Mage's Association

The Mage's Association (魔術協会, Majutsu Kyōkai?) is an international, self-preservative and self-defense organization formed by practitioners of magecraft for the purpose of controlling, concealing, and developing Magecraft. It is said to transcend nationality and genre of magecraft, but that is in name only.[1] After having existed for many years, it was decided around the Middle Ages by those who foresaw the decline of Magecraft that in order to preserve their power Thaumaturgy should drift apart from society and become a secret known only by a necessary minimum number of people.

It has many laboratories and research bodies that seek to advance the progress of Thaumaturgy, as well as institutions that transmit their secrets to the next generation.[2] Although the emphasis lies on the pursuit of knowledge, the Association also seeks to increase its own military strength and reserves the use of force to protect itself from entities that threaten its existence, such as the Holy Church, other mage organizations, supernatural forces seeking to punish mankind for meddling with areas that should not be touched, and individuals who hunt that which they consider taboo.[1]

The Association has set up research institutions and established and enforces laws that forbid the criminal use of magecraft in order to promote the development, or perhaps regression, of magecraft. The Association is mainly concerned with the preservation and concealment of Magecraft in criminal aspects. They do not care about hideous crimes committed by Magi so long as they are not a threat that might reveal the existence of Thaumaturgy to the common public.

Internal Workings[edit | edit source]

The Mage's Association is divided into three main branches: the Clock Tower, the Atlas Academy, and the Wandering Sea. Ever since Clock Tower became the official headquarters, the Three Great Branches as they are called started to drift apart from each other.

As long as he/she does not possess a Sealing Designation, a Magus may leave the Association at any time without facing any restrictions. However, this is rarely done, since the Association provides its members with great amount of resources, stored knowledge and other benefits. And so many Mages from all over the world gather and devote themselves day and night to the study of Magecraft, while at the same time, are busily tripping over and being tripped over by other factions and competing for power and budget. The organization is anything but harmonious and has a complicated bizarre structure, but the magical research there is without doubt the leading edge. Despite its academia facet, the Magi of the Association rarely share the result of their own researches between each other.

Other smaller factions include:

  • Prague Association (プラハ協会, Puraha Kyōkai?) or Central Association of Alchemists (中央協会の錬金術師, Chūō Kyōkai no Renkinjutsu-shi?) – An organization that researches on Alchemy, its members follow the traditional precepts of alchemists. Consequentially, they are on bad terms with Atlas.[3][4][5]
  • Sponheim Abbey (シュポンハイム修道院, Shuponhaimu Shūdōin?) – An institution that works closely with the Clock Tower and Cornelius Alba was supposed to be its next director.
  • Thule Society (トゥーレ協会, Tūre Kyōkai?) – A group of magi that studies Rune Magecraft and has kept the original runic scripts secret with no concern for the decline of Rune Magecraft.[6]

External Relationships[edit | edit source]

The Mage's Association and the Holy Church have a non-aggression agreement between each other for quite a while now, but armed conflict still tends to happen often in an off-the-records fashion. Atlas however, is a case in and of itself.

The Association has deemed the Magic Foundation of the Middle East and the philosophies of magecraft from the Far East incompatible with its teachings, and both schools conversely reject the Association. It has been working towards at least building a stance of neutrality between them. The mage organizations of Japan also did not join the Association.[1] The mage organization of China is known as the Spiral Manor.

In the world of Fate/strange Fake, the Mage's Association has an antagonistic relationship with America and the country's mages. Fate/Grand Order also adds that the Mage's Association influence isn't strong in Russia.[7]

In the world of Fate/Grand Order, the Mage's Association seems to work together with the United Nations to form the Chaldea Security Organization.

Gransurg Blackmore, one of the Twenty-seven Dead Apostle Ancestors, cooperates with the Mage's Association in the Tsukihime World.

Sealing Designation[edit | edit source]

Sealing Designations (封印指定, Fūin Shitei?) are edicts handed down by the Mage's Association to maintain and protect special thaumaturgical abilities which cannot be acquired through study. Said to be a title of the "greatest honor", those marked are deemed "precious", causing the Association to mobilize the greatest effort to secure their flesh and blood, their body's potential. Among magi, few know how Sealing Designated Magi are preserved: the brain, nerves, and Magic Circuits are extracted and pickled in preservation fluid. Depending on if there are any remaining appendages, the jar function as the body, or the exoskeleton.[8]

