Almanac: On the Culture of Magic

On the Culture of Magic

Of Mages & Their Like
Magic is not something that all are able to wield. Only a select few have the gift, much less an aptitude or training. There are exceptions (wild mages primarily or individuals who learn how to barter their lives to otherworldly entities) but for those are seeking knowledge, there are many paths.

Northern Marches
Mages are trained and employed as part of the Guild System, working their way through Apprentice through several other recognized stages of achievement as evaluated by their peers. An excellent learning resource (for a price) and job postings. Free mages also can be found in the ‘less civilized’ parts but they do not carry the same prestige of a Guild Mage (nor the code of conduct).

Middle Marches
The College of Mages tradition shows the influences of Elves and the Arkean Empire. Mageholds are typically found outside of major cities (where they will do the least damage) and operate on a Master / Apprentice system. In exchange for training, Mages are expected to swear an oath of conduct to the Chancellor who in turn is in fealty to the temporal ruler. Essentially “I promise not to blow up the castle and will put my abilities to a positive ends”. There is a growing tension among many mages who feel that this is an encroachment on their personal freedoms (“Sell swords and priests are in no such bond!”) and the degree of demanded fealty depends on the region.

The Oath of Conduct followed by the College Mages of Merrovin, recited before witnesses including a representative of the King (commonly a Reeve but sometimes higher). The Mage Oath is available to Wizards, Sorcerers, and Warlocks, and even those who do not belong to a college. A sworn mage is given a distinct ring as a symbol of their oath. Similar oaths may be found in other colleges outside of Merrovin.

“I shall not bring scorn of the people upon my fellow mage, nor use my arcana to place myself above them.
“I shall keep safe and free from harm the houses of lore and make tithe to my house a portion of my arcane treasure in repayment for the riches they have given me.
“I shall not succor a renegade of the aracana, but shall strike him down with my power, else summon my fellow mages to my aid as I would aid them in their need.
“This I do swear before men and the gods.”

Imperial (Archaen / Arkean / Argean)
The pracitce of magic has long been intertwined with the political system, individual casting ability often going hand in hand with advancement. For a time preceding the Vecna Event, the Emperor himself was expected to be a powerful mage as well. Wizards are the dominant caster type, other spell casters are either seen as idiot savants (sorcerers) or threats (warlocks) and tend to be treated as such. Since the time of the First Empire, Mages have held considerable power and continue to do so though in a much more regimented fashion since a band of Warlocks managed to blast the capital off the map and end that Imperial cycle.

Devotees of Eos (Southlands)
Magic is the gift of Eos and must be put into service of Eos. It in itself is not evil – only in practice does it become so.

Almanac: On the Culture of Magic

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