Prophecy: Sorcerous Societies

SORCEROUS SOCIETIES OF THE FLANAESS

The Guild of Wizardry of
Greyhawk

Still the largest and broadest guild
of mages in the whole of the Flanaess. It is also one of the least
political, secretive, or closed guilds in existence. In fact, by
most accounts almost any proven practitioner of magic is welcome,
whether he or she is a mage, illusionist, bard, or an even more
exotic spell- caster. It has no political agenda save perhaps its
own continued existence and aggrandizement. In an unusual turn, the
Guild does not require the exclusive allegiance of its membership.
This means that many mages from all over the Flanaess claim
affiliation; in fact, it has become a source of local prestige in
many areas to be a member of the famous Guild of Wizardry of
Greyhawk. Its official rolls over the last decade number nearly a
thousand active mages, though perhaps half that many are in the
city at any one time and a majority of those are dilettantes or
virtually inactive. 

This means that many mages from all
over the Flanaess claim affiliation; in fact, it has become a
source of local prestige in many areas to be a member of the famous
Guild of Wizardry of Greyhawk. Its official rolls over the last
decade number nearly a thousand active mages, though perhaps half
that many are in the city at any one time and a majority of those
are dilettantes or virtually inactive. 

Founded as a free haven for all
mages in the late 4th century CY by the legendary Mad Archmage,
Zagig Yragerne, the Guild of Wizardry has the most expansive
collection of known magic and of arcane texts in the Flanaess (it
has long been one of the fastest growing guilds in Oerik). The
large structure surrounding this enviable collection and the guild
is in the Free City’s Garden Quarter. It is an architectural
wonder, thought to be impregnable and of magical design. Within its
vaults (which have been continuously stocked over the last two
centuries) are the magical fortunes of numerous archmages,
including, it is believed, those of the legendary Mad Archmage,
himself.

The Guild of Wizardry still draws
adherents from all parts of the Flanaess, virtually untouched as it
was by the history of the recent war. In fact, it has become a kind
of haven for many an exiled mage from beleaguered foreign lands.
The Guild has long since taken over the stewardship of the College
of Magic (once within the purview of the more austere Society of
Magi (mentioned below) and it is now run in cooperation with the
guild itself. Interestingly, it is one of a very few wizard’s
guilds to widely support the so-called “Wild” or “Chaos Magic” that
has resurged in popularity within the last two decades (teaching
the same, in cooperation with the College of Magic), reaching
heights not achieved since the time of the Mad Archmage, himself.

Infamous members of the Guild
include the archmages thought to comprise the mysterious Circle of
Eight, and such luminaries as Kieren Jalucian and the enigmatic
Blue Wizard, Philidor. There are, of course, many others who are
not so relatively well-known, but act behind the veil of
dispassionate association. Currently, the Guild of Wizardry’s
reputation suffers from a small handful of nasty blemishes, not the
least of which was the apparent spectacular and complete
destruction of two of its most luminous members and the traitorship
of a third before the Great Signing of recent years.

Members may take the Mage of the
Arcane Order
prestige class.Members may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

The Sagacious Society of
Nyrond

Based in Rel Mord, but widely
represented in all Nyrondese Cities, this arcane society is even
older than the Guild of Wizardry and the Society of Magi in the
Free City of Greyhawk. Though not the only Nyrondal guild in
existence, the Sagacious Society is certainly the most influential
and consequential, and is expected to remain so for many years to
come. This long-lived gathering of mages is unusual, in so far as
it contains a large majority of non-practitioners with a voice
equal to that of the member mages. Therefore, it is often
considered as much a philosophical and debating society as a true
sorcerous guild, for it includes sages, learned-folk, and
priests.

The magic-using branch, however, is
viewed as a distinct element within the Sagacious Society
(particularly when viewed from within) and it is referred to as
“Boccob’s Rostrum”. This diffuse, though potent group is comprised
of a powerful block of medium to highly skilled mages, the most
celebrated of which are thought to be the puissant Royal Archmage,
Ghiselinn (almost certainly) and The Grey Seer (uncertain, but
possible). Most of the War Wizards of Nyrond are also thought to be
members, even if their support fluctuates between the tacit and
dangerously zealous. The Society is quite proud of the Royal
Magical College [attached to the prestigious Royal University at
Rel Mord] which still turns out some of the best generalist mages
in the Flanaess. Though the Royal College lacks the sheer artistry
and exuberance of the Pyramid Arcane in Greyhawk (being housed in
buildings little different than those of the regular Royal
University), it is still thought to harbor many treasures and
secrets as well.

