This desert city is a democratic meritocracy run by its trade and service guilds.
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Laws are proposed by the Senate, made up of 100 elected representatives of rank Proven or higher (although it is exceedingly rare for anyone less than rank Master to be elected). These must then be approved by the Grand Council, which consists of 12 elected representatives of rank Exalted or higher, no two of which may come from the same guild. They Mayor holds tie-breaking power in the case of a deadlock of the Grand Council.

Law Enforcement

All citizens must spend two weeks out of every 12 serving in the city militia (which doubles as a policy force). This militia is overseen by a committee appointed by the Grand Council. Committee members server for two years, after which the committee is re-appointed by the Grand Council. The committee hires permanent captains and sergeants from the Coalition of Arms to train citizens and direct them in their daily duties once trained.

Citizens in the militia take their responsibility very seriously, as failure to discharge their duty honorably may result in loss of merit, and a hefty fine for their guild.


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Sklynd is self-described as a meritocracy. The citizens pride themselves on their rigid testing and advancement of rank within the guilds that are the primary organization for the city. The people of Sklynd can perform basic services for themselves or their immediate family regardless of what guild they are a member of – but performing a trade or service outside that performed by your guild in exchange for pay or barter is strictly forbidden, and harshly punished. A percentage of all money earned by each guild member is tithed to the guild. The guild in turn pays taxes to the city of Sklynd.

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It is common practice for parents of children of apprenticeship age to arrange marriages that create favorable guild opportunities or relationships for their families. Many Unproven children are promised in marriage before they ever hit puberty. These marriages are made without regard to race (only guild alliances matter), leading other cities in Merisyl to call Sklynd by the derogatory nicknames of “The Bastard Bastion” or “Crossbreed Kingdom”. They people of Sklynd themselves refer to Sklynd as The City of Merit.

The ranks within the guilds are:

  • Unproven: Children, outsiders and adults who have not yet passed their Proving are considered Unproven. Unproven who have tried and failed at their Proving multiple times are also known as the Meritless, and will frequently be sent out of Sklynd and into the desert with nothing more than what they can carry. Others may be supported by their biological families for some time, but continued failure will leave them begging in the streets, for none will employ a Meritless for even the most menial of jobs.
  • Proven: Any guildmember who has passed their Proving is considered Proven. Guild members at this rank have demonstrated a basic level of competence to a Master level guild member who is willing to vouch for the Proven’s worthiness (known henceforth as their sponsor). Proven are employed by the guild in roles that primarily serve other guild members (as opposed to producing goods or products for those outside the guild).
    Journeyman: Typically reached within a year or two of becoming Proven, the journeyman has been gainfully employed in the service of their guild and has demonstrated a level of competence that allows them to serve those outside their own guild. Two Masters must vouch for the readiness of a Proven to become a Journeyman.
  • Master: A Journeyman may test to become a master after amassing a 500 gp testing fee. They must then demonstrate to an Exalted that they have mastered the understand of their guild’s craft and philosophy. Most Journeyman will test to become a Master after 5 to 7 years though some test earlier and some never reach this rank. Most guild members remain Masters for the majority of their career. As a result, a common (non-gender specific) salutation for an adult in Sklynd is “Master”.
  • Exalted: Those who have attained an exceptional mastery of their craft, and whom can afford the 5000 gp fee, may apply to become an Exalted. Exalted are skilled in every facet of their craft, have an exceptional service record both within the guild structure and to customers of the guild, and possess the charisma and strength of will to provide leadership to their guild members. An application to become Exalted must be approved by three sitting Exalted or Unquestioned members. In most guilds the number of Exalted are measured in the low dozens.
  • Unquestioned: The Unquestioned are nominated from the ranks of the Exalted by their peers for this distinguished honor. Generally given only to those with dozens of years of impeccable service, this rank is the highest non-political rank one can achieve in the city. The Unquestioned are revered by all, and are generally regarded as being above the law. Most guilds will have only a handful of members at this level.
    Ranks are traditionally denoted in the bands of color used in the headgear (called “drambas”) which are used ubiquitously in Sklynd as relief from the pounding sun. Unproven wear a solid, non-white cloth as their drambas. As each rank in the guild is achieved a band of color may be added. Pure white drambas is reserved for the Unquestioned (although they may also wear a five-banded drambas, should hey prefer).

The Proving

Each year on the longest day of the year, the Festival of the Proving (or just The Proving) is held. The entirety of the Cerulean Bazaar is devoted to the Masters of each guild evaluating the skills and knowledge of the Unproven as they attempt to join a guild. In many cases the young sons and daughters of Sklynd follow in their parent’s footsteps. They will have learned a craft by helping their parents from a very young age, and will be able to demonstrate their competency to become Proven on the first try.

Others will have become attracted to another calling, and may have arranged an apprenticeship with their guild of choice, thus smoothing their path to becoming Proven.

Either way, once an Unproven becomes Proven at the Proving, their time with their biological family is at an end, and they will move into a guildhall. Here they will develop the bonds of friendship and shared interest that will last their entire lives.

It is rare, but not unheard of, for people to change guilds. Those who choose this path must Prove themselves once again in the new guild and work their way up the hierarchy once again.


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