The blackclads not only revere nature as the embodiment of chaos, they revel in the primordial wildness, taking pleasure in the destructive storm, the savage beast, and the bitter chill of winter's icy grip. They stand in awe of nature's random ability to obliterate the petty works of mortal beings and seek to lose themselves in its raw power. For the blackclad, there is no master more worthy of service than nature, for it alone can bring low even the mightiest of kingdoms. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these druids are widely feared and even hated--something that truly pleases the more dark-natured among them.
Their true goals are hidden within layers of enigmatic secrets. And, like their goals, their bodies, too, are swathed in layers of dark cloth and long black cloaks and they bear staves shod with blackened steel; gaining them the moniker "blackclads".
A druid in town is always considered a bad omen. People greatly fear the Blackclads and will leave a tavern or cross the street to avoid one. Indeed, even stalwart Primus clerics have been known to lower their eyes and walk the other direction to avoid these dark-garbed druids.
The council of mages controls all magic. The elven wizard Thanmar founded it a thousand years ago. This council is centered in Alfheim, but it has branches in all the major cities, some more important than others. The council teaches and regulates magic and makes sure it doesn’t get out of hand. They also protect wizards from misinformation and angry mobs.
It’s mostly like a global university. As you gain more power in magic, you go up in the council’s ranks, but they then also watch you more closely. It’s also the only place one can learn magic.
Their attitude about sorcerers is somewhat mixed. When one is found, they try and get them to join the council. If they don’t, they are watched closely. They don’t want rogue magic being used.
The council is made up of eight circles. Each circle represents a different level of mastery of magic. The first circle is for those who have enough skills to cast second level spells. First level spells are not truly part of the council of mages yet, and are for those who are just dabbling in magic. (Think of it as an 090 course.) Before someone can progress to the fifth circle, they must create a new spell to add to the scholarship.
To cast elemental spells require that the magic user attend further courses. There are special dangers that can occur when they are cast and the wizard needs to be prepared for their eventuality.
To be advanced to the next circle costs 50gp times the circle.
The following is a list of criteria, as well as what actions should be avoided, which will determine whether or not the Council of Mages will advance a magician to the next highest circle.
Only the Council of Mages can advance a mage to the next circle of power. Those who refuse to accept the Council’s wishes, or who break away from the Council, find themselves unable to advance, greatly bereft of power, unable to acquire new spells, and shunned by all other mages. In addition, these rogue mages have made themselves targets for the Council.
There are several rules that magic users must follow:
This is the church of the common person, whose member’s call themselves “the faithful”, where respects can be shown to all of the gods. This is an enormous organization spanning nations and cultures. Its primary goal is to make sure that every population in the world has a church dedicated to all of the gods and performing their work. Its secondary goal is to make the worship of the gods pedestrian and accessible to everyone. Because of these goals, there is a church dedicated to the entire pantheon in almost every human or mixed-race city you might care to visit. In the cities with particularly large Great Church structures, other churches sometimes set up small shrines within the Great Church’s halls (so that a traveler, asking for the church of Primus, may be told “It’s yonder, in the Great Church”).
The Great Church enjoys good relations with most of the other churches.
This order was founded thousands of years ago. It has waxed and waned throughout the years but it has never been disbanded. There were always people who kept the faith, so it has returned to a place of prominence in the world.
An adventuring group that formed after the great fire of L'Trel.