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Untangling a mess of ideas to build a Magocracy.

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Logos&Eidos, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. Logos&Eidos

    Logos&Eidos Sage

    The name of the thread is pretty self explanatory,one of the governments on my work WIP is going to be Magocratic nature. But having mage overlords act the atypical nobility would be to easy,so i wound up building of a lot of different ideas from the world and from fiction to get at this one government. The problem is that my ideas are now an untangled mess and I'm not even shore how much this society would even make since, so I'm asking you for help. :unsure:

    The Magocracy is not an aristocracy,the ability for magic is both hereditary and learn-able, which means that their is no guaranty that the talent would stay in certain families;since not only can the talent just randomly pop up anybody is given the right push could magic. The Government is something of meritocracy one that puts it's emphasis magic particularly combat magic.

    Society has four classes:Gentry,Citizens,Commoners, Dreg.

    Gentry: are the mages only they can be Archons(Civil and military executives). However government service
    is mandatory.

    Citizens: Are non mages who have severed the state, primarily in a military capacity. Gaining the right privilege to sever in the ministries. and lease property,start businesses.

    Commoners: are non mages who for whatever reason never served the state. They while legally protected from molestation have limited privileges. They can not lease property and have little say so in government. many work as indentured-servants.

    Dregs: are the bottom of society and have almost no rights. These people mundane and mage have committed so great crime or dishonor;weren't simply executed.

    The Mageocracy is based around a system of privileges and obligations,seeing itself as the modern descendant of and refinement of an ancient and stable form of government; magi-martial federalism.

    The Magocracy divides its territory into sections and sub sections, the smallest is municipality the biggest is Planetary,where in space-fantasy territory. Over each territory is an Archon who is advised by a vizier and administrates with their appointed ministers; the High-Archon rules over all from the Obsidian throne.

    Only members of the gentry maybe Archons and only then when a position at their tier of governance.

    Both gentry and citizen maybe ministers and by sheer weight of numbers most minsters are citizens, minsters have the power and the obligation to vote their Archon out of office, which requires two thirds majority.

    The Archonage is divided into tiers, one doesn't immediately become a planetary Archon. One starts as a municipal and work their way up.
  2. DeathtoTrite

    DeathtoTrite Troubadour

    Looks interesting. A few questions I have reading this-

    1) What happens when a member of the gentry (say, an archon with large amount of land and capital) dies and has no magical heir? Does it pass to this person, who is only a wealthy citizen? Does it revert to the government?

    2) How is the high-archon chosen?

    3) This system sounds very centralized and organized; is this the case?

    4) How does the preference for mages create conflict? After all, unless individual mages can be army-destroying monsters (and exceptionally powerful mages like this are expotentially rarer and more powerful than your rank-and-file variant) leaders would probably be more cunning politicians and charismatic leaders, not just the most powerful mages. Seeing as the majority are non-mages, it follows that most of the best natural-born leaders would be found amongst non-mages. Are mages so oppressive and devastatingly powerful that this doesn't matter?
  3. Logos&Eidos

    Logos&Eidos Sage

    For Archons rule but do not own their territories. As for property, nobody really owns any land in the Magocracy, The Obsidian Throne owns. Gentry can lease land use rights directly from the throne for private use,Citizens lease from gentry. A lease can be willed to another;And as long as they payments are kept and no terms are violated it's as good as yours. In the event of a lease being willed to no one or a breach of terms the land and well everything on it reverts back to the Throne.

    The High-Archon is selected from among the Planetary Archon. beyond that i'm not sure.

    Not that much it's a federal system as long as worlds abided by the equivalent of a constitution and upheld their duties. They would be left to their own devices.

    Mage in this world are"different" from what's normally seen in western fantasy,they are more like a combination of psionics and ki-users. Mages possess a few passive benefits of their power,vitality and long life;Yes the strongest and rarest are effectively WMDs. It's not really fear that keeps the mundane population in line.

    Mages one are objectively better than mundanes. Rule by mages isn't a new concept, in prehistoric times the proto-mages went down one of two paths living beside the people or ruling them. By both groups did the same thing,use their abilities to protect and better their communities, one group just deiced that they deserved more than an extra helping of kaiju meat for what they were doing.

