|Founder(s)||Archmage Gladerion Spaecerriám|
|Leader(s)||Archmage Cyora Baequizea|
|Headquarters||Sanctuary of Arcane, Froturn|
The Mages Guild is an organization that is responsible for the regulating the education of Arcane Magic through Artograch, but mainly Etrand, Froturn and Artaburro. The name "guild" is misleading, as the "Mages Guild" is not a single guild, but rather a collection of guilds who have signed the Mages Guild Charter and use the name "Mages Guild", united by a set of common rules and common ranking system, allowing for easy transfers. With the exception of desperate times, the title of Archmage - the designated leader of the Mages Guild - is largerly honorary and ceremonial.
The Mages Guild Charter was first written in 133 AEKE, which marks its foundation date. Before that date, education of Arcane Magic went unregulated - magic was either taught by individual masters to their apprentices (most often from father to son, from mother to daughter) or by small, utterly secretive and underground cabals. The models of individual master-apprentice pairings and highly secretive underground cabals were the norm for millenia. While challenges to this norm have been made ever since 800 BEKE in Froturn, as the High Elven leaders constantly flirted with the idea of mass-educating magic, what came out of it was a few self-proclaimed "magic schools" and "magic guilds" that lacked a common foundation, not sharing anything. Additionally, individual masters at the time were unwilling to pass down their knowledge to anyone but their designated apprentices, who were more often than not their own offsprings or grandchildren.
Not to mention, organized or not, all education of Arcane Magic was unregulated, no one knew what was being taught, which allowed Necromancers to flourish in certain environments. This culiminated in the 102 AEKE, when a necromancer and his apprentice caused a massive uproar, eventually being exiled and founding the Republic of Keldorn. Following the event, the question of magic education became a serious topic for the leaders.
In the 110s in Etrand, a magician named Gladerion Spaecerriám contacted a large number of elder mages in Etrand and Froturn, convincing them to start combining their powers for the greater good. The debate on how to organize a union for Magicians raged on for at least a decade, when finally in 133 AEKE, the charter was written, the Mages Guild was founded. During the early 4th century, the Sanctuary of Arcane would be built in Froturn, serving as the headquarters from then on.
The Mages Guild has a legal monopoly on the name "Mages Guild", allowing only guilds that have joined this union to use that name. The states of Froturn, Etrand and Dragoc have legally empowered the Mages Guild with this monopoly, forbidding outsider organizations from using that name. The aforementioned states have also granted the Mages Guild the right to crack down on freelancers who try to teach magic to a large number of students without legal permission, reasoning that without the regulations of the Mages Guild, the students could easily turn evil, and that without being able to regulate what gets taught, it's easy for necromancers to fall through the cracks.
Members of the various guilds are expected to not only follow the rules of the individual guild they are members of, but also a set of standard "basic" rules in addition to that, such as forbidding violence against fellow guild members, forbidding and punishing the breaking of local laws, punishing the stealing of books and equipment, and having a bit of dress code. Depending on the severity of violations, violation of these rules may range from verbal reprimand to being expelled, or even reported to the authorities.
The teaching of Necromancy is strictly forbidden under the rules of the Mages Guild, and any organization that signs the Mages Guild Charter agrees that Necromancy is dangerous, "heretical" and should always remain illegal. In addition to necromancy, a variety of curses are banned too, arguing that their usage is inhumane and serves no purpose, further arguing that if a mage is to use magic for destructive purposes, he/she should have the decency to use magic to gift the designated oponents fast and painless deaths, rather than causing needless and inhumane suffering.
High-level dangerous spells are not forbidden, but their learning is restricted to high-ranking senior members, arguing that the weak only end up destroying themselves. Several potions, poisons and enchantments are also banned.
Standardized ranking system
The Mages Guild Charter states outright that all signing parties must have the exact same ranking system, so that members of the various local Mages Guilds can easily transfer from one to another when changing place of residency. Additionally, this also means that underdeveloped regions are not forced to invest in high-level equipment and books, but can focus on teaching beginners, sending sufficently advanced members away to study at guilds located in more developed regions.
The ranks are the following:
- Novice: The lowest of the low, they are (usually fresh) members who are in the proccess of being introduced to magic, to the proccess of casting spells and learning new spells.
- Intermediary between Novice and Adept: When a Novice is deemed powerful and well-educated enough to progress, they must choose between two paths: Apprentice or Disciple.
- Apprentice: An Apprentice is assigned to an Adept or a Master, who then teaches the Apprentice. Under the guidance of the mentor, the protégé must learn the same kind of magic the mentor is skilled in. A fire magician's protégé is expected to focus on fire magic. A master alchemist's or enchanter's protégé is expected to become good at those subjects.
- Disciple: A Disciple is the path for those who want to go their own way rather than study under the watchful eyes of a mentor. A disciple is expected to study alone - or with the help of other disciples - and train himself/herself to a certain point. At that stage, the Disciple is expected to clearly specialize in one or two subjects and be good at it.
- Adept: When an Apprentice/Disciple is deemed powerful and well-educated enough, he/she is promoted to the rank of Adept. This is the highest rank one can earn simply by studying and "grinding" (becoming powerful), as progression to the rank of Master not only requires seniority, but also recognition as an important figure, and expectional power and talent that the ordinary magician does not usually possess.
- Master: Masters are special. Becoming a Master requires more than just being powerful and intelligent. Becoming a master requires special talents that only a minority of magicians have. Not only that, but while an Apprentice/Disciple is required to specialize in one or two subjects and master it to progress to the rank of Adept, an Adept is required to become multifunctional and become "master of all" to progress to the rank of Master. Last but not least, becoming a Master requires seniority and recognition as an important and upstanding member of the guild.
- Archmage: The Archmage is the leader of the Mages Guild, as a whole - or a former leader. A "reigning" Archmage is basically a Master who was chosen to represent all Magicians in the public, given the responsibility to make or remove rules when necessary, and act as a voice of guidance in troubled times when the guilds must unite their forces. Normally, in times of peace and quiet, the title is largerly ceremonial and honorary without any real function other than fame. Only during drastic times an Archmage's right to change the rules and command the mages comes to be invoked.
- A former Archmage - someone who used to "rule" the Mages Guild but retired, abdicated or got forced out - is also known as and addressed as an Archmage, creating a bit of confusion. To help this situation a little, the currently "reigning" Archmage may be addressed as "Archamge in Office" in writing, to avoid confusion with those "archmages" who were only formerly in office.
The majority of Headsmen - leaders of individual guilds - are usually Masters, but sometimes Adepts.
The Mages Guild Charter
The Mages Guild Charter is the most important documentation for the Mages Guild, as it not only contains all the rules and regulations that all guilds must share, but also contains the general mission statement. Every guild that signs the charter must own a copy of the charter.