Organization – the Bar-Sana Guild

14 May, 2011

 The Bar-Sana Guild


Balance the Scales

History: The guild was formed many years ago, as the aftermath of the Gods War and the Sundering began to sort itself out, a small group saw that while the dragons had the potential for great evil and great control, they were not omniscient.  They saw that the new age of dragons could be opposed, if the opposition was subtle and careful, and perhaps, one day, overthrown.

This small group chose to follow this long term strategy, forming the Bar-Sana merchant company.  They were active in transporting refugees to safety and gathering wealth from the wreckage of temples and ruins.  They carefully recruited new members from the refugees as they build up their wealth and position as merchants.

As the Draconic Imperium built its structure and the Dragconic families established their control and satrapies, the Guild used its knowledge, and occasionally its wealth, to finagle minor concession out of many of the new government allowing members of the Guild greater mobility and freedom.

The Guild has survived and prospered over the years, though it has a reputation of being almost excessively cautious.  Perhaps well earned after one of the Guild strongholds was raised to the group by an offended dragon who ‘disagreed’ with the Guilds view on slavery.

The Guild now: The once lofty goals of the guild still exist, but they are no longer pursued at the expense of the influence of the Guild.  They have become airy goals, discussed but rarely acted upon by even by the more radical members of the Guild.

The Guild has more than 8,000 members, most of them from families that have been with the Guild for generations.  Now, once again the Guild is preparing for a ‘recruitment drive’ looking for talented people who will follow the code of the Guild.

The Guide controls a large amount of property, as well as a goodly number of starships, animal and wagons but very few skyships as they attract too much attention.

The Code of the Guild:
•    Your word is your bond, so give it sparingly and with thought beforehand.
•    Honor and honesty is the badge of the Guild, those who tarnish them must be exiled or executed.
•    The Guild is your family, to betray it is to betray your own life.
•    Slavery is evil and must not be tolerated.
•    All life has value, only kill with justification.

It is only the first three items of the code that are followed with devotion these days.  The statement against slavery is followed as far as is practical, the members avoid using slaves when they can (and endeavor to free them afterward if they must) but they rarely act to oppose or end slavery.  It has become an evil they feel they must tolerate, though some still seek to reduce the scourge of slavery they are few and far between and even they are enmeshed within the web of guild obligations.

The Symbol of the Guild is a set of scales balanced on a dagger (both in violet) on a cream field.  Favored colors by guild members are cream, grey, blue and violet.

The Balancers of the Scales:  The Guild maintains a small force of assassins, bounty hunters, spies and wizards to deal with special matters.  There are not more than forty Balancers across the entire Sea of Stars by they have a complex network of contacts, informers, expendable mercenaries and safe houses.

The Balancers spend their time hunting down people who have been judged as criminals by the Guild, the Balancers also spy and gather information for later use by the Guild.  Balancers have also been known to kill people that they judged to be a threat to the Guild without orders.  This is rarely questioned.

Plot Seeds:

  • The Bar-Sana Guild is always in need of competent guards and reliable assistants and venturers are often of need of such work.  Getting a good reputation as a dependable employee will ensure their ability to gain work when needed and possibly aid when they need to leave somewhere quickly or undetected.
  • If the characters have ended up in slavery, the Guild can rescue them in exchange for information now and future favors.  Equally, if the characters need someone liberated from slavery, the Guild may be willing to help.
  • A more radical faction within the Guild wants to upset a major slavery ring. The faction will hire the characters -through intermediaries- to sound them out and test their skills.  If they succeed, they will be given more resources and a larger mission.  If they succeed, without implicating themselves, and have shown commitment to opposing slavery, they may be offered membership.

Notes:  Adapting the Bar-Sana guild to any standard fantasy setting should not be too difficult, just choose a major event in the campaign that sparked off their formation.  Obviously, they will work better in a work with at least some slavery to cause their idealism and pragmatism to come into conflict.

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