Thul’Amat is the university of Mugroba, and the center of secular and magical learning in the Kingdom. Unlike its sister and brother universities in the other five Kingdoms, Thul’Amat is located in Mugroba’s capital city of Thul Ka.
More information on non-university education in Mugroba, and education for races other than galdori and imbali, can be found under Education in Mugroba.
- 1 History
- 2 Academia
- 3 Student Life
- 4 Fashion
Although not as old as Brunnhold, the history of the university that is now Thul’Amat stretches back to 500 BT.
The Dejai Temple school was the first incarnation of Thul’Amat, and was built on what is now the site of Ire’dzosat around 500 BT. Dejai Temple was rather more focused on scholarship than general education, and admitted galdori students only from 16 years of age on, following a rigorous entrance exam which few passed. Professors, known as Amati, took small clusters of five to ten students much like an apprenticeship; the students would assist the Amati with their research in exchange for instruction. Both magical and secular studies were conducted at Dejai Temple.
Fire and Rebuilding
In 1700 BT, the Dejai Temple school burned down in an enormous conflagration; the historian Nedi pezre Kawa, who herself had studied at Dejai Temple, wrote that the blaze could be seen from any part of Thul’Amat, and that “those who traveled down the rivers towards the city saw a pillar of fire extending into the heavens themselves.”
The fire burned so hot that while most of the stone of the school simply collapsed, some shattered and some turned to glass in the flames. One of the meditation gardens in Ire’dzosat today contains the glass-melted remains of some of the stone from the original Dejai Temple.
Due to the severity of the fire, it was decided that Dejai Temple should not be rebuilt; instead, a new school was built on the same ground, and called Thul’Amat. Over the years, the school grew steadily; Thul’Amat split into its current college system around 2300 BT, and has remained largely the same in organization since.
Admission of Imbala
Following the end of the exile in 2500s, imbali petitioned for their children to be allowed admittance to Thul’Amat. It took many decades for the first imbali students to be (provisionally) admitted, and decades more until more than a handful had graduated. As of the early 2700s, many imbali do attend and graduate from Thul’Amat.
Imbali attend under conditions which differ slightly from galdori. Imbali students are limited in which colleges they can attend (no imbali has ever attended Ire’dzosat), and entrance exam scores and fees are often higher within the same college for imbali relative to galdori. In practice, the treatment of imbali students in a class depends very much on the professor and their personal tolerance; many are accommodating, and others are not. Minor bullying, whether physical or social, is commonplace; however, the rules forbidding the use of magic on imbali are strictly enforced, so long as a galdor witnesses and testifies to the incident.
Today, there are even a handful of imbali professors, although they tend to face considerable opposition both at Thul’Amat and, frequently, from the traditionalists in the imbali community.
Thul’Amat focuses on academic innovation, practically applied; Thul’Amat professors in various colleges work with organizations and companies across various industries, applying their research in areas ranging from Thul Ka’s prefects to hydraulic engineering to desert agriculture.
Admissions to Thul’Amat proper start at age sixteen with rigorous entrance exams; students typically study there from age sixteen to twenty, with the most talented continuing on to do two to three years of a tseruh (honors) project.
Although entrance to Thul’Amat starts at 16, a number of preparatory schools formally affiliated with the university exist along the edges of the campus.
Many Mugrobi students study with private tutors (at home or in small groups) up until the entrance exams, but others—particularly those from outside Thul Ka or the Muluku Isles, but also sometimes students from either place—attend these preparatory schools.All focus on simultaneously delivering a broad education and preparing students for the entrance exams; many admit imbali pupils who can afford them, but others do not.
In Mugroba, as in Anaxas, it is common for children to undergo a test to determine their magical potential at age ten. Unlike for admission to Brunnhold, however, these results tend to matter relatively little (with the exception of galdori-born children discovered to be imbali, of course).Instead, Thul’Amat has its own highly rigorous secular entrance examination, known as the Telling of Vespe’s Blessing. The exam tests mental acuity, knowledge, and retention; it generally takes place over a period of two weeks, with students scored on both written and oral components. A student’s score on the exam will determine which college at Thul’Amat they are allowed to attend; students unsatisfied with their score and what it means for their prospects sometimes take the exam a second time the subsequent year, or else attend a university in another Kingdom.
