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Generic Thieves Guild...


D&D 3.5/d20/OGL


Hey-ho all - I've been away from forums for a while, worse luck, but I've still been whittling away on Lilith's fabulous NPC Stat bank (over at http://www.dmtools.org/ - if you've not been, you should go). I've been crafting a generic thieves guild of sorts (if you search under 'Dagger Guild' they'll all show up), and I'm getting to the best parts - the inner circle at the top, and the guildmaster.

Somehow, without really meaning to, I've found myself writing back-story, history, and the like. I'm wondering if there's any interest at all for the 'when, where, why and how' that would go with the 'who' list you get when you search 'Dagger Guild.' I couldn't help myself - this became a bit of a fun mental exercise. By the time I'm finished, there'll actually be a CR for everything between 1 and 22 for the generic Dagger Guild, and ideas for hooks of each. I've decided that my next campaign will involve the Dagger Guild as an on-going 'B' or 'C' plot, as a way to give the city setting a nice consistency, and as a fun way to make back-colour suddenly turn into some really deadly immediate action, and a potential adventure all of its own at the end.

Anyway, enough shameless self promotion - if you'd like to hear some of the back-story, I figured here was as good a place as any...


Fire away Bram

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Backstory for a Thieves' Guild and its members? Of course I want to hear it! It could really help flesh out the NPCs and provide adventure hooks, even if we don't use the NPCs as written...

I can't wait to hear it!


A quick link for the Dagger Guild on DM Tools. :)

Write away, I've been intrigued ever since the Dagger Guild started showing up on the site. :)


Faboo, thanks. I shall begin turning my notes from random scrawls into some sort of organized fashion. But the whole thing begins with a dagger, of course...

I'll try to organize it in a series of encounters as 'B' or 'C' plot events, for ease of weaving into an ongoing campaign.

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter 2014

I've been keeping up with your Dagger Guild stat blocks since you started writing them. I kinda worked out little stories and scenarios with them because I've always been a player of thieves and scoundrels. Many of our non-campaign games have been thieves guild games, and in a couple we spent alot of time accounting the operations of the guild. May sound boring to some but it's alot of fun every now and then and is a good tool for fully thinking out your other games.


Bram, I too would be interested to look at the complete Dagger Guild "story". I have just recently used one of your stat blocks for the 9th lvl knight to close out a side plot line in my own campaign. The LN knight went down under the blades of my group and I laughed when they asked me who they could turn his head in to for a reward.

"Um, guys, you realize you just killed a knight right? If any one finds out, You will be the ones with a reward on your heads."

"aw man..."

-Roth


Rothandalantearic wrote:

Bram, I too would be interested to look at the complete Dagger Guild "story". I have just recently used one of your stat blocks for the 9th lvl knight to close out a side plot line in my own campaign. The LN knight went down under the blades of my group and I laughed when they asked me who they could turn his head in to for a reward.

"Um, guys, you realize you just killed a knight right? If any one finds out, You will be the ones with a reward on your heads."

"aw man..."

Heh! I love doing this sort of thing. I'm glad the Knight was useful. :) I've enjoyed having a Paladin sent against the group in the past (a la 'Order of the Stick,') or other lawful and empowered folk whom the PCs can't just smack down for the heck of it.


It may take a few posts to get this all out...

[u]The Dagger Guild[/u]

The Dagger Guild was formed by what might seem an unlikely guildmaster: a lich. The lich, however, was an Arcane Trickster in life, and was once a member of a fairly famous (or, perhaps, infamous) adventuring group known as “Olidamarra's Masks.” They consisted of four members: Rodian (Human male Wizard/Rogue/Arcane Trickster), Kylu (Human female Cleric of Olidamarra), Chance (Human male Bard/Shadowdancer), and Gradin (Human male Fighter). Not known for being especially moralistic, they weren't unkind, just unfocused, and often happy to sell themselves to the highest bidder, or aim for the job with the largest risks, and ultimately, the best rewards. They were most noted, however, for the masks from which they'd taken their names – when in the public eye, they wore half-masks much of the time, and though the real names and identities of Chance and Gradin were known (they were more or less commoners), Rodian and Kylu took great pains to keep their identities to themselves – they were both from highly placed mercantile families, and didn't want to risk public censure for their oft less-than-proper antics.

