Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters (Part 2) | New Campaign Setting for Fifth Edition

This is a continuation of Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters, a new campaign setting that will appear in BroadSword Monthly #1.


evadimus-school-for-gifted-spellcasters
Art by JD Russell

The School

Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters is an impressive building built into the cliff side of a towering hill. The school was once the enigmatic Library of Morza, bearing the same name as a ruined town surrounding it. For years, undead monks toiled within, scribing books and treating visitors to its astounding collection of ancient lore. The only thing the monks asked for in exchange for the lore was the gift of new lore for them to transcribe.

When Headmaster Evadimus and Lady Maestra took over the rights to the land surrounding the library, they rebuilt and cleaned up the ancient monastery, turning it into a school for burgeoning wizards to learn spellcraft. The wizards allowed the monks to continue their work, convincing them that with each pupil that enters the school, more information comes with them. The new pact worked and the monks continued their compulsive work.

With wizards in the area, locals returned to the ruins of Morza and the town was built anew. The town of Morza now acts as a hub for information and magical trade, as well as arcane tourism.

Arrival

Thousands of aspiring wizards from all over the land submit applications and appeal letters to join the ranks of Evadimus’ spellcasters. Of course, less than 6% are accepted. Tuition costs 100 gp per semester, so many who are accepted are unable to afford the high costs. As such, many of the wizards who enroll at Evadimus’ School come from noble and adventuring families. Evadimus’ School also extends scholarships to especially promising talents who demonstrate incredible intelligence and wisdom despite their lack of worldly experiences.

The first time the characters arrive at Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters, read the following:

Welcome to Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters!

Not so much a school as it is a palace of learning, the red and white brick school towers over the forests and town surrounding it. Two massive statues–one in the shape of a wizened old man with a waist-length beard, the other of a mesmerizingly attractive bald-headed woman–flank the steps leading into the school’s gates.

Already students are pouring into the facilities. Some you can tell are on their third or fourth year by the badges that line their red and white school robes and vestments. Others, like yourselves, are just getting started, their faces a blend of curiosity, excitement, and anxiety.

The school itself is surrounded by a magically-secured wall that prevents most notoriously evil magical creatures–such as unseelie fey, aberrations, fiends, and undead–from entering. The exception, of course, being the withered monks who reside within the main library.

The courtyard and gardens are lush with life. Fragrant flowers, green plants, and vines grow everywhere. Pilcoff, the school’s gardener and nature instructor, uses his spells to keep the school verdant, even through the winter. Animals are a common sight within school grounds, too.

The school itself is made of large, white stones supported by massive timber beams. Its roofs are made of curved terracotta roof tiles that give the school the appearance of a traditional southern monastery. During the warmer summer days, the windows are left open to allow in sunlight and breeze.

All of the students at Evadimus’ School are given red robes with white trim. As they pass their classes and earn honors, they are awarded special badges which they sew onto their robes. The instructors wear black robes with red and white vestments. Senior instructors also wear white, silk caps to denote their status.

 

Locations in the School

While excursions do happen at the school, the majority of the students’ work occurs within the school’s walls. Furthermore, all students are required to live within the dorms through their entire education at the wizarding school. The only time students are permitted to leave is during the winter and summer break.

1 – Junior Faculty Quarters

The majority of the faculty members live in the dormitory near the front gate in the lower courtyard. The house, built in the style of a timber frame manor, can comfortably hold twenty-four instructors in its twelve rooms. However, only the infirmary attendants, Ed and Loe share a room together.

Typically, students aren’t allowed in faculty dorms. However, exceptions are made for tutoring and teachers’ aides. Evadimus strictly forbids student-instructor relationships.

2 – Temple

Classes on religion and necromancy take place at the Temple, taught by Gavin Gargoyle. After school hours, Gavin holds service for those who worship the gods of magic and the arcane. Gavin actually lives in the temple in a small, unadorned room.

3 – Porter

Mangrove Oonz, an ogre, is the school’s porter, custodian, and occasional hired muscle. Mangrove handles many of the “brute force” chores around the temple, digging ditches, carrying luggage, and anything else that the instructors can’t–or won’t–do. Despite Mangrove’s simple nature, he is a dear friend of Evadimus. Evadimus does not take kindly to anyone–including senior instructors–speaking down at Mangrove.

4 – Stores

The school’s food supplies are kept here. Also, a staircase leads down into a cistern below the main courtyard. The cistern is a popular “romance” spot in the school.

