Welcome back to Guild Mages for Dummies—I mean 101.
Last time we talked about a brief intro to guilds and the differences between mages and witches. Today, we’ll look at guild structure. There’s a hierarchy within the guilds. I’d like to say I’m at the bottom—because in no way did I wish to move up the ladder—but I didn’t get a say in any of that.
The Council is made up of five top-ranked mages within the guild. These are the best of the best and usually the most ruthless in battle. They are usually chosen for their skills as a Hunter, for their magic, or for what they bring to the table. They operate under a voting system in order to make decisions.
Their ranking titles in order are:
- Guild Master (heads the Council and is the highest rank a guild mage can attain).
- Second Seat
- Third Seat
- Fourth Seat
- Fifth Seat
After the Council, there are the Elite Hunters. I hate to say it, but this is where I’m ranked. Yup. I’m the top tier short of being on the Council. But you’re probably wondering why being an Elite bothers me. Well, I’ll tell you why: Elites are assassins. That’s right, assassins.
Elites do what regular Hunters don’t: They are assigned a dangerous target and are sent to kill them—with or without proof of the crimes they are being accused of. Nine times out of ten, they’re guilty. It makes you wonder about the tenth.
Underneath Elites, there are the regular Hunters. While Elites work individually on assignments, Hunters work in squads of four. Sometimes they’re assigned to an Elite Hunter, though not all Elites get a squad—I didn’t—and they work as a team of five on middle-rank missions. They are tasked with general policing of the Magical Community and patrol certain parts of the city to look for anything suspicious. Sometimes all it takes to deter rogues is the presence of guild mages.
Hunters are also employed in Norm government agencies and other such places—like actual police stations and fire departments. This is to stop information leaks as quickly as possible. Such as, say a Norm calls the police about a magical disturbance. The call would be handled by a Hunter, and they would be sure to discredit it as quickly as possible by contacting the guild, allowing us to tamper with the scene and catch the rogue as quickly as possible.
Next down the chain are the Hunter-Instructors. They are the teachers at the guild. Think of the guild as a sort of boarding home for young mages. Barracks and everything. Boys ages thirteen to fifteen are given lodging if they choose to become guild mages. They train until they are fifteen before they are allowed to become Hunters.
When I was a boy, I used to live in the barracks myself. Most Hunters are required to live in the guild until they are eighteen. While I didn’t stick around, there are actually several Hunters who are much older than me who choose to live in the barracks as opposed to paying rent. I don’t blame them; Seattle is expensive. But those who have families often opt to live on their own terms.
And that leaves the Training-Hunters, the boys thirteen to fifteen who take classes about magical energy, potions, spells, charms, hexes, curses, and train in combat and weaponry. No, we don’t use guns—are you nuts? Magical energy and gunpowder don’t mix. Swords, daggers, axes, lances, on and on—that’s what we use.
Some Hunters choose to only classify in one weapon. Some choose to become proficient in many. Either way, we’re trained with each weapon and how to best deflect blows from various fighting styles and weapons types. I, myself, prefer my battle-ax to other weapons, but I’m trained to proficiency in all classes.
Anyway. That’s the guild hierarchy. Join me next time for more information about the Magical Community and guild mages.
Next: Guild Mages 101 – Pt 3