The Twilight of the Known Worlds
There are five main guilds that make up the bulk of the Merchant League, plus a dozen smaller, more specialized guilds. PCs will initially only be permitted from the main guilds.
Charioteers: Star pilots and merchants marine, this intrepid guild is what most people think of when they imagine the Merchant League, for it is the Charioteer merchants with their exotic, traveling medicine shows who are most often seen by the commoners. They own the star lanes – literally. Without their secret jumpcode technology, travel through jumpgates would be impossible. In addition, the best pilots come from this guild.
Supreme Order of Engineers: High technology is rare in the Dark Ages, and most people fear it, for as the Church teaches, it is the symbol of human hubris which brought down the Republic. Few dare to delve into its secrets anymore, and those that do are considered mad – like the Engineers. These strange technicians often modify their bodies with cybertech, becoming more machine than human. While they creep out the commoners and disgust the priests, everyone knows just how valuable their lore is in maintaining intergalactic power and communication.
The Muster: Professional soldiers, these mercenaries are essential to most military operations throughout the Known Worlds. Even the Brothers Battle rely on their orbital artillery support, and most noble houses have hired them to either assault their rivals or quell rebellions. But soldiery is not the only labor this guild contracts; they specialize in all sorts of trained help: cooks, technicians, animal trainers, butlers, etc. In fact, it’s very dangerous to hire trained labor without contracting this guild – their enforcers ensure that they get the largest and juiciest contracts.
Reeves: Somebody’s got to do the paperwork, and this job is left to the Reeves. They do it quite well. So well that they are the de facto bankers of the Known Worlds and probably one of the richest factions in the universe – although few realize just how rich they’ve become through their loans to noble houses. Just about everybody owes the Reeves, and when one comes calling on favors, few dare deny him.
Scravers: If you can’t find what you’re looking for legally, chances are the Scravers can get it – for a price. Scravers specialize in all sorts of activities normally viewed as anti-social (but often fun): gambling, black market goods and even thievery. Of course, they deny it all, hiding behind the guise of a salvage and reclamation guild. Since they possess blackmail on just about every major official – even bishops – little is done against them.
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