Purpose / Function
Store the accumulated knowledge of the old world, propagate learning, train the Magi class, foster enlightenment and channel the use of magic for the betterment of the world.
The Academy was at first just the Grand Library of whatever city existed before Ereldur. As lore was aggregated within the city, a class of scholars naturally emerged and sought to exchange its knowledge. So they became teachers and took students, adding classrooms to the building. More classrooms were added as specialties came up. Once the new mages became proficient, the academy expansion became more mystical. Spatial alterations have kept it small despite how much expansion occurs on the inside. At some point the school was moved to the top of a nearby mountain overlooking the city, almost literally pushed somewhere else by magic.
Constructed of the white marble that was popular in the old world, what was once the Great Library is barely recognizable. Mostly converted into what is now the tall and spacious main lobby of the schools. Classrooms were added that flanked the building and became stacked as stories were added. Once it became an Academy, offices were added on an upper story, and facilities such as a cafeteria and bath houses. The building became steeped in magic, and seems to grow more on the inside than the outside. At some point, they stopped building doors and hallways, using portals and teleporters instead. Some rooms are suspected to not even be a part of the building at all. As it grew in status and influence, it transitioned from a purely practical place of learning to an exotic locale. Balconies, courtyards, gardens, even a small stadium were added. The school being moved to an empty slab of mountain top enabled greater construction, giving it a fantastic castle like appearance on the top of a peak. Tall astronomy towers were added for divination. A wide and expansive botanical garden was added to the inner courtyard, magically sustained with poorly understood old world mana and tech. It's a holy grail of alchemists and herbologists, containing many rare and mundane flora and fauna.
As the Cataclysm claimed the old world, leading Ereldur (for whom the city is named) to collect as much of the lore of the old world within the great library in the old city. Ash and dust clouded the skies and blighted the land, economic and societal collapse ensued. The old empire simply ceased existing and its secrets were lost, save for whatever remnants of the ruins that now serve as their tombs and the collection in the library. Books, scrolls, relics, artifacts, art and tech from the old world was stored in its halls. Those who remembered the old world passed on quickly and the city that housed the library retreated inward with the caution of its ruling gentry. The study of the lore within the library became a fascination for scholars in the city, and a class of intelectuals emerged who were versed in it. The collection of knowledge was closely linked to the study of magic, as the old world was an advanced culture steeped in mysticism. The library became a sort of school, with scholars teaching other scholars and learning together, all of them students. This society of learning evolved into a formalized school, with the most senior scholars becoming professors. Students typically settled in the city and kept their secrets with them, until the world began to recover and seeking the old wisdom became an interest. Aspiring students came from all over the continent, seeking entrance to the school. Which was almost a pilgrimage due to the difficulty in even reaching the city and the xenophobia of the ruling class. As students came and went, courses in old world study and mana were developed. Graduates from the new school took their learning back to their homes, reintroducing magic and culture to the ruined world. Graduates of the school became valued members of their societies, and a demand developed for scholars of Ereldur in courts, schools and guilds. Secrets and powers were uncovered and the school grew with it. As the cericulem expanded and revised, the school seemed to do so with it. Alterations were made, from simple expansion of the campus and building to the alteration of its very structure on amagical level. Culminating with its moving to a scenic mountain to assuage the isolationist rulers, which itself became a district of the city. The name officially became the Academia Arcana after many reforms, and they adopted a hierchy headed by an Archmage. The school came to dominate the city, its influence reaching every aspect of the city as most citizens are in some way affiliated with the powerful school.