The Smiths Guild
The guild is one of The Twelve Guilds based in Baltharia, and headquartered in Greyhelm. It has large Guildhouses in all of the major cities, as well as smaller Guildhouses in many, though not all, towns. There are a few guild houses in The Glittering Kingdom, however they do not have any legal standing there.
Known Houses: Trill Smiths Guild
It is a legal requirement for anyone who wishes to advertise themselves as any of the following, or derivatives thereof, to be a member of the guild:
Armoursmith, Bellfounder, Blacksmith, Bladesmith, Coiner, Cooper, Engineer, Farrier, Forgeman, Machinist, Tinkerer, Smith, Stoker, Wheelright, Wright
This has given rise to a number of people advertising as e.g. "Sword Makers", however this comes with negative connotations as they are not necessarily held to the same standards.
Apprentice of the Guild
The lowest level of the guild. Entry into the guild requires ten hours work done directly for the guild. Typically this is smithing work, however any work that demonstrates a skill in smithing is acceptable. The quality is checked and membership is in some circumstances refused. This work must be re-graded annually, or membership expires. A 10GP annual fee to be earned through smithing labour is an acceptable alternative.
This is the most common tier of the guild. Most smiths found around the land will be apprentices, and a large number send their fee rather than travel and waste working hours.
There are no particular rights associated with being an apprentice, although you will be somewhat welcome in the Guildhouses.
Journeyman of the Guild
The lowest tier of smiths interested in progressing through the guild's hierarchy. A Journeyman can become an Apprentice by going above and beyond their minimum requirements, either in terms of sending more money or providing further, or more difficult, labour. They are expected to provide at least some work weekly, although it is not a strict limit. They often do small jobs for the Guildhouse however typically have their own work outside of it as well.
Most people in the Guildhouses will be Journeymen, as Apprentices do not typically involve themselves with the Guild directly. To become an apprentice to express an interest in guild life, however some remain at this level for quite some time.
Journeymen of the Guild are given very simple lodging and will often be able to use the facilities for free, however they will need to purchase their own tools and components. They are typically paid a small amount for the work they are done.
Smith/Engineer-Mentor of the Guild
The next tier are those responsible, primarily, for dealing with Journeymen and particularly Apprentices. They're the middle management of guild life. There is a limited number of these per guild house, and promotion is offered to the most promising or diligent apprentice at the time of an opening coming up. In a small house this will be as few as ~4, however the larger ones have a couple of dozen. At this tier, members elect to go down the path of Smith or Engineer and rarely entertain other work outside of the guild.
Guild-Mentors, and all ranks above, are dedicated to the running and maintenance of the guild. Their time is spent managing apprentices, performing work for the guild, and honing their skills. Smith-Mentors are respected, skilled, and akin to successful merchants in terms of standing.
Smith-Mentors usually have a room in their chosen Guildhouse, and an office area. They have free run of the facilities and get discounted materials. They are furthermore paid well.
A Master is a member of the guild who has proved himself highly capable. These are promoted from Mentors only when the Guildmaster personally decides somebody has proven themselves skillful enough. As a result there's rarely more than 0-2 in any one Guildhouse.
They are given free rooms and materials, though the guild takes some cut of whatever work they produce. They are, at this tier, free to pursue whichever projects they wish. Master Smiths are akin to nobility in terms of standing, being very respected and often quite wealthy individuals.
Similar to a Master Smith/Engineer, however there is precisely one per Guildhouse. They are furthermore responsible for running the house, electing mentors, and advertising the services of the Guild itself. They are akin to nobility, however those from small towns are perhaps not as important as those from the large houses.
Guildmaster – Currently Thunderhammer Davrik
The Guildmaster is the top of the guild. He is elected by the Housemasters + Master-Smiths upon the death or retirement of his predecessor.