Mage Types: There are four different types of mages within the world of Anthropia. These four different types dictate how a mage invokes their powers. A Mage does not get to choose how their power is brought out, that is decided randomly at the time their magical potential is revealed. As a result, it is very possible that there are some who awoke to the power of magic and never even realized it, simply because they have been attempting the wrong method.The four types are Focuser, Chanter, Gesturer, and Savant. They are described below.
Focuser: This type of mage has the potential to wield magic, but they do not know how to bring it out on their own. In order to draw forth their mystical energies, they require a conductive object that draws the power from their bodies and releases it how the mage desires. In the Anthropia story, both Moon and Valo are Focuser mages. When a Focuser first discovers their magical talent, it is usually with the aid of an item that is precious to them, a family heirloom, or personal possession that they keep with them constantly. Focusers have been known to use items such as the Wand, Rod, and Staff as both, a weapon of choice, and a focusing tool for many of their spells, but others rely on objects such as rings, amulets, crowns, armor, weapons, and so on. An object must be ritualistically prepared before it can channel and release magic, so a Focuser can not simply pick up any object and start flinging spells around. If they lose their focusing object, they are unable to cast spells until they possess it again, or fashion a replacement. As a form of insurence, some Focusers choose to carry multiple focusing items, in case one is lost, and they are in need of a quick replacement. It seems charging an object is the only spell they can perform without a focusing object. This ritual binds the item to the mage on a spiritual level, allowing their energies to flow through it while still adhering to the mage's will. Such a binding ritual requires a full hour of meditation while they form the link, so they can't perform it in the midst of battle unless their opponent is faced with a considerable distraction. The only known exception to this is when their powers first awaken, as it seems their treasured item has been charged by their latent abilities since childhood without them even being aware of it.
Chanter: This type of mage uses the power of their voice to force nature to obey their word. Chanters earn their name from reciting chants and incantations to perform their magical arts. These chants sound like complete gibberish to most people, but in fact, they are speaking backwards. In order to perform a spell, they merely have to say what they want to happen in backwards pronounciation. Unfortunately, Chanters need to be very precise when doing so, as a single mistranslation can result in a spell going wrong. When their power first awakens, Chanters temporarily lose their power to control their speech. They will babble incoherently, often scaring those around them who believe they may be cursed or even possessed. After 24 hours of this, they regain control of their speech functions, but are now left with an instinctive talent for pronouncing words that are either much too difficult, or otherwise impossible for normal people. Speaking backwards being one such example of their new capabilities. Below are just some examples of Chanter spells.
Erif - Meaning "fire", this word is used in spells that involve the conjuration or manipulation of flames.
Gniruoved: Meaning "devouring", this word is used in spells that involve the consumption of matter.
Negyxo - Meaning "oxygen", this word is used in spells that involve the conjuration or manipulation of oxygen.
Put these 3 words together in a spell, and you get Negyxo Gniruoved Erif , meaning "Oxygen Devouring Fire". This spell would likely be used to create some manner of flame that sucks all the oxygen out of a given area to feed itself.
Gesturer: This type of mage is difficult to follow the path of, requiring a strict training regiment. A Gesture Mage is able to wield magic through imagination and will. They simply think of what they want to happen, and will it into being. However, in order to bring their imagination to life, they must perform flourishes and gestures, most commonly in the form of hand signs, arm movements, and so on. When a Gesturer first awakens their powers, it is wild and unpredictable. Their slightest twitch may accidentally release their magical power against their will, so they often try to remain as still as possible, at least until a representative from the Mage Academy comes to escort them for proper training. Some gestures require speed and precision to perform correctly, others need to be slow and artistic, and others still require a combination of various gestures to properly weave the spell. A Gesture mage is incapable of wielding most spells if they are unable to move, although the more basic of spells requires little more than a twitch of the finger, or blinking. The more powerful the spell, the more complicated the movement or the sign must be to cast it, and as a result, most Gesturers are trained heavily with dexterity, grace, and flexibility, as a stubby, unbalanced, and less agile body would only be able to wield the lowest of magics, if any at all. A Gesturer in the heat of battle has occasionally been noted as looking as though they were dancing while fighting their enemies. Among any of the mage types, a Gesture Mage is probably the most accustomed to physical combat, due to their rigorous training.
