The Knights of the Shield are expert wielders and manipulators of information who pose as a group of merchants and nobles interested in mercantile activities. Though they are based primarily in Baldur's Gate, Amn and Tethyr, the realm of influence of the Knights reach from Calimshan to Waterdeep, though they have little influence in the latter anymore thanks to a failed coup against the Lords of Waterdeep.
The Knights of the Shield were originally founded in the time of the Tyrant Eye Wars in -170 DR for gathered exceptional minds for defend the kingdom of Tethyr; they adopted this name from the legendary Shield of Silvam, a magic artifact supposedly created by the wizard Bardson-Ithal.
After three thousand years and the disappearance of the magic shield the order was officially disbanded when his members were falsely accused of the murder of the king Leodom IV. However his members secretly continued to meet exchanging between their self informations; soon the members started using these information in mercantile practice becoming more rich and powerful than before. So they became a secret mercantile consortium with the only objective of increase the moneys of the members and rarely offering to new people to enter in the order; a decisive factor emerged in 889 DR when the Duke Tithkar Illehhune entered in the Knights of the Shield.
Tithkar had a mystical shield that he called the Hidden Shield Lord and soon convinced the other members that the shield was a gods' gift and fought it and its advices the order can regained the old glory. Tithkar instituted the Shield Council, a secret organ with the objective of use the shield to increase the power of the order.
In the subsequent five hundred years the knights effectually gained more money and power and very affluent people were admitted in the order; they were capable of previde and took advantage of the defeat of the Black Horde in 1235 DR, the Tethyr's Restoration Wars in 1366 DR-1369 DR and the institution or abolition of customs duties.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 151. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
- ↑ Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 155. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.