Academica Septima Superior

The Academica Septima Superior is a hermetic covenant in Galloway, in the Loch Leglean Tribunal. Though originally founded in 774 A.D. (year 913 of the Age of Aries), the flying covenant vanished after several centuries, and only reappeared in 1219 (A.A. 1358). It has since attracted several new magi to complement the one (or possibly two) remaining member.



The earth on which the Academica's buildings stand was originally part of the Harz mountains in Saxony. The founding members of the covenant clearly knew a method by which such a large volume of earth could be made airborne, and be kept so for so long, but it has since been lost.

The hillside slopes none too gently from crown to base, but is flat enough to build on at several sites. Many more have been magically created during the covenant's centuries-long history. Almost all the usable land has now been built on. The architectural tastes of the academica's magi have varied considerably over time, so the style of buildings varies considerably, with romanesque domes next to germanic halls and airy, classical collonades. The eclectic look of the covenant has not been lessened by the apparent habit of the academica's magi to use Rego Terram spells to steal monuments of all kinds, from greek statues to egyptian stelae, and even an intact roman shrine. The most impressive of these 'prizes' is a 9th-Century mosque, lifted from its rightful resting place in Cadiz by Xinophides of Tytalus, aparrently to prove that he could work such magic despite the interfering Divine aura.

Sadly, after the academica departed Christendom, the will or resources to properly maintain its various structures disappeared. The vast majority of the covenant lies in ruins, choked with detritus and overgrown by vines and shrubbery. Despite this, the grandeur of the covenant remains evident, and the strong magical aura gives the buildings an air of peaceful scenecense, rather than maudlin decay.

Notable buildings explored by the newcomers include:

  • a hall in which the majority of the companions and covenfolk reside;
  • the nearby Auld Tower, now choked with rubble and inhabited by magical bees;
  • the mosque, which contains a divine Regio inhabited by an enigmatic angel;
  • the former Council Hall, where the magi of old met around a table covered with a map of Europe;
  • the crystalline Glass Tower, which contains the sanctum of the Magister.

A large tumulus rises in the approximate centre of the hillside. This appears to be a barrow complex from pre-christian Germany, and may be the original anchor for the site's aura.


The Academica is now stationary, having come to rest (or, possibly, crash-landed) just below the tree-line on the slopes of the Merrick. It is surrounded on all sides by the dense woods that cover the Galloway Hills. This is useful, as the dense woodland and distance from mundane settlement have kept the Academica away from mundane interference (and, lately, taxation). It is also a problem, as the covenant now resides in an area frequented by Clan MacArawn.



The Academica currently draws its mundane income from three sources:

  1. whaling in the Solway Firth and Irish Sea;
  2. forestry in the nearby woods (mostly producing fox and similar furs)
  3. a large share of the profits of Lady Jaqueline de Lacey's mercenary band.


Unusually for a Scottish covenant, the Academica's vis income is not particularly large. Several sites within the covenant itself produce a regular vis harvest (such as the glass aspen or the wind pennant), and the magi have been collecting vis from the Torhouse Stones for some years, but the vast stores bequeathed to the new magi by the Magister have meant that the drive to identify and exploit new vis sources has been lacking in recent years. Accordingly, sites such as the Famhair Stane and the Burning Hill have yet to be properly investigated.


The covenant library has suffered a similar level of neglect to the covenant's buildings, and much of it remains lost. Accordingly, what does remain is termed the Libris Minor by the inhabitants. The Libris Major presumably awaits rediscovery, though Scylla is expected to be watching it carefully.


Life for the Academica's inhabitants is not as simple as it first appeared. There are several pressing issues that demand the attention of the magi and distract them from their studies.

Scylla's Claim

Scylla has laid claim to approximately half the Academica, and demands that, should anyone enter, they walk backwards as a sign of appropriate respect. As Scylla appears to be more powerful than the younger magi, let alone the covenfolk, they take care to do so in order to keep from antagonising her. This has made exploration of her half of the covenant difficult, and for this reason much of it remains untouched.

The Glass Tower is situated well inside Scylla's claimed territory. It is unknown whether this is a deliberate attempt on her part to provoke a confrontation with the Magister. If so, it may be working. To date, he has shown no inclination to meet her demand to walk backwards. So long as neither he nor Scylla make any mention of this, their motives remain inscrutable.

The Curse

Perhaps more worrying even than Scylla's posturing is the curse that affects the grounds and inhabitants of the Academica. The angels responsible for creating new life do not venture within the covenant, which results in humans and animals being unable to conceive. Moreover, an experiment with rabbits in 1221 showed that pregnant animals brought into the Academica will spontaneously miscarry. It is for this reason that the Academica is completely without children.

In 1221, the magi of the Academica visited a regio in the mosque, in which they encountered an angel who introduced itself as Tephas. It told them that the curse could be lifted if it once again smelled the Blossoms of Al-Andalus. The magi have no definite information on what these may be.

It is possible that the curse is gradually worsening over time. Since the winter of 1225-1226, seeds sewn in the Academica's gardens have failed to germinate. This has resulted in the loss of a significant source of income, as well as a steady worsening of morale among the covenfolk.

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