A relatively new city-state, Aglarond has become a cultural hub for all things arcane. The city strives to be an intellectual utopia, where hundreds of magic-users of every race come together in the name of arcane inquiry. It is a sanctuary for those who are often persecuted in other regions of the world by those who do not seek to understand the arcane. No matter their race, place of birth, or personal history, the inhabitants of Aglarond are all unified by their arcane gifts and talents.
Government & Organizations
But just because the city embraces the gift of the arcane does not mean they are naive and ignorant. The Aglarondian Synod – the governing council of representatives from all disciplines of magic and all castes of the city – convenes for ten consecutive days every month to discuss all matters of governance and arcane ethics. A multitude of bureaucratic departments and organizations have sprung up in order to face the challenges of governing a city full of magic potentials.
The Order of the Crystal Spire is the main state-sanctioned guild of Aglarondian Arcanists. The order works within a traditional guild fashion – with Magisters taking on Apprentices to mentor and instruct in responsible magic use. Be they Sorcerers, Warlocks, Wizards or even Bards, the Order can accept them all into their fold as long as they have the aptitude and moral compass required. The Order is further separated into subdivisions that focus on various different styles of spellcasting. Certain members with a propensity towards diplomacy are sent out as Agents, collecting information about distant sources of magical power, either overtly or covertly. Agents will also sometimes take on a domestic role to seek out any mage criminals within the city. Others serve as Archivists, members who take on more academic roles of research and experimentation.
And, of course, Aglarond is home to the Church of Nitio’s High Seat of Knowledge, the largest library and historical repository on the continent. Working closely with the Order of the Crystal Spire, members of the Church of Nitio assist with the work of Archivists, collecting and preserving ancient lore. They also facilitate literacy programs for the mundane members of Aglarond, ensuring a free education in history for their faithful.
Crime and Punishment
Basically, the city prohibits any conduct that “poses an immediate and significant threat to the inhabitants or property of Aglarond.” This includes practices like fiend worship, unauthorized magical experimentation, and unauthorized planar gate travel, to name a few.
Criminals are usually fined for minor offenses like shoplifting or spellcasting without a permit, depending whether or not the convicted is a first-time offender or a native to the city. Any crimes that resulted in deaths of citizens usually end in either banishment or death.
A magic-user that is charged with a particularly insidious mage-crime, and who is deemed “unable to responsibly wield magic,” can be sentenced to have the spark of magic forcefully extinguished from their body. Those who survive the process are known as the Scourged. They bear hideous scars and are invariably banished from ever returning to Aglarond.
Necromancy, while not illegal, is heavily policed by the Order of the Crystal Spire, and any sort of reanimation must be on a pre-approved individual. Before their deaths, individuals can provide written legal consent for their remains to be used in magical research, which must be approved through the Aglarondian Synod. Necromancy continues to be debated by members of the Synod.
The ethical implications of scourging criminals is also a matter of debate among both foreign powers and those within Aglarond. Agents have been known to find magical offenders taking refuge in other nations, and while there’s often communication with the local government, the Agents of the Crystal Spire are not known to take refusal well. Asylum-seeking mage criminals have been the cause of some foreign conflict in the past.
Foreign Policy & Military
Aglarond’s magical advances have not gone unnoticed by the nation’s neighbors, and foreign policy has been a subject of heated debate for several years. Some argue that by exporting enchanted items, Aglarond can tap into a very lucrative market with relatively few competitors. Dissenters argue that magic should not simply be a means to commercial gain, and that any international arrangement would force Aglarond to choose sides during an international conflict. As a matter of practice, Aglarond has been very careful in maintaining a policy of neutrality for its entire existence. It neither aids nor impedes any nearby conflicts, much to the chagrin of several members of the Synod.
Because of its policy of neutrality, not much is known about Aglarond’s military firsthand. Agents of the Crystal Spire are formidable opponents on an individual level, and it goes without saying that any magic on the battlefield can be a decisive factor in military conflict. There are rumors of Aglarondian War Mages, and though the government itself does not speak to the veracity of such claims, they have been careful not to deny them, either.
In summary, Aglarond is a city of magical potential, and though some outside forces regard the city-state with suspicion, there is no denying that its ideals are praiseworthy. The only question that remains is if the city-state can live up to its own code of ethics.
Art Credit: Steven Martiner