Giants built the first civilization on Eberron eighty thousand years ago on the continent of Xen'drik. At the height of these empires they covered much of the continent. The giants and their slaves, drow and elves, built sprawling cities and massive temples throughout the land.
After twenty thousand years of building their Empires in Xen’drik, Giant explorers left the continent and started exploring the world and the seas of Eberron. Crossing the Dark Sea these Giants encountered the ancient race of Dragons for the first time on the shores of their homeland Argonnessen. Fascinated by the much-younger race, eventually collections of Dragons traveled to Xen’drik and began sharing their knowledge of Magic and the Arcane with the Giants.
The Giants quickly mastered the lessons taught by the Dragons and began constructing hundreds if not thousands of artifacts and locations that sixty thousand years later have not been equaled. Growing conflict and intrigue in their homeland caused the Dragons that had settled in Xen’drik to return home, leaving the Giants and their slaves in peace.
The Giants began to teach their slaves, the Elves, this magic. This instruction at first was to help the smaller Elves overcome their diminutive stature in the eyes of the Giants. In time, this instruction evolved in teaching elves more and more of the arcane magic. For another twenty thousand years the Empires of the Giants flourished in Xen’drik.
Forty thousand years ago, living nightmares from Dal Quor, the plane of dreams, crossed the planes and entered in the primal plane of the Giants. For a thousand years the Giants and Elves battled the interdimensional foes throughout Xen’drik. A conclave of the greatest Arcanists in all of Xen’drik was assembled and a weapon of cataclysmic power was unleashed, severing the connection from Dal Quor to the primal plane. The power of the weapon was so devastating that the cataclysmic result nearly equaled the damage caused by the war itself.
Magical curses, maladies, blights and turmoil afflicted the lands and people of the Giant empires. For a thousand year the empires of the Giants sought to regain control of the land. Wars between the various empires erupted and the slaves saw an opportunity to throw off their yoke and rise up. The empires of the Giants were forced to unite against the common foe the elves, their former slaves.
In this war, the Giants again called upon their conclave of arcanists to use magic to put down the Elven Slave Revolt. With Giantish magic unleashed the Dragons of Argonnessen returned to Xen’drik. The Dragons were forced to call upon their greatest magics to stop the Giants from destroying the world. No one knows how close the Giants came to destroying the world or even how much power the Dragons exerted to stop the Giants.
In the aftermath of this war the empires of the Giants were no more. The great cities, temples and monuments of the Giants were left for ruin. Xen’drik was destroyed. For thirty-five thousand years the echoes of the conflict between the Dragons and Giants have distorted the lands of Xen’drik. The unleashed echoes of eldritch power have created bizarre monsters and twisted landscape in its path. Formerly enslaved elves fled to Aerenal. Giants devastated by the war were left shattered and hopeless. Their civilization lost, the Giants began degenerating into primitive and violent beasts. The wilds of Xen’drik returned and the glory of the continent's ancient culture was forgotten in myth and legend.
Two centuries ago adventurers and explorers from Riedra and Khorvaire began delving into Xen’drik; those that returned brought with them fantastic stories of unimaginable wealth and glory hidden deep within the heart of the land.
The mysterious continent of Xen'drik is a massive landmass south of the continent of Khorvaire, beyond Shargon's Teeth and the Thunder Sea. Around the end of the Last War, agents of the Four Nations began to explore the land in hopes of making profit from the numerous relics found there among vast natural resources. South of Xen'drik is the land mass of Everice.
Jungles dominate the north-east of the continent. Deserts cover most of the north-west of the continent. The mountains are scattered throughout the continent, but are most extensive near the border of the icy waste. Along the southern coast is the icy waste.
For nearly thirty-eight thousand years Xen'Drik has been an unsettled and untamed wilderness according to the scholars from Khorvaire and Sarlona. Over the past two hundred years a few settlements on the fringes of Xen'Drik have emerged as points of entry into the wilds. A few of these settlements have lasted long enough to be note on a map or two. Originally a pirate hideout built amongst the ruins of the Giant Civilization the city of Stormreach has become the largest settlement on the continent as has become the primary entry point for expeditions into the vast continent.