It was during the height of their popularity among the common folk and among the nobles (though the latter considered the adventurers a kind of gauche but interesting 'newest thing') that they came under the attention of Markios, a vampire (and cleric of Vecna). Markios wanted to learn who Rodian and Kylu were, and more importantly, use the information to blackmail them. His divinations were mostly thwarted by the magics that Rodian and Kylu used to protect themselves, however, so Markios tried a different approach.

Prophecies were remarkable things. Markios had long ago learned to twist and warp them to his advantage when playing games with the faithful, and it was not long before he came across a future telling that worked to his advantage. Arranging a meeting with Olidamarra's Masks, he hired them for a brief but successful – and entirely pre-planned – 'rescue' of a noted prophet from the brigands he had himself anonymously hired to kidnap in the first place. The prophet spoke of the future of all of the band, including telling Rodian the one thing that Markios most hoped he'd learn: that Rodian was destined to lose his soul to a follower of Olidamarra. His soul, Rodian learned, would be stolen, and in the name of the very god he'd chosen to follow all his years.

The group didn't realize that Rodian believed them the most likely culprits of this future crime, and he grew paranoid and panicked. He cast more and more divinations, and learned the same results over and over – that indeed, someone would at one point find a way to steal his soul, and it would most likely be one of his companions!

By this time, through means less magical, Markios had learned Rodian's identity – many divinations required expensive material components, and tracking them to a buyer was easy enough given enough time. Markios befriended Rodian in his non-adventuring role, and whispered sly words into Rodian's ear. Rodian eventually believed Markios to be a good and trustworthy friend, he confided the truth of the prophecy to Markios, and Markios knew at that moment he had him.

...


What he really wanted was to claim the souls of these four for Vecna, and to see them life on in undeath as servants to the God of Secrets. His plan began with what seemed to Rodian to be potential plans to keep his soul to his own: surely there was a way to leave a soul untouchable to even the most fervent followers of Olidamarra.

Though patient influence, old tomes, and the gentle stoking of Rodian's paranoid worry, Markios introduced the notion of lichdom to Rodian. At first horrified – it seemed to Rodian that turning from life and becoming a creature of undeath was a very extreme way to ensure his soul remained in his own possession – with Markios's patient whispers and influence, Rodian's grasp on morality slipped, and it did indeed seem to be the only way.

The path to lichdom is an evil and twisted one, and once Rodian was on the path, he revealed his own true nature first as a follower of Vecna, and later as a vampire, and suggested that his companions – the most likely culprits of potential theft of Rodian's soul – be sacrificed and placed under Markios's own control: in short, he would make them into vampires himself.

When the first two of the Olidamarra's Masks went missing, it seemed to the public that their luck had likely finally run out somewhere, but Rodian was most worried about Kylu, and wanted to wait until his own transformation into a Lich was complete before he tried to turn Kylu into a creature of the night. Meanwhile, Markios did indeed have total control over the now undead Chance and Gradin, and they were subservient in all ways. Feeling the rush of success, Rodian made the final steps, and became a Lich, sealing the dark undead thing that was now his soul into his phylactery – a container built inside his magical dagger's hilt – and set up the ambush that would end Kylu's life.

But Kylu, one favored by Olidamarra, and worried about her missing companions, had been seeking guidance from her god, and was enough forewarned that she escaped after seeing what had happened to her companions, and the horrific creatures that they had become – including Rodian's transformation into a lich. She went into hiding, desperately trying to figure out what to do, while her former friends and allies searched for her.

Through tireless divinations and searching, and communing with her god, Kylu learned of Rodian's plan to keep his soul from the hands of Olidamarra, and had an idea: how better to control a lich – and hopefully find a way to restore him, a man she once admired and whose love of Olidamarra was once so pure – than to snatch his phylactery from him? He could not dare harm her while she alone could ensure its safety, and that would let her control him. With time, perhaps she could even steal him back from Vecna and the undeath he had chosen – a theft definitely worthy of a cleric of Olidamarra.

