The polytheistic pantheon of the common races is known as the Sovereign Host. It encompasses six elder gods and a wide variety of lesser gods. The first of the elder gods, known as The Three Sisters, are:
- Illuvatar, First Elf, the Light Bringer
- Mora, First Dwarf, the Sky Hammer
- Maglubiyet, First Goblin, the Secret Keeper
The next three of the elder gods, the Three Brothers, are:
- Oalin, First Orc, the Great Druid
- Boccob, First Gnome, the Emerald God
- Arvoreen, First Halfling, the Protector of the Small
Most of the common races worship their creator, while paying respect to their peers as equally mighty deities. There are a variety lesser gods with their own complex histories. Some, such as the epic hero Corellon Larethian and his peers, are said to have been lifted up into divinity by the elder gods. Others are minor deities that have belonged to the Host since its inception. For instance, Ehlonna, the elven goddess of forests, is variously described as a student or lover of the Great Druid Oalin, and Hextor, the hobgoblin god of war and discord, is usually said to be the general of Maglubiyet who commanded her armies in the battles against the Titans.
The monstrous races typically have their own belief systems, which may or may not be integrated with the Sovereign Host. Religious scholars of the Host reject them out of hand, identifying the monstrous races as descendants of the Titans and their beliefs as blasphemous. In contrast, the human religions from across the Eastern Ocean are dismissed as alien beliefs that speak of another world.
The most prominent non-Sovereign religious tradition is that of the Sun worshipers of Dhakaan. While most claim descendant from Maglubiyet along with the goblins, a minority of hobgoblins follow what they call the “old ways,” which involve regular blood sacrifices to the Tonatiuh, the mover of the sun and the ruler of heaven. Scholars believe this religion originated in Droaam and point to its influences on contemporary Dhakaan, such as the title of the Blood Sun throne and the tendency of goblinoid architecture to align with solar movements.
The recorded history of Eberron stretches back nearly 10,000 years and is commonly divided by historians into five ages. Many have taken to calling the modern age the Age of Man, in deference the military successes and profound impact of the invaders from across the Eastern Ocean.
The Age of Dragons
Nearly every culture in Eberron, from the wolf-riders of Kalaalit to the dark elves of Tapuya, tell some variation of the same founding myth of the world. In the beginning, there was only formless chaos. From this void, the three great dragons emerged – Siberys, the Dragon Above, Khyber, the Dragon Below, and Eberron, the Dragon Between. These beings divided the world into the Astral Plane, the Shadow Plane, and the Material Plane. Siberys filled its realms with archons, angels, and other creatures of light and beauty, while Khyber created armies of demons and devils to counter them.
In the war that sprung between these powers, Eberron remained neutral, preferring to create a host of immortal beings to live in peace with one another in the natural world. Three of Eberron’s creations – Illuvatar, the First Elf, Maglubiyet, the First Goblin, and Mora, the First Dwarf – were the first to rise to godhood and create races of followers to worship them. Their creation stories and those of their peers, such as Oalin, the Great Druid and creator of the orcs, or Boccob, the peerless sorcerer and First Gnome, form the shared mythology of the common races.
Age of Titans
After an eternity, the three great dragons departed from this world to continue their struggle in another. For a time, the lesser gods stayed behind to watch over their mortal followers, until they, too, were called into the next world by their creators. The titans, the most powerful of the mortal creations, seized power in their absence. All the world was covered in endless ice and snow and the weaker mortal races cowered in their caves. Around this time, the orc legends tell of the formation of the Gatekeepers and the binding of the first seals.
The winter was long and brutal, but could not last forever. Eventually, a band of heroes led by Corellon Larethian, the demigod son of Illuvatar and a mortal elf, rose up to challenge the rule of the giants. Along with his allies Yondolla the Protector, Gruumsh the Fearless, Garl Glittergold the Trickster, Pelor the Blessed, and Nerull the Undying, the champions slew the Jotnar, Chieftan of the Giant-kin, and drove the winter from the land.
