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The Arcane College is a professional organization of good and neutral aligned mages, sorcerers and bards – while evil beings may work their way into the group, any untoward activities will usually result in the censure of the offending spellcaster [see Sundered Schools]. Each wizard is simultaneously a member of both the Arcane College and an individual Academy. Academies are the actual schools of magic wizards, sorcerers, and bards attend, as well as sub-guilds within the Arcane College. Each academy has its own requirements to join as well as its own benefits and costs of membership. While bards and sorcerers can be members and take advantage of the facilities and training available in the Arcane College, most schools see them as inferior types of spellcasters when compared to proper wizards. The Académie Royale, Academy Spellhold, and the Tower of Mysteries are notable exceptions to this rule, as bards and sorcerers have often achieved leadership positions in hierarchy of academies.

Hierarchy and Status within the Order

Tradition and hierarchy are important aspects in membership in the Arcane College and many have compared its members to priests in their adherence to costume and ritual. Different disciplines and levels of achievement wear different hats and robes, making a magic-user’s status instantly recognizable to other members of the Arcane College. Perhaps the most distinctive feature shared by members of the Arcane College is the baltěus, a two-flanged belt worn by all members of the order. The baltěus itself is made of a durable canvas, and its color denotes the academy of which the magic-user is a member. Ornate stones (magestones) are worn on the second flange to denote the wizard’s expertise in spell casting, with a new stone being awarded by the academy for each new level of spell the caster learns. Each academy awards stones of the same colors in the same order [black at first level spells, then red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, and finally the transparent diamond-like magestone for 9th level] and all stones are worn, producing a growing rainbow of gems along the second flange of the baltěus as the wizard grows in power. Wizards often enchant the stones on their baltěus and each magestone counts as a master work gem – capable of receiving one enchantment of that stone’s spell level or less. On the primary flange of the baltěus, wizards may wear badges to signify offices held or accomplishments within the Arcane College. Some examples of badges include academy crests, which denote staff of the academy [bronze for operatives, silver for instructors, gold for masters, and platinum for the academy’s primus] or scroll and quill for researching spells that are deemed worthy of adding to the academy’s library [the material of the scroll denoting the level of the spell and the material of the quill denoting the number of such spells].

Scrolls Quills
Material Level of Spell Material Number of Spells
Oak 1st to 3rd Bronze 1
Ebony 4th to 6th Silver 5
Ivory 7th to 9th Gold 25
Multiple Quills can be placed on a scroll to make the correct number.

 

Magestone   Spell Level Minimum Wizard Level Minimum Sorcerer Level
None 0 Initiates are awarded their Baltěus once the can successfully cast a 0-level spell.
Black magestoneblack 1 1 1
Red magestonered 2 3 4
Orange magestoneorange 3 5 6
Yellow magestoneyellow 4 7 8
Green magestonegreen 5 9 10
Blue magestoneblue 6 11 12
Indigo magestoneindigo 7 13 14
Violet magestonviolet 8 15 16
Crystal magestoncrystal 9 17 18

On the end of the baltěus away from the split flanges in a metal loop called a terminus, through which the baltěus’ flanges run when worn. The terminus is usually a masterwork of metal craftsmanship and is often enchanted itself. Obviously, these traits tend to make the baltěus of powerful mages very valuable; however, the theft of a baltěus seldom goes unpunished by the combined College.

The Arcane College follows the same type of rank structure that most human guilds follow, with each member progressing from initiate, to apprentice, to journeyman, to master ranks. Initiates and apprentices serve as assistants to higher ranking members and spend a great deal of time studying. Middling ranks of the order spend less time in droll servitude, but are expected to take on more important (and dangerous) tasks for the order. Most members of the order never make it to the highest tier of the structure, as such, earning the title master is a great accomplishment in any spell caster’s career. The highest ranking masters earn seats on the Council of Masters, where they have a say in the governance of the entire Arcane College. One of the most important jobs of the Council of Masters is the election of the Grand Primus who leads the entire college and is likely the single most influential person on Auctorus.

Advancing through the Ranksbardhats

Wizards, sorcerers, and bards all have similar tests to pass to achieve each rank within the order. Generally, a 1st-level character will meet the criteria to be an apprentice, while higher levels are required to achieve greater ranks. It can be assumed that any 1st-level starting wizard is an apprentice from one of the schools who has either left after passing the first series of tests or is on some sort of mission for her or his academy. Centuries of dealing with youthful wanderlust has taught the Arcane College not to fight too hard to keep apprentices behind the walls of the academy, lest they burn out before they can reach their potential.

