Which Magic School Is For You? Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts

The below are excerpts from the Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts Website. Being part of the World of the Wise, Roanoke is not connected to the web. However, over Yule break, freshman student Valerie Hunt and her mundane friend Walden Wren created a website for the school and posted it on the Unwary internet.

        Roanoke Hall and the bridge spanning the reflecting lake.

Located on the Floating Island of Roanoke, Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts is currently moored in New York’s Hudson River, just north of Storm King Mountain. The beauty of the Hudson Highlands lends to the atmosphere of scholarly pursuit.

 While there are many magical academies world wide—over a thousand in America alone—Roanoke Academy is the only institution in the world that offers instruction in all seven Arts of Sorcery. This means you can study Enchantment alongside Alchemy, or Conjuring alongside Thaumaturgy at the same school!

This allows advanced students to specialize is sorcerous pursuits that require combining the arts, such as cryptomancy and Obscuration, which are not taught anywhere else.

Roanoke Academy consists of three separate facilities:

The Lower School for elementary and junior high children of the Wise.

The Upper School for high school age students of Wise or Unwary background who are interested in instruction in sorcery.

Roanoke College for those wishing to pursue advanced sorcery and achieving Rings of Mastery in one or more of the Seven Arts.

Freshman Courses (All are mandatory):

 Typical classroom

Language – The Freshman Language course instructs students in a mixture of English grammar and composition and the art of Canticle. In order to learn the original language, the vocabulary of which is made up of cantrips, students are instructed in the underlying concepts of language: vocabulary, grammar and communication. Course texts include: Aristotle’s On Magic; Plato’s Arcanium; Pliny the Elder’s Natural History

Art – The visualization skills necessary to conjuring are refined through the practice of visual arts. Drawing and sculpting train the imagination to form the desired objects that will be pulled across from the dream realm. While all the senses are addressed in the course of Freshman Art, most of the year is focused upon developing within the students a proper sense of line, shape, balance, and proportion. Students practice extensively with the conjuration of simple objects throughout the year. Course texts include:

Alchemy Lab with lab stations

Lab – Freshman Lab provides the students’ initial introduction to alchemy, the manufacture of magical items and elixirs. Like music and art, this is one of the more hands-on courses in which students experience the practical application of the art from the very beginning of instruction. Students will construct the following items during the freshman year: athame; chameleon elixir; clinging elixir; charm of protection; shadowcloak; waterbaby elixir; floating elixir; quicksilver boots; cure-all elixir; Course texts include:

      Music Room

Music – No previous musical experience is necessary. Students are introduced to the rudiments of musical instruments, music theory, and enchantment. As all magical enchantments are cast by means of a musical instrument, freshmen are required to select at least one musical instrument that they will learn to play. Independent practice with chosen instruments is expected of all students while studying Music and Enchantment. In addition to applied practice, the Freshman Music course also includes instruction in music theory to include modern music notation and modes of music. Simple enchantments are taught to reinforce the concepts underlying the relationship between the different modes of music and the corresponding type of enchantment. Course texts include: Pythagoras’ The Ratio of Tones; Boethius’  De Musica.

Math – The Freshman Math Course is a foundational course for further mathematics, logic, thaumaturgy, and warding. Students work through the thirteen books of Euclid’s Elements, demonstrating the logical proof of theorems based upon previously established knowledge and constructing perfect geometric figures with confidence. Additionally students encounter the concepts and methods underlying basic wards to include: running water; bells; salt; bread; pentacles; red thread; flax and peony; stone shapes; horse shoes; and cold iron.

True History – The Freshman True History course lays out the history of the World of the Wise to include the early history of the development of magic and the information obscured from the Unwary historical record. This course is taught by the scholars of the Gnosis department. Course texts include:

​ Tour the Campus 

Roanoke Hall – Roanoke Hall is the central hub of Academy life. The hall is the home of both the college and the Upper School. It also houses the library, the dining hall, club houses, the planetarium, and, downstairs, the mail room, the Glass Room, and the Storm King Café. The hall was built in the mid-sixteen hundreds and was designed by the great sorcerer, Leonardo da Vinci, who also designed its sister chateau in Chambord, France.

      Library side room

Roanoke Library – a three story library taking up much of the eastern wing of Roanoke Hall, the library is the home to several book bogeys who help lucky students find the book they most desire.

Club Houses – the north leg of Roanoke contains offices on the first floor. The second and third floors are available for student organizations, such as the Chess Club, the Roanoke Glass—which is the school newspaper, the Yearbook Committee, the Cooking Club, etc.

The Planetarium – the domed planetarium is on the roof of Roanoke Hall. In addition to general scientific interest, it is useful for Scholars studying the          influence of the stars and for Alchemists collecting such influences.

     Mail Room

Mail Room – at the bottom of the spiral staircases is the Mail Room, where students can both mail letters and receive letters and packages.

Glass Room – a room full of Talking Glasses in private booths allow students to keep in touch with their families. There are no Talking Glasses outside of this chamber that reach off-campus.

The Storm King Café – A charming, old-fashioned soda fountain with stools, tables and a black and white checkered floor. The Storm King Café features tea, cocoa, mulled cider, elderberry cordial, egg creams, Cheerwine, sarsaparilla, and more, along with burgers and grilled cheese, and all manners of ice cream sundaes. There is also a case with marzipan fruit, maple sugar candies and honey cakes and other tokens for shrine offerings. On the wall is a mural depicting the Heer of Dunderberg and his lightning imps and mist sprites attacking ships, including The Flying Dutchman.

Other Buildings and Places of Note

Watch Tower

The Watch Tower – located north of De Vere Hall, the Watch Tower maintains the Wards and Obscurations protecting the academy. The Disenchanting Chamber, used for undoing undesirable spells, in on the first floor of this structure.

