An Explanation of Arcanum
A Mages Guide to the Orders of High Sorcery
Before the stars were firmly fixed in the heavens, the gods of magic walked on Krynn, Solinari, Lunitari, and Nuitari. They each held a love for magic, for the new world of Krynn, and for the spirit beings called stars. This third love was held by all the gods, which led to the All-Saints’ War. The three gods of magic did not join in the battles, choosing instead to orbit the planet. But their eyes and hearts were ever attentive to the fate of the stars. During the long war, each god took occasion to walk Krynn in search of one mortal follower. They each found such a creature and bestowed on it the keys to the Lost Citadel, an amazing place of magic beyond the circles of the universe. Taking their disciples to the Lost Citadel, the gods taught them the three Foundations of Wizardry:
- All mages are brothers in their order. All orders are brothers in the power.
- The places of High Wizardry are held in common among all the orders and no sorcery is to be used there in anger against fellow mages.
- The world beyond the walls of the towers may bring brother against brother and order against order, but such is the way of the universe.
Returning their apprentices to Krynn, the gods of magic established the three Orders of High Sorcery.
Solinari, god of Good magic, founded the Order of the White Robes;
Lunitari, god of Neutral magic, founded the Order of the Red Robes;
Nuitari, god of Evil magic, founded the Order of the Black Robes.
Initially, the Orders of Sorcery were loosely knit groups of mages. As war with the dragons grew inevitable, the Masters of each order assembled at the Lost Citadel to proclaim the unity of the orders.
Since that time, all Mages of High Sorcery vowed their loyalty to magic and its continued existence on Krynn. This loyalty lets magic flourish, despite attempts to eliminate it. After this primary loyalty, mages have loyalty to their orders. A White Robe and a Black Robe mage, fighting in opposing armies, would do everything necessary to destroy each other. If the mages met on neutral ground, however, they would most likely compare notes and discuss arcane matters. If an outside force were threatening the destruction of magic, the mages would band together to stop it.
Each of the three Orders of High Sorcery receives its powers from one of the three moons of magic. Mages of the White Robes gain power from Solinari, Red Robes from Lunitari, and Black Robes from Nuitari. The phase and alignment of a specific moon affects the power of a given order. The following table represents the bonuses and penalties for the different phases of the moons.
High Sanction = + 3 to casting level.
Waxing = + 2 to casting level
Waning = -2 to casting level
Low Sanction = -3 to casting level
So if for instance a level 101 Mage was casting while their Orders moon was in High Sanction, their spells would have an effective level of 104. If the same mage was casting with their Orders moon in Low Sanction, their spells would have an effective level of 98.
In pre-Cataclysm days, five towers served as common ground for the Orders of High Sorcery. These towers stood in the locations eventually known as Palanthas, Wayreth, Istar, Daltigoth, and the Ruins. The general plan for the towers’ construction was decided by a committee of members from all three orders. They designed a central complex with a tower surrounded by a field or garden. The actual construction, however, was overseen by the mages living in each area. Thus, despite the standardized design, each tower reflects the tastes of the region.
In addition to differing decorations, each tower has a unique field. The Tower of Wayreth is surrounded by a trans-dimensional field, which allows it to appear anywhere within 500 miles of its original location in Wayreth Forest. The Tower in Palanthas is surrounded by the Shoikan Grove, which emanates a powerful spell of fear. These two towers are the most popular, most well-known of the five. Details about the other three towers are sketchy, thanks in part to the Cataclysm. It was rumored the grove around Daltigoth caused those that entered it to fall into an enchanted sleep, the grove around lstar made people forget why they had come in the first place, and the grove around the Ruins created intense feelings of passion. In addition, a series of unique wards and obstacles created a first line of defense for these towers. All the towers are neutral zones. Fighting among mages at the towers is forbidden, punishable by death.
The White Robes
A White Robe Mage acts to promote Good. Aside from his vow to support magic, the cause of Good is his central concern. Acts that violate the precepts of Good lead to the character’s ruin. White Robe Mages who stray from the path soon find they are unaffected by Solinari. White Robe Mages often assist Good-related quests and causes, finding themselves allied with paladins, Good clerics, and Knights of Solamnia.
The Red Robes
Mages of the Red Robes tread the delicate path of Neutrality. Besides an ultimate loyalty to magic, a Red Robe Mage works to balance Good and Evil. Mages of the Red Robes often act as the moderating voice of reason and peace. While the forces of Good and Evil battle for control of Krynn, the forces of Neutrality seek only to maintain the world.
The Black Robes
Mages of the Black Robes embrace the cause of Evil. They do not however cause random discord among the populace of Krynn as it would conflict with their first love, magic. Black Robe Mages may be cruel, but they are selfish and cunning also, avoiding open acts of violence if a more subtle way can be found.
The Initiate of the Conclave has just recently made their interest in learning the Art known. They have contacted a master and have been inducted into the order. They are awaiting a master to apprentice them. Here you are expected to actively pursue any possible master. Your master need not be of the same Order as you have chosen.
