Istivin : City of Shadows.
No magical medieval city is complete without a wizards’ guild. Like other members of society, wizards need a community and group insurance.The guild is for camaraderie, insurance, and social distinction according to one’s profession or craft. A wizards’ guild offers many benefits for its members, both social and arcane oriented.
For members wealthy enough to afford coming back, the guild can ensure the member’s return. In larger cities with wealthy guilds, the guild can grant access to research facilities, laboratories, special materials, and spell components.
Where else can a wizard safely find the snake off a medusa’s head, even if he has to pay the outrageous guild price? Other possibilities are shared magical learning, spell trading, and lend/lease magic items.The guild acts as a police force for its craft, both on guild members and on outsiders within the guild’s territory. If there is a wizards’ guild in a city, being a member of the guild is not a luxury; it is a prerequisite. As with other professional and craft guilds, membership is often compulsory to practice wizardry in the city, which includes casting spells for others, selling wizardly services, and making magic items for sale. Unauthorized practitioners risk retribution by the guild if word leaks out. This does not mean that it does not happen; it just means that guilds have a socially and legally supported right to pursue such transgressors.
The guild also creates its regulations and bylaws. Any number of restrictions may be a part of a wizards’ guild.
The guild itself has feudal obligations it must fulfill. The amount of comparative power the guild holds, the lord or city council that gives the guild a charter, and the arrangements made with other groups determine the feudal obligations a wizards’ guild owes to other groups and power centers in the city.It is important to remember that despite the camaraderie and rules for self-policing, wizards’ guilds have just as much internecine fighting, backstabbing, individual power grabs, systematic rule-breaking, and dirty play as any other magical medieval guild. Although lords may grant a city the right to form a wizard’s guild, they will never relinquish control over their rights of magical taxation and service, unless physically forced otherwise.
Wizards’ guilds are potentially one of the most powerful groups in a city. Such organizations have the magical power, and most likely the wealth, to compete against other guilds and power centers for attention and influence. Wizards provide magic that improves crime solving, intelligence gathering, and diplomacy. Wizards’ guilds are full of learned men and their comprehensive libraries, facilities held in high esteem as places of learning and prominent architecture.