This guide is issued by the approval of Queen Olabisi in Year 297 TE and by current approval of Queen Tahira. Any and all revisions will be subject to the queen's approval. Previously revised in Year 405 TE (Queen Annippe approved; changes in regards to fees) and Year 578 TE (Queen Muminah approved; change in wording throughout document, "he/she, etc." to "they/them, etc.").
The purpose of this guide is to ensure all matchmakers are conducting their trade in a manner that does not harm customers, matches, or the matchmaking trade. All matchmakers are expected to follow this guide to the letter when performing their honorable trade, and to report any who do not to the authority of the Guild in Solaris. It is our own responsibility to ensure the eternal continuation of our trade, and so this guide must be taken in all seriousness lest those who are not qualified force the Queen and Court to end our profession entirely. The misstep of any within our trade may cause all of us to suffer for it.
This guide speaks only to the trade of matchmaking. For a guide to the magic of matchmaking, readers should take note of what their mentors teach them in whatever wording works best for them.
Throughout this document the word "customer" is used almost exclusively in the singular, but couples or families seeking additional companions of any kind are perfectly acceptable customers. The same is true for the term "match," though it is usually recommended to locate one match at a time. All of this should be well explained during the apprenticeship period.
All matchmakers must spend a minimum of one year under the apprenticeship of a licensed matchmaker, preferably one with several years of experience. Those seeking apprenticeships must apply at the Guild House in Solaris so it may be determined if they meet the minimum qualifications and their apprenticeship can be arranged.
The minimum qualifications to be apprenticed are as follows:
- Asir ability, which will be tested to ensure the applicant can enter the Mist and locate a specified soul. Further refinement of the ability to locate matches will be conducted during the apprenticeship.
- Literacy, which should not be a concern for those who spent their childhood years in Nairiume's education system.
- The ability to follow instructions, which is needed for a successful apprenticeship.
- No prior arrests for fraud, as this would give an unfavorable impression on the Guild.
Once an applicant meets all qualifications, they will be paired with a mentor for a minimum of one year from the date of acceptance. Mentors and apprentices may choose to extend this period for any reason, but it cannot exceed five years.
After a minimum of one year in the apprenticeship of a mentor, applicants may apply to be tested for their license. The test will involve written questions and a successful display of the matchmaking skills. A pair who have been successfully matched by a licensed matchmaker will be used to test the applicant, ensuring they can match souls already known to be compatible.
A failure of this test will require an additional year of apprenticeship, at the minimum, before it can be attempted again. Two failures will result in the applicant being rejected for all possibility of becoming a matchmaker.
An applicant who passes the test will be granted a matchmaking license and tattooed with a heart on the back of the right hand. For the first five years of practice, the new matchmaker will be under close scrutiny to ensure all aspects of the trade are being performed properly, and thus are required to work in Solaris or another large town or city. After five years, if all goes well, they may go wherever they wish.
All matchmakers are required to have their license re-approved every five years in Solaris. When the license in re-approved, a new tattoo of a heart is added to the back of the hand. Those who fail to have their license re-approved will have their license suspended and must consent to a tattoo of a large dot added to the hand on which the heart is tattooed. Once the license is re-instated, this will be tattooed over with a heart.
Loss of License
A license may be revoked for not following proper protocols in the matchmaking trade. All aspects of the following section, "Proper Matchmaking," must be followed in order to ensure a matchmaker keeps their license. All licensed matchmakers are permitted a hearing to address any complaints or concerns prior to any decision being made in regards to their license in the event of an alleged violation.
When advertising their services, matchmakers are not permitted to guarantee any specific results for customers. This is due to the unpredictable nature of the human soul. Though a match may be found, that person may not be in a position where they wish to meet anyone else. It is commonly understood that most matches, once alerted to the matchmaker's work, choose to meet the one they are matched with, yet it still cannot possibly be guaranteed.
Perfect matches are also not possible. No soul has a perfect match, and even the most compatible of souls may lose that compatibility over time. The human soul changes ever so slightly as life impacts it, and so perfection cannot be guaranteed.
In areas where multiple matchmakers may be working, slander is not permitted in advertisements. Matchmakers are to see each other as associates, and to welcome the flow of customers between each other. Matchmakers are permitted to maintain a waiting list of customers, but it is encouraged to direct customers to other matchmakers if the one first contacted cannot assist them in a reasonable amount of time. There is to be no competition between matchmakers. There are more than enough people in this world desiring to find love, companionship, or business partners, for all matchmakers to be successful.
