Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stânfolde Part 4 - Guilds


(Guilds were a major part of the world, part of a network that helped defend the region from the demons to the north. Without a guild you had very limited access to feats and prestige classes. Each one had a separate writeup.)

Joining a guild or organization provides an adventuring mercenary with many benefits.  These benefits can range from access to training in feats to monetary bonuses when it comes to equipment.  In addition, most prestige classes are rooted within various organizational structures.  It is possible to not be affiliated with a guild, and guilds can always be joined later, but choices for advancement and growth will be limited.  Below is a brief write-up of each guild that may be joined at 1st level; full write-ups complete with prestige classes and feats available will be provided separately.

The Astrologer’s Guild
Originally formed so that arcane spellcasters could hide their profession under a cloak of legitimacy.  The unofficial wizard’s guild of Sûthgeard, members still try to hide their art from prying eyes even though most are privy to their charade now.

The Bards
The Bards are similar to the Coven and the Speakers in that they aren’t an official guild.  Rather they are a loose organization of skalds and storytellers who share their knowledge and talents to each other’s benefit.  Anyone who tells a good tale can join, but Skalds make up the majority of the membership.

The Coven
More of a sisterhood than a guild, the Coven is what the witches of Stânfolde call themselves.  It is not an official guild but fills all of the same duties, even interacting with the Hiring Hall.  Non-witches can be considered Coven members, even males, as long as they are dedicated to the sisterhood’s goals and ideals.

The Chapterhouse
A mercenary guild formed by holy warriors allied to the Church.  Clerics and paladins make of the majority of its membership, but anyone able to wield a weapon can join if their faith is strong enough.

“The Guild”
The thieves’ guild of Sûthgeard.  They keep a tight leash on non-guild members operating in the city as the other powerful guilds could crush them easily if provoked.  The main reason they still exist is due to their front organization, “The Adventurer’s Guild”, which trains adventuring mercenaries in skills useful outside the city.

The Hospitalers
A religious mercenary guild somewhat similar to the Chapterhouse, save the Hospitalers specialize in healing.  Besides training mercenaries, they run hospitals throughout the land.  They are mostly comprised of clerics and paladins, but the occasional shaman, witch or non-spellcasting healer has made it into their ranks.

The Lancers
The spearman is the most basic fighting unit in all of Stânfolde.  Any spearman who wishes to be more than a man with a long pointy stick trains with the Lancers.  The Lancers are more of a training organization than a guild, but they do maintain some guild functions.  Very few adventurers come from the ranks of the Lancers.

The Outriders
There is no heavy cavalry in Stânfolde, but there is a light cavalry.  They specialize in both scouting and fast moving hit and run tactics.  Founded by the hin on their riding dogs, it has grown to include horseback riders, too.  While not a large generator of adventurers, there are some groups that find the skilled riding of a Outrider to be an essential part of a mercenary company.

The Speakers
Not formally a guild, the Speakers represent those who choose to honor the spirits as part of their devotion to Heaven.  They have their own hiearchy and function as a guild in most respects.  While Shamans make up the majority of members, anyone who respects their ways can join.

The Spellswords
Since arcane magic carries a stigma in Stânfolde, many practitioners of the art have taken up weapons to make themselves more socially acceptable.  The combination of martial and magical skills has made the Spellswords one of the most powerful and respected mercenary guilds.  Most wizards who wish to do more than study musty books join this guild, as does anyone with some interest in arcane magic.

The Whistling Death

Originally formed by various orders of secret archer brotherhoods, the Whistling Death has become an indispensable part of life in Stânfolde.  They provide training and mercenary bands to town militias and also produce talented archers who are key members of most adventuring mercenary companies.  Perhaps the largest mercenary organization in the land.

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