Kingmaker in Eberron
O Silver Flame, light the way
Through war and darkness and despair;
O Silver Flame, we shall not stray!
Spirit of Thrane, hear our prayer.
No foe can dim your argent glow
No child can live beyond your light
With swords in hand,
Your soldiers stand,
O Silver Flame, burn ever bright!
—“Light the Way,” Thrane’s national anthem
One night in Olarune of 299 YK, the settlers and farmers of Thrane saw dark clouds gathering over the Tamor Hills. A ruddy glow rose from a fissure in the hills. Those who explored the chasm did not return. As months passed, fiends and bloodthirsty beasts crawled out of the fissure and threatened the land. The Year of Blood and Fire was a time of great terror, but it was also a time of inspiration. The holy warrior Tira Miron gathered priests and soldiers to fight against the darkness. Armed with a singular vision, she ultimately confronted the evil forces within the Tamor Gap, binding their fiendish lord and transforming its dark flame to a font of silver light. Through her sacrifice, she became a spiritual vessel for the Silver Flame, a conduit through which it could touch the souls of others.
Many in Thrane see the Year of Blood and Fire as a turning point.
Inspired by Tira’s sacrifice and guided by her spirit, Thranes destroyed or drove off the remaining fiends. The common folk turned to the new church in droves, and the citadel of Flamekeep was soon established. The Church of the Silver Flame spread across Khorvaire, but Thrane remained its heart. The good people of Thrane had seen the horror of unrestrained evil, and they were determined to stand against that darkness. At times, this missionary zeal spun out of control. Queen Joliana’s fervor for the Flame nearly shattered the kingdom of Galifar centuries before the death of Jarot. However, most of the followers of the Flame have shown tolerance toward those who pursue other faiths, saving their strength to battle inhuman and supernatural evil.
If the Year of Blood and Fire was the first major turning point in the history of Thrane, the second was surely the death of King Thalin. The Council of Cardinals had grown in power and influence, and Thalin’s heir, Prince Daslin, was seen as weak. Above all, the nation was at war. It took little effort on the part of the cardinals to convince the people to raise the church above the throne, and Daslin himself acceded to the demand without a struggle. In 914 YK, Thrane officially embraced the Church of the Silver Flame as its ruling body, becoming the first true theocracy in Khorvaire.
While a few archbishops and cardinals crave personal power, most believe that the rule of the Flame is best for Thrane and for Khorvaire. This uncompromising zeal made it difficult for Thrane to form lasting alliances during the Last War, but the resolve of its clerics and paladins allowed the nation to hold its own even when beset from all sides. The new Keeper of the Flame, Jaela Daran, does not believe that war within Khorvaire serves the goals of the Church. However, many knights and cardinals still yearn to see a new Galifar united under the Silver Flame. And in the shadows of the court, the symbolic queen, Diani ir’Wynarn, looks back on the history of her family and dreams of returning her line to the throne.
Thrane at a Glance
Data based on military draft records, 996 YK.
Population: 2.3 million
Area: 500,000 square miles
Sovereign: Jaela Daran, Keeper of the Silver Flame
Major Cities: Aruldusk, Sigilstar, Thaliost
Highest Point: Trumpet Mountain in the Starpeak Range, elevation 10,965
Heraldry: A silver sword set beneath the symbol of the Silver Flame
Founder: Thalin, second scion of King Jarot
National Motto: “Glory to the Silver Flame.”
Keepers of the Flame
In 299 YK, the Silver Flame was born. One year later, the newly christened Church of the Silver Flame appointed its first Keeper of the Flame—a spiritual leader of the nation who could commune directly with the Flame and pass its will onto the people. In 914 YK, amid the turmoil of the Last War, the people of Thrane abandoned the monarchy and invested the Keeper of the Flame with temporal as well as spiritual governorship of the nation. Thrane became the first theocracy of Khorvaire.
The following dates and names show the Keepers through the years.
|Date||Keeper of the FLame|
|300-320 YK||Maliah Sharavaci|
|320-389 YK||Traelyn Ghelios|
|389-461 YK||Darmin Avaroth|
|461-524 YK||Kyra Danth|
|524-525 YK||Bec Avaroth|
|525-578 YK||Valiron Silverthorn|
|578-610 YK||Torah Ariadu|
|610-698 YK||Saren Rellek|
|698-768 YK||Jareen Imistil|
|768-825 YK||Aelyndari Valystar|
|825-860 YK||Jolan Sol|
|860-863 YK||Tzandra Corus|
|903-936 YK||Kaith Serrain|
|937-993 YK||Lavira Tagor|
|993 YK – Present||Jaela Daran|
Imagine being surrounded on all sides by angry, resentful neighbors, and you can begin to understand how the common Thrane feels. Thrane shares borders with all four of its longtime enemies, and Thrane alone abandoned the royal bloodline of Galifar in favor of a theocracy. Moreover, Thrane seized parcels of land from Aundair and Breland—territory that Queen Aurala and King Boranel would like returned. Thrane has also been duly chastised for its cruelty.