Savant: The most gifted of Mage types, the Savant is capable of using all three methods for wielding their spells, from focusing items, words of power, and gestures. They are an extremely rare type of mage who are considered to be the most powerful of all. Savants have 15 X more potential than common mages, and more often than not, Savants go onto become the most famous mages in history. When a Savant's power first awakens, they are engulfed in a brilliant aura of magical energy, their body levitates several feet off the ground, intense light shines form their eyes and mouth, and their voice takes on a booming echo when they speak. This transformation lasts for anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the individual's true potential, before the light fades, they gently lower back to the ground, and their voice returns to normal. The Savant then promptly falls unconscious for the next 24 hours. If and when a Savant's power first awakens, the Mage Academy often swoops in like hawks to whisk the child away for emergency training.
Effects on Life Expectancy: Magic forced animals to evolve and greatly extended their lives beyond that of their feral counterparts. Interestingly enough, it seems that mages, who are naturally attuned to the forces of magic, live much longer lives than those without it. Regardless of how short their life span is for most of their species, a Mage is able to live for centuries or perhaps even millennia longer than normal. The effects on aging speed are described in the Anthropia Biology article.
It appears that the amount of power a mage possesses determines just how long their lives are extended by. They are not immortal, of course, they still age, but at a much slower rate. Mages attempting to stave off death have become power hungry, lusting after any amount of magic they can get their hands on. While they often go onto to live for several hundred years, their lives do tend to fizzle out once they've reached their full potential. But there are exceptions to this. Some schools of magic teach abilities which if used wisely, have the power to stave off death entirely, achieving some level of immortality. However, everyone makes mistakes eventually, and often, these so called immortal mages have met with violent and tragic endings, since old age was unable to get the job done. Two such spell schools that have these pseudo immortal abilities are Necromancy and Witchcraft, another possible avenue is that of Alchemy, and lastly Transmutation.
The oldest living mage on record was 20,000 years old, and is still known to this day as the Wizard King, Alkoric. He became the first ever Arch Magus, and founded the laws and principals that guide mages to this day. Since his death, however, the average life span for a common Arch Magus is between 800 to 1,200 years. The average lifespan for a Savant Arch Magus, however, is between 12,000 to 18,000 years.
Limitations of Magic: To the uneducated, it would seem that the power of magic makes someone invincible. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just as the mortal body has a limit to how strong, fast, or durable its muscles, bones, and organs can become, so too does the body have a limit to the amount of mystical power it can contain. All Mages are born with a pre-set limit on how much power they can amass, the exact limit being different for every individual. Once they reach their full potential, they have little else to do besides maintain their power, as they can't progress it further. A mage does not simply have access to their full capabilities when they first awaken, however. As with any other muscle, a Mage's power grows and adapts from use, not simply by having it. Also, as with any muscle, a mage's power tires them out from excessive use, and there is a limit to how much power a mage can unleash before they must rest and replenish their spiritual energies. Attempting to use more magic power than their body can handle has been known to kill the arrogant mage, as their body overloads from its release. Just because a student knows the methods for casting a high level spell does not mean they are capable of using it, at least not until their spirit becomes stronger and capable of handling the level of power necessary. Of course, since each mage has a limit to their full potential, this means that some mages will never be able to cast certain levels of magic, even through rigorous training and practice.
Because each mage has their own limit on their maximum potential, this has lead to the creation of a sort of legacy structure among their ranks. Mages with a higher potential are held in higher regard than those with lesser potential. In addition, mages who are descendants of those with a high potential often have great expectations placed upon them, as their elders hope they will carry on the family legacy of becoming a great mage.
In addition, possessing magic does not simply grant one the power to do as they please with the forces of reality. Magic comes in several different schools, each dedicated to a particular form of study. It takes decades of research and training to become proficient in even a single form of magic, attempting to wield all magic with the same level of mastery is impossible for all but the oldest and most gifted of mages.
The limit to a mage's power does not relate to the amount of spells they can learn and master, only the amount of power they can develop. Just because a mage finds they are unable to wield a higher level spell, does not mean they can't go onto to master weaker spells. Therefor, just because a mage reaches their full potential, does not mean they are incapable of learning more in their research, and once a mage reaches that peak, they often reflect back and begin studying any spells within their power range, while envying or admiring the higher tier spells that are forever beyond their reach.
Mages in Society: Mages are the only citizens who are exempt from the food chain system. They are not targeted for slavery, nor food, regardless of their species. The respect and fear they inspire into the hearts of citizens can lead even a lowly prey to receive special treatment from predators. But they are not completely untouchable. Yes, Mages make people nervous, or awed, but they do not rule the world, not completely, anyways. If someone feels it would be unwise to allow a mage into their personal business, they may take action against them, although a persistent mage will likely invoke their powers in an effort to get their way.
