House Cannith

House Cannith, consisting of humans with the Mark of Making, includes alchemists, artificers, and magewrights of great skill, as well as the best mundane crafters on the continent. House Cannith arose in pre-Galifar Cyre almost twenty-five hundred years ago. Originally, the Cannith clan consisted of traveling tinkers, repairers, and crafters whose burgeoning dragonmarks gave them an edge over the competition. As the house developed, it turned its attention to supernatural disciplines, studying alchemy and pioneering the techniques of artificers and magewrights. As builders, fixers, and creators, the house maintains a lawful outlook. Some of its greatest accomplishments include the lightning rail, the warforged, and the high-rising towers of Sharn.   The destruction of Cannith’s ancestral estates in Cyre and the death of the patriarch have thrown the house into chaos. Three leaders have emerged, each intending to lead the house into the future. While the situation hasn’t yet grown as bad as the split in the Mark of Shadow family that resulted in the creation of a new house, none of the emerging Cannith leaders is willing to accept the others as the new house patriarch. So far, they have reluctantly shared influence in the family by concentrating on their own regions and not attempting to pull the entire family together.   Baron Jorlanna d’Cannith (LN female human, wizard 8) operates out of Fair haven and oversees the house’s efforts in Aundair, Thrane, and the Eldeen Reaches. Baron Merrix d’Cannith (LE male human, artificer 9/dragonmark heir 3) leads the house’s activities in Breland, Zilargo, and Darguun from holdings in Sharn. Baron Zorlan d’Cannith (NE male human, artificer 3/sorcerer 4/dragonmark heir 1) controls house operations in Karrnath, the Mror Holds, and the Lhazaar Principalities from an enclave in Korth.   House Cannith maintains two guilds. The Tinkers Guild serves to maintain society by repairing damaged structures and vehicles, maintaining infrastructures in the major cities, and performing similar crafts. Cannith tinkers often travel on circuits between smaller villages, using magical and mundane skills to assist communities that they pass through. The Fabricators Guild performs the greatest works of craft, artifice, and magic. The guild is divided into dozens of specialties, including architects, elemental binders, alchemists, and armorers. The Fabricators Guild closely guards the secrets of its creation patterns. With one of these patterns (each made up of three or more sections called schemas), a member of the guild can replicate an item faster and with less effort than someone working without a pattern.   The services provided by House Cannith are invaluable, and all the nations and dragonmarked houses have an interest in maintaining friendly relations with the House of Making. House Cannith’s greatest enemy is itself. Both Jorlanna and Zorlan seek to gain control of the entire house, while Merrix is content to rule over the southern interests and continue his secret experiments deep beneath Sharn.   House Cannith is a dragonmarked house of humans who carry the Mark of Making in their bloodlines. It is among the leaders of the dragonmarked houses, and the greatest artifice of modern Khorvaire is of Cannith design.   House Cannith, consisting of humans with the Mark of Making, includes alchemists, artificers, and magewrights of great skill, as well as the best mundane crafters on the continent. House Cannith arose in pre-Galifar Cyre almost twenty-five hundred years ago. Originally, the Cannith clan consisted of traveling tinkers, repairers, and crafters whose burgeoning dragonmarks gave them an edge over the competition. As the house developed, it turned its attention to supernatural disciplines, studying alchemy and pioneering the techniques of artificers and magewrights. As builders, fixers, and creators, the house maintains a lawful outlook. Some of its greatest accomplishments include the lightning rail, the warforged, and the high-rising towers of Sharn.   From a few bands of roving artisans and tinkers, House Cannith has risen to dominate commerce and industry in Khorvaire. For every advance made in magic, odds are good that Cannith had a hand in it—from everbright lanterns to the lightning rail, from the warforged to the secret experiments now lost deep within the wastes of the Mournland.   With its power and creative genius, the house commands both respect and fear. Despite its accomplishments, however, Cannith stands in turmoil. Unable to agree on a new ruler in the aftermath of the Day of Mourning, the house splintered into three factions, each with its own agenda. This rift has caused unease among the houses and beyond, giving monarchs and entrepreneurs pause even as they cautiously back one of three would-be leaders.  


