- No natural healing works in the mournland
- Food does not perish, nor do bodies decay, as normal.
- Spells which do magical healing operate at half-efficiency, as well as healing potions or any other healing effect.
- Druid's spell goodberry operates normally, and is the reason for the popularity of goodberry wine.
- Dimensional pockets a la Rope Trick work.
- A consecrate spell will allow natural processes to occur and healing to work properly, within the confines of the spell's area and for that duration.
- Dark rituals performed in the mournland, i.e. a sacrifice, have a greater outcome in the form of a profane bonus to the religion check made.
Population: 1,000 [estimated] (98% warforged, 2% other)
Once, Cyre shone more brightly than any of its sibling nations in the kingdom of Galifar. The Last War took a toll on the nation and its citizens, slowly toppling its many achievements as it became the battleground on which the armies of Karrnath and Thrane and Breland clashed. Finally, disaster struck. No one knows if the catastrophe was caused by a weapon from an enemy nation or a doomsday device of Cyre’s own design. The cataclysm may have been deliberate; it may have been an accident. In the end, the result was the same.
Beautiful Cyre, jewel of Galifar’s vast holdings, exploded in a blast of arcane power the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the ruin of Xen’drik forty thousand years before. On the Day of Mourning in 994 YK, Cyre disappeared. Now the region that was once Cyre goes by a different, darker name. Now it is simply the Mournland.
A dead-gray mist hugs the borders of the Mournland, creating a barrier that only occasionally offers a glimpse of the desolation and devastation inside. Beyond the mist, this battle-scarred region remains a grim memory of the Last War, cloaked in perpetual twilight. Like a wound that will not heal, the land is broken and blasted. In some places the ground has fused into jagged glass. In others, it is cracked and burned and gouged. Broken bodies of soldiers from various sides litter the landscape—soldiers whose dead bodies refuse to decompose. The Mournland is, quite literally, a vast open grave.
In the Mournland, the wounds of war never heal, vile magical effects linger, and monsters mutate into even more foul and horrible creatures. Arcane effects continue to rain upon the land like magical storms that never dissipate.
Misshapened by the unnatural forces present across the region, monsters rage and hunt as they struggle to survive. Sometimes even some of the dead, animated by strange powers radiating from the blasted ground, rise up to continue fighting the war that has long since ended for the living. In this land of disaster and mutation, a charismatic warforged gathers followers to his side and seeks to build an empire of his own.
Once upon a time, Cyre was known for its fine manufactured goods and its remarkable arts and crafts. The wealthy throughout the Five Nations took pride in having one or more pieces from the master artists of Cyre in their collections. House Phiarlan made its headquarters in Cyre, where its Entertainers and Artisans Guild was a driving force in the creative spirit of the nation. (Rumors abound that House Phiarlan somehow knew that disaster was imminent, since all its leading family members were off on business when the Day of Mourning occurred.) Today, nothing comes out of the Mournland except for grief, terror, and the occasional scavenged artifact left over from better days.
LIFE AND SOCIETY
The Cyrans who weren’t killed in the disaster that mutated the region fled to safer locales and now live as exiles in other lands. Few sentient beings live within the borders of the dead-gray mists, and no survivors of the old order can be found in this shattered realm. The arcane force that destroyed the nation killed most living things, so survival itself is a near-impossible struggle. Now mutated monsters roam the land, preying on each other and grazing on the stubborn thornweeds that alone seem to thrive in the blasted land.
Scavenger bands brave the Mournland, looking for art objects and artifacts to sell. Though Thrane and Breland attempt to keep such outlaws from operating out of their environs, Karrnath encourages this kind of activity and offers tempting bounties to those who recover items of worth or power. In this regard, Karrnath and New Cyre (in Breland) are in competition, for both groups want to discover what happened on the Day of Mourning and recover whatever can be saved from the wreckage. Independent scavenger bands also approach the Mournland from the Talenta Plains, Darguun, and Kraken Bay, while raiding parties of Valenar elves venture into the region in search of worthy challenges.
If the rumors are true, a society of sorts has claimed the Mournland as its own. This society of warforged has grown up around a charismatic and powerful warforged leader—the Lord of Blades. Somewhere within the border of dead-gray mist, the enclave of the Lord of Blades rises above the broken land as a beacon that gathers warforged who have dedicated themselves more to their construct heritage than to their living heritage. Every month or so, another warforged enters the Mournland in search of this supposed haven for living constructs. Some tales speak of the Lord of Blades as a great philosopher and teacher. Others paint him as a warlord and power-mad prophet seeking to establish a warforged nation from which to challenge the weaker, fleshbound races for supremacy of Khorvaire.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
The laws of the Mournland are deceptively harsh and relatively simple: Those who enter the Mournland probably won’t survive. Those who do survive will be changed—physically, spiritually, and mentally. Nature doesn’t work here the way it does outside the dead-gray mists. In the Mournland the dead don’t decompose, or necessarily even stop moving.
