The Legends of Strixhaven

Posted in Feature on April 13, 2021

By Fox Allison, Doug Beyer, and Ari Zirulnik

Strixhaven: School of Mages has as many legends as there are books in the Biblioplex. Ok, you got me—there are essentially infinite books in the Biblioplex, so that statement is a touch hyperbolic, but there are a lot of legends to learn about. So, get cozy with your mascot (this step may be challenging for Lorehold students) and educate yourself on the legends of Strixhaven.


STRIXHAVEN

Mavinda, Students' Advocate

Mavinda Sharpbeak is the guidance counselor for students at Strixhaven. Whether helping students with interpersonal problems or picking their college, Mavinda is at the ready with wise words and a comforting wing.

Although she comes across as peaceful and understanding, Mavinda should not be underestimated. As an employee of Strixhaven, she is a powerful mage in her own right and wields powerful empathic magic. While she normally uses that magic to calm her students and better understand their feelings, she is capable of summoning more debilitating emotions in a pinch.

Mavinda, Students' AdvocateAlt Mavinda, Students' Advocate

Codie, Vociferous Codex

The Codex Vocifera is a centuries-old tome of convoluted mystical knowledge that has become grouchily self-aware. It wanders the university in a huff, constantly reading its own text aloud. If it catches you taking an interest, it will follow you around for hours until you are driven into a fit of frustration.

Some believe the Codex is the result of a Lorehold spirit-summoning spell gone wrong, while others believe it is a cruel joke by the universe. It does not take kindly to its student-granted nickname, "Codie," but unfortunately, its objections caused the nickname to stick.

Codie, Vociferous CodexAlt Codie, Vociferous Codex

THE FOUNDER DRAGONS

Shadrix Silverquill, Beledros Witherbloom, Tanazir Quandrix, Galazeth Prismari, and Velomachus Lorehold

At the birth of the world, as the mana of two worlds overlapped in conflicting ways, many forms of life adapted to the new structure and many new forms of life were spawned. Five particularly powerful vortices of overlapping mana became luminous spheres, from which hatched five dragons. These dragons have become emblems of the magic of the plane, living symbols of the clashing forces of the five dichotomies.

The Founder Dragons were the first to master the magic of the five opposing combinations. When the humanoid races arose, the dragons were at first angered that mortals would try to harness the wild forces of magic, but they came to realize that only through disciplined study would magic be in safe hands. So, centuries ago, the dragons founded an institution devoted to the study of the five mana dichotomies, and that institution is now known as Strixhaven. The five colleges were based around the magic mastered by each of those dragons.

To this day, the Founder Dragons roam the world, the five deadly sages of the skies. They no longer associate directly with Strixhaven, preferring to let the deans of the colleges, or their human mouthpiece Director Taiva, speak in their stead. The dragons' wisdom is vast, but their tempers can be short. Mages seek them out only to learn the most elusive of secrets.

Shadrix SilverquillBeledros WitherbloomTanazir Quandrix

Galazeth PrismariVelomachus Lorehold

Alt Shadrix SilverquillAlt Beledros WitherbloomAlt Tanazir Quandrix

Alt Galazeth PrismariAlt Velomachus Lorehold

SILVERQUILL

Killian, Ink Duelist

Killian is a competitive and driven student of Silverquill who puts a lot of pressure on himself. While Killian's talents may seem effortless, he secretly trains for long hours every day.

You can read Killian's story soon on April 30.

Killian, Ink Duelist

Shaile, Dean of Radiance

Dean Shaile of Silverquill is a perennially optimistic owlin with a powerful, dramatic speaking voice. She is a master of literature and often quotes obscure passages from famous texts. Her soul-filling advice and educated references have been known to make people literally glow.

Shaile believes that people are generally good and wishes to teach her students how to make the world a better place. Her and Dean Embrose often clash over Silverquill's curriculum, but the balance found between is far more eloquent than even their words can describe.

