Magthere d’Faernen, the School of the Unseen is one of the most prestigious of the schools of sorcery, witchcraft and magery. While there are certainly others, such as the pompus and insular House of Ancient Stone and the pretentious the Tower of Thunder and Gold, these lesser institutions have not been able to command the same respect as Magthere d’Faernen.
4. Terms and Holidays
5. Classes and Teachers
6.2 Other staff
7 Student life
8 Location and grounds
9.1 Early history
9.2 Middle history
9.3 Recent history
Additional Ideas (5)
There are two means of entering Magthere d'Faernen. The most common means is by application, with the would be wizard appling to the university in person, going through a few interviews and settling matters of tuition. Roughly 80% of the student body at the university was so enrolled, though only about a third of these are involved in magical studies.
The second method is by special enrollment. The members of the school staff are normally on the look out for potential wizards, seeking out those who stumble across innate talents or accidental abilities. Many of these would be magi have unknown lineages, or have had intense contact with some source of magic that has left a mark on them. such students make up only 20% of the student body but almost all of them are involved in magical studies and the majority of the staff currently came from such enrollments.
The most basic requirement for basic enrollment is the ability to pay the tuition cost of attending the university. For this reason, most of the student body is composed of those of noble blood, children coming from midlee to upper income merchant families and the like. A few have been able to finance their studies by enrolling and working for the school itself. A few are able to demonstrate ability to a would be benefactor or patron to recieve financial aid for the costs of the education though generally in exchange for a predetermined period of service to the benefactor as a wizard on hand.
While most reputed for being a school of sorcery, only about a 40% of the student body is onvolved in magical studies, with the most common being theory, history, and application of cantrips. Most find the rigors of studying magic to be excessive and turn towards a more mundane, but achievable education. To enter magical studies, the applicant must pass an aptitude test and demonstrate an ability to understand the basics of magic, or be able to perform some work of magic to begin with.
The life of a wizard is one cluttered with strange alchemical tools, cauldrons, and musty tomes, school life is little better. A would be mundane student spends a good deal to purchase books and manuscripts from the various book binders and scribing houses near the school. It is more common for the books to be viewed in the university library and meticulously copied by hand by the prospective students. The university and staff generally encourage this practice since it hones the students writing skills, starts them on their way to a suitable library of their own and the copying tends to help memorization. Other supplies are generally supplied by the school on an as needed basis, though many of the students of magical studies tend to provide their own goods and supplies as a matter of pride.
The School Year
The school year is generally accepted to start at the Autumnal Equinox and ends at the Summer Solstice. This is generally because of family needs during the harvest season as well as a generally much needed break for the students. There are very few breaks during the school year given the rather slow mode of transportation available, and advanced magics such as teleportation are frowned upon on or near the university grounds.
The University is almost a city in itself, comprised of its many staff, groundskeepers, and administration. The university is surrounded by a modest wall, and beyond that wall is the rest of the so called 'Magic City', a place where students can blow of steam in taverns that are tailored to their needs, places to buy supplies, and the other acoutrements of a normal mode of living. Reaching the city isn't terribly difficult as it is located close to, but not directly on a major trade route. Most traffic arrives by road, though it is not uncommon for visitors to arrive by river ship, coming up the navigable Lifa River.
This is the main gate in and out of the University grounds and dominated by a statue of a wizard bearing scrolls or wizard and a great staff, one of the most imposing locales in the city. There is a small market for small things that have been forgotten or lost along the way as well as a large administrative building that serves as a central enrollment and check in facility. Testing is held inside the almost dungeon like structure and applicants are allowed to lounge in a rest garden while awaiting their results for entrance exams. Contrary to modern ideals, said entrance exams tend to be very short, most fewer than 10 questions.
The Green Quads
Those who pass the exams and provide proof of financing, if they havent done this ahead of time, are shown to the Palace of the Delmah Sargt. The head of the Palace, locally referred to as the Delmah is responcible for sorting out the new students and providing them with proper lodging within one of the dormitory blocks that ring the campus. The Delmah himself is generally a very high ranking member of the staff, often second or third in line to the Provost of the Univeristy itself.
Magthere d'Fearnen has no fewer than 14 'houses' or dormitory blocks on its campus. For a sense of family and belonging, as well as a method of keeping track of the various students, each dorm is said to be a certain house, and each of it's residents are members of said house. Over the years, certain houses have gained reputations for being good at certain things, while others gain intense rivalries with other houses and the like. The sense of comraderie generated by the house system lasts even beyond the university, with members from the same house having near instant bonds, while rivalries lead far far from those formative years of education.
