An arcane institution founded by the dragonmarked houses, the Twelve operates out of a thirteen-tiered keep that floats above the city of Korth in Karrnath. As part of the agreements that ended the War of the Mark, Hadran d’Cannith suggested that the houses work together to create an institute for the research and study of both arcane magic and the potential of the dragonmarks. The keep was built by Alder d’Cannith, a visionary wizard and master fabricator who used his studies of the sky to determine that the keep should possess thirteen levels. “The moons suggest that the perfect number of dragonmarks is thirteen,” Alder cryptically explained, “but we shall call the institution the Twelve, for the thirteenth mark was cast off long ago.” No one argued with him.
Over the centuries, the Twelve has remained one of the premier centers for magical research in Khorvaire, and only the Arcane Congress can match its resources. The primary focus of the Twelve is the study of dragonmarks and dragonmark focus items, and the development of new magical items that can benefit society (and turn a profit fir the houses). In combining the skills and powers of the different marks, the wizards and artificers of the Twelve have crafted remarkable items. It took the combined skills of Houses Orien, Cannith, and Kundarak to create the spacious vaults that allow Kundarak customers to deposit goods at one bank and withdraw them across the continent. Airships, the lightning rail, even the warforged – these things would not exist without the spirit of cooperation found among the Twelve.
As an arm of the dragonmarked houses, the Twelve attempted to remain neutral during the Last War. However, many of the wizards and artificers of the Twelve has national loyalties that were stronger than their ties to the institute, and the chose to leave to fight in the war. Quite a few fell in battle. Now that the Twelve has resumed normal operations, it seeks to replace fallen members and make sure that each house is represented.