Secret Societies

Waterdeep attracts the interest of various secret societies the same way honey attracts the interest of flies. As the chief bastion of civilization, commerce, and military power on the northern Sword Coast, Waterdeep's dealings affect people for a thousand miles around.

The Harpers

Those Who Harp believe in the power of individuals, the balance between the wilderness and civilization, and the good of humankind and its allies. Harpers have played a powerful part in guiding Waterdeep's energies toward commerce, not conquest. Despite the group's longstanding ties to the City of Splendors, the recent formation of the Tel Teukiira has undercut Harper activities in Waterdeep and divided the loyalties of many Harper agents, friends, and allies.

Although the number of Harpers based in Waterdeep has always been small, each has a score of individual contacts, Harper friends, and secret allies. In addition, many Harpers regularly pass through the City of Splendors, effectively doubling or tripling the number of active Harpers in the city at any given time.

Base of Operations: Although individual Harpers and Harper friends have innumerable contact points, the group does not have a permanent home in Waterdeep itself, aside from Harpers' Hold. This secret section of the Citadel of the Bloody Hand, hidden beneath the western flanks of Mount Waterdeep, is now warded against entry by Khelben or Laeral.

Harpers of Waterdeep (Minor Special): AL NG, CG, LG; 40,000 gp resource limit; Membership 121 (local, including allies); Integrated (humans 41, halflings 24, elves 22, dwarves 12, gnomes 9, half-elves 6, half-orcs 3); Dues none.

Authority Figure: Eather Heilean (see below). In addition, Khelben and Laeral still command a great deal of respect from many rank-and-file Harpers:

Important Characters: Alice Tinker (see below); Bensyl Iyrivvin (CN female half-moon elf wizard 4/rogue 1/Harper agent 2, lady escort at the Blushing Mermaid; Bronwyn Caradoon (see below); Jhandess Millomyr (CG female Tethyrian human bard 7/Harper agent 3, harpmaker and owner of Millomyr Harps [N70]); Nleera Tai~annath Tesper (CG female Illuskan human wizard 7/rogue 1/Harper agent 5); Tantuss Shieldsun (see below); Vedellen Hawkhand (NG male half-sun elf ranger 11).

Important Harper Friends: Coril (see below); Tioch (LN male Tethyrian human fighter 4, "blind beggar" who can magically see Harper pins in full moonlight); and the "Defenders Three": Amstor "the Grim" (LG male lightfoot halfling cleric 7 [Arvoreen]), Asohs "the Daring" (CG male lightfoot halfling male rogue 6), and Pithar "the Bold" (CG male lightfoot halfling fighter 1), who run the Holyhands House.

Associated Classes: Any.

Associated Skills: Concentration, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Knowledge (arcana), Listen, Perform, Spellcraft.

Requirements: None.

Fringe Benefits: The Harpers count many skilled magical artisans among their friends. Once per character level you can purchase a single magic item of 50,000 gp or less for 75% of its normal market price.

Special: Joining the Harpers requires sponsorship by a member in good standing of Those Who Harp and approval from the High-harpers. Members of the Harpers can take the Harper agent or Harper paragon prestige class, if approved by the High Harpers and they meet all requirements.

Coril of Baldur's Gate: Coril (CG fe-"male" Tethyrian human wizard 8) is always seen wearing heavy, black robes and carrying a heavy, metal-bound book under one arm. She seems to be a handsome, clean-shaven young man, with close-cropped, straight brown hair and eyes of sparkling lime green hue, but in truth, she is a woman. Quiet to a fault, Coril is often found in the corners of Waterdeep's taprooms, simply observing the goings-on and making copious notes and sketches. Her tome is a collection of loose papers on which she writes awful verse as well as coded bits of information for the Harpers.

Coril keeps her spellbooks hidden in a cavity behind a loose stone in a roof minaret atop Mariners' Hall. Coril is the illegitimate daughter of the wealthy mercenary lord Sarraver of Baldur's Gate, who has recently rediscovered her whereabouts. She is loathe to move from Waterdeep to escape his unwanted attentions, so she is forced to reject - the increasingly frequent efforts of Sarraver's servants to bring her back to Baldur's Gate and marry her off.

Eather Heilean: Born in the Year of the Wandering Maiden (1337 DR), Eather (LG female Illuskan human paladin 7/Harper paragon 10 of Milil, Foe Hunter feat) wandered the North as a child until the age of twelve, when her parents placed her in fosterage at Evensong Tower in Berdusk. She joined the Harpers at a young age and recently achieved the rank of High Harper with the backing of Bran Skorlsun and Belhuar Thantarth.

