Academy of Arcanology, Harbotha Organization in Ulskandar | World Anvil

Academy of Arcanology, Harbotha

A centre of pilgrimage for those who believe themselves to have but a kernel of arcane potential, where they hope they will be given the key to fame and fortune. If I may offer a word of caution, the Dragonborn Masters of the  Academy only invest serious time training those in the arcane arts who truly show outstanding promise, with the rest of their students being limited to learning spells and abilities focused around the mundane, mostly cleaning if my memory serves me correctly….
Extract from Maximilian Hoherberg von Zottehal’s History of the Known World   As the only permanent school of magic in Turoza, that admits non-Dragonborn pupils, Harbotha's Academy of Arcanology sees hundreds of potential pupils from across the continent, and occasionally beyond arriving each year to try and pass the notoriously difficult entrance examination, so that they can be trained in the use of Magic. For the small percentage of pupils that are accepted each year, the road to becoming a full-blown Wizard is a long and complex one, with many of those that are accepted to study there never making it beyond the level of a novice. However, if the Arcane Masters of the Academy see great potential in a student, they will invest a huge amount of resource into them, to ensure that they become potent wielders of the arcane arts.


The head of Harbotha's Academy of Arcanology is the Provost, who like the heads of all of Zhisbon's other academies of arcanology is selected directly by the Elder’s Council. Even though the Academy of Arcanology in Harbotha is not considered to be the most eminent of Zhisbon’s Academies, the position of its Provost is considered to be one of the most strategically and diplomatically important, as the Academy in Harbotha is the only one that non-Dragonborns can attend, meaning it is one of the main draws for citizens of other nations to Zhisbon.   Below the Provost are the body of Arcane Masters that make up the teaching faculty of the institution. The Dragonborn that have been appointed as Arcane Masters are all powerful magic users in their own right, with each of them specialising in a particular area of magic that they then study and attempt to teach to those that enrol. As the Academy’s rules state that one must be an adept and practiced user of magic to have a full teaching position, there are no more junior members of faculty below the Arcane Masters. Instead, Arcane Masters will enlist their best pupils to help teach their classes, repeating the adage that ‘one of the best ways to learn is to teach oneself’.   In addition, the Academy has a large number of administrative and serving staff, employed to see to the day to day running of the Academy, its buildings and to ensure that its faculty and its students are cared and catered for. For many of the most mundane, or labour intensive tasks, constructs are used to save time and effort.

Public Agenda

The official agenda of the Academy of Arcanology, Harbotha is the education in the arcane arts of all those that are deemed worthy enough to be entrusted with such knowledge, regardless of their origins, and this agenda has by and large been adhered to by all of the Provosts that have presided over the institution.   In addition, Harbotha’s Academy is seen as a key diplomatic tool by Zhisbon's Council of Elders, partly because it is a place where a positive impression of the nation can be given to those that are educated there, and also because there is always potential for important and influential people from Turoza’s other nations to be educated there, or to send members of their families there to be educated. For example, the current Emir of Taqwal, Hortènsia Tarradel was educated for a time at the Academy, and this has led to an improvement in the relations between the two nations, now that she has ascended to the throne of the Emirate.


All of the buildings that make up the Academy’s campus in the north-western area of Harbotha were built specifically for and are owned by the Academy itself. This campus not only includes numerous laboratories and practice areas, alongside teaching and lecture rooms, but also includes a well-stocked library of scrolls and arcane publications, a small museum collection of magical curios, the luxurious residences of the Provost and the Arcane Masters, and the much more utilitarian dormitories that provide accommodation for the student population. Unlike the other Academies in Zhisbon, the Academy in Harbotha is almost exclusively a teaching institution, and does not incorporate the vast workshop spaces dedicated to the production of magical items that are typical of the other academies.


The Academy has no living troops or military to protect its buildings and the knowledge that is kept within, but instead relies on an intricate system of traps and magical security features that have been placed around the most sensitive areas of the Academy and it also maintains a strong force of constructs, mostly in the form of Golems to act as a physical security and defence force. In addition, as all of those who live and work within the Academy are either novice or experienced magic users, they are all very much capable of defending themselves and their institution if push comes to shove.
Education, Magic
Parent Organization

Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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