Cartographer’s Guild Ranks
Guild members recently graduated from the Academy or granted position through other means. Mapologists tend to work out of Guild Halls for the first few years of their career. They also tend to work in small groups on bigger projects closer to cities and towns. Surveying recent land acquisition, or changes in river currents feeding into a sewer system. And keeping on top of the ever-changing city borders of the major cities in Easthalen. Mapologists slowly work on a set of skills that will take them on a path of leadership and exploration, or organization and artwork.
Scribe “Inker” – Scribes, or Inkers as they are commonly referred to as within the guild, stay inside or nearby the guild headquarters and spend their time with the quill to parchment. Sometimes copying out old maps, maintaining a public library for their guildhall, helping Journeyers with their tasks, maintaining the guildhall, reaching out to the public, and running the day to day operations of the guild. This is the most likely rank of those who are ageing out of their adventuring years or are not so inclined to venture forth into the wild. While Inkers may sometimes be looked down on within the guild’s bureaucracy, the reality is the guild wouldn’t function without these people. The nickname “inkers” comes from these people always have ink stains on their fingers and clothes.
The proud face and hardest working members of the Cartographers Guild, Journeyers travel all across the land, usually alone, working on various projects for guild halls or contracting out their services to other guilds and small towns/villages. They typically are solid fighters and may have unlocked certain magical abilities with their maps and use them to better the guild in this manner. When people think of the Cartographers Guild, these are the people who are thought of. Journeyers often move from guildhall to guildhall, never staying in one place for very long, and are difficult for the Guild to keep track of. For this reason, the Journeyers are kept in check with a series of guild dues to be paid or taxed income if they are in the map selling business out in small towns and villages. A Journeyer who fails to pay their dues deliberately is kicked out of the guild (although in some rare circumstances, they are simply moved to a different position within the guild.) Some Journeyers take on Apprentices of their own if they are venturing out into the most sparsely populated areas of Easthalen.
The Master Scribe is the person who runs the individual guild halls. They often spend their time working on longer-term projects for their guildhall. Maybe it’s a grand map for the steward of the city, or helping set up a new guild hall somewhere, or maybe they are in charge of surveying a whole new area, or an area recently changed by war, disaster, or one of Easthalen’s famous wild magic surges. The Master Scribe often works on their own “master” project. Something that will eventually hang in the halls of the Great Atlas or in the Library of a great city. These people often enjoy a small bit of status in whatever location they live, as do most guildhall masters for any guild. But with the favour comes responsibility.
The Master Scribe is responsible for keeping accurate surveys of the area their guildhall services. And for keeping track of the Journeyers who come and go with such irregularities. They also are the point of contact for connections with other guilds, local municipalities, and any other organization that may have the need for sudden, accurate information. Rumours have it that the Master Scribes even work with the Archivers, in helping locate items that become of interest to them, assigning reliable Journeyers to go on secret missions.
The Surveyors are Cartographers who have climbed the hierarchy of the guild. Each continent/region will have a small number of Surveyors who oversee the runnings of the guild operations on a larger scale. Once a year, they travel (the best they can) to Franner to sit in council with one another and the Grand Trailblazer to determine the operations and future of the guild, vote on solutions to problems within the guild or how to tackle problems from without. The Surveyors help conduct business with other guilds, militaries, and governments who need large scale assistance from the guild. Finally, by a majority vote, the Surveyors also elect the Grand Trailblazer when one is needed.
The Surveyors vary considerably in terms of personality and responsibility. Some arrive at the post through merit and artistry, some by default as the highest-ranking member still alive in a particular area, and some buy the posting or otherwise use politics to worm their way in. However they get there, the Surveyors enjoy the status of their position in the world, often owning a house in a major city, or a small manor out in the wilds.
