Aggggghhhhh, can I just say how much I love this thread, and this community? Also, brace yourselves - an essay is coming.
Although I now identify as Flinterforge through and through, I also had to go through a process of coming to grips with Flinterforge as my Guild identity. I think this was partly because I recognize that I present myself in a way that comes off as very Thornmouth - I will admit to probably being a Thornie when I was younger. But despite that incorrect perception, most of the internal crisis I experienced came not from feeling “too much” of another Guild’s traits, but from not feeling like “enough” of a Flinter.
I see myself as a mildly creative person, at best. I have a lot of crazy ideas, but there are also not a lot of skills in which I feel that I particularly excel. Having not read any of the Guild descriptions beforehand, I was simultaneously excited and terrified to get Flinterforge from the Guide that first time. I fell immediately in love with the idea of Flinterforge, the desire to make things new and better, to explore the real possibilities of ideas. At the same time, I was completely intimidated by the examples of the magimystic talents in Flinter, both in the Guide’s description and in real life. I wasn’t a botanist, or an architect, or an engineer. I wasn’t a software developer or a talented artist. My job at the time was basically data entry, which is one of the most un-creative things I can think of, and I had pretty much given up on my writing, which has been my most dominant form of creative expression throughout my life (although you maybe wouldn’t know that looking at me today).
However, I loved the ideals of Flinterforge very deeply, and when I read the other Guilds’ descriptions I found I had no comparable feelings anywhere else, nothing that clicked for me quite so deeply. Not wanting to stand on the sidelines anymore, I jumped in and declared myself. At first I struggled a bit with a sort of magimystic inferiority complex, but the more I explored the idea of Flinterforge beyond the specific examples given, the better I felt about the fit.
The “Assemble Runes” affinity in particular resonates with me, since I enjoy tinkering with language and syntax. At no point in the last two years have I revolutionized farming or tailoring or computer science, but I have rigged up a trench coat with secret bananas, fixed countless hemlines for friends who ripped them, made several scarves as gifts, helped create several themed cocktails, picked out numerous harmonies to songs, drafted half of a novel, and figured out how to cheat a badly-designed computer algorithm or two. None of those things “changed the world” so to speak, and they were never meant to, but all of them possessed some of that spirit of Meeting the Day’s Work. Those are the things that bring me joy, and I think that’s what I’ve really discovered and deepened about myself as a Flinter - the desire for improvement, for using whatever skills I possess to enact something that leaves my world better than I found it, even if that thing is small, or silly, or a badly-designed prototype.
I also feel like there’s a bit of an outside perception that Flinterforge is some sort of crazy talented mad science club, where we’re turning out cool new toys for people every other day, no big deal. And while that’s a really complimentary perception, I find that the other thing I treasure the most about my Guild is sort of the opposite of that perception. Before we can hand someone a cool new toy, we spend hours sketching models or drawing on whiteboards, rigging up prototype after prototype and watching each one explode in a new and different way, carefully measuring and measuring and hoping when we finally get around to cutting the piece that all the measuring worked. And your Guildmates are the ones seeing you through all of that, giving you coffee while you stay up and finish the designs, patting you on the back as you cross out method 1,635 as another no-go, reminding you that maybe the equations will make more sense after you’ve slept for more than 10 minutes at a time, just a thought. They know what it’s like to hit that creative dead-end, to feel uninspired, to burn out, and they remind you that what you’re working toward is bigger and better and more worthy than those setbacks make it feel.
So yeah. I also want to add that I think many (if not all) of the guilds have some sort of “symbology” attached to them that doesn’t always resonate with all of its members - Bali and nature, Goss and Burning Man, etc. But that symbology itself isn’t the core of what that Guild/House represents. In the end, each person can see how their own particulars fit into their Guild’s ideals and explore its meaning through the lens of their own traits and tendencies, which I think is how life is meant to be experienced anyway.