What follows is the text from the Adventurer's League State of Mulmaster article (available for free online here), but on this page I have slightly modified the text to better suit the players. -AO
h2. The State of Mulmaster
With mountains on three sides and the Moonsea on the fourth, the city of Mulmaster is cold and windswept. With snows frequent, there is little natural greenery except where the rich can afford it. In this bleak landscape rose one of the most powerful cities of the Moonsea. The rich luxuriate in the benefits of their station, while the poor suffer in fear of their betters and the tyranny visited upon the citizenry.
The story of Mulmaster began in 934 DR when a fortress was built on the River Lis at the end of the North Road in order to watch over trade flowing to and from the Moonsea and the Vast. Under the guidance of the sorcerer-king Nesker, Mulmaster grew to an aggressive state until 1317 DR, when Nesker was killed and the first High Blade, Amdrauth Telsnaer, took control of the City. It was he who issued the Edict of Arcane Banishment, making arcane magic illegal in the City. After Amdrauth, Mulmaster would see a quick flurry of High Blades, each taking power after assassinations and other mysterious circumstances. It was a time of turmoil, where much of the politics and culture of Mulmaster developed to what it is today.
h2. The Recent Past
In 1348 DR, Selfaril Uomdolphin assumed the position of High Blade. Selfaril was a strong ruler with a firm grip on power and a deadly jealous twin brother. It is not known how, but in 1368 DR, it is rumored that Selfaril was replaced by his brother Rassendyll. Whether it was Rassendyll in the guise of Selfaril, or Sefaril himself, a pact was forged with Fzoul Chembryl to forming an alliance with the Zhentarim in order to strengthen Mulmaster and oppose the Red Wizards of Thay. This would lead to the rise of the church of Bane in Mulmaster and further crack downs upon those who practice arcane magic.
The alliance crumbled in 1383 DR when Zhentil Keep and the Keep of the Raven were destroyed by the Shadovar. Fleeing the powers of Netheril, a large number of refugees arrived on Mulmaster’s docks. Unwilling to aid their allies when the alliance no longer had anything to offer them, the Blades of Mulmaster relegated the refugees to a piece of swampy land outside the southern wall, where the refugees where heavily taxed for the right to the relative safety afforded by proximity to the nearby City. When Zhentil Keep was eventually rebuilt post-Spellpague, many of the refugees tried to return to their ancestral home where they quickly discovered that those who had stayed viewed the migrants as Mulmasterites and ordered them to return to their adopted city of Mulmaster.
During this time, the government of Mulmaster took its current shape. Forty-nine noble families vote on who is nobility and who is not, keeping the number of families to exactly forty-nine. Each family is lead by a Lord (whether male or female), and all other members of the family are referred to as Zor (male) or Zora (female). The Lords elect sixteen of their number to become Blades, and in turn the Blades elect the High Blade who rules the City. The latest High Blade is Jasseen Drakehorn, who struggles to maintain her authority against threats from abroad and within. Jasseen has reaffirmed Bane as the patron of Mulmaster and has built a wall around the Zhent Ghettos, effectively making them a part of the city, if not officially claimed.
The High Blade’s latest problem is the influx of refugees from Phlan. At the advice of the Council of Blades, she has allowed the Phlan refugees access to the Ghettos rather than turn them away. The nobility sees the refugees as a desperate source of cheap labor that are not yet the rabble-rousers the Zhentil Keep refugees has become. For the moment, the Phlan refugees have found a home, but for how long remains to be seenAfter decades of being outlawed, arcane magic is universally hated in the City of Danger. The people hate it, the nobility fear it, and the Cloaks constantly hunt for it. As such, it is difficult for characters that practice arcane magic to function in the City. The following rules apply for D&D Adventurers League adventures that take place in Mulmaster.
h2. The Brotherhood of the Cloaks
After decades of being outlawed, arcane magic is universally hated in the Black City. The people hate it, the nobility fear it, and the Cloaks constantly hunt for it. As such, it is difficult for characters that practice arcane magic to function in the City. The following rules apply for adventures that take place in Mulmaster.
h3. /Definition of Arcane Magic/
At the time of the writing of the Edict of Arcane Banishment, arcane magic includes those spells cast by arcane tricksters, bards, eldritch knights, sorcerers, warlocks and wizards (page 205, Player’s Handbook), but not spells cast from scrolls or racial abilities. This list should not be considered exhaustive; it is possible that future amendments to the Edict of Arcane Banishment may add to it.
h3. /The Edict of Arcane Banishment/
Seeing the power of the sorcerer-king Nesker, Amdrauth Telsnaer officially banished all arcane magic upon becoming the first High Blade. All arcane magic and its practitioners are effectively illegal in Mulmaster and the Zhent Ghettos, though there are some exceptions:
- Upon entering the City, those who openly declare themselves as arcane practitioners may take an oath to cast no spell while in Mulmaster. Doing so gives the oath-taker access to the City, but those who break the oath are usually summarily executed.
