Guilds

There is a great variety in the sorts of guilds that may be encountered. Some places require a unique guild for each specific trade, business, or job: one man makes nails, another horseshoes, another bits, another bridles, etc., though they may have the skills and tools to make all of these items; thankfully such is not the norm. Some guilds are rather informal: loose associations of traders or craftsmen that little influence commerce; others are rigid and ceremonious, with many stipulations. Most are local organizations that set the prices and quotas for a group of merchants in a community; mostly craftsmen’s guilds, though such guilds can reach beyond a single town or even nation. Minor guilds tend to have little political sway, while well established ones often control all commercial activity within a city or even country. In particularly beaurocratic places, the Magistrate (or similar officiate) may set or negotiate prices and quotas for all businesses or guilds; such places often see a good deal of politicking and intrigue as everyday commerce becomes yet another means for some on their quest for personal power. It is unusual in very legalistic lands (e.g. Acheron) for unlicensed persons to be able to sell more than a few things per year in any community except to a licensed vendor.

Some of the largest, most powerful commercial organizations in Erdon include:

The Archeport West-Erdonia Merchant Guild (aka “The Merchant Guild”):

  • First major inter-city trade organization and guild.
  • One of the largest trade empires ever known.

The Gnomish Association of Merchants, Adventurers, and Traders (aka “The Association”):

  • Regulates interracial commerce and merchants of predominantly interracial communities.
  • Oversees the incorporation of adventuring guilds and groups; licenses can be pricey.
  • Holds sway in most lawfully oriented regions of Erdlond and Acheron.
  • Important figures: Chief Magistrate, Lord Flihjelglirwykn.


Lesser mercantile guilds exist as well, especially where guilds are common, but they rarely span a whole region; sometimes they don’t even cover a whole city. The general categories of guilded professions are as follows:

Artisan Guilds include: artists & entertainers; bards & minstrels; exotic craftsmen (e.g. glassblowers).

Banking Guild: regulates exchange rates, interest rates, loan requirements, issue of bank notes; virtually all business conducted at a bank. Also secures deposits; usually dwarf-run.

Barrister’s Guild: licenses, appoints, and even trains legal counsel. Anyone who runs afoul of the law is often encouraged to visit the local barrister’s guild.

Craftsmen Guilds include:

  • Leatherworker’s Guilds (e.g. tanners & cobblers).
  • Woodworker’s Guilds (e.g. carpenters & timberers).
  • Smithing Guilds (e.g. blacksmiths, armourers, & jewelers; often dwarf-run).
  • Stoneworker’s Guilds (e.g. masons, miners, & quarrymen; usually dwarf-run).

Literary Guilds (i.e. social clubs & parlors)

  • good places to find sages & scribes; poets, oraters, etc.
  • good source of recent/local news & gossip.

Mage Guilds regulate:

  • magecraft: items, prices, quotas, etc.
  • spells: prices, knowledge, use, etc.
  • apothecaries, alchemists, etc.

Labor Guilds supply & contract general laborers (e.g. teamsters & porters).

Servant’s Guilds provide and hire skilled servants (e.g. maid, butler, cook).

Farmer’s Compacts: include farmers, ranchers, herdsmen, stablers, trainers, fishers, trappers, and hunters.


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Guilds

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