Nimue: Wildwood Academy
Wildwood Academy was founded by Tonja the Wild, but it was inspired by Nimue, the famed consort of the first Merlin, Tonja's great grandmother.
The story of King Aerthyr is as old as the first century roman occupation of Britainia. Maerlwyn and Nimue were added much later, though their stories predate Aerthyr by centuries. In 300 BC Maerlwyn finally succumbed to his obsession with the dragon. Nimue could only mourn him. And then leave their land.
She went west.
A pict in blue woad facepaint, the sorceress found welcome in the northron reaches of another continent.
Her hair was as black as theirs, her skin was swarthy, lighter than theirs but not by much, but they had so much more in common. These folk knew and respected the old ways and she was made welcome traveling among them. They had no cause yet to fear travelers from beyond the eastern waters.
She learned their customs and taught them hers.
It was a beginning. A good beginning.
At first, the magics were just shared and compared oral passings, but eventually developed into more purposeful training. Rome had been a power for near four hundred years when Nimue came to the new world and every divination she cast showed the great length of their shadow in the halls of history, so the magics she taught she taught in their tongues.
Nimue stayed among the people for two hundred more years before letting her spirit depart her frame.
Her sons and grandsons were also long lived and Leif Erickson visited their lands and the Four established Hogwarts before her great grandson Tonja in his own old age cast the spells to grow the Heart Tree in the center of the seven tree grove that would become the heart of the Wildwood Academy.
The Wildwood Academy is located about two hours southwest of modern Chicago on a protected parcel of federal land known as Starved Rock State Park. It is land that has seen both much blood and much magic.
Visitors to the Park see only natural surroundings, wild flora and fauna, caves and rivers and streams. On the high days the Wildwood swaths itself in fog and mist for added protection. but the magics that conceal it are old and strong.
To the students and loremasters [professors] of the Wildwood, the heart of the academy is a great tree of a height and breadth greater than the greatest sequoia [tho its wood is white and it's bark is papery black and white like birch or alder]. This is surrounded by seven great trees half the size of the central tree. One is oak, one is yew, one rowan, one willow, one elder, one holly, and the final tree is sycamore.
All eight trees are live and all eight are carved hollow with rooms and halls and bridges between them of woven boughs.
Two communities also invisibly occupy space on the parkland. The Mothers' Village, a colony of healers, and Woadwall, an odd European village in the style of the Danes and occupied roughly half and half by aboriginal Americans and Scandinavian thanes - both from an era long gone.
The Primlacrosse Circle
The field for the school's signature sport is located on a five acre parcel of land under a nearby lake. Entering the lake and speaking the school motto transports one to the playing field or observation stands.
The school motto is: "a caelo usque ad centrum" or "from the sky to the center"