For those who want to add some differensation to the bladesingers. It is presently very low detail, there is nothing about offices, personages, internal politics, holdings, etc. essential things.
It is probably useless to those who don't allow bladesingers or feel that there can be just one guild of bladesingers. See below the "--------".
There is no love, no good, no happiness and no future - these are all just illusions.
Bladesinger guilds in the Duchy of Ulek. This is the *LOW* detail writeup. It is covered by a regular 4 clause BSD licence.
1. *THE* Guild of Bladesingers
The guild has it's own land holdings and is quite rich - some refer to it jokingly as the Order of Bladesingers - but this institution is what is meant when a native of the region says 'guild of bladesingers'. Due to it's land holdings, the guild has it's own seat and voice in the council of the nobles, separate from those of any members who may have a seat there.
The economic and political side (and other mundane parts) of the guild is handled by the Chancelor. The Chancelor is answerable to the Guildmaster and the Council and has to leave all personal propety and concernes behind when he or she takes the postion. Thus far, none of the Chancelors has broken the oath of 'swearing the cuting of all ties to matters personal'. Chancelor is not a postion most of the bladesingers view as desirable as it is largely bureaucratic. The Chancelor is elect from among the elder members by the Council and the Guildmaster. The Chancelor is banned from all regular bladesinger activities and may not take part in the Council or Great Assembly. To the regular guild members, the doings of the Chancelor are even more mysterious than that of the Librarian.
The Guildmaster, Chancelor, Librarian, Weaponsmaster and Master of the Arcane form the Council of the Five that is effectively the executive branch of the Guild.
2. The Guild of Shadow-singers
These bladesinger are all specialists - they are all illusionists. The guild acknowledges the superiority of the regular bladesinger guild, while the full guild views them as an offshoot for the not so competent. The running joke in the main guild (and for a long time already so) is that the next offshoot will be divination specialists - they never actually use their swords, just sit at home and try to divine the best best way how not to use these.
The members of the shadow-singers are taught a lot of skills relating to stealth, and quite a bit more about magic than regular bladesingers, and so at the expense of swordart. The shadow-singers function as one level lower when a regular bladesinger of equal level. Thus a first level shadow-singer has no bladesinger weapons abilities and second level has those of a first level regular bladesinger. On the positive side, the illusion school spells that the shadow singers cast *in combat* function as if the caster was one level higher.
The tatoo the members wear is not a tatoo at all but a version of a permanent "wizard's mark".
3. The Guild of the Prancing Pony
None of the other guilds *EVER* allow their members to call, or even think, of the members of this guild as bladesingers. And they are more than certain that they have every right to do so. After all, they are not even trained in the art of the longsword, but in the art the spear! To their mind, the originator of this guild should be crossed out from the list of all elves and be damned until the eternity of all time runs out.
The mebers of this bladesinger guild are trained in the art of riding and use of the spear - and to a much smaller amount, the use of lance. The admission requirements to this guild are very strict. In addition to that, the members are taught the variant of the bladesong of this guild (that radically differs from others) only when they have become full members after completing the TEST after reaching 5th level. The TEST is a well guarded secret, full knowledge of which is limited to those having taken it. It is a high treason to reveal it, and thus only the general impression of it is present among non-members and junior members.
The TEST consist of disarming and subduing three knights on heavy warhorses armed with swords and heavy lances. The full membership hopefull, however, must sit on an untrained pony (hence the name of the guild) and and is allowed to use spear as the only weapon.
Those that survive the test not making it become a kind of 'lay brothers'.
They remain with the guild but can not take positions in teh hierarchy and never learn the full bladesong. Full members *NEVER* fail their riding proficency checks, unless they voluntarily choose to do so. They have the normal bladesinger abilities (but with spear, not longsword) and are proficent with (any kind) of lance, but prefer to use spear.
The members of this guild don't wear a tatoo. The stance on teh thing is that they will one - that of a prancing pony - when the bladesinger guild accepts them as equals. This guild is unique to the Duchy of Ulek.
4. The Guild of the Silver Branch
This guild is a relatively recent off-shoot from the main guild. The main difference between the two is that the guild ofthe silver branch put the intrests of the Duchy of Ulek as whole - an entity consisting of not only elves but also other races - in the first place, leaving elvendom to be the second. This is something the main guild finds it cannot tolerate.
After the admission of a half-elf into the lines of this guild, there is an open feud between the Guild of Bladesingers and the Guild of the Silver Branch.
Members wear the tatoo of a silver brach done in silvery ink. This guild is unique to the Duchy of Ulek. The headquaters of this guild are in Waybury.