No matchmaker is to advertise a set fee. Fees must be determined by the means of the customer so that even the poorest may work with a matchmaker. All matchmakers must travel to the home of their potential customers to establish an idea of what they can afford to pay. Paying for a matchmaker should not cause financial difficulties. Those who are not able to pay a large fee must still be treated with the same care and dedication as those who pay more.
If it is determined someone lied about their financial status in order to pay less in fees, the matchmaker may attempt to address the issue. If the customer is unwilling to adjust their payment, a matchmaker should question why it is a concern. Matchmakers deserve to make a living from their work, but they are likely to acquire more business by not hounding a customer for better payment. If this becomes an issue in the community, matchmakers should write to the Guild in Solaris for guidance.
No refunds are to be given unless the customer paid and no work has yet been done. If a customer is not satisfied with the work done, that should not be the matchmaker's concern. The work was still done, and therefore payment must be taken. A certain number of complaints from unhappy customers is permitted due to the nature of matchmaking, but a large number of complaints to the Guild about the same matchmaker will result in an investigation.
When to Reject a Customer
Whether a matchmaker accepts or rejects a potential customer is, in the end, the matchmaker's decision. It is encouraged, however, that no matchmaker take on customers who are rude, disrespectful, refuse terms of payment, demand guarantees, or are otherwise unreasonable. These customers should be politely refused. The matchmaker need not give their reasoning, but may if they choose to.
When matches are located, it is the responsibility of the matchmaker to contact them via writing. Only general information is to be given to the customer so as to protect the privacy of the match. This is because some customer may be desperate to find a partner and may seek out someone who may not be able to respond to the matchmaker's work. The only exception to this is when employed to match pairs for the Tetim Lanali, as the officials must know precise identities and will contact those matches themselves.
Matchmakers must have a seal approved by the Guild for all documents sent to matches. When contacting matches, matchmakers must explain who they are and how they found the match. They must also give some details about the customer who employed them, taking care to also protect their privacy. Instructions must also be included about how the matchmaker can be contacted by the match when they have a response, whatever it may be. The matchmaker must be the one through which all initial communication flows.
If the match accepts the matchmaker's work and wishes to meet the customer, the matchmaker will relay this to the customer and arrange a meeting at the matchmaker's place of trade. Though the compatibility of the souls should render these meetings pleasant and exciting, not protecting the integrity of the match by overseeing the meeting may place liability on the Guild if something goes amiss. After the initial meeting, the matchmaker need not be involved any longer, unless the customer requests it. However, after five meetings, the matchmaker should excuse themself.
Some matches do reject the work of the matchmaker, despite the compatibility of the souls, for any number of reasons. Some, however, initially reject but later change their mind. The matchmaker must advise the customer on the rejection, and should offer one of two options:
- Wait to see if the initial match changes their mind, or
- Be matched up to two more times at no additional cost.
It is not the matchmaker's responsibility to explain why the work was rejected.
When Issues Arise
If any issues arise in which a matchmaker needs assistance, they should contact their mentor. If the mentor cannot help, the matchmaker should contact the Guild directly. Matchmakers should denote in the space given below the name and location of their mentor, and keep it updated if the mentor notifies past apprentices that they have relocated. Any matchmakers who serve as mentors must keep a list of past apprentices and attempt to keep in contact with them in the event that they need assistance.
The act that will immediately result in the loss of a matchmaking license is the binding of two or more souls together. This "soul link" as it is sometimes called, is highly unethical and can cause lasting issues for those wose souls have been bound. The individuals will spend great lengths of time attempting to locate each other, and while they may initially be happy once they do meet, this connection will prevent them from parting ways if they are no longer compatible due to their souls changing over time. Because of this, these individuals may see their joyful connection devolve into pain and hatred. This may not always be the case, but as it has happened many a time, it must not be given even the potential to take place. Those with bound souls, regardless of what the relationship may have become, also always die within days of each other, even if one is entirely healthy when the other passes.
Do not ever, regardless of how much payment is offered by a potential customer, bind souls. Deny the customer and warn all other matchmakers in the area of what they are seeking.
So long as all matchmakers and apprentices follow this guide, the Guild and the matchmaking profession will continue to flourish. Remember to always work ethically and take the best interests of both customers and matches to heart.
There is so much to like about the way you've thought this process out. Really well done!
Quite mysterious. The matchmaker gooes into the mist to find someone suitable? And th souldd bonding is intriguing.