Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms

Sneak Peek: Cult of the Dragon
Artist's Sketchbook: Secret Societies
Realms Roundtable: Secret Societies 2
Sneak Peek: Emerald Enclave
Ed Says: Secret Societies
Realms Roundtable: Secret Societies
June Realmswatch
May Realmswatch
April Realmswatch
March Realmswatch
February Realmswatch
January Realmswatch
December Realmswatch
November Realmswatch
October Realmswatch
Design Team Bios


I'd Tell You More, But Then
They'd Have to Kill Me

By Mat Smith

I have seen the cover. And it was good.

Ah, wait 'til you see it. There's a really cool magic circle on the front that has runes I'm going to sit down to translate as soon as I can get a copy. The interior art is floating around here. I got to see some of the exploratory sketches for the uber poster map (which we'll be showing you bits of in May). One of the final manuscripts is sitting on my shelf over there, chock full of just far too many nifty things.

The book is almost here. I mean, it takes a little bit of time to print thousands of copies of a 230-page hardcover. But, it's all but finished. On my side of things, we're starting to work on the posters and stuff you see at the comic shop that'll say "Available in June" or something on 'em. You know – the things that sit on the counter and make you wish you could buy one Right Now?

Anyway, if you've been checking out the Realmswatch these past few months, you aren't going to need a window cling-on to make you want to "Pick Up Your Copy Today!"-- and this month continues the trend.

March: Secret Societies

Here's one of the opening paragraphs from Chapter 7: Organizations:

Hundreds of guilds, cabals, societies, and orders exist in Faerûn's wide lands. Some assemble to wage war against evil, swearing solemn oaths of goodwill and protection as binding as any paladin's. But most are alliances of ambitious, wealthy, and frequently ruthless people interested only in advancing their hidden agendas, regardless of who or what gets in their way.

Yup. That's the Realms for you: If you don't get toasted by a red dragon, you'll get fried by a Red Wizard.

Really, it's not quite that bad out there, but one thing's for certain: All you stalwart heroes out there have got your work cut out for you.

And while an evil knight that charges up, swinging some sort of dark and nasty sword that drips venom or acid is certainly someone you'll want to devote some attention to, the most dangerous folk in the Realms are a tad more subtle.

It's those sneaky, crafty, wily, wickedly sinister gangs of evil who secretly gather in the darkest corners of Faerûn to plot, plan, and scheme that you've got to be on the lookout for.

The good news is: They probably don't even know about your character. It's not like they're dangerous in the same way as a goblin that'll put a dagger in your back to see what shiny baubles you have got in your pocketses.

These guys have got bigger things on their minds -- and that's the bad news.

Their plans might not be quite as grandiose as the Cult of the Dragon, intent on bringing about the inevitable rule of the world by dracoliches. But sometimes ruling as much of it as is possible might do just fine.

Of course, a powerful assassins' guild isn't really set up for that rulership sort of thing. But you can be sure that they'll have a marked impact on the way their corner of the world is run.

Toss in some groups of evil, evil lycanthropes gathering here and there in the forests -- and cities -- of Faerûn, and you know things are going to go downhill pretty quick.

And there are even more evil secret societies in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting that need to be stopped.

It's a good thing your PCs are out there.


About the Author

Mat Smith is a copywriter who's been here for just over six months now, but has been playing Dungeons & Dragons and waiting to get a job with the company that makes it for well over 18 years. Now, he gets to spend most of his days thinking about new ways to tell everyone in the world to play D&D, which is still the coolest thing ever.

His 22nd-level, 1st-edition bard started kicking around the Forgotten Realms setting back in 1989 and is currently vacationing in the Murloch Vale of the Moonshae Islands.

This month, his newest favorite hobby is changing out the last line of his bio so he can demonstrate to Raegan another nifty aspect of this whole job at Wizards of the Coast thing.


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