The Mirror Enclave
Founded by its current Headmaster, Gerald Trask, the Mirror Enclave is a school, guild, and advocacy organization. Unlike other factions within Graceport, the Mirror Enclave has chapter-houses in other major cities throughout the world. Also unlike the other factions, the Mirror Enclave takes a broader view, participating (some would say meddling) in politics in many of the great countries of Prime.
What’s in a name?
According to Enclave Historians, Headmaster Trask struggled to name the organization long after the completion of the tower—in fact, many today still refer to the group simply as “The Tower,” and its members as “Tower Wizards.” Eventually, Trask authored a treatise on the nature of education and knowledge along with its importance. Knowledge is akin to light—without it, all are blind. And since a single lamp cannot illuminate the largest spaces, mirrors are often placed to reflect light, magnifying it, and spreading it further. Educators are like mirrors: they conduct light, magnifying it—but students may see something still different.
In the highest ceremonies that exist in the tower today, the Masters and Mistresses of various fields of studies are still referred to as “Reflectors,” and Trask’s own title is “The Mirror,” though he rarely uses it, fearing that it implies that the Mirror Enclave is all about him.
Students of all stripes with an interest in the arcane are welcome within the Enclave, and there is no system of tuition. Instead, students are separated into various classes. Anyone may take a single course at the Enclave (with some restrictions) with “no strings attached,” so to speak. If a student wishes to continue their education, they are required to become an Apprentice of the Enclave—a membership which conveys both rights and responsibilities. Apprentices are required to assist in the upkeep of the tower itself, as well as daily chores. Each are assigned tasks according to their ability, from cataloguing endless manuscripts in the many libraries to mopping floors and helping in the kitchens. This process continues for several years, perhaps as many as seven. After seven years, the apprentice either leaves the tower or joins the Enclave as a full Adept.
Adepts may continue their studies, and they are no longer required to assist at chores, but they are expected to contribute financially and substantively to the Enclave. Upon attaining the rank of Adept, each student also joins one of the XX societies within the Enclave itself, which dictates how they contribute to the tower as a whole.
The Enclave teaches a multitude of subjects, which include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Animal Medicine
- Arcane Speech/Song (related to bardic work)
- Basic Survival/Field Work
- Conjuration (producing creatures or conditions)
- Cultural Studies
- Detection of Magic/Magical awareness
- Diplomacy and Negotiation
- Military Tactics/Warfare
- Sorcery (raw elemental magic)
- Warding and Shields
For purely theoretical purposes, the Enclave will allow some Adepts to study the following subjects as well, though each of these courses of study is strictly supervised by a First Reflector:
- Nethermancy (shadow magic)
Within the Enclave, all adepts belong to one of several societies. The number of societies and their purposes have evolved over time. Upon attaining the rank of adept, each Apprentice approaches the leader of a society and asks to join. This is simply a formality—their request to join the society cannot be refused. They are given a pin to represent their society as well as a robe in a traditional society color—though these robes are usually worn only on formal occasions.
The societies vary in popularity bug generally speaking, their size has remained mostly the same. From largest to smallest, the Societies are listed here:
They societies are as follows:
- Librarians—Much more than keepers of the Enclave’s libraries, Librarians are dedicated to the collection and custodianship of all knowledge. Librarians are Archaeologists, Scholars, Spies, and Teachers. Though most Librarians are open and willing to teach, they are the society with the most secrets and formal ritual. Generally, the Librarians are believed to have the widest network of spies in all of Prime, though their names and locations are closely kept secrets. Librarians in general have a reputation for being distracted, “Ivory Tower,” types, though some do buck that reputation. Librarians wear brown Adept robes and their member pin is in the shape of a quill. The leader of the librarians is known as the Custodian.
