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Council of Thieves

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Council of Thieves

Thieves' guild
For another meaning of "Council of Thieves", please see Council of Thieves (adventure path).

The Council of Thieves is a legendary thieves' guild based out of the Chelish city of Westcrown.

History of the Council

The Council began in approximately 4285 AR, born from a brutal war that nearly destroyed the Wiscrani criminal underground. For nearly two hundred years the Council had a lock on the Westcrown criminal underground, ruling it from behind the scenes and terrorizing the city populace, who lived in constant fear that they might inadvertently anger the powerful guild. 1

This situation reached a breaking point in 4469 AR , and Queen Koradinna intervened. She knew that a full frontal assault on the powerful guild would result in great bloodshed, and so she worked out a behind-closed-doors solution with the Council leaders: the Council would offer up some sacrificial lambs to the Queen, and she would make a great show to the public of having captured and publicly executed them. In return, The Council would be allowed to continue its existence, albeit in a subtle, hidden, and mostly non-violent guise.1

Many believed that the Council was now dead and gone, but this accord with the Chelish government marked a watershed moment in its history. Its focus now shifted to more white-collar crimes such as blackmail, usury, extortion, racketeering, counterfeiting, forgery, drug trafficking, and assassination. Membership of the Council began to become dominated by members of the Wiscrani nobility. More mundane crimes such as muggings, murder, and rape were kept at a minimum by the Council itself. Its power and influence continued to grow within the city, and over the next century its very existence continued to disappear into the fog of rumor and myth.1

The death of Aroden in 4606 AR changed many things for the Council. Cheliax was plunged into civil war, and the guild no longer had to worry about the Koradinnan Accord . But because it had spent so much time in the shadows that it felt ill-equipped to prosper in this time of violence and unrest. So instead it laid low for three decades, waiting to see how the political situation would shake out in Cheliax.1

The ascendancy of House Thrune changed many things in Westcrown, including the tenor of the Council itself. Westcrown itself literally became a city of shadow—the death of its patron god had dealt a serious blow to the morale of the city, and many of the Thrune-era Council members no longer had the respect for tradition that former Councils had. As a result the Council itself has begun a descent into anarchy and disrespect for its heritage, and only the iron-grip of power and fear wielded by its Partriach, the nobleman Vassindio Drovenge , has kept it in line.1

And this brings us to present time, 4709 AR : Vassindio's grip on the Council is beginning to loosen, and revolution swells within its ranks.1

Guild Structure

Although the true structure of the guild is only vaguely understood, the following is known:

Guild Hierarchy and Roles

The guild is structured as a hierarchy, with the small circle of Council members ruling over it. The Council is usually 8-12 people, composed of a mix of nobility, criminal, and civil elements in the city. Known members of the inner circle include Vassindio Drovenge and Eirtein Oberigo.

There are four levels in the guild:

  • Cutpurse: rank-and-file member of the guild, privy to few guild secrets or knowledge of guild organization structure.
  • Thief: mid level position in the guild, exposed to some guild secrets and knowledge of guild organization structure.
  • Captain: high ranking position in the guild, knowledge of the Council member they report to and potentially more.
  • Council member: highest ranking position in the guild, exposed to most guild secrets and has full knowledge of entire guild organization structure.

Within the guild, members can play the following roles:2

  • Cleaner: responsible for making crimes "disappear" and making the operations of the guild appear legitimate. This could include melting down gold coins, document forgery, and body removal.
  • Enforcer: the strong arm of the guild, responsible for enforcing guild policy and suppression of enemies of the guild.
  • Face: the pubic face of the guild, managing the "legitimate" aspects of the guild's business -- a role played by guild lawyers, bankers, merchants, and politicians.
  • Pullers and Pushers: responsible for the daily grind of guild operations. Pullers acquire resources for the guild (stolen items, slaves, drugs, etc.), and pushers sell them on the market.

Recruitment and Membership

Recruits in the Council of Thieves are put through a series of test to prove their worthiness to join the Guild, observed by guild officials from terraced viewing galleries above the testing ground. Tests include disarming traps, recognizing illusions, and hand to hand combat. 3 Once a candidate is raised to guild member, or "agent", he is given a quarters in one of the guild's safehouses in the city. 4


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Brian Cortijo & James Jacobs. “The Twice-Damned Prince” in The Twice-Damned Prince, 7. Paizo Inc., 2010
  2. Kevin Carter. “Ecology of the Thieves' Guild” in Mother of Flies, 57–58. Paizo Inc., 2010
  3. Greg A. Vaughan. “Mother of Flies” in Mother of Flies, 36. Paizo Inc., 2010
  4. Greg A. Vaughan. “Mother of Flies” in Mother of Flies, 37. Paizo Inc., 2010