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Orzhov Syndicate

The church of deals.



The Orzhov guild was founded on the belief that wealth is power, that structure breeds wealth, and that guilt creates structure. The guild is run like a combination religion, credit-lending agency, and crime syndicate, with an ostentatious hierarchy of priests, enforcers, and ghostly councilors ruling over a congregation of guiltbound servants, indebted ghosts, and thrulls. Many Orzhov guild members truly believe that their rule is necessary for making Ravnica the best it can be, and they are unscrupulous in their methods of making sure they seize power. Most Ravnicans see the Orzhov for the corrupt organization they are, but many are lured in by their promises of wealth, prestige, and longevity.


The Orzhov guild is ruled by the Obzedat, a council of ghostly autocrats who have maintained their wealth and power even as they've shed their mortal forms. Members of the Obzedat are called the Deathless, as they have managed to cheat mortality, maintaining their consciousness (and their greed) beyond the threshold of death. Most of the Deathless appear as morbidly obese high priests or nobles, but sickly, pale, and ghostly in form. They are as paranoid and spiteful as dictators, often going out of their way to thwart ambitious underlings, crush rumormongers, and spy on potential enemies. They crave wealth, respect, and loyalty. The Obzedat rarely speak directly with those outside the guild; instead, they communicate through the official Grand Envoy, Teysa Karlov.


Reporting to the Obzedat is a web of cartels, which are the individually operating units of the Orzhov Syndicate. Each cartel claims different territories and markets across Ravnica, and each has its own internal hierarchy of priests, lawmages, enforcers, and others. Each cartel is ruled by a cardinal or kingpin whose role is somewhere between gang leader, bank manager, and high priest. Cartels quarrel among themselves over resources and markets and how best to curry favor with Teysa and the Obzedat.


Their white flavor is exemplified by how they have a strong sense of tradition and community, reflected by the fact that they still partake in all of their ancient rituals and customs despite not worshiping any gods. It is also symbolized in how they hoard their wealth, but are shown to share with family members or close friends. Their black flavor can be seen in that they regularly deal with the dead, they never give to charity if they can help it, and continually violate the spirit of the law merely to meet their own ends. More notably, if you cannot pay off your debt in life, they will gladly help you in paying it off in death.
"I once saw the Obzedat moved to action. Since that day, I've been thankful that they're mainly lazy, and dead."
— Aurelia, to Gideon Jura

Ghost Council

The Ghost Council



The Orzhov Syndicate was the leading religious organization on Ravnica, which means this guild governed the spirituality of the plane. Their sense of community and religion aligned them with a 'white' sense of magic while their close work with the dead aligned them with 'black' magic as well, though the latter would come much later. The Orzhov continued their strong religious practiced up until the signing of the Guildpact. The guildmaster at the time was not a single person, but a group of high ranking officials within the organization known as the Obzedat. They all agreed that the signing would be the most beneficial to the Syndicate, but also knew the benefits wouldn't stop at just peace.


In a post Guildpact world, the Obzedat realized that religion could be very profitable, and nothing was more powerful than raw wealth. The Orzhov began collecting income from the populace with added fervor, quickly making them one of the richest guilds on Ravinca. This this new found wealth, the guild started acting more like a banking establishment than an actual church. Behind all the ceremonies and religious practices, there was always made or exchanged, borrowed or loaned out. They were officially the guild of business. The Orzhov brokered deals with almost everyone on Ravnica. From the peasant shopkeepers, to even the other guild masters.


As greed took over the once religious Orzhov, its leaders began to pine over their own existance. What good would all this power and wealth be if they're dead? Thanks tot heir practices in the church, the Obezed found aw ay to keep their power even after death. Using a form of Necromancy, which they had previously forbidden, the leader of the Orzhov tethered their souls to the guild. Upon their death, the spirits of the council were allowed to come back and rule over guild actives, effectively meaning their ghost would rule for all time. Which the last death of the original group, those who were present at the signing of the Guildpact, they were renamed to the Ghost council.


The first ghost council was of course made up of those original members of the Obzedat, but that doesn't mean they all stayed on the council. Like a true business, even its leaders must act in true self interest to the guild or they get fired. Membership to the Ghost Council is based off performance, with members able to vote off a member should their deals be inadequacy. When the Ghost Council is 'released' from duty, another high ranking living member is chosen based on their activities throughout their life to join upon their death. Their mastery over death and necromancy allowed the Obzedet to take on more aggressive deals, even if a loan was obviously too large to be paid off by a person receiving it, the council didn't worry. For if someone couldn't pay them back during their life, they would in their death. The Obzedet would ordered that person to be executed, after which their souls would be controlled by the guild mages of the Orzhov, and their bodies were reanimated into thralls to do their dirty work and manual labor until that person fulfilled their debt plus interest.

"The contract specified an appendage for a missed payment. Read the fine print: the head is an appendage."
— An Orzhov executioner


The Orzhov often seek out muscle to take care of overdue payments on loans and mages to control the guilty's spirit and body. They may also take in members who's debt is beginning to become too much of a burden, allowing them to work directly with the Orzhov to help repay their debt, though payment is as little as possible to keep the person under their thumb for as long as possible. Those seeking logistical work have a much harder task at hand, and are often competing with other members to rise up the ranks.  