  Since its incorporation prior to the War of the Mark, House Cannith has been a leader among the dragonmarked houses. It pioneered the marriage of magic to the needs of daily life, and members of the house are the foremost experts on the use of dragonshards. Along with the gnomes of Zilargo, the house created the elemental ships that cross the seas. In partnership with House Orien, it forged the lightning rail that once spanned Khorvaire.   Cannith’s most indelible mark on history was made in 965 YK with the creation of the warforged. The mastermind behind the warforged was Merrix d’Cannith, who set out to create a sentient construct that could fight in place of living creatures. First commissioned by King Jarot, the last king of Galifar, the warforged instead went to battle on behalf of his children during the Last War.   Merrix’s son Aarren gave sentience to these living constructs. For thirty years, the sale of warforged kept Cannith prosperous, with each of the Five Nations commissioning troops from Whitehearth, Cannith’s ancestral forgehold. The house seemed destined to prosper as the Last War dragged on. Then came the Day of Mourning.  

Paradise Lost

  On the Day of Mourning, a blast of arcane power obliterated Cyre, leaving empty wasteland. Most Cyrans perished that day, including the patriarch of House Cannith: Baron Starrin d’Cannith, known as “the Gorgon” for both his intimidating manner and the symbol of his house.   What caused the Day of Mourning, none can say. It seems that of the cities of Cyre, Eston suffered the greatest damage. Whitehearth’s destruction claimed the life of not only the baron but also many of the house’s prominent leaders and dragonmarked heirs.   Almost as great as the loss in blood was the loss of the forgehold itself. Whitehearth had been the center of Cannith ingenuity and invention for centuries. Only projects concurrently researched in Sharn by Merrix d’Cannith, grandson of the first Merrix, survived. Whitehearth is never far from the minds of House Cannith’s leaders, with Merrix, in particular, striving for its recovery. Increasingly, though, the cost associated with that recovery effort has exacerbated the rift within the house. Some seek to resurrect Whitehearth one day; others wish to turn their backs on the tomb of the past and focus instead on the future.  

The Treaty of Thronehold

  Two years after the loss of Cyre, the Treaty of Thronehold was signed, putting an end to both the war and the nation of Galifar. No one profits during war like a weaponsmith, and no one suffers as much from war’s end.   For House Cannith, the treaty brought more than the end of a profitable market: The signatory nations recognized the warforged as a free people, due the same rights as other sentient races. The treaty also forbade Cannith from creating more warforged, ensuring that the house’s crowning achievement would be remembered as little more than a bloody postscript to past glory.   Having no choice but to agree to the treaty’s terms, the heads of the fractured house returned to their respective homes, plotting in silence while they went through the motions of retooling House Cannith for peace. Merrix, however, never intended to let his grandfather’s legacy pass away. His stronghold in Sharn holds a secret creation forge, known only to the sworn heirs of his line.   Today, those who gain entry to the Sharn forgehold see significantly newer warforged. Unaware of their rights as sentient beings, these warforged serve the artificers, who seek the next evolution of design. This secret rebellion leads Cannith along a dangerous path. Should Merrix’s deception be discovered, Breland and the other nations will have to enforce the treaty—even if it means striking the blow that shatters House Cannith for all time.  


