The Four Schools of the Aether are the categories that every Registered spell created by the Council falls into. The schools, as they stand today, are Manipulation, Necromancy, Elementalism, and Core.
The largest school is that of Manipulation, although most of the spells are passive, and non-damaging. Quite literally manipulating the Aether to present situations in the Mage's favour, this school is, perhaps also, the most underappreciated. What this school lacks in damage, it certainly makes up for in reliability.
By contrast, Elementalism, the smallest school, focuses almost entirely on spells that cause damage. By controlling the very Elements of the Aether, the Mage can strike their enemies with fireballs, lightning, or summon a large, powerful geyser of water at their feet, blasting them into the air. This school is well-known as the school taught most prominently during the Calamity.
Necromancy allows the Mage to drain life from those around them, and even restore some form of life to fallen comrades. However, nothing the Necromancer returns to life will have any memory of who they once were. They also maintain some control over the many creatures they may encounter, allowing them to slip by unnoticed, or simply cause them to attack one another. Necromancy is, perhaps, the closest one can get to having the Gift without truly being bitten.
The rules behind the schools are relatievely simple; each student may only learn a single school (in addition to Core), and each teacher may only teach the school in which they were taught, regardless of their current knowledge.
The list of spells in each school is as follows (* signifies that the spell is NOT taught during the training of an Apprentice)
DrainLife Minion Pain Purge SoulRend StealLife SummonFiend Kill * Forget * Confusion * Stealth * Lifewalk *
Leap Carpet Entomb ForcePush Heal Prayer SafeFall Wall Explode * Zap * Stonevision * Volley * Gills * Blink * Telekinesis *
Fireball FireNova FlameWalk Geyser Lightning Combust Frostwalk Tsunami * Volcano *
Help List Sun Teach Scroll * Bind * Tome * Spellbook *