The strength of a ruling body in the Realms lies not in a strong nobility, but in trade. Behind many rulers stand successful merchant families whose wealth has bought them influence nobles regard as rightfully theirs. It follows that nobles tend to hate and envy rising merchant families, even if they themselves were among the newly successful merchant elite only a generation or so ago. One such family, the Naerhands, even have a saying for their chosen lives and operations: “Avoid the gilded target.” In recent years the Naerhands have flourished by working busily—and unscrupulously—behind the scenes. Today, they are wealthier than the largest city guilds and have more daily influence over life in the Sword Coast and western Sea of Fallen Stars lands than many rulers.
The badge of the Naerhands is a lone staring black eye from which descends a single black teardrop. However, under the previous and current matriarchs of the house, the Naerhands have taken to hiding much of their wealth and ownership behind companies that bear other names than their own. Their control of various fortified warehouses along major trade routes and dozens of leased shops and residences in Waterdeep, Suzail, Saerloon, Athkatla, as well as a dozen smaller settlements, is concealed from all but the most diligent investigators.
Want to view the complete article? Subscribe to D&D Insider.
Your D&DI subscription includes...
|D&D Character Builder
|D&D Adventure Tools
About the Author
Ed Greenwood is the man who unleashed the Forgotten Realms on an unsuspecting world. He works in libraries, writes fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and even romance stories (sometimes all in the same novel), but he is still happiest churning out Realmslore, Realmslore, and more Realmslore. There are still a few rooms in his house with space left to pile up papers in ...