The Society has recently lost many
valiant sorcerers to the Great War and even some to cowardice, who
have since fled to smaller guilds in the Urnst States (Radigast
City or Leukish/Seltaren) or even farther afield to escape the
menace to the east. This, of course, has been a great blow to the
strength of their efforts. The Sagacious Society is in the midst of
a laborious process of recouping from these losses, and they are
known to be scouring the Flanaess for lost items of magical power,
particularly some noted items of pre-imperial Oeridian manufacture.
The current focus of the Sagacious Society is its total opposition
towards the fractured Aerdy behemoth to the east and the
restoration and preservation of the Nyrondese heritage and culture.
Time will only tell if they can be successful, but as always, we
watch and wait.

Members may take the Mage of the
Arcane Order
prestige class.Members may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

The Sorcerer’s Nexus of Rel Astra

The name actually refers to the
infamous guildhall, rather than the organization itself, which is
officially called: “The Aerdian Coadjutancy for the Independent
Practitioners of Magecraft and the Mystical Arts”. The guild is
housed in a series of interconnecting towers, eerily hanging
structures, and angular buildings of strange and unique
architectural design in the central quarter of the old city. The
Nexus (as it is often referred to both inside and outside the
guild) has been an evolving part of the city since the Astran
metropolis was founded less than a millennium ago. Legends have it,
that the structure was initiated with the leaning tower of a single
magus, rumored to have been Suel (perhaps even an exile). So it
remained for a very long time, until necessity required expansion.
Century after century of new and sometimes wildly bold additions
have created what we know today to be the single most odd and
interesting place in the city. Surprisingly, despite a dozen
varying styles of architecture, and even what seems like impossible
construction (no doubt magical in origin), this slowly growing
anastomose is still a wonder to behold.

From its founding, the Nexus has
ever been a gathering place of free and gifted mages (the Art
always having been a carefully controlled commodity in Aerdi
society) whether because they have been of ignoble birth, or
without a secured position in a Celestial House, or among those few
blue-blooded rogues who were no longer welcome in their own houses.
The Nexus is by historical standards an untraditional magical
guild, having routinely offered such services as accommodation,
magical resupply and training, and even employment to any and all
comers, before such things became fashionable in guilds from Astra
to Mitrik.

Stewardship has traditionally fallen
to tenured elder mages and even some fortuitous benefactors (of
which the House of Drax was one.) However, control of the
organization has recently been assumed (within the last two
decades) by a group of mysterious and powerful mages calling
themselves the “Dweomermasters”. Who they are and their exact
purposes remain almost entirely unknown, both inside and outside
the guild. It is suspected that they are a cabal of noble mages
(including even a Prince of the realm), who have come together from
all over the Great Kingdom, somehow sensing the fall which was to
come. This, however, remains unconfirmed. The name of the legendary
mage, Daern, has also been linked to them, but as yet such rumors
remain unproved as well.

What is known, however, is that in
this same span of time, the Sorcerer’s Nexus of Rel Astra has
become the greatest haven for the independent mages of the former
Great Kingdom and of the entire Solnor coast who seek to escape the
madness of Grand Prince Ivid and his animus lords. Scores of exiled
and hunted mages from all over Aerdy have swollen its ranks.
Indeed, the Sorcerer’s Nexus is fast approaching the size of the
Guild of Wizardry in the City of Greyhawk and it is the greatest
threat to the latter’s influence as the most preeminent center of
magic in the Flanaess. Ironically, it may have been the combined
power of the membership of the Nexus that convinced the Overking
not to lay siege to the great city of Rel Astra during the war and
his imperial majesty’s policies since then have only increased the
Nexus’ power and influence. For that, the Nexus has received the
near total deference of Lord Drax and the general support of the
populace. This, despite the unseen tendrils that seem to be weaving
themselves throughout all of Astran society of late. This situation
bears close watching … attention that it no doubt receives.

Members may take the Mage of the
Arcane Order
prestige class.Members may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

The Zashassar of Ekbir

This wondrous place in the City of
Ekbir is perhaps the oldest continuously surviving magical society
in the whole of the Flanaess. Sitting across from the Caliph’s
glorious palatial abode in the Grand Plaza of the aforementioned
great port city of the Dramidj is one of the most unique places in
all of Oerik. Couched in mists and constructed entirely of a
pristine white marble that appears to soar far into the sky, the
Zashassar is both a school and an enclave for the last great magic
of the Ancient Bakluni people. It is believed to have been founded
before the Invoked Devastation itself, more than a millennium ago,
as a haven for Baklunish mages escaping the terrible war with their
nemeses, the Suel (though many legends hold that none of the Elder
Ones escaped their last stand against the Suel at Tovag Baragu and
that their secrets therefore died with them).

