Friday, December 9, 2016

Amber Zone: The Unseen Institute

Believed to be an image of the faculty...
Somewhere on the rimward border rumor has a small group of highly skilled, rather mad psionicists who run an effective near open Psionics Institute. The Solomani frequently claim it's in Imperial Space in the Dabei, Magyar, Solomani Rim, Alpha Crucis, and Old Expanses. The Imperials ususally claim it's on the Solomani side of the truce line. Those of a diplomatic bent claim it's on some backwater in the Reaver's Deep or Hinterworlds. What is known about them follows:

In appearance, it is a normal college from the outside, with a staff of Porters running well manicured grounds. Allegedly, there are far too often ongoing events that spill over from the Psionic talents of the staff and students to escape notice. Unusually, it is almost all men who study here with two exceptions.

The Institute is headed by a man referred to as the Archchancellor. A very powerful psion, he is a large fit man, apparently in his mid 60's. His talents include Clairvoyance and Telepathy. By his manor, he suggests the sort of upper class hunter who would have his own Safari Ship. In addition to his Psionic skills, his skill with a hunting crossbow is unnatural. Don't try and talk to him, he won't even pretend to understand you.

The Bursar of the Institute was once quite talented in Awareness and Telepathy, but was mostly interested in numbers. He still can run the books effectively despite having lost his sanity. Highly skilled and powerful telepaths from the staff are able to induce a hallucination of sanity into him, along with substances derived from poisonous Terran Tree Frogs.

The Dean is an even larger man, requiring two chairs to sit on. This powerful Telekentic and Telepath has two major jobs, attending various functions in the city the Institute is hidden in, and amplyifing any sort of crazy psionic affect in the area. He is rather found of trying martial arts, but the local instructors have been terrorized into understanding that you don't tell a rather powerful psion 'No, you don't have a clue' at their gyms.

Curiously, the Librarian is an uplifted orangutan(1), whose sole psionic talent is Awareness. The most pleasant member of the faculty, he enjoys going to starport bars, playing the organ, and is a member of the local police force's reserve. Only speaking in "Ook" and "Eeek", he nevertheless understands Anglic fluently. Rumor is that calling him a 'Monkey' is a surefire way to find the speaker in the hospital the next morning. He is one of the two exceptions to the Insitute's rule that it's adepts are human males, the other was an extremely strong young woman who gave of the aura you would expect of their usual students. Needless to say, that adept died shortly thereafter.

The Head of Inadvisably Applied Psionic Technology is the youngest member of the faculty, having just completed some of his own studies. He is skilled at Telekinesis and Telepathy, but is really an expert at Psionology. He's also the man the Institute ought to be having talking to the outside world, but this maybe intentional, as this young man is actively involved in a variety of projects inside the Institute, including a combination of psionic talents and high tech computers.

In case in of you were wondering, yes, this is based on the late, lamented Sir Terence David John Pratchett, OBE's Discworld, and more closely, Unseen University. This is after all, a game, and shouldn't be taken seriously.

1. Mentioned in GURPS Traveller: Ring of Fire on page 34.