Guild of Thieves

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Guild/Provisioner sign

The Guild of Thieves (a.k.a. Thieves' Guild, or simply the Guild) is a network of professional thieves and secret shops which sell goods considered illegal or exotic. It has operated, in some form, from Ultima III through Ultima IX

History[edit]

Age of Darkness[edit]

The first mention of the Guild occurred on Minax's time-warped version of Earth, within her citadel of Shadowguard. Within this dark keep, a small chamber had been entitled the "Thieves Guild" and several brigands could be found meeting within. It is unknown what aims, if any, this early guild had, for they did not appear to have any involvement in Terran commerce. If they bore any relation to the eventual society which would flourish in Britannia, the link has remained a mystery.

Later, a Guild of some manner appeared to be flourishing in Sosaria during the age of Exodus, where numerous of shops operated by the group would trade in rare items such as peer gems and lockpicks. While many settlements appeared to have sanctions against the Guild, the society nevertheless managed to do business in Devil Guard, Grey, Fawn and even the magical city of Dawn.[1]

Age of Enlightenment[edit]

After the christening of Britannia, the shift toward a more lawful society appeared to drive the Guild even further underground, with the only townes hosting Guild shops being Buccaneer's Den, a well known criminal haven, and the remote Vesper. While in public the Guild was considered defunct, the Stranger would nevertheless find the wares sold by them immensely helpful in their quest toward Avatarhood.[2] In addition to offering torches, gems and lockpicks, these secretive shops also dealt in ships sextants during this age, which for reasons unknown were not openly sold. Those desiring such apparatus would have to request an item "D".

In the later Age of Enlightenment, following the abandonment of Vesper, the Guild only remained only in Buccaneer's Den, although by the time of Ultima VI, the organization appeared to have an extensive reach, having developed a network of tunnels spanning between their headquarters and Britain. It was during these years of the Gargish conflict that the Avatar would have to negotiate joining the guild themselves in order to extract information from the tight-lipped Homer. To do this, the hero would have to first learn from the guild master, Budo, that the Guild regulated its membership by issuing a series of iconic belts. In order for new members to be initiated, it was necessary that they obtain one of this items from an existing guild member, killing them if necessary. After the Avatar procured such a belt from the thief Phoenix, Budo welcomed them into the Guild, swearing them to secrecy.[3]

Age of Armageddon[edit]

In the two centuries between the end of the gargoyle war and the return of the Avatar, the guild appeared to fade into obscurity - becoming truly abandoned as the populace of Buccaneer's Den slowly came under the sway of the Fellowship. Nevertheless, the tunnels built by the society still existed for those wishing to exploit them, and the robber, Fissif, made such an attempt during the ill-starred Feast of the Reconstruction.

It was only in Britannia's latest years, during the incursions of Guardian and his perverse columns, that the Guild once more flourished. In these dark days, the group ruled Buccaneer's Den nigh openly, under the leadership of the charismatic Samhayne. During this era, sin thrived in the pirate's city, with slavery and prostitution openly practiced under the society's oversight. Nevertheless, the Avatar's beloved, Raven would have cause to re-induct the hero into the Guild, branding her paramour with the symbol of the Guild during an intimate encounter.

Lore[edit]

The Thieves' Guild offers, at a high price, tools of their trade. The Guild Shops are difficult to locate as most towns have driven them out.
The Thieves' Guild has been essentially driven out of Britannia, but rumors persist of its existence somewhere in the ocean, perhaps on one of the uncharted islands. Somehow, the Guild maintains contact with the mainland, perhaps through the brazen pirates. The goods once offered by the Guild were expensive, but invaluable to the traveller who sought to stray off the beaten path in search of novel experiences.
Guilds carry the ancient symbol of the thieves' trade, though many a good adventurer oft has need of their goods. In olden times, guilds sold such items as lockpicks, glasses for seeing what the naked eye cannot, equipment for working clandestinely in the dark, and the like.
It is not uncommon for members of certain professions to organize themselves into guilds which cater to the specific needs of their membership. Such guilds have been set up in a number of towns. The guilds provide professional adventurers with many of the things they need for journeys into the wilderness and deep dungeons.
None may enter a guild house without paying fealty. Those who have sworn their allegiance must be clearly marked with a brand, thus showing their willingness to be known and recognized as lifelong members of the guild.
No member of the guild will be forced to pay high prices when dealing with a shopkeeper who is friendly to the guild.

Known Members[edit]

Ultima IV[edit]

Ultima V[edit]

Ultima VI[edit]

Ultima VII[edit]

Ultima VII NES[edit]

Ultima IX[edit]

Shops[edit]

The following shops have been controlled by the Guild of Thieves:

References[edit]

  1. Adams, Roe R.. "Last Minute Counsel". The Book of Play (Ultima III). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1983. Page 12.
  2. Albert, David. "Mercantile". The History of Britannia (Ultima IV). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1988. Page 13.
  3. BudoEthereal Software's Ultima VI TranscriptUltima VI. "belt, guild, thieves".