The Vicentiem Imperial Institute
Etymology and History Edit
Though the First Nation, Salentia (LINK TO SALENTIA on text), had afforded language for the Vicentiems (LINK TO VICENTIEM on text), its vernacular had not contained terms to suit the Movement of Luminaries (LINK TO ARTICLE ON MOVEMENT OF LUMINARIES on text) of knowledge-seeking. The monarchs of Salentia were alleged to have quelled the Rights of Intellect proclaimed by the Movement (LINK TO CHARTER OF RIGHTS OF INTELLECT on text) - often backing opposing factions and families - by persecuting those who spread and advanced knowledge (LINK TO LETTER FROM OFFICIALS IN SALENTIA CALLING FOR THE QUELLING). The Victatious (LINK TO VICTATIOUS FAMILY RULE OF SALENTIA on text) began this tradition by chartering forms of cultural and intellectual advance that could be contained amongst the elite - and luminaries most obedient would expect the patronage of their government. Known as 'contained privilege' (LINK TO DISCUSSION BETWEEN LEADING POLITICAN AND VICTATIOUS MONARCH), such a policy was intended to keep the intellectuals divided and opposed to themselves. Most opted not be patronised - and the aims of the Movement were emboldened by a mass disdain towards the limitations (REFERENCE LETTER OF CONTEMPT SIGNED BY MOST LUMINARIES IN THE MOVEMENT, SENT TO THE GOVERNMENT).
However, luminaries such as Master Vicari (LINK TO VICARI BIO) and High Luminary Malgares (LINK TO MALGARES BIO) would adapt their works to suit the contrived palette, and claimed those that defied the Victatious direction 'sullied the aims of the Movement intended to unite people of all' (REFERENCE TO ADDRESS ON 7th SENATE OF THE MOVEMENT FROM HIGH LUMINARY MALGARES), declaring the luminary defiance 'a bid to splinter the roots of intellect' (REFERENCE TO ADDRESS ON 7th FROM MASTER VICARI). In a conniving move, Emperor Audum Victatious inverted the standards of intellect accepted by the Salentian court in an instant (REFERENCE TO THE MEMOIRS OF AUDUM: ON THE DECISION), making the work of their contained privileged (LINK TO PERSECUTED SALENTIAN INTELLECTUALS) illegal. Most luminaries took the opportunity to purge the 'betrayers of intellect' (REFER TO ADDRESS BY Master Dervil IN EIGHTH SENATE), by a voted ruling in their eighth senate - rushed into effect exclusively for the purging. Vicari, and several others, were amongst the first intellectuals to be persecuted by the Salentian government, under charges of 'Extortion' and 'Gross misdemeanant' (REFER TO OFFICIAL SALENTIAN DOCUMENT RECOVERED BY VICENTIEM MIGRANTS, OF MASTER VICARI'S CHARGES AGAINST HIM). In fact, this was the means to enact show trials on the contained, where confessions of 'High Treason' and 'Conspiracy Against State' were tortured out. A series of executions followed in what historians tout as Audum's Axe (LINK TO ARTICLE ON AUDUM'S AXE), part of a greater purging of political and intellectual dissidents.
Those intellects spared were strangely silent about their treatment, with Master Tyviar notably driven to insanity and self-killing (LINK TO MASTER TYVIAR ARTICLE). The Movement of Luminaries proved too much a liability for the emperor's heightened paranoia (REFER TO THE MEMOIRS OF AUDUM VICTATIOUS) and he attempted to destroy what had already been sapped by fear. However, this was when the deliberate balancing of suppression and endorsement of intellectuals by Audum (SEE CONSTABLE VOLGAR'S REPORT ON THE SILVER SCALE) was undone: the Chantry had banded with the Luminaries to oust the pungent Victatious (LINK TO COUP OF AUDUM), both of which were threatened.
Subsequent members of the family had made very careful effort to keep in favour of these power groups, with the Luminaries "too liberal to be leashed" (MEMORANDUM OF EMPRESS JULIA VICTATIOUS ON THE APPEASEMENT OF INTELLECTUALS). Indeed, the liberalisation of Salentia's intellectuals had ensured the Empire's advancement in philosophy, mathematics and alchemy. What had been the Movement of Luminaries, formalised into the Imperial Institute (LINK TO IMPERIAL INSTITUTE [OF SALENTIA]), which made knowledge more accessible to the population. Luminary Pyra (BIO LINK), Master Oldum (BIO LINK and Emperor Determinus Victatious (BIO LINK) had, in particular, banded to form a forum solely for the advancement of the First Nation's alchemy, coined as the Alchemists' Guild of Salentia (LINK TO ARTICLE ON ALCHEMIST SALENTIAN GUILD). Concoctions such as liquid fire (LINK TO ARTICLE ON LIQUID FIRE) and purified bile (LINK TO BYPRODUCT ALCHEMY) were developed, which found use in repelling (RECOUNT OF GROUND ALCHEMIST SHOCKED ON EFFECTS OF LIQUID FIRE, WHEN HE APPLIED IT) the First Ardey Conquest (LINK TO THE FIRST ARDEY CONQUEST).The partnership of government and alchemists proved notorious, as the guild supplied the Salentian Imperial Guard (LINK TO SALENTIAN IMPERIAL GUARD) with chemicals use in torture and even execution (REFERENCE TO SHEET WITH ORDER FOR LIQUID FIRE AND FUMING SULPHUR). The Leventis dissidents (LINK TO LEVENTIS RISE OF POWER: SECTION ON UPRISING) often targeted the alchemists for their methods, as "a crony corruption of intellect" (REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY FORMER ALCHEMIST, MASTER MANVEL, IN PROTESTS).
Weary of the historical persecution of their ilk, the Imperial Institute dettached itself from the noxious guild (REFERENCE TO FIFTH DECREE:INDEPENDENCE) on grounds of remaining impartial in the Leventis-Victatious joust. Nonetheless, the Institute found its membership fragmented on-course for the upcoming rebellion - of those who fought for the immediate rights of people (henceforth, The Levent LINK TO THE LEVENT) and those who guarded the eternal knowledge of Salentia (The Victait LINK TO THE VICTAIT). All this culminated in the leading alchemists of the guild to be publicly captured by the Leventis, face show trials for their questionable actions, and face the punishment of 'melting in themselves': limbs to be severed with liquid fire and distilled chiyme (REFERENCE TO THE TRIBUNAL ON THE MELTING). Considered justice by most Salentians (REFERENCE TO BARD SONG ON THE BURNING), intellects abhorred the executions and quickly disbanded the Institute, to prevent being targeted ( REFERENCE NOTE FROM ONE LUMINARY TO ANOTHER CALLING FOR THE END). Scientific output capsized in the empire, as the ruthless Leventis ascended into power - victorious in their coup. The dungeons were grossly overcrowded with political dissidents, oft subject to remains of purified bile, lime and excited tartar (REFERENCE TO DUNGEON SKETCH AND EMPTY BOTTLES: SMUGGLED SATIRE). Along with the Victatious, the Victait proved too dangerous to keep within the stagnanting empire - so Casinus Leventis ordered both to be shipped off to the uncharted oceans. (LINK TO THE FIRST BANISHMENT)
A knack for mathematics and sheer luck had kept their decrepit vessels afloat and in full stead.
Completed Works Edit