The Wizard Breakers, later called the Order of Wizard Breakers was an organization of lesser-path mages and fighters who operated during the Mage Wars and sought to end rule by magic. As a biproduct, the organization helped give rise to the Society of Assassins.
The Wizard Breakers can be thought of as existing in two phases: as an organized group, and then later as a name or ideal.Kosta Guitain founded the group around and created their operating practices. The original Order fell apart sometime around the Intermediate Period, but isolated groups of resistance fighters continued to use the name all the way up until the Second Chaotic Period.
The term "wizard breaker" is mentioned as far back as High Tower, but it seems then was used only to describe none-mages who deliberately kill magic users. Its unclear the exact origin of the term, but it is never used outside the context of someone killing a mage to prevent them from exerting power over others.
Early Formation and Order
The first organized Wizard Breakers coalesced on Aren about 130 years after High Tower, when Tower Magic had become the norm during the . The Order developed its own tactics based on isolated cells which passed information back and forth, while the actual teams of Breakers were self-sufficient.
The low level cells were called Witnesses, their only function was to observe and gather information. They provided intelligence and accounts of brutality being enacted on the local populous. The Wizard Breakers were not themselves opposed to the use of magic, but to the suffering inflicted on non-magic users. The cells of witnesses would gather information and pass it on to the Heralds.
Heralds operated alone or in small groups of 2-3. These were often merchants who traveled between population centers and did little more than broker information. The Heralds also offered a valuable skill by writing information in code. The coded messages would be passed to other witness groups, other Heralds, or directly to Breakers. Typically a dead drop was used to separate the Heralds from the Breakers.
Wizard Breakers themselves operated in groups of 3-8, and usually a few of them had some magical skill. Their primary skills were subterfuge. They would travel in disguise, typically dressed as merchants or performers(and often earned money for basic expenses at these trades). Infiltrate the stronghold, find inroads, and finally the primary assassin would confront and kill the wizard.
The Order had few codified rules, among them being "We are not thieves". Breakers could steal magical items they thought could be used to further their goals, but other valuables were off limits. This is considered the primary factor that led to the schism between the Order and the Society of Assassins. Most full-time Wizard Breakers lived lives of destitution, their most valuable possessions being enchanted weapons and armor.
The Codified Order still grew very strong, and was successful in taking down many of the worst Arch Magus's if the mid First Chaotic Period. Breakers even sometimes assembled into scratch armies when a full siege was required.
The original Order combined lesser-path magic with extensive combat training to produce a legion of fierce, highly-skilled warrior-mages.
In the begining, the Order's goals were pure: they worked to end the subjugation of non-magic users by mages. Hence the name "Wizard Breakers". At the time, they were a much respected group, traveling the verse far and wide to ply their trade. As the organization grew, and finding work became harder (for want of evil magicians to kill), they started taking on all sorts of jobs, from mercenary work to outright assassinations, and started coming up with some down-right crazy ideologies. It stopped being so much about business, and more of a pseudo-religion. In their heyday, the Order of Wizard-Breakers had evolved into a kind of anti-magic cult. By the end of the Mage Wars, they were a pretty dangerous bunch.
The Order opted for a different tactic than traditional Tower Magic, adopting secrecy and stealth to invade towers. They were the first to employ the technique of climbing the tower from the outside to attack the directly.