To Chance with Hell (Planescape)
Guilds and Orders of Sigil
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Guilds of Sigil
While not an exhaustive list, the following represent the major Guilds currently in Sigil.
Builders Fellowship – Currently the largest of the original, pre-Upheaval guilds of Sigil, the Builders Fellowship has well over three hundred members including skilled masons, carpenters, stonecutters, and roofers. The reason for the guild’s existence even through the centuries of faction dominance within Sigil is simple: the guild provided something the factions needed and something that would have been too costly, or awkward, to provide for themselves by the labors of their own members.
The guildhall of the Builders Fellowship is a large, ornate, black and white checkered stone kip with a copper plated roof that shines like new. In line with their trades, not a dent in the shingles or a chip in the stone is tolerated by the guild’s members and the burden of centuries is simply nonexistent upon the structure. The building resides several blocks from the Great Gymnasium, spikeward from Dancers Court.
The current guild master is Ustisha Cambris, who has governed the guild for close to seven years. Cambris seems unlikely to face stiff competition from any up and coming members since he performs his job admirably and has acquired a number of hefty and profitable building contracts for the guild. Of those is the reconstruction of the Armory, remodeling of the Hall of Speakers to remove some of the old faction iconography, and the proposed demolition of the Shattered Temple to make way for a grand sanctuary to Pluto in the Lower Ward. [If the construction ever takes place that is. The Athar will not go quietly in this battle. – The Editor]
Three bright copper bands worn on their left wrist can identify members, and monthly dues of 3 gold pieces go to pay for the upkeep of the guildhall, as well as paying for small pensions for long time and elderly members as well as those injured in accidents while working on a given contract.
Craftsmens Guild – After the disintegration of both the Sign of One and the Believers of the Source, the subsequent merging of the two factions into the Mind’s Eye, absorbed many of the former members of both factions. However, the newly formed faction left behind many of the namers of both groups. When the Great Foundry ceased its smelting, forging, and production of metalwork, many of the former craftsmen of the Lower Ward found themselves without the organizing power and benefits of a faction that the Godsmen had previously provided to many of them. After all, what good is a philosophy when you scrape each and every day mending pots and pans to earn your coppers and a few silvers at best? Thus was formed the Craftsmens Guild.
The Craftsmens Guild was organized perhaps a year after the end of the Faction War and has served as a melting pot for the various talented craftsmen of the Lower Ward. It has given them an organization and rallying point with which to advertise their services, and a place to learn from more talented members to better their skills in their own and other areas.
Perhaps even more so, the guild has been able, by collecting dues of 2 silver pieces per month from members, to provide a small number of pensions to older members, or to surviving relatives of members who meet an early death by accident or foul means. By pooling the buying power of its members, the guild has secured lower prices on certain bulk raw materials such as metals and tools from the bladelings now running the great foundry, and other raw goods imported into Sigil. Advertising deals with Harys Hatchis of the Clerk’s Ward have managed to increase their sales of indigenous products within both the Great Bazaar and Market Ward as a whole as well.
The guild symbol, usually worn as a patch, is a ring of tools containing a hammer, awl, drill, and others surrounding an open hand. Most members wear the symbol prominently so as to display it to customers who, upon recognizing it, are more likely to treat the guild’s members as competent at the least, and more often than not highly skilled at their chosen craft.
The current guild master, and the one most responsible for the rapid growth and success of the guild, is Garrison Ironshanks, a former member of the Believers of the Source. Under his guidance, the guild is likely to expand more in the coming years and make it into one of the most influential guilds in Sigil.
Council of Innkeepers – The Council of Innkeepers holds as members the operators and owners of most of the inns and many of the alehouses within Sigil, with the notable exception of a select few. [For whatever convenient reason, the Bottle and Jug and the Styx Oarsman were left off their list of potential members. – The Editor]
The council headquarters is housed on the top floor of the expensive and selective alehouse, the Pixie Drake’s Flagon, several blocks downwards from the Great Gymnasium. Headed by guild master Bryn Ohme, guild members are identified by a crimson waist sash edged with golden lace, and for a fee of 10 gold pieces monthly gather to meet and discuss orders of mutual business. Such business tends to be confined to ordering ale and other spirits in bulk for the guild members’ use in their own taprooms, as well as ways to keep wages for workers low and standardized.