- Foreign dignitaries can be granted exemption from the Edict if the High Blade deems it appropriate. The Red Wizards of Thay are one such exception. So far, the people of Phlan have been denied such status.
- While still technically illegal, apprentices are not considered overly dangerous and their spellcasting is often over-looked unless it is directly witnessed by a city official or is used against a citizen from the middle class or higher. Therefore, characters with less than four levels of classes that can cast arcane spells receive warnings from the Cloaks and are recruited to join them, rather than being punished on the Getting Caught and Sentencing charts below. Arcane tricksters and eldritch knight begin counting from the first level where they can cast spells, not the first level in rogue or fighter. Nevertheless, members of the Watch are not trained to tell the difference between apprentices and other casters and are therefore likely to beat an apprentice to death if they witness one using arcane magic (DM’s discretion).
- Arcane casters with four or more levels of classes that can cast arcane spells who have not taken the oath to avoid using magic have six months to swear allegiance to the High Blade and join the Cloaks, or they will be banished. Note that they still may not use illegal magic during this time. The exact amount of time actually allowed varies significantly in practice. In any adventure in Mulmaster in which an arcane caster participates after his or her first adventure, if the character has four or more levels in classes that can cast arcane spells, the character might be arrested.
- Although the Zhent Ghettos are not officially part of the City, they are generally treated as such and the Edict of Arcane Banishment applies and is enforced there as well.
It is possible that your character might decide to cast an arcane spell anyway. In order to distract witnesses from the casting or to make them think a magic item was used, as a Bonus Action a character may attempt a Charisma (Deception) or Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) skill check (player’s choice) with DC equal to 8 + the level of the spell being cast. If the character fails his or her check and the DM rules that there is a witness, the character will be receiving a visit from the Cloaks.
For example, Wilse is a 5th-level wizard who attempts to cast a magic missile at a thug that has jumped him in the Zhent Ghettos. He wants the spell to have a little extra punch, so he casts it using a 3rd-level spell slot. Not wanting anyone to rat him out to the Cloaks, he tries to do it without anyone realizing he used magic. The DC for his check is 11 (8 + 3).
Casting on the streets of Mulmaster is dangerous. Given their indoctrinated fear of magic, the people of Mulmaster are likely to report your character if they see him or her casting arcane spells. Characters seen casting an arcane spell will likely suffer severely, particularly if the spell was used against a citizen, rather than a refugee or foreigner. Except as detailed above regarding apprentices, the DM should use the charts provided in the side bar to determine what happens if your character is seen casting an arcane spell. If the character resists capture or punishment, the DM should determine the appropriate outcome based on the players’ plan and the situation. Remember that Rank 3 Harpers can use the Arcane Amnesty downtime activity to receive advantage on social checks to exonerate a character.
h3. /Getting Caught/
If the spell was cast in the presence of a city official proceed directly to Sentencing below. Otherwise, roll 1d20+the level of the spell cast and consult the chart below. When multiplying to determining the cost of a bribe, a cantrip counts as 1st-level spell.
- 1-5: The witness or witnesses decide not to get involved. You are lucky.
- 5-10: The witness or witnesses see an opportunity. For a collective bribe equal to the value of the spell level * 10 gp, they are willing to leave well enough alone.
- 11-15: The Watch is called and arrives (when the DM determines; often at the end of the adventure) to arrest the offender. For a bribe equal to the value of the spell level * 100 gp, the Watch members are willing to ignore this offense. If the bribe is paid, add five to all Getting Caught checks made for the rest of the Adventure. If the bribe is not paid, the character is arrested. Move to Sentencing.
- 16-20+: A team consisting of members of the Soldiery and a Cloak arrive. The refuse any bribes. The character is arrested. Move to Sentencing.
Once the character is arrested, here are two ways a character might be saved from Sentencing. The character may immediately join the Cloaks and pay a fine equal to the value of the spell level *200 gp. If the character does not have the gold to pay the fine, they must pay the balance of their monetary wealth (not gear). If the character is unwilling to join the Cloaks, he or she may still be saved from Sentencing if a Rank 3 Harper at the table uses the Arcane Amnesty downtime activity by spending 1 downtime day per level of the violating spell to plead the character’s case. If the character is unwilling to join the Cloaks and a Rank 3 Harper is not available or will not or cannot spend the downtime, proceed to Sentencing.