In the Year of the Unstrung Harp (1371 DR), in a deliberate rebuke to Khelben, the leaders of Twilight Hall dispatched Eather to Waterdeep to restore "order" to the Harper ranks in Waterdeep. Since her arrival, Eather has begun purging the ranks of those who continue to aid and abet the Tel Teukiira or who challenge the directives of the High Harpers in Berdusk. Eather has also stepped up efforts to recruit new Harpers who are loyal first and foremost to Twilight Hall, many of them recent graduates of New Olamn. Although the change is gradual, under Eather's direction the Harpers of Waterdeep have begun to work more openly and align themselves with the churches of Milil, Oghma, Sune, and Tymora, largely distancing themselves from Blackstaff Tower and the Tel Teukiira.

Tantuss Shieldsun: Tantuss (NG male Illuskan ranger 10 [Mielikki]) is tall, broad-shouldered, and barrel-chested, with a black hair and a bushy beard. Almost comically shy around women (particularly the priestesses of the Shrines of Nature), he is constantly bowing his head in devout prayer to prevent any from seeing him blush. Tantuss makes his living as an adventurer, guiding and defending caravans across the North and hiring himself out to adventuring bands (although he will not enter tombs or private homes without just cause). As a Harper, he often carries messages from the Lady's Hands to other servants of the Lady of the Forest across the North. He also tutors rangers for small fees, donating that which he does not need to live to the church.

Alice Tinker: Alice (NG female rock gnome fighter 4/rogue 1/Harper agent 1) works in the Curious Past as Bronwyn's assistant. Skilled at drawing and appraising, she is also an agent of the Harpers, active in aiding the adventures and aspirations of Waterdeep's halfling and gnome communities. Alice's presence has made the Curious Past a popular but clandestine meeting place for halflings and gnomes embroiled in the latest intrigues.

Bronwyn Caradoon: Born in the Year of Moonfall (1344 DR) Hrorulf and Gwenindale Caradoon, Bronwyn (NG female Illuskan human rogue 5/Harper agent 4) is small and slim, with an athletic build, long-brown hair pulled back in a single braid, and large brown eyes. Captured by Zhentarim slavers as a child, she grew up in Amn and became an adept counterfeiter of jewelry and coins. After purchasing her freedom, she became an antiquities dealer. Recruited to the Harpers, she moved to Waterdeep, where she divides her time between tending her shop, the Curious Past, and adventuring in search of new treasures.

Bronwyn can provide information and lore on little-known treasures, translation of ancient texts and inscriptions, or discrete introductions to "collectors" who operate somewhat left of the law. She also "hears things," and adventurers hired to locate lost or stolen objects would do well to check with her. Dandies, socialites, and others who possess an excess of coin will her find her shop a rich trove of unusual jewelry and curiosities. As a member of Those Who Harp, Bronwyn carries messages and gives aid to Harpers passing through Waterdeep.

As a descendant of the legendary Samular, Bronwyn has acquired several unusual familial legacies. She holds one of the three rings of Samular, and she has returned one to the Knights of Samular. She also holds title to the keep known as Thornhold. Her estranged brother is Dag Zoreth (born Brandon Caradoon) of Darkhold (CE male Illuskan human cleric strifeleader 5 [Cyric], Trickery domain), and she is raising his young daughter, Cara, who owns the third ring.

Bronwyn is not on good terms with the Knights of Samular, particularly Algorind of Tyr or Sir Gareth Cormaeril, or the Zhentarim, including her brother and his mentor, Malchior of Darkhold. Through her friend Ebeneezer Stoneshift (CN male shield dwarf fighter 7/rogue 7), Bronwyn is closely allied with the shield dwarves of Clan Stoneshaft and allows them to occupy Thornhold as their clanhold.

The Knights of the Shield

The Knights of the Shield purport to be a consortium of merchants and nobles interested in manipulating political and mercantile activity for their own economic gain, but, in truth, their influence stems from their ability to acquire, manipulate, and wield information. Based primarily in Amn, Tethyr, and Baldur's Gate, their influence extends from Calimshan and the Shining Sea to Waterdeep. The Knights hold some notoriety in the North, for rumors place a disguised evil being from the lower planes at the head of this group.

