Trades and artisanship, and the study thereof, in Thipbalene is overseen by a number of Guilds. The Guilds enforce minimum standards requirements on all crafted objects sold in the city and exported further afield. As the Guilds gained economic power, Chancellors of Thipbalene began regularly meeting with Prime Masters of various Guilds. In recent decades, the Chancellor has restricted this practice to meeting with only the Master of Guilds.
General Guild Structure Edit
Any citizen of Thipbalene who is considered to ’show promise’ may be apprenticed to a Master who is a registered member of a Guild. Apprenticeships last approximately four years, during which the apprentice may attend lessons with other Guild members, learn the theoretical and practical aspects of the trade, and begin selling crafted objects which meet the minimum standards for trade. The apprentice will learn primarily in the style of their Master, but is encouraged to work with other apprentices to gain a more holistic appreciation for the craft.
Upon completion of a series of examinations and the crafting of one Great Work, an apprentice may be conferred journeyman status within a Guild. A journeyman is at this point considered an independent contractor and may privately contract for individuals or organisations, work for a Master, or undertake travel and/or further study.
Masters of a Guild are those members who have completed many Great Works, or who have contributed significantly to the practice and art of the trade. Any journeyman may be considered for Master status by a meeting of at least one third of all Masters in the Guild or all Masters residing in Thipbalene, whichever is the lesser. Masters will most often open a business and employ journeymen, and may take on an apprentice. Occasionally, a Master will enter the employ of a Viscount and live and work at the Viscount’s estate.
A Thipbaleni Guild is headed by a Prime Master, who oversees the administration of the Guild and may act as a representative of that Guild at a Confederacy meeting. The Prime Master is most commonly an elected position, though a small number of Guilds practice some manner of hereditary order of succession, usually through the appointment of a Prime Master’s Apprentice. This position is appointed by the Prime Master themselves and the candidate may be selected from any of the current Masters and journeymen of that Guild.
The Confederacy of Guilds Edit
The Prime Masters of all the Guilds in Thipbalene meet once every two months to discuss business relevant to the Guilds, present reports on trade and production, and to compile any petitions or reports to be brought to the Chancellor or Viscounts. The first such meeting took place in the year [year] and resulted in the codification of regulations and statues relating to Guild organisation and administration, and minimum product standards requirements for all objects crafted by Guild members. Members at this time also elected the first Master of Guilds, the most senior position able to be held by any Guild member. The role of the Master of Guilds (colloquially called ‘The Master’) is to act as Chair of Confederacy meetings, arbitrate disputes between Guilds, and act as the representative of all the Guilds in Thipbalene, if requested to by the Chancellor, Viscounts, or foreign representative.
Notable Guilds Edit
Early Guilds included Smithing, Clay (pottery), and Stone. As they grew, each Guild broadened its scope. Some absorbed new Guilds, while others worked alongside them.