The Houses

When a new student enters the University, a rigorous and not-at-all arbitrary procedure places them into one of the five great houses. Rumours suggest this may be influenced by personality, propensity for heroism or villainy, your personal lineage, the phase of the moon…

In any case, for every Chimera who just knew where he was going as soon as he applied, there's a Unicorn who can't understand why she's not a Mandrake. All are made welcome in their new House, though, and by the end of the first year students have normally come to see their House as a second home.

Each house provides dormitories, a lounge to relax and hold social events in, and a House Master and associated other teachers to listen to worries, provide encouragement, and deal with miscreants.

Chimera House

Chimera house has a reputation for excellence. Excellence and over-zealous experimentation. The house has produced some of the greatest minds of the past few decades and past Chimera house students are to this day producing ground breaking medical and physic advances.

From the second year onwards the students are given increased access to the labs, and are encouraged to make use of them outside of main school hours. As a result it is not uncommon to see, late at night, plumes of smoke rising into the air and the stilted cries of whatever unfortunate creation may have resulted from their studies.

House Master

Dr Fredrich Tiffin, expert in the breeding of unusual animals and acclaimed bio-astrologer. At an early age he and his twin brother Gustaf were recognised for their talent and both graduated from this very institution at the age of 13. Dr Fredrich's career took a slight knock when his brother attempted to blackmail the city with his patented Comet attractor. After a great deal of investigation Dr Fredrich was eventually found innocent of any involvement in his brothers crimes, but the disgrace never really left him, and he has spent his remaining years in the university quietly teaching “Morality, and its application to the Magical Sciences” ever since.

Kirin House

Kirin house is famous for turning out graduates who go on to high position within the politics of the city and the surrounding kingdoms. Many disputes between the Tyrant and his neighbouring rulers have been solved over a glass of port reminiscing about happy days in Kirin house. Its students have a reputation for political drive and activism, as well as being counted among the founders of most of the clubs and societies that spring up around the University. Never start an argument with a Kirin student, unless it's one you're willing to lose.

House Master

Professor Andrew Carpenter, formerly known as (variously, and not limited to) “The Shadow”, “The Crimson Flash”,” The Most Illustrious Eternal Duke” and “Wanted: Dead or Alive”

Professor Carpenter has lead, to say the least, an interesting life. Prodigiously skilled in illusory magic, and with a thirst for power and adventure, the young Carpenter quickly disappeared after graduating from the College, leaving behind a position in the family business for which he had been groomed. A few years later, tales started to emerge of a dashing highwayman/revolutionary/popular hero operating in the kingdom of Holther, and a few years after that, with events taking their natural course, a beaming Carpenter was borne into the palace of the handily deposed despot upon the arms of a rapturous populace, and proclaimed a new government of freedom and equality. As he proudly states in the history lectures he now runs, it took him five months and thirteen days from that moment to get himself made absolute ruler of the nation, and he managed to last a whole four years before he was finally, in turn, overthrown and cast into the deepest dungeon of his own castle.

Naturally, he had installed a secret escape tunnel in said dungeon, and was a fugitive before the new government had even gotten around to working out where the money was kept (primarily in several buried chests whose location was known only to Carpenter, since you ask), and led the new authorities on a merry cycle of re-capture and improbable escape for a few months, before growing bored and running back to his Alma Mater. With the mediation of the college authorities, Carpenter hashed out a deal with the new rulers of Holther: in exchange for being allowed to live out the rest of his days as a professor at the college, he would reveal the location of several caches of coin, and swear a magical oath to never involve himself in the governance of a country ever again.

Professor Carpenter has been true to his promise, and now is now a popular and enthusiastic lecturer in both Anthropology and Magical History. He also hosts frequent seminars, and is an accomplished after dinner speaker, whose repertoire ranges from “Artistic Economic Mismanagement: Running a Country on Lies and False Hope” to “Weasel Wording of Magical Oaths: an Utter Bastard's Guide”. His office in the history department is rumoured to contain one of the best private wine collections in the college, as well as a variety of exciting keepsakes from his time as a dashing highwayman.

Leviathan House

Leviathan House is the home of the competitive and the athletic, those who cannot stand to appear second best. Despite its friendly atmosphere, the students are soon put through their paces. From early morning runs, to being forced to do extra work, the life of a student of Leviathan House is a strenuous one. Eventually most students fall into one of the following three categories: The ridiculously eager, who give there all in everything and actually enjoy the constant arduous tasks, those who have found clever ways to avoid work, and the students in between, who live under constant pressure.

