The Guilds

There are countless guilds and societies within the empire. This stated it is universally recognised by all with half a sensory modularity that there are guilds and there are the guilds. My little treatise in covering the major entities and turning points for your empire would thus be remiss not to discuss the guilds at some point.

Toubibs

The Toubibs guild (more popularly known as the physicians society) is one of the most influential of the guilds. The Toubibs have four major colleges within the empire and countless institutions. Although the Toubibs focus upon the rich and powerful, and the Ordo Asceplius upon the poor and the needy, a rivalry is still there. Particularly as there is a line where the rich and the needy will prefer to frequent the Ordo Asceplius, especially as a donation will frequently be less expensive then the charges of the Toubibs. One famed dynasty leader was known to quote how he had saved his lineage monies by donating a orphanage to the Ordo Asclepius in exchange for their treatment of his wife’s illness rather then pay the bill of the local Toubibs doctor.

Be that as it may, I myself would much more prefer that if I went under the knife of a human surgeon it was one from the reasoned Toubibs than to place my faith upon a holy order.

Roachers Guild

The origins of the Roacher’s guild are murky, what is known is that they are one of the oldest guilds that conceivably predates the empire in formation. Each of the other guilds have a certain territory which they have carefully marked out through legal restrictions bought from the empire (such as needing to be both a qualified doctor and registered with the Toubibs to practice surgery), for the roachers things are not so cut and dried. For if the Roachers have a territory it can be defined with one word only murky.

The Roachers work on the line between legality and crime, and thus have the fear of the populace and the distrust of authorities. However like all the guilds the roachers pay a set amount of income to the empire in taxes, and including the amount they pay additionally in investments to individuals (which are termed bribes if the officials are lowly, and gifts if the person is high) the income that the imperial infrastructure receives may be close to the Maccelums. In addition to these enterprises of low brow entertainment and dubious acquisitions the Roachers are also scavengers of the highest degree and frequently mount expeditions to exotic locations, leading to occasional conflict with their rivals from the duchies royal expeditionary society.

Maccelum

The Maccelum was originally a loose consortium of traders who maintained an exchange between themselves allowing them to create central markets containing many goods. Emperor Corsini actively influenced them to become more organised and to adopt a hierarchical structure with a centralised guild leader. The reason for this was to allow them to assist him in modification of the paper bull (see the church for more details), a modification that granted the Maccelum a place of prominence in trade deals, but also one of continued suspicions and investigations by church officials. Investigations that almost never, no matter how harsh the inquisitor, turn up anything but the most minor of heresies, as the Maccelum ensure that they have spotless records and behaviour amongst their members.

Sidebar B Currency

After the death of the cog, the monetary system of the empire, which symbolically represented the wheel upon which the prophet was broken the Maccelum rapidly developed an alternative bartering system to keep trade flowing and their pockets full.

Assessing various levels of stock and supply and demand they introduced a fixed price bartering system at their market places.

The current standard is on 125 grams of shamic, the smallest containment unit the hive will provide and is the base unit of their prices as it is judged to be the most stable.

However the issue with this is that one shamic is more than the average family can hope to earn in a month (for some rural serfs more than a year), and more than a proficient tradesmen can hope to earn in a week. Despite this the Maccelum refuse to dilute their time with smaller trades as the profit margins are slim, which has led to yet another wedge between the rich and the poor, compounded with some might say very unfair prices for basic food stuff, due to its bulk.

Aethyrite liberation front

The Aethyrites stemmed from the findings of one man, hired by the empire to dissect the inner working of an anestotes arm. For many years it had been hypothesised that the tube like structure and tanks were part of a weapons delivery system and there existed tales of Emperor Corsinis guard spitting fire at the battle of Marrechia. The results of Professor Warland more than exceeded the empire’s hopes, particularly as generations of scientists had tried and failed to find a solution.

Professor Warland was able to find a small amount of an unknown compound fossilised and trapped between two circuits. Extensive testing showed the compound to have many unusual properties, in particular its strange mixture of volatility and stability depending upon which chemical it was mixed with and more importantly its tendency to bond anew with a novel chemical leaving the one it was previously wedded with. And it was there that for eight years, Professor Warland was stuck, though the empire was more then happy for some progress to be finally made, in the end even they lost patience and terminated the project.

Professor Warland would not drop what was now his obsession and continued to attempt to replicate the substance. But it was the inadvertent assistance of the church that finally solved the problem.

A night attack upon his laboratory at the university of Leipzig led him to fleeing to Zurich with his family to continue his study high in the Ligurian mountains. Almost immediately he began to achieve results and it soon became apparent that the substance was actually prevalent at the mid atmospheric levels (attempts with balloons showed that the aethyric amounts rapidly dwindled to nothing after a certain height above sea level was reached).

From this small beginning Professor Warland built gigantic extractors upon the surrounding peaks of Zurich and gathered a following of brilliant minds who aspired for Aethyr to be as great as discovery as shamic. The Aethyr liberation front was born, the first true independent convocation of human scientists. Guild status was granted by the empire in exchange for a ready supply of Aethyr to power the Anestote weapons systems and ALF became prosperous not just from the aethyr resource but from what they had become, a collection of the most brilliant minds in all the empire.

Fear Zurich dear reader, I suspect they will doom us all.

Hincmar craftmans guild

As hinted elsewhere many of the guilds have issues with the holy church. The singular exceptional opposite to this is the guild of craftsmen, who will accept almost any Journeyman providing he has been recommended, has the requisite tools of the trade and more crucially has the money to buy membership. The guild closely follows the decrees of the church particularly on the subject of technology and is highly conservative upon the techniques and tools in use in a given trade. Indeed rivals will often observe one another very closely for signs of heretical practice and will at the slightest sign report to the church officials.

My hypothesis is that this single guild, despite being the most necessary of all the guilds for the empire’s survival is also the one that has kept the empire of man in the dark ages for so long, or at least one of the primary contributors from a whole host of these constant checks on the progress the humans seem to worship so much.

And as the prophet breathed his last so too did those angelic beings tasked by heaven to guide him, and the earth and the heavens did weep, while the hells let out a mighty cry of triumph that shook every mortal with fear. And when the prophets eyes grew lifeless the heavens closed their gates to man once more and for one year the earth did fall into hells domain.