannith marked human. He doesn't know who his real father is, and knows it's been a scandal in Fairhaven. He has been raised in Windshire by his mother and another father. In reality he will be the half-brother of Merrix, which will make part 6 really good.

Fey Titans
The Fey Titans were original champions of Eberron in the Age of Demons. After this war ended their might slowly declined, but stories about them started to spread. As such they gained a bond with the world of Thelanis and became the Fey Titans with manifestations in both worlds. The dreaming, I call it the Feywild to have no confusion with Dal Quor, the plane of dreams, is a layer of Thelanis, which overlaps with Khorvaire, centered on the former area of Aundair. As described in Exploring Eberron archfey are the foundation of Thelanis, the force that sets a story in motion. Archfey that rule a layer are called Anchor Barons. As such, king Thisraldion of the Unseen Court is the Anchor Baron of the Feywild. So ultimately the Unseen Court handles the Fey Titans and the kings and queens of Aundair have a pact with the Unseen Court. Duchess Ethelyn of Windshire is the official emmissary of Aundair to the Unseen Court, and Asrabay Varal is the official emmissary of the Unseen Court to Aundair. Asrabay Varal and a contingent of eladrin warriors helped Aundair during some battles in the Last War, so he is known in Aundair.

The Planes
I'm also taking the advice of the planes made by @Galandris. Not using the eight aspects as originally described but giving each plane a focus of what it means for Eberron. I've not described what will happen to the world if a current plane is removed. I'm planning to do that in the coming month. The Bleak Gate will be a layer of Dolurrh, which is difficult to access. I did write down in the Player's Guide that planar travel except to Thelanis is extremely difficult, so no summoning or planeshifts in my Eberron.

I'm starting the campaign in one or two months, so fortunately I have some time left. I'm also starting with different adventures because I like starting a campaign a 1st level instead of 3rd level. Those first two levels will be used to become agents of the Royal Eyes of Aundair.
 

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It's a big change, and I haven't played in Eberron in nearly seven years, so my understanding of how all the various setting components might interact is weak. I am impressed by how you've woven Z into E, though! Good work.

Looking ahead, do you have a plan for the following elements?

Vekeshi Mystics' role and reputation
Axis Island's location and background
The analogue to Risur and Danor's conflict that could lead to Lya Jierre and Aodhan marrying
Cauldron Hill's history
Gale's motivation
Location of the Ziggurats of Apet and Mavisha in adventure 3
The route of the train for adventure 4, and the location of (in particular) the arena where Andrei fights the Pyrecat and the Isle of Odiem
Dwarven philosophy, including Vlendam Heid and the radical eschatologists who work for Grandis Komanov
If Ber is Droaam, where's the Cult of the Steel Lord's island?
Where will the PCs go to track down Leone in adventure 7?
What route the PCs will take to follow the history of Kasvarina and Nicodemus when they have the Arc of Reida in adventure 8?
How to adapt Bonds of Forced Faith, since a kalashtar version of Governor Stanfield doesn't reincarnate?

I think if you get that far, you can probably figure out the rest. :D
 

reighndragon

Explorer
I don't have answers to all your points, but I'll try to find answers for them in the coming period.

Vekeshi Mystics' role and reputation

In my version a lot of Eladrin have died in the War of the Mark. Most of the survivors became infertile, both men and women, so the same feelings of vengeance apply to them. They mostly blame the dragonmarked houses and races. Since the War of the Mark (1500 years ago) most eladrin lived in the Feyspires in Thelanis, but the War of the Mark was not forgotten. So most Vekeshi Mystics are actively fighting against the industrialization of Aundair. The blight in areas in Thelanis, caused by industrialization in Aundair is also important for them. In my campaign blight is not caused by spinning wheels, but due to industry.
Vekeshi Mystics are known in the world and they are seen as eco terrorists. Their focus seems to be industrial complexes, and especially industry from the dragonmarked houses. The activism of the Vekeshi Mystics has increased significantly since The Mourning. The Feyspires can't return to Thelanis and the Eladrin accuse the dragonmarked houses for being responsible, especially house Cannith.

Axis Island's location and background
Axis Island's location will be in Lake Galifar just north of the Blackcaps mountains. The blackcaps mountains are known for their planar influences. The gatekeepers did a sealing ritual under the supervision of the dragon Vvaraak which closed the direct connection of the planes to Khorvaire. This is the ritual as described in Zeitgeist. The ritual is known by the dragons in Argonessen and can be found in the great library of Koranberg (not certain, could also be in the sacred library of the Silver Flame in Flamekeep).

