Guild of the Lotus
One of the Guilds of Benacia honoured with representation in the Chamber of Guilds and Corporations of the Benacian Union, the Guild of the Lotus exercises a controlling interest over all forms of entertainment and hospitality carried on within the territorial jurisdiction of the Union.
By custom and practice stretching back into hallowed antiquity, has responsibility for the protection of the paradise districts and flower streets of Benacia. The film studio network, such as survived the Kalirion Fracture, now also falls within the remit of the Guild. The guild is self-policing, enjoying a fully fledged autonomy within the walls of the paradise districts especially to govern its liveried companies and their customers as it sees fit. This leeway is paid for via generous tributes made over to the secular authorities of the realms within which the guild operates.
The guild also endures an ongoing low intensity conflict with the United Ecclesiastical Corporation of Benacia, in part due to the perceived immorality of the guild's core work, but also, more tellingly, because the Church of Elwynn once enjoyed the exclusive right to collect the fruits of the flower streets in the era before the Vanic interlude in Elluenuueq and was jealous of its loss of that privilege after the Auspicious Occasion to the workers-collectives which would eventually become the guild.
The Benacian Union meanwhile. whilst far from being interested in the emancipation of vice-workers (as it classifies actors, bath attendants, popular musicians, and prostitutes), considered the revenues generated by the guild to be altogether too lucrative to dispense with. Moreover the protected enclaves of the guild, walled off from the tightly regulated society outside, provided an outlet for the passions of the populace which might otherwise be contrary to the interests of the coordinated state and harmonious society were they allowed to manifest in normal public life.
In late 1707 AN the monopoly on the sale and production of narcotic substances, long established by custom and usage as being confined to the Paradise Districts of the Benacian Union, was formally conferred upon the Guild of the Lotus by the High Presidium of the Benacian Union. The manufacturing of these substances was to be strictly controlled, with the penalty for either the sale or consumption of a narcotic substance outside of a paradise district being death or penal servitude for the individual, and penal servitude for the next of kin of the condemned as well. Outside of the paradise districts the new repression was to be enforced by the Benacian Censorate assisted by the Worshipful Guild of the Sacred Carnifices and the Corps of the Gentlemen-at-Cudgels. Within the paradise districts it would be the local chapters of the Guild of the Lotus that would enjoy the obligation to exterminate competitors. As the lucrative privileges the guild enjoyed were to be bound up in its enforcement of this new edict, the incentive was there for them to be rigorous in their own self-policing, especially as the Church of Elwynn had still not forgiven the guild for what it termed as the usurpation of its historic control of the Flower Streets of Elluenuueq.
The Guild of the Lotus exercises a dominant influence over the studio system of the cinema industry in the Benacian Union, with guild affiliation being a prerequisite for production companies, actors, and film crew members alike.
- Grand Magistra
- Realm Magistras
- Colleges (Governorates)
- Chapters (Bailiwicks)
- Liveried Companies
- Saffron Guard
- Colleges (Governorates)
- Film Division
- Narcotics Division
- Realm Magistras
At its core, the guild is made up of a network of local chapters that are led by a Custodian of the Paradise, who is elected by the members of the chapter and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the guild's operations within their bailiwick.
Under the Custodian of the Paradise, the chapters of the bailiwicks are organised into a number of liveried companies, each of which is responsible for a specific aspect of the guild's operations within the district. These companies are responsible for managing the Flower Streets, training concubines and companions, producing popular music, and other tasks.
The colleges of the Guild of the Lotus are the intermediate level of organization within the guild, bridging the gap between the local chapters at the bailiwick level and the magistra at the level of the realm. Each college is responsible for overseeing the operations of the chapters within a particular Governorate, and is headed by a tribune who is elected by the Custodians of the chapters within their area of jurisdiction.
The tribunes of the colleges play a crucial role in the functioning and organiaation of the guild. They are responsible for coordinating the activities of the chapters within their Governorate, ensuring that they are working effectively and efficiently to achieve the goals of the guild. They also serve as the primary point of contact between the chapters and the magistra, relaying information and requests between the two levels of the organisation.
In addition to their coordinating and communication functions, the tribunes of the colleges also have a number of other important responsibilities. They are responsible for resolving disputes and conflicts that may arise between the chapters within their Governorate, and for ensuring that the guild's operations are in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations of the Benacian Union. They also play a key role in the guild's strategy and planning, working with the magistra to develop long-term goals and objectives for the organisation.
However, there are two divisions that report directly to the top level leadership of the guild. These are the Film Division responsible for the maintenance and operation of the studio network, which is an important source of revenue for the guild, and the Narcotics Division responsible for the production and distribution of narcotic substances within the Paradise Districts.