The Magi is a group who feel magic is a secret to be guarded and kept safe from the mundane world. They seem themselves as guardians of the magical world, keeping the darker forces ‘inline’ and covering up accidents of magic while keeping ‘mundanes’ from access to magic. Modern advances scare most of them and the desires of some in the magical community to ‘come out’ is utterly terrifying. That said they are a long and ancient tradition and hold a lot of sway within some circles.
A long time ago during the end of the Egyptian first age, when someone attempted to overthrow the Egyptian gods, the original priesthood was purged. Some of them, however escaped and went underground. Others retreated to isolated temple compounds in the desert. One final group followed the Nile south into the Sudan, intent on preserving the true faith where their enemies would never find them.
They arrived on the banks of the Niger River and established a priest-kingdom within the Bambara and Dogon tribes of the area. After centuries of interbreeding between the two groups they assimilated into a single large group, but the Dogon priests kept the Egyptian magical traditions alive within a secret society: The Magi. Some of whom would return to their homeland in Egypt to watch over ancient relics of the first age.
In the modern era wars, slave trading, and migrations have spread the Magi around the world. Most often in West Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, and the United States. They did adopt one African tradition in magic though, only men can be Magi. Their is a strong African bias against women working magic, as they are seen to be evil witches.
Their strongest belief is that magic is a gift from the gods to help man relate to them. Their second ideal is that magic is to be guarded from mundanes. They are scared by the overthrow of the gods on earth and how the mundanes sought to seize that power for themselves. For this reason they seek out places and objects of power and attempt to keep them from mortal hands. However their third belief is also contained in that first sentence, it was the gods gifts to ‘Man’ and not woman.
While women were part of the original priesthoods or many sects, the African tradition of women with magic being evil witches won out leaving women with magic a choice: Hide their gifts and never use them, leave and hope not to be hunted down for what they are, or allow their powers to be ‘burnt’ out of them. While the final option is not quite as horrible as it sounds, what remains is a shell of it’s former self as part of their spark of vitality and creativity is removed with their powers.
They don’t seek new members, though occasionally a member will discover a orphan with ability and adopt them as well as inviting them into the order. Most members are born to fathers who are already members.
The members themselves have very little organization. For the most part small groups from the same area form ‘cells’ and regions are under the authority of a ‘high priest’. Back in their homeland is the overall head known as the ‘Grand Priest’.
While they occasionally work with a variety of magical organizations, such as the Rosicruscians. Their dislike of female magic workers is well known in magical circles which limits them.
Mundane groups often hate their guts, though most don’t know who they are. Their bitterest rival is The Hellfire Club who they have fought since that organizations origins and is their antithesis who seeks to offer the power of magic to mundanes.
Abilities and Skills
The Magi train their members in how to deal with magical, supernatural, and mundane threats. Those with magical potential are trained in their ancient magical traditions, focusing on countering enemy magic. Those who lack magical potential are trained in fighting and become one the their ‘Guardians’ trained in anti-magic tactics. With access to modern augments injured Guardians often become mechanically enhanced making them even more dangerous.
Few members of the Magi have ‘mundane’ professions. Their work being seen as critically important to them and it takes up most of their time. However some of them do learn practical skills such as conventional medicine and may hold jobs related to that. However most of their funds come from seizing the money and property of those they face.