Several organizations in the Lands transcend national boundaries.  Players will undoubtedly interact with several of these groups, or they may elect to join one.  Characters may have to satisfy entry requirements.  This list includes only organizations that have an international reputation or membership.  There are many other guilds and societies which are not listed here.

 

            Brotherhood of the Stirrup  Knights who distinguish themselves by a public and noteworthy feat of arms are occasionally offered membership in the Brotherhood of the Stirrup.  Membership is an honor, and they are not a fighting order.  The only time they gather is for a banquet held once a year at a location that changes annually.  The ideals of the order are prowess, charity, and honor, and members wear the sign of the stirrup proudly on their coat of arms.  One need not be of noble birth to join the Brotherhood, and it is for this reason that some particularly elitist societies, such as the knights of Morbane, look upon the Brotherhood with scorn.  Both men and women can join.  

            Membership:  To join the Brotherhood, a warrior must be a proficient rider and demonstrate skill with the mace, sword, and lance.  There is also an annual fee of 100 gp, most of which goes to charity.  Members can expect hospitality at the home of any other member, and occasionally the order solicits its members to go on quests for the good of all Urian society.  

 

            Order of the Silver Sword  This knightly order only allows members of the full nobility to join.  Skandiks and Draz are not welcome in this all-male organization.  Members must prove their martial skill in a tournament, as the Order prides itself on the prowess of its members.  The values of the order are justice and chivalry, and they are dedicated to upholding the rule of the legitimate rulers of the Lands.  Until a new High King is found, they are also sworn to preserve the balance between the City States.  The Order is currently being courted by all of the princes, since none of them can hope to become king without the Order's support.  Occasionally, the members of the Order will band together to right some wrong.  They recently saw much action in the wars against the Warlord, and their numbers have dwindled to just under a hundred.

            Membership:  The Order only accepts those men with the equivalent of four points of status.  One also needs the permission of one's Prince or King to join, and members of the Order usually have close ties to The Land's rulers. 

 

            Knights of the Green Dragon  This largely ceremonial unit is made up mainly of elder knights, men and women, from across the Lands.  Some younger members exist, particularly women, for this is one of the few orders that freely accepts women, and it is one of the few outlets for females who wish to pursue a legitimate career in arms.  Unfortunately, this order is regarded as a "marching unit" by the more combatant knightly orders.  Members often act as honor guards for visiting dignitaries or officiate at tournaments.  Only rarely, in times of crisis, do the members of the order suit up and go into battle together.  On the whole, the order exists to hold banquets and perform charity functions.

            Membership:  Members must already hold a knighthood.  Knights of the Green Dragon can expect hospitality from their fellows in any city in which the Knights are active. 

 

            Sisters of the Chalice  The Sisters are a charitable order of nuns dedicated to Pelor. They run hospices along major roads, providing inexpensive shelter and food to travellers (free to paupers).  These hospices are considered neutral ground where fighting is prohibited, and they are often used as meeting places for business transactions.  They also heal the sick and injured, again charging a modest fee based on the wealth of the patient.  An order of warrior monks, the Brothers of the Chalice, protects them and enforces the peace at the hostels.  Members of the order are almost universally respected and, if they bear no arms, they may pass anywhere without fear.

            Membership:  Any woman can join the Sisterhood by renouncing ties to all earthly lords and obligations.  It is a popular option among widows, and most sisters are quite old.  Although not ordained clergy (they do not have the right to perform public services or rituals), the Sisters maintain close ties with the Temple of Pelor.  Joining the Brotherhood of the Chalice is free, but it brings with it certain obligations and little of the respect the sisters receive.  Most Brotherhood warriors are former paupers who have been helped in the past by the Sisters.

 

            The Hidden Flame  A criminal organization that has branches in every town in the City States.  Based in Rubicollia, the Hidden Flame has escaped outright prosecution by offering bribes and information to the Duke on a regular basis, although the guild leadership envisions a day when the Duke will have to pay bribes to the Hidden Flame.  They seek to control all commerce, licit and illicit.  In some areas, they work with local thieves' guilds, in others (such as Freehaven) there is open hostility.   The Hidden Flame prefers less violent activities like blackmail, racketeering, and smuggling to the more obvious crimes like theft, extortion, and assassination.  They consider themselves the elite of the criminal world.

            Membership:  Members of the Hidden Flame have underworld contacts in almost every town in the Lands.  New members must have the Streeetwise skill and the appropriate underworld contacts to join.  There are several tests of skill and loyalty--the Hidden Flame takes no chances.  No-one has yet left the organization and lived longer than a month.

