Type of Organization
|Government sponsored Guild|
Type of Members
|Spellcasters of varying ability|
|Number of Members||314 (24 Masters, 85 Apprentices, 205 Acolytes)|
|Demographics||Human 50%, Orc 30%, Goblin 10%, Ogre 10%|
|The Citadel in Duthelm|
|Varlos, female half orc sorceress/witch|
|Year Founded||2142 CY|
|Symbol||Representation of the end cap that crowns the staff carried by Varlos.|
|Group Wealth||Very Wealthy|
|Group Stability||Very Stable|
Also known as the Shadow Mages and the Shadow Council. This is a small, but powerful group of sorcerers that operate within the Citadel and serve Queen Sillar. They are the "official" state-sanctioned wizard's guild of the Citadel. Very little is known about them outside of the Citadel. Even within the walls of the Citadel they are secretive and somewhat shrouded in mystery. There are only twenty four Black Sorcerers and these men and women are the elite spell casters of Duthelm. Each is a master of sorcery, an archmage. It is believed that each specializes in a specific type of magic, though the exact hierarchy of their group can only be guessed at. It is said that the Black Sorcerers control all magic within the Citadel and Duthelm and that Queen Sillar herself is counseled by them on magical matters. They can be easily recognized by their black robes and deep hoods. They are intelligent, resourceful and speak with authority. They are used to being obeyed. This group occupies the entire 21st floor of the Citadel.
This group was founded in 2142 CY by an arch-mage named Sargran. He was responsible for instituting the founding principles and philosophies of this group. He was also the master who tutored the first generation of Black Sorcerers. Sargran was originally Carrikosian by birth. He grew up in Arcanum and studied magic there. He served the Syndicate for years. However, Sargran was obsessed with magical power and pursued it without regard to morality or ethics. He also studied chaos sorcery, which it outlawed in Carrikos because it is considered "unnatural". These academic pursuits caused no end of conflict between him and the authorities of Carrikos. Finally in 2130 CY, he was arrested, tried and banished from Carrikos. Sargran eventually settled in a ruined Irenni castle in the mountains on the border of Carrikos and Duthelm and made a home there..
In 2135, he was invited by Heparus, the current reigning monarch of Duthelm, to join the nation of Duthelm and serve him. Sargran accepted and spent the remaining years of his life as the chief magical authority in Duthelm. In Duthelm, he was allowed to pursue any branch of magical study without limits. It is believed by some historians that Sargran mastered chaos magic and was able to wield both traditional magic and chaos sorcery, fusing them together. If this is true, he is the only known wizard in history to have that ability. It is argued that wielding both types of magic is the reason why he was so powerful. It was in Duthelm that Sargran founded the Black Sorcerers. During the final years of his life, he wrote many great books, conducted research, trained the Black Sorcerers and created many impressive artifacts for Duthelm. His greatest creation was the Shrine of Lost Souls.
The Black Sorcerers conduct continuous experiments and work on a variety of research projects. Either singly or in small groups, these wizards devise new spells, enchant magic items and generally work to increase the magical arsenal of Duthelm and their own personal power. Every significant magical achievement of Duthelm is attributable to this group. It was the Black Sorcerers that summoned the demon lord Draxorith. It was the Black Sorcerers that brought the xorians into this realm. Recent reports indicate that the Black Sorcerers are currently working on some sort of metamagic weapon. That is, a weapon that would disrupt the magical abilities of an enemy while leaving their own magic intact.
The Black Sorcerers are allied with other Citadel based groups and work directly for the government of Duthelm. They are opposed by various mage groups in Carrikos and by the Rukemian empire.
The path to membership is not an easy one. Any aspiring young student of magic who wishes to join the ranks must undergo several interviews during which they are tested for magical potential. Those who have no talent for magic are simply turned away. Those who share the spark of magic within them are given further tests. This testing is conducted by apprentices. When satisfied, the Black Sorcerers welcome the newest member as an acolyte.
Membership in this elite group is a thing most envy. There is a certain mystique associated with the Black Sorcerers and all who serve them. Being a member of this group grants more tangible benefits as well. An acolyte receives the best training in the arcane arts and has access to the best research materials (rare herbs, fragile crystals, huge laboratories, fine vellum). Very few people will interfere with the business of an acolyte for fear of retaliation by a grey robed apprentice or, even worse, a black robed master.
There is no oath associated with this group. There are a number of rules by which all members must abide. A member must also obey the orders of a higher ranking member without question. It is also an unwritten rule that a members loyalty must lie first with the group. Loyalty and obedience to the Black Sorcerers supercedes any and all other concerns - even that of the Duthelm government. .
As an organization, the Black Sorcerers are divided into three ranks differentiated by the color of their robes.
The lowest rank within this group are the Acolytes. They wear pure white robes without hoods and make up the bulk of the organization. The acolytes do the footwork required by their masters such as delivering messages, transporting packages, cleaning, cooking, and other mundane tasks. The acolytes are mostly young men and women who wish to study magic. All must completely shave their heads as a symbolic gesture - they are, in essence, shedding their sexuality and identity. In addition, during their first year, acolytes are expected to maintain silence, never speaking unless ordered to. This is to teach them humility and patience.
After several years of faithful service, an acolyte who has shown great promise is promoted to the rank of Apprentice. These individuals wear grey robes with hoods and black trim. For each year of service, their robes are adorned with an additional line of trim. This denotes a system of rank within the grey robed apprentices. The apprentices are trained in a variety of areas. Some operate as field agents forming a large network of information gatherers that fuel the plotting and secretive meetings of the Black Sorcerers. Others apprentices study a combination of battle skill, stealth and magic. These specially trained individuals serve as guards and assassins. Apprentices are often called upon to teach the younger acolytes in class-like settings. Each black robed master will have at least one or two apprentices that serve him or her directly.
On occasion, an apprentice who has shown exceptional talent will be allowed to undergo the Mastery - a test of magical skills. The Mastery is a very difficult test and occasionally the apprentice will not survive. If successful in passing the Mastery, the student dons the black robes and joins the Black Sorcerers as a full member. The Mastery and subsequent ascension to Master is a rare event.
The Black Sorcerers use their own secret code for writing down their research. It is a not a full language. Rather, it is a complex encrypted code. It is called bendothi. This code has a limited range of usefulness, but is extremely precise for discussing the inner workings of magic. It is a very difficult language to learn and translate. So far, only a few fragments of bendothi have been seen by non-members. Bendothi has not yet been deciphered the Rukemian Imperial nations.
Because of the position in the Citadel, the Black Sorcerers are, quite literally, sitting on top of the largest and purest deposits of Orichalcum in the world. Duthelm's mining operations and extensive trade of this rare and valuable mineral means that the Black Sorcerers are always able to obtain the very purest Orichalcum in almost any quantity they desire. They do take advantage of this benefit and the Black Sorcerers use Orichalcum extensively in their magical research and spell casting. Their possession of the mineral has helped to make them the powerful brotherhood of wizards that they are today.
This website was last updated March 31, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.