Guild of Artifice

The Guild of Artifice is a coalition of merchants and craftsmen who have organized with the intent of establishing political recognition for themselves and letting “the voice of the working people” be heard in the Emperor’s Advisory.

In contrast to local merchants and craftspeople who sell or create goods that are most useful to individuals in their homes or trades, the Guild merchants tend toward commerce on a larger scale – the goods and services that other businesses rely on. Some of the founding members of the Guild a generation ago were owners of caravan companies and tradesmen who made devices integral to the working of large pieces of equipment. Partly to secure their economic positions and partly to promote the importance of their own roles, the original goal of the Guild was to provide some protection and regulation within the business of trade. And since the Emperor’s interest (beyond collecting appropriate taxes) and ability to ensure those things at a finer scale was limited, the creation of the Guild was permitted and even somewhat encouraged in the first years.

Some years after its inception, with the Guild more secure in its standing and slowly growing in power, the first suggestions that the Guild should be Imperially recognized and admitted onto the Advisory and that convened with the Emperor. While the Imperial offices, which thrived on the taxes generated by strong trade and commerce, had little objection, the Colleges of Magic and the Mind were strongly opposed to the move. They saw the role of governance as something that should be left to those who understood the deep philosophies of power and balance, and shouldn’t be diluted by something as banal as the sell and trade of goods. Being very influential and old participants in the Advisory, the Guild’s petition was quickly dismissed.

Since then there has been a great deal of tension between the Colleges and the Guild and an increasing degree of polite antagonism as the Guild continues to grow, both in size and power. In part to prove a point to the Colleges and in part to subvert their elitist philosophies, the Guild has been reaching out into villages and small towns, winning the support of the people in hopes of gaining enough popular support to force the Emperor’s hand and make him overturn the Advisory’s initial decision.

And the Guild has been making progress in this goal, as well. Many workers who had little more to look forward to in their lives than keeping up their family’s farms or trades have left those lifestyles to become laborers for the Guild’s many operations. Lifestyles may not be any better, and in some cases the work of a Guild laborer can be even more difficult or dangerous than in their first trades, but the allure of a regular wage is mighty indeed, especially for those with young families or ailing elders.

The Guild is more than just a movement however, and has expanded the ideas of labor and commerce in many areas of the Empire. Mines, shipping lanes (both land and aquatic), device tooling, and many other previously unheard of occupations have been developed and changed the economic face of several small communities. In places where it would be both politically and economically salient to do so, the Guild has created workshops both to employ the population and to show off some of the great ambitions of the Guild’s numerous projects. A great transportation hub has been created in Civermor where carriages, wagons, and transports of many other types are built and then dispersed to customers around the Empire. Recent years have also seen the creation of an ambitious (and controversial) landlocked shipyard near The Bleed that has been constantly scurrying with activity since it was completed. In other areas there are workshops that build devices to aid construction, the maintenance of the Empire’s essentially important roadways, agriculture, and in one of the most spectacular feats the Guild has accomplished, even the development of automata that far exceed the capacity and intelligence of magical golems. Few of these warforged creations exist, and most are tightly under the control of the Guild, but a few have been strategically given as gifts to prominent and respected figures, or sent to regions where the Guild holds less sway as part of ambassadorial convoys.

Notable members of the guild include:

  • names and roles

Notable factions within the guild include:

  • Committee on Artifice and Environment – a self-organized committee that internally polices Guild policy as it relates to the natural world. While not officially recognized, a number of prominent Guild members are sympathetic to the committee’s concerns and their voice is given fairly reasonable consideration, so long as their demands aren’t considered too drastic.
  • other factions

Notable accomplishments and inventions of the Guild include:

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Guild of Artifice

Writ of Justice Eightfold Endreal