Guild Families and GuildingEdit
There are nine major guild families, one each for the following pursuits: Law, Agriculture, Trade, Science, Engineering/Alchemy, Medicine, Banking, Exploration, and the Arts. The member families (or the "guilded") are powerful citizens of the world. Not all commoner families are "guilded", however. While they may work for (as a servant), assist, help, or otherwise aid the guild families, but do not yet have the honor of being guilded. Nor may they ever have that honor.
To become guilded, a family must have something new or significant to contribute to the guild family (for example master scuplters in the Art guild). The process of guilding can occur one of two ways:
The guild family provides a female member of their family to the non-guild family. The newly guilded family (via marriage) retains their unique family name and becomes a part of the guild. This process is fairly uncommon, and it usually offers less chances of gaining the full benefits of being in the guild.
This practice is the more common of the two. In this process the non-guild family and the guild family sign a blood pact via legal documents that joins the non-guild family to the guild for life. In so doing, the newly guilded family loses their unique surname, and gains a sub-surname and become a sub-family of the main family. (For example non-guild family XX joins guild family YY, the new name would be YX).
Becoming A Guild Family (The Patron/Protege Process)Edit
A protege family is a family currently under patronage of a guild family. The protege is most often a practitioner of a unique skill separate from the patron guild (for example the Banking Guild patrons the Fine Arts guild).
This process is the prime way that new technology or skills become commonplace in Ethaeria. The patron/protege process is rigorous and takes a long time. The protege usually has to buy their 'freedom' rather than actually fulfilling the terms of the patronage contract.
The manor house is the seat of the guild estate. The manor can range from a respectable size home to something more akin to a castle. It is from the estate and the manor that the guild wields its power. The estate, the guild family's holdings as a whole, contains both the manor house as well as smaller domiciles for protege branches of the family and servant's quarters.
List of the Guild FamiliesEdit
Ethorin: Guild of Barristers and Enforcers (Law)
Maeros: Guild of Sowers and Harvesters (Agriculture)
Raerii: Guild of Merchants and Brokers
Charis: Guild of the Sciences
Berosin: Guild of Engineers and Alchemists
Tamorri: Guild of Coin Counters and Lenders (Banking/Money Lending)
Dather: Surgeon's Guild (Medicine)
Masano: Guild of Explorers and Wayfarers
Vethino: Guild of the Fine Arts (Arts/Entertainment)
Guild Baron (Baroness): Leader of all guild activities.
Guild Master: Second-in-command of the guild, oversees the day to day activities of the guild.
Guild Steward (Stewardess): Oversees individual cities or areas.
Guild 'Guards: Hired swords that protect guild interests.
Non-guilded families make up the bulk of commoner population (over 40 percent). They form the majority of the standing army of each county, provide most of the staff at establishments and venues, and serve as the majority of the clergy in the Church.
It is the specific good, service, or activity that the guilded families closely guard and regulate. While it is not forbidden for a non-guilded person to say put on a play or engage in trade relations, they would be required to get a writ of permission from the appropriate guild family first. The writ usually requires either a monthly fee (for ongoing acts) or a one time charge (for a single time). Failure to obtain a writ can result in indentured servitude to the guild family in question, or a stiff fine.