Guilds (Elegy Supplement)

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The Guilds[edit]

Sixty or so odd years back, the first guilds were officially recognized by international decision, given the rising middle class in the human nations. Since then it seems that forming a guild is the newest craze that everyone wants to hop on. Some have failed, but others have taken rapid and widespread root in almost every major city. Though they may vary wildly in function, the basic idea remains the same. You demonstrate your worthiness (whether by skill or by the size of your purse) to enter a guild, pay an entrance fee, pay dues, and receive benefits, most of which outweigh the cost of membership. Some more exclusive guilds may require a sponsor, others are free for any to apply.

The Merchants and Bankers Guilds have representation in most of the governments, and some of the minor ones can be influential on a more local scale as well. The criminal guilds were also quick to take hold, as organized crime is much more profitable than the unorganized type.

The Major Guilds:[edit]

Merchants Guild: The merchants guild, like many other guilds, is comprised of several smaller groups, all of whom produce a product they wish to sell. Naturally some see belonging to a guild as a means of protection from undue competition and a measure of security for the future. Others disdain the guild's promises and continue to work independently, or simply cannot afford to pay the dues. Of all the guilds, this may be the most visible and powerful of them, but also the most diverse and difficult to control.

Bankers Guild: The details of the bankers guild is shrouded in a haze of secrecy nearly as great as that of the assassin's guild, only more powerful and better enforced. No one is quite sure how or where the money is stored. Banker's Guild buildings are well-appointed but not gaudy. In other words, they achieve the tasteful simplicity only available to those with a great deal of money. A line of credit with the Banker's Guild is honored among all other guilds, and by almost every city large enough to have a wall around it. The Banker's guild does not ask questions or make judgment calls, they merely take your money and keep it safe. The Banker's Guild has a standing reward of 100,000 gold to anyone who can prove that they successfully robbed a guild. No one has ever collected.

The Minor Guilds:[edit]

Adventurer's Guild: One of the more notorious guilds, this guild has outposts in most of the major cities and many smaller ones. Joining consists of paying a modest fee, running through a series of placement tests, keeping the guild appraised of your location and talents, and going on at least 2 guild-offered assignments every calendar year. While many find this too restrictive, many a bored adventurer has sat glumly in a dim tavern watching the choice jobs get handed to guild members first.

Alchemist Guild: Known as those guys who don't usually have eyebrows. The center for this guild is based in Cardinia, in the city of Blackreach. Most of what they do there is a mystery, but everyone knows that the gnomes secretly control it, right?

Assassins Guild: If you have to ask, someone probably knows a guy. Who can know a guy. Who can, you know... solve your little personal problems.

Fighter's Guild: Also known as the Gladiator's Guild, this is a guild consisting entirely of free individuals who like fighting for money, but don't care for the deathtraps and the dungeons and the large-scale war involved in joining the army of the mercenary companies. A new but popular (and profitable) guild, it's fighters wear a magical token that converts even their magical damage to non-lethal damage, and allows for the best possible matches while avoiding the grisly death often associated with gladiator matches. Successful gladiators gain fame and wealth rather quickly, and some noble houses even sponsor their own fighters. Cardinia and Falle have now built royal stadiums for the Fighter's Guild and other civic events.

Performer's Guild: This guild encompasses most of the performing arts: music, dance, storytelling, etc. There are three major colleges of the guild, one in the Royal city of Falle, one in Blackreach, Cardinia, and one in Twinspire, Duinseach. Just flashing your guild badge is enough to get you a spotlight and free room and board at most taverns and inns.

Thieves Guild: Ah, organized crime. In some cities the thieves guild has an almost genteel element, and functions as a black market that agrees to uphold certain standards in return for the law turning a blind eye to most of it's operations. In other cities the thieves guild is a shadowy force nearly as powerful as the local government. Of all the guilds, the thieves guild is the one that tends to take non-guild competition rather personally. Many thieves refuse to join, because hey, they wouldn't be thieves if they didn't like taking risks, right? Others, however, weigh their options, and find it's better to lose a bit of your take to the guild than to lose some of your more important organs to the guild.

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