Milken Brownies are loyal
to the houses of the Helcrani in
Milkengrad, they have held on to some of
their Browniin heritage. They have
established various Guilds in which a Brownie
may learn a craft or trade. These trades are, for the most part, to the benefit
of the Helcrani and the
Milkens as a whole. They
are also crucial to the culture of the
Milkens, allowing them to
hold on to something that can define them as
Brownies, rather that the servants of the
Helcrani as they previously had
been before an idealist named Aohooindou changed that.
Description. The Milkens have developed a guild-based system, that has kept them busy and in prosperity. The Guilds allow them to have an organized way to run their society, and to coexist efficiently with the Helcrani by doing more than just tidying up the house at night.
The Guilds are based on an Apprentice and Master system. A prospective Brownie who wishes to join a Guild is apprenticed to a more experienced member who has already gone through the apprentice stage. All members assigned to be a master must answer to the Guildmaster. The Guildmaster is the one who has either established the respective Guild, or has succeeded the latter. They are usually the most proficient with their chosen trade, and offer wisdom, help, and advice to the younger members.
One important factor about the guilds is that they are very different from the clans of the Llaoihrr. Each Brownie is not required to join a Guild, but are rather inclined to do so out of loyalty to the houses of the Helcrani that have taken them in. The Milkens feel that they must repay the masters of their house, so they do so by becoming productive members of the Brownie community, helping the tribes as a whole to prosper.
Joining a Guild. A Brownie may choose to join a Guild as soon as he or she is deemed old enough to make their own decisions, at ten years old. Brownies of any age after that may ask for an apprenticeship if they feel that they are not ready at this time. They may then be placed under a Master. There is no set amount of time that they must train for, but the average time is around five to seven years. When they feel that they are skilled enough, they may ask for the Test of Membership. This is a test that encompasses all of the skills that the Brownie should have learned in their time spent as an apprentice. There is no pressure to pass this test, and the Brownie may take it as many times as they need to.
If a Brownie wishes to leave a Guild, they may do so and become apprenticed to a different Guild. They may only leave their apprenticeship after they have had their first test. After a Brownie has left their first Guild for another, they must stay in their second Guild for a minimum of five years until they are allowed to change again.
Basic Overview of the Guilds. There exist approximately a dozen different Guilds in the Milken society:
The Beadmasters specialize in the Brownie Bead Industry, a profession of creating various beads, buttons and decorations for various items of clothing and other miscellaneous items. Their small hands allow them unrivalled detail in making these items, making them in high demand by clothing stores, and various officials and royalty looking for bragging rights of owning specialized clothing made by Brownies. The Beadmasters also have a close, mutually dependent relationship with the Weavers of the Milkens.
The Crafters of Milken society create items of wood, gems, precious metals, and the like. They use these resources to create things such as furniture, jewelery, items of convenience, etc. They are greatly valued by the Milken Society. While their services of furniture are more or less limited to that of making them for Brownies and making ornate patterns on walls, quilts, and furniture, they can make jewelery for the Helcrani. Their ability to finely craft jewelery such as earrings, rings, and necklaces is valued greatly among the Helcrani men and women.
The Milkens being famous for their gardening, this profession is greatly valued. The Milken Gardeners specialize in creating beautiful gardens for the Helcrani homes, and for the areas in and around Milkengrad. They are said to have a very profound eye for colour, and have created some of the most beautiful gardens in Sarvonia. Many officials and royalty have hired them to create gardens for their houses, or even sometimes a palace garden. They also have the esteemed honour of tending to the artapherana trees, a symbol of the peaceful cooperation between the races of Sarvonia. The Gardeners also grow a small amount of crops. They leave most farming to the Helcrani, but a small few like to help them out in the fields.
The Healers of the Milken society are greatly valued by Milkens and Helcrani alike. These Brownies specialize in creating mixtures, potions, and identifying herbs and plants that help the healing process. While they carry a basic understanding of this, they are also esteemed clerics of Nehtor. Using prayers and chants, this is their most powerful form of healing. They are also mildly knowledgeable in setting bones and similar procedures. They tend to the ill and the sick, keeping the Milken Society more or less healthy. Members may aid the humans with illnesses by giving them medicine, being to small to do anything else for them.
