Sequestered College
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The Sequestered College is a fraternity dedicated to the advancement of the arcane arts active in the Flannish Cities region. Promising students of magic at the colleges and universities of the region are recruited with the promise of stipends and connections to the society's considerable Old Boys' network. They enter as Apprentices and are mentored by the Masters of the society. After they finish their studies and become professionals, they are elevated to the rank of Journeymen, who make up the bulk of the society and are expected to pay the membership fees which make up much of the budget of the College (although the society also has several large trust funds created by various inheritances which help finance its activities). The most skilled mages are eventually raised to the status of Masters, whose research into new magical knowledge is generously funded by the College - many no longer pursue a normal job, although those who do are often famous lecturers at various universities (which helps them find promising new Apprentices).

The reclusive Grand Masters of the Sequestered College are rarely encountered by the lower ranks. Always 13 in number, they are extremely powerful mages and often believed to possess the secret of immortality. Only rarely is a Master invited to join their number, and the precise qualifications for this position are not clear - while skill and power do seem to matter, often younger Masters are chosen over their more experienced elder peers, and a reputation for eccentricity and fanatical pursuit of magical knowledge seem to matter as well. Those who are invited and accept the invitation will travel to a mansion near the city of Hogenrood. What happens there is never spoken about before the lower ranks, but it is known that "a Master enters, and a Grand Master leaves". The ceremony is believed to be as traumatic as it is empowering, as the new Grand Masters are never quite the same afterwards.

The truth is that the Grand Masters are immortal, in a way - they have learned to bind their souls to phylacteries, not unlike those of a lich, and then move their souls into new bodies. During the "initiation ceremony", a Grand Master whose body is close to failing will engage in a magical contest of wills with the would-be initiate - and if he wins, the initiate dies and the soul in his body is replaced by that of the Grand Master. If the _initiate_ wins the battle - a rare, but not unknown event - the former Grand Master dies and the soul of the initiate is bound to the phylactery. He is then welcomed as the replacement for the old Grand Master, as he is clearly worthy of the position.

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

This was inspired by a vignette in GURPS Magic.

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