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l'Université d'Orlais

Page history last edited by Lisa Disterheft 10 months ago

This is a work in progress, please do not take anything you find here as written in stone.


I'Universite d'Orlais, has historically been a place to dump less promising students, where the Chantry would take on the best minds for herself. However when the Empress Celene took the throne in 9:20 and professed that a great ruler should learn from the greatest minds, the University rather suddenly came into fashion and even first borns of the nobility were encouraged to spend at least season or two there.


The University is known for free thinking under the aegis of Empress Celene, and instructs in the natural sciences, history, magic (1), and art.


Of course the core of knowledge is still the foundation upon which a sound mind is built and before more esoteric studies may be pursue. Students must first master the trivium - grammar, rhetoric, logic/dialectics - and the quadrivium - the four ways (arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy) .


In addition to extensive instruction in law (canon and civil), the University also teaches medicine, alchemy, research, linguistics and other fields of study. In addition to those the University is famous for attracting lauded guest speakers and instructors, sponsoring field research, hosting a world class library, and encouraging students toward excellence in athletic and other competitions between the Nations. (Orlais, West; Orlais East; Nevarra; the Free Marches, Antiva and others).


School Year

The year is broken into four quarters. Classes are held in the first two months of the quarter. The last month is taken off. Classes resume the Moonday after the quarter days (Wintersend, Summerday, All Souls Day, and Satinalis). The month off is when field work and other special projects are scheduled. Positions on these projects are highly coveted and typically filled by graduate students, leaving most students wanting. The Chantry offers a variety of charitable works students can participate in. Tutors are also widely available for those students that need them and some professors offer private instruction in unpopular topics.


The University nourishes the Mind, Body, and Soul; the weekly schedule reflects this. A typical school week for undergraduates features four days of lecture on the Trivium from Moonday to Fireday, followed by athletic studies on Ashday, and ending in a day of prayer and contemplation on Sunday.


Spiritual study, in which every student is enrolled, occurs daily in the darkness before dawn with breakfast served afterwards. These studies occur in darkness and comprise memorization of Chant verses followed by instruction on the meaning of the verses. While not mandatory, attendance is required for breakfast and highly encouraged as a mark of piety (and as justification for buying a focus in Religious Lore). 


Moondays through Firedays feature morning services and breakfast (5 to 7am), two hours of lecture in Grammar (7 to 9am), two hours in Logic (9 to 11am), a two hour lunch break, and two hours in Rhetoric (1 to 3pm). Curfew rules vary with each residence but most students retire between 8 and 10pm. Many fall prey to the temptation to skip morning services, accepting an unsatisfactory grade and risking a note to their parents in exchange for staying out or sleeping in later.


Ashday mornings in the first month of a quarter are set aside for competitive training taught by each Nation to its members. Mornings of the second month of the quarter are reserved for contests between the Nations. Areas of competition include dance, fencing, archery, horsemanship, wrestling, and more. Ashday afternoons in both months are free time and may be spent as the student wishes. Many choose to attend one of a wide variety of instruction and lectures sponsored by their Nation. Ashday evenings are a notoriously unruly time.


Attending Chantry service on Sunday mornings is required. Sunday afternoons and evenings are free time, preferably spent in the company of respected individuals that will enhance and enrich the student's soul.  




Just some speculation - Kirk

Since the early Blessed Age, the University is run by a Chancellor (appointed by ___?). Prior to this, the Divine appointed a Rector. Each of the several colleges of the University is led by a dean. 


Subjects by Requirement (Faculty listed under courses they teach)

Basics: Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic/dialectics - must be completed before beginning...

Upper Classes: Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, Astronomy, History -- must be completed before beginning...

Advanced Courses: Alchemy (Geology falls here), Anatomy (subset of Biology), Art (various applied arts) and Art History, Biology, Botany, Canon Law, Civil Law, Ethics, Geography, Languages, Magic History, Medicine, Natural History (includes Zoology), Politics (a subcategory of history), Philosophy and Speculative Theology.


Elective Courses: Etiquette, Dance, Fighting Styles (as available through the student's Nation), Theater these may be attempted concurrently with other courses if in good standing


The Colleges 

The largest College is the College of Law - which encompasses both secular and canon law. This formed the core and primary function of the University for most of its history. However in recent times, Empress Celene has encouraged a wider breadth and seriousness to education at the University and she has fostered other colleges to increase their status. In modern times there are nearly as many instructors in this College as students (tenure is a thing), and most tutoring is done by instructors with little work left over for student tutors.


The second largest College is Natural Law - which encompasses most disciplines outside history and medicine.


The third (but far smaller) College of Medicine and also instructs in biology.


While the University might appear similar to our modern ideas of same, the quality of the information taught there may be haphazard and sometimes entirely false, for example, there are courses on the four humors which are required before you take any other medicine courses.


The Nations & University Life

Students are expected to house with their Nation, and expected to dress in robes of the University (trimmed with the colors of that Nation) at all times except for certain exceptions such as religious holidays or other special events. (much, much more on this to come)

  • Dress code
  • Lodging & Meals
  • Martial Training
  • Competition
  • Language
  • Justice and Punishment




1) The University curriculum regarding magic is from the point of view of how it has shaped Thedas history, geography, flora and fauna, types of magic, spells through the ages, etc.. This is an approach of 'studying dragons, not becoming dragons.'

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