Thul’Amat is organized in a number of colleges; which colleges (and courses of study) within them a student attends are determined by their on the Telling of Vespe’s Blessing. Professors of a college can petition for a student’s admittance regardless of a too-low score; this is a highly controversial practice, but does happen sometimes.
Each college sets its own curriculum and graduation requirements, subjects to constraints from the university. It is possible for students to transfer between colleges during their time at Thul’Amat, although one can only enter a school or course of study which their entrance score would have allowed them.
The most prestigious college of Thul’Amat is Ire’dzosat, which contains all of Thul’Amat’s magical study departments. Its academic buildings, specialized libraries and world-famous meditation gardens are located at the heart of the campus, and ringed by high sandstone walls. Only galdori can achieve admission into Ire’dzosat and only galdori are ever allowed through its gates.
Ire’dzosat’s most famous department is Clairvoyant Conversation, the magical specialty of Mugroba. The college’s library is world-renowned, containing books, unpublished manuscripts, and even notes and annotations from many of Thul’Amat’s most preeminent scholars. Ire’dzosat is home to the most divinipotent sorcerers in the world, and the research and spellcraft pursued there is innovative and exciting, often pushing the boundaries of clairvoyance (and the borders between conversations).
The college with the next most stringent entrance requirements is Dzit’ereq, Thul’Amat’s college of engineering. Within Dzit’ereq, students can study a variety of engineering, including mechanical, chemical and structural. Although Dzit’ereq does not formally restrict attendance to galdori, very few imbali are permitted entrance; even fewer graduate.
The second strictest entry requirements among secular colleges are for the college of history, Ivuq’way. History is something of a misnomer, as archaeology, paleontology, and related fields are all included under the college’s departments. There are many active on-going excavations which run out of Ivuq’way, including work in one of the wings the Temple of Ashu’tei and a variety of desert sites.
Although it is not an exhaustive list, other colleges at Thul’Amat include Tsu’un, the college of literature, Ivuq’way, the college of sciences, and Ared’ur, the college of tradescraft. In practice, Ared’ur has the most imbali of any college; imbali will often find it difficult to attend any other college even if their scores allow it.
The tseruh project, or honors project, is Thul’Amat’s version of graduate studies. Although a student can graduate Thul’Amat after five years, and many do, it is much more common for Mugrobi students to go on to complete a tseruh. The requirements to begin a tseruh are that one has a willing advisor and the good opinion of at least two other faculty; the requirements to end a tseruh are much more nebulous. Generally, one is required to have made a contribution, whether within one field or across them, whether theoretical or applied, whether it takes one year or five. Most students complete their tseruh in two to three years, including a defense of the project which takes place at the end of the study period.
Students from other universities can also attend Thul’Amat to undertake a tseruh of their own; it is common—although not required—for such students to attend a year of advanced coursework first, and to find their advisor and sponsors afterwards.
Students at Thul’Amat tend to take their studies fairly seriously; most attend classes eight out of ten days a week. However, Thul’Amat, and the surrounding neighborhoods of Deja Point and Hluun are none-the-less lively and vibrant places—particularly at night and on the weekends.
The campus of Thul’Amat is set off from Dejai Point, with a single main entrance through a large archway at the end of a long, shadeless pavilion known as the Walk of Tsed’tsa. This is the last place where humans or wicks can be found, and is often full of peddlers and students even on the hottest days.
Inside the campus, each college has its own set of buildings and libraries; there is a large central campus library, Idisúfi, as well, although the rarest and most exciting books tend to be housed in the appropriate college. All the same, Idisúfi has an impressive collection of books on a variety of secular and magical subjects, with magical texts housed in the West Hall. The entrance hall of Idisúfi often has small displays highlighting one collection or another, and the library is a popular place for students to study, with areas appropriate for quiet individual study and noisier group study. There are areas where even the softest whisper is prohibited, to accommodate rigorous solitary study and clairvoyant meditation.
