The material plane of Eberron contains four major continents, of which Khorvaire is arguably the most well-documented in the various sourcebooks. The others are Argonnessen (to the south east), Xen'drik (to the south west) and Sarlona (in the far east). The island continent of Aerenal lies just south east of Khorvaire, and to the north lies the frozen and barren continent of Frostfell.
The landmass features a number of countries:
Aundair is a mostly flat country of farmlands and vineyards, with a strong culture of craftsmen, academics, and magic. Its capital is Fairhaven, and House Lyrandar and House Orien are headquartered here. It possesses the premier academy of magic in all of Khorvaire, the Floating Towers of Arcanix. Although Aundair's army is small compared to its neighbors, it held its own throughout the Last War through its use of spellcasters within the army to employ destructive magical weapons and spells against its enemies. Aundair is governed by The Triumvirate, consisting of Queen Aurala, First Warlord Adal (who is the Royal Minister of Magic), and Lord Darro (leader of the Knights Arcane). Queen Aurala is a suspicious ruler, and as such operates the most extensive espionage system employed by any of the governments of Khorvaire, the Royal Eyes of Aundair. Its fiercest enemy during the Last War was neighboring Thrane, and relations between the two remain cold. Aundair's national symbol is the dragonhawk, a large, majestic bird of prey that can be used as a mount.
Breland is a large and powerful country that prides itself for its free speech, diversity, and acceptance as compared to the rest of Khorvaire. Although executive and judicial powers still lie with King Boranel, an elected parliament oversees the legislative duties of the country, making Breland the most democratic of any of the Five Nations. The capital of Breland is Wroat, and Breland is home to the largest city on Khorvaire, Sharn, known as the City of Towers for its towering buildings and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Breland has emerged from the Last War as the most powerful country culturally and economically, while its military power rivals that of Karrnath. Although it is the most powerful of the Five Nations emerging from the Last War, it is also the most interested in maintaining peace; King Boranel orchestrated the Treaty of Thronehold, which ended the Last War. The country produces a wide array of goods, and is especially noted for the weapons produced in the smelters and forges of Sharn. House Medani and one of the three branches of House Cannith maintain their headquarters within Sharn, while House Phiarlan operates from Wroat. After Cyre was destroyed, the surviving Cyran refugees were accepted into the country and formed a community known as New Cyre. The other nations hope for the collapse of the government after King Boranel's death, as none of his heirs have expressed near the amount of charisma or leadership skills as Boranel. Other groups within the country have clamored for the complete elimination of the monarchy and the establishment of an entirely elected government. As the largest and most populous nation (3.7 million people), it is home to the largest communities of humans (44% of Breland's populace), gnomes (14%), half-elves (10%), elves (8%) and changelings (4%).
Home of nearly 69% of Khorvaire's goblins, Darguun is perceived by civilised people as a necessary evil, for the moment at least. It has hardly any exports, although it has a deal with House Deneith to supply mercenaries.
Darguun was once land owned by the nation of Cyre, and was appropriated by goblinoid mercenaries, who served during the Last War, during a mass coup that occurred around 29 years ago. The coup involved the uniting of numerous goblin bands, scattered throughout the armies of all five warring nations in a massed assault and conquest of southern Cyre.
This event was largely orchestrated by a young hobgoblin, named Haruuc, who has since named himself Lhesh Haruuc Shaarat'kor, or the High Warlord Haruuc of the Scarlet Blade. It is he to whom the Ghaal'dar tribe owe allegiance, and his rule has been marked by both cunning and tact, as he his capacity for diplomacy aided the recognition of Darguun as an individual entity at the Treaty of Thronehold (which ended the Last War 2 years ago in YK 996).
The Ghaal'dar, as a whole, have the most developed relations with foreign realms, trading goods and the services of well-trained goblinoid mercenaries with Breland and Thrane. The survivors of Cyre have little regard for the goblins, given their occupation of Cyre land and general bitterness at the loss of their own home. Two other goblin clans exist (consisting of numerous tribes each) - the Dhakaani clans (Kech Volaar and Kech Shaarat), which reside in the western Seawall Mountains within ancient Dhakaani fortresses, and the Marguls, which are tribes of the Northern Seawalls (mostly their highlands) and are primarily composed of bugbears.
The Marguls are fearsome and the most barbaric of the clans, sharing few interactions with the outside world and only passing relations with Lhesh Haruuc and the Ghall'dar. The Kech seek the rebuilding of the ancient Dhakaani empire, and are guardians of lore and techniques of the fallen kingdom, often seeking out ancient artifacts and stories of the past.
