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 The Wizards of High Sorcery

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PostSubject: The Wizards of High Sorcery   Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:47 pm

The Wizards are a powerful institution in Krynn. They were founded when the deities Solinari, Lunitari and Nuitari taught a certain group of people how to draw power from the moons and shape it with their wills. With the construction of the Towers of High Sorcery, people from all over Krynn were able to learn the secrets of spellcrafting.

To prevent abuse, the gods decided that powerful spells could only be cast in a limited amount. Thus, a mage is usually able to cast a powerful spell only once, after which it is forgotten. To cast it again, the wizard must commit it back into memory, which may require several hours of study. Tracy Hickman commented in The Annotated Chronicles (1999) that his eldest son, a professional magician, mentioned how this fact did mirror his own practice, as it was not enough for him to simply learn a magic trick, instead having to practice it daily in order to maintain the fluid movement of the illusion.

The Wizards of High Sorcery follow a set of laws which are as old as the Towers of High Sorcery:

* Solinari's Law: All wizards are brothers and sisters in their order. All orders are brothers and sisters in the power.
* Lunitari's Law: The places of High Sorcery are held in common among all orders and no sorcery is to be used there in anger against fellow wizards.
* Nuitari's Law: The world beyond the walls of the towers may bring brother against sister and order against order, but such is the way of the universe.

Under these principles, the wizards collect and share information inside the Towers. Tracy Hickman explains that, although there may (be) some differences in the way every race teaches magic, the language and requirements are the same for every mage in the world of Krynn.

Although wizards draw power from the moons, controlling it takes a great effort, sometimes leaving the wizard drained.


Apprentices

Usually sponsored by a wizard or archwizard, the novice is accepted into a school of magic. The location of these schools may be secret, rumoured or known, depending on the circumstances. Although the school supplies some elements, the pupil may be expected to pay for either food, drink, or items necessary to practise spells.

Some schools are prepared to keep the students comfortable for long periods of time. For example, the student may consider living at the school during winter to prevent long and unnecessary travel.

Apprentices learn how to pronounce the language of magic, to write runes in scrolls and to distinguish and collect herbs, between other things.


Preliminary Test

After having spent some time learning the basics of magic, runes and alchemy, the best students are selected to take a test of magic. This test is not dangerous, and failure only delays the student's progress.

Though it may vary, the test is usually simple and asks the student to use his gained knowledge to prepare a potion, write a rune, or prepare a scroll. Once the apprentice passes it, he or she is allowed to learn more advanced spells, usually including attack and effect spells.


The Test

When a mage reaches a certain skill level, he or she must take the Test to move on to the higher, more powerful areas of magical study.

In some cases the Conclave sends an invitation to the apprentice, setting a date and time for the presentation.

The Test is designed to divide mages into two branches: those who take the study of magic seriously and those who would use it for simple purposes, like entertainment. When the time for the Test arrives, those who do not want to take it leave the school, and are left on their own. Although these mages are usually weak, sometimes they are able to learn and execute powerful spells. They are not allowed to wear the White, Red or Black robes, as they have not taken the Test.

The Test puts the life of the wizard in danger. Failure usually means death. Thus, those who do not accept the risks of the Test remained relatively unskilled and, therefore, not a major threat to the Conclave of Wizards.

Test sessions are private and cannot be shared between apprentices.

The Test itself allows the Conclave to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the applicant. It is carried out in one of the Towers of High Sorcery, most times through very realistic illusions. It may affect the apprentice's mind and body permanently.

The apprentice can not wear the colors of the orders until testing. However, it is in the Test that the real allegiance of the apprentice is found. At the end of the Test, the wizard will wear the new robes of his or her chosen order.


Alignment

Once the apprentice passes the Test, they are given an alignment.

Three different alignments were the original ones: white, red and black. The wizards following Solinari wear white robes of good, the ones following Lunitari wear red robes of neutrality, and wizards following Nuitari wear black robes of evil. The robes can be adorned with runes of protection, usually in silver patterns.

Tracey Hickman described ...

“The color of a mage's robe on Krynn are more than just an ornamentation or sign of fealty to a particular order of magic. The color of a wizard's robes reflects an entire attitude and philosophy of magic—a magical way of life, if you will.”

For most renegades, the robe colour means nothing, and they can be found wearing red, white, black or any other color. Wizards who left the Order to practice magic before their Test, but are not renagades, wear brown robes.

Wizards are able to change their alignment, although the price is usually high.


Spellcrafting

There are nine groupings of magic in the world of Krynn called also called schools :

* abjuration (or protective magic) & divination ; those are provinces of White Robed Wizards ;
* illusion & transmutation (or transforming magic) ; those are provinces of Red Robed Wizards ;
* enchantment (mind influencing magic) & necromancy (life, death and undeath influencing magic) ; those are provinces of Black Robed Wizards ;
* conjuration (transport magic), evocation (energy wilding magic) and universal ; those form the common background of all wizards.

As apprentices, wizards may choose to specialize in any one of them except universal magic, but it's not mandatory. Specializing brings enhanced power in a chosen school while loosing access to one or two schools of magic (except divination or universal magic).

Evokers and conjurers do not face any moral problem when accessing any order. Specialized wizards tend to enter the order whose favored school they have already chose, but they are not forced to - though moral problems could arise from a necromancer's joining the White Robes for instance.

Newly acceped Wizards of High Sorcery may benefit from (further) specializing in one of the schools favored by his chosen order. However, greater power comes at the cost of losing access to schools favored by the other orders !

