“There are more secrets than know facts, and there are even more mysteries than secrets.”
Ages past, the individual Guilds regulated and taught the mysteries of Arcanoi to those they deemed worthy. This was considered a golden era, before the Dictum Mortuum. Each Guild was, and in some way, still are the masters of a particular Arcanos (singular), per below. The times, however, they are a’changing, particularly in the wake of the most recent great maelstrom and it’s related upheaval.
Great / High Guilds:
- Artificers – Associated with Inhabit.
- Masquers – Associated with Moliate.
- Pardoners – Associated with Castigate.
- Userers – Associated with Usury.
- Chanteurs – Associated with Keening.
- Harbingers – Associated with Argos.
- Oracles – Associated with Fatalism.
- Sandmen – Associated with Phantasm.
- Haunters – Associated with Pandemonium.
- Monitors – Associated with Lifeweb.
- Spooks – Associated with Outrage.
- Proctors – Associated with Embody.
- Puppeteers – Associated with Puppetry.
- Alchemists – Associated with Flux.
- Mnemoi – Associated with Mnemosynis.
- Solicitors – Associated with Intimation.
The Guilds before the Sixth Great Malestrom
Following the Breaking of the Guilds, the Guilds did not disappear. Actually, they remained relatively intact. They lost their main powerhouses and signature members, but the Guilds as a whole remained largely intact. More important was that whether the Hierarchy liked it or not, the Guilds were needed.
Due to the vast knowledge they contained of their Arcanos, Guildwraiths were vital to keeping Stygia afloat. The concept of the High Guilds, the Working, Criminl and Forbidden Guilds, were slang used by Guildwraiths to denote their importance to Stygia with the High Guilds being so vital they practically survived the Breaking Unscathed, to the Criminal who were relentlessly dogged following the passage of Dictum Mortuum. The Forbidden Guilds? Well they are Forbidden, the Unlidded Eye will deal with them.
So Guild life was the greatest open secret ever devised. Guildwraiths offered their skill but could not acknowledge they were part of any ‘Guild’ or political construct. All of them obliged, save the Criminal Guilds who had no reason to – their very existence according to Stygia was a crime.
Guildwraiths were bound to their chosen guild, who had their own rules and own way of affairs. When it came to the other guilds, The Compact of the Guilds guided them. Like a Union contract, it outlined means of resolution of conflicts between guilds and how guild operations would work under the Hierarchy’s noses. Not everyone enjoys every aspects of the Compact (the council of Guilds portion rattles some feathers), but on the whole? The Compact is the best of all possible worlds given the state of things.
The Guilds after the Sixth Great Malestrom
The loss of Stygia and the destruction of the Legions gave the Guilds the opportunity they needed to shine and become the Merchant Princes they had wanted to be with the Guild Coup. They didn’t though. The Guilds learned a valuable lesson from the Breaking – they are needed, whether people like them or not. There is a distinct advantage to being the person who holds the pen, than the one who wears the Crown.
Much of the afterlife hasn’t changed for Guildwraiths since the Sixth, save their presence is now more prominent. The existence of the Guilds has always been known but never discussed. Now, with the Hierarchy on it’s heels, the Guilds are back in force. Guild-sponsored agents cropped up across Necropoli with open endorsement from their Guild. The High and Working Guilds become more commonplace, while the Guild that sponsored them continued to be shrouded in secrecy. They never spoke of their cohorts and they definitely didn’t speak of their superiors or anything of relevance – none wanted to risk the ire of the Hierarchy, no matter how disorganized it was.
The Criminal Guilds got the leverage they needed to come out of hiding, and the sightings of Haunters, Spooks, Proctors and Puppeteers increased – straining Hierarchy resources to curtail them. While still on the fringes of the afterlife, said “fringes” became awefully closer than they used to be.
As for the Forbidden Guilds? The Mnemoi never came out of hiding, as the propaganda machine continues to work against them. The Alchemists, the upstart rivals of the Artificers, would never be able to function as a proper guild so long as the First Guild held sway, and the Solicitors? Well. Let’s say the Solicitors are good at what they do.
The Guilds of Los Angeles
Like any city, the Guilds operate under the Compact of the Guilds, the spirited document that outlines inter-Guild affairs. Within LA there are two major Guild Unions, along with independent power players. The Guilds are present in some capacity in LA but some deserve special reference.
SAG-SCAM (The Spectral Artisan Guild of Sandmen, Chaunters, Artificers and Masquers). A Compact between the Sandmen, Chaunters, Artificers and Masquers. Made up largely of those from the film industry based out of Tinseltown Studios, the SAG seeks to monopolize Pathos generation within LA with an iron grip.
F.U. (The Free Union of Haunters, Spooks, and Puppeteers, United). A Compact of the criminal guilds of Haunters, Spooks and Puppeteers, this compact is seen as anarchists. If they only knew.
The other Guilds OF NOTE
The Monitor’s Guild: It would be folly to underestimate the Monitor’s Guild. Deemed criminals for their blackmail, racketeering and abuses regarding their trademark use of Lifeweb, the afterlife for a Monitor Guildmember is both exciting and dangerous. Everyone knows the Monitors’ are the most adept Fetter guardians in the Underworld. They also know, thanks to Propaganda, that the Monitors are some of the sleeziest gangsters in Hades.
Much like the mob so many tend to view the Monitors’ as, The local Monitor’s Guild is clandestine, so much so that even SAG doesn’t really know if the Monitors are positioned in LA save for the few they know through dealings. Even with the Guild’s slowly coming back into the spotlight, the Monitors remain hidden – making the Guild all the more sinister to their fellow Guilds.
The Harbinger’s Guild: Dammit, Captain! Something isn’t right this side of the Tempest! The Harbingers are currently the only Guild with reliable means to navigate the Great Rip making them indispensable to the local population. While the Obolus flows freely into their pockets, the Guild as a whole is preoccupied with the Great Rip. Is it a Nihil? Is it something worse? Did the Shoah change zip codes? The Harbinger’s may not be renowned investigators, but the navigators of the Underworld are looking to unravel the mystery.