Sometimes, the need for a single point of authority rises within the guild and a Grand Trailblazer is voted into office. The powers and responsibilities of the position changes with each election. Some who have been promoted to the post-exercise absolute power over the organization and make sweeping changes to the guild and its operations, sitting in power far longer than was probably hoped by the council of Surveyors. Some hold the position long enough to cast a tie-breaking vote in the council. Most of the time, a Grand Trailblazer is elected simply to represent the guild in times of strife, so that they may talk with heads of state or religious leaders on matters that would influence the guild from without.
There are often times when there is no Grand Trailblazer, and on the extremely rare occasion, two are elected to tackle reforms within the guild and without. People in this position often face daunting tasks, but enjoy a large amount of power and authority both from within the guild and without. Inevitably, a personal project of the Grand Trailblazer will sell for thousands of gold, and they may live a very relaxed retirement. They live in the grand quarters atop the Great Atlas, the guild headquarters in Franner, and are accorded many luxuries of the sort world leaders may have. Particularly, the Grand Trailblazer does not exercise power or influence over the academy, which is deemed too important to the future of the guild to be put in the hands of the one person in charge of the guild. Therefore, the Academy always stands as a separate entity during the term of a Grand Trailblazer as a system of checks and balances. The Headmaster of the Academy cannot be elected Grand Trailblazer without first giving up their seat as Headmaster.
Students to the Cartographers Guild Academy in Franner. These Trainees attend classes on map making, self-defence, politics, wayfinding, sailing, tracking, and survival. Housed and fed at the academy, the Trainees also do basic chores at the Great Atlas, head building for the Cartographers Guild. While the students do sometimes enjoy the night-life available in Franner, most tend to be of a more adventuring nature and can be found wandering the streets, practising their way-finding with blindfolds and surveying practice. Most students also tend to be of an artistic nature and commonly take up instruments or pursue other artistic ventures as well.
An Apprentice is a Trainee who spends time applying what they have learned in a relatively safe environment. They help maintain the Great Atlas and occasionally get sent off into the world to help on basic assignments for the various branches of the guild halls around Easthalen. Every once in a while, a person is found to have qualities of being an excellent Cartographer outside the normal recruitment areas. Sometimes they live very far away, or they are a part of some ostracized segment of society. A Journeyer may take such a person under their wing in their travels, and teach them at their own pace. Such Apprentices must make a plea to a Surveyor or the Academy itself to be fully admitted into the guild once their Journeyer (or above) deems them worthy of the guild.
The Masters of the Academy are the professors. Ex-Journeyers or Master Penmans, these people act as teachers and care-takers of the learning process. Each specializing in different aspects of the trade, each belongs to different departments responsible for the education process. They also look after the Apprentices while on assignment in the world. Every once in a while, someone from outside the guild will take up a position of Master pro Tempore in the academy. These people are accorded the same respect as the Masters as their particular set of skills would be deemed as absolutely necessary for students to learn from in order to have been brought in, in the first place.
The Headmaster of the Academy oversees the whole education process and has a seat on the Surveyor’s Council to keep the guild informed as to the state of future cartographers. The Headmaster usually enjoys a bit of status and influence in the guild as most others have spent time learning from them at some point in their careers. Often fairly eccentric in some way, it’s obvious, even to the untrained eye, the influence the Headmaster has on the styling and information provided in the maps produced by the guild. Maps will suddenly become dark, minimalistic, and come with lots of detailed notes, or bright, massive, colourful, and grandiloquent in style.These changes often reflect the emphasis the Headmaster places on certain aspects of the education the Academy provides when they come into power, as they attempt to flex their newfound authority. As such, there is no consistent style of map throughout the long history of the guild. There is one exception to this, however. The Headmaster is responsible for the creation of the world maps that are sent out to all the world leaders every year. These all look the same to each other and to their past iterations to prevent confusion or dissuade any idea of favouritism the guild might have to any nation, guild, faction, religion, or any group of people. The Headmaster position is for life, and is chosen by a decision of the Masters of the school, and confirmed by the council of Surveyors, except in times of a Grand Trailblazer, when the role falls by default to the senior-most Master in the school.