The Empire of Dhakaan
The Dhakaani goblinoids ruled Khorvaire for seven thousand years before the Xoriat incursion shattered the proud civilization they had built. This goblin nation devoted itself to the art of war — both its practice and its tools — and its armorers and weaponsmiths were among the finest the world has ever seen. The Dhakaani worshiped no gods; rather, they revered the empire itself, recounting the deeds and history of the great heroes who defined it for all to hear.
Goblinoids once ruled much of western Khorvaire as the mighty Dhakaan Empire. Though the empire eventually fell, its past existence means two significant things for Eberron's goblinoid tribes, particularly the Dhakaani tribes who clung to the remnants of civilization rather than falling into savagery like their lowland Ghaal'dar kin.
Unlike goblinoids in most campaigns, the Dhakaani goblinoids grow up hearing their duur'kala ("dirge singers," their name for bards) tell tales of their peoples' ancient empire, an empire that was strong before the humans, elves, and dwarves gained power in Khorvaire. These inspirational stories are fuel that the Dhakaani leaders use to stoke the fires of vengeance among their tribes. While goblinoids in other worlds raid for food and loot, Dhakaani goblinoids march to war with some variant of "For the lost empire!" as their battle cry. Zealotry is a stronger motivator than hunger or greed and can make a common soldier face certain death without blinking.
Like all fallen civilizations, the Dhakaani Empire had its share of marvels and advances. Though some of them may seem primitive by modern Eberron standards, ancient items drawing on Eberron or Khyber dragonshards may lie buried in old goblin cities, waiting to be unearthed by a crafty warlord. Because of the war against the daelkyr, the lost goblin empire probably has many weapons made to defeat aberrations (such as the dolgaunt and dolgrim, tools of the daelkyr) and defenses that guard troops against mental attacks.
Legacy Items in Dhakaan
Taken together, these facts present a compelling case for a strong tradition of legacy items among the Dhakaani. Charged with the history of the empire — the conquest of Khorvaire, the wars with elves and demons, and the final, disastrous conflict with the daelkyr — these weapons were made for goblin hands, though they could serve any noble warrior equally well. Today, the Heirs of Dhakaan — the clans that went into hiding as the great goblinoid empire began to crumble — are searching for these ancient relics, which could aid them substantially in re-establishing their former glory.
Most Dhakaani legacy items probably lie amid the ruins of the empire, though a fair number could also be buried in ancient battlefields. Since the Dhakaani have an austere culture devoted primarily to war, most of their legacy items are likely to be arms or armor, though instruments of the duur'kala bards or regalia worn by great generals or emperors would also be appropriate.
The legacy rituals for these items should be tied to war and might range from performing a small act of courage to playing a decisive role as the architect of a battle. When designing a ritual, keep in mind that the Dhakaani were not simple warmongers. One of the cornerstones of their culture was the premise that the strong (bugbears Weapons of Legacy and hobgoblins) must protect the weak (goblins), so a weapon or shield might require a sacrifice in keeping with this philosophy.
Each Dhakaani legacy item is a piece of goblin history that the goblins want back, so carrying one presents a danger to any nongoblinoid character. A typical city goblin or soldier of the Ghaal'duur might not recognize the item, but the Heirs of Dhakaan would certainly be offended by an outsider who presumed to steal one of the empire's great treasures and wield it as his own. A character who works with the Heirs of Dhakaan might eventually earn enough respect to be considered an honorary goblin — and thus a worthy bearer of the legacy item — but considerable bloodshed is likely to occur first.
Dhakanni Legacy Items
With a few changes, the following specific items from Weapons of Legacy could be appropriate for the Dhakaani. The Eberron history of each item is given first, followed by a bulleted list of changes needed to adapt it. If no such list is given, the item's powers remain the same.
This weapon was originally forged to battle the Lords of Dust. Later, the smiths enhanced its power when the legions of Xoriat invaded.
- Add byeshk to the weapon's scourge of fiends ability.
- Change sense fiends to detect evil outsiders with the native subtype, extraplanar creatures from Xoriat, or aberrations.
Since the orcs of Eberron do not have the same militant tradition as the goblinoids do, Guurgal was not the weapon of an orcish horde. Rather, it was wielded by one of the first emperors, who put out his own eye in a display of courage and resolve.
- Change all orc and half-orc references to goblinoid.
- The ritual for the lesser legacy involves communing with the spirits of the ancient emperors rather than Gruumsh.
- The greater legacy ritual requires seeking out the shade of Emperor Bruug Dhakaan, which has been trapped in the Lair of the Keeper.
Weapons of Legacy
The Skull Lash predates the empire. Despite its disturbing appearance, it was often borne by the emperor or the wisest of the duur'kala, who used its abilities to gain insight.
Built for a Dhakaani officer, this armor bonded with the spirit of an orc berserker from the Shadow Marches who was slain during one of the empire's efforts to create a buffer zone on its western border.
The above items are just a few examples of weapons from the book that can relate to the Dhakanni Empire, but many other items could easily be adapted as well. In particular, since chain weapons are common among the Dhakaani, a spiked chain would make an excellent weapon of legacy. Alternatively, an existing weapon from the book could be converted to a spiked chain.