Fraternities are groups of enchanters who hold the same viewpoints, and band together to make their voices heard. They function as political parties among Circle mages and determine the policy of a given Circle. Any full enchanter can join one. A fraternity counts enchanters from different Circles among their number, and the various fraternities vie for power in the College of Magi, also known as the College of Enchanters. The College, they say, allows mages of the south to gather in peace and seek new solutions to age-old problems.
Known fraternities Edit
- Aequitarians are the dominant faction in the College of Magi in general, and Ferelden's Circle in particular. They promote a moderate and popular viewpoint that mages must use their abilities in a responsible and ethical manner, regardless of Chantry law. Aequitarians believe that all mages should help people and follow a set of rules and ideals. In practice, this usually means operating within the more reasonable tenets of Chantry law. Known Aequitarians include Edmonde, Irving, Rhys, Sweeney, Torrin and Wynne. By 9:40 Dragon they are represented in the College of Magi by Rhys.
- Isolationists are a small group of mages who wish to separate themselves from the templars, the Chantry and even civilization altogether, both in order to practice magic without scrutiny and to ensure their powers do not negatively affect "ordinary" folk. Niall is the only Isolationist seen thus far, though he merely sympathized and did not consider himself one of them.
- Libertarians desire the Circle to become an autonomous, self-regulating order without Chantry involvement at any level. While many Libertarians advocate the use of peaceful means to ensure their independence, such as a bill of secession they proposed to the College of Magi in 9:31 Dragon, at least one subgroup, the Resolutionists, are willing to pursue violent means to their ends. Libertarians count Uldred, Adrian and Jeannot among their number. By 9:40 Dragon they are represented in the College of Magi by Adrian.
- Loyalists follow the Chantry's word as it is written. They are often called "Chantry apologists" for accepting the Chantry's and the templars' ever-present supervision. Vivienne and Keili are examples of loyalist ideals, though Vivienne has not explicitly joined a fraternity, and Keili is not an enchanter and thus cannot join a fraternity.
- Lucrosians prioritize the accumulation of wealth, with the gaining of political influence a close second. They are few in number.
It is revealed that in 9:37 Dragon, Wynne led the College of Enchanters to vote against independence from the Chantry, and many Circle mages believe that made her a traitor.
By 9:38 Dragon, one year after the Kirkwall Circle's rebellion, out of fear of another similar incident in the other Circles, the Chantry has disbanded the meetings of the College of Enchanters, as well as any and all mage gatherings without their supervision. Thus, the mage fraternities are no longer permitted to conduct their meetings.
Wynne tells Rhys that it was Fiona's election to the position of the Grand Enchanter that caused the conclave to be disbanded in the first place: Fiona is a former Grey Warden and campaigned diligently for independence, allowing the vote that the previous Grand Enchanter Briaus would never allow.
After word has been sent to the Divine and to the Circles regarding the Tranquil Pharamond's findings on the Rite of Tranquility, the fraternities are allowed to convene at the White Spire to discuss his research. However, with the turmoil in Orlais, the conclave—led by the Grand Enchanter Fiona—derails from its primary objective to the possibility of separating the Circle of Magi from the Chantry, a motion which has long been pushed by the Libertarians. Before the vote can take place, templars and seekers march into the great hall and proceed to imprison the attending mages after Pharamond was found dead in his chambers. Those who were imprisoned are able to escape and kill the templars who watched them.They flee the White Spire and take refuge in Andoral's Reach, where many hundreds of mages, now apostates, arrive within weeks. Another conclave on the mages' independence is held. The options are either to submit to the Chantry as advocated by the Loyalists, or to declare the Circle's secession from the Chantry as advocated by the Libertarians. Finally Rhys as the representative of the Aequitarians casts the decisive vote to fight, siding with the Libertarians. With this motion the mages officially cut their ties to the Chantry and refuse to acknowledge the authority of the Templar Order. By 9:40 Dragon, the templars have also left the Chantry and both sides are preparing for war.
Codex entries EditCodex entry: Circles Within Circles Codex entry: The Fraternity of Enchanters Codex entry: The Resolutionists