Secrets of Strugur
The only significant organization in Pretarre, or truly all of Strugur, that prizes knowledge and learning for its own sake, and virtually nothing else. Indeed, the Adeptic Conclave is strictly impartial, though it owes its continued existence to the sanction of the King.
The Conclave is based out of Deuscheme, and is theoretically a monolithic organization, since it counts among its members (whether they know it or not) every skilled tradesman in Pretarre, and would be happy to include many outside its borders as well. Most of these aren’t practicing members unless there happens to be a Conclave chapter house nearby, though in larger Pretarran cities it’s more common; for skilled craftsmen, low-level Conclave membership functions almost like a trade union if the Marqon that nominally serves their interest turns too greedily abusive, providing them with a legitimate place and reason to congregate and organize.
Most of the Conclave, however, is made up of scholars of every stripe, from historians to engineers to wizards both practicing and theoretical. It is organized into hierarchical “Circles,” each more accomplished than and also outranking the last, but the members of each circle are theoretically equals. Each Circle is responsible for appointment to its own ranks from those lower down the hierarchy who have shown themselves worthy of additional recognition as an authority in their area of expertise, right up to the Circle of High Proctors who collectively hold the ultimate authority over all Conclave undertakings. It’s said this arrangement was ordained by Manx himself in the early days of Pretarran unification.
Besides pure study and records-aggregation, the Conclave busies itself with experimentation, debate, and investigative expeditions such as those at Iascaeh, Fremir, Recolte, and prior to the rise of the Ashen Dominion, Grondement. Though it receives a stipend from the Crown, its primary source of funding is the tutelage of the sufficiently wealthy in almost any subject imaginable… though Conclave members have learned well to divert the ambitions of undisciplined aristocratic youths away from the sorcerous arts, for if they do not fail to overcome the difficulty therein and refuse payment, worse yet they may instead succeed. Wizards are endemically ill-suited for the responsibility of their powers enough without encouraging sheltered noble brats to muck about in the Skein of Destiny.