The enclave has thus far remained
intact, and as the City of Ekbir grew from but a distant outpost of
the Baklunish Empire to the new center of its surviving people’s
culture and politics, so has the Zashassar grown. Today, it is
regarded as the most puissant school of elemental magic in all of
Oerik, if not all of Oerth. Amongst its members are some of the
most powerful Pyromancers, Aeromancers, Geomancers, and
Hydromancers extant in the Flanaess in over a thousand years. Its
school of traditional sorcery, accounting for the other magical
disciplines, is also nearly peerless. Even the Art of the Sha’ir
flourishes within this edifice, much to the chagrin of the priests
of Al-Zarad (Boccob), who claim that its practice is not true
magic.

Legendary graduates of the Zashassar
include such famous individuals as the brothers Al-Sammal: Rary and
Arkalan of Ket (the latter, now resident in the Free City of
Greyhawk) and the arch-pyromancer, Karzalin of the court of Belvor
IV. In centuries past, the infamous black necromancer, Iggwilv also
emerged from the Zashassar, a mistress of the Rites. Even the
infamous Kermin, the Mindbender, now in service to the Darklord of
Dorakaa, is also believed to have attended the place at one time.

The Zashassari (as its members are
called) are assumed to be divided into various internal societies,
who are of strong influence throughout all of the Lands of Bakluni,
save perhaps in the City of Zeif, where there is some distrust
between those of the Zashassar and the more independent local
sorcerers. It is difficult in the East to ascertain such things as
the manner of their governance or details of their hierarchy, since
few if any in the East have ever joined the enclave and left to
tell of it (known associates have not been forthcoming). It is
known that the society is deferential towards the ruling Caliph
(thought to be a direct descendant of the four legendary
Padishah-Kings of old), but wary of outsiders, particularly foreign
mages. The Baklunish public is not privy to their interests or
their collective goals, either.

The events of the recent wars have
seemingly passed by this group without incident. Ultimately, it is
unsure whether or not they still preserve some vestige of the great
magic that felled the Suel Imperium so very long ago, but it is
doubted.

Members may take the Mage of the
Arcane Order
prestige class.Members may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

The United Artificers of
Irongate

A strongly political (at least at
the top) and influential rising star on the magical horizon. The
magical guild of Irongate was once a small, but thriving guild
until the last century, which saw the quick formation and forging
of the ill-fated Iron League. Unfortunately, though the United
Artificers and the other leaders of the Free City of Irongate were
able to help protect their own lands from the Scarlet Ones’
treachery, they were too late to assist their brethren in Idee,
Onnwal, and the Lordship Isles before the unseen darkness swept
them away from power.

Now, following the Great Wars, the
Irongaters’ resolve has been forged anew and this combative spirit
(and perhaps siege mentality) extends to Irongate’s mages as well.
Their numbers have grown disproportionately and they now include a
large group of refugees from the former Iron League in residence,
including a significant, though small handful of four archmages
from Idee and Onwall (who each had the sorcerous might to make good
their escape). Cobb Darg, the putative ruler of Irongate, relies
upon the U.A. (as it is often called for simplicity) for needed
intelligence and the guild closely and wisely advises the city’s
Lord Mayor in all matters both arcane and even mundane.

The wizard’s school supported by the
U.A. is probably the most highly regarded in the region,
particularly the school of Invocation. Many a raiding party has met
instant death at the hands of the Guardians on the city’s gates.
The guild’s current focus is divided between the South Province and
its Witch-King, Reydrich, and the Scarlet Brotherhood. It has so
far managed to check the advances of both, but the undeclared
assault grows with every day, causing the shrewd mages to become
both desperate and ingenious in their defense of the city.

Many rumors abound that the senior
mages are now engaged in the construction of an extra-dimensional
Matrix of intraplanar gates beneath the burgeoning metropolis at
great cost. One such gate has already been supposedly completed,
linking the Free City with the Velunian capital, Mitrik. This is
believed to have occurred with the assistance of the mage, Bigby
(formerly of Scant), and the mages are well on their way to opening
a second link in either Verbobonc (perhaps with the help of the
Silver Consortium), Dyvers, or even the Free City of Greyhawk. Part
of the relatively vast Undercity that is being meticulously carved
from the earth by the dwarves of Irongate is said to house these
gates. To what end this will all come, no one is quite sure.

