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The Jaezred Chaulssin was a secret patriarchal organization based in Chaulssin primarily consisting of skilled shadow dragon-blooded drow assassins bent on ending the drow race’s slavery to Lolth.[6]

ObjectivesEdit

The Jaezred Chaulssin’s objective was to free the drow from Lolth’s and her priestesses’ oppression. Their chosen way of doing so was to violently tearing down the system that allowed the Church of Lolth's theocracy to exist. They fully understood that doing this would cause a power vacuum that would make their people suffer weakness and enslavement for a time measured in centuries, but were wiling to risk it for their "salvation". Their goal was not of altruistic nature. It involved the Jaezred Chaulssin becoming the guiding force in reconstructing a society and then the rulers.[7]

ActivitiesEdit

The Jaezred Chaulssin were an assassins’ guild. They took jobs in the field of spying and assassination.[3] The guild generally tried to be hidden and managed to remain out of sight and mind of Lolth’s clergy despite dealing numerous successful attacks against the church.[8]

While they caused overt attacks as the destruction of Ched Nasad during the Silence of Lolth, [9] and a carnage on the graduation ceremony of Arach-Trinilith by unleashing demon hordes on the students in 1469 DR,[10] such large scale attacks were rare. Their modus operandi was to first infiltrate minor noble houses, for example the cell in Menzoberranzan is headed by Nimor Imphraezl who posed as Nagyon Nurindyn of House Nurindyn which held the 48th rank,[11] the third from the bottom of nobility,[12] and then actually taking control over them.[10] After securing a foothold, they started boiling up the populace’s dissatisfaction of commoners', minor nobles' but in general males', whose maltreatment up to sacrifice was Lolth’s dogma and thus law in drow cities.[13] They also infiltrated male dominated groups to teach rebellious ideas, in the case of Menzoberranzan, examples of such male dominated groups included Melee-Magthere, Sorcere and even the Council of Spiders, a Lolth-loyalist faction in Sorcere.[11] Spreading rumors and doubts about the society on the streets by disguised agents/agitators was also common. An interesting infiltration was the one employed by the shadar-kai and half-drow members. It involved selling oneself into slavery to a noble house to become a favored servant while simultaneously sowing dissent inside the house and urging the house to ally with the Jaezred Chaulssin-controlled house to give the guild a direct link to their enemy.[10]

The ultimate goal was to create a climate of dissatisfaction and anger as well as enough opposition groups in the rulership’s belly that would allow violent revolts that led to successfully tearing down Lolth’s theocracy.[10]

Magic and SkillsEdit

All members of the Jaezred Chaulssin had some sorcerous and/or roguish abilities. Generally, they were particularly trained in abilities that required some stealth, like hiding, sneaking, disguising, or lying and seeing through lies or arcane abilities. As an organization dedicated to the destruction of a religious organization (Lolth’s church) and themselves of a religious bend (of Vhaeraun), some learned deeper knowledge in matters of religion. Most learned the skills of assassination and their unique training made their assassination abilities more dangerous than those outside of their guild.[3]

When it came down to magical abilities, they seemed to have favored illusion magic, particularly those with ties to shadow and which wither gave them a direct advantage in physical combat,[note 1] means to escape[note 2] or versatility.[note 3][3]

The Jaezred Chaulssin's choice of tools were that of drow, drgonblood or not,[note 4][3] and was generally directed at helping their profession as assassins. Concretely it meant it either augmented their stealth skills,[note 5] their skills at killing[note 6] or other works like capturing their enemies.[note 7][3]

One speciality about the Jaezred Chaulssin was their members' tie to the Plane of Shadows. It allowed them to use or use an item at full power[note 8] A shadow related speciality about them was that they could tap into the Shadow Weave and use Shadow Weave items despite not being sharrans, in fact being enemies of sharrans like the Shadovar.[3]

Base of operationsEdit

The Jaezred Chaulssin were "based" in the ruined drow city of Chaulssin, from which they got their name. However, they also infiltrated minor houses in many drow cities, which they used as bases of power, called fosterages,[14] and places to raise their young.[15][16] These cities were, namely, Ched Nasad, Dusklyngh, Eryndlyn, Jhachalkhyn, Karsoluthiyl, Maerimydra, and Sschindylryn[14] and, as of 1469 DR, Menzoberranzan.[10] Apart from these, they kept six minor bases[17] in settlements like Skullport or Sshamath that were not (primarily) ruled by Lolth but allowed drow to walk freely.[14]

Their main base in Chaulssin was called the House of Hidden Masters, once the city’s temple of Lolth, that served as the lair of the guild master Mauzzkyl Jaezred.[18]

They practically controlled the city of Jhachalkhyn[19] and were the strongest individual power in Ched Nasad through controlling the males of the leading house Teh’Kinrellz who had power rivaling and/or exceeding the house's females' power.[20]