5 – Senior Faculty Quarters

The five senior faculty members (Cronin, Fangzara, Malevoil, Ofin, and Pilcoff) live in this building. This dorm has six large suites each with its own kitchen area, bath, bedroom, and lounge. The sixth suite was once Lady Maestra’s. Since her departure, Evadimus locked and magically warded the room. All are forbidden to enter.

6 – Evadimus’ House

Headmaster Evadimus lives in a humble cottage at the southwestern end of the main courtyard. Of course, it’s rare that the headmaster can actually be found here. Usually, he is teaching a class, meeting with staff members, studying in the library, or pacing the school grounds consumed in thought.

7 – Infirmary

When students or faculty are injured, they are taken to the infirmary. And naturally, because medicine is a major area of study at Evadimus’ school, the infirmary doubles as a learning center. Medical duties are shared by Loe Godwin and Edd Namer. Both are medical experts and skilled educators.

8 – Alchemical Laboratory

Once used as a brewery for the Library of Morza, the alchemical lab is one of the most interesting (and noisy) locations on school grounds. Mistress of Alchemy Achk specializes in alchemy, brewing, and even poison craft. Many graduates look back fondly on Achk’s classes, often with an anecdote involving an explosion or accidental mishap involving a misplaced potion of polymorph.

9 – Bakery

Evadimus considered altering the bakery into something more “useful”, but Lady Maestra–an amateur baker herself–convinced him to keep it. Now, it’s one of the best parts of the school. Botan the Bold Baker (CG male human commoner), a dashing rogue if there ever was one, ensures the school’s faculty and student body receive fresh baked goods each morning. Pastries, muffins, boules: there’s no telling what will come out Botan’s kitchen next.

10 – Kitchen

Next door to Botan’s bakery are the main kitchens. Worthwerk and his gang of goblins and mephits man the fires of the school’s kitchens. While meals occasionally arrive slightly off-schedule, they’re always delicious. “Food that ain’t done perfect, ain’t worth cookin’!” Worthwerk is known to holler in defense of late meals. None dare argues with the cantankerous old goblin, lest they receive a thwappin’ from his comically oversized soup ladle.

11 – Bell Tower

A single zombie monk nicknamed Toller resides in the belltower. Despite his emaciated form, the ancient corpse keeps perfect time. The base of the bell tower was once one of the most popular places on campus to study away from the other students. Now, the campus’ most famous club, Toller’s Ten, uses it as their own, private study area. Because of the club’s regular contributions to the school, the faculty allows them to operate here without too much provocation.

12 – Women’s Dorms

The western wing of the library hosts the women’s dormitory. Just like the men’s dormitory, the women’s dormitory is divided into thirty-six simple rooms, each with a bunk, and work area for a pair of roommates. Three communal baths and privies are shared between the students. For the most part, the women police their own behavior. However, there are typically 2-3 senior resident assistants who ensure no issues arise. Men are strictly forbidden in the women’s dorms.

13 – Men’s Dorms

East of the main library are the men’s dorms. The entire area is divided into thirty-six rooms. Roommates share a bunk and workspace. The men are relatively well behaved, but just in case, the faculty employs 2-3 senior resident assistants to keep the men mindful of the school’s rules. Women are never allowed in the men’s dorms.

14 – Main Library

The majority of studies at Evadimus’ school take place within the gargantuan main library. In addition to the thousands of books that crowd the ancient, monk-attended shelves of the library, the signature building hosts classrooms and laboratories. A massive auditorium sits at the center of the main library. Here, Evadimus and his faculty address the entire school body from the center of the room. Also, it is where communal feasts are held.

Should the campus ever come under assault from a major threat, students are advised to hole up within the library. Like the walls surrounding campus, the library is magically warded and protected from evil. Along with the security force lead by Dazen Brightblade, six helmed horrors keep watch from perfectly spaced alcoves. Also, the zombie monks will defend the contents of the library at all costs. Plus, if things get too bad, there is a secret exit leading out of the library into Morza Hill.

 

School Faculty

At any given time, Evadimus’ employs 20 – 25 full-time staff members to teach classes and run the school. Turnover is rare. Even junior faculty members have worked for Evadimus for at least five years.

