Type of Organization
Type of Members
|Thieves, Mercenaries, Thugs, Bandits, Fences|
|Number of Members||115|
|Demographics||Human 60%, Dwarven 15%, Grum 10%, Orcish 10%, Other 5%|
|Year Founded||2695 CY|
|Symbol||A single black feather|
The Ravens are the second most powerful thieves guild in the city of Aerith. They originally began as a splinter faction that broke away from the Guild of Shadows in 2695 CY (20 years ago) in an attempt to free themselves from the constricting rules of the Shadows. This group, one third the size of the Shadows, now operates as a collective of independent rogues - no rank, no titles and no laws. Each man has an equal say. Although they share information, training and supplies, each Raven is an independent thief and generally operates alone. It is rare to find two or more Ravens working together on a robbery (although not unhead of).
The Ravens have no formal meeting places or hidden chambers and tend to move about using the alleys, sewers and rooftops. They do, however, hold meetings at impromptu locations. The time and place of such meetings are spread by word of mouth and typically occur every other week. Dozens may attend. Such gatherings are informal where anyone may speak and brawls are common. Because Raven gatherings are infrequent, brief and random, the authorities have never been able to find them.
Although they formed by rebelling against the Guild of Shadows, they still maintain a number of customs from the old group. For instance, new members are not considered Ravens until they have passed a number of tests. Also, wisdom and training are often distilled down to easy-to-remember "rules" which are often quoted. The Ravens tend to be younger than the Guild of Shadows. Most are under 25 years of age and is more welcoming to female members than the Guild of Shadows, which tends to be male. The majority are simple pickpockets, thugs, bandits and robbers. Only a few specialize in information or fencing stolen goods.
When a new recruit attempts to join the Ravens, there are a number of tests that one must pass, the last usually being the most difficult and often involves stealing something heavily guarded. Upon successful completion of the tasks, the recruit is given a single black raven feather as a token of their membership and joins the ranks of the group as a full Raven. There is no requirement to keep the feather afterwards, but many Ravens do keep theirs. Some even so go so far as to keep their feather on them at all times, even though the authorities are aware of the feather token and will often search pockets and pouches for them.
The Ravens are in direct conflict with the Shadows and there is much bad blood between the two groups. The Guild of Shadows views the Ravens as an unruly mob of hotheaded youngsters with no respect for tradition. The Ravens view the Guild of Shadows as a slow and cumbersome bureaucracy encumbered by too many rigid rules and formalities. Usually this conflict involves insults and petty fights, but on occasion there have been ambushes and thieves robbing thieves.
Ravens have a belief that they pay for nothing. Every morsel of food, every sip of water, every stitch of clothing and every blade should be stolen. They owe no debt to anyone and the world owes them everything.
The Ravens lack the organization, wealth and history of the Shadows, but make up for it with bravado. They are typically combative, undisciplined and have a disdain for all authority figures. They have also earned a reputation of attempting difficult robberies, public assaults and daring escapes from the authorities. Ravens compete with each other to pull off the greatest heist, steal the most fabulous treasure or escape from the most guards. Such exploits gain a Raven a measure of respect in the guild. For a Raven, reputation is everything. For many Ravens, the bravado of a heist and the stories that one can share afterward are often more important than the loot that was gained.
Officially, the group has no leaders and no ranks. However, there is one thief that all Ravens respect. He is an older human male named Ulon Ranophee and it was Ulon who started the Ravens twenty years ago. Now in his fifties, Ulon is something of a stern father figure to many of the younger Ravens. Ulon personally gives the black feather token to new members.
This page last updated September 26, 2020. Copyright 1990-2011 David M. Roomes.