Members
may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

The Society of Magi of
Greyhawk

Influence generally limited to the
Free City; it is often mistakenly thought of as part of the Guild
of Wizardry, though it is in fact a far older and more insular
group. The Society is an entity to itself, founded four hundred or
more years ago by a small traveling group of exiled mages from the
Great Kingdom (many claim from Dyvers, though in those days, one
was the other.) When the Free City of Greyhawk was but a trading
post on the great eastward migratory trail and long before the
renaissance that brought the city to prominence during the 4th
century C.Y., the Society found itself along the Selintan (one of
its members, a personage called simply, “The Grey Savant”, founded
the Grey College in this time.) Its primary concern has always been
the power and visibility of the Free City and its mages, even when
the place was simply a backwater. In that respect, they were among
the first to see the value and potential of the place that would
later become the “Gem of the Flanaess”. Its members were
instrumental in the founding of the College of Magic and the Guild
of Wizardry itself, in which the majority of the Society are also
members.

The Society of Magi have always been
a relatively democratic group. They elect a president for a two
year term, which by the new city charter of CY 498, has a seat on
the Directing Oligarchy. Currently, more than a hundred mages
comprise the Society, but they are rarely found together as their
personal interests are as varied as any. Usually, the Society
breaks down into coteries, each devoted to their own special
interests. At least once per year, the entire group meets, usually
in the private home of one of the members or at an inn or hostelry
appropriated for the purpose. It is rumored to be quite an event,
which on more than one occasion in the Free City’s long history,
has ended in a remarkable display of sorcerous artistry, foolery,
or bravado.

Currently, the Society of Magi lies
mired in a struggle for leadership. Kieren Jalucian, the Master of
the Guild of Wizardry, is the interregnum President until a new
election can be held, due to the untimely death and disappearance
of the mage, Otiluke. Jalucian is unsuitable for the permanent
post, unless he gives up his position as Guildmaster (lest mages be
under-represented on the Oligarchy due to his double-duty), which
he seems unlikely to do. Word also has it that a small cadre within
the group has come across a most audacious plan to build a flying
ship. They cite similar plans in Gradsul, Dyvers, and Radigast City
as impetus, but ironically have the resources of all three put
together. Another group seeks to restore the ruins of the infamous
Castle Greyhawk, making it the society’s new headquarters. Such
plans have been discussed for a century, but have been always
abandoned due to strong opposition from one faction or another.
However, Tenser’s recent disappearance took away the strongest
leader of the opposition to such plans. And, since he is no longer
around to voice his often vehement objections, yet another
expedition is being planned to this most mysterious edifice to see
if a reclamation is indeed possible. Skilled adventurers are
currently being engaged for the task.

The Council of Wizards of
Winetha

The largest group (60+) of
independent Aerdy mages outside of the great cities of Rel Deven
and Rel Astra. While generally considered to be a modestly
prolific, though highly inventive lot, the Council are known to
number many great enchanters and artificers (i.e. they excel most
greatly in the craft of magic, rather than its practice) and are
credited with the creation of many common magical implements, such
as potions, wands, and a plethora of sorcerous armaments.

By their own official charter (which
was sanctioned by the Overking Manshen in the Common Year 102), the
group is strictly democratic and all major decisions involving this
self-styled “guild” must be put to the Council. While dissent is
common, it has not been allowed to interfere with the daily
business of the city of Winetha or its collective interests. It is
this kind of codified collegiality and collective strength which
has kept the Council of Wizards together before, during, and even
after the recent Great War. The Overking has long lost the ability
to compel them into direct service, nonetheless, they continue to
perform some of the duties once required of them by the Malachite
Throne (usually limited to minor magical resupply and advice on
matters arcane.)

Why this is so remains unknown. The
nominal head of the Council of Wizards is Prince Lakaster, skilled
archmage (probably the most powerful mage in the region), and the
lord and suzerain of the city-state of Winetha. In political
matters involving the other lords of the realm or the Crown, the
Council of Wizards defer to the Prince without question, but in
day-to-day affairs, the collective group of sorcerers are otherwise
the undisputed stewards of this Aerdian port city, seeing to all of
its needs and defenses. Due to their own self-interests (and
somewhat suspicious natures), outside mages are rarely allowed to
join the Council, but visitors are tolerated, even welcomed should
they bear some magic or artifact of interest to the guild, or even
news of the outside world so long as it does not threaten Lakaster
or his interests. In that respect, he is most probably the greatest
threat to the guild’s continued existence, for it is well known
that the mage harbors ambitions that far exceed those of his
brethren, although the fruition of these ambitions remains to be
seen.