Shaile, Dean of RadianceAlt Shaile, Dean of Radiance

Embrose, Dean of Shadow

Dean Embrose of Silverquill is a master poet whose ink magic is dominating and without mercy. Quick with a cutting remark, Dean Embrose has seen many mage-students scrub out of Strixhaven and has nothing good to say about those who can't hack it.

A cynic, Embrose believes that most people are in it for themselves. He demands his students learn how to use language-based magic to "get what they deserve." While he often fights with Dean Shaile, he holds a deep (begrudging) respect for the owlin.

Embrose, Dean of ShadowAlt Embrose, Dean of Shadow

Breena, the Demagogue

Breena has always had a talent for getting her way. If she wants you to do something, you won't just do it—you'll be sure it was your idea all along. Her students and colleagues alike hang on her every word, and in front of a crowd, she's a powerhouse of charisma, enhancing her speeches with elegant swirls of ink magic. She's an elite mage who can easily hold her own in a fight, but she prefers to defeat her foes with words alone.

An Oriq agent once trapped and attempted to recruit her, threatening her students' lives if she didn't comply. Within an hour, she convinced him to free her, abandon his wicked ways, and seek wisdom from the Archaics.

Breena, the DemagogueAlt Breena, the Demagogue

Nils, Discipline Enforcer

Nils calls himself an optimist, as he believes in every student's potential for greatness. However, this also means he's constantly disappointed by their sub-optimal choices, and he's mostly known for dour strictness and hair-trigger scoldings.

Nils, Discipline EnforcerAlt Nils, Discipline Enforcer

Fain, the Broker

Lost an important textbook? Craving some rare delicacy from home? Need something inconveniently forbidden? Enter Fain. He's got an extensive network of connections on and off campus, and he can procure just about anything—so long as you can afford his price.

Fain, the BrokerAlt Fain, the Broker

Felisa, Fang of Silverquill

Felisa, a vampire, is the reigning queen bee of Silverquill. She's stylish, popular, and devastatingly witty. When you're in her good graces, as everyone wants to be, she's the picture of charm—but get on her bad side, and she (and her loyal entourage) can be absolutely vicious. If she can't crush you with words alone, she'll do it in an after-hours mage duel.

Felisa, Fang of SilverquillAlt Felisa, Fang of Silverquill

PRISMARI

Rootha, Mercurial Artist

Rootha Squallheart is a mage-student of Prismari. She is intense, passionate, and obsessed with perfecting her art. She often becomes enamored of a visionary idea, spends weeks working to make it amazing, then suddenly hates her creation and destroys it a day later. She seeks fame and recognition for her art, so she often pushes herself beyond her own limits.

You can read Rootha's story here.

Rootha, Mercurial Artist

Uvilda, Dean of Perfection

A master of artistic technique, Dean Uvilda of Prismari literally never sleeps (the djinn of Arcavios don't need to). She trains in all disciplines of water elemental magic whenever she's not focused on her curriculum. She is known for her individual feedback—after a review, she can tell a mage-student one small piece of advice that blows their minds and completely shakes up their worldview.

Uvilda believes that good art comes from the head. To her, carefully measured strokes and deliberate object placement are the difference between fully realized art and a total mess. If Dean Nassari interrupts her careful work with their bombastic expressions one more time, Uvilda is prepared to enroll in Quandrix to learn how to shrink them.

Uvilda, Dean of PerfectionAlt Uvilda, Dean of Perfection

Nassari, Dean of Expression

Dean Nassari of Prismari always wants to see art that is bigger—more radical in concept and more emotionally impactful. For their final project as a mage-student, Nassari famously once "turned in" an earthquake that almost destroyed three campus buildings. The piece received a standing ovation from the mage-student body . . . and a grumpy thumbs down from the campus construction golems.

Nassari knows that true expression comes from the heart. They encourage their students to treat the entire world as their canvas, spreading emotion and excitement in their wake. Nassari takes little heed of Uvilda's quiet masterpieces—in fact, they often forget Uvilda works there at all.

