Master Wizards, also known as Magisters or "Sirs", are Wizards who have mastered the essentials and develop the means to cast most if not all of the spells in their chosen lore.
A Master Wizard is one who wields magic with surety and finesse. Elf Wizards find this level of spell casting easy to attain, but for a Human, it is a life’s work. By the time they reach this level of mastery, most Wizards begin to exhibit eccentricities and physical changes wrought by close association with magic. Master Wizards usually prefer to spend their time researching or politicking with fellow magisters.[2a]
However, their Order usually requires them to adventure in the world at large, furthering the cause of their art, and seeking out young folk to apprentice.[2a]
Becoming an Imperial Magister
At the end of his travels, decided at the master’s discretion, a Journeyman Wizard returns to his studies with his master. During this period, the master discerns the level of arcane mastery and control his apprentice has, as well as whether he has become tainted in any way by Dark Magic. This process is long, but once the master is satisfied with his protégé’s skill and purity, the Journeyman Wizard will be expected to travel (sometimes with the master, but more often without) to the master’s home College (if they are not already situated there), to study the deeper secrets and more dangerous magic of the Order. The College is also the only place where an apprentice may be accepted as a full Magister and given all the rights, privileges, and duties of the Order.
If unaccompanied, Journeyman Wizards take an introductory letter and a full report from their master with them to the College, and they will be questioned at great length by the highest-ranking Magister present. Once the interviewer is satisfied, the Journeyman Wizard is given a bunk in a dormitory or even his own cell, and he begins an extensive study of his chosen Order and Lore. How long this period lasts is entirely up to the Journeyman. Once he feels ready, he may ask to be considered for acceptance as a full Magister of his Order.
If his request is accepted, the Journeyman will have his arcane skills pushed and tested like never before. The clarity of his arcane senses will be tested, as will his control, speed, and ability to channel the Order's distinct type of magic. Finally, his spellcraft will be tested through a series of trials, ranging from relatively easy tasks to a magical duel between himself and an examining Magister. This duel is not fatal, and the apprentice will not have to win, though he will be highly esteemed if he does. All the Journeyman must do is fight to the very best of his ability with determination, skill, and a will to win.
The Colleges are scrupulous about who they admit to join their Order, and they will reject anyone who does not match up to their standards of excellence. Such rejects must return to their studies with good grace until they are deemed ready to retry for full Magisterial status. This scenario is unusual because anyone good enough to have survived the training for so long without becoming corrupted or insane is invariably powerful.
An interesting point about Human Magisters is that the longer they embrace and use the one Wind of Magic that directs their Lore, the less able they become to draw on the other Winds of Magic. So although a Magister will still be able to see all the colours of magic (the colour of his own strand of magic will always seems the most vivid and dynamic to him), he will only be able to grasp the colour or Wind that his being has become psychically attuned to. By the time a Journeyman is accepted as a full Magister, this process will already have had a profound effect upon him, meaning that he would be unable to utilise another strand of magic even if he wished to. This is perhaps related to the reason why Magisters begin to reflect the attributes of the Wind they use over time. For example, Pyromancers of the Bright Order become ever more passionate and impatient, and Magisters of the Amber Order prefer to avoid contact with Humanity and feel at home in the wilds.
This state of affairs might also explain why so many fallen Magisters have turned to Chaos worship or Daemonology, as they would probably need divine or daemonic assistance to be able to grasp to any great degree a strand of magic other than their Order’s own. There are, perhaps, a few Magisters who never lost the ability to grasp other Winds of Magic, but they would be rare individuals.
Records of all Apprentices, Journeyman Wizards, and full Magisters of the Orders are kept in each College, and they are open to inspection by the Magister Patriarch and the Emperor himself, and theoretically the Grand Theogonist. But it is rare that an inspection is called for, since Imperial Magisters rarely go rogue—or, at least, that’s what Colleges want people to think. If an inspection is called for, it is usually at the request of the Grand Theogonist; although, this was exceedingly rare under the last Theogonist, Volkmar. But such a request is almost always to make a political point and is rarely carried through, such are the wranglings and dealings of the Imperial Court.
Once an Journeyman Wizard is accepted as a full Magister, he has reached the end of his formal studentship and is no longer bound to his master.
The Call to Power
While the motives and backgrounds of master wizards are as varied as the nature of magic itself, they do share a constant goal – the pursuit of knowledge and power. A master wizard is driven constantly by a thirst to discover the secrets of creation. This undeniable compulsion is not in itself evil. However it is a constant call to power that all who tread the path of the wizard experience. By the time a person has advanced to the rank of master wizard this hunger for knowledge and power has become a siren song within their heads, driving them ever onward.[3a]
The effects of long term exposure to magic can make subtle changes to a man as his power grows. The following examples are but a few possible manifestations. Note that Elves never gain wizardly quirks.[3a]
- Unnatural Heat: Your hands and skin are hot to the touch as if you had a fever. Though others may warm themselves by your flesh, you gain no benefit from this unnatural heat.[3a]
- Through the Looking Glass: Your reflection is slightly out of sync with you, lingering for a moment after you turn away from mirrors or other reflective surfaces.[3a]
- Spectral Voices: You constantly hear whispered voices in your head, though you can never quite make out what they say. However, you can occasionally catch a word or two like kill and kitten.[3a]
- Feline Affinity: Cats are your friends and flock to you wherever you are. Whenever you stand still the cats, and especially the mangy ones, like to rub themselves against your legs.[3a]
- The Slow Rot: Cloth slowly rots while touching your skin. Over a few days clothes will moulder and being to disintegrate forcing you to consider wearing garments of metal or bone.[3a]
- Wizened Claws: Your fingernails and toenails constantly grow and must be clipped daily lest they become a tangled mess. Wearing gloves is difficult.[3a]
- Icy Breath: Your breath is cold like an icy breeze and leaves a thin layer of frost on glass and metal. Those talking to you face to face often shiver.[3a]
- Light Sleeper: When asleep, you hover a few inches above the ground. However, when you wake you come crashing down.[3a]
- Stale Touch: Beer goes flat and wine sours in your presence. Taverns are best avoided, as are breweries and vineyards.[3a]
- Ghostly Breeze: Your hair and clothes are constantly ruffled by an invisible breeze that nobody else notices. This can make you feel either heroic or annoyed, depending on your mood.[3a]
It is unclear if Wizardly Quirks are a form of Arcane Mark, or something similar but different.