Daylaborers Guild – Much to the initial chagrin of many within the Workers District of the [[Clerk’s Ward]] and many within the slums of the Hive, the Daylaborers Guild was set up within months after the end of the Faction War. With branch offices in the Marble District of the Hive, and at the outskirts of the Workers District in the Clerk’s Ward, the guild promised an honest day’s labor to those with any physical ability at all and the desire to work for a few coins at whatever task the guild might set them upon. For many, this spoke of some opportunistic carpetbagger from The [[Lady’s Ward]] trying to make good coin off the backs of the desperate sods of the Hive. And who’s to say it’s not?
The guild is more or less an employment agency for the unskilled labor of Sigil. Those it employs are now in greater demand than ever by private citizens and businesses to clean the streets, trim the razorvine, and remove the rubble of falling buildings in a number of wards as the city has slowly removed itself from the ashes of the Faction War and the events of recent years. The guild is headed by Borkman Highshadow, whose last name very much belies his method of keeping control of the uneducated sods he employs on a daily basis: out and out intimidation by his sheer size and presence, even if he does nothing threatening to back it up.
Those wishing to gain employment simply queue at the gates of the two guild offices and gather a number. If that number is called, they simply come forward and say yes or no to the offer. If they say yes, they’re sent off to whatever task the guild has found for them and work for their coin. Repeat workers are given the chance to become full members of the guild. A full member has more choice in what activities they is assigned, the hours they works, and tends to garner a slightly higher wage based simply on their reliability. Repeat workers are less likely to be unavailable for a job because they’re passed out in the street from spending the previous days work on cheap bub.
The guild charges its members no dues, but it does collect a healthy amount of fees from employers for the use of its chattel on a daily basis, and a portion of the coin paid to a worker is skimmed off the top to the guild’s coffers. As such, the guild has soaked up a shockingly high amount of jink in the past two years as its workers labor both in and out of Sigil. In the future, with the ongoing decrease in dabus activity in the Cage, the availability of work is unlikely to decrease.
As for the charges of opportunistic carpetbagging, it is rumored that the guild is financed and run by none other than Zadara the Titan. The endeavor allows her to line her pockets with even more jink, and gain a toehold into the labor market in two different wards through her puppet guild master Borkman who is also a fellow member of the Merkhant sect.
Entertainers Guild & Civic Festhall – As with the Undertakers Guild, the Entertainers Guild has changed in little more than name from the former faction whose members swell its current ranks. More than nine of every ten members of the guild count themselves as Sensates. Currently, the guild is headed by Annali Webspinner, a Sensate herself, and still in a nearly identical position as she held within the faction.
The guild operates directly out of the former Sensate faction headquarters, the Civic Festhall within the [[Clerk’s Ward]]. Some have openly questioned the wisdom of having the guild cooperate so closely with its former skein as the Sensate faction, fearing that the official nature of the guild will run afoul of the Lady’s Edict. Guild members have pointed to the Dustmen and their similarly close association of the Undertakers Guild, however, and that nothing dire has come of such associations. [Pushing boundaries; something a true Sensate could always be counted on to do. But continue and one might find a sensate wise to wonder to himself, ‘I wonder what mazing feels like…’– The Editor]
The guild symbol is an abstract pattern resembling the exterior of the Civic Festhall, though some members also have symbols that denote their specific trade such as music, dance, art, and theatre. Each member pays the guild a fee of 1 gold piece per month in dues, though they typically see a vast return on their investment as a guild member since their guild is the single most popular in all of Sigil, assuring them of a constant stream of customers for their talents.
Since the chaos of the Faction War, the Sensate faction has reformed, but moved out of Sigil to the Gilded Hall upon Arborea. Annali herself is not factol, but a high-ranking member within the faction, and more or less their representative within Sigil as guildmistress of the Entertainer’s Guild.
Escorts and Touts Guild – The upstart Escorts and Touts Guild has formed in the past two years from the combination of the pre-existing Escorts Guild and the group of independent touts headed by Kylie the Tout (Free League). By pooling their resources, the groups have been able to form a sizable guild in a relatively short amount of time. Since Kylie’s election as guild mistress the group has seen fewer and fewer attempts to bob or otherwise harm their members while taking customers through some of the more crime ridden sections of Sigil. Many chalk this up to Kylie’s citywide popularity, as well as rumors that she may run for a position on the Sigil Advisory Council in the next elections. [That same popularity got her a guild in the first place. But there’s more to any story than surface appearances. She has benefactors unknown even to herself. – The Editor]
The guildhall sits on the end of Turtle Lane, just spikeward of the Great Gymnasium, a two-story kip of simple white stone and a vaguely blue slate roof skirted across with razorvine. Members are identified by a mark of three concentric blue circles tattooed on forehead or painted daily. Most prefer for a permanent mark since Kylie’s election as guild mistress. Kylie herself has the guild symbol tattooed atop her own symbol of the Free League’s abstract self-devouring dragon.
