Although players are likely to include or encounter several wizards in the course of their adventures, most people have never met a true spellcaster, and are likely to be frightened & awed by overt displays of magic. Wizard curses are likely to be blamed for bad weather, sickness, etc. Hucksters claiming to be wizards can be as common as the real thing. The terms wizard, sorcerer, mage, and magician are often used interchangeably.
Wizards learn the art of magic through study of ancient tomes and experiments in arcane laboratories. Most come from the aristocracy or noble classes, since few others have the time or resources for such study. The profession attracts about equal numbers of men & women. Eladrin & other elves have a natural talent for wizardry. Other long-lived races like gnomes, dwarves, divas, and tieflings also have an advantage in this regard, though they might have a proclivity for sorcery or witchcraft, and follow that path instead.
The majority of wizards apprentice under a master to learn their craft, and most masters are very picky about whom they choose to teach. A very few wizards of exceptional luck & talent learn magic on their own. There are also a small number of wizard academies. The most renown is the Lyceum of Arcadia, in Avalonia. It has an eastern counterpart in the Imperial Draconic Academy, and to the west at the Spiral Tower of Cornis. Eladrin might learn at the Crystal Palace of Aurilis. A degree of competition exists between these schools (as it does between pupils of different masters) as to which techniques are superior. Certain styles and colors of hats and robes are used by different schools and guilds to distinguish their members, and to denote ranks & honors within their membership.
While PC classes are understandably fashioned to be balanced in combat, Many NPC wizards – though not the ones you’re likely to fight :-) – have less combat-focused spells at their disposal. As uncommon as mages are in Arekhan, rarer still is the wizard who has graduated beyond a few utility spells and cantrips. By far the most common application of wizardry (or any spellcraft) is through rituals and alchemy.
When one wizard meets another, there is a certain kinship from being in the company of one of the select few who can even understand their profession. It is a chance to discuss the alchemical formulae and arcane theories that so intrigue them. But it is usually accompanied by a wariness that this rival might steal your hard-learned secrets or usurp your power. Wizards tend to regard spellcasters who’s powers are granted by supernatural pacts (Clerics, Warlocks, etc.) or inborn traits (Sorcerers, etc.) as posers who do not truly understand what they are dealing with.
Wizards may be as religious as anyone, often venerating Corellon or Ioun as a patron deity. The Church (particularly the Inquisition) views wizardry with some distrust, and often suspects them of hubris or practicing dark magic, but there are no holy injunctions against practicing wizardry.
Wizards are sought after by influential families who would use magic to increase their fortunes, spy against rivals, and tutor their children. Some wizards even actively engage in battle, summoning the elements against enemies and so forth. Such abilities are rare, even among this elite population, and only a few leaders can afford or attract such talent. Any commander who suspect his opponent employs a wizard would try to obtain magical defenses of his own, though.
Created: 2009.06.27 – Last Modified: 2009.07.11