Some force or forces unleashed on the Day of Mourning continue to mutate the land and the things that live (and die) there, creating monstrosities the likes of which have never before been seen on the continent of Khorvaire. (Natural healing does not occur in the Mournland, and spells and spell-like effects of the healing subschool do not work.)
The wretched creatures of the Mournland live by being smarter, stronger, luckier, or more cunning than those around them. Some laws of nature have been bent or broken here, but the ultimate law remains in effect—the fit and strong survive while the weak, slow, stupid, and unlucky die. Of course, even death might not be the end in this place.
The Lord of Blades maintains a lean government that resembles a cross between a theocracy and a military dictatorship. This warforged visionary sees himself as both a religious and military leader. In his camp, the word of the Lord of Blades is law and canon. The warforged that flock to his side accept his rule, or they are destroyed— the Lord of Blades allows no one to leave his movement.
While certain powerful individuals live within the confines of the Mournland, few power groups remain active in the wake of the disaster of the Day of Mourning. Of these, only one makes its home in the desolate land; the others enter the Mournland to search for objects that gain them wealth, power, or influence. Rumors also suggest that a less militant warforged settlement has been established, but little is known about this community.
Ikar’s Salvage: The largest band of scavengers operating in the Mournland, Ikar’s Salvage has a mobile base of operations that wanders the western edge of the Cyre River, using barges to cross the river and elemental-powered land carts to cross the Mournland wastes. Despite their capable and professional appearance, Ikar’s team is ruthless and deadly, without regard for life—human or otherwise.
Ikar the Black (LE male half-orc, fighter 6) leads a team of rough-and-tumble outlaws who have abandoned the trade roads to rob and rape the remnants of the Mournland. Ikar has open-ended contracts with the Karrnathi government, Prince Oargev of New Cyre, and the Order of the Emerald Claw. Although he always remembers to sell something of interest to Karrnath and New Cyre, he saves the best of his loot for his masters in the Emerald Claw. Ikar and his band, which numbers about a dozen, make frequent runs into the Mournland, concentrating on the ruins of the capital city and the blasted land around it. Currently recovering from an encounter with a living fireball, the half-orc needs to audition applicants to replace the four men he lost.
The Khraal Lords: A vicious band of pirates and marauders hides within the jungle of Khraal in southeastern Darguun. Led by the cruel Baalo One-Eye (CE male hobgoblin, barbarian 4), the Khraal Lords terrorize the scattered goblinoid communities of southern Darguun. The band also possesses two small warships it recovered from a Cyran base on the Ghaal River. Now Baalo and his followers use the ships to raid vessels crossing Kraken Bay, though they avoid prey that is better armed or more sea-savvy than themselves (which includes most ships they come across).
For this reason, the Khraal Lords have begun sending scavenging forays into the Mournland from the southern sea. With few connections outside Darguun, Baalo has been selling whatever relics he acquires to a House Deneith clerk who tends an outpost in Wyvernskull. The clerk, a hireling without blood ties to the house, pays a third of what the relics are worth and has been selling them, in turn, to Prince Oargev of New Cyre for a handsome profit.
The Lord of Blades: The warforged visionary known as the Lord of Blades has established the foundation for a warforged nation in the barren reaches of the Mournland. No one is quite sure where the Lord of Blades came from, and no outsider knows exactly where his mythical city of living constructs might be located. Some tales claim that the Lord of Blades led the warforged armies of Cyre in the Last War. Others cast him as a newer warforged, perhaps the last to come out of the Cannith creation forges before the Thronehold Accords led to their dismantling. One black tale paints a story of how the Lord of Blades caused the destruction of Cyre, warning that he plans to repeat the Day of Mourning in each of the remaining Five Nations.
Whatever the truth, the warforged messiah has become a beacon for a segment of the warforged population—and is considered an abomination by the rest. The Lord of Blades (LE male personality warforged, fighter 2/artificer 5/warforged juggernaut 5) has a fanatical band of warforged followers at his side, devotees who memorize his sermons advocating supremacy for constructs. He preaches an apocalyptic vision of a future where the warforged will destroy or enslave the weaker nations of flesh and blood.
“We were made to rule Eberron,” the Lord of Blades has declared over and over again, “and the day will come when the warforged will inherit the world by blade and blood!”
