History of the Warrior Mage Guild, Volume 2 (book)
The History of the Warrior Mage Guild, Volume II
by Maegwynel Nel'far
Table of Contents I. The Beginnings .................. Volume I II. The Outcasting .................. Volume I III. Time of the Clans ............... Volume I IV. Blackfire Cabal ................. Volume I V. Rise of the Council ............. Volume I VI. The Lost Years .................. Volume I VII. The Human/Elven Wars .............. Page 1 VIII. Mages in the Empire .................... 4 IX. The Time of Arhat ...................... 9 X. Rise of the Dragon Priests ............ 12 XI. The Guild in Recent Years ......Volume III
VII. The Human-Elven Wars
It was after the period known as the Lost Years that many attempts were made at reuniting those that who wished to study Elemental Magic.
Many of them hoped to reclaim the glory once possessed by Warrior Mages, but none achieved success. Many others preferred to keep low profiles and enjoy what small fame they could find in their local cities or areas. And still others rejected the very idea of a gathering of Elemental Mages; to them, the stories and memories of the Blackfire Cabal still loomed like a fearsome dragon.
Those who used Elemental Magic would find glory once again, and no longer would it suffer from the taboo it had borne since the downfall of the Council. Warrior Mages would once again find their niche.
Conflict had broken out in what was later to be known as the Human-Elven Wars. Both sides enlisted countless numbers, among them mages versed in the use of Elemental Magic. Particularly of note during this conflict was the famed S'Kra Mur Wind Clan, later wiped out because one dared to defy the Guardians' restriction on the use of magic in the conflict. Those who sided with the Elves were suddenly limited in what they could do, a limitation that turned the tide in the battle -- and indeed in the war -- because the Elves relied heavily on magic.
The Elothean House of the Grey Storm was particularly notorious during this period, helping to win many battles with their fiery tempers and potent magic. No forces on the side of the Elves went without a company from the House of the Grey Storm.
Of course, the other side also used magic. The Dwarves were noted for their studies with earth, perhaps because they felt they had an affinity for it, or because of its practicality in tactics. With their use of earth spells they were able to carry out successful sieges, often waiting until the enemy was weakened, then destroying the walls of a fort or a city and overrunning it. That is not to say they used only earth spells; they were just particularly noted for them.
The Dwarven penchant for earth magic worked against them in one especially famous battle: a Dwarven army had been beaten back by Elven forces, and a rear guard of perhaps ten Dwarves stayed behind to destroy the bridge over which their forces had barely escaped. Aware of Dwarven tactics, a small group of Elotheans went up the river and, using their knowledge of water magic, temporarily dammed it. The river level rose, and waiting for the proper moment, they released the waters. The Dwarves were swept away before they could destroy the bridge and the Elven forces were able to safely cross and rout the main body of the Dwarven forces.
A number of Gor'Togs were also noted for their handiwork with Elemental Magic. In one incident, some Gor'Togs stumbled across enemy reinforcements during a major battle. The reinforcements happened to be from the S'Kra Mur Wind Clan, only a small detachment but nonetheless an impressive foe. A pitched skirmish ensued in which magic was tossed around heavily by both sides. Whether by overconfidence in their own abilities or by under- estimation of their foes, the S'Kra Mur were unable to defeat the Gor'Togs, who emerged victorious and turned the tide of the battle.
Because of the reduced use of magic later on, no famous names arose from the battles of the five years the war lasted. But those who wielded Elemental Magic were highly regarded, even after being so limited. In later battles they were often kept back, neither side wanting to risk another incident like that which befell the Wind Clan.
Eventually the war ended, leaving Elanthia a shambles. Countless dead and fields left fallow meant that more would die. A few Elemental Mages were able to turn their magic to helping farmers so that some would not starve, but the planting season was too far gone and the efforts were in vain.
VIII. Mages In the Empire
After the Human-Elven War ended, a great rift opened up in Elanthia, especially for those who would call themselves Warrior Mages. Their magic could do little in the time of crisis, and the collapse of the Cabals and the Council had demoralized any hope of uniting mages to reclaim their former glory. Still, fresh attempts were made at restarting the Clans, some of which succeeded.
