50 years ago, Jardred the Wise, an Encyclopedist, discovered he had a very rare gift (the Magecraft Feat). He began researching it, and stumbled upon scrolls and books that mentioned the practice of hermetic magic. He decided to develop it, and to help those with this Gift to explore it. The Channeler's League was born from that desire to expand the magical knowledge. Eventually, Jardred was of course denounced and died, in good encyclopedist tradition, as a martyr, but this time in a show of magic, killing three legates and more than twenty orcs before exhausting himself to death. His sacrifice was inspiring to his apprentices. Meanwhile, he had helped many people discovering and developing their Gift. His works were carefully recorded in lorebooks.
The Channeler's League (also known as the Hermetists) gives itself the noble task of teaching hermetic magic to those who have a gift for it.
Their duty is also the preservation at all costs of magic, whatever form it takes: thus, they often seek to discover and secure power nexuses and covenant items before they fall between the legates' hands.
They also research actively alchemy and herbalism in order to protect themselves from discovery by astiraxes and legates (alchemy being useful for silver dust production (used in protection against astiraxes), and a combination of those two skills for creating a special salve called "Magecloak" which, when applied on an item (or a person), masks its magic for a limited time (less effective than "Cover the scent" but very useful nonetheless, it still is a work in progress and needs a lot of refinement before it can be exploited though). Every member of this order practices research on this direction, under a form or another.
But their main goal is simply the expansion of the art of magic: either by secret experimentation (though very few are those who manage to gather the necessary resources and keeping their activities a secret), magic itme creation in a power nexus, or, more importantly for PCs, the search for lost magics (whether lost spells, or lost magic items or nexuses). Just like scientists, they are very excited to see magic progressing from the humble spells every one of them began to study, up to the Major Schools of magic (which very few have access to).
Just like the Encyclopedists, Hermetists often take a lifetime to choose one apprentice, whom they know for sure is gifted with the Magecraft Feat.
In order to become a full-fledged member of the Order, a prospective candidate must:
- have the Scroll Script Feat
- have another magic item creation feat or metamagic feat
- know the "read magic"spell
- know at least 5 lvl 1 spells
- and, most importantly, have succeeded in a quest (typically this involves the discovery of a power nexus).
Hermetists communicate mainly using loyal Defender allies carrying messages for them (they use messages written in magic language (ie with the scroll script feat), making it necessary for the user to be able to "read magic" as per the spell to be able to decipher it). Often, those messages are written using ink mixed with silver (a special alchemical compound, which both repels astiraxes and acts as a sympathetic ink). Most members also cast "cover the scent" on it as a supplementary precaution. The messages themselves are often redacted using allegories , as one more defense once decoded (think of the Middle Age alchemist's secret language). They limit communications to important matters, such as the progression of their work (don't forget they are mainly scientists who need to communicate in order for their research to progress). Each member knows only one another's coordinates, which limits the risks for getting caught.
Typically, a Hermetist chooses the most remote place he can think of, and settles there to lead his experiments (hence the popular fantasy cliché of the wizard in his isolated tower in a wood), and makes sure he benefits of:
a form of alarm system (wildlander friend, familiar, etc.)
a form of protection (defender friend, summoned ally, etc.)
Which would be used to let him enough time to flee should he be discovered. This is usually achieved through contacts with local resistance groups, or even thieves guilds, which the channeler could help in exchange for resources and protection.
Before he meets those conditions, he lives an errant life (which could be the case for a PC member).
Hermetists often mount expeditions to retrieve or secure a lost item or source of power, or simply to use a nexus in order to create a magic item. Sometimes they cooperate with the Encyclopedists for that.
There are no more than 50 hermetists in the world.
As the encyclopedists, the hermetists sometimes have contacts with Wood elves, and even more rarely is one of them allowed to train in one of the elves' academy of magic (it has not been the case for 15 years). They also sometimes benefit frome Encyclopedist's lorebooks on matters pertaining to magic whenever they have the chance to meet such an individual and earn his trust. They often cooperate with wildlanders and defenders, at least for a time.
Most hermetists end up somehow connected to various local resistance groups, as they can mutually benefit from their cooperation: the hermetist supporting the resistance’s operations with his magic, in exchange for materials such as food, magical components, a hidden laboratory and other resources he could not get by himself.
Finally, Auntrymyr has also a special interest in their research, and would help indirectly in their experimentations.