TES NewC0DA: Thieves' Guild

History

Founding

To say the Thieves' Guild was founded at any precise time is to disregard the problems inherent to organizing a bunch of loosely affiliated crooks. The Thieves' Guild began as several local associations of thieves and burglars that sprung up over time, and often collapsed even faster than they formed, to infighting or to lawful authorities, or competition from formally endorsed guilds. At some points in history, the myth of the Thieves' Guild of Tamriel took root in the fevered imaginings of nobles and peasants alike, and local organizations began naming themselves after the myth, keeping up the pretense of a single organization that was really ragtag groups of thieves and opportunists. The fortunes of the "Thieves' Guild" came and went as local Guilds rose and fell.

Chapters

Iliac Bay

By the time of the Imperial Simulacrum, the Iliac Bay had multiple kingdom-based Thieves' Guilds that acted as crime regulators and kept amateur thieves out of business, though there were obviously power conflicts between guildmasters and their respective kings that occasionally required some roughing up by the affected guild.

The Iliac Bay chapters were not above breaking arms if an amateur refused to join the Guilds and disregarded the warning and job offer, but they were known to look out for their own, and provide training and teaching that would have been otherwise hard to obtain for thieves. More than a few former guild members later moved on to more legal and prestigious posts as accountants, court spies, locksmiths, and appraisers, to name only a few careers.

"Confessions Of A Thief", written in an unidentified kingdom of the Iliac bay by an anonymous thief, gives a typical inside account as to the guilds' operations before the Warp in the West occurred.

Morrowind

In the time of the Nerevarine, the Thieves' Guild of Morrowind was a vague organization that called itself "the Guild", and was having issues with both the Imperial Fighters' Guild and the Camonna Tong, the local criminal organization of Morrowind. According to research done by Imperial scholars, which proved to be accurate (for once, if you'll forgive the writer's aside), it was led by a figure known by the alias of "Gentleman Jim Stacey", a Redguard, who disappeared from Vvardenfell at some point before investigations were launched by King Helseth. They were mostly disorganized and tended to gather in taverns and cornerclubs and recruit through word of mouth and rumor, which greatly contributed to their destruction at the hands of their "rivals".

The Guild offered membership only to those who were already acquainted and favored the tools of the thieves' trade, which meant that they were not the most efficient of crime deterrents. That, perhaps, led to the general animosity of the Fighters' Guild toward them, as well as the sharply negative views held by the general public, be they Imperial or native. The Guild did provide the usual services to its members, in the form of board, training and services like fences and assistance with the local law, as well as a reasonably reliable source of jobs and information.

Though they briefly enjoyed a period of prosperity, this time seems mostly tied to the membership and actions of the Nerevarine, Revaryl, as was revealed to the public by King Hlaalu Helseth of Mournhold. This hypothesis seems correct, as once the Nerevarine left Morrowind in disgrace to take part in an Imperial expedition to Akavir, the Guild was swiftly and brutally eliminated. The Fighters' Guild and Camonna Tong both claimed sole responsibility for their destruction.

One aspect of that iteration of the Guild that was retained were the Bal Molagmer, or "stone-firemen", named after the folk legend of Dunmer slave-miners who dug out constantly-burning stones from the heart of Red Mountain for use in magic rituals, and who, at night, turned against their owners, and stole from the unjust to give back to the poor, donning their enchanted carry-gloves. While the Guild itself collapsed until the expansion of the Cyrodiil chapter, the Bal Molagmer continued their operations until the Oblivion Crisis, where they fell dormant until the Guild's revival. Their function is slightly different from that of the folk story, in that they will steal from anyone, and take jobs from anyone, so long as these jobs serve to restore justice, honor, and fairness.

The book "Honor Among Thieves", written by "Arnie the Scrib", is a book aimed toward recruiting qualified burglars into the Guild of Vvardenfell. A copy was found tucked into the possessions of a Researcher upon their return from Morrowind, for which we would like to give our thanks to the donator, if they ever happen to read this book.

Loathe thought the Essayists' Guild is to give publications by Imperial researchers any attention, "Myth of Menace?" was the only documentation of "Jim Stacey" that survived into the present era. Their erroneous claims as to the Cyrodiil Thieves' Guild being undocumented, the confusion between the Camonna Tong and Morag Tong, and their misspelling of "Nevarine" should quickly reassure readers this Imperial publication is of the usual quality expected of their scholarship.

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