The largest cabal of arcane casters on Zheng-Kitar, rulers of the lands of Mulrath
The structure of the Umberlight Society is a thing of relative mystery to outsiders - because of the Umberlight Society's secrecy, only the general structure of the organization is known to those looking from the outside. As such, much of what is described below is known only to those within the Society and are thus privvy to its secrets.
The Ruling SeatsAt its top, the Umberlight Society is is ran by nine practitioners of magic who serve as the Society's leaders, as well as nine Sorcerer-Kings and Sorcerer-Queens of the lands of Mulrath, which the Society rules over as the country's government. These nine practitioners hold the nine "Ruling Seats", which are broken up into the "Low Seats" and the "High Seats". All nine seats hold equal ruling power - the difference lies in respect, social standing, and personal power. The High Seats are typically the three strongest members of the society, and are afforded the most respect while their word is typically weighed heavier when the Society is deciding upon various matters. The identities of those on the Ruling Seats is a thing guarded with utmost secrecy, even to lower-level members of the Society Itself - when they must make public appearances, they often wear masks of some kind to disguise their true appearances. Only other members of the ruling seats as well as extremely rare and trustworthy members of the Society are privvy to the identities of the Ruling Seats. Additionally, these Seats are held by those who share a matching elemental affinity(See The Elements: A Primer for more details) as well as a specialization or ability to wield magic relating to what the seat represents(Such as the holder of the Seat of Fire focusing in Evocation Magic, Fire-Based Magic, or Even Enchantment Magic(Magic of Passions and the Mind). The Nine Ruling Seats are listed below - the first six seats(Light, Void, Fire, Water, Earth, and Air) are the "Low Seats" while the final three(Esoterica, Witchcraft, Ascendance) are the "High Seats". The Seat of Ascendance, as well, acts as the outward "Face" and "Ruler" of the Society, and typically is portrayed as the thing most closely resembling a monarch or ruler for the purposes of political negotiations on behalf of the lands of Mulrath - though in truth, all nine seats hold equal power in such decisions.
- Seat of Light
- Seat of Void
- Seat of Fire
- Seat of Water
- Seat of Earth
- Seat of Air
- Seat of Esoterica
- Seat of Witchcraft
- Seat of Ascendance
The CollegesThe Society beneath the ruling Seats is broken up into "Colleges" that each focus on a specific aspect of arcane magic. Each of these Colleges is ran by a Headmaster, who serves just beneath the Ruling Seats as right hands of the Society's Ruling members and are often the ones who frequently challenge the seats when they go up for grabs every 5 years. Notably, one cannot hold both a seat of Headmaster and a Ruling Seat - if one is elected to one, they must give the other up. The colleges are listed below, alongside short descriptions of their specializations and/or purposes.
- College of the Cauldron - The Interior College focusing on all things alchemical, potion-like, and relating to 'science'. A place of invention, wonder, and innovation that is, unfortunately, the least populous and developed of the Colleges due to the Zheng-Kitaran stigma against "technology" due to the War of Boiling Skies(See The Dûlhralian Accords for more info).
- College of the Tome - The Interior College focusing on the traditional Arcane Magic that is learned through either study or innate power, such as the like used by Wizards, Sorcerers, and even Arcanists. Though it is what most think of when they think "Magic College", it is one of the least populated of the Colleges, as such Arcane Magic is rarer on Zheng-Kitar.
- College of the Elements - The Interior College focused on all manner of Kinetic Magic. The most populous and attended of the Interior Colleges.
- College of the Tapestry - The Interior College focusing on eldritch knowledge and magic drawn from great and mysterious powers, such as the like used by Witches, Warlocks, and other Eldritch Cultists. Although it is notorious for having a spooky and poor reputation, its members are fairly polite and well-mannered usually, and are somewhat well known for having good senses of humor. In years past, it and its members were mocked as "The College of Cultists", but after the legendary incident known as The Haunting where the entire College of the Tome was beset by obnoxious but harmless ghosts for an entire year, such claims stopped quickly.
- College of the Scales - The first and entrylevel of the Interior Colleges. It is where all new society members and recruits go first upon induction into the Society. Focuses on general education and determining where they should be sorted according to their specific talent for magic in a grand ritual open to the public known as "The Weighing", where a unique artifact of the Society is used to measure one's magical aptitude, elemental affinity, and the like.
