Sorcery

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About

Persons with the ability to directly enact their will upon the world are called mages, and a host of other things. The ability can be taught, although some people show greater affinity for learning the spells and incantations required. In most places the practice is seen as an insult to the gods and their divine grace. As such most mages exist in an underground secret society.

Origins

Speculation on the origins of sorcerous ability include many competing theories and philosophical ideas about the nature of the universe, magic, and the immortal soul. Some beliefs include:
  • Sorcery was taught by dragons, whom are all known to be competent sorcerers
  • Events of the god wars awoke the ability in treahni, and the current state is a natural progression from those early few.
  • The first gods themselves are the source of sorcerous abilities given their clear parallels to the six elements.

The Elements

Sorcery follows a philosophy organized around a wheel of six elements: Spirit, Water, Earth, Metal, Fire, and Air. Everything in the universe is composed of varying portions of these principles, and by manipulating them a mage can alter the world around them to enact magic. Every sorcerer attunes themselves to an element, and will be strongest in that, weaker in adjacent elements, weaker still in tertiary elements, and weakest in the diametric opposite.

Spirit

Opposition
Metal
Principles
Mind, Spirit, Knowledge.

Water

Opposition
Fire
Principles
Water, Cold, Darkness.

Earth

Opposition
Air
Principles
Life, Growth, Decay.

Metal

Opposition
Spirit
Principles
Metal, Minerals, Complex Forms

Fire

Opposition
Water
Principles
Fire, Heat, Movement

Air

Opposition
Earth
Principles
Air, Illusion, Light

Grey Magic

Grey magic defies easy categorization into any of the six primary elements, and draws on principals common to them all. This class of magic is paradoxically seen as simultaneously less refined and more pure. Grey magic is said to be truer to the fundamental natural order of the universe, than any element alone, but is understandably harder to grasp of without a good balanced knowledge of the six elements in depth. Spells of this class tend to work on the principals of magic itself, rather than the elemental specifics.
The truest masters of sorcery can learn spells of all branches equally, and are referred to as grey mages.

Guild of Arcane Lore

Sorcerers have a common interest in protecting their kind from the superstitions and ignorance of the non-enlightened masses. As such they have grouped together to work towards common goals and protect their community from external threats. This society exists to protect its membership from pogroms of extermination, and to further the sharing and study of the magical arts themselves.

Chantries

Sorcery is pretty much banned, and hunted down by the church of the Goddess in nations that have that religion dominant, or by the High Nobles elite guards in the Waejiran Empire. As such those capable of wielding such powers have formed a loosely united underground society with secret chantries throughout the continent. These secret guildhalls exist throughout Annexea providing safe houses, and networking amongst sorcerers. Chantries tend to be primarily aligned to one of the six elements. Services typically available include:
  • Instruction from masters of the art.
  • Temporary lodgings for travelling members.
  • Libraries containing collected knowledge and wisdom from past and current members.
  • Access to arcane artifacts held by the chantry.

Laws

The Guild of Arcanists have only a few universal laws, with lesser regional proclamations issued from local chantries. The guild uses these to self-police their membership as any negative attention would likely put them all at risk:
Secrey
Do not reveal secrets of the guild without the sanction of ones peers. One must not reveal the guild's existence nor any guild secrets to those not of the guild. This includes any potential apprentice, before they are ready to be inducted.
Peerage
Share a portion of your arcane knowledge with your chantry. Rank within the guild is earned, not taken. One can progress only after sharing new discoveries with their colleges for peer review. Those who do not work to further the art or support the guild itself, may find themselves lacking the support of the guild when they are in need.
Respect
Respect the decisions of masters of the art. One should work towards harmonious co-existence amongst the varied schools of magic. While disagreements may occur, members should not let such become feuds lest the guild suffer for division amongst the peerage.
Humility
Do not make a position for oneself above those not of the guild. One should not seek to place themselves over the mundanes through use or displays of their powers, to do so brings the ire of the church.
Protect
Do not provide aid to a renegade. Strike them down or alert the guild of their presence.

Tribunals

Individuals accused of violating guild law will face a tribunal either in-person or in-absentia. If the tribunal agrees that they are guilty, they may declare a fitting punishment based on the severity of the crime.
Typical punishments are fines or prohibitions against continuing the unlawful activity.

Renegades

Gross or repeat violators of guild law may be declared renegades, and are considered outcast from the guild. Should a renegade of the arts break guild law they are to be dealt with quickly, and discretely as possible. All guild members are charged with bringing a renegade to justice according to their abilities. A renegade can expect to be hunted by masters of the guild, and will receive no quarter, or succour from their former guild associates. If one cannot strike down an offender they should report them to the nearest chantry so that the guild may take collective action against the renegade.

Ranks

The Guild of Arcane Lore follows a similar pattern as other guilds to distinguish between the various levels of power and understanding of the sorcerous arts.
Apprentice
An apprentice is any guild member wishing to learn the arts. Until one passes their exam, they are not considered full members of the guild, and many spend years waiting for an opportunity to prove themselves.
Journeyman
Those who graduate from the rank of Apprentice are expected to go out into the world and learn on their own. It is customary that they return to the chantry of origin after a sabbatical to showcase what they have learned. Sharing new spells they have discovered or developed, and bequeathing a portion of their arcane treasure.
Master
This is the rank most sorcerers desire to attain. A position of respect within the guild, and one which can take on apprentices of their own to instruct as they themselves were instructed.

Training

Would be sorcerers often end up beginning by working at chantries as servants and valets for masters hoping one will offer to instruct them in the sorcerous arts. Many bounce from master to master learning what scraps they can until they can secure a more personalized and direct arrangement. They may study under the tutelage of one or more masters, and when their instructor feels they may be ready to advance in rank, may undergo an examination of the knowledge and skills to prove themselves worthy of becoming a journeyman.
Journeymen may assist in the instruction of apprentices under a master in exchange for more specialized instruction and mentoring of their own, but are not permitted to take on apprentices without a master's sanction. Most journeymen are expected to be self-taught if they ever wish to become masters in their own right. They must show dedication and wisdom in the application of their knowledge and the acquisition of greater understanding.

Persons

Stories

See Also