When magical ability was discovered the person was taken from their families to undergo training in the City of Magicians. They had to forswear any family ties at this time and had a unique social rank that set them apart from formal roles. Their word was as law, and their only service was to the Emperor.
Since the time of the Golden Bridge the magicians have served the empire but they have not always been known as Great One's. Centuries ago when The Stranger threatened Kelewan, Emperor Sudkahanchoza built for them the City of the Magicians where they would study for the following decades to save the planet.
Hundreds of magicians working together fashioned a mighty spell and saved Kelewan from destruction. The Emperor Tukamaco called the magicians together and bowed before them saying that they now would become outside the law and forever known as Great Ones.
For centuries their word was as law and they acted as they saw fit in order to protect the Empire. All magicians where their province. When Mara of the Acoma rose to power she went to the Thuril Confederation to seek help from the Cho-ja magicians against the Great One's. During a showdown in the High Council Chambers the magicians protected Mara from the Great One's and she was also protected by the priests who where present at the time. It was then that Mara was able to reveal that for centuries the male Magicians were killing women who showed magical ability. She forced the Great Ones back under the law and made it so that any magic user could train at the Assembly or not but it would be their individual decision.
The Darkwar Edit
At the coming of the Darkwar 100 years later there had been many changes in the Assembly. Though still revered as Great One's and called as such they where within the law and women had started to appear in the Assembly. At the conclusion of the Darkwar out of 2000 magicians of the Assembly only a little more than 100 made it through to the New World to safety