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The United Criers Guildby Jerry Hovenanian
A brief history.
The United Criers Guild came about 10 years ago in order to keep information moving around the world. It was started by Ragnar and Delsonara Gliven, a pair of married adventures from Darokin. They would wander all over the world to find adventure and fortune but never knew where adventure was. They would hear of a war and by the time the got there the war was over. They would here of a newly uncovered dungeon and someone was offering tours inside it when they arrived. In AC 988 they hit the mother load, the stumbled across a cave belonging to a red dragon, slew her, and were now very rich and famous. Most people would retire on a small island in Ierendi but they chose to invest it in a business ...The United Criers Guild.
How it works.
The guild, in each city, has an orb in the guild headquarters. Each orb is able to communicate with another orb without delay, so a guild member in Thyatis city can talk to another member in Glantri. Each orb can not be moved and if ever it is it will lose all its magic. The orbs cost 3,000,000 gp to make in parts, labour, and enchantments. In most cases they had funding help of the local government. Every city has 10-25 people "on staff" and will pay 15gp a month salary. They will also pay 1sp-1gp for a independently submitted stories depending on the quality of it and the subject matter. All of the stories of regional or global importance are sent over the crystal orbs to other cities provided that a local government official approves the transmission. The guild will remain silent about affairs of state if asked (as so not to rock the boat) but will never engage in disinformation. Any local stories are posted on a wall with any received stories from other cities.
The guild makes its money 2 ways. The first way is that they post local advertisements. If you were opening a new tavern in town you might pay the guild to post an ad on the wall in the city with the news. In the course of a week hundreds or thousands of people might read it (or have it read to them). Costs for these ads are around 1 gp per day per page of paper, a little more in large cities like Thyatis and Sundsvall. The second way is to send a message to another city. It costs 1 sp per word and will be delivered in the middle of the night when traffic is at a minimum because the system can get overloaded (this will actually happen when Alphatia declares war on Thyatis in AC 1004) and would be shut down for a few days.
The leadership of the guild is made up of...
Delsonara(he/female/M16/NG) after Ragnar's passing in AC 998 she is now the guild master.
Aldwin (h/male/Enc19/CG) invented the orbs and is the only one who knows how to make them.
Noric (Dw/male/F15/LN) is in charge of security for the guild.
Ryese (Hin/male/T12/NG) keeps and eye on the money and assets of the guild.
Alya (Elf/female/F12/NG) does a little bit of everything and stuff not covered by the others. Contests, Public Relations, Logistics, Etc...
2 Gallon Air Ships (moderately armed)
400 member security force
A building and orb in every city
Lots of $$$$$
A fleet of merchant vessels (lightly armed)
A secret headquarters (a small island in Ierendi)
700 guild members
Enjoy a tax free or low tax existence in every country.
The Known World
None...but a reporter wanders the clans.
None...but a reporter wanders the plains.
The Five Shires
City of Minrothad
Shadow Elves' Territories
None (Duh Again)
City of Wendar
Alatian Islands (Aegos, Aeria, Gaity, Ne'er-do-well)
Bellissaria (Dawnrim, Horken, Lagrius, Meriander, Notrion, Surshield)
Esterhold (Blackrock, Verdan)
Northern Alphatian Dawn (Dunadale, Deirdren, East Portage)
Southern Alphatian Dawn (Ekto, Trikelios, Thothia)
Lands Above and Beyond Our Knowledge
Yes...even the Gnomes get the news.
The Week Without Magic,
The Day of Dread,
And The Guild
When magic failed for a week in late AC 1009 the guild will shut off for the week, none of the globes will work. On the day of dread the same is true but it lasts for a day or two longer. None of the guild members know why.
For Your Campaign
I ran the Wrath of the Immortals and I had a problem....the PC needed to stop the chaos but it was hard to get them involved when big events happened weeks before, so I made the guild to get them involved in the world. I think it was one of the best I ever ran. It lasted around 9 months, and I think the players enjoyed it.
If you are not running the Immortals, the guild can lead the players to many adventures. One of the PCs might have a contact in the guild to tip them off about things or the PC might even occasionally write for them. Lastly the guild adds colour to the world for the PCs. When they entered a city they always wanted an news update. If you can keep up with it, it is an improvement and a good addition to any Mystaran campaign.
Note: All information is current for AC 1000. If I get some feedback I'll make a timeline.
Writing, Professional (Wizard, Priest)
1 slot or 2 character points
Wis 0 or base check of 7 modified by Wis/Inu or Chr/Lea
To take this proficiency a character must be able to write first. With this proficiency a character may write novels, stories, and articles. The more the player passes the check by the better the work.