Skylark School of Magery

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Cities and Settlements of Ermarian
Skylark School of Magery (Abandoned)
Skylark Vale
Major Industries
Vinnia, Palhatis, Pergaltho
Magical research and training

The Skylark School of Magery was one of the foremost of magic schools in Pralgad. In sheer size and scope, modern magic schools like Avernum's Tower of Magi and the Zaskiva school of magic pale in comparison to the Skylark school at the apex of its power. The school was not just a place of learning but one where cutting edge magical research was conducted. If not for the Imperial edict calling for the closure and sealing of the school in 762 IE, the school would undoubtedly still be pushing at the barriers of ignorance and performing great feats of magic. Instead, the Skylark School of Magery has a darker legacy.

The School

The curriculum of school was similar to other imperial schools of magery of time and governed by a trio of administrators. The final administrators before the school's closure were the mages Palhatis Pergaltho and Vinnia; other important members of the faculty included Erika and Graniok. The mascot for the school was a spined worm affectionately known as Spiny. On the research side of the school a few significant works of magic can be traced back to experimentation performed at the school, such as the development of plants that were capable of growing underground other unsubstantiated rumors suggest that in some ways the work the school performed would be considered advanced even in the present day.

The school itself is located in the northeastern area of Skylark Vale and is connected to the main river that runs diagonally through the vale. The only visible section of the school from the surface is the entrance which resembles a hill or mound and in fact most of the buildings are deep below the ground.

Structural Layout

As mentioned, the school facilities were quite intensive but can be grouped into sections. The first section comprises of the entrance, holding cells, storage and administration levels. This then opens up into a large underground cavern which was estimated to be around two by two miles in area which contained the schools magical waste reposit facilities as well as the entrance to the school proper. The second section were the levels dedicated to teaching and magical experimentation these included; the student quarters, lecture halls, library and experiment halls. Below this was another cavern which contained the main control center. Much of the school is connected in some way to strange magical machinery and the control center was where it could be controlled.

The Closing

In the time of Emperor Stewart I there was a sentiment in the imperial government that magic could only be trusted when it was under the direct control and purview of the Empire. As the school's research was so successful it was amongst the first of the schools to be closed. A copy of the order (also known as SMH-451-D) was found by adventurers exploring the abandoned school;

It is now officially decreed that the School of Magery, located in Skylark Vale, cease operations immediately. The deadline for ceasing of operations is one week from receipt of this proclamation.
The school is to be sealed, and all magical texts returned to Empire custody or destroyed. The School is to be permanently sealed, and all students and faculty are to return to Empire custody.
Anyone interfering with the carrying out of this order will be disciplined in the most severe way. A similar fate will await those entering the School later than one week from now. That is all.

Further exploration of the school unearthed evidence that the students and faculty were not united in support for the orders, namely the lack of time given to abandon and seal the school. Several bodies of both students and higher ranked mages discovered in the school suggested that the two factions came to blows. Decades later the concern for the lack of preparation time given to safely shutdown the school would be proven correct.

Colonization of School after Closure

Despite its human masters leaving, the school did not remain in a vacuum. In the decades to follow, several non-human groups came to inhabit the abandoned school. Some were former experiments, such as the altered beasts, Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Spiders,altered kobolds (Hivelings) and platebugs. Others came to school by other means such as chitrachs, gremlins and goblins.


The Sickness

Almost eighty years after the closure of the school the surrounding vale was inflicted by sickness of which source was discovered to be contamination from the magic waste reposit facility whose containment protocols had failed due neglect. This neglect was a direct result of the Empire's lack of care regarding the school and its safety protocol, valuing "loyalty" over all. Ironically, these past actions have lead several citizens affected by the sickness to feel less than loyal to the present-day Empire.

For more information see Skylark Curse.

Research Breakthroughs

Despite the ultimate results of the closing of the school it cannot be denied that the school's magical research was extremely successful. As mentioned previously, the school laid the groundwork for the development of the cavewood trees. They also had done extensive work into the creation of "artificial outdoors" rooms and to what can be only described as thinking machines. Most of this research was lost with the school's closure and it is sad to think how much the magical arts could have developed if not for the sudden closure of the school and others like it throughout the Empire.

The Present

The School of Magery remains abandoned and has not been entered since the adventurers explored it. The Imperial edict that ordered it closed was never revoked.