Anarchs’ Guild
Anarchs’ Guild

Anarchs’ Guild

The Anarchs’ Guild

Also known as: The Chaos Masters, the Groundsmen

To you, the land is dirt; to us, it is clay

“You stand on the threshold of a new life. All these years of training and preparation have lead up to this day, this moment in your lives, in which you will finally Know the title of ‘Shaper’. Of the one-hundred and fifty of you that passed the preliminary tests just to get into this fine academy, only twenty-nine of you remain. Consider yourselves the greatest minds the githzerai community has to offer.”

“Many of our fellows believe that the Guild’s only purpose is to maintain the massive cities which the githzerai live in, but this is hardly the case. As Groundsmen, it is your solemn and holy duty to defend our race from its enemies — the githyanki and the slaadi. You are part of a long and proud tradition, whose origins stretch back to the very first githzerai to know this plane of chaos. It is because of us that the githzerai have not been crushed beneath the heel of the slaadi, or worse, the githyanki. Without our ability to mold and shape Limbo’s environment, our kind would perish at the hands of its enemies. Never forget this when performing your duties, Shapers. Everything you do, do it to the best of your ability — for a duty you shrirk now could spell doom for our warriors later.”

“Although we are solely responsible for the success of our kind in this harsh plane of Limbo, never forget your place. We exist to serve the His Omnipotence, Zaerith Menyar-Ag-Gith, God-King of the our race. We exist to protect those amongst our people who cannot defend themselves. We exist to preserve and protect githzerai culture in this harsh plane. We exist to train young githzerai in our Art, so that they may someday continue our sacred mission. Remember always that we are first among equals, first among the githzerai. We are everything githzerai, and everything githzerai is us.”

—Xarnig Yur-Thasrole, Sectol of the Anarchs’ Guild, in his speech to a recent graduating class of Groundsmen

“Care for a seat? <whoosh!> There you go…”

—A Groundsman offering hospitality to a visitor

Sect History: The Anarch’s Guild has been around since the githzerai migrated to Limbo so many millennia ago. In those early, precarious years, when the githzerai were just learning about and experimenting with their new environment, the Anarch’s Guild did not even exist. The closest version of the Anarch’s Guild, a kind of proto-sect, if you will, was a tightly knit bunch of githzerai who demonstrated a kind of natural knack for controlling the environment of Limbo. These talented githzerai had no real organisational structure, but they knew of each other, and everyone respected them for their talents.

Symbol of the Anarchs’ Guild

It wasn’t until a few centuries after the mass migration of githzerai to Limbo that the Art (as the Groundsmen call chaos-shaping) was formalised. All records point to Grekatious Rag-Xarnin as the first githzerai to demonstrate true mastery in the Art. This talented individual, upon learning of this ability, studied it and quantified it, and developed it into an philosophy that could be finely honed and taught to other githzerai. Thus were early origins of the Anarch’s Guild.

The Guild, with the support of the githzerai God-King, continued to flourish. A century after its official formation, it had a five-thousand active members. Realising the need for a more formal educational system, the Anarch’s Guild constructed the Academy of the Art, where talented young githzerai could train to be Groundsmen. Previous to this, a Chaos Master would simply adopt an apprentice to teach the Art to and foster until the pupil was deemed ready. With the construction of the Academy, the Groundsmen finally had a central base, and were now considered an organised sect.

Throughout their history, the Anarch’s Guild has been integral in preserving and protecting githzerai society. Uncountable battles have been won due to the aid of the Chaos Masters, who can simply create oceans to appear beneath their enemies, or huge walls to rise up and block attacking troops. They’re equally responsible for maintaining the massive city-states in which many githzerai, as well as defending and hiding these locations from slaadi and other enemies of the race. Because of their reputation, the Anarch’s Guild is granted significant independence, since regular githzerai tend to both fear and respect their powers. Chant goes that the Anarch’s Guild has been getting a bit full of itself lately however, and this might be testing the patience of the God-King.

Xarnig Yur-Thasrole, Sectol and Creator

The Sectol: The leaders of the Anarch’s Guild are traditionally referred to as “Creators”. They are typically the oldest and most talented of the Groundsmen at the time, and should the position become vacant, those challenging for the position must face each other in a series of “face-off” duels. Each competitor must create a complete ecology from the raw nothingness of Limbo within a certain amount of time. Then, the various Creation Masters judge the work. The person who does the better job in the shortest amount of time, wins the duel. These matches continue on and on, until only one person remains, and that person becomes the Creator.

The current Creator of the Anarch’s Guild is one Xarnig Yur-Thasrole (planar githzerai conjurer [he/him] / Sectol of the Anarch’s Guild / NE), an old but wily githzerai. Xarnig is responsible for the recent ego-boost of all Groundsmen, and has begun formulating plans of assuming control of githzerai society. And why not? They’re the ones responsible for saving the entire race, after all.

Sect Headquarters: Limbo, home of the githzerai and the location of their God-King. In the Plane of Utter Chaos, drifting in the flows of swirling matter, is the Floating City, the spiritual and temporal capital of the githzerai race. And, located among the spires and towers of the Floating City, is the Academy of the Art, where neophytes receive training in the way of chaos-shaping.

The Academy of the Art is not just an educational centre; it is also the main headquarters of the Anarch’s Guild, where the Creator spends his days and the Anarch’s greatest minds do their research. The chant is that the inside of the Academy is constantly changing, shifting to the will or whim of the Creator. Of course, no “outsiders” are permitted inside the Academy, and Chaos Masters are prohibited from discussing what goes on inside the building, so no one can really say for certain.

