Posts Tagged ‘the arcane college’

“There are those who rule the world, and there are those who should.” – Motto of The Servants

Have you ever looked at a supervisor and thought, “I would do your job much better than you,” while shaking your head? Have you ever heard a politician speak and wondered “How did this moron get elected?” Have you ever thought that the decisions of those in power have damned those without? Well The Servants thought all those things too, and they decided to do something about it.

The Formation of The Servants

Crowns are pretty badass.

A little over a century ago, a group of intelligent people came together secretly in Taliana’s Sentinel Grove to try to solve one of Findalay’s biggest problems – war. Some of the smartest minds from every country in Findalay were in attendance after contacting one another through a secret network of magic sending stones they had created. At this meeting, they began to hatch a plan to bring peace and even handedness to the continent.

They concluded that the chancellors of Marial, the royal family of Aeranore, the Parliament of Taliana, and the empress and upper castes of Bragonay were unfit to rule. They lacked the foresight, wisdom, and intelligence this group assembled in the Sentinel Grove had. They were the top minds not just in their countries, but in all the world. This group could bring not just peace, but prosperity to Findalay. To accomplish this would mean one final, bloody, massive war which would result in the death of all the rulers on the continent.

Of course, at the time there was already a shaky peace between the nations of Findalay, but in this group’s mind it was only a matter of time before another war erupted. If they could have a hand in beginning the next war and influence its outcome, they may be able to keep the number of innocents harmed lower and focus the fight where it needed to be – amongst the ruling class.

This group called themselves The Servants, for they knew the double meaning would serve them well. It would appeal to Findalay’s leaders and make them appear subservient, but really, the organization considered itself The Servants of the people, whom they would serve by crushing the rulers of the continent.

War of the Crowns

How many lost their lives needlessly in the War of the Crowns?

The Servants went public as an international collective looking to aid the nations of Findalay. Their first act was one seemingly of generosity. They fashioned special crowns to afford the rulers of Findalay mental protections against mind reading, domination, and manipulation. The crowns were ornate and beautiful, featuring small pictures with defining moments of that particular ruler’s country’s history.

The catch was that the crowns also allowed a member of The Servants who knew a special command word to read the thoughts of, charm, and even dominate a ruler wearing a crown. The very attacks the crowns protected against could also be used against the wearer by The Servants. This, of course, was kept a secret amongst The Servants themselves.

With these gifts, The Servants offered themselves as free advisors to the rulers. The leaders accepted, for these were internationally renowned minds. For a time all the nations of Findalay prospered, but The Servants were never content to rule from behind the thrones of others. They knew they needed to get the ruling class out-of-the-way. Easier said than done – Bragonay and Aeranore had entire family lineages that would need to be wiped out, while Taliana and Marrial had large governing bodies made up of many individuals. All of these folks would need to fall in a way which was convincing to the people of Findalay, so the citizens would accept The Servants as their new rulers when they came to power. So, The Servants began what they thought would be the last war Findalay would ever need.

Things began small, the assassination of a few small-time political leaders to get the wars going. Then attempts on the lives of the higher politicians and soon a series of violent struggles began, many of which were covert attempts on the lives of the rulers. The military and bodyguards often got in the way of The Servants plan, but more than a few chancellors, senators, princes, princesses, and warlords met their end during this time.

There were plenty of battles too. If The Servants could remove the soldiers from the sides of the rulers, they would have better chances to assassinate rulers. So huge armies clashed in areas designed to keep civilian casualties low, but how many soldiers senselessly lost their lives?

The Servants’ biggest weakness was their impatience. They knew their plan would succeed, but they wanted to end the war sooner and put themselves in power. To pull this off their small group would need a bit of a membership increase. So they reached out to several worthy candidates, many of whom worked within The Arcane College. That’s where their plot unraveled. Many professors disagreed with the views of The Servants and had lost friends in the war. They infiltrated the group and exposed the plot. Many of The Servants were captured or killed. Some made it out though and went into hiding. The crowns they created still exist today, but no rulers wear them for fear of The Servants return.

The Servants Today

The Servants? Or just your everyday assassins?!?

Many believe The Servants are still in operation today, though what is truly theirs and what is copycat is difficult to tell. Often local newspapers feature anonymous opinion pieces written with scathing criticism of an official. These pieces are simply credited to The Servants. Sometimes a scandal will be exposed, a minor leader will be murdered or blackmailed, or a protest will take place – all led or perpetrated by an organization claiming to be The Servants. Whether or not these folks are The Servants is up for debate, but many believe the organization would never get involved with things on a local level. The Servants think big… total domination big.

