Government, Laws and Duties
The politics of Terrail are somewhat strange. The five groups-mages, clerics, craftsmen, soldiers, and guests-don't really attempt to sway each other much. Instead, the individual groups have their own political setting. The Tower wizards, for example, tend to surround the Lord Mage they most like or approve of, usually a former mentor. This distinction can lead to infighting, but it is also practical. Rean's allies, for instance, are the battle mages, mostly his former students, while Kar's are the magical artisans. Issues like family aren't important, because there isn't any nobility in Terrail. Some alliances are inter-group, like Baergen and the Tower, who are closely tied in a demand-supply relationship, giving Baergen influence in the Tower. The Golden Blades are probably the strangest, as they don't really unite under any authority figure. As impregnable as Terrail is, the military doesn't have much to do, and so sell their services often. While pricy, a force of fighter-mages appearing out of thin air (usually by a teleportation circle, adding to the pricyness) is impressive. With soldiers constantly coming and going, there isn't time or motivation to be political. The clerical hierarchy is adhered to, but the Keepers have wildly differing interests. Since they don't have to worry about a steady supply of money, they can focus on their studies. The lesser clergy spend most of their time healing the citizens, as is their duty, while the more powerful have duties of a different nature (Saryl and her psionic responsibilities, Lean and her alchemy, and so on) The High Priest is divinely elected (majority of one, as it were) so rebellion is not likely. The craftsmen are the most democratic, each being more or less equal. The Master Craftsmen (confusing titles, I know) are rarely seen, focusing on their skills in The House, and are outnumbered by far by the others of their group.
Although Terrail is a city of wizards, mages are not its only rulers. The Council of Terrail is composed of the Archmage, the High Priest, the Master Craftsman, and the Warden. These four rule equally, each representing a different portion of the populace, with an advisory member representing the guests. They meet in one of the top floors of the Tower, in a room that is enspelled to negate any and all mind-controlling magic, neutralize all poisons, and defeat any divination or teleportation spells. Each member of the Council wears a Councilor's Ring, a powerful magical device that bestows many protective effects. Before each session, the Council members are exposed to both an antimagic and null psionics field to make sure that they are not under any outside influence
The Council is a fairly accurate representation of Terrail's interaction. The Warden, while respected, isn't really influential, because his soldiers aren't present often. He does, however, bring a nice bit of income to the city, so the others know to pay attention when he talks. He and Rean are good friends, and the two discuss Terrail's defenses every few months. Anthalus is the nominal leader, not by any legal difference, or even because of his immense power, but because of his connections, personality, and the simple fact that he was one of the primary Builders. Out of everyone in Terrail (and out of it, for that matter) Anthalus has the most extensive knowledge of the city and its inhabitants. Many strange and powerful allies, few of them human(oid) are known to him, and don't forget that it is, in the end, his island. The Master Craftsmen is perhaps the most important member of the Council, because it's she who assesses the mood of the majority of Terrailans, and is responsible for maintaining the economy. A competent Master Craftsman causes trade to flourish, while an inept one can doom it. You may have noticed that Terrail is a city of luxury trades for the most part. Magic is valuable, as are fine works of art, but neither is really a necessity. Careful balancing is needed to ensure that other nations come to rely on the enchanted merchandise produced here. So far, it's gone well, but the need for skill leads the other craftsmen to elect the most savvy of them to lead. The High Priest is somewhat taken for granted, so long as the citizens continue to receive healing, the army is supplied with potions, and the Vault gets additions regularly.
The Master Craftsman
Though the Master Craftsman wields the least power personally, he is the representative of the majority of the city. The qualifications for this position are vague; he or she must be a Master of a craft; otherwise the decision is left up to the vote of the other Masters. Though this method seems to offer the danger of political strife, it is in fact quite stable. The Master Craftsman is more of an overseer, making sure businesses make money, not lose it. He introduces new items to the market, rather than directly controlling members of his House. He is not truly chosen for his talents at his craft, but for his diplomacy, business sense, management ability, and adaptability. While all of the Council members are technically equal, the Master Craftsman does represent most of the populace.
The High Priest
There are two major faiths in Terrail; that of Mystra and that of Azuth. Citizens and guests are free to worship any deity they desire. The two clergies coexist peacefully, each devoted to discovering new clerical spells, creating new potions, and crafting new objects of magic. The High Priest is the position of the highest-ranking priest of either faith, which alternates each year between them. In this way, neither clergy gains dominance over the other. He or she is identified partly by the power of the spells they can cast, but this is not the deciding factor. At the end of every year, a ritual takes place in which the entire priesthood of both the god and goddess gather. The current High Priest formally steps down, and the entire congregation prays to the deities of magic to reveal the new clerical leader. The chosen priest is illuminated by a blue light-for a cleric of Azuth-or a silver light-for a cleric of Mystra. Thus the new High Priest remains unchallenged, avoiding ambitious struggles for power. It is the High Priest's responsibility to ensure that healing is provided to all citizens, as well as distributing potions where needed, and overseeing the creation of new magic items.