Members
may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

The Silent Ones of
Keoland

This ancient society is almost
entirely closed to outsiders, but it holds significant, though
tacit influence over all other Keoish guilds and throughout the
valley of the Sheldomar. Emanating from the infamous Tower of
Silence [which the Silent Ones and locals of Suel extraction call
“Shraal-Tal’mara”] less than a days ride south from Niole Dra, the
silent brothers are said to form the backbone of an ancient order
that seeks to protect what is reputed to be the last vestige of
Ancient Suel magic that has remained in continuous hands since the
Rain of Colorless Fire, over a millennium ago. Whether the order of
the silent ones is actually this old, is both uncertain and
difficult to uncover, since they communicate little outside of
their own circles.

An architectural wonder, the Tower
of Silence is an alien structure that seems to defy all the laws of
sensibility. Erupting from the ground without any base or support,
like the trunk of a great tree, it rises to the sky almost a
thousand feet high, completely and totally dominating the flat and
featureless plain that surrounds it. No mage who casts eyes upon it
can deny the fact that it would be nearly impossible to construct
today, since great sorcery was no doubt required during its
construction. The blue-grey stone that composes it has no
counterpart in more than a thousand miles. Legends abound as to its
origins.

As for its inhabitants, the Silent
Ones [who call themselves the “Shraal-Kha’dum”, a Suel phrase that
can often be roughly translated as ‘Those Who Must Not Speak’] live
an existence apart, completely free of the ruling Keoish King
according to the first line of the founding charter of the nation,
penned nearly a thousand years ago. The Tower itself is headed by a
single undisputed leader called the Wyrd (currently, Mohrgyr the
Old) and it is staffed by dozens of adherents (namely, the
brothers). Their true numbers remain unknown, but are thought to be
small, shrinking with every passing year. The Shraal also have
smaller enclaves in a handful of Keoish cities from which they
travel the countryside in missions and tasks that they appear to
keep closely to themselves (thus their appellation, since they are
by no means thought to be mute). One thing is for certain, they
seem to be drawn to ancient places of strong magical power and
import.

This limited treatise can only begin
to scratch the surface of the true tale of the Silent Ones, a tale
that will be told another time. (See ‘The Chronicle of Secret
Times’ by Uhas of Neheli for more information.) One recent note,
however, the activities of those calling themselves the Scarlet
Ones seems to have drawn the attention of the usually withdrawn
Shraal. To what end, no one is quite certain.

Members may take the Mage of the
Arcane Order
prestige class.Members may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

The Conclave Arcanum of
Dyvers

An influential guild, particularly
in the adjacent Kingdom of Furyondy which sports no other
significant magical guilds. This city is of course, the major trade
link between the east and west along the Nyr Dyv and the mostly
navigable Velverdyva, thus making it an important trade and travel
center. The long-lived magical organization here is generally
considered to be in decline, directly in proportion to the rise of
the Greyhawk guild in it’s fast growing and petulant sister city to
the east. The Conclave is many centuries old (at least as old as
the Sagacious Society of Nyrond) and was perhaps the first modern
guild to be established in the Flanaess. It currently occupies a
series of low towers in the hills above the main districts of the
City of Sails (these were constructed about two and a half
centuries ago, just prior to the rise of Zagig Yragerne), though
the guild still holds significant influence on the streets and
wharves of Dyvers, itself. The Conclave also maintains an
impressive meeting hall on one of the many islets in the Lake
Quarter, linked only to the mainland by a single invisible bridge
that is said to be highly unnerving to negotiate, keeping most save
the initiated from paying unwelcome visits to the group.

Many credit (or blame, as the case
may be) the Conclave Arcanum for the city’s decision to declare
itself free and independent of the Kingdom of Furyondy in CY 525,
because the then Magister of the city, Ghorannus, was also head of
the Conclave and leader of the opposition to the growing Velunese
influence in the city’s affairs. Just as the city’s Magister is
chosen, so does the Conclave choose its leadership by a
quasi-democratic recognition of merit. This assures that the best
and wisest usually rise to the top, but that has not always been
the case (a certain amount of haughtiness pervades the
organization.) While the list of the Conclave Arcanum’s membership
is impressive, many note that the list of those denied a place in
the society is equally impressive. Zagig Yragerne, Keoghtom,
Karzalin, Otiluke, and even the puissant mage, Mordenkainen, were
all denied access at one time or another.

The guild currently suffers from a
total lack of self confidence (probably owing to a near-complete
lack of distinction in recent years), allowing itself to be drawn
into squabbles with Greyhawk and certain intrigues with the Cult of
Iuz, believed to be gaining a foothold in the undercity.

