The magebanes are a guild responsible for stamping out misuses of magic in Kura.
Magebanes are trained in the investigation of the arcane and the containment of dangerous arcana. This means they often operate covertly, with only the council and/or the local hiring agent being aware of their presence. Magebanes almost never advertise.
The traditional symbol of the magebane is the opposed wands rune, presented either vertically or horizontally:
This symbol is quickly produced and recognized. More advanced symbols include the hooded mantle of the upper echelon members, sometimes with a vertical wand in accompaniment.
Apprentice > Cap > Cloak > Mantle > Council
A typical apprenticeship lasts for two years (apprentices are called apprentices), before the newly-titled cape is permitted to handle jobs on her own. After adequate service through approximately five years, the cape can become a cloak. Distinguished cloaks aspire to the rank of mantle.
The magebanes are more of a shadow organization than most guilds. Even among the council, there are only a handful of members whose identities are widely known. This is, in part, because of the nature of their work. The magebanes see themselves as stewards rather than as a military group (though they are certainly something like a paramilitary group in function), watching more than actively engaging. Yet when they engage, they prefer to do so covertly. “Better to be thought idle than meddlers,” is a common refrain among its members.
In practice, this shadow influence means that the magebanes are probably responsible for much more than people know. If even a rumor of magic surfaces, there is little doubt a magebane will soon appear to investigate, likely unknown and unassuming in appearance. They often double as adventurers or explorers, providing cover and a backstory for their presence. Investigating the more outlandish claims is often an assay of young talent, so the magebanes end up with their fingers in many dishes.
Aryk the Magebane was the first to assume the title. After disappearing after engaging the Lich of Lach Moar (and the Lich along with him) in single combat in 1023, Aryk’s name and mission spread. The first School of Magebanes appeared in Vespasia, where the guild is itself housed to this day. There is likewise a school in Sylva and an archive in Al-Dzerl (the elflands). Among the public members of the guild are: the Alder (elven) siblings Shaundralyn and Darkou’Tier Vandree, Histides the Gnarled, and Wenn Rothnak. Wenn, now seventy, has served as the Great Mantle for the past fifteen years. Histides, at least eighty, having served openly on the council for the past forty years, is his most trusted advisor. The Vandrees are seen as something of upstarts despite being in their mid-100s. They both joined the ranks of the open council seven years ago.
A campaign could be developed around a fledgling magebane’s ascent through the ranks, including investigation, gopher missions, exploration, research, and the like. Individual missions typically include reconnaissance and occasionally direct intervention. Mages do tend, over time, to accrue magical powers themselves. When they bring such powers to fruition, they guard their secrets well. Thus, any story involving magic – in the form of spells or items – is a perfect hook for a magebane.
Given the cloak-and-dagger nature of their organization, political scenarios work well, too. There are even rumors of corruption and downright devilry at the upper levels of the council, so consider the possibilities boundless for exploring the intrigue angle.