The Moons of Eberron
by Keith Baker
The sky of Eberron is full of wonders. The Ring of Siberys stretches over the equator, its glittering stones standing out even in the light of day. Sages trace images of celestial dragon patterns of the stars. And twelve moons circle the planet, filling the night sky with color and light.
This multitude of moons affects Eberron in many ways. While Zarantyr has the greatest influence over the tides of Eberron, each moon has its own impact on wind and water, and lunar conjunctions can have dramatic effects that can spawn adventures. A confluence of moons can pull back the waters, revealing ancient ruins along the shores of Xen’drik. Sailors speak of maelstroms that arise when Zarantyr eclipses Aryth — vast whirlpools that can draw a ship into the elemental oceans of Lamannia or the endless frozen sea of Risia. The sage Galeoin, who lived among the Serens, claimed that the moons influenced the tides of magic as well as water and that his barbaric hosts had learned to weave lunar power into their arcane rituals; however, the magi of the Arcane Congress have yet to find any solid evidence supporting Galeoin’s claims. A Dungeon Master could certainly decide that a particular ritual, magic item, or eldritch machine can be completed only during a particular conjunction of moons, or that a full moon can enhance the effects of a particular manifest zone.
Each moon has an “ascendant phase” — a 28-day period during which it is unusually bright. To date, scholars have found no natural explanation for this phenomenon, and it remains one of the mysteries of the skies. This cycle of radiance is the basis for the lunar calendar, and each month is named for the moon that is in its ascendant phase. Some stargazers claim that the ascendant moon has a profound impact on the skills and spirit of children born beneath it; a child born in the month of Zarantyr will be wild and mercurial, while a child of Therendor will be gentle and kind. Druids and rangers also believe that the ascendant moon can be a source of strength — that a child of Dravago has a special gift for calming animals when this moon is full in the sky. A Dungeon Master who wants to embrace this idea can provide a character with a single action point on a night when his ascendant moon is full; this can be used only for an action tied to the theme of his moon.
When the dragonmarks appeared, sages were quick to note the similarities between the powers of the marks and the mythic qualities of the moons. According to popular legend, each dragonmark first manifested during the month of its associated moon. One common belief is that a child born in the month of his mark has a greater chance of developing a powerful dragonmark, and superstitious dragonmarked couples often time pregnancies to end in the appropriate month. As there were once thirteen dragonmarks, some sages believe that there is a thirteenth moon that has either vanished or simply cannot be seen with the naked eye, and the existence of such a moon has been hinted at by dragons and carvings found in ruined Xen’drik. If this moon was once visible in the sky, it vanished long before the rise of human civilization, and the common races do not know its name or place in the heavens.
The Twelve Moons
Zarantyr, the Storm Moon
Color: Pearly white
Associated Dragonmark: Storm
Approximate Diameter: 1,250 miles
Approximate Mean Distance from Eberron: 14,300 miles
Zarantyr is the closest moon to Eberron, and it has the greatest effect on the planet’s tides. Superstition holds that there is a far greater chance of being struck by lightning when Zarantyr is full, and that bolts can fall from a clear sky. According to the druids, those born in the month of Zarantyr have a wild and tempestuous nature. Sometimes this translates to aggression, but it can also manifest as pure, unbridled energy; barbarians, fighters, sorcerers, and evokers may all feel a bond with the Storm Moon.
Olarune, The Sentinel
Color: Pale orange
Associated Dragonmark: Sentinel
Approximate Diameter: 950 miles
Approximate Mean Distance from Eberron: 22,500 miles
To the naked eye, the orange disk of Olarune seems to have a slight fringe that vaguely resembles the rim of a shield. The druids say that those born when Olarune is ascendant have a strong bond to community and to order, and a natural desire to protect others; superstition holds that more paladins are born in this month than any other. Scattered lycanthropes, especially weretigers, revere Olarune as a sort of demigoddess-protector.
Therendor, The Healer’s Moon
Color: Pale gray
Associated Dragonmark: Healing
Approximate Diameter: 1,100 miles
Approximate Mean Distance from Eberron: 39,000 miles
Therendor is the “brother moon” of Barrakas, sharing a similar but narrower orbit with the Lantern Moon. The Serens and druids maintain that natural medicines concocted when Therendor is full and Barrakas is new are more potent than normal. Those born in the month of Therendor are thought to be gentle and empathetic; priests, mediators, and healers often have Therendor as their ascendant moon.
Eyre, the Anvil
Associated Dragonmark: Making
Approximate Diameter: 1,200 miles
Approximate Mean Distance from Eberron: 52,000 miles
When Eyre is full, a keen-eyed observer can pick out on its surface a shadowy shape that vaguely resembles an anvil. According to druidic belief, those born under Eyre inherit a solid, practical nature and a gift for nature crafts. Some smiths will wait until Eyre is full to work on especially difficult projects, and House Cannith enclaves often hold celebrations when the Anvil is full in the sky.
