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Board's Plot: Blood Rites
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Established February 2010
by Jamie, Gina & Bowie.

* Plot Information for Dena Nehele

With the full force of the Guilds at her back, Rilandra Vlas seized the Territory Throne of Dena Nehele. The common born Province Queen now owes allegiance to the Master of the Guilds for his assistance in both securing the throne and securing Darcia Glassade's continual safety. Trapped between the demands of the Guilds and the demands of the Aristos, Riley is struggling to rule, finding the palace more of a cage than she could have dreamed possible.
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Author Topic: The Myos Guild  (Read 8673 times)


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The Myos Guild
« on: Jul 21, 12, 04:25:13 PM »

There are three paths to becoming one of the Myos. The most common by several orders of magnitude is being recruited as a child. Myos training takes best when applied to the young, and often active members of the Myos keep an eye out for likely candidates as they go about their business. When they come upon a young orphan on the streets who shows a predisposition for violence, they’ll offer the child a chance to become one of the feared assassins. That’s all it is: A chance. After this, the recruited child is sent away to the training grounds. Rarely, the Myos may choose to train an apprentice on their own, but this is rare.

The second most common path is that offered to the organization’s aristo members, or to the likely-looking children of active members. As many members of the organization choose to refrain from having children, and very few members of the organization are aristo at all, this path is very rarely taken. Upon the member choosing a likely student, they will begin to privately train them under the guise of regular combat training. After a certain point, the apprentice is obligated to swear fealty to the Myos or die.

The final path, and the absolute rarest, is the recruitment of an active assassin or serial killer, either from another Guild or from outside the Guild structure. Generally speaking, this person is too old for standard Guild training, but is already killing for money or sport. Often, their presence risks the discovery of another Myos nearby and their prices may undercut the Guild. Rather than killing the interloper straight off, the Myos may approach them and attempt to recruit them. Should the outsider refuse the offer of membership, they are killed; should they accept, they are given the rank of journeyman within the Guild and further training.

Training, for the vast majority of Myos recruits, takes place in a secluded area of the Moesian mountains called “Celalalt Loc,” or ‘the other place’. Sometimes it is also referred to as “the Farm.” Almost every Myos apprentice comes through here and spends at least two years learning the ins-and-outs of working within the Guild; those who come to the Guild from outside of its recruitment process are obviously excluded, and what few aristo recruits there are are too visible to undertake deep training the way those plucked off the streets do. Apprentices stay gone for the length of their training. They either emerge journeymen Myos, capable of taking on contracts and maintaining their own cover for long periods of time, or they wash out and die.

In the morning, starting just after dawn, the apprentices are taught combat, stealth, and Craft. They learn myriad weapons, though knives and projectiles are the most common as they are the easiest to conceal; they play numerous and deadly games of hide-and-seek and learn to set trap spells on each other. For a Myos, staying in shape is important, though not nearly so important as being able to hide in plain sight. The focus on physical activity isn’t to look a certain way or to lose weight, but to build endurance and strength. Myos come in all shapes and sizes.

After lunch, the apprentices attend lessons. All members of the Myos are literate and numerate; they are taught to encode and decode messages in order to better communicate with the Guild. They learn to recognize common poisons, and how to brew them. They also learn to brew common antidotes. Apprentices are instructed in how to conceal their psychic scent, but murder isn’t all they’re responsible for learning.

An apprentice must also be familiar with the ins-and-outs of their public identity. Often, they’ll be set up as an inheritor to a property or role already owned by a Myos, and presented to the world as that Myos’s child or relative. When that Myos is ready to move on, the apprentice will step into that role. They also receive instruction on seamlessly maintaining their disguises.

Casted apprentices--whatever Caste they bear, no matter how notable--receive the bare minimum of training for their caste for them to be safe. A Caste makes one visible and they will often not be called to work within their caste. Casteless apprentices (witches and warlords) are preferred in order to streamline their training. They’re easier to train and easier to hide. Princes and Warlord Princes are more common than the female castes. Of the female castes, Black Widows and Priestesses are leagues more acceptable than Healers and Queens, as their skills lend themselves to the art (and the Myos prefer to recruit before the Black Widow caste surfaces). If a casted apprentice wants more training, they are responsible for securing it themselves after completing their training. There are currently no Queens among the Myos.

