Despite the rivalries and differences between the Gifted, those who possess it can and often do group together. From covens of like-minded pagan priestesses to hodge-podges of sorcerers, shaman, and alchemists, differing in all ways save that they wish to stay alive in this hostile world, and realising the safety in numbers. But beyond such small groups, cults, chantries, or whatever you may wish to call them, there are larger organisations, united in purpose and name, if not in practice. Here are some of the more prominent organisations among the Gifted.
The Order of Hermes. Claiming to be the most ancient of all traditions, the Order is a powerful and far-reaching force throughout Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor. Devoted to establishing a grand unifying theory of magick, and a 'right' way of working it, the Order's approach to magick is systematic, philosophical, and deeply conservative. In theory, the Order operates a 'join or die' policy on all other practitioners of magick, but their power has waned over the last few centuries and such rules are no longer practicable. For the first time, in this age, the Order has true rivals for dominance of Europe. They have grown more insular, offering the choice of joining or death to fewer and fewer outsiders, instead judging that the rule only applies to 'True Magi' of which they are the only examples. All else are charlatans and hedge-wizards, not worthy of notice, or of the choice. Through isolationism, the Order stays safe, with master or mistress handing down their legacy to apprentices, power and knowledge staying within the stagnating Order. Where once they influenced the fates of nations, this isolationism limits their sway with each passing year. Perhaps, soon, the Order itself will face a choice: change, or fall by the wayside, as a footnote in history.
The Hands of Gabriel. The growth of the Hands parallels that of the Church. Where once both organisations were prosecuted for their beliefs, and seen as politically dangerous and subversive, the Church has since become the single largest political and religious power in Western Europe. The influence of the Hands has grown with it, and in many cases their Christian zeal and power directly shaped the expansion of the Church, shaping an empire spanning an entire culture. A group composed almost unanimously of Sky-Callers, the Hands of Gabriel see themselves as the most direct connection the world has with the divine: they are messengers of their God, and when necessary, they are his sword and shield also. Unlike the Order of Hermes, they are evangelical and, at times, militant, aiding the spread of their faith with passionate and forceful intensity, whether from behind the scenes or directly, on the battlefield or from the pulpit. Officially, they acknowledge all other workers of magick as witches, heretics, or infidels. Unlike the Order, they provide a firm choice: fight, run, or die. More than any other magickal Tradition they hold the Dark Medieval world in the palms of their hands. For good or ill their influence grows unchecked.
The Kamil. The foremost magickal organisation east of Outremer, from the Holy Land to China, India, and Persia, the Kamil represent the greatest accomplishments of muslim society: philosophers, naturalists, holy men and women, diplomats and explorers. They hold that their history stretches back untold thousands of years, past where history begins. Even beyond this, they believe they are a re-founding of a group that failed and fell into obscurity long before even their own genesis. Though Islam shares many of the group's core tenets, the group itself predates the religion and not all Kamil are followers of that particular faith. Rather they view it as reflecting their own beliefs. Beliefs they see in the writings of many scholars from many cultures, from Plato to Far Eastern philosophies: that the world, space, individuality, are all lies born of imperfect human perception; that all is part of the same creation and being. This being is the Kamil, or 'Perfect One': the state of all-being that the Kamil themselves give up name and individual identity to grow closer to. This perception of the world gives them a mastery of space and the connectedness of all things that few other Gifted can boast. This is a doctrine they seek to encourage the world towards, seeking out a new Unity of all things. A sort of ascendence. And they will persuade, coax, fight and die to bring this Unity about.
The Old Way. As a coalition of disparate pagan faiths, The Old Way is not itself very old. Such a coalition was never called for until now, and yet the magickal traditions that comprise it are indeed ancient. Less of a coherent organisation than the previously mentioned groups, they are more of a last ditch collaboration in the face of what seems to its adherents to be the End Times. With the march of Christianity, the Old Way have much to fight for. Even if it is a losing battle that they fight, wherever there is paganism the Old Ways can be found, administering, teaching, letting the old flames of the past burn still in the present. Their adherents vary from passive stewards of their ancestors' ways to freedom fighters, literally warring for their traditions. The faiths themselves are different, ranging from supplicants of the Roman or Greek pantheons to Welsh or Irish druids, but each is under threat, and each recognises the need for protection in the face of extinction. Despite their dwindling power, the Old Way is far from powerless. Their connection with nature is unprecedented and this offers them potent magick indeed. And there are still parts of the world where they hold sway and will fight to keep it this way: the Baltic, the Balkans; Russia and Scandinavia are lands where the Old Ways' blood is in the earth itself. And they will let no new god force it out.
These are the largest groups within the setting, but by no means the only ones. Feel free to suggest more, and bear in mind that many Gifted will belong to none of the above, but rather preferring to strike out on their own, alongside the machinations of these vying Traditions.