Guardians of the Weave

The Guardians of the Weave is a loosely allied group of spellcasters who oppose evil spellcasters, evil gods of magic, and those who would damage or destroy the Weave. Founded three years ago by concerned agents of Mystra, the group quickly gained support from other churches and is now a widespread organization of heroes who try to undo the damage caused by evil spellcasters. What binds the Guardians together is a love of magic, and the desire to protect it against all threats, and in this cause people of many countries and styles of magic set aside their differences to defend their common joy - the Weave. They believe the greatest threat to magic in Faerûn is the Shadow Weave, for if Shar gains enough power from worship through use of the Shadow Weave, she may eventually challenge Mystra, consume the Weave, and force all who would use magic to obey her terms, making it nearly impossible for good magic to exist. The Guardians try to find ways to hinder, convert, or destroy this corrupting rival to their beloved magic.

The Guardians come in many shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Some are far-traveling, some remain in their home city their entire lives. All keep alert for news of harm to the Weave and its good users, whether a phaerimm plot, a new wild magic zone, witch hunts by non-spellcasters, or rumors of someone using Shadow Weave magic. They aid each other as best they can, whether by providing a place to rest, spell trading, or even an emergency teleport spell if possible. The Guardians recognize that the practice of magic is a bond between brothers and sisters of power, and believe that protecting that bond and its source is more important than life itself. Or, as their founder, Aluvauna Thornym, put it, "What purpose to destroy an enemy, if magic itself be the cost?"


The Guardians of the Weave was founded in 1372 by Aluvauna Thornym, a black-haired adventuring mage from Waterdeep. Aluvauna was troubled by an encounter with a Zhent wizard whose magic was difficult to identify, resist, and counter. Her special sense of the Weave, coupled with research into the wizard's spellbook and certain divinations, revealed his use of the Shadow Weave to her. Disgusted at this affront to Mystra's magic, she gathered several of her allies and told them of her concerns. They concurred that Faerûn needed good-minded spellcasters to join to protect the source of pure magic, and the Guardians of the Weave was born. Aluvauna pulled a few strings with the church of Mystra and got an official church blessing for her endeavor. Within a month, a dozen more interested Mystran and Azuthan casters joined the group, hailing from as far away as Halruaa, and within a year representatives of Deneir, Isis, Savras, Selûne, and the elf and gnome magic deities pledged solidarity with the Guardians. Aluvauna found herself in charge of a network of activist mages spanning much of Faerûn. Quickly adjusting to the position of leadership,, she designated a lieutenant in each city served by a Guardian, trained her associates to recognize the signs of the Shadow Weave, and circulated magic to help them observe and report on dangerous spellcasters. Far more public than the Harpers, the Guardians are starting to earn a positive reputation among the common folk of Faerûn.

The Guardians Today

The Guardians is a young organization, and is suffering some growing pains. With such rapid growth, a wide network, and language difficulties, there was some chaos in the ranks over who reports to whom and the establishment of common badges and signals - but Aluvauna's efforts in the past six months have stabilized the organization's numbers and provided a stronger hierarchy for passing information. Some lieutenants are concerned that spies have infiltrated their group, and they're trying to find a subtle way to identify potential enemies without offending or alarming existing members. Aluvauna is working to make peaceful contact with individuals in two key areas: non-evil necromancers who choose to worship Velsharoon instead of Azuth or Mystra, and progressive Thayan wizards who seek magic for its own sake rather than for the power to dominate others. She feels that these Velsharoonite and Thayan contacts would allow her people access to information otherwise blocked to them; so far all but two (one from each group) she has reached were either openly hostile or Shadow Weave users. Aluvauna and many other Guardians are practical enough to accept that ideology isn't enough to convince opposing spell- casters to turn away from evil and destruction, so they study common techniques used by evil mages and practice magical strategies that block or counter those styles. When not seeking out and fighting evil spellcasters, they catalogue wild magic and dead magic areas, offering a small reward for tips that lead to the discovery of a new location not in their records. Their small library is expanding quickly in this specialized are~, and they do what they can to mark these dangerous areas or repair them. Other Guardians explore ruins and unearth tombs looking for dangerous magic items and artifacts so they can be locked away, destroyed, or otherwise kept out of the hands of those who would use such things to do harm.

The Guardians of the Weave has outposts (usually a lieutenant's home) in Silverymoon, Waterdeep, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter, Arabel, Shadowdale, Selgaunt (Sembia), Darromar (Tethyr), Heliogabalus (Damara), Velprintalar (Aglarond), Mulsantir (Rashemen), Alaghôn (Turmish), Cimbar (Chessenta), Skuld (Mulhorand), the Great Rift, and Halagard (Halruaa). When members convene, they usually hold small meetings at a local lieutenant's house, though they have built a shrine outside Silverymoon that they consider the spiritual center of their organization; some have reported unusual beneficial magic effects near the shrine. Many members have never met each other, since only thirty members attended the largest gathering in the past year, due to various ongoing missions and geographical factors.

The Guardian's Foes

All organizations of evil mages are enemies of the Guardians, but a few are particularly hated. The Cult of the Dragon no only practices horrible forms of necromancy, it wishes to help evil dragons rule the world. The Zhentarim have similar plans of domination and are backed by the tyrannical power of an evil god. The Red Wizards are mostly evil, most of them want to rule the world, and most of those who don't are interested in using magic to corrupt and pervert other creatures. The shades, though mysterious in their long-term goals and mostly confined to Anauroch, are devotees of Shar and users of the Shadow Weave. The phaerimms are inherently evil and masters of powerful magic, and they are unafraid to use their magic to further their evil goals. While the church of Shar isn't composed just of arcane spellcasters, all those who worship Shar contribute to the strength of Shadow Weave magic and therefore also are enemies. Of course, there are many lone mages, or minor cabals of foul-minded spellcasters - and the Guardians have a much easier time dealing with them. The Guardians have standing orders to capture any solitary known practitioner of either evil magic or the Shadow Weave (and in larger cities Aluvauna has made sure her agents are legally able to do so). In the case of members of large groups such as the Zhentarim, the Guardians are more cautious in their attacks, tracking their enemies until they can be dealt with in a way that doesn't bring retaliation upon their own organization.

