The Guild Artifice, or the Artificer's Guild to the common folk, was founded in Imperial City. Five like-minded people of different nations came together to put conflict aside for the betterment of all through technology. They have had a long and colorful history with the civil government of the Imperial City, as there are weekly disasters with the guild—ones that require the rebuilding of localized areas or entire wings of the guild. Because of this significant safety issue, the City Authority granted the Guild, at its behest, a charter permitting development and application of the means to separate the Guild Hall and its premises from Terra Firma and operation from a levitated, mobile landmass. This is known by many Guild members to be more a means to the Artificers' desire for secrecy and a measure of independence, rather than to quell the fears of the cityfolk.
Despite the constant chaos of the Guild, throughout its history it has only been destroyed beyond simple repair three times. This has left the current guild looking like a patchwork quilt of construction; many patches and braces seem to hold the wings of the building together like string.
- 1718 years ago: Founding of the Guild Artifice
- 1580 years ago: First rebuilding of the Guild Artifice thanks to a failed experiment. All accumulated knowledge is presumed lost in the explosion.
- 1238 years ago: Second rebuilding of the Guild Artifice thanks to a failed experiment. Accumulated knowledge is once again presumed lost in the fire.
- 1238 years ago: Scientific Theorem put into place by then ranking Artifice Supremes. Strict protocol to follow with regards to experimentation. Failure to stick to the rule enforceable by disbarment and stripping of sanity through isolation until it is certain that Guild Artifice secrets can not be spread. Guild Archives moved to a separate location as a precaution.
- 984 years ago: Third rebuilding of the Guild Artifice, granting of permission by Imperial City to make Guild Hall mobile. First and only known enforcement of the Scientific Theorem.
- 113 years ago: Electricity, a curious subset of Qi, discovered in freak accident while researching ways to manipulate the natural Qi of the world.
- 89 years ago: First Qi battery perfected. This enabled even the layman to use Qi in specified and controlled devices.
- 76 years ago: War declared on a faction branch of Artificers who thought that knowledge should be shared. Later became known as the Tinkers.
- 48 years ago: Shattering of the guild as it collapses under the weight of its own bureaucracy. New factions emerged within the guild, members flocking to one or the other as they saw fit. Knowledge is still held sacred within the walls.
- 13 years ago: Factions united under the temporary truce to understand the puzzle that is the Mechanica Technicia.
Artifice Supreme: Council of five that have proven themselves not necessarily to be the best leaders, but to be the best at their field of study. Direct the overall matters-of-the-Guild when needed (or, more usually, somewhat after when needed, to affect dealings with the outside world's bureaucracies).
Artifice Superior: A full-fledged member of the guild that has put forth an accepted theory and proven invention of their own creation. Has access to rare guild resources.
Artifice: A full-fledged, dues-paying member of the guild. Has access to most of the resources of the guild.
Apprentice Extraordinaire: An apprentice of the guild that is among the top of their class.
Apprentice: A hopeful member of the guild that has managed to successfully prove themselves to a full Artifice and be accepted as their mentoree.
Hopeful: Usually a young person that has made the pilgrimage to the guild to seek the knowledge it has. They are given three years and three days to both study and prove themselves worth to be taken on as an apprentice.
Artifice Supreme - Arcivist - Devoted to the preservation of knowledge.
Artifice Supreme - Electrics - Devoted to finding a use for the strange 'electricity' discovered over a century ago. Rival of the Artifice Supreme Qi; desperate to prove their worth.
Artifice Supreme - Qi - Devoted to finding a way to harness and use Qi. Rival of the Artifice Supreme Electrics; see the new group as mere dabblers blind to the bigger picture.
Artifice Supreme - Technicia - Devoted to finding new ways to use the other new inventions of the guild.
Artifice Supreme - Theorem - Devoted to the idea of the unthought.
Tinkers - Formerly Artifice Supreme - Mechanica. Faction of the guild that broke off after a struggle to promote the idea that their work should be shared with the public. Though solitary individuals that prefer working on their own, across Paradigm are actually more populous than official guild-members. While they are slow to gain knowledge, their inventions seem to quickly spread through the populace.
Conventionalists: Believe that the knowledge of the guild should be kept under lock and key, lest the world use it for ill.
Conditionalists: Believe that some of the guild's knowledge should be carefully doled out when absolutely needed by the outside world, if there's no alternative.
Progressives: Believe that the knowledge of the guild should be put to use to better the condition of the world. They will go to almost any end to achieve this.
Theorists: Believe that knowledge is the only thing worthwhile in the world. All else is trivial, and need to apply a theory is beneath their consideration.
Synthesists: Believe that theory and application can be woven together to create much more potent results than either by itself. In extreme cases, artificers with this mindset refuse to stop adjusting whatever they're working on until it exists in a perfect balance of the two.
Pragmatists: Believe that constructive application whose benefits can be measured is the only thing worthwhile in the world. Sees Theorists as useless ivory-tower academics.
Electricity: Discovered as a fluke side-effect from an unrelated experiment, this bizarre force that represents but the minutest sliver of the grander Qi spectrum is seen as almost less than a mere curiosity by most, as most of its effects can readily be replicated with far greater magnitude and control via commonly-accepted Qi-manipulation activities. The fact that only a small subset of materials can be used as carriers of this force—as opposed to just about everything, for Qi in general—helps to keep it a casually-dismissed phenomenon.
Qi Battery: Any object that operates as a focal node for Qi, storing the energy for later use in a significantly greater concentration than is usually found in naturally-occurring items.