  When Starrin d’Cannith died, he left no direct heir or immediate relations, but it did not take long for claimants to the house leadership to appear. Typically, upon the death of the patriarch, the title goes to either his closest living relative or his named successor. Starrin’s named successor was his only son Norran, who died with his father in Cyre and left no children of his own.   When succession becomes murky, the elders of the house interpret the will of the former patriarch and choose a successor. However, with the ranks of the house leadership decimated, no effective or fair vote could be held. Cannith was paralyzed, with three heirs emerging to claim leadership: Merrix d’Cannith, Jorlanna d’Cannith, and Zorlan d’Cannith. Though each had a valid claim to the patriarch’s seat, a more problematic set of candidates would be hard to find.   Merrix (LE male human artificer 9/dragonmark heir 3) is the grandson of the first Merrix, the son of Aarren d’Cannith, and the former patriarch’s grandnephew. The youngest candidate, he was little more than a baby when the warforged were invented. His age and lack of political expertise give him the weakest claim, but his inheritance of Merrix’s legendary skills in research and innovation forces his relatives to take him seriously. He wishes only to pursue his secret experiments in peace, but knowing Jorlanna and Zorlan, he is convinced that a firm hand will be required to keep House Cannith on course—not necessarily his hand, but one of his choosing.   Jorlanna d’Cannith (LN female human wizard 8) is a proud, attractive woman in her fifties. She is far closer to the age of a proper matriarch than Merrix. Her claim is stronger too, as the daughter of Starrin’s second wife, Elsabet. Regardless, Jorlanna is considered least likely to attain the title. She has a strong vision for a united house, allies among the Twelve, and the personal magnetism to lead, but the Cannith elders distrust her judgment. In her youth, Jorlanna engaged in a scandalous romance with an heir of House Deneith. Both families put a stop to it once they became aware of the relationship, and the lovers disappeared from public view for over a year. It was rumored that Jorlanna bore a child during her time away—a product of a coupling forbidden after the War of the Mark. However, when she finally resumed public life, she did so alone. Today, whispered rumors of her indiscretion haunt her, and critics use them as proof of her lack of judgment where the good of the house is concerned.   Zorlan d’Cannith (NE male human artificer 3/sorcerer 4/dragonmark heir 1) is a distinguished, shrewd scion of the house. His talent with finance and eye for profit made him a trusted advisor to the Gorgon, whose cousin, Xerith, was Zorlan’s mother. Zorlan’s gifts are countered by a cold, cruel personality that unnerves many within the house. His time in Karrnath is rumored to have drawn him into the customs of that land, including worship of the Blood of Vol. Some fear that Zorlan’s ambition could lead him to make pacts with dishonorable groups.   Merrix, Jorlanna, and Zorlan are each determined to become the next leader of House Cannith. Between them, they have divided the lords seneschal so evenly that a new patriarch will likely never be chosen. As it stands, the divided leadership makes it increasingly likely that only death or disaster will change the balance of power.  

Cannith South

  Under Merrix d’Cannith, Cannith South is considered by many to be the closest replacement for Whitehearth the house will ever see. With his enclave concealing the last Cannith creation forge, Merrix rules his house’s southern interests (including expeditions to Xen’drik and the Mournland) with an iron fist.   Cannith South workshops and enclaves dot Breland, Zilargo, and even Darguun, making Merrix the most expansion-minded leader House Cannith has seen in an age. Some say he plans to open facilities in Xen’drik to support his expeditions and interests there. Though Cannith South denies these plans, house members regard such moves as all but certain. Merrix has already secured holdings to expand the enclave in Stormreach. Only Merrix himself knows that he plans not just a workshop, but a second Cannith creation forge—outside Khorvaire, where the Treaty of Thronehold has no sway.   The heirs of Cannith South are driven to achieve— advancement is dependent on how closely one’s ideals and ambitions match those of Merrix. Worship of the Traveler in his artificer aspect has taken a slow hold among the members of Cannith South. This affiliation with one of the Dark Six troubles members of Cannith West in particular, but Merrix shows no sign of sharing their concern.     CANNITH SOUTH   With the destruction of Cyre, the leadership of House Cannith and many of its most skilled artisans disap- peared in the wink of an eye. Just as with the Cyrans, though, not all of Cannith was confined to the destroyed nation. Today, three distinct factions have arisen within the dragonmarked house: Cannith East, Cannith West, and Cannith South. The split has not yet reached the level of disagreement that broke apart House Phiarlan, and the factions do work together for the greater good of the house, but they also work against each other in subtle and often incomprehen- sible ways.   Baron Merrix d’Cannith (LE male human artifi- cer 9/dragonmark heir 3) commands the vast resources of Cannith South. His influence touches all the enclaves and workshops operating throughout Breland and Zilargo, and he has recently opened the first Can- nith facilities in Darguun. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day efforts of the house and debating pro- tocol and objectives with the leaders of the other two parts of the family, Merrix engages in a number of questionable to outright illegal hobbies. The Baron of Cannith South funds numerous expeditions into the Mournland and Xen’drik, and he continues to experiment with warforged creation processes despite the orders to cease such activities that were part of the Treaty of Thronehold.   His interest in Xen’drik is driven purely by a need for knowledge, for Merrix fundamentally understands that the continent of secrets is the source of both his family’s original fortunes and the elemental-binding magic of the gnomes of Zilargo. From ancient creation patterns to the secrets of the magic of the giant civilization, Merrix has a hunger for arcane knowledge from Xen’drik. This interest is not illegal, but there are many—including the Trust of Zilargo—who have no desire to see Merrix uncover some of these secrets.   the future—for the right price, of course. At the same time, many House Cannith secrets remain in the ruins of enclaves and workshops throughout what was once Cyre, and Merrix is determined that his portion of the house lay claim to these treasures.   Baron Merrix has no desire to divide House Cannith, nor does he want to lead the house. He just doesn’t want anyone interfering in his own plans and experiments. These experiments include continuing his work to improve the warforged, which he carries on in secret in his hidden labs deep beneath the towers of Sharn.   Getting PCs Involved: Adventurers are in high demand for jobs related to Baron Merrix and Cannith South. Indeed, adventurers could do worse than having Cannith South as a patron. In addition to partaking in expeditions to Xen’drik or the Mournland, Baron Merrix has a number of ongoing jobs related to keeping Cannith South run- ning smoothly. Deliveries must be made, resources must be secured, and contracts must be negoti- ated throughout Breland, Zilargo, and Darguun. The goblin nation in particular provides numer- ous opportunities for adventurers tied to Cannith South. To keep on the good side of the gnomes and to make sure that the agreements that are currently in place hold, Merrix has agreed to build a lightning rail connection between Sharn and Trolanport, a line of conductor stones that would follow the trade road along the southern coast. Work has begun, but adventurers are needed to keep the workers safe and to secure the construction zones until after the arcane matrix is put in place.  

