The Witchfire Trilogy
The Merchants Guild
Without a doubt, this is the most powerful Guild in the city. No cargo enters or leaves the city without passing through guild-affiliated hands. Guildsmen own most of the docks. Guild warehouses store cargo. Guild elders make large contributions to city elections—and so on. The guild can stop nearly all trade in Corvis to further its political agenda, and it has done so in the past.
Some say the membership fees the guild collects are barely enough to pay off all the crooked city officials they need to bribe to maintain their system. This may be true, but the Merchants Guild Hall is still the most opulent structure in Corvis, surpassing even City Hall.
It is important to note that the Merchants Guild is not concerned with membership for every “mom and pop” store in the city. Their primary interest lies in business-to-business transactions where the big money changes hands, and the guild has made sure they will always get their cut. All the major import/export houses are guild shops, and their by-laws dictate that they only do major business with other guild members.
A small but fanatic group of merchants has eschewed guild membership. Occasionally they can offer items for less than guild shops will charge, but patronizing these merchants is risky. Being blacklisted by the Merchants Guild will result in prices mysteriously rising in many shops.
Corvis Caravaneers Guild
Founded in 595 AR, the year after Vinter the Elder fled into exile, this group has grown to become a prominent employer in Corvis responsible for shipping goods by river and wagon across Cygnar and beyond. The organization enjoys a healthy relationship with the Corvis watch and also the Church of Morrow, recognized as a reliable and legitimate organization. Through ties to the Corvis Merchants Guild, it has become the foremost handler of merchant transport contracts into and out of Corvis. Due to the sometimes dangerous nature of these trips and their valuable cargo, the Caravaneers Guild frequently employs courageous adventurers as guards.
Fraternal Order of Wizardry
Corvis is home to a small branch of the Fraternal Order of Wizardry whose headquarters are in Ceryl. This affiliation of skilled wizards has established a reputation across the southern nations for including the most skilled and powerful arcanists. However, they are disliked for being elitist, chauvinistic, and too bound by stodgy tradition. As a group they are actively involved in politics, both on a local and national level, and the Court Wizard of Cygnar is a member of this fraternity.
Their political influence in Corvis is limited, but they do exercise some clout on the city council. They have prevented competing wizard orders from establishing permanent headquarters in Corvis although that will change in time—individual wizards of other groups are found in the city. As the name suggests, the Fraternal Order does not allow women in their ranks although more from blind tradition rather than any particular antipathy toward women. Their standards are high and they do not accept lower level wizards into their ranks; it can take years for a member to pass their probationary period. The Corvis lodge can be found in the eastern part of the city in a high tower with a good view of the Quad. They boast approximately a dozen experienced wizards (of levels 8-14) and a similar number of probationary apprentices (levels 0-7).
Steam and Iron Workers Union
The armorer’s bourg in Corvis includes Chapter #18 of the Steam and Iron Workers Union. They are an influential and powerful group of engineers, steamos, and mechanics. Almost anyone involved in smithing, steam engines, or steamjack construction belongs to this group, which helps to ensure their membership is given fair wages for their work and that they are trained properly in their chosen field. The local shop is willing to provide workspace and access to certain tools to members, but it requires they be in good standing with dues paid in full.
The fact of the matter is there is no one allpowerful “Thieves Guild” in Corvis or in any other city of the region. Instead, the city is home to dozens of gangs of various sizes all backstabbing each other at every opportunity. In this chaos three groups have managed to stand out, and they exist in an uneasy truce. PCs who wish to make contact with the underworld will need to make a successful Bluff or Gather Information check (DC 15–25) depending on where they are and their reputation.