Those designated are to be incarcerated, becoming samples preserved in their present conditions and levels of ability. It is an outrage to those who are designated not because of it being the equivalent of a death sentence, but rather because it is an affront to their status as prominent magi. They who have spent their lives devoted to their research will automatically reject a situation in which they will be unable to continue.[9]

Genuine sealing designations are extremely rare, and those who pursue them, Enforcers, will be lucky to pursue even one in an entire decade.[10] Normally limited to those of greater magical pedigree, Norikata Emiya, the fourth head of the Emiya family, is noted to be a genius who rose to the rank of receiving a designation despite being of a shallow generation.[11]

Carillon Observatory, the Secret Judgment Division (秘儀裁示局・天文台カリオン, Higi Saiji Kyoku Tenmondai Karion?), located in the oldest classroom of the Clock Tower, decides on the Sealing Designation and also the procedure of revocations. A giant bell hanging in the Observatory rings whenever a Sealing Designation is dealt. At the end of the 20th century, they delivered an incredible shock to the entire Clock Tower as multiple Sealing Designations were revoked.[12]

The actions of those who are designated can be divided into two paths: Hermit (隠者, Inja?) and Philosopher (賢者, Kenja?). Hermits become degraded magi after secluding themselves from the world, transmitting their knowledge only to their successor. Unless they have a truly extraordinary work, they are normally left alone by the Association because they are not an immediate threat, instead only kept under surveillance while keeping an interest in their research. Philosophers are those great magi striving to reach new heights, becoming menaces that abandon all codes of conduct to continue their research without being bothered. Acting without restraint unlike normal magi, they are able to obtain greater results in a shorter period of time. They may victimize a number of innocent people in their pursuit, possibly making magecraft known to the world should they be too careless.[9]

Those with Sealing Designations include:

Enforcer[edit | edit source]

Sealing Designation Enforcer (封印指定執行者, Fūin Shitei Shikkōsha?) - Also called Enforcers (実行者, Jikkōsha?), they are magi specialized in hunting down magi marked with Sealing Designations. Though there are said to be around thirty official Enforcers, Freelancers like Natalia Kaminski and Kiritsugu Emiya also hunt such people for a bounty placed by the Association, making a living stealing the prey of the Enforcers and selling the Magic Crests back to the Association for an inflated price. Due to the rarity of an actual Sealing Designation, even the genuine Enforcers would be lucky to pursue such "big game" once in a decade, most making their living off of non-designated heretical magi who have deviated from the norms of the Association.[10] Although in a similar line of work as the Church's Executors who may share the same targets, they rarely work together due to Executors wishing to destroy all heresy, while Enforcers wish to retrieve the work of the magus. They are looked down upon by the upper ranks of the Association, and although they are supposed to suppress anything that might reveal the existence of Thaumaturgy to the general public, great events and rituals such as the Holy Grail War are outside their scope of work. Bazett's participation during the Fifth Holy Grail War as a representative of the Association is due to Kotomine's recommendation.[13]

Related Terms[edit | edit source]

Average One (五大元素使い, Go Dai Genso Tsukai?, lit. "User of the Five Great Elements")

The title given to those who possess all the Five Great Elements as their Elemental Affinities. Very valued by the Mage's Association. Includes Rin Tohsaka.

Second Owner (管理者, Kanrisha?, lit. "Supervisor")

When the Association entrusts a family of magi with a spiritual land, the current head of said family receives this title and becomes in charge of administrating all supernatural activity within its territory. Once a magus fixes residence in a spiritual land of the Association, he is expected to seek the permission of the Second Owner before setting his workshop. However, just like Kiritsugu Emiya did in Fuyuki, it is possible to remain hidden from the Second Owner depending on how well he performs his job.

Spiritual Land (霊地, Reichi?)

Mystical grounds where strong leylines of Mana can be found, places that increase the power of Magecraft and, in the case of those of top class, where Magic can be activated. The Mage's Association has the ownership of most of the high quality spiritual lands around the world but, for practical purposes, actual administration of the land is left to a local lineage of magi that is related to the Association. Among the spiritual lands of Japan, the one under the care of the Aozaki family is the only location where Magic can be activated. The Fuyuki Grail Wars, however, were created as an excuse to concentrate the necessary amount of magical energy needed to enable activation of magic on the spiritual land of Fuyuki. In the Heaven's Feel route of Fate/stay night, it is successful and the Third Magic is activated. Although the Second Magic is also activated in the Heaven's Feel route, it is irrelevant to the spiritual land of Fuyuki, as it uses the Jewel Sword Zelretch.

Wizard Marshal (魔道元帥, Madō Gensui?)

