Magic Organizations (BV & AV)

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Magic Organizations (BV & AV)

Postby Voco on September 1st, 2009, 3:30 pm

So, in the Alchemy Skill thread, Tarot suggested the need for a thread discussing BV Magical Organizations. Here it is, and with the option for AV discussion too!
Tarot wrote:I suppose we also need to discuss the nature of pre-Valterrian magical guilds/societies. Maybe this should be the topic of a separate thread... basically, Mizahar operates under the assumption of very strong central authority before the Valterrian. I tend to think of most magical organizations of old as being state-sponsored and tightly controlled. What does everyone think?


I think this makes sense, with how Alahea and different magic skills are described in pieces of lore. But, I cannot imagine that they could control it perfectly. There would have had to have been renegades and people that learned their skills outside of the accepted system. I would even go so far as to say that much of what those renegades made and wrote would be what survived the Valterrian, simply due to the fact that their information would have been more spread out and hidden/protected.

I imagine it would be polar opposite to most of AV Mizahar, in the sense that organized teaching is now rather rare. It is more of a disciple and master issue, except for in the few "civilized" places where there are larger classes and universities.
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Re: Magic Organizations (BV & AV)

Postby Gossamer on September 1st, 2009, 5:02 pm

I've always pictured Alahea as sort of magical central while Suvan was the military might. In the end, I think Suvan's sheer numbers overwhelmed Alahea's magical ability and cost them everything. Thus, with that sort of thinking, I'd suggest that most of the formalized and talented non-arts of war type mages were located in Alahea while the war wizard types - combative magics etc were developed or controlled in and around Suva.

As for the organizations themselves, I've not given it a lot of thought because magic has been up until now only partially completed. Perhaps here we could have some suggestions?
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Re: Magic Organizations (BV & AV)

Postby Tarot on September 1st, 2009, 9:59 pm

Thanks for putting this thread up! :)

I agree with Goss completely. My specific vision (that I haven't written down yet) is more or less as follows... Alahea was magically centered from the start. The Nymkarta dynasty originally ruled the city-state of Treval and expanded its influence little by little and avoiding open warfare until the Suvan conflict. Most of the Alahean Emperors were wizards, themselves, and they upheld the principle that magic users were above the rest of mankind. That was until the times of Kovinus, who was not a wizard and was actually a good man. However, his reign and ethical views alienated the "hawks" among his wizard class - to the point of his own Court Mage, Rupert Pycon, betraying him and defecting to Suvan. This was a terrible blow, because the Court Mage was pretty much the Prime Minister of a magic-dominated state.

So, I think there were definitely "rebel" wizards in the first century BV, but I think they were of both the "left-wing" and "right-wing" varieties. There would be the ones refusing centralized control, and there would be the ultra-conservative types disgusted with Kovinus' decision to cut down on what he perceived as unethical practices. The Royal Magic Academy, which Vuld Shaik is so eager to write about in my article quotes, was dominated by the latter folks (many of whom are still around on Sahova, btw).

The Seven Robes were an informal group of some of the strongest wizards on Alahea. They were informal because their personalities were too strong for any kind of structure. There was a leader recognized by skill, and that was it. They held a tremendous amount of influence in the magic world, but they could hardly agree on anything. The Royal Magic Academy was state-regulated but teachers enjoyed large autonomy as long as they kept working for the government. That's about everything I have planned... the rest is up to you guys, especially about guilds of any shape and form. :)
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Re: Magic Organizations (BV & AV)

Postby Gillar on September 4th, 2009, 11:41 pm

Here is a preliminary write-up for the Silver Tower of the Isur. The Isur have and probably always will maintain a separate institution for magical study and research due primarily to their isolationist attitude and overall distrust of most outsiders (non-Isur). They are more spread out in focus now but are primarily magecrafters. Anyway, here is what I got right now.

With the Isur, before the Valterrian, they practiced all manner of magical disciplines although they did not do so on a large scale; the majority of it residing in Magecrafting and the construction of magical items, structures and the like to the extent that they mixed magic with technology to produce architectural wonders. Their vanity kept much of that contained within their own Kingdom. Magic then, just as is it is after the Valterrian, was primarily the domain of the Pitrius clan. They were the holders of an artifact known as, Izurdin's Anvil, a large, enchanted anvil blessed with Gnosis marks from Izurdin and they operated the Isarmin, a school that taught a number disciplines yet specialized in magecrafting. Isur from all clans who displayed interest and talent in various magical disciplines went to the Isarmin to learn. The Isur recognized the potential for great disaster if Djed were to be released in uncontrolled and undisciplined ways thus their magical studies often lasted decades if not a century or more. Those that graduated from the Isarmin as fully trained magic-users (few in number), often became instructors themselves.

