The Confederation of Nyroc
Nyroc is an arctic region which originally consisted of many small tribes. The tribes found a strange plant which they could grow in mass quantities in their harsh climate. The plant provided them with enough food to become an agrarian nation. The crop was called Euer, a wheat like plant which also contained a good deal of protein, and it allowed their society to advance rapidly (very rapidly) to a warring group of states then to a unified nation. Some claim that the rapid growth was due to interference from, the Order of the True Flame, which has its headquarters in the North East corner of the region. Some believe they even were the ones who introduced Euer to the region. While their Headquarters already had two mountain ranges to defend themselves they had no true army to defend themselves. After the nation was formed the Order of the True Flame submitted their region for entrance into the nation. After joining through the Treaty of Kervo (a very complex document) money and resources poured into the nation allowing them to build into a formidable state. Before the elves could begin their re-expansion Nyroc sent troops to occupy a great deal of land in the south. They moved south and captured the city of Pedrokhan which they transformed from a scummy port into a thriving metropolis. They stopped their expansion Southward at the Formus Mountains and began expanding eastwards. When the elves invaded the area north of the Formus Mountains a brief war was fought then a treaty was signed granting elves much of the land with the exception of Pedrokhan. Nyroc then changed directions and began working on internal reforms. Then around 75 years ago farmers from Vorsil began to move into move into the Tornian Tundra. Tensions rose and eventually the two nations went to war. The war was long and brutal with both sides incurring heavy casualties. At the peak of the war the people of Nyroc were attacked by the Elves whom they had not dealt with in almost 200 years. The elves swept out of their forest and captured the city of Pedrokhan. With out its main port Nyroc would undoubtedly have lost the Tornian Wars if it wasn’t for the interference of the Order of the True Flame. The mages forced the two sides to sit down at peace talks and hammer out a treaty. The treaty was very favorable for Vorsil, while the land was divided in half between the two the only real prize, the city of Kervo, went to Vorsil. Many are still unsure of how the Mages convinced the people of Nyroc to agree, but it is known that the elves stopped their expansion northward almost immediately after the treaty was signed. For the past twenty year Nyroc has been rebuilding its military and attempting to rebuild itself to its former glory. The name of Confederation is largely a hangover from the unification; there no longer exist any true states in the country.
The Spire of Ottrix: Ottrix was one of the greatest mages ever to have lived. He succeeded in unifying the Magi into the Order of the True Flame, the order to which all Magi belong whose symbol is an eye wreathed in flame. Ottrix spent the remainder of his life not devoted to studying, but to establishing a vast network of contacts and political alliances. At the end of his life he used the last of his energy to construct this great tower. It is a marvelous sight to behold and can be seen from over five miles away. It was to be the headquarters for the Order of the True Flame, and from this tower the Magi have been manipulating the World ever since. Entrance to the region of the spire is limited to travel over a small number of passages, all of which are closely watched, through the mountains or magic. All of the borders on the sea are sheer cliff faces ranging from most places where it is as low as 20 feet high to the few rare places where it up to 100 feet high. The lands around the tower are sparely inhabited, and those regions in habited are often just mage farmers who use their magic to grow crops to support the tower. The order has no strict confinements on religion, race, or alignment; all that matters is a mage’s dedication to magic. You could be a member of the order without being a member of a guild but not a member of a guild without being a member of the Order. Fighting in the tower is strictly forbidden with the only exception being a mage duel. Declaration of a mage duel is far more complicated than simply declaring one and then fighting. Mages must go through a long ceremony. The ceremony requires each of the mages to go on very difficult quests and, if they return, then they may decide whether or not to duel each other. The assigned quest varies and the goal is decided by the Council of the Magi, the governing body if you will of the Order. They are often quite dangerous and often one or both of the mages does not survive. Due to the risk involved a duel is rarely evoked, though for some the show of a thing is what counts. Outside of the tower everyone is fair game.
Once a decade the most powerful 300 members are invited to the Grand Wizard Tournament and there they compete with each other for rank. The top 100 are given a rank and the top 50 are made Archmages. Invited wizards are not obliged to attend but nearly all do. It is uncommon, though possible, for a mage to become an Archmage at his first Tournament.