The Invisible College began among the scribes and lay community brought by Saint Columba and his successors to Iona in the western isles. They painstakingly preserved classical knowledge for future generations during the decline of the Dark Ages in works such as the Book of Kells. Awakened mages were drawn to this leading medieval center of learning by prospects of finding and protecting sacred lore, and techniques and discoveries at Iona were disseminated across all of Europe.
By the time Vikings sacked Iona, the Invisible College’s fortunes were in decline. They fled with their precious books to monasteries and newfound burghs, like Sterling and St. Andrews, where newly founded academic communities grew into Scotland’s first universities.
Columbines flourished during periods of Scottish intellectual flowering, notably the Scottish Enlightenment. Leading thinkers fired the salons of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and ignited the universities -- not entirely to the Invisible College’s favour, putting them at loggerheads with the Lumen Society. Many leading scientific thinkers were poached by the Philologi, but the Columbines were seized by a desire for exploration and research. Renewed interest in Scottish history and culture flowing out of the Victorian era reinvigorated their sagging fortunes. The Royal Society's sterling reputation buoyed interest among traditional scholars eager to bask in the reflected glory, and the Invisible College played its part in maintaining an international reputation for Edinburgh as a center of Supernal learning.
Combing through marketplaces and old ruins, the Invisible College actively seeks to recover lost knowledge and enhance its formidable holdings. Over the centuries, spells slipped through the Royal Society’s fingers, artifacts vanished, and holy places fell into disrepair or faded. The burden of preserving the fraction of what disappeared into the sands of times lies upon their shoulders. Fractious academics drawn into studies of natural philosophy, magic, and lost history, they are as often embroiled in their own research as striking down "mistaken" notions, all in the pursuit of truth.
The Invisible College loathes extracting itself from individual research to deal with politics. Columbines, like their ecclesiastical namesake, would rather delve into a subject in the "medieval waymarkers” than cross swords over administrative minutiae. The Royal Society taps them for expert opinions rather than drag the Columbines kicking and screaming into a political discussion.
The Mysterium regionally adopted the name of the Invisible College to acknowledge the mighty contributions and lasting legacy of their forebears in the British Isles and Ireland, a tradition stretching back to the eighth century. Columbines safeguarded ancient mysteries after the collapse of Roman power across much of Europe, preserving priceless lore in their monasteries and scriptoriums on far-flung islands at the edges of civilization. The Invisible College won the favour of British monarchs and gathered great thinkers together in a scarcely concealed secret society, a further coup that set back the Seers of the Throne. While the Mysterium uses its common title elsewhere in the world, its members almost universally acknowledge the Invisible College in all documentation, address, and conversations when referring to the chapter in the United Kingdom.
List of Active PCs as Scraped Automatically by DPL
Stories and gossip surround all the Orders, and the Wise might grow rich on learning valuable secrets or discovering the false ones.
Knowledge is power and the Invisible College shall not dispense information for free. Columbines may accept a favour or debt in exchange for lore, but the Wise know strings come attached.
- Nicknames: The Columbines
- Leading Figures: Broichan
- Rote Skills: Academics, Athletics, Expression
- Theme: Magic is alive.
- Draw to Edinburgh: The precious understanding preserved here cannot be lost in a cataclysm.
- Sample Concepts: Acanthus historical chronicler (Aneirin); Mastigos seeker of the First Watchtower; Moros magical compound experimenter; Obrimos religious studies theorist; Thyrsus urban descant specialist
A sampling of the Order's interests include, but are not limited to the following:
- National Library of Scotland
- National Museum of Scotland
An ancient pledge to uphold the Lex Innocentium sanctions the Invisible College against harming innocent people with magic. The oldest preserved tomes seem to respond to the discord surrounding a Columbine who committed a magical sin against Wisdom within the past week (regardless of whether he suffered degeneration or not). Seals will not open, words warp, and a sense of disappointment exudes from the ancient texts. Some even say the guilty risk the wrath of spirits charged to guard the precious collection by no less a figure than Saints Adamnan or Columba themselves.