"The Pack" Signet Ring


“The Pack” Signet Ring

This signet ring was, surprisingly—or perhaps unsurprisingly—found amongst the belongings of a relatively unknown but wealthy landowner during an estate sale following their death. It is unclear whether or not the ring belonged to them or was obtained second hand, but scholars of the Emporium conducted additional research into the matter and accounts seem murky at best.  For the sake of cataloguing the ring in question, I suppose this does not matter—but it is worth noting for the sake of collectors concerning themselves with the item’s past.

The ring itself bears the seal of “The Pack,” an incredibly vast and renowned thieves guild during the Second Age.  While historians continue to disagree on details, most will agree that the organization was unique in the ratio it managed to maintain of influence to secrecy. Indeed, even our scholars found it remarkable when tracing the lineage and inception of The Pack that the guild was able to become so renowned and feared so quickly, and yet no one—neither city defense nor citizen—seemed to have any idea where the guild was headquartered, based or operating out of.

Some seem to think it inevitable that they would have used the wilds or urban sewer systems in order to remain entirely out of sight. Others think they would have infiltrated a higher echelon of society in each city they had a presence in (which would explain our finding it in retired estate belongings).

The ring itself is full of symbolism regarding the history of The Pack. The sigil in question—the wolf’s head—is the first and most glaring clue to the role this particular ring played. It does not take much discernment to notice that the Wolf is missing its left eye, which has been replaced with a scarred “x.” This signifies that it is from The Pack’s resurgence. Historians and treasure hunters frequently debate the precise timeframe of the pinnacle of power the guild held, but somewhere along its timeline it was betrayed from within. Few facts remain about this particular instance, instead giving way to inflated myths and lore. What we do know is that a series of expertly-executed attacks—possibly assassinations—left The Pack reeling overnight and nearly forced it to dissolve. Undoubtedly quick thinking and reactions from its remaining members allowed them to hide out and resurface at a later date, now known as that defining moment of their Resurgence.

At this point, writings and mentions of The Pack reference far more shadowy aspects and dealings than pre-resurgence guild activity. Whether or not this included targeted assassinations, murder-for-hire, or simply a broader swath of targets for thievery is up to interpretation and often heated debate.

Drawing our attention back to the ring itself, however, one will notice the notches encircling the circumference of the sigil. Closer inspection will show that they begin as rather deep etchings on the ring and slowly fade away before being able to complete the circle. The number of notches remains a mystery as far as we can tell…perhaps you know more of The Pack’s history, and this detail brings something to mind. What is generally agreed upon however is that the slow “disappearance” of the notches allude to both a scrawled-on map showing the location of treasure and the path to reach it, as well as an almost bragging statistic about how The Pack had a reputation for seemingly fading into thin air.

(It may also be noticed, though this is not backed by any real substance, that the faded notches settle near the wolf’s X eye, in a rather “X marks the spot” motif often associated with such thieving and treasure-hunting activity.)

Returning for a moment to the idea that members of the guild had a habit of vanishing from trouble very quickly, the ring was first tested for any remnants of such an enchantment; something along the lines of invisibility or teleportation. Not surprising—as enchantments like that are indeed rare and extremely, extremely powerful—nothing of the sort was found. Our arcane scholars were, however, convinced that there was indeed at one time an enchantment on the ring and that soft pulses of the enchantment could still be felt.

The results—after extensive research, trial and error—are actually quite remarkable.

It seems that at one time, or perhaps to this day, the ring contained/contains an incredibly unique enchantment not seen elsewhere. It’s not a terribly powerful one, but it is nuanced and specific, and in that the enchantment is incredibly sophisticated and impressive.

While worn, the ring acts as a sort of secondary safety net during acts of burglary and/or subterfuge. If, for example, a member of The Pack were breaking into a high up window and made noise shattering a portion of the glass pane, the ring would mask that sound as a less drastic natural sound for the environment. It might, for instance, sound to those inside as though an owl were screeching in the dark. Or perhaps a thunder clap in the distance. Similarly if the thief were to be walking and a floorboard were to creak—something that would otherwise alert residents to their presence—it might instead sound like a rat scurrying within a nearby wall.

To this end, the ring reinforced existing skill in stealthy activity, but would not replace it. A wearer would still need to be cautious…but something as simple as the above examples could very easily be the difference of a successful hit or heist and a failed one, or a timely escape versus being captured and arrested.

There is no real name for such a specific, seemly simple (yet intricate) enchantment…which just shows once more the levels of sophistication and infiltration held by The Pack both before and after their almost untimely demise.

To this day, it is not fully known whether the guild has completely dissolved or whether their members walk among us still.