It demonstrated a startling lack of compassion when it denied Cyran refugees a new home after the destruction of their homeland, and vengeful Karrns resent Thrane for the ruthless bombardment of their capital—an audacious attack that left the imperious Karrnathi citizens feeling vulnerable and defenseless. Surrounded by such resentment, Thranes can ill afford to lead carefree lives. However, they take great comfort in the Silver Flame, for it has never broken their trust or led them astray.
The overwhelming majority of Thranes are honest, proud, and passionate people who believe in the Church of the Silver Flame. Equally devoted to family and work, Thranes do nothing halfway. If a citizen of Thrane undertakes a task or agrees to serve a cause, he gives it his all. That said, few Thranes are mindless zealots. Most followers of the Flame tolerate other belief systems. After all, Tira Miron herself began as a paladin of Dol Arrah. The Silver Flame demands only that its followers fight evil, whether it’s evil incarnate—fiends, undead, and other abominations—or the evil that plagues the human soul.
If a paladin of the Silver Flame senses evil in an innkeeper, he should try to find a way to bring that soul back to the light, not strike down the innkeeper or destroy his business. However, this is a hard road to follow, and try as they might, many Thranes do not measure up to these high ideals.
In general, Thranes lead ascetic lives. Gambling, carousing, and similar activities are frowned upon in the land of the Silver Flame. Religious observances are very important. However, not all Thranes see eye to eye. Many are divided on the importance of the monarchy, for example. Most citizens pledge their greatest loyalty to the Church, but a small faction holds to Queen Diani ir’Wynarn and the line of Galifar.
Some of these loyalists reject the power of the Church entirely, while others believe that both have their place in the kingdom, and that it was a mistake to upset the balance between the two.
Thrane culture demands restraint and control, but when a Thrane shows emotion, everyone knows it. Offended or upset, a Thrane may very well respond like a focused blast of fire, either incinerating what invokes his displeasure or smoldering for a long, long time. It is considered rude to shout or rant, so Thranes show their opposition in very brief and very precise displays.
Thrane citizens grow up learning exactly where the boundaries of propriety and modesty lie, but the wise ones learn how to defy such rules without explicitly breaking them. When rules are circumvented, success can justify forgiveness. Some foreigners see this as a double standard, but natives consider such behavior a very precise code of conformity. When dealing with elders or authority, young Thranes are reverent, obedient, and proper, but when left to their own devices—as is often the case among Thrane adventurers—they burn with passion and intensity, either resolving problems with the swiftness of an inferno or searing all opposition until it melts away.
Thranes do not typically see themselves as zealous, fanatical, or hypocritical. While these extremes do exist in Thrane society, such attitudes are more villainous than heroic. Thranes are certainly very passionate, and that passion applies to all aspects of life, not just religion. Many learn about heroism from an early age, including a few notable stories of spectacular failures that are now seen as heroic. Boys and girls play at being paladins, and in recent years, many young women go through a “Jaela Daran” phase. The nation’s heroes are not reckless or stubborn in battle—those who are don’t survive for very long. However, the average Thrane has an instinctive sense of right or wrong, just as a paladin has a supernaturally strong sense for what is good and evil. Many are dedicated to preserving what they know is right, and more important, supporting those who are willing to make that same sacrifice.
Thrane is still rebuilding as a result of the Last War. It has few coins left in its treasury, it owes money to various dragonmarked houses (House Kundarak in particular), its citizens are overtaxed, and its cities still show signs of the carnage and destruction wrought by Aundairian, Brelish, Cyran, Karrnathi, and Darguun invaders. The dragonmarked houses have trouble acting within the tight strictures of the Church of the Silver Flame, and they must trod carefully around prickly, overbearing cardinals.
The Last War brought pain and loss to every family in Thrane. Dead brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters are remembered in daily prayer. Cardinal Yisek, who spoke out against the war, proclaimed that “the Last War was about who gets to sit on that old chair in Thronehold.” The sad irony is that after Thalin’s death, Thrane forsook the royal bloodline altogether. When the nation transformed into a theocracy, Thranes stopped fighting for their king and instead began fighting for land and for the greater glory of the Silver Flame. It’s no wonder that many Thranes today feel detached from the rest of the Five Nations.
