D&D General [Eberron Homebrew] Cooking With Gaze Attacks: Droaam's Monstrous Industry



The nation of Droaam has always been fascinating to me. Exploring Eberron talked about the concept of Wide Magic: magical services and spells are commonplace, but with greater focus on low-level capabilities and magitech-style items and industry. Artifacts and archmages are just as rare, if not more so, than in other settings. The chapter of Droaam applied a similar concept, where the Daughters of Sora Kell in their nation-building efforts are focusing on ways for their monstrous population to apply their natural skills to civic affairs. For example, harpy songs are used to gather together workers at the beginning of a shift, project their voices across long distances to serve as town criers, and even for psychological aid in providing various emotions in listeners.

While that book goes into detail on a few of Droaam’s more populous and iconic species, I started this project with the idea of how various other monsters can be of use beyond their roles as combat opposition in dungeon crawls.

Base Assumptions
I plan to focus on monsters from the official rules. I may incorporate ones from third party resources if they’re cool enough, but as those are lesser-known I want to focus on ones most gamers will be familiar with.

For demographics and power levels, I’m working with the low-powered assumption of the greater Eberron setting, where mid-level NPCs (6th to 10th) are regarded as exceptional people. Approximately 62% of Droaam’s population are made up of humanoids roughly on par with the player races in terms of power: gnolls, orcs, goblinoids, and shifters. The remaining 38% are a melting pot of various monsters, with the 3rd Edition Player’s Guide to Eberron calling out these other types being the most common: orcs, half-ogres, ogres, minotaurs, harpies, medusae, troll, and hill giants. There do exist monsters besides these, but in keeping with these precepts I’ll presume that monsters covered here aren’t going to vastly outnumber them.

Additionally, I will focus on monsters of Challenge Rating 0 to 6. The 3rd Edition campaign setting notes that particularly powerful and intelligent creatures are unlikely to cooperate with the Daughters of Sora Kell. There are exceptions, such as a fire giant warlord and illithid mayor, but in terms of generalities I will presume that monstrous races on par with or more powerful than these types aren’t going to sign up as citizens of Droaam. Higher-CR versions of base monsters implying some specialty or class, such as Duergar Warlord, will take a backseat to the “default” versions for purposes of this homebrew.

Lastly, I will only cover monsters smarter than animal intelligence, as such creatures are most likely going to be treated as either beasts of burden or pests. I also imagine that celestials, fey, and fiends may be too rare, localized to manifest zones, or abiding by narrow tasks and viewpoints that make it hard for them to be incorporated into daily society beyond the roles of summoned minions. The Campaign Setting also points out that most fiends fall under the “too powerful and intelligent” category covered above.


From the Orcish Farmer MtG Card

Commoner, Monstrous (Various Sources): More than a few modules (particularly Tales From the Yawning Portal) present noncombatant versions of weaker monsters such as goblins, kobolds, and even giant children. Their stats are identical to those of the Commoner’s, albeit with the innate abilities of their race such as Darkvision. This raises an interesting question in terms of world-building and Droaam’s citizenry; is a typical Orc on the streets of Graywall better represented as a Commoner with the Aggressive trait, or the CR ½ combat-capable version in the base Monster Manual?

Generally speaking, the Commoner stat block implies a laborer in a peaceful society. Droaam has long been a violent realm, where weaker individuals were often slaves or little better than slaves at the mercies of stronger monsters. While the new nation-state of Droaam is in the process of moving to a higher standard of living for its people, it’s still in that transition period where the average villager is more likely to be well-armed, whether by sword, fang, or innate powers.

Monstrous Commoners should reflect Droaamish citizens whose functions in society don’t require them to use violence or the threat of it to survive, and are sufficiently low-CR and humanoid enough that such stats dosn’t stretch suspension of disbelief. At least one player will inevitably ask why a hill giant has only 4 hit points!

As a broad rule of thumb, monsters that are CR 1/2 or less or are supported as a PC race in the rules can plausibly be Commoners. For some examples, the Gaa’ran orcs who live in pacifistic farming enclaves have deals with local chibs to supply crops to raiders, and the Daughters recognize the importance of agriculture in growing a nation.