Nassari, Dean of ExpressionAlt Nassari, Dean of Expression

Zaffai, Thunder Conductor

As soon as Zaffai came of age, his parents sent him to Strixhaven, assuring him his budding musical genius deserved the finest instruction in the world. (In truth, though his talent was indeed prodigious, they were also growing tired of their house being randomly struck by lightning or engulfed in cyclones whenever he practiced.) Even as he flourished as both mage and musician, he discovered a new aptitude: conducting.

In addition to teaching, he serves as Grand Maestro of Strixhaven's Orchestra of the Arcane, an elite extracurricular activity for top Prismari students. They practice only outdoors, for obvious reasons, and their concerts fill the sky with beautiful explosions of elemental magic.

Zaffai, Thunder ConductorAlt Zaffai, Thunder Conductor

Octavia, Living Thesis

Crafted as a graduate's final project many years ago, Octavia took up residence on campus and has never left. After all, in its humble opinion, every student deserves the chance to see True Art in person. Some say it's incoherent, but it's really just a very conceptual thinker.

Octavia, Living ThesisAlt Octavia, Living Thesis

Rionya, Fire Dancer

Prismari students are free to do projects alone or in groups. Rionya was the first to choose "both." She has little patience for explaining her vision to others, but there's one collaborator who will always follow her choreography in perfect harmony: herself.

Rionya, Fire DancerAlt Rionya, Fire Dancer

Veyran, Voice of Duality

In addition to being an accomplished elementalist, Veyran serves as a mentor to many Prismari pledgemages. She advocates enthusiastically for the importance of both raw passion and disciplined technique in any artistic pursuit. If a new student is upset or overwhelmed, she's quick to call forth playful, beautiful elemental creatures to cheer them up.

Veyran, Voice of DualityAlt Veyran, Voice of Duality

LOREHOLD

Quintorius, Field Historian

Quintorius Kand is a gentle, earnest-hearted archaeomancer. Expelled from a military academy, he discovered his true passion as a mage-student of Lorehold. Quintorius is an extensive reader with a head full of facts. He wants nothing more than to "find himself" after a long adolescence of bouncing from one path to another and believes he can achieve that by exploring the wondrous historical places of the world. He could certainly use a little guidance to help him find his way.

You can read Quintorius's story later this week on April 16.

Quintorius, Field Historian

Plargg, Dean of Chaos

Dean Plargg of Lorehold is a gruff, blind orc who specializes in military history. Known as a demanding teacher, students seek him out anyway for his perfect recall of hundreds of historical stories and for his lessons in wielding potent scroll magic. He invented "heat lettering," a form of magical parchment embossing that provides a tactile way to read texts.

Plargg believes that history is full of unpredictable, war-filled chaos and that his students need to be ready for anything. He teaches that there are no rewards without risk, and his excursions always end with multiple trips to the nurse's office. He pays little attention to Dean Augusta's work, dismissing her attempts to find order in chaos as a foolhardy waste of time.

Plargg, Dean of ChaosAlt Plargg, Dean of Chaos

Augusta, Dean of Order

Dean Augusta of Lorehold, a professor of spirit studies, has been called the college's most talented pastraiser—she can not only summon ghostly historical figures but also conjure entire dioramas of historical events for her lectures.

Augusta believes that history repeats itself as an orderly progress toward an ideal. She believes that the mistakes of the past can inform the choices of the present, creating a world of peace, order, and rules. She plays things very by-the-book and is highly disappointed with students who embark on Dean Plargg's dangerous field trips.

Augusta, Dean of OrderAlt Augusta, Dean of Order

Hofri Ghostforge

Lorehold battle mediums can call upon spirits and turn them into hardy soldiers by housing the spirits in statues depicting their living selves. If no statue is available, the average medium is unable to physically manifest the spirit. Hofri is no average medium.

