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The Anarchs Guild

The Chaos Masters, the Groundsmen

Copyright 1999 by Brant Casavant
The Anarchs were first introduced in the Planes of Chaos Travelogue.

"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 are afforded the title '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 set foot in 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 the project or duty you shrug now could spell doom for one of our soldiers 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 most 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, The Creator
(Sector) of the Anarchs' Guild, in his speech
to a recent graduating class of Groundsmen

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"Care for a seat? <poof!> There you go…"

- A Groundsmen 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 their new environment and experimenting with it, 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 nit 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.

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

The Anarch's Guild, with the support of the God-King of the race, continued to grow and flourish. A mere century after its official formation, it had an astounding five-thousand active members. Realising a need for a more formal educational system, the Anarch's Guild constructed the Academy of the Art, where talented young githzerai could go to train to be a Groundsmen. Previous to this, a Chaos Master would simply adopt an apprentice that he would teach the Art to and foster until he deemed his pupil 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 have oceans appear beneath their enemies, or huge walls rise up to block attacking troops. They are equally responsible for maintaining the massive city-states that the githzerai reside in, as well as defending and hiding these locations from slaadi and other enemies of the race. Because of their great history, the Anarch's Guild is granted wide berth amongst other githzerai, who both fear and respect the power of the Chaos Masters. Rumour has it that the Anarch's Guild has begun getting a bit to full of itself lately, and judging from some of the graduation speeches done by the current Creator (sector) of the sect, this may be truer then anyone would like to imagine.

The Sectol

The sectols 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 those applying for the position must face each other in a series of "face-off" creation matches, where 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 least amount of time, wins. These matches continue on and on, until only one person remains. That person becomes the Creator.

Currently, the Creator of the Anarch's Guild is one Xarnig Yur-Thasrole, a rather old, but very 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 are the ones responsible for saving the entire race…

Extra Xarnig Yur-Thasrole

Male Githzerai Planar
The Creator of the Anarch's Guild and 12th-level Conjurer
Neutral Evil

Str: 10

Int: 19

HP: 40

Dex: 14

Wis: 20

AC: 5

Con: 12

Cha: 19

THAC0: 17

Spells/Level: 4 / 4 / 4 / 4 / 4 / 1

Magical Items: Amulet of Protection + 3, Gauntlets of Defence +2, Ring of Mind-Shielding, Ring of Regeneration, Staff of the Magi, dagger +2 (+3 vs. slaadi)

Spells: (* usually memorised)

1st: Armour*, Cantrip, Grease, Hold Portal, Hypnotism*, Magic Missile, Message, Phantasmal Force, Sleep, Tenser's Floating Disc*, Unseen Servant*

2nd: Continual Light, Detect Evil*, Detect Invisibility*, Flaming Sphere*, Forget, Invisibility*, Melf's Acid Arrow, Summon Swarm, Strength, Wizard Lock

3rd: Dispel Magic*, Explosive Runes, Fireball*, Flame Arrow*, Sepia Snake Sigil, Slow, Spectral Force*, Water Breathing

4th: Evard's Black Tentacles*, Fear*, Minor Globe of Invulnerability, Monster Summoning II*, Polymorph Self*, Wall of Ice

5th: Conjure Elemental*, Domination*, Hold Monster, Monster Summoning III*, Summon Shadow*

6th: Conjure Animals, Ensnarement*, Reincarnation

Sect Headquarters

Limbo, home of the githzerai and the location of their God-King. In the Plane of Absolute Chaos, drifting with the swirling chaos 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 complex 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.


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, one must apply for membership at the Academy Gatehouse. They are then permitted an 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 in question.

If the Anarch-to-be is considered "trainable" by the Creation Master who interviewed him, he is permitted into the Academy, where he undergoes 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 learned the Art are politely asked to leave, whereupon they vanish from githzerai society. Those who have learned the Art undergo a nerve-raking test, in which they are required to create a plot of land that meets the specifications of their Creation Master. Those that pass move on to graduation, those who fail disappear.

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The Anarch's Guild is relatively organised for a sect that makes its home in Limbo. They function as do any sect or faction, 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 he or she is often the most capable Chaos Master in the Guild. Creators can create entire ecosystems within minutes, and always stay in the Academy, near the 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 wants to be Creator. Therefore, there is quite a lot of jockeying for position amongst these high-ranking bloods.

The factotums, renamed Maintainers, are primarily responsible for maintaining a certain githzerai settlement, hence the name. Maintainers never leave their assigned settlement without getting a temporary (or permanent) replacement first, for without them, the settlement would simply disappear.

Finally, we have the namers, called Shapers. Shapers are often recently graduated Groundsmen, still getting used to and developing their chaos-shaping powers. These newbies are often assigned to work together to serve in the githzerai military, where their abilities are invaluable in home defence.

Allies & Enemies

Surprisingly, very few of either. Besides the traditional enemies of the githzerai race (the illithids, slaadi and githyanki), the Anarch's Guild does not have any enemies among the other factions or sects, probably because members of the Anarch's Guild hardly 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.

Advantages & Disadvantages

The main advantage to being a Chaos Master is the ability to learn the chaos-shaping proficiency, as well as how to maintain stable matter within Limbo while not concentrating. If you're a githzerai, it doesn't get much cushier then being a Chaos Master. Everyone treats you with the utmost respect, you get to set your own hours, and build your own residence -- which can often take the form of a massive castle or palace.

Disadvantages? You can't leave. Sorry. If you're a Groundsman, you are expected to help maintain or 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 get 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.

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Current Chant

As mentioned previously, the Groundsmen are beginning to develop a god complex. The ability to create life and matter has that affect on people, you know? A lot of githzerai 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 pretty 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 killed. 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 "flunk out" of the Academy, practice on his own, and suddenly develop the Art, that would make the Guild's position a lot weaker. Before you know it, that person is training his own chaos-shapers, and soon after that, another "Anarch's Guild" has been established. So, in the minds of the high-ups in the Guilds, it's better to simply remove those random elements then to regret it later.

Consult the Mimir Again

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