- College of Statescraft - One of the two Exterior Colleges, that focuses on political and underhanded training such as Politicians, Statesman, Rogues, and the like. Also is believed to train magically gifted underworld agents such as Arcane Tricksters, though it also is rumored to have many more secret Offices within it that train and carry out a plethora of hidden agendas using secretive and unknown means.
- College of Operations - One of the two Exterior Colleges, that focuses on martial training and mixed martial-magical training such as maguses, eldritch knights, and the like. The most populous and attended College, and is where almost all of Mulrath's Soldiers and Guards trained and learned their craft.
- College of the Skull - Was the former College of Necromancy, though it now lies defunct and abandoned after the first and last Headmaster that managed to persuade the Ruling Seats of the Society to give Necromancy a chance committed "Crimes against the Society" and was given an unknown punishment. As a result, the college was deemed unworthy of the investment and the Society thus banned all necromancy from being practiced by its members.
The true agenda of the Umberlight Society is mostly unknown, though their public agenda places them as the only other place for mages to go to hone their craft outside of the Church of Jasmine the Librarian - they are not 'evil' per se, but a more morally grey group who gives a home to those mages who wish to practice and experiment and learn free of the constraints of morality or a set church.
The true assets of the Umberlight Society are many, chiefmost of which is their legendary Headquarters and base of operations that towers over the capital city of the Coalition of Nine which they rule, known as The God's Goblet. Aside from this legendary natural wonder that has been converted into their base of operations, the Umberlight Society has all manner of arcane and kinetic magic casters at their disposal and countless arcane resources, magic items, research centers, places of study, wizard and magic towers, and doubtless many other buildings and assets both too numerous to count and too secretive to mention.
Formed many centuries ago before the downfall of the Shaoshu Empire, the Umberlight Society's origins are shrouded in myth and supersition - but to those members of the Society, it is known to have started when the founder, one Harald Umberlight, formed a small Gentleman's Club in the Shaoshu Empire in response to persecution he and his fellow magic adepts faced in the society of the day. Forming their gentlemen's club as a way to unify their disparate power and unify their aims, this "Umberlight Club" would go on to become something of a terrorist organization in its formative years, carrying out radical magical bombing campaigns on the power centers of the Shaoshu Empire as a way to protest the harsh treatment of Magicians of the day - and though Harald himself and most of his conspirators were caught and brutally executed, the name of "Umberlight" survived the fall of the Shaoshu empire as a haven for magic, and was revived some decades after its initial formation by another mysterious cabal of nine, who founded the "Umberlight Society" in the wake of the Shaoshu empire's collapse to give a home to all the mages who found themselves with nowhere to go. Vanishing into the annals of history, the Umberlight Society emerged not long after as the rulers of the lands of Mulrath, forming the Kingdom of the Coalition of Nine which they have ruled ever since as mysterious overlords...
Knowledge fades without the strength to act.
The Fate of the ChosenAs the rulers of the lands of Mulrath, the Society can and does inspect all children in the land of Mulrath once a year until they reach age 13 for magical potential - those that do are automatically taken away from their parents and brought to the College of the Scales to be put through "The Weighing" and sorted from there. The children taken this way are not allowed to visit their families until they are sorted into the proper college and given a few years of proper instruction. Though this law and tradition is seen as a heartbreaking one, it is accepted by the families of Mulrath as a way for their children to have better lives - to be chosen and marked as one of the elite is seen as a blessing, and as something worth losing one's child for years if it means giving them a better life. Though rare, if families insist on keeping their children despite their potential, the Society will respect such wishes, albeit begrudgingly. It is precisely this strange custom of what might be considered state-sanctioned abduction that only adds to the morally grey and mysterious nature of the Society, especially to those not from the country they rule over - though to those who they rule, they are often kind and caring, if not excessively mysterious rulers who do seem to have their best interests at heart.
A society most secretiveThe Umberlight Society is an incredibly secretive group that does not much reveal itself to Outsiders, and that places extreme importance on Brotherhood/Sisterhood and Secrecy - they are governed by five central rules that act as guidelines for members of the Society. Disobeying or breaking the guidelines is a punishable offence that can result in things ranging from simple verbal warnings to expulsion and even physical harm. Notably, the first three of the five rules also apply to those who leave the Society for any reason - any who break these rules after leaving the Society(Willingly or otherwise) is subject to punishment of the highest order.
- Look out for your fellow Society members.
- Never give away the secrets of the Society.
- Never bring knowing harm to the Society nor its members.
- Do not let yourself be controlled by attachment, but do not abandon them.
- Strive for serenity but embrace passion. Power will blind those without the serenity to see.