Cannith West

  The relationship between Aundair and Cyre was close during the Last War. When Jorlanna d’Cannith was sent away in disgrace, she went to Aundair, living there in seclusion for a year. Even after her exile ended, she soon returned to hone her diplomatic talents. Jorlanna negotiated house access to the Eldeen Reaches through the Wardens of the Wood, allowing Cannith sages to study ruins and magical locales under the druids’ supervision.   Members of Cannith West are expected to be socially adept. In Aundair, they engage in scholarly pursuits, especially those connected to magical sites in western Khorvaire. They have more contact with other dragonmarked houses and local nobility than other Cannith branches do. Jorlanna plans to rebuild the goodwill of the Five Nations toward the house and make a greater investment in the Twelve, with hopes of seeing it regain its power. Since the Twelve is headquartered in Korth, it vexes Zorlan that Jorlanna’s status within the organization exceeds his.   Both Zorlan and Merrix remain unaware that Jorlanna’s romantic indiscretions are not entirely behind her. For a year now, Jorlanna has been clandestinely involved with a young scion of House Orien—never realizing that her lover is actually a rakshasa agent of the Lords of Dust. The fiend’s immediate goal is to fracture House Cannith permanently, and he manipulates Jorlanna to that end.  

Cannith East

  Though Zorlan grew up in Cyre, he traveled to Karrnath as a house emissary along with the first warforged ordered by that nation. He took up residence there, advising Kaius II and strengthening his house’s influence. He used profitable arrangements with the Mror Holds and the Lhazaar Principalities to fill his coffers and make himself an advisor to the Gorgon.   Where Cannith once had only an outpost in Karrnath, Zorlan’s leadership has seen the house’s wealth and prestige there grow. Before the Day of Mourning, many Cannith heirs were sent to Karrnath to study administration and diplomacy, and to receive martial instruction from Rekkenmark Academy. This training ended with the fracture of the Cannith leadership, but many heirs still proudly recall their “Karrnath years.”   Though the steady stream of warforged into Karrnath has ceased, Cannith East still has expertise in siege warfare, and house members serve as advisors to Karrn generals.   The Karrnathi culture has left its mark on Cannith East. Members take a callous view of mortality, viewing the undead as little more than the necromantic equivalent of warforged. Though invention is Cannith East’s strength, clandestine research at its enclave seeks to create a new form of construct undead, animated with eldritch power and a bound, ghostly intelligence.   Living among the Karrns has led many of Cannith to worship the Blood of Vol. Though Cannith would never openly declare allegiance to any other power group, nearly half the members of the Karrnathi enclave are said to follow that faith. Zorlan is a devout member, even aspiring to a position in the cult’s lay clergy and personally conducting services for house members on special occasions.