Once the Myos instructors judge a candidate prepared for the real world, they are given a final test. This test takes a different shape for each member; some of them don’t even have to kill someone. Sometimes, though, the apprentice has to kill another who has been judged incapable of serving the Myos. Failing this final test is not always a death sentence, but it usually is. Failures at this point are very rare, as the Myos trainers have their skills down to a fine art, and most of those who can’t cut it never make it to the final test.

Upon passing their final test, a Myos candidate acquires their name, which generally describes their methodology or a notable trait about them. For apprentices outside of Celalalt Loc, their training-master will give the apprentice their Myos name; for journeymen brought in from outside the Guild, the one who makes the offer will give their name.

Life as a Myos is not very exciting, except when it is. The vast majority of the time, a Myos Guildmember is living their double life. A florist will be floristing, a Court member performs their duties. It’s considered best that one not ascend too high in anyone’s esteem or make too great a reputation for themselves in their double life. While the Guild Master and the Guild Leaders will refuse contracts on a member of the Guilds--all Guilds, not just their own--the visibility that comes with ruling or leading a Caste enclave is a great risk. While a Shaos might not spy upon a Myos, there are other sorts of espionage and the Shaos are markedly less proprietary on spying than the Myos are on murder. Generally speaking, a Myos doesn’t know any other Myos to see them on the street. Obviously, Myos who undergo training together become incredibly close and will often go out of their way to work together and to come up with reasons to meet up after their training is complete. This general disconnectedness protects the body of the Guild in case one of them is captured or identified.

The Myos tend to take and complete contracts once a month, from any Guild-maintained board in the Territory (there is one in every District and Province capital, and two in Bidea). Some assassins maintain relationships with certain aristo, and take contracts directly from them, in a system called ‘patronage’. Contracts may also be assigned from the Guild Leader. Contracts may happen more often than once per month or less, depending upon the Guildsmember’s cover story, relationships with the sorts who hire assassins, and particular skill set. Some Myos specialize into complicated ‘accidents’; others are good for getting to difficult targets, where one doesn’t have to hide that it was an assassination. There is a subset of Myos where they are extensively trained in hand-to-hand combat who are assigned to take down targets where there will be plentiful guards or where the target is expected to fight back.

Every contract that goes up on the board is vetted, though who by is unknown. Guild rumor holds this is the work of someone high up in the Guilds. (This responsibility falls to the Guild Master’s Second and his Hand, generally; the Myos Guild Leader is given any high-priority or high-value contracts to assign, rather than putting them through the board.) All contracts must clearly identify the target, so no one will be handing down contracts for “the man who killed my father”. Spying is for the Shaos, and the Myos reject contracts lacking vital information as a matter of routine. Other vital pieces of information are the location of the target, caste, and Jewel strength if possible. A contract will also specify the price to be paid upon completion. The price within the contract is always one that the Guild approves of; contracts offering a lower price than is considered acceptable by the Guild are disposed of.

All contracts are lucrative, though obviously the compensation varies depending upon who’s being assassinated. Generally, a contract on the life of an aristo will run a higher price than a contract on a merchant, who will be more expensive than a peasant. However, the visibility of the target also affects the price. A known rabble-rouser among the lower class will cost more or about the same as a shrinking violet of an aristo who never leaves their family seat. And then there’s also the arithmetic of whether the target will fight back, of which caste is viewed as a prime indicator. Thus, the caste of their target can greatly change the price of a contract. A Black Widow is harder to get to than a Priestess, and a Warlord Prince is a violent creature by nature.

