Starcatcher at work
There are several secret guilds. Vastly more than we’ve ever come across here at blue Cat Co. Though they are typically associated with dark magic, this is not necessarily always the case. Nevertheless, magic in general is a dubious subject in most places, so these guild associations are kept hidden.
These marks can easily be in conjunction with another guild, and are sometimes placed one on top of the other since the secret mark can only be seen when active. What the term “active” means and what makes them glow remains a mystery to us, but we will keep digging and hopefully uncover more of this mystery in time.
Sky Captain Imolianus in a rare showing of her shoulder markings
There are many instances of elaborate guild markings. They are permanent due to their time-consuming nature and awarded to those who have put the time and work into their craft to achieve a high degree of honor. Sometimes they are symbolic, sometimes decorative and occasionally completely pictorial and depicting a great feat.
In the case of Sky Captain Imolianus, she claims that they manifested after her fight with a ghost. The story is quite comical, but I doubt the validity. How does one punch a ghost after all?
Another common sight is where a person will have a tattoo in the normal configuration, but it will be filled with an elaborate pattern. Because these tattoos are permanent, the recipient typically goes through a series of oaths vowing to stay true to their guild’s ideals forevermore.
Next time we’ll get into secret tattoos and the dark side of the guilds.
Here we have a collection of guild tattoos and markings.
As you can see, some of them are very representational of their field, some less so. There are also variations within a field depending on your specialization. On the top left, we have a bellmage that works with drone bells, but more specifically with drone map bells. To the right of that, we have a normal clapper bellmage. Below are some of the emblems that could appear on the guild jackets. These have more freedom and can vary by region. To the right is a sampling of a few other professions.
A question was raised about fraud. Couldn’t someone just paint a guild mark on? Well sure. There are a variety of tests to prove a mark genuine, but the easiest is skill. Imagine saying you were an artisan, then being asked to prove it! Guild certification isn’t so impossible that you would be skilled and not granted certification. Unless you were some sort of outlaw… more on that later.
Next we’ll cover hyper elaborate markings and how they are achieved. Stay tuned!
Portrait of Dye Master Satski, with a full lower arm guild tattoo
A question was raised about guild tattoos, so I thought we’d take a while and talk about this subject over a few days, starting with general guilds.
I’ve mentioned the guild system many times before, but the guilds of Kanvala are no different than the guilds in most countries: a group of craftsmen or merchants with special benefits that you can join by showing skill and/or for a fee.
In Kanvala, to show that you are guild certified, there is no card, but you are marked by a temporary tattoo. The tattoo is painted on and wears off after a certain number of years. When it wears off, you have the choice to renew your guild status or not. There’s no shame in not renewing or pursuing a career in another field.
We’ll explore the different shapes of tattoos, the darker side of the guild world, tattoo complexity and secondary/secret tattoos.
Rare as it is to have non-archival material, this portrait was inspired by our recent serializing of “Bellmage.”
Guild markings can range from being a small as a circle on a hand to both arms dyed blue from fingertips to elbow. They are painted on with a special solution and fade over time. Once they have faded to a certain degree, the member’s guild status must be renewed. Some, who find their profession isn’t living up to all they’d hoped, find this to be a good opportunity to pick a new line of work.