BROTHERHOOD OF REDEMPTION
An order of monks who believe that no evil is irredeemable, the Brotherhood of Redemption seeks to give any evil creature a chance to repent. Its members do not believe in “inherent evil.” Specializing in rehabilitation, they operate in the Dungeon out of the Fortress of the Redeemed but maintain a surface headquarters in the Guildsman District. They make it known that they willingly accept any prisoners who are not of the major races—in fact, they’ll pay a small bounty (5 gp per Hit Die) for evil creatures with a modicum of intelligence (in other words, an Intelligence score of 3 or above).
For the last five years, the Delver’s Guild has grown in influence, becoming both popular to join and wealthy. The Delver’s Guild offers its members information about job opportunities and events pertaining to the exploration of regions below Gratis. The guild also maintains the city’s most extensive collection of maps of the underground realm and an impressive library for research. Members receive passwords that allow them to access secret chambers within the underground regions. These secret chambers, called waystations, are stocked with food and simple supplies. Highranking members gain retrieval insurance, which guarantees that, if they should die while exploring, guild members will retrieve their bodies and have them raised if possible (retrieval and raising paid for out of a special guild account funded by the insured). The guild’s membership hovers around eight thousand. In addition, there are said to exist at least four thousand delvers not affiliated with the guild. At any given time, about one-fifth of this total is exploring the Dungeon. It is estimated that for every ten delvers who go down each day, one does not come back. About one hundred new adventurers come to Gratis and some twenty-five are raised from the dead every week. Since the Delver’s Guild began keeping records three years ago, about eight-teen thousand adventurers have died permanently while exploring the Dungeon. Another two hundred thirty have permanently retired, either in the city or elsewhere.
The Inverted Pyramid is a mysterious and ancient guild of arcanists. Their membership roll remains shrouded in mystery, but it most likely includes the most powerful mages in Gratis—and probably the world. For years they have wielded considerable influence in the city. Their headquarters is said to lie somewhere hidden from normal sight by powerful spells. In days past, the Inverted Pyramid was a great foe of the Church. Within the Inverted Pyramid, the members of this guild meet, store their valuable books and supplies, and craft magic items and other creations. The Inverted Pyramid concerns itself with preserving magical lore and all things arcane from those it believes would eradicate such knowledge.
To police the streets, the Commissar of the city commands a force of more than ten thousand troops and City Watch guards, including a few hundred elite individuals (captains, mages, clerics, etc.). While the constables in many of the Empire’s cities are considered glorified street-sweepers with little competence or desire to actually enforce the law, this is not true of the experienced and wellequipped guards of Gratis, particularly those known as the Commissar’s Men. Nevertheless, this well-trained and well-paid force has its hands full maintaining order in the city. Helping to enforce the law is a special order of monks called the Sisterhood of Silence. These nonspeaking female monks patrol the streets and apprehend criminals, even though they are not—strictly speaking—sanctioned to do so officially. A male eunuch always accompanies a small unit of the Sisters of Silence to speak on their
behalf. However, neither the city guard nor the Sisterhood of Silence is willing to go down into the Dungeon and fight monsters. Nor are they likely to help against such well-known and influential noble families as House Calasper, or such powerful groups as the Church or the Forsaken and the Fallen. Of course, those groups would never break any laws, so there’s surely nothing to worry about. . . .
SISTERHOOD OF SILENCE
Founded in Gratis more than two hundred years ago, an all-female order calling itself the Sisterhood of Silence established itself as a major force for law and defense. While the order has since spread to other cities, the Priory of Introspection in Gratis remains the central headquarters of the entire Sisterhood. As their name suggests, the Sisters of Silence do not speak. Instead, they employ a cadre of devout eunuchs to speak for them. Among themselves, they use a complex set of signs, postures, and expressions to convey vast amounts of information quickly.
The Church of the Dark God is the most powerful religion in the Imperium, and thus in Gratis. So closely tied are the Imperium and the Church that the head of the religion’s hierarchy is known as the Emperor of the Church. Alongside the traditional ElderMagi of Gratis, he rules over all Imperial lands and citizens. The Emperor of the Church normally lives in a far-off city in the Tarsis empire but of late has been in Gratis staying with his son, the Prince of the Church. A knighthood called the Order of the Dawn serves the Church oas elite defenders of the faith. While low-ranking members are warriors and fighters, the higher ranks include paladins and a few martial clerics. In general, the Church seeks to convert the heathen and protect and nurture the faithful. Far more than typical organized religions, the Church remains involved in day-to-day government administration and the making (and sometimes enforcing) of laws. The priests serve as judges and officials in the government of the Empire.
The Chorrun Char is secret organization in the Imperium.
"Officialy" called the Conciliators, which consists of inquisitors dedicated to converting infidels, destroying unsanctioned magic, and stamping out evil. The group is headquartered in the Temple District. A highly selective group of all Dragon-Kin within the Imperium. The Conciliators are a specialized strike team usually reserved only for mass blood shed. Officially known to be a sanctioned branch of the Church
This however is just a clever front.
