1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Magical rankings in a school?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Kalshion, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. Kalshion

    Kalshion Dreamer

    A friend of mine recommneded I post this here, as I've been stuck on this for quite awhile now.

    In a story I am writing, the main character recently escaped from a country that hates mages, she is now in one that appreciates them but the school she is set to attend is... rather elitist when it comes to rankings. I was originally using the rankings from the anime Blue Exorcist, but I've hit a snag.

    In order to create problems in the story, I wanted to try and figure out some magical rankings for the lower grades of the school. Something that's more, not really childish, but youthful and would apply to a kid. I was using Page's and Esquires, since if my memory of history is right those ranks were typically used for kids anyway (though I may be wrong)

    So here I am, I'm wondering if anyone here may have an idea on what kind of a magical ranking names would fit for a primary school (vs secondary, which use Knight, Doctor, and Dragoon, all of which are related to the kind of skill set that student has)
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  2. Lynea

    Lynea Minstrel

    For kids you might go with a nature type thing, like seedling or sprout.
  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    I'm having trouble picturing the issue here. Kids in primary school (for example) do get graded on assignments and even by semester, but they don't get ranked. Are you talking about levels or grades as in A Level or Third Grade? Those proceed pretty much by age. I suppose you could use names instead of numbers or letters. You could use colors or some other marker.

    Page and esquire are fine, though those terms historically are not specifically tied to age. Not that historicity matters; we get to make up whatever we want, so long as we explain it in-story.
  4. Kalshion

    Kalshion Dreamer

    Ah, sorry, I guess I need to clarify.

    They do have regular grades, like 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, or 1st grade, 2nd, grade, 3rd grade, etc. The magical ranking is based upon their actual knowledge and magical aptitude, naturally a student in a lower primary grade probably wouldn't know a whole lot about magic but there is always a change to find someone who does. In this case, looking more for a magical rank that would be appropriate for kids.

    What Lynea gave is a starting point, which I am branching off from there (no pun intended), though still brain storming.
  5. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    Colours like the belts in Martial arts?
    Or animals of increasing size [and/or assumed power]?
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  6. Kalshion

    Kalshion Dreamer

    The color one can work for one of the other schools I'm designing, which would actually fit into that schools theme given their magic is more CQC (Close Quarters Combat)

    Hmm, perhaps the animals one could work, I do have a school whose only mention right now is that it is located deep within a forest. I haven't fleshed it out yet mostly since it doesn't appear until later in the story (thus, plenty of time)

    But good idea's regarless, I can use these actually. Thank you all kindly :) If you have others, I'd be grateful.
  7. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    If you check a thesaurus for "novice," that might give you some ideas: Synonyms of novice | Thesaurus.com

    Some I like:

    • Novice
    • Neophyte
    • Apprentice (or, maybe better, Prentice)
    • Aspirant
    • Initiate
    • Naif

    These are rather formal to my ears, at least compared to examples of animal references, like Cub, Colt, Greenhorn (although this now means almost exclusively a newbie), Fledgling. I like these too, depending on the context. Probably just about any word for a young and/or newborn animal could work. If the culture has some special reverence for plants, then terms like bud, budling, shoot, seedling, and so forth might be used. Does the culture have knowledge of mythical creatures? Or mythical plants? Then maybe it would use terms that describe young dragons and gryphons, or terms describing the life stages of the semi-intelligent flesh-eating plants that grow all over the place in that land...heh.

    My broadest suggestion would be to consider the culture of the world you are using, and get creative. If it's a secondary world (not Earth), you'll have far more options. Just about anything can be sold to the reader if handled well. Plus, you have a chance to add depth to that world simply by having very suggestive ranking titles for those students.
  8. Vicki27

    Vicki27 Minstrel

    All of the suggestions are good. Have you looked at the ranking system on this site.... it might give you some more ideas
    elemtilas likes this.
  9. elemtilas

    elemtilas Inkling

    You could also combine some of these ideas. Without knowing how your magic system works, I'm just shooting into the darkness here.

    But if there were different "kinds" of magic, different strengths or different capacities, they themselves could be ranked. And as a child grows their innate capacities, their learning, their choices, and their skills could sort them into a different branch of magic. These could be associated with a particular totem animal or patron saint or school founder.

    So you could have a Novice Rose of the Wartonian School. That could mean a relatively young student of middling capacity within one of the lesser schools. Your girl, just coming in to such a system might be ranked a Naive of the Asconian School. Basically knows nothing and exhibits no special capacity and she's in one of the great schools of magic.

    In this system your girl would rise through the ranks from Naive to Aspirant Seedling to Initiate Seedling; and then perhaps Neophyte Ivy to Novice Ivy. After the flowers, the ranks might switch to totem animals. By her teen years, rankings might switch again to mundane & ethereal powers. An average magic user might finish primary school as an Apprentice Electropher of the Asconian School. Being of adequate ability at a mundane level, such a one may not be suitable for very much higher study. Whereas an Accolyte Asteripher of the Asconian School might be a shoe in for a high graduate position at St. Malachy's Institute of Thaumaturgy.
    FifthView likes this.
  10. Kalshion

    Kalshion Dreamer

    I'm embarrassed to admit that I forgot about factoring in the culture of the nation in this. Though I didn't think about using schools to separate the magic, think I'll do that, would make it easier for me to design spells that fall into a certain area.

    Curious, should I go ahead and post up my magic system on the site so that people can take a look at it? It is rather rough and to be honest I'm not entirely certain how well it flows.
  11. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Inkling

    By all means, yes! This would give us a better idea of what ranks and names to give your magic systems.
  12. You could use the ranks/take inspiration from the ranks in mythic scribes, having the student mages go from Acolyte to Myth Weaver. That is, if it isn't copyrighted by Black Dragon.

Share This Page