Tell Me About:
The Chaos Masters, the Groundsmen
Copyright 1999 by Brant
"You stand on the threshold of a new life. All these years of training and preparation have lead up to this day, this moment in your lives, in which you are afforded the title 'Shaper'. Of the one-hundred and fifty of you that passed the preliminary tests just to get into this fine academy, only twenty-nine of you remain. Consider yourselves the greatest minds the githzerai community has to offer."
Xarnig Yur-Thasrole, The Creator
"Care for a seat? <poof!> There you go "
- A Groundsmen offering hospitality to a visitor.
The Anarch's Guild has been around since the githzerai migrated to Limbo so many millennia ago. In those early, precarious years, when the githzerai were just learning about their new environment and experimenting with it, the Anarch's Guild did not even exist. The closest version of the Anarch's Guild, a kind of proto-sect, if you will, was a tightly nit bunch of githzerai who demonstrated a kind of natural "knack" for controlling the environment of Limbo. These talented githzerai had no real organisational structure, but they knew of each other, and everyone respected them for their talents.
The sectols of the Anarch's Guild are traditionally referred to as "Creators". They are typically the oldest and most talented of the Groundsmen at the time, and those applying for the position must face each other in a series of "face-off" creation matches, where each competitor must create a complete ecology from the raw nothingness of Limbo within a certain amount of time. Then, the various Creation Masters judge the work. The person who does the better job in the least amount of time, wins. These matches continue on and on, until only one person remains. That person becomes the Creator.
Male Githzerai Planar
Limbo, home of the githzerai and the location of their God-King. In the Plane of Absolute Chaos, drifting with the swirling chaos matter, is the Floating City, the spiritual and temporal capital of the githzerai race. And, located among the spires and towers of the Floating City, is the Academy of the Art, where neophytes receive training in the way of chaos-shaping.
First off, you have to be a githzerai. No exceptions. The Anarch's Guild refuses to teach its art to githzerai who don't pass the interview, let alone other races. If one is a githzerai, then one has a chance of becoming a Groundsmen. First, one must apply for membership at the Academy Gatehouse. They are then permitted an interview with one of the Creation Masters at a constantly shifting location. Sometimes the interview will take place on a floating chunk of rock in the middle of Limbo, far from any githzerai settlement. Sometimes the interview will occur at the townhouse of the Creation Master in question.
The Anarch's Guild is relatively organised for a sect that makes its home in Limbo. They function as do any sect or faction, with a leader, high-up bloods, middlemen and namers. But as any self-respecting sect does, they have given new names to these titles.
Allies & Enemies
Surprisingly, very few of either. Besides the traditional enemies of the githzerai race (the illithids, slaadi and githyanki), the Anarch's Guild does not have any enemies among the other factions or sects, probably because members of the Anarch's Guild hardly ever leave their home plane of Limbo.
Advantages & Disadvantages
The main advantage to being a Chaos Master is the ability to learn the chaos-shaping proficiency, as well as how to maintain stable matter within Limbo while not concentrating. If you're a githzerai, it doesn't get much cushier then being a Chaos Master. Everyone treats you with the utmost respect, you get to set your own hours, and build your own residence -- which can often take the form of a massive castle or palace.
As mentioned previously, the Groundsmen are beginning to develop a god complex. The ability to create life and matter has that affect on people, you know? A lot of githzerai are worrying that the Guild may make a move to take over githzerai society, and what's even more worrying is that they could possibly defeat Zaerith Menyar-Ag-Gith. Granted, the God-King of the githzerai is incredibly powerful -- but the Chaos Masters can create anything they want while in Limbo. The two would be pretty evenly matched if the Guild was to strike against their long-time King, and if the Guild came out on top, who knows what would change?
Want to know what really happens to those githzerai that don't make the cut while in the Academy? Everyone knows that they disappear, but they are really killed. You see, once you've seen the inside of the Academy and learned even the rudimentary arts of chaos-shaping, the Anarchs reckon you can't just leave and promise not to tell anyone. The Guild remains in the position it is today because it has the monopoly on the Art, and if someone was to "flunk out" of the Academy, practice on his own, and suddenly develop the Art, that would make the Guild's position a lot weaker. Before you know it, that person is training his own chaos-shapers, and soon after that, another "Anarch's Guild" has been established. So, in the minds of the high-ups in the Guilds, it's better to simply remove those random elements then to regret it later.