Xian Adventurers

Unlike in many cities, adventurers are a recognized social role in Xian. The city officials are always glad to have someone expendable around to take care of the more life-threatening parts of their duties, and adventurers are just the sort to call on for that kind of work.

Adventurers register with the Ministry of Spies, falling under the internal security rubric of that ministry. Those who demonstrate ordinary competence in their profession and have no outstanding crimes against their name are given a small wooden plaque as a license, administered from the Licensed Adventurers Guild. Official Adventurers are permitted to take jobs from the Ministry of Spies ranging from goblin infestation removal to tomb robbing. The pay is generally awful, but profits from official adventures are non-taxable.

Licensed adventurers are also allowed significantly more leeway in their personal behavior than ordinary commoners. Minor crimes against commoners will often be overlooked, and even serious indiscretions often result in them being "volunteered" for a particularly grim job rather than enslaved or executed.

It is a point of pride that no licensed adventurer has ever proven unworthy of the license thereafter. In a more practical sense, the city assumes that any adventurer so uncontrollable as to deserve delicensure needs to be killed if found within the city. Those who fall into this category tend not to be told of the decision until some other adventurer has finished stabbing them in their bed.

As a further point of distinction, any adventurer with proven skill in their profession is inducted into the daifu class, with all the privileges according to that exalted state. Any character of seventh level or higher with lands worth at least ten thousand gold koku will generally earn this accolade, unless they've managed to severely alienate the city officials.

Until such exalted estate, however, adventurers tend to be viewed as coarse, vulgar, savage sorts wholly unfit for decent society. Their usual social standing is somewhere above that of prostitutes and bandits and slightly below fishmongers. While daifu welcome the opportunity to hire adventurers and pay them handsomely, none would ever consider treating them as social equals until the adventurer in question is so personally powerful and influential that they are forced to do so. To a large extent, adventurers tend to justify this contempt. Most of them are little more than half-competent charlatans, unhanged thieves, and village bullies barely competent enough to pass the licensure examination. They die in droves and tend to be aware of their own brief life expectancy, behaving in shockingly immoral and antisocial fashion for their brief span. They are tolerated as a necessary evil to more dignified and worthy social classes… such as almost anyone else.

Despite this, a very few adventurers survive long enough to rise above the ordinary rabble. One of third level is uncommon, a known and grudgingly respected face in the guild, though still viewed with general contempt by outsiders. At fifth level, it becomes difficult for daifu to treat them with their usual contempt- their personal prowess is such as to demand a certain degree of civility. At seventh, all pretense of inferiority becomes impossible to maintain. Only a handful of men and women in Xian are more individually powerful, and even if they're too antisocial and untrustworthy to be elevated as daifu, they're too dangerous to antagonize openly. Daifu will treat them with a chilly sort of courtesy at the least, and socially adept adventurers might be fully accepted. Beyond ninth level, the locals are obliged to admit their matchless personal prowess and true heroic caliber. Daifu will jockey for the character's favor, seeking alliances and friendship with all but the most utterly antisocial hero.

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