Things didn't go off completely as planned, however. Kylu managed to gather a new group of followers, and their strike on Rodian's lair in the bright daylight meant they didn't have to deal with the vampires, but Rodian had surrounded himself with other followers and protections, and the battle didn't go easily. Kylu did manage to snatch the dagger and escape, but the rest of her party, except for the party wizard who teleported them to safety, perished in the attempt, and Kylu was badly wounded. When Kylu returned to her home and saw it in flames, she knew that her plan wasn't necessarily going to work, and in true fashion to one worshipping Olidamarra, she came up with another plan.

...


Kylu and the wizard worked further magics into the dagger, which was itself already a potent blade, and gave it sentience in keeping with their aims, including a strong loyalty to Olidamarra, and the power to summon itself an air elemental in times of trouble. When finished, they planned to put the dagger into hiding, and then contact Rodian to begin the bargaining and demand he submit to their will, but Rodian caught up to them too early, and in the resulting conflict, both Kylu and the wizard were killed.

Days after her death, Kylu rose as a ghost in the manor of Rodian, and did herself flee as soon as she could. She hasn't been able to find her body – though she is sure that Rodian has it in his manor – and seems to be unable to leave the confines of the city walls. Often spying and listening – and watching for the dagger.

Rodian had reclaimed his dagger of course, none the wiser to it's new abilities, and the dagger itself kept quiet. It waited patiently for days, until finally finding a chance with a weak-willed servant, Kylu possessed the servant, had a fake but identical dagger made, and managed to make a switch. She spoke to the real dagger – who remembered her - and had it will its air-elemental companion into being. They flew from the manor, and the ghost and the dagger began their long hiding.

When Rodian realized his dagger was gone, his fury knew no bounds. The very thing he had tried to prevent had come to pass, and he slew Markios in a violent explosion of magical force in a daylight assault, accusing the vampire of misleading him from the get-go. He carefully entombed the coffins of Chance and Gradin in his own manor, leaving them still under his control, but now able to act more on their own, and set about trying to recover his phylactery.

It began with charming thieves, and dominating members of the various thieves guilds that worked in the city, but soon it became obvious that the various factions and opposing guilds were working so much against each other as to make using them less than optimally effective. Rodian, seeing his best opportunity to recover the dagger would likely be a nonmagical one (since his divinations were not turning up the dagger at all, thanks to Kylu's spells and the quick-thinking and constant moving of the dagger itself), and the best way to ensure the dagger was stolen back was to control the thieves of the city.

All of them.

It took him the better part of a three decades, but what is time to an unliving creature? Still impatient and paranoid, and incredibly careful, Rodian has wormed his controlling hands into all manner of areas of the city, eliminated rival thieving factions, and united the survivors and the talented into one guild, his own guild, the Dagger Guild. And though it is a lucrative and powerful guild, its true aim is the recovery of a single magical dagger.

The one with his soul in it.

(fini)

So there you go - the bare-bones history of how the Dagger Guild came to be. Going forward, I'll pop up a series of encounters starting way back at EL 1, for how PCs can get involved, learn, and hopefully eventually be a part of what brings Rodian down.


Wow! Bravo!

These guys are great. Good motivations for tight control on the cities crime. Cool BBEG with motivations outside of the normal "crime is the easiest way for me to gain wealth and power". Good story motivations for why this guild would in some way begin "interacting" (i.e. adventures) with an adventuring party.

Thanks Bram!

-Roth


Dude This is so so so so perfect for this one on one game I am runing for one of my friends he wanted the whole city thief like thing, dude can you please come up with more stuff everything is great! how about a good guild that wants to fight the Dagger Guild, how the guild is broken down, some more guild members, A rivial Guild, and some more common folk, I only ask because your rocking this man and I'm going to use all of it if thats alright with you?


Bump


Haun wrote:
Dude This is so so so so perfect for this one on one game I am runing for one of my friends he wanted the whole city thief like thing, dude can you please come up with more stuff everything is great! how about a good guild that wants to fight the Dagger Guild, how the guild is broken down, some more guild members, A rivial Guild, and some more common folk, I only ask because your rocking this man and I'm going to use all of it if thats alright with you?

