The Eternal Divine Guild of Honoured Scriveners is the most infamous and potentially most powerful organization in all of Mulhorand.
Scribes are an essential part of Mulhorand’s government, and as a result the Guild of Scribes has members present in every town and city, and in every major organization and church.
The Guild of Scribes had its beginnings when Horus-Re reformed the state of Mulhorand beginning in -1045 DR, although scribes and groups of scribes had existed in Mulhorand long before this date. Prior to this time, the governing of each settlement in Mulhorand was largely up to the Divine Precept that controlled the region, and he or she often delegated decisions of this task to favoured nobles and relatives, who in turn appointed their own assistants for whatever tasks they were given. Thus the First Empire of Mulhorand was feudal in nature, with huge differences in governance types and effectivenesss from region to region and settlement to settlement.
Horus-Re’s first major act as Divine Pharaoh was to reform the state of Mulhorand, he homogenized the rule of every region and city in Mulhorand so that everywhere was organized in the same fashion under control of the central government that decided on the policies to be implemented. In order to accomplish this task, Horus-Re gave the most powerful noble houses a greater stake in the new central government, by making them responsible for deciding and implementing policy, thus reducing their resistance to the new regime.
True to form the nobility soon tired of the work and responsibilities required of them and began to delegate some of the more odious tasks (such as taking minutes, arranging meetings, and deciding the finer details of policy) to servants of a lesser station, usually their own slaves. The profession of scribe was born and has persisted through to modern times, but it did not acquire true power until the Church of Thoth was given the task of controlling magic use in Mulhorand and ensuring that Thayd’s rebellion would never happen again.
The Guild of Scribes was left to implement the register of magic users and the legislation to prevent unlicensed magic use. To speed the process and boost its membership and power, the Guild of Scribes required the wizards to join its organization, the guild gained a sudden and large influx of members keen to avoid the harsh punishments. Magic users in the churches balked at having to join a guild whose membership consisted mostly of slaves and potential rebels, especially those in the Church of Thoth. Thus it was decided that all magic users not already part of one of the churches of Mulhorand must join the Church of Thoth as an acolyte.
The Guild of Scribes now had a large number of members with magical ability who were members of a powerful organization within the state of Mulhorand. Over the centuries, the profession of Wizard became respected again (as the Church of Thoth made them work magic to aid the empire), and priests from the Church of Thoth sought to join the guild whose wizardly members had significant leverage over other factions within the church. Priests from other churches then sought to join what had become a prestigious organization with significant behind the scenes political power in Mulhorand.
Today the Guild of Scribes still has a majority of members who are slaves, but there are large numbers of members from every church in Mulhorand, who join to gain the support of many other members from varied backgrounds, and the freedom to plot among allied individuals against those who are not part of the guild.
Headquarters: Skuld, The Pyramid
Leader: Vizier Rezim Helcalliant. As the most senior member of Mulhorand’s government, and member of the Guild of Scribes, Rezim is therefore the defacto leader of the Guild of Scribes
Religion: Varies. All legal religions of Mulhorand are welcome within the Guild of Scribes.
Symbol: A rainbow quill laid across a parchment
The Guild of Scribes spans all the government organisations and has a hierarchy that is synonymous with all of them. Titles within the guild are determined by the government organization (church) that the person represents and so are too numerous to list, there are also usually embellished with numerous honorifics as determined by personal preference and service rewards within the guild.
The ranks within the guild are complex as each church has a different number of ranks and some churches have more prominence and power than others. The high priest of each church is of equal rank except for the church of Horus-Re (most senior) and whatever other church is currently within favour with the people and Pharaoh (the people usually revere Osiris the most, the Pharaoh changes his mind with each incumbent).
Officially the Guild of Scribes deals with scribing all communications, filing documents, organizing meetings, and other administrative tasks. Unofficially however, and the main reason for its huge and varied membership, is that it is a relative safe haven (from non guild members) for furthering political intrigue within the government of Mulhorand. Members of the Guild of Scribes are forbidden from taking action against any other member of higher rank (although such action has to be proven, at the least they cannot be seen to benefit directly from such plots and be circumstantially implicated of such plotting). Plotting against members of equal rank is a regular occurrence, with cross religion factions emerging and vanishing often. Plots against guild members are encouraged to use non lethal methods or risk being ostracized.
The slave members and true scribes of the guild (the priest members serve honorary roles that allow them to plot) are subservient to almost all other members of the guild (although a few slaves have rarely achieved senior government roles independent of church affiliation). These scribes are the bureaucrats of Mulhorand’s civil service, expected to scribe all communications and ensure that the decisions (although vague instructions would be a more accurate description) of senior politicians are implemented correctly. These decisions are often little more than a hint at the desired outcome (“So-Amon Keth is an incompetent braggart and should suffer the ignominy his intellect deserves”, could be an off hand comment made by a senior priest that wanted a dangerous underling politically assassinated.
