The Guild Master
Despite the Sidhe’s claims of perfection, they cannot manage the daily transfer of goods around the empire. For that one needs an economy. And to see that an economy runs smoothly, you need someone to regulate it. The Guild Master lies at the heart of all trade within the Elysium. Nearly every shop-owner, every traveling merchant and every skilled craftsman within the Elysium holds membership in the Guild. And the Guild Master runs it all from his gilded palace.
The roots of the Guild stretch back almost as far as when the Sidhe first established their rule in the land. The Dwarves forged a currency to be recognized within the Emerald Elysium and took responsibility for its control and use. Over times their simple economy began to display problems. People began to steal the coins instead of earning them through honest work, craftsmen would engage in actions that would cause all around them harm in order to gain a few more coins, merchants would misrepresent their offerings or use dishonest practices in an attempt to destroy their rivals. Business owners would abuse their workers, laying heavier and heavier restrictions upon them until they might think they were better off under the rule of the Trolls.
It was then that the Guild truly began, run by the first Guildmaster. He quickly convinced merchants and craftsmen across the Elysium to come to an agreement. Those who joined the Guild would all agree to follow the rules and regulations it put into place, they also agreed only to work with others who were within the Guild. Membership to the Guild became synonymous with honest dealings and the finest quality and the people heavily favored Guild businesses. Soon all who adamantly refused to join all but vanished from the world.
There are rumors that the Guild plays another part in seeing that non-Guild businesses do not succeed. These rumors claim that the Guildmaster also runs a vast network of thieves, brigands, thugs and assassins who eliminate all competition to the Guild, as well as anyone who tries to challenge his leadership within the Guild, in an efficient and brutal manner. In fact, many groups of organized criminals believe that their bosses may well be taking orders from the Guild.
Adventurers & The Icon
Any adventurers that want to set up a shop or go into business selling the treasures they have collected from their adventurers or goods they craft had best see to it that they properly seek membership into the guild. To do otherwise is to court grave danger. Retaining one’s position of membership however could well include undertaking some quite unusual tasks. In addition, there is a chance that less savoring adventurers have ties in one of those less savory groups that may or may not be working for the Guild.
The Guildmaster is vitally important to the continuing success of the Emerald Elysium and so can easily count the Fair King among his most important allies. However, the Guildmaster also has deals with the Emperor of Scales, trading with the draconic forces to get his hands on things that the Fair King isn't able to supply. This dual allegiance means that the Guildmaster might well remain in business whichever of them ultimately rules over the land.
The Guildmaster has also managed to expand his influence into the Twilightlands north of the Emerald Elysium and has done so with the grace of the Sisters of Sin who see him as an important ally, able to bring them the same riches that he has brought the Fair King.
Finally, the Guildmaster supports the Sorceress' efforts financially however he can, for he needs the world to be stable in order for his business to continue.
The Guildmaster has no love for those who work to bring chaos into the world. The Beastlords, the Queen of Fear and the Troll King are counted among those who he fights against and whose influence he wishes to see would not spread any further than it already has. None of their followers seem to have much care or use for money, none of them create fine crafts or get their hands on rare or valuable objects-- there is no business for him there to have.
Perhaps his most dangerous enemy however is the Forest Mother. In order to build up the world and expand his influence, he needs the resources the forests provide and needs those lands clear to expand the towns and cities. He is heavily invested in lumber businesses which the Forest Mother actively works to destroy. Since both of them are vital to the peace of the Emerald Elysium, this constant fighting between them is perhaps as great a threat to the peace in the land as any of the monsters that seek its destruction.
Although humans as the most common race are the primary users of coins and technically make up the majority of its members, the Guild is seen as a primarily Dwarven and Gnomish organization and the position of Guildmaster is almost always a member of those two races.
Climbing the ladder within the guild often requires a good deal of political manipulation, backstabbing and doing questionable favors to earn the favor of those of higher ranks. The position of Guildmaster is an office for life, though somehow the service of any given Guildmaster doesn’t seem to last more than a few decades before the death of person in the position. No doubt from the stress of the job, many would speculate.
The Real Threat
All is fine, so long as the Guild survives. Even if the Guildmaster dies, so long as someone takes up the mantle nothing terrible will happen. However, if something should cause the Guild to shatter….
The Guild Master