The Sovereign Host and Dark Six
The Sovereign Host
Legend holds that eons ago, thirteen great champions fought back the fiendish overlords that ruled the world in chaos. Today, they are worshiped as the Sovereign Host — but though they once numbered thirteen, four of its deities were cast out of the pantheon, and are now part of the Dark Six.
Worship of the Sovereign Host is the predominant faith in Khorvaire. Its worship takes many forms and the faith is tolerant of others. Most followers — known as Vassals — worship the pantheon as a whole, making specific offerings to a relevant deity in times of need. Clerics devoted to one Sovereign still revere all the Host, though they dedicate their life to practical service in a particular domain.
The goddess of the harvest and fertility, of life and love. She represents the positive relationship between the natural world and civilization. The sister of Balinor and the Devourer and the mother of the Fury as a result of her rape by her brother the Devourer. She is portrayed as either a half-elf, a halfling or a human and has even been portrayed as a bronze dragon. Most Vassals think of Arawai as the deity of fertility, crops, abundance, and plant-life in general. While accurate as far as it goes, this is a limited understanding of Arawai’s place in the pantheon. More properly, she holds dominion over the natural world as viewed through the lens of civilization. A follower of the Host lost in the forest, or wandering unknown valleys, is most likely to call upon Arawai for aid.
The god of knowledge, order, and magic as a tool for the good of mortals. He is also invoked when a difficult decision must be made, especially in regard to the law or the morality of pursuing arcane secrets. Long ago, Aureon bound all the evil in his soul and banished it from his personage. This monster became known as the Shadow. It is said that Eberron will come to an end when he and his shadow rejoin. Aureon is the brother of Onatar and the husband of Boldrei. Aureon is portrayed as a gnome or human wizard and occasionally as a blue dragon. He is the patron of teachers and scholars, judges and sages, lawyers and wizards. While scripture does not place any of the gods above the others, myth has it that Aureon often directs the actions of the Host—not due to any authority he might wield, but because the others trust his judgment and ability to foresee consequences.
The god of beasts and the hunt, representing the primal cycle of life and death and the struggle to survive on the edge of civilization. The brother of Arawai and The Devourer, Balinor is usually portrayed as a burly human although occasionally he is drawn as a crude but good natured half-orc and even more uncommon, a stalking green dragon. The lord of beasts is one of the most violent of the Sovereign Host. He is neither cruel nor bloodthirsty, but simply represents the cycle of life, the eternal hunt of predator and prey. He begrudges none the right to kill for survival, but holds great malice toward those who hunt for sport or trophies. He is patron of rangers, hunters, and trappers, and is constant companion to his sister, Arawai. The two of them together represent all aspects of the wild that can be tamed—to an extent, at least—by civilization.
The goddess of community and the hearth, representing the simple bonds between people and working toward the common good. When the savage wild presses against the safety of community Boldrei is there to protect it. Together with Aureon they form the core of the typical Vassals worship since most of their daily life revolves around the home and knowledge. If civilization is the house of the mortal races, and Aureon’s laws are the foundation, Boldrei is the walls and roof. She is the patron of civil servants and community leaders, and the protector of villages against the savage wild. The wife of Aureon, Boldrei is typically portrayed as a commoner of any race or a copper dragon protectively brooding over a nest of eggs.
The goddess of honor and the sun, representing martyrdom, righteousness, and just conflict. She is often portrayed as a human or half-elf knight shining with holy radiance, and occasionally as a red dragon perched atop a cloud. Dol Arrah is the sister of Dol Dorn and the Mockery. Dol Arrah is the light, not only of the sun, but of the best aspects of the mortal soul. She is the god of honor, forthrightness, and self-sacrifice. Many Vassals see her as no less vital to civilization than Aureon and Boldrei, and they believe that when the mortal races accept this truth, the world will become much brighter. Dol Arrah is the patron of paladins, diplomats, all who seek justice, and warriors who fight with wisdom and honor as much as with weapons. To a lesser extent, she is also the patron of explorers, who bring the light of knowledge to dark places, and to all who revere the sun. She aids Arawai by lighting her way during the growing season.
