True wizards, sorcerers, and artificers are rare and remarkable. They can perform feats of magic beyond the talents of the most gifted magewright or adept. Over the past thousand years, the arcanists of Breland formed three wizards circles. These provide the magically gifted with sanctums to practice their arts and share mystical knowledge. As the different circles focus on different types of magic, this also allows for a certain degree of price fixing and control of the mystical market.
The early days of Galifar gave birth to three wizards circles: The Esoteric Order of Aureon, the Guild of Starlight and Shadows, and the Closed Circle. The wizards of the Closed Circle studied the lore of the Dragon Below and the daelkyr, and in 641 YK the combined forces of the Church of the Silver Flame and the other two circles destroyed the order. The Esoteric Order and the Guild of Star light and Shadows have remained in operation to this day. Most large cities in Breland have a sanctum for one of the circles, and both orders can be found in the metropolises of Breland. A member of a wizards circle has access to the facilities of all of the sanctums of her order.
Membership in a wizards circle carries many benefits, but it is quite expensive. The applicant must pay a base fee of 1,000 gp to join the order, along with annual dues equal to 250 gp per caster level (reflecting her level of access to the libraries and workshops of the order). She must further donate 10% of the money she makes through commercial spellcasting to the order.
In exchange, a member receives a number of benefits, as outlined below.
First, a member receives free room and board at any sanctum of her order. A sanctum provides luxurious accommodations and a high level of magical security. The arcanists may store personal goods at the sanctum during her stay.
Second, she may use the sanctum as a storefront to sell her spellcasting services. A character rarely sells her full complement of spells on any given day, but if she has spells with solid economic value—alarm, arcane lock, comprehendl anguages,c ontinualfl ame, explosive runes, feather fall, identify, locate creature, mage armor, nondetection, obscure object, repair damage, seal of the magi, secret page, and tongues, among others—she can usually sell a few spells each day, either to private citizens or in the service of the city. There is usually little call for arcane mark; House Sivis has monopolized the notary trade, and the mark of a random wizard has little commercial value. It is worth noting that wizards of an order have the power to set the prices of magical services, and members of a circle generally back up their brethren. Thus, an adventurer who angers a member of the Esoteric Order may find that the normal cost to purchase spell services has doubled.
Third, she can purchase any legal spell component from the order, at 90% of its usual cost.
Fourth, wizards of the same order usually cast spells for one another at 80% of the usual market cost.
Fifth, if she uses the resources of the sanctum, the cost (in both XP and gp) to create a magic item is reduced by 10%.
In addition, a wizard member of a circle can copy any spell from the sanctum library, but she is required to make a donation equal to half the cost of a scroll of that spell. Each order specializes in a particular set of schools given in each of the following descriptions. If the character is looking for a spell from one of these schools, there is a 50% chance he finds it. If he is looking for a spell from a different school, this chance drops to 25%.
The two wizards circles of modern Breland are described below.