Mage Clans

Many people, even those who should know better, see the Mage Clans as colleges of magic that train mighty spell-wielders and unleash them upon the world. While this misconception has given the clans an aura of majesty and a wary respect, it could not be further from the truth. Indeed, were an Imperatry Lictor to take the time to talk to members of one of the remaining three mage clans he would likely find his own goals did not differ much from their own. The mage clans were founded to curate, and guard, rather than practice, magical lore. Most initiates of a mage clan will never be involved in the casting of any but the most minor of spells, that one might expect a village priest or witch to be familiar with. Rather the mage clan's focus on teaching their initiates how to recognize and understand magic, and above all instilling in them just how dangerous magic is, and how dire a situation must be before they access those ancient vaults their orders keep, to make use of those tomes of arcane lore and items of eldrich might contained therein.

Origins


In the early days of the Kelorn Empire the magians were founded by learned individuals who came together to contain and secure magical knowledge. These individuals were chosen from amongst the priesthood of the Kelorn Pantheon, who were concerned that dangerous magical knowledge was at large in their empire, and wanted to see magical power isolated to the hands of the divhi and their agents. In their earliest days the mage clans were so wary of magic, that they actually stripped all of the other priesthoods of all their magical knowledge and secrets, pulling pages from holy books, censoring priests who taught the divine secrets, and seizing divine relics that were purported to have magical powers. As the orders grew they split, first into four, then seven, and eventually nine mage clans, each specializing in dealing with a certain kind of magic, both to better understand magic by specializing in its study, and to ensure that no individual had access to the increasingly vast repository of magical lore. Some say vast enough to rule the world. The Primarchs of the clans even determined that they should actively persecute one another as they had the priesthood, should one of their number begin to acquire knowledge that was not his right.

However once they each had a generations-old repository of magical lore, one after another, they succumbed to its study. Over the centuries and millennia since the fall of the Kelorn Empire, and the rise and fall of the magocracy, the mage clans have embraced the lore they guard as a tool, albeit an extremely dangerous one to be handled with great care, and only in the most dire circumstances. Now the practice of the three remaining mage clans is to allows their most senior members to make a study of some of the material they control. The idea has always been to allow only the most minor magicks to be taught to their ranking members, and for their most senior members to each have access to a part - a useless, inert part - of their most powerful magical lore. Ensuring that each and every one of the ranking magians must be in agreement for any of this ancient and terrible lore to be out into practice. By tradition the Primarch is never taught a portion of this lore, so that it will never be used merely to advance the interests of the clan.

clan speciality element home active robe colour leader founding (KS)
Büren Apportation unknown Crooked Plains, Inner Sea Basin no Purple n/a 3814-4348
Chalarn Abjuration Light Kimmura, Southlands yes Orange The Hardok Council 3249-present
Chelenari Vivomancy Life Karsuk, Southlands no Blue n/a 3248-5008
Duräd Divination Air Kerispur, Southlands no Brown n/a 2931-4771
Ma-Len Illusionism Dark Three Cities, Haedrasia no Black n/a 3676-4297
Manku Necromancy Death Irak, Southlands yes Red Pekor the Heavy Handed 3248-present
Numidir Transmutation Water unknown no White n/a 2931-4640
Pachar Destruction Fire Taurvann, Inner Sea Basin no Yellow n/a 2850-4637
Reküm Manifestation Earth Kel Saratose, Inner Sea Basin yes Green Otyk the Unyielding 2931-present

The Pachar were the first of the magians, though they had no distinct name at the time, but when the hierarchs began to realize the sheer volume of dangerous material that the magians were accumulating they concluded that they should be split into four parts who would compete with one another in the seeking of magical materials. These were the Pachar, the Reküm, the Duräd and the Numidir, named for their Primarchs. Rather than competing with one another however, these Primarchs agreed that they define magic into sorts of effects and kinds of powers tapped, and each would have the right to certain kinds of magic.

Even through the eventual collapse of the Kelorn Empire the clans thrived, their purpose overtaking the empire they served. The Primarchs needed to support their activities though, and so they began to make a study of the least of their stores of magic, that which they could test and ensure minimum risk, in the hope that such minor magicks would still make them useful to the emerging powers of Allornus. Their brothers became known by the crude Haedrasian translation 'mage'. But since there was some concern about practising the lore they were sworn to guard, the Primarchs agreed to further splinter their powers they wielded, by founding the Chelenari, the Manku and the Chalarn. Given vast reserves with which to start out, and courted by nations to make their homes nearby these would prove to be some of the most successful and prosperous of the clans.

