Orvean Academy

Academy Map

Academy Gates

The Academy

Located on the shores of the Sturm Sea, the Orvean Academy is a place where wizards of the western kingdoms come to cut their teeth. It was founded by Orveus Kavalson and is only the second such institution to exist (excluding the Oronëian Lorehouses). The Academy is administered by a group of “magisters,” masters of their respective arts.

The total number of students at the Academy has never exceeded 150 or 160. Before Kavalson’s death, each prospective student was handpicked by Orvius himself. To facilitate in speedy travel, the Academy maintains a Wizard’s Circle on the grounds.

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Orvius Kavalson founded the Academy in X475 at the age of twenty nine. He had already, at that time, mastered the art of Wild Magic (which had earned him, in younger years, the nickname of “Wildspell,” given to him by his master Delanon when a spell went awry and nearly destroyed his master’s own library) and become known as one of the most powerful and influential wizard’s in the North.

The first incarnation of the Academy was a single small tower and a few scattered cottages run by Kavalson himself and the decrepit Ser Dysmond de Valle. It wasn’t until Kavalson convinced the elf Hylanil the Seer to journey from Oronë that the Academy took off in the year of X483. With the use of mighty magic, a hired troupe of dwarves, and the assistance of Oronëian mages, the grounds as they appear today were raised by X488.

The Academy has so far graduated only ten students, who remain there to this day working in the libraries and the laboratory. These are the Senior Enchanters; if Kavalson’s dream survives, the Academy will become a true institution with many positions for graduates, and with a dedication to the finest scholarship and magic of the north.

It is important to note that not all students study magic: in X492 Kavalson opened the Academy to scholars of all types; there is an arcane as well as a mundane corpus studied there.

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Living at the Academy

Life at the Academy is quite different from living amongst the other lands of the north. It is sheltered from many of the worst political storms of the Sun Shores and well insulated against hard times like drought or famine. Like the ivory towers of Sylvasil-of-Old, it is a place for scholarly pursuit and quiet contemplation.

There are several types of people who live on the Academy grounds or scattered in the wilderness outside of it. The first of these are the serving-folk. The servants live alongside the Novices and Acolytes in the large dormitories but on the higher of the two floors. These are connected via a second-floor balcony in the Wizard’s Atrium. The servants cook the food, chop firewood, keep the grounds clean, and perform all the menial labor required of the Academy. They are greatly respected by most of the wizards present, and to harm a servant is to be expelled from the Academy and shunned by its people.

The second type of dweller are the Guard; they are a small but elite group of warriors (some of whom are also scholars, particularly their captain, Mendas Swiftsword) that have pledged themselves to protecting the Academy. Whenever anything from the outside world threatens that is not dangerous enough to involve the Magisters (or conversely is too dangerous for the Magisters alone to handle) the Ranger-Guard are sent to deal with it. They also enforce the law on the grounds.

The third type are scholars that do not study magical lore. The Academy has collected a great deal of historical, alchemical, and other mundane lores on its grounds since its foundation. This has led to a large population of resident scholars who base their expertise in many different fields as well as a fairly large population of temporarily resident scholars that have paid large amounts of coin (or research) in order to come and study at the Academy.

Lastly, there are the wizards themselves. These comprise a minority of residents at the Academy (the majority being servants, and the next largest number being scholars) and has never been greater than 150 or so at any given time.

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The Acolytes

As wizards begin their training at an age that is deemed early even by most apprenticeships, the acolytes are generally extremely young if they are men. Elvish acolytes tend to be a bit older, though there have only been a scant few elves who would trust their upbringing to the mannish Academy. In general acolytes are never chosen after the age of five or six when their potential is ripest for learning. One would think that their dormitories would be riotously loud, but the extremely strict rules and the fear of being kicked out to live in the wilderness keeps them somber and quiet most of the time.

Mages training at the academy are considered to be acolytes until they reach their 11th or 12th year (depending on the judgment of the Magisters) at which point they become true novices of magic. The young acolytes are not initiated directly into magical training-they learn almost NOTHING of magic while they live in the acolytes dormitory. Much like the traditional tower-bound training, the Academy strives to teach control and self-discipline first.

Acolytes live and work with the servants, cleaning the grounds. Unlike the servants, they attend mandatory history and logic lectures, supplemented by natural philosophy as they grow older.

Acolytes who disobey their masters one too many times may find themselves on the fast-track to permanent servant-dom or, for the worst offenders, being sold off as apprentices in the dwarven workshops in the nearby hills that provides many goods to the Academy (for more, see the workshop entry).

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The Novices

Novices are young apprentices anywhere from the ages of 11-18. If a novice has still failed to manifest sufficient skill at magic by the age of 18, he or she is considered hopeless and either hired on as a servant or released to the outside world.

Novices begin their first magical training and are expected to attend a number of lectures. Each “course” is taught based off of a single magical or mundane text; lectures begin at 6am, First Prayer. The lectures are held wherever the lecturing Magister (or Senior) decides. This includes but is not limited to the Magister’s own home, Lumia’s Square, or a quiet place out-of-doors and off of one of the paths. In fact, several small groves have been cleared for this purpose when the weather is fair.

