A Place of Great Learning: The Feuerschwanz Academy
Education on the Tabletop is the theme for this month’s RPG Blog Carnival hosted by ourselves.
Nestled at the mouth of the river Tiefwasse lies the well-off port city of Hochauz, administration center of the province of Westereach within Sevaria. Seen as an elitist bastion of the coast, Hochauz sees few visitors from the surrounding countryside outside those who have business there. But even the people of Hochauz look to the strange fortress in the hills overlooking the city with reticence, for few people engage willingly with the mages of the Feuerschwanz Academy.
Many years ago, the site that is now the Feuerschwanz Academy was the lair of the ancient red dragon known by the locals as Flametail. In the decades following the Godsmarch, during the chaos that enveloped the newly reforged world, the dragon was laid low by the great mage Telanter who raided the great beast’s lair and constructed a tower of his own upon the hills formerly claimed by the beast. Over time, the people of the Reach settled at the mouth of the river and, under the protection of Telanter, founded the village that one day would become Hochauz. Overtime, Telanter took on apprentices who, in turn, built on to the structure of their master and took on their own apprentices. By the time Westereach was brought under the protection of Reisenhoff, the tower had become the expansive and impossible-to-navigate structure that is today known as Feuerschwanz Academy.
As the Academy’s physical structure became more and more complicated, however, the people’s trust of the mages waned. That waning was helped little by the choice of the headmasters to withdraw from their oversight of the burgeoning city and who refused to rouse the students to protect the city when the forces of Quintus Sevaria arrived to lay claim to the city – in fact, the mages made arrangements with the approaching conqueror, assisting with his capture and the mostly peaceful transfer of power to the new king’s governors.
Although seen poorly by the people of Hochauz, the Feuerschwanz Academy is one of the most highly regarded academic and arcane institutes in the entirety of Estlund – indeed, perhaps in all of Nareah. Students come from across the world to study in its halls and many rulers at all different levels of governance offer extravagant favours to the headmaster in search of a graduate to serve with them.
Well known members of its faculty include Darshan Hajmai, a master of astronomical divination with exceedingly deep theories about the formation of the universe and entire worlds in the great darkness of the night sky, and the half-elf historian Alistair Greenbriar, one of the few known individuals who have survived since before the Godsmarch.
Although the lauded bard Ventin Erakz claims to have received an education at the school, the current faculty of the school denies such a story, stating that, while Erakz did indeed apply for enrollment at the academy, he was turned down for a “noted lack of the most minute amounts of any-and-all of the discipline required to study the magical arts” and that “Erkaz [was] such a foul mannered individuals, there [could] never be a place for him [at Feuerschwanz].” No matter the truth of the situation, the rumours still continue to follow where Erakz goes – although most alumni of the school are quick to correct those who ask about it.
While it is true that there are those without magical talent at the school, studying more mundane topics, without a doubt the school is most renowned for its mystical studies. Above all else, the school is especially well known for its Institute of Invocation, founded some five hundred years ago by the eccentric (and perhaps insane) genius gnome wizard, Pandari Fizzlebelch (so named for his rather unusual habit of causing the spells of other wizards to fail with a simple, if somewhat rude, belch). Rumoured to have, for a time, having gained his magical prowess by bargains with extradimensional beings before becoming a true and proper wizard when he arrived at the Academy, Pandari invented an entire range of spells devoted to rooting out and destroying the insidious touch of the aberrant creatures attempting to break into the world.
Pandari’s Otherworldly Strike
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Components: V, M (a piece of jade worth at least 10 gp)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
The next time you hit a creature with a weapon attack before this spell ends, the weapon gleams with sizzling jade green fire as you strike. The attack deals an extra 2d6 radiant damage to the target and, if the target is an aberration, causes them to ignite with the same jade green flame, immediately dealing an additional 1d8 radiant damage to the target. At the start of each of its turns until the spell ends, the target must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, it takes 1d8 fire damage. On a successful save, the spell ends. As the flame is otherworldly in nature, there is no way to douse it save the spell ending.
At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the initial damage dealt by the attack increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 2nd.
Classes: Sorceror, Warlock, Wizard
Nareah is a homebrewed setting used with both Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition and Pathfinder. Developed over the last two decades through three campaigns, it has a history shaped by numerous players who have played important roles in the world’s events.