In The Steps of Bahamut
The Silver Guild
“All of the great civilizations through out time have had one driving force that made them flourish, this concept the ideal of improving the quality of life for all is best expressed through trade.” – Barcan the antiquities dealer.
Those of the Silver Guild know this just as well as do the begrudging noble houses of Sar, that trade is the life’s blood of the Empire, binding outposts to the rest of humanity. While it is true that those of the Silver guild bring supplies to their fellow man, it is also true that they bring knowledge or rumors from all over the empire, doubling as a messenger service for very small fees.
“The Guilds,” a slang term of derision by many of the border settlements, where they have fallen in popularity as of late due to their “fair trade” policy. While some in Barag might be upset due to the higher costs of supplies, the Silver guild points out that they are only asking the same price that everyone else in the realms has to pay. The Silver Guilds fair trade policy has been well received by those outside of Barag, bolstering popularity and therefore trade, which has in turn increased the income of many communities giving them a quality of living that was previously unknown.
The Silver Guild is ruled by a council, which is broken into different “Houses". Each House governs trade for that house’s specialty, unless the Silver Guild votes to amend a Houses ruling. While there may be many smaller houses, known as merchant houses, within one guild house, the Head of the Guild House is appointed every 10th season by contracts and compromises; however it is well known that there is a fair amount of favors given and received off the official record. Tytus of the miners guild once stated (while he was the head of House Shaft), ’that he was ruler of none and slave to all!’ It is because of this famous quote that the term “shafted” came to mean ‘to achieve at great cost’ or ‘to be cheated in a deal.’
All mercantile houses of the Silver Guild follow a strict code of behavior, known as the Merchants Code. Anyone wishing to join a merchant house must accept all aspects of this code and abide by them or face immediate expulsion.
The code varies from house to house, but in most cases it conforms to the following principles:
- Recognition that by joining a merchant house, an agent forsakes citizenship in any city or membership in any tribe.
- An oath of allegiance to the merchant house.
- A promise to perform in the best interests of the merchant house in return for a salary.
- A promise to deal honestly with stranger, friend, and foe alike.
- A promise not to flaunt any wealth gained through employment with the house.
- A promise to uphold the laws of the city in which the agent is stationed, and to do nothing to bring down the wrath of the Emperor or his agents upon the house.
- A promise to cooperate with other merchants to make life very expensive for any person who unjustly imprisons, blackmails, or otherwise harasses any merchant.