The Dark Six

The Devourer. The Fury. The Mockery. The names alone strike fear into the hearts of the civilized peoples of Eberron. These deities, along with their mysterious fellows the Keeper, the Shadow, and the Traveler, make up a pantheon known as the Dark Six—the secondmost powerful and widespread faith on Khorvaire. Yet the Dark Six are still truly a part of the pantheon that is known today as the Sovereign Host, despite being exiled from the body of that faith ages ago.


Neutral Evil
Worship of Dark Six deities usually focuses on an individual member of the pantheon, but some followers (especially the schismatics) observe the disparate gods as a divine entity.
Portfolio: Passion, destruction, individuality, fear, vengeance.
Domains: Any domain associated with one of the individual pantheon members.
Favored Weapon: Kama.


Gods of The Dark Six

Each of the gods of the Dark Six is presented below, along with information pertaining specifically to that deity. As with the Host, this information represents traditional understanding of scripture, not divine truth as handed down by the gods themselves. Many Vassals hold interpretations that differ slightly from those presented here.


“The Sovereign of Wave and Whelm,”
Neutral Evil
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.
Portfolio: Devastation, hunger, nautical travel, storms, water.
Domains: Cold‡, Destruction, Evil, Pestilence‡, Ocean‡, Water, Weather*.
Priest Training: Priests of the Devourer are familiar with nature in general, and with water and storms in particular. Most were fishers, sailors, or slaves before becoming priests.
Quests: The Devourer’s faithful quest to rescue those lost at sea, end or cause drought, or protect rivers and lakes from the unworthy (even if it means destroying them).
Prayers and Rites: Sacrifices to the Devourer involve immersion in water; grim stories abound of living creatures tossed into maelstroms. Vassals entreat the god to cease flooding or drought, and to show mercy when they are lost at sea.
Shrines: Shrines to the Devourer are usually built of wood, and many are roofless, allowing rain to enter freely. Others are built on the water itself, either on lakeside barges or in the cabins of seafaring vessels. They stink of blood and are hung with rotting seaweed.
Favored Weapon: Trident.
Holy Symbol: A bundle of five sharpened bones.


“The Sovereign of Rage and Ruin,”
Neutral Evil
Daughter to Arawai and the Devourer, the Fury is a deity of passion driven to extremes. 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.
Portfolio: Anger, extremism, insanity, passion, revenge.
Domains: Evil, Liberation‡, Hatred‡, Madness*, Passion*, Wrath‡.
Priest Training: In all matters, the Fury’s priests are passionate. They must have an intimate understanding of pain and loss. Many were bereaved during the Last War, and many fought in it.
Quests: The Fury demands her followers inflame passion by every means possible to break down the strictures of formality and custom.
Prayers and Rites: The Fury’s rites are deeply personal affairs. Sacrifices almost always involve bloodshed, sometimes on the part of the petitioner, sometimes not. One word that never describes any rite conducted in the Fury’s name is “somber.”
Shrines: Shrines to the Fury are as varied as her worshipers. Among certain drow sects, temples are strangely elaborate and meticulously maintained. By contrast, a monstrous shrine might be little more than a pile of bones, with fresh kills piled regularly on top.
Favored Weapon: Rapier.
Holy Symbol: A red-and-black, winged wyrm with a woman’s head and upper body.


“The Sovereign of Death and Decay,”
Neutral Evil
Another of the second divine generation, the Keeper is the son of Olladra and Onatar, and the flip side to his twin brother, Kol Korran. 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.
Portfolio: Death, entropy, greed, hunger, time.
Domains: Death, Decay*, Evil, Greed‡, Hunger‡, Pact‡.
Priest Training: Servants of the Keeper must have a working knowledge of life and death; disturbingly, many of his priests were once healers.
Quests: Quests in the Keeper’s name often consist of killing someone or something specific, usually with a Keeper’s fang weapon (ECS 226), but some revolve around discovering some mystery or acquiring an item of great value.
Prayers and Rites: Sacrifices to the Keeper almost always require ending life in his name. They range from breaking a rabbit’s neck to beheading multiple sentient creatures, depending on the importance of the rite.
Shrines: The Keeper’s shrines are constructed of stone, and many are underground, in tombs, or both. Personal shrines often include a decorated skull.
Favored Weapon: Scythe.
Holy Symbol: A Khyber dragonshard in the general shape of a fang.


“The Sovereign of Betrayal and Bloodshed,”
Neutral Evil
This evil deity, known in some circles as the Betrayer, is brother to Dol Arrah and Dol Dorn. 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 (Player’s Guide to Eberron 108), keep him in their prayers.
Portfolio: Combat, dishonor, murder, terror, treachery.
Domains: Destruction, Domination‡, Evil, Illusion‡, Trickery, War.
Priest Training: Priests of the Mockery must know betrayal personally, and thus must bring to ruin someone close to them before entering the priesthood. They are also expected to learn something of anatomy and surgery.
Quests: The Mockery’s adherents often exact bloody vengeance on those who have wronged them or their god. They also seek to destroy the priesthoods of both Dol Arrah and Dol Dorn—corrupting a priest of either god earns the Mockery’s highest favor.
Prayers and Rites: The Mockery is often invoked just before a killing, whether through assassination or armed combat. Sacrifices usually consist of things valued by the petitioner’s enemies, perhaps a trusted weapon or beloved mount.
Shrines: The Mockery’s shrines are downright ghastly, more charnel pits than temples. Bloody chains dangle from the ceiling, and the walls are hung with strips of skin. Rather than cleaning up blood spilled in the god’s name, priests treat it chemically to retain its fresh color and viscosity, so that shrines seem literally coated in blood.
Favored Weapon: Kama.
Holy Symbol: Five blood-spattered tools, laid out in the rough shape of the divine Octogram of the Host.


