Guilds in the Empire of the Nine
The main exception to the Empire of the Nine's seclusion from the rest of the world is when it comes to the Guilds. Long ago, the adhalmagus realized the importance of the Guilds to the prosperity of the Empire, and invited a delegation of its masters to sit with him.
At first, the adhalmagus insisted that one of the guilds - the Most Numinous Spellwright's Guild - be entirely excluded from the Empire. The canny guildsmasters struck another deal instead, extending an invitation to House Taldiress to allow some of its members to join the Spellwright's guild, adding additional coin to its coffers and giving a means of quick profitability to some of its lesser scions. While the adhalmagus of the time was hesitant, the Nine saw the benefit of this plan, and managed to convince him. Since that day, only members of House Taldiress act as members of that guild.
Today, the Guilds provide a significant measure of the Empire's wealth. Though the Empire has sufficient land and resources to be wholly self-sufficient (particularly with the sorcerous aid of its kings and queens), the Guilds provide them a ready means of trade with the outside world without actually having to manage trade agreements or other interactions with other nations. All Guildsmasters who are imperial citizens are brought before the adhalmagus to swear direct allegiance to him even over the Guilds as part of the process of being made a Guildsmasters, and the Nine are very clear that all Guildsmasters are under close official (and usually covert) scrutiny.
There are five Guildtowns in the Empire of the Nine:
- Threepaths: Located in Rainshire Province is a crossroads and major market town for the province.
- Gentletide: Also located in Rainshire Province is a trading port town.
- Respite: The only guildtown in Elmheights Province, Respite is a caravan-town.
- Seasong: A port-town in the Everfields Province.
- Waypoint: A caravan and market town in the Everfields Province.