A title given by those who possess a certain degree of military authority within the Association, so far the only known Wizard Marshals are Kischur Zelretch Schweinorg and Barthomeloi Lorelei. Note that while Lorelei is the Wizard Marshal in charge of a group of 50 elite magi, she is also the assistant director of Clock Tower.

Workshop (工房, Kōbō?)

The magical laboratory of a magus where he performs his researches and experiments. During its construction, the most important procedure is to prevent the magical energy inside of the workshop from leaking out so its presence can be concealed. Magi usually set up Bounded Fields around their workshops to protect them. Stepping into the workshop of a magus without his permission is seen as an act of open hostility. Referred to in the Aniplex of America translation as an atelier (French for workshop).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2
    [v] Kara no Kyoukai Special Pamphlet - Encyclopedia: Mage's Association [Others], p.039-040 [T]

    Mage Association [Others]
    A self-defense organization formed by practitioners of magegraft, transcending nationality and genre. (Of course, this is in name only.)
    Its mission is to manage, conceal, and develop magecraft.
    It reserves the use of force to protect itself from entities that threaten its existence (the Church, other mage organizations, and individuals who hunt what they consider taboo). In order to promote the development (or regression?) of magecraft, the Association set up research institutions and established laws that forbid the criminal use of magecraft.
    The headquarter of the Association is in London, England. It is also called the Clock Tower.
    The Association is divided into three departments. Besides the Clock Tower, there are also the "Giant's Cellar" in the Atlas mountains in Egypt, and the "Sea of Astray", the integrated association in Northern Europe. The "Sea of Astray" was the original Association that predated the Clock Tower, and had ceased communication with the Association since the Clock Tower became the headquarter.
    Also, the Association deems the Magic Foundation of the Middle East and the philosophies of magecraft from the continent* as incompatible with its teachings. Conversely, the other two schools also reject the Association.
    Furthermore, as Alba stated in the story, the mage organizations in Japan did not join the Association.

    魔術協会【まじゅつきょうかい】【その他】
    国籍・ジャンルを問わず、魔術を学ぶ者たちによって作られた自衛団体。(無論、名目《めいもく》上ではある)
    魔術を管理し、隠匿《いんとく》し、その発展を使命とする。
    自らを脅《おびや》かすモノたち(教会、自分たち以外の魔術団体、禁忌に触れる人間を罰する怪異)から身を守る為に武力を持ち、魔術の更なる発展(衰退ともいう)の為、研究機関を持ち、魔術による犯罪を抑止する為の法律を敷く。
    本部はイギリスのロンドンにあり〝時計塔〟の異名を持つ。
    始まりは三大の部門に分かれていたらしく、エジプトはアトラス山の〝巨人の穴倉〟、北欧に根を張る複合教会〝彷徨海〟と呼ばれる原教会もあるが、時計塔が本部になってからは交流が廃《すた》れる一方だとか。
    また中東圏の魔術基盤、大陸の魔術思想とは相容れず、お互いに不可侵を装《よそお》っている。
    また、本編でアルバが語っていた通り、日本の魔術組織も協会には組していない。

  2. [v] Character material - Prelude I: The Mages' Association [Organization], p.021

    The Mages' Association [Organization]
    A self-preservation agency formed by practitioners of magecraft, regardless of nationality or race (of course, in name only).
    Its directive was to control, conceal, and further develop magecraft.
    The Association had the martial power to protect itself from those who threaten its existence. It also possessed facilities for the further development of magecraft. The Association enforced a set of laws that prevented the criminal use of magecraft.
    At the moment, the centre of the Association resided in London.

  3. Melty Blood Route 3 Block C: 2/The Alchemist of Atlas - Extra Alchemist
  4. [v] Melty Blood Act Cadenza PS2 Manual - Dictionary: The Atlas Academy [Place name], P.060

    The Atlas Academy [Place name]
    The institute Sion belonged to, and one of the three major branches of the Association. Located in the Atlas mountains of Egypt, it is a place where those dedicated to the study of alchemy gather. Colloquially known as the Giant's Pit.
    Unlike the modern alchemy that rose to prominence in the middle ages, the alchemy studied by Atlas could be said to be the progenitor of sorcery. For some reason they are on extraordinarily bad terms with the Prague Association, and even the Clock Tower, the very heart of the Association, keeps their distance.
    In order to avoid the "end" proven by their first director, they endlessly create and dispose of weapon after weapon.
    There is a saying in the Prague Association: "Lift not the seal of Atlas, lest ye destroy the world seven times over."
    …The reason being that the weapons created there to save the world are ultimately nothing more than tools that will further its destruction.

