Out of the Abyss

(Jeff_L) #1


!embers of the shadowy Black
~etwork consider themselves
part of an extended family, and
rely on the larger organization
for resources and security.
The Zhentarim recognizes and
rewards ambition. granting its
members autonomy to pursue
their own interests and gain
some measure of personal
power or influence. In this
way. the organization is a
meritocracy. The Zhentarim
welcomes dangerous times
as opportunities. When a
m<>rchant caravan needs an escort, a noble needs
bodyguards, or a city needs trained soldiers, the
Zhentarim provides the best-trained fighting forces
money can buy.
Zhentarim agents traveling to and from Mantoi-
Derith have recently passed on information and rumors
·oncerning demonic activity in the Underdark. The
•rganization's members have yet to realize the fuU
extent of the threat, as corruption and madness have
already infiltrated their secret outpost since those initial
reports (see chapter 9). However, even the most cautious
member of the Zhentarim knows that demons at large
10 the world arc bad for business. The organization thus
views the possible presence of the demon lords in the
Lndcrdark with the same concern as any other external
threat to their way of life.
Zhentarim bonds of oath and honor hold the network
together and galvanize its members in united purpose.
~1ore importantly, those bonds reflect the pattern of
ught control that the leaders of the Zhentarim hope to
one day see imposed across the North and beyond. The
organization is thus willing to commit to stop the demon
lords from breaching the surface- knowing that such
a fate would destroy the Zhemarim's plans for control
of FaerGn.

Lawful evil human assassin
Ideals: Order, discipline, ambition
Pe rsonality: Driven. focused. ruthless
Potential Resources: Zhentarim thugs
Graceful and elegant as a blade, Davrajassur ostensibly
recruits promising new talent for the Zhentarim. But
-.he also deals with internal problems, ensuring those
problems are nipped in the bud before they can reveal
any weakness within t he organization. The pragmatic
Davra values order and discipline as well as drive and
ambition. and she embodies all those traits.
The Zhemarim's intelligence-gathering resources and
access to an established Underdark outpost give lhe
organization the strongest hand of any of the factions.
and Davra knows it. Access to Mamol-Derith is key
to the plan, and though she ultimate!} won't withhold
·hat access from the adventurers. sh(• intends to make
:.ure it's not given away for free. Davra deals with the

adventurers directly-and privately. if possible-asking
for a full share of any treasure the characters claim
dunng their next incursion into the Underdark, and a
full reporting to her of all information given to Bruenor
or the other faction leaders. If one of the characters is a
member of the Zhentarim, Davra tries to make the deal
for information with that character alone.
In addition to access to the hidden trading post of
Mantol-Derith, Davrajassur can provide Zhentarim
mercenaries to fill out the expedition. These eight
human thugs proudly wear the crest of the Black
etwork on their armor. If these NPCsjoin the party,
make eight photocopies of the Zhentarim Thug stat
card at the end of this chapter. If you don't want to
control these NPCs yourself. you can distribute their
stat cards among the players and let them run the
NPCs. The thugs' names are ero Kelvane, Lenora
Haskur, Aligor Moonwhispcr, Gorath Torn, Saliyra
Dalnor, Primwin Halk,landro Alathar, and Lhytris
llgarn. All of them know the route to Mantoi-Derith.
Davra is an assassin. In addition to her weapons,
she carries dust of disappearance and wears goggles of
night while roaming the dark halls of Gauntlgrym.


Depending on how negotiations go, the characters
are either an advance force to scout and soften up
opposition in the Underdark while looking for valuable
strategic information, or a diversionary expedition
meant to buy time for the surface world to organize
a stronger response. Faction representatives not
impressed by the adventurers' cause might return to
their factions convinced that the characters have little
chance of succeeding-or surviving. The others are
confident that the characters can live up to the promise
they demonstrated in escaping from the drow and the
King Bruenor convenes a final gathering of his
inner circle of advisors and the adventurers, giving the
characters his thanks for their commitment to the fight
against the demon lords.

"Ye all know the dangers and threats of the world below,
and have bought that knowledge with bravery and
guile. Even more, in diplomacy have ye forged the first
of the connections that will see the North prepared for
what might come. If we surv1ve the coming onslaught,
we'll have ye to thank, and no dwarf of Gauntlgrym will
soon forget it. Ye all have the courage and conviction of
heroes. Aye, I'll even say ye remind me of other heroes
I've known. From a previous life .... "

The characters have at least a few days before they must
venture into the Underdark again-tim<> they can spend
to shape their plans. gather resources, and prepare for
the threats that stand ahead of them. When they are
ready to brave the Underdark once again. they can star t
tht long and dangerous journey to Mantoi-Derith (see
chapLcr 9).

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