J. Zachary Pike's

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Arth Lore

The Heroes’ Guild

One of the things readers enjoy most about The Dark Profit Saga is the extensive worldbuilding behind the satire.  I’m opening up some of my notes and sharing (spoiler free) lore and background information behind Arth, a world much like our own but with more magic and less vowels.

The Heroes’ Guild is an international organization of professional adventurers, who specialize in monster slaying, treasure acquisition, hostage retrieval, and more.  The Guild is among the largest and most powerful organizations on Arth, with wealth rivaling even Andarun’s treasury. Under the banner of a sword crossed with a fiery comet—officially called the Sword and the Sorcery, but affectionately referred to as the old Hack n’ Slash—professional heroes protect all the people of light (and make considerable sums doing so).


Much of the great secrets, wonders, and riches of the early world were lost in the time between the War of Betrayal and the fall of the Empire of Man.  These treasures remained largely undiscovered until early in the sixth age when a noble named Khart Tallew led an expedition into the dungeon at Daggerheight and returned with a large fortune. Tallew’s expedition prompted a mass epiphany: mankind realized that the vast majority of the world’s wealth was lying about in the wilderness, ripe for the taking (provided you could kill whatever was sitting on top of it.)

Heroics was initially a sport for the nobility, but as time went on and word spread more of the common folk joined the rush to kill monsters for valuable loot.  Many of these early heroes were slain—most were slain—but those that did survive returned with more than just epic tales; the weapons and armor they unearthed made them more likely to survive the next battle, and the next, gathering increasingly potent gear until their power rivaled the great legends of the Age of Fables.

Heroes organized themselves from the beginning, starting with the League of Adventuring Gentry (founded by Khart Tallew). More and more disparate organizations sprouted up in the early decades of the Sixth Age, but most adventuring clubs were short-lived in every sense of the word. As natural selection and unnatural horrors winnowed the ranks of adventuring organizations, the remaining clubs began to consolidate.  The last two clubs joined forces on 6.2118 4th of Tandos, when the Order of Extraordinary Champions and the League of Adventuring Gentry merged into the Heroes’ Guild.

The Modern Guild

In the time of Orconomics (7.373), the Heroes’ Guild had started to weaken.  Much of the professional heroics industry was controlled by corporate interests, diminishing the Guild’s power. Worse, all of the wealth that was once spread across the countryside in countless monsters’ hordes and Shadowkin villages was neatly in the hands of said corporations and their investors. And those Shadowkin that remained were often applying to become Noncombatant Paper Carriers, or NPCs, preventing guild heroes from legally slaying them.

That being said, the Guild was still a force to be reckoned with.  They alone classified the challenge each monster presented, and granted heroes rights to kill them. They oversaw the rating, adjusting, and trade of hoards, both before and after the monster owning said hoard had been dispatched.  And they licensed and controlled the most powerful individuals on Arth: professional heroes.

Most of them, anyway. At the beginning of Orconomics: A Satire, defunct-hero Gorm Ingerson has been evading Guild justice for two decades. And while Gorm’s criminal past is about to catch up with him, the Dwarf’s capture is just the beginning of an adventure that will change the Heroes’ Guild forever.

Want to learn more of Arth’s lore? What are you hoping to see additional background on? Let me know in the comments or with a tweet.

6 thoughts on “The Heroes’ Guild”

  1. Jay says:

    Absolutely brilliant world-building. I love the satire. Could you explain your process for world-building? Did you have an idea and begin writing or did you organize everything and then begin?

  2. Jay says:

    And then I read your “how to outline a novel” post which answers my question. Sorry about not being more thorough before asking! Again, wonderful work.

  3. ShawneG says:

    Any update on ‘Son Of A Litch’?

    1. Hi Shawne. Look for Son of a Liche early this summer.

  4. ChemistKen says:

    I didn’t realize how much satire there would be until I read the book. Pure fun!

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