Currently Battlemages are off limits to new members.
lthough magic is illegal and the Marn City Guard have no mages in their ranks, the need for battlefield magical support and healing prompted the creation of the mysterious Battlemages. These soldiers are the only people in Marn authorized to use combat magic of any kind and answer only to the Judges of Religious, Cultural and Ethical Enforcement. They have essentially unlimited leeway to use whatever means necessary to enforce the anti-magic laws of Marn, and a reputation for taking many liberties with these rights. The Battlemages are a frighteningly powerful force, known to brutalize and kill on the spot with minimal justification.
There are no more than 30 Battlemages in Marn, each of them chosen from the local population based on raw talent alone. The Battlemages are more than half men, but have a higher proportion of women than the city guard. They also have a higher proportion of non humans in their ranks. Citizens who display too much talent for magic and who may have difficulty controlling it are often given one of two choices: death or employment by the government. The latter often, but not always, means becoming a Battlemage. Initiation is a secret affair, rumored to be a blood ritual of some sort, and no Battlemage has ever divulged the secrets behind his or her employment.
Many of the Battlemages display a propensity to cruel, dominating, arrogant, sadistic or even borderline psychotic behavior. This fact, combined with their virtually unlimited legal power and their rarity means that when a Battlemage enters a room - people notice.
Being a Battlemage is a double edged sword. They possess more power than the guardsmen but receive none of the admiration from the population. Battlemages are seen as corrupt necessities rather than noble warriors. Every aspect of Marnian culture disagrees with the existence of the Battlemages, but there would be no practical way to enforce the law without having at least some magic to deal with magical threats.
Powers & EquipmentCity Guard with the exception that Battlemages do not generally wear helmets, and almost always wear red leather gloves to identify themselves as Battlemages. They also have access to all of the same equipment as the guardsmen and are often given temporary authority to command groups of guardsmen when the need arises. The guardsmen usually listen, albeit reluctantly.
The powers of the Battlemages vary wildly between them. Some of them specialize in controlling the mind, while others excel at vulgar, destructive combat spells. Each of the Battlemages is taught to hone his or her individual talents to become as effective as he or she can be. They are encouraged to train not only their magical talents but also their physical combat abilities. Some use powers to augment physical combat, others prefer not to fight at all. In essence, they do as they please and they do what they're best at. Might makes right in the ranks of the Battlemages.
Justice Hall and the Forbidden Texts
All of these texts are kept hidden deep within the walls of the Battlemages' base of operations: Justice Hall. Justice Hall is protected by extremely robust magical barriers that prevent anything, physical or otherwise, from entering or leaving the premises without the consent of a magical entity known as The Porter. The Porter is a purely magical construct whose essence is said to merge with the building itself. Little is known about him (or it) beyond the physical manifestation it takes on of a surly butler, but anyone with enough knowledge of magic will tell you that the butler is, indeed, a disturbingly advanced creation to be in a place like Thar Shaddin.