High Tides and Low Life
The Swordsman's Guild
Duel to the Death: The duel ends when one participant or the other is dead. In game terms, this occurs when a participant is rendered unconscious and his opponent deliberately chooses to kill them.
Duel to Unconsciousness: The duel ends when a participant is rendered unconscious.
Duel to Crippling: The duel ends when a participant reaches Crippled status.
Duel to First Blood: The duel ends when a participant takes a Dramatic Wound.
Duel to First Strike: The duel ends when a participant takes any amount of Flesh Wounds.
There are three ways to join the Guild. The first is by purchasing membership. The second is to become a member of a Guild-sanctioned School. Finally the applicant or his family may call in a political favor to secure membership.
A duelist can purchase membership at any Chapterhouse or at the Guild Headquarters in Kirk. The applicant receives a book of Guild law, then the Head of the Chapterhouse or his designated assistant tests the applicant to assess their Rank in any given School. If the applicant does not identify himself as a Ranked member of a School, demonstrates no specific Master abilities, and has no record of graduation from a School, the Guild will simply give him an iron Guild pin, representing an Unranked position.
The Guild does not test an applicant who gains membership through political influence. The Guild gives such applicants an Unranked pin and then leaves them to their own devices.
Since its inception the Guild has commissioned the creation of Swordsman’s Guild pins through Master Ivor Johansson and his successor, Mistress Sela Cole. The Guild pays a substantial sum to the Blacksmith’s Guild to make sure that the pins cannot be readily duplicated. Each pin is numbered, and consists of a unique ore which only handful of Blacksmiths know how to smelt.
Five types of pins exist: bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and iron. The Guild issues bronze pins to members who have only achieved Apprentice rank in one or more sanctioned Schools. It issues silver pins to Journeyman members and gold pins to members who have achieved Master rank in at least one School. Platinum pins are issued to those who have mastered more than one School.
The Guild issues the fifth and final pin, iron, to “Unranked” Swordsmen. These members have not joined any recognized School, and use simple fencing, heavy weapon, or other attack and parry tactics. These members suffer something of a disadvantage since they can demand no set minimum fee. On the other hand, they have the advantage of being an unknown quality.
- Swordsmen may never accept a commission on another Guild member.
- You may not duel a fellow Guild member outside of a commissioned arrangement.
- You must check with the local Chapterhouse when you enter and leave a city.
- You must report to the Guild for testing.
- You must wear a proper Guild Pin in public.
- You must pay a percentage of your commissions to the Guild.
- You cannot defraud a Guild customer.
- No refunds.
The basic rate for a Swordsman’s services is determined by what it would cost him to offer a challenge and duel against a Swordsman of equal rank. After the Guild’s 10% deduction, the basic fee for a Swordsman’s services runs as follows:
- Unranked: No set rate
- Apprentice: 20 guilders
- Journeyman: 40 guilders
- Master: 80 guilders
- Grand Master: 200 guilders
The Guild charges a fee of 10 guilders to offer challenge and then let an employee take over and fight. It costs the same amount to hire a Swordsman for one week’s services. This does not include room and board, or other expenses. Swordsmen often negotiate a “hazard fee” on top of their basic fee.