Mage is a term for humans with the special ability to store and channel Mana as a means to cast spells, giving them advantages over civilians. According to legend, they can cast spells with Orbs and Scepters as conduits. Nowadays, with mankind gaining better understanding in their powers, magic engineers achieved orb modernization enabling mages to systematically cast spells and replace scepters with other tools such as spell rifles. This phenomenal breakthrough finally led to a formation of a new type of military unit: soldiers who are able to cast magic.
Traditionally mages of old were called magicians and appeared in robes, wide-brimmed hats, and holding wooden staves like how they are commonly depicted in fairy tales. In modern times they became known as mages, taking professions as technocrats, engineers, and scientists.
Developed countries saw the potential of mages in armies, however due to inefficient magical devices needed to perform magic it became extremely difficult to utilize them in battle. Their spells also varied because mage had to compose their spell from the ground up.
During the Industrial Revolution, using computerization concept from Analog Computers engineers created precision magical devices known as Operational Orbs to solve that problem. It became possible for mages to cast spells instantly, and standardized spells used by mages eliminated most problems for armies to utilize mages as uniform combat units.
Humans with magical potential are rare, and those with high aptitude are even rarer. So there's always shortages in human resource for mages, therefore the militarized Empire conscripts all citizens with high aptitude regardless of their age and gender - even children.
Universally, mages are armed with single-core Operation Orbs which aid in casting magic, giving them the ability to take flight with a maximum speed of 250 mph and altitude limit of 6000 feet. They have weaker firepower than artillery, while their speed and altitude is lower than aircraft. They excel in ground attack and mobility, making them the perfect branch of service as rapid response units.
They're trained in small numbers and are standardized, estimated to be no more than three wings in number for each regional force of the Empire. In operations they are deployed in small units as follows:
|Japanese||Army||Air force (British)||Number|
The 203rd Mage Wing under Tanya Degurechaff is a special case of a reinforced wing, consisting of four squadrons instead of the usual three. The smallest unit deployed in mage troops is a pair that consists of two mages.
The first branch of mage service established in an army, in spite of airborne operation they're not part of the air force and serve to assist ground forces. It's not until the 203rd Mage Battalion, under Tanya Degurechaff, that this profession established new doctrine as the ideal rapid response force due to their firepower and mobility in the air. They are known as the best type of military unit in close quarters battle, urban guerrilla warfare, and special operations.
Usually deployed as an individual, mages that serve as observers are responsible for directing artillery and mortar fire onto a target. Tanya served as one in her first official mission, reporting the margin of error and situation of the enemy forces after artillery barrage. Due to the nature of their task, artillery observers are also very vulnerable to enemy forces as they control a great amount of firepower, are within visual range of the enemy, and much closer and easier target than artillery units.
The newer branch of mages deployed in navies, assisting their operations with a similar role as a seaplane. They're used mostly to escort and run interference after take off from their cruiser. Marine mages also serve as units on duty to conduct anti-submarine warfare.
As this is a new branch of mage force, according to Tanya they are not used as effectively as aerial mages due to the lack of an established doctrine.
In small circles of mages, the requirement to be an ace mage is as low as five kill counts. Above an ace is the Ace of Aces, a powerful mage that stands above others with a kill count numbering in fifty.
Ace mages with a fearsome reputation among enemy mages who are registered in their database as dangerous adversaries. These mages are given code names that also serve as a moniker to warn friendly mages of the threat they impose and marking them as a high priority target.
Tanya Degurechaff is known to be named as "The Devil of The Rhine" by the Republic for her feats in the Rhine Theater.
In contrast to monikers given by their enemies as a dangerous mage, mages with prestigious achievements are honored by the Mage Bureau with a second name. The chosen name represents the image of heroes of the Empire in the eyes of their comrades and people.
Tanya's second name 白銀 (Hakugin) literally translated as White Silver is commented by several characters to depict a beautiful, noble and cold hero.
A group of ace mages from Republic, known for their excellent teamwork to overpower superior Imperial mages with their volley of fire. All of them are registered in Empire's database as Named Killers, whose role is to eliminate Named Mages from the Empire.
- Mage officer in army will have Magic attached on their army rank, for example Tanya's is Magic Major Tanya von Degurechaff.
- In the manga, the old magical devices were illustrated as alchemy tools.
- Although Aerial Mages operate airborne they are part of the army and not of the air force