Jermlaine (Mordenkainen’s Fiendish Folio, Vol. 1): Along with goblins and kobolds, jermlaine were the “runt” of Droaam’s races, forced to hide in the confined corners of the barrens their tormentors couldn’t reach. They live in a vast series of tunnels running through Khyber, using the networks to emerge onto the surface to raid for food in swarming numbers. Their blindsight and invisibility to darkvision gives them a massive edge in hiding from larger monsters, and for much of history Jermlaines were content to remain in the shadows. In some places they are considered to be little more than fairy tales.

Due to these abilities, the Daughters of Sora Kell saw promise in the jermlaines as scouts and spies, able to reach areas even the most wiry goblin thief couldn’t infiltrate without magic. The hag coven managed to earn the loyalty of some jermlaine clans by giving them magical secrets to better avoid and overcome the various dangers of Khyber, for the daelkyr and other aberrations commonly have alien senses that can overcome their otherwise unseen nature. A jermlaine’s ability to speak with rodents gives them an ear to the goings-on of many urban population centers, and together with lamia diviners they form another valuable component in the espionage branch of Teraza’s Eye.

Due to their capabilities of rodent speech, jermlaine are capable of domesticating cranium rats. Such creatures are smarter in larger numbers and make for reliable companions. However, jermlaine tend to keep their numbers low, for there are times when the animals get smarter than them and attempt to turn their masters into servants.


Lamia illustration from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Lamia: In terms of physical power, lamia are easily eclipsed by other creatures such as ogres and minotaurs. Their strengths lie in their magical abilities, particularly enchantment. In prior eras, Lamia typically used their innate spells on easily-dominated creatures to serve them as guards and laborers, and frequently use Disguise Self to blend in among humanoid creatures such as gnolls given that their numbers aren’t large enough to have sizable communities of their own. Over time, their magically-induced devotion allowed multiple generations of lamia to build up loyal followers to the point they could walk openly in their personal domains. Many lamia in Droaam nowadays rule local communities as chibs (a general term of leadership, literally “boss” or “big person”) their positions built up from generational lineages like a kind of monstrous aristocracy. But their powers alone don’t guarantee safety, for their fellow lamia and stronger-willed monsters recognize the threats of their abilities. Lamia-ruled communities have a high rate of kin-slaying and coups from enchantment-compelled “favors” mixed in with mundane deceit and coercion.

Lamia are one of the few monsters capable of scrying as an innate spell, and without the need for expensive material components. Western Khorvaire has a long tradition of lamia seers, using their divinatory powers for their own purposes as well as for selling to the highest bidder. Teraza’s Eye has quite a few lamia in its ranks. Beyond their natural enchantment and illusion magic, they scry upon willing spies abroad and unwitting compromised targets to stay one step ahead of the other nations.

Another important function lamia serve is as impromptu judges for Droaam’s rather rough-and-tumble sense of law. For those crimes that aren’t small enough to be settled privately but not large enough to merit a capital offense, lamia are often called in to place a geas spell upon the offender, usually tasked with refraining from recommitting the offense or working to undo the damages they caused. This is a common alternative to imprisonment and more fatal solutions, and oftentimes the specifics and terms of a geas are modified based on what the lamia deems fitting.

A lamia’s other major advantage is the ability to create realistic illusions at will via the major image spell. As such illusions can include non-visual senses such as sound, smell, and temperature, it has a very broad application. Such illusions have been used for entertainment purposes, and more than a few covertly work for House Phiarlan across Khorvaire. It’s also useful for hunting and animal husbandry, creating sensations to induce calm in otherwise ornery and violent animals or distracting prey from those about to capture it. During the Last War such illusions were instrumental in controlling the battlefield, for creating illusory barriers still break line of sight against enemy archers and spellcasters, while conjuring decoy soldiers can make the enemy waste valuable time and resources in pursuing nonexistent targets.

Lamia have also found their place in the medical field. A lamia’s intoxicating touch evolved as a means to better enchant victims, but it also has a numbing effect that can make for a useful pain reliever. It’s not something commonly employed, both due to the existence of herbal remedies and a reluctance for people aware of the monster’s enthralling powers.

