A chantry is a gathering point for collaborating sorcerers, often at the site of a Node or an area that provides some degree of shelter and security.
While a chantry may conceivably be a cave, part of a forest, or some other natural location, they are typically buildings that were specifically designed as haven for magic users or have since been dedicated to that purpose. Chantries are often heavily protected by means both mundane and magical, and entrance may only be granted to members of a particular magical society. Thus, wars between rival groups of sorcerers often involves seeking out and attempting to destroy such locations, while others seek to infiltrate a chantry in order to seize any magical lore and artifacts that may be within.
Most Chantries are founded by a single cabal. This cabal can be of a single paradigm or mixed. This founders usually have the first say in establishing guidelines and laws within the Chantry. Most Chantries have 2-10 cabals active within their walls. The larger the Chantry becomes, the more Nodes and Quintessence supplies are needed to substain it.
The most powerful Chantries have an Umbral; reflection, sometimes in a specialized Horizon Realm. The greatest of these exist primary in the spiritual worlds, with several physical locations on earth that allow entry. Most of these were cut off from the physical world after the Avatar Storm.
Since the Mythic Age, the vitality and productivity of Chantries is classified in a seasonal system:
- Spring: The Chantry has just been founded, they are weak and vulnerable, but also full of vigor.
- Summer: The Chantry is in its prime, its members strong and confident as they carve out their place in the magical community.
- Autumn: The Chantry's power gives way to complacency and security. Focus is on status and relations to other Chantries.
- Winter: The Chantry has fallen into decadence, its original members either dead or having abandoned their project.
Chantries are governed by four modes of rulership:
- Democracy: The simplest and yet most difficult, democratic Chantries usually give each member of the Chantry a vote for political decisions. Some decided to grant this vote only to ranking personnel
- Triumvirate: Three mages come together to rule the Chantry, often with an advisory council.
- Council of Deacons: A council of representatives meets in a council. Sometimes, these deacons are the leaders of all cabals within the Chantry, at other times, they are the most powerful mages in it.
- Pedagogical Rule: A single mage rules supreme over all others. The ways in which leadership can change vary; some can be voted out of office by all chantry members, while others have to be defeated in a magical duel.
Despite most Traditions having their own terms for the offices, the Council of Nine uses a standardized form: The founder of a Chantry is often referred to as the "Deacon". Most Chantries will have a Counselor, who works for the psychological stableness of its members and keeps them out of Quiet, a priest, who oversees rituals and offers spiritual guidance and a Librarian who tends to the Chantries corpus of magical knowledge. Tutors are responsible for teaching students (also called Fellows). Justices and Exactors enforce the Chantries' laws, while Sentinels defend the Chantry from external threats. Heralds act as the voice of the Chantry to other Chantries, allowing for communication. Members of the Chantry that are not part of one of the Cabals are referred to as "journeymen". Go-betweens of the Chantry and the mortal world are called Marats.
- Horizon, the Stronghold of Hope
- Doissetep, Chantry of Cal Ladeim, The Lands of Thunder and Twilight
- The Celestial Temple of the Sun, Ancestral Chantry of the Chorus
- House of Helekar, Chantry of the Forbidden Lands
- Balador, the Pleasuredome
- The Lodge of the Gray Squirrel, Chantry of the Second World of the Diné
- The Crystal Palace
- Vali Shallar, Chantry of Mu
- The Sepulcher, a Haunted Mansion of the Hollow Ones
- The Nightmare Theatre
- The Flying Dutchman
- The Verditious
- Crombey Farm
- The Pleroma Project
- The Memory of Ignatus
- Liquid Gold
- Area 38
- The Stacks