The Grand Arcaneum of Vallanna
Headquartered in The Ascension Spires, within the capital city of Valliné, The Grand Arcaneum is the highest authority in the kingdom when it comes to matters of a magical nature. Considered by many to be the 'official' magical organisation of Vallanna, although despite close ties to the government, the Grand Arcaneum remains an independent entity. Day to day, the Arcaneum has two main focuses - Firstly, the safe and supervised education of the magical arts to those willing and wishing to learn; and secondly, the investigation, handling and safekeeping of abnormal, powerful and/or potentially dangerous magical activities and artifacts throughout the land. For many, the Arcaneum's education program is the major thing that they are known for. The first thought of a citizen of Vallanna who has an interest in magic would typically be to seek out the Arcaneum. That isn't to say that all magic users are associated with the Arcaneum, and membership certainly is not forced upon anyone. However, the concentration of magical knowledge found within the walls of the Arcaneum's Valliné premises, and among it's members, makes it a popular choice for those seeking the path of the arcane. Early years spent at the Arcaneum are in group settings, learning basic magical practices, and honing their skills and control. More experienced students eventually falling under the care of individual tutors, acting as their apprentices for as long as the tutor deems necessary. Upon completion of this apprenticeship, the students are made full members of the Arcaneum. Many will remain at the Arcaneum, continuing their studies. Others venture out into the world, to practice their arts wherever the wind takes them. The second part of the Arcaneum's operation involves the policing of dangerous magical practices and the prevention of magical disasters. This is mostly a self-imposed duty, as the ordinary folk, by and large, are mostly ignorant of magical matters, and could not comprehend the danger posed by unchecked magical activity. As part of this duty, the Arcaneum operates a series of secret, high-security vaults, which house any dangerous magical artifacts that come into their possession; along with a prison, of sorts, for any magic-user who has committed crimes and would be too dangerous to be left in a regular prison.
The Arcaneum is led by a Grand Master, who oversees the entire running of the organisation, and is often a trusted advisor to the monarch of the time. Below the Grand Master, sits the High Circle; a council of twelve of the most powerful and wise members of the Arcaneum. It is from this Circle that the Grand Master is elected. Each of the twelve members of the High Circle is responsible for different aspects of the running of the organisation. Most no longer take on apprentices, having been with the Arcaneum for many years, but the occasional promising student will catch the eye of a High Circle master, and they may pass their knowledge along. Full members of the Arcaneum are split loosely into several groups; defined by what they choose to do following the completion of their apprenticeship. Some may choose to remain within the Arcaneum's centre of magical learning, continuing their studies. Those who have mastered certain aspects of magic may go on to teach what they have learned to the next generation of magical students. Some will be employed by the Arcaneum for their second purpose, spending their time travelling the land in search of dangerous magical artifacts and rogue magic-users and working to protect the people of Vallanna from their influence and deeds. Some will leave and not return, pursuing their own path, confident in the magical knowledge that they gained during their time at the Arcaneum.
Grand Master of the Arcaneum - Held by the leader of the High Circle. Head of the Arcaneum.
Master of the High Circle - Held by members of the High Circle.
Master of the Arcaneum - Held by experienced and notable members of the Arcaneum.
Arcanist - Held by all graduated members of the Arcaneum.
Ascendant-Level Apprentice - Held by apprentices during the final stages of their apprenticeship under an Arcanist or a Master.
Attendant-Level Apprentice - Held by apprentices during the first stages of their apprenticeship under an Arcanist or a Master.
Arcaneum Novice - Held by those in the first years of their studies at the Arcaneum, before being apprenticed under an Arcanist or a Master.
The Arcaneum is mostly known for it's role as a seat of higher magical learning, and as an authority when it comes to matters of a magical nature. While they do not actively keep secret their secondary role as protectors of the realm against magical threats; this role is not widely advertised, in order to not panic the public with thoughts of scheming rogue wizards and dangerous artifacts.
The main asset of the Arcaneum is their headquarters and centre of learning in the capital city of Valliné - The Ascension Spires. The multitude of towers which make up the Spires are visible from most of the city, due to their sheer height, strange construction, and placement in the city's Overlook District, second only to the grand Cerulean Palace. The Arcaneum does also own many smaller properties throughout the kingdom, although the majority of it's members seek and own accomadations of assets of their own.
The Arcaneum was following the events of the disasterous Age of Arcane Might; a nearly two-millenia period of history in which warring factions of magic-users bitterly divided the land; in some cases literally, with truly frightening uses of magical power and magical artifacts that threatened the very existential survival of life in these lands. At the close of this terrible time, the kingdom of Vallanna, mostly as it is known today, was built from the ground up, and the Arcaneum along with it, with the purpose of preventing a calamity such as the Age of Arcane Might from happening ever again.
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