Most Lamia worship the Traveler, and have a fierce rivalry with doppelgangers given how their abilities overlap. Whereas lamia use illusions and enchantment, doppelgangers can naturally change their forms and read the minds of others. This hostility is borne just as much out of religious reasons as political, for lamia believe that the deity is testing them for who can prove their deceptive methods are superior. To the lamia, a doppelganger’s powers are limited: why focus on changing oneself when one can change the senses of others? Why focus on understanding what others think, when you can make their thoughts come around to your point of view instead? More than a few lamia made their way to Sharn, joining Daask to aid them in underworld feuds against the doppelganger-run Tyrants crime syndicate, viewing the intrigues and grandiosity of the City of Towers as the ultimate prize to claim for their god.
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Blindheim (Mordenkainen’s Fiendish Folio Vol. 1): Calling themselves Vol’shera (Goblin for “Sun Thieves”), the blindheim were at war with the Dhakaani Empire. According to their personal history, they were forced underground once the goblinoids began winning, they had to contend with Khyber’s aberrant horrors when the daelkyr invaded the world. Desperate to survive, the blindheim petitioned Dol Arrah to lend her powers to them so they can battle the light-hating monsters of the deep. Dol Arrah refused, viewing the blindheim as unworthy of her grace, so instead they stole a portion of her power, granting their race the ability to naturally project radiant light from their eyes. The Vol’shera fear Dol Arrah, and by extension the rest of the Sovereign Host, believing that the goddess seeks to reclaim what they stole from her. For this reason they avoid venturing to the surface unless absolutely necessary and worship the Dark Six for protection from the Sovereigns. The Mockery and Shadow are favored deities, the former in having a creed appealing to their survivalist mentality and the latter for promising power and knowledge in order to overcome the dangers of the Dragon Below.

Virtually all Vol’shera live in Khyber’s depths, albeit most are close enough to the surface to have contact with those aboveground. They offer their services as guides and mercenaries in exchange for goods that can only be obtained on the surface. Many Vol’shera mercenaries are unscrupulous sorts, just as often being raiders-in-waiting hoping to rob and kill their would-be employers if they appear weak enough. House Tharashk and the Daughters of Sora Kell take pains to vet mercenary bands, promising and delivering on swift retaliation for those who slight them or their clients. This has proven partially successful, as the Daughters have monsters that can overcome the Vol’shera in combat and the Dragonmarked House’s resources are tempting enough for bands who look towards the long term. But life in Khyber is desperate and dangerous enough that there are still those willing to risk the wrath of such powerful organizations.

The Vol’shera’s biological light is its greatest asset. As it is functional to natural sunlight it is useful against monsters sensitive to it and can blind most creatures with visual senses. Sora Maenya is known to employ a Vol’shera ranger specialized to counter vampires and their spawn. Vol’shera often work well with grimlocks, who don’t have to worry about their senses dulling in their light.

The searing eyes of a Vol’shera also serve as a smokeless heat source. By focusing their gaze they can make the light capable of charring flesh and bone. It doesn’t require friction nor sets alight flammable objects, so it’s a common method of heating in Khyber where the choking smoke of fire can quickly fill caves and make them uninhabitable. Some communities close to byeshk deposits turned their villages into underground mines and smithies, combining magic and metallurgy with their gazes to forge aberration-killing weapons.


Dire Corby (Mordenkainen's Fiendish Folio, Vol.1 ): Like the medusa, dire corbies are believed to have origins in Khyber, where they call themselves Song-Hunters in their native tongue and claim to be creations of the daelkyr designed to hunt and kill magic-users. Their personal history speaks of being warriors without peer, to the point that they rebelled against their creators and allied with the orcs above to trap their former masters. Now Song-Hunters roam Khyber in nomadic bands, charting intricate maps and looking for aberrations wherever they can be found. Song-Hunters view their mission as a holy one: every day they spend battling subterranean horrors gives the rest of Eberron another day to live free of daelkyr domination. They have no qualms in fighting Khyber’s other dangers, but their mission is first and foremost dedicated to hunting the daelkyr’s servants. In Droaam and beyond, Song-Hunters are hired as guides for underground expeditions, popular for their comparatively low rates (fighting the daelkyr is a reward in itself) and knowledge of the depths.

