Runebridge Guild

The Runebridge Guild is a recently-founded Mage Guild based in Elysian City. Led by the Archmage Koli Inarra, Runebridge was born out of the vision of Resistance fighter mages who lacked faith in the political and social power of the Magister's Guild. These mages received the accreditation of the prestigious Runebridge College of Auffester and named their guild for it. It is one of the fastest-growing trade guilds in Elysia, and rumours of chapters in other cities are already circulating.

Membership

The guild has three cardinal ranks. In ascending order, they are: Initiate, Associate, and Savant. Above and beyond these are Grand Savant and Archmage.

Initiate: The most basic level of guild membership. Most new members will be assessed into the guild at this level. Initiates are often young mages, or else new to magickal study. Initiates may perform small services on commission, or may be called upon to accompany higher-ranking mages on their own ventures as a part of their learning process.

Associate: Associates are considered to be fully-fledged members of the Runebridge Guild, afforded access to all its resources and given intermediate-level commissions. Some new members will assess into the guild at this level if they prove to be competent and responsible mages.

Savant: Savants are the most wise and experienced of the membership body, accomplished in their fields of study. They have access to the most demanding, but also the highest-paying commissions. However, they are also afforded the option to accept a salary paid from the guild's coffers instead of working in the field, conducting complex guild-sanctioned research and sharing their findings with other members. Often, savants within the guild will offer lectures in their areas of expertise to other members for a tuition fee or salary.

Grand Savant: There are a very small number of these, drawn from the ranks of the Savant tier. Together with the archmage, they form the executive branch of the guild, holding council on all major matters.

Archmage: There is only one Archmage. This individual has final authority on all guild matters, though it is the Archmage's duty to listen and weigh the advice of the guild's Grant Savants, particularly on matters of import.

The Glory Days of Magicke

In the early days of Elysia, the magicke-adepts of the Colonial Expeditionary Force settled among the Ancients ruins in modern-day Auffester. Meaning "Great Oak" in the Novari language, the city became the center of magickal practice and study in Elysia. From the many mages that lived there was formed the prestigious Runebridge College of the Magickal Arts.

In that time there were no mage guilds, but many of the country's best were trained at Runebridge, and banded together around their alma mater to aid in the Revolutionary War, as well as in the wars that followed. For nearly 2 centuries mages were private contractors in Elysia. Their services were priced on a sliding scale, and were able to be engaged by virtually anyone in need.

In 1573 a rogue mage called Raquin was inadvertently responsible for a tragedy in the city of Hardenport. Raquin, a undertrained practitioner of Necromancy, performed a feat of untested magicke, and caused the city to be overcome by a mysterious plague. 273 citizens of Hardenport lost their lives, hideously transformed by the spell before their grisly end. The tragedy is now known as the Hardenport Marathon, and began widespread discussion of the need for the formation of registered Mage Guilds. Though Raquin died during the plague and the spell was never re-discovered, many felt that the unlicensed practice of magicke was the real problem. Some lawmakers argued that the formation of these guilds would help to ensure competence and safety among the practitioners of magicke, and would aid in weeding out practitioners of the Black Arts at the same time. No action was taken at first, however a foundation was laid during this time that some would later build upon.

The War

During the 1579 War many of the mages of Elysia, the Runebridge alumni chief among them, fought valiantly for the defense of Elysia against the Arrym and Novari respectively. They caused heavy losses for the invading force, despite the war going badly for Elysia. This re-enforced a desire by the Novari to eliminate Elysian mage power, which was one of the greatest threats to their dominion over the country.

As the war came to a close in 1580 and the Novari Occupation of Elysia began, the Novari were quick to take advantage of the commonly-held belief that mages should be organized and bound by law. They sowed the seeds of distrust in mages, reopening the old wound of the Hardenport Marathon and claiming many mages had run rampant during the war, killing more Elysians than Arrym. Soon after their garrisons were set up in most Elysian townships, the Novari enacted the Responsible Sorcery Act of 1580, which called for the formation of a national Guild for mages. It stated, simply, that only members of this guild could practice magicke anywhere in Elysia, and that if a citizen required the services of a mage they would be obliged to sign a contract with the guild. Naturally the Novari would be in charge of choosing their Archmage and their top brass. This created the Magister's Guild, and their monopoly over all spellcraft in Elysia.

The Runebridge Fighters

During the later part of the Occupation, a group of mages were celebrated for their actions against the occupation forces and aid for the Resistance. In time, rumours surfaced that these mages were not in fact members of the Magister's Guild, who had condemned the terrorist organization of the Resistance, and generally took a pro-Novari stance.

Public opinion lauded the actions of these few, who called themselves the Runebridge Fighters, a name for the Runebridge Academy, known by historians to conjure images of Revolutionary heroes and Elysian freedom fighters pitched in battle against the Novari menace. Several of these mages were caught and executed during the Occupation, but their campaign of destruction against the garrisons continued unfettered for months until the eventual Treaty at Cherry.

Grand Opening

So respected by their peers in the Resistance, the Runebridge group convinced their negotiators at the Treaty Summit to include some new conditions to the arrangement; law would be re-written to allow a second Mage Guild to be formed, better serving public interests and trade competition. This was written as an amendment to the Responsible Sorcery act; though the act still stood, the Magister's monopoly would be no more.

And so the Runebridge Guild was born, the members of the group revealing their identities for the first time since before the war. Formed of Resistance fighters, their public approval has skyrocketed. In addition to the former members of the Runebridge fighters, numerous rogue mages, disenfranchised by the Magisters, seem to have come out of the woodwork to join. This makes the Runebridge guild far more varied in talent, and arguably more versatile than its counterpart.

Quarterly Report

Runebridge is widely thought to be allied with hard-line Resistance interests, and the Novari and Arrym parties have strongly denounced their inclusion in modern Elysian life. Runebridge has received the official endorsement of the Auffester Magickal Colleges, arguably the seat of magickal study in the nation, via their representative, wisprr. Rumour has it that the Auffester Mages had more than a passive hand in the formation of the Runebridge Guild. This increased public and decreased Novari approval of the plan.

Despite the good intentions, the Runebridge Guild holds far fewer members and far less political power than the Magisters as yet. It has strong ties to Auffester, and is forming new Lodges in many of the major townships in Elysia.

This branch has the peculiar service of the well honored holyman, Sebur the Oracle, who holds true allegiance to the Temple of Light, but works often with Runebridge and their exclusive Healer's Circle.

Many policymakers from the pre-war period have lauded the creation of the guild. Others, even unlikely proponents, have pledged their support. Gudrin Osterlund, Novari mayor of Elysian City, attended the grand opening of their EC lodge while on his campaign trail.

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