Many, perhaps most fantasy lands are monarchies, which can be ruled well when the monarch is a clever and able man or woman devoted to his or her people. But what happens when the monarch is ill, or is tyrannically cruel, or a young child, or is otherwise blatantly unfit to rule? How can he or she be dealt with without risking civil war as powerful nobles fight for the crown?
One of the current political paradigms of the Cosmic Era.
The plague of the Petroleum Era, the true bane of organized government
In addition to the Thieves' Guilds, there is a hierarchy that all thieves are part of. Rank is based on skill, and can be raised or lowered at any time. The Queen of Thieves, the greatest living thief in the world, is the ruler. Guildmasters answer only to her, and she answers to no one at all.