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Force Grey, otherwise known as The Gray Hands, was a group of elite adventurers who worked directly for the government of the city of Waterdeep. Their job was to deal with threats to the city that The Guard and The Watch could not handle without risking significant loss of life.[3] They were called upon only as a last resort, since the Lords of Waterdeep tended to not be fond of their methods.[1]


The Blackstaff gave orders to the members of Force Grey, but rarely worked with them directly unless the threat facing Waterdeep was particularly dire.[3]


Members were not expected to patrol the city for threats and were basically free to follow their own goals, so long as they were available in the city, ready to be called to action, for at least thirty hours per week. In exchange, the city paid each member one hundred gold pieces per month.[1]


Force Grey were called upon to minimize any loss of life that could be caused should they not be available to deal with a threat.[3] The members of the group were therefore expected to be equal to, if not the better of, said threat in terms of power.[4] They approached most problems in a brute force kind of way, causing collateral damage to property and infrastructure in their attempts to save as many lives as possible.[1]

Base of Operations[]

Although the group used Blackstaff Tower as a base, members were not expected to frequent it save when orders were being handed out.[1] Harshnag remained within his cave on Mount Sar, outside of the city proper until he was needed, whereupon he would enter Waterdeep via a gate that connected to Blackstaff Tower.[4]


When called upon, each member was given magical equipment that would aid them in defeating the current threat to the city. This equipment was marked by the Blackstaff with spells that would cause the items to return, along with their wielders, to Blackstaff Tower after a few days.[5]


As an official arm of the government of Waterdeep,[3] Force Grey was answerable to the city's lords and allied with its other law enforcement groups.[citation needed]

Around 1492 DR the Gray Hands were under the control of the Blackstaff Vajra Safahr.[6]


Force Grey was founded by Khelben Arunsun in his capacity as the city's archmage. Upon Khelben's apparent death in 1374 DR, the leadership of the group passed on to Khelben's successor as Blackstaff, Tsarra Chaadren, establishing the policy that the group would always be officially headed up by the Blackstaff.[citation needed]


Force Grey had dozens of members during its existence, but some made their mark on the group so as to stand out in particular.[citation needed]



Force Grey was adapted by Wizards of the Coast for a popular series of webisodes starring celebrities as members of the group, to coincide with the release of Storm King's Thunder.[7]


Referenced only
The Paladins
Video Games
Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms
Referenced only
Descent to Undermountain
Board Games
Dungeons & Dragons Dice Masters: Adventures in Waterdeep


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  2. Template:Cite dragon/167/Game Wizards: Understanding Undermountain: The King of All Dungeons
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), p. 155. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 73. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  5. Ed Greenwood and Jeff Grubb (September 1988). City System. Edited by Karen Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 6. ISBN 0-8803-8600-2.
  6. Christopher Perkins, James Haeck, James Introcaso, Adam Lee, Matthew Sernett (September 2018). Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 978-0-7869-6625-7.
  7. Force Grey. Retrieved on 2018-07-05.