Tired of your PCs treating the Underdark like one big dungeon? Try adding a dash of intrigue with these new organizations created by designer Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel. You'll have plenty of mysteries for your PCs to explore as these groups pursue their often conflicting agendas. Full statistics on some NPC members and leaders are provided so that you can build encounters quickly. So, what are you waiting for? Enhance your Underdark campaign today with these new organizations.
The Affiliated Merchants of the Underdark
This interspecies mercantile group is devoted to trade and profit, and it finds slavery especially profitable. The Underdark Anarchists' Fellowship has recently disrupted several well-established portal routes -- a fact that the merchant organization finds very irksome. Thus, members of the Affiliated Merchants have taken to hiring the Guild of Underdark Guides to help them establish new routes.
The Affiliated Merchants of the Underdark began as a protection racket about fifty years ago. Merchants were offered a choice -- dues-paying membership in the organization, or constant losses from attacks on shipments of goods and slaves. After the first one or two such incidents, the Affiliated Merchants were often generous enough to sell the victim's own supplies back to him, charging only a 50% finder's fee on top of the wholesale cost of the goods. Independent merchants who still chose not to join after such "incentives" usually had their warehouses burned, and continued resistance often resulted in death.
Merchants quickly learned that it was most advisable to join the organization and get the Affiliated Merchants' protection. The 15% commission on all sales that was required of members eventually began to seem like quite a bargain.
About the Author
Gwendolyn F. M. Kestrel is an editor for Wizards of the Coast's Roleplaying Games R&D department. Her recent work includes editing and additional development for the revised Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual. Her editing credits include Fiend Folio, Faiths and Pantheons, Oriental Adventures, and Magic of Faerūn, and her design credits include the Book of Challenges and numerous Dragon Magazine articles. She's a frequent contributor to the Wizards of the Coast website. Also, check out the website she created for her husband, Andy Collins.