Have you ever read any Eberron books? You should - being someone who LOVES worldbuilding I really get into the Eberron stuff.
I am not ALWAYS a fan of shared world stuff, but Wizards have been doing an excellent job of find really good writers these days and the Eberron world setting has quickly become the sort of world I wish I had thought up myself.
Draconic Prophecies #01
by James Wyatt
(From the Archives:)
The Prophecies were old when humans first began to forge their civilisation. Said to give meaning to the past, guidance to the present and to predict the future – a future of the world’s remaking – a future in which Gaven d’Lyrander has unwillingly become the most important player.
Scion to one of the great Dragonmark Houses, whose heirs have the chance to manifest a dragon-like birthmark of great power at puberty, Gaven spent most of his time exploring dark caves looking for valuable dragonshards in the depths of the earth. But in one dragonshard he found more then he or his House were looking for and it invaded his mind, filling him with the most intimate knowledge of the Prophecies a human had ever held. His resulting delirium escalated to all-out madness, and his ravings lead to exile from his House and a life sentence in the island prison of Dreadhold, where he manifested the highest and rarest potential of all Dragonmark Houses, a Siberys Mark.
While Gaven is all but lost in his own mind, a daring rescue springs both himself and his cell neighbour out to a higher calling. Now on the run, the verses of the Prophecies begin to find fulfilment and sanity begins to reclaim its hold on Gaven’s mind. Now he must try to make sense of the visions that plague him waking and sleeping, and figure out the true intentions of his so called ‘rescuers’. For Haldren, a general from the Last War and Gaven’s former inmate, has joined forces with a Dragon who wishes to use the draconic prophecy to attain godhood.
The world of Eberron has been overlooked by most as just another generic medieval fantasy world made for players of Dungeons & Dragons. This is unfortunate because I have found it is much more than that. Eberron is a world that pushes the boundaries of the traditional settings that its sibling Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms tend to embrace. In this world, a world almost bordering on ‘steam-punk’, arcane magic has been applied like science and massive, towering cities defy gravity and elemental-powered airships cross the skies. Its history has been marked by extra-planar incursions, some of which have caused massive devastation and others that are as accepted and as frequent as the seasons. The books explore vibrant, diverse cultures that are scarred by a cataclysmic ‘Last War’ and united in a commitment to keep history from repeating itself, while various organisations and Great Houses look to the ruins of Goblin and Giant empires for powerful secrets and forgotten magic, and one of the greatest mysteries of the world are the Draconic Prophecies.
The books carry a contemporary, yet distinctly fantasy, feel to them and are packed with adventure and mysticism that is the hallmark of entertaining and fast-paced writing. I really enjoyed this book and am slowly exploring others.