Rally in Vespacore
The Cabal of the Magi was the most powerful mystic organization in the Solarian Empire. They were considered to have military rank, and considered to serve the Emporer directly. Recently, this changed. The Church of Deos has always had a problem with this nature of magic. After quenching the civil wars that plagued his early rule, Emporer Jean-Sebastian III declared the practice illegal. He forbade it in the Empire, and sent the Imperial Armies to seize the Arch-Magi’s tower, the centre of the Cabal, and destroy it, along with their books, accurements, and any who refused to surrender.
The Arch Magus refused. A spectatular battle ensued, and the army was hard pressed, until the Arch-Cardinal of Solaria arrived with several orders of crusaders. They put down the demons in service of the Magi, and banish the infernal spirits.
Those Magi who returned to their lives before do so very publically, and live under constant scrutiny. More fled the Empire. Some found welcome in Kole, but most considered this distasteful, and chose instead to look to the Tyroc Baronies, or Tyr Moria.
The Magi practice the Solemic Art of the Will. It is there belief that the pure upright minds of men are the closest in creation to Deos. By forcing Infernal Spirits to do their will, they purify their soul through the trial, making their resistance to demonic influence stronger. Since man is closest to Deos, it is also acceptable by their practice to force their will apon elemental spirits, nature spirits, fae spirits, and dead spirits. Divine Spirits are considered somewhat out of bounds, as they know Deos better than man, and man may lead them astray from their true purposes. Those who chose to command these spirits are expected to work very dilligently for the greater good. Any sign of curroption will have their fellow Magi revoking their right to call upon these spirits.
Traditionally, most Magi are from the Imperial Nobility, and the rank of their family determines their access to resources, teachers, and lessons within the Cabal. Sometimes, those of incredible ability are chosen from the lower classes, but these are rarely identified. There are also several studens certain they are more gifted than they truely are, and for the sake of their families, they may begin the training, but the Cabal will not promote those who do not truely have ability. Rank provides preference, but ability determines success.
A Magus or Magi (the term is interchanable) begins their career as an Apprentice. They study under a series of Magi, but are considered to have a primary Magi, whom they serve. An Apprentice remains so until their first unassisted summoning. Their master gives them a task, and watches as the student calls forth an infernal, provides instructions, and oversees the result. If the master, at anytime, feels the need to intervene, the student has failed, and most wait a year before they can attempt the unassisted summoning again.
Magi report to High Magi. High Magi are not chosen for their mystical proress so much as their logistical, acedemic, or beucratic skill. They run the Cabal, and some consider the promotion more of a punishment. It is quite common for a very powerful Magi never to achieve this rank, as their mystic power is needed for the Cabal’s more basic work.
The Arch Magus is different. When the last Arch Magus retires, the High Magi determine candidates, usually from within their own ranks, but the most powerful Magi are invited to the Trial of the Arch Magus as well. It is a harrowing test, and it is considered a sign of wisdom, not weakness, to refuse the Trial if one is uncertain of sucess. The Arch Magus most complete a Greater Summoning, taking a true demon, and binding it to their will. When the Trial is tested, several powerful Magi are on hand to collectively banish a demon which comes lose. If no one accepts or suceeds in the Trail of the Arch Magus, the seat is given to a High Magus Chancellor, who rules the cabal in the place of an Arch Magus until one can be found. In these times, any Magi can petition the High Council to be allowed to take the trail, but they have no obiligation to accept any petition.
Magi’s focus on spirit summoning colours the invocations they study. They commonly study Warding, Symbols of Protection, Soulfire, Sheilding, along with all forms of Spirit Mastery. Gateway is also a common invocation, and there was once a series of Magus Towers across the empire. Jean-Sebastian has had them toppled.
The Rituals:Magi allows one to cast Spirit Mastery: Infernal. (Note that Infernal and Demonic are different. Infernal are spirits loyal to and of the essence of Hell, while Demons are the powerful species that inhabits Hell.)