Agrippa Court has a long history of powerful and influential Wizards, either in positions of authority themselves or the advisers, influencers, and thought leaders of those nominally in charge. Agrippa is the most selective of the Courts, and its graduates tend to take up positions in the Magimundi bureaucracy, working in law, administration, and the management of investments. While in Agrippa, students engage frequently in debate and collaboration (and competition) with their fellow Courtmates, who take the acquisition of the Court Cup very seriously. Since the Court Cup Competition was instituted in 1663, Agrippa has held the cup 152 times, more than any other Court. Agrippans enjoy debate and are unafraid to spend hours articulating the semantic points of spellwork or the edification of ethics. There is no arrival at truth without conflict, and thus through the conflict of opposing ideas, the truth can be discovered and established. Agrippans respect directness and openness, even as they are cautious with outsiders, with whom they use a much more measured tone and language.
Some criticize Agrippa for having an attitude of obsession; it is true that many Agrippans, once deeply down a course, have a hard time coming up for air. They believe that it is of no benefit to one to waste time with indecision, and it falls upon the bold and the strong to take a stand, make a ruling, and then enforce it. Agrippans hold themselves to internal standards, as the highest criticism they endure is their own.
To this day, Agrippa Court is the keeper of the Imperial Crypts. Court members proudly take on the important duty of maintaining and protecting the crypts, including keeping foolhardy students from the more dangerous areas, preserving its historical artifacts, and continuing to analyze its sublime magical properties. Agrippans are responsible for the annual (nigh continual) updating of any crypt charts, as its structure is known to change from year to year without notice.
Some also would criticize Agrippa for its slightly more common appearance of necromancers and phantasmologists within its ranks. While Agrippa openly studies the theories and histories of these practices, it never encourages them. Every house has a bad seed, of course!
Toward mundane-borns: Agrippa Court does not discriminate against mundane-born mages. It’s also important to note that Agrippa Court, while the second-to-last of the four to admit mundane-born mages, took up debate about the topic well before the other Courts. We have always given it serious consideration, but it was deemed unwise for many centuries, after extended and thorough debate. Nowadays, more safety measures and integration programs are in place that make Imperial a healthier and safer environment for those who don’t have the benefit of Magimundi history or prior magical essence in their bloodlines.
I. Galatro (born 1493) is the spirit of a former stoneclad. In 1751, I. Galatro voluntarily became a stoneclad to serve Imperial well beyond their already long life. They served in its defense, its rituals, and its historical preservation. In 1902, I. Galatro’s body failed in a battle on campus during the Quelling of the Apostates of Auron, but their spirit persevered. The ghost is known to show up both as their human form and their stoneclad form, depending on the type of interaction required.
Vitruvius Henry Peter Steinkraft (Vitruvius H. P. Steinkraft), born August 19, 1619 in a shoreline estate on Casco Bay, died August 20, 1890 (presumed) as that manor was swallowed into a 60 ft. crater. Familiar: Maine coon (cat). “Truvy” is the current feline Court companion, pampered by Court members and given extraordinary range across campus.
Vitruvius Henry Peter Steinkraft, Agrippa Court’s founder, was a brilliant wizard able to apply his immense knowledge and skill to make major advances for the Magimundi. Steinkraft was one of the four wizards brought to Imperial in 1658 by soon-to-be second Chancellor Peregrine Myles Brewster in order to prove to the Imperial Praestantes that a less insular approach was needed to advance the Magischola. Each of the four were required to perform a great feat of magic to prove themselves and their areas of study to the Praestantes. Steinkraft, using his mastery of phantasmology and martial tactics, uncovered and banished a powerful Corruptor that had been plaguing the campus and interfering with its Chancellor. Not only was he successful, but his efforts created the literal and figurative foundations for much of the school; he created and oversaw the expansion of the Imperial Crypts, a large network of underground tunnels, and the final resting place of wizards of renown and repute who are connected to the school, to Destiny Province, or to high level positions in the Magimundi. An Unsoiled of mixed-race parents, Steinkraft always respected duality and saw value in the meeting of ideas and powers. His father was a Penobscot Nation shaman, and his mother an immigrant wizard from Europe. Both were powerful and deeply connected with their fields and history of study, with his father as leader of the Wôbi Gizos (wa-bē/gē-zos) loup-garoux.
