Licensed Adventurers Guild

The Licensed Adventurer's Guild is a venerable institution existing to organize and direct the adventurers of Xian. Founded a little more than a hundred years ago, it operates under the auspices of the old Junzi of Spies, Hua Ren, as part of his mandate to oversee internal security within the city. The grievously antisocial and disruptive tendencies of most adventurers leave him saddled with the task of ensuring their moderately good behavior within the city.

There have always been duties too dangerous, petty, unpleasant, and dubious to earn the attention of more formal organs of government. Rooting out goblin raiding parties, exploring ancient ruins, assassinating troublesome bandit chieftains, and half a hundred other small, ugly jobs are part of daily life around Xian. Despite the city's size and power, the Xianese live on a perpetual frontier, constantly threatened by the strain of goblin raids and the machinations of unkind rivals. The city watch can guard only so many villages and the army can plug only so many gaps at once. There is a constant need for men and women who are hard, ruthless, unscrupulous, and expendable. The adventurers of Xian fit that bill handsomely.

The Licensed Adventurers Guild serves as a clearinghouse for these jobs, matching them up with adventurers who've demonstrated at least basic competence in their trades. Would-be adventurers appear at their offices in Xian, Tien Lung, Highgate, or North Neck and apply for testing. While the test is nominally free, it's occasionally necessary to apply a certain amount of bribery to get an appointment to be assessed, depending on the venality of the proctor. The examiner takes down the particulars of the adventurers' abilities, records details of their appearance and (ostensible) background, and gives successful candidates the small wooden tablet which proves their legitimacy as a Licensed Adventurer. Anyone with a bare minimum of competence equal to first level in an adventurer profession can expect to pass the test. Hiding your true class isn't generally possible in these examinations- the proctors have seen it all before, and know the difference between warlocks and sorcerers and wizards all too well, among other things. They are singularly jaded folk in the main, and all classes are welcome to serve Xian, however sinister their antecedents or personal tastes.

Novice adventurers tend to be given the simplest and least sophisticated tasks, duties calibrated to give them a decent chance of survival. While the Guild has remarkably little respect for the lives of its lower membership, they prefer not to waste them extravagantly. Many such novices spend their afternoons sitting in the Guild offices, drinking tea and grumbling as they wait their turn for work. Those who've waited longest tend to be first in the queue for new jobs, though the bureaucrats just as readily ignore such things in selecting specific people for a task. As individuals prove successful and accomplished in their duties, they become entrusted with more difficult missions.

The pay is notoriously awful. Even an experienced adventurer can't expect more than a few dozen gold for a job if there's any prospect of looting. For duties with no hope of plunder, substantially larger sums are paid, but the usual recompense of an adventurer is in the tax-free belongings that formerly adorned his foes' bodies. Plunder taken by adventurers on city business is theirs by law, even if the former owner is known. While there exists a gray area between legitimate plunder and wealth abstracted illicitly from someone, the Guild tends to turn a blind eye towards all but egregious theft so long as it's in the service of Xian and not offensive to a daifu.

While the Guild tends to treat its charges as barely-civilized savages who can't be trusted within a mile of a rice wine jug or a doe-eyed boy, it does provide a few practical services to its membership on a fee basis.

Resurrection and Healing Services

For 1,000 gold on deposit and a sample of hair, spittle, and blood, the Guild will undertake to transport a member's corpse from any safe location to Xian, and there to arrange for its resurrection from the dead by means of the Raise Dead ritual. The luckless victim's adventuring companions can simply leave the corpse in any village or hamlet and a Guild carter will be by to transport it to the nearest major city for revival. The Guild knows when a member with this policy has died, and where the body has been left. They're willing to venture out into the wilderness to pick it up if they have to, but they refuse to go into any significant danger and will refund 1,000 gold to the deceased's estate if revival proves impossible.

Curing, healing, and restoring rituals are available from Guild ritualists at twice the cost of the ritual components. For purposes of skill checks, the average Guild ritualist has +15 in their relevant skills.

Banking, Gear Storage and Will Execution

The Guild provides storage chests for its membership for a trivial fee. No guarantee is made about the security of items stored in the chests, but the security is generally excellent. The transient lifestyle of adventurers often makes it difficult to secure more belongings than they can carry on their back, and so many take advantage of the Guild to store bulky or valuable objects that they don't dare leave unattended in their rented rooms. The Guild also accepts deposits of coinage and gives surety for the money. No interest is paid, but the adventurer can be confident that the money will be available to him when he wants it- although a few days may be needed to produce sums in excess of 1,000 gold koku.

Less cheerfully, the Guild is also willing to execute the wills of its membership, including such wishes as involve selling property to pay for being raised from the dead or the due division of a brief lifetime's spoils. They take five percent of the goods or coin they handle as payment for this service, if it's requested. Many adventurers prefer to pay the fee rather than trust in their companions to see to their wishes- aside from the legal complexities involved, those same companions may well have died at the same timeā€¦ or been the occasion of the death.

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