An Orzhov insignia, a foot-long chain made of ten gold coins, vestments, a set of fine clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gold coins.  


You can exert leverage over one or more individuals below you in the guild's hierarchy and demand their help as needs warrant. For example, you can have a message carried across a neighborhood, procure a short carriage ride without paying, or have others clean up a bloody mess you left in an alley. The GM decides if your demands are reasonable and if there are subordinates available to fulfill them. As your status in the guild improves, you gain influence over more people, including ones in greater positions of power.  


The Orzhov adhere to a very strict power structure. Positions open only at the bottom of the organization, and rising through the ranks requires utmost devotion. With increasing rank comes a greater degree of leverage over those who occupy the ranks below you


Once you've joined the guild you are regarded as an intern, one who shadows their superior and understands what it means to be a part of this Guild. You are tasked with whatever your superior needs, usually menial tasks that they cannot be bothered to do themselves. Many new recruits lose hope and the will during their time as an intern. Those who persevere are often rewarded greatly.


Syndics are low-ranking functionaries. At this level of the hierarchy, you can expect deference from borrowers, who will perform small favors that require no significant risk, effort. or cost. The bulk of your work for the guild, in turn, involves doing favors for those above you.
As a priest of this rank, you can perform minor tasks in an Orzhov church: collecting tithes at the door, scheduling appointments for the senior priests, keeping ledgers, and the like. As an advokist, you copy documents, research legal precedent, depose witnesses, and otherwise assist more senior guild members. As an enforcer, you Hex your muscle to collect minor debts that are of little importance to the guild as a whole.


Each knight carries a title that expresses a quality of character, such as Knight of Penance or Knight of Despair. As a knight, you have authority over syndics, and you are trusted- so far as anyone in the Orzhov Syndicate trusts anyone else- to transport large sums of money. You also have access to sufficient funds to maintain a comfortable lifestyle between adventures.
As a priest of this rank, you hear confessions and collect penance, lead rites (and take offerings), perform ceremonies, and offer counsel to your superiors when asked. As an advokist, you represent clients in court, draw up contracts, and put your magic to use in a variety of ways. As an enforcer, you are entrusted with collecting larger sums and interacting with powerful clients.
When you're sent on a mission that poses a potential threat, your superior bestows on you an Orzhov charm. In addition, you have the authority to demand service from borrowers, including indentured spirits. But that's an authority you must use sparingly, since their service counts as credit to their debt, and it's in the guild's interest to keep borrowers in debt


The rank of ministrant is the highest position anyone can hope to attain without being born into the guild. As a ministrant, you study finance, while managing the syndics and knights under your control. Between adventures, you can now maintain a wealthy lifestyle.
You are given a servitor thrull that is yours to command. If it is killed, your pontiff gives you a new one at their discretion, possibly up to ld4 weeks later. You also have a staff of 2d4 knights and 4d8 syndics under your command. You can order them only to carry out tasks that contribute to the work your pontiff assigns to you. The duty of protecting you from physical harm is always appropriate service for your knights, however. Your knights can be knights or priests, and your syndics are either nobles or acolytes.


As a pontiff, you are one of the executive managers in charge of enacting the will of the Ghost Council. For that purpose, you have a staff of 2d6 ministrants, with their attendant knights and syndics as described for rank 3. You have access to 2d4 servitor thrulls and winged thrulls at any given time, to carry messages and perform menial tasks for you. You also gain the occasional privilege of speaking with members of the Obzedat. Between adventures. you can maintain an aristocratic lifestyle

Orzhov Knight

An Orzhovian Knight


What the guild offers its more loyal and trusted members. Upon reaching that status, members may be given one of the following gifts.


The Orzhov has many connections to the afterlife, specifically ghosts and apparitions. The guild member gains access to a unique ghost coequally named a Haunt, given their nature. A haunt is specially used to find a specific individual and relay that information of them to the guild member. No matter where the target is, the Haunt will find them. The Haunt does not rest until their mission is complete. The Haunt has protection from some simple forms of revealing magic as it can turn invisible, but it can still be vulnerable to banishment and magical attacks if it does become detected.  


Money is power and nothing is beyond the grasp of wealth, not even magic. The guild member gains special access and privilege to an Orzhovian school of magic, Extortion. The guild member does not need to waste time learning spells and studying magic, instead, one simply pays the magic to come to them. In exchange for the wealth, the guild member can cast spells that the Orzhov teach. The more money they offer, the more powerful the spell will become.  


The guild member has gained massive favor with the Orzhov to the point where succumbing to death would be a greater hindrance to the guild than if Erebos had his way. The member is shielded from Erebos' whip, and can stay to work for the Orzhov as a ghost, retaining their rank, prestige, and power. The member is even considered to be a possible replacement onto the Ghost Council itself should something happen to one of the current members.  