A Mage's power awakens very early during childhood, always before puberty hits. As a result, any child who has not reached puberty is given special treatment, just in case their abilities develop. If a child does reach puberty and shows no signs of magical affinity, they are subjected to the full harshness of the Food Chain system, their special treatment no longer being a privilege.
Mages are often highly prized as mates, as magic can be strengthened or weakened through selective breeding, once again being similar to any other body part. A stronger ancestry of magic is likely to create a child with a stronger maximum potential in the mystic arts. However, as with all genetic heritage, it is not a 100% guarantee the child will inherit any magic at all.
While it is true that only 1 in every 1,000 children will be born as a mage, a child's chances of becoming a mage are as follows.
Non Mage Parents - 25% chance one child in every 4 pregnancies will become a mage. No chance to be born as a Savant
Mage / Non Mage Parents - 50% chance one child in every 4 pregnancies wil become a mage + a 1% chance to be born as a Savant.
Mage Parents - 50% chance one child in every 3 pregnancies will become a mage, +5% chance to be born as a Savant
Mage Grandparents, Mage / Non Mage Parent - 50% chance up to 2 children in every 3 pregnancies will become a mage, + a 7% chance to be born as a Savant.
Mage Grandparents, Mage Parents - 50% chance up to 3 children in every 3 pregnancies will become a mage, + a 10% chance to be born as a Savant.
As you can see from the chart, even among magical families, the chance of becoming a mage is quite rare, and for good reason. Given how Beast Folk reproduce in litters, rather than one or two children at a time, a high chance of inheriting magic would risk an explosive population of Mages. As it currently stands, only a small number of elites have the privilege to inherit magical talents, the rest of their relatives being forced to work hard for a living, unless their magical relatives feel like sharing the luxury.
Because of their power to control nature, Mages are admired as both advisers, and mercenaries. Upper class citizens have been known to hire freelancing mages to support their troops in battle, or commune with the spirits to help them run their territories more effectively, such as conjuring rain to end a drought, or laying waste to one's enemies with fire and lightning. Having a mage as your loyal servant has made many tyrannical leaders seem invincible in the eyes of would be rebels and usurpers.
As magic has replaced science, many advances in society are due to the study of magic. Long distance communication is used with scrying and telepathy, as opposed to radio transceivers or television. Lifting massive work loads is done with levitation spells, as opposed to large cranes that might snap or break from the strain. Curing fatal diseases is reserved for healing magic or potions, rather than drugs or life support. These are just some examples.
Schools of Magic: There are 12 different schools of magic available, yet most Mages choose to focus on one or maybe 2 particular paths and stick to them throughout the rest of their lives. Each school functions differently than the others. They are described below.
Sorcery: Sometimes known as The Old Way, it is said that Sorcery was the original magic that all other schools evolved from. It is the power to directly manipulate cosmic matter to control the forces of nature such as fire, water, electricity, ice, gravity, energy, wind, stone, wood, soil, and so on. Few of the other schools can match the raw, destructive potential of Sorcery, and as a result, this school is very popular among battle mages who rely on magic for combat purposes. The power to create and destroy physical matter belongs to the Sorcerer.
Alchemy: It is said that magic flows through all things in some degree or another. Alchemy is the art of discovering the latent power within otherwise mundane ingredients and bringing it out in the form of potions, tonics, elixirs, poisons, salves, and so on. Out of all the schools of magic, Alchemy is the most in tuned with the old Science. Its students learn how to crush, powder, or boil down ingredients such as plants, soil, body parts, fluids, and more, and harness the mystical essence found within. They then store this essence within a container, most commonly a bottle. The magical effect of the concoction is released when the essence is consumed, or the container is smashed like a grenade. Alchemy is not a true separate school in itself, it is able to produce effects from all other schools, if you have the proper recipe.
As a result, most Mages end up taking secondary training in Alchemy, regardless of what their primary school is. With the use of Alchemy, a Mage can have a complicated spell immediately ready for casting, as long as they are able to retrieve the container. Among the practice of Alchemy, there is a legendary recipe known as Elixer of Immortality. According to legend, this elixir, when consumed, grants eternal youth to its drinker. The recipe for this elixir is unknown to virtually everyone, save for one particular ingredient, the legendary Philosopher's Stone. In the 50,000+ years that magic has existed in the world since the rise of the beast folk, only 5 Alchemists have discovered the recipe for this mythical elixir, but all of them took the secret to their graves when they eventually met with violent deaths at the hands of accidents, or greedy enemies.
