From PathfinderWiki
The Acadamae is clearly seen as the large white structure atop the largest hill in the centre right of this picture of the city of Korvosa.

Students of the Acadamae sometimes face more than simple studies.

Arcane college
Source: Guide to Korvosa, pg(s). 9ff.

The Acadamae is a wizard's college in the Varisian city of Korvosa which attracts students from as far away as distant Geb. Although it teaches all eight modern schools of magic, it specializes in conjuration and requires its pupils to pass a difficult exam in conjuration in order to graduate.1 It is currently run by its headmaster, the powerful Toff Ornelos.2


Toff Ornelos, headmaster.

The Acadamae was founded in 4473 AR by Lord Volshyenek Ornelos. It has grown to a small city, supporting its students and faculty without any need for them to leave the grounds. Visitors are not welcome and messengers, and repairs are watched carefully, for fear that the secrets of the school might leave its grounds or that the many wards protecting the outside world from their magic might be damaged.3

Study of magic

Students give ten years of their life to try and become highly talented wizards. During the first three years of their studies, the students are used as cheap labor by the staff and the senior students. Two of every ten students at the Acadamae do not survive these first years, being slain by magic traps, wayward spells, or murderous imps, or simply dying from exhaustion or carelessness. The rest then choose a school of specialization and proceed to their actual studies. The examinations that lead to graduation are dangerous and often fatal,4 and conjuration is a mandatory component.5

The most impressive graduates usually apprentice themselves to senior faculty, serving as tutors to younger students and continue their studies with the great masters of the school.4

Among the Acadamae's texts is Principals of Elementary Thaumaturgy, a work by Headmaster Ornelos that as of 4720 AR was on its seventh edition.6


Seganam is a professor of conjuration at the Acadamae, famous for his experiments and discoveries associated with the unseen servant spell, which he continues to explore. As part of his studies, he has found numerous ways of utilising the unseen servants conjured, including positioning some as armoured guards outside his Acadamae office.7


The primary building of the Acadamae, and one of the largest in all Varisia, is the Hall of Summoning. More than a dozen magical wards and bindings circle the massive structure in order to avert any sort of catastrophic loss of control over what is summoned therein. Other buildings in the complex are the Hall of Seeing, which houses the school of divination, the Hall of Induction, where students learn the art of evocation, the Hall of Wards, home of the abjuration school, the Hall of Lies, where illusion magic is studied, the transmutation-focused Hall of Shaping, the Hall of Charms (enchantment), the necromancy school known as the Hall of Whispers, the Halls of Crafting, where students are taught how to create magic items, the administrative Ornelos Hall, as well as the staff and student quarters.8

The Breaching Festival

One of the Acadamae's greatest traditions is the yearly Breaching Festival, founded in 4544 AR, in which students but also adventurers try to prove their skill by breaking into the supposedly impregnable Hall of Wards on campus. 9 So far only one student has ever managed to breach the hall, Dyson Fordyce of House Fordyce who succeeded where all others had failed in 4551 AR.10


The coat of arms of the Acadamae is coloured in the red and black of Cheliax. A red crowned portcullis sits below an arch of seven small, red stars, which both are below a large red star; all are on a black field. The arms are supported by two imps. A red crystal ball on red silk surmounts the coat of arms.11


The city of Korvosa is full of imps and imps appear in the heraldry of the college, echoing the links to Cheliax. Perhaps it is not surprising, therefore, that members of the Acadamae tend to choose imps as their familiars. School familiars are also not uncommon choices, especially conjuration and enchantment school familiars.12

Alumni and alumnae

Count Varian Jeggare learnt magic at the Acadamae where he specialized in metamagic.13 Unfortunately, he experienced an unusual condition during his studies in which he suffered an acute case of nausea while retaining and casting spells. As a result, he abandoned his studies and returned to his home in Greensteeples in Egorian.14 Nevertheless, despite this peculiar condition, Jeggare eventually passed the final examination at the Acadamae.15


The adventure module Academy of Secrets is set in the Acadamae and provides much background for the college.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Mike McArtor. “Chapter 2: Places” in Guide to Korvosa, 9–10. Paizo Inc., 2008
  2. Mike McArtor. “Appendix” in Guide to Korvosa, 62. Paizo Inc., 2008
  3. Brian Cortijo. “Appendix 1: The Acadamae” in Academy of Secrets, 28. Paizo Inc., 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 Brian Cortijo. “Appendix 1: The Acadamae” in Academy of Secrets, 28–29. Paizo Inc., 2011
  5. Alexander Augunas, et al. “Monster Summoners on Golarion” in Monster Summoner's Handbook, 10. Paizo Inc., 2015
  6. Logan Bonner, et al. “1: Essentials of Magic” in Secrets of Magic, 8. Paizo Inc., 2020
  7. Vanessa Hoskins. “Chronicles of Expertise” in Chronicle of Legends, 19. Paizo Inc., 2019
  8. Brian Cortijo. “Appendix 1: The Acadamae” in Academy of Secrets, 29–30. Paizo Inc., 2011
  9. Brian Cortijo. “Adventure Background” in Academy of Secrets, 3. Paizo Inc., 2011
  10. Mike McArtor. “Chapter 2: Places” in Guide to Korvosa, 11. Paizo Inc., 2008
  11. F. Wesley Schneider, et al. “Magic & Faith in Varisia” in Varisia, Birthplace of Legends, 12. Paizo Inc., 2012
  12. Will McCardell, et al. “Introduction” in Familiar Folio, 5. Paizo Inc., 2015
  13. Dave Gross. Master of Devils, 220. Paizo Inc., 2011
  14. Dave Gross. Prince of Wolves, 125. Paizo Inc., 2010
  15. Dave Gross. (26 January 2015). Pathfinder Trivia: The Acadamae,