Some germane faction background from The North: The Guide to the Savage Frontier
(TSR 1142) and Volo's Guide to the North
(TSR 9393). Obviously not everything in FK is copy and paste from FR, but this may help set the stage for some background knowledge that would be common to most PCs who have spent time in the North.
"Although this city of approximately 16,000 humans seeks merchant trade, visitors are few and feel unwelcome. This has much to do with Luskan being a known harbor for northern pirates, if not an outright sponsor of their activities. Inns serving travelers are rare. Visitors are directed to Keep to the wall. . ."
"Luskan vessels have orders to harass any shipping that uses the ports of Neverwinter and Waterdeep, which Luskan regards as its chief trading rivals."
"When Luskan is officially at peace, its warships act as unsanctioned pirates and the city sponsors pirates who prey on ships and ports along the Sword Coast."
"There are persistent rumors of an alliance between Luskan and the Zhentarim, but no word or clear sign of this has ever come to light."
Leader: High Captain Taerl of Luskan.
Base of Operation: Luskan.
Goal: Conquest of the Sword Coast and control of all trade north of Waterdeep.
Allies: Luskan, Ruathym, Aurilssbarg, Uttersea on Illern, the Purple Rocks, the Whalebones, and the Host Tower of the Arcane. Zhentarim influence is definitely present.
Chief Foes: Waterdeep and the Lords Alliance.
With a treaty ending the Luskan/Ruathym conflict, the brutal Northmen kings discovered that they had more in common than they had as differences. They banded together to raid the coast in large numbers, disrupting trade and agriculture. The five captains are Baram (NE hm F15), Kurth (CE hm F18), Rethnor (LE hm F16/T7), Suljack (CE hm T13), and Taerl (LE hm F17).
The Lords' Alliance
: Lord Piergeiron of Waterdeep.
Base of Operation
: Unified defense of northern cities and promotion of their economic interests.
: The Harpers.
: The Zhentarim, Luskan, Amn, and Calimshan.
Also known as "The Council of Lords", or "the Lords' Council", it should not be confused with the Lords of Waterdeep. This lawful and essentially good economic and military alliance of the rulers of cities in the North and along the Sword Coast works to keep overland trade routes along the Coast and across the North as safe as possible and free from Zhentarim influence or annexation.
"A man may die yet still endure if his work enters the greater work, for time is carried upon a current of forgotten deeds, and events of great moment are but the culmination of a single carefully placed thought." - Chime of Eons