Official Name: The Marigund Mages guild
Type: An order of mages in the country of Marigund.
Status: Very active
Organization: Representative democracy. The guild is organized as a democracy. It's members organize themselves into groups that elect people to represent them in the guild meetings. These people vote on someone to be Guild master who holds the post for life.
Current Head of the Guild: Guild Master Demarest.
Official Emblem: Three concentric circles with six smaller circles woven together within the largest ring.
Location: Marigund in the Outer Midlands
Membership ranking: Full members are ranked in levels (from 1 to 8) called Circle based on magic ability. The higher the number the greater the magic ability. There are few mages above 3. A mage must pass a test before being allowed to call themselves a member of a circle.
Known members: 512 full members with around 3000 associate members (see below)
Known Headquarters/Base: Menomenta Gul - more commonly known as the Mages hall (see below) in Marigund City
The Mages guild of Marigund is one of the larger and more powerful organization of mages in the Midlands. Based solely in the country of Marigund the guild dates back to the collapse of the Suielman Empire. It was formed by the handful of mages who managed to survive the empires collapse.
It is famous for not only it's size but it's vast library and it's highly esteemed school. There are other magic organizations that are larger. Many magic guilds (or whatever name they use) or schools restrict membership based on race, religion or social standing. This organization is unique in that it is open to all people. The Sathmore Empire's Arenul Ceen is far larger but it is a government owned and very severely restricts membership and who attends its schools.
Basic nature of the Guild: The guild was originally created to preserve and protect the knowledge and civilization that its founders saw vanishing in the tidal wave of invasions that shattered the empire. The guild purpose is to preserve knowledge (especially magical knowledge) and to expand learning and knowledge. Although it may drift a little over the years the institution always returns to those goals. It was the reason behind the creation of the school and for its relatively lax membership rules. Members are given considerable leeway in what they do. So long as they do not cause death and (too much) destruction they are allowed to pursue their own goals. This has led to its members and the various departments going about on all manner of different projects of their own. Regardless of what everyone else is doing. This makes leading the guild difficult at times. The one Guild master described leading the Guild as akin to trying to herd cats.
It also has resulted in an atmosphere of openness and a willingness to experiment and try new things. At any one time the guild could be trying to study (and travel to) other planets, trying to increase wool growth on sheep and developing better methods for dealing with wraiths and other undead. But for all the confusion the guild is surprisingly stable. The guilds school and vast army of servants go about their business without any disruption And it is notable that the staff is always paid correctly and on time.
All members would without hesitation rush to defend the guild against any attack. The number of members who have actually betrayed the guild over the centuries is surprisingly small. The guilds habit of tracking down such traitors and horribly (and publicly) murdering them is a very effective deterrent.
Another aspect to remember is that Marigund is a country of merchants and that is reflected in the guild. The old saying that 'Everything has a price' is true to no small degree. The guild never misses an opportunity to earn money. From the school (which is open to anyone who can pay the fee), to selling magical services and devices (for a fee). The guild does consider it's sole task to spread knowledge but if they can earn a profit along the way - then all the better. And the money so earned allows the guild to fund all it's myriad projects without having to depend on an outside source for money. This keeps them free of politics - something sadly lacking in most other magical organizations.
Change Month: To gain a better grasp on transformation all final year students are forced to spend one full month in another form. In the past most students tried the opposite gender or a different race or as an animal. Wolves and condors are always popular. Undoubtedly inspired by the animal curse and Metamor Keep the half human form called a furry has been recently gaining popularity.
- Notable members: Elizabeth - Misha's sister. Thadeus the slow- the guild expert on unusual magic. Cecelia Armhurst Curator of the Guild Museum and head of the guilds vast collection of items. There is living on the property a magic using griffon. The guild is very reluctant to discuss him and rumors abound. No one is sure if he is a griffon that knows magic or a mage that has taken griffon form and stayed that way.
- The Five: These are the five mages who founded the Guild back in 150CR. All students learn their names and histories (whether they want to or not). All are long deceased and three are believed to actually be buried somewhere on Guild property but no is sure exactly where. Their names are: Nevittia Aprontinia. Agrigula Puncilia.
