Oxford University

“I say, DeMontford, did that Invisibler just summon an Imp to spit at me?”
“I'd say he did, old chap.”
“Right, that's it then. Fetch the Scones.”
Conversation overheard in the Angel's Head, a student tavern in Ship Street.

Ancient, Byzantine and hideously wealthy, Oxford University owns a great deal of the land on the Island of Oxford, and as such has a very important place in the politics of Albion. Its students, graduates and Faculty members are some of the finest minds in the country, and in these treacherous times often put that intelligence to political as well as academic use.

Why the University?

There are many IC reasons why your character might want to be affiliated with the University. Here are just a few:

  1. Knowledge: Oxford University holds one of the greatest libraries in Europe; although sadly deficient in Magical theory, there is little that the diligent Theologian or Scholar could not discover here.
  2. Money: The life of one entitled to Rooms in a College can be a luxurious one, if they are willing to sublet their quarters to a visiting Noble or Ambassador. Strictly this practice is banned by most Colleges, but it is nevertheless rife, with many students choosing to sleep in poorer, less central accommodation in exchange for a hefty monthly rent.
  3. The Corridors of Power: The King and his Court are in Oxford; the headquarters of the Dragoons are here; the greatest Synagogue in England is here; in short, this is the centre of life in Albion. As an Oxford student, you get to live and study here - effectively for free. The privilege is not one to be missed by the aspiring Courtier or politico.

And here are a few OC reasons why you might want to involve your character in the University (an Oxford student playing an Oxford student might not sound like much fun, but trust me, the Albion world is a very different game!):

  1. Compatibility: You do not currently have to be studying at the University for certain Ranks; and a degree from Oxford is compatible with membership almost any other Organisation.
  2. Intrigue: Many of the Embassies of foreign Powers are held within College grounds; Parliament itself sits on University land. When political intrigue is at stake, Oxford students are often first at-hand to overhear the rustlings of diplomacy, and sometimes even on the front-lines of covert - and deadly - political conflict.

The Colleges

There are perhaps twenty Colleges currently incorporated under the banner of the University. Some are small, some great; some cater exclusively to the Clergy, some to the study of Natural Philosophy, some for preparing young men for entry into Politics or the Military life.

A few of the more notable Colleges are listed below. If you wish to belong to a different College, please consult the GMs.

Lanik College

Primarily a Rabbinical institution, Lanik also offers degrees in Theurgy, Hagiography, Hebrew, the Angelic Tongue, Steganography and Literature. Its founder, a noted Jewish playwright who advised Queen Elizabeth II during the Civil Wars, was considered one of the foremost experts on Qabbalistic Theurgy of the age. Lanik College has a particularly high proportion of female students, although males are by no means unwelcome.

Lanik is noted as something of an “international college”, taking students from several nations and all backgrounds, and particularly notable for the scholarships it offers to children of disadvantaged Jewish families. Many of the professors are of Eastern European origin, and the college is widely-known to be heavily supported by Prague; the most obvious sign of this support being the Embassy which locates itself in Garden Quad. The college has both an Anglican Chapel and a Synagogue (the Oxford Temple); the Temple is used for worship by much of the Jewish population of Oxford, even those otherwise unlinked to the college.

Cain's College

Particularly noted for its active population of Familiar Spirits, which usually choose to inhabit the stones, gargoyles and decorative suits of armour of the College, Cain's is a young college, and occasionally sniffed at by its more ancient rivals. In recent years, it has received much attention for its decision to include the (theoretical) study of Witchcraft on its syllabus, and dark mutterings of “Cain's witches” and “playing with ghosts” regularly flow around the city; not least from the Sisters of Hecate, who find (largely male) faculty of Cain's dabbling in their traditional turf to be something of an affront.

Cain's College has close ties with the floating Dawkins Institute for Experimental Philosophy, a travelling research institution which regularly moves itself to the most interesting1) parts of the Archipelago in search of new knowledge from the depths. The Institute even occasionally skirts such damned areas as damned Abingdon in its quest to better understand the nature of the world.