The next points will be answered in a future post.
 

reighndragon

Explorer
The analogue to Risur and Danor's conflict that could lead to Lya Jierre and Aodhan marrying
So in my Eberron conversion, Danor is not one nation, but a combination of different nations. The Jierre family are the archdukes of Xandrar in Breland. I'm planning to let king Boranel die in his sleep during the first month of adventures. This will lead to a new "democratic" government system in Breland. Han Jierre will become the prime minister for Breland. Lya Jierre will become a good marriage candidate for crown prince Wrogar of Aundair. This will strengthen the bonds between Aundair and Breland, and could make them stronger allies against Thrane or the Eldeen Reaches.

Cauldron Hill's history
Cauldron Hill has been used by different druidic organizations in the past. It has seen religious sacrifices over a long period of time. It has been occupied by a coven of hags, which found the direct link to a dolurrh based demiplane in Khyber inside the hill. The coven of hags has been destroyed by the king of Aundair. But the destruction caused the top of the hill to become a manifest zone to Dolurrh, being haunted etcetera.
Gale's motivation
I think she will become a Vekeshi Mystic. She has come to Passage shortly after the Mourning. She sees Passage as an important industrious city, responsible for the blight in Thelanis. She thinks the amount of blight caused by industry causes the inability for the Feyspires to return to Thelanis. She will want the Feyspires to return to Thelanis.
 


reighndragon

Explorer
You're not going to keep the 'enslaved bride who escaped and now has a bone to pick' background for Gale?
I like the enslaved bride background, but in my conversion eladrin women are not as rare as they are in Z. The infertility is for both men and women of the eladrin, so the amount of eladrin is a lot less compared to before the War of the Mark, but the women are not specifically more rare compared to the men. I think the background for Gale and the tale surrounding Isobel are too similar, if the world doesn't see eladrin women as a precious commodity.
So this is my reasoning to make Gale a true ECO-terrorist. Any other ideas for incorporating Gale in the Eberron setting? As flying is possible and even relatively easy as long as we keep Syrania, this does not set her apart in the world. She does seek recognition by the Unseen Court for her work against the Blight in Aundair. They did not give her an audience yet.
 

reighndragon

Explorer
Location of the Ziggurats of Apet and Mavisha in adventure 3
I'm not completely sure on the locations of both Ziggurats. At the moment I placed the Ziggurat of Apet in the northern part of the Chanth wood. I made the Wynarn river a lot wider near the Chanth wood, so it could function as a marshy bayou like area. The second option would be to place it in the Whisper woods. They have to travel to Askelios by lightning rail, which is the main mining city of Aundair.

I think I will place the Ziggurat of Mavisha in the Silver Lake near Sylbaran, just in the territorial waters of Droaam. This is a location that would be logical to go to by boat instead of by Lightning rail out of Passage. This makes this option more interesting compared to a location in the Manta Bay, the south coast of Droaam.
The route of the train for adventure 4, and the location of (in particular) the arena where Andrei fights the Pyrecat and the Isle of Odiem
So this is one of the more difficult points to convert. I think Thaliost would be the best location for Vendricce. So logically the train ride would be from Sharn through Aundair to Thaliost, or through Thrane and Flamekeep to Thaliost (adding the line between Flamekeep and Thaliost). The problem I have is I think arena's are more appropriate to Karrnath.

So I changed some things. I will use the in game time to restore the White Arch Bridge between Rekkenmark and Thaliost by House Orien. They will also have some first lightning rails crossing the Mournland. As Metrol needs to be completely without magic, for future adventures, the lightning rail will cross the Mournland from Vathirond to Eston to Fort Bright to Vedykar (also a line not originally on the map).

So the route will be as follows. It starts in Korranberg as Beaumont. This will introduce the party to the Zilargo gnomes. In my campaign I will let the Family be allied to Zilargo. The gnomes are master elemental binders and want to keep an eye on the gnomes working for House Orien to construct lightning rail locomotives. This will also make the ritual of the gatekeepers located in the Korranberg library more interesting for the future adventures. Damata is originally from Droaam and has taken the boat from Vralkek to Korranberg. I will introduce some extra suspects between Korranberg and Starilaskur.

Luc will enter the lightning rail at Starilaskur, transferring from the line coming out of Wroat. They want to take this line, because it will cross the mournlands and they want to test how the lantern functions in the Mournland. For Orithea I will use the city of Vathirond. The lighthouse will be a tower overlooking the city and guarding for threats out of the Mournland.

I'm not sure if I will keep the bandit attack or make the hydra attack an encounter in the Mournlands. I do like the bandit attack, so this could be a separate encounter near Sterngate to liven up this part of the journey.

