Western Guilds

From: Peter Metcalfe (metcalph@bigfoot.com)
Date: Tue 31 Aug 1999 - 14:42:04 EEST


Joerg Baumgartner:

>I've assumed that in Henotheist cultures there are
>acceptable sources for magic not taught by the church itself, e.g.
>special craft magics taught through the guilds. I haven't quite worked
>out whether this means that the guild magicians are crafters which
>become clergy by definition, or whether some of the clergy join the
>guilds - this part of Western culture hasn't been expounded yet.

AFAIK Guilds are part of Western Culture. They are commoner
organizations and there are no clergy or sorcerers in them.
That doesn't mean that they have no magic or that their leaders
teach no magic. It simply means that the magic they teach is
_normal_ to the Commoners. Clergical and Sorcerous magic is
more powerful because it accesses energies closer to the Godhead.

The vast majority of Commoners do not belong to a guild. Many
of them are simple peasants who have not proved their right to
commons before their peers and so are legally wards of their
local noble (or their father if they have proven their rights)
and have the easiest path into Solace. Some Commoners in the
countryside have proved their right and work with their lord
in ruling the place - these are your average yeoman-types.

Unlike the countryside, most townsmen have proven their rights.
They have a more demanding path into Solace than peasants do (ie
they must adopt the protestant work ethic). I imagine that any
peasant that lives in a town for a year and a day can present
himself to the town authorities and ask for the chance to prove
himself.

I don't think every townsmen belongs to a guild. For a guild
to exist within a town, it must be approved by the town burghers
who are knight-types for its decisions to become legally valid.
Usually the town burghers only approve guilds for those occupations
likely to support the status quo, such as Goldsmiths, and not,
say, day laborers.

- --Peter Metcalfe

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