Guilds of Ilbarych

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With the expansion of the Crowndom into the Barrowhills during the Ceolfrey dynasty, many communities of wrightfolk found themselves suddenly living on Crown domains. While the Ilbarych Crowns often viewed wrightfolk as troublesomely independent and likely to cause problems, the Ceolfrey Crowns made swift alliances with the wrightfolk, including establishing the legal precedent for forgeholts and other elements of wrightfolk culture being contained within Imperial society.

One of these elements was the acknowledgement of the sacredness of wrightfolk crafts to them as a people, and the creation of crafts sodalities as legal entities that enshrined their rights to their work. Although they were called "guilds" after the old Imperial trade networks, the Guilds of Ilbarych were an entirely new thing.

Guilds Today

The guilds are formalized sodalities of vocationally-focused craftsfolk and merchants who take responsibility for ensuring the consistent training and quality of the crafts involved. Rather than paying local taxes, guild-members pay an annual membership to their guild. Although this amount is slightly higher than typical taxation, it goes to pay for the years of training granted the guild-folk, as well as allows the guild-folk to take advantage of the large-scale negotiations that guilds undertake for goods and services on behalf of their members.

Guilds do pay the guild-tax, an annual taxation that goes directly to the Crown, and is the backbone of the Crown's prosperity. The guilds also mandate a specific style of housing for their members, the guilding-house. Guilding-houses are considered to be owned by the guilds, who can grant their members the guild-lease for them; lords are paid an annual guilding tax by the guilds per guilding-house occupied during that year, and can insist on apprentices being taken from the locals around that house (usually at a minimum of one apprentice every five years of residence).

Though the guilds were established as part of wrightfolk integration into Imperial society, there are more folk of Imperial blood than folkish among their ranks today. The exception to this are among the smithing guilds, who are almost entirely dominated by the wrightfolk and their trade secrets. In contrast, the guilds whose work is derived from the crafts excelled at in the Old Empire (masonry, stonework, and waterworks) are strongly Imperial in their make-up.

The Guilds of Ilbarych (unlike those of the Old Empire) are strictly crafts organizations - only those vocations which create something are ever enshrined in guild-law. Trades and services do not ever establish guilds in Ilbarych.

Guild Status

  • Status 2: Apprentices and journeymen, who all do work for a master.
  • Status 3-4: Masters, accorded the freedom to run their businesses, take apprentices, and speak at gatherings of the guilds.
  • Status 5: Grandmasters, who set Guild Law. Each Guild has a single grandmaster, with residence and offices in Crownhold.

The Guilds

  • The Guild of Blacksmiths: Blacksmithing (iron, steel)
  • The Guild of Finesmiths & Jewelers: Whitesmithing (precious metals)
  • The Guild of Tinkersmiths: Tinkers (small metal goods - pots, pans, pins, buttons, buckles, etc)
  • The Guild of Carters: Wagons, carts, land vehicles
  • The Guild of Shipwrights: Boats, ships
  • The Guild of Masons: Masonry, bricks, building
  • The Guild of Cisterners: Waterworks
  • The Guild of Weavers: Weaving, dyeing, ropework, tapestries, rugs
  • The Guild of Carpenters & Woodwrights: Carpentry, woodworking, withe-weaving
  • The Guild of Glasswrights & Glaziers: Glass
  • The Guild of Tallowrights: Chandlers, other wax-works
  • The Guild of Brewers & Vintners: Alcohol
  • The Guild of Apothecaries: Medicines, drugs, soaps, perfumes, other herbal mixtures
  • The Guild of Hearthiers: Cooks and bakers
  • The Guild of Healers & Barbers: Healing, shaving, surgery, dentistry
  • The Guild of Bookbinders & Inkwrights: Parchment, vellum, bound books, inks, pens
  • The Guild of Clothiers: Clothing-makers of all sorts
  • The Guild of Potters & Claywrights: Pottery-makers
  • The Guild of Leatherwrights: Leather goods
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