“The Sovereign of Magic and Mayhem,”
Chaotic Evil
If Dol Arrah represents the light of the mortal soul, the Shadow is the darkness within. The literal shadow of Aureon, it acquired both sentience and godhood as the cosmic price paid by its creator for arcane knowledge. 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.
Portfolio: Arcane magic, consequence, corruption, darkness, duality.
Domains: Chaos, Darkness‡, Evil, Magic, Mind‡, Shadow*.
Priest Training: The Shadow’s priests must have some knowledge of both magic and the natural world, and many are equally proficient with both arcane and divine magic.
Quests: Followers quest to unearth ancient and forbidden lore, lead good people into temptation, or twist things of the natural world to suit selfi sh ends.
Prayers and Rites: The Shadow is invoked in the name of ambition or discovery, especially arcane insight. The god prefers offerings of great value, whether it be personal bloodletting or destroying a precious gem or magic item.
Shrines: The Shadow’s favored stone is obsidian, and it forms his highest temples. Though the glassy mineral is diffi cult to work, the priesthood’s facility with arcane magic makes the task of construction easier.
Favored Weapon: Quarterstaff.
Holy Symbol: A block of obsidian in the shape of a tower.


“The Sovereign of Chaos and Change,
Chaotic Neutral
The most mysterious of the Nine-and-Six, the Traveler is neither child nor parent to any other god in the collected pantheon. It is the only god said to walk the face of Eberron in body, as well as in spirit, but its mastery of form prevents any mortal from recognizing it. 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.
Portfolio: Chaos, deception, evolution, invention, transformation.
Domains: Artifice*, Celerity‡, Chaos, Charm‡, Creation‡, Liberation‡, Travel, Trickery.
Priest Training: The Traveler’s priests are consummate deceivers. Many were artisans or other inventors before donning the cloth of change.
Quests: Priests of the Traveler often go on long journeys, sometimes to deliver messages or objects, often to produce change by upsetting the social order in some way. At other times, they wander without apparent purpose. Some are called upon to adopt alternative identities, often for years at a time, to aid in their subversive efforts.
Prayers and Rites: Sacrifices to the Traveler require the petitioner to create something and then destroy that creation in the god’s name, thereby proving willingness to accept change and transformation. Nearly all Vassals pray to the Traveler before embarking on long or perilous voyages.
Shrines: Shrines to the Traveler have no consistent make or design. Each worshiper is expected to create a personal place of worship and to alter it regularly.
Favored Weapon: Scimitar.
Holy Symbol: An eight-pointed configuration of four crossed and rune-inscribed bones.


Like their brothers, sisters, and parents in the Host, the gods of the Six hold sway over broad aspects of mortal life. The difference between the two pantheons, however—and part of the reason for the Schism that separates them to this day—is that the Six hold dominion over the more base, sinister, or violent aspects of creation. Where Arawai is a nature goddess who brings fertility and good harvests, her brother the Devourer represents the awesome power of nature unleashed, bringing storm and flood to those who displease or disrespect him or his charge. Likewise Dol Arrah is a god of honorable combat whose brother, the Mockery, represents all that is treacherous and dishonorable in conflicts.
As creation is itself a balance, so too the one pantheon cannot exist without the other. Indeed, the chief dogma espoused by followers of the Six is identical to that of the so-called Sovereign Host, though they do not much care for the term “Doctrine of Universal Sovereignty”: As is the world, so are the gods. As are the gods, so is the world. Like their fellow Vassals, followers of the Six also believe that nothing exists in this world without the attention of the gods. The primary difference is that they focus on the darker or more explosive aspects of existence.
Most of those who stand with the Six direct the bulk of their worship to a single god rather than to the pantheon as a whole. This separates them from their fellow Vassals in an important way, since worshipers of the Host are strongly encouraged to keep all the gods in their hearts. (Indeed, Host congregations find religious focus so unusual that they view narrowminded Vassals as schismatic to the faith, referring to them as “Disciples” rather than Vassals.) By this reckoning, a great many followers of the Dark Six would be considered Disciples for their devotion to but one or, in some cases, two gods of the pantheon.


It is common knowledge that the gods of the Dark Six are known by titles, most of which elicit fear if not revulsion at their mere mention, rather than proper names. A great deal more rare, especially since the end of the Last War, is the truth about these exiled deities … and their names.
Before the Schism, all the gods were as one single family. Those who would become the Dark Six held dominion over the angrier, more primal aspects of creation, but were no less important or powerful than their kin. The Devourer did not change his personality or portfolio upon being exiled; he merely changed his name, or to be more precise, had it stripped from him. One of the greatest successes of the Sovereign church was the complete erasure over the course of time of records pertaining to the names of the Six, and the gradual replacement of those names with titles chosen to instill fear. In this manner, early Vassals could better distance their gods (and thus,
themselves) from those whom their deities had cast out. By the close of the Last War, very few individuals recalled the names that once passed through the lips of so many who walked the face of Eberron.
Until it was stripped from him, in part by his own brother and sister, the entity now known as the Devourer had a name, and that name was Shurkaan. His daughter, too, had a name, given to her by her mother Arawai (if legend holds true), before losing all sense of identity to the power of her new moniker, the Fury. For a brief time, she was called Szorawai. Even the lord of death once had a name, back when he walked beside his brother, Kol Korran. In those days long gone, the Keeper was called Kol Turrant. And last but not least, before he was flayed for his betrayal, the Mockery—one of a trio of divine brothers in arms—was known as Dol Azur.
These are the only established names found in references stretching back to antiquity. Being once a part of Aureon, the Shadow has never known nor needed any other name, and the Traveler has had so many names and faces over the millennia that if it ever had a true name, that name has been lost to time. Knowing anything of these ancient names requires access to ancient scriptural texts or encyclopedic religious knowledge. Each name requires a separate DC 25 Knowledge (religion) check or a DC 30 Knowledge (history) check.