While day-to-day dress is up to the individual, the baltěus is almost always worn. There are work robes which are commonly worn by apprentices or others who are doing something that might ruin ones clothing, but members of the Arcane College love a good excuse to dress in their full regalia, with formal robes and traditional headdress. Each discipline has a unique style of headdress, which is the same color as their academy’s baltěus. Each school has a color for their formal robes and each rank tier has a different cut to the robes.

sorcererhatsBards wear the coat of arms of their academy on their hat and they will often wear their official headgear when performing in public or on diplomatic missions to show the world that they are trained in the classics.

The first round of tests which discipline takes is known as the A-levels (A for apprentice). For sorcerers and wizards this involves casting several 0-level spells and a 1st-level spell at the direction of the assessment board. Bards are required to pass skill tests for their A-levels instead. The apprentice bard will need to show fluency in at least 2 languages besides Imperial Common, one of which must be non-human in origin, and much have demonstrated ability in 2 Knowledge skills and Perform, a character with 4 ranks in each will be sufficiently skilled to pass the bard A-levels.

Once the initiate has passed A-levels, they are awarded their baltěus and apprentice cap in a special ceremony at the end of spring where all the current initiates look on in admiration and optimistic abandon. After the ceremony they apprentice can choose to be assigned to a master for further instruction, or they may exercise their right for travel and self-direction. An apprentice who leaves the academy for self-direction may stay in good standing by returning to the academy once a year to pay their maintenance fee for academy and attend the yearly meetings which always follow graduation ceremonies for the young apprentices. All magehatsmembers in good standing are allowed to stand for boards of advancement when they are ready. The player and Lore Master may choose to role play through the advancement process if desired, or can simply decide that minimum requirements being met are good enough.

To pass the J-level board band become a journeyman, wizards and sorcerers must sit for tests in Knowledge: Arcana (DC 20), and Spellcraft (DC 20). Applicants have just enough time in the test to take 10 on their check, but have insufficient time to take 20. Those wishing to pass their J-levels must also present the board of evaluation with a potion and one other magic item they have crafted, the second magic item can be of any type except another potion or a scroll, at least one of these must utilize a 3rd-level (or higher) spell in its creation. These magic items stand both as the applicant’s fee for testing and as a way to evaluate the magic-user’s practical abilities.

dwarfmasterbardsmall

A Master Bard from the academy at Spellhold in formal regalia

The J-level board for bards is not much different. Bards are charged 300 silver astrum as a board fee. The bard sits exams in Knowledge: History (DC 20) and a second Knowledge (DC 20) field of their choosing. Again, the applicant can take 10 on the skill checks, but has insufficient time to take 20. For the practical portion of the board the bard may use one of three skill based techniques to convince their evaluators the bard has earned a promotion in status. They may use Bluff, Diplomacy, or Perform (each DC 20). For every great deed the bard has witnessed first-hand or accomplished themselves earns a +1 situational bonus (up to a total of +4). The bard can take 10 on the attempt, but may not take 20.If for any reason an applicant fails their boards, they may try again the following year. 100 silver astrum are charged to the applicant as a retesting fee. If the applicant’s magic items were accepted in the first attempt, they need not offer new magic items.

To stand for one’s master level one must meet the prerequisites to take on the prestige class Master Bard or Arcane Master. Most members of the college never approach this level of mastery, therefore those who do achieve the status of master are greatly revered (and feared).

Terms of Address

When sharing tea with beings who can turn you into a newt, the use of proper protocol can never be stressed too highly. The following forms of address are traditionally used for members of the Arcane College, listed from highest to lowest. By comparing these terms, one will notice that the highest ranks are offered the same deference as great noble men and women.

  • Grand PrimusYour Arcane Grace
  • PrimusYour Arcane Eminence
  • Arcane Council MemberYour Arcane Preeminence
  • Arcane MasterYour Arcane Prominence
  • Master BardHonorable Master
  • Mage or SorcererArcane Sir

Academies of the Arcane College

A list of the present academies follows, detailing their location, specialized school of magic, the color of their Baltěus, the name of their primus (leader of the academy), requirements for admission, maintenance, and benefits. Schools which require the payment of a percentage of the Wizard’s income from ‘spellcasting’ count the Wizard’s share of adventuring loot as ‘spellcasting income.’

While wizards need not specialize in the school of magic their academy specializes in, specialists must be members of an academy with the same specialty. Each academy offers members of good standing two free spells from the school’s area of specialty every time the member increases in level.

Académie de Arcanum

[General]                                              Arcanum
Baltěus: Indigo     Robe: Gold
Primus: Lutheria the Wise
Requirements: Int 16+
Maintenance: 20% tithe on all spell casting. Must mentor one apprentice once every five levels starting at fifth.
Benefits: Research one spell per level free at the academy so long as the wizard shares results with the college. Spells purchased at academy at 25% discount. Magic items may be purchased from the academy for personal use at a 25% discount.

