Society/ Organizations
World Wide
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November 10, 2005, 12:08 pm

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Guild of Messengers aka Red Caps


The Guild of Messengers is one of the few guilds/ orders accepted in every civilized and many near civilized lands. The Messengers know only their own special language and script (though they might know how to speak A dozen or so languages, they are prohibited to be literate in any other tongue). They are the tool of civilization, allowing for communication to be passed across the world (and the occasional small item as well).

The Guild of Messengers is one of the few guilds/ orders accepted in every civilized and many near civilized lands. The Messengers know only their own special language and script (though they might know how to speak A dozen or so languages, they are prohibited to be literate in any other tongue). They are the tool of civilization, allowing for communication to be passed across the world (and the occasional small item as well).

The Guild of Messengers are known for their distinctive red caps. (They are tooks, pointed knit caps). In fact, it is against the law to wear such a cap if you are not a guildsmen on duty (the penalty being death or the loss of both legs, so most people do not risk it). They are also known for wearing huge boots (with cleated treads) and leather vests with many long pockets (where messages are kept). While they are on duty, they are wearing their cap, otherwise it is tucked in their belt or on their vest.

While on a delivery, Guildsmen are immune to detainment and all trespassing laws (though if they commit some crime, usually a noble or guardsmen follows them until they finally deliver their message). Those harming a Red cap while they are on duty is a huge offense (usually merely death, but it is more creative in some places). If the Red cap is going to give some bad new or in a potentially dangerous place, they are given an extra message that has to be delivered after that… so they can be off their way and safe from harm. If a recipient is beyond the law and harms a Red cap, then any messages sent to them are \“lost\” and that person can send out no messages.

Red Caps tend to be master runners of great endurance, acobatically skilled (able to leap and tumble over walls, gullies, etc), some skill with a horse, skill with a sling (vs animals), versed in several languages, and have memory training allowing them to recite messages and know every road and byway in a region.

More urban Red Caps are masters of Pakour or Urban Freestyle… the art of leaping and bouncing over obsticles.

Red Caps are starting to do money transfer. You deposit money and a small fee at one Guild Station and a messenger with a guild certified message travels to the person receiving the money elsewhere in the world. The messenger then accompanies the recipient to the local Guild Station, where they receive a payout.

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Comments ( 5 )
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Voted KendraHeart
November 4, 2005, 12:17
Points down for ripping of Red Caps from Ars Magica

That aside, I like this "postal organization". It serves a handy function that modern players take for granted. While it has no real place in a historical fantasy, in a general fantasy it works pretty well.

Where did they come from? Who started it?
December 12, 2005, 0:54
Fill in your own history, but I see it...
There are two great armies about to face off. Both are on a side of a peaceful valley. One of the leader sends a herald page, to deliver a diplomatic message to the other leader. He gives the boy a bright red hat and gives the order than any single person wearing such a hat could come and go from the lines. (Of course said person would of been escorted to The Leader's tent under guard). So the page delivers a message. The other leader wonders why the boy is wearing that bright hat. The Page explains and is dismissed to carry a message back. Later the second leader sends a message via a scout who is wearing a bright red hat. Messages of all sorts (threats, compliments, diplomatic/ peace wranglings, letters to family members on the opposing sides, messages between the healers on both sides setting up who will do what when the battle is over) are carried by the page, the scout, and the two or three others recruited. The outcome of the battle is inconsequential, but was probably inconclusive and both sides would of withdrawn.

In later battles between the two leaders, red capped messengers would of been used to send notes back and forth. This "tradition" was expanded to other leaders. Then it began to cross national borders.

Several pages and scouts, having lost their masters, have a bond as "red caps". They form the first Red Cap's guild. They recruit other ex-redcaps and start training new ones. They form the first postal union and message service the world has ever seen.
December 12, 2005, 0:43
Cumber's Gap is related to this.
Voted valadaar
February 2, 2007, 15:15
Interesting - I would still see that this would be a hazardous job. Sure it is death to kill/interfere with them, but espeically if they were carrying money, many would take the risk.

Which opens up jobs/new guild for escorts.
March 22, 2007, 17:01
But they don't carry money. It is a cheque.

You pay the RedCaps in one area. The money stays with them. You either get a letter of transfer to bring with you OR a redcap delivers it to the person somewhere else. That person brings it to a Red Cap Station and recieves their money from their till.

For large enough sums, you would need to be known to the Red Cap Guild who runs the station OR you would need to bring two Vouchers.. two people of importance who were willing to vouch for who you are.

Now the robbing of stations, that could be a real threat. Now that people are aware they really have money there....
Voted Dozus
November 1, 2012, 15:26
I like it. But I don't get why they're forbidden to be literate in any other tongue. If it's to keep messages secret, why allow them to memorize messages? Furthermore, how does one enforce illiteracy? That aside, I like these postmen and their hats.

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