Members
may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

The Sign of the Red Talisman in
Zeif

This may or may not be a true guild,
since little is known about this organization in the east (less
even,than the mysterious Zashassar). The Talisman is believed to be
headed by a small group of independent and powerful Bakluni
archmages who directly oppose the interests of the predominant
Zashassari and who appear to contemplate a “Greater Bakluna”,
encompassing all lands east as far as the Nyr Dyv and west, to the
borders of the legendary Suhfang Kingdom. Living in great soaring
towers and seldom, if ever, setting foot in the streets of the
great City of Zeif, it is unknown if these mages ever congregate in
the traditional sense. They undoubtedly crave magic and its secrets
and they are suspected of seeking to uncover the lost sorcery that
once brought their ancestors (and their ancient enemies, the Suel)
to heights never before known by Man. Numerous apprentices support
the often varied interests of these personages in the courts of
Tusmit, Ket, and Ull, (though they are certainly ill-received in
Ekbir.)

The Talisman are known to consort
with Efreet, Dao, and even more exotic beings (some whisper that
even the Princes of Elemental Evil are involved here) on occasion,
including some recent overtures to the Tyrant of Dorakaa, with whom
they are somehow believed to be acquainted (it is often rumored
that this vital link is provided by none other than the dreaded,
Kermin). How these offers have been received is unknown, but they
appear to have borne some fruit, nonetheless (see below). The de
facto leader of the Talisman may or may not be the infamous Tuerny
the Merciless, thrice dead sorcerer of legend (surprisingly, many
rumors also hold that he is not even of Baklunish decent). Should
this malign being truly continue to walk the Flanaess, he is almost
certainly doing so amongst the undead (many suspect him of being no
less than a Lich.) Nonetheless, though these rumors persist,
nothing is expected to confirm them any time soon.

Recent evidence exists to suggest
that The Talisman assisted the Ketites and the Beygraf Zoltan in
the capture of the east-west buffer state known as the March of
Bissel (again, the role of Iuz in these matters makes the prospect
of collusion likely). The Talisman are also believed to be closely
tied to the Sultan Murad and his infamous court and they are
further rumored to be an instrument of his will, or perhaps
vice-versa. While this is unlikely, the Sultan and his forces grow
increasingly belligerent towards Ekbir, even as they move to secure
treaties with Tusmit and Ket.

The Eldritch Lords of Rel
Deven

This society was founded in the
second of the three great Aerdian cities of the “Enlightenment”
(the first being Rel Mord, which later became the capital of
Nyrond, and the third and final being Rel Astra, the imperial crown
jewel and one time capital of the whole of the Kingdom of Aerdy,
before Nasran I established Rauxes following his imperial
ascendancy). The Eldritch Lords are a most enigmatic group about
which little is currently known outside their own city. This
isolation began long before the recent wars which made it thorough
and complete, however. They were once a consortium of skilled mages
and artificers that guarded, developed, and duplicated some of the
ancient secrets of High Oeridian magic for the Overkings of old. In
this role over the centuries, they created heroic weapons, staffs
and symbols of office, and even ensorcelled whole buildings,
fortresses, ships, and towers. That role changed during the Turmoil
Between the Crowns, when the (largely Cramden) Eldritch Lords
refused to pledge allegiance to the first Naelaxian Overking, Ivid
I of the North. The Eldritch Lords spirited away much of the
Malachite Throne’s magic that was still in their possession and
closed their ancient and prodigious archives to his Celestial
Supremacy’s heralds until as they intimated, “a true heir of Nasran
sits upon the Celestial Seat of Heaven”. Their collective power
enforced their determination, and despite a few unsuccessful
skirmishes over the decades between CY 446 and the recent wars,they
remained intact.

Their organization evolved somewhat
(rarely do they don the stiff, high-backed lacquered collars of
office that once towered a foot over their shoulders), and their
direct influence in the City of Rel Deven has grown over the last
century and a half (they abandoned all ties in Rauxes). They’ve
undoubtedly become one of the most dominant power nodes in the
city. The Eldritch Lords, obviously, refused the summons of the
Overking during the great war and for that, Ivid V laid siege to
the city even as Almor and its capital, Chathold, were put to the
torch. Half a thousand men from Ahlissa in the South Province and
eleven hundred levies from the central fiefdoms marched to take the
city and enforce the Overking’s will. In the end, only a token
force survived, claiming that fiery death rained down from the
heavens to swallow the great host amassed outside the city’s gates.
Rel Deven, however, lay totally untouched.

The city has remained entirely
independent ever since, an unsullied jewel in the broken Aerdy
crown. Unfortunately, with the diabolical Duke Szeffrin to the
north and the scheming Herzog Reydrich in Zelradton to the south,
the city is isolated and virtually inaccessible to outsiders
(though they are thought to be welcome). So far, the long-term
intentions of The Eldritch Lords continue to remain a mystery and
yet one can’t help but feel that some great secret lies buried just
beneath the surface of their cold, solemn faces.

Members
may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

The Sorcerous Union of Radigast
City

This is a small but robust guild
that may or may not have the most noted school of illusion in the
Flanaess (while still a matter of opinion, there is no doubting the
skills of some of their membership). Together, they are a fairly
independent group of mages, patterning themselves much after the
Guild of Wizardry of Greyhawk with whom they feel some kinship and
friendly rivalry. They lack the latter’s resources and prestige
(and infamous and legendary patron, Zagig Yragerne), but are
nonetheless trying to position themselves to become the next center
of magic on the Nyr Dyv. Their motive is less political, rather
than simply appealing to the questionable virtues of magedom and
the Art and the Craft. Their hopes continue to approach realization
as a small group of foreign sorcerers (including two archmages)
joined them quite recently from Nyrond, Almor, and the Shield
Lands.

Currently, Radigast City has become
the most open port on the Nyr Dyv and the primary destination of
lake traffic leaving the vicinity of the Cities of Greyhawk and
Dyvers. It is the gateway for the trade and travel moving eastward
to Nyrond and beyond that seeks to avoid the former Shield Lands
and all of the lands of the Old One. Growing by leaps and bounds
like their urban home, the Sorcerous Union has recently secured
permission from her noble brilliancy, the Countess Belissica for
the construction of a new guildhall within the precincts of the
city. A small multitude of artisans have been commissioned to work
on the project (including the efforts of the Union itself, of
course) which is expected to result in a wondrous new addition to
the magical architecture of the Flanaess. If the plans hold true,
no less than four huge towers will support a massive spherical
edifice with an open air cylindrical center overlooking a public
courtyard. Numerous “special” items required in the construction
are being contracted out for discrete “acquisition”.

Most cities sport some sort of a
mage’s guild [a rare few have more than one], but most do not share
anywhere near the influence and power of the above organizations.
Most magical cabals number anywhere between a handful too a dozen
mages and are often located in the local temple of Boccob.

Members
may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

Veluna City

The Society of Enlightened Mages
(or simply, the Enlightened Society) is a small and erudite lot
that includes branches in Verbobonc (where they are known as the
Silver Consortium), Mitrik, Devarnish, and a headquarters in the
largest city of Veluna. They are highly noted diviners and well
regarded scholars, acquiring quite a patronage in the lands of
Ferrond (comprising Furyondy, Veluna and the Shield Lands), who
seek them out for their sagistry and insight. They are known to
have many priests (particularly of Boccob and Rao) and mage-priests
in residence. Political involvement is generally regarded to be
nil.

Niole Dra

The National Academy of Wizardry.
Small but countrywide, this guild includes a chapter in every
Keoish city and town of consequence. These chapters are organized
to be fairly independent of each other, save in name. Their power
has waxed and waned over the centuries and they are currently in
decline. At one time the National Academy regulated nearly all
magic in the nation, save that in the hands of the Silent Ones
(see, A History of Keoish Aggression). They granted licenses to
practice magic and sanctioned the production of magical items. Now,
they exert no such influence, barely even able to sway their own
membership. In most respects they are a middling group of middling
mages, with all too middling ambitions. Lashton, the court wizard
and close councilor to the King of Keoland ([in]famous for leading
the recovery of Istivin during the unfortunate incident of some
years ago), has recently assumed the presidency of the Academy.
This may herald some interesting changes, but we must watch and
wait, since the Archmage is believed to be extremely
ambitious.

Members may take the Mage of
the Arcane Order
prestige class.Members
may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

Gradsul

The branch of the National Academy
of Wizardry in Gradsul is unusually weak, given the large size of
this Keoish port city, as is the local enclave of the Silent Ones.
The group calling themselves “The Sea Mages”, however, are the
truly fashionable guild of this city, and by far, they are the most
active. Aside from the common functions of this guild, they also
work to keep the Scarlet Brotherhood and their Sea Prince
conspirators in check and have so far met with some good successes.
Their members work closely with the royal navies and mercantile
companies to ensure Gradsul’s security and free access to trade
across the Azure Sea. Many have pledged themselves to act as a
bulwark to the southern menace, so all hope may not be
lost.