    The founders of Magocracy did help a lot of people during a very bad situation. Mages are raised to see themselves as defenders of the realm and actually have to do that or lose all their privileges. While mundanes can't be Archons they are the majority of the ministers and ministers have the authority to vote their Archons out of office; even the high-archon is answerable to their ministers. Mundanes are free from molestation and protected by law. The relationship between mage and mundane is on paper symbiotic. The Mages use their powers to enrich and defended the realm, the mundanes provision and out fit them, an ancient system reborn in the modern age.

    However there was a rebellion by the mundanes with in the last hundred year, sparked by a Republic that hopped to bring down a weakened Magocracy.

    The easiest way have built the Magocracy would have been for me to copy another one, The Tevinter Imperium from Dragon Age. Or pick a dictatorship or aristocracy from earth's history and just put Mage at the top. One of my major sources of inspiration was the Federation from Starship Troopers. The notion of a society where the people had to"earn" the right to have a say so in the government is immensely fascinating.
  4. Logos&Eidos

    Logos&Eidos Sage

    How Archons are initially elected is something that I remain unsure about, A vote by ones peers, an examination system like what imperial china had, appointment of the perspective by the current Archons;some combination of all the choices.

    Civic service is held in high esteem in the Magocracy and for the Gentry it's mandatory, if for whatever reason a young Gent chose not to honor their obligation they would immediately become a Dreg. The Imperial Obligation is carried out by joining one of several Orders. After the ten year period of service is up a Gent is free, they may return to their lives,volunteer for another service period, attempt to become an Archon.

    Commoners have no such demands on them and could live their entire lives without serving the empire directly,however they will have no voice in the government. Nor will they be able to lease property. To become a citizen a commoner must serve the state. To do that they join satellite branches of the Orders and become the rank and file. The same terms of service apply and after the successful completion, a commoner is now a citizen. They can lease property,work in the ministries.
  5. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

    Instead of building a finished product, why not start at the beginning: where did the government come from? How has it evolved?
  6. Logos&Eidos

    Logos&Eidos Sage

    There was a war that forced civilization all across the known worlds to reboot essentially. The Magocracy developed under very harsh conditions. Leading the people to be very statist and nationalistic.
  7. psychotick

    psychotick Auror


    My question would be more about how anyone could simply become magical and therefore gentry? I mean if this gift randomly pops up even in dregs and commoners, what happens to the new child mages? How would they be raised to become gentry? Who raises them? Who tells them about the need for public service as essentially a lord?

    On top of that if anyone can learn the skill, there's another question. Since everyone would want to be a mage, whether for the position or simply having the gift, why isn't everyone learning it? If everyone could learn to simply be a lord, there would be no lords. If everyone could simply learn to make bajillions of dollar, money and wealth would have no meaning.

    Cheers, Greg.
  8. Logos&Eidos

    Logos&Eidos Sage


    As the name of the thread suggest this is a tangled mess of ideas in my head.

    Everybody having magic was my initial idea, one that was inspired by the game Saga Frontier 2. Magical ability is like athleticism, everyone not disabled by birth or accident has the capacity,but only a small percentage of the population has the combination of Talent and Tenacity to be worth the risk and expense of training. A natural predisposition towards magic is semi-hereditary which results in a dynastic aspect to society.

    The fact that everybody can do magic, is why mages aren't looked at as a group of racial oligarchs, instead they are seen as gifted individuals taking their rightful place in society.

    There are scouts that keep watch for the randomly occurring talent. Media and cultural-geist tells mages about their obligation to the empire,and the privileges that come with the status. Mage children are sent to their local training centers, offers of adoption into mage-clans are often made.

    The Magocracy is a rather militant meritocracy with pomp and ceremony of aristocracy. in terms of governance they are a constitutional republican oligarchy. Privilege and obligation are meant to be intertwined,the more that you have of one the more you have of the other;of course people being people they will always game the system.

    Gentry: Are Mages for them Imperial Service is mandatory. they can lease directly from the Obsidian throne. and they alone can be Archons.