The gods have deserted the Mournland. However, the followers of the Lord of Blades see their leader as a prophet of sorts. His message is only to the warforged, since his scripture deals with building a nation of living constructs out of the Mournland and then carving an empire from the flesh and blood of the common races. His followers look forward to the Promised Time, when those created as slaves will rule over their former masters.
The cities of Cyre, once grand and beautiful, lie in ruins throughout the Mournland. Nothing lives within them except scavenging beasts and marauding monsters.
Metrol (Ruined Metropolis): This great city was once the capital of Cyre. Now it lies empty, waiting forlornly along the Cyre River for its people to return. Parts of Metrol have been shattered, its buildings crushed and tumbled by whatever force decimated the nation. Other portions of the city escaped with only superficial damage; aside from the absence of people and the dead-gray shroud of mist that hangs over the area, it looks much as it did before the nation fell. While the days in Metrol are quiet, the nights bring a cacophony of chaos and violence to the streets of the fallen metropolis—at night, the ghostbeasts prowl and howl and wail.
The scavengers who plunder Metrol for abandoned riches have described the ghostbeasts as vaguely humanoid in shape but with hairless, translucent skin that appears to glow with a pale inner light. Some of the scavengers believe that the ghostbeasts are guardian spirits left behind by the royal family of Cyre to protect the city. Others say that they are the ghosts of the city’s dead. Most, however, don’t care what they are. They either avoid the place or attempt to kill the creatures if they get in their way.
Structures still believed to be more or less intact in Metrol include the royal palaces of Vemishard; the great Cathedral on the Hill devoted to the Sovereign Host; the huge lightning rail station that once served as the gateway to the west; and the wondrous Metrol Arena, where great games, performances, celebrations, and competitions once enthralled the crowds.
Eston (Ruined Small City): This community, located on the western border of Cyre, used to serve as the base of operations for House Cannith. When Cyre was destroyed, Cannith’s patriarch and many of the house’s most prominent members were lost in the disaster. Since that time, the leadership of the house has been divided among three remaining high-ranking family members (see page 231 of ECS).
Eston suffered greater damage than Metrol, with shattered streets that swallowed whole neighborhoods and collapsed buildings on every corner. Scavengers and other fortune hunters nevertheless brave the dangers of the Mournland occasionally, striving to reach Eston to locate whatever Cannith wonders might have survived beneath the rubble and ruins.
The area around the ruined city has become the hunting ground for all manner of mutated monsters and freefloating living spells created in the aftermath of Cyre’s destruction. For this reason, reaching Eston is no simple task. Overland travel puts adventurers at risk from the monstrous inhabitants of the area. Approaching the wall of mist from Lake Arul isn’t a much better route, since mutated creatures have taken up residence in the water and patrol the coast for prey.
The Mournland is a realm of mystery and devastation. A few sites are described in the legends already gathering around lost Cyre, but much more lies hidden within the cloak of dead-gray mist that surrounds the land.
The Dead-Gray Mist: Whatever arcane event led to the destruction of Cyre, it created a wall of mist that spread out until it defined the Mournland’s borders in all directions. The shroud of mist hangs like a curtain, separating the Mournland from its neighbors. Thick and cloying at the borders, the mist rises some one hundred feet into the sky and forms a canopy that hides the ruined realm even from above. Strong winds occasionally part the mists in places, but these breaks don’t last long. Passing from outside the Mournland into the mist is like entering a shadowy, muffled region devoid of life and sun and sound. Eventually, the thick mist gives way to a less oppressive fog, but depending on the day and the location of entry, that borderland of mist can range in depth from a few hundred feet to as much as five miles. Travelers in the thick border of mist suffer from claustrophobia and often grow weary and depressed for no apparent reason. It’s easy to become turned around and lost in the mist, and those brave enough to venture into it often wind up going in circles until their food and water give out or they blunder into the path of some mutated terror prowling the borderland. (Those who fail a DC 20 Survival check become disoriented and travel in a random direction for 1d4 hours.)
The Glass Plateau: One result of the disaster that destroyed Cyre was the creation of a highland plateau made of sharp, glasslike formations. The overall appearance of the plateau is smooth and flat, though jagged spikes and spires jut up from the ground in apparently random places. The central portion of this highland plain is obsidian, and bursts of fiery light can sometimes be seen in its dark depths. Toward the edges of the plateau, the glass becomes lighter and more translucent, until it appears almost white along the jagged cliffs that separate the heights from the lowlands surrounding it.