When Hofri first enrolled in Strixhaven, he believed his future lay with Prismari. A diligent student, he quickly mastered the technical skills, but his magic left something to be desired. After talking with the school's counselor, Mavinda, Hofri decided to try his luck with Lorehold. It turned out he was a natural with spirit magic—a true Lorehold through and through.

His time at Prismari was hardly wasted, however. Combining his artistic skill with his keen spiritual sense, Hofri was able to visualize a spirit's mortal appearance and construct a viable statue form for them to inhabit. No one in Lorehold's history was able to create a spirit statue from scratch, and Hofri was offered a professorial position after graduation, which he happily accepted.

Hofri GhostforgeAlt Hofri Ghostforge

Osgir, the Reconstructor

Even by Lorehold standards, Osgir is obsessed with relics of the past. Whether it's a magnificent, jeweled crown or an ugly old shovel, every treasure connects him to civilizations of old. As a student, he was constantly in detention for hoarding the best finds from Lorehold dig sites in his room; he lost count of how many times he was sternly told, "History belongs to us all!"

So, naturally, he mastered the magical art of duplicative restoration. Not only can he perfectly recreate an ancient object or device from the smallest scrap—he can produce a second, identical version every time, for his personal collection. He displays something different every week in his Lorehold office, from a mighty sword of demon-slaying to a delicate elven music box.

Osgir, the ReconstructorAlt Osgir, the Reconstructor

Losheel, Clockwork Scholar

Losheel proudly admits that she's willing to work very hard in order to be as lazy as possible. She turns her brilliant mind to constructing ever-more-efficient mechanical helpers, with the goal of one day being able to do anything she wants without standing up.

Losheel, Clockwork ScholarAlt Losheel, Clockwork Scholar

Laelia, the Blade Reforged

When Laelia's spirit was first awoken, she was furious to learn that she was dead. Unable to take revenge on the soldiers who betrayed her so long ago, she started a dueling club, where she trains students in the art of magical combat.

Laelia, the Blade ReforgedAlt Laelia, the Blade Reforged

Alibou, Ancient Witness

Decades ago, a Lorehold dig team was excited to unearth an ancient war golem from the Ruins of Caerdoon. They were considerably more excited when it whirred to life and, instead of slaughtering them, began correcting their misconceptions about Blood Age combat techniques. It prefers conversation to bloodshed but has pledged to defend the university if necessary.

Alibou, Ancient WitnessAlt Alibou, Ancient Witness

WITHERBLOOM

Dina, Soul Steeper

Dina is a weird, darkly humorous, and tea-obsessed mage-student of Witherbloom. She always wanted to cure diseases and is learning how to concoct all manner of herbal brews from bizarre swamp creatures. If she offers you a cup of tea, you should probably decline.

You can read Dina's story here.

Dina, Soul Steeper

Valentin, Dean of the Vein

Dean Valentin of Witherbloom is an ancient and sensitive vampire who drinks the blood of living creatures throughout the bayou. Valentin is a kind of sangromancer—he receives visions from the blood he consumes and can use these visions to learn dark truths about a creature or place.

Valentin has no qualms about exploiting the creatures of the bayou for personal gain. His classes often focus on dissection and decay. He and Dean Lisette often clash over his cavalier treatment of animals, but that hasn't stopped her from using his discoveries for her own research.

Valentin, Dean of the VeinAlt Valentin, Dean of the Vein

Lisette, Dean of the Root

Dean Lisette of Witherbloom is a powerful nature-witch. She's a world-class healer and herbalist; it's even said she once cured the Lorehold Founder Dragon of a secret illness. Lisette's classes are more about demonstration and hands-on experience than words or lectures. When Lisette speaks, she speaks softly, in strange and colorful metaphors.

Lisette believes in preserving nature and spreading life. She instills in her students a respect for all living things and a desire to help Arcavios flourish. While Valentin's treatment of living creatures disgusts her, she also knows she can use the results of his cruelty to help future lives.

