As mentioned previously, animages as a profession are not well known nor extremely common. This is due to a wide variety of facts, including the fact that the term animage is met with uneasiness and trepidation in many parts, and even fear in others. Why this should be so is unclear, but many feel that in large part it is do to the fact that many animages are rumored to be able to read minds and control minds. Things that Sorcerors and Enchanters may also do, but which nonetheless, animages have gotten a bad reputation for. These beliefs in the invasion of mental privacy have made many uneasy.
These paranoid beliefs in fact have led to a rather strong code of ethics about this very thing, subscribed to by most animages and instilled in almost all pupils. Nonetheless, the rumors still persist. For the sake of literary honesty, historians hint that there may be cause for such trepidation a long time ago, before the ethics were enforced. Certainly legends of the rule of the Anilords and their elite forces the Time Warriors still instill terror in young children everywhere. Such fears are not helped by periodic resurgence in rumors about mad mentalists and the supposed Twenty First discipline. Fortunately, there is no such discipline and the few remaining organized animage groups do much to publicize this fact.
Regardless of the reason for such fears, the facts remain, the number of individuals actually referring to themselves as animage is pointedly few. Almost no schools referring to themselves as such exist in the world today. This not to say none such exist, rather none exist under that name. The great animages of legend are thought to be true liberal scholars, rather mixing and matching disciplines as a matter of personal interest, and being fairly well versed in all of them, regardless of the sacrifice in power this cost them by not concentrating in only a few disciplines. As stated, such 'true animages' today are few. Due to the lack of schools, all known such animages are generally taught by a single master with a single pupil as they wander the countryside, or live in a tower or whatever. Naturally having only one teacher does not give a truly liberal education, thus most eventually leave to seek other master's or try and teach themselves.
If there are few such 'true animages,' and this an admittedly annoyingly vague term, where are the rest? These other animages are not actually uncommon, they just go by other names. The names they go by are generally representative of their specialization. Common animage specializations often thought of by laymen as separate professions include seers, elementalists, summoners, mentalists (or any other of a dozen pseudonyms), healers and the now extinct Time Warriors.
Of these other 'subprofessions,' most actually do have schools here and there, especially the healers and elementalists. The summoners occasionally do, and while there are seer schools these are often also taught on a one to one basis with a single master, like traditional animages. Mentalists or whatever they may call themselves in different countries to avoid suspicion do infrequently have schools, or temples, but are also just as often outlawed altogether. There are no Time Warriors left alive, as far as any one knows, but given the very nature of their disciplines, they may only be on hiatus.
Maelen Serenanus, Ph.D.
Member of the Society of Learned Fellows