I'm in complete and longstanding agreement. One of the more offbeat groups in that line is an outfit in the capital city out of which my main group works I informally call "Magic 'R Us." The description in my binder runs thus:
This cheerful lot of young magicians are in the business of supplying minor enchantments and magical items to locals at substantial discounts to the prices more usually found citywide. Though none are journeymen, they are the nominal apprentices of San Nath Catalis, a retired Almuensin, and Sana Nirasta val Arcolon, a Fruningen Starlight wizard. Both are far more interested in counting their profits than interfering with the business or teaching their "apprentices," but despite the College's unhappiness over the situation, they fulfill the letter of the law. Quality is respectable for what it is (at least no major disasters have yet been recorded), and so far the band has remained quite cohesive.The College of Mages is the multinational outfit that seeks (with varying degrees of success) to regulate the use of magic. Their sway in Warwik City is relatively strong, and one of the laws they've successfully seen enacted prohibits anyone from practicing magic for profit who doesn't have a journeyman's license from the College ... that, or who is working under the direction of a journeyman or master, which covers apprentices. Hence Magic 'R Us, which has franchised out to some villages in the region. One of the branches PCs have come across is in the village of Athelren, which is halfway on the great highway between Warwik City and the south coast:
The first "branch" of the eponymous outfit, set up by an Athelren native, who goes by "Shadowdove" (she hates her given name, Paline). She is an Almuensin senior apprentice who felt she was going to wash out on her journeyman trials and fled the city. Here in her home village, she is what passes for a wizard, and skirts a dangerous line: she has not told anyone she is not a journeyman, and does not operate under the direction of a master. She has a modest command of Earth (useful locally), Creation (less so) and Sensory (not particularly) magics, and can enchant ... just barely. Her spell floor is -12.
This outfit really ticks off the College, and my PCs have generally been very down on it. The most powerful PC wizard in the campaign's history is currently active, and she's a Warwik native who for the past few years has been (respectively) the local Master of Apprentices, and then one of the College's handful of "Intermediate Masters," the College's hit squad and responsible for magical law enforcement. Elaina has no use whatsoever for Magic 'R Us -- which is comical, because her family business is an inn catering to pirates, and she's pretty laissez faire otherwise -- and has occasionally sought to shut it down.