The Spacing Guid
Spacing Guild.
The Spacing Guid
Spacing Guild Emblem.
The Spacing Guild is an organization with a monopoly on interstellar travel and banking, giving them a balance of power against the Muad'Dib Emperors and the assembled noble Houses of the Landsraad. Mutated Guild Navigators use the spice drug mélange to successfully navigate folded space and safely guide enormous Heighliner-Class Starships from planet to planet instantaneously. Essentially apolitical, the Guild is primarily concerned with the flow of commerce and preservation of the economy that supports them; though their ability to dictate the terms of and fees for all transport gives them influence in the political arena, they do not pursue political goals beyond their economic ones. It is known that Houses of the Imperium may contract with the Guild to be removed "to a place of safety outside the System;" in the past some Houses in danger of ruin or defeat have "become renegade Houses, taking family atomics and shields and fleeing beyond the Imperium." The Guild controls a "sanctuary planet" (or planets) known as Tupile intended for such "defeated Houses of the Imperium... Location(s) known only to the Guild and maintained inviolate under the Guild Peace."
"Who has ever heard of Norma Cenva? ... You think a man designed the first Guild ship? Your history books told you it was Aurelius Venport? They lied. It was his mistress, Norma. She gave him the design, along with five children. He thought his ego would take no less. In the end, the knowledge that he had not really fulfilled his own image, that was what destroyed him."
- God Emperor Leto II.
Adrien VENPORT, son of Aurelius VENPORT and Norma CENVA, established the Foldspace Shipping Company after his mother, a mathematical genius with great psychic power, developed the space-folding technology which would eventually become Heighliner-Class and discovers that massive dose of mélange allows her to safely navigate the ships using prescience, becoming the first Navigator. Adrien then found the ten volunteers to become the initial group of Navigators. The Navigators eventually evolved into the powerful Spacing Guild under Aurelius VENPORT. Prior to the discovery of the Spice Mélange's prescient powers, the use of the Spacefolder was very dangerous. One in about every eight Spacefolders was destroyed during travel, because of the lack of a viable method for avoiding gravitational hazards.
5000 years after the reign of Paul Atreides (a period that includes 3500 years of Leto II's reign and 1500 years following his death), the technocrats of Ix develop technology that the Ixians and the Administrative faction of the Spacing Guild refer to as ‘compilers.' These compilers perform calculations very similar to computers, nearly violating the prohibitions against "thinking machines" that were imposed following the Butlerian Jihad several millennia before. These compilers eliminate the need for the Navigators, and the strategic disadvantage that this aspect of mélange dependency has become, because the Navigators' abilities are slowly being compromised by the severe reductions in the availability of spice.
While the Spacing Guild remained a powerful body even after the death of Leto ATREIDES II, their power gradually eroded over time, and the result of the Guild's Navigators no longer had a monopoly on space travel. The Guild largely responded by making a hostile takeover of the No-Ship's, but did not put them out of use; Mélange had become a liability, since it was far too easy to control, and in any case the technology was out, and impossible to hide. It was deemed easiest for the Guild to retrofit Heighliners to No-Ships as Navigators passed away than to continue fighting their existence.
The prescient rule of Leto II that lasted 3500 years has shown the universe the perils of prescience, namely that the entire universe can be locked into the vision of a single entity, giving that entity absolute power. The Guild, facing obsolescence and suspicion, coupled itself with Ix in decline; Navigators continue to exist, but their importance in the universe is severely diminished.
The Guild, along with the Gesserit Bene order, had been responsible for the standardization of religion in the known universe, promoting the adoption of the Orange Catholic Bible and protecting to the dissenting theologians who created this book, despite the fat that the Guild members themselves were atheists; Their only interest was promoting a stable societal order from which they could profit.
Navigators are prescient from mélange use (a requirement of being a pilot), and are sometimes hired as such; A Navigator named Edric was hired to provide prescience for a cabal of conspirators planning to assassinate Emperor Muad'Dib, as a prescient can hide their activities and those around him, from other prescients.
Around the Time of the Great Convention
Details of the Guild's emergence are contentious, although it is believed they emerged as a serious political and economic force around the time of The Great Convention.
During the Corrino Empire
While the exact evolution of the monopoly they hold on faster than light space travel is not given, they do nonetheless wield this formidable power throughout the history of the Corrino Empire, a time known as the Guild Peace. Paul ATREIDES was the first emperor to check the power of the guild through control of the spice mélange, although they remained a significant political power.
Impact of the God-Emperor
New problems for the Spacing Guild were created by the ascendancy of Leto ATREIDES II to the title of God Emperor. Leto's extremely long lifespan, coupled with his decision to realize the Golden Path strategy, saw him hoard the Spice Mélange with no concern for short-term problems.
Thus, over the many centuries of his rule, the Spacing Guild was forced to do his bidding and their unique powerbase of old was significantly diminished.
Post-God-Emperor Role
As Paul Atreides notes in Dune, it was the Spacing Guild's obsession with the ‘safe path' that led them ‘ever into stagnation,' and brought on their eventual obsolescence.