Nothing grows on this plain of glass, and few creatures can be found among its jagged peaks and flat expanse. Living spells, on the other hand, seem drawn to the area; the greatest concentration of these strange entities can be found on and around the Glass Plateau. Rumors abound of caves within and beneath the plateau, where it is said that the truth behind the destruction of Cyre waits to be discovered by someone strong enough, brave enough, and foolish enough to venture so deep into the Mournland.
The Field of Ruins: The last battle of the Last War took place in Cyre southwest of what is now the Glass Plateau. Here, forces from Thrane, Cyre, Breland, and Darguun clashed in a chaotic epic battle. Those forces died on the Day of Mourning, caught in the backlash of the arcane effect that destroyed the entire nation. The remains of this battle can still be seen; the Field of Ruins is noteworthy among similar places throughout the Mournland primarily because of the sheer number of troops whose bodies litter this battlefield. These soldiers, who died four years ago, appear as they did the day life abandoned them.
Not one has shown signs of rot or decay. Wounds gape wide, flesh refuses to fester and flake, armor and weapons remain untarnished and rust-free. Vast war machines, siege engines, and other devices of destruction brought by the opposing forces now stand in silent vigil over the bodies of the dead.
Most visitors to the Field of Ruins find themselves moved to follow the example of the explorer who discovered the place, offering prayers to all those who sprawl in this uncovered grave—Thrane knights lying beside Darguun warriors, Brelish archers piled among Cyran militia.
They are not undead, but they are unnatural just the same, for some force keeps them preserved despite the passage of time. Even the scavenging beasts of the Mournland refuse to disturb these bodies.
The Glowing Chasm: North of the Glass Plateau, a great crack in the ground gives forth a cold purple light. This supernatural glow emanates from deep within the Glowing Chasm, so far down that its source can’t be identified from above (and to date no one who descended into the chasm has come out alive again). The mutated monsters that roam the Mournland seem drawn to this location, and some believe that the purple glow had a role in creating them. While the glow might not be related to the origin of the mutated monsters, it definitely has an effect on these creatures. Those that spend any significant time near the Glowing Chasm mutate further, becoming even more twisted and misshapen than they were prior to bathing in the cold purple light.
ADVENTURING IN THE MOURNLAND
The Mournland shows the horrors of arcane war. The place has a dead, tomblike air about it. Nothing natural exists within its borders of thick, gray mist, and living spells roam the land. Surviving within the Mournland isn’t an easy task; the few plants and animals that can be found are tainted and mutated in vile ways. Even the water in and around the Mournland has a dark taint to it, a taint that has begun to seep into Lake Cyre, Lake Arul, and the nearest waterways. Adventurers won’t find much in the way of help or supplies within the Mournland. They may still want to enter the place to loot the ruins or perform some other mission, but they will have a hard time remaining within its confines for any length of time. Indeed, time and nature seem to operate in strange ways within the Mournland, and magic isn’t guaranteed to function in expected ways within this mist-shrouded land.
—A party of adventurers seeks to find and stop a powerful warforged soldier who is still fighting the Last War. The warforged either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that peace treaties have been signed. It follows the last orders it was given and seeks to destroy all enemies. Striking from out of the Mournland, it has hit targets in Karrnath, the Talenta Plains, Valenar, Darguun, Breland, and Thrane, each time retreating back into the mists to plan its next attack. The adventurers must track the warforged to its lair and convince it that the Last War is over—or destroy it before it can strike again.
—Baron Merrix of House Cannith hires adventurers to travel to the ruined city of Eston in search of artifacts kept in the house enclave now buried in that location.
—A mutated bulette of enormous size has emerged from the Mournland to devour herds and threaten the settlements of eastern Breland.
—Prince Oargev of New Cyre presents a party of adventurers with a map to a hidden installation near the Glowing Chasm. In this arcane tower, potent tomes await the Cyran heir—and Oargev wants the adventurers to claim them in his name and bring them to him in New Cyre.
—A noble requests that the adventurers travel to the Field of Ruins and search for her son. He was a captain in the Thrane army, and she wants his body returned to Thrane for a proper burial.
—A lightning rail coach never finished its trip across Cyre on the Day of Mourning. House Orien needs adventurers willing to follow the path of conductor stones, find the lost train, and bring back the near-priceless works of Cyran art being shipped in its luggage compartment, enabling the couriers to finally complete their longdelayed delivery.
—The halflings of the Talenta Plains have become disturbed by a strange glow far out in Lake Cyre. The elders of the tribe believe that the glow is related to the Mournland and could prove dangerous to the people of the plains, so they seek adventurers to check it out
Source: Eberron Campaign Setting