The Knights have kept a low profile in Waterdeep for the past decade, after a disastrous attempt to overthrow the Lords resulted in the organization being largely driven from the City of Splendors.

Bly Ruldegost: The only Knight of any prominence to reside in the city is Lord Ely Ruldegost (LN male Illuskan human fighter 8), a proud and honorable man and the regent of House Ruldegost. Lord Ely has little interest in overthrowing the Lords or placing a Knight among their number, and he has blocked all suggestions to do one or the other. Lord Ely continues his efforts to recruit other Waterdhavian nobles to the knighthood, but so far without success, thanks to the quiet whispers of the various Lords of Waterdeep.

Mather Ukkhemn: Mather (CE male Tethyrian commoner 5) is a fat, egotistical Tethyrian merchant who moonlights as a slaver and visits Waterdeep on occasion for business. Having earned the ire of Durnan after staying at the Yawning Portal with a pair of slaves, Mather must now keep a very low profile on return visits. Mather is a strong advocate of placing a member of the order among the Lords of Waterdeep, and Lord Inselm Hhune of Tethyr recently entrusted to him the identity of a suspected Lord of Waterdeep. After being firmly rejected by Lord Bly Ruldegost in any attempt to replace Nindil Jalbuck with a member of the Knights, Mather revealed Nindil's identity as a Lord of Waterdeep to the Unseen for a tidy sum of money. Mather is now terrified that Lord Hhune or Lord Ely will discover his treachery and hold him accountable.

The Kraken Society

The Kraken Society is a shadowy group active in the North and the islands of the Trackless Sea. They have a well-deserved reputation in the North for kidnapping, assassination, torture, and thuggery, but their focus is on information gathering because the organization believes that information is power. Most Krakenar join the group in order to advance their own personal power and wealth, but few suspect that the leader of the organization, Slarkrethel (NE male kraken sorcerer 20, Serpah of Umberlee) seeks to build a kingdom encompassing the depths of the Trackless Sea and the western coast of Faerûn.

Local agents of the Kraken Society include the Skum Lord (LE aboleth sorcerer 6/cleric 7) and Meritid Archneie (CE male Tethyrian human cleric 11 [Umberlee]).

Red Sashes

The Red Sashes are a vigilante group active in Waterdeep's poorer neighborhoods, particularly Dock Ward. Answering only to "the One" (Durnan), the Red Sashes excel at intrigue, hiding people, and finding people who do not want to be found. The Red Sashes appear to work against the Lords of Waterdeep, but in truth, they often end up serving the Lords indirectly.

Unlike most vigilantes, the Red Sashes do not act impetuously or excessively. They keep a close eye on Waterdeep's seamy underbelly, carefully observing the abused and their abusers. If the Watch seems inclined to step in and actually serve the cause of justice, then the Red Sashes remain in the shadows. However, if the Watch pursues an innocent person, the Red Sashes might surreptitiously assist his escape. Likewise, if the Watch seems disinclined to pursue someone who has committed a crime, the Red Sashes might apprehend the wrongdoer and deposit him on the Palace steps. Such public captures both embarrass the Watch and draw public attention to the case.

The Red Sashes are organized into cells, one per ward, each answerable only to "the One." The Castle, Trades, and Dock Ward cells are the strongest and most active. Most Red Sashes only know the identities of their fellow cell members, meaning that the arrest of the few cannot unravel the whole organization. Coordination among the various cells is rare or nonexistent, and sometimes multiple cells have pursued the same individual. As "the One" seems capable of eluding all detection, magical or otherwise, the unmasking of a single cell leader has not yet led to another cell being penetrated. Among the Lords of Waterdeep, only Khelben, Kitten, Mirt, Nindil, and Sammereza are aware of Durnan's involvement with the Red Sashes. The more practical Lords keep this information away from the paladins of the group, who would never approve of the group's methods. Laeral Silverhand Arunsun and the Unseen are among the few others who know Durnan's secret.

Base of Operations: Various taverns in Dock Ward.

Red Sashes (Standard Criminal): AL CG, CN, NG; 11,000 gp resource limit; Membership 137; Mixed (humans 87, shield dwarves 14, elves 14, lightfoot halflings 7, half-elves 7, gnomes 4, half-orcs 3, others 1); Dues 5 gp/month (none to join).

Authority Figure: "The One" (Durnan).

Important Characters: Baklin (see below); Naneatha Lhaurilstar (see below); Jurisk Ulhammond (see below).

