A testament to change (a failure of fate)
If very important people have towers, what can be said about those who have ten?
The Collegium of Mages might potentially be one of the more powerful organizations in the world. However, like most of their students, that potential has largely gone unused. The ten towers, nine for the schools of magic and the tenth ‘high’ tower, represent a unified front only in the loosest sense of the idea. Politics, bickering, petty rivalries, and bribery from nobles are all part of daily life in the Towers.
The students, of course, see little of this other than what inevitably rolls downhill. Taken in anywhere between the ages of five and ten, the ‘scrolls’ begin their careers as servants. Those who come from families that can pay have shorter terms of work before beginning their actual apprenticeships. After two years of the basics, apprentices who have managed to catch the eye of an elder mage are sponsored and granted entry into one of the nine school towers. Those too inept are either kept around as paid servants or sent back to their wealthy families. Of course, in the case of an extremely wealthy student, this period might last four or five years before they are finally deemed unfit for the Art.
After admittance to a tower, instruction carries on at the whim of the student’s master. Some are relatively benign academic affairs, others are glorified guinea pigs for experimental spells and alchemical tests. Should a student survive this period of between five and ten years, his master may release him into the world as a journeyman.
To become a Master, a journeyman must research his own magics, unravel his own secrets, and then return to stand and demonstrate his Mastery before the High Tower. No Master has ever been chosen at a younger age than thirty, and none that young has been selected in over a century. Once granted the rank of Master, most mages enter the employ of powerful nobles or find a way into title themselves. A few set up shop outside their home villages and pursue lives of quiet study and occasional wisdom-dispensing. The rest opt to stay and take on apprentices of their own, hoping to one day navigate the Byzantine machinations of the Towers and enter the High Council.