The Etheril Mercenary's Guild is an organization that spans the entire continent, coordinating mercenary jobs and payment. It exists completely outside of the military hierarchy of the empire, and there is some hostility between mercenaries and the soldiers they casually refer to as "Imperials". A primary source of the conflict is the guild's lack of restrictions on admittance; many imperial soldiers believe that mercenaries from the guild are inept and lack discipline, while the mercenaries see the soldiers as compassionless, mindless drones.
Guild offices are found in every major city of Etheril as well as in many of its minor towns. The guild collects offers for mercenary work and posts them in nearby offices, then takes a 10% cut of the profits for the jobs. Mercenaries who are caught attempting to shortchange or steal from the guild are marked with a brand on each of their hands, preventing them from acquiring further mercenary work.
Some mercenaries choose to work outside of the guild. Mercenaries not from the guild are seen as even less disciplined and more bloodthirsty that guild mercenaries, and largely participate in illegal or off-the-books work.
The Guild is not a single, organized fighting force, and as such has no official ranks. However, there are benefits to seniority within the guild, including favoritism in job assignments and lower tithes. A strong sense of camaraderie exists within the mercenary's guild, and many members greet each other on sight or offer aid to familiar faces. The longest-living members of the guild are marked with a tattoo over their right shoulder, signifying extreme skill and dedication. Very few mercenaries live long enough to acquire this tattoo, but those who do are never without work or money.