According to Vassal dogma, the soul is the fragment of the divine that allows sentient life to exist, and this tenet holds true across the breadth of the followers of the Nine-and-Six. Unlike those who place the bulk of their faith in the Sovereign Host, however, vassals of the Dark Six (in whole or part) generally do not believe that the mortal soul—any soul—loses what small divinity it has over the course of time. They hold that it is not the weight of mortality that prevents a soul from finding paradise, or returning to the gods, or even remaining on Eberron upon bodily death. Rather, such determinations are made exclusively at the whim of the gods, and thus, it is their will alone that decides which souls will be shown paradise, which souls will be returned to Eberron, and which souls will be sent to the Realm of the Dead, to eke out eternity in bleakness. On this point, the true depth of the schism between Vassals comes to light: Those who place their faith in the Dark Six believe that the afterlife of Dolurrh is absolutely a place of punishment, rather than a plane simply devoid of divinity.
Most Vassals know of the Keeper, and of his purported role in the cosmos. Among the god’s faithful, however, he is also known as the Opener or, more commonly, as the Guardian of Gates. Sovereign doctrine tells that he snatches souls at random, and that they are annihilated utterly, without even the hope for everlasting “life” in Dolurrh. Believers in the Dark Six know differently. The Keeper’s true mandate is ferrying souls to their proper afterlife, as determined by the collected gods of the pantheon. If it is shown to be sufficiently godsfearing, a given soul finds its way to paradise, courtesy of the Keeper. If the same soul has led a life of arrogance and heresy, however, it finds it way to the eternal nothingness of Dolurrh—the only destination it has earned. While the Keeper alone does not decide fates, his vote carries the most weight, and thus, those who would avoid Dolurrh direct their prayers to him.


Vassals of the Dark Six are convinced that only by obeisance to the gods can a soul hope to escape an empty eternity. They believe that, contrary to what they consider Sovereign Host propaganda, there is an alternative to Dolurrh—it simply comes at a price, one that Sovereign Vassals have proven themselves too cowardly or ignorant to pay. So, those individuals have comforted themselves with a lie: There is no escaping Dolurrh; happiness is found only in life, not after; and—most important—happiness
is ensured by honoring the Host.
The power of such teachings is significant. For a priesthood that interprets and speaks for the gods, an overwhelming doctrine of obeisance helps to keep worshipers
in line. Vassals of the Dark Six caution that one must always remember that doctrine is a tool. Viewed in that light, its rationale is often easy to discern.

Servants of the Dark Six

As with most faiths, the average priest of the Dark Six, or of any god therein, isn’t a cleric per se. Among the Six, service comes in many forms, and most worshipers are content to do the work of the divine, without training for an adventuring class. Of those who choose to become spellcasting priests, the majority end up with levels in the adept class, which hosts a broad selection of the abilities and skills most often required by a congregation. The most devout go on to take one or more cleric levels.


While the roles and duties fulfilled are similar enough between the two pantheons, priests of the Six come to their calling in a more primal, less academic fashion than those of the Host. Acolytes of the faith rarely attend formal seminaries, as do their Sovereign counterparts. Instead, acolytes find their own way to the priesthood, at least in the early years. This process usually involves one of two approaches.
A fair number of those who join the priesthood of the Dark Six begin their lives dedicated to other vocations. All who come to the priesthood in this manner share a common thread: A single formative event (or series of events) shakes an individual’s soul to the core, forcing him to reevaluate his life, particularly on the subject of his own piety. Each such incident is unique, but more often than not, it involves the mortal soul awakening to the majesty and divine power of one or more of the Dark Six. A sailor who felt no desire to serve, for example, might come to the priesthood of the Devourer following a particularly harrowing episode at sea. When spiritual epiphanies of this sort lead souls into a priesthood of the Dark Six, they are known as callings. This calling is an important part of a given priest’s experience under the cloth, and stories of the callings of some of the more well-known priests have passed into the realm of folklore.
The alternative to the priest who is called to serve is the one who is raised in the priesthood of a given deity. This is a far more frequent occurrence in communities that worship only one among the Six. Such communities are commonplace on Eberron, so priests of this sort are similarly common. The sahuagin, for example, are almost exclusively devoted to the Devourer, and thus most sahuagin priests know no other way. The individual who forsakes the god of the community not only to worship but to join the priesthood of another god—even one of the same pantheon—is rare and bold indeed. Among the followers of the Six, priests who are groomed to the faith from childhood are typically known as scions.
Proof of being worthy to serve varies from church to church, and often from region to region, but a handful of practices have become standard across the faith. For example, almost every priesthood of the Dark Six, no matter how small, requires that any would-be priest show her faith before being accepted into the ranks. A temple to the Mockery might ask an acolyte to mortify her own or another’s flesh in a certain way, to demonstrate her understanding of pain, or even to take a life in her god’s name before being welcomed as a priest. Some temples require similar tests of established priests, but if an applicant’s reputation proceeds her (or if she receives a strong recommendation from a high priest of another temple), such rites are usually formalities at best, when they occur at all.


