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General spellcasters who mainly wield arcane magic and spells, especially those who are born from Arcane Awakening, are typically known as mages. Unlike priests, druids and shamans (who Awake from Deistic or Spiritual methods) mages are considered to be far more unstable and dangerous, since their own magic is commonly chaotic and more powerful, and thus poses a greater threat to the stability of the Arcane Laws and the Magical Balance of the world.

Mages are defined as individuals who possess greater control over energies through the use of arcane energies (mainly manaistic). Some societies differ on the definition, where one might imply that a mage is someone with a noticeably greater control over magic, or the other defines a mage as anyone who can use magic and uses it frequently. In some societies, especially ones that dislike and fear magic immensely, the definition of a mage is to say that just anyone who has Awakened (including Deistic and Spiritual) are known as mages; although it is generally agreed in most civilized lands that Deistic and Spiritual Awakenings don't count towards the definition of a common mage.

Mages don't get to choose to become mages, and so when they are born from Arcane Awakenings they are less likely to be prepared for magic. This has had a tendency to create many mages who can't properly wield their new powers, or mages who don't know of the greater, worldly consequences that their actions spawn. In turn this means that mages and magic aren't be looked at favourably by most societies, and so most civilizations created various mage laws that were put in place to decide what a mage can and can't do.

Mages aren't the only ones who must adhere to these laws, since the laws tend to cover all magic users, but the laws were mainly created because of mages. Mage laws are most common in civilized areas of the world, such as within the central nations or within major cities. Some nations beyond the central continents do not necessarily hold the same ideas for Mage Legality.

To be considered a mage who is legal, and thus able to cast (allowed) spells without fear of persecution, he or she must typically be part of a mage Order or mage academy, or, in some cases, be a legal magic adviser to a member of nobility or royalty. Additionally, a mage must speak sworn and witnessed vows; typically at graduation at their academy or school, usually following a successful Trial of Magic, or similar mage tests.

Sworn vows are bound to the local mage laws, and must be witnessed by an official, superior mage in the given Mage Order. Such vows must further be possible to prove to have been uttered, which is where a Right of Magic comes in.

A mage's legality lasts for as long as the mage in question doesn't break any vows he may have spoken as part of his initiation, break any of the local mage laws, or break the general, most severe laws set by local authorities. Additionally, if a mage abandons his or her Mage Order or academy without consent or legal permission, he or she is branded an illegal, or otherwise known to the general public as a renegade or, more commonly, a Black Mage.


SEALS
Some cities use specialized Seals; rare spell scrolls that, when read out and used, implant themselves to a person. These Seals, separated as Weapon Seals and Mind Seals, make a person unable to draw weapons or cast spells with hostile intent. Weapon Seals inhibit or restrict the use of weapons by reading a person's mind before they draw their swords aggressively, then, depending on the Seal, either destroys the weapon, heats it so it's temporarily unusable, or damages the wielder. Mind Seals work similarly, except they damage the mind when a spellcaster tries to cast spells in a hostile manner.

Seals are directly applied to either weapons or the person's skin, and can only be removed by a Counter Seal. Seals are mainly only found in very wealthy cities where the local Guard and authorities can afford to procure them. The implementation of Seals has proven to be a very effective means of reducing crimes and murders in the larger cities.

Mages first created Mind Seals as a means of controlling other mages and their magic, but later Weapon Seals were also made due to the effectiveness of Mind Seals. However, a Mind Seal initially causes some mental inconvenience for a mage, but if left on for too long it might cause severe strain on the mind, due to the mage not being able to relieve their mana build-up as easily as they normally and naturally do.

For mages who are required to wear Mind Seals if they are to reside in a city for long periods, it is necessary for them to frequently renew their Mind Seals; typically once every one or two weeks. The cost to remove and reapply will be entirely their responsibility, which means it is potentially very expensive for a mage to reside in cities that employ the use of Mind Seals.


