University of Hulwar
The University of Hulwar was founded three hundred years after the fall of the Dragon Sun Empire and on the ruins of the old university. They waited this long because the returning people had better things to do first then re-opening an old university. But as they did the university quickly became the second-best place to learn advanced languages, magic and everything else including alchemy.
The teachers are renowend and the students mostly willingly subjects to their experiments and willing to learn everything they can get. The university is deadly, but the dangers out in the continent are even deadlier so students and teachers alike have the same in mind: getting the students on track and capable of defending themselves.
- 265 years old
- Nine Houses in rivalry
- teachers and students from all over the country
- three heads of school
- mostly funded by the royal house
The University of Hulwar is located in the north near the border to the northern realms which means sometimes they are blizzards and frost giants. Or Trolls and some Orc tribes which doesn't want to have to do with the so called "civilisation". It sits between two rivers and has an old fortress at the tip of it, oriented to the north.
The university is hugged by two rivers coming from the north and the south-west. There is only one main bridge to the south which spans the entire river in the south. It is made from old stones and looks like it was there since the beginning of time.
At the mainland there is a small village with approx. two- to threehundred people. They do their daily business with the university which means most of them are merchants or suppliers on wheat, all sort of herbs, clay, parchment, empty books (when a student is not doing it itself) and everything one needs for the daily business. There are even blacksmiths and tailers if you need one. But if you do not find the desired product you can find a merchant and pay them to get it. And yes, there is even a small brothel and a lot of apothecaries.
The architecture is a mix of the old Dragon Sun Empire architecture with gold and scales in mind and with the more sturdy and "cleaner" architecture of the people of Hulwar. The main tower for the nine heads of houses and the three heads of school is a slightly smaller version of the one in the palace and the other tower for the houses are significant smaller but having the same design.
- Rituals & Incantations
- Alchemy & Chemistry incl. Potions & Poisons
- Physics & Warfare
- Builders (household and stuff like sewing, pottery etc.)
- Architects (for the actual houses)
The houses are "just" your specialisation, you will learn everything else too like proper cooking, producing parchment and ink, leatherbinding for books, herbs, languages (you can choose up to three languages if your schedule permits it), medical training and so on. Even if one drops out of the university - for different reasons - the person is more than capable the tackle everyday life and can even get decents jobs just because of the reputation. If you can tell the tale and survive.
The dangers of being a magic-user (which includes the Vael), even at the university, are multifaceted. Everytime a magic-user draws energy out of their body or from the energy in the world they open up a connection. And with every connection opened and closed you are endangering yourself.
"Where do we connect to? Well, a good question and one for the scholars. We have no idea and we assume that it is a similar place to whatever lies down at the bottom of the Spiral. Maybe you get slayed, devoured, flailed, torn open or just sucked into whatever is lurking behind the curtain. So be ready to defend yourself anytime you invoke magic."
For the university there are four lines of defenses: the mainland with magical traps and statues and barriers; the bride and the fortress with the outer borders of the towers; the inner circle around the main plaza and the Sanctum Hall which is the hall of the main tower.
Every line of defense has its own contraptions, workings and surprises. Some are not doing anything right away and work slowly - which means afflicting spontaneous necrosis to your body - and others work on the instant like throwing fireballs and lightning directly at their target.
But this are just the defenses for worldly intruders. Against the things behind the curtain - some say "veil" to it - there are mostly trap rituals and bannisters to hold off everything which might lurk into the university and trap it where it stands so the teachers can get rid of it.
Nearly every teacher at the university is a strong magician which can decimate entire armies if needed and hold back a lot of otherworldly beings. They have a huge potential which can led to a barrage of spells and incantations, even stronger ones. The three heads of the university are just like that but a bit stronger. All three are holding up most of the binding spells just with their presence.
The students come from all over the continent if they want to. They only should have gotten a bit of basic education like reading/writing, basic cooking and hygiene. Normally it doesn't matter if you have money, if you have magic potential you should get teached so you can defend yourself, the nations, Koria and maybe even the king and the queen. The university is not entirely dedicated to humans, there are also Elves, Dwarves, Garladans and some Underlings.
The Common Wars are a more or less deadly competition between the nine houses of the university. It is not that there are points to win or favours to gain from the teachers or the three headmasters, it is a battle to eliminate the competition. The teachers know about it and try to interfere whenever possible, but can't do much about it.
Expulsion is the penalty for murdering a fellow student and so every student who holds a grudge develops a certain technique, a spell, a knife, a ritual or other things with the sole purpose of murder in mind. Most of the things come in handy after graduation and recieve a certain image to it, but next to no one knows which were used to murder someone in the early days.
In the Common Wars most of the students create bondings, be it allies, deadly foes or lifelong friends. Some of them are now lovers, some are master and slave and some are bound to each other by vows or blood. And some are all of it.
The University of Hulwar was founded 300 years after the founding of Hulwar itself. The nation needed a stable funding first and then the people of the land got back to proper & advanced education. The old university from the Dragon Sun Empire was used as a shell and bit by bit the rest of the now established university was created around and on top of it. There are still old stairwells hidden inside the walls or behind locked doors. Most of them lead into empty corridors of stone, iron and gold, others end right above a sinkhole and others... well, do not follow the light, okay?
It was a wild time. The headmaster (there was only one headmaster once) had trouble to find teachers who were willing to teach their practices and their secrets. Most of the building at this time was the old Dragon Sun empire university - which name was lost to time because every resources referenced to "the university" - which is now more or less buried under the stone, marble and iron of the new university.
At first they had the problem of old magic and other beings still alive in the corridors of gold, so they sealed them away with heavy Ritual of Locks and other incantations and rituals so that nothing can come out and eat the innocent students. Or ravish them. Rip them apart. Or students going into the depths of the old university to do things like forbidden experiments, dark sorcery or just practice undisturbed love-making.
"I am a teacher for over a decade now. I saw everything including a shredder-mouth tearing a whole class apart. But nothing is nastier and is getting more on our nerves as horny students who wants to avoid being seen or heard. They are the worst. Just do it in your dorm!"
The second headmaster had other problems then being short on teachers. At first he had to extinguish some dark sorcerer who meddled with even darker magics and demons and then he got himself sucked into the dark arts by a now broken and lost staff. In his final battle, only sixty years after the founding of the university, he vanished in a shockwave of anger, fear, pain and unbound magic, destroying the main tower and a lot of laboratories.
After this incident the funders of the university demanded better control over the teachers and headmaster, so the royal couple installed a three-head-system: three headmaster, so no one can overthrow the other and in each voting there has to be at least two voices to tip the scales to one side or the other.
"One is a dictator. Two can divide. But three... three equals balance."