Age of Elves
Corellon and his allies ruled over all of Eberron for centuries of peace and harmony, until they were rewarded by the old gods with divine ascension from the mortal planes. Their successors founded the Cahokia Empire, a mighty nation ruled by a series of semi-mythical elven monarchs. The first written records of the elven people date to about 8,500 BCE with the creation of the Undying Court. Elven armies conquered most of the known world, from the Graywall mountains in the west to the frozen tundras of the north and as far south as the Tapuya River at the edges of the endless jungles. At their peak of expansion, early in the reign of Queen Sabariel (c. 4000 – 3500 BCE), a handful of elven explorers even crossed the Eastern Ocean and made contact with primitive human tribes.
The empire collapsed violently during the invasion of the Sea Peoples (c. 1200 – 1150 BCE), a mysterious race of barbarians who sailed out of the Eastern Ocean, raided and burned nearly every major elven city, and vanished from the historical record. In the long Dark Ages after that, Eberron saw wave after wave of migrations, the rise and fall of petty kingdoms, and widespread anarchy and destruction.
Age of Goblins
The first conqueror to establish a lasting dynasty was the hobgoblin Llesh Haruuc, who led the goblinoids south out of Droaam to found what would become the Dhakaani Empire around the year 300 CE. With superior bronze metallurgy and strict military discipline, Dhakaan steadily grew from a minor kingdom into a major regional power. By the reign of Llesh Kalaa in 500 CE, the emperor had conquered or made vassals of all of the common lands west of the new Kingdom of Aerenal, the last holdout of the Undying Court.
The constant expense of conquest and administration of a vast empire led to the collapse of the Dhakaani Empire in 1300 CE, when a succession crisis on the millennial anniversary of the empire led to a civil war. New nations were founded in the chaos, with many flocking to the banner of Aerenal to drive out the goblinoid conquerors.
Age of Man
In the year 1492 CE, the lands of Eberron were at a low point. The centuries-long war between Dhakaan and Aerenal was grinding on at huge expense and with no end in sight, when a human explorer named Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Guanahani. The town had the peculiar fortune of being inhabited by the primitive and strictly pacifist Gatekeepers, leading Colombus to famously observe, “I am certain the people I have with me could subjugate all this island … as the population are naked and without arms and very cowardly.” The second expedition arrived the following year, enslaving hundreds of orcs and building the first human colonies in the New World.
The next several decades featured a series of increasingly well-equipped incursions by conquistadors in search of land and gold. Through their superior technology and sheer ruthlessness, the human armies of Spain conquered all of the orcish islands and exiled the Gatekeepers into the Timucua swamps. When their initial attempts at invading the mainland failed, the Spanish intermittently allied and fought with warring hobgoblin factions to the west, each of whom were seeking to the claim the Blood Sun Throne of Dhakaan for themselves. Similarly, alliances among Aerenal and the elven peoples of Aerenal, Valenar, Khorvaire, and the Eldeen Reaches rose and fell over the course of the fighting.
Meanwhile, the discoveries of the New World had a profound impact on the old. The English king Henry VIII violated Papal supremacy by establishing the first institution of arcane studies, King’s College, on confiscated church property. Later, the ongoing Wars of Religion obligated European monarchs to import artifacts, mercenaries, and slaves from the New World. This came to a turning point in the year 1580, when William the Silent, a German nobleman with a talent for sorcery, led a Protestant revolt against Spanish rule in the Netherlands.
The Atlantic War, 1580 – 1604
The Spanish King Philip II responded by formalizing an alliance with the resurgent Dhakaani Empire and trading valuable European technology and metals in exchange for goblinoid armies and magical support. This upset the power of balance and led to the twin Triple Alliances among the elves of Valenar, Khorvaire, and Aerenal and the humans of England, France, and the Netherlands. Human and elven privateers raided Manilla galleons and goblin ports alike, while Dhakaani legions marched with Spanish armies across the Pyrenees.
Ultimately, the war was inconclusive and ended in a ceasefire brokered by King James I in the Treaty of London in 1604. It did, however, result in the greatest cultural and technological exchange to date and set the stage for future conflicts. The Spanish and Dhakaani empires control the largest amount of land across three continents, but face growing competition from the elven Triple Alliance and their human counterparts. The population exchange has led to small outposts of non-humans in parts of Western Europe, while human settlers, merchants, and adventurers are increasingly common all across Eberron. And lastly, the political instability and abrupt ban on legal privateering has led to an explosion of piracy and other forms of unrest all across the West Indies.