Before my Old Blog was whacked by mobsters because it was a snitch, Dramatis Personae was a retrospective of my iconic Non-Player Characters through the ages. I have been running D&D games since college and these characters were the ones I kept returning to session after session to pester, betray, and foil the Party.
Originally, the introduction below was part of a longer post that included details about Elle K. Brienne [d’ Medani], her sisters, and their friends and foes. I’ve decided to split this post up into trilogy beginning with Prologue, continuing with The Girl Detective, and ending with Elle’s Trivia.
These posts also provide a bit more background on my fanfic series about Elle and her friends- The Brienne Chronicles. I plan on returning to both Dramatis Peronsae and The Brienne Chronicles with my New Blog.
Complete Eberron is currently on long term hiatus.
There was a time long, long ago, when I actually played Keith Baker’s Eberron Campaign Setting. In this ur-period, my Gaming Group played in games under another Dungeon Master with a strict interpretation of the setting. During these games and pre-game sessions, I developed some of my earliest characters. These characters would eventually become iconic NPCs that bring life to the Eberron Multiverse.
While I played in only a handful of Eberron games, I found myself often discussing with the DM and Players in my Group the different possibilities for characters in the setting. The earliest of these concepts actually never saw play in an actual game. I don’t remember his name, but the character is a kalashtar psion expatriate, currently residing Aundair. In Aundair, he became an anti-monarchist pamphleteer. While I don’t have any iconic kalashtar character, the anti-monarchist pamphleteer archetype recurs in Complete Eberron: Demons in the form of the LEFT resistance movement. Eventually, that DM was able to finally arrange and plan a proper game. It was during this game I introduced my first iconic character in the Eberron Multiverse, the gnome barbarian cook “Gag” Great Spoon! “Gag” can only be described as a mentally ill, shell-shocked cannibal, because he was my first barbarian character. He often gets “ingredients” for his culinary catastrophes from the entrails of his enemies. “Gag” also happens to be an avid self-promoter, hoping to set up an independent brewery in Sharn, the famous Little Barbarian Breweries. In spite of (or because of) this fact, he became de facto Party Leader. That was the last Eberron game I ever played in to date. Then I came up with Xenophon Theodosius d’Thuranni (“Dragon”), who is an exile from his House, a world-class mathematician, and overly influenced by A Song of Fire and Ice by GRR Martin and Neal Stephenson’s epic Cryptonomicon. Unfortunately, Xenophon’s novella length backstory would lead to a falling out between my Group’s DM and I, inspiring me run my own Eberron games. My urge to play this character eventually led to Eberron Prime: Xen’drik, where the last iconic character is introduced by my friend/co-DM Yutakabareru, the mad inventor Ein Zeteil of Item Creation Corporation.
While Wizards of the Coast’s iconic characters fight, sneak, and blast their way through the hypothetical dungeons of the D&D Core, my iconic Eberron cast have multiple adventures in a complex multiverse, designed to offer the most out of the campaign setting. In each universe (“’verse”), they are reinterpreted to meet the demands of the game’s narrative, player input, and the DM’s whimsy. In this way, every interpretation and reinterpretation is “canon,” allowing for different versions of each character to inhabit the same space, not that this has happened in any of my games yet. For the purposes of explaining the backstories of these characters, I’ll keep this generalized, since there are some aspects of their lives I haven’t decided yet. I’ll explain their inspirations, their various interpretations, and their implementation in each game.
The Eberron Multiverse consists of at least three major universes, each with different backstories and explanations for The Day of Mourning. When I refer to a game, I also refer to which universe it takes place in. These universes are also numbered, showing the process of world-building that takes place during each game. Eberron Prime (Eberron 1.0) is the first Eberron universe and closest to Keith Baker’s material. It is created to allow a more open-ended play, which was shunned by the Group’s previous DM. There are two games in this world, Xen’drik, which introduces Ein Zeteil and Item Creation Corp., ending in the creation of his multiverse-traveling airship, and Sharn, which details the adventurers of two his employees in Khorvaire. Gestalt Eberron (Eberron 2.0) is the second Eberron universe, built utilizing the gestalt rules; it is predicated on the existence and production of more powerful magical items during The Last War. This universe has only one canonical game, Mecha, which is about a conspiracy to build sentai-inspired mecha to combat a threat to the entire world. Finally there is Complete Eberron (Eberron 3.0) much like the Ultimate Marvel Universe; it reinterprets a lot of the events and characters in my previous Eberron games. I am currently DMing two games in this universe. The Demons game is about a rag-tag band of troubleshooters, who routinely solve the problems of the characters they encounter, unfortunately they are also traveling with demonic entities. Morgrave University is a game that takes place a year before Demons, which is about the zany adventurers of the college’s students and faculty. In all these games, the iconic characters make appearances, working for or against the PC Party.
This post is the first in a series that will include the histories of Eleanor “Elle” Keyleth Brienne [d’ Medani], Xenophon Theodosius d’Thuranni (“Dragon”), “Gag” Great Spoon and Little Barbarian Breweries, and finally, Ein Zelteil, his airship, and Item Creation Corporation.