Event of the Year

This year, the event that most people are talking about seems to be the intense rivalry that has grown between the two schools of magic of the Old World. It seems that instead of working together, the Glantrian Great School of Magic and the Karameikan School of Magecraft have gone head to head in a competition for students, faculty, knowledge, and prestige.

Each of the schools are trying to outdo the other with guest speakers and special privileged classes to learn about rare spells and arcane powers. Many potential mages are confused about what the two schools offer, so the Mystaran Almanac is proud to present this section which will help show what the schools have in common, and what is different.

First, we'll start off with what was intended to be a private interview with Terari, Head Master of the School of Magecraft but turned into a debate between the archmage and Harald of Haaskinz, Grand Master of the Great School of Magic. After, there will be a brief description of the curriculum of both magical universities.

So, dear readers, continue on to learn the mysteries of the Schools of Magic of Mystara.


Interview with the School Masters

By Belzamith Fingertackles and Dorrik Stonecleaver.

We had entered the School of Magecraft to talk to Minister Terari, Head Master of the Karameikan School of Magecraft when we noticed the famous Haraald of Haaskinz was talking to the mage. With both archmage present, we proceeded to ask if we could interview both of them at once, and were lucky enough to get their permission.

Belzamith: Well Master Terari, we were going to discuss the history of magic and the School of Magecraft with you, but since Master Harald of Haaskinz is here, would you mind if we talked about the two magical universities of the Old World?

Terari: It doesn't bother me.

Harald: I suppose not.
Proceed.

Belzamith: Thanks.
First off, I'm curious as to why exactly you are here

Harald. May I call you Harald?

Harald: Yes you may, Belzamith.
I was discussing the arrangements of a transferring student.
The School of Magecraft wants us to transfer the laboratory equipment as well, yet it is the property of the Great School of Magic.

Terari: But Saloman, the student in question, is the only one who uses that equipment and it is vital to his research.

Dorrik: So why not buy the equipment?

Harald: That is the purpose of this meeting between the two of us.
Did you not understand that part?

Terari: The Great School of Magic is not willing to negotiate such a deal and finding it elsewhere will take too long. The experiment will be ruined by then.

Dorrik: Can't the two schools work together and share the results?

Belzamith: Egads!

Harald: Little dwarf, wizardry is about knowledge and the desire to learn more.
If someone else does all the work, you yourself will learn nothing from it.
To simply give the results away to anyone could be extremely dangerous.
Also, most wizards prefer not to share their result; if enemies know their spells, they can prepare defenses for all their offensive magic and easily break through their own magical defense.

They believe that the results of their research should be confidential and not given freely to everyone else.

Terari: And that is the first difference between the two universities.

At the School of Magecraft, all research and spells are shared freely with all students and faculty. What one discovers is shared with all.
In Glantri, such knowledge is quickly hidden by the individual mage.

Belzamith: So everything that you know is available to all your students.

Harald: He's got you there!

Terari: Not exactly. In the long run, it is, but not at first. As Harald mentioned, some spells are too dangerous for amateur spellcasters, so we keep the knowledge of them secret. When the Masters of the School of Magecraft believe that a student is ready for such magic, then it will become available to him. Also, faculty members are permitted to keep a few spells to themselves, as they feel safer having secret defenses should they come under attack.

Dorrik: So how exactly do you teach the students at the School of Magecraft?

Terari: Students attend classes in groups of about 30. Each class teaches the necessary steps to learn and cast a specific spell. Later during a semester, students are shown the various different uses any given spell might have, often in ways they have never imagined. There are six classes per semester, two semesters a year.

Once a student learns a specific number of required spells, which we call our Spell Primer, they become advanced students. At this point, which usually takes 3 years, they get to choose their own classes and do their own research into new spells with our facilities. Anything they discover is added to our library and will possibly receive its own class making it available for all to learn.

Dorrik: Sounds like a simple system.

Harald: As a dwarf, you would know simple when you see it.

Belzamith: So, Harald, could you describe the system at the Great School of Magic?

Harald: I'd be delighted to, Belzamith.

Sorry about that. First, anyone with magical aptitude is permitted to study at the Great School of Magic. Race and ethos mean nothing; it is the desire to learn that counts.

Dorrik: Are you saying Harald that the School of Magecraft has restricted access as to who may study there?

Harald: That's Prince of Sablestone, dwarf. And yes, that is exactly what I said.
You don't understand things easily, do you?
The faculty of the School of Magecraft is too involved with the politics of their nation and only allow those they brand as "good" study in their halls. Of course, "good" is whatever the king of their nation decides at the time.

Terari: Yes, and we believe that Glantri produces enough mad wizards trying to conquer the world. There's no reason to compete in that domain.

Harald: Well, back to the curriculum. Each student will be given a Master in the field of study he desires to learn. By this, the student must state whether he wants to be a general mage or if he wishes to specialize in one of the faculties, such as Illusions or Cryomancy.

His master will be of the appropriate faculty. The student might be the master's only one, or he might be one of a group of for or five. Masters are not permitted to have more than five students as it will make it to hard to control them all.

In the morning, after meditating at the Temple of Rad, students go to the class of their choice and spend half the day learning the subject matter.