  Membership in House Cannith is primarily by blood, though more than a few members have entered through marriage. Hirelings receive benefits, such as equipment, and recognition, but are little more than servants as far as Cannith is concerned. A rare few associates might be recognized as honorary members after long service, or even given the opportunity to marry into the family. Warforged are never recognized as members of the house.   In House Cannith, artificers, sorcerers, and wizards are common, given the house’s focus on magical creation. Members unskilled in arcane magic find it difficult to rise within the ranks. Characters who are members of House Cannith must choose Cannith South, West, or East.  


  The missions House Cannith assigns depend on your fac- tion. In Cannith South, you might explore the Mournland or Xen’drik. Alternatively, you might travel on diplomatic missions to Cannith East or West, playing one against the other. You could be appointed an emissary to Morgrave University, examining new finds. You might even report to Merrix with any information you gain—or the items themselves, if possible.   As a member of Cannith West, you might accompany agents of the Twelve on expeditions as far away as Argon- nessen or Sarlona, representing your house. You might research ancient druid ruins in the Eldeen Reaches. You could be sent to a gala to enlighten an important noble on a matter that concerns your house. You might even find yourself engaged in espionage under cover of guild mem- bership, traveling across Khorvaire in support of Jorlanna d’Cannith’s ambition to rule—or inadvertently serving the Lords of Dust as they manipulate that ambition.   For Cannith East, you might find yourself loaned to Karrnath in pursuit of Emerald Claw agents, meeting with Lhazaarite princes to discuss business endeavors, joining the dwarf lords of the Mror Holds to stave off an incursion from Khyber, or leading a unit of undead and constructs on a clandestine mission for the Karrnathi crown  


Jaxon d’Cannith . . . I remember him well. We were overrun by ghouls, and without a blink, he cast spells and left two guards standin’ like statues, right in the path. Gave us time to run, but I can still hear the screams.Guard Brennan Ensfield, Sharn Watch
Wherever magical power can be gained, House Cannith is nearby. Not content to let the Twelve do their work for         them, the scions of the house claim any resource that might help them regain their former glory or exceed their previous achievements—as quietly as possible, of course. Though the house is not wholly evil, many within Cannith can hardly be called souls of truth and righteousness. As a base of operations for the PCs, a bastion against truly dark forces in the world, or an evil empire, House Cannith can be a powerful force in any campaign.   The last patriarch, Starrin d’Cannith, left a lasting imprint on his house. Though Merrix and Aarren created the warforged, Starrin engaged the warring sibling kings of the Five Nations, persuading them both of Cannith’s neutrality and of the warforged’s usefulness in battle. His death was a blow from which the house has yet to recover.   Instead of a single patriarch, Cannith currently has three descendants claiming the title of baron, each man- aging a portion of the house’s concerns. Though a council of lords seneschal would typically reign over the viceroys, Merrix, Jorlanna, and Zorlan’s nominal status as the heirs to the seat of the Gorgon effectively makes them a trium- virate, over which the lords seneschal have little control.   Promotion within the house is judged by one’s con- tributions to Cannith’s continued growth and well-being. Members must strive if they wish to become more powerful within the hierarchy. Those who succeed are either bril- liant at invention, uncannily aware of others’ motives, or both. House members with no taste for politics succeed by lending their support to those so inclined.

