Guilds of the Merchant League
The top five guilds that make the heart of the Merchant League, specializing in their business.
Charioteers – Pilots of the stars and interstellar traders. This intrepid guild is what most people think of when they imagine the Merchant League, as the Charioteers are merchants with their exotic shows as traveling salesman who are often seen by commoners. They jealously guard their monopoly on jumpcode technology, which can travel through the jumpgates. They are friendly merchants but on board they have a tendency to become strict taskmasters who care for their ships first. However, on average, they are an optimistic, proactive group, standing out among the crowd.
Engineers – The new Dark Age brought the collapse of science and technology. High technology is rare in the New Dark Ages, and most people fear, as the Church teaches that this is the symbol of human arrogance that toppled the Second Republic. Few dare to delve into its secrets, and those that do are considered crazy or have the rare ability to keep it, tend to belong to the Supreme Order of Engineers. They range from technical experts, such as terraforming technology maintainers to obsessive inmates. They have little respect for social customs – especially those relating to cyber – and there are enough rumors about the things that they have become, or do behind closed doors. For the commoners they frighten them and cause disgust to the priests. Still, despite the Church’s attempts at keeping them under control, everyone knows how valuable their knowledge and maintenance.
Scravers – If you can not find what you’re looking legally, chances are the Scravers can get it – for a price. Scravers specialize in all kinds of activities, usually seen as antisocial (but often fun): gambling, goods on the black market, prostitution (although high-class girls are on the Courtesans Guild) and even theft. Of course, they deny everything, hiding behind the guise of a guild of rescue and recovery objects. Since they possess blackmail on virtually every high-ranking official – even bishops – little is done against them.
Muster – professional soldiers, these mercenaries are essential to most military operations in all the Known Worlds. Even the Brothers Battle rely on the support of orbital artillery, and the noble houses have contracts in any assault against their rivals or quell riots. But soldiers are not the only type of work that this guild features; functioning as an intermediate agency of employment, they specialize in all sorts of trained help. While it is best known for dealing with slaves and soldiers, it provides all kinds of qualified and non-qualified labor. They jealously guard their domain, which makes hiring staff out behind his back a risky business, but maintain a high standard of quality that serves well worth the price.
Reeves – Gray Faces – Someone has to do the paperwork and this work is left for the Reeves. They do it very well. So well that they are de facto bankers of the Known Worlds and probably one of the richest factions of the universe – though few realize how rich they’ve become through their loans to noble houses. Almost everyone owe to the Reeves, and when they are called to perform favors, few dare denying. As lawyers they have a reputation for fairness and understanding of the tangled legal systems used simultaneously in the Empire. All this gives them a reputation for duplicity and greed. On the other hand, there is a sizeable minority of lawyers and cross-conspirators Republicans among young people of the guild.
The Academy Interatta – Teaching that was exalted and common during the Second Republic, now it does not have the same prestige of that time. Many come with suspicion on teaching, especially the nobles and the Church (and some people in the League) and are not conducive to massified education. Less than 25% of the population knows how to write their name and deal with multiplication and less than 10% are literate by tutors or by Church schools. But there is a place where people can learn without fear of being reprimanded, where knowledge is a beacon that draws students from all over the sides of the Known Worlds. This is the Interatta Academy. Here the brightest members of Guilds are trained, as well as nobles and priests occasionally. Here you can learn everything from war to technology. Of the campuses, there are two that stand out: one in Bannockburn – focused on war tactics and history (somewhat violent) humanities fights; and in Leagueheim, where thousands of people go to study physics to engineering to cryptoxenology. All guilds teach here their tricks to its new members and to those who are able to learn.
Smaller guilds – there are several guilds operating in various fields from mining asteroids to writers, many of these are found in only one planet or region.
