The Guild Union (ユニオン誓約 Yunion Seiyaku?, "Union Oath") is a congregational association settled in Dahngrest that thoroughly operates as the leading source of power for guilds in Tales of Vesperia. The Union's headquarters are located in the northern area of Dahngrest, and their authority is dictated through the guild-based influence of the city, as well as through the representation of the Five Master Guilds, the five most powerful guilds in the Union. Approximately ninety-percent of all guilds are part of the Union.
Origins and Pledge of the Union
Several years prior to the events of the story, the Empire occupied Dahngrest, forcing guild members to hide in a complex underground canal eventually known as the Underground of the Pact, waiting for an opportunity to perform a counterattack. Before the Union was formed, guilds were scattered and unorganized, unifying only in the case of a serious problem; when the problem was resolved, the guilds would scatter again, primarily doing whatever they please. When the Empire possessed control over the city, the guilds were compelled to join together in forces to effectively oppose the Empire, giving birth to the Union. Don Whitehorse, who successfully influenced the guilds into forming the Union, created the Pledge of the Union, a famous motto among guild members that originated during the formation of the Union. The Pledge of the Union states:
- In the past, our ancestors discarded their countries that had forgotten their duty to protect their people and thus became their own, true protectors of freedom. That event was the origin of the guilds. However, now, once again, the iron shackles of suppression have been wrapped around our necks. We have forgotten the pledge of our ancestors and become people who do naught but pursue our own self-interests and fight amongst ourselves. Therefore, we once again return to the underlying principles behind guilds and use not our strength for the individual. Our swords serve our freedom. Our shields serve our friends. Our lives serve everyone. Here, we pledge the old oath anew.
Purpose and Conduct
The Union serves as the primary source of employment for guild members associated with it; however, non-Union guild members are able to seek employment with the Union as well, albeit through the Union gaining thirty-percent of whatever profit earned. Fighting and other forms of conflict between guilds, as well as any form of intervention in another guild's business, are strictly forbidden by the Union. Union guilds must be registered with the Union itself for business-related purposes.
A non-Union guild is typically formed through informal means of mutual understanding among its founding members, while a single founding member serves as the guild's leader. Guilds possess their own list of laws for their members to uphold, established during the guild's creation; failure to uphold these laws may result in direct action in the form of punishment or banishment from the guild. Those who consider themselves guild members have sworn away their rights as imperial citizens, granting them freedom from the Empire's control. Freelance in their visions, these members seek to dictate private laws and philosophies for the sake of establishing order.
The following is a list of guilds in or associated with the Union. Known members of the guilds are provided in bulleted lists, and the leaders of each guild are bolded.
Five Master Guilds
- Leviathan's Claw (海凶の爪「リヴァイアサンのツメ」 Kaikyou no Tsume / Rivaiasan no Tsume?, "Claw of the Misfortunate Sea") is a shady weapons and hoplon blastia-selling guild that has its headquarters in the Manor of the Wicked near Dahngrest. Lower members of the guild who carry out minor missions, often of sabotage, are referred to as "red eyes".
- Hunting Blades (魔狩りの剣「マガリのツルギ」 Magari no Tsurugi?, "Demon Hunting Sword") is a guild of hunters who seek to eradicate all monsters, including the Entelexeia, claiming that monsters are the root of all evil in the world. Its guild members are frequently hired to kill a particular monster or exterminate an entire nest, which they oblige without remorse. Several of the guild's members, notably its leader and top officers, all possess particular justifications for their hatred of monsters.
- Clouds of Dawn is a guild that sought to take control of the Union after the Don's death. Its members argued with Altosk's members over the Union's position after the Zaude crisis.
- Indigo Beasts is a blacklisted guild that scammed Mary Kaufman when they were hired to protect her cargo ships while they traveled across the sea.
- Dark Wings is a small but well-known thieves' guild.
- Bunny Guild is a guild dedicated to protecting rabbits.
- Fount of Warmth is a guild that maintains the Yumanju spa.
- Showtime is an actors' guild stationed on Nam Cobanda Isle.
- Siren's Fang (海精の牙「セイレーンのキバ」 Kaisei no Kiba / Seiren no Kiba?, "Fang of the Sea's Essence") is a pirate guild led by Aifread. The guild disbanded after the "The Black Hope" incident, in which the crew were turned into monsters due to Alexei Dinoia's betrayal. This guild is exclusive to the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
Despite not being apart of the Union, Palestralle (戦士の殿堂「パレストラーレ」 Senshi no Dendou / Paresutoraare?, "Palace of Warriors"), a guild that governs both the city of Nordopolica and its coliseum, respectfully cooperates with the Union, particularly Altosk and the Don. Once Belius dies and Natz assumes her position officially, he is called to represent Palestralle in the meeting of the world's leaders during the Adephagos dilemma.