The Reflecting Lake – in front of Roanoke Hall is the reflecting lake. The bottom of this lake is coated with silver. This allows it to reflect the light of the full moon back at the underside of objects placed into glass cases set within the waters for degossamerization on the nights of the full moon. Self-propelling rowboats with eyes painted upon them are always available for those who wish to go boating.

The Common Green or ‘The Commons’ – between the Reflecting Lake and the Lily Pond is several hundred yards of green lawns crisscrossed with gravel pathways. Benches placed periodically make this a enjoyable place to study on nice days. Tall pole lamps keep it brightly lit at night.

  Walled gardens

Walled Gardens – there are several private areas for study and small gathering, such as the popular walled garden.

The Infirmary – a brick building with marble columns, the Infirmary maintains the same standards found in any Order of Asclepius Healing Hall. It has green marble floors veined with black. Periwinkle blue walls with silver healing glyphs, flame-orange curtains separating the beds, the headrests of which have been inset with dragon-veined agate containing healing enchantments. Balls of healing flame hover over the beds. Above, on the ceiling, is an mechanical orrary that can be adjusted to set the heavenly-influences to those best for the healing of many ailments. In the center is a fountain of healing waters.


The Gymnasium – the gymnasium is the finest on-request facility in the world, using a combination of Conjuring and kenomancy to produce any sports equipment students might desire. From dueling strips to swimming pools, to bristlesses, to golf courses, to basketball courts, whatever athletic a Roanoke student may wish to engage in is only a request away.

The Playing Fields – behind the Gym are playing fields for many outdoor sports, including Track and Broom and flying polo. There is also a soccer field inside the square of Roanoke Hall.

The Staff Village – in the woods, beyond the playing fields and the herb-gardens maintained by the Alchemy students is a small village on Rushing Creek for the faculty and staff. Staff Village contains both men’s and women’s dormitories and thatched cottages for married couples and families.

    Oriental Gardens

The Oriental Gardens – to the southeast is a lovely Oriental Gardens, with red maples, bamboo groves, ponds and rock gardens. The Familiar Bonding Ceremonies are held here. Small bowers with benches make a lovely place to find privacy and peace of mind.

The Boardwalk – A boardwalk runs for over a mile along the creek. Students are welcome to walk along the creek and view the waters and the wild life and fey creatures that live on the island.

  Lily pond

The Lily Pond – a lovely pond sporting Victorian Lily and Lotuses. In the center of the pond is a topiary fountain shaped like leaping dolphins. Underneath these waters is a city of sea fairies who occasionally come to the surface to visit with students.

The Memorial Gardens – this area contains both memorials of past students and faculty who have distinguished themselves of who have died nobly and shrines to many different gods and goddesses, with baskets for offering. Honey cakes and other small offering tokens can be purchased at the Storm King Café.

The Menagerie – This building, situated in the forest to the west of the southern edge of the Commons, contains both a veterinarian hospital and feeding and boarding facilities for larger familiars.

The Dormitories

Marlowe Hall, the first of the western dormitories, is the home of students specializing in Conjuring. The door is decorated with great works of art from various parts of the world. In addition to student quarters, it includes a number of art studios where students are encourage to pursue artistic endeavors of various kinds, sculpting, painting, pottery, etc. There are also enclosed conjuring chambers, to keep living conjurations from escaping. Due to the great need of Conjurers for familiars, Marlowe Hall is situated closest to the Menagerie.

           Dare Hall 

Spenser Hall is home to those aspiring to be Canticlers. Every object—windows, doors, stairs, etc—has a small plaque bearing its name in the Original Tongue to facilitate learning this thoroughly useful language. There are listening room with cinqfoils and speaking crystals, including crystals you can speak cantrips into and then hear back to see how you did without  activating the spell.

Dare Hall is the home of the Enchanters. In addition to student quarters, it houses the Elizabeth Regina Theater, where plays and pageants are performed. It also contains a myriad of practice rooms and a large music room in the cellar.

De Vere Hall, the north-most of the eastern dormitories, is the farthest off the beaten path. Surrounded by hemlocks, the dour building with its arrow-slit windows is the home of those studying Enochean magic—Warding and Obscuration. De Vere is warded, and students must past short tests, showing their knowledge of the art of warding in order to enter and leave the building. (Please note: Enochean magic, as taught at Roanoke, is not the same as the diluted version of John Dee’s teaching that has occasionally made it into the mundane world.)

                        Drake Hall

Drake Hall is the home of future Thaumaturgists. It is a majestic building surrounded by a moat. Two stone lions guard the door, though one is sleeping. Underneath Drake Hall are the Summoning Vaults, where summonings can be performed. Behind the dorm is a collection of cages holding sacrificial animals.

Photo of Dee Hall found under a student’s bed

Dee Hall is the home of the future Scholars. It is a handsome building ringed with statues of famous sorcerers. Within, every wall, door, and staircase has been turned into bookshelves. The entire building is one great library. Downstairs, beneath the dorm, is the Roanoke Bookshop, where students can buy all the tomes they need for their studies, as well as many other related works and a small selection of fiction.

Raleigh Hall is home to aspiring Alchemists. So much of the art has been practiced upon the dormitory that most of the building is animate. The doors have faces at talk. Drawers open if addressed politely. Windows occasionally open on their own. The Roanoke Alchemical Shoppe is situated in the lower portion of the building. The shoppe carries both materials useful for alchemy and items useful for daily life at school, uniforms, notebooks, school clothing and gear bearing the Roanoke Seal of a winged island with a seven branched tree.

Visit the website for more information about:

Student Life


The Hudson Highlands

Map of Roanoke Island

The Bookstore

Guided Tour of the Campus video (may require joining Roanoke Academy Facebook Group.)

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