Chronicles of Neverael
The mysterious Gunsmith’s Guild is a relatively new development in Antegaea. This extremely secretive organization holds the secrets to the construction of both gunpowder and the firearms that make use of it. They guard these secrets jealously – members of the guild would rather take their own lives than divulge the lore of the guild and, it is commonly held, the guild regularly eliminates those who pry too deeply into these matters.
Firearms are a relatively new development in Antegaea – they are loosely based on Atlaneian artifacts recovered by The Seekers about 250 years ago. What those artifacts accomplished via arcane Alkhemy and Runetech, firearms accomplish via more mundane science. To the common man, a firearm is a prestigious weapon – a sign of great power, authority, and wealth. Not just any one is able to afford these destructive weapons and each is, in fact, custom made for whoever bears it. The guild is therefore able to tightly control who has access to these weapons – for the most part. Likewise, guild representatives are the only place where one can buy ammunition for firearms – though some attempt to construct their own ammunition (to mostly disastrous effect).
The Gunsmith’s Guild originally started as a faction within The Seekers’ organization that felt that the technology they had adapted from the aforementioned Atlaneian artifacts was far too dangerous to be distributed freely – others within the faction felt that only the elite should have access to such power. Some feared the equalizing power of such a weapon. The faction eventually split off from The Seekers – taking their knowledge with them. The two organizations have something of a rivalry with one another as a result – though it has never quite descended into open bloodshed.
There is a Gunsmith in most cities and even some larger towns – they swear to abide by the laws of the guild and uphold the tenets of secrecy which surround their order. It is said that the Gunsmiths often recruit those who have – through independent research – stumbled upon the secrets of Gunsmithing. That, or kill those who won’t cooperate. The Gunsmiths are given a free hand in these matters by many of those in power – they simply look the other way. It is said that the Gunsmiths take a pact of suicide – they will take their lives rather than divulge the secrets of the guild or build a gun under coercion.