Sickle

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The Sickle insignia. It is traditionally portrayed within a circle with a number of smaller circles attach to it, representing Sickle circles.

The Sickle is the mage guild of the Realms, monopolising the use of magic and protecting its users (killing magic users who does not want to join their ranks or null signing them). It sees itself as a force for good, but is primarily an interest group for people with extraordinary abilities and a means to stay safe from hoards of people with torches and pitchforks. Most Magi of the Sickle resides in the Octagon (the main base of operations for the organisation) in the western part of Capitoleum, but they can be found elsewhere in the city as well as in other cities or strongholds around in the Realm.

Originally, the Sickle just wanted to be left alone, but its members have over time become more and more interested in personal power. The main thing keeping the Sickle from trying to conquer the world is partly its memory of the Warlock Wars but primarily it is the fact that internal struggles for power has become the primary activity for many.

A commonly used Sickle motto is: "The Spire Stands Tall"

Much of this is still raw notes. Never mind if you can't understand it properly!

History

See more in: general History of Hökaland

The Sickle was started among mystics, many hundreds of years ago in order to combat the Warlocks of the Black Nettle during the Warlock Wars. They assisted the Mageslayer in ridding the lands of the Warlocks and then assisted in the building of the Old Empire and it's crown jewel: Capitoleum.

During the Prosperous Times, the Sickle improved their standing and reduced the hatred of mystics that had grown to enormous proportions during the Warlock Wars, but at the same time, the Church of Rahn propagated a strong anti-mystical rhetoric. Life improved for people able to control the forces of nature with their minds, but distrust remains high. They helped to move the river Wildrun into an impressive moat, move tonnes of soil to enable important buildings to be founded on bedrock and to irrigate the local fields as well as setting up a system of magic enhancement to improve the crops themselves, making the already massive city almost self-sufficient.

In the same time frame, the guild started to organise to specialise for different tasks. Together they started hiring their own force of militia to act as body guards and separately they divided into groups they called 'Circles'. Since then, though all members are interested in a strong Sickle, there has been an internal vying for power and political intrigue.

Both for protection and their own strength, the Sickle decided to try and incorporate all users of magic into its organisation. The trade routes of the Coins helped with this goal, but more importantly they god a public relations boost with the great fire of XXXX. It was found that it was started by an 11-year old daughter of a noble family, who had undetected magic powers which randomly manifested and burned not just the girl, but the whole estate and most of the family. The fire spread to an oil storage for street lamps and almost took on catastrophic consequences from there on.

The Sickle, which was central in putting out the fire, managed to raise awareness of the dangers of uncontrolled magic as well as creating a strong sense of urgency to report magic use in non-Wizards. When they pledged to cast a powerful detection spell, it was even welcomed.

Part of the agreement also included giving the Sickle the responsibility and authority to handle magic users. It's also common knowledge that the Sickle has enchanted Capitoleum and some other major cities to detect if anyone other than Sickle uses magic.

The Sickle also gave the King a hundred fire-free street lamps to avoid further fires and pledged to continue to deliver lamps to entirely replace the oil lamps (much to the outcry of oil salesmen and lamp lighters). The catch was that the city would have to pay for magic power at a cost similar to that of the oil lamps, a deal the King gratefully accepted. This agreement has since been honoured even after the fall of the Old Kingdom and many lamp lighters got to keep their jobs; only now they refill the lamps with magically infused marbles rather than oil.

Despite many a good deed, The Sickle has never completely gained public support even in the city, and some merchants even propagate banning 'MEP' - magically enhanced produce.


Organisation

Upper Circle
Macharned (Grnd Adm) 20 The Hunter
Linda (f) 18 The Shield
Hermondend 19 The Cloud
Tomasi 16 The Hammer
Aripolis 17 The Green
Monicka (f) 19 The Tiger
Full Circle
Tamah (f) 17 The Hunter
Delantro 16 The Green
Torini 16 The Tiger
Leonerdie 15 The Shield
Minda (f) 15 The Cloud
Rogdynettro 15 The Hammer
The numbers represent DnD levels.