Classes are not about spells themselves, but any subject related to magic, such as magical monsters, history, alchemy, and many more. Once a student learns six spells, he proceeds on to the next level. There are nine levels in all. At the end of the ninth level, a student will be given a test by the faculty. If he passes, he becomes a master himself, and can choose to take students or teach classes if he so wants to.

Taking students gives you students who can perform chores for you, while teaching classes will reduce your tuition fees. As a master, you can have free reign to all facilities of the Great School of Magic. Masters also earn the right to the title of Wizard in Glantri. Commoners think this is a form of graduation from the School of Magic, but true wizards know that you can never really graduates since you can never really learn everything about magic.

Of course, the time it takes to become a master depends on one's drive to learn and one's aptitude with magic. There are no fixed hours, semesters or even days to study and learn at the Great School of Magic. Belzamith: How interesting. The methods of teaching are completely different. At the School of Magecraft, everyone learns the same spells, while at the Great School of Magic, each student goes about things his own way. So, what about the spells themselves? Are they the same in both schools or vastly different.

Terari: Both. The basic spells, which we call our Spell Primer here in Karameikos, are essentially identical for both universities, although they probably have different names. After basic training, things get different. The Great School of Magic specializes in training with the various schools of philosophies, while the School of Magecraft seems to be heading toward a specialty of schools of effect.

Belzamith: I see.

Dorrik: What? Philosophy? Effect? What are you talking about? I don't understand.

Harald: That does not surprise me. You see, magic spells are organized into groups of similar spells. These groups are often called schools, although we call them faculties. When Terari said we specialized in schools of philosophy, he meant that our magic schools are grouped according to the philosophy, or PURPOSE of the spell. With school of effects, he means that spells are grouped according to what effect a spell creates.

Dorrik: I still don't understand.

Belzamith: Don't bother, you'll just waste their time.

Terari: Let's try it this way. Take these two spells: Metamorphose Liquids (1st level) and Wall of Water (3rd level).

The first one transforms one type of liquid to another. It's purpose is therefore to alter, so it falls in the philosophy school of Alteration. For the second spell, its purpose is to create, or invoke, a wall of water out of nothing. It is therefore a spell from the philosophy school of Evocation/Invocation. Grouped by philosophy those two spells are not related.

If you look at the effects, both deal with liquid, and hence both can be placed into the effect school of Elemental Water. From this point of view, they belong to the same school.

Dorrik: And that is how the two schools differ in their spells? From their point of view?

Terari: Not quite, at least for the moment anyway. You see, the Great School of Magic is well established into its faculties of philosophy and has been teaching them for years. Here at the School of Magecraft, we are still adjusting to being a new college. No plans have yet been made as to what specialties we will offer, but it seems we are indeed heading toward specialties in schools of effect. Our work on the Concordia has given us great insight into the school of Elemental Air, while Thyatis has just funded major research into the school of Elemental Water. I believe it is only a matter of time before these two fields of magical research become full fledged faculties at the college.

Belzamith: That will be an interesting development to follow.

Dorrik: What else do you offer?

Terari: We have excellent guest lecturers. Why, we've even convinced a shadow elf to discuss about the ancient city of Aengmor. It's in three days from now, so you're more than welcome to attend.

Harald: Of course, then you'll only learn what the shadow elves want you to learn. I suggest you visit Glantri to hear Angus MCDuff's lecture. He has lived among the goblinoids in Oenkmar, now Aengmor, for years and can surely give a more neutral and accurate description.

Belzamith: I have heard that a Darokinian wizard by the name of Halbaster has devised a new method of casting spells. He claims that his studies of the magic points in the Canoldbarth forest have allowed him to understand the principles of why magic behaves abnormally around those areas, a problem that has been plaguing the elves trying to use weather magic to save their forest.

He has reportedly been able to include this random behavior into his own spellcasting. Halbaster calls it wild magic.

Terari: Yes, I have heard of this wild mage. I find his studies to be dangerous and potentially catastrophic to all of Mystara. Magic is hard enough to control as it is, and many people have died when experienced wizards have lost control of spells. To purposely create sheer randomness in one's spells is an invitation to such a disaster.

Harald: I disagree. Although dangerous, I believe he is fulfilling an important part of learning about the nature of magic. His studies should be encouraged. I will have to look up this Halbaster as I have never heard about this wild magic before today. It is the same reason that we allow all races and ethos into the Great School of Magic. Although one might not agree with the uses or results, the knowledge gained is usually always very useful in making other breakthroughs in the field of magic.

Dorrik: So the ends justify the means?

Harald: That is not what I said, dwarf. You misunderstood. I was merely...

I'm afraid I cannot spare any more time for this interview. I must return to Glantri.

Terari: I believe that I also have things that I must attend to. It has been a pleasure talking to the both of you.

Belzamith: The pleasure has been ours, I assure you.

Belzamith: Way to go, you scared them both away with your dumb questions. I didn't even get a chance to ask about the rumors of secret schools within the Great School of Magic.

Dorrik: What do you mean my dumb questions? Secret schools? What are you talking about?

Belzamith: Oh, never mind. You just wouldn't understand.