*grins* More than alright. :)

Y'okay, in order:

A good guild that wants to fight the Dagger Guild - my plan for 'support' for the PCs (or, in your case PC) who are trying to take down the Dagger Guild is for the remnants of those guilds that Rodian shattered and/or merged into his own. One thing you might have noticed is that beyond 3rd or 4th level characters or so, there's almost no non-humans in the upper ranks of the Dagger Guild. Among other things, Rodian is a throwback to a time when non-humans weren't populous in the now-metropolis of the city I imagine the Dagger Guild to be a part of. As such, elves, dwarves, gnomes - and, especially, halflings aren't really all that welcome in the guild, or if they get in, don't seem to rise anywhere. So I picture a nascent 'rival guild' growing out of more non-human stock, with a more CG and CN alignment than the Dagger Guild's LE and NE tendancies. In specific, they'd start to coalesce around the bearer of the pylactery dagger (and his ghost bodyguard, whether or not he knows about his ghost bodyguard and/or the intelligence of the dagger) - my plan would be to drop this dagger into the hands of an unknowing PC, and having the intelligent dagger play its own powers down/quiet for as long as possible (all the better to stay hidden by).

I'll be posting more on how the guild is organized likely tomorrow morning - I'm afraid my job cuts into my gaming time. ;) More members await, as well, I've worked my way up to the inner council (almost done) and they'll be useful to explain a lot of how the guild runs, but again, I'll write more on that tomorrow.

Hopefully it's all (or mostly) useful for you.

Thanks again for the compliment!


Great Yeah I was thinking that A rival Guild would hire him to go undercover to join the Dagger Guild and from there be like a shining star then slowly but surely take out all the guild and make it collapse on its self..... And yeah I would love to know how the guild actually runs and all that anything really would help I am so using this in a city based area and i think you have atleast a very good base for me to work with I love it I have to say its pretty sweet I have all of what you have done so far in my computer in order of what they do and level so im in to it and yeah Work sucks I know what you mean and no worries about trying to get it done man I have already plenty of stuff to work with its just its like a good book I cant put it down i want more and more you know.


Very cool. Its nice to see an idea for a thieves guild other than just the ordinary "I want to get rich" types. I very creative idea, I might just have to use it in a campaign at somepoint (if thats alright with you).


Arctaris wrote:
Very cool. Its nice to see an idea for a thieves guild other than just the ordinary "I want to get rich" types. I very creative idea, I might just have to use it in a campaign at somepoint (if thats alright with you).

Of course!

I should be able to start spitting out encounter ideas tomorrow, everything from lowly encounters with pick-pockets, to being targeted by the Dagger Guild for 'knowing too much.'

Would y'all find a series of Gather Information and/or Knowledge (local) skill checks with DCs and information be useful?


Yeah! Anything
but what Im really want to know is how it works and more in depths about the Dagger Guild

And maybe a little on a rival guild


Haun wrote:

Yeah! Anything

but what Im really want to know is how it works and more in depths about the Dagger Guild

At the apex of the Dagger Guild is, of course, Rodian (CR 22; Human Lich Wiz7/Rog3/ArcTrick10). Through Rary's Telepathic Bond he shares a link with his puppet (CR 20; Human Wiz5/Rog5/ArcTrick10), who he presents as the real guildmaster and rules through. Occasionally, he uses Magic Jar to possess other beings if he needs to appear at the inner circle meetings more directly.

