The Imperial College of Arcanists
The premier and only officially sanctioned magical establishment in the whole of the Empire of Turelion, the Imperial College of Arcanists acts as the Empire’s educational arm for magic users, its research institution for the study of magical objects and artefacts and its professional association for magic users across Kelbonnar. As all magic users who wish to make a living from their magic must be registered with the College, and pay an annual membership fee to it, its members can be found throughout the world, plying their magical trades, from medicine to conjuration to divination and anything in-between.
The College is governed by the Grand Arcanist who is the head of the entire organisation and who not only sets the strategy and directs operations, but they also represent the College in the Congregation of Lords. This position is held for life, though it is not unknown for people to step down from it, usually in disgrace. Below the Grand Arcanist are 12 Arch Arcanists, who represent the most powerful magic users who are members of the College. As the Grand Arcanist can only be elected from this body, there is fierce competition whenever an Arch Arcanist position becomes vacant. The Arch Arcanists vote amongst themselves as to who will be elevated to fill vacant Arch Arcanist seats. Below the Arch Arcanists are the Arcanist Fellows, a broad body of individuals, whose only criteria for membership is to have been a member of the College for 20 years or more. Arcanist Fellows fill most of the mid-level positions in the College, ranging from teaching and research responsibilities within the College itself to working as senior level, respected magic users within the wider Empire. The second lowest rank within the College are the Arcanists, magic users who have either been educated by the College itself to the required level of competence, or who have passed the competency test to be a member if the college, but who have been trained elsewhere. Arcanists perform a wide variety of roles across Kelbonnar ranging from working within the College itself to acting as professional Arcanists within the Empire's towns and cities. The lowest rank within the College are Initiate Arcanists, who are individuals who are being educated by the College to become fully fledged, and fee paying Arcanists. All members of the College of Arcanist level or higher are eligible to vote for whichever Arch Arcanist they believe should become the next Grand Arcanist when a previous incumbent dies.
The fact that magic users in Kelbonnar have to be registered with the Imperial College of Arcanists, along with the fact that the majority of them undertake their arcane studies there, means that the organisation as a whole views itself and those it produces as being superior to all other magical sensitive beings. Students of the College are actively encouraged to look down on those who operate outside of the College’s auspices, especially Hedge Mages who are universally viewed by the organisation and its members as being crooks and charlatans.
Ostensibly the Imperial College of Arcanists exists to provide a constant stream of magically adept individuals who can both meet the needs of the Empire of Turelion in terms of the construction of specialist magical items such as Elemental Cores, and who can protect the Empire and its subjects from unregistered magical adepts. The College also acts as a professional organisation for magic users, enabling the Empire to keep tabs on individuals who could turn into a potential threat, whilst also ensuring that only those who follow Imperial laws are legally allowed to ply their magical trade. In addition, the College also exists to act as a research institution to enable to creation of new technology and to unlock the secrets of items discovered in the farthest corners of the Empire of Turelion. Many of the artefacts created by the The Lost Civilisation of Zastral that have been discovered during the establishment of the Imperial Colonies in Zastral, and the exploration of the surrounding territory, end up in the College’s research laboratories for study. There is a widely known but not publically admitted sub-agenda to the College that it partly exists to provide a constant stream of regular income to the Imperial Treasury through the Imperial policy of forcing anyone who wants o commercially practice any form of magic to be a member of the College, for which they must pay a tidy sum.
The Imperial College of Arcanists is funded directly by the Imperial Treasury, who allocate a large chunk of funds each year to cover its core activities. The College also retains a proportion of the fees its members pay to be associated with it, which go directly into its coffers. That is not to imply that the College operates on a tight budget. It is widely known that the Imperial College of Arcanists is an immensely wealthy organisation, with huge reserves of gold and silver stored in a specially designed and protected vault beneath its headquarters. In terms of physical assets, the College has an enormous complex within the city of Quessama in Quess Province that is its headquarters and that houses its teaching, accommodation, research and treasury spaces. The College also has a private fleet of Firewings and several naval vessels that can be utilised by its members for use in research expeditions or important business that they are conducting on behalf of the College.