1. Monk House
Not named for the ascetic or mendicant traditions, this house was named after Johannes Monk, an Ankaran mason and bricklayer who later joined the University after helping build the initial four dormitories. Monk house's colors are white, black, and olive, and it's symbol is an olive branch and a sprig of goldenrod. While predominantly a male house centered around architecture, engineering, and other modes of building, this house has a small number of women present, though their fourth floor is off limits to all male students.
2. Pedryc House
Named for an enigmatic half-elf from distant Aohd, House Pedryc is largely female and devoted to the visceral and often bloody arts of the physician. This ranges from many of the female alchemy and herbalism students to those who study the balance of bodily humours to those who learn the precise art of stitching and cutting. Pedryc's colors are white and black, and their symbol is a black five pointed star worn over the heart. Like Monk House, there are a few male students, and they are 'quarantined' in the basement of Pedryc House.
3. Scorupco House
The first entirely devoted to students of magic, this was originally a co-ed house that was later converted to female only. Scorupco house was named for Allais Scorupco, a Nysertan expatriot who fled the now defunct Scorupco noble house in Nyserta bringing with her a great amount of wealth and magical legacies. Scorupco's colors are purple and black, and their symbol is a black rose.
4. Burke House
Named for Lord Percival Donomann Burke, this house was the last of the original four and is considered to be the heart of the University Student Council. Most of the burk house residents are students of history, oration, and other degrees that lead towards leadship and management. Burke's colors are tan and yellow, or gold.
5. Maran House
One of the three Expansion Houses, Maran House was seen as a secondary house for a number of years and was not fully accepted by the original four until the addition of the Saga houses. Maran house ended up being a focus point for water related majors, from navigators to mapmakers and would-be water elementalists. Maran, a navigator and tailor expected very high standards from his students and was honored by them after his death with the building of the water aspected Maran house. Maran's colors are white and lavender, and it's symbol is a clamshell.
6. Ewing House
One of the three Expansion Houses, Ewing House was seen as a secondary house for a number of years and was not fully accepted by the original four until the addition of the Saga houses. This house, whose colors are red and yellow, or gold, is composed largely of Ankarans and students involved in animal studies, from husbandry to veterinary studies to beastmastery. Founded by Megarra Ewing of Ankara, this house is predominantly a female house that is known for being a 'party house.'
One of the three Expansion Houses, Maran House was seen as a secondary house for a number of years and was not fully accepted by the original four until the addition of the Saga houses.
9. Mauk House
One of the Intermediary Houses, Mauk House was built during the interlude between the Expansion Houses and the explosive growth of the Saga Houses. With an all female residency and a penchant for wearing only the black of the house's black and gold colors, Mauk residents were quickly tagged as witches. This generally suits the Mauk house students who flaunt the tag as an honor. the official symbol of Mauk House is the Bee, though the black cat or broomstick is a much more common unofficial symbol.
As previously mentioned the school year is generally accepted to start at the Autumnal Equinox and ends at the Summer Solstice. While there are a number of holidays celebrated, none really warrant a break of more than a day or three from the university schedule. Since there are no aircraft, highways, or rapid teleport stones just sitting around, only those who can reach their homes in a day's travel generally leave the university. The city that has grown around the university provides an ample number of places for the students to attend, plus each of the university houses tend to hold their own parties and celebrations.
The most common degree awarded by the university is the title of Scholar. These are non-magical students who have completed intensive three to five year courses with heavy emphasis on history, logic, writing, and arithmatic. The majortiy of nobles and wealthy students who graduate earn these degrees, though a few dabble in more esoteric fields and gain the second ranked degree.
The degree of a specialist is Sage, though a few prefer the more archaic honorific of Wisdom. These students have met the requirements for a Scholar and have gone on to specialize another one to three years in their given field of study. In hopes of gaining this rank, many students find themselves on semester transfers to other universities, schools, or academies.
The highest non-magical degree granted by the school is that of Laurelate and is granted to those few students who in addition to their studies and accomplishments have made a signifigant impact in their field of study. The majority of Laurelates remain at the university and most become professors and teachers, though a few are wooed away by court positions and the like.
