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The Wizards of High Sorcery are a fictional group of people in the Dragonlance universe.

Introduction

The Wizards (WoHS for short) are a powerful institution in Krynn. They were founded when the deities Solinari, Lunitari and Nuitari taught a certain group of people how to draw power from the moons and shape it with their wills. With the construction of the Towers of High Sorcery, people from all over Krynn were able to learn the secrets of spellcrafting, that is, using specific words, gestures and rites to create magical effects in a safe and ordered manner.

To prevent abuse, the gods decided that spells could only be cast in a limited number per day. Thus, a WoHS is usually able to cast a powerful spell only once, after which it is forgotten. To cast it again, the mage must commit it back into memory, which may require several hours of study. Tracy Hickman commented in The Annotated Chronicles (1999) that his eldest son, a professional magician, mentioned how this fact did mirror his own practice, as it was not enough for him to simply learn a magic trick, instead having to "practice it daily in order to maintain the fluid movement of the illusion."[1]

The Wizards of High Sorcery follow a set of laws that are as old as the Towers of High Sorcery:

  • Solinari's Law: All Wizards are brothers and sisters in their order. All orders are brothers and sisters in the power.
  • Lunitari's Law: The places of High Sorcery are held in common among all orders and no sorcery is to be used there in anger against fellow mages.
  • Nuitari's Law: The world beyond the walls of the towers may bring brother against sister and order against order, but such is the way of the universe.

Under these principles, the Wizards collect and share information inside the Towers. Tracy Hickman explains that, although there may (be) some differences in the way every race teaches magic, the language and requirements are the same for every wizard in the world of Krynn.[2]

Although wizards draw power from the moons, controlling it takes a great effort, sometimes leaving the wizard drained.

Apprentices

Usually sponsored by a Mage or archmage, the novice is accepted into a school of magic or into the tutelage of an established Wizard. The location of these schools or masters may be secret, rumored or known, depending on the circumstances. Although the school supplies some elements, the pupil may be expected to pay for either food, drink, or items necessary to practice spells.

Some schools are prepared to keep the students comfortable for long periods of time. For example, the student may consider living at the school during winter to prevent long and unnecessary travel.

Apprentices learn how to pronounce Magius, the language of magic, to write runes in scrolls and to distinguish and collect herbs, among other things.

Preliminary Test

After having spent some time learning the basics of magic, runecraft and alchemy, the best students are selected to take a test of magic. This test is not dangerous, and failure only delays the student's progress.

Though it may vary, the test is usually simple and asks the student to prepare a potion, write a rune, or prepare a scroll. Once the apprentice passes, they are allowed to learn more advanced spells, usually including attack and effect spells.

The Test

An aspiring wizard who reaches a certain skill level must take The Test to move on to the higher, more powerful areas of magical study.

In some cases the Conclave sends an invitation to the apprentice, setting a date and time for the presentation.

The Test is used to determine who is worthy to wield the considerable power of High Sorcery; those who fail the test die, as it is considered a necessary price to pay to keep the power out of the hands of those who would abuse it, use it recklessly and endanger the existence of magic and the Orders. Those who pass the test are inducted into one of the three orders: White Robes (aligned with Solinari and practitioners of Abjuration [protection] and Divination magic), Red Robes (aligned with Lunitari and experts in Illusion and Transmutation magic) and the Black Robes (aligned with Nuitari and delvers in Enchantments and Necromancy).

The Test puts the life of the wizard in danger. Failure usually means death. Thus, those who do not accept the risks of the Test (by not taking The Test) remain relatively unskilled and, therefore, not a major threat to the Conclave of Wizards. Wizards who continue to accrue power without having joined the Orders are branded as Renegades and hunted by the Orders, to be given two choices: take the Test or die.

Test sessions are private and cannot be shared between apprentices.

The Test itself allows the Conclave to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the applicant. It is carried out in one of the Towers of High Sorcery, most times through very realistic illusions. It may affect the apprentice's mind and body permanently.

The apprentice wears a color of robe they think suitable. However, it is in the Test that the real allegiance of the apprentice is found. At the end of the Test, the Wizard is presented with new robes of their chosen order.

Alignment

Once apprentices pass the Test, they are assigned to an Order based on the alignment (good, neutral or evil) they exhibited in the Test.

Three different alignments were the original ones: white, red and black. The wizards following Solinari wear white robes of good, the ones following Lunitari wear red robes of neutrality, and wizards following Nuitari wear black robes of evil.

Tracy Hickman defines the color of the robes as something beyond simply alignment:[3]

The color of a mage's robe on Krynn are more than just an ornamentation or sign of fealty to a particular order of magic. The color of a mage's robes reflects an entire attitude and philosophy of magic — a magical way of life, if you will.

The Knights of Takhisis recruited renegade mages. These wear grey robes, and are despised by the original Orders as they work for the grandness of Takhisis instead of the Children of magic. For other renegades, the robe color means nothing, and they can be found wearing red, white, black or any other color. Mages who left the Order to practice magic before their Test, but are not renagades, wear brown robes. This was shown in Brothers in Arms: Raistlin Chronicles vol. II. .

Mages are able to change their alignment, although the price is usually high.

Spellcrafting

There are nine groupings of magic in the world of Krynn, also called schools :

  • abjuration (or protective magic) & divination ; those are provinces of White Robed Mages ;
  • illusion & transmutation (or transforming magic) ; those are provinces of Red Robed Mages ;
  • enchantment (mind influencing magic) & necromancy (life, death and undeath influencing magic) ; those are provinces of Black Robed Mages ;
  • conjuration (transport magic), evocation (energy wielding magic) and universal ; those form the common background of all mages.