Transmutation: Similar to the power of Sorcery, yet on a different scale. Transmutation is the art of taking physical matter and changing it into another type of matter. Example would be changing fire to oxygen, water to ice, rock to dust, soil to mud, and so on. Transmuters are extensively trained in recognizing the periodic table of the elements and learning what each element is comprised of so they can learn how to change its structure. Transmutation requires a remarkably high level of intelligence and memory capacity because of this, and as a result, most Transmuters are elite mages who have very large potential in the arts. The most complicated form of Transmutation is that of living beings, as the organic body is comprised of many different elements that some have devoted decades worth of research to decoding.
Legends speak of some Transmuters who were so gifted in the arts, they discovered the secret to create life out of thin air. Others have been known to develop the power of shape shifting, allowing them to take on many different forms for disguise, defense, and offense, as well as weaken their enemies, or strengthen their allies. Transmuters who have discovered the secret to shape shifting have been known to use their powers to preserve their own youth, transforming into a younger, healthier body when their current body begins to weaken from age. Of course, as mentioned before, the secret to living transmutation is very difficult, and one only masters have been known to properly achieve.
Witchcraft: Considered to be a dark art, Witches (females) or Warlocks (males) wield the power of the mind, as well as curses and disease. They assault their enemies with telekinetic blasts, levitate themselves through the air, influence the minds of their victims, and some of the most powerful of them have even learned to control the elements of fire, ice, or lightning with their minds (Pyrokinesis, Cryokinesis, Electrokinesis). Their curses have been known to inflict plagues such as boils, disease, premature aging, paralysis, bad luck, and more.
Although they are not directly as powerful as a Sorcerer, a Witch or Warlock can unleash complete havoc upon a whole battalion of enemies, playing tricks on their mind and effecting their physical health, reducing an otherwise unified organization into a chaotic mess of confused victims. Witchcraft comes with a huge downside to practicing its art, however, and that is the fact that unlike all the other spell schools, Witchcraft mysteriously does not extend the Mage's life span.
In fact, it does the complete opposite, it actually shortens it with every use! Every time a Witch or Warlock uses their power, it drains their own life energy, causing their body to prematurely age. The amount of which it ages depends upon the level of spell they utilize. Basic, rookie magic only ages them by a few days or so, not even noticeable. Master level spells, however, can shave entire years off their life spans, possibly even decades if its strong enough. In order to prolong their own lives, Witchcraft teaches its students a spell that is able to siphon the youth from other beings, restoring the Witch or Warlock back to their prime, while leaving the victim as a withered husk.
As long as they routinely perform this spell, a Witch or Warlock can potentially live forever, making this one of a handful of spell schools that actively seeks to defy death and achieve true immortality. Unfortunately, because they must sacrifice others to preserve their own lives, Witches and Warlocks face constant bad reactions from the local populace, and despite being mages, are often violently driven from the area. Because of this, most Witches and Warlocks live in solitude out in the wilds. Only venturing into civilized lands to restock on supplies, or pick out a fresh, young child once their bodies become old and feeble. The clever ones even purchase and breed their own private stock of slaves who they sacrifice when the time is necessary.
Necromancy: Yet another dark art, Necromancy is the power to control the forces of death, and is one of the most grievous ways to defy nature available. It can reanimate the dead to serve as the obedient slaves of the Necromancer, as well as cause living beings to wither and rot as they are assaulted with energy from the netherrealm. Such energy has gone by several names such as Necroplasm, Negative Energy, Miasma, or Nether Flame. It has also been known to take a variety of forms such as green / purple / black in color, and in the form of mist, fire, or energy. Necromancy is one of the spell schools which holds one secret to becoming immortal, with the use of a transformation that has come to be known as the Lich. A Necromancer who seeks to cheat death invokes a master level spell that voluntarily turns their body into the living dead, keeping it active long beyond the point where it should have rotted away to bones.
Over time, a Lich 's fur, skin, scales, feathers, and so on become paler in color, their muscles begin to shrink and wither, their eyes take on a sunken shape or murky color, and their voice becomes raspy or generates an echoe. Eventually, the Lich will advance to such a state, they resemble a mummified husk, yet because of the spell used to preserve their lives, they can remain fully active, with no impedement to their mobility, and their muscle strength remains the same level as it was when they were last alive, instead of whatever their withered body would suggest. With the power to raise and bind the dead into servitude, every enemy a Necromancer slays becomes a potential ally, and as such, they are greatly feared in battle.
