Adventures in Axum
Guild of Psychics
The Psychic Guild is one of Axum’s oldest institutions, dating back to the mid 60s, and was the third guild created in Axum (after the Tech Guild and the GoM). While smaller in comparison to the two older guilds, the PG is very close-knit and members are known for their discipline and somewhat restrictive lifestyle. The guild itself is fairly wealthy, and has ties (some covert, some public) to several businesses worldwide.
While the Guild of Magics focuses on learning and academia, and the Technology guild focuses on business and innovation, the PG focuses primarily on control, discipline and education. Psychics are generally identified at a young age and have the option to undergo training at some of the finest schools Axum has to offer (such as the Quire Institute For Psychically Talented Individuals) or have their powers contained (usually with psychic inhibitors); most choose training, as being a trained psychic gives access to many high-paying, prestigious jobs, allows one to use their powers at will (within the confines of the law, of course), and grants access to membership within the Guild of Psychics. Those who refuse both training and power containment are either made (gently, usually, but there are exceptions) to comply or end up as rogue psychics, which are generally uncommon and usually never very powerful. They are generally caught quickly.
Axum’s psychic community often keep to themselves, generally preferring to spend their time in the company of other psychics. This is especially true of the telepathically inclined. As such, the population in general regards them with a certain degree of apprehension, which isn’t helped by the fact that the PG is the most insular of all the guilds and are seen as being unfriendly to outsiders. This isn’t necessarily true; it’s not that psychics on average dislike people that aren’t psychics, they just tend to find it easier to communicate and relate to others of their kind, as they lead a lifestyle that is by necessity quite different from most citizens. Additionally, Guild psychics tend to be somewhat wary of those who weren’t born with their abilities (especially those empowered by neural implants or other technology) as they tend to lack the years of experience somewhat with innate psychic talents would generally possess.
Life as a psychic, especially one with powers like Mind Control, Telepathy and Mind Reading, is generally more restrictive than average. With laws in place making training or depowering mandatory, and with training focusing largely on developing discipline and control, psychics tend to be reserved, especially around non-psychics. Training tends to encourage introversion, and as such many psychics are not very social (there are, of course, notable exceptions, like Adrienne Walker). However, as the guild tends to have a heavy focus on community outreach, the average psychic has a higher than average standard of living (as do the immediate relatives of said psychic, often), they receive excellent health care (especially mental), and are generally well looked-after. For generally unknown reasons psychics tend to be female.
The Government regards Guild psychics as very trustworthy and potentially valuable assets for a variety of reasons; psychics (generally telepaths) have played a large part in the Axum Police Department for decades, the community tends to look after itself, the Guild tends to deal with matters in the psychic community internally and peacefully, and in some circles psychics are regarded as one of the best safeguards against violent crime. If you are a telepath, you would have been encouraged to serve some time with the police force. If you have Mind Control powers, the Government and the guild have watched you closely during your time in the city. If you posses unusual psychic talents you will have been especially encouraged to aid in the training of young psychics.
As a psychic of considerable power, you have received a great degree of training to hone and control your gifts, whether you were born in Axum or not. If you were born on the island, more opportunities will have been available to you in terms of careers, guild status, and social status within the psychic community. If you are a natural-born psychic, the latter applies to you even more so. If you received your powers unnaturally or later on in life, the guild would regard you with a little less confidence than normal.
Controversy over the policies regarding the regulation of psychic abilities has existed for years, but there is currently a larger than average amount of discontent due to the suicide of Damien Christensen, who killed himself shortly after being fitted with a neural inhibitor (because he refused to undergo proper training). Damien’s mother, Magdelena Christensen, is an ardent protester of the guild’s policies, claiming that the guild drove her son to kill himself. These claims have not been substantiated.
Notable psychics in Axum include Irene Rosewater (leader of the Psychic Guild), Adrienne Walker (popular author, public figure and ranking member in the guild), Jackson Georgs (detective in the APD with neural implants that grant him telepathy), and James Sanders (aka Dr. X, a telekinetic surgeon with x-ray vision whose talents are known the world over).