Although officially called a “faction” when discussing such things, the Lords’ Alliance is more of an agreement between the powerful rulers of Faerún to bankroll a private mercenary force of adventurers. Nonetheless, it is counted among the factions of Faerún, and earned their place through repeated successes in enforcing the lords will, which usually is aligned with the well-being of the people of Faerun, such as the campaign against Tiamat. It is relatively new as far as the factions go, only being established around 1325, and its current ruler (there have been several), Laeral Silverhand of Waterdeep, took the reigns very recently in 1488 DR.
It was originally constructed to be a response to the Black Network, although that has largely fallen by the wayside over the years. Now, their goals as a whole are to unite against any dark forces that threaten their alliance for survival and glory, and to proactively strike at threats rather than being put on the defensive. They claim that they are dedicated to the prosperity of all people across Faerún, but it is most often people of the Alliance that receive help first and foremost. They were one of the first and largest forces to mobilize against the Tiamat threat, and have continued to put in support against other threats to the people of Faerún. Usually it is not necessarily military might that you will see their hand in (although this does often happen), but the very much needed trade of supplies and gold to adventuring parties, cities, and even other factions who stand against evil.
Out of all of the factions, the Lords’ Alliance is likely the easiest to join. Simply announce that you are an adventurer, show basic proficiency with useful skills, dedicate yourself to the cause, and you can receive your membership and orders. Of course, any peasant cannot come into Neverwinter and proclaim themselves a soldier for the Alliance, but the bar for based on personal character is obviously lower than the other factions. There are many types that other factions consider too unsavory for their tastes, but the Alliance welcomes all as long as you are deemed useful.
Despite the ease of joining and the variety of character you may experience among the fellow soldiery, the Alliance is very well funded, and a wide variety of training tools, personal instruction, and powerful magic are quickly available to those who prove themselves. Citizens in the Alliance who cannot do much more than swing a sword well have emerged from the Alliance years later, greatly respected, bi-lingual, and well-trained individuals. It cannot be said that there is no room for personal advancement in the Alliance while serving the interest of the lords who rule it, which perhaps could be you, should you make a career out of serving the Alliance.
Adventurers of the Alliance operate normally not in cells, like the other factions we’ve discussed previously, but as soldiers who are passed around from one lord to the next, depending on need. Moving from one location to the next will usually place yourself under the jurisdiction of a certain higher ranking member in the Alliance, who you are expected to report to. It is rare that one order from another lord will be overruled by another, but it does happen occasionally. Rogue elements within the Alliance happen occasionally, but they are generally very organized and obey the law passed down by their rulers – even if they do not agree with it. In this way the Alliance is different than the other factions, as dissension in discussion is common, but in act it is not.
The Lords’ Alliance can be very politically aggressive at times; some have described them as cold. Yet, it cannot be said that they do not have the personal well-being of their citizens in mind in the actions that they take. They often use means both praised and shunned by the other factions to make things happen. They’ve been known to one day be handing out food and building homes for the poor, and the next day using using artifacts from an evil enemy for their own protection. They’re the most reliable faction in Faerún: you know they’ll always act to keep their own interests first and foremost. If you’re not part of their Alliance, that could be for better or for worse.