Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Guilds, Religious Orders and other Nefarious Organizations in Thebos

Anywhere there is a city in Thebos you will find the presence of Oryxian guilds. They are an important aspect of the setting and players are more likely to curry favor with guilds rather than join them. Most guilds do not permit the wayfaring lifestyle of the typical adventurer with a few exceptions.  For more information on the Oryxian Guilds see the article entitled Ten Things About Lykaedia and the Anvil.  Six of the ten principle Oryxian Guild Houses that the player character are most likely to interact with in the Anvil are described below.

The Devoted Brothers of the White Caduceus – A priestly Order of Clerics
They are money lenders, couriers, and financiers. They do offer some clerical assistance (they worship Hermes), but of a limited scope.  They also offer some banking services but only in the larger cities of Thebos.  They may be able to help adventurers by casting high level clerical spells like Raise Dead or others but often require some service or quest to be completed in return in addition to appropriate compensation.

The Dominion – A Powerful Wizards Guild
The Dominion actively recruits PC and NPC arcane spell casters, but it is very competitive. Becoming a Mage of this group grants no small degree of power and prestige, but it is a path that is fraught with peril.  Due to the amount of competition within the wizards of this guild, there is often in-fighting which sometimes results in their members killing one another due to the serious nature of the rivalries.

The Fraternal Order of the Surgeons of Hecate – A Surgeons and Healers Guild
The Surgeons of Hecate are only rarely found away from Grand Oryx and are very skilled at all forms of healing. One would presume that the application of leaches is a favorite past time. Consider these fellows to be the healers of choice for those who don't want any messy questions or background checks. They also administers the after life punishment ordained by the state to create "the reborn" from condemned prisoners at “The Factory”. The reborn are some combination of zombie and simulacrum or golem.  Despite their power and high status within the state (or maybe because of it) people from the Anvil and in particular around Medea's Gate, Limus Town, Zedemis and the surrounding towns and mountains, simply hate the Surgeons of Hecate and generally view them as necromancers.  The appearance of the Surgeons of Hecate often takes on a gaunt and sickly visage, sometimes including open sores.  Their skin is usually pale, their facial features are usually drawn and they are seriously creepy in the way that only an undertaker is creepy.  They often hire Bleaker Goblins as assistants which does little to improve their image.

They run a borough in Grand Oryx that is well run, safe and very accommodating.  You'll never find a more peaceful, well-behaved and law-abiding citizenry than those poor wretches who live and toil in Ghoultowne. The borough is near the Northern edge of the city on a series of small hills and is dominated by three very disturbing temples to Hecate and of course, The Factory. That massive edifice perches on one of the hills and overlooks the rest of the borough. There are no beggars in the street, no hucksters, no whores, no street urchins. At night, when the Reborn come out to roam, patrolling the streets with the Skullguard, most that don't live there beat a hasty retreat to other more accommodating locales.

Following is an eye witness account described in detail by someone who has undertaken nefarious work there on occasion:  “Though most think it only a rumor, the Masters really do wander the inky black streets, inns and taverns of the borough after the sun has set. I'm not convinced that they're vampires as the simple folk insist, but they're certainly creepy as Hell, and unlikely to be human. Maybe they once were, I don't know. I do know that taxes are very low there, at least "monetary taxes". The rumors of the blood tax are true though, for I've seen it with my own eyes. I've done some work there and it's a creepy damn place, but this stuff about zombies and skeletons everywhere, I don't know, maybe in the temples, but not on the streets. Honestly, we try to avoid the buggers and I was a bit taken aback to find out how chummy you fellows are with them. That's your business though.”

The Grand Oryx Mining Guild – A Guild of Miners in the areas around Grand Oryx
The Grand Oryx Mining Guild has a presence in most mining towns in Thebos in order to manage their mining operations and holdings.  They control most of the mining operations of Thebos that are run by humans and compete primarily with local mining operations and those controlled by demi human earth dwellers such as dwarves and gnomes.  The largest corbitumite mines in all of Thebos are actually located near the Lykaedian backwater towns of Limus Town and Zedemis along with vast deposits of other mineral wealth and the guild has a large presence in both towns.  They also have a presence in many other smaller mining towns in the region such as Silverton among others.

