The Golgari Swarm is the guild that fuses the opposite values of life and death, fostering growth in Ravnica's decaying communities but also fostering decay in places of growth. The elves, zombies, insects, and undead-plant hybrids of the Golgari are like one massive, growing, feeding organism, collectively spreading across the plane wherever it can fit. The Golgari provide a necessary service in Ravnica, in that they dispose of the carcasses that civilization leaves behind, and mysteriously they also provide sustenance for the forgotten and the needy. They are the scavengers and decomposers at the fringes of the food chain, but yearn to be the predator at the top.
The Golgari guild is organized more like a single organism than a collective: it has a nucleus or nerve center that drives the direction and growth of the guild; elements that collect nutrients and convert them into usable resources; defenses that resist and fight off foreign bodies; and an instinctual drive to survive, reproduce, and overcome. The Golgari guildmaster is currently Jarad Vod Savo an undead necromancer who managed to revive himself after death.
Jarad maintains a council of shamans and rogues called the Cilia. The Cilia act as a combination of advisory parliament and spy agency and rarely all convene publicly or together at once. In combination with Jarad's insect minions, they act as his sensory apparatus to know what the outer reaches of Golgari are doing and as a messenger service to deliver instructions. It might be that an individual Cilium might be considered of higher rank than another by Jarad, but none know those rankings beyond the guildmaster.
The Golgari guild might have more changes in leadership than other guilds. The guild believes in the importance of continuous cycles, understands that assassination is a valid means of political conquest, and knows that being alive is not a prerequisite to rule.
- the Devkarin , elves of shadow
- the Lotleth , ranks of the dead
- the Street Swarm , shepherds of the cycle
Attitudes Toward Other Guilds
- Azorius: "To the Azorius, we are background processes. We are stomach sounds and effluvia. Yet we are the foundation on which their power rests."
- Orzhov : "The Orzhov are despicable ghosts, always seeking to circumvent the cycles that welcome us back to the loam. Their arrogance in seeking power over decay can only last so long."
- Dimir : "The Dimir share our tunnels and mine our secrets. They believe they rule the undercity, but they only rule those who care for possessions or status."
- Izzet: "The Izzet's methods stink of societal progress; they're ignorant of the cycles they destroy. But they manage the city as we do, providing useful magics to maintain the structures beneath the structures."
- Rakdos: "The Rakdos understand the proximity of death, but seek to hasten its cycle for petty ends. What the demon destroys, we nurture back to life again."
- Gruul : "The Gruul are our brethren in the untamed wilds of the city, but they lack the vision to perceive the greater cycles at work."
- Boros : "The Boros speak a language we will never understand. Their militant dedication to words and slogans confuses and disturbs us."
- Selesnya : "The Selesnya strive to respect nature as we do, and their devotion to living systems is commendable. But they are night-blind necrophobes, useless in the face of unvarnished death."
- Simic : "The Simic have spent generations scraping at the edges of a truth that is plain to any worm."