When came the Valterrian, the Isur were almost obliterated with only 5 of the original 10 clans surviving. Their capital city, the center of their existence, was pierced from the ground up by a volcano formed from the divine release of uncontrolled djed. The Isarmin was destroyed and Izurdin's Anvil lost.

Now, after the Valterrian and the formation of the new Isurian Kingdom, the Pitrius clan has constructed the Silver Tower. It is a towering shard of pure silver called up from the depths by the Pitrius clan leader and the most powerful surviving instructors from the Isarmin. Although other clans still send students to the Silver Tower, it is primarily made up of Pitrius clan members. Where the Isarmin focused primarily on magecraft and glyphing, the Silver Tower has spread their focus to include nearly all magical disciplines as well as some of the more taboo/forbidden arts such as poison-crafting and questionable uses of alchemy.

The Silver Tower is, so far, an Isur-only institution. They offer instruction in all areas of magical use with a varied focus. However, magecrafting is still the most popular and proficient discipline found there. In addition to magic instruction, students are also trained in Isurian culture and history, language, mathematics and all of the other subjects commonly found in "normal" schools. Physical training is also a primary focus; perhaps moreso than other areas of Isurian culture (which is saying a lot). They are required to learn the racial sport of wrestling and must chisel their bodies into works of art. One of the first things an Isurian student at the Tower must do is be able to run 20 miles per day, non-stop within a limited amount of time without negative results such as vomiting, passing-out, etc. The idea is that if one cannot be perfect in body, they cannot be perfect in mind and focus thus they are unworthy of practicing a magical discipline.

There are four ranks within each discipline that the Tower instructs. Each rank has its own privileges, status and access to resources. To become a full Master of the Discipline, one must achieve L4 not only in a magical discipline but also pass all of the tests of their previous ranks. Time spent in each rank varies on the individual and can last from a year to 25 years with it taking sometimes over a century to reach Master. Rank four is reserved for the Tower Master.

Apprentice - Attain L2 (Competent) in any one discipline taught at the Tower and pass a series of tests that challenge the overall readiness of the student. Apprentices are granted access to the general laboratories, forges and learning facilities operated by the Tower. They may continue their studies at the Tower or seek further enlightenment elsewhere with the approval of their instructors.

Adviser - Attain L3 (Expert) in any one discipline taught at the Tower and pass a series of tests that challenge the overall readiness of the Apprentice for becoming an Adviser. Advisers fill the role of most of the instructors at the Tower. They have access to all of the general facilities as well as some of the more restricted ones related to their primary discipline. They are given limited access to components and materials provided by the Tower. They may become an instructor at the Tower or they may seek enlightenment elsewhere with the approval of their Master.

Discipline Master - Attain L4 (Master) in any one discipline taught at the Tower and pass a series of challenging tests that sometimes include facing and surviving a deadly situation. Those that survive are often scarred in someway but come out stronger in the end. They must also have at least one gnosis mark from Izurdin. They are highly respected by all clans, both inside and outside of the Tower. They sometimes serve as instructors at the Tower although some are found as advisers to the leaders and governing bodies of other clans. They have full access to all Tower facilities and resources related to their discipline and those that choose to remain as instructors may do so however only one can become the head of any particular discipline.

Tower Master - Attain L4 (Master) in more than one discipline taught at the Tower, pass all the required tests and challenges and maintain at least two gnosis marks from Izurdin signifying that they are chosen and approved of by the God. The Tower Master has access to all areas of the Tower, regardless of discipline, and their rulings may only be challenged by a majority of the Discipline Masters. The Tower Master is also the keeper of the only surviving artifact tied to Izurdin's Anvil, Izurdin's Key. The key is a small, round medal coin with raised etchings in the form of a hammer. It possesses a number of gnosis marks from Izurdin and when placed on the Tower Master's metallic hand, it will cause the area of contact to melt as the key itself sinks into the Master's hand. Without the Anvil, the key possesses a fragment of its original power but it allows the Master to add a single gnosis mark to any object they craft with the use of their hand.
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Magic Organizations (BV & AV)

Postby Jilitse on September 15th, 2010, 5:58 am

I just wanted to bump this up. Kami and I had a short discussion about how there should be a mage guild in-game, like a coven of some sort. The discussion was pretty hazy, but I don't want it to slip down into one of those random ideas/discussions that never got written down.

