Many arcane spellcasters evolve their art through combat, leasing themselves out to armies or joining groups of adventurers and funding themselves through their spoils. Others are born into money or become members of mages guilds with a large enough budget to ensure that they never have to worry about lack of funds or research materials. Still others are content with knowing just enough “hedge magic” to allow them to join traveling fairs or to help them through the day-to-day drudgery of their common lives. Then there are the metallic mages.
The metallic mages are an extremely selective group of like-minded arcane spellcasters that have formed a network dedicated to allowing each member to continue developing his art while using that art to ensure that he never wants for the things he needs to do so. The metallic mages are not a formal guild, have no guildhouse and require no dues. Instead, each member of the network relies on other members to perform specific tasks that are suited to each member’s specialty, paying and receiving ample payment for services rendered.
While there is no guarantee of assistance from a fellow metallic mage, most maintain a group of trusted friends from the network nearby or within easy contact. Thus, a gold mage might only make use of a single iron mage’s services, for example. There is no official membership so much as anyone apprenticing under a metallic mage is likely to make contacts with other metallic mages that he can call upon for assistance after his apprenticeship. The ranks of the metallic mages are quite small, however, as most are quite miserly when it comes to teaching the secrets of their profession. Many metallic mages may have only a single apprentice during their lifetime and some may not have any at all.