Rules that members must adhere to.
• Never accept to 'cover' for a late payment or accept any amount less than the agreed upon payment.
• Your payments, and any income you make while under Orzhov leadership, will be taxed for the betterment of the guild. Assets gained are included.
• Always read the fine print.  

Species and Races

Species and races typically associated with the Orzhov


The exact origin of the Orzhov Syndicate's angels is still unknown. They may be related to the Boros angels or were made as a copy of them, but either way they possess the same sense of duty. Orzhov angels are empty voids whose only fulfillment comes from performance of duty. They appear only on special occasions such as high ceremonies, where they inspire awe and fear in onlookers.


Gargoyles are grotesque figures of a winged humanoid or animal, incorporated into the architecture of a building, usually in the form of a waterspout. Sentient gargoyles are able to move from the architectural base and fly, despite their dense mineral nature. Gargoyles are generally part of the roofscape of the city, with some being several thousand years old. They are infamous for their ability to unleash horrific high-pitched screams that can even break bones. Some Gargoyles, constructed from Nullstone, have the ability to dampen forms of magic, heat, sound and light around them.


The most prevalent species in Ravinca. They are four-limbed bipedal primates of the mammalian class.


The Orzhov are ruled by an aristrocracy of undead ghosts that form the highest council of the guild, the Deathless. Being raised as a spirit is a high honor for guildmembers, while it is unfortunate fate for those unable to pay their debts in life to the lesser ranks.


Thrulls are creatures animated from dead flesh. The process of creating thrulls is much different from animating the undead, as thrulls are actually living creatures. Thrulls are often used for ritual sacrifice as their sacrifice releases mana stored in them. Thrulls are a signature race of the Orzhov Syndicate, who use them as unthinking servants. The Orzhov thrulls are created from magically animated dead flesh - sometimes even the dead flesh of prominent guild members who left their bodies behind to become spirits. The thrulls serve multiple purposes, from gatekeepers, mortuary workers, and law-court servants to scouts, messengers, fighters, and bodyguards. Orzhov blood allows important guild members to create, communicate, or command thrulls, as well as to restore their bodies and minds after death. Some Orzhov thrulls are created using mana. Most Orzhov thrulls sport a burnished facemask to cover their grotesque faces.


Vampires are a dangerous type of undead. Whilst humans are the most common victims of vampirism, it can infect other species as well, including hounds and even dragons. The most defining characteristic of vampires is their hunger for the blood or lifeforce of others, despite not having any blood of their own. Other traits of vampires can include unnatural physical strength, enhanced healing powers and the ability to fly, with the method of flight being through either natural or magical means. Many vampires are highly sensitive to sunlight and therefore only go out at night or in the shade, but this is not always the case. Regardless, the secretive and predatory nature of the creatures means that they all prefer the cover of darkness. Vampires can range from being mindless predators to sophisticated and intelligent nobles. The appearance of vampires is similarly varied, although they all have at least two elongated fangs and the more feral ones have bat-like qualities.

Foreign Relations

Azorius Senate

"Their new laws challenge everything we know Ravnica stands for. If they will not protect the people, then we will do it for them."

Culk of Rakdos

"A necessary source of creativity and satire. Wit is a dangerous weapon, and their critiques speak to the people more than fear and surveillance ever will."

Gruul Clans

"They know nothing of order and dignity, and therefore they serve little purpose as an organization."

Selesnya Conclave

"The Selesnya are idealistic fools. Looking toward nature ignores the problems at hand in the civilized world."

Boros Legion

"Though their structure is reasonable, they are naive in their outlook on justice. What glory is there in risking one's life when work continues in the afterlife?"

Izzet League

"Combative and obnoxious. Their allegiance lies with no one, and their naiveté isn't worth our time."

House Dimir

"It's hard to begrudge them their love of secrets. As long as they stay out of our business, we will leave them be."

Golgari Swarm

"Admirably resourceful and elegant, but tragically unhygienic. The swarmers may persist, as long as they don't try to force their aesthetic sensibilities on us."

Simic Combine

"Their preoccupation with life disregards the might that death can provide."

"The form of the sigil is just as important as the sigil itself. If its carried on a medallion, its bearer is a master. If its tattooed on the body, its bearer is a slave."

Guild, Merchant
Controlled Territories


Skills held important by the organization which it both teaches and may require as part of the promotion process.

Standard Skills

Customs, Deceit, Drive, Influence, Insight, Locale, Ride, Willpower

Professional Skills

Bureaucracy, Commerce, Courtesy, Language(Any), Literacy, Lore (Orzhovian Lore), Lore (Ghosts and Spirits), Oratory

Combat Styles

• Leg-Breaker
• Mook Recruitment
• Silver Tongue

Orzhov Mage

An Orzhov mage  


Magic related to, or often times exclusive to a particular guild which can be taught to members for a small fee. Not all spells are available right away, many might be reserved for more skilled, loyal, and/or trusted members.

Folk Magic

Show Spoiler
Find(X) (Copper)(Silver)(Gold)


Orzhov allows the use of any spirit.  






Erebus, God of the Dead

Atheros, God of Passage

Bontu, God of Ambition

Orzhov Soldier

An Orzhov hired soldier


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