Princes of the Apocalypse
The Lords’ Alliance isn’t a nation unto itself, but a partnership of the rulers of towns and cities across the North, who have pledged peace with one another and promised to share information and effort against common threats such as orc hordes and Northlander pirates. It is a loose confederation of those settlements and their agents, all of whom owe allegiance first to their homelands, and second to the Lords’ Alliance.
The Lords’ Alliance is a shaky compact of aggressive political powers concerned with mutual security and prosperity. Fighters and sorcerers are prevalent among alliance agents, and they are often glory hounds seeking personal recognition. Most agents are lawful or neutral; in the courtly circles of the lords, those who don’t follow the rules seldom last long.
Trade along rivers and roads links the cities of the Lords’ Alliance, so its operatives eliminate threats to that trade as soon as they appear.
In the harsh lands of the North, where winters are cold and monsters and human barbarians regularly stream out of the mountains to pillage outlying settlements, large nations are rare indeed, particularly in the current state of the world. Instead, great city-states have emerged, enriched by trade and protected by stout walls and loyal defenders. Such cities — including Baldur’s Gate, Mirabar, Neverwinter, Silverymoon, and Waterdeep — extend their influence into nearby regions, often creating or accepting vassal settlements, but in the end, these realms are cities, driven to consider their own protection and future before other concerns.
In the years soon after its founding more than one hundred fifty years ago, there was more interest in membership, and the Alliance accepted some members from farther south. Since then, events such as the growth of Elturgard into a power in its own right, and the recent fall of the Silver Marches, have caused the group to draw in on itself, restricting its membership to powers in the North . The current members of the Alliance are Amphail, Baldur’s Gate, Daggerford, Longsaddle, Mirabar, Mithral Hall, Neverwinter, Silverymoon, Waterdeep, and Yartar. There is some doubt that Mithral Hall will be part of the alliance for much longer, but until rulership of the dwarven city is more firmly established, it remains a member.
It is impossible to ascribe an overall character to the individual members of the alliance. As a group, the agents of the members are interested in the preservation of civilization in the North, and they share what information they can — and oppose what threats they must — to further that goal. In the end, though, a merchant of Waterdeep and one of Baldur’s Gate are concerned mainly for their own purses and the welfare of their home cities, and are unlikely to care what happens to the other, except inasmuch as it affects trade.
The advice and insights in this section come from Andwe Cururen, a half-elf native of Silverymoon who was once a Knight in Silver (a member of the city’s army), and now serves as an emissary and, when necessary, an active agent for the Lords’ Alliance. She travels the North on behalf of the Alliance, representing its interests and gathering and updating information on its settlements for her superiors, fellow agents, and potential recruits, including adventurers who might serve the Alliance or one of its members.