Factions Guide

In the Forgotten Realms, five factions have risen to prominence. These factions seek to further their own aims while opposing destructive forces that threaten the folk of Faerûn. Each faction has its own motivations, goals, and philosophy. Some are more heroic than others, but all band together in times of trouble to thwart major threats.

Factions are an important part of the D&D Adventurers League experience, but characters don’t have to become a member of a faction right away, or at all. Belonging to a faction sometimes means having responsibilities, but it also carries with it support and rewards for service. If you ever switch factions or leave a faction, you lose all ranks and renown with the old faction, and must start at rank 1 with zero renown with your new faction.

The Harpers
1 Watcher
3 Harpshadow
10 Brightcandle
25 Wise Owl
50 High Harper

The Harpers is a scattered network of spellcasters and spies who advocate equality and covertly oppose the abuse of power. The organization is benevolent, knowledgeable, and secretive. Bards and wizards of good alignments are commonly drawn to the Harpers.

The Order of the Gauntlet

Order ofthe Gauntlet
1 Cheval I
3 Marcheon
10 Whitehawk
25 Vindicator
50 Righteous Hand

The Order of the Gauntlet is composed of faithful and vigilant seekers of justice who protect others from the depredations of evildoers. The organization is honorable, vigilant, and zealous. Clerics, monks, and paladins of good (and often lawful good) alignments are commonly drawn to the Order of the Gauntlet.

The Emerald Enclave

Emerald Enclave
1 Springwarden
3 Summerstrider
10 Autumnreaver
25 Wi nterstalker
50 Master of the Wild

The Emerald Enclave is a widespread group of wilderness survivalists who preserve the natural order while rooting out unnatural threats. The organization is decentralized, hardy, and reclusive. Barbarians, druids, and rangers of good or neutral alignments are commonly drawn to the Emerald Enclave.

The Lords’ Alliance

Lord’s Alliance
1 Cloak
3 Redknife
10 Stingblade
50 Lion crown

The Lords’ Alliance is a loose coalition of established political powers concerned with mutual security and prosperity. The organization is aggressive, militant, and political. Fighters and sorcerers of lawful or neutral alignments are commonly drawn to the Lords’ Alliance.

The Zhentarim

1 Fang
3 Wolf
10 Viper
25 Ardragon
50 Dread Lord

The Zhentarim is an unscrupulous shadow network that seeks to expand its influence and power throughout Faerûn. The organization is ambitious, opportunistic, and meritocratic. Rogues and warlocks of neutral and/or evil alignments are commonly drawn to the Zhentarim.

dlOO Government dlOO Government
01-08 Autocracy 59-64 Militocracy
09-13 Bureaucracy 65-74 Monarchy
14-19 Confederacy 75-78 Oligarchy
20-22 Democracy 79-80 Patriarchy
23-27 Dictatorship 81-83 Meritocracy
28-42 Feudalism 84-85 Plutocracy
43-44 Gerontocracy 86-92 Republic
45-53 Hierarchy 93-94 Satrapy
54-56 Magocracy 95 Kleptocracy
57-58 Matriarchy 96-00 Theocracy