The god of physical prowess and duty, representing competition, courage, and warfare. Often depicted as a heavily muscled human, dwarf, or half-orc and occasionally as a powerful silver dragon Dol Dorn is the brother of Dol Arrah and the Mockery. Dol Dorn is the most martial of the Sovereign Host. He is the patron of all who fight for a living—among them soldiers, gladiators, and athletes. He leads the Sovereign Host in battle, and legend holds that he forced the Dark Six from the Host’s ranks. Dol Dorn despises those who shed blood in the name of cruelty or greed, or who glory in mindless violence. He always stands by the soldier who fights for duty or homeland and favors games, sport, and honorable competition. Although he does not bless an unjust cause, he protects warriors forced into battle by a bloodthirsty ruler.
The god of wealth and commerce, representing trade, travel and business. Kol Korran is the son of Olladra and Onatar and is often depicted as a cheerful, fat human or dwarf and occasionally as a white dragon laying atop a pile of ice blue gems. Kol Korran is the god of trade, wealth, and commerce. He is the only second-generation member of the Sovereign Host, which is appropriate since wealth and trade appear only after the other elements of society fall into place. As the most avaricious of the Host, Kol Korran is patron to merchants, traders, and all who seek wealth; in his darker aspect, he is also the patron of thieves and fences. He is loyal to the Host, but some legends ascribe to him a sense of resentment and a feeling that the other gods do not consider him an equal. This does not manifest as overt hostility, but rather as schemes to enrich himself at the expense of the others. Thus, fables sometimes portray Kol Korran—despite his usually serious demeanor—as the prankster of the gods.
The goddess of luck and plenty, representing the boons of civilization and the joys that it brings. Olladra is the wife of Onatar and the mother of Kol Korran and The Keeper. The god of good fortune and plenty, Olladra is the most popular of the Host when things are going well, and one of the most reviled when they are not. She is the patron of gamblers, entertainers, and rogues, or anyone seeking good fortune. She is kind but fickle, and even her most faithful cannot honestly say what inspires her to grant her blessings to one person and not another. She is often depicted as a young halfling, sometimes as an elderly human, and occasionally as a black dragon. She is the wife of Onatar and the mother of Kol Korran and the Keeper.
The god of fire and the forge, representing craft and industry. The husband of Olladra and the father of Kol Korran and the Keeper Onatar is often portrayed as dwarven smith and occasionally as a brass dragon. Without Onatar, the civilized races could never have risen above the beasts to build communities and societies. He is the god of the forge, of craft and industry, and also of fire. He first inspired mortals to build tools and weapons, and then to improve on those already built. He is the patron of smiths, artisans, inventors, some who craft magic items, and even a small but growing number of warforged. Dwarves in particular revere him. Wizards and psions who specialize in fire also place their faith in him, as legend says he gave fire to mortals to survive the cold winters.
The Dark Six
The Devourer, Fury, Keeper, and Mockery were originally part of the pantheon of the Sovereign Host, but were cast out during the Schism for their evil acts. These four, in conjunction with the Traveler and the Shadow, now form the Dark Six. They represent the darker aspects of civilization, the wild, and mortal nature.
Many Vassals of the Host make prayers to the Dark Six in an attempt to avoid their wrath, as they are still considered deities despite being rejected from the pantheon of the Host. Among faithful of the Dark Six themselves, some incline toward evil acts, while others revere the Six for pragmatic reasons or appreciate the balance they represent in the natural order.
Most followers of the Six focus their devotion on just one god, while holding the others in cautious regard.