Given the varied nature of the collected priesthoods of the Six, no rigorous hierarchy could possibly govern the entire faith. Instead, such hierarchies, if any, are determined by the individual priesthoods themselves. A local hierarchy consists of the high priest or temple head, below whom stands everyone and everything else. Most priests (and worshipers) of the Dark Six live by a “might makes right” ideal, and the system generally works well (an unsuitable high priest is soon replaced by
a more resourceful one). The most powerful leader in a given area is the de facto high priest, who sets policy and directs the spiritual progress of the congregation.
Priests do not interfere in the affairs of other Dark Six congregations, except in highly specific situations, and most find this situation perfectly acceptable. While such insular autonomy results in a worldwide lack of unity, cooperation, and effectiveness, this is deemed an acceptable price by those in command.
In areas where worship of a particular god is especially strong, the priesthood breaks into liturgical councils, similar to those found among worshipers of the Sovereign Host. Typically, these councils fall under the auspices of a single high priest, but they offer an efficient compromise in areas that need a bit more structure. Only rarely does voting of any sort occur, even in the most liberal of priesthoods. The high priest sits atop the organization—by divine mandate, according to dogma—and has sole discretion to appoint council members. In some cases, the council has the power to outvote or even depose the high priest, and so even the most iron-fisted temple head must treat appointees with a modicum of political aplomb, or at least take care in whom she selects.
The nations of Darguun and Droaam both maintain multiple liturgical councils dedicated to the various gods of the Dark Six. Unlike those of the Host, which claim to represent their entire pantheon, each council of the Six is almost always devoted to a single god. This can lead to strained relations and conflicting annunciations
of doctrine in areas where worship of more than one is strong. As with most matters, these disputes are settled in time by the mightier of the combatants.


A priest of the Dark Six is similar to one of other faiths. Duties include not only those described for priests of the Host—conducting holy day rites, counseling the faithful, leading prayer services, and spreading the word—but also the following.
Mediation: In many communities where worship of the Six is dominant, the local priest is the only one to whom the average citizen can turn for objective advice. Just as the community must recognize a marriage that has been sanctioned by a priest, so too must it abide by any agreements or outcomes witnessed by one. This makes priests fine arbitrators in disputes (so long as they don’t involve the priesthood itself, of course), and some priests even act as the equivalent of House Sivis notaries.
Protecting the Faith: This is a subtle but important aspect of being a priest of the Dark Six. Worship of the Six is discouraged in some places, shunned in others, and flat-out under attack in a select few. As deities, the Dark Six inspire fear and obedience, and their mortal representatives are expected to encourage those qualities in worshipers. While priests of the Six see little to be gained in forcing worship among the masses, they are honor-bound to stand in defense of their god and its portfolio. A priest of the Mockery who catches someone maligning her deity’s power and influence, for example, is obliged to prove by her own deeds the true power and influence of the god. This is not to say that every priest of the Six whose faith is slighted must immediately attack the slighter, but spreading fear of the Dark Six strengthens the faith as a whole.
Unlike their counterparts in the Sovereign Host, priests of the Dark Six rarely make their office visibly apparent at all times. Especially in areas where worship of their gods is not dominant, priests of the Six are free to wear any attire they choose and bear no outward sign of their devotion. Clerics cannot cast some divine spells without the presence of a holy symbol, however, so these priests usually opt to carry one with them at all times, even if it is concealed. When inside their own temples, of course, priests wear whatever costume is appropriate to their worship. In emulation of their patron, priests of the Traveler adopt whatever attire they like, even within their temples—indeed, a substantial number choose to wear nothing at all.

Fallen Priests

The informality and deadly competition inherent in Dark Six worship means fewer situations that merit formal defrocking. Only the most egregious violations of a priest’s duties earn this punishment. More often, a wayward priest of the Six forfeits her life, not just her office.
The usual situation is an individual deciding that her current office and practices do not properly honor her god. She is still a faithful worshiper but is now outside the faith as an organization, setting up independent worship in far-off lands or evangelizing a breakaway sect. She has not forsaken her god, though, and does not lose
her cleric abilities. Indeed, other followers of the Six do not view her as an apostate. Some might even adopt her new ideas.
Only one thing is guaranteed to bring the wrath of the church and of the gods. A priest of any or all of the Six who turns away or stands idle as her patron is mocked displays a despicable weakness of faith. Even if it entails great risk, the faithful must demonstrate and defend the gods’ power. A priest who behaves so shamefully is likely to die at the hands of her own flock. Unless she has a greater end that justifies temporary retreat, such behavior usually results in the loss of cleric abilities (assuming the priest survives).


Formal questing is unusual among priests of the Dark Six. Rather, the faithful are expected to demonstrate the gods’ power through their actions. Individual gods require specific forms of respect, but rarely do they assign adventuring quests of the sort that favored by the Church of the Silver Flame, for example.

Rites and Rituals of the Dark Six

Like the Vassals of the Sovereign Host, worshipers of the Six believe that every feature of the natural world bears at least a shadow of the divine, and is therefore worthy of reverence. The difference, however, comes in the manner, application, and some would say even the definition of that reverence. According to Vassals of the Dark Six, the gods want the mortal world to fear and respect their power; people must realize that peace and happiness come by the grace of the gods alone, and that both can be taken away at any time by those same gods. Failure to show the proper reverence is an insult to the gods, inviting disaster or misfortune.