The Demon Wastes are a barren, volcanic wasteland stretching out from beyond the Shadowcrags and the Icehorn Mountains, which separate the area from the Eldeen Reaches. The plateau that stretches out from the mountains is punctuated by a series of canyons and mesas that form a natural labyrinth from which the demons possess their easiest access to the surface world in all of Khorvaire. From here, the Lords of Dust, ruled by malevolent Rakshasa, control fiends and demons and orchestrate far-reaching schemes across Eberron to see their race one day return to power. Two groups of humanoids wander the wastes. One, the Carrion Tribes, are the bloodthirsty, primitive, demon-worshiping Human tribes that wander the plains beyond the Labyrinth. Meanwhile, four separate tribes of slightly more sophisticated orcs (sprinkled with a handful of humans and half-orcs), known as the Ghaash'kala, believe that it is their sacred right to keep demons, barbarian tribes, and other monstrosities from finding their way onto the rest of the continent, and also attempt to keep people from entering the region.
Before the Last War, Droaam was a part of Breland, but it proved too difficult to protect all civilised inhabitants while fighting a war. Now it is inhabited by mostly goblins, ogres, hags and gnolls.
Most of the land is taken up by forest, out of which most druids operate. The country was a part of Aundair before the Last War, but when troops were withdrawn out of the Eldeen Reaches to help protect the main cities of Aundair, the inhabitants of the Eldeen Reaches claimed independence. House Vadalis operates from the nation.
Pirates and other nautical forces live here. The principalities consist of a number of islands. Anyone with power controls not only a flagship, but also some land.
Cyre was a strategic battleground in the Last War, and was host to some of the largest battles of that war. In the last years of the Last War, Cyre was suddenly, and inexplicably, destroyed. A not-quite-dead wasteland remains where Cyre lay, surrounded by a thick gray fog. It appears that Mournland is literally an open grave, where the bodies of deceased soldiers refuse to decay. A few survivors from Cyre have settled a village in Breland, dubbed New Cyre. The village has expanded to a population size of about 5000.
This dwarven nation is an important economic power in Khorvaire. House Kundarak operates a powerful banking emporium from here. The dwarves have built impenetrable forts here.
A country of colonists and idealists, Q'barra is a rainforest. The country was founded, far from everything, to maintain the ideals of King Galifar I, and consists of a few cities and small villages spread throughout the jungle. Q'barra mines and exports Eberron Dragonshards. No House operates out of Q'barra, although House Tharashk's Finders Guild is involved in the search for Dragonshards. Conflicts have arisen between the lizardfolk who are native to the region and the new Human settlers.
The Shadow Marches are home to most half-orcs. The country is home to mostly orcs and human families, with a few half-orcs. The families are part of clans, made up of both humans and orcs. House Tharashk operates from here, and consists of a fairly loose group of humans and half-orcs. Eberron Dragonshards are found in the Shadow Marches.
Halflings, who learned to work together during the Last War, live a mostly nomadic lifestyle here. They are hunters and herders, and have little industry. House Ghallanda operated out of the Talenta Plains.
Formally, Thrane is a monarchy ruled by Queen Diani ir'Wynarn, descendant of King Galifar I. In reality, however, the royal family serves only as a figurehead. Thrane is a fundamentalist theocracy and the real power resides with the Church of the Silver Flame. Below the mighty Council of Cardinals, the archbishops of the Silver Flame act as governors and mayors throughout the realm. Religious design and artwork dominate most of the architecture, giving the urban areas a unique look that doesn't exist anywhere else in Khorvaire. There are few people in Thrane who follow any other faith than the Silver Flame, but those who do and do it openly can expect to be met with suspicion and hostility.
Originally a colony of elves from the island continent of Aerenal. The elves that live here live a very militaristic lifestyle and regularly raid Q'barra. Humans, mostly farmers, live here too and produce food for the elves in a sort of symbiosis. House Lyrandar is one the few Houses with any sort of influence here, as it can control the weather.
The gnomes have lived here for thousands of years, managing to keep their independence through diplomacy. When King Galifar I built his kingdom, the gnomes surrendered, to maintain their independence. They export diplomatic expertise and produce the Korranberg Chronicle, a widely read newspaper. House Kundarak and House Sivis operate out of Zilargo.
Population and Demographics
According to the Eberron Campaign Setting, Khorvaire is home to 15,520,020 people, although some fans dispute the realism of that number, arguing that ten times that is more realistic. The bulk of the population, 43.2%, is human. The second largest population is of dwarves, which make up another 9.3%.