Some of them are:
Courtesans – Courtesans are a vital part of society for nobles. Many are just low or high cost prostitutes, but an impressive number are well educated in various fields. The high caliber specialize in exotic tastes, or able to offer unique pleasures that only the rich can afford decadent. The most successful are the most requested, going from house to house and noble in prime, depending on who pays more. But they are not only in the flesh for the market, they make their employers look good, they give advice and are symbols of social status. One of the advantages of the Courtesans is that they have a very comprehensive information network, specializes in finding things.
Slayers – Officially the guild does not exist. But their very good at what they do and are also very illegal. It is unknown who may be a member of this guild, because the people who are part have “normal” jobs and lives during the day and then requested to do their jobs. Joining the guild is a lifetime job and won’t leave, just dying (which of course, can be arranged). Although “non existant”, they are highly sought after by the nobles of the Great Houses, Guilds and even the Church. You never know the killer, only the middleman. This will leave no tracks on the work and the payment goes to the killer.
Apothecaries – They are the main alternative to the Sanctuary Aeon. Though not trained in the mystic art of healing, they are fans of high-tech medicine. Unlike Amaltheas, they only work for profit – no moral questions or penance. They are very discreet, which greatly pleases its noble customers and patrons of the guilds. Although there are rumors that they search in forbidden fields, such as cloning and genetic improvements, the Church has never found evidence – yet. The cost can be expensive because it does not spread gossip about embarrassing treatments, or can take people out of the front line.
Carnivalers – No high culture or prestigious lineages. For bringing street performers, simple musicians, sports figures, actors performers of all kinds – including circus performers and freak shows (also called Zoo because of that). To the surprise of the Mask, many aliens artists survive the censure of the Church and acting guild, since in the Mask, human dress like aliens and in the Carnivalers, they are actors and even might become the star of the show. Although not much cared by society, they are good at making money for their shows and bribing the Church to continue operating. Their gladiatorial shows are famous and harlequins are the heralds of the caravans.
The Mask – One of the oldest guilds in the entertainment business – a possible lineage since the Second Republic, is in a recovery of parts to the Renaissance style in the Known World. Responsible for representing authors, actors and musicians, who are probably the best of the Known Worlds as it has as customers the noble houses, the church and even the Emperor Alexius. One of the Mask responsibility is to distribute propaganda for Emperor Alexius. Not an easy task, which may well go wrong. While Carnivalers suffer from rotten tomatoes being hurled and a raid of the Inquisition, the Mask can suffer exile and possibly being imprisoned if they fail to bring applause from the audience.
Prospectors – also called Belters, Astromasons, Moles and Lunar Hell Walkers, they’re just miners, but they dig deep in the void of space or toxic atmospheres. They work hard and with access to high technology and loves life in zero gravity. Composed by a few families who live mining on asteroids since the Second Republic, bringing minerals and valuable products, since many planets colonized by humans lost their mineral diversity a long time ago. Their equipment lasts from generation to generation, may be old but reliable. With different ideas for spending too much time away from the rest of humanity, many are suspicious of them, despite their little interest in power and politics.
Weaponsmiths – While humans and aliens have needed to win over each other, there will be profit on the art of making weapons. Most are small guilds, or families – many not being part of the League. Usually specializing in specific areas such as family Mitchau (patron by Hazat), guild Martech (connected to the engineers), the Vasrten family (House Decados) among many others. Usually families are led by who has the best ability, passing the knowledge to learners. Who do not have skills in creating helps keep business in the negotiations or looking for customers.
Other smaller guilds are the Brewers, Bureaucrats, Gourmands, the Oubliette (psychologists), Pedagogues, Promoters (Shills), Purgers, Stewards, Wordwrights and Wranglers.
All have operations in some planet, however small.
Yeoman (Freelancer) – Coming from everywhere in life, servants released by the nobles, a member of the guild banned for breaking the rules, a priest who fell over the edge, the freelancer is linked to any faction. For whatever their reason, they are not involved in politics and rules of the Guilds. Due to various reasons, the Freelancers have a wide variety of jobs, from the embarrassing to the secret. Servants think they are in the guilds and they do take advantage of this fact. No matter the job or to whom they work for. There is always something to do and (many) times they are the hired labor.