The inner circle – known as 'the Sheathed' – number five. These are the Guildmembers who run the day-to-day operations of the Dagger Guild, reporting to the Puppet (and through him the real Guildmaster). The Sheathed are made up of the following persons: First, the Head Assassin (CR 15; Rog5/Asn10), whose job is the most straightforward, and ensures that the nobility and those who can afford the services of the Assassins pay dearly and that no one overly loyal or who pays protection to the Guild is targetted. Second, the Spymaster (CR 17; Rog5/Spymaster7/Chameleon5) is in charge of the vast network of informers, spies, paid servants, and allies to the guild, and ensuring that the Dagger Guild is one step ahead of its enemies, and always on the right side of blackmailings and manipulations. Third, the Book-keeper (CR 14; Ari4/Rog5/Bard6) is in charge of the guild's funds and income, and is the woman who ensures that the income of the guild is balanced between both legitimate income and the other sort, and is also a highly placed governmental aristocrat capable of swaying city policies when necessary. Fourth, the Head of Defense (CR 16; Rog3/Abj5/ArcTric8) is the man behind the defense of the Guildhouse itself, by magic and by mundane methods, as well as the head trapsmith, the one in charge of providing magical abjurations and misleading scrying attempts and ensuring that no one uses forces arcane to learn more about the Dagger Guild. And fifth and lastly, there is the “Spiritual Advisor,” (CR 18; Cleric of Vecna 8/Wizard 3/Mystic Theurge 10), a gnarled old man with a keen wit, who aids all the rest (and makes plans of his own).


May I suggest that you submit this idea in an orginized form to Paizo as an adventure? They pay free-lance writers pretty well (I beleive the current rate is $0.05/ word to first time writers). I would probably buy it.


More I need more lol
Man that is great
your on a role keep it comeing the more you give the more i will take
but if you ever need help or want any ideas i can help there
but thanks and anything more ( would like alot more of what the dagger guild does and has done) that you write would be loved


Arctaris wrote:
May I suggest that you submit this idea in an orginized form to Paizo as an adventure? They pay free-lance writers pretty well (I beleive the current rate is $0.05/ word to first time writers). I would probably buy it.

So far, everything I've submitted has been unsuitable to their needs, alas. I certainly want to keep trying, but I think this particular idea would be too large/too many words. Though putting forth Rodian as a critical threat might be worthwhile... Hrm.


Haun wrote:
would like alot more of what the dagger guild does and has done

The biggest thing that the Dagger Guild has done to further its success is expand itself into legitimate businesses. Through the organization of the Book-Keeper, and at the behest of the other Sheathed and the Guildmaster (through his Puppet), the Guild now owns quite a few major and minor businesses in the metropolis.

The first - and most used - is their Inn.

[LI]The Dockside Inn
A fairly large inn made from a converted warehouse, this place has good quality and good prices, and has a reputation as being the safest place to go for the price. This is, of course, because the Dagger Guild ensures that the pickpocketing here never gets out of hand, and positions a couple of Knights of the Scarred Shield here on a regular basis, and having the Innkeeper often explain that they're the reason the Guildfolk leave his guests alone.

In reality, the Dockside Inn is entirely run by the Dagger Guild (a host of NPCs are available on Lilith's NPC gallery site, see way back at the start of the thread for links). The Dockside Inn is large and central enough to major thoroughfares of the city docks that it is nearly always crowded, and hard to listen in on particular conversations. A top-notch halfling chef certainly makes things tasty, and though she's cranky, no one argues the benefits.

There is an illusionist who works the crowd most nights, secretly testing likely patrons (ie: adventurers) for what they know, as a way to estimate their challenge potential to the guild (ie: if he makes an illusion of a Beholder with only eight eyestalks, and the PCs correct him, he can open a conversation with them about how they know what one really looks like, learning about their tactics and exploits under the guise of merely trying to improve his illusions). He often uses 'magic mouth' spells to pass on information to Dagger Guild members (see the Dockside Bard, below). He also appears every night under a different 'disguise self' spell, and the first patron to single him out and declare loudly 'You're not wearing the right face!' wins a free ale from him. This can make new patrons feel a little confused if someone yells and points at them, but the general laughter when the wrong guess is revealed always makes for a good time, and tradition is that if you accuse someone who isn't disguised, you buy them a drink.

The barkeep is also central to the communication of the Dagger Guild. The collection of mugs at the Dockside Inn is a remarkable one – and very few of them are similar to others. Hand-carved and painted with vivid characters (red X's, for example, on one cup, and green chevrons on another), to Guildmembers, they're actually code and contain messages. Getting a mug served to you in a certain mug may mark you as the rare patron allowed to be pick-pocketed, for example; whereas members of the guild might receive a striped mug as a way of being told they're wanted for a conversation with another Dagger Guild member. The barkeep is a massive flirt, and he's extremely handsome, a combination that draws more than a few patrons as well.

