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The Crimson Talisman is an Eberron novel written by Adrian Cole and illustrated by Wayne Reynolds. It was published on May 3, 2005 by Wizards of the Coast. It is the first installment in The War-Torn novel series.

A world torn by generations of war...

Erethindel, the fabled Crimson Talisman.

Long sought by the forces of darkness. Long guarded in secret by one family.

But now the secret has been revealed, and only one young man can keep it safe. As the talisman's powers awaken within him, Erethindel tears at his soul.
— Back-cover text


Notable Characters[]

Minor Characters[]

  • Aanamor
  • Abdas: Kalfar's steward
  • Anzar d'Orien: Vaddi's father.
  • Aramil: an Aereni elf of the Valaes Tairn.
  • Ardal Barragond: An elf of the Finnara clan.
  • Ashtari Mereen: A hippogriff that is loyal to Zemella.
  • Dramman Wandel
  • Ezrekuul: A dryad that was trapped in the Madwood.
  • Fallarond: Captain of the Deathguard.
  • Gez Muhallah: Pirate and first mate to Vortermars.
  • Gonardal: A member of the Sea Harlot.
  • Indreen: Vaddi's elven mother.
  • Kalfar Munjati: Representative of Pylas Maradal and cousin to Vaddi on his mother's side. He wears a vivid green turban and gleaming rings.
  • Karg: A guard who protected in Azzahareb.
  • Kazzerand: A warlord who was effectively exiled by Vaddi's father. He later becomes steward of Marazanath.
  • Thucknor: A pirate and informant to Nyam.
  • Scaab: A pirate and informant to Nyam.
  • Sfarrag: A dwarf informant to Nyam.
  • Tallamorn: An elf necromancer and member of the Deathguard.
  • Vortermars: Pirate and captain of the Sea Harlot.

Plot Synopsis[]

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  • The novel features an incestuous romance between the protagonist Vaddi and his cousin Zemella. This becomes apparent in a statement by Kalfar when he learns of Vaddi's interest in Zemella, "The blood of Dendris runs through her veins and yours." in Chapter 9. Zemella is related to Vaddi through his mother's side.
  • Vaddi d'Orien is a half-elf despite House Orien being a human dragonmarked house, making it impossible for a non-human to possess the Mark of Passage.
  • Despite The War-Torn series' focus on characters who have lived through the Last War and its results, few characters mention the war and how it affected them or what they did during the war. The story instead focuses on an item of power, demonology and cultism.



Eberron Novels
Blade of the Flame Thieves of Blood · Forge of the Mindslayers · Sea of Death
The Chronicles of Abraxis Wren Taint of the Black Brigade
Draconic Prophecies Storm Dragon · Dragon Forge · Dragon War
The Dragon Below The Binding Stone · The Grieving Tree · The Killing Song
The Dreaming Dark The City of Towers · The Shattered Land · The Gates of Night
Heirs of Ash Voyage of the Mourning Dawn · Flight of the Dying Sun · Rise of the Seventh Moon
The Inquisitives Bound by Iron · Night of the Long Shadows · Legacy of Wolves · The Darkwood Mask
The Lanternlight Files The Left Hand of Death · When Night Falls · Death Comes Easy
Legacy of Dhakaan The Doom of Kings · Word of Traitors · The Tyranny of Ghosts
The Lost Mark Marked for Death · The Road to Death · The Queen of Death
Thorn of Breland The Queen of Stone · Son of Khyber · The Fading Dream
The War-Torn The Crimson Talisman · The Orb of Xoriat · In the Claws of the Tiger · Blood and Honor
Dungeons & Dragons Online The Shard Axe · Skein of Shadows
Miscellaneous Dragons: Worlds Afire · Lady Ruin · The Tales of the Last War · Untold Adventures