The Dark Side
No light can exist without darkness, and Terrail is no exception to this rule. Although unorganized crime is rare, there is a powerful thieves guild in the city. The Weavethieves, as they call themselves, are a group of rouge-wizards. They specialize in combining their thieving and magical abilities, especially by thwarting the defensive magics of the more wealthy Terrailans. The guild was founded by Wyren Jelg, a half-elf from Amn. He had been a high-ranking member of the Shadow Thieves, utilizing arcane spells with a swift blade. After being expelled from the guild, and barely escaping with his life, Wyren traveled to several major cities. He spent some time in Luskan, both working for and stealing from the Arcane Brotherhood. When he was found out, he once again fled, this time not without injury. A spell-blade conjured by one of the strongest of their mages sliced almost entirely through his left leg. Wyren survived, but the wound left him with a limp. Even Terrail's clerics have been unable to repair the damage; some sort of magical residue appears to resist healing spells and potions. Even with this impairment, Wyren is one of the most skilled thieves in the guild. He wields spells that aid him in his chosen profession, usually illusions or divinations.
Defeating the works of Rean Warmaster and his peers is not easily done. It takes either great power or subtle spellcraft to negotiate the alarms and guards encircling the grounds of the affluent. For most of the Weavethieves, it is the latter method. Insidious spells deflect the detection abilities of the wards, and the special wardcleavers crafted by Jelg can allow even novices to enter protected grounds. The primary difficulty in stealing anything in Terrail, besides the more obvious magical shields, is the power of diviners. A simple locate object spell can be used to find most stolen merchandise or objects. To counteract this, cloaking magic is used. This takes the form of standard nondetection spells, but also more clever means, such as the cloak of blindness. A new innovation is to use items with transdimensional storing abilities, such as bags of holding or Heward's handy haversacks. Objects stored in these containers cannot be detected by the usual seeking spells, and so confound many seers. A unique cantrip developed by Wyren known as darkrune leaves an invisible symbol akin to those made by an arcane mark spell. These marks are places either directly on a member of the guild or on an item he or she carries about regularly. Darkrunes cannot be detected by detect magic, although arcane sight spells will reveal it. Detect darkrune, also written by Jelg, is used to prove the truth of a Weavethief's identity, and many higher-ranking members bear spheres of darksensing, which allow them to sense the nearest darkrune. The Weavethieves are a small group, numbering less than a hundred at all times. Each one is trained in both the rouge's skills and wizardry, usually by Jelg himself. Where most thieves rely on deftness with a sword and silence of foot, magic is the defining factor here, as it is with most of Terrail. Here, a thief's arts alone will not suffice; it takes the powers of magic to ensure the safety of the guild. This reason alone eliminated most potential rivals to the guild; few are able to deal with the arcane theft protections. The Weavethieves have a strict policy of avoiding violence; they know they are overmatched by the powerful Tower wizards and experienced fighters, and are ordered to flee rather than fight. The headquarters of the Weavethieves is located beneath Jelg's inn, found in the Market district. It's walls are permeated with protections from all divination, and the rooms themselves are rumored to exist in a demiplane of their own, or perhaps in the Demiplane of Shadow. Only the most trusted members know the truth of these claims.
The Red Wizards of Thay have a considerable power base around the area of the Sea of Fallen Stars. Their enclaves are quite common there, and they sought to build one in Terrail early in the city's construction. The former Archmage knew the history of that organization, and wanted nothing to do with it, despite its recently assumed mercantile appearance. The official reason for the refusal was that, as a city of mages, Terrail had no need for an autonomous group of outsiders crafting items. The Thayans reacted by sending in several of their younger members, ones who had yet to wear the tattoos that are their trademark. The group posed as a small, tight-knit family, schooled casually in arcane traditions, but not eager to join any of Terrail's official groups. They became guests, and rented a small building in which they opened a shop called The Crimson Sash, which sells fine cloth and clothes of very high quality. Many of the wealthier citizens and guests shop there, and their works are made honestly enough, as the mages were well trained in preparation for their mission. While on the surface they seem to be hard-working members of society, by night they labor on a secret and much darker enterprise. Through experimentation with wild magic areas, the Thayans have managed to compose a spell which causes a spellcaster to temporarily lose control of his or her castings, as if they were in such a field. That isn't the worst part: the newest efforts are concerned with making this effect both permanent and contagious, effectively bringing forth a magical plague. So far, little success has been had, as the wizards must tread cautiously for fear of infecting themselves, and the spellwork itself is incredibly challenging.
The "family" includes Veltorn (father, transmuter), Merna (mother, illusionist), Trevin (son, evoker), and Lira (daughter, abjurer). Their family name is Relinsbough, and to outsiders they are quiet, polite, and distant. They have no friends outside the group, and conceal their efforts utterly both from magic and more mundane means of observation, all under threat of both death and eternal torture. Of course, if they succeed, the Red Wizards will wield a mighty weapon against the mages of the world.
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