Campaign of the Month: January 2015
Skies of Glass
Guilds of Creed
The guilds of Creed are quasi-political international organizations. Organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society, guilds are secretive and powerful organizations by their very nature. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers, with later being formed as organizations of warriors and mages.
An important result of the guild framework was the emergence of universities at The Silver Isle, Aasrugel, Celanthiral, and other places around the worlds. They originated as guilds of students under the academics in local areas, eventually warping into the university/scholastic organizations we know today.
The guilds are split into two primary groups: the Craftguids and the Highguilds.
The Craftguilds are associations of artisans (technically multiple guilds) who control the practice of their craft in a particular region, or across the globe in some cases. Craftguilds form associations based on their trades, confraternities of textile workers, masons, carpenters, carvers, glass workers, and other crafts, each of whom control secrets of their field, the “arts” or “mysteries” of their craft, including unique patterns and technologies. The Craftguilds make sure that anything made by a guild member is up to their standards and is sold for a certain price. Membership in a guild is an honor, a sign that you are a skilled worker, and grants some notable respect in society.
Craftguilds often depend on grants and letters patent by a monarch or other regional authority to enforce the flow of trade to their self-employed members, and to retain ownership of tools and the supply of materials. A lasting legacy of traditional guilds are the guildhalls constructed and used as meeting places in cities and towns across Creed.
While there are multiple guilds, they’re all known as “The Masons Guild”, “The Carpenters Guild”, etc, and all function in very similar ways.
A common symbol of the Craftguilds and their guildhalls
The Highguilds are associations of warriors, mages and heroes who focus on seeking certain goals in a particular region, or, much more rarely, across the globe. Highguilds, much like Craftguilds, make sure that anything done by a guild member is up to their standards and often performed according to a guiding set of principles. Membership in a highguild is an honor, a sign that you are well recognized for your skills and deeds, and grants some notable respect in society.
Not unlike craftguilds, highguilds are often formed with the secondary intent of legal protection. While craftguilds focus on copyright issues and “craft secrets”, highguilds often focus on the legal ramifications of their members actions. Much of what their members do is done outside the law, though with legal process (and often divine guidelines) kept in mind. Fortunately, the actions of the highguilds and the necessity of adventurers has created a comfortable legal structure for adventurers who act in the social interest (or at least don’t act against it). Many highguilds have even become integral aspects of government, international activities, and even global protection.
Orders are a very specific and large subsection of highguilds. These organizations are often tied directly to a particular noble, ruler, or occasionally hero, and, much like many craftguilds, depend on grants of funds instead of membership dues for their maintenance. Orders beholden to a particular noble house often forgo calling themselves an order and are instead formally considered to be non-blood members of the house in question. This practice is particularly common in elven society with the five noble houses of the Old Lords.
Unlike craftguilds, highguilds always have unique names, though many follow similar naming conventions (particularly Orders). Among all the highuilds in the world, two stand dominant – The Nine Guardians and The Keepers. Some other well-known Orders and highguilds are listed below.
- The Stygian Order: A group largely comprised of knights, rage mages, and shamans that guard the passage of the River Styx through central Coricona. Since the appearance of The Clinging Mists has consumed central Coricona and the river along with it, the order has acted as the foremost guard to the mists and spearheads most investigation efforts into it. WIth a very diverse membership of the races of Coricona, the Stygian Order has often been praised for its work promoting social collaboration on the continent.
- The Order of the Golden Cricket: A group of kithkin knights, paladins and rangers dedicated to preserving the safety of the common folk, wherever and whomever they may be, regardless of race or religion. Well known for raising a specific breed of golden coated springjack known for their jumping proficiency that boarders on mystical flight. Unsurprisingly, a membership has grown far beyond just kithkin in modern days.
- The Houses of the Old Lords: Five houses dedicated to the preservation of Celanthiral, the reverence of the Old Lords, and the eradication of the Fae anywhere outside the Faewoods.
- The Juniper Order: A group of druids that live in southern Erathell, the Juniper Order is a multicultural group well known for their efforts attempting to end hostilities between the fae and the elves. While their efforts have proven successful on many occasions and many elves owe them their lives, their disbelief in the Old Lords as anything more than powerful elves has earned them little respect in elven civilization on the whole.
- The Order: A militaristic and religious guild in the Twin Kingdoms and Akrekik, known for its powerful and devout mystics and paladins. The religious group is occasionally seen as something of a cult, though a well accepted one, viewing the aven Ancestor and Serra as being two views on the same divine being. While respected for their works both in the Ogre Wars and as peacekeepers, their hatred of fire magic is occasionally seen as overzealous, particularly for the harm its caused to relations with the denizens of the Ashridge Mountains. Many of the Order speak of a mystical font of purity that might bring rapid end to the Ogre Wars, something they call the Purifying Flame.
- The Order of the Ebon Hand: A vile group founded by Tourach the Dark One who worship the Ebon Praetor. The Order of the Ebon Hand is a powerful political force in Klurikon and is the source of many of the world’s foulest spells. The Ebon Hand is supposedly the original crafter of Thrulls to create mindless servants, though rumor says it was truly to create the perfect sacrifice to The Lord of the Wastes.
- The Order of the Sacred Bell: A group of shamans and monks in Ikari, the Order of the Sacred Bell is a very recent guild founded with the intent of putting down aggressive kami. While worshipers of the kami are wary of the Sacred Bell, their efforts so far have earned them great praise.
- The Order of Leitbur: The Order of Leitbur is a religious sect in The Twin Kingdoms founded ages past by Bethan Leitbur. Their members are Clerics, Paladins, and Knights who worship the Hand of Justice and often Bethan Leitbur himself. Bethan recorded his teachings in The Way and the Order of Leitbur follows it as a codec for their way of life.
- The Cabal: A divisive and powerful organization, the Cabal is a major political force both in Klurikon and the world over. Incredibly diverse and cultural welcoming, the Cabal consider themselves to be entertainers first and foremost, providing just about every sinful pleasure known to Creed – most famously known for organizing the largest pit fights and other gladiatorial displays known to Creed, along maintaining the largest gambling halls and the most “creative” brothels. The Cabal is well-versed in the mystic arts, particularly necromantic and conjuration magics, and trains their most skilled conjurers to become Dementia Casters. The Cabal structures themselves as an inclusive family, their members referring to each other as brother or sister, and their leader is known as the patriarch. Unsurprisingly, the Cabal’s sinful tendencies and use of darker magics has earned them considerable scrutiny, particularly by the Order.
The Nine Guardians