Adventuring Company of the Twin Foxes
Factions of Baldur's Gate
The Cult of the Dragon
Also known as Keepers of the Secret Hoard or, more recently, Wearers of Purple, was a semi-religious evil organization venerating undead dragons, or dracoliches, founded by Sammaster, a powerful wizard. Sammaster possessed great power, in a manner similar to Elminster and Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun. In Sammaster’s case however, the additional power brought delusions of godhood and madness, and he came to believe in time that “dead dragons shall rule the world entirely” and began to work toward that goal, fighting the several Chosen of Mystra and even the god Lathander along the way. While Sammaster has died, risen as a lich, and fallen again, his cult lived on, and continued to threaten the Western Heartlands and Sword Coast.
The Cult of the Dragon venerated dragons, evil dragons in particular, and specifically dead evil dragons. They reanimated the gargantuan corpses as powerful and fell dracoliches. The Cult acted as an information network for its draconian “masters”, brought gems and riches as offerings, and encouraged evil dragons to become dracoliches. Their belief was that dracoliches were destined to one day rule Faerûn and beyond. They could become inhabited by objects which were created in their image especially with the image of the skull.
However, recently, the great Tchzzar, Dragon King of Unther, returned from the Outer Planes, claimed the throne of Unther and Chessenta, and has re-organized the Church of Tiamat, allying with the Cult of the Dragon. Rumors of a renegage Red Wizard from Calimshan, who now leads the cult, indicate that the Cult is recruiting again, its purpose is still unknown. This Red Wizard, it is said, possesses the Book of the Dragon; which teaches that the true power of the Cult does not lay with Dracoliches, but with living dragons; while heretical, this teaching is gathering many new followers.
The Merchant’s League, Led by the scion of the Sashenstar family, a powerful and (for the most part) honest mercantile guild, has long held economic power in the city, and many of its members have been granted status among the Patriar families.
The Iron Throne, a powerful guild of wealthy iron merchants, recently allied to the Cult of the Dragon. The Throne still wields alot of economic power, and continues to monopolize the iron mining and weapons trade. The Iron Throne has a bad public image. They have been charged with attempted assassinations, extortion, thuggery, trading weapons to hostile nonhuman tribes and trafficking in smoke powder, poisons and drugs.. Many of the city’s Patriar families owe their positions, wealth and stability to the Iron Throne. The Iron Throne is one of the primary employers of mercenaries and adventurer’s who are hired to guard their trade caravans and ships.
Perhaps most popular faction is the Flaming Fist Mercenary Company, which serves as the city’s standing army, and defacto police of the Lower and Outer City. The Company was founded by Lord Eltan in 1345 DR. They are known to offer Charters to smaller mercenary and adventuring companies and sometimes recruit officers from these. It is currently leader is Grand Duke Abdel Adrian, who has appointed the recently resurrected soldier, Ulder Ravenguard, as Marshal of the Company.
Baldur’s Gate has only one thieves guild: The Guild. Cutpurses, killers, con artists, grave robbers, cat burglars—the Guild unites virtually every crime and criminal under one organization’s rule. For more than a decade, the greedy, violent, and desperate in Baldur’s Gate have come together to form a fluid hierarchy of loose associations overseen by the Guild’s mysterious leaders. The Guild came into power soon after the Godswar, and replaced Xantam’s Guild after a major coup. The guild is a syndicate of loose-knit groups under the authority of local kingpins. It is said that Nine-Fingers and her Lady’s Court head the criminal branch. Other prominent gangs include Shar’s Serpents in Blackgate; the Bloody Hands in Stonyeyes; Ganthall’s Gallants in Whitkeep, (dubbed “Gallant” for never stealing from females); and the Rivington Rats in Rivington. Rumors that they agents of the Harper’s may not be far from the truth.
The Temple of Gond is a powerful force in Baldur’s Gate. The Temple is responsible for advancements in weapons, smoke powder, shipbuilding and fortifications. Its clergy is quickly becoming politically powerful and advisors to the Council of Four.
The Parliament of Peers is a group composed primarily of the prominent Patriar families of Baldur’s Gate. They are politically weak but traditionally respected. Many of the members elected to the Council of Four acknowledge this faction with privileges and kickbacks.
The League of the Six-Fingered Gentlemen
A sinister group known as the League of the Six-Fingered Gentlemen (which also includes females and is sometimes called the League of Six Rings) wormed its way into the hierarchy of the church of Waukeen during the Time of Troubles. Once there, they have not been rooted out, and they have been busily spreading the Harlot’s Coin Heresy among Waukeen’s faithful. This heretical schism of Waukeen’s faith teaches that Waukeen has been gradually selling off pieces of her divinity and virtue to powerful demons in order to finance her church. The heresy teaches that It was for failing to pay her debts that a demon lord imprisoned her during the Time of Troubles. These heretics teach that Waukeen became free because she finally paid her debt to the demon, resulting in a demon prince now owning the majority of Waukeen’s godhood. To repay the debt owed, her followers teach, the wealth must be ill-gotten—earned from crime, slavery, and even blood money. The heretics, thus, believe that all who worship Waukeen are really worshiping a demon prince instead, and they’re just fine with that.