Guilds in Armageddon are used in a completely informal sense, and should not be confused with the more formal arrangements made by persons within the world such as a Guild of Gladiators and should not be confused with Clans (q.v.). Armageddon's guilds are the equivalent of 'classes' in most role-playing games.
A guild is a term used to describe the lifestyle which a person has selected. While there may be any number of "real" guilds, there are only a few which are ever dealt with in game terms (e.g. a guild of woodworkers might exist in the world, but players and "real" npcs will never belong to it).
There are sixteen guilds at the present time, each with its own unique set of skills and abilities. Your guild does not directly determine your character's profession or role in the game; each guild can be played in a variety of different ways Some guilds are karma required; this means they are restricted to players who have demonstrated roleplay ability and responsibility. Such guilds are marked (karma required). For more information, see the karma helpfile.
Assassins are expert killers, skilled in dealing swift and deadly blows to their opponents. Among the other talents of an assassin, she can move without being heard, hide herself easily in the shadows, and employ a variety of thrown darts and small sharp weapons in order to strike at her enemies from a distance.
Highly skilled assassins tend to become more akin to warriors late in their careers. Having mastered his basic skills, the assassin will often begin to learn a mastery of parrying enemy attacks. However, the excellent use of poisons also becomes available to him, as does the ability to climb sheer walls.
Assassins are often the simplest people to employ, for various warring factions usually have a desire to see their enemies slain quietly and simply, with minimal risk to themselves. For this reason, good assassins are almost never without work. Aside from all of her varied talents, the most important aspect which an assassin must strive to develop is her reputation. No other characteristic of an assassin will be more amenable to finding employment than an excellent reputation for performing jobs cleanly and efficiently, and for protecting the identities of those who hire her.
Jobs which require espionage are also well suited to assassins, though they are perhaps not the very best at this task.
Burglars are adept at breaking-and-entering, and possess skills which allow them to perform exactly that. Picking locks, climbing walls, and moving silently are the primary attributes of burglars. From the very start, however, burglars are also fair fighters and possess some degree of a warrior's talent with weapons.
Master burglars begin to learn the path of the assassin, most of all. The art of critical strike against opponents (e.g. backstab) becomes available, as does the method of working with poisons and setting traps.
Burglars typically find work being self-employed thieves, breaking into the homes of people and taking what they find. A burglar does have a talent for directly "nicking" as well, and can make a small living by simply stealing from the unwitting persons around him. In addition, many burglars are excellent spies (perhaps better than any other guild), and some are able to find work for contract to do espionage or infiltration jobs. The luckiest will find a permanent contract with a powerful organization as a bard, spy, thief, assassin, or all four.
Merchants are the blood which binds the world together, the carriers of desperately needed goods from one land to another. Usually descendants of the old Dune Traders, merchants quickly learn the ways of the desert, the most profitable trade routes, and possess a handy charm for making friends of even the bitterest templar.
Merchants possess the ability to ride animals and pilot the argosies that cross the lands between villages and cities. They are also skilled at guessing an object's value, getting excellent prices from all but the stingiest traders, and noticing every detail around them.
While faced with a hard life, merchants are often the richest people in any given city-state. The most sure way to find work as a merchant is to travel widely, joining caravans at every opportunity. Whenever he can, a merchant ought to find a village's or a city's traders and learn the prices of things there. By compiling this knowlege (knowing true object costs can be invaluable in doing this), the merchant can devise superior trade routes and make a great deal of money.
Pickpockets are masters of the art of stealing. They differ greatly from other thieves such as burglars in that the pickpocket's skill lies almost wholly in lifting items directly from their victims.
Aside from stealing, a pickpocket's skills include some ability to climb walls, the knowledge of how to move silently in the city streets, and how to con merchants into giving lower prices than they intend to. Some small skill with weapons is also a pickpocket's province. Master pickpockets usually learn how to become unseen and how to listen to conversations going on nearby.
Typically, pickpockets work on their own, nicking whatever they can from passers-by. However, some pickpockets can obtain contracts to steal specific items, and very good pickpockets can develop reputations which will earn them very highly paid contracts. Fortunate pickpockets are able to obtain permanent contracts with noble houses or even from templars.
A ranger possesses two primary abilities: to know where she is at all times and to stalk and kill prey (to feed herself). Because of the emphasis on these two things, rangers are sometimes greatly sought after as companions in the desert--halfling rangers are even a vital part of halfling culture, serving as guides and advisors.
Ranger skills involve hunting persons or animals, exceptional powers of observation, a strong aptitude for archery, and some moderate skill with weapons. Exceptional rangers are able to move silently and remain unseen in the wilderness, detect sounds from far away, work with poisons, and parry enemy blows. Rangers are also able to rescue friends from deadly situations, bandage serious wounds, and have a well-known rapport with animals and can ride beasts of burden from the beginning. While apparently an astonishing array of abilities, rangers are far poorer at combat than warriors, and their skills with poisons and healing powers are actually quite modest.
