The Stormtalons Blog

For Writing and Gaming: Guilds in Stormtalons


In a nutshell, there are no guilds.

There are no easily identifiable organizations of generally grouped jobs for people to access.

What do we have, then?

What we have are smaller, more distinctively individual organizations that compete, struggle, and may sometimes offer jobs and quests, but those jobs and quests will always be to their direct benefit, either as a whole, or for individual chartered members.

There are some, like the Reeve’s Office, are attached to a church or temple, and accept contracts from the local faithful for a variety of things. Those things can include all of the basic quest types; kill, defend, escort/rescue, fetch, discovery, and escape, but none will ever go against the teachings of whatever god(s) the church is devoted to. For example, in one upcoming novella, the two protagonists get a quest to go fetch a runaway daughter for the local baron through the Reeve’s Office attached to the small church dedicated to the Six in the Firefall. So long as it’s not anything blasphemous or heretical, the Reeve’s Office is a convenient way to get a basic (or basic-seeming) quest to your main characters. The church, of course, takes its cut.

But the Reeve’s Office is the exception, not the rule. There are no generic Thief’s Guilds, Assassin’s Guilds, Fighter’s Guilds, etc. There are instead singularly named, multiple organizations that can have similar offerings, but rarely the exact same ones (unless someone is spreading contracts, in which case they could land in trouble!)

Rather than a single Thief’s Guild, places like Tanthalas and Kordrove have dozens of black market organizations that one must find, prove themselves to, and then help defend against their competitors. And they are all competitors. Smaller or more stable areas might have a single organization that’s managed to keep the power for so long they are the status quo, but they would be local to that specific area only, and not have any influence outside its sphere.

Assassin’s Guilds are in deep cover and are hard to find, and the finding could get the character killed in the attempt. Fighter’s Guilds could be mercenary groups, a merchant house hiring out guards to multiple caravans, or an organized group of bounty hunters. No overarching Alchemist’s Guilds or Artificer’s Guilds, they would be separate and distinct organizations with a sole or small group of patrons funding the entire thing, usually merchant houses or wealthy nobility, in order to have first pick among any snazzy new inventions. They might or might not share information, they might or might not alert each other of dangerous situations. It all depends on that individual organization’s dynamic and the dynamic of the organizations around it.

There are no organizations even remotely resembling Wizard’s Guilds, although the Heirophar does like to occasionally allow whispers of some sort of organization of that type to be noised about, in order to snap up those foolish enough to seek it.

So when it comes to who or whatever is handing out quests, offering training, and selling those occupation-specific materials, get out of the Guild-zone, get creative, and make some really interesting places, people, and planners!

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