Prayer is the most common form of ritual, since it can be done anywhere, at any time. Most worshipers of the Dark Six offer prayers after having escaped misfortune of one sort or other. For example, spotting an assassin just before he attacks, thereby denying him the benefit of surprise, would be an appropriate situation for a prayer to the Mockery. Such prayers aren’t invoked to avoid impending misfortune, however. If there is enough time to consult the Six beforehand, the worshiper should
make the proper offering that characterizes a minor or major rite.
Prayers to the Dark Six are vocalized, as are those to the Host. Unlike those to the Sovereign Host, though, these can include gestures and the like. The line that separates prayer from rite is offering. Someone who offers or sacrifices something to the Dark Six is performing a ritual, not speaking a prayer. Traditionally, prayers to the Dark Six are chanted, and the cadence is often just as important as what is being said. According to dogma, the Dark Six are pleased not only by the sound of their
names on the lips of believers, but especially by adherence to ritual even in such a small form. Many faithful followers grow competent with extemporaneous rhyme,
though actual singing is viewed with suspicion and is reserved for specific occasions.

Minor Rites

Among followers of the Dark Six, a minor rite is defined as anything that involves an offering but does not require a priest. Beyond this, what characterizes a minor rite is the occasion that demands it in the first place. Making a request of one of the Dark Six is, almost by definition, a rite. A word of thanks for a pleasing happenstance does not require offering anything in return. On the other hand, asking favors of the gods requires a commensurate sacrifice that shows good faith and humility.
Most such rites involve a material offering of one sort or other—whatever is appropriate to the god and situation in question. The sacrifice must have meaning, but need not necessarily be something of great worth; the circumstances are the ultimate arbiter. An athlete seeking victory in an upcoming contest might run himself ragged the day before in deference to the Fury, in the hope that she will grant him the strength to emerge victorious.
An assassin hoping to ensure the eternal suffering of her target’s soul might trap a cat in burlap sack and then set both on fire as an offering to the Keeper. A political advisor might burn a spell scroll in the Shadow’s name to see that a rival advisor missteps in court.

Major Rites

Given the disparate multitudes that follow the Dark Six, only the broadest overview of the more important ceremonies can be presented. Most of them involve sacrifice of some variety, as the Six find offerings of this sort the most pleasing. While prayers and minor rites can usually be performed in any place, and often by just
a single worshiper, major rites typically require more in the way of space, participants, and resources, and are therefore planned and organized more carefully. Due to religious persecution, particularly in some areas of the Five Nations, many major rites take place in secret, often away from the community or even underground, to better ensure the security of those taking part.
Birth: While it is not a common occurrence, worshipers of the Dark Six do celebrate births from time to time; when they do, the event is signifi cant. Every Vassal has the right to celebrate any addition to the household, but all are expected to keep such celebrations private. The exception is when a priest of the Dark Six foretells a great future for a newborn child and brings news of the child’s fate to the parents. The birth of such a special child is celebrated by the entire community, particularly those who pray to the same god as the parents, and is often a drawn-out, extravagant affair. The priest begins by spreading word of the child’s blessing (often by a particular god of the Six) and organizing the rite. All who know and worship with the parents are expected to attend and bring an offering. The infant is wrapped in ceremonial garb appropriate to the favoring deity, then placed on the altar for all to see. The priest burns the collected offerings while praying over the child, until all that remains are cooling ashes. At this time, the parents of the child each step forward and mix six drops of their blood into the ashes. With the resulting paste, the priest draws the symbol of the patron god (or the Six as a whole) on the child’s back, that he might walk with the power of the divine behind him all his days.
Coronations: Liturgical blessings of rulers have been waning for some time in the worship of the Sovereign Host, but the practice is still important to the faithful of the Dark Six. Indeed, coronations in Dark Six communities that proceed without the assent of a priest of the Six are considered inauspicious. Few would-be leaders are willing to take the chance of offending the gods, and thereby condemning their reigns to failure or worse, by forgoing the traditional rite of coronation. Although it might be dressed in a number of variations, the ceremony itself almost always involves two things. First, the would-be ruler must prove his worth to the gods. Most often, this requires a substantial sacrifice—a precious item, a portion of his blood, a favored mount, or the like. Whatever is offered, it must have real value to the new ruler, or it ceases to have meaning and so turns the ritual into an insult.
In some cases, worth is instead demonstrated by a test; single combat (often with a deadly beast) is common, especially among the more savage peoples (goblinoids, sahuagin, and the like). Such duels need not be to the death but almost always are.
The second aspect common to Dark Six coronations is the ritual humbling of the new ruler. Once he has proven his worth, the aspirant kneels before the priest conducting the rite, offers up his weapon, and bares his throat. Most of the time, this gesture is symbolic, but in some particularly religious areas, the priest actually has the right to end the new ruler’s life, should the subject be deemed unworthy.
Death: With a handful of notable exceptions, deaths are celebrated like nothing else. Whereas funerals are somber affairs among Vassals of the Sovereign Host, they are festive occasions among the faithful of the Dark Six. Because they believe that their faith ultimately saves them from an eternity in Dolurrh, they do not view death with despair. Funerals often draw the congregation’s members closest to one another. All rejoice and lift their voices, hoping that the Keeper will hear their appreciation for their fallen brother or sister. That does not mean the faithful should deny their sadness at a loved one’s passing, but they should try to remember that the soul served the gods well and has gone on to its final reward.
War: Among worshipers of the Dark Six, combat is a common and important part of life. Almost every congregation devoted to one of the Six has at least one major ritual to commemorate the inauguration or culmination of important military campaigns. The occasion can vary in scope from the largest of confl icts, involving the entire nation, to local feuds, even between a mere two rivals.
Smaller conflicts do not merit grand war ceremonies unless one or both of the combatants is a priest, noble, or other important public figure. In many areas, particularly where worship of the Fury or the Shadow is strong, rulership changes as a result of mortal combat. The war rite precedes the combat, with the rite of coronation to follow, should the challenger emerge victorious.