Although Thranes hear news of rampant corruption in the cities of Aundair, Breland, and Karrnath, the other nations respond that the people of Thrane are blind to the corruption within their own borders.
The Role of Magic
Thranes have never shied away from arcane science. While arcane magic has its place in postwar Thrane, citizens these days concentrate their energy on spiritual devotion. Thrane’s lack of arcane sophistication is countered by the widespread use of divine magic. While arcane magic is not seen as evil, most Thranes regard excessive devotion to arcane studies as a distraction from the light of the Silver Flame. Likewise, most followers of the Flame are tolerant of those who worship the Sovereign Host, but they judge other religions more harshly. The Blood of Vol is seen as an abomination, and the Thranes have never forgiven Karrnath for embracing this darkness.
While Thrane continues to show the cultural influence of its Galifaran roots, the attitudes and influences of the Church of the Silver Flame have overlaid the old with the new, giving much of the country a decidedly different feel from its neighbors.
The people of Thrane embrace the tenets of the Silver Flame in all of their forms of expression. From fine art to sculpture, the most popular artistic style remains Kree-Flamic, a stylized form of rendering that uses cubes and triangles to create all shapes and images. Jesp Kree pioneered the style; he served as the Church Art Master for Keeper Traelyn Ghelios and helped establish the principles of the Flamic style. From stained glass in the great cathedrals that present stylized images of great moments in the faith’s history to the three-sided, stained-glass flame boxes found in the homes of many followers of the Silver Flame, almost all Flamic-style art pays homage to the Church and its significant figures.
Of course, not everyone in the country adheres to the tenets of the Silver Flame. A small but growing artistic counterculture has taken root in Thrane. Called Pre-Kingdom style by critics and practitioners alike, the form harkens back to the art created before the coming of Galifar and the united kingdom. It is a raw, humanistic form that draws on strong emotions, primal urges, and topics more grounded than the religious ideals depicted in Flamic art. Although it is not outlawed, some Church leaders and the most conservative of the faithful dismiss Pre-Kingdom art as frivolous, distracting, and in some extreme cases even perverse.
Thrane architecture features Galifar-style towers and keeps, deep-wood long homes, and Flamic-style cathedrals and public buildings. In some places, the older-style construction has been modified to incorporate Flamic elements, while newer buildings fully embrace the Flamic style from the ground up. Flamic architecture features tall windows and open arches to let in light, and incorporates an open, soaring use of space to revere the power of the Silver Flame. From urban centers to the larger villages in the countryside, Thrane surrounds itself with religious symbols, edifices, and art that makes the entire country feel like an extended church.
The Last War caused much damage to the infrastructure of the country, and today the Keeper of the Flame and other Church officials have begun to put programs in place to repair what has been damaged and replace what has been destroyed. The newly appointed Art Master, Kenra Deel, has been charged with updating the Flamic style for the new generation. Her first project, the impressive Tower of Cardinals, now under construction in Thaliost (much to the dismay of Aundair), shows signs of taking the Flamic style in new but wholly appropriate directions.
While the heart and soul concentrates on the Silver Flame, the collective stomach of Thrane looks to the country’s unique cuisine for a different kind of religious experience. Many find that secular life in Thrane is stifled by the theocracy, but few who come to the country find the food to be disappointing. “It is like a breath of fire in the cold of a dark winter’s night,” said Princess Wroya of Breland during a diplomatic visit to Thrane, after partaking in the Feast of the Silver Flame.
Utilizing thrakel spices cooked in thick sauces, Thrane cuisine tends to be heavy, filling, hot, and delicious. Thrakel-seared beef in red sauce, three-thrakel fish stew, and the traditional silvered vegetable skewers are particular favorites in Thrane and beyond. The people of Thrane also enjoy their desserts, but here they take a different tack. To counter the spicy nature of the main meal, Thrane desserts tend to be sweet and served cold. Beesh-berry sorbet on top of silverfruit pie is considered the best of many tempting desserts.
Erebeth Zaharno, a merchant from Flamekeep, shares her thoughts about foreigners, and her opinions reflect those of Thrane’s popular majority.
“Wizardry and sorcery are well and good, but Aundairians have grown fat on arcane magic. Not every problem can be solved with a spell, and the sooner Aundairians realize that, the better off they’ll be. And now Aurala’s diplomats demand that we return Thaliost to them. We paid for it in blood! All the charm spells in Aundair won’t win back what they’ve lost. Let them try to take it by force, and see what happens!”