- Warriors—Described simply and plainly, warriors are just that. More Swordmages belong to this society than any other, and they safeguard the other societies when their work takes them to dangerous places. They disdain formality and their leader has no official title but that—“Leader.” Warriors are generally known for having big personalities, quick to anger and quicker to laugh. They wear green Adept robes and their pin is in the shape of a sword. The Warriors keep have the smallest network of spies—only where battle is ongoing (or probable)—and generally work more in open cooperation with the other societies.
- Ambassadors—Slightly more complex than the name might seem, Ambassadors are political agents who do conduct negotiations, but often they are sent to mediate disputes. More than one Ambassador has served as a judge for a village trial when no other authority was available. Their network of spies and informants is second only to the Librarians. Consequently, a rivalry has developed between the two societies over several decades. Some see Ambassadors as sly manipulators concerned with personal power, though in truth they are no more ambitious than any other society. Ambassadors wear grey Adept robes and their pin is in the shape of a dove. The Ambassador is lead by a council of members, of whom the eldest is known as the Statesman (regardless of gender).
- Seekers—Seekers search for those of intelligence to make them aware of the Mirror Enclave, serving as a sort of “recruiting branch.” There are seekers in every country in Prime (excluting the Blight), and several in every major city. Not every society is represented in every chapter house, but the Seekers have someone at each. In fact, when a new chapter house is to be chartered, Seekers are the first there to oversee the procurement of land and labor. More than any other society, Seekers are dedicated to expanding the Enclave and its reach. Seekers wear red Adept robes, and their member pin is in the shape of an open hand. Their leader holds the title “Missionary.” Despite their widespread network of members, Seekers rarely deal in in formation and have few spies—though some do exist.
- Magistrates—The administrators of the Enclave, Magistrates are the grease that makes the machine run. Magistrates supervise classes of Apprentices ensuring that they are pursuing academic goals, following rules, and attending their chores. They keep account of the Enclave’s finances and ensure that the various societies are contributing to its upkeep and fiduciary solvency. Along with the seekers, Magistrates are first on the ground when new chapter-houses are established in order to ensure that they conform to Enclave Law. Though each society is usually allowed to discipline its members on its own, in cases of severe misconduct, Magistrates are occasionally tasked with conducting a trial. A panel of judges (one from each society) sit in judgement, but one magistrate will prosecute the case while another responds to the charges and a third ensures that each is acting impartially. Magistrates have a reputation for being cold and calculating and perhaps a bit dull, but they are nonetheless necessary (as they never hesitate to remind you). Magistrates wear white Adept robes, and their member pin is in the shape of a set of balanced scales. Their leader holds the title “Overseer.” Magistrates have a middling network of informants.
- Craftsmen—Responsible for over half of the (considerable) income the Enclave generates, craftsmen offer services to the public at large. Ranging from potion-making to enchanting and portal travel, Craftsmen are dedicated to improving the lives of their neighbors—for a price, of course. Craftsmen are reputed to be kind and generous, but shrewd bargainers conscious of their responsibility as the main income source for the Enclave. Notably, the Craftsmen are the only society with sub-societies: Alchemists, Enchanters, Teleporters and more all have their own cadres of members, albeit informally, within their society. Craftsmen are the only society who keep no spies—in fact, one of the oaths a Craftsmen swears upon taking their robe is that he will deal “In services; never in information.” Craftsmen pride themselves on being able to provide confidentiality to their clients. They wear yellow Adept robes, and their member pin is in the shape of a crossed hammer and chisel. Their leader is referred to as the Artisan.
- Explorers—Despite being the polar opposite of the Librarians, Explorers enjoy a warm relationship with their sister society. Where Librarians catalogue knowledge and study history, Explorers yearn for new discoveries. Explorers dabble in experimental studies: the creation of new spells, travel to different planes of existence (though no extra-planar expeditions have been mounted in some time), and the forging of new relationships between the arcane and the divine. Explorers are by far the smallest society and some within their ranks have begun murmuring about allowing their society to evolve and seek a new purpose—which, they argue, would itself be a type of exploration. Explorers wear blue Adept robes and their pin is shaped like a spyglass. Their leader is referred to as the Theorist.