Some areas of Idisúfi, particularly in the West Hall, are restricted to upperclassmen and even those who have undertaken a tseruh. Naturally, rumors fly among young students of secrets hidden in the halls; though no arata would lie, it doesn’t hurt for a little first-year speculation to go unchecked.
There are a number of interesting sites on campus; there is a large hydraulically-run planetarium, Iw’upos Observatory, which is open to the public. A Foucault Pendulum, one of the tallest in Vita, hangs in the courtyard of Ivuq’way, tracing thin-pointed lines in the sand. Ire’dzosat, famously, has a number of meditation gardens, in sand, plants, water, and bare rock; in the bare rock garden, one can find glass-melted stones from the fire of Dejai Temple.
Places to Visit
- Meditation Gardens of Thul'Amat located in Ire'dzosat
Living ArrangementsThul’Amat has no dormitories on campus. All students live either in university-sponsored dormitories on the outskirts of campus, or in student housing deeper in Deja Point or Hluun; others commute from neighborhoods slightly further away, including Slowwater. The associated preparatory schools have their own dormitory arrangements, where students stay during their attendance.
DuelingUnlike many other universities, duels between students are fairly rare at Thul’Amat, although they do occur. Similarly, Thul’Amat does have a dueling club, but it wanes and waxes in popularity, and is never as popular as at most of the other universities. Contests of skill, on the other hand, are wildly popular between students; physical contests of balance and flexibility are common, as are clairvoyant contests of will.
Servants and Working Staff
Humans and wicks are forbidden on the campus proper of Thul’Amat; imbali are forbidden inside Ire’dzosat, and were forbidden the campus (and most of the rest of Mugroba) during exile. As such, the caretaking of the campus has traditionally been in the hands of galdori; there are several old "Thul’Amat families" who oversee the building and maintenance of the campus. Students in all departments contribute to upkeep in some capacity or another, ideally in a way that furthers their study. Living conversationalists with a focus on plants and botany students, for example, might help with on-campus gardens; engineering students might assist in designing and maintaining structures.
For students of lower incomes—particularly galdori—work-study arrangements have always been popular. In higher years, this often includes tutoring and other instruction work; in earlier years, students will work in the libraries or on-campus food service. By custom, students are forbidden from working during their first year in the university; work-study based scholarships will cover the student’s needs during this time so that they can focus on settling into their studies.
Class tensions among galdori students are not unheard of, but for the most part, lower-income galdori enjoy the same favor and opportunities as their wealthier peers. Thul’Amat encourages its students to treat staff, including peers working in food service or cleaning, courteously, and respectfully.
Human and wicks are commonplace in Deja Point and Hluun both; they run kofi shops, food stalls, restaurants, laundries, bars, and all other sorts of services which cater to students. The dormitories off-campus tend to be cleaned by human servants, although their work is minimal—ensuring common areas are kept clean, sweeping hallways, etc.—and only the wealthiest students live in dormitories with more than this basic assistance.
Professors and other instructors at Thul’Amat have considerable freedom in how they dress on a daily basis. For special occasions, such as graduation, all professors have an academic robe in the Thul’Amat style.
Students enrolled in Thul’Amat itself are not required to wear uniforms for daily life or classes; what students wear to class varies considerably, and can sometimes be shocking for mainland visitors. For special occasions, such as graduation, there are dress uniforms in light colors, with sashes varying by color depending on one’s college.
Students in the preparatory schools associated with Thul’Amat, on the other hand, generally do wear uniforms. The precise uniforms vary by school, but most have a fairly similar look (shorts or a skirt and a light colored top, usually with a patch to indicate the school). Linen is the most popular material for these uniforms; colors vary but are generally light (tan, khaki, or cream, for example). Most students are required to purchase a pair of goggles in their school’s uniform color.