Dravago, the Herder’s Moon
Color: Pale lavender
Associated Dragonmark: Handling
Approximate Diameter: 2,000 miles
Approximate Mean Distance from Eberron: 77,500 miles
Large and lavender, Dravago is a striking image in the sky. Its orbit typically keeps it at a distance from other moons, and old legends say that it is herding the rest and keeping them in motion. Children of Dravago are said to be more comfortable with animals and plants than with people — gifted herders, handlers, and farmers, but often awkward in social situations. Some say that stones from Dravago occasionally fall to Eberron, and alchemists have long claimed that this “purple dust of Dravago” holds remarkable magical properties.
Nymm, the Crown or King Nymm
Color: Pale yellow
Associated Dragonmark: Hospitality
Approximate Diameter: 900 miles
Approximate Mean Distance from Eberron: 95,000 miles
The golden disk of Nymm is most typically associated with royalty. Those born when Nymm is ascendant are said to be sociable and charismatic, gifted orators and con artists. The halflings of House Ghallanda frequently offer discounted rates at their hostelries on nights when “King Nymm” is in its full moon phase.
Lharvion, the Eye
Color: Dull white with black slit
Associated Dragonmark: Detection
Approximate Diameter: 1,350 miles
Approximate Mean Distance from Eberron: 125,000 miles
This moon features a 750-mile-long black chasm, and, when viewed from Eberron, the full disk of Lharvion resembles a slitted eye. Many superstitions exist about the baleful influence of this moon, and strange occurrences and calamities seem to happen when the Eye of Lharvion is full in the sky. The druids believe that children of Lharvion possess unnatural insights, and gifted diviners and researchers are often born in this month.
Barrakas, the Lantern
Color: Pale gray
Associated Dragonmark: Finding
Approximate Diameter: 1,500 miles
Approximate Mean Distance from Eberron: 144,000 miles
Barrakas is the brightest of Eberron’s moons, and hunters value its light when stalking prey at night. This “sister moon” of Therendor shares a similar (if wider) orbit and occasionally seems to hide behind her closer brother. On nights when Therendor eclipses Barrakas — “when Barrakas is shy” — sailors worry about getting lost at sea. Those born when Barrakas is ascendant are thought to be gifted hunters, but many also believe they have a knack for clarifying things that others find confusing. The son of Lharvion sees what others cannot see, while the daughter of Barrakas sheds light on that which is already in the open.
Rhaan, the Book
Color: Pale blue
Associated Dragonmark: Scribing
Approximate Diameter: 800 miles
Approximate Mean Distance from Eberron: 168,000 miles
The smallest of Eberron’s moons, Rhaan looks more like a bright star. When viewed with a spyglass, one may see a series of ridges that vaguely resemble scribblings on a page. The druids say that Rhaan empowers creative thought, and they believe that dancers, musicians, poets, and artists of all stripes draw inspiration from the Book.
Sypheros, the Shadow
Color: Smoky gray
Associated Dragonmark: Shadow
Approximate Diameter: 1,200 miles
Approximate Mean Distance from Eberron: 193,000 miles
Sypheros is a dim moon, and people often find it difficult to spot in the night sky. Recent observations using powerful spyglasses have confirmed that a jagged crack runs down the center of the moon, as if the moon is splitting in two. Many believe that children born in the month of Sypheros inherit a shifty, untrustworthy nature, and parents often seek to time pregnancies to avoid this month. However, the druids say that the children of Sypheros are not evil; rather, they are comfortable with the shadows and can face them without fear.
Aryth, the Gateway
Associated Dragonmark: Passage
Approximate Diameter: 1,000 miles
Approximate Mean Distance from Eberron: 221,000 miles
The black dragon Vvarrak told the first druids that Aryth has a similar effect on manifest zones as Zarantyr has on tides, and that particularly weak manifest zones appear only when Aryth is in its full moon phase. Some say that those born under this moon are restless folk, driven to travel and explore; Lhazaar, who led the first great migration from Sarlona to Khorvaire, is said to have been a child of Aryth.
Vult, the Warding Moon
Color: Gray and pockmarked
Associated Dragonmark: Warding
Approximate Diameter: 1,800 miles
Approximate Mean Distance from Eberron: 252,000 miles
Vult is the farthest moon from Eberron, and some legends say that it holds back forces that lurk out within the stars. The druids say that children of Vult are practical, careful folk who generally plan ahead and prepare for the worst; when disaster strikes, the children of Vult hold civilization together. In his study of the Serens, the sage Galeoin reported that the barbarians believe that Vult “devours” the spirits of deceased great wyrms that fail to attain godhood.
Lycanthropes and the Moons of Eberron
The full moon has a powerful effect on lycanthropes — and on Eberron, a shapeshifter may have to contend with the influence of multiple moons on a single night. A creature afflicted with lycanthropy changes involuntarily into animal form whenever one of the twelve moons is full. An afflicted creature can resist the involuntary transformation with a successful Control Shape check (see Monster Manual, page 303); however, for each additional full moon after the first, apply a -2 penalty to the check.
This means that an afflicted lycanthrope has to contend with the effects of the curse an average of nineteen nights of the month. Thus, rarely does an afflicted lycanthrope last a week before the curse takes hold and permanently alters her alignment.
Below is a link to the Eberron Calender Utility. Please make note however, that the moon phases that this utility tracks are by no means absolute. It is the aim of the party to shift the course of events and doing so may alter the orbits of one or more of the moons. This is merely posted as a reference, don’t plan your battles by it. :)