Yeah, I think a council is definitely best especially since I have a tendancy to come and go at times. As well, I dont have the time to run things alone forever.
So here is what I have so far.
The guild will have two threads. One will be an OOC official guild thread in the Alliances and Guild forum. The other will be the Arcane University thread in the Prancing Pony.
The guild will have a rank structure as such. What should the ranks be called? These are just my tentative suggestions
Rank 1. Apprentice:
Will take a test upon entry to see which element they have an initial proficiency in. From that, they will pick a master who specializes in that element. A master must be Wizard rank or above.
To become an Invoker, an Apprentice must work with their master for at least a short period (undecided as of yet). The master then gets the chance to recommend them for advancement. Upon recommendation, they will have a trial to see if they can prove proficiency in their starting element.
Rank 2. Invoker:
The rank of Invoker demonstrates the aquirement of a basic proficiency in magic. This is the most common rank amongst wizards, given that achieving proficiency in every rank can take some wizards a lifetime of study.
In order to advance, the Invoker must gain proficiency in every element in order to advance to Conjurer. To do this, the Invoker must work with their master wizard to gain the help of other wizards who will be willing to test and train them them for proficiency in the other elements.
Upon recommendation from a Master Wizard, the invoker may test for a new element. This process is completed until every element has a demonstrated proficiency. At this point, the Invoker advances.
Rank 3. Conjurer:
The Conjurer demonstrates a fundamental knowledge of the magic world. They are the equivalent of the college graduate, brimming with an extensive knowledge of magic and an ample mastery of its forces.
Upon advancing to the rank of Conjurer, the individual is allowed inscribe one spell into the guild spellbook. This need not happen immediately, as the Conjurer may want to be careful in considering what spells they would desire to affix their name to. The conjurer should choose a spell that is either grounded in the elements, or attached to their desired specialization (see below) so as to create a spell which is grounded in their expertise and sufficiently reliable.
From this point on, having gained a sufficient knowledge of the basic fundamentals of spellcasting, the Conjurer must choose wherein they want to focus their study. This is where the Conjurer must determine their specialization. A specialization need not rely on the elements, because at this point the Conjurer is sufficiently capable to learn and master advance spellcrafting which exceeds the base compositions of nature.
For those with greater aspirations to advance, the conjurer must demonstrate a masterful knowledge of this specialization. This will be done through several demonstrations. The Conjurer must on certain occasions give instructional lectures and demonstrations of their specialization. After they have shown a sufficient academic and demonstrational mastery of their craft, they will be recommended by their Master or by a consensus of the Wizard Council to demosntrate a combative knowledge of their specialization. This is done through engaging in duels to prove their mastery. Upon successfully winning a determined number of duels, relying mostly on their specialization, they will be allowed to obtain the enviable title of Wizard.
Rank 4. Wizard:
Wizards are masters of magic. They are the pinnacle level of craftmanship. Upon obtaining the rank of Wizard, the Wizard will be granted a Wizard's staff. The Wizard's staff is a gift from their original Master, wherein the former apprentice will work with their master to determine what enchantments and name should be bestowed upon the staff. While the apprentice may have say in what they would like the staff to be like, the staff is ultimately the gift and the work of the master.
Finally, the Wizard will also work with their Master to determine an appropriate title. The Wizard will be formally conferred the title (sometimes a color, sometimes a trait, etc. So and So the Gray, for example) in an official ceremony to be held several times throughout the year.
At this stage, the Wizard is free to learn whatever they choose. They are encouraged to develop multiple specializations (they may even choose to do lectures etc. and teach classes if they would like). The Wizard is also allowed, through the course of their further study, to create another spell for the guild spellbook. Since the Wizard is expected to be a master of all magic, their spell need not be limited to their specialization at the conjurer level or any specific element but can be drawn on from the field of all magic.
If a Wizard requires to advance, they must demonstrate an absolute mastery of one element through the tutelage of apprentices. Generally this element is the same element that they originally demonstrated proficiency with, but can be any element that they feel an immediate affinity towards.
Once the Wizard has demonstrated exceptional instruction to several students, and contributed a clever variety of tests into the Guild, they may be nominated for the promotion to Master Wizard. The Council will vote on that matter and select one Master Wizard promotion maximum every time that the official "Tournament of Promotions" occurs. (better title to be determined).
Rank 5. Master Wizard:
This is the absolute level of mastery. The Master Wizard is complete and absolute in their level of understanding and control over all things arcane. They exist on a bridge of pure synthesis with energy itself, able to channel immeasurable amounts of magic through their being.
At this stage, there is no more advancement. Who can advance more than sheer mastery? Though the Master Wizard is ever studious, the focus of their energies at this stage generally falls onto maintaining the survival and proclivity of their art. Thus, the Master Wizard will assist with the training of incoming Wizards as well as manage all guild matters.
The Master Wizards compose the Magic Council which governs guild matters. From this council is chosen an Arch-Mage, who will serve as the tie-breaker and the spokesperson of the council. The Arch-Mage will be determined at each "Tournament of Promotions" and will serve one term, unless reappointed.
"Tournament of Promotions"
This is a tournament held every 3 months (is that a good amount?) wherein duels for promotion to Wizard status will be held. At this tournament, the guild will invite spectators from outside the guild to watch and cheer on the competitors. There will be a specific order of competition, wherein guild members will be expected to show up for their battles. These competitions will have a victor determined by a yet to be decided fair method.
As well, at the Tournament of Promotions, one new Master Wizard will be chosen (if the council feels there is an adequate candidate). Furthermore, a new Arch-mage will be elected.
The purpose of the Tournament is to both allow for fair advancement but also to demonstrate the supreme powers of the guild.
Wizard Academy Duels:
These will be done on a trial, practice, and challenge basis with the most significant duels being reserved for the Tournament of Promotions. The system as to determine who wins is yet to be determined. Suggestions for the duels?