The Sickle is internally seen as an "upper circle" of humanity and they call peers "members of the Circle" and a person can have the title "Name, of the Circle". Its members are divided into five more specific Circles, each with its own responsibilities and authority within the Sickle. The Circles are:

  • The Circle of the Cloud - Magical research
  • The Circle of the Green - Education within and without
  • The Circle of the Hammer - Production of needed items and for income
  • The Circle of the Hunter - Seeks and destroys demon and changeling invasions
  • The Circle of the Shield - Protecting the Sickle and magic users, forcefully
  • The Circle of the Tiger - Newest circle; public relations

In charge of each Circle are two Administrators. Administrators ensure that the voices of all the members of her circle are considered in the organisation, and is also endowed with the authority to solve personal disputes among Magi. The Administrators of the six circles has a council called the Full Circle. As such, being appointed an Administrator also gives the Magus the title "of the Full Circle".

Out of the two representatives from each Circle, one is senior and one is junior. The Senior Administrator receives the title "of the full Circle" and sits in the Full Circle; a smaller council that supports the Grand Administrator in her decisions for the organisation. The Grand Administrator, in turn, is the utmost responsible person for all decisions in the entire organisation.

The Grand Administrator, as well as the Senior Administrators and Administrators are elected from within the council of the Full Circle, but magical prowess is one of the main attributes considered when making the election.

The title of Administrator is the same as that of officials in the Family Register, which can cause some confusion and a topic the Sickle doesn't really care about. They would prefer if people didn't even know what a Sickle Administrator even was.

Within the circles is some level of intrigue.

Note: Circles are not meant to derive status from their position within the Spire, as in Cloud being located close to the top or Hammer closer to the entrance, but individuals, especially in the Cloud, tend to think so anyway.

Note: Technically, all Magi are of a higher rank than all mundane staff, but in practice most high-ranking mundane staff will usually have the practical "higher rank". Ettiquett is, however, still dominant and skipping on it can have severe consequences.


The Cloud

Mage fanatics. All about magic power. Ignoring politics and even food, sometimes. Sometimes overly ambitious. Quite corruptive. The Hunter dislike most of their work. Shields feel this is what matters. Disrespects the Hammer and the Tiger.

The Green

Lots of University backgrounds. Knowledge and pursuit of it is the focus of the Green. Not always very pedagogical. Low on wisdom. Lots of cooperation and competition within.

The Hammer

Production. Economy. Arsenal. Likes crafting, hands-on. Practical. Both feet on the ground. Knows they are the least "popular", don't care much because they know they are essential. All the power of the Sickle comes from the accumulation of wealth/power/production. Close to the Tiger, also the Green.

The Hunter

Sort of Secretive. Has lots of racism against anything unnatural. Lots of knowledge of demonic magic and planes. Doesn't like dragons, but more realistic about them than the Shield. Several cases of "turners", so the circle is very vigilant about it.

Ranks
Some missing!

  • Senior Administrator - Chief over the Circle of the Hunter
    • Administrator - Vice Chief over the Circle of the Hunter
  • Quartermaster - Chief over Hunter Quartermaster's Office
  • Head Acquisitor - Chief over Acquisitions
    • Acquisitor
  • Head Taskmaster - Chief over Taskmasters
    • Taskmaster - Deals with general operations, as opposed to acquisitions
      • Head Operator - Magus in charge of a mission that includes more than one Magus. This title is often temporary from mission to mission (since few missions require more than one Magus)
        • Operator - Magus that is part of a mission or leads her own mission.

The Shield

Extremely xenophobic. Worried about other Wizard guilds or ones forming. Some cooperation with the Hunter. Somewhat political. Has a lot of opinions about PR, etc, of the Tiger. Duelists and spoiled more than warriors.

Ranks
Some missing!

