City Creation: Thieves Guild

No Gravatar

What would a fantasy game town be without a thieves guild? Whether the PCs work with it or oppose it, the local thieves guild frequently provides many opportunities for adventure.

Meadowbrook’s thieves guild is extremely small: 10 members. Until the recent trade boom, Meadowbrook had no thieves guild — there simply weren’t enough thieves in town. The rise in commerce, however, brought with it a commensurate rise in crime. Larceny has become lucrative in Meadowbrook and Tammi Ravenswing and her group of rogues are reaping the lion’s share.

Tammi Ravenswing — Guildmistress

Tammi came to Meadowbrook from Sundown, a city two weeks ride to the west. Having engineered an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the guildmaster of Sundown’s major thieves guild, Ravenswing decided discretion was the better part of valor and made her way east for parts unknown. Arriving in Meadowbrook about the same time the new trade did, she saw wide open opportunity. She hand-picked a small group of accomplished rogues to form the town’s first actual thieves guild.

Having been the right-hand assistant to the guildmaster in Sundown, Tammi has clear ideas and experience running a guild. She’s an experienced sneak-thief and cut-purse, having learned her skills as an abandoned child of a prostitute. Sundown’s guild frequently took in orphaned or abandoned children as a means of replenishing their numbers and reducing “freelance” competition. Tammi proved to be extremely talented in matters of stealth and manual dexterity and rose quickly in the guild’s ranks. Had she waited another couple of years, she attempted coup might have been successful; as it was, it nearly cost her life.

Upon arriving in Meadowbrook, Tammi started a courier and body guarding business she named “Sworn Swords”. Sworn Swords acts as a front for the guild and employs three of her guildmembers; the rest of her employees are honest, hardworking private guards and messengers. She frequently employs children to deliver local messages and one of these is her adopted daughter, Gayna (now six). Like Tammi herself, Gayna had been abandoned to the streets at the age of three. Tammi took pity on the starving toddler who attempted to grab her lunch one afternoon.

Gayna is smart and dexterous, a quick learner who’s already showing an interest in swords and other bladed weapons. The warriors of the business have taken the girl under their wing as an unofficial “mascot”. In the last several months, Gayna has discovered her singing voice and Tammi has arranged lessons for her from Darius Sunrunner, in exchange for protecting his store, Doodles, from crime.

Tammi Ravenswing, human thief (AD&D 3.x terms: 8th level rogue). Main skills: appraisal, bluff, diplomacy (guile), pick pockets (slight of hand/legerdemain), escape artist, gather information, lockpicking (open locks), local knowledge [Sundown, Meadowbrook], search, sense motive, ride [horses], awareness (spot), short sword fighting, stealth, knife fighting, archery.

The Guild

Meadowbrook’s thieves guild has no name of its own; it’s refered to simply as “the Guild”. This is intentional, as Tammi doesn’t want the guild’s existence known to outsiders. She’s kept the guild small by design — membership is by invitation only and anyone asking about the guild, even in Meadowbrook’s criminal underground, will be met with blank stares. Tammi has handpicked each member of the guild after conducting extensive research on them. A credit to her people-reading skills: no one who’s been invited to join has turned her down. Tammi wouldn’t force membership; if anyone did decline, though, they would be “encouraged” to move on to another area or town.

Being so small, the guild can’t impose a monoploy on theft in Meadowbrook. Members tithe ½ of their takings to the guild, but in return, they gain a guaranteed (though not necessarily luxurious) income. When times are lean, the guild ensures its members and their immediate family enough to eat and roof over their heads; Tammi also makes certain they have access to any needed health-care. Members are expected to turn over the required portion of all illegal earnings, whether gathered on guild assignment or their own initiative.

Tammi has instituted two strict rules: 1) no guild member may target any customer of Sworn Swords for a minimum of three months after the customer’s last contract and 2) any goods stolen in Meadowbrook cannot be fenced within Meadowbrook lands. These measures make it more difficult for thefts to be tracked back to the guild. Also, Ravenswing has refused to take any assassination contracts, either personally or on behalf of the guild. This isn’t because of any moral leanings; Tammi simply believes that in a town the size of Meadowbrook, the risks outweigh any possible reward.

The guild’s management consists of the guildmistress and her two assistants:

  • Tammi Ravenswing, guildmistress, human rogue
  • Didio Sparrow Carawaddling, gnome rogue (AD&D: 5th level), “Right-Hand”
  • Darla Stoutbarrell, halfling rogue (AD&D: 5th level), “Left-Hand”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge