Line 14: Line 14:
 
The '''Circle of Magi''' is the dominant organization for the training of [[mages]] within nations of [[Thedas]]. They are governed and monitored by the [[Chantry]] and without counting those of [[Tevinter Imperium]], there are 14 Circles of Magi in Thedas. The Circle is allowed to take any child (usually age 6 to 12) from their families as soon as they show signs of magical ability. Even a royal child would be taken by the Circle should they show magical ability. The Circle then raises the child until they are a young adult, at which time they must either undergo the Harrowing or be made Tranquil.
 
The '''Circle of Magi''' is the dominant organization for the training of [[mages]] within nations of [[Thedas]]. They are governed and monitored by the [[Chantry]] and without counting those of [[Tevinter Imperium]], there are 14 Circles of Magi in Thedas. The Circle is allowed to take any child (usually age 6 to 12) from their families as soon as they show signs of magical ability. Even a royal child would be taken by the Circle should they show magical ability. The Circle then raises the child until they are a young adult, at which time they must either undergo the Harrowing or be made Tranquil.
   
The Circles, as Circle fortresses are called, tend to be located in remote and difficult to reach areas, but the [[Formari]] have outposts in major cities for the purpose of trade. The Circle's base of operations in Ferelden is [[Kinloch Hold]] - better known as simply the "[[Circle Tower]]." The College of Enchanters in the city of Cumberland is the Circle's headquarters, as that's where Enchanters gather to determine Circle policy.
+
The Circles, as Circle fortresses are called, tend to be located in remote and difficult to reach areas, but the [[Formari]] have outposts in major cities for the purpose of trade. The Circle's base of operations in Ferelden is [[Kinloch Hold]] - better known as simply the "[[Circle Tower]]."
   
 
The Circle maintains a neutrality policy, since the Chantry might take action against them if they got into the habit of getting involved into conflicts, the single exception being perhaps during a [[Blight]]. Nonetheless, it isn't that unusual to see at least one mage or two serving either side during a conflict and the Circle ignoring these, either as a courtesy or as a way of not creating too much enmity against the Circle on either side.
 
The Circle maintains a neutrality policy, since the Chantry might take action against them if they got into the habit of getting involved into conflicts, the single exception being perhaps during a [[Blight]]. Nonetheless, it isn't that unusual to see at least one mage or two serving either side during a conflict and the Circle ignoring these, either as a courtesy or as a way of not creating too much enmity against the Circle on either side.

Revision as of 05:14, 18 April 2011

Circle heraldy

The Circle of Magi is the dominant organization for the training of mages within nations of Thedas. They are governed and monitored by the Chantry and without counting those of Tevinter Imperium, there are 14 Circles of Magi in Thedas. The Circle is allowed to take any child (usually age 6 to 12) from their families as soon as they show signs of magical ability. Even a royal child would be taken by the Circle should they show magical ability. The Circle then raises the child until they are a young adult, at which time they must either undergo the Harrowing or be made Tranquil.

The Circles, as Circle fortresses are called, tend to be located in remote and difficult to reach areas, but the Formari have outposts in major cities for the purpose of trade. The Circle's base of operations in Ferelden is Kinloch Hold - better known as simply the "Circle Tower."

The Circle maintains a neutrality policy, since the Chantry might take action against them if they got into the habit of getting involved into conflicts, the single exception being perhaps during a Blight. Nonetheless, it isn't that unusual to see at least one mage or two serving either side during a conflict and the Circle ignoring these, either as a courtesy or as a way of not creating too much enmity against the Circle on either side.

The College of Magi, a council of representatives from all the Circles in Thedas (excluding Tevinter), routinely convenes in the city of Cumberland, Nevarra to discuss Circle policy and to elect a new Grand Enchanter.

Known Circle of Magi

Hierarchy

Each Circle follows a simple six-tier hierarchy where all residents fit; although the Tranquil seem to stand somewhat outside this progression.

  • The grand enchanter, the Circle's direct representative to the Chantry and advisor to the Divine. Elected by the College of Magi in Cumberland.
  • The first enchanter, leader of a Circle.
  • The senior enchanters, a small council of the most experienced mages.
  • The enchanters, those mages who participate in teaching.
  • The mages, all residents who have passed their Harrowing.
  • The apprentices, all students training for their Harrowing.

In the time of the Tevintar Imperium, the rank of magister existed above first enchanter as supreme authority in the each Circle. After the mage Darinius claimed the title of Archon, the magisters became the only noble rank in Tevinter. All Circles outside Tevinter have abolished this rank.

Fraternities of Enchanters

The mages of the Circle are also divided into several fraternities, the equivalent of political parties, which hold diverse views of how mages should act and their place in society. The prominent fraternities are featured below.

The Loyalists

Loyalists seek to strengthen the ties between mages and the Chantry and seek a closer 'cooperation' between the two. They often come into conflict with the Libertarians on this matter.

The Libertarians

Libertarians seek to acquire more independence for the Circle by weakening the control that the Chantry currently has on Magic; some Libertarians even wish to break away completely from the Chantry's supervision. They often come into conflict with the Loyalists on this matter.

The Aequitarians

Aequitarians seek not to go to extremes in any matter concerning magic, instead preaching the enacting of moral restraint amoung mages in the use of magic. Although there is some disagreement among them of where the perfect 'balance' lies, all aequitarians are pragmatists at heart, and are often called to broker compromise between the Libertarians and the Loyalists.

The Lucrosians

Lucrosians think that every affair of mages should be aimed at acquiring wealth and power by any means necessary.

The Isolationists

Isolationists are of the opinion that mages are not fit to live a 'normal' life, with other mages or among ordinary people. Instead, they should seek to live alone as hermits out in the wilds, far from civilization, where they can cause no harm to other people.

The Resolutionists

A recent offshoot of the Libertarians, the Resolutionists seek to end Chantry domination over mages through violent means, including the use of blood magic. The fraternity is considered responsible for the recent increase in templar-mage relations.

The Harrowing

The Harrowing is a secret rite of passage that the Circle administers, without warning, to adult apprentice mages. The ritual is analogous to a vaccination--the apprentice is exposed to a demon under controlled circumstances in order to prove that they are strong and willful enough to fight off an attempt at possession.

When a mage fails this test, they become possessed by a demon and undergo a physical transformation and are immediately destroyed by the templars monitoring them. It is hinted that if a mage takes too long to complete the Harrowing, the templars will kill the mage anyway while their consciousness is still in the Fade, fearing that this is tantamount having failed the Harrowing. Since a Harrowing ritual requires a significant amount of lyrium, only promising mages deemed worthy to take it. Those who are not are forced to become one of the Tranquil or be executed. A mage can also elect to become one of the Tranquil if they wish.

The Tranquil

Those mages who are too weak of will to resist demonic possession or appear to be dangerous are forced (or willingly volunteer) to go through the Rite of Tranquility, which (involving the use of a magical brand made of lyrium) cuts off a mage's connection to the Fade – they can no longer dream. As a side effect, their emotional center is utterly removed. One or both of these things make it so that demons can no longer possess them (it's not certain which). In the mind of one of the Tranquil, there is no passion. They keep to themselves, and, if asked directly, will readily agree that having the opportunity to live out a peaceful and useful existence is far preferable when compared to what their alternatives would have been.

If the Circle of Magi finds a mage too weak of will to survive the threat of demonic possession, making them Tranquil is considered an act of kindness. A large number of the mages who go through the Rite have never even shown a desire to be a mage in the first place, and once made into one of the Tranquil, they are completely immune to any of the mortal dangers they would have once had to face. Officially, once a mage has passed the Harrowing and graduated from their apprenticeship, Chantry law forbids them from being made Tranquil. That being said, in places like Kirkwall where the authority of the Templar Order is exceptionally powerful, exceptions have been made.

The Tranquil use lyrium to enchant items, providing the Circle its main source of funding. They have no innate resistance to its effects, but they possess a level of concentration far beyond a normal person's and thus are less likely to make a mistake while handling it.

It is revealed in Dragon Age II that traces of the Fade can temporarily restore a Tranquil to their former self. Unfortunately, there exists no real way to reconnect a person to the Fade; as Anders puts it, "Can you cure a beheading?"

Apostates

Mages who are not part of the Circle of Magi are considered apostates and are hunted and killed by the Order of Templars. Mages who escape from the Circle are also considered apostates and either killed or brought back to the Circle by templars, though with enough secrecy however Apostates are shown to have varying levels of integration into Thedosian society, as with Gascard DuPuis and Anders. In retrospective, apostates consider the Circle a prison.

Apostates that practice forbidden forms of magic such as blood magic are known as maleficarum, and are at even greater risk of being hunted down and slain for their practices.

See also

Other Information

  • The Orlesian Tower is located in the fortress of Montsimmard.
  • The Free Marches are home to two Circles of Magi: one is in Starkhaven, and the other is in Kirkwall. The Kirkwall Circle is located within the city's Gallows district. The Circle in Starkhaven was eventually burned to the ground and most of its mages and templars moved to Kirkwall.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.