Fraternal Order of Rationed Thought
The Fraternal Order of Rationed Thought is a sect of the Academy of Thought. Officially a social society based around common philosophy, this exclusive order often represents the Academy in a political capacity, both in the Regency and occasionally abroad. Unbeknownst to many, the Order also serves the Headmasters as secret police and covert agency, looking out for Academy interests first.
Order membership is by invitation only. Order lecturers and sages keep an eye on Academy students in their early studies, and those who show promise and espouse the correct schools of thought are tagged for further assessment. They are watched as they progress in their studies, and, if still deemed suitable, offered provisional membership shortly after they attain the rank of Master.
Selection criteria is primarily around the belief in philosophies of intellectual supremacy and individual dominance, whether the ‘drive to power’ concepts written of by Feng Ruolan or the driven search for meaning espoused by Shao Xinya. Final admittance includes submitted to a mental interrogation by an Archmage of the Order. This results in a membership that is firmly individualistic and arrogant, with a forthright willingness to change things or people for the benefit of the Academy, the Order, or themselves. This restriction and the fact that members are only drawn from Master rank or above means that the Order isn’t very populous, however.
Still a loose confederacy of scholars, with lots of individual freedom.
Manipulate people, dig up secrets and artefacts, allow a private power base outside of the Regency, see to Academician political and trade affairs, maintain access for other scholars with less political bents.