The Calendar

Like the Vassals of the Sovereign Host, the faithful of the Dark Six use the standard Galifar calendar in day-to-day life. Unlike their counterparts, however, they see no need to account differently for days of religious significance. Using the standard calendar is not only more effi cient, it more easily allows Dark Six worshipers
to conceal the nature of their rites and activities, should they feel inclined to do so.
There is one difference, however, and one to which Dark Six Vassals religiously adhere. Like the Sovereign calendar, the Dark Six calendar differs in the
number of seasons recognized. Rather than three, it recognizes six different seasons: one for each deity of the pantheon. These seasons are known by differing names, depending upon the regional language, but each term translates roughly to the concept for which the god in question is known.
The first season, called Devouring, corresponds to the months of Zarantyr and Olarune (mid- to late winter) on the standard calendar. The second season, called Keeping, occupies the months of Therendor and Eyre (early to mid-spring). Traveling, which falls in the months of Dravago and Nymm (late spring to early summer), is followed by Mockery, a season occupying the months of Lharvion and Barrakas (mid- to late summer). The fifth season, named Fury, encompasses the months of Rhaan
and Sypheros (early to mid-autumn). The final season, Shadowing, claims the months of Aryth and Vult (late autumn to early winter). Each season is eight weeks long, and the religious new year, like the secular, corresponds with the first day of the month of Zarantyr.
When naming a specif c day, someone using the religious calendar of the Dark Six would also indicate
the season. For example, saying Zolday the fifth Devouring indicates the Zolday that falls during the fifth week of the season of Devouring. The faithful rarely use this terminology around nonbelievers.
In addition to this seasonal division, a less widespread alteration of the liturgical calendar— seen mostly in areas where worship of the Dark Six is strongest— associates each of the standard days of the week with one of the gods, with the final day of the week representing all six. This is a holdover from the days before the Schism, when the Six held dominion over their own days of the

Sovereign calendar.
Galifar Week Day of the Associated Deity
Sulday The Devourer
Molday The Fury
Zolday The Keeper
Wirday The Shadow
Zorday The Mockery
Farday The Traveler
Sarday The Dark Six

As with the Sovereign Host, some gods of the Dark Six have their own holy days, observed according to the Galifar Calendar.
Wildnight (18–19 Sypheros): At sunset on Wildnight, worshipers and the nonfaithful alike give vent to their passions, in a raucous festival dedicated to the Fury.
Long Shadows (26–28 Vult): Dark magic dominates this three-day period that honors the Shadow.

The Dark Six In Everyday Life

While the Sovereign Host is still the dominant religion on Khorvaire, the political and military strife of the Last War was a crucible for the power of the Dark Six, who emerged stronger and more influential than they ever had been before. Today, worship of the Six is dominant in more places than the Host worshipers would care to admit, including Darguun, the Demon Wastes, Droaam, as well as areas of the Lhazaar Principalities, the Shadow Marches, and Q’barra. Many priesthoods of the Six remained passive before the war, content to worship in their own way, but most have taken an aggressively missionary view in the time since. All across postwar Khorvaire, the Six are spreading their influence through a host of means, including bribery, evangelism, manipulation, and fear.

The People of the Dark Six

While they accept the existence of the Nine, and even pay homage to specific gods thereof on occasion, the general feeling among followers of the Six is that the gods of the Sovereign Host simply are not as important to daily life as are the Dark Six. Kol Korran might have some influenceover whether a given business venture prospers or dies on the vine, but the Keeper decides just what will become of the souls of the people involved. Without the Keeper’s blessing, they believe, every venture is doomed to failure in the long run.
Worship of the Dark Six appeals to beings who live existences of savagery, poverty, or violence, but that fact has little bearing on the portfolios of the gods themselves. Even the most educated and wealthy soul can benefit from showing reverence to the Six, and a great many do—in secret. Still, the need to worship in secrecy makes the faith no less genuine.
Many of those who worship the Six revere but a single god. This holds most true in barbaric cultures and among the monstrous races, many of whom do not know or care about the difference between one god and the pantheon as a whole. Among the dragonmarked races, worship of the Six is a matter of simple pragmatism. If the gods of the Host do not govern the angrier forces of existence, then logically those who wish to avoid misfortune would do well to appeal to those gods who do claim such dominion. Even Sovereign Host dogma acknowledges the purview of the Six.

The Dark Six and Government

A priest of the Six, asked about the influence of faith in government, might respond, “At least we are honest about the way the world works.” The priests of the Sovereign Host claim to have no designs on civil or political control, but the falsehood of this is apparent everywhere on Khorvaire. The beholden of the Dark Six hold that everything is connected, and thus, everything is permissible so long as the gods approve. If the gods do not want direct influence on political affairs, they will most assuredly put an end to the practice. After all, the Dark Six have never been shy about expressing their displeasure.
The influence of the Dark Six priesthoods is strongest where social bonds are tightest. A given priesthood can run the entire political structure of a small community. More insidiously, priests maneuver members of their congregations into positions of civil and military power. If the local baron or governor is a fellow worshiper, the likelihood dwindles substantially that someone will destroy the congregation.
This attitude is turned upside down in regions where worship of the Dark Six is the norm. Gnolls and goblinoids in Droaam, for example, operate openly under the priesthoods of the Six. In such areas, the influence of religion on political life is not only permitted—it is expected. The concept of the priest-king originated largely in areas strong in worship of the Dark Six, and the gods themselves seem to prefer it. Where this is not possible, the priesthood retains its role as the whisper in the night.