Christchurch College

Ancient, rich and smug, Christchurch College is one of the most “normal” of the colleges, lacking many of the quirky rituals which make the other Oxford colleges great, and abstaining entirely from the study of any of the advanced Sciences. Instead it offers sensible, down-to-earth courses in Theology, Rhetoric, Languages, Geometry and Astrology.

Officially, the Vice-Chancellor has rooms at Christchurch due to some ancient kink of tradition. However, the Vice-Chancellor studied a great deal at Prague and Malta in his youth, and especially during legal wrangles with the Invisible College, prefers to keep his offices in the Celestial Realms as much as possible, only manifesting them into the Earthly environment when absolutely necessary for some University function.

Scone College

A rough-and-ready college often used to give the finishing touch to brash young men and women intent on a career in the Dragoons or Horticulturalists, Scone tends to focus on a more open, general curriculum. Wins various intercollegiate sporting contests with sickening regularity; generally thought of as the “dull college” by other Oxford students - but they don't say that too loudly, for all too often it's the boys and girls from Scone holding the line for their weedy comrades, down at the Hedgehog and Aleyard when some undergraduate Sorcerer from Invisible decides to kick off.


The University has a lasting and bitter rivalry with The Invisible College; the original grievance stems from Invisible's rather peremptory appearance and placement of itself (entire - faculty, buildings, quads, the lot) on Christchurch Meadow during the height of the Floods. Since then, however, a multitude of other sins - vandalism, refusal to Incorporate, snubs at the King's table, academic disagreements, inappropriate disposal of Alchemical effluvia, unwisely-summoned Daemonic entities - have been added to the roster, and the rift is nigh-irreprebale.

This rivalry demonstrates itself in a number of ways; the most harmless are snubs in Court, a thick and nigh-uncrossable dividing line between Invisible Coffeehouses and University Taverns, and bitter academic differences. At the sharp end, these disputes can extend all the way up to violent bar brawls between students, hostile Magical use, and even assassination.

Only once a year does the rivalry give way; and that is during the annual Boat Race, where the latest prototype Scientific contraptions from each Institution are trialled in a race from Oxford to the northernmost tip of Vries Island and back agian. Last year's Race was won by a team of Hedgewitches from Cain's College, using a Dolphin-drawn coracle and a squad of Familiar Spirits - only narrowly beating Invisible's “Infernal Phlogiston Engine”, a Demon-powered device shaped rather like a corkscrew.

Naturally, the annual races are rife with accusations of cheating, actual cheating, pre-event sabotage, during-event sabotage, inter-boat violence, religious and racial slurs, boarding actions and the occasional unexpected Sea Serpent. This is Oxford, after all.

Membership Requirements

One can study almost anything at the University of Oxford, if one finds the right College. Generally learning of some sort is assumed before you are admitted, but the type is very flexible. Pick some academic Skill, and negotiate with the GMs what and where you are studying.

As a general rule, Rank 1 in the College generally requires at least Rank 1 in an Academic Skill, Rank 2 requires at least Rank 2, and so on.


  • Rank 1 - Undergraduate. Small rooms in College, no rights, obliged to attend (at least some) lectures.
  • Rank 2 - Postgraduate or Alumnus. Small, expensive rooms in College (in the former case), or none (in the latter). Some rights.
  • Rank 3 - Doctor. Medium-sized rooms in College. Port, Fustigation and Ordinary rights. Obliged to have occasional contact with Undergraduates.
  • Rank 4 - Professor. Decent-sized rooms in College. Port, Extraordinary and Accusatory rights. Obliged to give occasional Lectures; comprehensibility optional.
  • Rank 5 - Master of a College (pick a College, please, or make one up). Luxurious rooms in College. Malmsey, Uninhibited and Justicarial rights, and Marshal's Rights in time of war and excess flood. Not really obliged to do anything, except mumble occasionally, attempt to grow a beard and recognise the King best three out of five.
1) “Dangerous”
oxforduni.txt · Last modified: 2007/10/05 10:50 by helen