Currently, members are responsible for a 2 silver pieces monthly due to the guild, that pays for training members, to pay off gangs in certain areas of the city to let them and their clients pass unharmed, and other such payoffs.
Guild of Doorsnoops – Formed shortly after the disintegration of the factions by the prime mage and Anarchist Lissandra the Gateseeker. Already well versed in many of the portals of Sigil, she and her associates became invaluable in the months after the Tempest of Doors. During that period, they spent their time discovering the fates of older portals, and the locations, destinations, and keys for innumerable new portals. With the factions no longer present to bar the public sale of portal logs (as was common practice when they gave themselves a monopoly on the knowledge of most any but the commonly known and widely used portals) there is a rising business in the trade of knowledge and upkeep of that knowledge regarding the portals of the Cage. As this business waxes, Lissandra and her colleagues are riding its coattails more so than any other.
The guild symbol is a ring or broach detailed with a silver doorway, usually with a swirling pattern inside it. Members pay a fee of 5 silver pieces monthly, and in return are given access to portal keys at cost, or for free when investigating the details of portals on guild sponsored business.
The current guild headquarters is situated within the former tavern known as the Ubiquitous Wayfarer, formerly the site of a number of extremely popular and well-trafficked portals. Shortly after the Tempest of Doors, most of its portals ceased functioning and its business plummeted. Despite its attempt to prosper in the face of the loss of its main draw, and in the process renaming itself Portal Schmortal, it went bankrupt and was eventually sold to Lissandra herself. A certain irony perhaps, but the site has served the guild well in their short stay within their new home, though Lissandra herself is usually off on some foray, despite being the group’s guild mistress.
Guild of Teamsters and Lightboys – This rather eclectic guild has formed in recent years with the organization of the teams of staff-wielding lightboys common to many of Sigil’s wards. Too small to form a true guild of their own, the lightboys approached the already extant Guild of Teamsters who they often found themselves working with. At present, the joining of their groups has benefited both to a degree, the lightboys having an organization to call home as well as having protection in the numbers of a larger guild. The Teamsters on the other hand have more jink flowing into their coffers monthly as well as lower to no charges for the lightboys’ labor during nighttime tasks.
The guild headquarters is located on the second floor of a tenement at the edge of Tea Street in the [[Clerk’s Ward]], near to Tea Street Transit where many of the group’s members have found frequent employment. Members are identified by a leather epaulet on the right shoulder, with a small length of rope descending from the epaulet and looping under the right arm. In addition, the lightboys have a small yellow glass bubble attached to or braided into the rope on their guild symbol.
For a monthly due of 3 silver pieces, members are afforded the benefits of the guild which include frequent work on the contracts for guiding and keeping the animals which draw barges of cargo along the Ditch to many of the portals to the gate-towns upon the Outlands. For most members, the steady work is all they need and require from the guild. Under the current guild master, a frugal basher by the name of Duritz Crow, they are unlikely to garner much more than that.
Lawyers Guild – The Sigil Lawyers Guild, or Brotherhood of Advocates as it is sometimes known, is headquartered in their tall, marble faced demesne two blocks from the City Courts. It sits just at the edge of the sprawl of wandering advocates peddling their services, the cues of those awaiting the commencement of trials, and the inns and alehouses who cater to the crowds of onlookers, accused, and lawmen alike.
Members pay dues of 3 gold pieces on a monthly basis, and in turn the guild defends members against grievances upon failure of cases, or successful cases as the varying parties react to a given verdict. The guild also has standardized the fees that an advocate may charge for his services dependant upon his experience before the courts, and seniority within the guild itself. The guild symbol is a silver signet ring baring the stylized portico of the City Courts engraved in copper.
The former Guvner Yohannis Granniger was elected guild master, though the process took a good bit of time as the potential members spent nearly a year in various committees and subcommittees, debating every small part of the guild charter. Chant seems to be brewing that, as odd as it might seem, once Granniger’s term is completed in the next two years, the Xaositects’ Sly Nye might throw in his own bid for guild master.
