|The Royal University of Drache
|The Royal Library
The Royal University in Drache is one of two in the former kingdom of Arangoth, with the other being the Royal University in Hornath ul-Marfed in the former Crownlands of Leptatarna to the north. The universities were founded by King Anskar in the year 132 to help train civil servants, military officers, mages, and Menxvanic priests for service to the Crown. Both universities have expanded considerably in the years since their twin founding, both physically and in terms of the courses of study offered. The university in Drache was originally located in the city of Millabratel, but moved to the new capital in Drache years ago to obtain much needed room for expansion.
Schools of Study
The Royal University is divided into a number of different schools, each teaching a different subject area. The schools are largely independent of one another, and some even rival one another when their subject matter overlaps in places. Most students attend courses in several schools, though it is possible to receive a degree without taking any classes outside of the school a particular student may be enrolled in.
The School of Arcane Studies encompasses the disciplines of magic, alchemy, and psionics, as well as related disciplines such as Thaumaturgy (the philosophy and theory of the nature of magic and how it operates), and studies of plants, animals, and the natural world insofar as they are useful in the pursuit of greater understanding of magic.
Since the study of magic is more time consuming than many other disciplines, students only attend one class on a given day. Courses meet either two or three days per week, so most students only take two or three classes per term. An instructor can use the day as he or she sees fit, and may lecture, moderate disputations between students, perform experiments in one of the school's laboratories, assign research in the Royal Library, give students time to practice a new spell learned, and so forth.
While there are certain core courses that all students must complete (or demonstrate sufficient knowledge to the faculty to merit an exemption), as students become more proficient with magic, they can arrange for one-on-one instruction from a faculty member in a specific discipline of interest. As the university is the property of the government of Transdariania, it is constrained by the laws of the kingdom, and only offers limited instruction in the necromantic disciplines. Similarly, the professors specializing in conjurations do not provide instruction in summoning infernal creatures or making pacts with demons.
While the university was located in Millabratel, this school was completely dominated by Menxvanic clergy and functioned as a seminary for training Menxvanic priests. While Menxvanists still make up a majority of the school's faculty and students, professors representing other faiths have been added to the faculty since the move to Drache. This has naturally led to some very spirited debates among students and faculty of the school in recent years.
The School of Fine Arts was originally founded to turn the children of the nobility into ladies and gentlemen of quality and refinement. While it has attracted more students interested in the arts for their own sake in recent years, it still serves this primary function. The school offers courses in sculpture, painting, music, poetry, drama, dancing, dueling, etiquette, grammar and literature, and art history and appreciation.
History and Law
The School of History and Law was one of the first schools created at the Royal University, designed to train aspiring civil servants. It offers courses in history, Transdarianian law, political science, oratory, and philosophy--particularly logic, ethics, and other disciplines of use to advocates and Magistrates. The School of History and Law conducts the Advocacy and Magistracy exams, which qualify individuals to practice law as an advocate or a Magistrate, respectively.
The School of Mathematics is one of the oldest at the university, earning a very reputable standing regionally as one of the principal schools in the philosophy of mathematics. Studies at this school also delve heavily into physics, and thus at times it clashes with the School of Observable Sciences.
The School of Military Science is an academy that assists in producing officers for the Transdarianian Army, mostly consisting of promising vassals of nobility, hereditary knights or soldiers seeking employment or status as retainers for the various nobility in the region. It also was used to train officers for the Royal Navy of Arangoth in years past, a program that was ultimately curtailed and ended under the Crown's rule, only to be reinstated after the Arangothian Civil War to train officers for the newly minted Navy of Transdariania after the wars end. Students of this school receive training in arms, as well as instruction in battlefield tactics, logistics, and how to train recruits and maintain discipline on campaign.
The School of Observable Sciences is one of the newer schools of the university, and is devoted to the investigation of the natural world. Courses of study include zoology, botany, geology, astronomy, mechanics, and non-magical alchemy. There is a degree of rivalry between this school and the schools of Arcane Studies and Mathematics because their courses of study overlap in many areas; it is for the most part polite, if rather one-sided.
Structure and Organization
The head of the university is the Chancellor, who is appointed by the Sithire of Transdariania. The Chancellor in turn appoints a Provost to administrate each particular school. Each school's faculty selects one of their number to act as their head, though each school has a different name for this position; for example, the head of the School of History and Law is known as the Grand Loreknower, while the head of the School of Arcane Studies is called the Lord Archmage. The heads of the various schools form the Chancellor's advisory board, and they also nominate candidates when it becomes necessary to appoint a new Chancellor.
The crown jewel of the Royal University in Drache is the Royal Library, an absolutely immense repository of information. Ranking among the largest libraries in the known world, the Royal Library contains books on virtually every subject imaginable, including a heavily guarded collection of magical tomes. In addition, parts of the library also serve as an art gallery and museum, displaying historical artifacts and works of art. Access to the Royal Library is free to students, faculty, and Officials; others pay a modest daily fee to peruse the collection. Given Drache's propensity for crime and natural disasters, the School of Arcane Studies has expended considerable effort in protecting the library's collection from fire, flood, and theft--some would say to excess. The Royal Library is always expanding its holdings, and it has a dedicated staff of scribes copying books that could not be purchased outright.
In addition to the library and academic buildings, the university's campus also includes several dormitory buildings. Many of the University's students take up residence in these buildings, but a fair number also reside in the various inns and boarding houses that have sprung up in close proximity to the university since its move to Drache. Male and female students reside in separate buildings, and there are strict and detailed rules concerning visitations among students of opposite sexes after curfew.