Mage: New Orleans
The Solomonic School
Less of a school and more of a series of apprenticeships and network of secret societies, the Solomonic School of the New World is a place where the mysteries of Hermes are taught. It is the oldest Hermetic Chantry in the Americas, since it was originally established in 17th century Port Royale. The school was destroyed in the 1692 Haiti earthquake, and rebuilt in New Orleans.
It is a Hermetic institution that teaches the basics of Hermetic magic, with advanced focus on summoning, binding, and warding of spirits. There are not classrooms so much as labs, fitted for all manner of purposes and instruction. Modern chemistry labs with incongruous alchemical diagrams on the whiteboards. Bare stone basements with recessed ventilation systems and concealed sprinklers. Libraries where illuminated manuscripts sit beside illuminated LED screens. Of particular pride are the three summoning circles, dedicated to Celestial, Infernal, and other Umbrood, respectively. A quirk of this arrangement is that the “other” circle has to be frequently purged of lingering resonance. The Hermetic chair, Professor Orabilis, oversees the school, but is so often gone that his former apprentice is the de-facto head, and students frequently tutor those less advanced than themselves.
The secret societies are where many students begin, Sleepers trying to break into the occult underground, seeking power that many of them consider a myth. Those who prove themselves to be more than bored dilettantes or fervent lunatics are quietly approached with offers of deeper studies. They graduate into deeper and deeper circles, before the cream of the crop are invited to a final society, where they learn the first stage of Hermetic magic. A tiny handful may even Awaken. This system is known as “the Labyrinth,” and is surprisingly successful at recruitment of acolytes, and sometimes even sorcerers and mages.
The gatherings of Labyrinth initiates are handled in off-campus club houses, and the current crop of finalists are allowed to periodically make use of the main facilities, once they are actually told about them. Even before the Reckoning, there were rarely more than a dozen Awakened students at a time, all at different levels of development, so most of their instruction is done one-on-one.