Degrees of Wizardry
The most common degree of wizardry granted is that of Ordus, indicating a person who has studied magic for four years as well as higher aspects of learning. An Ordus mage will never refer to themselves as a mage, and most are rather secretive about their abilities. Most have a functional grasp of basic magic and are able to manage cantrips and low level magics, but have decided to not capitalize on their potential to become magi, or lack the potential to become so. The motto of the Ordus is 'With a Single Spell'.
The majority of those who call themselves mages, wizards, and sorcerers gained the second degree, that of Magus, and have spent anywhere from eight to 12 years in persuit of the the study of magic. While it is certainly possible that this enlightened rank could easily be reached in as little as two years, common wisdom holds that a good deal of ethics and morality are required to prevent the power gained from magic corrupting the would be magic user. As demonstrated by the Upright Society of Civic Wizards such power without a sense of responciblity or accountability is recklessly dangerous.
The highly esteemed degree of Nous, more commonly referred to as Arch-Magery is considered the pinnacle of magical accomplishment and is granted not through courses taken or years studied but by honor, and for actions that advance the realms of understanding magic beyond what they currently are. Accordingly there are very few wizards who have been granted the ivy circlet of the Nous Magi.
The curriculum available at the University has a wide degree of diversity. Classes range from mundane studies in agriculture and husbandry to cutting edge magical research. The staff of the university is equally diverse, and though most of the staff is of the mundane and mortal human variety there are a number of professors and guest lecturers who hail from the elves, the elemental courts, and racial hybrids like half celestials.
The core of magic is the study of spellcraft, the usage of spell reagents, somantic gestures and verbal chants and litanies in arcane languages. Even those who do not learn magic itself can learn the tenets of spellcraft are able to recognize sorcerers who attempt to hide their arts, as well as learning to identify common and popular spells before they are cast. Advanced studies branch out into the various branches of magical studies such as transmutation, alteration, conjuration, summoning, evocation, invocation, illusions, phantasm, and the dozens of other spheres of magic.
to many professors there is no seperating magic from history. Every spell has a story, a wizard who created it, the record of it's research and development. Of course this area of study is considered to be one of the most extensive, dry, and torturous of the areas of study. those who teach Arcane history have a tendancy to deify the past, and write some of the longest and most brutal of exams.
The study of the stars is considered one of the original of arcane studies, and the movement of those celestial bodies is considered to be basic to the usage of magic, ranging from fortune telling to determining the best time to cast spells of fire and stone.
The Sidereal Calendar
Herbs and potions are considered the wizards second art. While the study of common herbs to aid healing, or prevent pregnancy are not necessarily the sorcerers aim, but the distillation of peace into a draught, or plague into a elixer is the wizard's art, and the witches realm.
The study of jewels and magical materials are also common to magi. Such stones are considered to be an allegory to the refinement of the wizard and his art, each growing with skill and perfection. This is the study of stone properties as well as cutting and appraising such stones.
Mastery of ancient languages does not come automatically with the robes and the hat. The languages of ancient K'ton, old elven, as well as other eldritch and arcane tongues and scripts are taught here. Some professors will even write their courses in their chosen language and the students complete their assignments as they translate their course documentation.
In older times is was enough for farmers to consult with the local druids for the times of planting and harvesting. Following the ascencion of the Trinity, such druidic sources have become rare and planting has shifted from natural movements of the seasons to an art of calculation and stellar observation. Crop rotation as well as basics of farm management are taught to those of an agricultural bent.
Hardnan the Grange Mage
Most think of husbandry as the menial tasks of a husband as doled out by a wife, others think it is the rather perverted practice of watching the livestock 'bumping uglies'. Managing bloodlines as well as learning about inheritable traits, and animal medicine are all parts of the husbandry course of study. While mundane aspects of this run from horse and cattle, the more arcane aspects can run to creating animal hybrids and elemental aspected creatures.
Metallurgy and Blacksmithing
In the advancement of civilization, the blacksmith is considered to be the artificer mage, conjuring the magic of metal from base stone. More modern applications delve into the mysteries of steel, strange alloys and other properties of metal. While the mundane smith learns of basics like tensile strength and forging alloys, the arcane delves into the magical metals and the crafting of magically resonate materials.
The flying buttress, the vaulted ceiling, slender columns and arches are the hallmark of an educated architect, and the school is seldom lacking such students. While their works range from common stonework homes, others find employment designing fortresses, palaces, and the grand towers of the magi. Arcane students learn of extradimensional construction, as well as the principles of geomancy and harmonious design.
Sailing and Navigation