MembersEdit

The Jaezred Chaulssin was primarily made up of drow with shadow dragon blood, namely the following types:[21]

The zar'ithra'rin were a minority in the Jaezred Chaulssin amounting to just aobut 2% of its membership.[3]

The zekylyn were the most numerous members, about 96% of the Jaezred Chaulssin, inside the guild there was a tendency for those with more dragon blood to hold higher ranks, so they tended to be in middle to high management positions.[8]

The draa’zekylyn formed the leadership of the Jaezred Chaulssin and were zekyls who have divided their drow and dragon heritage through magic originally from Clan Malaug. They were shadow dragons that were also drows and could take either form.[22] They ruled over the guild through a council system.[3]

While shadow dragon-blood-holders were the vast majority of the guild’s membership, membership itself was tied to their readiness of bringing down Lolth’s rule and (loose) adherence to Vhaeraun’s faith but not to racial or ethnic affiliation. The initiation was usually a sacrificial ritual, during which of heart of a priestess of Lolth, killed by the initiate, was sacrificed to Vhaeraun[23]

They always employed shadar-kai, a race in perpetual danger of losing their soul, in a state of borderline to actual slavery in exchange for aid in keeping them alive.[24] At latest in 1469 DR, shadar-kai comprised a not unimportant part of the membership as did drow with no dragon blood.[4] Half-drows have also become members of the guild by that time.[10]

The Jaezred Chaussin were followers of Vhaeraun, but over a few centuries they began emphasizing their faith less and less in order to evade the possibility of open war with Lolth.[14] Still, the death of Vhaeraun in 1375 DR, alongside the Spellplague, was such a heavy setback for them that they were forced to rebuild their strength for an entire century.[4] Their numbers have dropped from about 800 before the Spellplague[23] to about 140 in 1469 DR.[4]

Notable membersEdit

LeadershipEdit

All members of the leadership are drow-dragons who held at least some aptitude for assassination.

Mauzzkyl Jaezred
Patron Grandfather (Chaulssin). Born in 27 DR, he was great wyrm drow-dragon sorcerer and assassin who appeared as a healthy but aged drow. He was the founder of the Jaezred Chaulssin.[3]
Durrelon Claddmtor 
Patron Father (Dusklyngh).[3]
Ilphtrin Imphraezl 
Patron Father (Sschindylryn).[3]
Quildan Oussgyhm 
Patron Father (Karsoluthiyl).[3]
Tomphael Arkenrret 
Patron Father (Eryndlyn).[3]
Vesz'zt Auvryana 
Patron Father (Maerimydra) was unique in that he was a vampiric dragon.[3]
Xorthaul Barriath 
Patron Father (Jhachalkhyn).[3] He was the head priest of Vhaeraun in Chaulssin[25]
Zammzt Everharn 
Patron Father (Ched Nasad).[3]

OtherEdit

Antrysn Barriath 
Anointed Blade (after 1373 DR). He was murdered by his rival, Nimor, but his father Xorthaul raised him from the dead and he became Anointed Blade after Nimor's failure in Menzoberranzan.[3]
Nimor Imphraezl 
Former Anointed Blade (until 1373 DR). He lost his position as the Anointed Blade after he failed to conquer Menzoberranzan during the Silence of Lolth.[3]

OrganizationEdit

The Jaezred Chaulssin were led by a council. The council was headed by the Patron Grandfather Mauzzkyl Jaezred. Including the Patron Grandfather, there were eight Patron Fathers who formed the leadership of the Jaezred Chaulssin.[26] Each of the Patron Fathers was a draa’zekyl and also the leader of a major fosterage.[3]

Members of the guild were called Velves ("Blades") and served the Patron Fathers. They were ranked from First to Eighth Blades and needed permission from their superiors to take on risky jobs such as assassination. The First Blade, Ust’Velves, counted three members, the next Second Blades, ‚‘Draat’Velves, counted five and so on[3] until the Seventh Blades’ fifteen members and the Eighth Blades had no upper limit in accepted numbers. Rising in rank was done by beating a higher ranking member.[8] It wasn't clear whether "beating" had to involve killing but it was at least accepted as in the case of Nimor Imphraezl killing his by-that-time-superior Antrysn Barriath to get his position.[3]

An exception to this rank system was the Ortho'Velve ("Anointed Blade"). This position was filled with one individual at all time and was only accountable to the Patron Grandfather, in other words he outranked not only the other Blades but also the Patron Fathers save the guildmaster whose will he carried out.[27]

FundingEdit

The Jaezred Chaulssin funded itself from three sources.

