The High Sorcerer or Sorceress is the head of magical law and learning in Etherea
. The title was created by and first bestowed upon Sorchia Ímlerin, during the reign of Queen Rubiah Calamin
. The establishment of the position was one of many changes after the Dragon War that nearly destroyed Araniae
. With the Queen's
blessing, Sorchia Ímlerin designed and developed a new way of structuring magical use and education into five Spheres. Each Sphere would have an Archmage responsible for other mages of that Sphere, and the five Archmages would answer to the High Sorcerer, who in turn answers to the royal family.
At present, Sorchia Ímlerin is the only person who has held the title, due to her divinely blessed long life.
Although there has still one ever been one High Sorceress, she has set specific qualifications in place for anyone seeking to apprentice to the position.
First and foremost, they must be or have the capacity to be a sorcerer (a mage with the ability to wield all five Spheres). Anyone seeking to apprentice to the High Sorcerer/Sorceress must have already shown proficiency in at least three Spheres.
Prospective apprentices are required to study under each Archmage for at least one full year before official consideration from the High Sorcerer/Sorceress. Study with an Archmage requires vigorous attention and oftentimes dangerous magical experiments.
Finally, any prospective apprentice who makes it through the five years of Archmage study must pass whatever tests the High Sorcerer/Sorceress deems necessary to fully assess their skill. If successful, the High Sorcerer/Sorceress will make the final decision whether or not to formally accept them as their apprentice. Once accepted, the Apprentice is required to continue study until they attain mastery in all five Spheres, assisting the High Sorcerer/Sorceress whenever asked.
The High Sorcerer is chiefly responsible for monitoring the use of magic and magical education. Magical law in Etherea is strict, and the High Sorcerer and Archmages handle those who break it.
Other duties include but are not limited to:
- Ensuring that magical assessment tests and education are kept up-to-date. Because magic is so prevalent in Etherea, the risk of magical accidents is high, especially in the hands of children who have not yet learned how to recognize and control their own power.
- Advising the Queen wherever magic is concerned, and bringing to her attention anything that may cause kingdom-affecting issues where royal intervention might be necessary.
- Conferring with the High Justicar on magical law in relation to common law, and making changes where necessary.
- Approving any experiments or mastery studies that involve chaos magic.
- Choosing new Archmages when the need arises.
- Maintaining the city's magical network and ensuring the continued safe function of the Etherealactrium
At any time, the Queen of Etherea or King of the Wood may demand that the High Sorcerer step down if there is cause to believe that they are no longer acting in the interests of the kingdom, or have proven incompetent. In such a case, the High Sorcerer's apprentice would take over the position, provided they have achieved the necessary mastery. If there is no apprentice, or the apprentice is still studying for their masteries, the Archmages meet and choose one of their number to take the position, with the Queen's blessing.
The position of High Sorcerer was established as an indirect result of the Dragon War, when Araniae
was almost completely destroyed. Through her close relationship with Ochros, the Dragon Prince
, Sorchia Ímlerin
convinced the remaining dragons to aid the humans in recovery. A new city was built almost entirely out of stone excavated from the mountain on the north side of the city's island. The mountain itself was hollowed out further with individual caves to provide homes for any dragons who wished to maintain peaceful relations with humans. The new city was designed and built to take advantage of the power the newly built Etherealactrium
could provide, an artifact also created by Sorchia Ímlerin
. To safely house the artifact, a tower was built as an addition to the palace and called the The Ethereal Spire
. The position of High Sorcerer was originally intended to officially give Sorchia Ímlerin control over maintain the artifact and the spells connecting it to the city's new magical network. As time past, however, magical study became more and more the thing to do. With more and more mages cropping up, the position was expanded to encompass the safe and structured use of magic. Although Queen Rubiah was the one to bestow the title originally, it was her daughter, Queen Sarah
, who worked with Sorchia Ímlerin to make the position what it is today.
Before the position of High Sorcerer was created, mages were simply respected (and somewhat feared) members of Etherean society. They mostly kept to themselves, offering magical services in exchange for gold or favors. Individual mages rarely collaborated with each other, often hording their knowledge so that others didn't steal their secrets. This led to many different theories on how magic worked, and even the mages who did try to collaborate could never really agree on anything.
All of that changed when Sorchia Ímlerin rose to prominence. Already older than most humans when she arrived in Araniae
, she was a veritable geyser of magical power, and she wasn't afraid to use it. To her, magic was a tool to be used and shared, not a secret to be selfishly horded. She made enemies of many of Etherea's mages in her early years in the city. But she had an advantage they did not: time. The old generation of mages died, and a new one took their place. The younger mages looked to Sorchia Ímlerin with awe, eager to achieve the same renown that allowed her to befriend dragons, elves, and queens. Magical collaboration began to gain momentum, and after the Dragon War and her rise as the
magical authority, Sorchia Ímlerin established the official magical structure system that became recognized not just in Etherea
, but across the whole of Dálnaes.