“Those on the surface may snub our ways, call us slimy scavengers and fungus-eaters. Yet without us, disease and filth would soon coat their streets and clog their squares. We ensure that death and life are interchangeable and unified, a cycle of destruction and creation that feed off each other endlessly. If anything, the Guilds are lucky we are content within the Undercity, for here that cycle is strongest…and here we are top of the food chain.”
-Vadid Salvon, Golgari shaman
Lurking in the depths of the Undercity, the Golgari do Ravnica’s literal dirty work away from the judgmental eyes of the common citizen. The Golgari provide a necessary function in the city as both waste management and food production, much of which is distributed among the poor and the guildless for nothing, yet they have garnered a bad reputation. Perhaps it’s due to the Glogari’s use of death and decay in their cycles – food grown in their massive, Undercity rot-farms is fertilized by the carcasses of decomposing creatures. Or maybe its the fact that the Golgari ranks contain some of the best necromancers on the plane, and most of the guild’s labor is provided by mindless plant-zombies. While the outsider may see the Swarm’s methods as repulsive and unclean, the Golgari simply view this as common ignorance. After all, death is an important aspect of life, one that helps give life meaning.
Natural resources are important to the Golgari, and on a world where most of the wild has been replaced with stone architecture, recycling is the only way to go. The guild is largely formed by the devkarin, Ravnica’s dark elves, who specialize in the magic of decay and rot as a source of life. They see nature as a perfect circle, a pattern of creation and destruction that feed off each other. With this method, the Swarm’s undead forces are sometimes more plant than corpse. The rest of the guild consists of many predatory beings vying for a higher spot in the Golgari food chain. And like a predatory organism, the Golgari are constantly moving, taking over abandoned parts of the Undercity to add to their territory. Expansion has allowed the Golgari to thrive and build up in the shadows, unseen and unsuspected, and it might prove staggering to some just how much of the Undercity falls under Golgari control.
Though the guild’s power structure is often contested, the Golgari pride themselves on their role in the day-to-day operations of Ravnica. Just because they are a group that deals heavily with death, it does not mean they lack an appreciation for life. However, it is advisable not to cross the Golgari, for you never know which fungus-choked wall below contains some horror at the behest of the Swarm.
Domains: Darkness, Death, Erosion, Plant, Vermin
Guildmaster: Jarad vod Savo
Values: Power through growth. Unlike the religious recruitment of the Selesnya Conclave, the Golgari simply expand, absorbing beings into their ranks like some sort of creeping mold. To keep their numbers up, they recycle their dead as either troops or fodder for the farms.