"So, that's how Veovis caused the fall of D'ni. Although it's true that many still blamed Ti'ana for years afterward, as far as I'm concerned she was only the catalyst, someone who's good intentions were nothing more than the final stone that paved D'ni's road to hell.
I looked around the classroom. At least when teaching in D'ni, my students were a little better motivated. Back on the surface half of the class would be asleep by now, but here everyone was still full of attention.
One finger was raised...
"Mr Timberwood, you've told us a lot about the history of the old D'ni guilds, but to be honest I'm more interested in what happens today."
A wave of murmuring went though the room.
"Is it true that you have been here ever since the first time the DRC closed the cavern?"
"Well, not all of the time," I said, "but basically, yes..."
"Then you've been with the Guild since it began right? Can you tell us how it all started? There's still some time left."
Another wave of murmuring went through the room. I recognized the tactic from my old school days: we would try to get a teacher to talk about his favourite subject, instead of the topic for that day. That way we could sometimes even avoid homework. I looked at the clock. Still half an hour to go. Ah well, these kids deserved a break anyway.
"Okay, I'll try!" I said with a smile, "It's gonna be the short version though! We only got half an hour left, and you wouldn't want to be late for your Writing class."
"Oh, but miss Jennifer will understand", said an 'innocent' voice from somewhere.
"Let's just get started ok!", I wasn't going to get into a pointless debate,
"First off, you have to realize that we can't pick a single moment and say 'That's when the Guild started'. The guild of writers formed slowly!
After the first time the DRC left the cavern, a lot of people stayed in the cavern. Since Victor Laxman protected the Lattice and shut down the KI network, we couldn't reach each other digitally, so small groups formed of people who happened to run into each other. Does anyone know some of those groups?"
"The Cobbwebs!", shouted someone.
"Don't be silly, it was Cobas", a girl said.
"Actually that particular one was called 'Cobbs'", I replied, "But continue... more groups anyone?"
"Well, you all seem to know quite a few of the groups!", I smiled,
"At first, most of them just focused on getting back into the main areas of the cavern. Ae'gura, Kirel, and so on. A few people worked hard trying to hack into the Lattice.
Of course, there were also a few who were just bent on exploring as much of D'ni as possible. It was in those days that a few people stumbled on an old Writers school. They uncovered a partially burned copy of the Rehevkor, but more importantly a few volumes of 'Writing for Dummies'.",
A wave of laughter went through the room.
"Well, that's what we called it anyway. In D'ni the title was a lot more solemn. It took like forever to translate it, I can tell you that!"
"You were with AgeBuilders at the time, right?"
"For a while. I also did some freelance work for a group called the New Tree Council. They vanished after a few months though. I haven't heard from them since."
"Mr. Timberwood, how about the Guild! When did that start!"
"Ah, the natives are getting restless...", I joked, "...very well, I won't bore you with details on all those groups.",
"Basically, everyone was just minding their own business right until the time the DRC got back to the cavern and shook things up. A lot of people had to ... well, let's just call it 'adjust to the new situation'.
When they took the initiative for rebuilding the old guilds, they were well aware of the progress we made on reverse engineering the Art. So they included the 'Guild of Writers' in that list and redecorated one of the old Pubs for us.
At the same time a few of the old groups went through some rough times. One or two had leadership crises. So a few of the members of different groups joined together and started meeting in the new Guild Pub. They set up a central library on the Art, and started to supply empty books. Just that! Nothing more at first. But after a while more people flocked together, and in a few months we were almost a real Guild."
"The Guild of Anarchists", said a wiseguy on the second row.
I sighed, "Yes, that was a running joke back then. But as you can see, we developed quite nicely haven't we...."
"Well, considering miss Jennifers Writing class starts in a few minutes, here's the homework for next week:
Each of you has to pick one department of the Writers guild. You can choose between 'Writers', 'Age Restorers', 'Cavern Restorers' and 'Inkmakers'.
I want a one-page report describing what the departments goals are, and what their methods are! On my desk first thing next week!",
"And don't forget to get those permission slips for the Todelmer expedition signed! Dr. Johnson needs them the day after tomorrow."
EDIT: Changed "Restorians" to "Restorers" per suggestion below. (Also punctuation and spelling)