One thing is certain to many – The Servants are still out there, plotting. Recently, several of Findalay’s most promising mages, diplomats, and inventors began disappearing. Could this be the work of The Servants? Perhaps they are recruiting members and going into hiding, waiting for the pieces of a grand puzzle to fall into place before making their next move. Or perhaps The Servants are removing intellectually powerful individuals they see as threats before launching a new plot. Perhaps a little of both of the above are true. Maybe The Servants have disbanded and these disappearing folk are starting a whole new chapter of the organization. There are also rumors The Servants have given up on Findalay and have set their sights on ruling Verda, which is where all these smart folks might be disappearing.

Whatever the case may be, there are those in the world who publicly support The Servants. They want to see peace and total governmental reformation come to Findalay. The intelligent should lead, not the popular or those with a birthright. Should The Servants rise again, they will have more support amongst the people than ever before.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Aeranore’s gnomes value the study of magical arts, history, and sciences above all others. Long ago they founded an institution in Aeranore where all gnomes could attend to receive an education in these areas of the highest pedigree. The Arcane College was meant just for Aeranore’s gnomes when it was founded, but now its presence and influence has spread.

Every major city in Findalay and Parian has a campus to which members of any race are welcome to apply. Now with various fields of study, The Arcane College has become the Canus A-List academic institution.

Fields of Study

Had to be done.

Retired adventurers, young academics, and everyone in-between can be found on the faculty of The Arcane College. If you’re at the top of your field, they want you, and they’ve got the hiring package to back it up. In addition to a healthy salary, professors are offered free room and board in spacious campus apartments, the ability to take free classes themselves, free travel to other campuses, and funding for expeditions and independent studies (provided The College also profits from these pursuits).

There are major fields of study for any who come to the college as a pupil, either to specialize or receive a well-rounded education. Some of the fields of study:

  • Arcane Magic
  • Forbidden Lore
  • Psionics
  • Physical Combat and Martial Strategy
  • Theatre
  • Music
  • History
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Law and Government
  • Nature Studies
  • Unusual Beast Lore
  • Cartography and Geography
  • Geology and Earth Science
  • Alchemical Sciences
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mathematics and Physics
  • Foreign Languages and International Relations

Goals of The Arcane College

Let’s check out that pyramid… uh ziggurat…. uh temple? Whatever, there could be loot inside!

The mission statement of The Arcane College states: “We establish this collegiate institution to uncover mysteries of the natural and magical world, whether forgotten, lost, or as yet unknown. Our professors will light the candle of students’ minds, which shall, in turn, bring a glorious flow of knowledge to all people in the dark.”

From that flowery, pretentious statement it seems The Arcane College was founded to teach, experiment, research, and explore. That may have been true centuries ago when the establishment was founded, but at some point during the institution’s rapid expansion, another goal was added – profit.

Yes, The Arcane College continues to teach, but their tuition prices are steep. One can get a loan from The Arcane College, but, as we all know, in the long run the student would end up paying even more. Scholarships are only granted to the most gifted potential students, and in turn, those students must work for The Arcane College for free for four years after graduation.

And yes, The Arcane College experiments, researches, and explores, but they only fund those endeavors which will grant them a return and then some on their investment. For PR reasons, the institution will occasionally take on a high-profile project or expedition from which they shall not profit directly. This is a calculated risk. The College bets the prestige associated with that particular project will generate enough donations to turn a seeming net loss into a profitable venture.

That being said, The Arcane College makes its money through discovery and exploration. They have many folk in Verda learning about new cultures and mapping out areas unexplored. They have even sent (often ill-fated) expeditions into The Damned Lands. The Arcane College funded research that has given rise to air ships, underground railways, and hasted cobblestones that speed travel throughout Canus. They have experimented with cheaper technologies and better medicines. When the kingdoms of Canus were truly in trouble, they have to rise up with the goodly folk, as they did during the War of the Crown.

The Arcane College is run by The Board of Arcane Directors, a group of gnome wizard professors, who are each in charge of running one of the campuses of The College.

Adventures with The Arcane College

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

The Arcane College provides many opportunities for PCs. They might be contracted to serve on an expedition, guard the transportation of The College’s goods and services, or be called upon to help face a greater threat. One of the Directors may hire the adventurers to investigate a murder on campus he or she is hoping to keep quiet or to spy on another Director who may be engaged in underhanded dealings. The Arcane College has several zoos full of exotic beasts, and adventurers can earn coin by capturing and turning over odd beasts to the institute. The more rare and dangerous an animal, the higher the pay.

The PCs might become professors and teach in the downtime between adventures, or pursue an independent study, expedition, or experiment of their own if they can convince the institution to give them a grant. Which The Arcane College may do after a lengthy review process and cost-benefit analysis.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!