Payment for completing a contract is given directly from the contractor to the assassin, who is held responsible for remembering to pay out the Guilds’ cut. Proof of contract completion varies; some contracts aren’t considered complete until the news breaks. Others require physical proof in the form of a body part, specific article of clothing, or a shattered Jewel. This step protects the individual Myos from retribution, as the assassin now has substantial leverage over their contractor, and so cannot be used as a pawn without incriminating the contractor. It also protects the Guild, in that there is no one centralized account for the Guild in any one place. The wealth of the Myos is spread out through many accounts in many banks, as well as supply caches seeded liberally through the cities and towns of the Territory.

Sometimes, a contract calls for a body to be disposed of. Each Myos has their own method, as is their preference. It’s considered extremely shoddy to leave a body or a piece of it where it can be found if a disappearance is requested. However, most contracts don’t specify, and leaving a body where it falls isn’t something shameful. Some contracts actually require a statement be made with the corpse. It could really go any way.

In ninety-nine cases out of one hundred, a Myos should go their entire lives without telling a single other living soul that they’re Myos. It is the single greatest failure of a Myos to become well-known for what they are, worse than failing a contract. A Myos can always make a second attempt on a life if the first goes awry, but they can never take back the words that pour from a loose tongue.

Should a Myos reveal their identity willingly,* the one they told may be killed by the Myos Executioner. What happens to the Myos themselves is a matter for the Guild Leader or, in cases of particularly powerful Myos going rogue, the Guild Master to decide. Many of them will be forfeit and die quickly. Others become examples by which others can learn.

Should a Myos be careless with their daily life and have their identity revealed unwittingly,* the Myos Executioner may be called in to kill the Myos to prevent the reveal of the Guild’s inner workings. Special circumstances would need to be examined by the Guild Master. While they may survive, their continued work with the Myos would be called into question.

However, there are always edge cases where a Myos can or must break the charade. An example of such a situation is Sway, who is not only encouraged to share her identity as a Myos to others, but sometimes is even required to. She occupies a unique cultural and social space which another Myos would find almost impossible to access, and thus should not be considered an archetypal Myos.

The Guild Master and his Second are the only ones who can give a Myos permission to share their identity with others, and when they do it requires contracts bonded in blood that swear the non-Myos to silence. The one to whom the identity is revealed must also swear to never interfere with the work of the Myos whose identity they now know.

On the Myos’ end, there must be a pressing need to reveal their identity. One cannot simply be in danger of having one’s masquerade broken; there must be a reason why simply murdering the discoverer is not an expedient option. Requests to reveal one’s identity and affiliation to a loved one cannot ride alone on the fact that the Myos cares for that person. They must be someone who cannot simply die. A current example would be a Myos revealing his identity to his Queen, as Queens are currently immune to all contracts. That being said, a Queen's bond alone is not cause for a Myos to reveal their identity.

There is no way for a Guildmember to leave the Myos alive, of their own free will, and with the member’s Jewels intact.

Should a Myos reach old age--an uncommon occurrence--they may be retired. Every retired Myos will have their Jewels broken, and will sign a contract guaranteeing their silence on the mysteries of the Myos. Retirement is not something chosen by the Myos in question; it is a decision made and handed down from the Guild Leader. Out of the seventy-five active Myos, perhaps one of them will live long enough and be loyal enough to be retired. Unknown to the Myos Guild, Myos believed dead have on the rarest of occasions secretly relocated to Kaeleer.

Myos may choose to divert more of their attention to Celalalt Loc and train the next generation of Guild members, taking fewer contracts, and still be considered active members. A Myos who stops taking contracts for more than a month at a time (and is not a pregnant woman or actively training others) is a Myos in violation of their compact with the Guilds, and will be killed. This is a role filled by the Myos Executioner. The only current exception to this is Striker, who carries a contract to use his skills to serve and protect the Queen of Dena Nehele.

The only other way to leave the Guild is to die: in attempting a contract, in their bed of old age, or at the hands of the Executioner.

*Should you wish to pursue a plot wherein a Myos is exposed or reveals their identity, please reach out to Dany, the writer of the Guild Master, in order to plot the details of how this will work in play.

This article was written by Reid, with input from Phedre, Rated Em, Blue, Jamie, and Dany.
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