The seekers of shinies and the redistributors of wealth in this huge floating city have been known as the Whispercloaks as far back as most people can remember. The membership – and those aware of the Guild’s existence – live in fear of the legendary Five Lonely Gentlemen who run the Guild. This has led to a new trend of referring to the guild and its members as Lonely Gentlemen, instead of the Whispercloaks. Some enjoy the fear and notoriety that comes with this; personally, I call myself a Whispercloak. I’d rather keep a little distance between myself and the leadership; it seems healthier that way.
The Guild’s gathering space is called the Gentlemen’s Club. Out front, it’s simply a tavern, albeit one with many exotic goods and services available. In back (and downstairs, and upstairs) are many rooms with a variety of uses. The meeting hall in the basement is where large gatherings and official Guild business are conducted; the basement also holds the Guild Vault, where valuables are kept for Guild purposes. Upstairs from the tavern, rooms are available to rent by the hour, whether for illicit shenanigans or to conduct business (one benefit of membership is being able to use these rooms without a fee).
Members of the guild make a somewhat friendly game of robbing each other back and forth, at least up to a point. A lesson to learn early on is not to bring anything to a meeting or to the Gentlemen’s Club that you couldn’t stand to lose. Watching the others try to pick pockets or lift purses without being noticed provides some very good examples of technique … and some very good pointers on what not to do. Practicing these skills on those who are aware of the techniques also hones those skills a bit finer. I’ve found my perception of what’s going on around me – and of what the people around me are doing – to be quite heightened in the two years I’ve lived here. I’ve also learned where and how to hide things on my person so that they can’t be easily found, and how to get to things others have tried to hide. It’s a fun game, and if I leave a meeting 5 gold short, I just chalk it up to a fee for the lessons I’ve learned that night.
As a member, any items I procure on Guild business must be taken to a Guild Fence to be sold. Items I may have procured on my own time can be disposed of as I see fit, but a Guild Fence will still probably give me the best price. I’ve worked my way into the Guild enough that I’m past the “pickpocket and cutpurse” phase that passes for apprenticeship; I’ve been specifically chosen by the higher-ups in the guild for a few jobs, to liberate particular shinies or procure an obscure bit of information. Through some activity on my own time, I’ve also been able to lease and furnish a neat little garret space above the third floor of an inn, a short way down the street from the Gentlemen’s Club. (It’s a really nifty little space; I have two windows that give me roof access, and I can travel a fair distance around this area of the city without ever having to descend to the street!)
One thing I was a bit shocked to learn, once I’d been a member for a while, was that at least half of the membership is Greyblooded to some degree. Of course I’d heard the rumors of Doppelganger influence in the guild, (and had met a few Greybloods when I was growing up in Freeport,) but I’d thought it an exaggeration. Being curious, I sought out the company of one of the local Greybloods one evening after a meeting. He’d clearly been fairly deep in his cups; I bought another round and purred in his ear a bit, and his tongue loosened considerably. From what I was able to work out from what he said, being Greyblooded works like this:
|Pure Doppelganger||can change their form to any being or object (of roughly the same mass)|
|1st generation Greyblood||can change their form to appear as any other humanoid|
|2nd generation Greyblood||can appear as any member of their race (subtype)|
|3rd generation Greyblood||can change minor features of their appearance at will|
|4th generation Greyblood||minor features sometimes change with emotions (subconscious, not able to control it)|
|5th generation Greyblood||no Doppelganger effects remain|