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Archmage is an Imperial title bestowed upon a magician by the members of the Conclave. There are six archmagi in the Conclave; one for each of the magical realms. They serve as a focal point for ritualists of that realm, as well as helping to guide the use of the Conclave's resources.

The six archmagi match the six realms into which magic is divided. Where the influence of a grandmaster is primarily political, the archmagi are responsible for attending to the magical business of the Conclave. They are assumed by the Senate, the Military Council, foreign dignitaries and Eternals alike to be well-versed in the capabilities and lore of their Realm. The archmagi are often seen as the public faces of the Conclave; they are the individuals most likely to be consulted by other Imperial bodies when they wish to know what magical possibilities exist.

Each archmage is addressed by their title and the name of the Realm of magic they stand for - Tavistock, Archmage of Spring or Archmage Reyon d'Esange of Summer. The title archmage comes originally from Urizen, a development of the title mage.

Powers of an Archmage

Each archmage position is an Imperial title in the Conclave.

Addressing the Conclave

Once per summit, an archmage can raise an address to the agenda of a Conclave session for free. This power is intended to be used to let an archmage appraise the Conclave of a magical problem or development related to their realm of mastery, but the archmage is free to address the Conclave however they wish.

Ambassador to the Eternals

Each archmage is expected to represent the Empire to the Eternals of their Realm, and vice versa. Most Eternals understand that the archmage is a representative of the Empire and look to them for assistance. The majority of Eternals will meet with the appropriate archmage before meeting with other magicians, or ask the archmage to be present at a meeting. They also instruct their Heralds to look to the archmage for support and protection should it be necessary.

Presentation of Gambits

Each archmage can present a single gambit during each Conclave session. A gambit is a request for magical resources to be provided by the Conclave. Each Conclave order decides how much support to offer the gambit from their Conclave vault. If collectively the Conclave agrees to provide all the resources requested then the materials are given to the archmage by the civil service at the end of the session. The Principle of Presence means that an archmage can appoint a proxy to raise a gambit on their behalf - but the proxy cannot present it.

Master of Magic

In situations where it is unclear if a specific act of magic breaches a Declaration of interdiction or association with a herald or eternal breaches a Declaration of Enmity an Imperial Magistrate may issue a formal request for the appropriate archmage to provide a ruling. Control of the judicial process remains with the Magistrate, but the Archmage's ruling on whether the act is a breach of the relevant declaration is binding.

An archmage is legally obligated to provide a ruling when requested by a magistrate or else to direct the magistrate to another archmage better able to clarify the situation.

Regalia of the Archmage

Each archmage receives a staff, a chain and a belt when they take the title. Together these are referred to as the regalia of the archmage. These items are re-enchanted each year. If an archmage loses their position, then the items must be given to the new archmage. If part of the regalia is lost or stolen it may be replaced depending on the resources available to the Conclave; otherwise it remains lost until the next Winter solstice when a replacement is made. Theft of part of an archmage's regalia is a very serious business. Archmagi are encouraged to take all appropriate precautions to keep these items safe (such as arranging for someone with access to the Reading the Weave ritual to bond the item to them).

The regalia is created by a reclusive order of Dawnish artisans in Weirwater who pledged themselves to this task in the first years of the Conclave.

Staff of the Archmage

The archmage takes custody of the ceremonial staff of the archmage. Each of the staffs of the archmagi is a ritual staff, appropriate to the realm of the archmage, which grants two additional ranks of the appropriate realm lore skill.

Chain of Aesh

The chains are magical items that can be used to empower ritual magic, and are bound to the archmage in the same manner as other magical jewellery. Once per event the archmage can evoke the power of their chain before a ritual from their Realm is performed to reduce the effective magnitude of that ritual by 10. The archmage does not need to be a participant or contributor to the ritual, they only need to be present; likewise, they do not need to be of the same nation as the coven they are using the chain to assist.

Belt of Stars

The belt allows an archmage to help different covens work together. Once each summit, they can invoke it to allow multiple covens from the same nation to co-operate on a single ritual from the archmage's realm of magic. This counts as a daily ritual use by each coven involved in the ritual, and while the covens may perform a ritual together, they are still treated as separate covens for all other purposes (for example, a ritual that affects an entire coven will only affect one target coven). Each coven can use their own paraphenalia while performing a joint ritual. The target covens must all be from the same nation but that does not have to be the same nation as the archmage invoking the belt.

Any ritual performed with the power of the belt of stars takes an extra minute to perform for each additional coven involved.

Selection of an Archmage

The appointment, replacement or removal of an archmage is made by declaration of candidacy as part of the agenda of a Conclave session. A candidate can be presented for the post of archmage only once a season.

Removing an Archmage

An archmage serves until they are replaced by another magician using the Declaration of Candidacy. An archmage cannot be revoked by any assembly of the Imperial Synod.