Associated Classes: Bard, expert, fighter, ranger, rogue, warrior. -

Associated Skills: Bluff, Climb, Disguise, Gather Information, Knowledge (local), Sense Motive, Use Rope.

Requirements: You may not divulge secrets of the society to outsiders. You should be present in Waterdeep for an average of 10 hours per tenday, available to participate when summoned to action.

Favored in Guild Fringe Benefit: You are intimately familiar with one of Waterdeep's wards, and know many of its people and secrets. Choose one ward; while in that ward, you gain a +2 bonus on Gather Information, Search, Spot, Listen, and Sense Motive checks.

Joining the Red Sashes requires only an oath of loyalty to the One, but this is an organization that approaches potential members, not the other way around: Invitations to join the group are only made after a period of extended observation and a series of casual conversations crafted to draw out the potential candidate's views. Many members of the group take the vigilante prestige class.

Baklin: Baklin of Clan Stoneshaft (LN male shield dwarf fighter 7) is a stout, bearded dwarf, largely unremarkable among his kind. He tends bar at the Quaffing Quaggoth, keeping an eye on goings on for the Red Sashes.

Surrolph Hlakken: Surrolph (CG male commoner 16/vigilante 1) is a fat, balding man with thick fingers who wears fine robes that have long since lost their original sheen. Surrolph is a horse dealer at the Hlakken stables and the chief information gatherer for the Red Sashes.

Naneatha Lharilstar: Naneatha (NG female Chondathan rogue 6/vigilante 5) is an olive-skinned beauty with raven black hair and striking green eyes. She works as a courtesan at the Palace and owns her own domicile. Naneatha is the leader of the Castle Ward cell and one of two ward leaders who know that "the One" is Durnan.

Jurisk Ulhammond: Jurisk (CG male human rogue 5/fighter 8/vigilante 1) is a mousy-looking with a thin, prematurely gray hair who looks much older than his age. He favors ink-stained robes and endless cups of boiling hot tea. Jurisk is a moneylender and the leader of a Trades Ward cell. As one of the most trusted lieutenants of "the One," Jurisk is only one of two Red Sashes who knows that Durnan is "the One."

By chance, Jurisk fell afoul of a greater doppelganger of the Unseen one month ago during while indulging in a visit with his favorite courtesan. Jurisk's identity is now a facade for Ptola, one of Hlaavin's lieutenants. The Unseen are only beginning to decide what to do with these newly verified suspicions, but it will almost certainly play into Hlaavin's efforts to manipulate the Lords of Waterdeep.

The Tel Teukiira

The Tel Teukiira (an Elven word that translates as "Moonstars" or "Silverstars") are a group of renegade Harpers and allies of the Blackstaff who seek to bring together humans, elves, and other races against the many dangers lurking in the shadows of Faerûn. The members of the Tel Teukiira seek to learn from the lessons of history, preserving and learning from the lore of lost civilizations. Although the Lord and Lady Arunsun still believe that the goals of Those Who Harp are right and true, the Blackstaff formed the Tel Teukiira to address goals that range far beyond the scope of Harper activities. In the Year of the Laughing Swan, Khelben, in the guise of a cloistered monk of Candlekeep, discovered dire threats within Alaundo's Prophecies that no one else had ever perceived. At first Khelben hoped to counter these threats through his shepherding of the Harpers, but over time the group slipped from his control.

In the Year of the Prince (1357 DR), Khelben stole the Scepter of the Sorcerer Kings from the Harper vault known as the Catacombs of Ordulin and replaced it with an illusory duplicate. Over a decade later, he made sure the Scepter fell into the hands of Fzoul Chembryl, head of the Zhentarim. Fzoul used the Scepter to destroy the banelich Faram Khaldan. When Khelben's action was discovered in the Year of the Tankard (1370 DR), the Harpers of Twilight Hall in Berdusk put Khelben on trial, and the Blackstaff admitted his guilt and resigned from Those Who Harp. Khelben then founded the Tel Teukiira, putting in motion his long-brewing plan.

Organizationally, the Tel Teukiira shares much in common with the Harpers, except that the group is under the firm direction of the Blackstaff. Laeral has no official standing within the group, but she speaks with authority second only to Khelben. Reporting directly to the Blackstaff are twelve senior agents, who meet in conclave every eight tendays and have the individual authority to shepherd regional and active agents. Thirty regional agents serve as the eyes and ears of the group, monitoring events and news within a broad region. Finally, twelve active field agents are in the forefront of the group's activities, implementing the decisions of the senior agents.

