In 1633, Ophelia Samson was denied admission to Imperial Magischola of Massachusetts Bay over the objections of her parents, Virginia Dare and Maximilian Samson. Incensed, Dare collaborated with three other members of the Magimundi who wanted to expand educational opportunity in North America: Tituba, Calisaylá, and Étienne Brûlé.
New World Magischola (NWM) was founded in 1635 by this group who desired to create a school that would be open to magical practitioners of all backgrounds and traditions, specifically in defiance of the rigid conservatism of Imperial Magischola of Massachusetts Bay. Today, New World Magischola retains the tradition of inclusion and progressive thinking, even though the provinces of the new world tend to be capitalist and conservative. The school’s motto is Omnes ab omnibus discamus or “Let us learn all things from everybody.”
The school is located near the northern border of the Solaris Province. The school founders each have a house named after them, and each derives from a different magical tradition, European or indigenous to North America. Virginia Dare: House Croatan, Tituba: Dan Obeah, Étienne Brûlé: Maison Du Bois, and Calisaylá: Casa Calisaylá. Later Chancellor Solomon Gundy invited Marie Laveau to teach at the school, and a house was named in her honor, Lakay Laveau. NWM is also known for founding the Marshal Tradition of magical jurisprudence and enforcement, which eventually replaced the Guardian Tradition in the New World.
Some notable historical events surrounding NWM include involvement in the Magma Wars, covert participation in the Underground Railroad, and the defeat of the Gorecasters. In the early-mid 19th century, wizards with an eye for westward expansion attempted to control the lands surrounding the Yellowstone Caldera by forcing all native peoples and magical creatures off the land. The North American Giants joined forces with Native Shamans and Mages, Chupacabra, and Mannegeshi to lead a rebellion against the Edict to Evacuate, ushered in by the Justices of Destiny and Solaris provinces after extensive lobbying (and likely bribery) by certain wizard families who stood to gain financially by the acquisition of these lands. The North American Giants (also known as Bigfoot) attempted to negotiate with the Marshals sent to enforce the edict, and failing that, went to battle against them.
New World Magischola faculty and students were bitterly divided over support for the Giant Rebellion or compliance with the Edict and the rule of law. While Chancellor Bleddyn Cadwalader and some faculty and students, primarily of Unsoiled Heritage, stood by the Edict, a large number of students and faculty fought alongside the Rebellion, believing that they were being true to NWM founding principles. Under pressure from the Justices, Chancellor Cadwalader overruled the personal conscience decisions of NWM faculty and students, threatening to fire or expel anyone who continued to side with the Rebellion and even to turn them over to be tried for treason.
This conflict became known as the Magma Wars, which lasted from 1825 to 1830 and ended with either the assassination of the final Giant along the Trail of Tears or the retreat of a small band of Giants to the Yukon Territory. The Chupacabra were rounded up and placed in internment camps, where they are now exclusively bred for use as the notorious guards for the main wizard prison, Avernus, located within the Yellowstone Caldera.
The Magma Wars led to the shift in the focus of Maison Du Bois and the mission of the Marshals. The House’s original motto, “Persevere and Excel,” was replaced with Semper Aequus, or Always Just, and the Marshals aligned themselves with enforcing the Magimundi laws as servants to the system that preserved order. Chancellor Cadwalader found himself unable to continue to lead New World Magischola, after a vote of no confidence from the NWM Faculty Senate, large-scale student defiance, and threats to his safety. He resigned his post and left NWM immediately. His portrait still hangs in the Gallery, but there are those who see him as a black mark in the school’s history and would prefer erasing his legacy of what they see as rank capitulation to special interests.
Covertly, NWM students and staff used the school as an important part of the Underground Railroad and helped countless slaves reach freedom, despite overt instructions not to interfere with the mundane world. When staff and students were discovered and Marshals descended upon the school, Chancellor Solomon Gundy took full responsibility and resigned his post, thereby saving students and staff from potential career-destroying punishment or the infamy of a trial. NWM faculty and staff remain proud of their involvement in the fight to end the mundane practice of slavery, believing compassion for humanity outweighs the gravitas of the Tradition of Secrecy.
Later, under Chancellor Isolde Ostrander, New World Magischola was instrumental in defeating the Gorecasters, a notorious group of outlaw artificiers led by the Wizard Jack Slager. This group terrorized both Magimundi and Mundane in the 1920’s and 1930’s with their indiscriminate slaughter of magical creatures and humans for the blood sacrifices needed to create powerful artifacts. Most notable among these were the Slagerods, an untraceable and powerful type of wand that specializes in delivering the forbidden soul-searing curse. Many NWM students and faculty organized magical militias, worked underground placing and breaking curses, created protective and destroying malevolent magical objects, as field and institutional healers and medics, or as sentries to protect the Magimundi during this era of fear. Slager sympathizers who did not die in the violent final confrontation were tried for mass murder and imprisoned in Avernus. Most are still alive today, under heavy guard. Not all the Slagerods have been accounted for.
More recently under current Chancellor Fortinbras, the insidious Vampire Plague spread across all five provinces, with vampires seeking complete control over every aspect of mundane society. Unlike previous threats, these vampires had a complicated hierarchical system for concealing their presence from detection, stymieing the Marshals and Cursebreaker investigators. Fortunately, it appears that due to escalation of internal conflicts and infighting, the vampires turned out to be their own worst enemy, and the Vampire Plague has dwindled to a tolerable few that appear to want to coexist peacefully with both the mundane and magical world, primarily in the Thunderbird Province.
New World Magischola strongly believes in diversity – of magical tradition, of gender, of race and ethnicity etc.- both among students and staff, which has been part of its mission since its founding. Any student, regardless of Heritage or ability to pay will be admitted to NWM, where multiple magical traditions are co-taught and students take a comparative and integrative approach to magical knowledge. As a result, the curriculum differs from the European-style magical training, and students have more choice in how they specialize within their paths. Students may choose to follow Cryptozoology, Cursebreaking, Healing, Artificery, or the Path of The Marshal.