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