Covenant of Heroes
Headquartered: The Librarium itself makes up the majority of the 2nd Ward, and owns/operates many of the earthmotes that float around within the city.
Silver Keys: Three representatives are elected from among the senior magi of the University
Bronze Keys: The Archmage of each of the nine schools of magic
The vast halls of the Librarium University attract all who seek knowledge. Though some magi take after the Mind Among and hide themselves within the University, many are employed in various tasks around the city. Everything from running the teleportation gateways to keeping the street lights working are the tasks of the mages. The mages who work in the city are generally responsible for a specific task in a certain ward and take residence there. The knowledge seekers stay in the University’s dormitories or have their own private residence.
It is said that the Librarium contains all the knowledge that the Mind Among has accumulated in his lifetimes. Knowledge of any subject can be found within its walls. Many who are not interested in magic come to study various subjects like history, art, and craftsmanship. Members of the Church and Shield often come to enlighten and glut themselves with knowledge on records of great battles and manuals for martial arts.
While the Librarium contains vast amounts of knowledge on all subjects, its prizes are the extensive tomes of arcane magic. While anyone in the city can peruse some of its shelves, most books are offlimits to the general public. The library is sectioned, allowing only those of proper rank to access certain parts. It is said the the deepest parts of its shelves are only seen by the Mind Among. In addition to the library, the Librarium hosts a college for those who would seek to gain knowledge of arcane or psionic arts. The mages who work within the city continually seek to recruit those who display magic talent to enroll in the University. However, some recruits prove to be rambunctious or have wanderlust and join the Shield instead.
In order to graduate from the University, mages are required to prove their proficiency with all nine magical disciplines. For every three Schools that they finish, students are allowed to construct one portion of the triptych sigil of the Mind Above that all University graduates bear. Some choose to craft an amulet, others prefer to have the symbol tattooed on them. However, as proof of their profession, all mages bear on their person the image of an eye with two feathered wings that they themselves produced over the course of their education.
Traditionally, the first part of the sigil that is made is the central eye. If a student has not yet been certified by any School, they are referred to derogatorily as “blind”. Because students generally finish the School that they are most proficient in first, the central eye represents their strongest talent, be it the powers of Fear and Illusion or the strength of Fire and Ice. The wings that carry the eye aloft show their supplementary talents and represent the diverse talents that all mages are expected to demonstrate in their everyday lives beyond the University. Once the mage completes their education, the presiding Dean of their chosen School enchants their sigil with a unique arcane mark that will serve as their identification throughout the city.
There are nine Archmages at all times affiliated with the University, one from each School. Each Archmage runs a major research program, in addition to remaining an instructor. There are rumors that Archmages eventually retire to positions elsewhere in Covenant, but no one from the Librarium has ever confirmed this. Officially, the Mind Among is the Head of the University, but because he is generally occupied with other matters, he rarely takes a personal interest in the students. There have been several exceptional cases in the history of Covenant where the Mind has personally taken a student under his wing, and most students dream at night that they will be likewise chosen. Outside of meeting frequently with the Archmages regarding their research, the Mind takes a hands-off approach to the running of the University and spends most of his time conducting research behind closed doors deep in his Library.
While a significant portion of graduating mages stay in the Second Ward to perform research or teach at the University, most exiting students will pursue a completely different profession. In addition to owning and running the Univeristy, the Librarium Organization also runs all of the technology throughout Covenant, and most mages have learned to expect that they will find employment in one of the other wards. Alternatively, many others will seek employment the myriad organizations in the city. Merchant guilds are always on the lookout for competent ritual casters and court magicians, and the Shield and Church gladly accept University graduates into their ranks.
The University does not endorse violence or warfare and attempts to dissuade its students from becoming involved with such behavior. However, many spellcasters still choose to pursue such powers, and many are drawn to the Shield in order to be allowed to practice their talents. A significant portion of these are interested in maintaining law and order, but many others are merely waiting for the opportunity to fire off a fireball at a live target. Many of the less predictable mages with the Shield are therefore used more heavily in off-city missions where they are less likely to cause relevant collateral damage, at least until they get enough experience with war and suffering to mitigate their desire for conflict. For this reason, many Chaos Magic Sorcerers and Warlocks apply for off-city duty with the Fifth Ward Roost units. Warlocks are only allowed to remove their inhibitive bracelets completely when going off-city, so they are generally very eager to do so.
Within the last several decades, psionically talented children have started appearing around Covenant. All showing the promise of psychic talent are required to spend time at the University in order to learn to hone their art, even though many would rather explore their abilities alone. Because psionic abilities were previously uncommon in Covenant, the University regarded Psions and their kin with some distrust, and prefers to keep them under observation as long as possible. This has led many of them to seek refuge with the Shield, which is far less concerned with studying nascent trends in the population. The Church has also been known to scout for psionic talent and recruit children early to take advantage of this new power.
Warlocks are an extremely tricky issue on Covenant. The extremely powerful wards around the city have prevented any rising spellcasters from contacting powers outside the city for help. Any adventurous mages that broke through the wards were quickly found and put down. But as adventurers began joining the city from other planes, the Founders found themselves unwilling to unilaterally reject the presence of the persuasive and intelligent casters calling themselves Warlocks. Several centuries ago, a bargain was struck between the Mind Among and a small cabal of Warlocks seeking entrance into the city. The University would sponsor their admission, so long as all they did not contact any extraplanar powers during their stay on Covenant. Many of the Warlocks had received powerful knowledge from their patrons and did not necessarily require a continuous connection to maintain their powers, so the disruption, while inconvenient, was not crippling. Furthermore, the University has made several heavily-guarded “ward-free” zones available to Warlocks wishing to commune with their patron powers.
However, a major incident involving a large number of summoned Balors and a failed Infernal coup of the city led to the installation of further security measures against extraplanar interference. All Warlocks are required to wear and maintain a bracelet that completely prevents them from using any abilities that require direct support from their patron, including receiving pact boons. Should this bracelet become damaged or destroyed, a Warlock is required to immediately report to the University, lest the eldritch energies work their way through the city wards and cause untold trouble.