The Dockside Bard entertains (often paired with the Illusionist), and hosts competitions for new performers for a mild fee and a cut of the take/tips that evening. The Bard is another one of the guild-aligned arcane casters who also distributes coins or other objects enchanted with 'magic mouth' spells – most of the thieves know that if they react a certain way to a coin or cup or somesuch given to them by the Bard during one of the performances, that the object will then dispense a message to them from the Guild – often a meeting-place or name of someone to meet with later for more details, but sometimes as little as the go-ahead to rob a particular place or person. Similarly, the Dockside Bard often sets up 'magic mouth' areas around the city on a regular basis when a message needs to get out to various members of the Dagger Guild, most often these are dark alleys or other hidden and out-of-the-way areas – most members in charge of spreading the word know to check out their local magical drop-point on a fairly regular basis.


The Scarred Shield Knights and Scarred Spear Warmages

A tower and fortified keep within the city is the home of mercenaries for hire. The Scarred Shield Knights are hired out throughout the city and surrounding areas, as protectors. Similarly, the Scarred Spear Warmages, though lesser in number, are available to bring an arcane edge to their protection. Both of these draw their potential members from the local orphanages and homeless children, and if the children apply themselves and have the talent, they are made initiates. In both cases, the Scarred Shield and Scarred Spear mercenaries are hired out as a rank of talent, not by individual name, and rarely left in a position for more than a few weeks, so as not to grow stale or to fall into a routine. Thus, the patrons end up with a particular level of Knight or Warmage, and the specific individual will change on a weekly or bi-weekly rotation.

Within the city, the Scarred Shield Knights are known for bringing real security to those they protect, and the Scarred Spear Warmages are often hired by the nobility or the wealthy when they travel, as well as a retinue of Knights. They have an excellent reputation, and their habit of staining or painting the scratches in their armor with bright colours to show their survival in battles (and therefore their ever-growing skills) is a well known habit among the city. Some non-Knights actually mimic this habit, but it is generally frowned upon by the actual Scarred Shield and Scarred Spear mercenaries.

In times of war, the city has a standing deal with the Orders for the ability to call upon 80% of the standing mercenaries to support their own standing troops. There is a friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) rivalry between the city guard and the mercenaries.

The truth of the Scarred Shield and Scarred Spear mercenaries would leave many in the city quite cold with dread. The orphans and homeless children are often pre-selected for becoming orphans in the first place by a horrible sociopath known as 'The Orphan Maker' (CR 6; NE Rog3/Rgr2/Ass1) to those in charge of the recruitment. Children who show talent in the lower echelons of the city often find that their parents have 'accidents' or fall victim to violent crime, and the orphanages swoop in and care for the children, and they are moved into the Knights or Warmages as potential mercenaries.

Secondly, the reason the Knights and Warmages have such a fantastic reputation is that the Dagger Guild arranges scenes where the Knights and Warmages will rescue their patrons from a potential robbery, and occasionally, the Guild will allow members who are not in good standing to be caught or even killed in these scenerios. Further, those who hire the Knights or Warmages are only very rarely targetted by the Dagger Guild while under the protection – conversely, if someone stops hiring the Knights or Warmages, their likelihood of being targeted increases.

As the Knights and Warmages grow in talent and power, if they show the correct temperment, they're brought into the truth of their order's loyalties – some don't handle it well, and have accidents, but most realize the position of potential gain they are in and play along. Still, the vast majority of the Knights and Warmages actually hate the Dagger Guild as a chaotic blight on the city, which only adds credibility to the entire operation.

The head Knight and the head Warmage are completely in the pocket of the Dagger Guild and quite loyal, but enjoy their positions as important figures in the city. Exposure of their true allegiance would be the death of that way of life for them (or, worse, their actual lives), and as such they are absolutely motivated to make sure no one finds out.