TRIAL OF MAGIC:
Depending on the Mage Order or the circumstances of the Trial, a Trial of Magic can go by many different names and processes. In the Convocation of Mages, the Trial is called the Trial of Control, and is meant to test a mage's ability to adequately maintain and safely expel large amounts of magical power. Mancers of the Magistarium hold a Magiudicii; which measures a mage's magical power through unrestricted magical displays of mastered spells.

In all cases a Trial of Magic is mainly meant to do one thing; prove a novice mage's readiness to become a fully-fledged, legal mage. In most Mage Orders the Trial of Magic is the ultimate and final test, and many will fail; leaving only the best novices to graduate and take their sworn vows, then receive their Right of Magic. Those who fail will usually have to try again at a later date, or they might be expelled if there have been too many failures in a row, or if they have broken any severe rules or tried to cheat during their Trials.

Most Trials are controlled by supervising mages or anti-magic assistants (like the Vindicators in the Convocation), who will ensure that the Trial goes without any serious incident, within a controlled environment to reduce the chance of collateral damage. But there are sometimes accidents (of which some could be fatal), and in some Mage Orders a Trial of Magic could be conducted as a Trial of Combat between novices; to test their combative strengths against each other.

There is generally no common consensus as to what a Trial of Magic should entail, and some Mage Orders change their Trials every year. It is mainly up to the various Mage Orders to decide on their own Trials, and what they wish to test in their novices that best fits the ideals and conducts of the Mage Order in question.


RIGHT OF MAGIC
Right of Magic is a form of proof, that shows that the mage in question has succeeded in his or her Trial of Magic, as well as spoken the sworn vows to their Mage Order. Most of all, a Right of Magic is also something that legitimizes their right to be mages and to cast spells, and makes them recognized by society as legal mages.

These proofs range from signed documents, contracts, or symbolic pieces like jewelry, pendants, runic carved stones/bones, or even tattoos; depending on which Mage Order or part of the world they graduate or hail from. One item that proves Right of Magic might not be recognized in one part of the world over the other, and it is the responsibility of the individual mage to acquire those proofs. This is most commonly achieved by arranging a meeting with the nearest Mage Order's embassy.

It is also possible for mages to obtain Right of Magic from lords or royalty, or from other individuals of superior authority, like councilmen, governors or mayors in city-states and such. In some cases there might be a criminal underground that sells Right of Magic documents, but these are usually forged or stolen.

Items that prove Right of Magic are also magically infused, along with a drop of the relevant mage's blood. Some Mage Orders use this as a way to keep track of their members, should any of them ever disappear or break the laws. It is then easier for those Mage Orders to hunt down any members who betray their vows, or to find any missing individuals.


FREEMAGES
While legal mages must usually belong to an official Mage Order, there is a small exception to the rule. Freemages, as they are commonly known, are mages who do not follow or belong to any Mage Orders. They might have been part of an Order before and legally left that Order, or never joined one in the first place and acquired legality by their own; often through a Trial of Magic held by official authorities, acquisition of a Right of Magic from a lord or councilor, or through other means. 

Unlike illegal mages, Freemages are in most nations legally allowed to roam freely, so long as they abide by magical restraint, as well adhere to the local mage laws and common laws. Like with regular mages, Freemages are required to possess proof of their Right of Magic.

Freemages might possess the liberty to use spells legally, but they are more likely to be kept closer eyes on, since they are expected to be fully fledged and independent mages, without a Mage Order to back them. This means that Freemages are also less trusted, and mages belonging to Mage Orders might look down on them, often arrogantly.

In most civilized societies, there are many Freemages who reside in various parts of their lands; either in cities, on the adventuring road, or in the wilds, the latter of which they are often mistaken for witches or other ill sorcerers by the more uneducated peasant population.


UNWANTED MAGES
In some nations and Mage Orders, mages who might have failed their training, or been expelled from their Mage Orders or mage academies are known as Unwanted Mages. They receive a Right of Magic, but it will clearly show a defined mark that the possessing mage didn't complete or qualify for their training, initiation or graduation. This mark is commonly known as a "Closed Eye", and it is often also imprinted into the mage in question's skin.

These mages, while free, hold less liberty to use spells, won't receive aid to study or practice their magic or projects from official channels, can't hold authoritative power or roles, and might even be (in the most extreme circumstance) subject to have their magic sterilized through Magical Castration.