Lisette, Dean of the RootAlt Lisette, Dean of the Root

Blex, Vexing Pest

The life of a Witherbloom pest is pleasant but short. Raised by the students, pests are treated with great care and kindness—until their lifeforce is inevitably consumed in the casting of a powerful spell. After seeing many of his fellow pests taken from their enclosures and never returned, Blex plotted his escape.

In a show of atypical restraint and intelligence for a pest, Blex hid some of his food—live, squirming insects—until it was his time to be taken. The poor student who reached into his cage received a face full of centipedes, and Blex vanished into the undergrowth of the bayou.

As a form of hazing, new Witherbloom students are told a pest escaped and it is their job to retrieve it. Few students manage to locate Blex, but those who do are shocked by the belching, overgrown creature before them.

Blex, Vexing PestAlt Blex, Vexing Pest

Willowdusk, Essence Seer

No one knows how old Willowdusk really is. She claims to have been alive since the Blood Age, and although many suspect that's an exaggeration, no one else has been alive long enough to refute it. Many years ago, a group of rebellious students got hopelessly lost in Detention Bog and attempted to take shelter in what turned out to be Willowdusk's roots. She obligingly protected them from a pack of hungry bogroffs and shepherded them back to Widdershins Hall, lecturing them on proper herb-gathering practices as they traveled.

Her lessons proved so effective that she was asked to stay on as a professor. She loves passing on her knowledge of medicinal herbs, pest cultivation, and dissection techniques to generations of new students, and always has a pot of tea brewing in her office.

Willowdusk, Essence SeerAlt Willowdusk, Essence Seer

Tivash, Gloom Summoner

It's tough to study the secrets of life and death without getting your hands dirty—which is the first thing Tivash teaches new Witherbloom students. Some call the dark forces he manipulates "evil," but he asserts that power is only as good or evil as how you use it.

Tivash, Gloom SummonerAlt Tivash, Gloom Summoner

Yedora, Grave Gardener

Yedora is the head groundskeeper and unofficial undertaker of Strixhaven. Students and graduates often wish to spend their afterlife at their beloved university, and she happily honors that wish. Each tree she plants represents the essence of a fallen mage, and she remembers every one of their names.

Yedora, Grave GardenerYedora, Grave Gardener

Gyome, Master Chef

Anyone who thinks a troll can't be a great chef has never met Gyome. He combines local ingredients with flavors from his wild Fernbosk homeland into an ever-changing menu of new delicacies, and students from every college trek through Sedgemoor in droves for his food. The only "complaint" he ever receives is that his portions are unreasonably large.

Gyome, Master ChefAlt Gyome, Master Chef

QUANDRIX

Zimone, Quandrix Prodigy

Zimone Wola is a young prodigy who was accepted to Strixhaven early. She is a whiz at many forms of mystical arts, but eventually gravitated to the mathematical magic of Quandrix. Her current focus is cracking the famous Vorzani Conjecture, an unsolved magical theorem concerning infinite sequences of unpredictably alternating forms of mana. Her considerable talents have not escaped notice, and the dark forces of the Oriq are preparing to make their move.

You can read Zimone's story next week on April 23.

Zimone, Quandrix Prodigy

Kianne, Dean of Substance

Brilliant and eccentric, Dean Kianne of Quandrix is one of the preeminent mana scholars of the plane. She has visited and studied bizarre mana phenomena around Arcavios, from snarls and star arches to nameless ancient shrines. She loves to share her wild mana theories with anyone who will listen.

Kianne believes in using mathematics to better understand the physical nature of reality. She places an emphasis on practical magic that improves daily life through applied calculations. She rolls her eyes at Dean Imbraham's theories, dismissing him as living in an imaginary world.

Kianne, Dean of SubstanceAlt Kianne, Dean of Substance

Imbraham, Dean of Theory

Dean Imbraham of Quandrix is a stern, shrewd owlin whose mind is as piercing as his curved beak. He's known for rotating his head around 180 degrees to address his students while still rapidly chalking up complex theorems at the slateboard. Imbraham loves numbers more than people or the outdoors—some say he hasn't been seen outside of certain chambers of the Quandrix campus in years.

