Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Citadel ranks

The Citadel is the chief organization for sorcerers and sorcery in Valtyr. Constructed in the Age of Wonders, it was to be a beacon for arcane learning and a haven for mastering the esoteric nature of magic. Throughout Valtyr’s history, the Citadel has gone from savior to mystery to hated enemy. In the wake of the Great War it is viewed as a symbol of hope for some and suspicion for others, for within its secretive halls the tests of magic await those born with the gift to see and weave the Voss.

Within the Citadel there are ranks of authority. No social organization escapes the hierarchy of power and the Citadel is no different. A person entering the Citadel may progress through some or all of these ranks throughout their career as a sorcerer. The ranks are as follows:

Any person entering the Citadel for the first time begins their training as an Apprentice, the lowest of the ranks. Not technically a Sorcerer yet, these people are students of magic, learning all they can in two years of study in preparation for their final test. They answer to all ranks above them, but chiefly to the Errai.

Once an Apprentice has passed their final test, they are given the title of Sorcerer and are able to freely leave the Tower where they studied and venture into the world beyond. Those who have gained this title can seek shelter, information and rest at any Tower, but can also be called upon for Citadel business. The bulk of the Citadel exists at this rank.

Errai (air-RYE)
Those Sorcerers who have dedicated themselves to learning specific paths of magic can be awarded the title of Errai. The Errai represent sorcerers who have dedicated themselves to a depth of magic, rather than breadth. They usually become teachers to new Apprentices, each dedicated in at least three special types of magic. The Errai hold immeasurable respect within internal Tower affairs; often the Ord among them are called upon to speak with the Councilors before important decisions can be made. Errai can be identified by their signature blue robes trimmed in silver sigils at the hem and cuff. These robes are purely ceremonial, but most Errai wear them out of respect and pride for their accomplishments.

To become an Errai, a character must attain at least 4 Master spells, as well as Counterspell and all Alchemy talent powers.

Akana (ah-KHAN-ah)
Known sometimes as the traveling wizard, the Akana represent the advanced Sorcerers within the Citadel that spend the bulk of their time traveling and aiding the world through action instead of instruction. In many ways they are the opposite of the Errai: they spend much of their time away from Tower affairs, they seek out lost magic and they do not usually take on students. Some Errai see the Akana as selfish in this regard, but the Akana play a vital role in the Citadel: they usually act as a face between the Tower Councils and the outside nations and groups the Citadel works with. To this end, they are both praised for their talents and watched carefully for signs of temptation. Like the Errai, the Akana likewise have ceremonial robes marking their station within the Citadel - red robes trimmed in the same silver runes.

To become an Akana, a character must attain at least 6 Elite and 10 Advanced spells, as well as Natural Linguist, Silver Tongue and all 7 Advanced Arcana talent powers.

The title Ord is actually a prefix to an existing title, be it Sorcerer, Errai, or Akana. It is taken from the old speech and means “honored”. It refers to any person within the Citadel of Sorcerer or higher that has been recognized by their peers for exemplary service. Gaining the title of Ord marks the sorcerer as a step above his peers and usually confers respect and some token of thanks from his direct superiors. This award may come from an Errai or Akana and be bestowed to a Sorcerer. For an Errai or Akana to receive it, it must come from a Councilor. Councilors may not possess the title of Ord, as they are already the highest rank within their Towers. Only the High Council may choose to elevate a Councilor to their supreme status.

The Ord are marked with a silver rune etched upon the blue stones set in their silver foci bracers. In this way, all Ord can be recognized by others for their accomplishments.

To gain the title Ord, a character must perform some great service to the Citadel and prove that in all ways they serve the tenets of the organization in mind, body and spirit.

The Councilors are the ruling body of each active Tower in Valtyr. There are five Councilors in each Tower. All matters involving the Tower are decided by this elite group. Their word is law, unless overruled by the High Council in the Tower Verseth. Only the most advanced Ord-Errai or Ord-Akana can be selected for the role of Councilor. In the Ages past, the Errai usually win out over the Akana, but in more recent times, the Towers have seen more Akana taking on the role of Councilor.

A Councilor may only be selected if a present one dies, is selected by the High Council to join them, or steps down. A vote is cast from the remaining four Councilors in any case and remains in play until they come to a decision. If they are deadlocked for more than a season, the High Council will intervene.

Councilors wear deep purple robes trimmed in silver runes, marking them as the highest station within their respective Towers. A separate marking based on the Tower that they service adorns their robes above their heart; in this way other Councilors from foreign Towers can recognize each other when called to assembly by the High Council.

High Councilor
The High Council sits over the entire Citadel organization. They oversee each of the six remaining active Towers, as well as keep an eye on the black Tower Xanith. They are the most powerful sorcerers in the world and are usually chosen from the Tower Councils, one from each. There are six High Councilors at any given time. They reside within the Tower Verseth in Nilea and act as ruling governors over the entire spell-shrouded isle as well. To be asked to join the High Council is the greatest reward any sorcerer with a mind for politics could ask for.

Similar to the Councilor, a High Councilor may only be selected if a present one dies or steps down (although there has only ever been one case of a High Councilor stepping down since the Citadel’s creation nearly 2,000 years ago). The remaining five High Councilors must deliberate and select a candidate from among an existing Tower Councilor.

High Councilors were robes of white with silver sigils and four dragon scales, one for each type, sown into the collar. In this way, the High Council pays homage to the dragons who once gifted their kind with the power to see and use the Voss.

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