    アトラス院【地名】
    シオンが所属していた学院で、魔術協会三大部門の一つ。エジプトはアトラス山に門を構える、錬金術師の学院。俗名として巨人の穴蔵とも。
    中世から主流となった現代錬金術とは異なる、魔術の祖と言われる錬金術師の集まり。プラハ協会とは致命的に仲が悪く、魔術協会の心臓部·時計塔からも煙たがられている。
    初代院長が証明してしまった“終末”を回避する為の兵器を延々と作り上げ、未来永劫に廃棄し続けている。
    曰く、アトラスの封を解くな。世界を七度滅ぼすぞ——とはプラハの錬金術師の言。世界を救う為に作り上げた兵器は、更に惨たらしく星を焼く道具にすぎなかったのだ。

  5. [v] Tsukihime Dokuhon PlusPeriod - TSUKIHIME Dictionary: Atlas Institute [Place name], p.175

    Atlas Institute [Place name]
    One of the three major branches of the Association. Located in the Atlas mountains of Egypt, it is a place where those dedicated to the study of alchemy gather.
    Unlike the modern alchemy that rose to prominence in the middle ages, the alchemy studied by Atlas could be said to be the progenitor of magecraft, and an attempt to unravel the truth of the world.
    For some reason they are on extraordinarily bad terms with the Prague Association, and even the Clock Tower, the very heart of the Association, keeps their distance. They are colloquially known as the Giant’s Pit.
    In order to avoid the “end” proven by their first director, they endlessly create and dispose of weapon after weapon.
    There is a saying in the Prague Association: “Lift not the seal of Atlas, lest ye destroy the world seven times over.”
    …The reason being that the weapons created there to save the world are ultimately nothing more than tools that will further its destruction.
    Though calling it “one of the three major branches of the Association” sounds nice, in reality it is more like an independent think tank. They have been known, on rare occasions, to loan out their alchemists to other mage’s associations and even the Holy Church upon request.
    In order to hire an Atlas alchemist, however, one of the written contracts issued by the Atlas Institute is required. Only seven of these contracts were ever issued, and the Atlas Institute considers their recovery a top priority.

    アトラス院【地名】
    魔術協会三大部門の一つ。エジプトはアトラス山に門を構える、錬金術師の学院。
    中世から主流となった現代錬金術とは異なる、魔術の祖、世界の理を解明する錬金術師たちの集まり。
    プラハの協会とは致命的に仲が悪く、魔術協会の心臓部・時計塔からも煙たがられている。通称、“巨人の穴蔵”。
    初代院長が証明してしまった“終末”を回避する為の兵器を未来永劫に作り上げ、廃棄し続けると言われている。
    曰く、アトラスの封を解くな。世界を七度滅ぼすぞ―――とはプラハの錬金術師の言。
    世界を救う為に作り上げた兵器は、更に慘たらしく星を焼く道具にすぎなかった訳である。
    三大部門と聞こえはいいが、実際は独立した頭脳集団。希に、他協会や聖堂教会からの要請で錬金術師を貸し出す事もある。
    アトラスの錬金術師を借り受けるには、過去アトラス院が発行した“契約書”が必要となる。七枚しか発行していないこの契約書を回収する事がアトラス院の当面の目的だとか。

  6. Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Volume 2: case. Twin Towers of Iselma (Upper) - Chapter 4 Part 2
  7. Fate/Grand Order - Second Prologue - Act 02: 26th December 2017
  8. Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Volume 9: case. Grand Resolution (Middle)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Fate/hollow ataraxia - Heaven's Feel - / Forest
  10. 10.0 10.1
    [v] Fate/Zero material - Encyclopedia: Natalia Kaminski [Person's name], p.102

    Natalia Kaminski [Person's name]
    A lone-wolf magus hunter. She had no affiliation with the Association, and made her living by swooping in ahead of the Association's enforcers, poaching their prey, and then reselling the spoils at an inflated price.
    Despite their rather grandiose official title of "sealing designation enforcers", genuine sealing designations are actually extremely rare, and most enforcers would consider themselves lucky if they got a chance to pursue such "big game" even once in a decade. Especially in the case of outside freelancers, they spend most of their time hunting heretical magi that have simply deviated from the Association's norms.
    In the distant past, Natalia's ancestors crossbred with succubi, and while she doesn't have eternal youth or regenerative abilities, she does boast inhuman reflexes and coordination, as well as the special ability to boost her magical energy stores by consuming semen.
    Although she is a money-grubber willing to do anything to make a quick buck, on top of being a wild hedonist that has never been a dollar ahead in her life, she somehow ended up as the morally questionable guardian of an impressionable youth. And while she sexually harassed the young Kiritsugu on numerous occasions, she never once drank his semen. The reason being that she had really fallen in love with him, if only a little – though like a good older sister she locked away these girlish thoughts and never revealed them to anybody.
    By the way, her heart-rending and gruesome end was inspired by the movie Snakes on a Plane, which I saw with Nasu Kinoko.

