In the Thunderbird Province, most students attend the Lewis & Clark Institute of Magic, led by current Tyee Phoenix Rising.

Founding

This primaschola was founded in 1808, after the arrival of the wizard duo, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1805, who joined forces with Comcomly, chief of the Chinook, to create the school. It is rumored that Lewis & Clark used divination and arithmancy along their voyage, as well as the journals of New World Magischola co­founder Étienne Brûlé. Some say they had the aid of his magical compass as well, but that has not been confirmed. When they arrived, the Chinook mages were expecting them, having long foreseen a group of travelers bearing furs in their packs and fur upon their faces. Prior to the founding of the formal primaschola, magical education was handled informally by tribal elders.

Location

The school is shrouded in the dense evergreen forests, its buildings covered in thick moss and lichens. It disappears into the natural world around it, and moves its location every year so as not to unbalance the ecosystem with their institutional footprint. Finding one’s way back to school each September can be a bit of an adventure, and school leaders treat it as such ­­ a kind of survival quest to divine the location and navigate there. The school is closed for two weeks annually for Lunar New Year.

School Culture

The Institute is known for being rather unconventional and earthy, with a very open admissions policy and a friendly relationship with the mundane world. The school’s magical curricula is taught in integrated form, with a lot of hands­on learning to balance magical theory. Lewis & Clark Institute believes that magic can benefit the mundane world, and innovations in permaculture, plant yield, and ecosystem management that were created using magical means have been covertly gifted to mundane scientists to assist with environmental and agricultural problems. Often Magimundi healers work through the network of Mundane Herbalists, Acupuncturists, Homeopaths, energy workers, and permaculturalists to distribute their potions, brews, palliatives, and solutions. Mundanes from all around the area come to Mount Shasta to bottle the mineral waters that flow there, not knowing that the healing comes from the magical residue that Thunderbird Wizards infused into the crystal seams the water flows over.

While some other schools have more conservative opinions about magical creatures sometimes considered dark or inferior, all are welcome at Lewis & Clark. Students at the school tend to fervently support the cause of Chupacabra freedom, believing the practice of farming them and exploiting them as guards for Avernus Prison is illegal and immoral. T he school’s curriculum focuses particularly on homeopathic healing and ritual magic, and faculty there also developed the art of Psychoacoustics, which sometimes gets expressed as Music Magic. Recent forays into infusing Psychoacoustics with Mundane amplification systems and electronic components such as wah­wah pedals and auto­tuners have had unpredictable results, usually whimsical. A notable example is lead singer Sylvyr Savchenko’s voice being irrevocably cursed with the throaty ululating growl of a Tufted Puffin. Fratercula bandmates have embraced the new sound and the effects of the Music Magic on fans resulted in a surge in album sales post-­Puffin.

A unique recent phenomenon emerging around the school are student clubs whose goal is to reverse engineer mundane technology to examine its potential applications in the Magimundi. As many know, traditional magic has a destructive effect on electronics, and the clubs are quite divergent with their approach to fix this problem: those who are trying to to create magical artifacts that can perform the same advanced feats of the mundane tech are considered to be rivals with those who are trying to re­engineer spells and enchantments themselves to eliminate the burst of magical energy that appears to wreck electronic devices. Smaller groups have the lofty goal of finding a way to fully integrate the magical world with advanced technology. This advancement is not to everyone’s enjoyment. Seattle­ area Justice Ramshorn Torkel, a rather liberal figure on most issues in his region of Thunderbird Province, has vociferously made his disdain for these kinds of innovations known. The Justice has declared that the polarization of magic and technology is an essential part of the success of the Tradition of Secrecy and that careless innovation that bridges that gap in culture threatens both the Magimundi and the mundane world’s continued to survival. It is believed that Justice Torkel’s disapproval has kept an official course of study regarding mundane technology from becoming part of the curriculum at Lewis & Clark, though the student led groups have not yet been banned.

Outside of class time, flannel shirts, beanies, and Birkenstocks abound at the modern day Lewis & Clark, with a hefty dose of asymmetrical bangs, dyed hair­tips, and large­framed glasses with clear lenses. Fashion is described as quirky, colorful and eccentric, with the goal of cultivating a unique style that distinguishes oneself. Most notable is the student tradition of tying their school ties in the most tortured and ugly knot possible while still being visually identifiable as a tie. This “art” tends to follow the student to their Magischola education, much to the frustration of uniform purists.

Houses

Students at Lewis and Clark are divided into five houses:

  • Ma Jun: Named for the Chinese Artificier from early 3rd century CE, this house emphasizes creativity and innovation. The house’s culture appeals to the introvert, emphasizing the mental acuity of students and the concrete results of experimentation, and de­emphasizing argument and rhetoric. The motto is attributed to Ma Jun himself, "Empty arguments with words cannot (in any way) compare with a test which will show practical results."
  • Comcomly: Named for the Chief of the Chinook Confederacy at the turn of the 19th century, this house emphasizes a stark self reflection and also perceptiveness. Key to the house's culture is the idea that a person's personal narrative about themselves detrimentally affects their ability to accurately perceive all other information. Since self­deception is so pervasive, the house has a generally cynical culture, though members would insist it's merely pragmatic. Their motto, “Distrust the most comforting thought,” while not attributed to Comcomly, is believed to be aligned with the Wizard’s cynical approach to divination and astromancy.
  • Maeda: Named for Janice Maeda, the Japanese American Wizard made famous for her activism and martyrdom in 1943. Maeda’s, activism included demanding inclusion of Wizards of Asian heritage into the Magimundi, as well as objecting to practices and traditions that were dividing the various immigrant magical communities and covertly providing advantage to Wizards of European descent. She is responsible for leading the opposition to the Edict of Mundane Separation and Secrecy during the internment of Japanese American Citizens by the Mundane US Government. The house has embraced Maeda’s outlook on confronting fear in the motto, “Fear is the south pole of my moral compass,” and members are continually trying to find the balance of bravery and bravado, true courage and overconfidence. The culture puts a strong emphasis on physical exercise and its members learning to duel. While objecting to violence, the house believes that these things prepare the mind to be able to act while confronted by a crisis.
  • Muire: Named for Jeanne Muire, staunch preservationist and environmentalist, who as a student in 1934 had begun the enchantments that allowed the school to easily be relocated every year and did so without permission. Narrowly avoiding expulsion, she would eventually return as a Professor and when elected Tyee in 1962, completed the work she had begun as a student, completing the ritual that allowed the school to magically travel to it’s new location. In addition to appealing to environmentalists and nature­lovers, the house culture focused on that of remaining resolute and persisting towards one’s goals. The house motto, “By all lawful means” which is attributed to Muire, is indicative of their belief that one must work within existing systems to succeed.
  • Windwalker: Named for Arch Justice Fidelia Windwalker, this house was formed at the start of the school year in 2004 specifically for the Vampires that had joined the Magimundi. As such, its culture is still new, but largely appears to be based on ideals of self restraint and careful consideration of others, and the house specifically welcomes all magical sentient beings that have been accepted into the school. Humans have also joined the house since 2008.
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