Unwanted Mages who continue to cause unrest through reckless or illegal use of magic will promptly be marked as illegal mages, and are thusly considered to be dangerous criminals. Many Unwanted Mages generally live quiet lives or try to stay away from more populated regions. Depending on the society, they might be actively shunned or chased away.


 
 

M A G E    L A W S

 

Mage laws are enforced rules set by a governing Mage Order, local authorities, or a nation's reigning powers that restrict, oversee and punish the improper and reckless use of magic, as well as any criminal transgressions performed by mages. Every Mage Order, city-state or nation generally has its own set of rules, but generally their mage laws are on average very similar to each other, with smaller variations between them.


Mages are expected to obey the mage laws, and those who don't do so (so called Illegal Mages, commonly called Black Mages) are hunted down and punished. Most punishments depend on the severity of the crime; ranging between paying a compensation bill, relinquishing their Right of Magic, severing of hands, Magical Castration, or a death sentence.


Mage laws don't only target mages, but all who wield magic, even those who weren't Awakened and use magic on a basic level. Priests, shamans, druids and other spellcasters must adhere to the mage laws, unless there are specific laws in their lands that define their own magical conducts. Typically priests have their own laws set by their Temples, and druids generally follow the guidelines of their Circles. But all in all, a nation's official mage laws stand above most other laws, and anyone within those nations must follow them.


SANCTUM LAWS
The Sanctum Laws, also known as the Eight Strictures, are the rules and guidelines written by the Arch Sanctum, and enforced by the Vindicators. These strictures were written to ensure safer study and practice of magic, so to avoid the possible dangers that magic can cause, as well as ensure that mages act responsibly and lawfully when using magic.


The Sanctum Laws  are mandatory in all the governing Sanctum Orders, and most of the nations where their influence is widespread strictly enforce these rules to all practitioners of magic in their respective realms.


Every Mage Order within the Sanctum Orders have small variations of the Eight Strictures, since (despite the say of the Arch Sanctum) leaders within those Orders might disagree with either the laws themselves, or the proposed general punishments. For example, the Sumarad's punishments regarding breaking the mage laws are highly severe, whilst the Thaven Hand's are more lax.


The Vindicators, where they hold jurisdiction, are required to hunt down law defying mages and bring them to justice; often at the end of a sword. Where the Vindicators have no influence of power, it falls upon the local authorities and law keepers of that nation or region to enforce the strictures, unless they have their own set rules regarding magical crimes, which typically over-rule the Sanctum Laws and punishments.

  • 1st Stricture: CONTROL
Magic must not control, but be controlled.

It is necessary to have the strength and knowledge to control the powers of magic; to avoid fatal consequences to not only the wielder, but to the world and those around the wielder, as well as to ensure a minimal connection between the wielder and the corruption of outsider beings and energies.



  • 2nd Stricture: MANIPULATION

Magic must not be used to manipulate for one's own personal gain and benefit.


Interfering with the balance of the world in the form of distorting time, space or the natural order on a large scale is to be considered dangerous not only to the wielder, but those around him or her, as well as to the entire existence of the world itself. Similarly magic is not to be used to control or otherwise immorally enthrall minds of sentient beings.


  • 3rd Stricture: RESPONSIBILITY

Magic must not be used unwisely or unnecessarily.


One must have the wisdom and constraint to wield magic properly. Spells are not to be cast wildly or without proper thought. Doing so may cause dire consequences to both wielder and those around him or her. Just as one would not cut bread with a sword, one must know when magic is not to be used unnecessarily or irresponsibly.


  • 4th Stricture: CORRUPTION

Magic must not be used to use energies to alter soul or being in corruptible ways.


Making use of magic that alters a being's soul and life for personal gain is immoral and strictly forbidden. Making use of such magic attracts corruptible energies to the wielder and weak minds. Even the strongest of minds will eventually falter against the corruptible sway of unnatural energies.
  • 5th Stricture: DEFIANCE
Magic must not control powers beyond death.


