The Citte is carved out carefully for all of the guilds that make up the Masquerada, with the scraps going to the Contadani. Among those who would do business or war in the Citte, the only way to survive is to achieve a mastery of natural skills, termed by scholars as the Media.
There are seven different types of Media: singing and instrumental music, war dance and theatrical dance, drawings and carvings, and even intellectual exploration. All forms of the Media aid the Masquerada in channeling the powers of the Mascherines with more finesse.
These forms of artistry are neatly harnessed into combat forms used by the roguish Sicario, master of theatrical movement; the monolithic Pavisierre, damage-soaking war dancer; and the bardic Dirge, composer of symphonic subjugation.
It is this divide that clearly delineates the differences in skill levels between the guilds of the Masquerada and the untrained Maskrunners. However, there is more to be said about the cultural differences between the leaders of Seimora’s Crown, and much more about something else, something foreign and fey…
The Registry serves as the official government of the Citte, even if the guilds constantly desire to disavow Avestus’ hold on the laws and regulations that define order in Ombre. The Portieri, the military arm of the Registry, are the peacekeepers of Ombre and the key line of defense that holds back the guilds of the Masquerada from completely massacring each other. Theirs is a thankless lot, and the recent troubles with the Maskrunners and appearances of fey has only complicated matters.
Leader: Avestus Aliarme, Vaorone of the Registry
Sorelle del Mare
At its inception, the Sorelle del Mare – or the Sisters of the Sea – were comprised of widows who had lost their husbands out at sea and found little purpose in their lives after. Slowly, as they came together and got past their grief, they began to see how they could make a difference in Ombrian society; they formed a guild and began caring for the neglected castoffs of society. Today, the Sorelle are best known for their orphanages and halfway houses.
Leader: Zelia Deladore, Head Matron of the Sorelle del Mar
The Cacciatore began as rival clans of people who inhabited the outer territories surrounding the Citte. They and their kin have served as wardens of the fractured wilds for centuries. The eventual unification of their clans was a decision born of the need to stand with (or some might say against) the other guilds, rather than having a noble sort of common cause. It is not uncommon for social misfits to join the Cacciatore because of the solitude their work provides.
Leader: Brekken Taurius, Rex of the Cacciatore
As Ombre began developing its entrepot status, the nobles who originated from the Citte felt they were not getting the respect that they deserved as royals, and thus decided to craft their own system of royalty which was entrenched within Ombrian society through the guild system. The world of the Altus is ridden with pride-soaked affairs like balls, hunts, carnivals and the like. Those who join the Altus now without a bloodline affiliation are relegated to court positions such as bishops and jesters.
Leader: Privia Onair, Va of the Altus Nobilis
The Luca are the embodiment of justice and order in Ombrian society, always operating with aggressive enforcement of law and authority. The moral compass of the Luca is a song known as the Bright Chorus, exhorting its members that upon “the veils of deception, set aflame; to the mask of lies, do the same”. The Luca practise these values with decidedly less vigour in today’s Ombre, where political deception has become de rigueur. All that remains of the guild that came before is their signature bright golden armour.
Leader: Faveo Fedelta, Judgemaster of the Luca Infinita
In Ombre, where justice is oft bogged down by tedious regulations, the Labores provide a quicker route to attaining closure. When they decide the crime of the incriminated requires the taking of life in return, a Contract is issued. The guild’s members are rewarded for dealing with the guilty party. Despite their sinister moral code, the Labores are considered to be the most morally upright within the Citte. They cannot be bribed, and a Contract is only issued after being meticulously considered by the guild to be benefiting society at large.
Leader: Vicario Emirus, Kyrios of the Labores Solis
The Dieci are a guild of merchants who crave little more than wealth. A vast majority of their members hail from a faraway land known as Rhune, whose culture revolves around flaunting one’s wealth as a sign of power and dominance. Wealth also confers social influence in their eyes, which has resulted in the Dieci placing a large emphasis on speaking your mind and being heard. The fealty of the Dieci lies wherever there are opportunities to expand their mercantile stranglehold upon Ombre. After all, coin is king.
Leader: Sevil Patrio, Luminary of the Dieci Sovrani
Hall of Songs
In a city so rampant with magic, religion has little cause to exist, so people are given no reason to believe in an afterlife. Ombrians are therefore duly concerned about how they will be remembered after death. The Masquerada have addressed this by having the Hall of Songs commemorate the dearly departed in songs about their deeds, hopes and dreams. However, only the Masquerada themselves are eligible to be remembered in song, driving home the bleak reality that those without masks cease to exist beyond death.
Leader: Mira Bas, Head Songstress of the Hall of Songs
The nature of rebellion is stereotypically mutually exclusive with a unity of purpose, and it is no different with the Maskrunners. Though the Maskrunners are legion, their numbers are fractured into dozens of different factions. Chief among these factions of dangerously disgruntled Contadani are the Malecarte, formerly led by Cyrus Gavar during the War of Bearings, and a more recent splinter cell known as the Dactites, who have, under the care of a mysterious leader known only as the “Herald”, proven themselves curiously refined in their practice of the Media.
Leaders:Lissandra Rorik, commander of the Malecarte
The “Herald” of the Dactites