Knights train their entire lives in the arts of war, strategy, and tactics; nobles learn of diplomacy, commerce, and governance; craftsmen learn quality, efficiency, and economics; and Magicians learn focus, clarity, and expression. As diligent as the finest knights, as dedicated as the most successful nobles, and as efficient as the wealthiest merchants; Magicians require years of profound and deep training to successfully harness their skill, a task that few are worthy to take up.
While a not everyone can be a Magician, it is not entirely hereditary, though a Magician will most likely give birth to a Magician, should they be able to conceive. However, history is marked with numerous examples of Magicians rising from communities or positions of lowly import. However, when a child passes through puberty and begins to show an ability to translate or express, they are given a scholarship to any of the Five Universities across Illythia, focused primarily in the Kingdoms. It is there that a Magician may learn in safety and under the supervision of Elder Magicians who are more than eager to impart their wisdom and training to the younger generations and to conduct research to further test the limits of their abilities.
The Collegium of LeMarke, The Scholarium or Oro, Kullia of Al Sharham, Academia of Rutherberg, and the Okul of Tyrantium. While there are several minor academies that exist across the Kingdoms and the most notable is the Black University of Malon City, which has turned its back on Magicians and now trains Trackers to hunt down and capture Magicians to turn them into WarMages. The Black University holds the largest collection of Magical artifacts, books, and research on the subject, but it is locked behind guarded doors, denied to the public.
While most assume that Magicians can call down fireballs from the heavens, turn people to ice, and can raise the dead, the truth is actually far less glamorous. Truly powerful Magicians must spend decades learning to control their power and effectively bend the Ether to their will and to translate their thoughts into reality. While most can only accomplish menial tasks, such students are weeded out for Practical Expressions and Translations, meaning they are given practical skills to study and master. How to remove rust from iron or steel, how to draw out infection, how to cleanse water, etc.
These students inevitably become Practitioners who wander the countryside offering their skills and services where they might. Many tend to head south to Al Sharham or Dovgorod to learn the kills of rune work or glyph diagrams. While they will never be grand sorcerers of legends, they might find a place in a court or service to a wealthy merchant. Most lesser court Magicians are Practitioners, helping keep wells clear, healing crops, and scratching what further education they can from their resources. Like Spurweed, Magic often leads Practitioners down desperate roads to fulfill their wants and desires.
However, those who do excel in their training are often separated and taken into the deeper sanctums of the universities. It is there that the Magicians are taught how to truly focus and hone their will, how to move to summon the power of the Ether and channel its energy. It is here that true court Magicians, powerful Sorcerers, and figures of history are trained. One in every hundred prospects truly rise to the status of a Magician that ever amount to anything significant.
Magicians who are trained by one of the higher Universities are not allowed to wage war, as we still remember the old days, when Magicians enslaved Humanity and ruled over us with cruelty and tyranny. Any Magician who partakes in politics, owns lands or estates, fields armies, or turns his or her power toward harming Humanity outside of defending themselves is subject to chastisement and death by fire. Their bones will be ground to dust, their ashes salted, and the Faithful will perform a cleansing rite upon their grave. They will be stricken from memory.
While Magicians dedicate themselves to lives of training, study, and discipline, they are privileged in creating such wonders and marvels that few of us could only see in our wildest dreams. The Floating Fortress of Param, the Ever Garden of Malon, the Mysteries of the Eternal Blades, and so forth. These would never be, had it not been for the study and life of dedication of skilled and highly talented Magicians.
-Professor Rumsford of the Black University
An Explanation of Magicians
“The Magic that flows through your veins is not the product of one’s thoughts mingling with an invisible fog that covers the world. It is because your ancestors rose up and struck down the gods of old and drank their blood. Those who drank their blood could command the elements with their thoughts and nothing more. From their bones, staves were formed, and from their bodies relics were crafted. It is their blood that flows through our veins and it is their blood that gives us command over the world. It is because we slew the gods, that we became gods.”
–Grand Vizier Altan ibu Himit Hasim
A Letter to his nephew
These aren’t the stories your Nan told you, Rufus. Magicians aren’t gods walking among us and they certainly aren’t unstoppable. Sure, one might be able to toss a candle at you or make your see sparkling light and smoke for a minute, but they’re nothing more than foolish, scared people.
It’s not mystical nonsense, like they’ll have you believe. It’s more of a science, like the alchemists or apothecaries. You mess with the formula or the recipe, and they’ll be worthless. Get them off centered and unfocused and their spells will vanish like piss in the wind. If they’re really powerful, then we have other ways of dealing with them. Stick to the tactics and the tenants we taught you in the academy and no Magician will get the best of you.
Now glyphs, those are a bit more powerful. Most of them are powered by loden stones and can be undone if you can find the source of power that is feeding the glyph, assuming you can detect it before it rips you to pieces or incinerates one of your friends. Witches and Warlocks in hiding will scratch glyphs into the sides of trees to make them explode into splinters if you walk by or scratch glyphs into sand, letting it ensnare and pull under anyone walking over it. They’re hard to spot, but you can stop them from activating by marring the symbols and the patterns. If it’s etched in stone, then you’re only chance is to get the loden stone, or find a new path.
Rebel Mages, as they like to call themselves, carry staves when they’re on the offensive. Staves are a cheap way of getting around focus and clarity for them to cast their spells. But, if you can break the staff, you’ll get through to the Magician easily. Remember, most of them are Practitioners or self-taught. They’re not WarMages. If you’re stationed in a city, beware of wands. They’re just as deadly as staves and they’re far more in vogue in the Scattered Cities. They’re easy to hide and they pack a punch. Keep your eyes open and we weary of beautiful people that are interested in you. Either they’re Elethyn or they’re Magicians and you don’t want to deal with either.
Keep your head on you, little brother, and the Musketeers will keep you safe.
–Marshal Amercius Elvicius
To his young brother Berrius Elvicius