Of all of the Guilds, the Harbingers appear to be the least formally organized. That is not to say they have no center gathering point, but rather Guild members tend to focus on their jobs and not on inner politics like so many other Guilds. For Stygia, it has been nothing but beneficial. Next to a Ferryman, the best way to ensure safe passage through the Tempest is with the help of a Harbinger.
The Harbingers were originally explorers and messengers, and both are the primary tasks that still continue today, although trader and guide have also been added to the list of jobs. Because of their free-spirited nature and usefulness, the Hierarchy never got their claws into the Harbingers the same way they did the Artificers, while their focus on the Tempest meant they had little conflict with the Hierarchy's rules. When the Artificers planned their revolt, Harbingers who got involved did so as a matter of personal choice rather than Guild mandate, and most Harbormasters counseled early withdrawal. The Breaking of the Guilds had little impact on the Harbingers' travels, or on their roles in the Underworld, leaving them to continue as they always had.
The merest hint of connection with the Harbinger Guild is enough to keep most wraiths from messing with a Harbinger, especially while they are on duty. In fact, most denizens of the Shadowlands consider it bad luck to interrupt or interfere with a Harbinger at work. As a result and to continue the goodwill, Harbingers will almost always attempt to rescue any lost soul they sight in the Tempest.
So far as the Harbingers have an organization, it centers around the Harbormasters, veteran Harbingers who have retired from travel to operate in Necropoli as lighthouse keepers, shipwrights, trade factors, weather forecasters and occasional lifeboat captains. Beyond them, the Guild is divided along the lines of the Harbingers' various trades: the Anemographers, who study the Tempest and explore the Underworld, the Circuit Riders, who travel between smaller Necropoli providing services the Hierarchy cannot or will not, the Emissaries, who serve both as messengers and trusted mouthpieces for wraiths unable to travel, and the Privateers, traders and smugglers alike, able to move any sort of goods.
A "harbinger" is one who sees ahead to what is to come. It is derived from a Middle English word, "herbengar", that means one who is sent ahead of a party to arrange lodgings.
|Wraith: The Oblivion Guilds|