The Concept

How and why


One central question with regards to the College is; what is the concept? Why does it exist and what does it do? I will try to give my answers to these questions below.

Purpose

The 'official' purpose of the College is to serve as an academic institution, to educate young people so that they may, in turn, serve their country well. This is also done, students at the College excel at academic disciplines and the art of magic, and in most cases turn out to be very productive members of society.

Ulterior motives

There are deeper, more hidden, motives though. The Collegium is aware of these, as are a number of the faculty, but not necessarily all of them. The true goal of the College is to help fortify Jaiman against the inevitable onslaught of the Unlife. College agents actively seek out future rulers and men of power - be it present or future - all over Jaiman to get them as students at the College. It is thought, with good reason, that rulers that have studied at the College are much better able to withstand the agents of Unlife than those that have not.

Combatting the Unlife

The College also has some signifigance as an active counter-Unlife force, in that they carry out guerilla-like raids against Unlife enclaves from time to time. At these times, a strike force consisting of College faculty, graduated students and possibly current students, supported by a number of guards and 'Gryphons', takes direct action to eliminate agents of the Unlife. This is not generally known, if it was, several Heralds of Darkness and Messengers would probably be knocking on the gates. Or knocking them down, more likely.

Secrecy

For reasons mentioned above, the existence, location and activities of the College need to remain a guarded secret. The College will never accept students that are deemed untrustworthy, and all students are made to understand the need for secrecy. Among those who do know of the existence of the College, the most they are likely to know about the actual location is 'somewhere north of Rhakhaan'. You have difficulty finding the College unless someone wants you to. Even magical means of locating it are effectively combatted by the Ilarisir (master scrying orb) and the Gryphon Crown at the College.

This all has resulted in the Gryphon College entering the realm of popular myth. The College is mentioned in many tales and songs as a utopian and hidden place of learning. And though many have heard the name, exceedingly few have reason to believe it actually exists. Even the most powerful servants of the Unlife are kept in the dark (no pun intended) about its existence.

Recruiting

So, if it is so secret, how does it attract new students? That's a good question, and it would be almost impossible if it were not for the many agents they have travelling the lands. Now, very few of these agents are actually full-time travelling recruiters. Rather, they are former students that have been asked to keep on the look out for possible gifted youngsters and contact the College if they find someone.

Exceptionally gifted boys and girls are approached, either by the one who discovered them or by someone sent from the College, and a lot of time is spent building up trust. This can take several years, and the College agent isn't necessarily present all of the time. Think of Gandalf's sporadic visits to Bilbo as an example. Once the youngster's trust has been gained, and the College agent finds he trusts the new student, the offer is made.

It may also be that a former student already knows someone who might be suitable for the College. A relative, a close friend, a pupil, whatever. In this case, trust may already be present and the process isn't as lengthy.

The final important source of recruits are people of power. Or, more correctly, people of future power. Former students will in some cases seek out the royal families or local aristocrats and offer their services as tutors and/or court magicians. From this position, they can monitor and approach the ruling class' children and gain a very good and useful overview of the situation. Princes and other heirs to power are evaluated for suitability, and some are approached with an offer to study at the College. These people may not be as gifted as those in the above paragraphs, their positions of power is what gains them entry into the College.

In all the above cases, a very thorough screening takes place to make sure the future student is a trustworthy, untainted, goody-goody person. This is accomplished by a combination of interviews. mental scanning spells and other means.


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Last modified: Thu May 15 02:12:44 DST 1997