With the book out in less than a month, I wanted to take this opportunity for readers like me who get a little . . . obsessive about the world-building behind their favorite fantasy settings. I’ve always loved diving deep into my favorite properties, so this series is meant to explore some of the aspects of Freestone and beyond that maybe didn’t make it into the books, but which acted as our framework when writing them. Not everyone loves to pause the action for a civics lesson, or a treatise on the various magical planes, but for those who are curious, these posts will hopefully be a useful source of info!
The Adventurers Guild takes place in Terryn, a fantasy world that was more or less destroyed by monsters long before the books begin. Think Lord of the Rings or Dungeons & Dragons, except the monsters have already won. There’s still a lot going on in the surviving cities, but first off . . . what happened to this world??
History: The Day of Dangers
Two centuries ago, a warlock named Foster Pendleton opened the gates between Terryn and the other planes of existence (more on these planes in another post). According to history, Foster was hoping to increase his magical power, but by thinning the barriers between planes, he inadvertently flooded the world with horrific monsters. These supernatural creatures — called Dangers by the people of Freestone— swept across the entire world, and the people of Terryn were unprepared for the onslaught. Civilization was effectively destroyed in a single day, now known in Freestone as the Day of Dangers. Only a handful of cities survived, because they were able to protect themselves with physical and magical barriers in time.
History: The Champions of Freestone, founders of the four High Guilds
Four champions are credited with protecting Freestone during the Day of Dangers. Afterwards, they formed the guild system that the city uses to keep order. Each champion founded one of the four High Guilds which — together with Freestone’s reigning monarch — oversee the whole system. These champions were . . .
Mother Aedra of the Golden Way, the Priestess: a benevolent practitioner of the healing arts, Mother Aedra founded the Golden Way, or Healers Guild, a monastic guild made up of monks and nuns who cannot take titles or have families.
Ser Jerra Freestone, the Paladin: founder of the Knights Guild (informally called the Stone Sons) which protects the city and the castle. The Stone Sons act as a police force for Freestone. The guild doesn’t allow women, which is condemned as unfair by Freestone’s more progressive citizens.
Archmagus Zahira Silverglow, the Enchantress: founder of the Mages Guild, also known as the Silverglows, a very small but powerful guild made up mostly of wizards and the odd sorcerer. The Mages Guild’s chief charge is to maintain the magical wards that protect the city from the Dangers. They also provide arcane support and advisement, and keep a watchful eye for dark magic like Foster’s.
Dox Eural, the Assassin: founder of the Merchants Guild, which governs trade and collects taxes. Dox was once a spy and scoundrel, but mended his ways after the Day of Dangers to bring lawful commerce to a city on the brink. Still, some have heard whispers of a darker aspect to the guild . . . a group who call themselves the Shadows.
Foster the Warlock, aka Foster the Traitor: once a friend and companion to the champions, Foster was a powerful warlock—a practitioner of fiendish magic. Foster and Dox were especially good friends, but when Foster’s calamitous ritual brought the world to ruin, Dox was forced to end it any way he could. With a heavy heart, he slayed his wayward friend. Foster was elf-blooded: a half-human and half-elf hybrid. Ever since his betrayal, the elf-blooded have been treated with suspicion, if not outright scorn.
OK, that’s all for history. The next post will cover the society of Freestone, and how they’ve managed to keep civilization alive through the end of the world. We’re talking guilds, guilds, guilds!