Important Faculty Members

Name Job Stats
Evadimus Headmaster, arcana and history instructor
LG male human archmage
Senior Instructors
Cronin Enchantment instructor
CG male half-orc mage
Fangzara Evocation and combat magic instructor
LE female tiefling mage
Malevoil Conjuration instructor
N male half-elf mage
Ofin Illusions instructor
N male dwarf mage
Pilcoff Gardener, nature instructor
LG male elf druid
Junior Instructors
Ackh Alchemy instructor, brewer CN female goblin mage
Asra Divination instructor
N female elf mage
Churgin Brokeaxe Practical magic instructor
CG male dwarf mage
Ed Namer Infirmary attendant, medicine instructor
LN male human priest
Gavin Gargoyle Necromancy and religion instructor, temple attendant
LN male human priest
Iflinkle Transmutation instructor
NG female gnome mage
Loe Godwin Infirmary attendant, medicine instructor
NG female half-elf priest
Romerienne Abjuration instructor LG female halfling mage
Botan Baker
CG male human commoner
Dazen Brightblade Head of security
LG female elf veteran
Mangrove Oonz Porter N male ogre
Worthwerk Kitchenmaster N male goblin

Additional Support

In addition to the faculty members mentioned above, the school keeps a rotating staff of hirelings, the majority of which live off-campus.

Kitchens. Worthwerk has two goblin assistants, Doyle and Rote. In addition, the kitchens employ a steam, ice, and magma mephit to assist in cooking duties. Two boys from the town, Jimm and Dabble (NG male human commoners) work as assistants, too. Botan mostly works alone but will pull the older of the two boys, Jimm, into the bakery when he’s pressed with large orders.

Monks. The main library is attended to by the undead monks who worked there before the school was built. There are twenty zombie monks in all. The belltower across the courtyard from the main library is also home to a single zombie monk nicknamed Toller who operates the bells.

Security. Dazen Brightblade is in charge of the school’s security. She manages a staff of sixteen loyal guards. The guards work in three shifts, morning, afternoon, and evening, four guards in each shift. When the school hosts larger events, Dazen brings in temporary help to assist.

 

Side Quests in the School

As the characters get settled at the school and start performing activities, they might encounter NPCs who need their help. The monotony of learning should act as a catalyst to these side quests. Naturally, the characters are under no obligations to complete any of the side quests. Of course, side quests often lead to greater adventure opportunities for fledgling wizards.

Introduce as many or as few of these side quests as you like. The NPCs who trigger them can be encountered anywhere within the school at any point during the semester. If you can’t decide which side quest to choose, roll a d10.

  1. Out of Ink. Master of Illusions, Ofin ran out of lead-based ink for illusory script spells. Tied up with classes, he gives the characters 50 pp to travel to the town of Morza and purchase some at the magic shop. The characters are to purchase 50 bottles of ink and bring it back to the school. If the characters perform the task, Ofin doesn’t offer them a reward, but each of their school standing scores increases by 1.
  2. Help with a Ritual. Mungo and Brop, two CG male human students (see the appendix), ask the characters if they can help perform a necromantic ritual, offering 5 gp to each character that assists. The two have stolen a scroll that allows them to temporarily control an undead creature. Mungo and Brop want to test it on one of the zombie monks working in the lower stacks of the main library. If the characters participate, the two perform the ritual. Unfortunately, the ritual is a disaster, causing the zombie to turn evil and attack the characters, Mungo, and Brop. Even if the characters destroy the zombie, there is a chance that they could get caught by members of faculty, which could hurt their standing.
  3. Lost Girl. While outside of the school, Elaine (N female human commoner) approaches the characters asking if they have seen her daughter, Elle. Elaine begs the characters to help find her daughter. If the characters agree, they can search the forest surrounding the school. Each hour spent searching, have one of the characters roll a DC 13 Wisdom (Survival) check. A successful check leads the character’s to a small cave where Elle is hiding. Elaine can’t repay the characters, but she is extremely thankful for their assistance.
  4. Explore the Crystal Pond. Jola, a fellow student (see the appendix) approaches the characters claiming that she dropped her spellbook while hiking around the Crystal Pond. Already on probation, she can’t disrupt her classes to return to where she last saw it. She asks the characters to find it, offering to pay them 10 gp if they do. If the characters agree, they must spend one day hiking to the pond using Jola’s directions. However, when they arrive, they discover that two members of the Manticores, Ione and Rashar (LE male and female students) found the book and refuse to return it. The two propose a spell duel between Rashar and one of the characters. First to draw blood wins.
  5. Touch the Standing Stone. Adal Nightwing (N male tiefling student) approaches the characters with a dare. Lady Maestra’s old standing stone, the spot where she judged whether or not students were worthy to learn from here, is still at the top of Morza Hill. However, it’s believed to be cursed. Adal challenges the characters to climb the hill and touch the stone, then get a parchment rubbing of the stone for proof. If the characters do, Adal will owe the characters a favor (GM’s discretion).
  6. Bully Protection. Nonce Porter (NG female human student) gets bullied daily by members of the Manticores. Nonce is desperate for help and even agrees to pay the characters 1 gp per day if they can protect her from the bullies. The bullies are lead by Ione and Rashar, both junior members, and both well-known for their sports prowess.
  7. Help the Silent Image. Hwaeg (CN male half-orc student), a member of the mysterious school club, The Silent Image, needs a distraction so he and other members of the club can escape for a late night ritual. He keeps the club a secret but explains that should the characters help, a powerful school club will be in the characters’ debt. There is a chance that the characters could be caught creating the distraction. If they are, it’s likely each of their Standing scores decreases by 1.
  8. Rumblehouse Needs Beer. Rumblehouse is throwing a massive bonfire party off school grounds on the last day of the fall semester. Trouble is, they need beer. Of course, Mistress of Alchemy, Achk keeps a huge barrel of southern ale in the alchemists’ laboratory. If the characters can steal the barrel and bring it to the Rumblehouse bonfire, Rumblehouse will pay the characters 100 gp and allow them to join in on the festivities.
  9. Save Gingo. Two junior student brothers, Gingo and Rup (CN male halfling students) performed a ritual in the forest, summoning a magmin. Gingo is now in danger as the magmin has him cornered in a cave. Rup begs the characters to help save his brother before the school faculty finds out–Rup worries that if the faculty learns of the ritual, the two will be expelled.
  10. Mysterious Stranger. While the characters are alone and away from prying eyes, a mysterious robed stranger approaches. The strange isn’t wearing the typical robes or vestments of a student or faculty member. In a distorted voice, the stranger says, “The Dark Lady wants what is hers. The Silent ones march for her once more. Whitestone crumbles.” Then, the stranger collapses, leaving behind only a pile of robes. If the characters do research on the robes, they discover that the robes were Lady Maestra’s.