Ruins of Xen'drik dot the landscape throughout the continent – from the fallen city states of the giants to the drow and elven cities of ages past. Explorers and Adventurers who spend even a few months in Xen'drik will know of a dozen or more ruins. Hundreds of sites from single Quori monoliths to sprawling cities can be found across the land. It is a wild and untamed place with fabulous eldritch machines along with unimaginable treasures, still largely unexplored.
Hidden within the wild and untamed lands are the desolate ruins of the ancient Giant civilization. After battling the Quori, the Giant's civilization was destroyed by the Dragon population of Argonnessen when they attempted to use their highly advanced devices to put down an elven slave revolt.
The Traveler's Curse Edit
The Traveler's Curse alters Xen'drik temporally and spatially. The effect is that adventurers will find that maps sometimes fail them. On the positive side, sometimes the curse will cause a person to arrive where they need to be earlier than they anticipated. Or even better, the curse can cause a treasure seeker to find an unexplored ruin filled with treasure. No one knows what causes the curse. Interesting, it has less effect on natives to Xen'drik, like drow and giants. And strangely, the Traveler's Curse has no effect on Thri-kreen.
Races and CulturesEdit
Xen'drik is now mostly inhabited by drow and degenerate Giants, long-disconnected from their glorious empire of the past. Aerenal Elves trace their origins to Xen'drik in the long forgotten past.
The drow prefer to remain in isolation from other cultures, their seclusion forming another of Xen'drik's many mysteries. The strength and numbers of each of these cultures has not been determined. Living throughout all of Xen'drik, three known distinct drow subcultures have arisen from the ashes of the cataclysmic end of the Giant empire.
There are also reports of many other drow cultures. There are drow to be found in the mountains of Xen'drik who ride on the backs of wyverns. And there are drow in southern parts of the continent who wield weapons that seem to be made of ice. The details on these and many other drow cultures are unknown.
80,000 years ago the Giant Civilization of Xen'drik rises from the ruins of the Dragon-Fiend Wars. Enslaving both Drow and Elf alike the Giant Civilization began the process of pulling the common races out of their primitive states. Learning Arcane magic from the Dragons of Argonessen, the Giant Civilization created wonders that have yet to be equaled by any modern culture.
The Quori invaded Xen'drik 40,000 years ago through a planar gate connecting Eberron with Dal Quor, the Plane of Dreams. Calling upon the magic of the Dragons of Argonessen, the Giants were able to destroy the gate. This cataclysmic event reshaped the continent, plunging great sections of it into the sea.
What remained of the Giant civilization never recovered from the war with the Quori or the cataclysmic destruction that followed the planar gate's destruction.
The ensuing plagues and curses weakened the Giant Kingdoms, allowing the Drow and elf slaves to rise up in open revolt. The Giants again turned to the Dragon magic used to destroy the planar gate, but before they could release a second cataclysm, the Dragons of Argonessen destroyed what remained of the Giant civilization.
The Elven slaves fled to Aerenal and the Drow were scattered throughout Xen'drik.
Clans of Giants still live throughout Xen'drik where they have regressed to a primitive state.
Beginning with the literal transition from land to sea and into the depths of the oceans you will find the Sahuagin, an amphibious race of humanoids that thrive underwater as well as they do on land. The Sahuagin are a clan based society that can be found all over the world, though they are very common in the Thunder Sea and especially throughout Shargon's Teeth.
Sahuagin raiders like to pray upon the ships traveling between Khorvaire and Xen'drik. A common practice to minimize the likelihood of being a victim of Sahuagin is for ship captains or owners to hire Sahuagin guides. Hiring Sahuagin guides is not foolproof, as sometimes a Sahuagin guide is simply from the wrong clan.
The Thri-kreen are a humanoid race that resemble a praying mantis. A small community of Thri-kreen can be found under the city of Stormreach and larger communities can be found in the Menechtarun dessert.
- Eberron Campaign Setting, p. 223. Keith Baker, Bill Slavicsek, and James Wyatt (2004). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3274-0.
- Secrets of Xen'drik. Keith Baker, Jason Bulmahn, and Amber Scott (2006). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3916-8.
- City of Stormreach. Keith Baker, Nicolas Logue, James "Grim" Desborough, C.A. Suleiman (2008). Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-4803-5.