Collegium Magicium

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Collegium Magicium
Badge-collegium.jpg
Races Any
Classes Wizards, Sorcerers
Alignments Any
Most High Wizard Galambor the Tall
Stronghold The Ivory Towers

Among the oldest organizations in the Realm, the Collegium Magicium is also one of the strangest and most secretive.

From its stronghold at the Ivory Towers, the Collegium trains wizards and sorcerers with extraordinary magical talent. Those newly recruited are sorted into one of eight distinct schools which specialize in a particular type of magic: Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy and Transmutation. Each school enjoys a great deal of latitude in their practices - shaped by their head Master and the most powerful spellcasters in their ranks. The Ivory Towers are said to house the greatest works of scholarship in the magical arts and the keys to unlocking secrets and discoveries that shape the Realm.

Students interested in the Collegium Magicium should seek out a blue-robed Ambassador Mage in a large town or city to inquire about joining. These mages can typically be found in shops selling magical items and spell components.

History of the Collegium Magicium

At the dawn of the First Age, the elves created the Collegium as a gathering of those who possessed magical abilities drawn from secular powers of the land, runic crossroads, and the like. Unlike magic granted by the gods, this magic was wild and unpredictable. The Collegium sought to make sense of magic, categorize its sources and effects, and apply a more academic process to its study. Its first High Wizard was Mulciber, a mage of awe inspiring power, who shaped the earliest traditions of the organization. Being the most advanced spellcasters, entrance to the Collegium was restricted to elves - mostly wizards and sorcerers of unusual ability. The Collegium was responsible for the victory in the War of Ars Magica in the Old Kingdom of Rembia.

Simply put, the Collegium was the most powerful First Age organization - and they built a stronghold - the Ivory Towers - in the Evenwild with nine glorious white stone towers spiraling into the sky. These towers were designed with elven sensibilities and style, but they were crafted by the Dwarves to last forever. No expenses were spared, as the Collegium enjoyed vast wealth. The nine towers were built to house the eight Schools of Magic with the final tower to hold the organization's vast library of spell books, research notes and historical documents. The past four thousand years has seen only one tower fall (see the Great Library Rebellion), but the landscape remains almost untouched - ancient and thick with enchantments and the residue of magic practiced over the millennium.

Although the original Elven concept for the Collegium was a sharing of information in an open academic setting, the introduction of non-elves into the organization in the 1060 FA subtly began a shift in focus.

The Great Library Rebellion

By the mid-twelfth century FA, the central library - the Ninth Tower - began suffering thefts of its most prized treatises and hording of books became commonplace among the schools. In 1198 FA, a trap went off in the Ninth Tower - reportedly set to guard a selection of books on the conjuration of sea monsters - and this escalated into a conflict resulting in several wizard deaths and irreparable damage to the library. A meeting of the Masters finally made the decision that all books needed in common by the Collegium would be housed in nearby Sarth - a neutral site and the most protected library in the Realm. Each college retained those books that were core to their studies - and thus unneeded by the other colleges. The books were magically moved under unparalleled security to Sarth in 1199 FA ending the Great Library Rebellion. The arrangements with the librarian monks of Sarth are still in practice.

The Wizard's Council and the Inner Circle

In addition to being sorted into colleges, a number of sub-groups and organizations have emerged over the Ages. Some of these still exist today, such as the Wizard's Council, and others have faded into obscurity.

The Wizard's Council is a group of twenty-five of the most powerful mages, wizards and sorcerers elected from all the colleges. The original charter of the Wizard's Council was to go into the Realm and provide guidance to kings, emperors and overlords. Over the centuries, different agendas have emerged from the Council - some advocating isolationist policies, others favoring replacing kings with dopplegangers, and still others condoning experimentation on the population at large.

To balance the decisions of the Wizard's Council, each school has three appointed seats on the council, and the final spot is appointed by the Inner Circle. The members of the council are titled High Wizards. The Wizard's Council meets only as needed, mostly in times of great turmoil. With a wide variety of races, alignments and interests, this group is rarely in concurrence. In deadlocked situations, the wizard appointed by the Inner Circle - called the Most High Wizard - casts the deciding vote. Each member of the Council carries a Wizard's Signet Ring to denote their membership in this most exclusive club.

The Inner Circle is the governing body for internal affairs of the Collegium Magicium and traces its origins back to 1060 FA when the decision was made to admit non-elves to the colleges. As a compromise to those elves opposed to the decision, the Inner Circle was formed to provide leadership of the college itself. This group of eight wizards is made exclusively of elves - some of which trace their lineage back to the original founders. While they are not as powerful of spellcasters as the Wizard's Council, their decisions are law for the internal workings of the organization. Most historians agree that the Inner Council has on a number of occasions saved the Collegium from collapsing during times of conflict between the different colleges.

Wizards who retire or leave the Wizard's Council or Inner Circle in good standing are given the honorary title of Wizard Errant to denote their service. A Wizard Errant is still considered a member of the Collegium Magicium with full access to its libraries and members.