The unwilling resurrection and enthralling of the long dead, as well as the general control over beings, spirits of undeath and necrotic energy is not permitted. Doing so is an affront to all living things and the greatest disrespect to the forces that maintain the afterlife.



  • 6th Stricture: TRANSGRESSION
Magic must not be used to defy laws.

If any wielder should use his or her magical powers to commit crime or otherwise break local laws or Arcane Laws for personal gain, he or she is to face judgment at the hand of local authorities or the Vindicators, and be punished according to the severity of the crime.


  • 7th Stricture: ASSOCIATION

Magic must not be used in connection with planar or otherworldly beings.


The summoning and general dabbling with the kinds of demons, darkspirits and similar beings is strictly forbidden. These creatures have the will to corrupt weak minds and in time will overcome the minds of even the strongest of mages; effectively possessing one's body at the cost of the wielder's soul and mind.


  • 8th Stricture: WAR
Magic in wars is to be limited and supervised. No mage can join wars freely.

The use of magic in wars, unsanctioned or otherwise, is to be either entirely disallowed, or restricted to fit the war and the Arch Sanctum's declarations. Similarly, any magic in battles that might occur as a result of necessity from self-defense or last-resort must be kept at manageable levels of magical power.
 
 

M A G I C A L    C A S T R A T I O N

 

Believed to have stemmed first from ancient anti-mage practices many thousands of years ago, Magical Castration is a way of severing an individual's mana from the energies around them. Simply explained, this means that the individual can no longer replenish their mana pool, and as such they can't wield magic. An additional step of Magical Castration drains what remaining mana is left.


Magical Castration will strip a spellcaster's ability to use magic, although depending on the techniques used or on the skill of the castrating person, some small remains of mana might linger still in the targeted individual's body; though typically not enough to be a meaningful spellcaster.


Magical Castration will also remove an individual's connection to the world and universe's energies, and their soul will likely not manage to reach the afterlife when they die, due to their weakened state from having been starved of energy nourishment. There have been some studies in the effects of Magical Castration and whether it does more evil than good, but few books or papers find anything conclusive; needing more concrete evidence, or citing that Magical Castration is nevertheless for the greater good of society.


Various Mage Orders and anti-mage groups might employ Magical Castration techniques to be used as punishment for breaking mage laws; although it is typically reserved for when there is no other option, save for death. It is a form of punishment that is meant to neutralize dangerous magic wielders, or wielders who are simply too unstable to become proper, responsible users of magic.


The different techniques of Magical Castration grew in places of the world where mage presence was always high, and the techniques were especially developed in lands where mage hatred is very evident. It is believed that the Caed'Kadri was the first Mage Order to use Magical Castration, which they call Khel'Sai, meaning "Mindbreaking". The kafari Clan Castes have always been afraid and wary of magic, and so it makes sense that they would be the first to develop techniques of neutralizing those who could use magic.


By using powerful crystals the Caed'Kadri drain a person's mana from their body, then implant a smaller, inert crystal in the back of their head. This has proven to be the most effective method of blocking the flow of mana entirely, but it has a side-effect of causing incredible strain on the individual's mind. The affected individual's mind is torn in pieces, and they either go insane or become mindless husks that can only follow simple commands.


Other techniques throughout the world might do similar strains on the mind and cause mental trauma. Techniques like using spells to completely neutralize a person's emotions, implanting a painful brain beetle to absorb magical energy, or committing magically powerful runic tattoos that contain mana and energies within the body, without any way of escape or release. Magical Castration is a very painful, yet necessary evil to maintain the safety of innocents from those magic wielders who are too powerful or too dangerous to be left alone.


There are stories that tell of how individuals who were Magically Castrated managed to undo it and regain their mana, although experts say that only very mentally and magically powerful individuals could ever hope to even try to do such a thing, and there is no academically known techniques that can Uncastrate the Castrated. Those experts mostly agree that once Magical Castration is performed, there is no safe way of undoing it.