Great stuff man keep it coming


Haun wrote:
Great stuff man keep it coming

I'll add some more tomorrow, but I edited a bit - I've changed 'The Orphan Maker' into a half-elf Rogue 3 / Ranger 4 / Assassin 3.


The Blackfeather Academy

Another institute known for taking in orphans, the Blackfeather Academy is run by a Loremaster who believes in the value of knowledge, and finds sharp minds to train to be sages or wizards (usually diviners) in the service of the city. It is a new organization, less than fifteen years strong, but has so far made a solid impact on the city. Local sages who were once independent have sometimes affiliated themselves with the Blackfeather Academy, and some have even left the city. (The truth, of course, being that the Dagger Guild has 'gently persuaded' both of these actions). The Academy has a reputation for turning out decent Sages and Wizards, and many of the nobility also send their children to study at the Academy, which also teaches courses for those who would pay a modest fee.

Rates are standard for the sages, and the Head of the Blackfeather Academy knows very well that a lot of her funding came to her through the Dagger Guild, and that she is pretty much trapped. As a result, she does her best to play both sides against the middle. She knows that many of her staff – both wizards and the non-wizardly sages – are actually allied or in league with the Dagger Guild (whether they know it, or don't but are friendly with the Orphanage that placed them in the Academy in the first place, not knowing the Orphanage is run by the Dagger Guild). She would love to find a way out from under the Dagger Guild's thumb – but wants to do so with the Academy intact. PCs could find an easy ally in her if they manage to gain her trust, and she can be a source of information about the city's inner workings (including a lot of things the Dagger Guild would prefer to keep quiet).

The Head Loremaster is an almost middle-aged woman (CR 13; LN Human Female Diviner 5 / Loremaster 8), and her staff is mostly made up of initiates (1st or 2nd level Experts or Diviners), with a few having reached Sage or Diviner status (4th or 5th level Experts or Diviners). As it is a new organization, if a PC were to affiliate herself with the Academy, it would gain them the Head Loremaster's thanks (assuming she eventually trusted them as not being Dagger Guild spies).


The Arena

The Arena is a massively famous and lucrative – and legitimate - business in the city that the Dagger Guild has only partially infiltrated. They run a stable, and many of the gladiators and fighters are also on their payroll for “special events.” Their stable is neither the most popular, nor the most successful, often coming in second in over-all events, in keeping with the Dagger Guild's tendency to attempt to not stick out, but still turn a very tidy profit.

The stable itself is headed by the Arena Pit Manager (CR 12; LE Human Male Rogue 3/Fighter 4/Streetfighter 5), a former champion of the Arena who rose up through the ranks. He is rarely seen without his “assistant,” the Arena Conjurer (CR 6; CN Human Male Conjurer 6), who often conjures creatures as “entry” battles. The Guild's stable contains quite a few mentionable figures, including a Green Dragon Shaman (CR 10; LE Human Male Green Dragon Shaman), who creates one fascinating show with his various aura abilities and breath in a battle. Another notable is a woman with a whirling spiked chain, who's ability to disarm or trip others in battle makes her a canny foe (CR 8, LE Human Fighter 8), and who is also part of a four-person 'hit squad' the Dagger Guild will sometimes send after particular menaces.

The stable also tends to arrange less legal fights – private events that are technically outlawed in the city. As well as death matches (which are not usually part of the Arena's fare, with the notable exception of criminals convicted of the worst crimes), many of the Dagger Guild's stable members are villains in their own right, and “let off the leash” if they need more muscle. The illegal fights are often tied into the wealthier families of the city, who want fights with no other spectators, or nobles with darker tastes who enjoy bloodsport.


If anyone was waiting, the Guildmaster has been posted now... Just do a search under 'Dagger Guild' - he's the CR 22 fella. ;)


Bram this is most excellent stuff. You should compile it - NPCs stats from dmtools.org, backstory and all - into a pdf and make it available somewhere as a download. Or get it published. I'm sure someone on ENWorld would know of a pdf-publisher for it.

Liberty's Edge

*arise thread*

do you need a password to view the stuff?

Mike

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