The Dark Six and Other Faiths

At the dawn of the Last War, priests of three of the Six—the Fury, the Mockery, and the Shadow—met in secret for the first time. They had maintained little to no contact with one another before the war (even those of the same deity), but now convened with one aim: to increase the power of their gods through the war of five nations. Each priest pledged a congregation to serve this goal as best befit its capabilities. What began as a wartime practice developed into a bold new campaign to advance the hegemony of the Six and their priesthoods.
This movement translated to a two-tiered approach; both tiers, as might be expected, involved deception to a greater or lesser degree. The first step was to insinuate devout members of each priesthood into every corner of the conflict, from the front lines to the war rooms. The priests found plenty of volunteers among their congregations.
Since all of the Five Nations were hungry for new blood, such volunteers integrated with little scrutiny. Most had only one assignment: spreading fear and worship of their gods. (Reporting the activities of the infiltrated groups would surely have resulted in discovery before long.) Soldiers prayed to the Fury in combat, and those who survived thanked her for heeding their call; assassins and spies called on the Mockery before dangerous missions, and then credited any subsequent success to their faith. Likewise, spellcasters invoked the Shadow to aid them in their time of arcane need. It wasn’t long before people associating with these agents began to follow suit, if for no other reason than “better safe than sorry”—a popular sentiment in desperate times.
The second step involved the priests themselves, who were in the best position to administer the effort from the safety of their homes and temples. They took responsibility for seeing to the needs of the families of war dead, and not just those of their own congregations. For the first time, temple funds and resources went to assisting those outside the congregation, even to those who worshiped only the Sovereign Host, in the interest of long-term benefit. The priesthoods of the three gods spent a great deal of money during the war, in effect buying the faith—or at least the allegiance—of many new converts. Ironically, this subtle integration earned great success—just like the tradition of the Sovereign Host.
Thanks to these efforts, the names of the Dark Six were on the lips of just about everyone in those grim days, even trusted figures such as ship captains and battalion commanders. This greatly reduced the social stress of letting slip a forbidden name, thereby spreading the one thing the priests desired above all else: acceptance. By the time the war ended, the cabal of priests had managed to make offering prayers to the Fury, the Mockery, and the Shadow a common practice.
This brief sense of unity and cooperation began to fade even before the war had ended. By the time of Cyre’s destruction in 994 YK, most of the priests who had attended the original conclave were either dead or defrocked, often at the hands of subordinates who saw betrayal in such diversion of precious resources. Today, that liturgical league—never very numerous to begin with—has all but disintegrated. A few priests yet strive to maintain relations with the few similarly minded scions who remain in other temples across Khorvaire.

Specific Attitudes

The worshipers of the Dark Six are as varied as those of any other faith. The following points summarize the archetypal views of the faith as a whole toward Eberron’s other religions. Just remember that these are stereotypical attitudes, not rigid dictates.
The Sovereign Host: Despite what some of my fellow faithful might say, the Nine are equally as important to the balance of the world as are the Six—just not as important to me.
Church of The Silver Flame: You cannot be serious. A cult that asks its adherents to accept as law the mortal interpretation of a “divine voice” none can hear? And to think they call us deceivers!
Druidic Sects: I once heard tell of a peasant boy whose sole dream in life was to become a squire to a great knight. When asked why he didn’t dream of becoming a knight himself, the boy replied, “How could one such as I hope for such things?” The boy would have made a fine druid.
The Blood of Vol: Children who will never know the error of their ways until they stand face to face with the Keeper—by which time it will be far too late.
Other Sects: When beings of such power and magnitude as the gods exist, why would one waste time giving one’s faith and obeisance to a mere idol or to a beast, even one as mighty as a dragon? As powerful as they are, such beings can still be felled by blade and bow—the last time I checked, one could not say the same of a god.

The Dark Six in the Last War

The disparate priesthoods of the Dark Six spoke with equally disparate voices during the war. Though issues of nationality and territory overtook those of religion, worshipers of the Six did not let their prayers and obligations slide. The war reinvigorated their faith, particularly in the Fury, the Mockery, and the Shadow, whose congregations expanded greatly during and as a result of the Last War.
The influence of the remaining three dark deities also increased. One sage observed, “War is the preferred environment for the exiled gods, and who among us believes they would not choose to make it the preferred state of ourselves as well?” Regardless of which side’s ranks swelled the fastest during the war, the influence of the Devourer, the Keeper, and the Traveler continued to grow. Desperation and suspicion are the children of war, and wherever they appear, hushed prayers to these gods are sure to follow. Sailors increased their prayers to the Devourer tenfold, to insure calm waters and victorious battles at sea; soldiers whispered pleas to the Keeper to spare them painful death or empty afterlife (or both), as priests of the Keeper walked the sidelines of every major battle; and all those who journeyed to meet strangers in battle many leagues from home kept the Traveler in their hearts in the hope of safety until they could return. By the time of the Treaty of Thronehold, the Dark Six had grown more influential than any among the Five Nations could have guessed.