When Terrail was founded, the adventuring company known as the Golden Blades was among its first citizens. They were fighter-mages, utilizing spells and swords with equal ability. They found a true home in Terrail, where they were accepted for their twin occupations. The first Archmage, Leyrin Runestaff, offered them the job of training the young citizens of the city bladecraft, tactics, and how to incorporate their small spells and magical items in battle. They eagerly agreed, and the Hall of Golden Blades was built to accommodate themselves and their students. The leader of the group, Ryndal Gildedge, was given the title of Warden of Terrail, charged with defending the city from enemy monsters, armies, or intruders, as well as keeping the peace. Under his command, a system of patrols and training techniques was established that are still used today. The Warden is chosen for his military capabilities-tactical reasoning, personal ability, and organizational skills. The Circle of Blades makes this decision, which is a lifetime appointment.
The average Golden Blade values the power of magic, and so has no problem working with clerics or mages. At the same time, some wizards find soldiers unnecessary, and the more arrogant would do away with them entirely (note: these are almost all lower-ranking wizards, as the skilled and masters are usually older and wiser) Clerics, as always, are in the middle, accepting the need for blade and spell alike.
* a note on the Golden Blades' hierarchy. They have the Warden (Council member), the Circle of Blades (masters), the Guardians (skilled; first among these is the Captain of the Golden Blades, currently Neron Barweel), the actual Golden Blades themselves (name-rank), and the trainees.
The Adventurer's Pact
There are many opinions on those individuals who call themselves adventurers. Some call them heroes, others fools, and still more crazy. Nevertheless, it is often by their efforts that realms are saved, tyrants deposed, and monsters slain. In Terrail, there is an unusual establishment for anyone who would seek to adventure. The founders of Terrail knew that many young priests, mages, warriors, and the other assorted bravos desire to travel, plying their skills for gold, glory, and, occasionally, morality. To provide for this decision, the Council pronounced the Adventurer's Pact. Under the provisions of the Pact, any Terrail-trained fighters, clerics, or magic-users can choose to take up either mercenary work or true adventuring, with the agreement that a percentage of wages or loot going to the city. This is both to repay the gold spent in their education and because their superiors arrange the jobs. An average group would be made up of two or three fighters, and a cleric and wizard, though, of course, all would be capable of small arcane spells. They are often employed as bodyguards, monster-slayers, or for simple mercenary work.
The city's Archmage is both the most mighty and skilled wizard living there. He or she must be accomplished at writing new spells, manipulating existing spells, crafting magical objects, and using many kinds of Art. The Archmage is chosen based upon his abilities; knowledge, strength of spells, experience, intelligence, and his general temperament. As the leader of all mages-full mages-of Terrail, an Archmage must be able to combat any magical danger, as well as make sure that the laws pertaining to arcane spellcasting are obeyed. The Lord Mages chose the Archmage upon the former Archmage's death, or if he or she is proven incapable of fulfilling the Archmage's duties.
In a city where every citizen is at least a minor wizard, spells are extremely common. The kind of spells that are used by the average person are small, useful magics, such as light spells, minor telekinetic magics, and dweomers that help maintain or create things. For every occupation, different spells are useful, or even required, but magical knowledge is not unrestricted. While all citizens can study any offensive cantrips or minor spells(1st level) in the Tower Library for free, more dangerous and advanced magics need the approval of the Tower mages (note: this refers to citizens who are not Tower mages with more than one level of wizard, an unusual occurrence in itself). This does not apply to any magics the citizen already knows, but use of any dangerous spells in unsafe conditions can lead to extreme penalties.
Laws of Magic
1. It is unlawful to enact any magic with the intent to harm another, save in the defense of oneself or another.
2. No magic may be used to control the will of another, under any circumstances short of self-defense or if necessary for the protection of Terrail.
3. All magics of evil nature are forbidden within the city.
4. The summoning of beings from this plane or any other may be allowed provided that the entity summoned is acting of its own will.
5. No demon, devil, or creature of evil may be conjured within Terrail.
6. It is the right of any thinking being to learn the Art of Mystra. All who seek to study wizardry are to be taught within the Tower of Rising Light, falling under the laws pertaining to that placement.