The Apprentice has found a master willing to teach them the ways of magic. You are now beginning to understand that foundations of the Art. At this point your power is not dependant on the phases of the moons. Your spells are basic, but can be used to great effect. You remain at this rank until your master decides that you are ready to be tested. This is a source of personal pride for many masters, and often they do not allow their apprentices to be tested for some time. You should be role-playing with your master, as well as other apprentices. When your master feels you have developed your character to a playable point, she/he will then submit your name before the Conclave and arrange for you to be tested. So, the faster you develop a character, and the more you role-play that character the faster you leave the apprentice rank behind.
The Adept has passed their test. You are now on a course that is more of your own choosing. You decide what sort of magic you want to study. Your Master takes on a lesser role now, but is still available to help you. Your spells at this point still do not rely on the phases of the moons. However, you are starting to feel the surges of power the High Sanctions of the Moons bring about. At this point, continued role-play with your Master is required to advance.
As a Magus your power is increasing. The phases of the Moons are noticed in minor ways when you are performing more powerful magic. All your study is now completely on your own. Your Master is no longer available to you all the time, but she/he is occasionally open to you for discussion. You are expected to actively take part in the world and role-play with people often. Your Master will decide when you are ready to advance. This is the last time your Master decides when you rise in rank.
Alternate Rank Advancement – NPC Master through Magus No Initiate (Rank 1) will be forced to wait days or weeks or even months for a player-character Master to advance to Rank 2 (Apprentice). If you choose, you may advance immediately and rp as though you have a Master (effectively an NPC). Initiates who still want a player-character for a Master are certainly welcome to and are still able to elicit the services of a Master upon induction. Apprentice’s (Rank 2) advancement if they have chosen the NPC route will now depend much more heavily on role play, IE stories and Global IC’s. These IC’s must be about the apprenticeship itself, not whatever you happen to be eating at the time or whatever random encounter with a kender in the local market you happen to be currently engaged in. Role play and Stories posted must absolutely be about your apprenticeship and your progress or it will be assumed that you aren’t making any, and are therefore not eligible for advancement to Adept. Advancement for those who’ve gone the traditional Player-Character-Master route remains the same. Any apprentice who is now currently apprenticed to a PC Master may drop them and go the NPC route if they so wish. If someone chooses a PC master may drop them if they feel they are not being properly taken care of. Simply contact the clan immortal or immortal in general. Adept (Rank 3) is the rank an Apprentice goes to when they are finished with the bulk of their learning and are now solely focused on preparing for The Test. Think of it as though you have finished Law School and are preparing for the BAR exam. You want to take some time to prepare just for that test; this test is no different. There has been some confusion about this rank in the past. Regardless of prior definitions, this is the current working-definition and the only one you need to consult when in doubt from now until it changes, if it changes. Advancement from this rank to Magus (Rank 4) will be like Apprentice to Adept. Focus your rp on how you’re preparing for this life or death contest against yourself with the ultimate reward of being allowed to practice High Sorcery along with the select few other mages in the History of Krynn who have also earned the right to do so. so. Your Master still assists you as an Adept but their role is somewhat reduced to advice over instruction. The Test. Most or all of you are probably familiar with The Test. An Adept can choose to simply write a story about their Test and post it and consider that part of their role-play finished. Once your Test is finished, you are now a Full Member of the Conclave and receive the rank of Magus (Rank 4). This should be in-depth role-play and a good story or stories. Whoever would like to do all this traditionally is again welcome to do so. Their advancement will continue to be determined by their Master overall. Those who choose the new route will default to the judgement of their High Archmage. If the High Archmage is not available for more than two weeks, the judgement defaults to the Head of the Conclave. If they are not available either (they should be) judgement defaults to a clan imm (currently Solinari) and subsequently an Imp after that. No more waiting months for these things to happen. Enough. We’ve had twelve plus years to see that our prior policy of forced interaction-based rp does not work.
Master & Mistress
You are now the Master. Your power is moderately affected by the phases of the Moons. You are required to take on an apprentice, if not more than one. You oversee their development and must ensure that their character is well developed before allowing them to be tested. You are expected to arrange for the testing of your Apprentices. Active role-play with your Apprentices as well as with other people on the MUD will raise you to the next level.
Spellmaster & Spellmistress
The Spellmaster is an accomplished mage at this point. The phases of the Moons truly do affect the power of your greater spells. You have at this point taken on several Apprentices and seen them through their tests. Your involvement in Master-Apprentice role-play is heavy, as is your role-play on the MUD in general. You should have a strong character developed now. Advancement now depends on your involvement within the Conclave itself. Leading an in-depth role-play for many people will advance you, as will role-play as a position on the Council. (The Council being the the 21 mages that rule the Conclave; 7 from each order, including each robes High Archmage).
