Magic in the Empire can come from a variety of different sources. The Council of mages would presume to be the authority on the subject, but as it stands there are forces that are beyond even their erudition. The Council form of magic comes only to those that study for years the arcane formulaes and incantations in the Draconic language. Following the prescriptions of Aarth, they study the forces of the universe and how to control them with gesture and word and will.
The adherants of the Seven Shrines have been known to produce supernatural effects themselves, healing the sick and injured, purifying that which is foul and even on occasion someone has the great favour to bring the dead back to life. But these are gfts from the gods of the Vaalim to their devout followers, and as such fall outside of the Council's domain.
Then there are creatures that are born with some essence of magic in their blood. It is well known that the elves venerate such beings, and they encourage their own kind to pursue the Sorcerous ways as these are known. Sorcerers seem to have that which the Mages crave, magic at will, without having to study for years upon years, but the way of the Sorc is not easy. The Council would study the wild ways of sorcery, but sorcs are rare, and suspicious of the Councils intentions. Some have even studied at the Academy, but most quickly drop out due to the very different rigors involved in Wizardly magic. Some of these dropouts can be found squandering their powers in the streets, using cantrips and small spells to amuse children and simpletons, others are more ambitious. They have banded together, in a secretive guild of sorts, and have been operating surreptitiously since the city-wide ban on magic of any kind being practiced out in the open, which came about after the prolonged firefight between a group of sorcerous thieves and a squad of city guards started fires and devastated parts of Red Wall last month.
As that event shows, some who would use magic would also abuse it, and the Council has set themselves up as the judges of who has the right to use that power. This has angered many sorcerers, who would see themselves being given some self-determination in the matter. The struggle for the control of magic may indeed bring about great turmoil in the immediate future...