The Banal Guilds of Tesso (Tessesch: li Qünstae banales) were a group of secular corporations that played an important role in the government of the Duchy of Tesso. They were officially dissolved during the coup of Aldata of Tesso, but would reconstitute a decade after her tyrannical usurpation as a conspiratorial consorority to reëstablish the corporatist government of Tesso.
While the grand guilds predate the formation of the Duchy of Tesso, the banal guilds were a later development and thus not originally a division of the state. Like guilds in any city, the banal guilds were primarily economic institution first formed outside of the government, as consororal groups of artisans who aimed both to protect their interests against competition and to collectively represent their interests to the government. They were also aimed at ensuring the continued training of skilled artisans and ensuring the high quality of their products. The first such guild to incorporate outside of the state was the Guild of Bakers (la Qunst painliche), followed closely by the Guild of Brewers (la Qunst bierliche), the Guild of Vintners (la Qunst veiniste), and the Guild of Locksmiths (la Qunst slozliche). Eventually, the banal guilds would number nine.
As time passed and Tesso grew in size, resentment grew towards the power of the grand guilds and the richer burghers. After a number of uprisings by various lower class trades groups (the wool-carders in 120 a.d.c., the iron smelters in 143 a.d.c., and the soap boilers in 155 a.d.c.), a compromise was reached between the lower classes and the grand guilds which permitted the entrance of the banal guilds into the government and gave the banal guilds three of the twelve seats on the governing council in 157 a.d.c. In 279 a.d.c., when constitutional changes made it so that council seats were held for life (and occasionally on hereditary grounds), it was the bakers, locksmiths, and blacksmiths who tended to hold onto the three banal seats.
The guild system collapsed in 431 a.d.c. when the heir to the Fishmongers’ seat on the council launched a violent coup. She first waged a trade war on the Bakers’ and Brewers’ Guilds first by undermining the grain prices in an attempt to destroy their suppliers and then by waging a price war, one she could easily win due to the lack of quality controls on her products and the fact that Aldata’s laborers all worked for free. Following the destruction of these two guilds, Aladata loosed her nuns on Tesso, destroying entire quarters of the city in an orgy of fire and violence. In the aftermath of her revolution, without a government and with Aldata having either died in the chaos or fled from her responsibilities (or ascended to the heavens, as more fanciful folks speculate), the Duchy of Tesso fell into anarchy, which eventually gave way to the tyranny of Duchess Hildegarde. Thus, in a few years, the activities of a single, fanatical nun saw the destruction of Tesso’s economic system and government, which, while not perfect, had promoted republican liberty, the arts, and a significant portion of the international banking system.