Return To The Imperial Magischola Convocation

September 10-13, 2020 | Mansions on Fifth | Pittsburgh, PA

Imperial Magischola: Rising Tides is a 4-day, 3-night wizard college adventure open to 60 adults. 

You’ll play a college student or faculty member at this magical equivalent of an Ivy League university steeped in tradition and entrenched power. Most of you are from the one percent of wizarding society, high-born Unsoiled Heritage mages flush with wealth and family expectations. Some of you are mixed heritage or born among the mundanes, and you’re here at Imperial on scholarship, scrabbling to belong in this insular upper-crust society. 

This immersive, interactive theatrical experience interrogates power, prejudice, expectations, traditions, and greed. The story explores and parallels the rise of extremism and fascism in a society that is overcome by fear of change and loss of privilege. There is a battle coming, between Unsoiled traditionalists who want to keep things the way they are and stay protected from outsiders and more progressive mages who want to cast aside old prejudices and create a more equitable and just society. You’ll be on one side or the other of this approaching pervasive war: which will it be?

Imperial Magischola is a three-year plot arc, an interactive collaborative story being told over three years. Each year, the event will take place at the annual convocation of students and faculty who gather for a pre-term retreat. 2020 brings us Year 2, the middle part of a longer saga, but a complete story of its own. In this year, students and faculty are choosing sides, dealing with conflict between their pasts and family expectations and their friends or personal beliefs. It’s a year of alliances and allegiances, of learning who you are and what you’ll stand for, and of training and acquiring resources for an upcoming battle for the future of the magical world.

There’s a charismatic new voice on the side of the traditionalists, and he has access to power and fortune among the elite. His words make sense: too much change too fast will create chaos and open doors to the persecution of magic-users from mundanes — those who are not part of magical society and do not use magic. One only need to point to past actions by humans against witches and herbalists to know that the dangers are real. Mundane-born mages — those who are not born to wizarding society but manifest magical ability — are immigrants to the Magimundi, outsiders whose ties to their former lives need to be severed fully to keep the borders of the magical world strong. Mr. Cynde is gaining allies, and Unsoiled families see Imperial Magischola as the lynchpin for proper edification of Magimundi youth to champion and continue the policies and traditions that have worked for centuries.

Learn more about practical information including when, where, how, price, etc. in your Imperial Student Orientation.

Read the Imperial: Rising Tides backstory to learn what happened in Year 1.

If you want to join an underground rebellion, or the dark forces gaining power, then this interactive theatrical experience is for you. Limited spots are available. Register today with a $200 deposit and make payments until June 2020.

Content Warning: 

This experience explores some strong parallels to the current political environment in America and around the world, including the rise of extremism and fascism. These parallels are not avoidable; they are very much central to this particular larp’s experience. This larp was inspired in part by the creators’ experiences at prestigious US colleges with wealthy elites and the casual prejudices of those elites towards others who were different. Many elite characters will display elitist prejudices, which often take the form of microaggressions and indifference to injustices that do not directly impact them. These prejudices are exclusively regarding the fictional division between Unsoiled mages and Mundane-born mages and specifically do not include skin color, ethnicity, religious practices, gender, sexual orientation, or other real-world intersectional marginalized identities. However, those who have the lived experience of enduring prejudices related to those real-world attributes may be triggered by the fictional magical heritage-based prejudices. 

The game staff is taking stewardship of these difficult themes very seriously, so this game’s design may challenge the expectations of participants who have played in NWM or other wizard school events. We believe it is important to examine the forces behind the rise of extremism and fascism in modern society and to interrogate entrenched and institutionalized prejudices so that we can identify them, confront them, and end them. The larp’s designed themes include backlash against progressive values, toxic allyship, privilege blindness, and the difficulty of enacting lasting change when it requires both opening the eyes of those in power and convincing them to reject all that they have known and confront their families, livelihoods, attitudes, and traditions. That does not mean that fascism will win in the end; it won’t. But there isn’t an easy fix, even with magic. Our hope is that participants come away from the roleplay experience with a new awareness of their own blind spots, a better understanding of power structures that resist change, and emboldened and impassioned solidarity and energy to stand up to extremism and fascism in the real world.

Participants in Imperial Year 1 called the experience, “powerful,” “life-changing,” “transformative,” “engaging,” and “one of the best larp experiences in my 20 years of roleplay.” Sign up today to be the villain or hero in this rising tide of fascism.