As apprentices, mages may choose to specialize in any one of them except universal magic, but it's not mandatory. Specializing brings enhanced power in a chosen school while losing access to one or two schools of magic (except divination or universal magic).

Evokers and conjurers do not face any moral problem when accessing any order. Specialized wizards tend to enter the order whose favored school they have already chose, but they are not forced to - though moral problems could arise from a necromancer's joining the White Robes for instance.

Newly accepted Wizards of High Sorcery may benefit from (further) specializing in one of the schools favored by his chosen order. However, greater power comes at the cost of losing access to schools favored by the other orders.

Wizards may also gain access to various branches of high sorcery like war magic, become loremasters or even access to the exalted status of archmagi - like most members of the Conclave.

Conclave

It could be said the last goal for any wizard is to become a member of the Conclave of Wizards. Only the most respected and powerful mages of each order can achieve this, however. The Conclave itself is formed of twenty one wizards: seven White, seven Red and seven Black Robes.

The leader of each Order is called the Head of that Order, each order choosing its own Head as it sees fit :

  • White Robes vote, thus their leader is often a wise or charismatic person;
  • Red Robes play, thus their leader is often either clever or lucky - or both;
  • Black Robes fight, even to the death, thus their leader often is the most aggressive or domineering archmage.

The Highmage is chosen among the Conclave (most of the times among the Heads of the three orders) to lead the Conclave of Mages. They are chosen by the votes of all Wizards of High Sorcery on Ansalon through the consensus spell - the selected Highmage is then surrounded by a corona of light according to the feelings of the majority of Ansalon's Robed Mages.

Conclave wizards (even the Highmage) remain in their position until either their death or their removal by the rest of the Conclave. They may also choose to simply step down.

Between other functions, the Conclave specifies the different guidelines the wizards must follow. They may look for promising new recruits, prepare Tests for apprentices, and research for new ways of employing magic.

Renegades

Sometimes, the rules set by the Conclave are not accepted by some mages. In extreme cases, the wizards may decide to completely ignore all the rules. In these cases, the Conclave declares them renegades. Any Wizard of High Sorcery is required to inform the Conclave about the location and actions of renegades they may come across. In most cases, if the wizard hunts and slays a renegade, his actions are seen as fittable by the Conclave.

Renegades know their fate, and may actively work against the Mages of High Sorcery.

See also

References

  1. Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman. "Book 2, volume 1, chapter 5, The riot. Tas disappears. Alhana Starbreeze.". The Annotated Chronicles (1st edition ed.). Wizards of the Coast. p. 529. ISBN 0-7869-1870-5. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dlant/887780000. Retrieved 2006-07-01. 
  2. Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman. "Book 2, volume 1, chapter 7, —Not destined to meet again in this world.". The Annotated Chronicles (1st edition ed.). Wizards of the Coast. p. 562. ISBN 0-7869-1870-5. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dlant/887780000. Retrieved 2006-07-01. 
  3. Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman. "Book 2, volume 1, chapter 9, Silvanesti. Entering the dream.". The Annotated Chronicles (1st edition ed.). Wizards of the Coast. p. 594. ISBN 0-7869-1870-5. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dlant/887780000. Retrieved 2006-07-01. 

Further reading

  • Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2000). Dragons of Autumn Twilight: Chronicles vol. I. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1574-9. 
  • Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2000). Dragons of Winter Night: Chronicles vol. II. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1609-5. 
  • Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2000). Dragons of Spring Dawning: Chronicles vol. III. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1589-7. 
  • Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2000). Time of the Twins: Legends vol. I. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1804-7. 
  • Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2000). War of the Twins: Legends vol. II. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1805-5. 
  • Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2000). Test of the Twins: Legends vol. III. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1806-3. 
  • Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2002). The Second Generation. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2694-5. 
  • Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2002). Dragons of Summer Flame. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2708-9. 
  • Margaret Weis (2003). The Soulforge: Raistlin Chronicles vol. I. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1314-2. 
  • Margaret Weis; Don Perrin (2000). Brothers in Arms: Raistlin Chronicles vol. II. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1429-7. 
  • Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2003). Dragons of a Fallen Sun: The War of Souls vol. I. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-1807-1. 
  • Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2002). Dragons of a Lost Star: The War of Souls vol. II. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2706-2. 
  • Margaret Weis; Tracy Hickman (2003). Dragons of a Vanished Moon: The War of Souls vol. III. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2950-2. 
  • Niles, Douglas (2004). Wizard's Conclave: The Age of Mortals Series. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3351-8. 
  • Several (2002). The Magic of Krynn: Tales vol. I. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-88038-454-9. 

External links


Dragonlance
Books Dragons of Autumn Twilight | Dragons of Winter Night | Dragons of Spring Dawning more...
Films Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight
Characters Tasslehoff Burrfoot | Dalamar | Flint Fireforge | Tanis Half-Elven | Steel Brightblade | Sturm Brightblade | Goldmoon | Riverwind | Caramon Majere | Raistlin Majere | Kitiara Uth Matar | more...
Gods Paladine | Gilean | Takhisis | Mishakal | Sargonnas | Reorx | Solinari | Lunitari | Nuitari | more...
Authors Margaret Weis | Tracy Hickman | Stan! | Don Perrin | Jean Rabe | more...
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