The Alchemy Guild (K#,Tr#,N#,B#,D#.)
A powerful and wide spread group which control the production, distribution and price of alchemical goods across all of the known lands except Danar & Menas. The guild was originally the alchemical branch of the Disciples of Knowledge. They split from the parent guild in order to pursue the financial benefits of their knowledge. Thanks in part to the organisational skills learnt amongst the Disciples of Knowledge the fledgling guild were able to transfer their laboratory production to a commercial scale as well as establishing the business and infra structure to support it. Despite the hundreds of years which have passed since then and the amicable nature of the separation the Disciples of Knowledge still consider the Alchemists to be something of a disappointment.
The guild has a virtual monopoly on all alchemical concoctions manufactured and sold commercially. They don’t worry to much about dabblers practicing their art for personal use, but any retailing that goes on in any city or town has to be guild licensed. The Alchemists come down very hard on any one interfering with the their business interests or members.
The guild operates a complex nation wide economic model which manipulates demand for their products, they under supply demand for popular products/recipes in order to preserve a healthy long term market rather than short term cash flow. The up shot of which is that even guild members can not always get the potions they want.
Potion recipes are not sold/taught to non-guild members and any member doing so will be severely punished (imprisoned for breach of contract).
Guild members can acquire potions at 75% of retail price, but have no control over availability. They are forbidden to sell on potions at any thing less than full retail price (and the guilds checks these things).
Scouts of Tethic (K#,M#,N#,Sk#,A#)
One of the most famous ranger and scout guilds in the known lands. If you need a guide or someone to keep an eye on your lady whilst you are of to the wars, these are the people for you. Their ranks consist of many Goblin and Fay folk (along with the usual human element). They have general neutrality with most people and most of the time they may move around unhindered.
They roam all the lands of Tethic from Tethic-Ry in the north, right down to Tethic Vorrin in the south, although they have been seen further abroad. They carry a sash of red, denoting their position. Anyone found wearing one of their sashes and is not a guild member will suffer the full force of the law. Likewise for any one interfereing with a scout in the course of their duty.
They also serve as an informal postal service carrying official dispatches and personal correspondence alike. Many of the Scouts are literate and offer a letter writing service.
The Scouts have no base or guild hall. They are an entirely mobile entity. The origins of the guild are not clear they seemed to appear fully formed several decades ago. One of the more fanciful rumours is that the guild does not actually exist. The story goes a Scathlock mystic, temporarily short of funds, approached a backwoods village donned a red sash and introduced himself as a member of the wide spread and eminently respectable Scouts of Tethic, inventing the organisation as he went along. He received hospitality and monies to convey messages to various places across the lands. The mystic plied the trick at several settlements before discarding the sash and thinking no more of it. Belly and pockets full the mystic went on his way and thought nothing more of it. When next he found himself passing through the same area a Fay in a red sash approached, introduced herself as a Scout of Tethic and inquired if he had any messages he needed sent. The mystic laughed and called the Fay a charlatan and told her the tale of how he invented the Scouts of Tethic. To which the Fay replied “that is a great trick, but the better one is done by actually delivering the messages because it’s a trick you can keep playing” and off she went.
What ever the truth of their origins the Scouts of Tethic have become the most trusted and reliable couriers and guides in the Known Lands.
Fellowship of Merchants (K#, B#, M#, F#, G#)
The fellowship has been in existence throughout Tethic since the first cities started to grow. Until recently it was not a formal guild, it was simply a bureaucracy that mediated between the city councils and the affairs of the traders. The fellowship enjoys the support of the cities they work in as they also ensure that all taxes are paid by it’s members, thus removing that burden from the city councils. In return the councils support the fellowships pricing policy and trade agreements.
The guild regulate the price of goods and protects it’s members interests by maintaining a roll of recommended caravans and warehouses as well as providing advice over legal difficulties and the employment of guards, book keeping etc.
All merchants who come to trade within a city are by default considered members and if they wish to do business in any of the major cities they must adhere to the guild code of practice. This means only using recommended support establishments (pay guards, warehouses, ships, suppliers) and adhering to the agreed prices on goods. In exchange the fellowship ensures that you are treated with like respect by the rest of the membership and protect the merchant from unscrupulous businessmen.
The fellowship covers it’s running costs by charging a 1 bit in the crown flat fee on all transactions. This fee is deducted automatically at the same time the fellowship calculates the tax. As with all guild fees this is never popular, but the alternative is not to do business in the cities.
The employees of the fellowship are themselves forbidden to trade. They deal only in the bureaucracy of running the guild or in the investigation of the worth of potential traders. A branch of the investigators also deals with establishing new trade routes and ensuring it’s members are in the best position to exploit any new opportunities (the guild see this free service as simple good business sense as it means that their members and thus they, grow more prosperous).
The fellowship mainly conducts its business in the cities and ports. They exact no charge for any trade conducted outside of the cities, as they can not provide a suitable level of support in the out lying regions. They will however send investigators to an area in which one of their member’s claims they are having difficulties.
Until recently the fellowship was just a bureaucracy, but within the last generation the work of one man, Cranson Vilasail, has seen the fellowship emerge as a guild in it’s own right. Cranson is from a typical merchant class background and made his fortune as an arms dealer during the Quartak wars. He surprised the whole of the merchant community by accepting a position in the fellowship and thus having to sell off his own business concerns (which he did shortly before the decisive battle in the war and thus amassed a considerable cash fortune) Cranson gave up his business because he saw greater opportunities working for the fellowship. He has instigated a restructuring of the guild, and the success of his plans has seen him swiftly rise to the head of the governing body.
Cranson’s drive has seen the formalization of trade standards across all of Tethic. In addition he is in the process of establishing an enchanter’s school within the fellowship so that it can offer the same benefits as other more respected guilds. He has negotiated deals with the churches of Gideon and Domain in order to guarantee the validity of guild transactions and rumors abound that he is working on a mysterious form of trade that deals in currency as its only goods!
Dark Fates (K#, T#, C#, A#, D#)
This conclave is composed of many races and professions, and this diversity enables many resources to be available to its members that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. Along with the Disciples of Knowledge, it is one of the few guilds that openly allied it’s self against the Necromancer Quartak during the Dead years.
This guild is oddly named as it has little or no dealings with the realm of Fate. Probably one of the largest guilds, it was led by a Drune mystic of some considerable power: a man by the name of Gothmog. Since Quartak banished Drune from the skies, Gothmog has vanished from sight. This led to an internal power struggle resulting in a council of three being placed in charge of the guild affairs. Recent events have seen this council waver and the internal bickering and arguments are becoming dangerous. It is time for those in the guild to choose their sides … and choose carefully.
The council currently consists of:
The High Magus – Master of the Elements and has prolonged his life by some unsavoury methods involving blood.
Shuraketh Di’Liath – Ex-follower of the Lady Sil-Tek, this Warlord has been a major force in the guild’s dealings with those less ‘helpful’ to their cause.
Kassandra Yethar – A follower of Jareth, she has many contacts on the black market and is rumoured to able to assume the form of most creatures of the known land.
The guild currently excludes any followers of the Abyss (of any profession) and any mystics of Gideon. Membership is in the form of a 1 year probationary period in which the candidate is kept under close observation and tested at various points. If they are suitable, they are then offered a permanent position. If accepted it is for life. The only way out being in a box!