|The Congress Arcanum|
|Leader:||Rotating elected official|
|Membership:||750 magic users|
The Congress Arcanum is a brotherhood of spellcasters headquartered in Zirien. It exists to promote the study and acceptance of magic in all of its forms. The Congress Arcanum is also the governing body of the nation of Zirien, and in that role it aims to improve the lives of those that live there with the benefits that magic can provide them. Members of the Congress serve as consultants in magical affairs to royalty and nobility and sometimes as adventurers, seeking knowledge where their travels take them.
Spellcasters from all walks of life and all levels of proficiency fill the ranks of the society.
The standard of both the nation of Zirien and of the Congress is a magic symbol enclosed in a circle that amusingly also functions as a warding spell preventing the object on which it appears from being burned.
In the year 2713 of the Age of Knowledge, the Congress Arcanum and the nation of Zirien were founded, the island itself having been discovered only four years prior. Its founding members were six companions of varying magical skill who carved out a home for spellcasters on the island. Today they are remembered as the Sorcerous Six, their true names having been lost to time.
During its roughly 1800 years in operation, the Congress has researched and improved many forms of magic that are in use today.
Being the governing body of the nation of Zirien, some of the Congress' income is derived from the taxes of the citizens. Other income comes from governments, organizations, and corporations which call upon the Congress for official business. Members of the Congress which do not reside in Zirien are made to pay membership dues, to the tune of 100 sovereigns annually. Income is used to provide for the nation and its citizens, but also to fund research at the Academy of Wonders and to stock materials at the Halls of Knowledge, and lastly to provide for member benefits.
Any practitioner of magic is welcomed into the Congress. New members are asked for an induction fee of 200 sovereigns and are inducted formally before the Congress at every full moon. Members come and go as older members pass away or otherwise choose to leave the society. Spellcasters and sages are welcome to use the facilities of the Academy of Wonders and the Halls of Knowledge without being members in the society for a nominal fee.
In the function of a governing body, the Congress plays by a set of rules pertaining to the citizens and the authorities it has over them. See the description for Zirien itself for details. In the function of a learned society, it has many rules for its members behavior.
Since the Congress is comprised of such diverse members, they must adhere to a strict etiquette standard when holding sessions. Members are not permitted to engage in combat with each other in the nation of Zirien or elsewhere under risk of sanction or expulsion. Members may not research magic for personal gain at the expense of other sentient beings, but this is the only restriction on research.
All members in the Congress hold respect for magic in its many forms. They strive to perfect the practice of magic and encourage its widespread acceptance. The Congress sometimes sends members on official missions to investigate magical happenings or halt abuse of magic. For instance, the Congress has sent many members on occasion to deal with the more outrageous behavior Order of the Twilight Adepts.
The Congress is led by an elected official which is rotated every seven years. The role of Speaker is currently served by Her Honor Joset Therald, a skilled sorceress. The Speaker is responsible for leading the sessions of the Congress, delegating responsibility, and serving as executive power of the nation.