Due to the amount of effort they put into everything, you would expect Leviathan House to be unmatched in House points. However, due to the simply insane amount of effort constantly demanded of them, at least once per term a student snaps and goes on a rampage, being cheered on by the other Houses.

House Master

Professor John Hunter. Oh, what words can describe this paragon of manliness, this pinnacle of determination. The dragon-slayer, the troll-killer, hero of the people. They say he cannot die, his sheer will to live is to great. Recently he has declared a short break from his life of adventuring, and become the head of Leviathan House. It is rumoured that he is searching the College for something, or someone. Regardless of his reasons, he is here for now, and has formed a strong link with Leviathan house, due to it’s competitive nature. Professor Hunter has worked closely with both the School of Battle Magic, demonstrating the art of duelling, and also the Faculty of Vitamancy. The Professor has many wounds and scars caused by powerful and rare magic, and analysis of these has allowed the Department of Healing and Restorative Magics to learn a great deal. Professor Hunter is most often seen leading the early morning runs about the College.

Mandrake House

Mandrake House, named after the well-known screaming plant, was originally created with a great focus on herbology following the Shambling Mound Incursion 700 years ago. With the somewhat exotic and often narcotic properties of occult vegetation, however, this house soon picked up a reputation for eccentricity. As the University expanded, Mandrake House’s free-thinking bent enabled it to dominate the campus’ artistic endeavors, and famous alumni such as Christobel Iselsi and Thantomas the Communicatonator have shaped the culture of the City and its wider environs.

Since its creation, Mandrake house has always been seen as something of a dumping ground for staff members too erratic to be assigned to one of the more prestigious houses. This has led to an environment where senior students keep a close eye on younger ones and watch out for them, because no-one else is going to. This leads to a convivial atmosphere between the years, continuing past uni to create a wide network of contacts that will help a Mandrake graduate find friends wherever they go. You can count on a Mandrake to be friendly, if unreliable, and always know where to go to have a good time.

House Master

The Head of House, Professor Arabella MacMillan, spends very little time at the University. Her research into sapient magical races sends her far across the world, but whether she’s swimming with the fire ducks of Trake or climbing with the Hive-Mantids of the Emerald Forests, she always somehow manages to worm her way into their cultures, so that by the time she leaves she’s treated as one of them. The anthropology course at the university is her particular obsession, and she always brings with her a strong focus on how to recognise points of similarity between cultures (protection of family and friends, terratoriality, and so on), and how to identify the core reasons for the differences (such as the moon driving lycanthropes into a frenzy, or a baby’s singing being agonisingfor the Hive-Mantids). Graduates of her course are thus well-prepared for experiencing first contact with new cultures and races without inadvertedly offending them and starting wars.

Professor MacMillan herself is a stocky, greying woman in her late 40s. Though some scars on her face tell of times when those she encountered didn’t take kindly to her, she is warm and genial to her students and any Mandrakes she meets.

Unicorn House

By far the most prestigious of houses (at least by their own reckoning) this house bears the symbol of the majestic and powerful, the symbol of royalty worldwide. Many Unicorn alumni are often rather shocked and offended that it's the horse with a stabbing implement permanently bonded to its head that somehow became the mascot for all things cuddly in popular culture. Undaunted the pink and blue banner of Unicorn house pride has decorated graduates for years.

This house has a reputation for being one of the most strict with an environment almost as mentally taxing as Leviathan house. Not a single graduate has failed to become a high ranking official, noble, or historical figure. However, this may because Unicorn house has a terrible habit of disowning and expelling more students than the other four houses combined.

House Master

The Right Honorable Sir Wilfred Adolfus Ichabod Nattleby, esquire (called Swain by the student body, but never in his presence), is a man of such amazing breeding his blood has literally turned blue (a phenomenon whose mechanations are not completely understood). There are few among the royalty and aristocracy of the world with whom he cannot claim at least distant kinsmanship. For this reason he is amazingly well connected and it is for a chance to benefit from those connections that all members of Unicorn House strive. The historical connection between Swain's family and Unicorn house are obscured by the tides of history (though Swain himself is said to have a complete record of all historical events relating to his lineage far predating even the University) but it is safe to say that he is descended from a very long line of Unicorn house alums. It is the strict breeding practices of his family that have made the house what it is today. Few amongst the students, even third years from Unicorn house, know much about him personally. Just about all the interaction anyone has ever had are his impromptu lectures (mandatory for Unicorn house members) about such bizarre subjects as “Etiquette practices of the ancient civilization of Spang” (on which he is quoted “2000 miles and four centuries is no excuse for bad manners!”). He is a very prim fellow, always in formal dress, and never seen about after 9 pm.

houses.txt · Last modified: 2011/05/03 15:40 by jamesi
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