Forgotten Realms: Splendors & Shadow
Like most any trade that produces salable goods and services, magic has a governing guild in Waterdeep. As a general body of magical learning becomes available to the increasingly-educated middle classes, the emergence of professional wizards came to need regulation; the Arcanists’ Guild (or formally, the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors) was formed for this purpose.
Despite the growing accessibility of magical learning, there remains a considerable gulf between mages and non-mages—in understanding of the laws and forces behind magic, and often, in personal power. Thus, with the blessing (and heavy influence) of Blackstaff Tower, the Arcanists’ Guild was given special charter to regulate wizardry, and the supernatural in general, within the city. Partly in cooperation with the Watch, and partly through their own legally-empowered Arcane Magistrates, the guild helps to keep the growing problem of unregulated sorcery in check.
The guild also offers basic magical and alchemical goods and services at standardized rates, mostly wizardly tools and minor custom enchantments.