    Citizen: A commoner that volunteers and completes their Imperial Service. They can lease property from gentry and join the ministries.(i'm unsure what other perks could go along with being a citizen.

    Commoner: are persons and have full protection under the law,but have no voice in government.

    Dreg: Are none persons in the eyes of the state.
  9. Lvl20wizard

    Lvl20wizard Sage

    I have always enjoyed teasing with the idea of mages becoming the main political power.

    My first work dealt with this, but I never finished it as that too became a messy bit of messiness.

    Something I would like to know is this: if it is only one of your governments that is ruled by mages, what prevents them from taking over other "territories"? I always have an idea of magic in this kind of setting as something incredibly powerful, something equivilant to the atomic bomb introduced to a medieval setting, though your magic might be somewhat less powerful, of course.

    What prevents mages from being the main political power in the rest of the world? Or is it in fact this one government that dominates the rest of the world through subtle means?

    And if a mage should be trained outside the standardized society, how would these be regarded? As criminals/rogue magi?
  10. Noldona

    Noldona Scribe

    I think the Wheel of Time did a pretty good job of exploring this concept. Kings and queens would bow before the Amyrlin Seat, who of course was the head of the Aes Sedai (a group of female magic users in the world). There were other cultures which also had gifted women and they handled them in different ways. Due to a taint on the One Power (magic), males went insane and were killed.
  11. Logos&Eidos

    Logos&Eidos Sage

    Mages are political powers in every society,there abilities even at the lost degrees of practical strength make them to valuable to be ignored. Look at the Mage Clans of Diablo and the Hidden Villages from Naruto,even the PSI Corps from Babylon 5 can sever as examples of how Mages fit into the the other societies. Real world trade guilds and to a lesser extent organized crime are all so examples. As I said before the role of mages in society went down different paths in prehistory one where the mages lived beside the people and another where they ruled over them. As a concept Magocracy culturally didn't win out, and is today largely thought of as a backwards; The Magocracy is about as unpopular as Iran or North Korea.

    The Megocracy was in fact quite isolationist in it's foreign policies. I was other countries that kept trying to interfere with Magocracy.

    The Age of legends Aes Sadi are one of the better models of mage guilds that I've seen in fiction. The Mage(Channelers) are almost a part of a separate culture coexisting with in the larger mundane society.
  12. DeathtoTrite

    DeathtoTrite Troubadour

    Here's an interesting problem I thought of based off of some elements of your story. The lease system of land certainly makes it harder for a mage to form a rebellion against his lord. When he's simply renting land, however, he would have little incentive to improve it-- this was a major issue in the Aksumite period of Ethiopia, where nobles would only be leasing land from a king, and so had little incentive to improve the land.

    Another issue I have is the apparent idealism of the mages-- you're telling me that every privileged young mage is content to be forced into civil service? I know the Russian tsars did something like this, but that didn't stop the boyars from becoming so wealthy and leisurely that resentment for them boiled over into the Russian Revolution! Also, since the realm is decentralized, how does the Obsidian throne demand so much of its elite without facing rebellion?
  13. Logos&Eidos

    Logos&Eidos Sage


    I guess the incentive to improve the land can from pure greed, since land holders which include citizens though they have to lease from Gentry who hold leases. You can do what you want"with in reason" with your land,private industry dose exist. aside from the fee to maintain to the lease land holders don't really have to deal with a property tax.

    Rebellions logically should occur in the Empire from time to time. I imagine that much the way America has it's freedom culture, civic service is a strong social element as well as noblesse oblige. The privileges of the Gentry and the citizen are directly derived from what they do for society, because they can do more for society Mages deserver to get the most out of it.

    Doing a bit of research of into the real world military has helped me figure out a bit more about how the Magogracy's actual government system works.

    Archon's are selected from a pool of worthy candidates by the Council of Assessors. The council was very much inspired by the selection boards of real world milliliters and is composed of former Archons who left their positions under honorable circumstances.

    Archon's rule with aid of a Vice Archon who they appoint from the same candidate pool that they were drawn and a Council of Chief Ministers who they also appoint. With Chief ministers being drawn from a pool of senior ministers within their respective ministries.

    Still have to figure out how laws get made among a few other things.

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