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Although any reasonably-wealthy D'ni could learn to Write, only members of the Writers Guild could aspire to be considered masters of the Art.
The Guild of Writers was one of the 18 Major Guilds that existed on ancient Garternay. Not much is known about it other than Ri'neref was a Guild Master, although he questioned the morality of its functions. He refused to carry out the command of his Grand Master, writing an Age that would be exploited by the Ronay.
Re-formation by Ri'neref
With the founding of D'ni City, a New Guild of Writers was immediately began as one of its top priorities. It took 8 years to complete its buildings and upon finishing the construction, the Guild was christened in a public and grand ceremony.
Ri'neref appointed his apprentice Ailesh as its Grand Maser and together they authored an Oath to which every member adhered to. In this Oath the Art is recognised as a gift given by Yahvo. It remained effective (with a few alterations) for the remainder of the D'ni history.
Although members of the Guild of Writers do not get any special privileges or status, they are viewed as more prestigious than other Guild members.
In 1975, King Me'erta (obviously directed by his mother Jolatha) attempted to change the rules and restrictions of the Guild including altering their oath, as written by Ailesh, in order to leave them more "flexible" in their writing and allow the D'ni "to do more". Grand Master Tremal adamantly opposed the King. Once Tremal was found dead, the Writer's Guild, as a whole, refused to accept the changes in support of their fallen comrade. Eventually, Jolatha/Me'erta gave up trying.
Re-formation by Gehn
Gehn, while on Riven, creates a so-called "Guild" of a select few villagers to help him copy phrases into Books. At the time Atrus first links to Riven, their total numbered ten. Catherine was the fourth to join their ranks. She was apparently the youngest.