(Here’s an explanation about how Wizards work in my Age of Autarchs campaign. I’ve had this saved as a textfile in my folder of campaign notes and figured folks might be interested in it from a worldbuilding perspective.)
(Note that the Invisible School refers both to the actual Invisible School [on the shores of the Well of Lered] as well as the whole system & infrastructure of Wizard rulership. I’ll explain more in future posts.)
Apprentice Wizards:Typically, youths who have an aptitude for magic are identified by a “surveyor” from the Invisible School (via the “Sensing Power” proficiency). They are taken from their parents (bought & paid for) and given to a ranking Wizard as a servant and apprentice (usually in a different area).
The child is taught to read and write and learns the principles of magic (curriculum is expected to cover the “Collegiate Wizardry” proficiency). Those who pursue their studies eventually become 1st-level Wizards. Many cannot master “true” magic and become ceremonialist Thaumaturgists instead – or turn down a dark path and become Diabolists.
Those who become Wizards are typically receive further training from their master in a particular School of Wizardry until they reach 3rd level. At that level, the apprentice Wizard is expected to journey themselves to the Invisible School to complete their training and become a “ranking” Wizard.
To become a ranking Wizard, the candidate must complete their final training at the Invisible School and pass the following five challenges:
- Be able to see and enter the Invisible School (true spellcasters or Second Sight).
- Be able to pass the “theory” portion of the exam (Collegiate Wizardry proficiency; although in some cases they may substitute Knowledge (occult) or Theology).
- Prove their understanding of “applied” magic (craft a magic item; typically a scroll).
- Demonstrate “advanced” spellcasting ability (cast a 3rd-level spell in a single round [thus excluding most ceremonialists]).
- A candidate’s degree of Corruption is also assessed. One corrupting weakness is typical, two is a potential concern, and three weaknesses is often enough to be rejected.
Once a candidate is deemed acceptable, they must take a magically binding “oath of office”. (This oath is not optional.)
Some Wizards choose to remain independent. However, those with an aptitude for politics are granted land and title of nobility within one of the Wizard Kingdoms (often in name only; see “separating land from lordship” rules from Axioms #3 for excruciating detail).
In return, the newly-minted Wizard-Baron must collect tithes from his domain’s citizens to fund the Invisible School, and is expected to train new apprentices when they are identified by a “surveyor”.
Higher-ranking Wizard rulers (lvl 9+) are called “Autarchs”.
Back before the fall of the Bright Empire, the Autarchs were regional governers of conquered provinces. Originally a military position, the Autarchs were expected to develop a self-sufficient economy in a newly-acquired territory and send tribute back to the Emperor. In practice, they developed their own power bases and starved the Empire of needed tax revenue. As power shifted from Parros to the territories, the generals were replaced by Wizards who further consolidated their own authority and independence.
The Autarchs maintained control over their territories after the Bright Empire’s collapse, becoming the Wizard-Kings. Their domains are bulwarks of civilization which have preserved knowledge and learning through the centuries.