Magical Organizations in Erna Edit
Few spellcasters feel the need to form organizations dedicated specifically to the magical arts. For some, their prowess is hard fought and closely guarded. For others, their mystical talents are but tools for a greater cause. However, there are a number of magical organizations in Erna -large and small, old and young- that try to create a safe haven for like-minded souls or influence world events.
This article will detail organizations founded and maintained by mortals. Though some of them maintain ties with supernatural groups, such as the Faerie Courts, they all have headquarters and leaders based on the Prime Material Plane.
The Arcane University Edit
One of the oldest, most prestigious magical organization, it is unclear which came first: the university, or the ancient city that surrounds it. The University is known all throughout Erna, with aspiring mages traveling from far and wide to study every school of the Arcane, divine magics in their many forms, and even the magic of the nature. Strange sights, sounds, and odors bleed into the city of Ankh-Moporok at every hour of the day, as experiments from the trivial to the world altering take place within its crumbling walls. Any are welcome to enroll, though many cannot endure an academic environment where the accidental immolation of an entire classroom of first years is not entirely unheard of.
A splinter group, called the Arcane Associates, operates out of the University, specializing in practical magic for hire, and operates mainly in Gastonia.
The Conclave Edit
This mystical group is the only one that rivals The Arcane University in age, though today it is a shadow of its former glory. The Conclave was a group of mages that advised and supported the Emperors of the Carthic Empire, safeguarding it from magical and mundane threats. Over time, the focus of the Conclave drifted, and their waning influence corresponded to the shrinking influence of the empire, that culminated in a final collapse. The present day headquarters of The Conclave was once a mere outpost, but most of their facilities and resources lie in the southern half of the continent, lost to history with the rest of the empire. They do little to advance their knowledge or position, but claim authority over all magical affairs in Cartha.
The Royal Apothecary Society Edit
This organization was founded in the waning decades of the Carthic Empire in direct response to the intellectual decline of the time. Dedicated to alchemy, artifice, and medicine, the Society expanded from its origin in Cartha and set up several outposts in the lands that now make up Gastonia. It used the authority of the empire to expand throughout the continent, but its members worked tirelessly to insinuate themselves with local populations. As a result, they endured long after The Carthic Rebellions, and work closely with the leadership and elite of every nation. Their original headquarters are maintained out of reverence, but rarely visited by the leadership.
Sol-Fortress of the Daysun Edit
213 years ago, in 95AE, after the Fallen Kingdoms rebelled against Cartha and merged into one grand nation, the capital of the dominant kingdom was dubbed the capital of the nation. That kingdom's religion, which venerated the sun and all related gods and divines, gained considerate influence, and after several decades they constructed a massive keep in the hills near the capital. Over the centuries, their prestige continued to grow, and they became a haven and base of operations for clerics, paladins, and priests of all stripes. The only practice that was banned was necromancy and the arts of undeath, though all arcane casters were looked upon with suspicion. When Gastonia moved its capital south in response to the Harkathan War, the Sol-Fortress was established enough that it remained in the north.
The Nexus Edit
The Nexus is a collection of specialized research facilities that focus on the furthering of the science of magic than on education or training. The Central Nexus was founded 70 years ago in 238AE, and its members devote themselves entirely to the study of the school of Abjuration. Its satellite facilities were established later, with the north Nexi studying Evocation, the south developing Divination, the East practicing Necromancy, and the West studying Transmutation. As a whole, the organization is very insular, with only the highest ranking members knowing the true purpose of the Nexus's research.
The Fey Gates Edit
Half history, half myth, the Fey Gates are ancient gateways that provide direct access to the fortresses of the Feywild. The gate in the frozen north opens into the Winter Court, and its counterpart in the sweltering rainforest leads to the Summer Court. Over time, the precise location and even the proof of these gates was lost to the public. However, groups of mortal mages has established bases in these areas, serving the interests of the Fey Queens and keeping their names and reputations alive on the Prime Material Plane. Entrance to these groups is tightly controlled, and members are admitted only after they have made binding pacts with the fey on their own initiative.
The Graven Ones Edit
The ancient Dwarven Kingdom of Jetstone's history has taken place mostly underground and out of sight of the other mortal races. However, the arcane needs of The Graven Ones often drove them to the surface, and they became known throughout the land. They are an organization solely for the betterment of Dwarvenkind, and only Dwarves who are full citizens of Jetstone are even considered for membership. As a result, they are a small, lawful, elite group, that focuses on the protective arcane schools and Clerical domains.
The Watchers Edit
This enigmatic collection of casters has long existed at the fringes of civilization. They staff, and claim to have built, ancient observatories that line the northern coast and islands of Erna. Grand telescopes and other apparatus point outwards to the sea, and the cold ceiling of the world. Few to no outsiders are allowed near the observatories or know their purpose.
Order of the Greenwardens Edit
By their nature, few groups dedicated to the land and natural magics persist for long enough to gain national prominence. However, 20 years ago, in 288AE, a group of paladins who draw their power from the land and nature gods built a meeting hall along the shore of the Domain Lake. Druids and other mages who shun society are offered temporary shelter, and their unruly nature has ensured the Hall is given a wide berth by mundane travelers. The Order itself boasts mostly part time members, who upkeep the hall between quests and adventurers.
The Careful Coven Edit
This isolated group was formed decades ago as an act of self-preservation by the persecuted casters of the land. Warlocks, witches, necromancers, and other misunderstood mystics gather along the coast, and their organization consists mainly of repelling the self-righteous and the foolhardy. The Coven pays homage to and enjoys the unofficial sanction of The Conclave, and so it has become known throughout much of Western Erna as a safe haven.
Academy for Arcane Arts Edit
This for-profit school is the only major organization created for mages by noncasters. The Trade Princes of Ecaz collaborated and founded the academy to organize (and tax) the practice of magic in their enterprising nation. Classes are held, lectures are given, and some knowledge is exchanged, but it is unclear to the mages of Erna how much the Academy actually benefits the magical community. However, those willing to lend their arcane talents can find great wealth and prestige.
Sanctum Sanctorum Edit
This group was founded following the Tandrici civil war, 31 years ago in 277AE. The Sanctum provided refuge for South Tandrici magi who did not believe in the teachings of the Ironwood Prophets, whose followers took control. Over the decades, it has grown from a simple refuge into a paramilitary bulwark against southern aggression. All practices and creeds are welcome, as long as newcomers lend their talents to national defense.