Song-Hunters have a song for every occasion, and know many battle-chants penned from generations’ worth of warfare, commemorating valiant heroes and fierce foes alike. These songs aren’t just for morale purposes. Much like harpies, their singing has special properties, and in their case is capable of reducing enemy mobility and foiling non-cantrip spells. As their songs affect all non-corbies, it is a double-edged sword for allies of other races who often let the birdfolk lead the charge.

Song-Hunters can be found wherever passages to Khyber pop up in Eberron, albeit their most significant communities can be found around and under the Shadow Marches. The Gatekeepers are aware of their ancient alliance and the two have been known to work together, so druidism is a popular spellcasting discipline alongside the bardic arts. Song-Hunters cast the Progenitor Dragons in altered roles: Siberys is a wise hawk who watches over her brother Eberron, a vast snake biting his own tail to keep Khyber imprisoned, a leviathan-like monster who drifts in a sea of endless black.


Worg: During the days of the Empire of Dhakaan, a race of intelligent canines made contact with the goblinoids. Inhabitants of Khorvaire’s forests and enemies of the fey, they saw promise in an alliance with Dhakaan who seemed poised to expand their reach into even the deepest wilds. The worgs became valued allies, a bond which still exists into the modern day. Most worgs live in Darguun, many moving there after its independence from Cyre. In Droaam they have an unusual relationship with goblinoids: where in most cases stronger monsters often bullied and oppressed the relatively weak goblinoids, the worgs never forgot how they rose alongside Dhakaan. Thus they sought to protect their smaller friends against those who would oppress and enslave them in later eras. Like most goblins in the nation, they are staunch supporters of the Daughters of Sora Kell and the more “civilized” warlords, seeing the value in interspecies alliances from their own history. Many worgs are also members of the Dark Pack, and thus are more likely than the other monsters of Droaam to strike up rapports with werewolves.

Worgs often serve as intelligent mounts to goblins, and in some cases other Small and Medium beings who earn their trust. Their senses are on par with that of wolves, and quite a few take up lives of hunters, rangers, and warriors. In a rare few cases some become investigators, alchemists, and other professions where a discerning nose is advantageous. Due to their lack of opposable thumbs worgs often rely on humanoids they live among for tasks requiring delicate dexterity, or alternatives such as learning the Mage Hand cantrip or doors that open and close via button switches at foot-level.
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Grimlock: These subterranean humanoids evolved to rely on auditory senses without the need for vision. Existing as subsistent hunter-gatherer tribes, grimlocks migrate from their home caves when resources become scarce enough or stronger monsters force them to move. The Dhakaani knew of them, but besides some alliances with other Khyber denizens the grimlocks traditionally keep to themselves. They’d prefer to remain unknown to all, rather than risk today’s friend becoming tomorrow’s enemy.

With one exception. A grimlock clan in the Graywall Mountains known as the Ashguard was approached by Sora Katra, who promised to grant them aid in wiping out a rival clan competing for resources. They accepted, and in exchange their tunnels remained open for trade to the surface. The Ashguard lived well, and via delegates sent to Graywall they learned more about the rest of Droaam. House Tharashk and House Deneith quickly took notice of the grimlocks, for there are precious few ways for even accomplished spellcasters to gain the benefits of blindsight for prolonged periods, and many common creatures possessing it are usually the kinds of beings that cannot be easily domesticated or aren’t known for their alliances with humanoids. A cottage industry of grimlock bodyguards arose, easily able to sense invisible would-be assassins and other unseen threats. Unfortunately a grimlock’s blindsight only extends out to 30 feet and is thus of little use against long-range foes. But the Ashguards are eager to make up for this setback by training more of their own in magic, such as the clairaudience spell to extend their senses.


Manticore: During the Last War, flights of manticore aerial cavalry were some of the most feared sights among soldiers of the Five Nations. Their size meant that they could carry Medium-size riders, and unlike griffons, hippogriffs, and wyverns they were intelligent enough to be capable of speech as well as not requiring a long process of being trained from birth to serve as mounts. While shorter-range in comparison to bows, their tail spikes served well for aerial bombardments, and during times of conflict they voluntarily shed their tail spikes for others to use. Given that they regrow over the course of an eight-hour sleeping period, enough manticores with enough time could outfit humanoid soldiers with naturally-produced spiked clubs, daggers, arrow heads, and spike traps.