Rangers are usually the second easiest persons to employ, next to warriors. Any traveler would be a fool to neglect to take a ranger along as a guide, and good rangers can make large sums of money in this profession. In addition, rangers are excellent scouts and spies, able to eavesdrop without being noticed--good rangers can even act as assas- sins. If nothing else, rangers are superior hunters and can typically feed themselves in such places as the Grey Forest (q.v.), and can bring back skins of animals to sell.
Psionicist (karma required)
Psionicists, more commonly known as "mindbenders," "brainworms", and an assortment of equally complimentary names, are hated and feared throughout the Known World. Their ability with the Way allows them to control the thoughts, emotions, and actions of others, as well as to ferret out information others could not discover.
No sane individual would ever admit to such powers; a psionicist may go his or her entire life without telling a soul. At most, this information would be confided to one or two highly trusted individuals.
Sorcerer (karma required)
True magick is strictly outlawed in all the Known World, and has been even since the days of the Empire of Man. Some few people still strive to learn a spell or two, always hiding their ability. However, there are still some others who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of magick. These individuals are called Sorcerers or Wizards (the term "mage" has always been used in a general sense, to refer to anyone who possesses magickal ability).
Sorcerers are the most powerful wielders of Magick in the Known World (Zalanthas itself does in fact contain several more powerful users of magick, such as the Dragon). They possess their own routes to learning elemental (and other) powers, and can eventually master spells from a variety of elements.
Because of their potential power, the Kings of Old, as well as the lords of the city-states of the contemporary world, do not permit sorcerers to exist. All who demonstrate knowledge or use of wizardry are typically killed at the earliest opportunity. Being powerful in the way of psionics, High Templars and the Kings themselves can easily sense a sorcerer's presence if said sorcerers do not properly shield their minds at all times.
All users of sorcery cannot "automatically" gain energy to cast their spells as elementalists can. They must instead gather it from sources of life.
Stone Elementalist (karma required)
Stone elementalists are mages who have given their lives to the practice of the elemental magicks of Ruk. They can eventually wield considerable power over all things which are composed of matter, even as far as altering an object's composition from one material to another.
The spells which stone elementalists learn always revolve around the earth. Ruk is the name of the elemental plane of earth, and is often mentioned in the spells of stone elementalists.
Stone elementalists are often employed as part of an army or scouting group, for they are well able to weave protective magicks around their fellows. Stone elementalists can also be invaluable as travelling companions because of their abilities to conjure mounts and ease the tired feet of the burden of long journeys. Stone elementalists are, however, the most druidic of all the mages, and usually come to appreciate solitude and long quiet communes with the earth.
Fire Elementalist (karma required)
Elementalists of the sun are mages whose power centers around the element of Suk-krath, which is the blazing crimson sun. Sometimes called the "war mages," sun mages possess magicks which are devastating to others around them. For this reason sun mages are often feared and distrusted, and perhaps rightly so, for who would take up to learn magicks that were entirely battle-oriented?
The spells of sun elementalists typically invoke Suk-krath, which is the name of fire, the name of the Sun, and the name of the elemental plane of fire.
More than any other mage, sun elementalists are employed for purposes of combat. Although the elementalist him or herself may have certain goals in mind for their life, the fact remains that sun elementalists can do only one thing well, and that is to slay with the heat of the Sun.
Templar (staff approval required)
In all city-states which have risen (and, in some cases, fallen) since the departure of the Dragon from the Known World, the Kings have made use of warrior-priests as a force of control and order in their domains. These select people are called Templars in Allanak and Tuluk.
The job of a templar is to maintain law in the city which s/he serves-- or, more precisely, s/he is to carry out the orders of his King. All of a templar's power comes from above, from higher ranking templars and from the King of the city. These powers might be magicks, knowledge, or any number of favors or priveleges. One thing remains common: all templars are exempt from the laws of the city they serve, and this has led to much corruption within the ranks of Templars. It is not unusual to see a templar bully, steal, coerce, or bribe to get their own way. Templars often slay persons who do not immediately obey them. However, there is usually at least as much tension between templars as there is between templars and the populace of the city.
Templars are the only guild which are automatically employed. They serve their King and their city and their own selfish interests. There are no skills or magicks which are universally common to all templars; templars have their abilities granted or taken away at the discretion of their superiors (and, especially, at the pleasure or displeasure of their King).
There is only one calling which warriors follow: to fight, and perhaps to die fighting. Although motivated by innumerable goals, there are a few commonalities among warriors. In nearly all warriors there exists some notion of honor and fairness, and oftimes a vague conception of glory.