7. It is the responsibility of every mage to ensure that his or her magics are under control at all times. Any experimentation must be done with the appropriate safety precautions; damage done by any being, force, or enchantment under the command of a wizard is the responsibility of that mage.
It is inevitable that Terrail be absent of spell fights, and it isn't. The rules for magical battle are long-standing and strictly enforced, but it's hardly unheard of for young novice mages or even citizens to sneak off into a shady corner to fling cantrips-and things more dangerous-back and forth. If caught, the duelers themselves suffer wearing chains of spellbinding, which will be later detailed. As their name implies, they make the wearer unable to bring forth any hint of magecraft (to a limit), effectively inhibiting their magical powers. Additional rulebreaking can be more severe, eventually resulting in expulsion from the city an a geas of non-returning, as if they had become evil.
If mages seek a spell-duel that is legal, it can be done. The two opponents (both of whom must be fully trained adult spellcasters, aware of the consequences of their decision; they are checked for enchantments and other effects that manipulate the mind) are placed on an enormous plane of force above the city, with a similar dome rising above it. These precautions are augmented by a layer of antimagic that rings the barriers, preventing any magic-malignant or otherwise-from entering or leaving the area. It should be mentioned that these precautions are not permanent in nature, and must be re-summoned for each duel, to prevent young, rash, or simply stupid mages from sorting out their differences with smiting spells. Once within the structure, the two casters are free to unleash any spellcraft they desire, although the laws of the city still apply in consideration of summonings and spells with the evil descriptor. No more than two individuals may battle at any time, and only one duel may be fought a day, after which careful cleansing magics are employed to make sure that no residual energy has unforeseen effects. Duels can be won in many ways: immobilizing the opponent, effectively binding his or her Art, one of the duelers running out of spells to cast, injuring the foe in a mortal way, a dueler surrendering, or certain conditions specified before the duel.
Duels are surprisingly rare in Terrail. Perhaps because defeat is witnessed to anyone who happens to be looking up, few risk a duel, preferring other, less fatal, contests of magic. Among these are crafting the most believable, exotic, or original illusion, playing the best magical prank, developing the most comical spell, invisible hide-and-go-seek, and similar, relatively harmless pastimes.
Rank in Terrail is dependent on rank within one's occupation. A novice weaver is given equal respect to a beginner mage. This extends even to the highest levels, as seen in the Council. The four groups work in different ways, but the ranks, though few, are clear-cut. Trainees, name-rankers (wizard, fighter, craftsmen), skilled (being specialized in one or more areas), and master (most skilled in a certain area); obviously, masters are outranked by the head of the group. Each level is given a different name, depending on the appropriate occupation. Here's a tidbit of lore, using a Lord Mage, one the wizardly masters.
1. Mages: obviously, they study magic, but are also entrusted with the more minor castings (mendings and such). Those powerful enough have to make sure the arcane locks and continual flames are still working. The cleanliness of the Tower is the duty of the novices, who use prestidigitation, unseen servant and the like to accomplish it (full mages and higher usually like to keep their chambers private, and so clean them themselves). An extremely important task is checking the water lines for any presence of toxins. This is done over a dozen times a day; in addition, some devices continually detect poison, causing all water in the lines to glow with purple light if any is found. Any novice is required to assist a wizard of mage-rank for minor tasks (cleaning, fetching within the Tower) A skilled mage has much more authority, being able to make long-lasting commands (gather these components, research these topics, brew my potions; pretty much anything they can't be bothered to do, within reason) Generally, novices are like their superiors in that they orbit certain politically powerful mages. These groups have a sort of guild-like agreement, in which, for example, a mage artificer won't abuse an upcoming battle wizard with too onerous a task. Violation won't bring any kind of violence, of course, but it's considered polite to honor the associations (think Mafia but with soccer moms).
2. Clerics: Acolytes are pushed to their magical limit. As any citizen can request healing, the
3. Fighters: The Golden Blades' trainees have it a bit easier than the mages and clerics. Fighters are a little superfluous in Terrail, so they aren't looked at too closely. Don't misunderstand, they are well trained, both in theory and swordcraft, but their duties are few. Mornings are spent learning tactics from Pertylon Gildedge. They break for breakfast, then work on becoming fluid combining spells and swords. This includes learning new spells suitable for their profession and practicing with various magical items (weapons, armors, and others usable in battle). Lunch, then standard weapon's practice 'till an hour before dinner (meals are served at the Hall three times a day) The schedule is regular, and for the rest of the time the trainees do whatever they want.
4. Craftsmen: No standardization here. Each merchant and artisan has his or her own methods of teaching. Obviously practical teaching is done as anywhere else, augmented by some spells.
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