I know there are a couple of them existing, like what Gillar said, and maybe the new Seven Robes, or say, Priskil's Order of Radiance... but this needs more fleshing out as Mizahar is developed. Maybe there can also be a non-aligned guild for mages, and there can be rules for membership, and certain PC-led activities.

Also, this discussion thread needs a bump.
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Magic Organizations (BV & AV)

Postby Gossamer on September 20th, 2010, 3:57 am

Mage guilds are really common throughout other game worlds - Dragonlance comes to mind first and foremost with the Red, Black, and White Robed wizards. Really, in a post apocalyptic world like Mizahar, there's no widespread civilization and organization, so things exist in pockets. There could be small little clubs and organizations centrally located (I'm starting one currently in Riverfall with my PC for example)... but in terms of 'The Mage Guild'... absolutely not.

It won't ever happen. Not in this game and under this theme.

The religious orders are very valid, like the Order of Priskil because their main focus isn't magic. And the seven robes predate the Valterrian, which is why its still functioning (if it is? GP?) as a remnant. But from what I understand, its total powerbase has been devastated like everything else.

Now, if someone wants to create one slowly in game with splinter cells in various areas etc, that's one thing. I see it as very difficult due to the travel involved and the ability to keep in touch. But that's a whole different ballgame to just writing something up and into existence via the World Development Forum. It really doesn't flow well with me. But, again, I'm not the only voice here to say yea or nay. But my vote will always be No for the reasons I've outlined.
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Magic Organizations (BV & AV)

Postby Jilitse on September 20th, 2010, 12:16 pm

Thanks for replying Goss, what I had in mind back then (the post was just bumped recently), was something small scale... I think it originally had my Animator Nuit and Kamalia's Reimancer Konti as members. Coincidentally we're both hoping to be members of the Order of Radiance back then, too. Funny how plans sometimes bear fruit in the weirdest ways sometimes.

Now that I look back on it, and with your feedback, I'm reminded that people are actually hesitant of magic and nobody practices it out in the open... except maybe if it was in the academy in Zeltiva or in Sahova. I think GP had once mentioned that there's a "new" Seven Robes... but the development of that lies in GP's hands :D

But in general, I want feedback on people's reaction to a small group of people who openly practice magic and even offers to teach it? Maybe I will try to build up something small at first, I'll keep that in mind.

I think another point in mind is how some people justify their Magic skill by saying a random mage taught them magic or picked them up as an apprentice. Seriously, where did that random mage come from? And where did that random mage learn magic? Or if it was a more concrete, my parents taught me magic... still the question lies: where did the parents learn magic from? A random wandering mage?

Also, are there any known "magical families" in development or in the works? Like a lineage of people who survived the Valterrian and are actually devoted to a specific discipline?

And maybe for the Storytellers who may chance upon this discussion, do you have a random wandering mage in your city (Konti do not count, they have the Call to justify their wandering), a family of mages or anything related?
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Magic Organizations (BV & AV)

Postby John Vicari on September 20th, 2010, 3:48 pm

My thoughts...

Well I know John uses magic yet he is not open about it. He does his best not to use it nonstop on people only try to push things if he wants to learn something or if he feels it will help. He learned it from his mother but I have not really wrote out how she knows it. It could be a family thing of that type of magic on his mothers side but if I do that I want to go into details.

As for a small group of people who openly use magic? Don't know, that could be a bad double edge sword as one side I see it working but then down the road you will distrust people if that magic you can see with normal sight. Like if you put two people with hypnotism and I am sure they won't trust each other one bit or if others would trust them or think they are swaying them at times.

Same with leeching and even projection I can see people not wanting to work with or people that does use that brand of magic. What about world magics such as Malediction or summoning?

I can see so many ideas forming and making great stories yet I also see few of them having happy ends but also what if said group were close to master rank? I think then the gods may play a role for all that Djed in one area would change something even if by mistake.

Mages are rare in my view from how the lore is yet you can learn most magic it seems by books or other users. I don't think many masters are around even in terms of npcs so I am not sure where all the random wandering mages do come from as I understand your point of how to justify it.

Large magic organizations are meant for myths and stories in this day in age. As unless you have a large enough base away from people, the common person will fear it and band together to stop that fear. The world learned what could take place with large organizations of mages and I am sure they will take any step to stop it before then.

But theses are just my thoughts on this topic and look forward to other replies.
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