  • Senior Administrator - Chief over the Circle of the Shield
    • Administrator - Vice Chief over the Circle of the Shield
  • Quartermaster - Chief over Shield Quartermaster's Office
  • Head Defender - Chief over The Defence (offensive actions). One position.
    • First Bearer - (implies "shield bearer") Magus in charge of a mission that includes more than one Magus or planner of simpler missions. Several positions.
      • Bearer - Magus in charge of Defence-missions (offensive missions) with only one Magus, or one of the Magi at a mission with a First Bearer. Most Hunter magi.
  • Head Taskmaster - Chief over Taskmasters. One position. Tasks are often people-orientated and requires Magi who are not sociopaths (or as much as others).
    • Head Operator - Magus in charge of a mission that includes more than one Magus or planner of simpler missions. Several positions.
      • Operator - Magus that is part of a mission or leads her own mission. Many Hunter Magi.


Missions

  • Defensive Missions - Any mission relating to defending the Sickle (usually offensive missions).
    • Assessment - A Magus and some Leathers find a potential threat. Often turns into a Defence-mission.
    • Acquisition - A Magus and some Leathers find and collect items or individuals of interest.
    • Defence-mission - To null sign or kill a person, or to destroy an item.
  • Tasks - Any mission that require social skills and/or politics. Generally seens as less prestigious than Defensive Missions.

Do note that the names for missions are different from those of the Sickle Regular's missions.

The Tiger

Young. Open-minded, understanding of people. Lots of sorcerers. Newest Circle. Looks where to put money for long-term investment in PR and power. Dislikes the Shield. Most in common with Greens. Friendly with the Hammer.


Mundane Services

Though the Sickle is most known for its mystical endeavours, the main effort of the organisation is actually devoted to entirely mundane things such as security/military, maintenance, kitchenworks, stabling, farming, etc. To assist security in vetting staff members, a colour code is used for the uniforms. This is used in addition to a Brass Coin to assure that unauthorized people are not allowed in the Spire. In most cases this is not needed, however, since the on-duty militiamen are required to memorise most or all of the staff members' names and faces on campus.

  • Magi & Master/Artisan crafters are allowed to wear anything
  • Brown - Kitchen
  • Blue - Hospitality/Front of House staff
  • Black - Security
  • White - Medical
  • Gray - Stabling/hounds/hunting
  • Red - Maintenance
  • Green - Farming

Other

  • General
  • Man-at-Arms
  • Spymaster

Allies

The Harbour Master is an allly, likely because of a lot of international trafic, a lot of open-mindedness and a counterweight to the Chamber of Commerce. The Sickle took the side of the HM when the Chamber tried to incorporate the HM into the guild system.

Artipellin is another ally. Generally open-minded. Also many sailors.


Recruitment

  • Join us or perish sort of thing
  • People willingly send off their kids as they are afraid of them
  • If not wanting to become a mage (low birth):
    • Have specific tattoos engraved that inhibits it and yearly check-ins to make sure they still work
    • Work at Sickle indefinitely, sponged every day
  • If not wanting to become a mage (Noble birth):
    • Go through Mage School and get Hypernatural Controlled Diploma, donate 1/5 of daily powers to the Sickle.
  • Children (or their parents) can choose between leaving the family and joining the Sickle, agree to have a null sign tattooed on them.

Sickle Facilities

The Spire Complex

Schematic of the whole Sickle Spire Complex.
Main article: Sickle Spire Complex

The Spire is located in the west part of Capitoleum called Westfield and consists of the actual tower (the Spire) as well as protecting concentric walls outside; the Octagon Walls that are built in an octagonal star shape with eight impressive forts located one in each corner of the star and the Sickle Ring Wall which is a perfect circle supported by eight tower gates and an additional 24 guard stations.

The tower is built on top of a section of the cavern system under Capitoleum that is also used for it's famous sewage system. It is the tallest building in Capitoleum as well as the known world. At its core are a number of arc supports that also creates the Hall of the Magi in the centre of the tower.

Though unknown to the populace, the tower is fitted with numerous Thundercatchers as it is struck by lightning numerous times per year.