Autocracy. One hereditary ruler wields absolute
power. The autocrat either is supported by a welldeveloped
bureaucracy or military or stands as the
only authority in an otherwise anarchic society. The
dynastic ruler could be immortal or undead. Aundair
and Karrnath, two kingdoms in the Eberron campaign
setting, have autocrats with royal blood in their veins.
Whereas Queen Aurala of Aundair relies on wizar.ds
and spies to enforce her will, Kaius, the vampire king of
Karrnath, has a formidable army of living and undead
soldiers under his command.
Bureaucracy. Various departments compose the
government, each responsible for an aspect of rule. The
department heads, ministers, or secretaries answer to a
figurehead autocrat or council.
Confederacy. Each individual city or town within
the confederacy governs itself, but all contribute to a
league or federation that promotes (at least in theory)
the common good of all member states. Conditions and
attitudes toward the central government vary from place
to place within the confederacy. The Lords’ Alliance in
the Forgotten Realms setting is a loose confederacy of
cities, while the Mror Holds in the Eberron campaign
setting is a confederacy of allied dwarf clans.
Democracy. Citizens or their elected representatives
determine the laws in a democracy. A bureaucracy or
military carries out the day-to-day work of government,
with positions filled through open elections.
Dictatorship. One supreme ruler holds absolute
authority, but his or her rule isn’t necessarily dynastic.
In other respects this resembles an autocracy. In the
Greyhawk campaign setting, a half-demon named Iuz is
the dictator of a conquered land that bears his name.
Feudalism. The typical government of Europe in
the Middle Ages, a feudalistic society consists of layers
of lords and vassals. The vassals provide soldiers or
scutage (payment in lieu of military service) to the lords,
who in turn promise protection to their vassals.
Gerontocracy. Elders preside over this society. In
some cases, long-lived races such as elves or dragons
are entrusted with the leadership of the land.
Hierarchy. A feudal or bureaucratic government
where every member, except one, is subordinate to
another member. In the Dragonlance campaign setting,
the dragonarmies of Krynn form a military hierarchy,
with the Dragon Highlords as leaders under the dragon
queen Takhisis.
Kleptocracy. This government is composed of groups
or individuals primarily seeking wealth for themselves,
often at the expense of their subjects. The grasping
Bandit Kingdoms in the Grey hawk campaign setting
are prime examples. A kingdom run by thieves’ guilds
would also fall into this category.
Magocracy. The governing body is composed of
spellcasters who rule directly as oligarchs or feudal
lords, or participate in a democracy or bureaucracy.
Examples include the Red Wizards of Thay in the
Forgotten Realms campaign setting and the sorcererkings
of Athas in the Dark Sun campaign setting.
Matriarchy or Patriarchy. This society is governed
by the eldest or most important members of one gender.
Draw cities are examples of theocratic matriarchies, for
each is ruled by a council of drow high priestesses who
answer to Lolth, the Demon Queen of Spiders.
Meritocracy. The most intelligent and educated
people oversee the society, often with a bureaucracy
to handle the day-to-day work of government. In the
Forgotten Realms, scholarly monks preside over the
fortress-library of Candlekeep, overseen by a master of
lore called the Keeper.
Militocracy. Military leaders run the nation under
martial law, using the army and other armed forces. A
militocracy might be based on an elite group of soldiers,
an order of dragon riders, or a league of sea princes.
olamnia, a nation ruled by knights in the Dragonlance
campaign setting, falls into this category.
Monarchy. A single hereditary sovereign wears the
crown. Unlike the autocrat, the monarch’s powers are
limited by law, and the ruler serves as the head of a
democracy, feudal state, or militocracy. The kingdom
of Breland, in the Eberron campaign setting, has both
a parliament that makes laws and a monarch who
enforces them.
Oligarchy. A small number of absolute rulers share
power, possibly dividing the land into districts or
provinces under their control, or jointly ruling together.
_.\group of adventurers who take control of a nation
together might form an oligarchy. The Free City of
Greyhawk is an oligarchy composed of various faction
leaders, with a Lord Mayor as its figurehead.
Plutocracy. Society is governed by the wealthy. The
elite form a ruling council, purchase representati"on at
rhe court of a figurehead monarch, or rule by default
because money is the true power in the realm. Many
cities in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting,
including Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate, are plutocracies.
Republic. Government is entrusted to representatives
of an established electorate who rule on behalf of the
electors. Any democracy in which only landowners or
certain classes can vote could be considered a republic.
Satrapy. Conquerors and representatives of another
government wield power, ruling the settlement or region
as part of a larger empire. The satraps are bureaucrats
and military officers, or unusual characters or monsters.
The cities of High port and Suder ham in the Greyhawk
campaign setting are satrapies controlled by agents of a
,·icious gang of marauders known as the Slave Lords.
Theocracy. Rulership falls to a direct representative
or a collection of agents of a deity. The centers of power
in a theocracy are usually located on sacred sites. In
the Eberron campaign setting, the nation of Thrane is
a theocracy devoted to the Silver Flame, a divine spirit
that resides in Thrane’s capital of Flamekeep.

1st Emperor/Empress
2nd King/Queen
3rd Duke/Duchess
4th Prince/Princess
5th Marquess/Marquise
6th Earl or Count/Countess
7th Viscount/ Viscountess
8th Baron/Baroness
9th Baronet
lOth Knight

Factions Guide

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