Guilds of Aerjenvii
Over the past 100 years among the Kingdoms of the Sovereign Sea, mercantile Guilds have grown in wealth and power until they were equal in state to all but the Princes themselves. As their wealth expanded, the influence of the Guilds among artisans and craftsmen has grown into control of those professions across cities and kingdoms. The most powerful guilds rule their domains from the Free City of Aerjenvii. Their influence has returned the ancient city to glory as the richest, and mightiest realm in the known world.
In addition to the wealth the Guilds generate through their varied industries, most of the great noble families have also invested their own fortunes in them. As a result, the Guilds can field small armies of their own, and their fleets can become mighty navies. Guilds have also institutionalized their own Arcane universities, ensuring a steady population of mages and sorcerers to employ as Artificers, Alchemists, Diviners, and Spellcasters.
Though there are dozens, if not hundreds of minor guilds, and yet more traditional craft and trade guilds among the Kingdoms. But these Great Guilds in Aerjenvii are like countries themselves. Domains without land whose influences cross borders and enter cities and courts with as much ease as High Priests of the most powerful Gods. Their Counselors and Ministers are as wealthy and powerful as any High Lord. Even the cultural divisions of race vanish under the sigils of the Great Guilds. Firstborn Elves along with Deepborn Dwarves, Halflings, Gnomes and even Hobgoblins and Orcs rise to high positions within the hierarchy of the Great Guilds, commanding wealth and power far beyond what they could ever dream of among the traditional seats of power.
Over this last century, seven Great Guilds have grown to supremacy in Aerjenvii. They jockey with one another constantly for advantage while simultaneously working together to protect their collective position and power. Together they control a third of the governance of the Free City, along with Prince Axylfahs and the Firstborn Lords.
The Khalifa Guild began as a cartel of Spice Traders discovering and brokering routes into the realms far north of Zjinn. They have turned their business success into political power, not only as envoys to the far realms, but as lords among both the Zjinn Kindgoms and the Eastern Thrones.
The Vaddizhel Guild is the youngest of the Great Guilds, and the most controversial. The Vaddizhel started out as an expedition across the Sovereign Sea to find lost treasures in the Zhayytaa Eyn’Qaaraq – the Wasteland of Devils. Instead of plundering ancient ruins of treasures, the expedition opened the first trade route with the Hobgoblin dominated Kharzian Empire through the port of Khaarn Mouth.
The Mithril Glove Guild was originally a Dwarven mining and trading Guild from the Dvargzolv Mountains. As miners, the Mithril Glove continue to control the deepest and richest mineral veins beneath the Dvargzolv. The Mithril Glove has also grown into the mercenary and engineering fields. Of all the Great Guilds, the Mithril Glove is the least invested in sea travel and fleets.
The Byrezen Guild was the first of the Great Guilds the Firstborn involved themselves with. With the Firstborn, the mystic power of the Byrezen skyrocketed. It is Byrezen Guild which still leads the known world in the craft of Artifice and Guild Wizardry.
The Gold Sails Guild made a fortune on the sea-routes on the Sovereign Sea. Through their large trading fleets, divination magic and deep coffers, ships of the Gold Sails are common everywhere. Even in land-locked towns, caravans bearing the sigil of the Gold Sails bring goods and products from around the world.
Storm and Spear
The Storm and Spear Guild started as a Mercenary Regiment selling to the highest bidder. In this age, where no High Sovereign can unify the land, the Storm and Spear made fortunes fighting the petty wars of petty lords. The Storm and Spear has long since grown beyond warmongering and mercenary contracts, their forges deliver steel crafts to Lords, cities, and townsfolk alike.
Manor of the Hound
Once, the Manor of the Hound was a thieves’ guild in Westport. Smugglers, and extortionists and spies, the Manor distinguished itself among the Eastern Thrones during the Tarosian Channel War. The Guildmasters used the good fortune and access earned among the Princes to turn their business to legitimate ends. The Manor of the Hound’s primary commodity has been and remains information. The Guild maintains its fortune brokering contracts and adjudicating conflicts between powerful interests.