Novices are expected to obtain copies of the course text by making them themselves in the Red Library when they have free time. These books are then theirs, and in this way many a young mage builds up a sizable library when being instructed at the Academy. One of the benefits of Academy training is that wizard’s who graduate have between 10-20 books depending on the number of courses they took, making up a Level One magical library.

Senior Mages often assist a Magister during lectures. This can include taking notes and giving them for the students to copy or even delivering the lectures themselves. Indeed, Seniors often teach classes that Magisters have no interest in, filling out the corpus with such things as basic philosophy or cartography.

While certain courses in magic are required (for example, the course taught from Crisby the Magnificent’s On Thaumaturgy as well as the one taught from Ozmiandre the Red’s Discussion of Magic) most are optional; the student merely has to attend a series of lectures until the Magister under whom he studies is satisfied that he or she is ready to graduate.

To obtain graduation, the Novice must deliver a Senior-level lecture and then engage the entire body of Senior Mages and Magisters in a debate on magical theory. Once weathering the debate, the Novice must demonstrate his skill by executing a spell; the most ambitious of these have in the past made sure to concoct a spell specially for the occasion, but it is also not uncommon for Novices to enact a cantrip and begin pulling Magister’s robes over their heads or some such trick for their final Senior’s Thesis.

Once a Novice graduates, they may stay on as a Senior Wizard (technically now part of the staff) or a librarian, or they are free to go out into the world. The Academy does not make money from its students in magic; rather, all of its income is generated by scholars or magicians trained in other places who come to peruse its vast libraries.

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The Seniors

Senior Enchanters, Senior Wizards, or Senior Mages as they are sometimes called are actually formally supported as Academy staff. They are not as respected as Magisters, and are not capable of deciding on their own whether an individual student is capable of advancing (either from the acolytes or graduating as a Novice). They teach classes, live in a common dorm, and are mostly engaged in private researches.

Senior Mages are generally mages of no small power or experience, though there have been a few who have little to no experience in the wider world, as Novices who graduate but have no desire to leave are guaranteed five years of seniorship; if, after those years, they produce outstanding research they may be promoted to full Magisterial staff as Magisters.

The Senior Enchanters are generally quite reclusive and removed from the other younger students and do not tend to interact with them as anything other than teachers. In order to graduate to a Magisters position, a Senior Mage must perform similarly to the novices upon graduation; they must speak before a panel of Magisters and then have a direct series of one-on-one debates with a Magister of their choice. These debates often form a corpus of lecture classes, attended by Novices (who sometimes place bets on whether the Senior will manage to defend himself or the Magister will win out). The positions taken in these debates are always randomly determined before hand, so the Senior never knows which side of an argument he must defend.

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The Magisters

The magisters of the Academy are the permanent teaching staff, and comprise some of the greatest wizards of the second rank in all the northlands. Though their number is few, many are thought to be if not ready to step into the Conclave, the very next most powerful sorcerers in all the land.

Each magister has a certain field of study or focus; some are specialist mages interested only in one type of spellcraft, while others have more esoteric degrees of interest, such as deep magical theory.

The magisters at the Academy as of 501 are as follows:

Deleanik Azanor,

Dysmond de Vaulx, a respected and knighted wizard from the city of Tourons, Dysmond is an extremely old man going into his eighty third year. Spry, white haired and bearded, and very active, Dysmond was the first mage to come to Orvius Kavalson’s call and has supported the notion of the Academy ever since its inception. His own vast libraries form the core of the Academy books, supplemented by magical texts brought by Hylanil from the Deep Lorehouse in Oronë.

Dysmond’s specialty is transmutation, particularly alchemy. His most famous work, the book known as Heart of Magic, describes in detail his own theories as to how change is the essential nature of magic.

Laela the Enchantress,

Meera the Stargazer,

Hylanil the Seer, one of the co-founders of the new Academy, only outdone in time spent at the school by Ser Dysmond de Valle and Orvius himself. It was the coming of Hylanil from the Deep Lorehouse that signaled the reincarnation of the Academy in its current form.

Hylanil is a deep wizard, and one of the most fearsome members of the Academy. Most students are frightened of his strange silver-elf learnings. If his race and place of origin where not startling enough, the mighty elf is also a cleric of Lumiä and thus even more mysterious as his face is kept hidden behind an ivory mask of the Emerald Temple.

Hylanil also officiates at all religious ceremonies on the grounds, as he is a mage-priest of no little esteem. His specialty is theology.

Sallus de Cant, a simple peasant’s boy turned wizard is the youngest of the Magisters at the age of thirty five. He has long dark brown hair, a narrow face constantly set in one wryly malicious grin, and almost always wears his full compliment of enchanted Magister’s robes of purple and black.

Sallus’ field is necromancy, for which he is strongly derided by most of the other Magisters; particularly Hylanil the Seer, who holds that the art of necromancy has been tainted by the practices of the Necromancer during the Wars. Sallus is a whip-smart satirical man with a dry (and sometimes cruel) sense of humor who constantly goads the other Magisters.

Varyan Vyre,

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Orvean Academy

Abridged History of the 10th Age Idabrius