As with anything related to Jarlaxle Baenre, there are multiple layers to the situation. Jarlaxle’s primary goal is to legitimize Luskan by making it a member of the Lords’ Alliance . Achieving this is no easy feat, given the unsavory reputation of the city, and there has been much resistance in the past from members of the Alliance. If the City of Sails is allowed to join the Alliance, it would go a long way in helping it recover from the tumultuous time following the Spellplague.
However, his motives are not purely altruistic: With Luskan legitimized, Jarlaxle’s influence would continue to spread. In order to achieve this monumental feat, Jarlaxle will need to acquire some significant leverage.
As an initial step, Jarlaxle hopes to acquire the 500,000 gold dragons from the Vault. With that money, he can buy a significant amount of good faith with Waterdeep, should he choose to go that route. Those dragons were taken from the city, and one can imagine how tight the municipal budget suddenly became. Unlike Degault, Lareal cares about those she oversees. If that money were to be returned, she may be able to reinvest into the city and earn more trust from the Guilds.
Should that prove insufficient, Jarlaxle also has his eyes on the Dragonstaff of Ahgharion  . This legendary staff, created by Ahgharion himself, serves as a means to control and regulate the dragon ward around Waterdeep. Acquiring this artifact would provide ample leverage over the safety of the city.
In the event that Jarlaxle fails to secure either the embezzled gold or the dragonstaff, he can explore other paths:
- He could perform a significant favor for the city, such as dismantling the underworld, thereby proving to the Alliance that the Luskans are truly here to help.
- Since his arrival in Waterdeep, Jarlaxle has been selling nimblewrights at near losses to noble houses, guilds, and any position of power he can entice (particularly relevant if running the Alexandrian Remix). Once these devices are in place throughout the city, he can record all the gossip, plans, and dark doings of the city's political powerhouses. Should push come to shove, Jarlaxle would not hesitate to use blackmail and the Game of Houses to achieve his objectives.
Base of Operations
Sea Maidens Faire - Primary
Dock Ward, Deep Water Harbor - Dragon Heist, p.132
The Sea Maidens Faire is actually a small fleet of ships that Bregan D’aerthe uses to travel the Sword Coast, operating under the guise of a troupe of performers.
The first two, The Heartbreaker and The Hellraiser are usually docked at the harbor. These are generally used to transport entertainers, wagons, and the materials needed to run the carnival and host parades.
The flagship, The Eyecatcher, is anchored in Deepwater Harbor, and it is from this location that Jarlaxle runs the entire organization.
Seven Masks Theatre
Dock Ward, The Slide - Dragon Heist, p.75
A theatre, nestled deep within the Dock Ward, caters to the masses and serves as an ideal location for conducting meetings ‘off the water.’
Fenerus Stormcastle’s House
Trade Ward, Quill Alley - Dragon Heist, p.63
The ramshackled and destitute abode of Fenerus Stormcastle provides a nondescript location for routing clandestine messages.
Artheyn Manor - Outpost
North Ward, Pony Way - Alexandrian Remix
An abandoned manor has been repurposed by Bregan D’aerthe to conduct surveillance on Gralhund Villa.
Above all else, the primary objective for Bregan D’aerthe is information. They very seldom engage in open conflict, preferring instead to infiltrate society and operate from within. In Waterdeep, they employ three approaches to achieve this:
Under the guise of the carnival.
Operating under the guise of the carnival should come as no surprise that Jarlaxle chose this as his cover. By establishing themselves in the heart of the Dock Ward, they can easily integrate with the working class and collect gossip and information about various functions within the city. Here, they can gather insights on:
- Shipping times and cargo,
- Any conflicts between the guilds,
- The ongoing war between the Xanatharians and the Zhentarim, and the city’s real response to it.
Purchasing and operating legitimate businesses throughout the city.
Understanding that the Carnival is temporary and will only be welcome during the festival season, Jarlaxle has been purchasing and operating legitimate businesses throughout the city. This strategy ensures that he maintains permanent eyes and ears in Waterdeep. These establishments also serve as excellent locations for clandestine meetings. Examples of such businesses include J.B. Nevercott’s and the Seven Masks Theatre.
The sale of nimblewrights.
To permeate the upper echelons of Waterdeep, Jarlaxle has been selling nimblewrights at near losses. Each nimblewright is capable of transmitting what they see and hear back to the crystal ball kept in the Scarlet Marpenoth. (This is particularly relevant if you are running the Alexandrian Remix.) Throughout the presence of the Sea Maidens Faire, nimblewrights have been strategically placed in the following locations:
- Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors (allows Jarlaxle to keep an eye on all investigations)
- House Adarbrent
- House Dealentyr (leading to the knowledge that the lord is being blackmailed by Manshoon)
- House of Wonder
- House Gralhund
- House of Graces
- The City Armory
- House Walrus
- House Cassalanter (see Session 3 Recap: Trollskull Manor)
These members are mentioned by name in the source adventure.
* Indicates that the NPC is mentioned but not given a name. The name provided is generated.
Members - Affiliated
These members are connected through resources outside of the source adventure (e.g. books, video games, other adventures, general lore, etc.) These characters had to be alive at the time of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist
- 2021-12-20: Added faction tactics
- 2021-12-21: Added affiliated members
- 2021-12-22: Added explanation of the (*)
1. Waterdeep: Dragon Heist - page 6