 
 

I L L E G A L   M A G E S

 
Illegal mages are commonly mages who have broken their Mage Order vows, broken the mage laws, been branded as criminals, been exiled, or have never been officially registered as Freemages or similar. Commonfolk describe illegal mages as renegades, or Black Mages; whose kind are often witches, necromancers, wild mages or other "evil" sorcerer types. These are often individuals who experienced Arcane Awakening and weren't sent to a Mage Order for training and initiation.

These renegades tend to hide far away from bustling cities and prefer to take their chances in the wilds or within outlying villages. Illegal mages can be dangerous as they hold no regard for others when it comes to their uses of magic, yet there are also renegades who just simply want to live their life in peace without rules or vows to hold them down. Some Black Mages who used to be part of a Mage Order might abandon their vows as the result of their uncontrollable magic potential, or because of differing opinions on the mage laws.

Generally speaking the definitions of illegal mages are many, and each Mage Order, nation or general society has their own definitions and names for illegal mages. In some places of the world Black Mages might be more common and are socially acceptable, whilst in others they are actively chased away, hunted down to be captured or killed.

Some nations have specific groups or orders that deal with the hunting of renegade mages. The most renowned one is the Vindicators; a sub-order of the Convocation of Mages and the Sanctum Orders in general; having once been a Knightly Order belonging to the Anorian Sacellum. These mage hunters train in the arts of resisting and countering magic, and thus improve their chances of facing off against dangerous illegal mages. While a typical mission involves apprehending the renegade so that he or she may be held for trial, most encounters end up in bloodshed.

In some cases Black Mages have been able to obtain Freemage status, but only after being abolished of all their crimes and sins, which in and of itself is an extreme rarity. Other such scenarios involve wild mages who grew up and were trained outside of a Mage Order, and proved themselves to officials of a Mage Order or a governing party that they qualify for Freemage status. It is, however, risky for such a mage to do so, since if they fail their Freemage trials and don't acquire a Right of Magic, they will most likely be apprehended or killed where they stand.


 

W A R M A G E S

 

The use of magic is often terrifying and uncontrollable; causing destruction and instability to lands and the fabrics of reality alike. In the past mages would be used in war very frequently, which would inevitably end in consequences that left desired lands undesirable. As such mage laws would eventually come to include paragraphs pertaining to the use of magic during wars.


In most Mage Orders, there are written rules that forbid mages from joining the wars of non-mages, and those Mage Orders aren't allowed to wage wars themselves. These laws are especially present in the Sanctum Orders and the nations of the central continents.


The Convocation of Mages, after it lost against the first Chanter's March and became a subject to Valaís and the Anorian Sacellum, had restrictions put on them for how much magic they could use during wars; as determined by the Calastar Treaty, which limits the use of mages in wars between all Avanorian nations.


Come the forming of the Sanctum Orders after the Caldum Treaty was signed, all mages within the Sanctum Orders are now officially forbidden from joining wars (unless if entirely necessary to end them), and the use of magic to aid one side over the other is considered to be a highly treasonous offense.


At most one side is allowed to raise or hire mage advisors (for supervision) and might be allowed to recruit a dozen mages; depending on discussed terms between the warring nations, and the Arch Sanctum. And even with mages in war, their spells are closely monitored to limit the amount of destruction they might cause. These so-called warmages are specialized units that are meant to be used for last resorts and the treatment of injuries.


Priests, shamans, druids and other spellcasters also fall under these war laws to some extent, and their involvement in war is only permissible depending on the deities or orders they serve. Also, wielders of basic magic are less inclined or expected to follow laws regarding magic in war, since their magical power is less likely to cause any large-scale harm. Additionally, Freemages can't legally join wars, as they have no rights to do so, except for in very rare occasions.


In other parts of the world the laws regarding magic in war are more liberal, and warmages are often used; although still under some limitations (often because of a difficulty in amassing sizeable units of warmages). Over the many thousands of years, civilizations have learned that the use of magic in war is often more a detriment rather than a favourable option, and so the use of magic in war is usually discussed between the warring sides before forming official terms of war-conduct. Warmages are far more common in Ashanor and Korash, where laws on magic are less restrictive, and the magic used by warmages is less supervised.