Pirates of the Expanse
Mages are the rank-and-file members (if such a thing can be said to exist) of The Crown Mages. After completing twenty years of training as a student, a Mage is promoted to the status of Apprentice. An Apprentice receives their uniform and their first assignment, and typically remains an Apprentice for several years until being promoted with the sponsorship of an existing Mage or higher. It is unusual for an individual to spend more than a decade as an Apprentice.
Mages are sent all across the globe on the needs of the Empire. The typical Mage is an accomplished spellcaster and knowledgeable in many areas, as well as completely loyal both to the Crown Mages as an organization and to the Crown. Very few Mages specialize in one school of magic, preferring to keep generalist capabilities and be ready for anything. Those who do often specialize in divination and drop evocation and conjuration, since Mages usually have better things to do than act as magical artillery pieces.
While on their assignments, Mages nearly invariably continue research in some area, and thus the Crown Mages are always adding to the sum of civilization’s knowledge. Areas of research include new spells, cultures, linguistics, monster ecologies, and more.
A Mage who distinguishes himself with exceptional service or a breakthrough discovery are eligible for promotion to Illuminated Master.