It was also during this period that Akroeg began his journey, attempting to gather the clans and establish order among the people. After the Empire was formed and order more or less restored, conditions began to improve. People were no longer starving, laws were enacted, and town guards were established to keep order among the clans.
Many Warrior Mages felt alienated from society now that there was so little for them to do: crime rates were low, and town guards did their job, in most cases without the help of Warrior Mages. Because of the lessened need for them, Warrior Mages turned to the clans formed after the War ended to find a sense of home and purpose. The clans grew in size and popularity and reached peak numbers during the infancy of the Empire. It was then that Warrior Mages regained an important part of their heritage.
Before the Lost Years, although scattered throughout the lands, the clans would gather from time to time in Firulf's Grove, uniting to pay homage to the Keepers of the Grove, a select few whose ancestors had remained to tend to the historic spot. After the fall of the Warrior Mage Council, the Grove and its Keepers had been lost to history. Now, with Warrior Mages regathering, the Keepers judged it time to emerge once again and reveal the sacred Grove. A large festival was held just outside the grove, at which the clans gathered and exchanged information.
At the same time the clans were growing, the Empire also contin- ued to expand. The Empire was renowned for its study of magic of all types. Eventually the Empire founded the Imperial Board of Wizardry and under the Board, colleges to study and harness the power of magic. The colleges attracted much interest, and most were successful from the start, if a bit long in the making.
Tension grew between the Empire and the colleges on one side and the clans on the other. As the Empire expanded into territories belonging to clans, some were swallowed entirely and integrated into the Empire, and other clans left before that could happen. But almost all of the clans resented the Empire. Some mages of the clans believed the students of the College of War Magic to be inept fools with little knowledge or practical experience. Others believed that the College, by studying War Magic, was treading on territory belonging solely to the clans. And still others feared that the College of War Magic might gain more mastery over the Elements than they possessed themselves.
Those who studied Elemental Magic in the clans debated long and hard over the merits of the College. A rift soon opened up in every clan. Fierce debates ensued, many of which ended in a death or two. One side argued that the clans were the only true successors of those who studied Elemental Magic. Others argued that the Council, a great period in Warrior Mage history, had been much like the Empire, and therefore the College was just another extension of that system. Debates like this raged on over months.
Many who studied Elemental Magic outside the clans joined the Colleges. As the Empire was still relatively small in territory and population, few within its boundaries had the knowledge or inclination to join the College. The Empire began to entice immigrants to come and join the College, offering lucrative amounts of money to teach and study War Magic.
The College of War Magic, having attracted relatively little interest among those who studied Elemental Magic, was almost ended by one politician. The College was of questionable use to the Empire at that particular time, having few students com- pared to the numbers among the Clans. It is estimated that as many as eighty-five percent of Elemental Magic users were associated with clans and perhaps as little as five percent were studying at the College.
While the other Colleges flourished from the start under the Imperial system, the study of Elemental and War Magic began to wane amongst the heated debates of the clansmen. Eventually, a mutual decision was reached, if forcibly. A second gathering took place to decide the fate of the Clans. There, many of the same arguments were hashed over and over, and little progress was made.
The gathering ended abruptly when one particularly brash young Mage stood up and declared that he was going to join the College, and that they would stop him over his lifeless corpse (perhaps the wrong choice of words considering the outcomes of some other debates). However, many Mages stood up in agreement with him. The young Mage walked out and was followed by those that had stood with him.
The Empire gladly welcomed the rebel Mages. Still in its expan- sionist period, the Empire needed all the resources it could get its hands on. The famed Telo'Getha were essential to many of the victories and the expansion of the Empire, which grew to encompass much of what are now the five provinces, with a few outlying territories that they had little interest in. The expansion of the Empire meant that many of the Mages not associ- ated with the clans were now a part of the Empire and could study at the College. Content at where it stood, the Empire began to to focus on internal improvements.
Those who studied Elemental Magic were soon put to use for a variety of practical purposes. Warrior Mages still studied and trained in combat magic, but they also trained in practical trade skills to apply during peacetime. Thus Elemental Magic found use in such activities as farming, road building, construction, forging, and a variety of activities besides war.
