Location Lore: The Archives Sanctuary Network

Cassandria Sanctuary
Click image to enlarge

The first book of The Vaetra Chronicles briefly introduces readers to a sorcerer sanctuary in the town of Northshore. In Vaetra Unveiled, agents Sulana Delano and Daven Prost leave the sanctuary to speak with the town’s captain of the guard. That brief reference only hints at the significance of the sanctuaries and the role they play in the world of Mundia.

Since the end of the Wizard Wars and the enactment of the Sorcery Accords that forbids sorcerers from holding any position of authority over mundane (non-magical) affairs, sorcery is distrusted and its practitioners are shunned. Most sorcerers live a nearly monk-like existence away from the mundane public in enclaves called “sanctuaries.” Every major town has a sanctuary where traveling sorcerers are welcome.

The largest sanctuary is also the most remote. Known as the Archives, it is nestled high in the mountains of the Lakewoods Province. The Archives is the hub of all sorcerer activity and politics. It is the home of the College of Sorcery and the seat of the Archives Council. The Council is responsible for upholding the Sorcery Accords and governing the subculture of sorcerers throughout the Tanes Empire.

The sanctuaries operate autonomously for the most part. However, each sanctuary has a Housemaster who reports to the Archives Council. The sanctuaries stay in contact with each other and the Archives through their own couriers who regularly travel the sanctuary circuit.

As readers will learn in the second Vaetra Chronicles book Vaetra Untrained, not all sanctuaries follow the lead of the Archives. As with any group of people, the community of sorcerers have their politics and factions. The Integrationists believe that sorcerers should use vaetra (the source of all magical power) for the benefit of all people and that the current policy of separation only heightens the tension between sorcerers and the mundane. The Isolationists believe that reintroducing sorcery into the lives of the mundane would inevitably lead to violations of the Sorcery Accords and the possible retaliatory execution of all sorcerers.

Over the centuries, both factions have held control over the Archives Council at various times, but the Isolationist agenda has won out overall. As is true of most political systems, changing the status quo often requires more than just a change in leadership.


Thanks for visiting! I hope you enjoyed this brief Location Lore post. I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into some of the world-building that goes on behind the scenes for the Vaetra Chronicles. Vaetra Untrained is shaping up to be a much more complex story than Vaetra Unveiled because readers are brought fully into the world of the sorcerers and their struggles. It has been fun to write, and I’ll be sharing more about what’s to come in future posts.


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  1. Excellent. Very nicely thought-out, and I like the inclusion of the blueprint sketch (although, given its size, it’s a little hard to read).

    It’s great to be able to see those kinds of insights into the world. I really need to do more of this kind of thing myself.

    Do you plan to hand out any more tidbits like this? =)

    Hope the writing’s going well!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Chris!

    I used a low-res image because I wanted to get across the impression of what I was doing without giving away too much detail. Thinking back on it though, I don’t believe any of the details would really give away any spoilers. I may upload a higher res image that displays when you click on the small one for those who want more detail.

    Another reason for the small image is that my "artistic talent" is not going to win any awards.

    I do indeed plan to hand out more tidbits. I like the idea of being able to put some of the behind-the-scenes writing I do to use. It’s not unusual for my world building and character development work to equal or exceed the word count of the scenes that use it.

    The writing is going well, thanks for asking. It got slowed down by a two-week vacation in April and a week-long conference in May, but those things are behind me now.

  3. I love staring at little maps like this. It fires my imagination as to what takes place there or how this could be an interesting setting.

  4. Hi Michael. I’ll give you a hint. The entire setting started from the need for the Journey Room. What it is and how it works may be the subject of another post!