The Nighthand Guild has worked within Endhome for as long as most people can remember - and probably a good deal longer - and in recent decades has expanded its reach to nearly every other major city in Torar. Its members deal in matters not entirely legal as well as those quite clearly illegal - gambling, smuggling, blackmail, and theft. The guild's reputation is one of extreme skill and competence. It is not feared as much as it is afforded the respect that it has earned. Most would refer to the Nighthand Guild as a thieves guild, but it is actually a far more extensive group than that. Its membership includes rogues, fighters, bards, mages, sorcerers, and others.
Guild members do not take part in violent activities such as extortion or murder, for the guild leadership has long maintained that if you kill or intimidate your clientele, those people cease to make money (and if they don't have money, the guild can't make money). Of course, if one or more of its members are attacked or threatened with violence, the guild is quite capable of dealing with the situation.
Slow to add new members, the Nighthand Guild prefers to work with those it considered potential recruits for several years before actually inviting them to join. Candidates serve as paid informants, freelance burglers, or muscle for hire for long periods of time while their competence and trustworthiness are judged. Although most of these recruits are never told explicitly that they're working for the Nighthand Guild, the group is powerful and notorious enough that most individuals guess correctly where their money comes from.
Members are required to contribute 10% of their earnings to the guild. In return, they have access to extensive resources (see below).
Within the confines of Endhome, the Nighthand Guild can offer its members nearly impenetrable security, well-funded political connections, and access to well-trained and loyal hirelings or followers. Members also have access to the guild's extensive library, training facilities, and workshops. Many places of business in the city offer 10% discounts on services, goods, and equipment to Nighthand Guild members.
These resources can be incredibly useful, but they come with a price. As an efficient and long-lived criminal organization, the Nighthand Guild finds a profit in every activity that it undertakes. If the guild provides a PC with access to a local baron and guarantees that the baron listens to her request, the guild requires in turn that the character undertake a dangerous mission to further cement that baron's willingness to obey the wishes of the guild.
Highly trained and supremely confident, members of the Nighthand Guild remain calm and professional even in the most intense circumstances. They work best in unified teams, and they make a habit of knowing their companions' strengths and weaknesses. They expect quick and competent action from their allies, especially in combat or on a dangerous mission. This combination of expertise and trust makes most members reserved and stable individuals, and they rarely waste words on trivial matters or debate. When a guild team or adventuring group makes a decision, the member is likely to keep her opinion in reserve until she has heard arguements from several other members, speak up once, and then quickly act on whatever decision is reached by the leader or by consensus.