Monday, July 30, 2012

The Inquisition and the nature of Guilds

More background writing work I'm doing for a LARP game setting :)

* * * * *

Before the rise of the Christian Church and the Venice Proclamation, the Others lived a very different lifestyle. Any formal structure in an area was the result of those living there, some areas had miniature kingdoms of those touched while some lands had simple communities or even solitary territories jealously guarded. Each was given the ability to govern their lives as they saw fit, and for a time there was an uneasy peace amongst the Others who dwelt alongside their human cousins.

Then came the Inquisition.

Called the White Death by some Others, the reach of the Inquisition was farther than any disease in terms of death to their kind. Those that hunted them killed hundreds of thousands, whole families and lines of power which had existed for a millennium were snuffed in the matter of a few decades. Any Other who exposed themselves was found, tried and murdered by gleeful townsfolk under the cold direction of the Church. In danger of becoming extinct, the Others did the only thing left: ran.

Fleeing towns and homestead which had been theirs by birthright for countless years, they fled to the farthest reaches of the planet in a vain hope to survive. To the tallest mountains, deepest oceans, densest wood or darkest cave; it did not matter where as long as they could not be found and killed. Those who stood out in any way, those who looked abnormal or who's gift would not allow them to hide amongst humans were easily followed and hunted. Those meager few that managed to survive the purging of the abnormals fled to the wilds and untouched, living out the rest of their lives in misery and solitude. Those who were able to blend in were far luckier, able to hide among the human thong of poor and destitute as well as in the far away and deep places.

It seems the Others were doomed to fade away, die out and become just the stuff of fairytale and legend, until the Venice Proclamation. No one Guild today can say who made the call and who created the plan that would save their species, each Guild claims it was their efforts which lead to the creation of the Guilds and the Proclamation itself. What is known is a call was sounded, a great counting of the rolls of the survivors was to be had and any who would want to survive and receive assistance should attend such a gathering. Others from around the globe dared to dream and hope, coming out of their hiding holes to be registered and counted. Some only sent messages and letters, but many more arrived in person.

For the first time in their history, the Others had organization. Over the period of 2 weeks, the First Council took time to organize and categorize all the remaining abilities the Others possessed. Those of similar styles and flavors would be formed into a Guild, and each Guild was left to its own devices on how to manage the safety and security of their members. Those who's powers could not be classified were shown sympathy, many of these were the last members of their kind who had survived the burnings, and offered places within Guilds with whom they felt most comfortable.

The great organization set, each Guild chose a member to represent their people for the writing of the Venice Proclamation. Every voice was heard, every possibility planned and each Guild signed for their people agreement to follow the rules set forth. Each Guild agreed to a quarterly meeting, a gathering of the selected members to review any issues that threaten their people as a whole. Once the Venice Proclamation was issued, the Others returned to the world. The Underground was formed, offering security and safety below the earth while vast fortresses hidden in plan sight of the humans were established as safe houses for those remaining above ground.

Despite some minor hiccups of politics and disagreements between the Guilds, the system has helped insure not only the survival of each Guild but the survival of the Others as well. The flexibility of the system has helped them to accommodate the future of space travel, but with the new stresses on genetic research it remains to be seen if the Guilds will survive in their current form for another century.