Palri Turris

Main article: Palri Turris

Palri Turris is a fairly large tower in the Liine Forest in the kingdom of Artipellin owned by the Sickle. The local Palri family (who often have also been graduating Magi) are acting caretakers. The Cloud use the tower's deep underground dungeons to conduct experiments to do with artifical life and creating inanimate guardians.

The tower has been owned by the Sickle for a few generations.

Characters

Sickle characters [e]

  • Grand Administrator Macharned of the Hunter - The most powerful wizard in all of the Realms. Leads the Sickle.
  • Professor Maristos of the Green - History professor known to be overly kind to studying children and new Magi. Recently accused of being a Warlock and summoning demons to kill children in the Spire and stripped of all rank. This news is naturally not meant to be known for people outside the Spire, yet many do know about it. - white hair, dark eyes and bearded face that just looked nice with his friendly smile
  • Administrator Delantro of the Green - Principal of the Sickle Phrontistery.
  • Professor Harnell of the Green - Professor of Natural Philosophy - a thin, elderly man with two tufts of hair over each ear and otherwise completely bald. He had little round glasses and an equally thin nose.
  • Professor Treblan of the Cloud - Professor of Hypernaturality - Dark hair, dark brown eyes, average height, 40's, teacher of Hypernaturality and not very pedagogical
  • Taskmaster Manx of the Hunter - Line manager for numerous Operators
  • Finbress Wise - A mage from the founding of the Sickle. Created the Finbress Stones.
  • Magus Neil Roley - Sickle representative in Wellbarrow.
  • Bearer Carthan of the Shield - On a Defensive Mission to Assess the Dwarven situation near Wellbarrow.
  • Magus Funs of the Cloud - An alcoholic middle-aged man in Prato with gray, stripy, hair and spectacles (the left one broken).
  • Magus Eli Palri of the Cloud - Androgynous looking sister of Niklas
  • Magus Niklas Palri of the Cloud - A bit androgynous looking brother of Eli



Sickle Phrontistery

Normal age Schooling Title Diploma Years
21 Finished Diplomed Magus of the Circle N/A Life
18 to 21 Research Hypernatural Manipulator Diploma of the Magus 3
16 to 18 College Hypernatural Controller Hypernatural Manipulator Diploma 2
10 to 16 School Neophyte Hypernatural Controller Diploma 6
4-7 to 10 Initiation Mentee Ring Training Final Grades 3-6
Main article: Sickle Phrontistery

The education centre, or Sickle Phrontistery takes care of everything from basic training to support and guidance during original research on the Hypernatural Controller level, to become a full-fledged mage: a Diplomed Magus.

The official term for a fully trained mage, Wizard, Sorcerer or whatever term is used by people is to be a Diplomed Magus and is the rough equivalence of a Degree in modern terms. It includes a large amount of schooling from a young age in various topics besides the Arcane, more specific training during the person's teens as well as original research in late teens. The schooling is adapted to each individual but if the young mage is particularly gifted they are given additional research (an merit) for the Diploma of the Magus until graduation the year they turn 21 as the Sickle doesn't want there to be too young mages running about. The process is described in the table to the right or in the Sickle Phrontistery article.

Another important note is that a lot of noble families send their children to the Sickle to train for magic use, in case the spark should show up in them. It also serves as boarding school with military and theoretical training. While the majority of children show no magical talent and must use magical artefacts to train any magic use, those who do have talent can chose to forego all family ties and become a Magus or to graduate Hypernatural School, be registered with the Sickle and swear they will not use their talent to affect the politics of the Realms.

Economy

The Sickle has great expenses. Besides bribes to keep the Church of Rahn off their backs (a fact very few knows of), they have a large standing army that requires salaries and housing, hundreds of members of staff, a lot of building maintenance and quite high salaries to individual members. The main way to gain incomes is by selling light energy to the city of Capitoleum and a few other cities, to sell potions, charms and other items to merchants and commoners. All of these endeavours are overseen and planned by the Circle of the Hammer.


