Wednesday, September 24, 2014

City of Curses: Icons: The Chancellor

The Chancellor of Crux University

Possible Aspects*: Scholarship of Beyond; Knowledge is Power; The Scientific Method; Doctorate of [Insert Magical or Scientific Field]
Quote: "Academic Freedom- that is what we promise.  This is our goal above all others- knowledge unrestrained by the tyrannical whims of society, religion or the state."

The Chancellor position at Crux University has always been one of the main political players in Crux.  The Chancellor controls how Crux functions, its administration, heads the local branches of the Esoterium Machina and direct all research funds for the university as a whole.  He even controls admissions to some degree.  He represents the loftiest goals of Crux University: research unlimited by legal, philosophical or moral bounds.

Common Knowledge
The Chancellor's name has been synonymous with the University ever since the position was created seven centuries ago.  Everyone know who he is.  They also know that any student at the university has to be approved by the Chancellor.

The other thing well known about the Chancellor are jobs he provides throughout the academic year.  The university will purchase some goods, especially if they are key to certain experiments.  Just as the Chancellor is known for the jobs and goods he'll have the purchase, many also associate him with the goods the university produces.  The magic goods produced at the university tend drive price for all magic goods even lower.  Common folk own pieces of quasi-magic artifice thanks to the work of the University.  Even though the Chancellor has no part in the creation of such innovation, he is the face for the University most recognize.

Many adventurers that also take classes at Crux University will find themselves tied to the Chancellor.  Such students can easily be on positive or negative terms with the Chancellor, although he is always open to those who pursue new forms of research.  He also does employ adventurers for missions for the university as well, preferably selecting those adventurers with ties to the university for missions into the catacombs beneath the Skullmount.

The Chancellor often employs the services of many other Icons through the university, often asking them to acquire resources or having them help a particular project for the university.  The Archwitch often acquires research materials from less reputable sources the university needs.  The Police Commissioner has come to lean on the Chancellor for training of his magical resources, more than a few of which are illegal detectives.  The Chancellor keeps his relationships with all his allies quiet, yet is unafraid to blackmail anyone if it could benefit him.

The Chancellor, like all his predecessors, finds his work at odds with both the Prince and the Tinkerer.   He has no ill will against either, but both would put restraints on him and the university he can't abide.  Both the Archbishop and the Archdruid proudly make pronouncements against the Chancellor and the university, often pointing to various arcane and technological inventions they find blasphemous.  If anyone tries to restrict his university or the research it aims for, they draw his crosshairs.

The position of Chancellor of Crux University is one of the oldest positions in the city.  It was created by the Esoterium Machina itself, and therefore the position has little to no origin in other Icons.  The Prince has long butted heads with the Chancellor and whoever held its position, long despising the independence the University held within "his city."

The strongest part of the Chancellor's support comes from the Esoterium Machina, especially those members who also take part in the Sundered Star cult.  The ideals of the Sundered Star believe that ancient technology left behind by the Ursyklon and the Aboleth lie all over Orphos, waiting for the right mind to reactivate them.  By "fixing" the star, this cult is certain that ancient wonders can be theirs once more.

It is important to note that the University of Crux is far older than the position of Chancellor.  The current Chancellor is the 45th to have held that position, and only has been Chancellor for the last five years.  Even the Chancellor doesn't know all the secrets and things to be found in the ancient University.

The Sundered Star Restored: Some like the Archbishop or Archdruid worry about what would happen if any ancient technologies were to be found by the University.  The fear of anything that might bring the Aboleth free, or worse, attract other entities from beyond to Orphos, drives both of them to act wherever they can to prevent the chance the University might succeed at finding such a thing.
Experiments Loose: Sometimes the Necromancy and Alchemy departments will violate or skit the line of the Old Agreements, the only bans the University has in regards to animating corpses.  These experiments sometimes get loose, and get out.  Worse, some of these "experiments" prove infectious.  Often adventurers and others are brought in to contain the situation.

Sidebar: The Other Icon 
What Follows Isn't Meant For Players.  If you want to play in Crux, this information is possibly spoiler-worthy.  The Chancellor of Crux is representative of another Icon, one whose influence is only really felt through the Chancellor's efforts.  The Chancellor represents the Sundered Star and the cult surrounding it.
The Sundered Star is a metaphor for the Aboleth and their own masters.  It is the void: the freedom to do what they want, unrestricted.  This tie between the Chancellor and the Aboleth isn't unintentional; the Chancellor represents the left handed path of technology.  The darkest fears of the Ursyklon lie within the Chancellor, even though they have no idea how close the Chancellor is to manifesting them.
*For use in Fate Core, or any other game that uses such things.