The Metalworkers are like the smiths of the Milkens. They create weapons, horse shoes with light metals, and other items of convenience that can be made with metal. They have learned some techniques from the dwarven smiths of the Helcrani. This has greatly influenced their creation of weapons. If there is war, they are usually the first to jump into a fight, especially if any Rat Brownies are involved.
The Rat Catchers are perhaps the most valued of the Guilds by farmers, and food storers. They specialize in hunting, catching, and killing all forms of vermin in Milkengrad. They utilize many specialized weapons made by the Metalworkers, and also have become adept in creating potent poison. They are masters of the art of stealth, and are good at making themselves appear gentle and friendly. These are necessary things to have in their line of professions.
The Slingers specialize in cooking, creating delicacies and meals for the Milken Brownies. Most Brownies that join this Guild are usually slightly plumper that the rest of the Milken society, due to the taste for food they acquire if not already having it upon joining. The Slingers are masters of spices and methods of cooking. If you've never tried one of their meals, they say you've never eaten. Being too small to use the ranges that the humans, elves and dwarves may provide for them, they have learned techniques to build their own cooking devices. The help of the metalworkers is enlisted in doing this. They also create large feasts for festivals, such as their own festival to Avá, the Festival of Dreams. The other members of the Helcrani do not usually take attend this festival, though if some of them do decide to attend, they assign teams of ten to twelve Brownies to work the ranges and create meals for the larger people. Some also may help the mistresses of their house to prepare meals. Needless to say, the Helcrani women appreciate the help.
These Brownies specialize in fishing. As a result of the thriving port of Milkengrad, the Spearers have found a perfect niche in the Milken society. They have a shared partnership with the fishermen of the Helcrani, and profit greatly from this thriving industry. The Spearers also reserve a good amount of their fish for the Slingers. They have found many ways of turning this excess of into some of the most delicious delicacies many have ever tasted.
Because of their fear of water and small stature, the Milkens have devised an ingenious way to catch fish without the aid of the other Helcrani. In order to fish, they attach an intricate web of ropes to poles high over the water, and stand on them. It takes great courage and balance to do this job, but at least there are ropes attached to the courageous Milken. Then, they will take small crossbows, courtesy of the Metalworkers, and tie string to the arrows. Next, they will fire the arrow, hopefully hitting the fish. The arrows are designed havving a pinted metal tip, and two curved times curved the opposite direction so as to hook the fish. They will then pull the fish up from the water, using their great strength(for their height), and toss them to a team of six Brownies holding a net. They will proceed to kill the fish and send it off to be stored in a cold room underground.
The Sweepers are the Brownies that generally assure the cleanliness of all of the houses. They go through the houses, making sure to tidy up anything that the half-hearted efforts of the Helcrani women might have missed. Both the Helcrani women and men appreciate this. The Brownies who join this Guild are usually the one that feel extremely loyal to the houses. They are firm believers that Brownies should clean houses, and make up for the Brownies who have decided to abandon the task.
The Weavers are the Brownies that make clothing. They generally make all of the clothing for the Brownies, and make some clothing for the Helcrani. They utilize all forms of fabric that they can find, and also use the beads from the Beadmasters to adorn their clothing. Weaver clothing is valued greatly by royalty because of the intricate patterns, stitches, and exotic fabrics that the Milkens can create. It is a great bragging right.
The River Runners are a group of pirates that travel the rivers surrounding Milkengrad. Their mounts, the Dominoore Fish, allow them to swiftly travel the rivers, robbing and looting travelers that wish to navigate the river in a small boat. They will also attempt to attack travelers walking beside the rivers. Some go to other cities, rooting themselves in and stealing anything they can get their tiny hands on. Some of the Metalworkers make weapons for them in a secret underground network. These Milkens are rogue Brownies, discontent with the flow of life in Milkengrad. Many of them are believers that things should go back to the old ways, with Brownies living in the Helcrani homes, doing work at night. Some are just greedy Brownies looking for an easy san. Being a large, organized group, they are considered an unofficial Guild by some Brownies.