Gathering Magical Energy

There are two main ways the Sickle gathers "crude sparks" for use in the guild or to sell: Through its members and through the public. Through its members, each member has to donate a portion of daily magical powers per day. This doesn't have to be every day, but can be spread out over a month or longer time, using a Sponge and multiple Sparkstones. In return, mages recieve a handsome salary for it and other Sickle tasks.

  • Diplomed Magus of the Circle - Bound to donate 15% of their daily magic powers per day to the Sickle, in addition to fulfilling Sickle work in general.
  • Hypernatural Manipulator - Not paid but required to donate 25% of their daily magical powers.
  • Hypernatural Controller - Required to donate 50% of their daily magical powers.
    • Noble - Magic users who are registered and gone through basic school training only needs to donate 20% of their daily magic powers.
  • Any other initiate will donate all of her magical powers for the day after any magical training is completed.

For the public, the Sickle needs to keep people as happy as possible, but members alone can't fulfill the needs for magical powers that the Sickle needs so methods have been developed to "sponge" up excess energy from regular people. Most people have a small magic potential that they may not be able to cast spells with, but can be of use. The Sickle tries to access this through a couple of venues, which actually helps to keep people's opinions about the guild from being overly negative. The spin on these ideas are the brain children of the Circle of the Tiger over the past 20 years or so:

Mundane Crafting

Mundane Crafting is a program where they pay anyone to do a little manual labour for the Sickle, which can be actual cleaning of items in the side kitchens or just sorting particular stones in a small dedicated Work Room. Radiation Sponges are placed in the room, which will extract a little excess energy in a painless way, though it is a bit tiring, which people expect anyway. The individuals who come and do this are paid a day's wage for just an hour or so of work.

Magical Cleansing

The Sickle also provides the "service" of cleansing people from magical auras they may have come into contact with on a daily basis. The Sickle use this as a PR tool, paying people to keep the world free of magic "pollution" and charges a small fee for merchants and Nobles. A Power Extractor is then used on the willing target to drain magical energies.

Production

The thing the Sickle is most known for are the sparklights. All libraries use sparklights, which is a heatless light created by lamps sold (and sometimes donated) by the Sickle. These run on a faint magical energy stored in sparkstones and are much less likely to be of any danger, compared to oil or candles.

One of the main production outlets are for the city lights in Capitoleum and its powersource of sparkstones.


Sickle Regulars

Main article: Sickle Regular Army

The Sickle Regular Army, formerly known as the Sickle Militia, is the official (internal) name of the military forces operated by the Sickle. It is also known as the Regulars (internal) or the Leathers (colloquial). The Sickle Regulars is a standing army is comparable to that of a small kingdom in terms of muscle power.

The mage guild's armed forces are well trained, well paid, and well motivated in its task of protecting Magi from the gentiles and gentiles from untrained gifted. Its main task is to act as a deterrent to keep ordinary people from acting on their superstition and fears, trying try to kill or harm Magi, which it does by providing an intimidating appearance and the numbers it boasts about.

The secondary tasks of the Regulars include security within the Spire and find-and-gather operations where individual officers identify untrained gifted and bring them in to the Spire for training or they neutralise them. These officers also investigate gentiles' claims of supernatural crimes and neutralise these as well (though, most commonly, they do nothing as most claims turn out false).

Items

Sickle items [e]

  • Assault Stick - A magically charged baton used by Sickle Regulars to subdue foes.
  • Assisting Pendant - Training tool for beginner mages and people with no magic ability.
  • Brass Coin - Training tool for beginner mages and people with no magic ability.
  • Coldstone - Magical pebble used to keep insulated places like storage cellars cold.
  • Everburning Ember - Magical pebble used to heat areas or objects.
  • Finbress Stone - Uses "Morse Code" to communicate over distances.
  • Nighteye - Eye-glass allowing the wearer to see in teh dark.
  • Power Extractor - Personal device that mages use to store magical energy in Sparkstone.
  • Radiation Sponge - Device used on non-magical people to absorb excess magical energies into Sparkstone.
  • Snarepack - Magic-enhanced Tanglefoot Bag that works better in the dark.
  • Sparklight Lamp Post - Magic light used in Capitoleum..
  • Sparkstone - Magical pebble that can be used to store magical energy.
  • Talent Detector - Rod that can detect magic potential in untrained individuals and remove dangerous magical energies.
  • Thundercatcher - Rod that absorbs lightning energy that can be used at a later date.
  • Truncheon - Rod that is rumoured to be useful to destroy a golem.