Certainly a number of hearts raced and heads throbbed when the chaos-touched tiefling applied for membership. But finding no reason to disallow him into the guild, he joined and has been a productive and charismatic member. His methods aside, Nye is extremely capable and his record of winning cases before the City Courts, both before and after the Faction War, is indeed impressive. [Whether he does run and wins, then laughs and steps down on principle is another matter. – The Editor]
Minders Guild – The Minders Guild is known for its rough and cutthroat pursuit of law and order, always to the highest bidder. Ruthlessly pragmatic in their approach to keeping the peace, they offer the services of their members as bodyguards, bouncers, community patrols and guardsmen for merchants, shopkeepers, and rich bloods throughout the Cage.
In reality, they exist as little more than a public and official front for the Sodkillers, who make up the majority of the members of the guild itself. The guild operates out of the [[Clerk’s Ward]] and the [[Lady’s Ward]], with two separate offices on Pride Street and Lords Row respectively. It’s no small secret that the guild high ups may actually meet back within the Tower of the Wyrm to discuss most guild business. The current guild master, as much as the term makes much sense in light of the thin line between guild and faction, is Nagaro, a known high up within the Sodkillers.
Under Nagaro’s tutelage, guild members pay a due of 5 silver pieces a month, and in return receive training in the various ways to deliver justice, or most commonly how to simply pummel a sod into submission or appear threatening enough to avoid a fight. Members commonly wear a standardized gray uniform with a rust red fist emblazoned upon one shirtsleeve, and a rust red sword emblazoned upon the other. [All they need to do it seems is to add a green Wyrm symbol and we can be done with them when they’re mazed. – The Editor]
Sanitation Guild – Faced with the apparent thinning of the ranks of the dabus, who removed the daily waste that accumulated in the streets and gutters of Sigil, the Sanitation guild was formed to handle the problem. The guild was started by a group of bloods from the Worker’s District within the [[Clerk’s Ward]], and financed by a number of unnamed cutters from the [[Lady’s Ward]]. While it cannot be proven, those unnamed financiers are widely thought to include Jeremo the Natterer, Jeena Ealy, and perhaps one other well-meaning cutter.
The guild, based within a two story kip along Newt Street in the [[Clerk’s Ward]], employs a wide range of workers to haul off the trash and filth that accumulates in the streets and trash heaps of the city. The trash is disposed of through a number of portals to the Elemental Plane of Fire, the Quasielemental Plane of Vacuum, and the Paraelemental Plane of Ooze. Other times, if the distance is not too far, the trash is simply dumped into the Ditch between the Lower Ward and the Hive where the periodic rush of water from a portal to the river Oceanus flushes the channel clean.
Guild members pay no fee, but abide by the guild rules and statutes, and their area of work and daily tasks are more or less set for them by the demands of the businesses, individuals, and neighborhoods within Sigil that have signed contracts with the guild to pay them for the services of their members. Based upon the money gained by these contracts, each guild member is paid a weekly wage. Each member however wears, and is identified by a small copper shovel worn upon a chain around their necks or upon a belt.
Under the guidance of guildmaster Erasmus Coalbrush, the guild has thus far faced little competition in their work from the Daylaborers Guild, and the two guilds have studiously avoided impinging upon the others typical means of business. Meanwhile rumors are high that the Sigil Advisory Council may take up legislation to levy a citywide tax upon property owners to pay for the services of the guild on a Cage-wide basis.
Order of Master Clerks and Scribes – Located in their longstanding guildhall on Dancer’s Court in the [[Clerk’s Ward]], the Order of Master Clerks and Scribes has existed before, during, and now after the rise and fall of the factions. For many years, the guild trained and supplied clerks and scriveners to the Hall of Information, the City Courts, and the Hall of Records. With all of the factions grabbing for power, the guild provided a needed commodity and stayed neutral in faction politics. With that combination of need and proper political stance, it prospered.
The guild is currently run by Elahassa Merem (Fraternity of Order), and for a fee of 1 gold piece per month provides steady employment, insured wage scales, and fair treatment by employers for its members. The symbol of guild members is to have the fingernail of their right-hand pinky painted silver.
Even with the guilds gaining in importance within Sigil of late, the Order of Master Clerks and Scribes is unlikely to grow or shrink. After all, it has endured the years since the Great Upheaval with little variation for good or ill, and there seems little reason to have such happen now.
