The Invisible College

The Invisible College, originally based in London and now located on Christchurch Meadow, is an institution as ancient as Oxford University and with as much pride in its history. It is, primarily, an academy of the gentlemanly sciences; that is to say, practical theology, astrology, geometry, and Magic. Not to be confused with the Rosicrucians, the College is a fraternity of learned men and philosophers from all over Europe. It functions primarily as a meeting-place for the great thinkers of the age to exchange (often hotly) views and advances in the various Sciences. The College boasts a substantial library which is open to members only; it can often also provide or locate various substances useful as Tokens, at a cost.

While there may be six Schools of magic, there are only three considered appropriate for official study at the College: Theurgy, Sorcery and Alchemy. Witchcraft is for peasants, Conjuration is for the middle classes, and Invention is generally still considered the preserve of excitable young men with too many slide rules and not enough Aristotle. There exists, however, a research post known as the Samuel Harris Chair for Conjuration - although the subject is not offered for study, some College members have warmed in recent years to its application in combination with the more gentlemanly Sciences.

There have been some rumblings in recent years concerning the potential admission of an Inventor or two to a visiting professorship; this, no doubt, following the recent series of lectures given at Oxford by one Giacomo da Bruti, an Italian researcher into flight.


The College, despite having Ordained members, has always had a somewhat fraught relationship with the Church, especially when the latter is in a particularly zealous mood. On one occasion in the 1350s, when accusations of heresy, diabolism and Sorcery ran particularly strong, the senior faculty of the London University of St. Peter and All Saints (as it was then known) gathered together and loudly declared an extraordinary vacation until the Bishops calmed down; at which point all six quadrangles, faculty buildings and the belltower disappeared for a full six months.

By the time the College returned, the Bishops had calmed down a great deal, and the appellation “Invisible” had been added to its name. The current Church has come to an amicable agreement with the Faculty: its Bishops doesn't call them heretics in the pulpit, and they don't use Theurgy to tell the Archangel Michael he's been naughty.

When it became clear that the College was under threat from the rising waters of drowning London, the entire College grounds disappeared wholesale from their site in St Paul's and appeared, shortly afterwards (it is rumoured, following a shortcut through the Celestial realms!) in Christchurch Meadow. This has led to a decades-long series of legal battles with the University, which even now provide good fodder for lawyers; the Invisible College claims that since their establishment is, strictly, not resting on the grounds of Christchurch but instead exists some two inches above the meadow, they have no requirement to pay rent.

Membership Requirements

To start play as a member of the College, one must be a practicing Theurgist, Alchemist or Sorcerer, possess the Astrologer quirk or have some other good academic reason to be a member.

Surprisingly, the introduction of the equality laws did not much change the operation of the College, despite their sudden obligation to allow female students. Some have theorised that most of the Dons have yet to notice.

It is extremely difficult to be an active member both of the College and of the University, though some expert philosophers possess degrees from both institutions. Please discuss your character concept with the GMs if you wish to attempt to cross the divide!


Rank 1 - Undergraduate
Rank 2 - B.Herm. - Bachelor Hermesiensis, studying for a Master's qualification.
Rank 3 - M.Herm. - Magister Hermesiensis, teaching some courses and studying for a Doctorate.
Rank 4 - D.Herm. or Professor - Doctor Hermesiensis or Professor, teaching Undergraduate and Graduate courses and conducting original research.
Rank 5 - Senior Faculty

(Possessors of the B.Herm. diploma have the right to carry the Kerykeion on ceremonial occasions and wear a beard while on College grounds.)

Affiliation with the College can be either Private or Public.

scholars.txt · Last modified: 2008/01/28 23:48 by adam