More than once, there have been legends of great Necromancers attempting to enslave the whole world by raising an army of the dead. Unfortunately for these Mages, however, if the Necromancer is slain, any undead they control dies with them, collapsing in a heap on the ground. As a result, the Necromancer is often the primary target in a battle where the undead are concerned.
Abjuration: This school of magic is perfect for those who find themselves beset by rival Mages, but is unfortunately useless against common enemies. Abjuration is the power of anti-magic, and teaches abilities that are designed to deflect, negate, and break through magical assaults and defenses. Mages who specialize in Abjuration often hire themselves out as Mage Hunters, using their talents to hunt down and exterminate fellow Mages who are posing a threat to their clients. The security and law enforcement of the Mage Academy are well known for their talents with Abjuration, just in case some student decides to go rogue. If a Mage does not plan to make a life out of specifically battling fellow magic users, Abjuration is a poor choice for their primary specialty. It does, however, make an excellent secondary school.
Divination: To some, it is seen as a gift, but to others, a terrible curse. Many claim that they did not choose the power of Divination, but instead it chose them, as if this school of magic has a will of its own and declares only certain individuals worthy of its power. Divination is the power of prophecy, foresight, and the sixth sense. Students of Divination gain a form of clarity that others do not, allowing them to see the truth of existence, in both its beauty and horror. Talented students are even capable of directly influencing the weave of fate, sculpting the destiny or luck of others on a whim and making themselves akin to gods in the process. Divination can predict the future hours, or even centuries ahead of time, but the Diviner rarely knows exactly what kind of information they're going to receive once they start looking, and whether their vision reveals something welcomed or appalling is always a gamble. What's more, their visions commonly take the form of metaphoric images and signs that require time and a clever mind to properly decipher. Some Diviners are driven mad by their own magical abilities, unable to cope with a life time of viewing tragedy and often being unable to stop it from happening.
Others are shunned or feared by normal folks who are afraid to learn the truth about their own fates and would prefer if all the Diviners kept their mouths shut. Regardless, Diviners are often sought out in times of great crisis, their customers hoping to find some clue that will aid in their salvation when they've run out of options. Still, the power to view and sculpt fate is extremely dangerous, and more than once, a Diviner has unleashed unspeakable catastrophes simply because they were sloppy when it came to using their magic.
Faith: By law, it is forbidden for immortals to directly interfere with mortal affairs, and since the fall of Humanity, they have been essentially cut off from tampering in the mortal world completely. However, the new gods still require representatives to act on their behalf. Faith magic is the power to call upon the holy, or infernal forces of the afterlife. The stronger the mage's faith in their god, the more effective their spells become. Faith magic has been used for such purposes as healing / inflicting injuries, purifying / spreading illnesses, generating protective barriers, controlling holy / unholy energy, blessing / corrupting land or objects, and more. Students of faith are often known as Clerics, otherwise known as Battle Priests. They tend to sign on with the clergy shortly after graduating the academy, using their magic to spread the teachings of their faith across the world, and protect it against would be blasphemers.
If a Cleric loses their faith, they are unable to wield their power until their faith is restored, or they find a new god to pledge loyalty to. Each god has their own collection of spells that a Cleric can learn while studying under them, so a Cleric from one faith could have an entirely different arsenal from a Cleric of a rival faith. It is this unknown danger that leads Clerics to intimidate their foes, unknowing of what the mage's god has deigned to bless them with. With the power of faith and religion on their side, Clerics are often ranked as the bravest of Mages, but also one of the most fanatical.
Geomancy: Similar to the power of Sorcery, Geomancy is said to be the power originally possessed by the spirits of nature, which was stripped from them by the new gods. It is the power to control the elements within the surrounding environment. In terms of raw power, a Geomancer can unleash more destruction than a Sorcerer, but in terms of diversity, a Sorcerer beats a Geomancer. Sorcery allows the power to produce and control elements out of nothingness, and focus them to specific effects. Geomancy is only able to control elements already in the surrounding area, but grants complete control, rather than specific focus. A Geomancer who is in a scorched desert can not summon water to clench their thirst. They could, however, stir up a sand storm to blind their enemies and shred away at them.
