Al’Aunqua is under persistent threat. The impact of the gods is unmistakable, whether it’s their squabbling for influence which drives wars against nations, or the Bastards of Heaven. There are those who dwell in the Underworld, suffused for generations in raw Essence under the mountains, having transformed into creatures hideous and unknowable to many. And who knows what threats lie unknown through the stars and planets unknown?
In this world of turmoil, the Guild arose. Made up of the most capable and influential adventurers on Al’Aunqua, the Guild undertakes quests for folk of all shapes and sizes.
Becoming an endorsed Adventurer of the Guild isn’t easy. Simply getting through the application process for the opportunity to try out is difficult, and a person often needs to start building their name and connections early in life to bear consideration from those who read the resumes. As such, it’s not uncommon for those of unremarkable birth to start out in the mailroom, as a secretary, as an intern from a university or ‘vocational’ training hall, or whatever low level job they can get to start building those connections they need.
Adventurers, however, are treated like rock-stars. Like in the music industry, individual names and personalities are sometimes elevated above others, but those names often get their start by being a part of the band or off the backs of someone else’s clout or labor. (Who was Sting before the Police? Beyonce before those other two whoevers?) It’s fully in the Guild’s interest to disproportionately laud the Adventurers for the risks they take on behalf of the Guild and their clients. After all, adventurers are the face and spirit of the Guild wherever they go.
The culture for those states and cities close to the heart of popular society has been hugely impacted by the Guild’s influence. Hundreds of businesses and organizations spawn to cash in on the Guild. Much like celebrity worship IRL, every kid dreams of becoming an Adventurer and spends an inordinate amount of time imagining, illustrating, and training for the possibility that they might one day join the ranks alongside their idols. Of course, just like IRL, competition is fierce and most never make it. Juaquin the intern will probably only ever end his life’s career as a supervisor of the Treasury rather than Juaquin, Slayer of Dragons and Savior of Imladris.
In metropolitan cities, competitive leagues are an integral part of academics and social life. Tournaments are popular and enforce the values of team, athleticism, skill, competition, prowess, showmanship and so on. Various tiers of competition emerge (recreational, JV, Varisty, A, AA, AAA, whatever), Signs greet tourists at the town gates to brag “Home of Caelis Westvleteren, Saviour of Ikthar and Slayer of Sky Eels”. Aristocrats invite heroes to dinner and increase their own status by association.