Dungeons and Dragons – Mystara
Organisations – The Lords Alliance
- Source Material: Princes of the Apocalypse (pota15), Sword Coast Adventures Guide (scag)
- Who are the Lords Alliance
- Background – Faction Agent
- Mystara Adventure Hooks
- Lords Alliance in Mystara
- Lords Alliance in Other Settings
- Further Information
- Content Updates
This is a post relating to the migration of The Lords Alliance as an organisation called Merchants Guild Agents into my Mystara setting so when I reference them in sourcebooks I know who I have adapted them to and why.
Who are The Lords Alliance
The Lords Alliance are an organisation set in the Forgotten Realm Campaign Setting.
The Lords’ Alliance is a shaky compact of aggressive political powers concerned with mutual security and prosperity. Fighters and sorcerers are prevalent among alliance agents, and they are often glory hounds seeking personal recognition. Most agents are lawful or neutral; in the courtly circles of the lords, those who don’t follow the rules seldom last long.
Trade along rivers and roads links the cities of the Lords’ Alliance, so its operatives eliminate threats to that trade as soon as they appear.
For a century and a half, and more, the Lords Alliance has stood as the most important and influential group in the North. Its power has kept towns safe from the predations of larger powers, has kept the ambitions of Luskan in check, and has taught the rulers of many cities that it is better to cooperate, even for a time, then to merely shut one’s doors and allow the storms to rage outside. It was this philosophy that led to the founding of Luruar, and when the lesson was lost, so too were the Silver Marches. But it serves no purpose to dwell on the folly of the past. Better instead to look to the future, repair the walls, and wait for word from the watching sentries.
Andwe Cururen, agent of the Lords’ Alliance
The Lords’ Alliance isn’t a nation unto itself, but a partnership of the rulers of towns and cities across the North, who have pledged peace with one another and promised to share information and effort against common threats such as ore hordes and Northlander pirates. It is a loose confederation of those settlements and their agents, all of whom owe allegiance first to their homelands, and second to the Lords’ Alliance.
In the harsh lands of the North, where winters are cold and monsters and human barbarians regularly stream out of the mountains to pillage outlying settlements, large nations are rare indeed, particularly in the current state of the world. Instead, great city-states have emerged, enriched by trade and protected by stout walls and loyal defenders. Such cities- including Baldur’s Gate, Miraba r, Neverwinter, Silverymoon, and Waterdeep-extend their influence into nearby regions, often creating or accepting vassal settlements, but in the end, these realms a re cities, driven to consider their own protection and future before other concerns.
In the years soon after its founding more than one hundred fifty years ago, there was more interest in membership, and the Alliance accepted some members from farther south. Since then, events such as the growth of Elturgard into a power in its own right, and the recent fall of the Silver Marches, have caused the group to draw in on itself, restricting its membership to powers in the North . The current members of the Alliance are Amphail, Baldur’s Gate, Daggerford, Longsaddle, Mirabar, Mithra! Hall, Neverwinter, Silverymoon, Waterdeep, and Yartar. There is some doubt that Mithra! Hall will be pa rt of the alliance for much longer, but until rulership of the dwarven city is more firmly established, it remains a member.
It is impossible to ascribe an overall character to the individual members of the alliance. As a group, the agents of the members are interested in the preservation of civilization in the North, and they share what information they can- and oppose what threats they must- to further that goal. In the end, though, a merchant of Waterdeep and one of Baldur’s Gate are concerned mainly for their own purses and the welfare of their home cities, and are unlikely to care what happens to the other, except inasmuch as it affects trade.
The advice and insights in this section come from Andwe Cururen, a half-elf native of Silverymoon who was once a Knight in Silver (a member of the city’s army), and now serves as an emissary and, when necessary, an active agent for the Lords’ Alliance. She travels the North on behalf of the Alliance, representing its interests and gathering and updating information on its settlements for her superiors, fellow agents, and potential recruits, including adventurers who might serve the Alliance or one of its members.
Background – Faction Agent
On one level, the agents of the Lords’ Alliance are representatives of the cities and other governments that constitute the alliance. But, as a faction with interests and concerns that transcend local politics and geography, the Alliance has its own cadre of individuals who work on behalf of the organizations, wider agenda. Alliance agents are required to be knowledgeable in History, and can always rely on the aid of the governments that are part of the Alliance, plus other leaders and groups who uphold the Alliance’s ideals.
Even while they are working together, members of the Lords’ Alliance are always advancing their own interests. Everyone knows and expects it-it’s a fact of dealing with the alliance. That doesn’t mean member cities don’t cooperate and help each other in times of crisis. But if a crisis rearranges the power structure of the region, all the players involved hope that the new order leaves them better off. For anyone to move up, someone else must move down.
