Guilds and Leaders of Carthica
Though it is called the City of Tales, that’s not all that Carthica is known for. Where civilizations meet, groups of like-minded individuals meet, forming guilds and alliances. Though at one time the citizenry was wary of such groups, now the guilds are among the largest organizations of the city. The four strongest guilds occupy a single seat each on the council, with the final seat occupied by someone unaffiliated with any other group. The groups in power are currently:
The Silverbound are regularly called upon to help train guardsmen and to guard the city’s prison, as well as to escort caravans and travelers in the area. They are led by Adaantan paladins, but do not require their members to be of the same faith; as long as their intentions are for the good of the city and its people, all are free to join. An exemplar of paladin honor, Hujaar has served on the council for many years, frequently bringing ideas related to expanding the rights of the guilds and the militias.
The Seekers is a collection of smaller groups and schools of arcane magic, each with different ideas on what is best for the guild. Madeline Arathin leads the largest group, the Salvemakers, and as such serves on the council as well. She and her group believe in using the research and application of magic to aid those unfortunate in the world. When not focused in new research or politics, she can be found leading her guild by example, by providing healing to the ill and infirm, as well as providing work in their guildhouses for the destitute.
The Last Tale
The Last Tale is the oldest guild of Carthica, and is responsible for spreading the city’s news and stories. Its numbers travel the land as well, gathering information through various means and sending travelers and merchants on the right paths to the city. How well the leadership of the guild takes control of its members is heavily debated, but Garet Regent is well-known as the loudest voice among them, and is the most pragmatic of the council members.
The Union of Steel
The Union of Steel is newly-established and serving its first term on the council. Its members are filled by local merchants, artisans, and mercenaries, joined together to establish a better market with higher profits. Though Lagato could hardly be called diplomatic, his passion and outspoken nature have won the respect of many in the city.
Hujaar the White
Hujaar is the longest serving member of the city council. He and the Silverbound repelled the last major goblin raid four years ago before they reached the city, saving the citizenry from brutality. He’s respected quite well among the Adaantans in Carthica and in Leto, and has used his influence and status to keep the trade routes to the city well-supplied, even as bandits set up camps near the roads. Of the council members, he is the one most regularly found in the council chambers, hearing the claims and suggestions of the citizens.
Like anyone involved in politics for so long, Hujaar has been the subject of controversy. Though he hasn’t made any comment on it publicly, it’s well-known that the Silverbound have had a generally unforgiving view on the anathema, and, on more than one unfortunate occasion, innocent people have been hurt, chased out of the city, or worse by suspicious mobs blaming them for local misfortune. Ana of Dawn and Madeline Arathin have both requested the Silverbound and city guards be obligated to protect any anathema at risk of harm, but, so far, no action has been taken.
Born the twelfth of thirteen children to a noble family in decline, she left at a young age when she displayed a talent for the arcane arts. Learning that she was better suited at brewing potions and extracts than the traditional routes of learned magic, she embraced the path of the alchemist, vowing to use the abilities she learned to help others in need.
Leader of the Salvemakers, Madeline is the latest in a string of representatives of the Seekers serving on the city council in Carthica. She is unfamiliar with politics on such a grand scale as the council, and frequently abstains from voting or follows the lead of Ana of Dawn. If she believes that a vote involves the well-being of the people of the city or the members of her own guild, she will ardently defend whatever position she believes helps those she cares for. It’s well-known (and constantly brought up by Garet Regent) that Madeline has a group of advisors from the other factions of her guild that she frequently seeks advice from.
Few have any idea where Garet came from, or what his goals are. A member of the Last Tale since he appeared in the city, those who meet him can only agree that the things he does are to “keep things interesting.” It’s frequently debated in the city whether or not he’s truly among the leadership of his guild, or if the Last Tale is just so disinterested in the formal politics of the council that no one challenges his appearance in the meetings. Regardless, there seems to be little in the city that he doesn’t know of, or have some stake in. And, no matter what one is inclined to believe about him, he always defends his decisions as in the city’s benefit, no matter how convoluted it appears.
He enjoys poking fun at the other council members, Hujaar the White and Lagato in particular, and seems to take joy in bringing up past decisions of his fellow councilors that didn’t work out, perhaps as a reminder that none can make the perfect decision all the time.
A native of the city, Lagato never had to learn the tribal politics of other catfolk, instead learning how to navigate human society. He quickly realized how advantageous it was to have wealth and power, though it was easier for him to attain strength. He made use of his might in the Alabaste arena to gain a fortune and returned to Carthica, using his winnings to buy influence with the merchants and mercenary groups to establish the Union of Steel. Some among the Silverbound and the Last Tale speak of underhanded tactics employed by the leader and members of the newest guild in power, but no investigations have begun as of yet. For now, Lagato is content to flaunt his newfound status wherever he can get away with it.
He frequently butts heads with the other members of the council, but admits respect for Hujaar the White and Ana of Dawn, recognizing their strength and oftentimes deferring to their judgment when the decision doesn’t directly concern him.
Ana of Dawn
The sole unaffiliated member of the council, Ana hails from far to the southeast, where the plains turn to desert. Called an idealist by many in the city, she’s earned the people’s respect by ensuring the rights of the guildless are protected in the many years she’s served on the council. Though the unaffiliated members of the council in the past have had to do much of their work alone, a group known as the Dawnbringers has slowly grown in number; the only thing separating them from becoming another smaller guild is the lack of a charter, and the drive by its members to be anything but independent.