Theocracy, under the leadership of Hierarch Vanushan Ilion
The Black Hierarch
How has the council kept the existence of the Black Hierarch a secret?
They have formed The Ciliage — a form of secret police to keep the secret and deliver trustbreakers to the Crucible of Serenity.
The Coalition of Mystic Overseers
How does the Coalition handle the proliferation of magic items?
Their code and mandate is to register and oversee magic. So by ensuring the crafting magi are not of a power to threaten reality, magic items are free to be created and used responsibly and not be subjected (along with the magi) to the Crucible of Serenity.
The Council of Thirteen
Besides the Hierarch, how are the other twelve members of the Council chosen?
Nine are from the nine noble houses, one is chosen by the merchant houses, one is chosen by the warrior caste, and the last is given to the High Magus (chosen by the Coalition of Mystic Overseers).
Why was Amahd Ta, latest Council from the warrior caste, exiled in disgrace?
He had been ordered by the Hierarch to assassinate someone — murder them in cold blood. That work is beneath the honor of a warrior. As a result, charges were levied against him and other members of the caste bore false witness against him.
When Kayla Brightmoon, prophet of Alysa, learned of the failed assassination attempt against her, why didn’t she leave the city?
Because her visions fortold that her mission to the city would be a mission to her death.
The Tax Commission
- The Tax Revolt of 473 5A
Why has Jasper Cogswheel, head of the Tax Commission, not been seen in public for many years?
Word around town is that he has devised, through gnomish tinkering means, a new body for himself made of feydrium and mithril.
The Velvet Kiss
What secret does Madame Blaze have over the head of House Versheer that would cost the house its position should it be made known?
She knows the merchant house is in league with the Ebon Spike Order out of Hak’kor — dealers of slaves, feydrium, and unauthorized magic. Additionally, while not of interest to the authorities (but possibly of social import if it were to be made known), the males of House Versheer have small wieners.
The Great Temple of
Why is Primarch Doralei Lidria secretly giving Vilivat Krannon, Hak’korian priest of Asmodeus, refuge?
Doralei’s grandmother, owned by Vilivat’s family, is a traditionalist follower of Erastil, and made a pact for her family’s freedom in exchange for Vilivat’s entrance and refuge in the city for a year — and a baby with Doralei. Contracts — go figure.
The “Cobbles” Neighborhood
- While most of the city streets are cobblestoned, one of the oldest districts is “The Cobblestones” or just “The Cobbles.” It is mostly run-down, low-rent, and a place of shady dealings and where Vecna’s practices are held in high regard.
What happens to the girls who do pass Calistria’s Trials to become authorized workers in any of the Cobbles’ “establishments?”
They are sent to the Crucible of Serenity and returned to the Cobbles to entertain men with the most deplorable of tastes.
The Grande Customs Bazaar at the Eastern Wharf
Who represents Hak’korian interests at the Bazaar?
The Hak’korian Empire has three parties representing their interests, only two of which are known to each other: 1) Their public “go-between” neutral guild face, the Golden Chalices; 2) The undercover House Versheer (also removed a step further by connection with the Ebon Spike Order); and the party neither of them is aware of (but is aware of them both), the charismatic and wealthy dwarven merchant Solgor Torim.
Why can’t the watch arrest the leader of the city’s most prominent thieves’ guild, even though they know who it is?
They’ve actually made several attempts to capture Natya Elsovear, but she always seems to be steps ahead of them. In reality, Natya was given charge of the organization by the Council’s Blackstaff. By controlling the city’s largest thieves’ guild, the Council has a measure of control over the city’s underworld. In other words…politics.
The Merchant Houses
What major consequence happened to the merchant houses as a result of the trade embargo with the elves in 475 5A?
The embargo caused a desperation within the elven nation due to their long-lasting famine. They turned unwisely to the tiefling nation of Hak’kor for help. Within a decade, Hak’kor had annexed the elven nation and taken the elves and mordroken as slaves.
With access to feydrium gone, there were huge shake-ups within the merchant houses. Heads of houses lost their lives. Newer, younger, more progressive heads were installed. Loss of political clout was also sustained.
The Midnight Sons
Why do the Sons discreetly move mages out of the city?
They have an unknown patron who funds their day-to-day operations. Occasionally, a courier arrives with a single name and a blood thumbprint. As long as the person attached to that name gets delivered, the organization continues to be funded.