A unit of Spell Catchers is a military formation of Bratsian origin. In addition to maintaining an elite group of knights as a royal guardsmen, the emperor of Bratsia also keeps a unit of elite mages at his disposal. These mages are trained in abjuration, and their primary role is to protect the emperor from attacks of a magical nature. These mages may be casters of any persuasion. Whether they draw their power from divine sources, arcane education, or from an inner wellspring does not concern the emperor, so long as they are experts in their fields and can be made to follow orders.
A unit of Spellcatchers normally consists of 12 individuals. These are split into four groups of three, with each group having a member that specializes in one of offense, defense, and healing. These small groups are referred to as Wards. Due to the rarity of powerful casters, these categorizations are not frequently met to the fullest. For example, it is much easier to hire mages who specialize in magical destruction, as these are often very notorious and seek positions of power such as a place on the Spell Catchers. On the other hand, healers are extremely valuable, but often difficult to bring on hand, especially since so many of them are religiously motivated to wander and spread their power among the people. Each ward is expected to work for one quarter of the year, and they are given the remainder of the time to manage their own affairs and to further their magical power. They are also expected to remain in the vicinity of the emperor for at least three quarters of the year, though this time can overlap with their active guarding duty.
These mages are equipped with the best equipment that money can buy, and are often outfitted with enchanted clothing and expensive Incantrum staffs loaded with useful spells for blasting away the emperor's enemies. In addition to these assets, each member of the formation is also equipped with emergency scrolls for situations in which they are caught without a staff and with empty reserves of magic. The general philosophy of their equipment is to be able to quickly proof an area of magical attack, and to be able to maintain such an area until re-enforcements arrive, as most magical attackers are limited in their capacity to use powerful magic for extended periods of time.
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