A Brief Overview of the Guilds
This guild is made up of many different disciplines, from decorative stonemasons to painters to jewelers. Just basic people using their artistic talent to make a living, this could include anyone from a hermit painter trading art for food and firewood, a carpenter on a specific guild’s payroll with an exclusive contract, or a jeweler being kept basically as a pet to a Noble—fed, clothed and housed in the lap of luxury but subject to artistic demands at all hours.
A very warm and charismatic bunch, applicants go through a series of tests before being accepted or rejected. Assassins never lack a place to stay or good company in a town or city where there is a chapter of this guild. No Contract will ever be accepted on another Assassin’s life, and the Assassin in question will be warned of the attempt if one is put out. Assassins may bypass Contracts occasionally with a good reason to, but guild members typically don’t leave the guild aside from travelling from Contract to Contract. They may also, in times of great need, be conscripted into the service of the army. This was a bargain struck that allowed the guild to obtain its sanction—meaning this is a legal guild operating within the scope of the law. (As such, any Contracts attempted on Nobles must be authorized by the current King or Queen.)
Attractive individuals who sell their bodies for profit, they live together in a guild house like most of the other guilds, but unlike many of the others this guild has specific rooms in which the business of the guild is conducted. Courtesans are also hired out for any length of time, meaning they will travel and stay at a place of the client’s choosing, performing agreed-upon tasks there for the duration of their visit. This guild also contains the offspring of guild members, and children who grow up in this guild are given chores until they reach an age where they choose what they want to do with their lives—whether it is to officially join this guild or leave and join another. A Courtesan can buy his or her way out of this guild after three years of service, as contracts are made in three-year intervals (thus they can also be kicked out at this time—or earlier based on certain events). A Courtesan also keeps a percentage of his or her own profits, so they tend to develop the skills to attract and keep new customers quickly—whether the skills are of reading and conning people or more of a sexual application.
More of a school than a guild, everyone discovered to have a magical ability to heal is sent here. Parents receive a tidy sum for any child they send, though if the child does not wish to remain there is nothing keeping them there (provided the parents can then return the sum). Most people join for the opportunity and prestige. Healers are trained not only in their innate magic but also in medicine, as their magic will not help them without the medical training to underlie it—this is the difference between knowing how to set a bone before you knit it back together with magic and healing someone’s arm at a strange angle where they will have little to no range of motion or use for it. Thus the Healer’s Guild has a monopoly on doctoral training while the rest of the world relies on basic first aid and medicine men and women. Once a Healer is trained they are given an assignment and sent out to fulfill it; this is the price they pay for their schooling and everything provided to them during it, and the perks they enjoy from their status. Healers wear a symbol that lets them travel more or less safely through even the roughest areas, as attacking a Healer means the guild will blacklist the attacker and refuse care if they are ever in need. With Seers in this world who can scry events happening most anywhere, it is not a risk many will take.
Not common brigands, mercenaries are specialized folk looking for work wherever their skills might come in handy. They’ll handle jobs that are purely to mostly legal (and maybe a little less, for the right price and if the chance of getting away with it is good enough) in their chosen field. The sense of honor among these varies by person, but if their reputation is clean enough the guild will take them in and pass them whatever job comes along that seems suited to their skill set. Some people think of the Mercenary Guild as just legal thug-work, while others take pride in being a part of it and only take jobs that they think better the world.
The Merchant Guild is made up of the most successful merchants and manages a bank, as well as trade agreements and the like. Scholars of law can find work here as can scribes, mostly writing up contracts and legal agreements, etc. It isn’t so much an honor to join this guild as it is a token of prestige to be recognized by it, as the guild is very exclusive and very unforgiving. (After all, reputation and wealth are everything.)
A relatively new guild, no one quite knows how many chapters there are yet. Ostensibly this guild specializes in providing reliable information about an area (and thus may be given assignments with the army from time to time) and in delivering messages (and thus may be hired by anyone with enough coin and the need to send a letter or missive). Scouts have an odd way of popping up in random places where they are not always expected and seem to have more skills for stealth than one would assume necessary to their profession.
This guild specializes in anything from advice and tarot reading to full-blown visions of future possibilities, depending on the power of the Seer. Often hired as Advisors or Entertainers, Seers know the value of perspective and tend not to be rash in nature. Officially recognized as following the God of Truth, they will correct anyone who mentions this to say that it’s not about truth as much as clarity. Seers have a very different definition of what “truth” means than the average person.
An unsanctioned guild, of course, they must keep their identities and dealings mostly secret outside of the criminal element in which they operate. Members will actively recruit people they meet whom they believe are suited to the profession, but they also accept applications. A branch can be found in any area with a criminal underground (which is most), and often favor individuals both daring and cunning. There are some rumors connecting them with the Merchants Guild—which they encourage and the latter vehemently denies.