Many thousands of years ago, the explorer Lhazaar reached the northwest shores of Khorvaire, and from that moment, humans expanded through the whole continent. Nonetheless, the sailing tradition stayed constant in the region: entire fleets with very different leaders roam the sea, and House Lyrandar itself has some presence in there, so a flying airship is not a rare sight.
Pirate lords and merchant princes control the Lhazaar Principalities. Seafaring trade and piracy have long been the major professions in the archipelago, but illegal activities are less common now that the land is a recognized confederacy. Laws vary between different provinces, making violence or arrest a distinct possibility over even a minor misunderstanding.
You may want to consider having your character come from the Lhazaar Principalities if you want to play a fugitive on the run, a high-seas corsair, or an aspiring unifier. Keep always in mind that the region is relatively lawless, and because of that, the brave and the skilled are the ones who are leaders. Never let down your guard and speak of the ocean at every opportunity, seasoning your speech with plenty of “sure, mate“, “ahoy!” and “shiver me timbers“.
Nowadays, the high prince is Rygar ir’Wynarn, the lord of Greentarn. Rygar is both a clever diplomat and brilliant captain, and has earned the loyalty of a host of followers as well as the respect of most of the princes. Rygar called together the delegation that represented the Principalities in the Treaty of Thronehold, and he hopes to one day rule as the true king of the seas. Nonetheless, the Lhazaarites are an independent folk: They serve the prince at sea, but they don’t want to be ordered about on land. Most Lhazaarites have little interest in the laws of other nations, and this is well represented in the old proverb stating “no man owns the sea.”
Over two dozen princes exist in the Lhazaar Principalities. Some of the smaller islands are under the dominion of a single prince, but the coastline and the larger islands are too large for one prince only, so sometimes two or even more of them claim a port stronghold and the surrounding hamlets as their dominions.
- The Seadragons: High Prince Rygar ir’Wynarn
- The Cloudreavers: Prince Mika Rockface
- The Gray Tide: Prince Kel
- The Bloodsails: Prince Shaen Tasil
- The Wind Whisperers: Prince Koulton Brightwind
- The Heavenly Fleet: Prince Lorrister
You can find more information about the first four princes and their fleets in Keith Baker’s Dragonshard article about the Lhazaar Principalities. Some details about the last one are provided in the Player’s Guide to Eberron.
Just north of Cape Far, a barren rock just out of the Lhazaar Sea, there is a massive fortress dominating the island, a citadel hidden by a clinging shroud of dark mists and protected by the powers of the strange black stone from which it is hewn. This is the prison of Dreadhold, built to hold criminals too dangerous to be kept within the Five Nations. More than just a prison, Dreadhold is also House Kundarak stronghold, and many treasures are hidden in its secret vaults.
Keith Baker and Jason Bulmahn wrote an article for Dragon Magazine under the title “Dreadhold: Eberron’s Inescapable Island Prison”. It appeared on pages 69-82 of issue #344 back in June 2006, giving mechanics and offering advice about the many ways to use the prison in a campaign:
- A party of adventurers might need to speak to a prisoner held in one of the deeper cells;
- They might be paid or blackmailed to extract an inmate from the jail or a priceless treasure from the vaults of the house;
- An ancient evil might escape from the prison to threaten the world anew;
- Perhaps the adventurers find themselves imprisoned.
You can even try to turn Prison Break into an Eberron campaign.
Have you ever played a pirate? In Eberron? Set sails and navigate around the comments!