War in the Heavens: Dark Energy
The Merchant League
There are five organizations working constantly throughout the Known Worlds, five guilds who control and jealously guard monopolies on sectors of commerce, trade, and production. Despite their less-than-sterling human rights records, most members of most guilds are at least slightly more egalitarian and democratic than anyone else in real power in the unvierse (well, compared with the Universal Church, Noble Houses and Emperor.) They control several worlds, including Bannockburn and Madoc, much of Kordeth, and the League Homeworld Leagueheim, widely regarded as the last bastion of the Second Republic.
- The Engineers
Engineers control high-tech research & development, industrial manufacture, technical personell.
- The Charioteers
The Charioteers control starpiloting, logistics, and markets.
- The Muster
The Muster control military operations and slavery, technical personell, and logistics.
- The Reeves
The Reeves control Bureaucracy, markets, and bending the law.
- The Scravers
The Scravers control Vice and organized crime, industrial salvage, and avoiding the law.
Yes, there are areas of overlap, and yes, this does breed real conflict between the guilds, but they all know that they’re mutually dependent in a universe where many parties would like to see them erased from existence.
Those are the major, long-standing, Emperor-vetting, dues-paying, civilization-enabling guilds. A number of other minor guilds exist, including the Entertainers and Courtesan’s Guilds, the Prospectors Guild, the Apothecaries’ Guild, and on down the line to powerless guilds-in-name-only, e.g., the Brewers guild, the carpenters’ guild, etc.