 

Who is Lady Maestra?

The school’s co-founder, Maestra, was Evadimus’ partner and arcane equal. Unfortunately, the two had a major falling out when Evadimus’ discovered that Maestra was using one of the school’s clubs, The Silent Image, to perform dark deeds. Maestra, driven into a rage, attempted to destroy the school but was defeated by Evadimus and senior members of the faculty. Maestra, mortally wounded from the battle, fled the school. In the years since Maestra turned herself into a lich. She continues to plot against her former colleagues, hoping to destroy Evadimus and the school once and for all.

 

School Clubs

There are five traditional clubs at Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters. All are presided over by a member of faculty, who then nominates a senior student as president or counsel to oversee day-to-day operations. The clubs start searching for prospective members within the first week of school. By the end of the first month,

Manticore

“Magic is Power” is the motto of Manticore. Manticore’s members–easily recognized by their fur-lined hoods–are often serious, cold, and calculating. Many students see the Manticores as a club to be avoided at all costs. The Manticores rarely associate within anyone outside of their own ranks. When they do, it’s because there is something they want.

The “survival of the fittest” attitude of the Manticores typically attracts evil-leaning wizards. However, Manticore’s success in wizard sports and school competition earns even their most corrupt members leniency from the faculty. Fangzara, mistress of evocation, a Manticore herself during her school years, oversees the club.

Rumblehouse

Easily the rowdiest and largest of the four major clubs, Rumblehouse enjoys the chaotic elements of magic. They have no preference for particular any school of magic, but many of their ranks are conjurers and evokers. Rumblehouse loves drinking, carousing, and starting fights. Their overseer, Churgin Brokeaxe was a graduate of Evadimus’ school, and it’s clear he never wanted to leave. The grizzled, one-eyed dwarf drinks, parties, and brawls with the rest of them.

Rumblehouse has no clear rules for joining but generally prefers athletic, chaotic, or easy-going wizards within its ranks. Those that do join, however, are submitted to a rigorous series of initiation rituals. Rumor has it that Churgin lost his eye during his own initiation. Whenever he’s asked about it, he usually responds with 1) punching the inquirer in the face and 2) a plucky wink and a grin.

Rod, Staves, and Wands

Headmaster Evadimus himself once presided over the prestigious club known as Rod, Staves, and Wands (often abbreviated as “The Wands”). Now, his former assistant and mistress of abjuration, Romerienne helps the club with its activities.

The Wands are the friendliest club at the school, and the majority of its members are of good alignment. While there are trials the Wands subject prospects to, the trials are nowhere near as dangerous as those the other clubs perform. After all, the Wands consist primarily of enchanters and diviners, wizards who devote their time to protecting others.

The Silent Image

A not-so-secret secret society, the Silent Image are strictly students interested in illusion magic. The group meets in a small cave outside of town. Members of the Silent Image wear black robes with featureless white masks. Only senior members of the Silent Image know the true identities of their members. For the most part, the Silent Image is harmless. Years past, Lady Maestra oversaw the group. In that time, she used them as pawns in her machinations against Evadimus. Since then, the illusions instructor, Master Ofin has taken over as their overseer.

