The Mage’s Association is an international, self-preservative and self-defense organization formed by practitioners of magecraft for the purpose of controlling, concealing, and developing Magecraft. It is said to transcend nationality and genre of magecraft, but that is in name only. Founded around the Middle Ages by those who foresaw the decline of Magecraft, they decided that, in order to preserve their power, Thaumaturgy should drift apart from society and become a secret known only by a necessary minimum number of people.
It has many laboratories and research bodies that seek to advance the progress of Thaumaturgy, as well as institutions that transmit their secrets to the next generation. Although the emphasis lies on the pursuit of knowledge, the Association also seeks to increase its own military strength, and reserves the use of force to protect itself from entities that threaten its existence, such as the Holy Church, other mage organizations, supernatural forces seeking to punish mankind for meddling with areas that should not be touched, and individuals who hunt what which they consider taboo.
The Association has set up research institutions and has established and enforces laws that forbid the criminal use of magecraft in order to promote the development, or perhaps regression, of magecraft. The Association is mainly concerned with the preservation and concealment of Magecraft in criminal aspects. They do not care about hideous crimes committed by magi so long as they are not a threat that might reveal the existence of Thaumaturgy to the common public.
The Mage’s Association is divided into three main branches: Clock Tower, Atlas and the Sea of Estray. Ever since Clock Tower became the official headquarters, the Three Great Branches as they are called started to drift apart from each other.
Many systems to rank their members exist within the Association. One of them is seven-rank system that serves to grade one’s capacities as a Magus. The top rank is called Grand. Mature Magi without any outstanding powers are around the 4th rank, while complete amateurs and students that just started learning belong the 7th bottom rank. Magi with extraordinary powers receive titles according to a color system and those who receive one of the three primary colors (Red, Blue and Yellow) are acknowledged as being among the greatest of their time. It follows with the secondary colors Orange, Purple, Green and Black. The further down you go, the less your rank is. Note that there is no rule about only one person for each color. The Association will, without any stinginess, award a color to you if you’re a magus of great stature or one with an unusual talent. Finally, the Noble Colors system is used for the classification of special abilities related to Magecraft, such as Mystic Eyes.
As long as he/she does not possess a Sealing Designation, a Magus may leave the Association at any time without facing any restrictions. However, this is rarely done, since the Association provides its members with a great amount of resources, stored knowledge and other benefits. Many Mage’s from all over the world gather and devote themselves day and night to the study of Magic, while at the same time, are busily tripping over and being tripped over by other factions and competing for power and budget. The organization is anything but harmonious and has a complicated bizarre structure, but the magical research there is without doubt the leading edge. Despite its academia facet, the Magi of the Association rarely share the result of their own researches between each other.
The Mage’s Association and the Holy Church have a non-aggression agreement between each other for quite a while now, but armed conflict still happen often in a off-the-records fashion. Atlas however, is a case in itself.
The Association has deemed the Magic Foundation of the Middle East and the philosophies of magecraft from the Far East incompatible with its teachings, and both schools conversely reject the Association. It has been working towards at least building a stance of neutrality between them. The mage organizations of Japan also did not join the Association.
The Three Branches
-The Clock Tower
Currently the headquarters and main branch of the Mage’s Association, the departments that compose it as well as the workshops of its members (which are mainly underground facilities) are located in the British Museum. It is only a venerable museum to normal people of course, but at the deepest part, there is a special area called the “Bottom of the Bridge” where the Association confines many sealing-designated magi deemed to be “dangerous because their talents were too outstanding.”
The Atlas Academy, also known as The Giant’s Pit, is located somewhere among the mountains of Egypt. An institute focused on the study and development of Alchemy, but with members that diverge from the classical view of the alchemist from the Middle Ages and are more worried about the greater truths of the universe. The most independent of the Three Great Branches, it has its own terms of relationship with the Holy Church and other magic organizations. Not surprisingly, these traits cause Atlas to be disliked by the Clock Tower and the Prague Association.
-Sea of Estray
The Sea of Estray, also known as The Wandering Tomb, an integrated association in Northern Europe. It is a conglomerate of minor organizations of magi that are spread throughout Europe that was originally the original Association that predated the Clock Tower. They have ceased communication with the Association since the Clock Tower became the headquarters. This base is itself a moving mountain range. Normally, it is wandering at sea as its name suggests, but sometimes it comes up on dry land. It seems they research mainly body alteration, but the specifics are unknown. Among the founders of the Mage Association, there had been many heretical magi who were exiled from the Sea of Estray and the Atlas Institute and had no place left to go.