The Ivorylights Organization in Abios | World Anvil

The Ivorylights

Written by SirElghinn

“Sometimes they are heroes. Sometimes they are villains. More often they are something in between, grey characters … and grey has long been my favorite color. It is so much more interesting than black or white.”
George R.R. Martin, Rogues
The Ivorylights, also known as the Thieves' Guild of Graygate, are unlike any other guild in Abios in that they consider their membership as a pledge of service to the Moon Elves of Aennamar; honoring their Goddess Sehanine Moonbow, and ensuring national security against outside threats. The Ivorylights go to great lengths in instructing its members in the art of deception, stealth, assassination, forgery, and reconnaissance. They are sanctioned by Matron Cînith Aerilaya as a means to prevent agents of evil from encroaching on their lands, and they often assign members to perform dangerous undertakings in places abroad. These assignments are considered on-the-job training, a tool that is useful in teaching less experienced members by giving them actual “combat” experience under the direction of veteran mentors.

Modus Operandi

The Ivorylights do not operate as a traditional thieves' guild within the city of Graygate, however chapter houses abroad take full advantage of operating as such as much as possible. To most who interact with them, they are simply known as the Thieves' Guild of Graygate, a name and operation used as a front for their true service. Although their members sometimes act as fences and conduct robberies, heists, and contracts requiring subterfuge, they more often deal in covert operations on a national level.
The main objective of the Ivorylights stationed in foreign cities is to collect intelligence on the military and political players of hostile kingdoms, as well as keeping an ear to the ground for existential threats. Secondary to that, their objective is to siphon wealth from those that demonstrate a hostile attitude towards the moon elves, hinder enemy intelligence and military power, blackmail and/or expose corrupt individuals who seek to do them harm, and lastly earn some coin for themselves in the process.
The headquarters in Graygate operates more like a nation's intelligence service, though, they do not openly advertise this. While they are sanctioned by the Matron of Aennamar, they are considered a shadow organization that the people of Abios are almost entirely unaware of, save for those working in intelligence circles. Hired thugs, thieves, and criminals contracted by the Ivorylights are always unaware of their employer. The Ivorylights are a myth, a legend, a boogeyman concocted by conspiracy theorists...and that's exactly how the Ivorylights wish to remain.

Sentinels of the Living

To the north of Graygate lies the Forsaken Lands of Telethas, a region surrendered centuries ago by the moon elves to a seemingly never-ending host of undead. No one exactly knows why the undead appeared in Telethas, but what is known is the city of Ghosmere was once the Capital of the moon elves before being quickly overrun. The moon elves escaped to Graygate, and began the process of rebuilding their civilization.
The denizens of Abios are lucky -- in a way -- that most of northern Telethas and southern Thiyn Glos is a festering swamp that creates a natural barrier against the undead from advancing inland. A few do make it through the swamp on occasion and are quickly dispatched by the humans and tortles of Swampgate. The moon elves of Aennamar, specifically the Ivorylights, have taken it upon themselves to monitor the undead in an attempt to act as heralds in the event of an undead incursion.
Given the Ivorylight's penchant for conducting covert operations and training their members in the field, Telethas is considered boot camp for many new recruits along with their veteran mentors. Few situations can prepare an individual in mastering the art of being undetectable as having to avoid scores of undead while being tasked to achieve an objective. It also serves as conditional training by tempering recruit's resolve in the face of indescribable horror. Because of this, Ivorylights are honed to remain calm in stressful situations, and are typically unfazed when exposed to gruesome or excessive violence and gore. This rigorous training comes at a steep price however, with upwards of 60% of potential recruits being killed outright on their first mission to Telethas, and routine missions averaging a 25% loss rate. The Ivorylights consider the rewards far outweigh the cost and have accepted the high rate of casualties as part of their duty to Sehanine Moonbow, and all of Aennamar.

Rumors of Ghosmere

The moon elves of Aennamar hope to one day rid the isthmus of Telethas from undead, and reclaim their rightful home of Ghosmere. The first step in developing a strategy is planning, and planning requires information. The Ivorylights often venture to the outskirts of Ghosmere during their training missions in order to reconnoiter the historic capital of their people. Historically, any mission that has ventured into Ghosmere proper has ended in disaster. Out of 13 missions sent to penetrate into the capital, 12 ended in the complete annihilation of the reconnaissance teams sent. The 13th mission had one lone survivor.
A young female moon elf by the name of Axilya Venren managed to return from the mission that was to be her initiation into the Ivorylights. Axilya was disturbed, panic-stricken, and mentally fragmented upon being rescued by the crew members of the vessel that had carried the unit to the shores of Telethas. Attempts made at a debrief yielded inconsistent information as to the details of the mission and the resistance they encountered. She would begin to describe details, only to become hysterical and unable to finish a line of thought before falling to pieces. From the bits and details stitched together, the Ivorylights concluded that most of what Axilya claims she saw is unsubstantiated. They agree someone or something broke her mind, but they are uncertain as to whether the images planted in her head are factual or merely illusionary in nature -- the effects of a clever spell perhaps. Axilya claims to have seen ghosts, zombies, skeletons, death knights, ghasts, undead beholders, and even a lich as a mastermind behind it all.
One interesting tidbit was that she claimed a female moon elf, spectral in appearance and substance, wandered the city calmly humming to herself, pausing occasionally to resurrect the dead as if she were tending a garden. The Ivorylights have decided not to put much stock in Axilya's story without having corroborating witnesses. This would prove to be impossible as further missions into Ghosmere have been suspended in light of recent intelligence received by the current Matron of the Ivorylights, Lady Ilsevel Eilsatra.


The Ivorylights have a fairly unorganized leadership structure, trusting those in charge with running their chapter houses as they see fit. To the Ivorylights, this promotes critical thinking, leadership, and resourcefulness while at the same time stymieing those that would seek to infiltrate. The Ivorylights are led by a sole Matron, and members follow her leadership without question. The Matron delegates responsibility to her lieutenants, which oversee the various operations when stationed abroad. Within the headquarters, these lieutenants oversee the day-to-day operations and organization within the guild, leaving the Matron unburdened to make executive decisions.


The Ivorylights have no assets per se outside of running fronts to base their operations from. They rely on mostly stealing, buying, or acquiring through blackmail, the services or resources necessary to achieve their objective. The fronts from which the Ivorylights operate from are typically legitimate businesses that operate under the impression that the owner of the company prefers a hands-off approach only appearing from time to time to "check in".
Guild, Thieves
Alternative Names
Thieves' Guild of Graygate
Notable Members
Related Ethnicities
Sanctioned by
Kingdom of Aennamar

Additional Reading

Moon Elf
Ethnicity | Feb 27, 2019

Often mistaken for Drow by the uninformed, Moon Elves are the secretive subrace of elvenkind that dwell among the Border Islands of Aennamar, hidden out of sight from all but the most perceptive and brave explorers.

Sehanine Moonbow
Character | Aug 25, 2019

Sehanine Moonbow is an elven goddess of death, dreams, heavens, journeys, moon (full moon to be precise), moon elves, stars, and transcendence as well as the most powerful female member of the Seldarine.


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