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The Brotherhood of Sorcerers was the oldest organization of mages in the Northern Kingdoms. Formed in the aftermath of the non-aggression pact established by the Novigradian Union in the 8th century, it united and had control over most of the magic users, magic academies like Aretuza or Ban Ard, and institutions, such as Rissberg. It was led by the Chapter, which consisted of two main governing bodies that guided magical practice for centuries before dissolving completely as a consequence of the events that transpired during the Thanedd coup in 1267.

Governing Bodies

The most distinguished practitioners of magical art first founded the Council of Wizards to institute codified rules on the use of magic, but the creation of a new hierarchy of order sparked a brief civil war, costing the life of Raffard the White, who opposed its formation.

The Council was eventually split into two groups of 5 mages: the Chapter of the Gift and the Art and the Council of Wizards, with the Chapter having the highest hierarchy and the Council the lower, but the latter still wielded important authority in the Brotherhood. The Council was established to aid the Brotherhood in administering and regulating practitioners of magic. In particular, the Council focused on magical experiments, research, and expanding magical knowledge.[1]

History

Establishment

Following the first landing of humans in the 760s, the Novigradian Union, consisting of the mages Jan Bekker, Giambattista and Geoffrey Monck, established the Brotherhood. They based their headquarters in the keep Mirthe, and trained Sources there, including the young Agnes of Glanville, the first female mage and member of the Brotherhood.[2]

In the 9th century, the Chapter of the Gift and the Art was installed and the Brotherhood's laws enacted for all mages. Those who didn't conform ended up in a bloody war with the Chapter, Raffard the White being a casualty.[2]

In the 10th and 11th century, after Monck established good relations with the elves, the Brotherhood started sending students to Loc Muinne to study under the Aen Saevherne. Several years later, because of this peace treaty, they objected to the first elven-human war and so no mage participated.[2]

First Northern War

In 1263, the Brotherhood of Sorcerers, led by Vilgefortz, fought alongside the armies of the Northern Kingdoms in a massive battle against the Nilfgaardian Empire in Upper Sodden, known famously as the Battle of Sodden Hill. They fought bravely and ferociously, shedding blood for the defense of the north, until the Nilfgaardian Army was defeated.[3]

Prohibitions

The Brotherhood regulated and oversaw the use of magic, making sure that practices such as demonology, necromancy, and Artefact compression (labeled "black magic") were kept to a bare minimum, and the practitioners of such magics were given fair and just sentences; these sentences usually being shackled in dimeritium for several centuries. Individuals who ignored the ban used to be excluded from the Brotherhood and were considered as renegades, e.g. Alzur or Idarran of Ulivo. However, though all mages are equal before the law, some of them are actually "more equal than others"; an open secret was commonly breaking the bans in Rissberg until it came to light after the deaths of Grandmaster Ortolan and his favorite Sorel Degerlund.

Aftermath

After the coup that essentially dissolved the Brotherhood, former Council member Philippa Eilhart established the Lodge of Sorceresses. Unlike the Brotherhood, the Lodge was female-only and included sorceresses from both the Northern Kingdoms and the Nilfgaardian Empire.

References

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