The Wizards' Guild is an organization for wizards which places a number of demands and expectations on wizards and non wizards alike. The most notable of these is the requirement that no individual practice wizardry without being a member of the Guild and that no magician may take up more than one form of magic. The organization makes a number of claims regarding its origins and legitimacy including that it originated long before the Great War began and that it had the official sanction of the Holy Kingdom of Ethshar (Old Ethshar). Generally, however, its status as inter-magicial regulator is recognized based on the sheer individual power of its senior members and combined power of its membership.
Since the Great War the Guild has largely returned to a behavior pattern typical of other guilds: protecting trade secrets, demanding obedience of their members, and exercising discipline amongst their members to maintain the image of their profession. Most of the flashier and more dangerous spells have been quietly suppressed by the Wizards' Guild. The Guild is particularly rigorous about secrecy regarding the Athame, spells dealing with eternal youth, and spells that disrupt wizardry or threaten the World.
The Guild is organized very loosely, with many wizards having little to or no association with the Guild during their entire life. Possession of an Athame is generally recognized as a symbol of initiation, and thus rejection of Guild rules while owning an Athame is the only practical way to be a wizard outside of the guild. Even those whose training included no introduction to the Guild hierarchy are expected to behave within the strictures of the Guild.
From the population of wizards certain very experienced and capable master wizards are granted the title Guildmaster, which is as much a title of accomplishment as a rank. Often this title carries additional responsibilities regarding a given area or subject. From the population of Guildmasters a select few are selected to be part of the Inner Circle. There are about 1,000 Guildmasters, of whom maybe 250-300 belong to the Inner Circle, and exactly 100 of those belong to the Hundred. Normally, no one below the rank of Guildmaster would know how to work any seriously dangerous spells. Promoting someone to Guildmaster is sometimes done as much to co-opt and control them as for any other reason.
- Kaligir of the New Quarter
- Telurinon of the Black Robe
- Heremon the Mage
- Algarin of Longwall
- Salina of the dark moon
The existence of the Inner Circle is generally considered a guild secret, and this group is comprised of some of the eldest and most powerful wizards living. Universally comprised of wizards who have lived for centuries and have mastered all the magic necessary to meet most of their practical needs and then some, the view from the Inner Circle can seem somewhat slanted with regards to time, due haste for these nigh immortals often being measured in years. Many meetings of the Inner Circle happen entirely outside of the World, in locations discovered or created by wizards and only accessible by magic.
Within the Inner Circle is a group called the Hundred, a select group who are the superiors of those in the Inner Circle and the existence of which is a secret to those who are not part of the Inner Circle. There appear to be levels of authority even above the Hundred, though their nature and composition remain a mystery even to those within the Inner Circle.
- No magician may practice more than one form of magic.
- Use of Wizardry is restricted to members of the Guild.
- Use of Ellran's Dissipation is forbidden.
- Magicians cannot hold any governmental office that does not explicitly require magic. ie; A wizard can be a court magician but cannot be a judge. Nor can they be a hereditary noble or rule any state (however see Klathoa).
- Once, it was forbidden for a wizard to even marry a member of nobility, though this rule has been relaxed.
- Individuals with a high office, especially nobility, may not personally use any form of magic though they may hire it.
- Wizards may not kill a ruler, or their direct heir, except in self defense or to enforce Guild laws.
- Wizards can not use a magical compulsion on an individual with greater rank than Lieutenant in the City Guard without written dispensation from a Guildmaster.
- Any individual protected from wizardly retribution cannot be healed by a Wizard.
Nearly all of these "laws" have been bent at the decision of the Guild, but the only punishment for violating them is death.
The Wizards' Guild is some 400 years old, though its history and nature are shrouded in secrecy. Many claims have been made regarding its nature and goals, including that it was established by the government of Old Ethshar to ensure the protection of the Towers of Lumeth.