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The Shadow Marches are little more than fetid backwater swamps where Orcs have lived for thousands of years. Still, a glimmer of civilization lingers here, if one has enough tenacity and endurance to seek it out.


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Detail of Shadow Marches

The Shadow Marches lie in the lowlands west of the Byeshk Mountains and south of Crescent Bay. The hills bordering the swamps and marshes of the Shadow Marches start at the southwestern tip of Crescent Bay and wrap east and south to Blackwater Lake where Patrahk'n lies at the edge of The Vile Marsh. The Watching Wood forms the rest of the eastern barrier for the Marches. To the south of the Marches, Balinor's sorrow stands a solitary monitor to the swamp's progression past Urthhold, while Zarash Bay acts as water source and custodian of the marshlands south of Lantern Tower as well as the primary sea access to Zarash'ak. To the west lies the ocean.


The Shadow Marches are not a recognized nation. Rather, the Marches are an independent territory whose established relationships with its neighbors and the outside world comes largely from the presence of House Tharashk. The folk of the Shadow Marches have a reputation for xenophobia. Outsiders are rarely welcomed here.

Orcs make up more than half the population of the Marches. Humans, half orcs, and members of other races also dwell there. The Shadow Marches feature two distinct cultures - the orc tribes that settled those lands. and the clans formed by later human immigrants.

The orc tribes are an insular society, but humans and half-orcs are sometimes accepted into an orc tribe if they can prove themselves. The tribes are territorial. and typically attack trespassers on sight.

Closer to the outer edges of the Marches, mixed clans of humans and half orcs are more accepting of the outside world. mostly through their association with House Tharashk. The clans have more in common with the folk of civilized Khorvaire than do their kin in the orc tribes, and they demonstrate a greater level of trust toward outsiders.

Power Groups[]

The Shadow Marches are not a nation. Other nations or businesses looking to deal with the Marchers inevitably deal with House Tharashk. Anyone who hopes to do business in the Marches - or to stay alive while traveling here - know to keep on the house's good side. Two religious traditions hold sway in the Shadow Marches: the path of the Gatekeepers and the Cults of the Dragon Below. The orc tribes of the deep swamps are split evenly between the two faiths.


House Tharashk originated in the Shadow Marches, and the house retains strong ties to this land. Today, Tharashk makes a majority of its profits shipping Eberron shards from the Marches to the rest of Khorvaire. The swamps of the Marches contain some of the largest Eberron dragonshard fields in Khorvaire, and Tharashk operates prospecting and distribution centers throughout the region.

The daelkyr incursions laid waste to these lands, and ruins from that long ago conflict are still scattered throughout the swamps.[1]

The Last War[]

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Cities and Settlements[]

Other Notable Features[]

  • Balinor's Sorrow
  • Blackwater Lake
  • The Crawling Swamp
  • Crescent Bay
  • Lantern Tower
  • Taarn Draal
  • The Vile Swamp
  • Zarash Bay

External Links[]



  1. Eberron Campaign Guide, p. 154, James Wyatt and Keith Baker (2009), Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5099-4.

Regions & Nations of Khorvaire
Aundair | Breland | Darguun | Demon Wastes | Droaam | The Eldeen Reaches | Karrnath | Lhazaar Principalities | Mournland | Mror Holds | Q'Barra | Shadow Marches | Talenta Plains | Thrane | Valenar | Zilargo