Ofin taps those that show promise in his classes to join the enigmatic group. A potential recruit must demonstrate their illusory abilities. Should they perform well before the senior members of the Silent Image, they are awarded the robes and mask of the club.

Toller’s Ten

Also known as “The Ten”, Toller’s Ten are a club made of ten students, overseen by Gavin Gargoyle (whose title is Master Eleven to the members). The Ten are divided into two explicit ranks: the seniors and juniors. The senior members dictate the actions of the Ten while the junior members carry them out. While seen as “stuffy” by their peers, the Ten are one of the oldest and most respected organizations at the School.

All members of the Ten are required to be of lawful alignment. Typical members of Toller’s Ten have specialty in alchemy and tend towards necromancy as their area of specialization.

 

Class Schedule

Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters has sixteen classes. All students are required to take four classes per semester. Students that fail one or more of their classes may be required to take additional classes during the summer (at the normal cost of tuition, of course), or take an extra semester. The classes at Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters are not easy. Even the most intelligent mages may find themselves taking five or six semesters.

Each class is two hours long, seperated by an hour of free time. Breakfast is served from 7 bells to 9 bells, then dinner is served from 20 bells to 22 bells. Students often get lunch in between 11 bells and 15 bells.

Class Schedule

Class Instructor Location Time of Day
Abjuration Romerienne Lower Courtyard 15 bells
Alchemy Ackh Alchemy Laboratory 15 bells
Arcana Evadimus Main Library 9 bells
Combat Magic Fangzara Fields (off campus) 9 bells
Conjuration Malevoil Dungeon 15 bells
Divination Asra Main Library 18 bells
Enchantment Cronin Main Library 18 bells
Evocation Fangzara Fields (off campus) 12 bells
History Evadimus Main Library 12 bells
Illusion Ofin Main Library 18 bells
Medicine Loe Godwin Infirmary 15 bells
Nature Pilcoff Lower Courtyard 9 bells
Necromancy Gavin Gargoyle Temple 18 bells
Practical Magic Churgin Brokeaxe Main Courtyard 12 bells
Religion Gavin Gargoyle Temple 9 bells
Transmutation Ilfinkle Main Courtyard 12 bells

Random Events

No school is year is free from drama and trouble. Thanks to the magical nature of the schools’ inhabitants and its students, the school acts as a beacon for all manner of chaos, magical shenanigans, and, of course, random encounters.

While it’s likely that the characters will find plenty of mischief on their own, random incidents can help bring the school experience to life and point them in the direction of adventure. Roll a d20 once per day of game time. An encounter occurs on a roll of 18 or higher. Roll a d20 and check the School Encounters table to determine what happens to the characters, or simply choose an encounter you like.

School Encounters

d20 Encounter
1 A fire elemental breaks out of the dungeon and charges into the courtyard while the characters are in between classes.
2 One of the characters becomes the target of a bully’s ire (use the student stat block detailed in the appendix). The bully demands that the character either given them money or help them study (or both!)
3 Achk approaches a character, claiming that they stole a potion of fire resistance from her laboratory. The character could get into trouble with the faculty (and lose standing) unless they can learn who actually stole the potion.
4 1d6 + 1 members of Rumblehouse students (see the appendix) pick a fight with an equal number of Manticore students. The characters are caught in the middle of the fight, especially if they are part of either club.
5 One of the Ten approaches a character asking to borrow their focus or component bag, promising to pay them 10 gp the next day. The member of the Ten makes good on their promise. If the character is especially gracious, the member of the Ten may even ask the character to join Toller’s Ten.
6 One of the characters’ foot lockers is broken into and all of their personal possessions are stolen.
7 The characters hear rumors that there is an ettin wandering around in the forests surrounding the school
8 An alarm sounds. 3d6 orcs attack the school. The faculty is able to keep the orcs away, but any characters or students outside during the attack may get attacked. The orcs are servants of Lady Maestra.
9 “Look out!” shouts a student, whose fire bolt spell accidentally hits one of the characters.
10 The characters stumble on one of the faculty members sending a message spell to Lady Maestra. The faculty member threatens the students but is interrupted just before they can harm the characters.
11 – 20 The characters are tasked with a side quest. See the sidequests section for details.

This article is a preview for the content in BroadSword Monthly #1, due out in August. Learn more about BroadSword Monthly #1 (and get 10% off the price!)

Art by Wheel of Time RPG.

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