Maesters
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Ranks

Seneschal

The governance of the Citadel is held by the Seneschal, chosen from among the archmaesters. A new Seneschal is appointed annually. Because the archmaesters tend to see the office as a thankless task, as it takes them away from their true work, the Seneschal is selected by lot, with the one who draws the black stone taking on the office. When the archmaester who draws the black stone is not capable of fulfilling his duties as Seneschal, another archmaester might volunteer to serve his term instead.

Archmaester

Further leading the Citadel are the archmaesters. These maesters have demonstrated that they have mastered a particular subject. They receive a mask, ring, and rod in the metal corresponding to the link of the maester's chain which signifies their expertise on the topic. Archmaesters teach the students at the Citadel in their subject of expertise, and judge whether a novice or an acolyte has shown enough knowledge on their subject to receive a link for their chain.

Archmaesters have the right to sit on the Conclave, a council which elects the Grand Maester and determines when the seasons change. The meetings of the Conclave are conducted behind closed doors at the Citadel.

Each archmaester is said to carry a heavy, black iron key that will open most of the doors in the Citadel. They keep them close on their person, or hide them well.

Grand Maester

The Grand Maester is a maester who serves as the Citadel's representative at the royal court of the king on the Iron Throne, the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. The Grand Maester is elected by the Conclave, and only the Conclave can unmake him again. Although the Conclave puts effort into demonstrating their consideration of ability before birth, this is only a pretense which is not usually the case in its final choice for Grand Maester. Sworn to serve the whole realm, the Grand Maester sits on the king's small council and acts as one of the his advisers.

Grand Maesters are generally older men. Kaeth was chosen as Grand Maester at the age of eighty, Ellendor at almost ninety, and Merion at the age of sixty-six. After all three died within a short time span, King Aegon V Targaryen suggested to the Conclave that a younger man might be better. As such, Pycelle, aged forty-two, was raised to the office.

Maester

A maester at his service
The maesters are scholars and healers who have completed their training at the Citadel. They can be sent to serve at the holding of a lord by the Citadel. Maesters are only found in castles, not in villages. Every great lord has a maester, and every lesser lord aspires to have one, as not having a maester in your service is taken to mean that you are of little consequence. However, a lord has to pay the Citadel for a maester’s service, and as a result, only those lordlings with sufficient funds can afford a maester.

Maesters wear a collar, which is supposed to remind him of the realm he serves. When he completes his education and takes his vows, a maester puts aside his House name. Although he is supposed to be loyal to the seat to which he is assigned, regardless of the changes in (lawful and unlawful) control of that holding, old allegiances or loyalties might contin toue linger.

It is generally believed that not many maesters are willing to "dirty their hands" by helping smallfolk.

Acolyte

Students who start their education at the Citadel are known as novices. Once they have earned a link, they become acolytes. Most acolytes treat novices as if they are slow-witted. Acolytes train at letters at the Scribe's Hearth, and can be hired by Oldtowners to read their letters or write their wills. When an acolyte is prepared to take his vows and become a maester, he is placed in a completely dark room with one of the Citadel's glass candles, made of razor-sharp obsidian. He must stay in that room for the entire night in darkness, unless he is able to light the candle. The tradition serves as a lesson about truth and learning.

Novice

Students who start their education at the Citadel are known as novices. Students who violate the rules of the Citadel can be ordered confined to their rooms by the maesters. They can also receive more physical punishments. For example, for stealing from the kitchens, rectors might place them in stocks at the Seneschal's Court, where acolytes may throw rotten vegetables at them. A novice is taught reading, writing, arithmatic, and some basics of the healing arts. This rank in the Citadel is the lowest and anyone can try to become a maester. Only when a Novice creates their first link do they become an Acolyte.

Chain Links

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Antimony Zoology & Animal Training
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Black Iron Ravenry
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Brass Archeology
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Bronze Astronomy
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Copper History
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Electrum/Green Gold Agriculture
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Iron Warcraft
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Lead Geology
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Nickel Herbalism & Botany
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Pale Steel Smithing
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Palladium Politics and Heraldry
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Pewter Linguistics
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Platinum Higher Mathematics
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Red Gold Diplomacy
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Rhodium Foreign Cultures
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Silver Medicine & Healing
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Steel Engineering
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Tin Law
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Titanium Physics
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Valyrian Steel Magic & the Occult
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White Gold Theology
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Yellow Gold Economics & Mathmatics
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