Founded over 100 years after the rest of extreme augmentation flourished, the Valtori Guild was the first to experiment with the notion of nano-augmentation seriously. Started by students from the Valtori Nanomedicine University in Kingsway of the Threshold, it rapidly found itself with government funding of a new nation only officially 18 years old, wanting to have something traditionally “Thesholder.” Additionally, the nation wanted something to prove itself on the galactic stage, and developing a new form of augmentation was just one way they set out to do so.
This was particularly difficult to establish, as the general galactic public had ready access to nanites at the time, and most fields of augmentation were often blended between nanite, biological, and cybernetic already, leaving the notion that individual "schools" of augmentation could exist to be one often dismissed.
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The Valtori Guild’s name comes from its parent school, the Valtori Nanomedicine University. In Latin, “valtori” is defined as being “knowledgable, inventive, or elegant,” which was found as coincidentally fitting with the ideals of nano-augmentation.
The word “Guild” has long been used to describe a group of craftsmen, tradesmen, artisans, or merchants in control of their practice locally in an area. Many augmentation groups form guilds to legitimize themselves and centralize the advancement of their craft to include education.
The students of Valtori Nanomedicine and their alumni found it increasingly frustrating to advance nanomedicine beyond its limits of the time. Their initial notion of fixing this was not at all related to present-day nanoaugmentation; most of their experiments were intended to use a specialized AI or VI in their testing, but several students, not having access to such a VI and being unable to ask an AI for assistance at the time, hooked their own implants into the nanomatrix to test several of their alterations, and a few found that the nanites were extremely responsive to their commands – and on occasion, even their emotions.
Some of these began to conjecture that they may have stumbled upon a new form of nanoaugmentation and indeed found that the percentages of those who were apt with such nanites were similar to other known percentages of other schools of augmentation. These students and professors started a club they referred to as the “Valtori Guild” after the fashion of other guilds that were popping up around the galaxy, and invented alumni of the school for testing; the process started a small wave of augmentation interest as a number found out that they had an aptitude for other augmentation categories, if not nanoaugmentation, and some started their own guilds with other individuals, easily found as the Valtori Guild kept records.
As the new guild flourished throughout the nation, it was necessary to build guild schools, and many of the students rapidly found themselves as Guild-Masters without extensive training of their own. This fostered a persisting culture of discovery. Many of the Guild-Masters suffered the rebuke of other guilds of the other technomantic artforms, which had seen nanoaugmentation as child’s play, as nanites were readily available in all walks of life including child’s toys. Not wanting to stifle the progress of students, as they had been, the Guild-Masters established rules that no Valtori School would have rank other than Student and Guildmaster, later naming the high position to be the Framer, paralleling the role of nanite and controller of nanites; just as no nanite holds position over another and all must work and learn together, so was the idea set forth by nanoaugmentation and the Valtori Guild.
Limited authority roles remain to be a theme within the Valtori Guild; even the President of the Guild is often considered to be a “student,” as the role of the Presidency is itself too demanding to also be a Framer of a Guildhall or chapter house.
Most members of the Valtori Guild are not militant by any means, but some dedicate themselves to martial arts involving nanoaugmentation. These individuals refer to themselves as “The Grey,” a loose reference to the notion of “Grey Goo” in which a planet is consumed in its entirety by nanites. Members of The Grey consist of both tethered and untethered forms, but the tethered form of nanoaugmentation has been highly popularized, as one turns oneself into a weapon.
The Grey, a tight-knit organization, was hardpressed to accept non-nanoaugments into its fold but eventually conceded that it needed to expand. Following the notion of community within nanoaugmentation, most groups operate in squads when possible, and attempt to utilize at least one individual specialized in each form of augmentation.
Valtori Wardsmiths are widely regarded as some of the most well-practiced and skilled wardsmiths of any nanoaugment programmers. Their coding is imbedded and influential in nearly all programming of nanoaugmentation wards throughout the universe, with several specific discoveries of programming intricacies being a hallmark of what it means for one to be a “nanoaugment,” as some wards cannot be used at all by those who are not adept at the skill.
In making these wards, many Valtori Wardsmiths work in conjunction with skilled data augments to ensure proper encryption of their coding; without, hackers, terrorists, and enemies could take over control of the nanites of a nanoaugment – their worst nightmare.
Most of these wards revolve around making a series of items, of which the final tuning is performed by the user’s mind, but intricate parts of how to make certain machines are often unknown to the maker of the nanoaugment, but, still needing to make the thing, require a ward for the general scope of the item to tell the nanites what to do.
The Valtori Guild aims to provide skilled augments for mercenary and contract work throughout the galaxy, with a goal to help educate newer augments, uplift those who cannot pay for technomantic rigs themselves, and to help protect their parent nation - the Threshold.
The Valtori Guild Headquarters is located on Kingsway, near the original campus where the guild started. They have since constructed the Valtori Station as a secondary headquarters – entirely out of nanites. Outside of this, nearly every world of the Threshold and then some have at least one local headquarters building, and all such facilities are also designed to facilitate training new recruits how to become nanoaugments and older veterans how to perfect the arts.
Most of the facilities are entirely civil in design, as nanoaugmentation is a large part of society and has many facets in which a nanoaugment can excel and benefit the world, such that the Valtori Guild has founded many a nanotech university from the success of their local headquarters buildings.
With powerful backing, the Valtori Guild built at least one Guild university per habitable planet or celestial body with the Threshold, and many chapters constructed factories and mining groups to increase their stock of raw materials for nanites. With such widespread influence, the Valtori Guild began to hold great political power in the nation and became a major contractor of work. Expanding so greatly, the guild needed to hire more than just nanoaugments to meet new demands. Eventually, they came to accept all schools of augmentation as they found themselves needing to be able to meet the demands of mercenary work, which often required more than just the skills of a nanoaugment.