Base of Operations: The Tel Teukiira is headquartered at Blackstaff Tower, but most members live elsewhere in the Realms and rarely, if ever, physically visit. The group's true base of operation is the Silver Safehold, an extraplanar stronghold built by the Sword Heralds of Cormyr and accessible to members of the group by means of their Teukiir badges. The Safehold acts as a central meeting hall for all members, a private meeting chamber for senior agents, a small dormitory for agents hiding out from other forces, and a library for the lore to be collected and shared by the members.

Tel Teukiira (Minor Special): AL NG, LG, LN; 100,000 gp resource limit; Membership 56; Integrated (humans 21, elves 11, half-elves 10, gnomes 3, tiefling 1, vampire 1, others 9).

Authority Figures: Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun (LN male human [Chosen of Mystra] wizard 24/archmage 3); Laeral Silverhand Arunsun.

Important Characters: Kiirma Blackmane (LE female half-wood elf rogue 5/sorcerer 6/shadow thief of Amn 2/arcane trickster 3, shadowmaster of Riatavin); Calhyar of the Winds (LN female Rashemi human wizard 7/hathran 10, third-senior Witch of Mulsantir); Zandess Danthiir (LG female Calishite human paladin 6/martyred champion of Ilmater 4 [Ilmater], Tethyrian noble active in Impiltur); Janxar "Sharpaxe" Dhoarn (LN male half-moon elf fighter 14, Alaghôn's richest mercenary captain); Malchor Harpell (NG male Illuskan human wizard 20/archmage 5, Khelben's greatest apprentice after Laeral and most skeptical member); Phaerl Hawksong (CG female moon elf cleric 15 [Sehanine], senior priestess at the Tower of Moon's Magic in Evereska); Jhuvik of the Seven Gems (N male wood elf rogue 5/cleric 10 [Mystra]); Myrmeen Lhal (NG female Chondathan human ranger 12 [Tymora], lord of Arabel); The Mistmaster (CN male Illuskan human cleric 9/illusionist 16 [Deneir], mysterious resident of the Citadel of the Mists); Mintiper Moonsilver (CN male Tethyrian human bard 19, famed bard of the North); Lord of Mystery Telornym (NG male Chondathan human cleric 5/sorcerer 4/dweomerkeeper 6 [Mystra], second-ranking priest at the Tower of Mysteries in Saerboon); Fourth Reader Shaynara Tullastar (N female Tethyrian human cleric 11 [Oghma], one of Candlekeep's most valuable researchers).

Associated Classes: Any.

Associated Skills: Concentration, Decipher Script, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), Perform, Spellcraft.

Requirements: None.

Favored in Guild Fringe Benefit: The Moonstars count many skilled magical artisans among their friends. Once per character level you can purchase a single magic item of 50,000 gp or less for 75% of its normal market price.

Special: Joining the Tel Teukiira requires the personal invitation of the Blackstaff or Lady Arunsun.

Members of the Tel Teukiira can take the Moonstar agent prestige class, if they meet the requirements. Former members of the Harpers with levels in the various Harper prestige classes (Harper agent and Harper paragon) are not considered "Ex-Harpers" and do not lose any of their current abilities when they leave the Harpers for the Moonstars, but they cannot continue to advance in such classes, reflecting the ambivalent relationship between the two groups. All Moonstars can acquire the Blessed of the Seven Sisters feat, assuming they meet the prerequisites.

Kylia: Although Kylia, (CG female rock gnome illusionist 12/Moonstar agent 1) looks like a fragile doll of unassuming demeanor, with immaculate auburn hair and red robes, she is one of the Lords' most effective agents, having proved her skill by deducing the identities of nearly all the Lords simply through observation and then confronting Khelben with the fact. Her penchant for dramatics when using magic and need for attention have led her to work far more closely with Laeral than with Khelben. Kylia plays the role of "Liak," a male half-elf apprentice of "Irusyl Eraneth," during forays into the Port of Shadow. The gnome illusionist rooms at Madam Garah's boarding house and The Deepfires in Skullport.

Winter Zulth: Winter (LN male half-moon-elf wizard 16) works in The Horizon's Sails as a mapmaker, creating the magic logbooks and maps for which the shop is famed. Winter has been actively involved in advocating a broad expansion of overseas trade for the city.

Organizations of Waterdeep

Organizations of Faerûn
Lands of Faerûn