In his time as a professor at Imperial, Vitruvius provided great clout to both Agrippa and the school as a whole for his direct contributions in spell creation and theory, as well as for his wider work in the legal structures of the Magimundi. Over his tenure, he taught classes in astromancy, defensive magic, artificery, and founded the study of architectural magic. As a confidant and advisor of Herodotus Forsythe for Destiny Province, Steinkraft helped design the documents and establish the precedents for the initial coalition between Solaris and Destiny, followed by the addition of Baja, Thunderbird, and finally Mishipeshu. Vitruvius served as a legal scholar, a strategic military thinker, and a paragon of how power could be used to create a stability. Steinkraft’s end came suddenly, when he and his family simply vanished on August 20, 1890. More succinctly, a sixty-foot deep crater was discovered where his estate, Steinkraft Manor, had stood on the seacoast of Destiny in the eastern areas of Casco Bay.
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, 14 September 1486 – 18 February 1535
Agrippa is known by mundanes as having been “a German polymath, physician, legal scholar, soldier, theologian, and occult writer.” Those descriptors are true enough, but tell only part of the story. Agrippa was a brilliant wizard who died long before his time. His family was among the nobility in the Habsburg Empire, who were well aware of the magical communities in Europe and held a wary peace with them. In fact, the von Nettesheims were a mixed-heritage family and part of the Rabenkreis, a specialized and secret network of sorcerer spies in European politics, ensuring the continued non-interference by mundanes into magical society. They posed as a mundane family, and their estate had enough land and influence to allow them to practice magic safely. Young Heinrich was raised with all of the knowledge of the noble life, but also had a series of wizard tutors, even before his magic manifested at age 7. As a teenager, he studied a wide array of mundane subjects at the University of Cologne, with intense magical tutoring sessions between semesters.
Agrippa was fascinated by both the magical and mundane worlds, and he began to apply the lessons he learned from one into the other. From the mundane, he learned tactics and philosophy and applied them to magical combat. From the magical, he learned about astromancy and alchemy. As he learned about occult legends and texts, he became convinced that there was a far larger overlap in his studies than either mundane or magical societies would dare admit. He wanted to continue his studies, but duty to his family called; Agrippa led a Reichsexekution against a member of the Imperial Estate who broke the peace within the Holy Roman Empire, and provided valuable information to the Rabenkreis.
Finally, in 1509 he was able to return through a patronage from Margaret of Austria and taught in France at the University of Dôle. His writings about femininity through the lens of kabbalism helped earn him a doctorate in theological studies. However, this would begin his reputation by some mundanes as a heretic (who knew nothing of the actual magic he possessed). From 1510 for a decade, he studied in Germany and then Italy, continuing his writings publicly in the mundane occult, and privately among magical circles about astromancy and phantasmology and magical tactics.
The more he studied, the less he found the separation of the mundane world and magic necessary. At great personal risk, he defended a woman accused of witchcraft, testing the boundaries of his protection as a Rabenkreis in the Holy Roman Empire. He continued public works on the occult to the extent allowed by magical and mundane societies, while writing treatises about the value of mundane medicine, legal systems, and philosophy to magical society. His studies took a toll on his body, and he wound up contracting several diseases which combined prevented a full cure. He died in 1535 in Grenoble, accomplished within both the magical and mundane as a writer, healer, philosopher, legal expert, tactician, and loving patriarch of his large family. This broadly-studied genius would become an inspiration to H. P. Steinkraft, who founded the Imperial Court in Agrippa’s name. His mastery of so many different fields and novel combinations and applications of them became the cornerstone of Agrippa Court’s values.
"The Other Agrippa", or Agrippa Alterna is a subset of Agrippa members revere the ancient Roman Agrippa, a naval master who defeated Marc Antony and built the aqueducts of Rome for Caesar Augustus. They have a rich tradition of believing that the ancient Roman Agrippa is the true inspiration for Vitruvius. Spirited debates over which Agrippa inspired Steinkraft show no signs of abating, despite nearly 400 years of conflict. Some suspect Agrippa Alterna members of just being contrary for contrary’s sake, but none dispute the martial and managerial prowess of Roman Agrippa, concluding that the homage to both is perfectly probable. Agrippa Alterna members host a model naval battle on the Imperial lake each year, usually accompanied by large amounts of Dionysian Elixir.