- Membership: there are two types of membership. Full membership which gives voting privileges at Guild Meetings. It also gives access to almost the entire guild property and facilities like labs and the help of assistants as well as the libraries (both the open and restricted ones). To get full membership a person must be a mage and a citizen of Marigund and be recommended by a full member. They must also pay a very high yearly membership fee. There is also Associate membership for those unwilling or unable to pay the full membership fee or who are not mages. This allows access to the guilds open libraries and a discount for anything bought and also allows access to the guild dining hall. But not voting rights. The number of members tends to vary as people join and leave but at the moment it stands at 512 full members and 6 times that number of associate members. At any one time there are usually between 100 and 200 full members on the property with another hundred scattered around the city.
- Mages School - The guild runs one of the most highly respected schools for teaching magic in the Midlands. The Sathmore Empire and Pyralian Kingdoms do have larger schools but those are usually government run or restricted to certain social classes or religions. Particularly bright students can earn a discount or even a full scholarship.
- School - A recent phenomena is the opening of a regular school by the guild. It was noticed that many people were sending their children to the guilds Mage school to learn normal subjects like reading, writing and mathematics. Enough children were involved that the guild recently opened a normal school. This school is the equivalent of a private school teaching what in the real world is grades 4 to 12.
- Commerce - The members all pay dues based on their standing and magic skills but the guilds real money maker is selling. The guild makes a lot of money selling the services of it's various members. There is a constant demand for spells of all sorts. For a fee a person can have a spell cast for them. There is no prejudice on their customers the sole requirement is that they have the right amount of money. The guild does maintain a small workshop that can produce magic items on commission. They actually have a store that is open to the public that sells minor magic items like glowstones, shoes that are waterproof and the like.
- Politics outside the guild: Any organization this big has lots of political power. The guild's lax control and wide disparate habits severely limit it's ability to effect Marigund politics. But the guild still wields considerable power and influence.
- Cleanup: Being a magical group the guild does get the unwanted task of cleaning other peoples magical messes. At least once a year they are called in to help get rid of a problem caused by a magic user with more power than common sense. This has taken guild members all over the Midlands since they do maintain a strict silence about such task. Never revealing to the public what was done. Mind you the cost for such silence is high and the guild earns a tremendous amount of cash on such missions.
- Research: A lot of what happens in the guild is pure research. Exploring the boundaries of knowledge. The first radio will be developed in a Guild lab in the future. As will the first sentient computer.
The Guild is divided by by type of magic. Membership in one is not exclusive and most members belong to several ones. Although the department heads are only members of a single one. They are in alphabetical order:
Animalia: These study creatures and animal life whether natural, created or magical. Nicknamed the fur and feather bunch. These mages are know for their odd collection of pets, guards, companions and friends. It is common to see griffons, lions, cheetahs, bears and all manner of dogs, cats and birds wandering about in their area. Also known for often taking animal shape so that one cannot be sure that lion walking down the hall towards you is a pet or a mage. At least one mage in the department is actually a dragon disguised as a human mage who studies dragons.
Automatia: The smallest of the groups and only recently recognized. They study the magic of automatons like Madog. See Automaton Magic. For the moment they are most known for the self-opening doors and windows and self-moving wagon. Their area of the guild is nicknamed the junkyard. Known members include: Carlisle Baldren , Alton, Beatrice, Idette Sauton. Recently the department has been busy working on a project involving finding the pieces of a long lost automaton. This resulted in the reassembly of Salona.
Combat: Battle magic. Very popular with veterans and they work closely with the military. These people have access to some seriously powerful combat spells.
Conjuration: The largest and most common department as it involves most spells.
Divination: This department attempts to predict the future and also to see distant places and people and the like. A small group but very important. Some of the guilds strangest members are here.
Divine: This group studies the various creatures and magics involving the religious elements especially the Daedra. An understandably dangerous undertaking in a country where religion is such a touchy subject. But they have proven their worth in the past when a group of Moransai came into the country. They work closely with the various priests and priestesses in the chapels. Several members are priests or acolytes but they do get along surprisingly well.