Runners and Messengers Guild – Mostly unchanged in its structure and hierarchy from before the Faction War, except for the small bit of becoming an official guild, the runners and messengers guild operates out of the Palace of the Jester in The [[Lady’s Ward]]. The guildmaster is a bitter but driven blood by the name of Autochon the Bellringer (Free League), a tyrant of his own petty kingdom that he built upon his own labors, and his own sacrifices. Autochon’s own rise in power is detailed later herein.
The guild itself charges but a pittance of a single copper each month from each of its runners and messengers, while providing them with protection and other services that it seemingly pays no one to provide. However, each of the runners, in line with their time spent in service to the guild, pays an increasingly high fraction of their garnered wages to the guild, though the amount is never unreasonable considering the benefits they gain in return. Few members give a passing thought of leaving the guild, given its now official status within Sigil, and the unspoken reputation of its guild master.
The Bellringer’s originally harsh and driven methods towards his charges has become even worse, and it is likely he holds his position as much from fear by the guild members as to his supreme prowess in protecting them and garnering them ever better pay and benefits for membership.
Undertakers/Ragpickers/Funerary Guild – Most commonly, and officially, called the Funerary Guild, it is located in the Grey District of the Hive, composed primarily of Dustmen who have, as yet, found no reason to not simply continue their same daily tasks as before the Faction War. In association with this dour lot are the gangs of ragpickers and dead collectors whose carts still ply the Hive, and, in more refined form, gather the dead from the other wards of the city. Usually this task of body collection only occurs for victims of calamity, random violence, and when no relatives or associates immediately claim the corpse for disposal or resurrection.
Most of the members of the guild are the lower and mid-ranked of the Dustmen hierarchy. Most of the faction’s high-ranking members have gone on to other pursuits, left for parts unknown in Sigil or elsewhere, or in the case of Skall, were mazed. Rumors abound that the guild may be keen upon leaving the Mortuary and Grey District altogether, and have been canvassing other suitable locations within Sigil for the proper number of portals for their use. The former Hall of Speakers has been mentioned, but with its purchase by a group of buyers including the indomitable Harys Hatchis, this seems more and more unlikely
Most recent chant about the guild has actually hinted that the Dead have in many ways reorganized as a faction, with a much looser hierarchy than before, but have avoided taking up any official role in Sigil’s government or politics. No harm has seemingly come of this, and word is that Oridi Malefin has returned to both guild and faction, apart from her duties at the planned Temple of Hades within the Lower Ward’s Shattered Temple District. [Much more interesting though, are the whispers and rumors of the guild having seen or heard faint images and phantasms of Skall within the Mortuary. For a mazed deader, he certainly gets around. Unless of course, all is screed or an imposter is afoot. – The Editor]
The Planewalkers Guild – Irony is in no small supply since the end of the Faction War. Perhaps no greater example exists than the reemergence of the Planewalkers Guild within Sigil.
The guild first originated in Sigil over nine centuries ago, and at its height it held over three thousand members under it aegis. But, as with all the guilds after the Great Upheaval, the factions growing power within Sigil caused them to diminish in their influence. Even though it predated many of the then-ruling factions, the Planewalkers Guild saw itself threatened by remaining in Sigil; so the organization simply left to reestablish itself elsewhere.
The guild has existed as a thriving, but ever moving, organization upon the Infinite Staircase since its departure from the City of Doors. But now, with the factions gone, it has seen fit to abandon what was never really seen as a permanent home, given the ever-changing nature of the Staircase. The guild has now returned to Sigil and set up their headquarters within what some graybeards claim was once their original guildhall within the Market Ward.
With the group returning to Sigil, however, they do so without their former guild master and his kyrie consort, the Krynnish Minotaur [[Hav’run Thain]] and Vagis. Without their former leaders, the guild has since elected Balthasar Thames as guild master.
The guild’s symbol is that of a golden doorway over a silver staircase, at the base of which lies a blue enamel river and brown enamel tree roots. The symbol is often embroidered upon a sash or worn upon a belt, amulet, ring, or most commonly a broach. The guild charges a monthly fee of 6 silver pieces which it uses to commission the exploration and mapping of certain planar locations, as well as to supply these maps and all relevant information to members at a nominal fee, or typically no further cost. The guild has also managed to strike deals with various merchants in the Cage to offer a discount on certain supplies useful to a planewalker such as spell components, weapons, mundane travelers goods, and certain magical items.