The Arcanic Assembly
Basic description and intentions
The Arcanic Assembly is composed of the majority of mages from the Kingdom of Kreis. The group has recently overthrown the crown to promulgate nationwide laws dividing the population in two. Those mastering magic are granted a shiny future and lack for nothing. All others are disregarded. This new segregationist society has brought the Kingdom on the verge of a civil war. But the Assembly intends to keep their power by all means necessary, including by force.
To understand the Arcanic Assembly’s origins, one needs to look back at the world’s magical foundations.
The year 0 identifies the first lights of magic in the world of Waal. No one knows how or why it came to be, but this event marks nonetheless the beginning of a new era.
Soon all those able to control this force were discriminated against and victims of all forms of abuse. At first, human mages had not retaliated. But the rise of violence against this young community rapidly reached dreadful proportions. Once the initial shock wore off, the magicians decided to wreak vengeance. The Arcanic War hence began.
The consequences for the [human] kingdoms were harrowing and devastating. Ever since, the lands in Mazdâra have become parched moors and the inner sea was entrenched in the heart of the continent by the brunt of the powers unleashed.
But a glimmer of hope appeared in the rise of pacifist movements involving mages and their enemies. The will to put an end to the conflict was materialized by the ratification of the Alliance, treaty aiming to guarantee coexistence with magic. Factions still fought on over the next centuries, but a relative stability allowed certain human kingdoms to move forward.
The young Kingdom of Kreis founded an institution to deal with all magical affairs on its territory. The Council of Mages supported the successive kings with their experience and master of magic, both in the civil and military fields. Over the last century however, the monarchy had been tottering. The balance of power set during so many years had been crumbling away, piece by piece. Mages have started gaining control of important authorities and infrastructure in the Kingdom. It is notably at their instigation that the Dwarven Wars took place and Mages were in the firing lines for the first time in centuries.
The tide turned in the Kingdom’s history with the Dwarven Wars and were one of the direct causes of the Assembly’s putsch. Over the last hundred years, the relations between Mages of Kreis and the Southern Dwarf Kingdoms intensified. Archmagi were particularly interested in the archeological study of the crystal column. This research led the Assembly to create an independent embassy in the dwarf capital.
Yet the Council decided to support and spur an outright conflict between the Kingdom of Kreis and the Dwarves. The king and his puppet government were already nothing more than a mockery. In a perfect illustration of legal incompetence, war hence broke out against the Dwarf Kingdoms.
The hostilities were downright ghastly, and repercussions hit both parties involved, albeit differently. The monarchy, already highly unpopular, was alienated by the commoners, crushed by taxes and forced enlistments. As for dwarves, this war can only be described as genocidal. To this day, the dwarf race has not recovered from the conflict and the world of Waral witnesses daily streams of refugees. Survivors wander on the roads; others stoke their hate and live in wait of revenge.
In the aftermath of the Dwarven Wars, the mages’ takeover of power was only a matter of time. And one hot summer night, the Assembly’s military forces attacked the Capital. As if they were repeating the drills practiced in the Dwarf cities, the streets were swept clean with pyrotechnic spells and fires broke out all over the polis. At dawn’s first lights, the Capital was in the magicians’ hands and in several months, so was the entire country.
The Arcanic Assembly is currently led by the Council. It is composed of the most eminent Archmagi. These exceedingly powerful and influential people are lifelong members for the most part.
The decisions taken by the Council bear an impact on the entire Kingdom and sometimes even on the destiny of Waral. Even if some of the weekly gatherings are devoted to discussing the future of the nation, certain issues make themselves all too pressing.
The leaders of the Council have sufficient leeway over their peers. Internal clashes between Mages hence ensue, as decisions are often taken in the interest of one instead of many. Much as in the monarchy’s dying breath, assassinations and deceptions are widespread in the Arcanic Assembly’s midst. These practices are quickly instilled in the young recruits, by tradition and survivalist logic related to the unremitting hierarchy, often turning into ruthless struggles for a more attractive position.
Members and recruitment
The Arcanic Assembly’s recruitment philosophy stems directly from the elitist and eugenist ideology which led Mages to power. Anyone possessing control of magic and of noble birth can thus have high hopes of joining the Assembly.
Recruits are consequently few and the group’s average age is rather high. It is one of the High Council’s top priority to solve this issue. Amongst one of their best kept secrets, rumor has it that magical experiments are being conducted, aiming to confer the gift of magic artificially.
The Mages’ way of life may seem tempting, yet one could hardly imagine willingly participating as a test subject to such trials. Fitting: members of the Assembly do not request, they command.
The stakes in recruiting for the Assembly are hence critical in order to pursue the military and authoritarian control by maintaining their numbers. Preserving the supremacy will translate by taking arms but their domination could be cut short as the Kingdom is surrounded on all sides.
The Arcanic Assembly’s enemies are plenty. Beyond the Kingdom’s borders, other nations covet the country’s wealth and plot to subdue the still fragile government, on the cusp of a civil war. In the South, Dwarven Wars survivors seek vengeance for the all the blood shed. In the East, news from Mazdâra have finally reached the rest of the world for the first time in eons. Today, it is a nation built on the hate of magic. The wild lands of the North or the Ionian matriarchy are also causes for concern for the Council.
The nascent regime is vulnerable to in-country threats as well. The controversial edicts promulgated in the wake of the coup have led the population, already weary towards magic, to contest the new order, even violently at times.
The Brotherhood’s rise in importance results from this opposition. Composed of a diffuse association of different races and members of the society, this unusual coalition has proven to be formidably fearsome by their field knowledge and their will to undermine the Assembly. Mostly active in Heldenheim, the Brotherhood-led targeted hits play a considerable role in weakening the Mages’ position within the capital city.
The main risk in the Assembly’s point of view would come from a cooperation between the inner and outer enemies. Be it by means of supplying channels for the rebel movements or by joint actions, it would be far more ravaging than the isolated attacks the Kingdom’s lands currently endure.
In the near future, the new government ambitions to carry on the separation of the magical elite from the rest of the population, by way of oppressive and segregationist laws. But the Council first needs to regain full control over Heldenheim.
Backup is at the Kingdom’s borders, but it is a double-edged support. The troops are not Mages, and the recently promulgated edicts have not spared the regular army men. The Arcanic Assembly has hence taken a considerable risk: if these soldiers can help restore order in the capital, they can just as well turn against the new ruling power.