Membership: First off, you have to be a githzerai. No exceptions. The Anarch’s Guild refuses to teach its art to githzerai who don’t pass the interview, let alone other races. If one is a githzerai, then one has a chance of becoming a Groundsmen. First, you must apply for membership at the Academy Gatehouse. Then you’re called to interview with one of the Creation Masters at a constantly shifting location. Sometimes the interview will take place on a floating chunk of rock in the middle of Limbo, far from any githzerai settlement. Sometimes the interview will occur at the townhouse of the Creation Master. Sometimes its hard to tell which.

If the Anarch-to-be is considered “trainable” by the Creation Master who interviewed them, they’re is permitted into the Academy, where they undergo a year of training at the hands of the best teachers the Guild has to offer. At the end of the year, those who haven’t mastered the Art are told to leave, whereupon they vanish from githzerai society. Those who have picked up sufficient skill undergo a gruelling test, in which they are required to create a plot of land that meets the exacting specifications of their Creation Master. Those that pass move on to graduation, those who fail also disappear.

Structure: The Anarch’s Guild is surprisingly organised for a sect that makes its home in Limbo. They function in a similar manner to other sects or factions, with a leader, high-up bloods, middlemen and namers. But as any self-respecting sect does, they have given new names to these titles.

The sector of the Anarch’s Guild is called the Creator, because they are generally the most capable Chaos Master in the Guild. Creators can create entire ecosystems within minutes, and always stay in the Academy, near to their God-King.

The factors are referred to as Creation Masters, and among these individuals is where most of the politicking occurs. Every Creation Master has the chance to become Creator when the previous Creator dies (never resigns, the person who is Creator is Creator for life), and every Creation Master seems to want to be Creator. Therefore, there’s  a lot of jockeying for position amongst these high-ranking bloods.

The factotums, dubbed Maintainers, are primarily responsible for keeping a single githzerai settlement together. Maintainers never leave their assigned settlement without finding a replacement first, for without them, the settlement would simply crumble into the chaos-stuff.

Finally, there are the namers, or Shapers. Shapers are often recently graduated Groundsmen, still getting developing their chaos-shaping powers. These green cutters are often assigned to work together to serve in the githzerai military, where their abilities are invaluable in shoring up defences.

Allies & Enemies: Surprisingly, the Anarch’s Guild have few allies or enemies. Besides the traditional enemies of the githzerai race (illithids, slaadi and githyanki), the Anarch’s Guild does not have any enemies among other factions or sects, probably because members of the  Guild rarely ever leave their home plane of Limbo. The same goes with allies. Sure, a Groundsmen may have individual allies amongst certain groups, but on the whole, the Anarch’s Guild lacks any official support from anyone. The former Sign of One were probably the closest to the Groundsmen in philosophy, and that’s still the case with the Mind’s Eye. It’s likely the faction is envious of the ability of the Anarchs to truly create anything they want, but don’t think it’s worth the downside of having to endure life in Limbo to be able to do it.

Advantages & Disadvantages: Anarchs’ key ability is the chaos-shaping skill, but they are also able to maintain stable matter within Limbo while not consciously concentrating. If you’re a githzerai, it doesn’t get much cushier then being a Chaos Master. Your fellow gith treat you with the respect, you get to set your own hours, and build your own residence—Groundsmen tend to have the best kips in town.

Disadvantages? You can’t leave. Sorry. If you’re a Groundsman, you’re indentured to help maintain and defend the city or fortification you are assigned to. The Anarch’s Guild is like a worst enemy and your best friend all rolled up into one. On the plus side, you earn respect and admiration, plus a the power to create solid matter from the swirling nothingness of Limbo. On the down side, if you’re a member of the Anarch’s Guild, you’re a member for life. Even if you’re lucky enough to get away and flee to another plane, what would you do? Your only special power doesn’t work in the other planes, and to everyone else, you’re just another weird githzerai.

Current Chant: As mentioned previously, the Groundsmen are beginning to develop a god complex. The ability to create life and matter can have that effect on a basher, you know? A lot of folk are worrying that the Guild may make a move to take over githzerai society, and what’s even more worrying is that they could possibly defeat Zaerith Menyar-Ag-Gith. Granted, the God-King of the githzerai is incredibly powerful — but the Chaos Masters can create anything they want while in Limbo. The two would be likely be evenly matched if the Guild was to strike against their long-time King, and if the Guild came out on top, who knows what would change?

The Dark: Want to know what really happens to those githzerai that don’t make the cut while in the Academy? Everyone knows that they disappear, but they are really put in the dead-book. You see, once you’ve seen the inside of the Academy and learned even the rudimentary arts of chaos-shaping, the Anarchs reckon you can’t just leave and promise not to tell anyone. The Guild remains in the position it is today because it has the monopoly on the Art, and if someone was to drop out of the Academy, practice on their own, and suddenly develop the Art, that would make the Guild’s position a lot weaker. Before you know it, that person is training their own chaos-shapers, and soon after that, a rival guild has been established. So, in the minds of the high-ups in the Guilds, it’s better to simply remove those random elements when it’s relatively easy and painless (for the Guild, anyway) than to get all squeamish and regret it later.

Canonical Reference: Planes of Chaos Travelogue [2e] p26.

Source: Brant Casavant, Jon Winter-Holt

Leave a Reply

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