End of Ages
The Thieves Guild is a sprawling, decentralized, criminal organization with many chapters primarily located in cities, along trade routes, and in coastal settlements. While a hierarchy exists among the guild’s top leadership, the vast majority of members (who often call themselves “associates”) are left to organize their endeavors on their own. In this way the more reputable members of the Guild avoid dirtying their hands with the unlawful practices of their comrades.
The Thieves Guild has three rules:
- Do not talk about the Guild except within the Guild.
- At least 10% of members’ profits must be offered to the Guild.
- Harm no fellow Guild member.
These rules are occasionally broken, but never without eventual regret. For the protection it offers, the Guild demands its fee.
In practice many more rules are enforced, often regarding channels of communication and “turf” boundaries and ownership. These rules are usually created and carried out by powerful members of the Guild rather than the Guild’s true leaders, but leadership tends to turn a blind eye upon minor internal conflict among low-level associates.
All who adhere to the Guild’s three rules are considered Guild members, and as such are officially off-limits as targets of the Guild. It is for exactly this reason that many otherwise lawful shop owners and traders contribute 10% of their profits to the organization — this fee, they believe, is less trouble than they would find outside the Guild’s protection.
Nearly all professional criminals are de facto members of the Guild, whether or not they actively engage in Guild-assigned missions. This is because they follow the rules and pay the fine. For a criminal to refuse membership (e.g., by withholding payment) is tantamount to being wanted by both the law and the criminal underworld. Friends and contacts for such an individual should be counted precious indeed.