Goodtravel Guild

The Goodtravel Guild is the very heart and soul of tourism and speedy travel on Therafim. They were founded by a collection of medium-powered spellcasters who wanted to capitalize on their power, without going through the constant danger of adventuring. When their head, Guilder Goodtravel, a wizard who was at one point almost epic in ability before his age clouded his mind and powers, first realized the value that could be gotten in creating and then using permanent Teleportation Circles to allow travel all over the world, while charing only a nominal fee for what would otherwise be an prohibitively expensive.

Through the efforts of Guilder Goodtravel, these mages and clerics with the Travel sphere pooled their resources to craft several permanent Teleportation Circle areas in many major cities and potential tourist destinations across Therafim, and the Goodtravel Guild was former, along with its inner circle, the Warfarer's Guild, composed of those spellcasters able to harness the powers of teleportation. Providing teleportation services at a cheaper cost than ever before, the Goodtravel Guild has made tourism a booming business on Therafim the world over, and vastly extends the reach of adventurers, who might otherwise be forced to take long and dangerous voyages and overland journeys to reach the locations where they receive their quests. Of course, the Goodtravel Guild does not have offices in most of the places where adventurers have to actually travel to engage in their quests, though they do make these areas slightly more accessible in a timely fashion.

Teleportation services provided by the Goodtravel Guild to various major destinations on Therafim cost 150 gp (less than ten percent of normal teleportation costs) for up to six travellers at a time, or 30 gp for a single traveller. This makes such services available to the middle classes with some saving, and more regularly to the upper middle classes, the upper crust, and, of course, adventurers. The prices, however, are so cheap only because they teleport users between permanent Teleportation Circles owned by the Goodtravel Guild. For teleportation services to other locations outside the pervue of the GUild, full price is required as normally indicated in the rules. Generally, the Goodtravel Guild does not authorize the transportation of bulk goods, requiring normal transportation for standard cargo, though they do allow their customers to transport anything that they can physically carry on their persons, at no extra charge.

Additionally, the Goodtravel Guild offers rescue services for a premium price. For those willing to pay annually 1,800 gp (slightly less than two times the full cost of a Greater Teleportation spell) for every six people that might need to be teleported, then the Goodtravel Guild will throw in a one-use magical communication crystal for free. Upon breaking this crystal, which is not hard when done deliberately, then the Goodtravel Guild will send in one of its representatives from the nearest available Guild office to reach the holder of the rescue service agreement, and as many allies as the contract allows, and then take them back to the office of destination as quickly and safely as possible. This can be used as an emergency life-saving service, which lasts one year, or when used, whichever comes first. If the crystal is broken by accident or in a location where a Greater Teleportation spell cannot reach, then the crystal will be replaced at no additional charge.

Entry Requirements:
To be a part of the hierarchy and be a voting member of the Goodtravel Guild's Wayfarer Union, one must be able to cast Teleport, have 10 ranks in Knowledge (arcana) and Knowledge (geography), and pay 50 gold pieces in annual dues to be a part of the Wayfarer Union (payment for years in advance is appreciated), plus a 5% cut of all profits gained from providing teleportation services to others. Having the Wayfarer Guide Prestige Class is optional.

It is possible to just be a member of the Goodtravel Guild without being in the Wayfarer Union. This is possible by becoming an employee of the Guild for any of its various needs besides teleportation, such as public relations, clerical services, and so forth.

Benefits:
Economic: While this is a hotly-debated topic, the Goodtravel Guild tends to be rather aggressive about defending its rights to the use of teleportation magic. Because such magic is so common on Therafim, they are unable to contest every single use of these spells, but teleportation magic is nevertheless very hard to purchase except through the Goodtravel Guild. Being a member allows the purchase of scrolls with spells involving teleportation at 75% of its normal price. This only applies to spell scrolls, and not to any other item or service.

Gear: Besides providing access to permanent Teleportation Circles for a nominal fee, the Goodtravel Guild is not responsible for luggage, lost or otherwise.

Services: Being a member of the Goodtravel Guild in any capacity provides one free round-trip teleportation jaunt per year, usable by any one person the member indicates, and a 20% discount, in addition to the already-reduced prices, on any additional desired teleportation services for personal use, or for the use of friends or family members.

Information: The Goodtravel Guild is happy to provide its members with information about the state of affairs in all cities and tourist locations where it does business, allowing information roughly equal to Knowledge (Local), (Geography), or (History) equal to 10, readily available through brochures on the premises of any major Guild office. Knowledge level 15 in these subjects can be had after a day's wait, or 20 or higher after a week's wait for each additional +5 to the Knowledge check beyond DC 15.

