Blessings from the gods, that’s what they called magic for centuries. Those who saw the future, those who conjured flame, they were all blessed in the eyes of Rome. Magic had wound its way through the pages of Roman history, from Aeneas of Troy to the founding twins to the dictator murdered by his own men. To honor the gods and create a blessed youth, emperor Augustus founded the Blessed School which was truly the pinnacle of power and influence in this time of wizarding history. After the years and after weaker and weaker emperors, the school fell into disrepair and was destroyed completely by invading German armies.
With the rise of Catholicism in the Italian kingdoms, the blessed became know as witches, sinners, children of the devil. Burning alive was the fear of every “witch” and hiding became the only option available to them. They went to church, knelt and prayed just as every good Catholic ought to, but the magic running through their veins couldn’t be expelled no matter how hard the church tried. A rare few used their blessing to aid the poor, the hurt, the needing and were deemed saints, agents of God. As time passed, witches memorized the sacraments, whispered their nightly prayers, and convinced themselves and the world that they didn’t exist. It wasn’t until the Renaissance that magical beings came to light once more. Despite the wars that plagued the Italian kingdoms, a few monarchs came together to build an academy for magical youths. They wished to hide it from the world and not be so obvious as their Roman predecessors who placed the school in the center of a city, so they built it far south, off the coast of Sicily, where the rest of Europe would not likely go.
A top a stunning seaside cliff, L'istituto di Augusto per i Maghi or, as it is internationally known, the Augustan Institute is an oasis of sun, sand, and impassioned witches and wizards. Students from all around the Mediterranean gather here to discover their abilities and educate themselves of the blessed world around them. Greeks, Tunisians, Spaniards, Moroccans, Algerians, and many others join the native Italians to study and spell cast. Classes are taught in a variety of languages, with the major languages being Italian, English, and Arabic. Students are encouraged to be multilingual not only to improve relations among students, but to improve their own magic as well since spells originate in either Latin or Arabic. Students are invited to the Institute around 12 years old and graduate around the age of 18, totaling about six levels of year-round education. The student body is divided at random for the first three years before being grouped into classes based on interest areas such as potion making, creature studies, etc.
The architectural beauty of the school is rivaled by none, having been crafted by Renaissance artists and maintained by magic against the wear of time.Opportunities for off-campus learning come from the merfolk who live just off-shore and who adore the company of Augustan students. On free days, the beaches are filled with scattered volleyball matches, sunbathing students with a textbook or two, and those who dive down to minge with the merfolk. Augustan students excel in the area of Charms, and often also have a knack for jinxes which leads to quite a mess for the poor professors.