Blademark Guild Adventures (Eberron)
The Dragonmarked Houses are thirteen extended families which control most business throughout Khorvaire. Within the houses, only a small percentage of every generation manifest dragonmarks, which are marks on the body that grant spell-like abilities to those born with them. There used to be thirteen dragonmarks but only twelve remain. Each family possesses only one type of mark, and only one or two races can manifest a particular type of mark. With the exception of House Phiarlan and House Thuranni (which both possess the Mark of Shadow), each house exclusively has one type of dragonmark.
Dragonmarks come in five forms: aberrant, least, lesser, greater, and Siberys. Aberrant dragonmarks are deviations from normal marks and are not recognized by the dragonmarked houses. People who have aberrant dragonmarks are commonly believed to have been warped by Khyber, the Dragon Below. Least, lesser, and greater dragonmarks can be gained by taking the appropriate feats or taking levels in the Dragonmark Heir prestige class. These types of marks must be taken in order. The Siberys mark is the greatest mark, but someone cannot have both a least, lesser, or greater mark along with a Siberys mark. A Siberys mark is gained by taking the Heir of Siberys prestige class.
Another family line known as Vol possessed an additional dragonmark known as the Mark of Death, but that line was mostly destroyed in a conflict between dragons and other elves. Only one heir remains today (named Erandis d’Vol), but because she is a lich she cannot use her dragonmark. However, she tries to gather information to restore the mark through the Order of the Emerald Claw and the religion known as the Blood of Vol.
The worst punishment for a member of a dragonmarked house is called excoriation. It is similar to excommunication in that the other members of the house are not allowed to have any contact with the excoriate under threat of severe punishment themselves. Excoriates may not even avail themselves of the publicly-available services their house provides. Excoriation is the punishment for only the worst offenses that dishonor the house. In prior times, the house would actually flay the dragonmark from the person’s body. If the person survived excoriation, the missing dragonmark would regrow on a different part of the body and continue to function, but its use caused severe pain to the person.