Simargl, known as "The Empty One" has twice now served as Dean since the death of Empress Britta.
The Dean of the Lyceum oversees the most famous college for
the study of magic in the Empire.

Overview

The Dean of the Lyceum is an Imperial title in the Conclave bestowed on a magician.

The Lyceum was established during the reign of Empress Aenea on an island east of Siroc. It is a centre of arcane learning in the Empire, and the Dean of the Lyceum maintains sumptuous apartments here. Approach to the island is carefully controlled by the inhabitants, and the most promising magicians are invited to study or teach there. When not pursuing research for the Dean, the masters of the Lyceum dedicate themselves to their own pursuits in comfort and security.

In practice, many members of the Lyceum do not live in the physical college itself, rather they participate in research through exchanges of letters for which they receive a small stipend from the college. There are (for example) Varushkan masters of the Lyceum who spend most of their lives with their cabal, Urizen masters of the Lyceum who rarely leave their dreaming spires, and Freeborn and Navarr masters who make a great deal of use of Call Winged Messenger to send the results of their researches to their colleagues at the Lyceum while maintaining their mendicant lifestyles.

Responsibilities

The Dean oversees the Lyceum, and directs the progress of Imperial ritual research. While the Lyceum is often seen as the foremost centre of magical research, there is some rivalry with similar institutions elsewhere in the Empire and beyond.

While the Dean has the final say in the research agenda of the Lyceum, it is common for other magicians to approach her and suggest areas which might benefit one or other of the orders, Imperial Nations or other interest groups in the Empire. Historically some Deans have taken a scholastic approach to their position while others have used it to enrich themselves.

The Dean of the Lyceum might pursue personal wealth, or an altruistic course, but regardless holds one of the most politically powerful titles in the Conclave.
Eudaemon of Halcyon Spire, who became Dean in Winter 379YE

Powers

The Dean of the Lyceum is an Imperial title in the Conclave.

Guiding the magicians of the Lyceum

The Lyceum is a centre of magical learning where ritual magicians from across the Empire come to study, debate, discuss and pursue arcane mastery. In return for maintaining a good standard of living, these magicians are expected to perform ritual research and study for the betterment of the Empire. The Dean is responsible for setting the direction that research takes.

The Dean can direct research towards formalizing a new ritual so that it can be mastered. The ritual must already exist in the form of an arcane projection, but there is no requirement to select one they have personally commissioned. It is important to note that creating a new formulaic ritual is an art not a precise science - the final ritual may differ from the spontaneous magic described in the arcane projection. The Lyceum can work on formalising one ritual at a time, and the research may take anywhere from a season to several years depending on the complexity and the resources available. The amount of time it takes to complete research into a ritual depends on the magnitude of that ritual. It requires at least three months (one season) for every twenty ranks of magnitude the final ritual will have. If research is not completed, the Lyceum keeps notes on their work so far, and may resume it at a later date from where it was left off.

At the completion, the Dean receives a ritual text suitable for use in mastering the ritual. The Dean may keep the knowledge of the ritual restricted to themselves and their allies, or through a declaration of Imperial lore the Conclave can have that ritual added to the wider body of Imperial lore, making it available to any ritual magician in the Empire.

If the declaration of Imperial lore passes, the Conclave must raise the ten Thrones required to pay for the work involved. A motion requesting funding from the Imperial Senate is often put forward, if there are good relations between the two houses.

OOC Note: The Dean selects the arcane projection they wish to formulate by e-mail to Profound Decisions (empire.rules@profounddecisions.co.uk) prior to the next event. The final magnitude of the ritual text is not guaranteed to be the same as that of the arcane projection.

The Boon of the Black Sloth

Sinc the completion of the Quiet Annexe, the eternal Sadogua functions as a very unofficial patron of the college, encouraging his heralds and magicians seeking his favour to assist the researchers and theoreticians at the college. When codifying a ritual the Dean can call on the assistance of these heralds and magicians to speed up the process. Doing so requires payment in the form of iridescent gloaming.

The first five ranks of additional research in a season cost 18 measures of gloaming. The next five ranks will cost a further 44 measures (for a total of 62 measures). The next five ranks will cost another 88 measures, and so on doubling the cost for each further additional five ranks of research within the same season.

Unlike the additional benefits provided a college of magic by a specialisation, this additional research speed is not restricted to any one magical realm - the Brother of Wizards may favour Night magic but his allies are adept in all six magical lores.

This power cannot be used in the eternal Sadogua is under the enmity of the Imperial Conclave, however.

Arbiter of Imperial Lore

Once per summit, the Dean of the Lyceum can raise either a declaration of Imperial lore or declaration of interdiction to the agenda of a Conclave session without spending crystal mana. They follow all other rules and guidelines for submitting an article for the Conclave agenda (it must be in advance, with the assistance of a civil servant, and they are responsible for any presentation).

Apartments at the Lyceum

The Dean has fine apartments at the heart of the Lyceum itself. These luxurious chambers have been built and rebuilt by the finest architects the Empire has to offer and allow the Dean (and their family if desired) to live a rich lifestyle marked by fine food, access to luxuries and exposure to cultural excellence from across the Empire.

Appointment

The appointment, replacement, or removal of the Dean is made by the declaration of candidacy as part of a Conclave session. Any Imperial citizen may hold the title. A candidate can be presented for the post of Dean only once a season.

The Dean of the Lyceum serves until they are replaced by another magician using the declaration of candidacy. As a title in the Conclave, they cannot be revoked. When a Dean loses their title, research on their projects ends although it is not unknown for a Dean to return to earlier projects of interest and have them completed in their own name.

The Lyceum

The Lyceum was established during the reign of Empress Aenea on an island east of Siroc. It is a centre of arcane learning in the Empire, and the Dean of the Lyceum maintains sumptuous apartments here. Approach to the island is carefully controlled by the magicians and professors, and the most promising magicians are invited to study or teach there. The climate is generally warm and pleasant, and the atmosphere on the island tends towards the relaxed and unhurried.

The Quiet Annexe

Following an offer from the eternal Sadogua, a major extension to the Lyceum was approved by the Imperial Senate in Autumn 382YE. This commission saw some of the first major construction on the island in over a century. The majority of the new construction took place along the western coast of the island, in a particularly idyllic area popular with students and faculty alike for quiet meditation and private assignations. The orange tree orchard in question surrounds a Night regio, anchored to a set of old ruins of unknown provenance. The ares is now a crowded garden featuring a many-coloured assortment of night flowers, subtle wind-chimes, and colourful streamers. The general garden atmosphere has been enhanced with bowers and statues as well as several work rooms, storage for scrolls and books, and the like.

Somewhat controversially, the designs include what is believed to be a discreet statue of the Black Sloth which has of course raised the vague spectre of idolatry. It takes the form of a statue of a crow in black stone with amber eyes that seem to gleam in the half-light. The statue is placed within a grove of orange trees in such a way that whatever the time of day it is always somehow in shadow. Around the crow’s leg is twined a golden chain. This slightly problematic statue sits on a plinth marked with the rune Diras and bears the inscription ‘In Friendship’. Each night it becomes the focus of a spontaneous enchantment that bears all the hallmarks of the Chamber of Delights making it a popular place for late-night picnics and nocturnal trysts for many of the residents of the island.

On the opposite side of the regio is a second statue, in the same style, that depicts a veiled and hooded statue of a mysterious Varushkan cabalist, depicts the Dean who oversaw the construction - Simargl, the Empty One. The statue is very slightly larger than that of the crow. It is marked with the runes Wyr, Xun, and Naeve. The statue is entwined with climbing moonflower, a plant known for its tendency to attract moths.