A Geomancer who is in a dark room, surrounded by flickering torches could manipulate the fire to seek out and attack enemies as fiery projectiles, and so on. A novice Geomancer might be able to draw fresh water from the ocean by separating the salt within it. A master Geomancer, on the other hand, may be able to summon giant waves to crash upon their foes and drown whole villages. When choosing between Geomancy, or Sorcery, it really comes down to a choice between raw power, vs diversity.
Chi: It has gone by many other names in the past including but not limited to Chakra, Kai, Spiritual Energy, Ki, Reitsu, but in this case, Chi is its most common name in Anthropia. Chi teaches its students to channel their magic through their own bodies, drawing out some latent power that requires harmony between body and spirit. As their power continues to grow, a Chi Mage is able to perform feats of physical might and agility that normal mortals can not possibly match. Examples include, but are not limited to running across the surface of water, smashing stone or metal with bare fists, making one's skin hard as iron to deflect damage, purging the body of toxins or poisons with a simple meditative trance, moving faster than the eye can track, and releasing concentrated explosions from the impact of their punches or kicks.
Chi mages are most commonly Gesturers who use their spells with martial arts flourishes, or Focusers, who unleash their magic through a weapon of choice such as a sword. Out of all the magic schools, Chi mages are probably the most disciplined in martial combat, as they use body and spirit to defend themselves. Some of the more experienced masters of Chi are able to concentrate their spiritual energy to such a point, they release it in pressurized blasts of energy from their palms or weapons, allowing them to strike opponents normally out of reach.
Illusion: The ability to manipulate the 5 bodily senses of touch, sound, smell, sight, and taste. Illusion is often mistaken as weak and useless school by those who have never faced an Illusionist before in battle. Illusions may not be real dangers, but when wielded by a talented Mage, they can feel as though they are real events, causing their victims injury due to the shocking stress on their perceptions. Such displays do not have to be directly hostile, either. They can disguise the scent or taste of poisons so they are undetectable until it is far too late, they can make weaklings appear stronger and more threatening than they truly are to scare off enemies, or likewise, they can make dangerous threats appear weak and harmless to catch enemies off guard. The power of Illusion isn't about direct, offensive power, its about psychological warfare. A true master of Illusions wins the fight after he has rendered all his enemies into confused, disoriented madmen quivering on the ground as their perceptions of reality are shattered. The Illusionist scoff at the old saying "What doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger." and enjoy proving just how wrong it is.
Enchantment: For the ambitious mage, Enchantment offers the greatest chance for fame and fortune than any other school. Like with Alchemy, Enchantment is most commonly used as a secondary school of training, rather than a primary focus, because it draws power from just about every other school. Enchantment is the power to infuse magical power into otherwise mundane objects, in a similar fashion to how Focuser mages draw upon their power. However, unlike a Focuser who needs an item to perform any of their spells, the school of Enchantment teaches how to infuse very specific effects into items. Examples include, but are not limited to a sword that can engulf its blade in searing flames upon striking an enemy, an indestructible lock box that can only be opened by its rightful owner, a warded door that repels unwanted intruders with a forceful shockwave, and more.
The school of enchantment is performed different, depending upon the type of mage studying it. A Focuser mage needs to decide what kind of power they want the item to possess, and then using their focusing item as a conduit, must channel the spell's power into the item. A Chanter mage needs to inscribe the item with rune stones, the runes being letters from the Words of Power, and then must speak the words aloud for the spell to take effect. Lastly, the Gesturers must have the item near them, and then perform a series of motions or flourishes while focusing their thoughts on the kind of spell they want to imbue.
Those who do not possess magical talent have been known to pay massive fortunes in exchange for possessing a magical weapon, or a defense of some kind. Indeed, many slavers have been known to hire an Enchanter to create magical collars that can punish or subdue slaves with minimal effort on the slaver's part. As with any spell school, however, there are limits to how much power a mage can unleash. The more powerful the mage is, the more types of effects they can imbue into an item. A novice Enchanter may only be capable of a single, minor effect, while a master Enchanter may be able to imbue as many as 6 or 7 abilities into a single item.
Mage Hierarchy: The Mages may not adhere to the food chain system, but that does not mean they are without laws of superiors. The Mage Academy is their main base of operations where students are trained to control their powers, though mages have been found scattered about the world, and in places that are very distant from the academy, there are smaller academies or schools dedicated to a less advanced training program. The Mage Hierarchy is as follows.
Apprentice: A student training to control their powers, most of which are children's who's abilities have recently activated. On average, it takes 6 years worth of training at the academy to graduate.
