College of Mysteries

From PathfinderWiki

College of Mysteries
Type Magical college
Leader Brythen Blood
Headquarters Absalom
Goals Sharing secrets and techniques of magic from different cultures

Source: Absalom, City of Lost Omens, pg(s). 183–184

The College of Mysteries (formerly known as the House of Secrets) is the oldest school of magic in Absalom and is located in the Petal District. The college has a superb reputation in the city and is favored by a number of organisations, such the Javelin Gallery, whom they aid by enchanting weapons.[1]


According to the legends of early Absalom, the college began when Aroden invited the first pilgrims to the Isle of Kortos. These mystics conversed and learned from each other, drawing upon their diverse knowledge of the arcane from their respective homelands. The organisation became targeted by angry groups in Absalom who believed that the sharing of cultural styles, beliefs, and philosophy was a crime, endangering the group. Even so, the organisation endured the inevitable assassination attempts, and was given the name House of Secrets. When the Arclords of Nex built the Arcanamirium, the House of Secrets changed its philosophy and opened itself up as a proper school. In their new building, they educated only the children of the most wealthy families in the ways of the arcane arts.[2]


Even though the College of Mysteries is both old and wealthy, it is smaller than the Arcanamirium in Nex. The most distinguishable part of the school is the giant dome of arcane fused gemstones and glass called the Lens. Built in response to the creation of the Arcanamirium, the Lens (also known as Crystal Ball and the Hall of Diamond) is where classes are taught.[citation needed]


The college is administered by an inner circle, known as the Assembly of Enigmas. These individuals are the teachers of the school and are also known as 'curators'. The most adept of the school's students are initiated into this ruling body.[3]


The college covers a range of subjects, not merely spell incantation. These include metamagic spellcasting, magic item identification, analysing magical affects, magic item creation, and many others. As a result, a fair number of students are bards, sorcerers, and even clerics.[2] The term begins every year on 6 Rova.[4]

Each course is comprised of four stages of mastery, although the completion of even a single stage is enough for the student to be considered a professional. A student begins with the title of "riddle", implying that their true selves have yet to be revealed through study. For each stage completed, the student is advanced to "shadow", then "charade", and then "labyrinth". The final stage requires one-on-one tutoring from a senior curator. Should the student pass this final, arduous stage, they are given the rank "enigma" and possibly an offering to join the inner circle.[2]

Students who excel at their studies earn the right to receive the distinctive tattoos known as irezoko on their face, arms, legs, chest, and lower back. These tattoos are a tremendous badge of honor among Absalom's elite, equivalent to the most expensive and luxuriant gowns by the city's master tailors.[2][5]

In order to be accepted, students must either be direct offspring of students from earlier generations or show a strong natural talent for one of school's courses of study. Unsurprisingly, tuition fees are extremely high (though sometimes waived by the Assembly of Enigmas) and do not include living costs or materials.[2]

Notable members


For additional resources, see the Meta page.

  1. Owen K.C. Stephens. (2008). Guide to Absalom, p. 35. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-141-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Owen K.C. Stephens. (2008). Guide to Absalom, p. 38. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-141-1
  3. Erik Mona, Mark Moreland, Russ Taylor, and Larry Wilhelm. (2011). Pathfinder Society Field Guide, p. 9. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-305-7
  4. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 238. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  5. Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). World Guide, p. 17–18. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
  6. Owen K.C. Stephens. (2008). Guide to Absalom, p. 50. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-141-1