Elementals: Fire, earth, air, water.
Enchantment: Another group that makes the guild a lot of money. They are responsible for making various magic items such as magic weapons and armor and wands.
History: Not a separate department but will be at a later date. Later still it will be renamed the Archaeology Department. With so much history (literally) under foot there are those who take the time to study it. Their first real accomplishment was locating and excavating a Virtut Secturum Way Station whose remains were recently (CR 698) found on the Mages Hall property. The curator of the museum heads an unofficial History dept but that has not gained official recognition yet so is considered a part of the Staff.
Household: Specializes in magic involving the home. Things like cleaning a room, keeping a room warm or cold. Very popular with the rich who see having such spells as a show of their wealth. Very popular with the cleaning staff for obvious reasons!
Illusion: This department that specializes in illusions both visual and auditory. A small department but slowly growing. They are capable of some very impressive displays. They are gaining popularity and are often hired to perform at parties. Known for a distinct sense of humor. Most people know of when they turned all the paving in the Grand Plaza a bright pink. Another time they had the paving stones there each play a different tone when stepped on. One area of big growth is with the various theater groups which has resulted in some spectacular shows.
Misc: A catch all for the myriad of unusual magics that exist. They ARE the strangest group in the guild. Which is really an impressive feat considering who else is in the guild. Nicknamed the Odd Squad by the staff.
Necromatic: More tolerated than openly accepted. Most of this department studies methods on how to destroy the undead. They often work closely with the Summoning Department and the various priests and priestesses in the chapels.
Plantia: This is the counterpart to the Animalia group. They study plant life of all sorts whether natural, created or magical. They are most known for their 'pet' Dryad. Not popular with the staff since three bushes mugged one of the staff gardeners last year. The dept claims it was just self defense.
School: Not a division of magic but kept separate for administrative purposes.
Staff: Again not a form of magic but they are people who actually run the guild, the clerks, maids, butlers and servers. They also include the librarians.
Summoning: They specialize is summoning things whether living or not.
Transmutation: This department is involved with changing things into other things. They have been intensely studying MK curse for the last few years.
Weather: They attempt to control the weather with varying degrees of success. Mostly on a local level. Nothing on a country wide scale but they do keep trying. They are very good at predicting the weather.
Security: One VERY little discussed part of the guild is security. Most mundane problems are left to the Caial but with so many important, valuable and dangerous things at the guild it needs a permanent guard force. NEEDS A COOL NAME
Rumors of an Erotic magic department are untrue but it does not stop the older students from looking for it.
Mages Hall - Better known as Menomenta Gul (which means magic crossroads). The headquarters and home of the Guild is located in Marigund City. It is not actually a single hall although it's first home was a large hall that still stands on the grounds. It is now a large complex of buildings, towers, workshops, storehouses, barracks, halls and gardens all surrounded by a large stone wall located in the center of the city. At the exact center is a large formal garden. Beneath the property is a complex of dungeons and tunnels said to extend across the entire city. The guild does maintain a presence in all cities in Margund but none are as large and extensive as the one in the capital. It was built where it was because of the powerful currents of magic that crisscross the area. The hall is situated over the most powerful nexus in this region. Where several currents come together. The world bell (which is at the center of the property) is situated at the exact center of that nexus - the most powerful spot.
- The Chapels- Religion is a touchy subject in Marigund but there are a lot of nasty things (like the undead or worse) that are best handled by a priest. So the guild tries to remain on good terms with all the religions (with mixed results). The guild has 5 small chapels on the property. 1 each for Lightbringer, Predecessor, Ecclessia and Rebuilder. The 5th chapel is not devoted to any one religion but to be used by the numerous smaller faiths that exist. It is notable that all 5 chapels are exactly the same in square footage (down to the inch) and materials used to construct them.
- Libraries - Knowledge is power goes the old phrase. The guild maintains an extensive collection of literary materials. Books, tomes, scrolls, rock art, carved tablets, paintings, murals. If it was used to record some bit of magical information the guild has an example of it somewhere. All are carefully maintained in a number of libraries scattered about the property. 1 main library and 5 smaller ones. Most are open to any guild member and non-members (for the small fee of 1 copper a month. Staff, faculty and students have access for free) but the guild does have a 'restricted' library containing items deemed too dangerous for general use. There is the rumor of the banned library containing items so dangerous that no one, not even the Guild master has access to it.
