Neverwinter: Tyranny of Dragons
Money is the only guarantor of power. Power is the only guarantor of freedom.
Bregan D’aerthe was founded in Menzoberranzan by Jarlaxle Baenre. Drow noble houses needed desperately to destroy every last member of a rival house they attacked, but this was rarely ever possible. Bregan D’aerthe picked up the survivors. They have made themselves a necessary fixture of Menzoberranzan society publicly by providing the most capable mercenaries, and privately for quietly removing any evidence that attacks of one drow house upon another left any survivors. Those attacks, and the general cruelty of drow society, meant that Bregan D’aerthe has rarely lacked for new recruits. Bregan D’aerthe acts as a pressure valve that allows Menzoberranzan to exist, and at the same time benefits directly from the cycle of terror and domination.
Bregan D’aerthe’s interests on the surface have wanted in recent decades. At one point in the recent past they completely controlled the city of Luskan, but after sucking the city dry they discarded it. They provided mercenaries to the Commonwealth of Neverwinter, and in return established a drow enclave in Neverwinter’s River District. This is not directly controlled by Bregan D’aerthe, but many of its members now openly strive to retire from the mercenary company one day by renting an apartment there. Bregan D’aerthe contributed to the refounding of Gauntlgrym, making for awkward relationships with Delzoun and House Xorlarrin.
Beyond Menzoberranzan, where Jarlaxle or Kimmuriel (or, rarely, both) administer things directly, Bregan D’aerthe has local lieutenants who oversee the company’s activities within a defined area. Though Jarlaxle or Kimmuriel may intervene on specific matters, lieutenants generally have a free hand to act as they see fit. As they prove that they can continue bringing in a profit for the company, they gain even more freedom.
Bregan D’aerthe was founded by Jarlaxle as a means to an end: his own freedom. He respects Drizzt Do’Urden as “the one who got away,” not just physically from Menzoberranzan, but from the upbringing and culture that he grew up in. That is Jarlaxle’s goal as well. Most members of Bregan D’aerthe start off as survivors simply trying to make it to another day, but Jarlaxle’s attitude has proved infectious.
- Money buys power. Power assures your freedom.
- Serve Bregan D’aerthe and Bregan D’aerthe will serve you.
- Everything and everyone has a price.
Jarlaxle is beginning to fear that he’s backed the wrong horse. His involvement with the restoration of Gauntlgrym has earned him enemies in Menzoberranzan, while on the surface he broke a contract with a Netherese lord hoping to “trade up” to Dagult Neverember, but now the Lords’ Alliance is faring poorly against Netheril. Meanwhile, they face stiff competition from other mercenary companies like the Zhentarim and the Mintarns. Despite it all Bregan D’aerthe’s goal remains, as always, to make a profit.
Hurt the Competition: You didn’t hear this from Bregan D’aerthe, but if someone attacked a caravan along the High Road being escorted by some Zhents, I’m sure they could find some friends in the River District who’d be willing to see that they were rewarded for such a thing. Rewards: 500 Lords for the party, 100 XP each, 1 renown each.
Civil Unrest: One of the Brightwoods, Helder Stormcrow, has been agitating about the drow, and he’s starting to stir up some mobs. Retired Bregan D’aerthe mercenaries aren’t the sort of folk who will simply be terrorized by a mob with torches and pitchforks. The streets will run red with blood, and nobody wants that. The First Secretary is an old friend of Bregan D’aerthe. Help us and she’ll see to it that you’re compensated for your trouble. Rewards: 500 Lords for the party, 100 XP each, 1 renown each.
Smuggling: Bregan D’aerthe as acquired some fine pieces that our Shadovar friends would likely have a keen interest in. They don’t necessarily comply with all of the rules and regulations of the various independent city-states along the Sword Coast, though, so the company is looking for some discrete individuals who would be willing to hold onto it for a few days until one of our friends comes into port, and then helping get it aboard the ship without getting mixed up in all of the red tape of the Commonwealth’s bureaucracy. Half the payment upon acceptance of the goods, and half with the captain to be paid upon completion. If you try to take off with our goods, know that if the Netherese don’t get you, we will. Rewards: 500 Lords for the party, 100 XP each, 1 renown each.
Bregan D’aerthe is a fairly flat organization, but it does have some ranks. However, membership in Bregan D’aerthe is restricted to drow. However, they do deal with a much wider network of subcontractors.
Rank 1: Subcontractor
Prerequisite: 1 renown with Bregan D’aerthe
If you have proven useful to Bregan D’aerthe in the past, they are willing to subcontract with you. You will be offered a cut of the profits for successfully completing missions that fit into the organization’s larger goals in ways that they don’t bother to explain to you.
Rank 2: Consultant
Prerequisite: 3 renown with Bregan D’aerthe
Successful subcontractors become more valued consultants. Bregan D’aerthe is composed primarily of drow from Menzoberranzan, so they are willing to begrdugingly admit that they don’t always fully grasp the situation on the surface, and so are forced to rely on trusted consultants. As a consultant, you will likely have access to the lieutenant in charge of the local Bregan D’aerthe cell responsible for the organization’s affairs in Neverwinter.
Rank 3: Advisor
Prerequisite: 10 renown with Bregan D’aerthe
The most trusted consultants are even sometimes trusted with some of Bregan D’aerthe’s trained goblinoid fighters in the field. You can request a squad of four goblinoid slaves trained to fight for you once a month.
Rank 4: Soldier of Fortune
Prerequisite: 25 renown with Bregan D’aerthe
At this rank, the members of Bregan D’aerthe respect you as much as one of their own. You can borrow 1d8 trained Bregan D’aerthe mercenaries for your own purposes once a month. You’re expected to bring them back alive, if not entirely unharmed, or at least to pay 800 Lords for any members who are killed under your command to compensate the company for its loss.
Rank 5: Lieutenant
Prerequisite: 50 renown with Bregan D’aerthe, invitation by Jarlaxle or Kimmuriel
Officially, this doesn’t happen. Unofficially, if you prove this useful to Bregan D’aerthe, you’ll likely be approached by one of its leaders, Jarlaxle or Kimmuriel, with an offer to become an unofficial lieutenant answering directly to them. The cells operate independently, so you shouldn’t let the other cell know about your existence. You’ll be given a more narrow mission than the local lieutenant, but Bregan D’aerthe will provide you with 500 Lords a month to operate your own spy ring for the organization. You can use the Running a Spy Network downtime activity to build up your network.