Temples and Shrines Of the Dark Six

Temples to the Dark Six are as varied as are the worshipers themselves. Most are built of stone, to better safeguard them and their inhabitants from would-be aggressors, but some use wood (particularly those devoted to the Devourer) or are carved from the very earth. A given temple’s visibility depends on the community’s attitude toward the god in question. Few temples to any of the Six (with the exception of the Traveler, in some areas) exist openly in good-aligned communities. The local shrine operates in secret, often underground or in a seemingly innocuous warehouse or private home. Most are blocky, even fortresslike, with few outward signs of their true purpose.
Given this need for secrecy, temples of the Dark Six are not required to have any specific layout or number of floors. All the same, the number six is an oft-repeated theme, and congregations with substantial resources build temples with six floors, six wings (often one hall of worship and five adjoining sections), six rooms per floor, or in rare cases, some or all of the above.
Each god has an associated color, as shown below, which dominates the look of any temple. The exception to this rule is the Traveler, whose priesthood claims no single color for its deity. Indeed, Traveler priests alter their temples on a regular basis, including their colors.

Deity Associated Color
The Devourer Green
The Fury Red
The Keeper Gray
The Mockery Brown
The Shadow Black
The Traveler None

The only two colors that almost never appear in temples to the Dark Six are blue and gold—the traditional colors of the Sovereign Host.
Dark Six temples are practical and efficient. Most contain a hall of worship, an open area that serves as general-purpose chapel, sacrificial chamber, and common rectory. Beyond the hall of worship are the temple’s ancillary chambers. In larger temples, these occupy separate wings and contain many rooms. In smaller structures, the hall of worship is the centerpiece of a single building and connects directly to the other rooms and halls.
Like those who worship the Host, the priesthoods of the Six actively seek out temple sites in areas that have yielded dragonshards. Unlike the priests of the Nine, however, they are interested in Khyber dragonshards as well. They see as a sign of great favor a location that bears Eberron dragonshards on the surface and Khyber shards beneath. Even monstrous worshipers who cannot benefit from dragonmarks keep this tradition, if only for the obvious monetary benefits of such discoveries. Though most Dark Six temples are not on sites of dragonshard discoveries, each priesthood tries to build at least one “flagship” temple that is so favored.
Shrines to the Dark Six are often personal affairs, honoring whatever deity or deities are most important to the builders. Most are small, usually built into or around existing structures, and might not be obvious places of worship. Even the smallest shrine has an altar, but some are retractable or can be otherwise concealed to prevent
unwanted discovery.

Orders and Monasteries

The individualistic nature of Dark Six worship means that no formal orders exist, and monastic discipline is rare. One order of monks, the Flayed Hand, serves the Mockery. These fanatics are renowned for their unflinching dedication to the skinless god and to a belief system known as the path of pain.
The order’s members ritually mutilate themselves (and others), and work to spread fear and treachery among the Vassals of the Host. Most are so consumed with their ideology that they truly believe the Mockery to stand above all other deities, and even those who also pray to other gods do so only rarely. The sect is infamous for performing assassinations with cold efficiency.
Two examples are the FORGE OF THE SACRED SPARK and a SAHUAGIN TEMPLE OF THE DEVOURER from the Faiths of Eberron supplement.

Variant Sects

Worship of the Dark Six isn’t a single, monolithic organization, so only truly exceptional concepts are considered to be “variant.” Followers of the Six respect (or at least understand) all those who keep the gods in their prayers, and even unconventional sects go largely ignored. The following are examples of sects whose ideologies and activities are extreme or controversial.
The Cabinet of Faces: An order of doppelgangers and changelings, this group’s members believe that they are the true children of the Traveler. The motives of the Cabinet are always mysterious, and the sect might prove to be an unexpected ally or a deadly foe. More information about the Cabinet of Faces can be found in Races of Eberron.
Creation’s Muse: This mysterious sect of deceivers venerates the Traveler in its capacity as great creator. Sect dogma maintains that the Traveler created all the other gods, either directly or indirectly (such as by inspiring the Devourer with the urge to sire a child), and that it is therefore the greatest of all deities. Cultists credit the Traveler with just about every significant discovery, including the creation of the warforged. They bear a special disgust for the Scions of the Forge and actively work to ruin those warforged followers of Onatar. Creation’s Muse comprises a wide variety of members, of many different races and classes, all of whom work in secret to bestow the “gifts of the Traveler” upon the other sentient races. The sect is also rumored to be in constant search of their god, whom they believe walks among them.
The Sacred Spark: One of the smallest and least known of all religious sects, the Sacred Spark exists on the fringe of both the Sovereign Host and the Dark Six, dedicated to the worship of a single god from each. Acolytes of the Spark revere both Onatar and the Fury, in whom they see two faces of the same divine force. The greatest mortal achievements come not by the grace of Onatar alone, but through him by means of the Fury’s passion. Likewise, the passion of the Fury is useless without both context and focus—a fire with nothing to consume but itself. Vassals of the Host find the Spark dangerous, its members a bit unhinged; worshipers of
the Fury consider its existence a blasphemy upon her holy name.
Schismatics: Rather than maintaining a sect of their own, schismatics can be found among worshipers of the Dark Six all over the world. They believe that the Schism was a divine blessing: The Six truly are a separate pantheon now and can rise up against the Nine, should they find the power. As a rule, schismatics are very devout. They discourage excessive worship of only one among the Six, as it weakens the unity of the pantheon and its followers, and they work to thwart those sects that place one god above the rest. Schismatics believe that worship of all the Dark Six strengthens the pantheon as a whole, and that once enough worshipers have united in their faith, the Six will conquer their former accusers.


The prestige class, Escalation Mage, is unique to followers of the Dark Six and focuses on it's dedication to The Shadow.
Other divine-themed prestige classes appropriate for worshipers of the Dark Six or one of its deities include the divine crusader, the stormlord (The Devourer), the temple raider of Olidammara (The Traveler; change deity name), and the acolyte of the skin (The Mockery). The first three appear in Complete Divine, the last in Complete Arcane.

Source: Faiths of Eberron

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