The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct her to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.

Lebannon of Haros Water


The orders are political bodies with clear philosophies about how magic should be used. They are made up of like-minded individuals and exist to bring together magicians who share a common vision for how magic should be used in the Empire. There is no requirement for a magician to join an order, and many magicians involve themselves in the discussions of multiple orders.

Any individual present who is not a member of an order can only play a limited role in Conclave business. They can participate in all votes but can only speak during debates if they have the support of a grandmaster.

Each order also controls their own Conclave vault. The vault contains mana crystals and materials that are distributed by the Conclave to the order for their use. As the property of the order, responsibility for their distribution lies with the grandmaster of the order.

Joining an Order

  • Any Imperial magician may join an order at any time using the Arcane Mark ritual
  • Magicians may use the ritual to change order at any time
  • Characters with the magician skill can choose an order to start in without paying any mana cost to join

Any Imperial magician may join any order. To become a member requires the use of a simple magic ritual. Several civil servants associated with the Conclave have mastered this ritual and can perform it on an Imperial citizen at no additional cost beyond the crystal mana required. The ritual places an invisible mark on the target which can be revealed with detect magic and several rituals.

Citizens may change order at any time, but a magician who changes order cannot vote in the election for a new grandmaster, if they were a member of another order when that order voted for a grandmaster in the last year. In effect you cannot participate in the election for a new grandmaster if you were previously eligible to vote when a grandmaster was elected at any of the previous three summits. Attempting to influence the election of a grandmaster without due authority is electoral fraud and can carry harsh penalties.

During character creation, a character with the magician skill can join an order without needing to expend any crystal mana. A character who chooses not to take this option will need to join an order in play at the usual cost.

Powers of membership in an order

Electing a Grandmaster

  • Every member of the order receives a single vote when electing a grandmaster
  • Only members of a Conclave order may stand to be grandmaster

Each member of an order can cast one vote during elections to determine who the grandmaster of the order will be. The grandmaster must be a member of the order to be eligible to stand.

Establishing Precedence

  • Orders receive precedence to speak and access to Conclave resources based on the size of their order

The number of members of an order attending Anvil determines precedence. The precedence of an order determines when they speak during a Conclave session, and what share of the Conclave resources they receive. Only members of the order who bear the order's Arcane Mark count for precedence. Precedence is determined by the Civil Service by performing a census of the arcane mark possessed by each magician attending the summit shortly before it begins.

Right of Challenge

  • Members of an order may challenge another magician to confirm membership

Claiming to be in an order one is not a member of is considered electoral fraud. Any member of an order may request that another member prove their membership in the presence of a magistrate; in this case the onus is always on the challenger to examine the target's Arcane Mark using the detect magic spell. If the outcome is disputed then the Prefect of the Conclave will repeat the spell.

Challenging the Grandmaster

  • Any member of an order may call for a vote to replace their grandmaster at any time
  • Members of the order can register their support for or opposition to the grandmaster in the Hub at any time while the vote is running
  • The vote ends immediately if more than half of the members vote in support or against the grandmaster, otherwise the vote fails

At any time during the summit, a member of an order may challenge the grandmaster to try to remove them from their position. To do so, they must request a vote of no confidence with the Prefect of the Conclave (usually found in the Hub). An announcement of the challenge will be publicly displayed in the Hub and regularly updated with votes for and against the current grandmaster, as well as the current size of the order.

The challenge continues until the end of the summit (in which case it has failed) or until a majority of the order present at the summit cast either a vote of no confidence or a vote in support of the current grandmaster. The threshold for a successful challenge is set by the precedence determined before the summit. A grandmaster can only be challenged once during each summit. A magician may change their vote at any time by informing the Prefect, however the vote ends immediately if the threshold of votes in support or against the incumbent is reached.

If the challenge is successful, it is announced at the start of the next Conclave session and at that moment the grandmaster loses their title. The order has no grandmaster during this session of the Conclave. An election for a new grandmaster occurs immediately afterwards, following all the normal rules for the appointment of a grandmaster.

As with other elections, it is not legal to vote against a grandmaster if you were eligible to vote in a different order's grandmaster election within the last year.

Existing orders

In the modern era, the following Orders are legally recognised as part of the Conclave:

  • The Celestial Arch: The Celestial Arch maintain that the skill and knowledge required to master magic mean that magicians are naturally better leaders and statesmen. They champion the cause of magicians and magic in choosing the Empire's course.
  • The Sevenfold Path: The Sevenfold Path manifesto centres on the belief that magic serves the Empire best when it is used virtuously, and that the virtuous should not fear magic. It often serves as a bridge between the Conclave and the Imperial Synod.
  • The Rod and Shield: The most martial of the orders, the manifesto of the Rod and Shield centres on the role of magic in defending the Empire and expanding its borders. The Rod and Shield is a popular order with battlemages and healers.
  • The Golden Pyramid: The manifesto of the Golden Pyramid centres on the role of magic in generating wealth across the Empire. This Order also champions the causes of artisans, and the right of all magicians not to be treated as servants or slaves.
  • The Shuttered Lantern: The Shuttered Lantern focuses on the protection of the Empire and the accumulation of knowledge about allies and enemies alike. They are known to favour scrying, espionage and other subtle uses of magic.
  • The Unfettered Mind: The Unfettered Mind believe that the study and use of magic are ends in their own right. They work to expand the Empire's arcane knowledge and power, and oppose measures to curtail or constrain Imperial magic.
  • The Silver Chalice: The Silver Chalice focuses on the health and wellbeing of the Empire and its citizens, wielding magic that nurtures life, mends what is broken, and brings what is torn apart back together. They are the newest Conclave order, formed officially during the Autumn Equinox 381YE.

Creation and Dissolution of an Order

  • The Empire can dissolve existing orders or create new ones with a constitutional vote of the Senate
  • Senate is permitted to authorise the existence of up to seven distinct Conclave orders at any one time

Conclave is limited to a maximum of seven distinct Orders at any one time. According to legend, this limit exists to ensure nobody ever tries to create one order for each realm of magic, a proposal the founders of the Conclave firmly rejected. Provided this limit is observed, existing orders can be dissolved and new ones created by a constitutional vote of the Senate.

A newly created order must have a clear statement as to its purpose and attitudes to magic, and a symbol, similar to those possessed by existing orders, that is used with the Arcane Mark ritual. When an order is dissolved, the contents of its vault are redistributed among the remaining orders.

Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information