Trekhom will be replaced by Vedykar in Karrnath. The heavily damaged train will arrive in the city. Vedykar is a lightning rail crossroad so it's also a good place for Leone in adventure 7.

Nalaam will be replaced by the city of Atur. This city has a manifest zone to Mabar and is known as the eternal night. It has an outstanding night live, so a casino and an arena are logical in the city. A lot of wizards are researching the influence of Mabar on the use of necromancy, and priests of the blood of Vol are very common in the main city of this religion.

Korth is the capital of Karrnath and is an ancient city. As such I think it's a good replacement for Sid Minos. It has a large harbour, so an island with a lighthouse and undead coming out of the water is a perfect setting for Karrnath. The difference is the island is not in Thrane, so it won't hold religious artifacts, but it needs some other powerful cursed items from the past. I'll think of something to make this logical.

As described earlier the train journey will end in Thaliost as the replacement of Vendricce. It has been the end of the line, before the White Arc Bridge is restored at the start of the campaign, for almost 60 years so an abandoned lightning rail parking place is very logical.
Dwarven philosophy, including Vlendam Heid and the radical eschatologists who work for Grandis Komanov
So I kept the dwarven philosophy of the eschatologists. It's being popular both in Karrnath and in the Mror Holds. Vlendam Heid is a karrnathian dwarf. The party has the possibility to meet him in Vedykar during adventure 4. Grandis Komanov is a radical from the Icetop Mountains in northern Karrnath. The same mountains the Obs use to find the otherworldly material they need for the fuel of their lanterns. A small group of Frost Giants also live in the Icetop Mountains.
If Ber is Droaam, where's the Cult of the Steel Lord's island?
I added the Dr. No island in the Manta Bay at the south shore of Droaam, near the city of Vralkek. The Steel Lord will be Merrix d'Cannith and he will have his creation forge at this island. Producing warforged capable of transmuting their flesh using technology derived from researching changelings. Adding a Khyber shard to the body to control it from a distance. And making prostetics for a young dragon....

Where will the PCs go to track down Leone in adventure 7?
As described above this will be through Karrnath and the Mror Holds. Trekhom will be the city of Vedykar.

What route the PCs will take to follow the history of Kasvarina and Nicodemus when they have the Arc of Reida in adventure 8?
Still determining what the route will be exactly. It will start in the Eldeen Reaches. The party will need to go to the Feyspire of Shae Loralyndar to find Kasvarina and the Arc of Reida. The rest of the details will follow. The end will be in Metrol where they will witness the ritual of 1500 years ago, interwoven with the ritual done during the last war. Maybe it's better to make the rituals sequential instead of interwoven.

How to adapt Bonds of Forced Faith, since a kalashtar version of Governor Stanfield doesn't reincarnate?
I'm not planning to use the adventure as written. In my player's guide I wrote the following about Governor Stanfield:

One famous exception to the power of the nobility is Roland Stanfield, the governor of Passage. When the Eldeen Reaches declared independence, the city of Passage was attacked from the Cloudwood by Pro Reachers. Roland Stanfield led the defense of the city, and died defending it. He was raised from the dead by a Jorasco heir, and under his further leadership the city was saved. He was chosen by king Aarott to become the governor of Passage. Forbidden by the rites of rulership from pursuing a nobel titel, because he had died, Stanfield
was long content to govern Passage. When King Aarott decreed Passage would become the seat of Aundair’s industry, however, he eagerly took to the challenge, claiming he was excited to try to build something new, instead of destroying things during the war for so long.

So he has not reincarnated but has been raised from the dead. He has not been killed by the hags, allthough the hags have been sacrificing humanoids at Cauldron Hill. So I kept the history of the hags, but don't intend to run the adventure as written, if I will use it at all, I need to specify what happened. I did want him to die to make his thoughts about dying more logical. Because he is a Kalashtar he wants to alter the planar constellations, which he hopes will turn the tide in Dal Quor. This is the reason for his affliliation. In defence of the lighthouse he will not have past incarnations of himself, but past incarnations of his Quori bloodline.

It's become a long post. Most questions, have an answer, but still not all. Thanks for posting these questions to make a more consistent version of Z in the Eberron world.

I'm very interested in the new book Keith Baker is working on. It's called Frontiers of Eberron: Threshold. It will be a campaign guide book for a "western" like part of Eberron. Focussing on the border area between Breland and Droaam. It will have a focus on wandslingers, so I hope I can use parts of this book for the gunslinger conversions of Z.
 


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