Manticores have a long history with the dragonmarked races due to an alliance with House Kundarak, who bears the monster’s likeness on its official symbol. They gradually spread from the Ironroot Mountains of eastern Khorvaire to wherever Kundarak banks can be found. Those who choose not to work for the Dragonmarked House are known as Wanderers, with those remaining in their service known as Dragonmarked Manticore. The two subcultures generally bear each other little ill will, as House Kundarak recognizes that allowing some to walk their own path elevates their status in the eyes of the monsters. They’d rather be seen as reasonable business partners rather than authoritarian tyrants.

When Droaam declared independence from Breland, the Daughters of Sora Kell found it a hard sell in encouraging foreign manticores to immigrate to the country. As the only nation-state not recognized by the Treaty of Thronehold and its major mineral resources remaining mostly untapped, they couldn’t match the buying power of House Kundarak and richer countries. However, many deserters and war criminals took advantage of Droaam’s unrecognized status to go into hiding in the country, and manticores serving in the Last War had guilty parties among their ranks like any other race. Many found employment as enforcers for Droaam’s various warlords, who have few qualms in accepting minions with sketchy backgrounds.


Myconid: Inhabitants of Khyber, myconid can be found in the many caverns and dungeons of Eberron. Due to sunlight being lethal to them, myconid live almost exclusively underground. Given their inoffensive nature, their circles often serve as way stations and rest stops for subterranean travelers. The telepathic spores of a myconid allow them to not only communicate with most living beings, other creatures within the radius can speak with each other irrespective of language barriers. Common isn’t a universal language in Droaam, to say nothing of the many monsters who speak their own peculiar tongues. The use of myconid spores to transcend language barriers without the expense of spells makes them valued interpreters, and House Tharashk’s Graywall headquarters convinced a myconid circle to move into nearby caves for just such a reason.

Myconid spores have other applications, and being a renewable resource specific to the race it is perhaps their most valued trade good, with fungi of all kinds a close second. Myconid spores can be brewed into various kinds of poisons, seasoning, and a potent component for necromantic magic in the case of a sovereign’s animating spores. There is an underground trade of myconid slaves kept for purposes of generating such spores. In order to better combat this, several myconid sovereigns bought the protection of the Znir Pact gnolls, offering preferential deals and safe passage in Khyber in exchange for them returning missing myconids.

In theory, myconid circles who aren’t at war with the Daughters of Sora Kell are loyal to her, and their sovereigns serve as the equivalent of chibs. However, myconid mentality only recognizes loyalty to their circles, having no desire or conception of nation-states, patriotism, and other such social constructs. In practice they have alliances with Droaam’s other races, being more akin to trading partners and city-states who are allowed to govern themselves. So long as they don’t antagonize or turn on the Daughters of Sora Kell, it’s win-win for both parties.



Mephit: Were it not for gargoyles, mephits would be the most common elemental in Droaam. Gathering in manifest zones connected to favored planes, mephits are a common summonable workhorse for Droaam’s architects and artisans. Via use of their breath weapons, mephits can conjure a prodigious amount of elemental material even in just a short hour. Ice mephits are used for preservation and magical air conditioning, magma and steam mephits are used to generate heat, and mud mephits provide ample material for mortar and clay. Graywall, Great Crag, and other major population centers of Droaam have been greatly shaped and expanded by mephit labor.

In spite of their apparent and varied uses, mephits are only fluent in localized dialects of Primordial, requiring specialized foremen and summoners to properly order them. Gargoyles, who are fluent in Terran, are most commonly put in charge of magma and mud mephits. Furthermore, they’re inveterate tricksters, and unless tightly managed are prone to causing workplace accidents and instilling materials with design flaws for their own amusement. Threats of violence can only go so far if summoned, as magic has a limited duration and they’ll return to their home plane before long.

The Archimental Construction Company, a business enterprising of tiefling mages from the Venomous Demesne, managed to find a loophole in getting free labor out of summoned mephits by offering to pay them in treasure. Treasure they couldn’t take back to their home planes or is actually illusionary in value. And given the vastness of such planes, one could simply summon entirely different mephits without having to worry about them growing wise to the scheme. At least, that’s the idea; mephits have been leaving covert messages among the foundations of buildings for new arrivals, and slowly yet surely there’s a growing resentment among the elementals.

