Three thousand years ago, strange drawings appeared on the skin of elves from the Kingdom of Aerenal. These drawings looked more like a birthmark than a tatoo. Those were the first dragonmarks. Those dragonmarks gave their bearers magical abilities that have been a source of power and conflict for centuries.
The elven bards known as phiarlans and the necromancers of the House of Vol were the first ones to bear those marks. However, the marks seemed to follow one of the two possible patterns. Those marks were later named the Mark of Shadow and the Mark of Death. As the House of Vol grew in power, the bearers of the Mark of Death started experimenting with the crossbreeding of elves and dragons. Those experiences were looked on as an abomination by both races. The decision was taken to destroy every single bearer of the Mark of Death, none of whom have been seen since that day.
Through the centuries, different marks appeared in other races and bloodlines. The Marks of Hospitality and Healing on the halflings of the Talenta Plains, the Mark of Scribing on the gnomes of Zilargo, the Marks of Making, Sentinel, Passage, and Handling on the humans of Galifar, the Mark of Warding on the dwarves of the Mror Holds, as well as the Marks of Storm and Detection on Half Elves and Mark of Finding on the humans and half-orcs of the Shadow Marches.
The twelve dragonmarked bloodlines then formed thirteen great houses. The power of their marks is the source of economic and political power across Khorvaire.
The dragons of Argonnessen recognize dragonmarks as part of the Draconic Prophecy. They study these marks as they represent their appearance on the so-called “lesser races.”
All Dragonmarks are passed through bloodlines. When two members of different dragonmarked families reproduce, however, it often results in the offspring bearing aberrant dragonmarks.
The aberrant marks do not manifest identically each time, therefore it is possible for two individuals with completely different marks to produce the same magical effect using the mark. Indeed each aberrant dragonmark is completely unique to its bearer.
Originally aberrant marked were seen as outcasts and outsiders. Often they were shunned by the houses and eked out a pitiful existence. Many members bearing these aberrant dragonmarks have since united in their differences and formed House Tarkanan, most notably present in Sharn.