A warrior's skills involve only the many aspects of fighting. All warriors possess an aptitude for all weapons, and can learn to master them far beyond the meager abilities of other guilds. Unarmed combat, expert battle maneuvers such as disarming, the ability to hurl missiles, and the eventual expert use of bows and arrows are all part of a warrior's skills. Some master warriors can even bandage the wounded.
Warriors are the easiest persons to employ. They are invaluable as guards, soldiers, mercenaries, military advisors, outriders, scouts, gladiators, or even as assassins and spies. No other guild can match a warrior's combat prowess, and thus all warriors are much needed parts of any clan or mercantile operation. Master warriors are somtimes unwillingly and automatically nominated as leaders of small armies, or as captains of tribes and outposts.
Water Elementalist (karma required)
Elementalists of the water are the most valuable mages in existence on the parched dry world of Zalanthas. There is no better companion than an expert water mage on a long journey, despite the general bias against and fear of magick prevents many from admitting this.
Most magicks of water elementalists stem from Vivadu, the elemental plane of water. Water elementalists are able to conjure water from that plane with ease, and can learn to have complete control over all waters, to poison or purify, to create or destroy. While possessing almost no combat abilities, water elementalists are powerful in subtler ways: they are able to heal virtually any wound (although even their powerful magicks cannot restore missing body parts), create impenetrable barriers around themselves, and even to drain the life force of other beings.
Water elementalists are highly employable. As companions on journies they are worth incredible sums of money, and as permanent parts of clans or Houses worth even more. Usually, a water elementalists can earn an easy living by selling the water she conjures at a lower price than the templars will offer from their wells. Perhaps more than any other mage, water elementalists can sell their magicks for a good profit in almost any situation.
Wind Elementalist (karma required)
Wind elementalists are mages who follow the course of the everchanging breezes of Zalanthas. Like the wind, they are often felt but not seen, and can typically travel great distances at will. Even less than sun mages, however, wind elementalists are not trusted; most average citizens have no ability to comprehend the aspect of a wind mage and his or her mysterious ways of moving and plane-shifting.
Wind elementalist spells often invoke the name of Whira, the elemental plane of air. The magicks involve becoming unseen, moving between planes of existence, and crossing large distances in the blink of an eye.
Nearly as much as water elementalists, wind elementalists are able to sell their spells for a good profit. A powerful wind elementalist can be an absolutely invaluable ally, however, and so they are often sought out to aid in various assassinations, espionage (at which wind mages can be very good), or military operations. As a travelling companion, wind elementalists may be somewhat undependable--they will typically become very tired of "just walking," and may abandon any party with which they are journeying.
Lightning Elementalist (karma required)
Lightning elementalists are unpredictable creatures, choosing to study the ways of energy, and its enhancement or removal. While not as fierce as fire mages, their magicks are sometimes fearsome in battle indeed.
Lightning elementalists often invoke the name of Elkros, the elemental plane of energy. They are useful on journeys, since their manipulation of energies may be used to assist their weary companions. Primarily, though, their spells involve electricity in the form of lightning, which they can summon to strike their foes.
Shadow Elementalist (karma required)
Shadow elementalists follow the path of shadow, preferring magicks which draw upon darkness and the absence of light. Many of their magicks are hindered by the daylight. As such, they usually shun the presence of fire magicks, and there is often a natural antipathy between the two. Overall, they tend to be solitary and aloof.
Shadow elementalists draw upon the powers of Drov, the elemental plane of Shadow. Their magicks allow them to dim existing light or utterly negate it, as well as to move easily within the confines of darkness. Skilled magickers of this sort may even learn how to walk the plane of Shadow, and employ it to spy upon their enemies.
Shadow elementalists, preferring darkness and secrecy, are rarely trusted sufficiently to be employed by any of the merchant houses. Occasionally, they may make contracts with thieves, being natural assistants to skullduggery and clandestine operations.
Void Elementalist (karma required)
Void elementalists are seldom seen, or at least few elementalists admit to following such a path. They have no temples where they might congregate to study, and few of this path will even go so far as to trust an apprentice sufficiently to instruct her.
The reason for this distrust lies in the nature of the magicks they pursue. Void elementalists draw on the energy of Nilaz, which is the absence of the other elements, and their magicks often revolve around the dispersal or cancelling out of other elemental energies. Some are able to manipulate the dead, calling them up to serve as servants, or even to use them in other ways. Many of their magicks touch upon the Way, and they are sometimes able to negate others' abilities with it.
Void elementalists are rarely openly employed, although they may choose to masquerade as being followers of some other profession. Generally, it is believed that the magicks of Nilaz twist the mind and heart.
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