Guild of Dungeoneering
The Guild of Dungeoneering is a prominent Guild of explorers and mercenaries based in the Hearthland Realm. The Guild was originally established to reduce unlawful trespass and looting of abandoned or unclaimed locations across the Val Domus Empire, but has since evolved into a system of mercenary-style contracting and exploration. The Guild prides itself on a long heritage of brave and heroic members, and remains selective on whom may join their ranks. Most cities and large settlements within the Hearthlands and it’s outlying neighbours are home to a Guildhouse or Hall, catering for the demand large population centres bring with it.
The Guild was officially established in AoK 32 under the patronage of Emperor Tullius Boltar and his council. The establishment of the Guild was intended to put an end to land theft and trespass, and to enable nobles to retain a share of any discovered riches on their land. The Emperor’s Council appointed Yvilla Willow as the first Val Exlovara, a former Lithilian scout whom defected to the Val Domus Empire during the Glade Clashes.
Unsurprisingly the formation of the Guild was not well received during the early years. Public outcry of the crown defending noblemen at the expense of the general populous was a common occurrence for some time. In response the Guild began a campaign of lauding the exploits of its members and spreading heroic tales across the realm. This tactic was successful in reversing the public opinion, and soon poets sung about valiant Dungeoneers, rosters grew to bursting, and coffers were overflowing.
After Yvilla’s death in AoK 47, Val Exlovarus Oli Macedan took the reigns of the Guild. Macedan was instrumental in forming the well-organised Guild structure still used today, and is heralded for spreading the Guild’s influence into many major regions. During this time the imposing Deephall of Brennan was constructed and became the defacto home of the organisation. Macedan was also credited for his participation in the False War against the Val Massi rebellion, during which over 500 guild members were involved.
In AoK 71 Macedan retired his position, and Val Exlovara Prima Odette was appointed. Odette was already one of the most famous members of the Guild before her appointment. She gained fame for taking on incredibly daring contracts and her preference for working alone. Since her appointment Odette has garnered much favour within the Guild for her increase in the number of Intrepidi members and overall autonomy for Marshals and Guardians.
The Guild of Dungeoneering primarily operates through a system of contracts. Contracts often involve the exploration or clearing of locales, recovery of specific goods, or simply acting as guides. This type of specialty has made the Guild very popular amongst nobles, academics and entrepreneurs. Individuals will approach the Guild with an offer of service, detailing the scope of the assignment and the split of any reward or goods found (sometimes referred to within the Guild as The Sweep). More dangerous or concerning contracts require an upfront payment, and contracts are sometimes organised alongside other Guilds or interested parties.
The Guild has loose ties to the Church of Val. Whilst members are not required to be followers of the Val, the majority are so. Some Guildhouses hold their own celebrations and festivals alongside the Val Temples.
The Guild operates through a structure of layered accountability and ranking. Movement between ranks is a long carefully considered process, and is generally only circumvented as a result of great deeds or fame.
- Intrepidus / Intrepida
- Guild Marshal
- Val Exlovarus / Val Exlovara
The lowest level and most numerous member within the Guild is a Dungeoneer, sometimes referred to informally as a Delver. These members are often vetted before receiving membership, and must contribute a hefty tribute in order to be considered. This tribute and vetting process will vary depending on the region or Guardian. Dungeoneers are afforded several benefits from their membership, including lodging, provision allowances, and contract assignment.
Guardians are entrusted with overseeing the operations of a particular Guildhouse or small region. Their duties include the vetting and recruitment of new Dungeoneers, managing the Guild finances and operations in the region, assigning and upholding contracts, and protecting the reputation of the Guild itself. Guardians are directly accountable to Guild Marshals, but otherwise have a degree of free-reign with how they decide to run their particular sect.
Intrepidus or Intrepida are self-governing members of the Guild, who directly report to no Guardian, and are free to seek out their own contracts and endeavours. Dungeoneers can only be awarded this status by a Guild Marshal personally, who will in-turn become solely responsible for the candidates actions. This rank is highly coveted by most Dungeoneers, primarily for the freedom and fame it brings.
Guild Marshals act as Guardians, but solely for the Intrepidus or Intrepida they have recruited. They also operate from much larger Guild Halls, often within larger cities. Marshals rarely exceed 10 in number throughout the Guild, and consult with the Val Exlovara / Val Exlovarus on pertinent matters regularly. A Marshal can only be recruited through a majority consensus amongst the other Marshals.
The Val Exlovarus / Val Exlovara is the sole Leader of the Guild. The position is always filled from the ranks of Marshals, and decided through a unanimous decision. The position is mostly ceremonial, although theoretically the Exlovarus / Exlovara is able to revoke or enforce any Guild-wide rules they wish. This position has almost always been held by a member of great fame and reputation.
- Deephall of Brennan
- Redbridge Guildhouse