The Stockwood Scrolls
The Zhentarim, or Black Network, is an organization of well-trained mercenaries, savvy rogues, and crafty warlocks who seek to expand their influence and power throughout Faerûn. Agents of the Zhentarim feel that if they play by the rules, nothing gets done. Ultimately, they want to make the rules—and, in some cases, they already do. They walk a fine line when it comes to the letter of the law and don’t shy away from the occasional shady deal or illicit activity to get what they want.
The Zhentarim seeks to become omnipresent and inescapable, more wealthy and powerful, and most importantly, untouchable. The public face of the organization appears much more benign, offering the best mercenaries money can buy. When a merchant needs an escort for his caravan, when a noble needs bodyguards to protect her holdings, or when a city needs trained soldiers to defend its honor, the Zhentarim provides the best-trained fighting men and women money can buy. However, the cost of doing business with the Black Network can be high.
To the Zhentarim, wealth is power. Its agents know that nothing else inspires such confidence and dispels doubt so well. In an instant, wealth speaks louder than a thousand bards. Zhentarim agents routinely carry the finest weapons and armor, with no expense spared. When a merchant needs an escort for a caravan, when a noble family requires bodyguards to protect its holdings, or when a city is desperate for trained soldiers to defend its walls, the Zhentarim provides the best warriors money can buy.
The Black Network wants to make it necessary—and preferable, even—to deal with its members. It wants to secure, over time, an iron-fisted monopoly. Members must be the best—the cheapest, the fastest, and the most secure—at providing services and goods both legal and illicit, willing to lose coin if it means destroying a competitor, and securing profits from everyone they deal with, except when to do so would work against the Black Network’s ultimate goal: to make everyone dependent on it.
The organization encourages individual ambition and rewards innovators who take matters into their own hands. Results are all that matter. Those who come into the Black Network with nothing can become major players within the organization through their own moxie and hard work.
The group is highly secretive, led by shadowy figures known only to the highest within their ranks.
- The Zhentarim is a family. You watch out for it, and it watches out for you.
- You are the master of your own destiny. Never be less than what you deserve to be.
- Everything—and everyone—has a price.
To amass wealth, power, and influence.
Rian Nightshade, tiefling commander of the Bloodied Thousand
Jamna Gleamsilver, gnome rogue
Darthan, mercenary of the Bloodied Thousand
Halia Thornton, human merchant
Pharana, Halia’s senior contact