The first source was their own members. As a guild, the Jaezred Chaulssin required an entry fee when entering the guild and a monthly membership fee from its members.[3]

The second money source was profit through selling their services, their members were obliged to pay a fifth of their gains to the guild after a job done.[3]

The third source was private sponsoring. The Jaezred Chaulssin, were, a very violent form of, opportunity givers to more secular powers like merchants and males in general by eliminating theological power holders, the members of Lolth's matriarchy, whose place the aforementioned groups filled. These groups then acted as the guild's sponsors.[9]

HistoryEdit

FoundingEdit

In 734 DR, warned by Vhaeraun, the denizens of Chaulssin, who have overthrown and killed their shadow dragon slavers, escaped to the Plane of Shadow. They fled from the armies of Menzoberranzan who tried to kill them. The reason for the war was religious. After the drow from Chaulssin, who sported many half-dragons among them, freed themselves from slavery without Lolth’s help, Menzoberranzan sent emissaries to the Chaulssinyr demanding obedience to Lolth which they rebuffed which resulted in the Spider Queen’s decision to punish them.[28]

Once their city Chaul’mur’ssin was established on the Plane of Shadow, the Chaulssinyr had the enmity of other groups, for example the Shadovar but mainly from Clan Malaug.[29] The Chaulssinyr still felt the desire to return to Toril.[28]

In 792 DR, the church of Vhaeraun found out that the city’s leadership was honeycombed by malaugrym. These infiltrators were found out and killed in one day but at heavy cost, both in the sense of lives but also in the sense of organization for the city’s leadership was no more. The void of leadership was filled by the church and in response to the casualties House Jaezred, the forebears of the Jaezred Chaulssin, was founded. At that time, their role was to reveal, locate and kill shapeshifting infiltrators such as the malaugrym.[28][1]

A stalemate followed in the following years, during which the Chaulssinyr studied and learned from their enemies. They finally managed to steal the game changer. The secret to divide their drow and dragon heritage and thus gained the full abilities of their dragon parents but also the ability to change into an individual drow form. The credit was House Jaezred’s assassins’ and the power and prestige they gained through it threatened to throw their city into internal strife between them and the church of Vhaeraun. To avoid this and to distance themselves from the church, the assassins decided to fulfill the Chaulssinyrs’ dream of going back to Toril and to use their powers to undermine Lolth’s rule over the drow.[28]

Plane shifted House Jaezred set up their main base in their former home of Chaulssin, in 1136 DR, and established the House of the Hidden Masters and came to be known as the assassins’ guild Jaezred Chaulssin from this point onwards.[1][28]

The Jaezred Chaulssin tried to infiltrate a total of seven drow cities namely Ched Nasad, Eryndlyn, Jhachalkhyn, Karsoluthiyl, Maerimydra, Sschindylryn and Menzoberranzan and created fosterages there through posing as minor nobility. Menzoberranzan was the only one that resisted infiltration which is why Dusklyngh was chosen instead. In addition, six minor fosterages were formed in cities [17] like Skullport or Sshamath that were not (primarily) ruled by Lolth but allowed drow to walk freely.[14]

In 1241 DR, Clan Malaug kidnapped the pregnant mate of the Patron Grandfather. The Jaezred Chaulssin were able to kill the kidnappers but the female drow-dragon vanished. The missing offspring was discovered in 1358 DR north of Amphail under the name Nurvureem but the Jaezred Chaulssin opted to just watch and wait to see if she became a threat.[30]

The Silence of LolthEdit

Between the years 1372 DR and 1373 DR, Lolth stopped granting spells to her priestesses. The time is known as the Silence of Lolth. The priestesses, who were unprepared for the sudden loss of spells but whose power and rule was dependent on Lolth favoring them and intimidating the others into servitude, were put into disarray.[31]

The Jaezred Chaulssin chose to strike and implement their plans to take down a number of Lolthite cities, namely Ched Nasad, Dusklyngh, Eryndlyn, Jhachalkhyn, Karsoluthiyl, Maerimydra, and Menzoberranzan.

Through a series of smaller strikes in the cities Dusklyngh, Jhachalkhyn and Karsoluthiyl, the Jaezred Chaulssin created a power vacuum that mainly male merchants filled who then funneled money back to their "opportunity givers".[32]

In Eryndlyn, they urged the Vhaeraun followers and the Ghaunadaur followers, who were already working together after Selvetarm’s avatar’s rampage during the Time of Troubles[33], to throw away their reluctance, due to their combined number being the equivalent of their enemy’s,[34] to bring the Lolth followers down and caused a civil war that ended in the death of almost every priestess of Lolth.[35][32]

In Ched Nasad, they provided the stonefire bombs that led to the city's destruction by incinerating the calcified webbing on which the city was suspended resulting in the destruction of the entire city.[36] Their work in Maerimydra and Menzoberranzan was a failure, though. The former was surprisingly taken by followers of Kiaransalee led by Irae T'sarran.[32][37]