The Sun Hawks: This faction is led by the Vizier Rezim, and is dedicated to reforming Mulhorand in accordance with Vizier Rezim’s vision, with the Church of Horus-Re forming the backbone of the state and the Divine Incarnation of Horus-Re as the Pharaoh, and the Vizier in control of it all. It spends much of it’s time discovering the plots of factions inside and outside the Guild of Scribes and then attempting to thwart those plots, while at the same time trying to push Rezim’s agenda.
The Sun Hawks are also engaged in a political war against the Church of Anhur to try and remove its influence from the Pharaoh and Mulhorandi society altogether. This faction has a number of powerful members from the Church of Horus-Re (particularly those of House Helthaunt), as well as radical members of the Church of Nephthys (who believe that war is bad for trade but desire change in Mulhorand), and a smattering of members from other churches.
Rezim keeps a number of his own plots secret from his own faction, and includes only the most select and loyal members when absolutely necessary. Those who please the Vizier are given lavish gifts of wealth, power, and land, and some even end up as commanders of the Legion of Dawn.
The Lion Hearts: This faction is led by Abalsaf Ralmier Ramtep, one of the commanders of the Legion of Dawn and a respected member of the War Council of Anhur. Ralmier and his faction believe that Mulhorand should prepare for a future war with Thay but should not launch until some calamity befalls their northern neighbor.
Ralmier is vaguely aware of plans to form a new model army and launch an imminent attack on Thay (organized by his own colleagues in the Church of Anhur), but he has not acquired any firm evidence on the illicit activities that have thus far been concealed from the Pharaoh, and so is sending agents and hiring adventurers to search the coast of the Thazalhar for hidden Thayan forces in disguise. His efforts have thus far been unsuccessful because the armed forces are most often hidden far up the River of Dawn in the foothills of the Sunrise Mountains where he has not thought to look.
The New Dawn: The conservative faction of the Church of Horus-Re is led by Mardikan Helcalli and is dedicated to preserving the Mulhorand in exactly the state it is now, although mostly it appears to be dedicated to opposing any reform the Vizier Rezim tries to put forward in the Solar Council.
The New Dawn has a large following among the conservative factions of the Church of Nephthys, and the Church of Osiris, but Mardikan is often so blinded in his hatred of Rezim that he regularly loses the support of his allies in other churches.
Dogma / Motivation / Goals
Membership / Recruiting
The Guild of Scribes is a hotbed of political intrigue within Mulhorand’s churches and government. As an organization that survives largely due to the unchanging nature of Mulhorand’s government, the factions within the Guild of Scribes most often form the conservative factions within the various churches.
The Slave Trade: Vizier Rezim Helcalliant has long proposed that licensed owners be allowed to purchase slaves outright without having to rent them from the Church of Horus-Re, thus freeing the church from the necessity to monitor their property (slaves) and ensure it is well cared for), while gaining a larger amount of money from those nobles wishing to buy slaves for whatever purpose they desire.
The motion has been posed many times in the Solar Council, but has had little support from the other Divine Precepts. Recently Rezim has received surprising support from many priests in the Church of Anhur (not from the Lion Hearts faction), with enough money he could buy the support of the Church of Nephthys, and Rezim believes he can threaten the Church of Osiris to support his motion. It is possible that relatively soon, the conditions for slaves could become steadily worse in Mulhorand.
Sleeping Lions Lie: There are many within the various churches of Mulhorand that envy the power of the big three churches (excluding the Church of Horus-Re); the Church of Isis, the Church of Osiris, and the Church of Anhur. Over the last few centuries the Church of Anhur has been considerably weakened by repeated failures in their sacred duty to defend the realm (particularly against the Red Wizards of Thay), the Church of Anhur has become something of a political scapegoat and many believe the time is right to strip it of its last remaining privileges and take its place.
The Church of Nephthys in particular would love to see trade replace warfare as one of the major areas of government policy, even proposing that trade can be used to wage war against one’s enemies without any life lost. This plot has major support among the Church of Horus-Re and the Church of Nephthys, as well as minor supporters among all other churches.
Rezim and the Sun Hawks lead the activities of this plot and are currently looking to remove the privilege of warriors of Anhur defending the Pharaoh and the Solarium, a major failure of the Anhurites would make this easily achievable and it is not above Rezim to engineer such a failure.
Surest Things: The Sun Hawks, led by Vizier Rezim Helcalli, wish to implement toll booths at every crossroads to generate income from the caravan traffic and travelers that wish to use the roads in Mulhorand. The roads are in dire need of repair having been first constructed during the time of the Empire Divided by Horus-Re as he sought to expand his empire, worse still is the plague of bandits coming from the Shaar, and Thay and terrifying monsters coming down from the Dragonsword Mountains. These menaces require regular patrols of the Legion of Dawn and the Vizier claims the money would be used to help keep this roads maintained and clear.
The Church of Nephthys led by Sethora Neshar opposes this plan because Rezim has proposed the Church of Horus-Re collect these road taxes even though the Church of Nephthys is in charge of the Ministry of Roads. The Golden Order faction of the Church of Nephthys actively backs this plan as it believes the toll roads could be used against caravans from Thay in a coming trade war.
Sphere of Influence