The god of storms and the deep. He represents the untamable power of nature and the glory of the predator. Brother of Arawai and Balinor, the Devourer raped his sister Arawai and fathered The Fury. The Devourer is portrayed as a human or merfolk with seaweed in his hair and beard, a sahuagin, an enormous shark, or a dragon turtle. The Devourer is often associated with his sister, Arawai: Just as Arawai is the deity of the natural world, the Devourer is the lord of nature’s destructive side. Civilized folk might pray to Arawai for a bountiful harvest, but they also beseech her brother to protect that harvest from flooding and drought. The Devourer is also god of the deep. The ocean waves are his sole purview, and any sailor (regardless of alignment or beliefs) would be wise to pay at least lip service to his power. In this capacity, the god finds worshipers among the lizardfolk, sahuagin, and other aquatic races.
The goddess of passion and vengeance. She represents instinct, primal emotion, and the storm of rage. Daughter of Arawai and The Devourer, the Fury is portrayed as a half-elf, drow or a snakelike wyrm of Khyber. She is patron to all who allow their passions to consume them, regardless of whom else they worship. Her followers cultivate rage and resentment among the so-called “civilized,” to better spread the influence of their god. The Fury watches over barbarians everywhere, as well as certain types of artists, crafters, and bards. She is also the deity of favor among many intelligent monsters.
The god of death and greed. He is the collector of souls, patron of selfish industry, and maker of bargains that always end up in his favor. The son of Onatar and Olladra and the brother of Kol Korran, the Keeper is often portrayed as gaunt or grossly fat human, a lich or ghoul, or sometimes a skeletal dragon. Where his brother is the patron of material wealth, the Keeper governs shameless greed and gluttony. He is the hunger in the dark, clutching at anyone or anything that strays too far from the light. It is said that of all the gods, he alone can waylay the deceased on their journey to Dolurrh, and no soul once ensnared can escape the Keeper’s chill embrace. He is the patron of death cults all over Eberron, and in this capacity, has become the unofficial god of the religious necromancer.
The god of betrayal and pain, of winning no matter the cost. He represents the harsh realities of war and survival, the inevitable pain and bloodshed life always brings. The brother of Dol Arrah and Dol Dorn, the Mockery is portrayed as a ghastly human warrior with the skin stripped from his body, cloaked in the skins of his enemies, and sometimes as a half-fiend red dragon. His betrayal lead to his flaying and banishment from the Sovereign Host. Once part of the triumvirate of combat deities that included his brothers, the Mockery now represents the dark side of their portfolios. He is the god of dishonorable combat and unjust war, and is patron to all manner of evil warriors and rogues. Assassin cults, of which the most infamous is the Flayed Hand, keep him in their prayers.
The god of forbidden lore and ambition, master of dark magic, and maker of monsters. He represents the dangers and rewards of the pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement, no matter the cost. The Shadow is the literal shadow of Aureon that attained sentience and godhood as a price paid by Aureon for arcane knowledge. As such, he is typically depicted as a shadow, occasionally he is portrayed as a shadow dragon. It is a god of ambition, corruption, and dark magic, and evil spellcasters the world over conduct foul rituals in its name. The Shadow is the progenitor of the medusas, and patron to a great many other monster races, especially in Droaam, where its worship is most popular. Legends say that were Aureon and his shadow to be once again united, the age of civilized peoples would come to an end.
The Traveler asserts that chaos drives evolution and that change makes us stronger. The Traveler is a trickster and the giver of dangerous gifts. Some artificers worship the Traveler, seeing it as the lord of innovation, but the gifts of the Traveler always have unexpected consequences. The most mysterious of all the gods, the Traveler is believed to be a supreme shapeshifter and a virtuoso of deceit and craftiness. It promotes careful planning, taking a subtle approach, and change in any form. However, it's also said to be impulsive and unpredictable. Legends say that, alone among the gods, the Traveler walks the land with a thousand faces, in body and in spirit, but no mortal will pierce its perfect disguise. The sovereign of cunning, invention, and transformation, the Traveler is patron to all who embrace change, whether physical or philosophical. Changelings, doppelgangers, lycanthropes, and shifters view the Traveler as the highest god.