Universities of Leng

Though Leng is by no means an uneducated land, a university is nonetheless a rare and impressive sight. Powerful storehouses of knowledge and institutions with great political sway in their own right, any city that hosts a university is guaranteed to become a hub of scholars, sages and learned men of all kinds. The oldest such institution in Leng is the University of Zygar, established by King Alphonsus Whitehawk of Arelon. The earliest universities were places of education in medicine, law and theology, attended and taught by priests and scholars. It was with the so-called magical revolution, though, that they truly ascended to the status they hold today. As storehouses of arcane knowledge, membership to a university is practically essential to any mage who is serious about furthering magical research. As there are few universities to begin with, there is little standardisation between them, and each is very different.

Many of the institutions given below offer courses; if it is needed to determine what courses are available to enlist upon at any given time, first determine how many courses are currently open. Then refer to table 61 in the DMG for the frequency of each discipline, including Spellcraft at 5% to 30% depending on the University. Use Table 61 to determine the subject area of each of the currently available courses by rolling randomly (note that without Spellcraft, there is a total of 590% on Table 61). Decide the duration and cost of each course, then make the subject matter more specific - the shorter the course, the more specific. If a course has a NWP parallel (or a new NWP can be easily devised) and lasts at least 3 months, it may improve that NWP. Otherwise it will confer no direct mechanical benefit if completed, but the player should make a note that they have completed the course and will have some specific knowledge about the subject matter.

University of Solamnus

An exclusive Vintish institution that prides itself on its massive library, the University of Solamnus is well-known for its large collection of nonmagical texts, though it has a sizable population of magic-users nonetheless. The institution is well-known to take its secrecy and security very carefully, and its walled grounds within the city are constantly patrolled by private guards; none who do not possess a Writ of Admission to the University may enter, and getting one is not always easy. As a result of this, the streets in the neighbourhood of the University are full of arcanists, scholars and philosophers. Bookbinders and arcane emporiums line the streets, and those with business at the University stay in the inns and taverns. These same establishments thus become a forum for scholarly debate and meetings - those seeking a wise man or a wizard who are unable to secure access to the University itself are likely to come to this district to seek them.

Entry to the University's grounds is given only with a Writ of Admission, but these are not given away freely. Only those who will be a benefit to the University will be granted such a document; those with great prestige or well-known names can obtain membership on these grounds. Otherwise, the donation of gold or a valuable text to the University library will often be enough to secure access. Keen scholars publishing treatises of their own research will also often be offered membership to the University, for it does not hurt to add their knowledge to the wisdom of the institution. Membership grants several benefits; firstly, members may come and go as they please, allowing them access to the meeting halls and dining rooms of the Great Manse, where esteemed scholars meet and discuss lofty matters.

Membership also grants access to the famed Library of Solamnus - a member of the University may freely enter the Lower Halls, where the majority of texts, particularly those the University has multiple copies of, are kept. They are also granted access to the Archives, which are maintained in cooperation with the government of Vingaard and where many records and histories may be found. The Upper Halls, where rarer and more singular tomes are located (along with the majority of the University's arcane works), are restricted to members, but access is granted if they pay a fee of 3 gold pieces per day. There is one part of the library beyond this, though, that even membership does not grant access to - the Forbidden Chambers. Even for members of the University, access to these rooms is barred without the express permission of the University's chancellor. It is here that the University keeps spellbooks and tomes of dangerous ritual magic, books of secret knowledge and rare volumes. The Chambers contain the true wealth of the University - needless to say, they are protected by elite guards and powerful magic.

Besides the ability to meet with those of a scholarly bent and access the libraries, membership of the University has one other great benefit; the ability to study under an esteemed sage. Besides the regular membership of the University, there are a number of reputable and well-known learned men who make up the permanent staff of the University, and are known as Magisters. They are provided free room and board by the University, have nearly unfettered access to the libraries, and their research is often funded by the University. Each of these are considered Sages as per the DMG, and though the Magisters of the University spend much of their time pursuing their own research, on occasion they will teach courses related to their discipline. These courses can be a single lesson or run for as long as three years taught by several Magisters. Fees can run from as little as 100 gp to as much as 10,000. They impart specialised and valuable knowledge and give valuable learning to those who attend - a player character who is willing to dedicate the time and money to attend will certainly gain valuable knowledge in some field, and in many cases this will come in the mechanical form of a full or partial NWP (or an improvement to an existing NWP). In the case of longer courses (those lasting one year or more), those that complete the course will be awarded a Degree of Competence, which are highly valued and grant a great deal of credibility to those who hold them. At any given time there will be 1d6 courses open to enrol upon.

Access to the Library and to education under a Magister are the two main advantages of the University, but they are by no means the only facilities. The main building contains an entire level of offices and private quarters, which are inhabited by the Magisters of the University. There is also a level that consists of laboratories, workshops and lecture halls; these are mostly for use by the Magisters, but they are rarely all in use and regular scholars can use them with the permission of the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor. Lastly, the ground floor contains many meeting places and open areas, as well as a small inn by the name of Azuth's Cradle - these areas are usually full of students and scholars.

The College of Learned Magi