Continuing our description of Meadowbrook’s notable citizens, we come to Barsus Tinner, the head of the fix-it guild.
The Fix-It Guild
First off, let’s give the fix-it guild an official name. As low-level arcanists, I can see the guild trying to give themselves a greater sense of status with a lofty-sounding name, something like: “The Noble Brotherhood of Magical Repair Workers”. That being such a mouthful, most of Meadowbrook’s citizens call them “the fix-its”.
The fix-its are low-level wizards and sorcerers who focus on mending inanimate objects. The guild does employ some non-spellcaster repair people, but they can’t become actual guild members until they’ve developed some rudimentary spell-casting ability (in 3.x AD&D, this would mean gaining at least one level of wizard or sorcerer). Since Meadowbrook isn’t a large city, there are only five actual guild members (as stated in the previous post on Business Demographics). In addition to full guild members, Meadowbrook has three apprentice fix-its and six regular non-magical repair people.
Spellcasters (full guild members):
- Barsus Tinner, guild head. An halfling wizard of mid-to-low ability (in AD&D terms, 6th level). Like most fix-its, Barsus focuses on repair magic, but with a particular talent for reparing metal items (in Ars Magica terms, Muto Terram specialist). Apprentice: Tommy Tinthorn.
- Kerwi Sorrell, assistant guild head. Human, mid-to-low level sorcerer (AD&D: 5th level). Her main talent is fixing wooden items (Ars: Muto Herbam). Apprentice: Brand Jolan.
- Lyza Marybelle, halfling wizard, low level (AD&D: 4th level). Especially talented at repairing leather and hide goods (Ars: Muto Animal).
- Ace Ackerly, human sorcerer, low level (AD&D: 4th level). General, all-around fix-it, no particular focus. Apprentice: Tabina Tallflower.
- Aerinlie Mouse Taitewyncoddle, gnome wizard, low level (AD&D 3rd). Very good with creating replacement parts for an item, especially metal parts (Ars: Creo Terram). Mouse especially enjoys fixing complex machinery. He is the newest full member of the guild, having just been granted full status after being Barsus’ apprentice for six years. Aerin likes to experiement and try new combinations and unusual applications of spells. He loves researching new ways of doing things, which has set him at odd with his former master, who believes in using methods and approaches that have stood the test of time. [Here's our theme again -- new growth vs. stagnation].
Each full guild member owns and operates their own shop and is responsible for the employees and appretices who work there.
Non-Spellcasters (Guild Employees):
- Barret Dione. Human, employed by Barsus. Specialty: metal items
- Lenah Maylinn. Human, employed by Barsus. Specialty: fabric items
- Brandiwyn Fairweather. Halfling, employed by Kerwi. Specialty: wooden items. Brandi (as most folks call her), can also perform some minor magics (0-level spells), but didn’t have enough magical talent to progress beyond that. She was Kerwi’s apprentice for a short time, before concentrating on non-magical fixes. She is considered by many members (read: everyone by Barsus) as an unofficial guild member, but has no voting privledges or (officially) guild benefits. Kerwi makes sure she and her three children are well-cared for though and grants Brandi as many of the guild “perks” as she’s able.
- Silas Strongbarrell. Halfling, employed by Lyza. Good all-around fix-it.
- Meredith Danelyn. Human, employed by Ace. Especially good with children’s toys.
- Langdon Roundcopper. Halfling, employed by Mouse. Very talented at fixing clocks and clockwork items.
- Tommy Tinthorn. Halfling, apprenticed to Barsus. Strong potential with metal repairs.
- Brand Jolan. Human, apprenticed to Kerwi. Strong potential with wood and other items derived from plants.
- Tabina Tallflower. Halfling, apprenticed to Ace. Shows a talent for working with stone items.
Each apprentice is assessed by the guild as a whole, before being assigned to a specific guildmember for training. In general, the guild tries to match an apprentice’s potential with a fix-it’s particular specialty, though politics and bribery are not unheard of influences on placement.
All full guild members are also skilled at non-magical repairs. The guild charges more for magical repairs than non-magical ones, but in either case, the guild requires all fix-its to stand behind their work: if a problem reoccurs within a specified period of time (which varies, depending on the nature of the specific repair), guild members are required to fix or replace the item at no cost to the customer.
Barsus has been guild master for almost 20 years. He’s very much focused on traditions and long-established methods for doing things. He views new ideas and approaches with much suspicion, which frequently causes him to butt heads with his former apprentice, Mouse. Tinner believes in a solid days work, reliable and timely repairs and frowns on guild members making “improvements” to a customer’s item — he believes that the item should be made as much like new as possible, but shouldn’t be given more features, functionality, or capability than the item originally had — unless the customer wants to pay for improvements and “upgrades”, of course.
A widower after 40 years of marriage, Barsus frequently works 10-hour days. No one in town works harder at anything than Barsus does at his repairs. “Hard-working”, “predictable”, and “reliable” are three words he consideres compliments. Which isn’t to say he can’t relax and enjoy himself; after-hours will frequently find him at The Butter Churn, sharing a half-pint and a smoke with other locals.
Next time: Bryan Hartman and the town guard.