- Scriptorium: This place specializes in making and copying any form of writing. It's staff are also members of the Scribe, Copyist and Illuminator's guild.
- Dining Hall: Just that. A dining hall capable of feeding several hundred people a day. It is a large wooden hall filled with wooden tables and benches. Lining the walls are paintings, items, statues and carvings of wood, stone and metal. Including a long row of animal heads, some carved from stone, some from wood. The original hall was burnt down in 608CR during The Burning. Rebuilt several years later it used a lot of what material survived. Quite a few of the beams and carvings still have burn marks on them.
- Maldbury Hall:
- The Vault The guild takes its tasks involving magic seriously and makes an effort to get rid of items deemed too dangerous. Those items that can be destroyed are. Others are kept in a very well guarded placed called the Vault. It's location is known only to a handful of people and it is THE most well guarded and heavily defended place in the entire guild. Inside are items that are cursed, broken or just plain too dangerous to let anyone touch. In the Vault are some VERY, VERY dangerous items. Only rumors exist about where it is and what's in it. Some known items include the Death Spear and the Blood Knife. Which was used by a serial killer who murdered 15 people in Delavia in 515CR. One sobering fact is that every item in the Vault is responsible for killing at least ten or more people. Some like the spear are known to have been responsible for killing thousands.
- Museum: Like many such organizations the guild tends to collect a lot of odd, interesting and historically important items. The guild makes money by displaying its more interesting (and safe) ones for a small entrance fee. The museum has a surprisingly wide variety of items. One room highlights the history of the guild and its more famous members. They actually have a room called "What is it?" filled with items the guild has not identified. Visitors are allowed to offer suggestions as to what things are. Correct identification earns a reward! In later centuries the museum will get large enough to actually become a separate department and be called the Marigund Museum of Magic and Technology.
- Grand Entrance: The southern side of the property has the large and grandiose, official entrance to the Mage's Hall. the gate is large and ornate. There are over a dozen small entrances to the property but this is the largest. It opens onto the Grand Plaza.
- Notable items: The Guild is home to the worldbell which rests in the the gardens in the exact center of the guilds property.
- Defenses: Few places in the Midlands are as well protected as the Mages Hall. The guild has a small garrison of soldiers (mostly veterans from Marigunds army) plus a wide and diverse collection of pets/guard animals/monsters/friends. Exactly what and how many is unknown but a dozen griffons are known to guard the grounds at all times. Also at least one dragon is suspected to be living there in disguise. The Guilds true defenses rest with the countless wards, spells, runes and glyphs that protect and cover every single square inch of guild property. These cover everything from keeping people from teleporting or gating in to revealing anything hidden or disguised. Another strong defense is the fact that there are always at least a hundred (or so) guild mages on the grounds at any one time. All of whom would come running to deal with any threat.
Foundation: In 150CR the invasion of the Midlands by the massive Lutin army led to the collapse of the Suielman empire. Five surviving mages formed the nucleus of what would later be the Marigund Mages guild. They are called The Five. The group tried to help hold the area but in the face of overwhelming attacks they fail. They are forced to flee southward but keep fighting the invaders. They do not return to the Marigund area till 228CR when the lutins are finally driven from the area. The guild is instrumental in helping rout the lutins in the area, earning a reputation for combat power and skills.
The Burning Just as the rest of Marigund was torn apart by that ugly civil war so was the guild. The fighting in the guild was long and very nasty. The Hall itself was badly damaged and over two hundred of the Guilds full members died. The guild went through 7 Guild Masters in 4 years. It only ended when Aelrig took control of the country and his troops ripped through the Guilds property killing scores of it's members and over a hundred of the staff. His final warning before he left was "Behave or the next time I'll really get nasty." It took the guild over a decade to rebuild the destroyed buildings and almost 20 years before membership returned to their previous numbers.