The Monastic Order of the Three – A religious Order of Hospitallers
This religious order of monastic hospitallers is a well-respected organization and a fine group to associate oneself with.  They hold virtue and the rule of Law above all else.  From time to time, healing potions and clerical scrolls can be purchased here.  Also, they may be able to help adventurers by casting high level clerical spells but will often require some service or quest to be completed in return in addition to appropriate compensation.

The Promethean House – A very select Wizards Guild
Although very few of them are actually nobles, they simply see themselves as vastly superior to the great unwashed general population, largely due to their wealth, holdings and power. This is a frustrating group to be sure, but not one to trifle with.


The Confessors GuildA Holy Order that seeks to determine the truth in all matters
The Confessors of the Gods are a holy order of Confessors and Oracles (consisting of NPCs) that seek to determine the truth in all criminal matters.  They are both judge and jury but leave the executions to the law enforcement community of the state and locale.  The confessors venerate all gods in the primary Greek pantheon and are an integral part of the network of Oracles throughout the land like those found in Winterholm and Herrari.

Secret:  Long ago, the guild didn’t have such a lofty station as they do now and were known to deal in wizardry.  Since that time, the guild’s relationship with the republic has been elevated and they have risen above the petty squabbling of the other guilds.

The Fellowship of the Aegis – A Religious Order of Paladins
This religious order of paladins worship Athena and aspire and revere wisdom and skill in arms and battle or martial prowess above all else not unlike the samurai warriors of old.

The Hoplites Guild of AthenaAn Adventurer’s Guild
The Hoplites is a small select adventurer’s guild that is highly thought of on the Anvil.  The guild holds radical beliefs of a rebellious political nature that are not popular in Grand Oryx.  The guild has representatives in most major population centers.

Prophets of the SunA Zealous Order of Paladins
The Prophets of the Sun are a knightly order of Paladins who worship Apollo and aspire to seek out and destroy any and all evil doers and creatures when and where they are found.  The destruction of all that is evil is there reason for being.  They pursue these ideals with a feverish recklessness and single mindedness of purpose even at peril to life and limb for they are following the wishes of their god.


The Black Cloister – A Money Lender’s and Thieves’ Guild
The black Cloister has its tendrils of organized crime throughout Thebos and usually has a presence in most cities and larger towns in the region.  They are a money lenders guild and a good source of information about the more nefarious activities within many urban population centers if payment is forthcoming.  They are also involved in many rackets including protection and gambling.  Their symbol is a block tattoo script on the underside of the forearm.

Gatherers of the One True Text – An Evil Cult of Fanatics
After the Elder Gods were put down by Zeus, their religions were stamped out, persecuted and spread to the four winds.  The worshippers were forced to give up the open practice of their religions but many continued to worship in secret.  During the persecution, their primary religious tomes were destroyed by their enemies whenever they were found.  The surviving worshippers managed to save odd bits and pieces of these tomes although very few intact copies of these works are known to have survived the purge.

The Gatherers are a cult of fanatics who are actively seeking out these bits and pieces of what they call “The One True Text” in order to piece it back together in an attempt to bring back the Elder Gods (a.k.a. the Old Ones).  One of their symbols is a black onyx goat and their religion often involves unspeakable rites and human sacrifice.

Ivan’s 40 – A small criminal gang in Limus Town
Ivan’s Forty are one of about six small criminal enterprises in Limus Town.

The Lamp Lighters – A small criminal gang in Limus Town
The Lamp Lighters are one of about six small criminal enterprises in Limus Town.

The Ophidian Hand – One of the principle Thieves’ Guilds in Medea’s Gate
The Ophidian Hand is one of the two principal local thieves’ guilds in Medea’s Gate.  The group trains horses in the Market District which serves as a front for the Thieves' Guild.  They control the north side Market District of town where the open ground and stables are located.  They frequently buy and sell magic items among other illicit wares.  The competing thieves’ guild is located in the dock district.

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