Adventures in Axum
Guild of Magics
A very open-minded group, the Guild of Magics incorporates (or at least recognizes) virtually all forms of magic known, generally excluding dangerous or otherwise unwise practices. While the different varieties and schools of magic users bicker amongst one another and often engage in petty rivalries, the guild in general is very welcoming and friendly, and the various branches have been known to readily work together when necessary. Since most schools of magic are based largely on acquired knowledge and techniques (as opposed to innate abilities or implants or whatever) the Guild places heavy emphasis on academic outreach, and plays a very large part in Axum’s education system. In fact, some of the best schools in Axum ( the Threefold Academy of Esoteric Excellence, for example) have a major focus in the arcane.
While the guild is very large and contains a wide variety of magical disciplines, they actually represent a relatively small percentage of magic-users the world over. This is largely because certain types of magic require access to things like places of ancient and/or natural power (Axum, being very young, doesn’t actually have any of these – not natural ones, at least), but it also has to do with the fact that some types of magics (and magic-users) don’t tend to function well in heavily populated areas.
The Guild of Magics is located in a section of the city that contains the most parks and open spaces (per square unit of measurement). It is a beautiful district that gives one the distinct impression of being older than it is, and tends to be a very trendy (and expensive) area to live in (costs are somewhat subsidized for guild members). It is the city’s academic core, in that it contains the city’s biggest university (the University of Axum, founded in the 60s), many libraries and many prestigious private schools.
The average magic-user in Axum has received a higher than average level of education. The Guild offers a wide variety of scholarships for those wishing to pursue an academic career in magical studies, and on many occasions will provide subsidies to students from low-income families, especially ones that display exceptional aptitude. It also boasts an excellent mentorship program, and it is in fact a requisite in most branches of the guild for a high-ranking mage to take newcomers under their wing at some point.
Socially, the magical community is (in many aspects) diverse, and contains many sects, cliques and other groups. Practitioners of certain types of magics tend to stick together, and in some circles it can be difficult for newcomers to gain acceptance. That being said, the community in general tends to be very welcoming, and prides itself on the spirit of cooperation and healthy competitiveness that the Guild’s academic lifestyle fosters. Unlike some of the other guilds (cough Psychic Guildcough) only around 60% of the magical community belongs to or is directly affiliated with the guild; this is due to a variety of reasons, often because magical abilities (especially innate ones) can be both extremely varied and extremely specific. For example, a person with the magical ability to create fire might join the Guild of Kinetics instead, and it’s not unheard of for those with innate magical abilities to be completely unaware that their abilities are magical in nature until late in life. Also, those who pursue fields of magic that doesn’t have much (or little) reliance on academic understanding can sometimes feel somewhat left out of Guild lifestyle, and many choose not to take an active part in the Guild at all. The Guild understands this, and as such has several sattelite organizations to provide support to such individuals if needed.
Those who have pursued an education in the arcane, or are actively gifted with magical abilities, are generally afforded fewer specialized career opportunities than, say, a psychic (who are prized in the police force, are presented with teaching opportunities at the PG‘s many private institutions, etc) or someone with abilities involving high-end or necessary technologies (like ferrokinesis, or verrokinesis(?)). Many fields of magic are seen as having little ’practical’ application, and thusly a degree in magics is not seen as much of an asset in some lines of work. Innate magical abilities tend to be more specialized than academic forms of magic, and therefore possible career opportunities can vary widely. That being said, many schools (regardless of type) often prefer to hire teachers who have magical abilities, as it infers that the individual in question is well-educated and generally more suited to academic environments. Strangely enough, the entertainment industry has a higher than average number of magically-powered individuals.
The Guild is many things to many people. Many outsiders tend to view the GoM itself kind of like most people would view any group of somewhat stuffy, academically inclined individuals who generally have relatively little bearing on events in the ‘real world’. Others view it with a sense of awe, as magic can seemingly do anything, and will afford practitioners much respect. Some view the Guild as being a bit silly, as they tend to place a lot of importance on things like frivolous and technically purposeless titles (see Prof. Wyrd, for example), and, in some orders, tokens of achievement such as ‘magical robes’ (which are only sometimes magical, and are only traditionally actually robes), staves, amulets, necklaces, and other trinkets. Some view it with distrust, for a variety of reasons (the Rifts Crisis, the fact that magic often is hard to explain…).
There is a small (but notable) percentage of the population that views magic as outright dangerous, and various anti-magic groups have arisen over the years (and were a minor problem in the 90s), though they have practically no effect on anything. On very rare occasions, some such groups have actively tried to oppress magic-users, and these attempts never end well for aggressors. The Government and the other powers that be refuse to tolerate such discrimination and intolerance, and while it is unanimously agreed that organizations that manage and educate magic-users must exist, they are somewhat divided on how they should be managed, and the current stance is that they are to be tolerated but watched closely.
Departments of the guild include:
- The Ancient Fellowship of Summoners (led by Astrophel Error)
- The Mystic Order of Diviners and Scryers (led by Lady Fernanda Zappa)
- The Technomancers (led by Neron)
- The Research division (led by Sophia)
- The League of Illusionists (led by Franklin Llyr)
Notable members of the Guild of Magics include Professor Wyrd (the Archmage), Julie (his assistant), Sophia (a child-like homonculus from the golden age of Greece who serves as the librarian), and Alyssa Aensland (akaEris, a extraplanar demi-human of indeterminate age who has played a large role in Axum’s history since joining the second Safeguard team).
If you are a magic user, you may have encountered anti-magic groups at some point, or at least have friends or relatives who have. If it suits your character, having a villain or antagonist of some sort from such a group would be highly recommended.
If you are an individual with innate arcane abilities, you will be among a minority within the magical community (as most magic users have to study to gain magic powers of any sort). If your family is from Axum and is historically magical, you will likely have at least moderate status within the magical community in general, and would probably be fairly well-known throughout the guild. As the Guild of Magics is much less structured than, say, the Psychic Guild or the Transhuman Guild, feel free to create your own style of magic, departments within the guild, and guild members, or not be involved with the guild at all, or whatever.