Access: The Goodtravel Guild maintains its central office in Avalon City on the continent of Summer Country. Additional offices can be found in the Great Arena in the Shatterlands, a minor office near the Giant's Stair on the Isle of the Mighty (this is usually only used by agents from Darkland and Brightland wishing to travel speedily to other continents, however, or when they call for help from other lands to their aid), on Bigsmoke in Hydra, in Shimin and also Wa-Shu on the continent of Heaven's Tear, in the Red City of Crescent, and at Nemminus and Oxford on the continent of Autumn Land. There are some additional, lesser offices all over Therafim, though these are the biggest and best-known.

Status: Nontravelers do not really care much one way or the other about the Goodtravel Guild. Those who use its services frequently, on the other hand, tend to have a favorable impression of the Guild and its members. Being a member of the Guild also sometimes leads one to have regular contact with government officials of various nations, as well as the idle rich eager to throw money at people, which can lead to its own set of benefits.

Combat:
By and large, the Goodtravel Guild is run by reasonably powerful spellcasters, but these spellcasters usually prefer to focus on profit rather than combat. When there is a need for violence, such as a need for in-house security, or the defense of its customers, the Goodtravel Guild prefers to hire mercenaries.

Advancement:
It is possible to advance in the Wayfarer's Union, which forms the central core of the Goodtravel Guild, by being successful in business, and most especially by gaining ownership or rights of operation of one of the main Guild offices from another Union member. This is generally done through financial maneauvering and deals. Otherwise, however, most members of the Wayfarer's Union are essentially the same in authority, as there are not many ranks in the Goodtravel Guild to compete for.

Missions:
The Goodtravel Guild often acts as a middleman in employing adventurers to protect the tourists and other travellers who make use of its services when they need to make longer trips, or might be going to places that are known to be dangerous. It might also make use of adventurers to help its agents on more difficult rescue mission assignments, where a simple jaunt and grab will not be enough to save someone.

Responsibilities:
Members of the Goodtravel Guild are tasked with ensuring the safety of all travellers who make use of their services. Once one is a member of the Wayfarer's Union, it is acceptable to make as much of a profit as one can through the sale of teleportation services, even if one does not work directly for one of the Goodtravel Guild offices with their permanent Teleportation Circles. However, the quality of teleportation must be maintained, as well as the anonymity of all customers, and any member discovered to have caused the injury of a customer or violated this right to privacy will be made to answer to the rest of the Wayfarer Union. Penalties for such failures of duty include fines or, in extreme cases, expulsion from the Union.

Structure:
Organized along corporate lines, the Goodtravel Guild has its employees, and its board members. Board members must be part of the Wayfarer Union, and these members are also the primary magic users of the company. All Wayfarer Union members are allowed to vote on company policy, though the dues paid by members are generally not open to adjustment, having been set by the founding members as a way to keep all Wayfarer Union members equally united in supporting the company as a whole. Members of the Wayfarer Union vote on a Chairperson from their numbers once a year, who then heads the company as a whole. This position tends not to change often, and is presently held by Godfrey Goodtravel, the grandson of Guilder Goodtravel, founder of the organization. The most important members of the board are those who operate its primary offices, listed above under "Access," and they are the ones who set prices, along with the Chairperson of the Board.

NPC Reactions:
The average peasant might have heard some rumors about the Goodtravel Guild, but is too busy working to make use of its services, to say nothing of affording the fee. The middle classes think of the Goodtravel Guild as a rare luxury, for use only every so often. Spellcasters who make use of teleportation magic are always leery of the Goodtravel Guild when they are not members, since the Guild vigorously enforces any laws possible, or brute force if necessary, to prevent others from commercial gain through teleportation magic, keeping their corner in the market protected. Regular travellers are immensely grateful for the services the Goodtravel Guild provides, and tend to be rather happy with members of the Guild, provided that the service stays good.

Lore: Knowledge (Local) or Gather Information will reveal the following:
DC 10: This will let one know about the Goodtravel Guild and the location of the nearest Guild office.
DC 15: At this level of knowledge, one might know about political dealings that might make transportation to different places more or less favorable, especially for tourist activities or needs for adventurers.
DC 20: Once one can find out this level of information, though the Goodtravel Guild is normally quite discrete about who uses its services, it is possible to learn the identities and times of travel of others who made use of the Guild's services in the recent past.
DC 25: After some serious delving, it is possible to find out about the more distant past of past users of the Guild's services, as well as some of their likely reasons for making such teleportation jaunts.

Encounters:
The Goodtravel Guild tends not to engage in any more strenuous activity than moving tourists from place to place. However, they are known for sending lawyers with heavily-armed guards and powerful spellcasters to try to enforce their rights to the sole use of teleportation services if anybody attempts more than personal use of such magic. The Guild likes to employ adventurers to help in these cases, not only because adventurers tend to be competent at such tasks, but also to give the adventurers firsthand observations of what would happen if they tried to use teleportation magic in similar fashion without being a Guild member first.

Besides these legal matters, the Guild regularly advertises its services, and has fliers in many locations. It is also possible to be involved with the Goodtravel Guild during the course of various international events, since spies as well as politicians regularly make use of the Guild.