The first Warmage was a Dawnish warwitch named Jayne de Severnford, and the witches of Dawn often seek to emulate her by claiming this position and keeping for as long as possible. Indeed, on several occasions a test of mettle has revolved around becoming Warmage. The position is often hotly contested by members of the Rod and Shield order. On occasions where a Warmage that does not belong to that order is appointed, they often come under pressure to join the ranks of the Rod and Shield. A wise Warmage cultivates good relations with the Order of the Rod and Shield, as their goals are often in alignment.
The Warmage ensures that the Military Council has specialist advice on tactical and strategic use of magic; is appraised of the availability and effect of magical resources; and to recognises opportunities to use magic on the battlefield or in pursuit of strategic aims. The holder of the title is also expected to use their powers to liaise between the Conclave and the Council, helping to arrange magical assistance for the armies of the Empire. They are also likely to offer advice about deploying and gathering magical resources, specific magical counters to known threats, and ways that additional magical support can be acquired or deployed.
Membership of the Imperial Military Council
The Warmage has a seat on the Military Council. This grants them a vote, identical to that possessed by an Imperial general. While they do not directly control an Imperial army, they receive all other benefits and expectations of being an Imperial general such as being permitted to speak freely.
Addressing the Conclave
Once per summit, the Warmage can raise an address to the agenda of a conclave session for free. This power is intended to be used to let the Warmage appraise the Conclave of developments in the Military Council, but the Warmage is free to address the Conclave however they wish.
The Warmage is entitled to appoint a proxy who may exercise the legal powers of their office in their name.
Bearer of the Healing Rod
Since 377YE, the Warmage has been entrusted with Merel's Rod of Healing, an artefact Ambergelt Baton. The rod was made by the Navarr artisan Merel Pathfinder, with ilium garnered from the Imperial Conclave. The Warmage may wield the rod themselves, but the intention was that it could be allocated to a worthy individual each day to ensure it saved the most lives possible. If the Warmage loses their position, then the item must be given to the new Warmage with all appropriate haste. The Warmage is encouraged to take all appropriate precautions to keep this item safe.
Bearer of the Staff of Judgement
At the Spring Solstice of 380YE, the incumbent Warmage was entrusted with "The Staff of Judgement" an artefact Staff of Imperial Mastery made by the Marcher artificer Thomas of Upwold as an item befitting the role of Imperial Warmage. This item is now part of the regalia of office for the Warmage. The staff judges every action that the wielder takes so that those who take on the role will be aware of the great responsibility they have been entrusted with.
The Bounty of the Heavens
Major deposits of ilium in the Empire are regulated and disposed of through the Bourse for the benefits of everyone. However minor deposits - a few rings - of the kind associated with minor star falls can be claimed by any who find them. Often such bounties end up in the public auction - the best way for the lucky finder to turn their trove into rings. The Arch of the Sky in Zenith has enriched themselves considerably by this means - having developed the ability to accurately plot the passage of stars as they fall. In 332YE, the stargazers elected to provide a small bounty of ilium taken from their finds for use by the Warmage. The practice ended in 367YE after a long period without star falls left the Arch low on supplies but they have now indicated that they are in a position to resume supporting the Warmage.
The Arch has committed to provide 3 rings of ilium for the Warmage each summit for the foreseeable future. This wealth is intended to be used by the Warmage in their negotiations with other magicians as they coordinate and corral the efforts of magicians to support the Military Council. Aiding the Warmage fits perfectly with the Net of the Heavens philosophy of Arch of the Sky. Their goal is to aid the Empire and they see the Warmage as the pivotal node through which to achieve that end.
The appointment, replacement, or removal of the Warmage is made by the declaration of candidacy as part of a Conclave session. Any Imperial citizen may hold the title. A candidate can be presented for the post of Warmage only once a season.
The Warmage serves until they are replaced by another magician using the Declaration of Candidacy. As a title in the Conclave, they cannot be revoked.