Wizards may also gain access to various branches of high sorcery like war magic, become loremasters or even access to the exalted status of archmagi - like most members of the Conclave.


Conclave

It could be said the last goal for any wizard is to become a member of the Conclave of Wizards. Only the most respected and powerful mages of each order can achieve this, however. The Conclave itself is formed of twenty one mages: seven White, seven Red and seven Black Robes.

The leader of each Order is called the Head of that Order, each order choosing its own Head as it sees fit :

* White Robes vote, thus their leader is often a wise or charismatic person;
* Red Robes play, thus their leader is often either clever or lucky - or both;
* Black Robes fight, even to the death, thus their leader often is the most aggressive or domineering archmage.

The Highmage is chosen among the Conclave (most of the times among the Heads of the three orders) to lead the Conclave of Wizards. He or she is chosen by the votes of all Wizards of High Sorcery on Ansalon through the consensus spell - the selected Highmage is then surrounded by a corona of light according to the feelings of the majority of Ansalon's Robed Wizards.

Conclave wizards (even the Highmage) remain in their position until either their death or their removal by the rest of the Conclave. They may simply step down.

Between other functions, the Conclave wizards specify the different guidelines the mages must follow. They may look for promising new recruits, prepare Tests for apprentices, and research for new ways of employing magic.


Renegades

Sometimes, the rules set by the Conclave are not accepted by some mages. In extreme cases, the mages may decide to completely ignore all the rules. In these cases, the Conclave declares them renegades. Any wizard of High Sorcery is requested to inform the Conclave about the location and actions of renegades they may come across. In most cases, if the wizard hunts and slays a renegade, his actions are seen as fittable by the Conclave.

Renegades know their fate, and may actively work against the wizards of High Sorcery.


The Towers of High Sorcery

The Towers of High Sorcery were built during the Age of Dreams as centers for learning and teaching of magic. The five fully built towers were located in Palanthas, Wayreth, Istar, Daltigoth and Losarcum. There were also attempts to build two other towers. One attempted construction was in the area of Kal-Thax, however this attempt went awry after the local dwarves intervened and was never completed. There was another tower that was built in the Istarian region and known as the Lost Tower.

All the towers have a similar basic structure. Essentially there is a central complex that is surrounded by a field or garden. The field or garden has a protective magic that ensures that only those whom the wizards permit to enter their tower, actually succeed.

The Tower of Wayreth: This is one of the only two surviving towers. The Wayreth Tower is controlled completely by the Masters of High Sorcery. One can only locate the tower when they allow it. The tower is surrounded by a trans dimensional field that allows it to appear anywhere within 500 miles of it's usual place within Wayreth Forest. The Tower of Wayreth is the residual home of the Master of the Conclave, and it is where the Conclave of Wizards is almost always convened.


The Tower of Palanthas: The Palanthas Tower is only other surviving tower and one of the most notorious. Before the Cataclysm it was one of the most beautiful towers and was also considered one of the most powerful. It was where the wizards of all orders came together to create the dragon orbs, and is protected by the fearsome Shoikan Grove. The Shoikan Grove is a garden which surrounds the tower is emanates an aura of fear. Almost no-one can even think about entering the grove without a talisman of protection bestowed upon them by the Master of the Tower. After the Cataclysm and the curse which was cast upon the Tower by a dying black-robed wizard, undead also rose up to stop anyone from entering the tower. The undead were called to protect the tower until the Master of Past and Present returned to claim it. Mistress Shimmaryn Kiira has claimed the Tower and sequencered it away into a demi-plane during the aftermath of the "Eclispse of the Three Moons" She soon departed the mortal realm to serve magic in other aspects. After the threat of the demon Despair in service to Chaos, Nuitari's next champion, Veluthil Se'yasvaillo, lifted the tower from Palanthas to transport it safely into Nightlund. Here the doors were sealed against all but the most worthy as a new rank of elite mages would be trained within those walls to the defense of magic.


The Tower of Losarcum: This mysterious tower was located near Kendermore and had a garden surrounding it. This garden drove any intruders into a fit of emotions. The intruders would find their passions overwhelming them and rendering them useless. The tower was destroyed by the tower wizards in order to stop the Kingpriest from accessing their magical treasures.


The Tower of Daltigoth: The Daltigoth tower was surrounded by a dense forest which caused all intruders to fall into an enchanted sleep. The Masters of the Tower would then either transport those affected inside the tower, or out of the forest, dependent on whether they wished to deal with them or not. This tower was also destroyed by the Wizards to stop the minions of the Kingpriest from getting their magical treasures.


The Tower of Istar: The Istarian tower was long considered a beautiful tower and favored by many of the great mages during the early times in Krynn's history. The Istarian tower was protected by a magical forest which caused intruders to forget everything in their short term memory. The effect would pass when the intruders finally left the forest. This tower was given over to the Kingpriest in order to appease him when he turned angry mobs against the wizards. The tower was later sent to the bottom of the Blood Sea when the Cataclysm destroyed Istar.


The Lost Tower: This fabled tower was home to many of Krynn's most powerful magical treasures. It was built on the fringes of the Istarian region and it's location was only known by a select few wizards. It was claimed by the foul black-robe Spyranus who was declared a renegade. The wizards combined their forces and banished Spyranus and the tower to a demi-plane. The tower was thought lost, until it was later discovered by Mistress Amberyl and Mistress Nallawen in the post Fourth Dragon War period. The tower dwells both in it's own demi-plane and the Prime Material Plane simutaniously. It is now claimed by Both Red-Robed Mistresses, guardians of the Lost Tower for all time.

_________________
"To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities - I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not - that one endures." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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