In the latter the Anointed Blade, Nimor Imphraezl, brought together a number of allies, including Crown Prince Horgar Steelshadow's duergar army of Gracklstugh, the Scourged Legion of Kaanyr Vhok, and the drow House Agrach Dyrr led by the Lichdrow Dyrr. He secretly led them in a siege on Menzoberranzan. Although his forces succeeded in defeating the city's Army of the Black Spider, the siege ultimately failed when Lolth returned and the Silence of Lolth ended, allowing the city's priestesses to turn back the invaders.[31][38][39][32]

Post-SpellplagueEdit

The Spellplague and the death of Vhaeraun in 1375 DR was a setback for the guild that forced them to rebuild their strength over a century.[4] Their numbers have dropped from about 800 before the Spellplague[23] to about 140 in 1469 DR.[4]

Ched Nasad’s ruling council was obliged to make concessions to the Jaezred Chaulssin.[5] Said ruling council itself was considered an abomination by the one of Menzoberranzan because the males of the leading House Teh'Kinrellz, controlled by the Jaezred Chaulssin, had power rivaling and/or exceeding the females' power.[20]

The Jaezred Chaulssin managed to finally infiltrate Menzoberranzan. Under the leadership of Nimor Imphraezl, they set their eye on Tier Breche, the city’s educational institution, or more precisely on the death of Arach-Trinilith’s priestesses who led entire Tier Breche. Apart from one open attack that consisted of unleashing demon hordes on the graduation ceremony and causing casualties and damage to the temple in 1469 DR, their primary modus operandi was to form opposition groups in the male dominated Sorcere, the mage-school, Melee-Magthere, the warrior school, as well as teaching Menzoberranzan’s males, commoners and minor nobility the idea of rebellion against the oppressive priestesses and their matriarchy. Their ultimate goal was to incite a violent rebellion on a scale that would destroy the city’s rulership.[10]

At latest in 1479 DR, the Jaezred Chaulssin took assassination jobs from their former enemies, the Netherese. While they were considered allies, the assassins’ guild was apparently in danger of being subsumed by them.[5]

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Novels

War of the Spider Queen series:

NotesEdit

  1. They used spells like ebon eyes that allowed them to circumvent the darkness ability of their drow enemies, protective spells like shadow phase or spectral dragon to gain additional manpower and to weaken their enemies.
  2. shadow walk was a good example for a long-range escape spell.
  3. Starting with shadow evocation, shadow conjuration, shadowgloom or shades to project image or simulacrum, they had a tendency to use spells that allowed different kind of effects.
  4. Examples were boots of elvenkind like other elves to move more stealthy or piwafis like other drow to blend into their surrounding.
  5. The Jaezred Chaulssin made frequent use of armors with the so called shadow and/or silent moves properties. The former augmented their abilities at hiding, while the latter that of moving around undetected.
  6. Assassins relied on their first strike being the fatal one for their enemies, to this end assassin’s dagger to raise the effectiveness of these killing strikes or rapier of puncturing to lower the abilities of their victims to survive such strikes were habitually employed.
  7. Capturing enemies was made easier and more securer by the use of dimensional shackles which prevented their captives from teleporting away. The trollgut rope was also in frequent usage for its versatility.
  8. An example for the former, would be dragonspectre flute which could only be used by a creature with ties to the Plane of Shadows, while an example of the latter would be a ring of shadows which sported additional powers in the hands of a person with ties to the aforementioned plane.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  2. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65. ISBN 0786932023.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 6. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 233. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  7. Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 1-6. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 70. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 4. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 70–71. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  12. Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 33. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  13. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 40–41. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 3. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  15. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 0786932023.
  16. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 240. ISBN 0786932023.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  18. Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 109. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  19. Peter Lee, Rodney Thompson, Andrew Veen (2016-06-16). Tyrants of the Underdark Rulebook. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-07-29.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 106. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  21. Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 1. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  22. Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 44. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 6. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  24. Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 5. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  25. Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 5. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  26. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 9. ISBN 0786932023.
  27. Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 69–70. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 3. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  29. Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 2. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  30. Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 3-4. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786932023.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Eric L. Boyd (2007-04-25). City of Wyrmshadows (Zipped PDF) p. 4. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  33. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  34. Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 148. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  35. James Wyatt (2002-02-06). City of the Spider Queen Web Enhancement (Zipped PDF) p. 9-10. Wizards of the Coast.
  36. Thomas M. Reid (December 2003). Insurrection. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3033-0.
  37. James Wyatt (2002-02-06). City of the Spider Queen Web Enhancement (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast.
  38. Lisa Smedman (February 2005). Extinction. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3596-0.
  39. Philip Athans (August 2005). Annihilation. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3752-1.

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