The Shadowmasters Of Telflamm

"Let them hide and slither through our back-alleys. I don't need them to fear me, for they surely fear my queen…"
- Lady Mantelia Parsuns, ruler of Emmech

Ruthless and sinister, the Shadowmaster are one of the most successful and widespread thieves' guild in all of Faerun. Only the Shadow Thieves of Amn, and perhaps the Night Masks of Westgate, rival their power. Shadowmaster guilds lurk in Emmech, Escalant, Laothkund, Nethenthir, Nethjet, Nyth, Phent, Phsant, Uthmere, and even Bezantur in Thay, scheming to plunder from commoner and noble alike. The Shadowmasters secretly rule Thesk, since many of the merchant princes who make up the land's governing Council are either spies for, or thoroughly intimidated by, the guild.

While the Shadowmasters virtually rule Telflamm through its weak Merchants' Council, they do not yet exercise the same political power in other cities, such as Emmech or Escalant. There the Shadowmasters presence is limited to small bands of thieves content to burglarize, embezzle, extort, and mug in the manner of criminal gangs everywhere. But unlike other guilds, these Shadowmaster cells are eyes and ears for the entire organization, funneling information back to their hungry overlords in Telflamm. In turn, the presence of Shadowmasters in nearby cities allows these minor guilds to quickly dispose of dangerous merchandise and offers ready safehouses to members in trouble with local authorities.

Shadowmaster agents seek out news of mercantile transactions or the discovery of unexpected wealth, such as the recovery of a long-lost hoard by a band of adventurers. They inform the organization's leaders, who decide on the appropriate course of action (often an operation to seize the wealth they view as rightfully theirs). The Shadowmasters also serve as information brokers for those who aren't picky about the source, although their services are not cheap. Those who once do business with the Shadowmasters find that the thieves can make it difficult, even dangerous, not to do business with them again.

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