Midnight Council: Authority on city planning projects and citizen safety in regards to ruins Black Steel Cities are built upon. A powerful organization that holds significant sway for anyone looking to set up shop literally or figuratively.
The Bard: A collection of couriers and performers (not all magical but all bards) that have banded together and avenge wronged members. In official capacity and light social encounters individuals are addressed as Bard. Real names are shared only among members and close associates.
Mages Guild: Spanning across the entirety of Black Steel Cities influence they are a force to be reckoned with. While distinctly apart from the government they are still a major foundation for it and the military. For the last several hundred years at least the Mages guild has enforced a law governing those with magical talent to join the guild in full, have their talent permanently removed or to depart the lands and holdings of the Black Steel Holdings. Initiation into the guild is no picnic and just as demanding as any other apprenticeship if not more so depending on the realms the mage has access to.
The guild enjoys quite a bit of popularity as not only patriots but in general as goodwill workers among the populace in addition to being highly disciplined. Many are the stories of troubled lands with mages undisciplined and uncaring but for their own wants, some would say it’s just the mage guild trying to scare you. The Guild is known for offering hard choices but accepting when made, usually in the case of allegiance to the guild or family, liege or government. Usually those that leave the guild are still afforded basic services and access especially if relations are maintained and in good standing. There is also a chance a mage may stay with the guild and serve a house or function if able, contract work, rather than leave entirely. More often than not the latter option is used by experienced and or wise lords and officials.
School of the Warrior: A very old organization that teaches the art of warfare and personal combat while developing the individual. Popular among nobility. Harder than not to get in due to quality rather than anything else. Has significant influence despite relatively low numbers as it’s an unofficial guild.
Specialized Warrior Schools: Unarmed Focus
Path of the Realms: A style that draws it’s focus from understanding the divine realms in the world. Employs non standard magical practices in enhancing it’s students. Founded by various former warrior priests. Good following but feared.
School of Transcendence: A style focusing on the spiritual aspects of ascension and achieving it. Employs practices to develop past the natural forms limits. Few but dedicated adherents.
School of Living Weapons: A Style dedicated to pursuits of war in and out of peace. No trappings or philosophy beyond excellence and survival in brutal warfare. Popular and numerous.
Path of D’Kar: A style focusing on understanding life in the world through medicine of the body and consciousness. Employs medical practices to eliminate opponents as they see fit. Old path from 2nd age reawakened around 150 years ago. Founded by an order of battle medics.
Assassins Guild: an open secret in the Black Steel Cities. Typically leaves a trademark relative to each city except Hadar.
Mercenaries: Tied to nobles specifically. Companies or individuals. Popular and typically honorable.
Freeblades: Sell swords with no ties. Common and typically scorned.
Goblin Market: The Black Market for the Cities for not only illegal but rare or simply hard to get things. hard, dangerous people that are strict but fair, observe the letter of the deal.
House Dark: Most prosperous, powerful, populated and beloved.
House Light: Non existent, banned from the region for attacks on the Black Steel Cities.
House Shadow: Numerous but fractured by infighting and extra curricular activities.
House Death: Prosperous, potent and well received if avoided
House Passion: Popular and gaining more support every year.
House Ocean: Solid presence and influence especially in Alderbaran.
House Flame: Rather prosperous and well liked after being split during the House of Light purge.
House Stone: Prosperous, popular and prevalent in everyday life
House Sky: Small but dedicated group often overlooked.
Cult of Madness: Strangely quiet and helps run the two asylums efficiently with decent results, kind of accepted.
Black Steel Cities
City Keepers: Also know simply as “Keepers”. They are the city guard and defenders. They are not only charged with defense but of rooting out danger to the cities. Only the Regent of a city has command of them. Popular support from people for dedication and fairness if brutal when pushed due to occasional raids, plots and faction fights spilling into open. People are and feel safe due to keepers. Known to be exclusively prior military.
University of Battlemages: located in Ker. Open to any willing to go through the trials, a harsh set of tests that occasionally result I’m fatal failure. Failure is not simple rejection. Home to the Maguses. More honorable students.
University of Ker: Located in Ker. Open to all. Focused on support of the Cities through the Mages Guild mainly by training investigators in magic, as well as training mages as hunters, lawyers and administrators. Mix of quite stability to move and shake. Usually most patriotic students.
Crossroads University: Location Ker. Open to all. Focused studies on mysteries and understanding dangerous things; Relics, mystic portals, Fae, Hobgoblins etc. Generally distained due to idea of fools playing with impractical dangerous things rather than study of magic, yet are often first consulted on strange matters.
University of Necromancers: Location Ker. Open only to those with Death Realm and Shamans. Strong connection to church of death, often seen working hand in hand. Popular due to activities ensuring stable and safer spirit encounters and ancestor issues. Also home to the animators: creators of golems.
University of Sorcery: Location Ker. Open to Sorcerers only. Newest university, 15 years, devoted to teaching control and growth for sorcerers, also to keep them and others safe. Most came from other universities and still holds strong connection to them.
University of Hadar: Location Hadar. Open to any. Focuses on non standard magic practices like enchantment, trade support, alchemy and other practical application studies.
University of Bryia: Location Bryia. Open to military or special exception. Home to the militaries warmage and engineer mage training ground.
University of Alderbaran: Location Alderbaran. Open by invite only. Not much is known of this university aside from its students are scarce and always well mannered. Rumormill