While this practice makes them unpopular with evil mages and users of the Shadow Weave, the Guardians have rarely been attacked despite their public availability. One reason is that any mage who would attack another without provocation normally brands himself as dangerous, and most evil mages aren't willing to expose themselves to attack from public authorities without a very good reason. Another reason is the Guardians are known well enough to one another that an attack on one would bring an investigation and retaliation by others in the group. Thus, like city guards, the Guardians have relative safety in numbers and the power of order on their side; aside from infrequent attacks by the unbalanced, they can move safely despite their stated opposition to evil and chaos.

The Guardian's Allies

The group's devotion to good has made it easy for the Guardians to make alliances with other organizations. The Harpers, the Lords' Alliance, the Moonstars, the newly reformed Covenant, and various knighthoods and paladin orders have pledges of mutual assistance with the Guardians in times of need. Rumors in some high circles say the. Seven Sisters have given the group their blessing.

The Guardians have strong ties to the churches of Mystra, Azuth, and Selûne, and they maintain friendly relations with the followers of Deneir, Isis, Savras, and Thoth. Their gnome members have built ties with the church of Baravar Cloakshadow, and their elf-blood members communicate with the churches of Corellon Larethian; Hanali Celanil, and Sehanine Moonbow. The church of Torm appreciates the Guardians' aid in dealing with wild magic and dead magic areas, and for their particular efforts against the Zhentarim; Kelemvor's church respects them for their opposition to dark necromancy.

Membership in the Guardians

A potential member has to show a love of magic, active opposition to evil, and integrity. The Guardians can't afford to have warriors who flee in the face of wizardry, rogues who cower at the first sign of a magical trap, or spellcasters who are content to let evil magic flourish as long as it doesn't directly affect them. A current Guardian must recommend a potential member to a lieutenant, who gathers information on the person and, if seemingly suitable, arranges a meeting. If the meeting (which requires an on-the-spot detect evil) goes well, the lieutenant petitions Aluvauna for approval by the five senior members.

Most of the Guardians are active spellcasters, though a small number pursue other fields and only dabble in magic. Many worship Mystra or Azuth, and about a third of those are clerics. Spellcasting forms the backbone of the Guardians, though they hire trusted non-spellcaster friends to deal with other functions vital to keeping the group running.

Members are given a badge of office (a brooch, pin, or amulet shaped like a golden web stretched across a circle) but are not required to wear or display it. Each badge is marked on the back with a number to allow the members to track each other and (if necessary) identify a fallen or missing comrade by a found badge. Guardians can act alone or in groups, and there is no restriction against Guardians working with those outside the group (such as a member's fellow adventurers). Like Harper pins, some Guardian badges are magic items.

The Guardians accept dues in the form of money or small magic items that can be used by agents. Dues are used to pay for research, informants, government permits, and damages to property done in the pursuit of their goals. Since most of the members are adventurers, the group is fairly wealthy, and the dues are just a token to maintain the organization without having to dip into private funds. Members in financial trouble can have their expenses covered by the group when on missions for the organization, but this is discouraged and normally only done in true emergency situations

Guardians of the Weave (Standard Arcane): AL CG, LN, LG, NG; 10,000 gp resource limit; Membership 130; Mixed (humans 85, half-elves 20, elves 13, gnomes 6, others 6); Dues 25 gp/month (100 gp to join).

Authority Figures: Aluvauna Thornym (NG female human wizard 11), Dustwater (CG male half-elf bard 9), Havarra Sorokevka (cleric 3/sorcerer 4/hathran 1 of Mystra).

Important Characters: Sarade Gedreghost (NG female human transmuter 12), Dorgafal Shiverock (NG male rock gnome bard 7), Ramas-Teth Ankh (LN male human diviner 9).

Associated Classes: Bard, cleric, druid, paladin, ranger, sorcerer, wizard, or other spellcasting class.

Associated Skills: Gather Information, Knowledge (arcana), Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Spot.

Requirements: A character wanting to join the Guardians of the Weave must be of non-evil alignment and swear an oath to protect the Weave from those who would abuse or destroy it.

All members have essentially the same duties: Keep an eye out for known or obvious evil spellcasters and evidence of the Shadow Weave (whether caster, item, or ongoing effect), report on what they find, and capture (or kill, if absolutely necessary) said spellcasters or people responsible for the Shadow Weave materials. Some members stay close to home and mainly spend time on reports and research, but most are active travelers and steer their adventures toward finding foes of the organization. Most have a magical or mundane way to contact another member in an emergency, and because some of the Guardians are only mid-level spellcasters, sometimes help arrives by way of a teleport spell.

Favored in Guild Benefit: If you have the Favored in Guild feat, you gain a special benefit for belonging to this group. As part of their special training, Guardians using detect magic can recognize a wild magic or dead magic area on the first round of the spell instead of the second round. They get a +1 competence bonus on caster level checks to detect, counterspell, or dispel Shadow Weave effects, and a +1 competence bonus on saving throws against Shadow Weave effects. Members of this group are also eligible to take the Overcome Shadow Weave feat.

Organizations of Faerûn
Lands of Faerûn