Journeyman: A graduated mage who has finally learned to control their power on their own. The title of Journeyman grants the Mage the right to leave the academy and study magic on their own, without the overbearance of a mentor or class room telling them what to do. For the unambitious mage, Journeyman is usually enough to satisfy them, but for those who wish for greater influence, they tend to return to the academy after about 10 years to try for a promotion.
Magus: A master mage who has earned the privilege of training apprentices. The title of Magus is said to require an intense series of 3 trials to test Journeymen. Those who pass advance in rank, while those who fail are often said to die in the attempt. Magus hold influence within the academy itself and are greatly respected Mages.
Council Member: The elite members of the Magus are granted the privelage of serving on the council of Mages. They are among the most powerful Mages in the world and it is their duty to govern the use of magic to make sure no particular individual grows too powerful to control. There are 12 seats on the council, one for each of the public schools of magic. According to rumor, the Council guard the secret to a ritual that reveals the identity of the currently most powerful mage on the planet. When the Arch Magus finally succumbs to death, they perform this ritual for choosing his or her successor.
Arch Magus: If the Mages have anything close to a recognized king or queen, it is the Arch Magus. The highest rank a Mage can obtain, the Arch Magus is the most powerful Mage on the planet, and is almost always a Savant, unless none currently exist at the time. The council is often trying to persuade the Arch Magus to see their side of things when it comes to debating on action, because the Arch Magus' vote counts as 3 people, allowing him to tip the scales of a debate, based on his opinion on the matter. Unlike the Council Members, of which there is 1 for each of the spell schools, the Arch Magus is not chosen from any specific school of Mage, they are simply chosen based upon their level of power and experience. As a result, the Arch Magus can be a Warlock, Necromancer, Cleric, Sorcerer, Illusionist, or whatever else, it depends entirely upon who's lucky enough to be born with such potential.
World Wide: There is only one recognized Council of Mages, and only one officially recognized Mage Academy in the world of Anthropia. However, this does not mean there is only one place for you to learn magic. Some masters choose to open up a local school, specifically dedicated to learning what they have to teach, rather than the diverse education found at the academy. Other reclusive mages choose to accept random children as their apprentices in secret, hiding them from the council's influence.
And, of course, there are the Recall Gates. Long story short, they are a teleportation shrine crafted at the founding of the Mage Academy. These gates allow the mages to cross distances of hundreds or even thousands of miles instantaneously, cutting months worth of travel time off any adventure. Unfortunately, these gates require magic to operate properly, so they will only work for an actual mage. Common citizens do not have access to a Recall Gate without a mage escorting them.
Some mages have also been known to ally themselves into smaller factions or guilds. While not on the same league of reputation or unified power as the Mage Academy, they are still strong enough to warrant respect or fear. Below are just some examples of various sub-factions of mages.
The Covens - Not every Witch or Warlock is able to live in seclusion, sometimes they feel that working together improves their chances of survival. A Coven is a group of Witchcraft practicioners numbering between 3 to 7 members, who work together as allies. It is said that these covens have discovered the secret to combining their power in harmony, allowing them to unleash greater levels of magic even if their individual spirit is unable to withstand the strain. Such an amazing power can allow even weaker mages to compete with those of superior breeding and heritage, a feat which both intrigues and unnerves the elitist Mage Academy.
Reapers - A terrifying order of Gesturer mages who dedicated themselves fanatically to the study of Necromancy. Disturbing rumors suggest that the Reapers have discovered a spell that is able to kill a victim just by pointing at them, as if the Reaper were a messenger of death, come to harvest the victim's soul. The trademark uniform of the Reapers is a solid black cloak that completely obscures the Reaper's body. They also carry around a reaper's scythe, which they use as a weapon for close combat. Reapers take a vow of silence upon joining the order, further adding to their grim and frightening aspect as being agents of death. Only specially appointed masters are freed of this oath, and act as teachers to newly joined members, or to converse with outsiders who come to speak with their order.
Order of the Dragons - An order of reptilian Sorcerers who believe that the power of sorcery was first created by giant, mythical reptiles called Dragons. According to their belief, those who possess a natural affinity for Sorcery have the blood of dragons in their ancestry. Regardless of whether this is accurate or not, each member of the Order of the Dragons dedicates themselves exclusively to mastering a specific type of element. Their title within the order is determined by the element they wish to study. Examples include Fire Dragon (fire), Sky Dragon (air), Sea Dragon (water), Thunder Dragon (electricity), Earth Dragon (soil), Frost Dragon (ice), Solar Dragon (Energy), Cave Dragon (rock). According to rumors, the Order of the Dragons possesses the most powerful Sorcerers in the world, in regards to specific focus on one element over another. However, when it comes to broad diversity, they are inferior to Academy trained Sorcerers.
