The Mage Princes were a class within The Mage Imperium consisting of individuals granted the title by The Imperial Council of Oracles. These titles were granted for demonstrating exceptional intelligence and knowledge and for performing some service to the Imperium.
The title "Mage Prince" may be considered a cross between a doctorate and a title of minor nobility. Nominally, the title was open to anyone who can receive the recommendation of a standing Mage Prince and pass the trials set by the Council. However, as the Imperium grew in size and corruption, the more typical reality was that Princes were hereditarily imbued, making their pilgrimage to Aeldrum as a rite of passage arranged by their families. The registers of the Council of Oracles showed some 120,000 mage princes active at the twilight of the Imperium, or about 80 per world (with considerably more on Aeldrum and other key planets and often no more than three or four on minor frontier worlds).
In the latter years of the Imperium, an increasing share of Mage Princes hailed from hereditary lineages of prior Princes. Many planetary governors and other grandees belonged to dynasties of Mage Princes, but even families without such lofty titles sought to guarantee Mage Prince status for their heirs, not only through graft and direct nepotism (though these were abundant) but also through selective breeding programs, rigorous training from infancy and (rarely) outright genetic engineering or cybernetic enhancement. Members of these lineages, often generations of selective breeding in the making, were known as Mage Dynasts; though no formal, Imperium-wide study was ever conducted, local evidence suggests that they exhibited significant cognitive differences from the human baseline (greater intelligence and perception, but often reduced social intelligence) which could not merely be explained by superior education and a cloistered upbringing. This intellectual gulf might have widened even further if the brutal civil wars and external invasions that drove the collapse of the Imperium had not eradicated or scattered the overwhelming share of Mage Princes and ended the breeding programs.
Known Mage Princes Edit
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- Princess Selene H. Veer
- Prince Hippocrates, inventor of the hippocratic oath.
- Int must be 18+ (late Imperium: 16+)
- Must have a minimum +10 in an Int-based skill
- +1 Int, +1 wis, -2 Cha
- May designate a "Focus Skill" in which SP:Ranks progression proceeds at 1:1 up to +10, then 2:1 up to +15, 3:1 up to +20, and so on. (vs. 1:1 +5, 2:1 +10, etc.)