Due to this, a lot of new housing in Droaam is functional yet shoddy, and there’s been talk among some of the chibs about deals with House Cannith for better quality buildings. Given that Cannith’s headquarters are in Breland, an enemy country, and the fact that the Archimental Construction Company will push back heavily at any sign of Dragonmarked competition, this means that such plans will result in industrial espionage and conflict.


Otyugh: Otyughs have long co-existed with all kinds of creatures, and have little needs or maintenance beyond a steady diet of waste. While their voracious appetites have often been unsustainable for local villages, the new cities erected in Droaam and their throngs of monstrous workers generate more than enough to keep a cadre of otyughs happily fed.

Beyond their role of waste disposal, otyughs are intelligent enough to understand speech, and often have handlers trained to speak a few key words in their language. Additionally, they are one of the few low-CR non-planar monsters with a form of natural telepathy. Flumphs are too rare to be practical for many communities, while most other aberrations wrought of Khyber are likely to be compromised by the daelkyr. While the otyugh’s telepathy is one-way only, it doesn’t require line of sight and can transmit messages and images to multiple creatures at once without an action. This makes them useful for short-range silent communication.


Quaggoth: Another race with origins in Khyber, an increasing number of quaggoth can be found on the surface in the employ of House Tharashk or Droaam’s chibs. The quaggoth’s personal history speaks of them being former servants to frightening monsters they call “mind-spirits,” having escaped from a distant land. Given their higher than average propensity for psionic powers, those in the know theorize that their race was enslaved by, if not created outright, either the Inspired of Riedra or the daelkyr. Quaggoth live like many other beings of Khyber, in small cavernous communities operating at a subsistence level. They use their physical might and the psionics of their leaders to overcome rivals for limited resources.

Beyond these features, quaggoth are adroit climbers capable of scaling sheer surfaces, and their unique biology makes them immune to all kinds of poisons. This allows them to live and travel in cave systems containing lethal pockets of gas that cannot be easily entered by other living species. House Tharashk made contact with several quaggoth communities as part of their dragonshard mining operations in Droaam and the Shadow Marches, and there’s a growing demand for quaggoth laborers in various industries such as mining, tanning, construction work, and venomous animal husbandry. While this allowed the quaggoth trade opportunities and exposure to goods and services impossible to find in their traditional homes, the Dragonmarked Houses have exploited their desperate circumstances and low intelligence for cheap, expendable labor. Quite a few quaggoth caverns have become little more than company towns, with House Tharashk muscle treating them as indentured servants whose personal profits are only just enough to cover equipment expenses that the quaggoth themselves are made to pay.

Distracted DM

Distracted DM
I have a monster "nation" of my own, the idea was inspired by Eberron's Droaam and that ?one district? in Sharn- and its main "focus" would be its city, which was inspired by 13th Age's Drakkenhall from 13 True Ways and later the Drakkenhall: City of Monsters book.

The idea's always been intriguing, but how to make it a believable place (in the fantasy context) while also retaining its monstrousness- not just making it just a humanoid place but with monsters instead. I'm happy to see you thinking on it here!

One thing of note is that there's probably more livestock being raised, since many monsters are of a carnivorous inclination.



Crab Folk (Mordenkainen’s Fiendish Folio, Vol. 1): Originating in the Shadow Marches, crab folk were ogres transformed by Sora Katra to be better adapted to aquatic terrain. Using secret and powerful rituals, the green hag embedded generational curses to make them pliable to her commands, living otherwise regular sedentary lives not unlike magical Manchurian Candidates. After forming the nation of Droaam with her coven, Sora Katra relocated a number of them into the nation’s western border.

Crab folk live among Droaam’s southwestern coasts and marshland, serving as amphibious soldiers and laborers. They’re smarter than ogres but not as intelligent as humans, so they’re often put under the command of an experienced officer or foreman for intricate projects and sensitive operations. Crab folk villages serve as the first line of defense against threats from the Shadow Marches and Thunder Sea, and can easily swim after aquatic raiders such as sahuagin without the need for magic. Sora Katra has kept these crab folk communities in relative secrecy. While their presence is a great projector of force for their new country, the crab folk’s generational enchantments give her an extreme amount of power over the race that the other Daughters cannot match. The green hag would prefer to keep her sisters in the dark for as long as possible, lest they get ideas of her growing too ambitious…a self-fulfilling prophecy should the truth be found out!


