Galahad Leodegrance was the founder, and first Chancellor of Imperial Magischola of Massachusetts Bay.
As mundane English settlers created their “New England” in the northeast of North America, Wizards came to join them. One of these was Galahad Theocratus Bombastus Leodegrance, a pious Separatist of Norman descent who believed it was his duty to remove the influence of Renaissance reforms in magical theory and social practice. Leodegrance also staunchly felt that now that there were European (particularly English) wizards in the New World, their children should be taught only according to his principles of proper magic and virtue. Leodegrance gathered a few like-minded wizards — all men, all Unsoiled, all of European heritage — to join him in teaching and in administering a higher level school of magic. He called these wizards the Praestantes.
In 1658, the four Courts of Imperial — Agrippa, Paracelsus, Ptolemy, and Callimachus — were established, and its second Chancellor, the longstanding and beloved Peregrine Myles Brewster, ascended to the head of the Praestantes. This transfer of power was shrouded in mystery for hundreds of years, but through private notes uncovered in 1999, a more complete story of the end of Leodegrance’s term came to light.
The Chancellor had always been insular and distrustful, and The Voice of The Serpent — a powerful Corruptor of Lies — took advantage of those character traits. It has been surmised that this Corruptor was caused by scarring incurred by the secrecy wards on Imperial’s campus. It appeared first as a small voice in Leodegrance’s head, echoing words of colleagues. Then it took form as a vision to Leodegrance, with an image of Leodegrance living another two centuries as a beloved Chancellor. It began to sense the distrust Leodegrance had in the other faculty and even his friends, and it stoked his doubts just enough to inflame them into paranoia. As Leodegrance’s trust in other wizards fell, his faith in the Corruptor grew, and thus so did the Corruptor’s presence as well as the magnitude of the half-truths that it whispered to him. Finally, it predicted that Imperial would be altered forever under Leodegrance, but that his giving up power would result in Mundane Borns and women attending the school, and the magical purity that Leodegrance held so dear would be “muddied.” Under the Corruptor’s influence, Leodegrance became increasingly suspicious of outsiders and even began to push away close colleagues and friends.
One of those colleagues was Peregrine Myles Brewster, professor of magical theory and hermetics, who had been Leodegrance’s protégé. While Brewster did not know about the Corruptor, he saw that Leodegrance’s insularity and paranoia were not only harming himself, but harming Imperial: refusing to teach the latest magical practices meant that the university was beginning to fall behind New World Magischola and other wizarding universities in Europe. He gained enough support among the Praestantes to recruit and hire a few new professors from other North American magical communities who had a more progressive approach.
Peregrine Myles Brewster invited Isaac de Lucena, Vitruvius Henry Peter Steinkraft, Thomas Woodhouse, and Firenzum Edward Smith Radcliffe Zephyrous to the faculty at Imperial Magicshola, where they would come to found the four courts. However, they also set to work banishing the Corruptor within Leodegrance.
Leodegrance was so weakened by the Corruptor’s influence that after its removal he was no longer able to fulfill his duties as Chancellor and died soon after. Few people outside of the Praestantes and the Imperial faculty knew of the Corruptor’s presence; the public story was that Leodegrance had died after a short illness and Brewster succeeded Leodegrance as Chancellor.