Further discovery led to the Ma-Len splitting away from the Duräd, and the Büren emerged from the Manku and made their homes in the far north next to the Nightmare Lands in order to conduct secret researches in the land. The Büren claimed that they had even found a ninth element in their researches, but whatever they discovered was never revealed to their compatriots before they vanished to a man only a couple of years later. Meanwhile the mage clans enjoyed their greatest height during the magocracy, when they each contributed key members of the fourteen-hundred, and were central to Aulandor Rage's coronation. Most sources agree that Rage himself was originally a member of the Chalarn. During the magocracy Rage encouraged the clans to really indulge in the study of their art, tasking them to find more and more safe spells, and even to collect various spells with the purported same effect to determine which were more stable or 'true', but many in the clans disliked this perversion of their original role, warning of the true dangers of perverting the world with magic as some kind of tool, and many left the clans in disgust. When the magocracy collapsed all but the Ma-Len were left alone. The Ma-Len became the first mage clan to collapse, utterly destroyed by Si-Vornor and his Lictors, some fifty years before the disappearance of the Büren.

However in Arumthar the Duräd were experiencing growth unlike anything that the clans had ever seen. Devoting themselves to teaching exceptional individuals those spells that Rage had encouraged them to perfect, even the royal family of the kingdom were initiates in the clan. Initiates were allowed to leave the clan after a term of service, and while they still owed the clan loyalty they were allowed to forge their own path with the powers they had learned. While the Pachar and the Numidir suffered and eventually fell in the wake of the massacre of the fourteen hundred, the Duräd sent their agents across the world.

Then came the greatest indictment of such wanton use of magic - the fall of Arumthar, ultimate proof of the dangers of the abuse of magic in the eyes of the remaining mage clans. The fall of the wonders of Arumthar and the appearance of the shades is something that the Duräd don't talk about, but many believe that the fact that the clan so quickly mobilized, relocating to Kimmura, and surviving the total collapse of the nation is proof that they had prior knowledge, or were even responsible for, the terrible events of the last days of the broken kingdom. The fall of Arumthar finally broke the back of the mages. The Duräd numbers dwindled from thousands of brothers to mere hundreds in the space of a couple of generations, and the Chelenari were forced to join with the Manku to survive.

From the day Arumthar broke on the mage clans have ceased to be major influences in the world, and while the vaults of the three remaining clans are formidable stores of lore, at least twice again what is held now was lost with the collapses of the other clans, not to mention the lore stolen from them, or never in the reach of a clan in Maldaakore, Ghana or Ralstaa. Slowly the clans returned to seeing themselves as custodians. Guardians who keep forces that could unmake the world locked in the deepest, darkest bastions for the sake of the peoples of the world.

Current Sketch


Reküm
The brothers of the Reküm have proudly and studiously embraced the study of magic, with methodical and scholarly devotion and method. The Rekum, unlike the Chalarn and Manku, have ceased to seek out magic, but rather work hard to forge the magic that they have in their vast scriptoriums into something reliable and safe that can be turned into a tool. Whether their goals are altruistic or selfish remains to be seen, but their attitude to magic is radically different to that of any other mage clan, either those remaining or past.

Chalarn
The Chalarn may have been one of the least respected before the magocracy, but they quickly proved to be the most efficient and most active in hunting down and containing magical lore. The near-fanatics of the Chalarn were the most passionate in seeking out magical texts and artefacts, and putting them under lock and key in the most secret vaults, but they were also the first to give in to the temptation of their great vaults, and indulge in magical lore. And today they are no less fanatical, tenacious or single minded in hunting down lore - perhaps this accounts for their being one of the most visible and least trusted of the three remaining clans.

Manku
Of all of the remaining three mage clans, the Manku holds fastest to the ideals upon which they were founded, perhaps because of the stigma associated with the magic of death which they guard, or perhaps in memory of the fate of the Büren. Only the most senior Manku are allowed to even begin to study real magic, any lore the Manku acquire is painstakingly reproduced in code, and the originals destroyed, and junior brothers are not privy to the tools to decode any of the Manku's written work. However their secretive nature has served to bolster the sinister reputation of the Manku inner circle as much as it has secured their lore.