“Boranel may be a great man, and one can not help but admire his cities and his willingness to help those poor, displaced Cyrans. However, the Brelish put too much faith in greedy nobles and corrupt politicians. It is as though they are trying to build towers that can reach to the heavens, but without a common faith, those towers have no foundation.”
“That was the judgment of the Silver Flame, I tell you. The corrupt and faithless Cyrans
got what they deserved.”
“A recognized nation of goblins? What filth! Flame forgive me, but you can’t civilize the
uncivilized—Treaty of Thronehold be damned!”
“The Reachers have been a painful thorn in Aundair’s side, so they have our respect. If only they embraced the power of the Silver Flame and not those pagan druids. Perhaps, in time.”
“Damn Kaius and his blasphemous army! The Karrns may pretend to serve the gods, and they may claim to want peace, but no Thrane will ever forget the atrocities committed by the Karrns in Shadukar. I will take their money, but how I loathe them! As long as evil reigns in Karrnath, the bridge between Thrane and Karrnath will never be rebuilt.”
“The sea princes put too much faith in the gold coin. Most of them are no better than pirates and vultures.”
“One must admire the dwarves’ wry wit and keen business savvy. I don’t think Thrane would have made it through the Last War without the aid of House Kundarak and others. It’s no secret that the dwarves helped Karrnath through the war as well, although I suspect mutual self-interest governed that alliance. Perhaps with their long lives, dwarves have the patience necessary to deal with such insufferable neighbors.”
The Shadow Marches
“Dreary place. I hear the Church has sent missionaries to help the Marchers feel the warmth of the Silver Flame.”
“It’s good to hear Karrns complaining about Talenta raiders pillaging their livestock.
All Thranes should be grateful that we don’t share an 800-mile-long border with those ferocious little heathens.”
“The Valenar elves are a violent lot, or so I hear. We don’t have many dealings with them,
frankly. They keep to their lands fairly well, although the Cyrans might feel differently. I hear they’re very good with horses, so I suppose we have something in common.”
“Crafty ones, those gnomes. They chose their allies wisely and survived the Last War pretty
much unscathed. Well played. It’s reassuring to hear that so many Zil gnomes have embraced the
The following turns of phrase are uniquely Thrane.
“Crooked!” An expletive, similar to “drat!”
“Flame forgive me.” An expression usually preceding or following a nasty curse or insult.
“What filth!” An expression of discontent or an indication of nonsense, similar to “hogwash!”
Thranes usually have a personal name followed by a family-based surname.
Male: Alestair, Arrun, Andri, Calemi, Coref, Demodir, Drego, Drosin, Egen, Javi, Jeffi n, Kaith, Lukar, Mizar, Ossul, Pentar, Rave, Sercyl, Sudro, Suthar, Syro, Taran, Tokorin, Urdan, Valtar, Vencyl, Verodin, Zoder.
Female: Avaliah, Beref, Chantalyn, Draci, Ghanji, Hariel, Heken, Imperi, Irulan, Jahanah, Kahlia, Lycia, Maradal, Margil, Melindri, Morgana, Narvala, Norah, Nyllestra, Sede, Suspiria, Taris, Thradi, Varikah.
Surnames: Aeyliros, Askarda, Atrelioth, Corliostor, Corus, Desekane, Drosin, Entarro, Eskeliendro, Ghastor, Hetrion, Imaradi, Irvallo, Karavastar, Krayci, Lerendazi, Marktaros, Neskus, Ovion, Ravadanci, Sarhain, Talandro, Tarravan, Teskelyndros, Vanatar, Vasiraghi.
Five Edicts of the Church
1. Trust in the Silver Flame. The Voice of the Silver Flame never lies. It will light your way to glory and salvation.
2. Heed the words of the Keeper. The Keeper of the Flame is your emissary. Through the Keeper, the Silver Flame speaks.
3. Fight evil in all its forms. Not everyone can have the strength or conviction of a paladin, but there are many ways to fi ght evil that don’t require one to draw a sword. We must also remain vigilant, for the one thing evil does well is hide in plain sight.
4. Lead a noble life, and encourage others to do the same. Temptations abound, but the wisest of us can recognize and avoid them. If you die with a pure spirit, you will be forever bound with the Silver Flame.
5. Share the faith. The Silver Flame can purify the darkest spirit. Share the power of the Flame with those who have not yet embraced it.