Mystara Adventure Hooks
Lords Alliance in Mystara
The Lords Alliance is a combination of the Merchant Princes of Darokin and the Merchant Guild Leaders of Minrothad under the understanding that it is best to keep trade open for the interest of both nations. They also serves as the Diplomats of the region, knowing how to seek an arrangement between two parties that is fair, respects their cultural identity and provides an advantage to the Lords Alliance in the long term.
Every capital in the region has a branch of the Lords Alliance as the major trade hub for connecting with the rest of the world. It is here you can find most of the diplomats ambassadors and representatives of other nations meeting.
- Lord Alliance Guard (oota131)
- Lord Alliance Spy (oota131)
Lords Alliance in Darokin
Lady Laeral Silverhand (Chaotic Good Female Human Wizard) Signatory for one of the great Houses of Darokin.
Lord Dagult Neverember (Lawful Neutral Male Human Fighter) Signatory for one of the great Houses of Darokin.
Ambassador Connerad Brawnanvil (Lawful Neutral Male Shield Dwarf Fighter) Representative of Rockhome and the Dwarves.
Marshal Ulder Ravengard (Lawful Neutral Male Human Fighter) Military Leader of Darokin.
King Melandrach (Neutral Male Wild Elf Fighter/Druid) Representative of the nations of Wendar, Alfheim, Callarii and Vyalia and the elves.
Taern “Thunderspells” Hornblade (Lawful good male human wizard) Representative of the nation of Glantri.
Sir Isteval (Lawful good male human paladin) Representative of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos.
Lords Alliance in Shadowlands
Recent reports of unusual activity from the Underdark might mark one such threat. The alliance has noted how many Underdark sites near their settlements have gone quiet. Routine forays and raids onto the surface world have come to a halt, as has the flow of trade and information. Rumors have reached the Lords‘ Alliance of demon worshiping cults and chaos around places such as Blingdenstone and Menzoberranzan, though they have little confirmation. The possibility that the demon lords of the Abyss are active in the Underdark is a threat the Lords’ Alliance can’t ignore.
Lords Alliance in Vestland
These are notes from Princes of the Apocalypse and Apply to the Red Larch region in the Dessian Valley connecting Vestland to the Ethengarian Steppes.
Located at the confluence of the Dessarin and Surbrin rivers, Yartar is a prosperous center of commerce. Various groups vie to control its wealth and influence its trade. The Waterbaron of Yartar, Nestra Ruthiol, is a member of the Lords’ Alliance, and her decisions affect the politics of not only her city but the other cities of the region.
Lords Alliance in Other Settings
Dark Sun – Athas
Templar bureaucracy (from Princes of the Apocalypse)
The sorcerer-kings of the Tyr Region are bitter enemies of each other, so nothing like the Lords’ Alliance is possible. However, the templar bureaucracy of a specific city-state can serve a similar role in a Dark Sun conversion of this adventure. The city-state most immediately concerned with the rise of a dangerous magical cult in the Great Alluvial Sand Wastes is Tyr, struggling to find its way after the death of King Kalak. The templars of Tyr can’t allow a new threat to grow on their doorstep—or allow the templars of a rival city such as Urik to gain control of the cult’s elemental magic
Dragonlance – Krynn
Community Leaders (from Princes of the Apocalypse)
What would be the Lords’ Alliance instead represents the local rulers of the scattered towns of Abanasinia that are not controlled by the Seekers. These settlements mostly lie along the coastline of the Straits of Schallsea, since the inland towns are either under Seeker sway or are villages of the plainsfolk. Some nobles among Seeker-controlled towns might also be part of this alliance, working against the Theocrats politically.
Greyhawk – Oerth
The Knights of the Hart (from Princes of the Apocalypse)
The time for a close association between good kingdoms and city-states has not yet come to pass in the Flanaess; nothing like the Lords’ Alliance can be found in the lands near the Kron Hills. The closest analogue in the world of Greyhawk is the Knights of the Order of the Hart (usually referred to as the Knights of the Hart). This society of human and elf nobles has branches in Furyondy, Veluna, and the Vesve Forest. Though principally concerned with the danger posed by Iuz, the half-demon tyrant, the order seeks to defend its constituent lands against all sorts of monstrous threats.
The Twelve or the Aurum or House Kundarak (from Princes of the Apocalypse)
The Twelve serves as the defender of civilization much as the Lords’ Alliance does, and its members are similarly vulnerable to occasional bouts of rivalry and infighting. The Aurum, while far less altruistic than the Lords’ Alliance, fulfills a similar function in the world of Eberron, fighting to protect the status quo and ensure that those in power stay that way.
Further Information for the Dungeon Masters
- Tyranny of Dragons (tod16)
- 2021-08-24 – Added in section on adventure hooks.
- 2021-08-18 – Update to menu.
- 2020-08-30 – Added in information from Tyranny of Dragons.
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