Académie Royale de Sorcellerie

[Enchantment]                                      Gran Estelle
Baltěus: Grey     Robe: Celeste
Primus: Loraine du Prix
Requirements: Int 11+
Maintenance: 20% tithe on all spell casting.
Benefits: Research one spell per level free at the academy so long as the wizard shares results with the college. Spells purchased from the academy at 20% discount. Royal commissions available from the Marquis de Aut Estelle.

The Académie Royal de Bardes shares a campus and library and bards, wizards, and sorcerers all collaborate in research, both academic and archaeological.

Academy Spellhold

[Abjuration]                                              Spellhold
Baltěus: Red     Robe: Grey
Primus: Blockar Flamingaxe
Requirements: Int 13+
Maintenance: 10% tithe on all spell casting.
Benefits: Research one spell per level free at the academy so long as the wizard shares results with the college. Spells purchased from the academy at 20% discount.

While dwarves and magic might not be a natural fit in the eyes of many, the dwarves of Spellhold soon dispel any such prejudices some of the greatest sorcerers and bards of Auctorus have come from Spellhold and no school in the world can claim equal resources in the arts of geomancy and rune casting.

Colegio de Trajan

[Illusion]                                                   Trajan
Baltěus: Yellow     Robe: Purple
Primus: Flabius Illuminus
Requirements: Int 13+
Maintenance: 10% tithe on all spell casting.
Benefits: Research one spell per level free at the academy so long as the wizard shares results with the college. Spells purchased from the academy at 20% discount.

Instituto Navar

[General]                                                  Navar
Baltěus: Light Blue     Robe: Mocha
Primus: Langwald the White
Requirements: Int 13+
Maintenance: 10% tithe on all spell casting.
Benefits: Research one spell per level free at the academy so long as the wizard shares results with the college. Spells purchased from the academy at 20% discount.

Magelaw College of Magic

[General]                                                  Magelaw
Baltěus: Green     Robe: Crimson
Primus: Blackamour
Requirements: Int 13+
Maintenance: 10% tithe on all spell casting.
Benefits: Research one spell per level free at the academy so long as the wizard shares results with the college. Spells purchased from the academy at 20% discount.

Magnus Magisium

[Conjuration]                                            Luxus
Baltěus: Dark Blue     Robe: Goldenrod
Primus: Africanus Millarus
Requirements: Int 13+, Dex 12+
Maintenance: 10% tithe on all spell casting.
Benefits: Research one spell per level free at the academy so long as the wizard shares results with the college. Spells purchased from the academy at 20% discount.

Reichstadt Magick Werks

[Evocation]                                              Reichstadt
Baltěus: Orange     Robe: Slate Blue
Primus: Lorich der Grosser
Requirements: Int 13+, Con 10+
Maintenance: 10% tithe on all spell casting.
Benefits: Research one spell per level free at the academy so long as the wizard shares results with the college. Spells purchased from the academy at 20% discount.

Sanctum Ghant

[Divination]                                               Ghant
Baltěus: White     Robe: Black
Primus: Hans van Tassel
Requirements: Int 13+, Wis 13+
Maintenance: 10% tithe on all spell casting.
Benefits: Research one spell per level free at the academy so long as the wizard shares results with the college. Spells purchased from the academy at 20% discount.

The Tower of Mysteries

[General]                                                  Sædia
Baltěus: Purple     Robe: Olive
Primus: Sardek the Illustrious
Requirements: Int 16+
Maintenance: 10% tithe on all spell casting. May be called upon by the Council of Thought for ‘favors’.
Benefits: Research one spell per level free at the academy so long as the wizard shares results with the college. Spells purchased from the academy at 20% discount.

Sundered Schools

While they retain most of the customs of the Arcane College, these schools have been cast out of the college due to their drift towards evil. These schools are open to neutral and evil aligned characters.

House of Gold

[Transmutation]                            Vanderdräb
Baltěus: Gold     Robe: Blue
Primus: Geddy Vandergelt
Requirements: Int 14+
Maintenance: 10% tithe on all spell casting.
Benefits: Research one spell per level free at the academy so long as the wizard shares results with the college. Spells purchased from the academy at 20% discount.

Haus die Hexe

[Necromancy]                                 Turm (The City of Dust)
Baltěus: Black     Robe: Bone White
Primus: Jacob Hansar
Requirements: Non-good alignment. Int 13+
Maintenance: 10% tithe on all spell casting. Must provide the academy with one cadaver in good condition each year. The cadaver must not be the property of any .
Benefits: Two bonus spells from the library each year for members in good standing.

Hedge Wizards

Adepts, sorcerers, and wizards who do not belong to the Arcane College are seen as unsophisticated hacks, with little potential for greatness. It is against the by-laws of the Arcane College to sell or trade magics with wizards who are not members of the college, which makes acquiring spells difficult, if not dangerous for these spell casters. Although adepts in the far north and west trade among each other.