 

            Scroll and Candle  A fraternal organization of scholars and magicians, Scroll and Candle has members in most cities in the Lands.  Members gather but once a decade, usually at one of the university towns (Veluna, Freehaven, Roncette, and Heldayne).  However, correspondence and informal meetings between members are quite common, as the interaction of many minds greatly aids the progress of research and scholarship.  Members will also sell information to outsiders, and the control of information is one of the leading concerns of the organization.  Sometimes, money is paid in these transactions, but often members can be "paid" with a previously undiscovered bit of knowledge.

            Membership:  Only scholars of good reputation are invited to join.  The order provides a forum to meet other individuals of scholarly bent and share ideas with them.  For members of the spell colleges, the organization serves as neutral ground between groups and individuals who would normally compete with each other.

 

            The Merchant Adventurers  A league of free traders, who seek to regulate the economy of the Lands.  Members are established merchants, who must be quite wealthy before they are invited to join.  The Adventurers provide credit to each other at reasonable rates of interest (2% per month, as opposed to the 5-10% given to non-members), change coinage for a minimal fee, and ensure the uninterrupted flow of commerce.  Guildhouses of the Merchant Adventurers, located in every city with a waterfront, also function as limited stock exchanges.  Some members have reputedly resorted to underhanded means to manipulate markets and demands, but publicly, all members are above reproach.  The Merchant Adventurers are closely allied with the Starfollowers Guild.

            Membership:  Prospective members must already have a fair amount of resources at their disposal.  Members of the aristocracy with an interest in trade are avidly recruited, for they lend an air of respectability to the Adventurers, the one thing money can't buy.  People with extensive and public criminal records need not apply. 

 

            The Imperial Dragoons  The Imperial Dragoons accept the military outcasts from other realms.  Members are former soldiers who have distinguished themselves in battle but no longer find themselves necessary in their home countries.  The Dragoons claim to be the descendants of the Gorn Athyn Emperor's elite mercenary guards, a legacy which distinguishes this unit from other mercenary companies.  They remain dedicated to the concept of restoring the Empire, and even though no Emperor has claimed the title for centuries, they still await his return.  Until then, they serve as mercenaries for the Kings and Princes, as long as they believe the cause is just.

            Membership:  Members are not permitted to own more than they can carry on their horse, and between musters (usually two or three months out of the year), they are expected to fight injustice wherever they find it.  The organization itself is quite wealthy, and the Dragoons own much land and several castles in Austronia and Mundria, where all members can stay and receive support for free.  The Dragoons first admitted women in the recent wars against the Warlord, and integration has been swift, although no female officers have yet been named. 

 

            Starfollowers Guild  Most sea captains and many sailors belong to the Guild, which provides them with services whenever they are in port.  All port cities in Uria have a guildhouse, where weary sailors can find cheap food and lodging.  However, due to the temperate nature of one of the guild founders, strong drink is not permitted in the guildhouse, a fact cursed by all sailors to this day.  The guild also provides free moneychanging and funeral expenses, and it intervenes with local authorities whenever some sailor steps over the line.  The Guild also functions as a mail service for other members of society for a modest fee (usually a silver penny per letter).

            Membership:  New members are only allowed into the guild on the testimony of a dozen established members.  New members then go through a two year probationary period before they are granted full membership.  Sailors who are not members are regarded with some suspicion.  

 

            The Bloodaxes  An all-male cult of Skandik berserkers is forever at the call of the Priesthood of Kord.  Most of the time, the members wander Uria, seeking battle wherever they can find it.  They are sworn enemies of Trolls and the Goblins, and they actively seek out these opponents.  On rare occasions, the Bloodaxes are summoned to appear by their High Priest.  Usually, this has occurred in times of war, when the Bloodaxes form a special bodyguard in the retinue of the king of Havok.  The current king relies upon the 'Axes for support, particularly since the war, but the ties between the 'Axes and the Royal house have not always been so close.  At least two palace coups have been instigated when Bloodaxes have turned on kings who were considered to be unjust rulers.

            Membership: Members are trained from birth in the ways of the cult, so characters may not join them after the campaign begins.  Skill with a battle axe, the preferred weapon of cult members, and with wilderness survival are mandatory.  Bloodaxes wear no metal armor, which they believe is a sign of cowardice.  Members also train in a unique skill known as Berserking