    ナタリア・カミンスキー【人名】
    一匹狼の魔術師ハンター。魔術協会には属さず、協会専属の執行者に先んじて獲物を横取りしては、高値で転売するというあくどい商売を流儀としていた。『封印指定執行者』などという大袈裟な肩書きを名乗ってはいるが、正真正銘の封印指定なんてものは非常に希有な存在であり、そういう『大物』を執行者が探し当てるチャンスというのは10年に一度あるかどうかも疑わしい。とりわけ外注フリーランスともなると、もっぱら日々の糧となるのは、ただ協会の規範を逸れたというだけの外道魔術師ばかりである。
    数代前の先祖にサキュバスを持つ半妖の血筋で、不老や再生能力こそないが人並み外れた運動神経を誇り、また吸精による貯蔵魔力のブーストといった特殊能力も備えていた。
    荒稼ぎのためには手段を選ばない金の亡者でありながら、宵越しの金を残さない豪快な快楽主義者でもあり、多感な年頃の男の子にはかなり倫理面で問題のある保護者だった。ヤング切嗣に度重なるセクハラを仕掛けておきながら、決して精を食らうことをしなかったのは、ちょっぴり本気な恋慕の情があった故で、そんな乙女心を秘め持った姐さんでもあった。
    切なくも凄絶なその末路が、実は原作者に誘われて観に行った『スネーク・フライト』が元ネタでした、なんてな台無しの暴露話も、ついでにここにしたためておく。

  11. [v] Fate/Zero material - Encyclopedia: Emiya Norikata [Person's name], p.093

    Norikata Emiya [Person's name]
    Kiritsugu’s father. His family thaumaturgy involved time manipulation inside the body or possibly small cause-and-effect, and he was a genius who in only the fourth generation, a relatively shallow generation, rose to the rank of gaining a Sealing Designation.
    Spent more than 20 years hiding from the pursuit of the Magic Association, and finally hid himself on a small southern island. Though Norikata’s wife died at the hands of the Magic Association’s hunters, Kiritsugu, who had just been born at the time, has no memory of the incident.
    Accelerating or slowing the flow of time inside a Reality Marble free from the world’s interference is the thaumaturgy of the Emiya family. But after investigating it thoroughly, Norikata found that, in a Bounded Field that was minimized until resistance was almost zero, the flow of time could be accelerated without limit, and reaching the Root would be possible, right before observing the universe’s end. Although the theory itself was very promising, finishing the experiment would still require several hundreds of years. In order to resolve the issue of life span, he decided to explore the methods of becoming a Dead Apostle.
    The tragedy that arose as a result was the story narrated at the beginning of Volume 4 of Zero.

    衛宮矩賢【人名】
    衛宮切嗣の父。体内、あるいは小因果の時間操作に特化した家伝の魔術を、4代目という比較的浅い世代において封印指定の域にまで昇華させた天才。
    20年以上に渉って魔術協会の追跡をかわし続け、最後は南国の小さな島に身を潜めていた。彼の妻もまた魔術協会からの追っ手によって命を落としているのだが、その経緯は、当時生まれて間もない切嗣の記憶にはない。
    世界によって干渉されない固有結界の内側において時間の流れを加速あるいは停滞させるのが衛宮家の魔術だが、矩賢はこれを突き詰め、抵抗がほぼゼロに等しくなるは、ど極小まで縮めた結界の中で、時間流を無限に加速させ、宇宙の終烏を観測することでその先にあるはずの『根源』に至ろうと企んでいた。埋論そのものはかなり有望だったのだが、実験を完遂するためには数百年の期間が必要とされ、やむなく彼は寿命の問題を解決するべく死徒化の手段を模索しはじめる。
    その結果もたらされた惨劇は、Zero4巻の冒頭に描かれた通り。

  12. Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Volume 2: case. Twin Towers of Iselma (Upper) - Chapter 2 Part 2, p.091
  13. Fate/hollow ataraxia - Heaven's Feel - 7/ Cradle Hollow
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