Circle (n) 1) Any round line related to Pi. 2) A mystical symbol. 3) Archaic: Any group of magic users, like a gaggle of geese. 4) Common use:, any group of magicians bound by friendship or other common bond. 5) Traditional: A circle is the magical equivalent of a mercenary’s company.
The Greater Comet school was a magical academy of some repute for several centuries ago, specializing in magic and warfare. After violating Guild Law and involving itself directly in The Way of Throne, it was (violently) disbanded by a guild force. The traditions of that school live on in the various Comet groups. (See linked submission).
For reasons of Comet tradition, a mage mercenary company is called a Guild, while its units are called Circles.
The Azure Comet Guild is based of out Kendaria. Their compound is adjacent to the Grand Castle of Chechar, seat to Kendarian power. While still a mercenary company per law, they are practically a regular unit in the Kendarian military. This relationship harkens back to several principals (full comet members) whose chairs (in absencia) at the Comet School had been sponsored by The Kelarian Prime. Upon the fall of the school proper, those senior members in absencia simply began teaching students there (first in an attempt to restart the school, then to support their own guild). The Prime sold them some property which had been tasked to the cavalry adjacent to the castle. In the expanded mannor home, live and train combat mages, grogs, and houses all their staff.
This mercenary relationship keeps a two fold fiction going. The first is to keep the Guild out of the Way of Thrones. The second is that the Caldorian Prime is not allowed to “raise and keep” a magical force by ancient law and several treaties. Since the Azures are occasionally hired to fight in campaigns (not against Caldoria… though if the prohibitively HUGE price is paid, they are honor bound to do it), they keep their mercenary status.
The Guild boasts a full eighty Principals and nearly two hundred Minors. The guild normally fields ten full Circles. Each Circle is comprised of five Principals, ten Minors in support, 20 Grogs (fighter bodyguards to defend the magicers, many hired away from the Caldarian Army), and a few support bodies (personal cooks, servants, and supply masters associated with Principals).
Each active circle is assigned a support roll for each Flag of the Caldorian Forces. Each Flag is based out of the one of the eight Doms (precinct) castles. They either camp adjacent to the castle, or have a small mannor nearby.
The Azures are experts in the traditional roles of magic in combat: scrying upon the enemy (to find them or spy on them), keep their forces concealed, communicating with the various parts of the force, and distraction (fog, illusions, and weather working). Except as intelligencers, they are completely out of the military chain of command and do not even act as advisors.
Any given campaign seasons, the school will field one to four circles out of its hired position. Few, except possibly the Scarlets, can match their prowess in the field.
The Power and Success of Caldoria can be directly linked to its success in combat. This in turn is linked to the presence of the Azures there.