Note: this is entirely intended as a humorous jab at the gamers I know, although in a less-serious game it could certainly find a place, and in a sinister game it could readily become a terrorist organization…
"Rule #560: Plan B is not ‘twice as much alchemist’s fire as Plan A." -One of the many rules graven along the walls of the Guildhall
Adventurers’ Guilds are hardly a new concept; in exchange for regular dues, they provide a place for like-minded spirits to congregate, exchange tales of their deeds, get supplies, and tend to both the wounded and the dead. Of course, every now and then there’s an adventurer who has a knack for causing damage completely out of proportion with what he’s after, and those are quickly evicted from the local guildhalls.
Enter the Collateral Damage Adventuring Guild; based in the hewn passages of a mountain as far from civilization as possible, by the unanimous decree of all the known nations, no matter their affiliation with the forces of Good or Evil, this strange ‘guild’ is home to all the adventurers who are simply too destructive and careless for their own good. Fire mages who are a bit trigger happy, berserkers known to tear out support beams from houses for use as an emergency club, priests of gods of destruction whose own deities have suggested they tone it down a bit, and all manner of other misfits and lunatics roam the guild’s halls. Often, they simply keep their coffers filled by exterminating threats to civilized lands long before they get near the land, taking a hefty fee from the known kingdoms for ‘pest control’ as long as the inflicted damage doesn’t impinge upon their soil. The steady stream of bribes to stay away from civilized lands also doesn’t hurt, and when an ancient dungeon is discovered, they’re generally the first - and only - guild in (the latter being due to the tendency of said dungeons to collapse catastrophically by the time the guild is through with them).
Of course, every now and then some petty king decides he needs to put down a revolt or terminate a neighbor at all costs, or simply believes the tales must be a ruse to make them sound bigger than they are, and he’ll send a messenger to the guild to contract their services. Whenever this happens, other nations generally learn about it when an entire kingdom suddenly goes up in flames, as the guild’s title is, if anything, a horrible understatement. There is, graven into the walls of the mountain halls, an extensive list of things the guild is forbidden to do under any circumstances; the current number resides in the thousands and each expedition adds more as the members find newer and more creative ways to cause massive devastation.
"Rule #1002: The camp cook’s chili is not to be imbued with explosive magic and catapulted into the enemy encampment." -Another Guild Rule
The closest the CDAG comes to a structure lies in that there is a Guildmaster, rumored to be a dragon of some sort who uses the bribes and ‘pest fees’ to pad his hoard, an Assistant Guildmaster who deals with messengers wishing to hire the guild, and numerous Chiefs who serve as the heads of the various specialties and often act as field commanders on expeditions.
Under no circumstances should it be assumed that someone without rank in the guild is any less dangerous than those who have rank. The simple fact that there is a Chief Combat Chef says volumes about the sheer hazard the guild can represent if motivated to action.
"Rule #1395: There is, in fact, such a thing as overkill. It is wrong to tell the pyromancers otherwise." -Yet Another Guild Rule
Generally, while most expeditions begin with some semblance of tactics and planning, it inevitably boils down to the same result when the Guild is involved: Torch everything and try not to get caught in the backdraft.
This has, of course, set the theme for the guild’s public image, and even when the many tactical geniuses in the guild come up with a daring, brilliant, and foolproof plan, it somehow goes awry and ends in fire. On occasion, the various priests in the guild have speculated that some god of fire and destruction must find them highly entertaining for things to keep going awry like this; in truth, it’s simply the nature of the guildmembers. Reckless and daring, and well aware of the myriad uses of fire as both weapon and threat, the field teams tend to improvise if things even start to look like they’re going awry. The fact that many of the elder members have given up any grip on sanity that they might once have had only worsens things.