An ancient order, the Chorrun Char has remained alive through the extreme devotion of its members and their descendants. They secretly oppose the Imperium in all its forms, although they have a particular hatred for the wicked House Calasper. They revere the mysterious Dragon pantheon and serve as a focal point in the re-introduction of those gods into society. The order has dedicated itself to combating supernatural threats of the Imperium, particularly demons and spellcasters. To be accepted into the guild, one must be a half-blood at least. A select few are the full-bloods, only dragon-kin are allowed into this group, and only spellcasting ones at that. Most of this group are old dragonwrought kobolds, and lesser true dragons. The full-bloods have all been branded with a scalding claw of Chorrun, to mark them as full-bloods. The guild believes that one day, a draconic apocalypse will come, and turn the full-bloods into the overlords, the Half-Bloods into their servants and citizens, and the Non-Bloods into slaves.
Although in theory the guild is ruled by Chorrun, Chorrun is an old and senile dragon, numbering around the 6000 years, although legends acclaim that he fought alongside the elder Magi when they took power, and his group was founded in the anger of him not becoming a member of high council, he can scarcely remember much but eating and sleeping. Thus the guild is ruled by the 11 true ones, which are compromised of 5 Dragons (atm a Silver dragon leader, a Brass Dragon, two red dragons and a Green dragon), and 6 Fullbloods. a Seat among the true ones is for life, assassinations within the guild to get such a seat is not uncommon, but few dare attempt it on the dragons, meaning a kobolds life among the true ones is often short.
Very few, even guild members, know that the leader is a black dragon, even when the full-bloods are branded with his mark are blindfolded, there are many discussions whether "the old one" is still alive, but even if he is, he seems to have lost the ability to speak.
At the moment the group is in an almost open war with the Calasper syndicate, some say the Chorrun Char are losing this war. They are at a peaceful standing with the KillRavens, often have dealings with the Fallen, the Delvers and the Brotherhood of redemption. The order has enjoyed a long tradition in the city, but many say its day has passed in light of the growing power of other, broader criminal organizations. Its true headquarters lie deep below the city.
KILLRAVEN CRIME LEAGUE
Kevris Killraven arrived in the city only recently, but in that short time this mysterious woman has created the second most powerful criminal organization in Gratis. The league deals in extortion, prostitution, and illegal drugs. A number of nonhumans work for Killraven—troglodytes, ogres, and many other creatures. Although early on Killraven was rumored to have ties with the Praesario Arcanum, most now dismiss such tales as nonsense
CALASPER CRIME FAMILY
Probably the most powerful crime family in the city, the Calaspers are certainly the oldest. Agrethonn Calasper is the aging head of the organization, with his son, Mesven, serving as his second in command. The family funds a number of criminal endeavors, gaining profit from theft, extortion, smuggling, illegal gambling, assassination, and trade in slaves, drugs, and evil magic items.
Those who value death and undeath more than life are called the Forsaken. Necrophiles, necrophages, and necrophiliacs, these disgusting people worship dark god and consort openly with undead and the Fallen. They base their activities in the Necropolis. Some of the Forsaken are living people who consort with the undead, while others are actually undead themselves. They particularly revere ancient undead called the Silversouled, who reportedly built the Dark Reliquary. If any of the Silversouled still exist, no one in the city knows about it.
The Fallen are fiends also known as the “young demons,” though few people care to dwell long on the question of who the “old” demons might be. The Fallen live in the Dark Reliquary of the Necropolis with their allies, the Forsaken, and follow the leadership of two demons whose names are only whispered: Daelyon and Lusilith. Most people wish the Fallen were not in Gratis but, for demons who dwell within the city’s walls, they actually cause
surprisingly little trouble. Few speak of them, but when they do, they often claim these demons are either waiting for something or quietly looking for something.
The Dreaming Apothecary may be more legend than fact. Those in the know claim that a secretive group of spellcasters crafts magic items for people, making transactions with them magically in their dreams. Darker rumors accuse these powerful mages of keeping others in the city from making magic items for profit by coercion, backed up by their formidable magical might. Potential customers can reach the group in Delver’s Square.
HOUSE OF BLACK & WHITE
These master illusionists are a small group of scholars and seers who have the ability to alter people’s fortunes. The fortunes of its own members most often. The House of Black & White was originally a Library for an order of holy knights dedicated to the destruction of evil magic items, specifically free-willed items that gained sentience. The Holy Knights were extreme in there anhiliation, they spread far and wide in search of there goal. Eventually it wasen't practical to use the House of Black and white as a home, and so they left to distant lands. Those that remainded at the house were mainly book keepers. From then the legend is steeped in mystery, known only to the head masters who reside at the 'school' currently. Now this quasi-legal spellcaster organization has grown over the years into a powerful force attempting to restore the prominence of illusion and shadow magic. Known for its vast information network the house is also rumored to have ties to one of the Elder Magi.
Those are the original factions/guilds etc I was working on for the high arcana setting. located here
We can rework these as needed for waterdeep. btw, go ahead and send me a PM with the login/pw info for that google doc.