The chantry is quite centralised, with the Alderman having a very broad jurisdiction. Originally he was the oldest member of the Guild of Mercury, but today the current Nämdeman of the Guild replaces the Alderman when he dies or retires. As a sign of his office he wears a ceremonial Seal of Solomon made of crystal (an extremely valuable gift from a Russian chantry, which gave it to Convivo Holmiensis during the 18th century).
The Nämdemän are chosen among the masters of each Guild, usually on the retirement, death or appointment as Alderman by the current Nämdeman. It is formally possible for the Masters of a Guild to outvote the current Nämdeman, but the Guild Meeting can void the decision. Originally there were four Nämdemän, two from each guild, but when the Guild of Bacchus joined they were reduced to three, one from each Guild. The Nämdeman of the Guild of Vulcanus is also titled Mästermekanikus (Mastermechanicus) and wears their seal as a symbol of his or her office. The Nämdemän are the leaders of their respective Guilds, and usually have great influence over them.
The Guild Meetings are called by the Alderman, and usually done behind closed doors in his office. However, some meetings are of official or of ceremonial nature, like courts or the Christmas Ceremonies. In these meetings the Alderman has the final vote in anything. They don't have to include all Nämdemän to be justified, but the decision of a meeting with fewer present Nämdemän can be overruled by another meeting with more present.
The Guild Meetings can also function as courts, where disputes between mages or severe internal problems are resolved (in simpler cases the Alderman or an Nämdeman can handle it themselves). The problem is debated before the chantry, and the Alderman gives the verdict. This type of meetings also preside over questions, suggestions and petitions from the mages, and over the tests of Apprenticehood, Gesällhood and Masterhood. When an open meeting is in session, at least five guildhosts should be present in their ceremonial dark blue uniforms from the 15th century, complete with swords. All mages with insignia (like the Seal of the Alderman or the Key of the Forcemaster) must have them visible during the meeting.
Beside the Alderman and Nämdemän, there are many other offices:
The Forcemaster is responsible for the upkeep of the nodes of the chantry, its wards and the high ceremonies. It is required that he is a full Master of his Guild and a Master of Prime. He may not hold any other office during his appointment (usually for life). He has extensive duties: to protect and preserve the stores of Quintessence, to celebrate certain ceremonies during eclipses and equinoxes, control the wards and in lead the yearly Christmas celebrations. He may demand help from other mages to fulfil his duties, and nobody can deny him assistance. On the other hand, the statutes specify severe punishments for Forcemasters who are lax or incompetent in their duties. When a Forcemaster is appointed, he will receive the elaborate silver key to the Temple (his insignum) and the ancient Forcemaster Tome, containing the notes of all previous Forcemasters and the secret words to control the wards and nodes.
The Magister is responsible for all education in the chantry and as scribe in official matters. By the statutes the oldest mage in the chantry is appointed as Magister and given his insignia: a silver- tipped feather pen and a double ink well, containing black and red ink prepared by the Librarian. It is his duty to oversee education in the chantry, approve apprentices, to test apprentices and students, to write changes of membership, punishments and offices into the Scroll of Membership and to regulate access to the library. All of the Scrolls of Membership since the founding of the chantry are kept in a small vault in the office of the Magister, and would provide fascinating historical documents if he ever let anybody see them except at ceremonial occasions. Beside the names of all mages are a small dot of their blood and remarks and titles; positive things written in black, punishments and criticism written in red. A few names have been inked out in red.
The Alderman, Forcemaster and Magister all have great power in different areas. The Alderman has the greatest authority, but the Forcemaster can often overrule him in matters of the magickal state of the chantry and ceremony. The Magister can have variable power, depending on how strictly he interprets the statutes. If they are followed in detail (as the current Magister usually does) the Magister will gain much power, since practically all advancement in the chantry requires his approval and he can easily refuse it.
Beside the central offices of Alderman, Forcemaster, Magister and Nämdeman, there are many lesser offices. A person can hold several offices, except the Alderman, Forcemaster and Magister, who may only hold their own.
The Housemaster is responsible for the physical status of the chantry, repairs of the building, to direct the servants and keep the central keys. He is usually the chief servant, but has been a mage in the distant past. The insignia of the Housemaster is a huge key-ring made of rusty iron, reputedly the original key-ring of the building.
The Librarian is responsible for the library. He is also responsible for the paper supply, making parchments and ink. The last generations the title has been passed down in the family Ulv, each Librarian passing down his secrets to his successor. The insignum of the Librarian is the Index, a huge tome (possibly) cataloguing all books.
The Treasurer is responsible for the economy of the chantry (he has in the past often been Housemaster too). He plans the finances of the chantry and keeps the cash in a special safe and in the Guild- chests (a certain percentage of the wealth of the chantry must be kept in cash due to old praxis). The Treasurer must be able to review the finances for the Alderman. The insignum of the Treasurer is the golden key to the safe, and he has the right to order gärdemännen (the tax collectors).
The Gärdemän are responsible for the payment and collections of taxes, charges and fines. They are usually servants or the apprentices of the Treasurer.
The Weaponsmaster is responsible for the physical safety of the chantry and punishments. He shall lead the chantry-hosts and other possible guards, and have the right to demand defensive duty of other mages if the situation demands it. He is also supposed to keep the armoury in fine shape (if he haven't got an armourer), train guards and make sure nothing threatens the chantry. He can appoint apprentices without any other office as chantry-hosts if he has too few to fulfil his duties, both temporary and indefinitely. The Weaponsmaster has his quarters by the courtyard, connected to the guardhouse and the armoury. His insignum is a ceremonial sword of copper with the inscription "Per Vim Martiis" (possibly an talisman).
The chantry-hosts are responsible for guarding the chantry and keeping order. They are to make sure no intruders get in, that nobody misbehaves in the chantry and protect mages who need it. They are also often used today to lift and move heavy objects.
The Laboratorymaster is responsible for the upkeep of the laboratories and ceremonial rooms. He sees to that the laboratories are well stocked, clean, ordered, that they are not misused or damaged. He is also responsible for the smithy and workshop.
The Lanternbearer is subordinate to the Forcemaster and has as his duty to transport Tass to the chantry, where the Forcemaster stores it. He is also responsible for finding new sources of Quintessence, protect the, and keep the chantry well lit in the dark season and make sure the fires are burning safely. By tradition the office goes to the apprentices of the Forcemasters, if there are any. At the appointment, the Lanternbearer receives an old lantern, lit by the fire from the Temple.
The ordinary mages of the chantry are divided into Apprentices (also called Lärlingar), Gesälls and Masters, which roughly correspond to the normal division into disciples, adepts and masters. Apprentices still study under a Master, while the Gesälls are much more independent. To advance, a mage must pass certain tests and successfully defend a thesis (see the section about initiation). Only the Masters have real political power, although Gesälls and even apprentices can have certain offices.
Anders Main PageAnders Sandberg / email@example.com