There exists a prestigious academy with a history going back hundreds of years. Graduates are highly skilled and very much sought after for employment. For purely traditional reasons, the academy requires its students to become proficient in a skill or area of knowledge that has no use in the modern world. This could be Ancient Egyptian, an antiquated form of writing such as shorthand, knowledge of building or repairing antique steam engines, programming COBOL, etc. PCs who graduated from this academy must be sure to have this skill in their repertoire.
The extra-planar citadel of Ansern is named after its mage-founder. Ansern discovered the means to traverse the planar gulfs and created the citadel as a haven for his disciples in the art of planar-exploration. The disciples of Ansern continue his work and explore the countless worlds opened up to them by the work of the mage. They are cataloguing everything they discover in preparation for the greatest volume ever written: the Mondopedia, a book detailing many of the worlds. But the countlessness of the planes means that their book will never be finished.