Cyclops: Found all across Droaam, cyclops are few in number, preferring to live by themselves with animal herds to keep them company. Other monstrous races traditionally interacted with them in one of two ways: to loot their pens if they were confident or brave enough to match their might or steal from them, or to trade for such animals in exchange for glittering and shiny objects. Due to their limited understanding and great respect for magic, it was trivial for the Daughters of Sora Kell to convince various cyclopes that they were divine prophets set to propel the region into a new age of splendor. In exchange for loyalty and service, the Daughters encouraged warlords and chibs to trade them metal tools and colorful objects to serve as jewelry in exchange for a fair portion of their flocks. By incorporating the one-eyed giants into greater society, Droaam’s chibs gained access to their herd animals which helped set up more farmlands. In many ways, it was a great deal for the Daughters, having to pay a pittance in exchange for the servitude of powerful creatures.

But this alliance has its complications, for cyclopes are temperamental creatures and react with umbrage at others who don’t appear to give the hags the obsequious reverence they’re due. The Daughters aren’t the first mages to trick them regarding proclamations of divine power. Although the hags are fey and thus technically not mortal, some cyclopes broke from the Daughters’ rule after some other mages proved to them that their magical talents aren’t unique, mighty though they may be. But for now, such giants remain a minority, swayed by rebellious monster clans or saboteurs with a grudge against the Daughters of Sora Kell.


Ettin: Ettins predominate wherever orcs can be found, meaning that the majority live in Droaam, the Demon Wastes, and the Shadow Marches. A distant cousin of orcs, the origin of ettins is unknown. Scientific theories believe them to be a unique ogre-orc bloodline which evolved from the magical energies of a manifest zone. As for the orcs and ettins themselves, it is taught that their people were made by a wise druid, forming two souls in one body so as to teach them the value of cooperation and alternative perspectives. Otherwise, Ettin tend to adopt the prevailing cultural norms of their orcish neighbors.

In Droaam, ettin serve purposes similar to ogres and other giants, their size and strength well-suited for labor and battle. Additionally, ettins are likelier than other giants to gain elevated status as guard soldiers given that their two heads make them resilient against a variety of mental afflictions, and only one head is ever asleep at a time. Ettin are a popular choice among House Tharashk patrons who need intimidating, musclebound monsters that won’t be so easily foiled by a charm spell or sleep schedule.

Additionally, while ettin aren’t very bright, their Wisdom is on par with humans and the other Dragonmarked races. Combined with generations of co-mingling among orcs, ettins have a higher than usual proportion of divine spellcasters among their number. Druidism is popular among ettin in the Shadow Marches and the Gaa’ran orcs of Droaam, while clerics tend to either worship the Dark Six if living among the Gaa’aram orcs of Droaam or are part of a Cult of the Dragon Below if hailing from the Shadow Marches. Those who live among the Ghaash’kala orcs revere Kalok Shash, the Binding Flame, albeit their distance from Droaam means that they’re hardly ever encountered this far south. Due to their two mouths, ettin spellcasters developed a technique known as “klor’chil,” or “feinting echo” in Orcish: one head will intonate the verbal component of a spell, while the other head intentionally mispronounces the latter parts of a different spell’s component words. The mispronunciation is done so that the ettin won’t accidentally cast the wrong spell, and helps prevent enemies from easily predicting what magic the ettin is about to use.


I have a monster "nation" of my own, the idea was inspired by Eberron's Droaam and that ?one district? in Sharn- and its main "focus" would be its city, which was inspired by 13th Age's Drakkenhall from 13 True Ways and later the Drakkenhall: City of Monsters book.

The idea's always been intriguing, but how to make it a believable place (in the fantasy context) while also retaining its monstrousness- not just making it just a humanoid place but with monsters instead. I'm happy to see you thinking on it here!

One thing of note is that there's probably more livestock being raised, since many monsters are of a carnivorous inclination.

I have heard about the Drakkenhall sourcebook, but never got around to picking it up. How much of it is minable for other settings vs being 13th Age specific?

Regarding livestock, I covered that a bit in regards to the Cyclops entry.

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