While the Spacing Guild remained a powerful body even after the death of Leto ATREIDES II, their power gradually eroded over time. By the time of the arrival of the Honored Matres the success of the groups sent out in the Scattering had created new but largely unknown threats to their hegemony. This was because Ixian no-ships, which could perform the same functions of a Guild Navigator, were in common use. As a result, the Guild no longer had a monopoly on space travel.
The Landsraad prohibition on thinking machines has brought them into conflict with the UGC, and the Council's use of space folding technology not under the control of the Guild brought the Guild itself into conflict with the Council.
The solution to the thinking machine issue was to restrict such machines to UGC ships and offices, but addressing the Guilds issues was more difficult; It was eventually agreed that UGC civilian vsls not operation under "Force Majeure" would anchor and discharge at a planet of the Muad'Dib Emperor's choosing, transferring cargos there. UGC government vsls operating on official business could put in anywhere, but would endeavor to put in at the same planet as all ofther UGC vsls, at least initially, before proceeding onto the system where her presence is required. The guild tried to demand a fee fo the use of "their" spacelanes; The UGC counter-offered to blast their headquarters into a crate and turn their Heighliners into "permanent hazards to navigation." The Muad'Dib Emperor was amused at the threat but the Guild took it a little less casually and withdrew the demand.
Any UGC flagged vsls that can fit into a Heighliner without modifications to either may continue onto her destination as such, provided they pay the Guild's rates. It's therefore not uncommon for a ship to anchor at the designated anchorage (currently Kalidan), then transfer cargo and passengers to shuttle, with shuttle then docking inside the Guild ship to continue on. This is also generally safer in any case.
The Spacing Guild was by its very nature a secretive organization that took up functions previously covered by the Thinking Machines, just as mentats and the Gesserit Bene did. Their very existence rests on the proprietary knowledge they had clung to for thousands of
Spacing Guild Administrative Headquarters Building.
A Master Navigator.
The inner structure of the Guild during and after the time of Paul ATREIDES was never fully revealed. However, it is known that the role of Guild Navigator was most prestigious, and the ambition of almost all of those who joined the Guild.
Other known Guild roles included the Chief Administrator, the administrative staff, Navigator attendants, Guild ambassadors, and technical support staff.
The Guild Navigators were utterly dependent on the Spice Mélange to safely deliver a vessel via the Holtzman Effect. Even a partial restriction on the Guild's spice requirements rendered them powerless, and reduced long distance trade and transport to a snail's pace.
Spacing Guild is considered a House, despite the fact that they do not own a planet but rather only a large parcel (in fact a full continent) of IX. A Navigator would tell you, "Space itself is our lands, and the ships our castles." It has its own private army with which it can back up its demands.
Spacing Guild Planets
The Spacing Guild's "homeworld" is Ix, if they could be said to "have" a homeworld in any real sense of the term.
"Tupile" is the "so-called 'sanctuary planet' (probably several planets) for defeated Houses of the Imperium. Location(s) known only to the Guild and maintained inviolate under the Guild Peace." Tupile is said to be 'outside the Imperium,' though this is probably not meant in the literal sense that it is physically far beyond the borders of colonized space. Rather, because the Spacing Guild controls space travel to and from Tupile, its location (or locations) could easily be anywhere within the Imperium. Even the UGC hasn't been able to ascertain the location(s) of Tupile, which suggests it's not a planet at all, but rather locales within the March that the fallen houses have fled to. (It should be noted that UGC ships are capable of tracking Spacing Guild movements, and therefore there's nowhere they can run that they will not be seen.)
Spacing Guild
Leader Title:
The Spacing Guild does not have "a" leader, each member of the Guild is a partial owner; However, Third Navigators have 2 votes to the share, Second Navigators three, First Navigators 5, and Master Navigators 8. All others have one vote to the share.
Membership Type:
All employees of the Spacing Guild.
Profit from the transportation of good and people across the Landsraad.
Size and Orientation:
International Guild (650)
A: Sponsorship:
B: Dress:
C: Equipment:
D: Weaponry:
  • None.
  • Simple (5).
  • Specialist Equipment (10);
  • Medical Supplies (40);
  • Large Library (20);
  • Alchemist (60).
  • Superior (40).
  • E: Communications:
    F: Security:
    G: Stronghold(s):
    H: Intelligence:
  • Limited Magic (30).
  • Paranoid (45).
  • Surrounding City (60).
  • Extensive Spy Network (50).
  • I: General Alignment:
    J: Criminal Activity:
    K: Reputation:
    L: Salary:
  • Unprincipled (6).
  • Smugglers (15); You move NOTHING without the Guild, and they know EVERYTHING that enters their ships;
  • Assassin (15): Not often used, but always available.
  • Famous (50); Famously feared, that is. Even the emperor is afraid of them.
  • Outrageous (40); They can charge whatever they want, so they can pay whatever they want. And they WANT a lot.
  • Friendship- Royalty (30);
  • Friendship- Merchants (10);
  • Friendship- Government (20);
    Not actually "friends" so much as everyone MUST work with them- Or else.
  • Monopoly (90); a total, complete, utter monolpoy on inter-stellar trade in the Landsraad; Even the UGC is unwilling to break this control, except to militry and other UGC government vsls on official business.
  • Enemy Nation (+35); Literally EVERYONE hates them. They don't "really" like each other, for that matter, and minor petty schemes and machinations are a dime a dozen.