The Hunter’s Guild, commonly referred to simply as The Guild, is the main governing body around the known world. They work alongside the Elder Dragon Observatory to monitor and research any species of wyvern and elder dragon.
The Guild has outposts in almost every village, harbor, and port, also being able to evacuate these places if there are imposing threats. The larger cities and town have their own Guild embassies and are much less prone to evacuation, though it has happened in recorded history. The Guild is responsible for many duties in many places, so it actively tries to recruit as many hunters as it can. One of the most difficult duties is to manage the status of every hunter operating within Guild territory. This is done through The Guild Card, a personal ID that is updated every time a hunter registers him/herself at a Guild outpost. The Guild also reserves the right to suspend a hunter’s license if the circumstances are appropriate.
When the first of the great Human cities, Minegarde, was established, The Guild created the first fiat currency, the Zeni. Though bartering is still in practice at many small villages, the Zeni is nonetheless recognized universally as the primary currency for which all goods are valuable.
The Guild is technically a business; it must be in order to amass the funds needed to run such a large operation without tax collection. Although they charge a small administration fee for managing and assigning jobs and quests, another way that helps is the collection of “Account Items” in exchange for Zeni. If a hunter encounters an account item (which changes from area to area) and brings it back to the red supply box, The Guild collects it and gives the hunter a small cash reward for his troubles. These items are then taken to the market and sold for higher prices. Although this may seem unfair to the hunter, many hunters simply do not have the time to run a market endeavor and are more than happy with The Guild’s way of doing business. Account items are usually luxury items, ranging from delicacies to precious metals and rare stones.
The Hunter’s Guild’s chief priority is keeping the lands under its control safe. It does so with its task ranking structure. Most tasks are categorized as Hunting, Capturing, Defending, or Gathering. To help them stand out, any job that directly deals with live monsters is called a Quest (i.e. Capture Quest); almost all Hunt, Capture, and Defend jobs are quests. All jobs are rated with a number of stars based on their difficulty, from a scale of one (trivial) to nine (Herculean). This helps experienced hunters put their talents to the best use and allows beginners to adjust to the life of a hunter without being overwhelmed, thus maximizing The Guild’s ability to eliminate monster threats. The Guild also has Urgent quests, tasks of such danger or potential threat that they must be carried out immediately. Completing Urgent quests, especially if dealt with quickly, can easily gain a hunter respect among his peers, showing that he has valor, courage, and skill.
Occasionally, a Monster will appear too large for any single hunter, or even a small group, to handle. Past examples include Lao-Shan Lung and Shen Gaoren, monsters of such size they are beyond the strength of The Guild alone to handle. In such an instance, The Guild will call for the assistance of any hunter operating within Guild boundaries to rally under one banner and repel the beast.
The Guild has also constructed several large Fortresses to aid in the defense of their lands. In addition, large towns under Guild control are often fortified against giant monster attacks, often utilizing the latest weaponry.
When not relying on the strength of individual hunters, The Guild uses it loyal Guild Knights, a small but highly skilled corps of noblemen, to carry out its orders. Though not sufficient in numbers to handle large threats, the Guild Knights can deal with local menaces as well as carry out missions of diplomacy or other important bureaucratic work.
However, The Guild is not an army. One instance where The Guild’s numbers were not sufficient was when the mighty Akantor attacked. It was stated that a large portion of The Guild’s might was needed simply to contain the creature in the volcanic belt. Most likely, casualties were heavy, and The Guild limited the hunters capable of undertaking the quest to kill the creature to only the highest skill to limit unnecessary losses.