The Shaking Hands is the name of the trader's guild of Cin Amon. Its headquarters are located in the northern Circle City, in the middle of the Grand Market square, from where it shapes the economic life in the city. In addition, the trader's guild represents trade and diplomatic interests of Cin Amon throughout the realm with an extensive network of guildhouses, envoys and associates. Most members should be considered Lawful-Neutral, but some are Lawful-Evil aligned, same as in the home city.
Notable guild houses Edit
Locations are listed from West to East:
- Expand trade, production and expertise in Cin Amon.
- Ensure stability in the Circle City, and secure economic opportunity for its citizens elsewhere.
- Gather and secure intelligence and allies that help achieve the first two goals.
Typical Quests Edit
- Anyone can approach the guild and volunteer information. They guild pays handsomely if the information is valuable.
- If a Broker or higher member of the guild sees merit in hiring an adventurer, an offer to become a Peanut will typically be made.
- Even at minor guildhouses, adventurers can obtain quests to escort caravans, weed out threats against important tradeways, hunt down pirates, escort Begzadii nobles, and sometimes transport crucial messages or (semi-legal) artifacts.
- Trusted adventurers:
- (abroad) resolve a dispute or crisis plagueing a guildhouse,
- (abroad) convince (coerce) a foreign authority to behave more open towards the guild,
- strike a major blow against an enemy faction, such as [TBD].
- (in Cin Amon) investigate Arul Af'Un and Megaera, and possibly gather evidence against them. The guild is disgusted with the the cult of Khnum and its combination of novelty and secrecy. Ultimately, the guild seeks to reveal the High Priest and their lover as traitors, and have them driven out to the wastes.
- Pigeon Post: guild houses communicate via trained pigeons, and so can you if you have a short, urgent message. The birds only fly between guildhouses, but you can pay extra and get a messenger for the rest of the way. Your message can be kept secret.
- Shaker's Bonds: In order to protect your wealth on long travels into the Circle City, the guild has devised a system. At any foreign guild house, you can exchange coin for a Shaker's Bond. The parchment will be handwritten by the acting Wolf; and states your name, the name of a witness, and the sum you deposited in the vault of the guild house. It also shows a waxen seal made with the Wolf's unique signet ring, as well as your own signature. These measures will allow the headquarters in Cin Amon to authenticate your bond, and pay out the sum you have deposited elsewhere. Records of your pay-in and pay-out are kept in the respective locations, so you can always obtain a new parchment if yours is lost, destroyed, or stolen before you reach Cin Amon. Happy shopping!
Controversy and feuds Edit
Anything hailing from the Circle City is usually met with either admiration or disdain, and The Shaking Hands is no exception. The guild has been criticized by some to meddle in local affairs, and to be acting as foreign spies and introducing unwelcome change without regard for the wishes of the locals. Guild officers have accused their critics in return to simply be unable to adapt to the very necessary forces of development and progress.
The guild hates only one thing more than stolen goods, broken monopolies, averted taxes, or avoided tolls, and that thing is organized gangs of criminals who foster such mischief. Consequently, as long as the Syrellians have been active in the Western lands, the guild has engaged them in a vicious feud. The guild will do everything the law permits to sabotage, discredit and marginalize anyone even associated with the Crime Family, and will take even more drastic measures out in the wilderness, where no judges hold court. Conversely, wherever the family maintains a strong foothold, members in the Shaking Hands must rely on fierce, militarized bodyguards, for fear of their lives. However, the guild has only met the Syrellians in the West of the realm, and knows nothing of The Blood Fens.
Ranks in The Shaking Hands Edit
Also known as Suckers, people at this rank are informally associated with the guild, and are advised not to advertise this, but not lie about it either. Peanuts are approached by Brokers occasionaly with a request to give or obtain information, or to relay messages or otherwise help out with simple, public work in favor of the guild. Peanuts receive appropriate pay for each service completed.
Trustworthy Peanuts may advance to become Brokers. At this entry level into The Shaking Hands, dedication and loyalty is tested, as Brokers receive actual work from guild officers, but no reward whatsoever. Brokers are highly mobile, and recruit Suckers in all locations of import, gather their intel, and organize it before reporting it to a guild scribe at a guild house. In addition, they escort and follow the orders of Movers and Shakers, and handle most of the administration and busywork for the guild houses.
Movers (guys) and Shakers (gals) Edit
The Movers and the Shakers handle all the hot fuzz and make up the actual officer corps of The Shaking Hands. Capaple Brokers can advance to this rank if they manage to obtain residency in Cin Amon, although they do not actually have to spend all their time there. These guild officers make actual decisions on site and negotiate dealings with local authorities. In addition, they take orders and assignments from Wolves, and have reasonable leniency in how to carry them out. Shakers and Movers recveive a handsome salary and usually live close to the guild house they work for.
Formally Wolves of Market Street, these higher ranking guild officers are the leaders of the guild houses, and are in competition with their fellow Wolves for best results and highest prestige. In order to become a Wolf, one must enjoy citizenship rights in Cin Amon, which in turn entails running (or heavily investing in) a profitable business of some sort in the Circle City. Wolves receive a share of the guild's profits, and a larger share of the profits from the guild houses they administer. Additionally, they form the lower clergy of The Secret Cult of Abon, where they are called Glints of Abon. Unless it focuses heavily on the affairs of the guild and the Circle City, an adventuring life is hardly compatible with all the obligations of a Wolf.
The Guild Council Edit
All Wolves of The Shaking Hands form a leadership council from their own ranks. Formally, it consists of a tenth of the number of Begzadii nobles of Cin Amon, which is seven council members at present. Six of them are elected by the Wolves, and the seventh is traditionally appointed by the monarch of the Circle City. Members keep their seat until they step down, retire, or loose a vote of no confidence in the council (simple majority).
Council members receive no support or compensation from the guild whatsoever. This is to ensure their devotion to the advancement of the guild and the Circle City, and to give seekers of wealth a strong incentive to remain Wolves.
All information obtained by guild members eventually makes its way to the scribes in the headquarters in Cin Amon, where council members on duty are briefed on important matters every six hours, starting at the crack of dawn, when the first sun rays set the fabled Prisma Heights aflame.
The Guild Council debates questions of interest among themselves in a highly formalized setting at the headquarters, and usually reaches unanimous decisions regarding trade policy. If this is not so, they take a vote where the simple majority decides. If a tie occurs, the representative of the Royal Palace acts as a tie breaker in the monarch's favor.
The Guild council also forms the High Clergy of the Secret Cult of Abon, secretly called Shines of Abon. It is their duty to perform the secret rituals at the guild headquarters as the seasons and the ancient traditions demand.