Imbraham wants nothing more than to crack the mysteries of Arcavios through dauntingly complicated theories. He offers his students standing bounties on any of his unsolved equations—bounties that went unclaimed until Zimone started classes.

Imbraham, Dean of TheoryAlt Imbraham, Dean of Theory

Adrix and Nev, Twincasters

Amid the mana-rich waters of the Pinzari Isles, the twins Adrix and Nev grew up literally swimming in magic. At an early age, they began to see patterns in the tides and currents that eluded even the most esteemed scholars of their society. Once, they saved a hundred lives by predicting the sudden arrival of a rogue tsunami despite the deceptively calm seas—after that, any doubts in their prowess were washed away.

At Strixhaven, they received special permission to teach as a duo, blending mastery of blue and green mana. They constantly debate the merits of various esoteric mathematical principles, but if one of their students is in danger, they leap into action in perfect harmony.

Adrix and Nev, TwincastersAlt Adrix and Nev, Twincasters

Deekah, Fractal Theorist

Deekah sees the world as an endless sequence of interconnected equations, which to her is the most beautiful thing imaginable. She explores new theorems by giving them physical form, and her exquisite geometric creations are always an exciting sight on campus.

Deekah, Fractal TheoristAlt Deekah, Fractal Theorist

Ruxa, Patient Professor

As exciting as wild new theories are, Ruxa knows they're worthless without a deep understanding of the basics. He teaches students of all levels, and even his most experienced pupils benefit massively from a much deeper understanding of the building blocks of the world.

Ruxa, Patient ProfessorAlt Ruxa, Patient Professor

Esix, Fractal Bloom

Once, tasked with devising an infinite equation, a group of Quandrix students accidentally created Esix, a living theorem obsessed with infinity. Over the years, a few professors have attempted to deactivate it, but all their formulas somehow end up dividing by zero and fizzling out. Esix never seems to register these would-be threats, consumed as it is by its own calculations.

Esix, Fractal BloomAlt Esix, Fractal Bloom

GREATER ARCAVIOS

Extus, Oriq Overlord

Extus attended Strixhaven as part of Silverquill College many years ago, but he was passed over for the role of Oracle by the five Founder Dragons. In order to exact his revenge, Extus hopes to summon a titanic destructive being called the Blood Avatar, demolish Strixhaven University, and claim its world-renowned library of spells for himself.

Extus is all ego—he believes he is the preeminent mage in the entire plane of Arcavios. His arrogance is spiked with fits of rage—he's furious that others do not appreciate and recognize his superiority, and he will take it out on anyone who does not show utter deference to him.

Extus, Oriq OverlordAlt Extus, Oriq Overlord

Jadzi, Oracle of Arcavios

The Oracle is the wisest and most accomplished mage on the plane. The Oracle's lifelong task is to ensure that magic is used to help people and not twisted to evil ends. In order to be the Oracle, one must understand fundamental truths about the nature of magic, know and wield hundreds or thousands of spells, and possess impeccable judgment and virtue.

The current oracle is an older woman named Jadzi. She is a Strixhaven graduate with an incredible memory. It is said she knows the location of every star arch on Arcavios.

Jadzi, Oracle of ArcaviosAlt Jadzi, Oracle of Arcavios

Mila, Crafty Companion

Mila is a magical foxlike creature native to Arcavios. When threatened, she is capable of summoning scorching flames to protect herself. When Lukka arrived on the plane, Mila began to follow him around—something which Lukka begrudgingly accepted. After magically "bonding" together due to Lukka's powers, a true partnership began to emerge.

Mila, Crafty CompanionAlt Mila, Crafty Companion

And that, friends, are the many legends of Strixhaven. Looking to do some more research? Check out the Planeswalker's Guide to Strixhaven right here. Until next time, may your studies be fruitful and your grades passing!

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