"Prove you are worthy of instruction. Find the hidden college. Find Rumor." -Fie
Fealty: Silver Flame
Distinctions: Dragonthorn Wands
One of the most successful institutions of magic stands in the midst of a sprawling metropolis, yet few people living there have any idea where it is. It sits on no road, lies at the end of no alley. Climbing a tower might give you a nice look at the skyline, but you will see no sign of this institution amid the tangled streets and crowded neighborhoods. Most people have given up trying to find it, and many go so far as to deny it’s there at all. But it is there. It’s right in front of everyone. They just can’t see it.
Rumor, also known as the Hidden Academy, has stood within the city’s walls for nearly three centuries. The reason people cannot locate the academy is that it isn’t in just one place: It spreads out like a spiderweb across the city. Instead of being made up of traditional corridors and classrooms, dormitories, and dining halls, all gathered under a single roof, Rumor exists in many different places. Powerful illusions make a dormitory look like an old, haunted house, a classroom appear to be a rubbish heap, and so on. Distance between the facilities is not a problem. The various locations all have permanent portals that allow instant passage from one building to another
Rumor’s secretive nature allows the Hidden Academy to more or less do what it pleases while avoiding political and social entanglements. As long as the local population doubts the academy even exists, the wizards have the run of the city. From time to time some ordinary citizen stumbles across a sign of Rumor’s existence. If tales start spreading, Rumor moves quickly to contain the problem, either by casting doubt on the tale-teller’s reputation or by erasing everyone’s memories of the incident.
The Hidden Academy’s faculty includes members of nearly every known race. Students of any sort can find welcome here, whether minotaur, shardmind, or human. Although Rumor focuses on wizard magic, it provides opportunities for anyone who has magical talent to grow and thrive, so the students often include apprentice bards, sorcerers, and other kinds of arcane magic users.
It should come as no surprise that the school of illusion receives the most attention at Rumor. Pog himself set down the curriculum for instructing students in illusion magic, and no one has dared to change his work. Because the phenomena of illusions extend across all arcane traditions, Pog’s teachings are valuable no matter what path the student follows.
No matter how self-serving the academy’s origin might have been, Pog’s approach to how Rumor would operate was unique, and it speaks to the fact that Pog is a good and fair-minded person at heart. By making education free to those who have the wherewithal to find the school, he ensured that admission went to the people who deserved it, rather than using a system that excluded the poor, the luckless, or the racially unpopular.
Pog, and the wizards who support him, believe that magic holds the key to improving the world, guarding against evil, and leading civilization to a brighter age. These beliefs shape the Hidden Academy’s teachings and how it fosters magical talent in those who study there.