Roll 1d20+the level of the spell cast and consult the chart below to determine how the Magistrate rules in the character’s case. If the offending spell(s) targeted a member of the nobility, add 10 to the roll. If the character has the Mulmaster Aristocrat background, or has the Noble background and is from Mulmaster, subtract 10 from the roll. If the character has been previously banished from the City, add 15 to the roll. When multiplying to determine the cost of a fine, a cantrip counts as 1st-level spell.
3 or less: Amazingly, due to a technicality or a missing witness, the Magistrate finds you not guilty. After a warning, the character is free to go.
4-6: The character is ordered to pay a fine equal to the value of the spell level *200 gp. If the character cannot pay the amount of the fine, treat the result as a 7.
7-9: All of the character’s money (but not gear) is seized. The character is beaten into unconsciousness and banished from the city. The character starts his or her next adventure at half of his or her normal maximum hit points.
10-12: All of the character’s money (but not gear) is seized. The character is imprisoned for a period equal to the spell level * 10 downtime days. The character is beaten into unconsciousness and banished from the city. The character starts his or her next adventure at half of his or her normal maximum hit points. If the character does not have the required downtime days treat the result as a 13.
13-15: The character is deemed a threat to Mulmaster. His or her hands are cut off and cauterized with a brand. The character is beaten into unconsciousness and banished from the city. The character starts his or her next adventure at half of his or her normal maximum hit points. A character whose hands have been cut off in this manner may spend 10 downtime days to find a local cleric willing to cast regenerate to restore them for 1,525 gp.
16-18: The character is publicly executed by hanging. His or her body and belongings may be reclaimed by friends or family and he or she can be raised from the dead.
19-21: The character is publicly executed by being drawn and quartered. All of the belongings and wealth on the character’s person are claimed by the City. The pieces of the character’s body may be reclaimed by friends or family and the character may be raised from the dead.
22+: The character is publicly burned alive. His or her remains are then quietly scattered in the Moonsea to prevent his or her return from the dead. A cleric of Bane curses the character’s soul to torment in the Nine Hells. All of the belongings and wealth on the character’s person are claimed by the City. The character can only be returned from the dead using a true resurrection spell cast by another character during the session in which the Sentencing roll was made.
h3. /Joining the Cloaks/
Instead of worrying about the punishments for using magic, arcane casters may choose to join the Brotherhood of the Cloaks. Characters that do so must swear to defend the rule of the High Blade, protect Mulmaster from the incursion of arcane magic and uphold the Edict of Arcane Banishment. Those that are caught violating this oath are burned alive (as a result of a 22 on the Sentencing chart). Being a Cloak costs the character 3 Downtime Days per Mulmaster adventure played, and the character must maintain a wealthy lifestyle for that downtime. All season two D&D Expeditions adventures (DDEX2-X) are considered Mulmaster adventures.
Joining the Cloaks is not without its benefits. All Cloaks receive a square medallion that denotes membership in the Brotherhood. This medallion gives the character advantage on social skill checks made with officials of Mulmaster (DM’s discretion). For each Mulmaster adventure played, the character gains one rank in the Cloaks organization. DDEX02-01 City of Danger counts as 1 adventure regardless of how many mini-adventures played. For each To Wear a Cloak favor the character has, he or she also gains an additional rank.
Benefits are cumulative. Characters start at Rank 0 upon joining the Cloaks.
Rank 0: The character is permitted to cast 1st through 3rd level arcane spells in Mulmaster, and any order of banishment previously issued regarding the character is rescinded.
Rank 1: The character receives spellcasting services for him- or herself (only) at the Tower of Mysteries as if he or she had the Shelter of the Faithful background feature. If the character already has this feature, the services are extended to the character’s allies as well, even though they would not normally be permitted inside.
Rank 2: The character is permitted to cast 4th and 5th level arcane spells in Mulmaster.
Rank 3: The character may obtain one spell scroll of a 1st level spell on the character’s spell list found in the Player’s Handbook, to be used during the adventure. This choice may be made before the start of the adventure or if the player desires, during the adventure if it takes place in the city of Mulmaster. If the scroll is not used during the adventure, it must be returned. If the character does not use the spell during the adventure and is personally capable of copying it into a spellbook, the character may do so. The character may not give this scroll to another character.
Rank 4: The character is permitted to cast 6th level arcane spells in Mulmaster.
Rank 5: The character’s lifestyle costs in Mulmaster are decreased by half of his or her Rank (rounded down).
Rank 6: The character is permitted to cast 7th level arcane spells in Mulmaster.
Rank 7: As Rank 3, but the character may obtain a spell scroll of up to a 2nd level spell.
Rank 8: The character permitted to cast 8th level arcane spells in Mulmaster.
Rank 9: As Rank 3, but the character may obtain a spell scroll of up to a 3rd level spell.
Rank 10: The character is permitted to cast 9th level arcane spells in Mulmaster.