The Taskmage should at this point be well known on the MUD. Their role-play should be very intensive. They should always look to include people in their role-play, in order to draw more interest, and through this more members to the Conclave. They are still taking on Apprentices as they come in. Once again, the more active you are in the role-playing environment, the more you are going to be promoted.
Highmaster & Highmistress
As the Highmaster you are responsible for inducting new members into the Order. You are to be visible as often as possible, and respond to any request to join our ranks as fast as you can. It is necessary to give each new inductee a tour of the clan hall, explain the three fundamental rules (found earlier in this clan book, or in the “Hall of Mages” in the clan hall). You are responsible for overseeing the training of all mages in your order. If their Master refuses to advance them, and you believe they are ready you are able to override their master and promote or have them tested. Once again, active and extensive role-play will lead you to a promotion.
You are also an active recruiter for the Conclave. You are available as much as possible to the members of the Conclave to answer questions and to role-play with them. You are also responsible (along with the High Archmage) for the clan diamonds. It is your job to decide where they should be allocated and how they should be spent. You are also responsible for collecting and gathering them from the members of the Conclave. Strong role-playing will get you promoted.
This is the highest rank possible within any order. You oversee all aspects of your order. Your role-play is the most important of all, it is held to a higher standard than others. You must always actively engage in it, as well as impress upon others the importance of it. You are also responsible for the clan diamonds and must act as a liaison between all the Archmages and High Archmages in order to decide what will be done with them.
Head of the Conclave
This rank is not often given out. However, when the clan has many members, and a lot of excellent role-play is going on, it is possible for this rank to be given. It is also given in times of crisis when the Conclave is under direct assault. As the HoC you are required to oversee all aspects of day to day action of all the orders. As well, you are responsible for organizing the Conclave’s actions in whatever global role-play is happening at the time. This is not a position lightly accepted.
The High Archmage’s of each order are ICly chosen by different methods. The White Robes hold an election, the Red robes draw lots from the seven mages on the representative council, the Black robes hold contests of magical prowess (often one of the opponents dies in this challenge, though not always). It is always possible to challenge the leader of your order. You however must role-play the challenge out appropriately. Decisions are made by dice fights, PK, or any other creative solution both people can come up with, though any promotion to upper ranks requires immortal approval.
If you PK someone you post a note offering protection to that person for twenty four hours. Also, it is necessary that you have an IC reason for attacking the other person. If you are attacked this is not the case, but do your best to eliminate the “I attacked you because you’re ugly kind of attacks”.
With greater power, however, comes greater responsibility. Those who seek to progress beyond the fundamentals of magic must travel to the Tower of Wayreth. There, the young mage declares an alignment and pledges loyalty to an Order of High Sorcery. The applicant is apprenticed to a higher level mage, often the original mentor.
Once this is accomplished, the apprentice must take the Test of High Sorcery. The Test of High Sorcery measures a mage’s magical abilities and tells how the applicant will use current and future abilities. Each initiate’s test differs, designed exclusively to measure strengths and weaknesses. In all tests, failure means death. The mages are less
interested in the applicant’s alignment than whether or not he will use the power of magic in a responsible manner.
In all versions of the Test, the applicant faces three trials of magic knowledge and use. These trials include the casting of all spells the initiate knows. In addition, the Test includes three trials that cannot be solved by magic alone. One such trial involves combat against an ally; another includes solo combat against a far more powerful opponent. The third trial is always a mystery.
A test should last at least an hour (in terms of role-play). It can be done in room, or on the IC channel. Each individual test is under the discretion of the tester, but ultimately should include as many of the above situations as is practically possible.
A mage may change Orders after taking the Test. In these cases, however, the mage loses all rank that he or she once held and remains that way until they prove themselves.
Mages who live outside the laws of the Towers of Sorcery are known as renegade mages. A renegade mage who has come to the attention of the Orders is seen as a threat which must be absorbed, neutralized, or eliminated. Each Order has its own way of dealing with a renegade.
White Robe mages will capture the renegade using as little violence as possible. The renegade is informed that he must go before the Council and join an Order of High Sorcery. If the renegade refuses, he is magically cast out of Krynn. If the White Robes fail to capture the renegade, they will keep tabs on his location, destroying him only if the renegade proves to be a menace to the ways of magic or to innocents.
Red Robe mages will attempt to capture the renegade with as much force as deemed necessary, usually increasing in proportion with the renegade’s resistance. The renegade is brought before the Council and asked to join an Order of High Sorcery. Should the renegade refuse, or if the Red Robes fail in their attempt to capture him, the Red Robes will hunt down and destroy the renegade, citing him to be a threat to the balance.
Black Robe mages will attempt to capture the renegade and try to win him over directly to the Black Robe Order. Should he refuse, the renegade is killed.
OOC Note: The Order of High Sorcery (Conclave) is much like college for a mage. Without going to college you won’t learn, same goes for mages in the game. Without being part of the Conclave, they won’t learn from mistakes in their casting as there is no one there to assist them. With DUAL CLANNING available, a mage can easily ‘go to school’ and also be part of another clan at the same time.