Curse of the Crimson Throne 5E
Although it stands within Citadel Crest, the Acadamae does not belong to the ward. Faculty and students of the college live within its imposing walls and outsiders may enter only when they come with a purpose, such as delivering food or performing maintenance, or during the Breaching Festival.
The only people allowed to live within the Acadamae either teach at or attend the college. Instructors live in apartment suites within the walls for free, while the rent for students’ tenement flats and studios are included in their already expensive tuition. Prestigious and highly esteemed, the famed Acadamae attracts students from as far away as distant Geb, and even—to the annoyance of the far-more ancient colleges there—Cheliax. The Acadamae teaches all eight schools of magic, but its primary focus lies in conjuration. Regardless of an apprentice’s specialization (the Acadamae only teaches specialists) every student at the college must pass a grueling exam in conjuration in order to graduate. Thus, the college does not allow its students to forsake learning of conjuration. Rumors speak of those attempting to quit the school becoming test subjects for students of necromancy, but to date no one has verified these stories.
Shrouded in secrecy, the campus’s 30-foot-high walls only barely conceal the grand Hall of Summoning. Visitors and residents cannot hope to ignore the presence of the Acadamae, but since very few people unconnected with the college know what happens within it, the place births abundant (and sometimes ludicrous) rumors.
History: Hoping to spur further settlement of the mainland, in 4473, Lord Ornelos established the Acadamae. The Acadamae stood outside the walls of Mainshore and more than a thousand feet from Castle Korvosa. Both the leader of the Korvosan Guard and the commandant of the Sable Order warned that their groups could not promise protection in that location, but Lord Ornelos seemed unconcerned. Utilizing the Treaty of Crystalrock, he secured from the dwarves of Janderhoff both supplies and workers. In less than a month, an imposing black-marble wall surrounded a five-acre area containing only one small building.
From its founding until roughly a century ago, the Acadamae had no true focus as a school for specialists, treating the seven most powerful schools as equals (then as now, divination was always treated as a universal school all students needed to study). With the collapse of the Empire of Cheliax, the new government’s embracing of infernal inf luences, and the death of Volshyenek Ornelos in 4607, the Acadamae shifted its focus. The college became heavily involved in the conjuration and control of devils. While it does not actively promote an evil agenda, the college nonetheless tolerates devil-summoning and Asmodeus worship. Despite this lenience toward evil, the college remains a truly Chelaxian and Korvosan institution, and as such it does not allow for wanton destruction or chaos. The evil it embraces is precise, organized, and regimented.
The college has grown in the intervening years, and today, numerous buildings fill the walls of the campus, with three more satellite buildings spread throughout the city. The city of Korvosa helps sponsor the college with tax funds, and instructors in the school receive tax exemptions based on the prestige and recognition they bring.
Campus Life: Nearly a town unto itself, the Acadamae provides its students and faculty with everything they need to live. Thus, students of the Acadamae are rarely seen outside its imposing walls. Those who do exit do so in groups as part of their studies or to shop at the Golden Orery. On rare occasions, students sneak into one of the many taverns of the city to relieve stress, although it is far more common for them to sneak alcohol or drugs back onto campus.
While most of the schools work together in relative harmony—and those that don’t frequently do not interact at all except in the most formalized ways possible—an increasing animosity between students of conjuration and necromancy have led recently to duels. These formal (and sometimes informal) challenges continue to increase in frequency and viciousness, but as of yet have not led to deaths.
A great number of imps make their homes on the Acadamae’s campus. These imps frequently take to the air, flitting about above the campus and across Korvosa. They tend to travel in groups, as the city’s pseudodragon population views them as foul representations of evil and petty sadism (which, of course, they are).
Students who attend the Acadamae usually have no interest in doing good works. Generally, they seek power at almost any cost. Many become swayed by the honeyed words of the devils they summon, and most of these lose any morality they had and slip inexorably into evil.
Recruitment: The Acadamae accepts nearly anyone who applies, as those who fail become test subjects for those who do not. Occasionally, though, the college doesn’t receive enough applicants to fill out it attendance needs, and in those infrequent years it sets up a recruitment drive throughout Korvosa and its holdings.