The University of Magical Development or UMD is an educational institution focused on furthering its students' skills in magic. The curriculum has a wide variety of courses grouped by the seven major departments, or Schools.
The concept of the University was originally put forth by the goddess Rosewood. She and Eris developed a course of action to increase the quality and quantity of magical energy on the world in order to further certain other plans which are as yet unclear; however, the primary objective was based around education and development of all magic users.
Just a few years after her ascension to the Pantheon, Rosewood's Avatar returned to the world and launched the fifth floating island of the Kingdom of the Northern Wastes, christening it Foundation. Upon this sizable island the University was built, and continued to expand over time to become the largest and most powerful institution of its kind, guided by both Avatars, as Eris joined her consort once all seven Schools were in place.
The University is a small city in its own right, and as such it provides as much as possible for any desire that its students may have. Its facilities and academic qualifications are also second to none, as both goddesses are focused on making their establishment the one of choice and have no qualms about taking ideas from other places through any means necessary.
Qualification testing facilities Edit
There are five places in the University that may be used for official qualification testing: four medium arenas and one large one. Each arena is furnished with tiered spectator seating so that no one has to miss any of the action; for safety's sake, there are strong invisible barriers and several emergency anti-Zone generators, all rune-based for reliability and ease of operation. Thanks to these, the University proudly holds the record with zero unintentional fatalities during testing; and unless otherwise prohibited, all events (testing or otherwise) are open to viewing for the education and entertainment of all.
The University has two main types of classrooms: discussion halls and laboratories.
Discussion halls are used rather than the traditional lecture halls, as the University charter notes that "Significant development is invariably a result of individual participation" (rather than mere passive attendance). They have been constructed both indoors and outdoors to best suit certain classes, and allow for 20 to 50 individuals depending on their physical size; groups of more than 50 have been found to tend more noticeably toward passivity. Most of the halls resemble an amphitheater, with semicircular terraces for the audience and a slightly raised platform for the instructor, guest speaker, demonstrator, or whoever else is the focus of attention. Seating ranges from comfortable chairs with writing desks to no chairs and only grass to sit on - which, it must be noted, some students actually prefer.
Laboratories are used primarily for magical demonstration and experimentation, with the instructor typically providing little beyond basic direction and safety oversight. Like the arenas, each lab is furnished with barriers and multiple independent anti-Zone generators to prevent experiments from getting out of hand. Just about every lab is designed in a singularly different way, from size to shape to location, and the more notorious ones (usually due to some sort of incident) often have names; some official, some less so.
Residential areas Edit
There are quite a few different residential areas available for occupancy.
- The campus dormitory district is the location closest to the University's official facilites, and is thus the residence of choice for students who either hate commuting or enjoy sleeping late - but as a tradeoff for the low cost, the floor space per individual is rather lacking.
- Campus housing is available for University staff as well as visiting dignitaries or inspectors.
- Apartments are located throughout the surrounding city area, each one's cost in accordance with its amenities and proximity to campus.
- Inns and hotels of various quality and price are scattered around the city area as well, primarily for tourists or other unofficial visitors rather than long-term occupants.
Commerce and industry Edit
Description in UMD pamphlet Edit
The University of Magical Development is a fairly relaxed insitution, and yet one of the most respected establishments in the field of magic. Classes vary in size from mass lectures to individual mentoring, though most of the higher-end courses tend to be quite small in class size due to the highly individualized training required at that level.
The success of the University is primarily due to its severe selection criteria and the subsequent broad freedom it gives to those who are admitted. Apart from basic guidelines concerned with safety and being a good neighbor, students are essentially unrestricted, given free reign of the campus at all times except during emergencies. To prevent stress build-ups, the campus has its own entertainment, shopping, and dining districts; and to prevent violence, the University has facilities for officially sanctioned duels as well as for sparring.
The main focus of the University is personal development, as its name implies. To this end, all possible qualification, proficiency, and mastery examinations are offered by the institution for those more interested in practical applications of magic, while the University laboratory complex is available for use by those more interested in theory and testing. All sources of education are open to all students, provided that the prerequisites are met; advanced courses are typically limited to those who have either completed the basic courses or shown a measure of proficiency and knowledge of the subject at hand.
There are seven departments within the University: the School of Elements, the School of Conjuration, the School of Deception, the School of Augmentation, the School of Summons, the School of Engineering, and the School of Blood, from largest to smallest.
As the largest of the seven departments of the University, the School of Elements covers the topics most often found in other entry-level educational establishments. This particular School teaches a five-element system, but also fulfills the requirements set forth by four-element systems of other organizations.
- Introduction to the Elements
- Elemental Foundations (Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Ether)
- Elemental Interactions
- Advanced Techniques (Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Ether)
- Golem Creation and Control
- Multi-Element Techniques
- Tactical Spellcasting
Traditional non-elemental or arcane techniques that oppose or bypass nature rather than working with it are covered in the School of Conjuration's course list. There has been a mostly friendly rivalry between the Schools of Elements and Conjuration ever since the University was founded.
- Introduction to Conjuration
- Fundamentals of Teleportation
- Advanced Teleportation
- Object-Oriented Spatial Manipulation
- Temporary Object Creation
- Advanced Object Creation
- Tactical Conjuration
Originally integrated with the School of Conjuration, the sizable number of students interested in the School of Deception required that it be made separate after only two years. Where Conjuration is more focused on object manipulation, Deception is focused on perceptual manipulation and all related subjects.
- Introduction to Magical Deception
- Fundamentals of Illusion
- Advanced Illusions: Beyond the Five Senses
- Mass Deception Techniques
- Personal Alteration
- Area-Centric Techniques
- Confusion and Memory Disruption
The magical modification of one's own body - whether permanent or temporary - is typically a very delicate and demanding operation, and it is for this reason that the highly specialized School of Augmentation exists. Providing safety information and detailed training is the School's mission.
- Introduction to Augmentation
- Safety and Personal Protection
- Fundamentals of Temporary Augmentation
- Advanced Temporary Augmentation
- Assistive Techniques
- Permanent Augmentation
As summoning is one of the more specialized fields, classes of the School of Summons are very small, most of the courses being one-on-one instruction. This is to be expected since Summon magic varies greatly in form and execution due to the differences between the individuals who use it.
- Introduction to Summons
- Common Language Studies (Avian, Feline, Lupine, Reptilian, Ursine)
- Fundamentals of a Summon Relationship
- Advanced Relationship Concepts
- Exotic Language Studies (Draconic, Ethereal)
- Support Techniques
- Transformational Techniques
The requirements for admission to the School of Engineering are quite strict, primarily due to the quantity of elemental and arcane knowledge potential artificers are expected to already possess. Engineering courses are also the most demanding and technically complex, keeping this School's enrollment at the second lowest.
- Introduction to Magical Engineering
- Basic Elemental and Arcane Devices
- Maintenance and Reconstruction Techniques
- Navigation and Communication Device Design
- Vehicle Design
- Combat Device Design
The smallest department of the University teaches the specifics of one of the least respected of the known magical skills, Blood magic. The School of Blood is restricted to a handful of students selected by personal interview with the University's president, rather than any traditional application process.
- Introduction to Blood Magic
- Basic Enhancement Techniques
- Contractual Procedures
- Practical Domination and Subjugation
- Advanced School Combination Techniques
- Exploiting Weaknesses