IX. The Time of Arhat
It was not until the end of the Empire that the mettle of Warrior Mages would be again put to the test. The decline and collapse of the Empire were trying times for all. Teiro's dictatorship began and the Resistance Wars followed soon after, led among others by two famous Warrior Mages, Lanival and Arhat. Lanival is in general the more famous of the pair, but Arhat is perhaps more famous among Warrior Mages for organizing them into the first officially sanctioned guild after the establishment of the five provinces.
I will not dwell on the personal history of Lanival, which is widely known and written about. I intend, instead, to focus on the rest of the events surrounding Warrior Mages and their eventual organization into a guild.
During the Resistance Wars both sides used magic heavily. Teiro used Warrior Mages, some from the College among them, but not all College-trained Warrior Mages followed him. Lanival was able to persuade a small number of the College's Mages to join his cause. This created problems, however, because Lanival had also managed to persuade the remaining clans to join his cause as well.
Tensions were high between the clansmen and the College students, but despite their distrust, each was able to teach the other formerly unknown spells and magic. Bad feelings and suspicion were eventually put aside -- it's hard to hate someone who has just saved your life in battle. That being said though, it took a long time for trust and friendship to replace the old hatreds.
Arhat was able to avoid conflict between his forces by forming Warrior Mages units that were half clansmen and half College students. In camp, however, the factions were separated, usually with another body of tents between theirs. Eventually as the bad feelings subsided, the camps were moved closer together.
The Warrior Mages during this time were always in the heat of battle. Led personally by Arhat, the Warrior Mages became renowned for being in the hottest part of the action and coming out more or less intact. Arhat's competent leadership and the skills of the combined clansmen and College students were a lethal combination against their enemies.
Because of this period, Arhat was able to establish the first Guild in the five provinces after the Resistance Wars ended. The camaraderie established between the clansmen and the students was the basis for the Guild Arhat had envisioned: a place much like the College where Warrior Mages could study combat, both mundane and magical, or search for forgotten lore.
In forming the Guild, Arhat had to overcome two roadblocks. The first was that the students wished to study spells and other lore, to which Arhat agreed. In order to become better Mages, the study of lore was essential, Arhat believed. A minor difficulty was that the clansmen had originally been opposed to the College. Arhat had to convince the clansmen that the College was a worthwhile venture and that they would be free to pursue magic as they wished under the Guild system. But the clansmen had gained a deep, if grudging, respect for the College students.
It was thus that the Warrior Mage Guild was born.
X. The Rise of the Dragon Priests
During the Rise of the Dragon Priests, Warrior Mages were in a most unusual situation. Like Bards (although not as hated), the Warrior Mages wielded Elemental Magic, as did some among Dzree's ranks. While not completely outcast during this period, Warrior Mages had to be cautious how they used their powers. If they became too much of a threat or their magic seemed too Bardic in nature, they would be executed. It was a precarious balance.
Perhaps the only thing that kept Dzree from killing off Warrior Mages alongside Bards was the place that Warrior Mages held in S'Kra Mur culture. Warrior Mages were somewhat reminiscent of the old aristocracy and the Wind Clan. Or possibly, Dzree's hand was stayed by a few of her less fanatical followers.
About thirty years after Dzree began her reign (around 160 BL) that the Warrior Mages started to openly defy the Dragon Priests. In an attempt to defend Surlaenis Island, the Warrior Mages and Bardic allies manned the Sentinels where the Dragon Priest armies were stopped, thereby protecting the bards and the Ru'atin Peri'el from the savagery of the hordes.
The Warrior Mage Guild was not openly blamed for the defeat at the Sentinels, but those Warrior Mages who had defended it were named traitors and sentenced to death. The Warrior Mage Guild was watched even closer than it had been before, and was forced to lie low until Dzree had been done in by Sithsia's self- fulfilling prophecy.
After Dzree was gone, the Dragon Priests were soundly defeated by the combined forces of Savrin, Alec the Phoenix, Baron Falstad of Therengia and King Baulsir of Kwarlog, in the year 3 BL. Warrior Mages took part in these battles, many enthusiastically now that an end to the tyranny of the Dragon Priests was in sight.
Shortly after the end of the reign of the Dragon Priests, Warrior Mages began to help in the recovery and to establish a training regimen that would ensure that they would be able to stop anyone from gaining control as the Dragon Priests did.
Thus ends the second part of the History of the Warrior Mageguild.