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Wayfinders and the Guild


To most in the world, the Flux is as a natural hazard - one quite unlike any other, but to be responded to in much the same way - evasion or careful precautions. A precious few, however, have found another path available to them. Some people find, when they enter an area of the Flux, that they instinctively seem to comprehend the formations and scenes set before them, to see forces at play that are quite invisible to most. Without training, this is as far as it goes, but with practice or instruction, such an open mind can be trained first to scrutinise the ebbs and flows of the Flux, then later to exert a will upon it and shape it.

In the aftermath of the Upheaval, some with such abilities assumed themselves to be unique, whilst others did not even comprehend that there was a difference in their own perception. However, enough intrepid minds sought out others like their own that small groups, sharing knowledge, insights and techniques for manipulating the Flux, began to form among the various social circles and organisations of Acryn, and the tentative name of Wayfinders emerged for those with such talents, as even untrained they rarely got lost within the Flux. Nine months after the Upheaval, a coalition between two of these groups (one a coterie of nobles, the other a club at the college) pooled their resources and formed a guild, aiming to attract and train Wayfinders before hiring their skills out to those who could afford to pay.

The offer of training and employment was irresistible to many Wayfinders, and the guild found itself swamped by applicants, growing rapidly, much to the consternation of the college (which felt that study of this new phenomenon should be their purview) and the mercantile guilds (uneasy about a potential monopoly forming on what their analysts could clearly identify as a priceless ability. Even amidst the chaos of the Upheaval’s aftermath, petitions were made to the council and veiled threats were made to try and curb the guild’s rise. However, the pivotal part played by the guild in gathering Flux harvests as the food supplies began to dwindle, combined with some effective PR by their noble founders, won them huge support among swathes of the populace. More to the point, their monopoly on the Wayfinder’s talent was by this point very nearly a fait accompli, and acting against them would cripple the city’s talent. While independent wayfinders still exist, the vast majority are now guild members, and those who openly advertise their service outside its embrace often find themselves harassed by agents (never provably) working on the guild’s behalf.

Finding and Shaping

So what can the Wayfinder’s do, that is so prized? Even one very new to the talent can generally find a way out of the Flux, a path leading back to the safety of the consensus, and it takes relatively little training for this to progress to the ability to navigate between Consensus stretches, travelling through the Flux with few of the false turns, loopbacks, delays normally inherent in such an endeavour, and with almost no chance of getting forever lost within it. This is the bread and butter of the guild - the presence of even a novice wayfinder on an expedition can allow it to consider the Flux as an option when planning routes, and to avoid taking a wrong turn into it when its borders are subtle. More skilled wayfinders have powers that stretch beyond this, into control rather than mere comprehension. Adept wayfinders gain the ability to influence the Flux as it stabilises under perception, allowing them to shape the basic terrain that a travelling group will encounter. For mercantile interests, this ability of exceptionally, as who wouldn’t want their caravan travelling along perfectly flat land for the entire duration of a journey. At this stage in their training, Wayfinders also gain limited ability to reshape Flux that has already been stabilised, allowing them to shield themselves from harm by shaping a shield from the air itself while within its confines.

Hiring a wayfinder more powerful than this is costly, but for some, worth it. Such individuals are known to have considerably greater and more dynamic control over the Flux in their vicinity, and given time to focus their will, the ability to raise campsites and fortifications out of nothing while within it. Rumours abound that the most elite among the guild’s members are almost untouchable while in their element, that they can rend the fabric of the flux with a thought, and that the earth itself rises to swallow their enemies. The guild does not deny these rumours - indeed many believe that they encourage them, but no one who has witnessed a powerful Wayfinder acting within the Flux can dispute their potency.

A matter of considerable speculation outside the guild (and, it is commonly assumed, frantic study within) is what exactly grants wayfinders their powers, and why such talents arise only in a few. For the majority (even for the scholars of the College, to their annoyance), there is largely only speculation, especially as few wayfinders are willing to submit themselves to experimentation. The only linking factor other than the powers themselves seems to be that almost all wayfinders have patches of amnesia concerning their lives before the Upheaval, something that can cause considerable distress to their partners and families.

wayfinders.txt · Last modified: 2015/05/14 21:08 (external edit)