Roleplaying a Cannith

Your house, and by extension you yourself, are the undisputed masters of artifice. Your house has a near monopoly on finely crafted goods across Khovaire, giving you and your house incredible power and sway, and you know it. As a Cannith Artificer, you have had access to the finest of facilities, the best of teachers, and (at least in your own mind) hold a position that commands respect. After all, by default as a Cannith and by fact as an Artificer, you are one of the greatest craftsmen alive, the lesser people should defer to your expertise in matters of crafting and magical items, simply because there is no one better equipped to make such decisions.   However, some people will tend to see you as being dismissive, self absorbed, or simply too full of yourself, but they don’t understand the impossible pressure that you live up to every day. Being the best means that only the best is acceptable. You have to constantly prove yourself worthy of your airs, by crafting the most exquisite items, reclaiming powerful items for your House, and maintaining the image of strength your house projects. What you can’t let people know is how much of that power is true, and how much of it is purely illusion. Everyone knows the seat of power for your House was in Cyre, and the blow to the house was as great as that the rest of the continent suffered, if not greater, but the public can only be allowed to see how you are pulling yourselves back to your feet and moving on from the tragedy, they can never be allowed to know how close your House is to an outright civil war for control. Three separate factions, three strong leaders, all vying for control over House Cannith as a whole.   As a member of Cannith South, based out of Sharn, you support Lord Merrix d’Cannith, primarily due to his devotion to the craft moreso than to politics. He doesn’t want power for power’s sake, he wants power so that he can get back to work, so that you can all do away with petty squabbles and become the economic and technological powerhouse you once were. As an adventuring Artificer, you are just as likely to see the jungles of Xen’Drik as you dig for lost magical treasures to aid your house, or to brave the fearsome expanses of the Mournlands trying to reclaim a bit of your heritage and lost power as you are to simply sit in an enclave hammering out a breastplate for a wealthy patron.   As a character, you can be overconfident in your own abilities, a bit on the boastful side, and always ready to give your advice on how a situation should be handled. This can come off grating on some people, but its not entirely your fault, as you were raised to believe that you were one of the best, and that you were destined for great things. Although, when sleeping under a bush in the middle of nowhere, those boastful promises can ring a little hollow as you wonder if your mighty house will ever be the same again.  


The roots of House Cannith are in its guilds, the his- torical face of the house and the most common Can- nith presence outside its enclaves. The bulk of house business actually goes on outside the guilds, which are seen by house members as only training grounds or career footnotes.  


  The Fabricators Guild is a mercantile branch of House Cannith, well known as a training ground for arcane spellcasters and dragonmarked heirs. Outside the house, the Fabricators Guild has a reputation for fine, reliable goods. Guild shops offer a complete range of mundane equipment, and some accept commissions for unusual nonmagical items. Though most guild members keep to cities, some heirs are commissioned to travel with cara- vans and ships, to create or repair equipment.


  The Tinkers Guild is a mercantile branch of House Can- nith, and hearkens back to the origins of the house. Cannith was born from groups of human tinkers that moved from town to town, repairing broken items or making new ones to sell. The guild has a virtual monopoly on the repair of mundane objects, primarily by members with the least or lesser Marks of Making. Most Dragonmarked heirs of Can- nith serve at least two years in the guild, acting as the public face of the house in Khorvaire. Those dragonmarked who decide that rank and power are not for them sometimes remain in the guild, balancing a lack of respect from others in the house with a life of relative freedom.   friendly to Cannith members. Members of the other dragonmarked houses have an initial reaction of indifferent. Notable exceptions include members of Tharashk and Vadalis, both of whom dislike Cannith’s questionable morals and power-hungry ways. Members of those two houses often have an initial attitude of unfriendly.   HOUSE CANNITH LORE   Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (nobility and royalty) can research House Cannith to learn more about it. When a character succeeds on a skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.     DC 10: House Cannith is the power behind the Tinkers Guild and Fabricators Guild. It can be found across the land, and dominate the craft industry.   DC 15: Some members of House Cannith have the Mark of Making, and can create or repair using magic.   DC 20: House Cannith created the warforged and sold them to many nations. The Treaty of Thronehold gave the warforged the same rights as other individuals and forbade Cannith from creating more. DC 30: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn important details about House Cannith in your campaign, including history, notable members, the areas where it operates, and the kinds of activities it undertakes.   HOUSE CANNITH’S HOLDINGS   Though Cannith lost Whitehearth, Merrix d’Cannith’s enclave in Sharn has taken over the house’s creative work. The Sharn enclave is the practical headquarters for the business of the house, but those with political or invest- ment interests more often approach Jorlanna or Zorlan. Many look to Sharn for new wonders, but Cannith is not limited to one facility. The house has holdings across the continent, and beyond. Though Sharn has the only current forgehold, Cannith estates are found in Fairhaven, Flamekeep, Korth, Throneport, and Trolanport, with small outposts at Regalport and Varna. Abroad, the house has holdings in Pylas Talaear on Aerenal and in Storm- reach on Xen’drik. The Tinkers Guild and Fabricators Guild are found in every major city in the Five Nations, and in larger centers in the lands beyond.
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