Sickle Insignia

The Sickle insignia is traditionally portrayed within a circle where a number of ciecles attach to it. These are the circles of the Sickle and has varied in amount and/or colour over the years. For most situations, the insignia is simply displayed on a white, round, background. It can also be found without said circle on jewellery like pins or rings.

Other notes

  • provost - chief academic officer


  • "The Sponge" (or "Radiation Sponge") stores the power in a Sparkstone.

storing magic is quite crude and it hurts a bit to use the device (1 point of non-lethal damage), and the energy can't be used for very powerful things (higher spell slots). The energy is mainly used for powering lamps, cleaning water or helping with the enhanced farming systems outside the massive city. These in turn generates income to the guild, part of which pays your salary.

  • many mages finish at 21, some later but no diplomas are given ahead of time regardless of aptitude; they don't want too young mages running about
  • Hypernormal Rating of 15 is the equivalence of a DnD lvl 2 Wizard.

Sparks are higher entropy energy than higher spell levels. They are hard to use for powerful magic and better suited for low cost, long life spells or for powering particular items. The point here is that they are easy to accumulate and hard to use. The Assisting Pendant is relatively crude, but still quite advanced. Primarly they were made for education before people receive their powers properly, so their cost is already "paid".

The Sponge used by the Sickle on poor people. They get a copper (or something) for a little manual labour, involving sorting stones in a small room. The room's Sponge extracts one Sparks every 10 minutes and deals one point of nonlethal damage from it.

Another "service" they provide is to offer to clean people of magic residue they accumulate on a daily basis. For people with no magic ability, it deals 1 point of nonlethal damage per drain and creates 1 Spark. Pays people money for helping keeping the world free of magic pollution as part of PR campaign.

Madam Amni, the Kitchen Mistress


Lights, water purification, personal magic detection and other items run on Sparks. There are items that just produce them (like a permanent item), but are complicated to make and expensive / takes time. "Producing" sparks from the population is a lot more cheap.

The detectors also see usage of magical weapons (when they hit the opponent), equivalent of a cantrip spell.


Breaking rules - being exsected from the Sickle involves a null sign and being excluded for ever.


It's rude to use spells near other wizards, except for necessary things; it is seen as boastful. An undisciplined youth may be schooled by the use of a much more powerful spell as response.

Using spells silently is much more accepted, seen as cheeky.

  • School Wing
  • Game Arena


Circle of the Spirit

Circle of the Spirit once existed. Infested with Scythe and did death magic. Still some happens, but limited funds and a lot of scrutiny.

Factions nav (e)
Main Religions Peoples Kingdoms & Noble Houses

Alchemists' Guild
Capitoleum
Capitoleum Militia
Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Shadows
Court of Houses
Court of Justice
Family Register
Governors
Harbour Master
Shadow Chamber
Sickle
Wyny War Academy

Church of Rahn
Orthodox Church
True Faith
Elven Religion
Dwarven Religion
Halfling Religion
Dragon Cults
Hawk Cults

Dragons
Dwarves
Elves
Halflings
Hawks
Humans
Ratels
Midrealmers
Northrealmers
Southrealmers

Governors


Artipellin
Edmyr
Haldean
Menthell
Wyny


Supporter


Asmeagan
Hwett
Nihthelm
Selwen *

Opposition


Goldhelm
Pineshield
Vasj
Wyrd


Supporter


Eagle-Eye
Farlun
Selwen *
Brave **
Tally **

Sovereigns


Oakshield
Amory
Barbaran
Farrin
Farris
Framarr
Marke
Morfans

Anacia City States

More


Chivalric orders
Gods
Magic users
Mercenary bands
Northern tribes

Other: Tall