Members may take the Mage of
the Arcane Order
prestige class (and are part of the National
Academy’s Spellpool).Members may take the Wayfarer
Guide
prestige class.

Exag

An ancient and little known
society calling themselves simply “The Illuminated Ones”. They play
almost no role in the current politics of Perrenland. In fact, Exag
is often treated as a city unto itself, and is said to be far more
ancient than anything within a thousand miles of it, including in
the Lands of the Bakluni. Nothing short of a direct investigation
is liable to reveal more.

Rel Astra

A smaller, more recent
organization, calling themselves the “Scholars of the Arcane”, sits
quietly beneath the shadow of the Sorcerer’s Nexus. They interact
little outside of their own circles (requiring little it seems,
save the free exchange of magic and information) and are thought to
be quite skillful and wizened old men who plot little but their own
research.

Rookroost

The once keen and able Warlocks of
Rookroost organized (and to great extent still do) a large network
of agent-mages in the former Bandit Kingdoms, providing all the
trappings of a guild. While not by any means a charitable or
scholarly organization, the mages that found themselves amongst the
Warlocks simply had no place in the more civilized and law-fearing
South. It is thought that many of them despise Iuz and pay paltry
lip service to his stewards. Others of course, have embraced their
new Master wholeheartedly, finding his tastes to their liking. It
is certain that some of the Warlocks even work towards the Old
One’s downfall, whereby in an ironic twist of fate, the one time
oppressors become the oppressed.

Molag

The Necromancery was, before the
war, a “thriving” guild in the City of Shadows. Its current status
remains unknown, as is their disposition towards the Tyrant of
Dorakaa, that is, should they even have survived the night of the
Blood Moon massacre. Nonetheless, it is known that the guild often
opposed the Hierarchs in the past, save perhaps, certain priests of
the Dark One, Nerull. Their role in current matters remains
entirely clouded, though rumors persist of strong resistance in the
undercity beneath the stinking streets of Molag.


Members may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

Sefmur

The abstruse “Order of the Inner
Flame” continues to exist in the old capital of Tusmit,
side-by-side more traditional yet less distinctive guilds. They
practice a variety of magic nearly totally unheard of (and little
understood) in modern times, namely, manipulating the ambient
energies of the multiverse with the powers of their minds. ‘Look to
Zuoken’ is a common catch-phrase amongst this group.

Nevond Nevnend

The Keepers of the Flan” were
largely a ceremonial congregation until the fateful beginning of
the Great War. Supposedly guarding the magical secrets of the
Flannae (less erudite scholars insist there were none to guard),
they have now turned to attempting to liberate their homeland from
the hordes of Stonefist and the grip of the Dark Lord of the
Howling Hills. The Keepers were able to escape as the uncertain
darkness came, but refused to abandon their homeland for the hated
Pale and the ineffectual Nyrond. They fight for the freedom of
their nation, and are thought to do so from hidden enclaves in the
Griff Mountains. The mage, Nystul, is thought to be their greatest
benefactor.


Members may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

Seltaren/Leukish

The Wizardholme of Urnst finds
it’s primary headquarters in the large inland city of the Duchy,
far away from the lakeward bustle of the capital, Leukish, although
the latter sports a sizable chapter, as well. A traditional group,
their eyes have usually looked south and east, to the Abbor-Alz and
the Celadon Forest. Their most luminous member is currently the
Archmage Warnes Starcoat, Chief Sorcerous Councilor to the Joint
Courts of Urnst (who rose to the post after the mysterious
disappearance of the Seer of Urnst). At one time the legendary mage
Keoghtom numbered among them, before he retreated to the depths of
the Celadon, where it is whispered he remains to this very day.
Today, the Wizard-holme grows increasingly concerned about the
activity of the archmage calling himself the “Emperor of the Bright
Desert”, from whom one spy has already been necessarily dispatched
after he was uncovered in their very sanctums.


Members may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.

Monmurg

A group calling themselves the
“Wizards of the Coast” is the most infamous gathering of mages in
the former lands of the Sea Princes. Never scholarly, or even all
that politically inclined, they have always benefited greatly from
their position at the gateway to the unknown worlds lying opposite
their shores (which the Sea Princes have never been reticent to
explore). With influence in both Westkeep and Port Toli, the
Wizards are (or at least were) a force to be reckoned with which
has however, seen better times. The Scarlet Brotherhood’s agents
have thus far found it difficult to outmaneuver them, albeit, the
persistence of the Scarlet Ones will no doubt eventually break
these stalwart mages unless some kind of succor is soon to be
forthcoming.

Members
may take the Wayfarer Guide prestige
class.