Thursday, March 29, 2007

The City of Coil II: Guilds

The Guilds of Coil

The City of Coil is home to over 100 Guilds, each focused on its own niche and trade, but riddled with levels upon levels of Bureaucracy. Employing thousands, if not tens of thousands of people, the Guilds maintain a stranglehold on the citizens, ensuring that everywhere someone goes in the city, they can see the Guild's handiwork.

Throughout the years, the growth of trade and commerce has added a unique layer of bureaucracy to Coil. The constant processing of accounts, as well as the enforcement of Guild Laws, ensures that nearly every transaction that happens in the city is noted, recorded, and taxed. Through a miasma of controls and people too eager to earn a few coin for doing nothing, the Guilds employ five to twenty times as many as would be necessary to manage these operations.

Such an environment is beneficial to a system designed to make protest and progressive change impossible.

But if a Guild Master were asked why a system such as this existed, he or she might be inclined to say:
It is an extensively complex system that records, manages, calculates, analyzes, and directs the Guild's standards. The lives of the citizens of Coil are dependent upon the Guild's making sure that a fair price is received on something as simple as a pig or a horseshoe. Without the Guild's, the citizens could be taken advantage of my unscrupulous merchants or craftsmen, bent on shaking the coins from their pockets.
And in fifty layers of jargon, magic, and alchemical theory and you have a system for governance that has replaced the feudal system of traditional fantasy.

Add to this the fact that a powerful enough person can hold seats on numerous guilds. For instance, the Absalom of the Wizard Guard (an order dedicated to Abjuration magic) also holds various seats on the Blacksmithing Guild, Coining Guild, Cooper Guild, and Rope Making Guild. Many of these seats are herditary and others have been purchased and/or muscled throughout the years.

The methods, of course, for assuming a seat of any level in the guilds is numerous. And the seeds of many adventures in the city of Coil.