Elaris: A World of Light
The Charter of the Mages Guild of Illeral
“The Charter of the Mages Guild”
(The following is an excerpt from Elias McKowen’s History of Alkoria)
The Charter of the Mages Guild is a long document with many rules and amendments that have been added on over the many years of its existence. It is vital to have an understanding of the charter to understand the function of the Mages Guild and the Council that rules it.
To truly be able to understand the Mages Guild’s purpose in the Kingdom of Alkoria, you must understand its ancient predecessor, the Telleri Empire. The ancient Telleri were a proud people, with great power over the Arcane Flow, the energy that makes up the Veil that many magic users tap into to use their magical powers. In fact, much of our understanding of the Arcane Flow and magic comes from the Telleri Empire.
The Telleri Empire was a magrocy, a nation that was ruled over by magic users. Those who did not wield magic were viewed as second class citizens. As such, magic was highly deregulated, any form of magic was practiced freely. Necromancy, fiendish magic, divination, evocation, all forms were taught in their great academies. The center of this was the city of Illeral.
However, with the freedom to practice what magic they wished, corruption rose up in the ranks of the mages and a three way civil war broke out in the empire. Even whilst the Empire was scrambling with their mighty Warforged to create the Pillars that even now protect our world, the Empire began to crumble to the dust. When the last Pillar was created, the Empire fell and a form of anarchy began to rule the land.
But I digress, the history of the Telleri Empire is discussed in my other book, The History of Elaris. What is important to know is that the Telleri Empire treated its non-magical citizens poorly and that magic was freely practiced.
Jump ahead several hundred years. The kingdom of Domarum was formed and assimilated the city of Illeral into its borders. Illeral had remained a center of magic. The magic users in Illeral had formed together to create a Council of Illeral, a form of government that only applied to magic users. When the city officially joined Domarum, the Council got together to discuss how they prevent the mistakes of the past, namely the mistreatment of non-magic users and secondly the corruption caused by the practice of certain schools of magic. The result, the Mages Guild of Illeral and its Charter.
Now, I will not list the entire charter of the Guild, as it is extremely long, and if you have the desire to read it, you can find it in any Mage Tower in any large city, and I would urge you to go look there. But I will talk about a few excerpts from the Charter and what it means for the Guild.
“This Council of Mages of the city of Illeral, under authority of the king of Domarum, hereby forms the Mages Guild of Illeral, which shall act as the binding body of arcane magic users in the kingdom and all other locales where its power and influence stretch. The Council of Illeral, form here on out, shall act as the ruling body of the aforementioned guild.”
There are a few important things that we can garner from this, the opening paragraph of the Charter. First, the Mages Guild became the binding body of arcane magic users in the kingdom and all other locales where its power and influence stretch. All arcane magic users in our current kingdom adhere to the rules of this Guild, and those who are not are what are considered “rogue” mages. Registration to the guild is required. Every magic user in the kingdom is known to the Guild, or at least should be. The council is so powerful that it stretched its influence to the kingdoms of the elves and the dwarves.
Second, the Council is the ruling body. Nowhere in the Charter does it mention the structure of the Council of Illeral. To find this, we must search back to an older document that was created at the founding of the city itself. The Council is formed of sixty mages, powerful magic users. This forms the Low Council. The Low Council then elects 6 mages from their ranks to serve as the High Council, who has more authority than the Low Council. Then, together, the two councils join together to elect the Archmage, who is the executive head of the Council, and in effect of the Mages Guild.
Now, we shall return to the Charter. “All mages are required to register with the guild and adhere to its rules, or they shall be known as outlaws or rogues.”
We have discussed this point already, but it is important to reemphasize this point.
“Magic shall be studied in the established academies of the Guild, the buildings known as Mage Towers.”
Now, we have what will become the social and cultural centers of the Guild, Mage Towers that are established in larger cities, much in the same manner as the Telleri Empire.
“The schools of necromancy and the magic that is created by pacts with fiends and devils are strictly prohibited, punishable by death.”
This is important. Necromancy and the magic the results from pacts with fiends and devils are illegal according to this charter, and the punishment is death. Or is it?
“All those who are found breaking the rules of this Charter shall be brought before a tribunal appointed by this Council to be judged for their actions and to receive appropriate punishment unless they promise to renounce their actions.”
A “tribunal appointed by this Council” generally consists of the most influential mages found in a mage tower, each tower having their own tribunal. Generally, a mage that has gone “rogue” is brought to the mage tower where they trained, to be judged of their peers. However, in dire circumstances, a mage may be brought to any mage tower for judgment.
Now, a recent development, is the creation of the Eldritch Knights, warriors who blend arcane power and martial prowess to police the magic users of Alkoria. The exact amendment that states it is Article CXVI, Section I:
“Starting immediately, the Mages Guild of Illeral will establish the Eldritch Knights of Alkoria, who will act as the arm of this Council in enforcing the law and tracking down those who break it.”
In Section II, we read:
“Every year, a certain number of Eldritch Knights shall be sent to join the Storm Wardens of Alkoria, as determined by a joint committee of members of the Council and the king’s chief advisors.”
That number currently is ten. This number is quite large, considering that the Eldritch Knights only have about one-hundred that graduate from their academy yearly. It has fluctuated over the years however.
Now, sections III through VI state how the Eldritch Knights are organized, their training regimen and their powers and authorities. But what is truly interesting is a portion found at the end of Section VI.
“Eldritch Knights have the authority to put a mage suspected of illegal activities under protective custody until such time as they can be escorted to a tribunal to face judgment. A mage under the protective custody of an Eldritch Knight must remain with the Eldritch Knight at all times. While he is under the protection of the Eldritch Knight, all other entities forfeit the right to punish him for crimes or wrongdoings until he has faced proper trial at the hands of a mages guild tribunal.”
This clause came about as a result of a time when Church would take rogue mages and attempt to burn them at the stake, not realizing that many magic users could simply cast a spell to make it so they would not burn. This clause came about as a result, approved by the King of Alkoria of the time, and even agreed upon by all the Patriarchs of the Church.
Now, to any would be rogue mages, there is this caution found at the end.
“Any attempt to escape the Eldritch Knight forfeits his protection and the Knight has permission to end the mages life.”