The Shadow Thieves
Almost every land and city has its own Guild of Thieves, who takes care of all illegal affairs of the city and surroundings. However, the Amnite Guild of Thieves has come a long way from being a mere thieving guild to become a powerful underworld organization, only surpassed by the feared and infamous Zhentarium. Their name, like those of their competitors inspires fear and respect. This organization is the largest and most prosperous thieves guild in all of Faerûn. It's success is derived from its system of interlocking guilds, each dedicated to the twin goals of profit and power. From the organization's stronghold in Amn, this series of guilds controls the lion's share of all criminal operations along the Sword Coast, and it also reaches beyond that area into many other parts of Faerûn. As a member of a Shadow Thieves guild, a shadow thief knows only her own minions, her coworkers, and her superior. This web of secrecy preserves the organization, because any members who are captured can sell out only a few others. Most shadow thieves are rogues, although specialists in some criminal fields are more likely to have backgrounds as fighters or rangers. Clerics of evil deities (particularly Mask and Shar) take up this path to fill certain roles in the field, and sorcerers and wizards also have important roles. Shadow thieves excel at working with others, intimidating common folk, administering punitive beatings, and acquiring important contacts.
Secrecy is the key to the guild's phenomenal success. The individual guilds that make up the organization are arranged and staffed carefully so that each member knows only a few others (generally a dozen or fewer) by name and sight. These members work together exclusively, so that if one is captured or decides to tell all, danger to the larger organization is minimized. Only members of the Shadow Council possess complete knowledge of the entire operation and its agents. Even so, it would certainly be possible for a turncoat or infiltrator to cause the guild a degree of discomfort.
More important, those who fail to keep the guild's secrets generally cost the organization money, and that simply cannot be tolerated. It therefore comes as no surprise to any member that the penalty for betraying the guild secrecy is death. However, a guild member who maintains guild secrecy in the face of personal danger, capture, or imprisonment reaps considerable rewards. All ranking members of the guild can take comfort in the fact that their families will be cared for should the worst happen. That policy produces a high degree of almost familial loyalty in the circles.
The Shadow Thieves run a reputation of honorably fulfilling the deals made with the nobles and merchants, as well as being ruthless and unforgiving to those who betray them. Most merchants know that they can count on their protection for a respectful fee and nobles and authorities know that they can count on the guilds description to deal with "embarrassing affairs". Even regular citizens are known to have asked favors once or twice.
Shadow Thief Symbol
A black silk domino mask impaled on a Stiletto, usually used in assassinations, or left behind at the scene if a black garrote or poison is employed instead. The Trademark is also used in messages to merchants, clients or other members, who usually are encouraged to destroy it if they received as a drawing in a written note. The Guild works mainly in secrecy and all members are officially forbidden to make use any of the mark, unless told otherwise by their superiors. The rank and file members of the organization are cautioned never to employ this sigil unless specifically ordered to do so. Any member of the guild who uses this mark without explicit instructions is assassinated for endangering the guild and defying authority. The body is normally found the next morning . . . with a silk domino mask affixed to the corpse with a stiletto.
Alignments: Chaotic Neutral, Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil
Classes: Thieves preferred (Bards, Rogues, Assassins, Shadow Dancers) although many different classes can be found in the employ of the Shadow Thieves