Members of the Order of the Dragons are infamous for their pride and vanity. Masters of their order surround themselves with a horde of wealth, and a private harem of slaves to tend to their needs such as hygine and lust. There have even been reports that members of the order have raided nearby villages, kidnapping virgins to take back home and add to their slave harem. Rather than keeping their treasure in a personal storage container, they choose to simply pile it in a heap, strewn about their homes. Some rumors suggest they are so vain and greedy, they will even sleep upon piles of gold coins, rather than a real bed. But these are surely just exaggerations, nobody could be that narcissistic, could they? Regardless, the Order of the Dragons only accepts reptiles into their membership, most preferably lizard folk, though sometimes snakes and tortoises have been seen.
Circle of Druids - A cult of deranged Geomancers who have dedicated themselves to the preservation of the natural world. They rebel against the progress of civilization into their lands and are not afraid to use lethal force to ensure their homes remain unblemished by such advances. They believe that the food chain as a form of social hierarchy is an abomination upon what it truly stands for, and they believe beasts were supposed to live in harmony with nature, not separate themselves from it. Remarkably, this is actually true, though virtually none outside of their ranks are willing to accept it, or even listen to what seems to be dellusional ranting on their part. Usually, as long as the Druids stay in their own territories, the civilized folk are content to let them go shit a hole somewhere, or whatever it is nature worshipers do in the great out doors.
When they decide to take up a crusade against the evils of civilization, however, then we have a problem. Most citizens don't enjoy the experience of some bare naked wizard strolling into town and unleashing earth quakes because "stone huts are unnatural" from their point of view, so retaliation is usually sent out to drive the Druids from the land. The Druids, to outsiders, seem savage and feral in comparison. They forsake clothing, choosing to let their fur keep them warm, and they do not cook or prepare their food, instead choosing to eat it raw, which if the Druid happens to eat meat, this is violent and gruesome for their victim who is usually torn apart while they still live.
They do not use tools or weaponry, instead relying on their claws, talons, or whatever, and what their natural bodies can't accomplish, they rely on Geomancy to provide for them. Additionally, druids engage in sexual activity exclusively for the purpose of procreation, not for pleasure. When a female of their order goes into heat, a male wastes little time in mounting and impregnating her, not bothering with courtship unless they have rival males to contend with for her favor.
Guild of the Mage Smiths - A guild of mages who specialize in the use of Enchantment magic to create arcane technology. The Mage Smiths are famous for revolutionizing the way society operates. They are the inventors of some of the greatest inventions, three examples of their creations are as follows.
Golems - Creatures who are designed in the image of a beast folk, yet are made from non organic materials. Although a Golem can be made from nearly anything, the 3 most common of all are forged out of clay, granite, or iron. Golems are primarily used for security purposes, such as bodyguards, or defending property. Their unique body structure makes them incredibly strong and resilient to damage. They can reach virtually any size, depending on how big their master's sculpt them prior to granting them life.
Sky Ships - Why sail across the 7 seas, when you can sail across the open skies? The world famous Sky Ships allow citizens to travel across the world of Anthropia thousands of feet in the sky, giving them a bird's eye view of the world down below. Not only is it much faster than traveling by sea or by foot, but it is also said to be extremely beautiful. Sky Ship voyages are an extremely profitable business, raking in tourists who wish for a high flying, sight seeing adventure.
Power Armor - Originally developed to help end sieges against overwhelming odds. The Power Armor is a massive suit of magically enchanted armor, that comes with a variety of weapons and defense systems designed to protect the wearer. Such installments include a personal barrier generator, arm mounted flame thrower, strength amplification enhancement, anti gravity flight systems, retractable sword, all of these and more are features that can be custom built into a suit of Power Armor. Unfortunately, Power Armor is extremely dangerous, and as the name suggests, powerful. As a result, only the wealthiest of customers are able to afford even a single suit. They generally cost between 100,000 to 500,000 gold, depending upon the level of augmentations the customer wants built into their suits. However, the end product is always well worth the cost. Even those who have little skill using Power Armor in battle have reported that their suits have been able to withstand the onslaught of 3 grand sieges before it was rendered too damaged to continue functioning. The reports of what it can handle when piloted by a trained combatant are so grand, some believe they are merely exaggerated boasts.