It is not uncommon at all for Mages within realms to feel either outcast or oppressed. Both the mind-altering attributes of magic and the natural intelligence found in those capable of studying and using it contribute to this, but the end result is that mages rarely feel safe, even among their own kind.
Though often going by many other names, Mage Circles are groups of Mages that have arisen primarily out of this mindset; groups of mages who share a common goal and a general set of morals and rules. formed for both mutual protection and the sharing of knowledge, such groups routinely become powerful.
Mage Circles in Feilt
Within Carteth, mage circles represent some of the last repositories of knowledge about broader magic, since libraries possessed by the Union of Mages tend to be of a more industrial focus. They also represent one of the few channels through which Unlicensed Mages can obtain paying work. Because of these factors, they also tend to be very clandestine in nature, only recruiting outsiders after intense deliberation, and occasionally requiring extremely difficult tests of initiation as a proof of loyalty.
Some mage circles within Feilt include: