The University of Aldergate (informally Aldergate University, or simply Aldergate) is a prestigious and highly selective collegiate research university located in the city of Aldergate in Aldershire, England. Chartered in 1141, Aldergate is either the world's second- or third- oldest university - and it is, by any measure, the most controversial.

The University's reputation for bloody-minded independence is well-earned. Aldergate may not murder the Crown's tax-collectors anymore - now that they've learned to keep their distance. Even to this day, however, the University places no law above learning, and is fanatically protective of its students.

Admission to Aldergate is by invitation only, and those selected by the Office of Invitation tend to become leaders in their field - however odd, obscure, or dangerous that field may be. While the Colleges may bicker internally, the University is firmly united in its encouragement of bold exploration and innovation on the part of its students, sometimes at the expense of innocent bystanders. This has led to a certain amount of popular resentment.

Aldergate has been accused of elitism, of self-supremacism, and of globalist ambition.

Aldergate has also been accused of reckless disregard for cultural norms, local statutes, national sovereignty, good sportsmanship, and human life.

Aldergate is guilty on all counts. And, for those brilliant and bizarre persons lucky enough to receive an invitation, it is the greatest place in the world.

History Edit

(Main article: History of the University of Aldergate)

The University of Aldergate received its official charter in 1141. The precise date of Aldergate's establishment as a seat of learning is unknown, but certainly predates the Roman occupation of Britain.

Throughout history, Aldergate has played an outsize role on the world stage. Aldergatians have achieved success and sparked controversy in every field of human endeavor, and the University itself continues to occupy a unique position as both a wellspring of learning and a political force.

Organization Edit

University Governance Edit

The University of Aldergate is technically headed by a Chancellor, who possesses broad and sweeping executive authority. Aldergate has only ever had one Chancellor - Peter Abelard, who died without naming a successor. As there is no provision in the University's charter for creating a new Chancellor without the old one's blessing, Aldergate has been headed by a Vice-Chancellor for almost its entire history. The Vice-Chancellor (currently Sir Adrian Ward, KBE) is the de facto senior executive for almost all University functions.

Regent House is the official governing body of the University, responsible for electing officials, approving major investments, brokering intercollegiate disputes, etcetera. Its membership is equally divided between Professors, emancipated scholars, and the Low Select (distinguished non-Aldergatians who serve by invitation).

The University Council is the principal executive and policy-making body of the University, responsible for management of Aldergate's properties and holdings and stewardship of University funds.

Colleges Edit

(Main article: Colleges of the University of Aldergate)


Year of Founding

The First Five





Eldon House






The Old Colleges







Salton House


New Colleges

Garton & Perse








Barrow Hall








Bridge House




Far Four



Free Hall




Old Carroll


Laboratory Colleges











Pell Parvis




The Office of Invitation Edit

Admission to the University of Aldergate is by invitation only. The process whereby candidates are identified for consideration by the Colleges is a closely guarded secret, but it is apparent that agents for the Office of Invitation are present and operating in every nation and territory of the world.

The O of I is unique among University institutions in that it is wholly independent from the guidance or oversight of either Regent House or the Vice-Chancellor.

Clubs, Cults, and Societies Edit

(Main article: Clubs, Cults, and Societies)

Ignorant - not to say jealous - persons have accused Aldergate of taking a haphazard, even a chaotic approach towards academia. This is not so. Scholarship at Aldergate is not unstructured; rather, it is self-structured, and Aldergatianss are freely empowered to pursue their studies in whatever way and company seems most suitable. This frequently results in the formation of "study cults" in which one (occasionally more) highly-regarded scholars are surrounded by a small group of their peers to form a group dedicated to a specialized area of exploration. Oftentimes these resemble the more conventional teacher-student model, with a senior expert providing lectures and conducting seminars. It is not uncommon, however, for these little cults to form stable, enduring groups dedicated to collaborative learning - or collaborative innovation. BOWfAX was one such group.

There are several other types of more-or-less official organizations woven into the fabric of Aldergate. Some barely outlive their establishment; others are as old as the University (if not older).

Locations and Sites Edit

The City of Aldergate Edit

All of the colleges of the University of Aldergate are headquartered and principally located within the bounds of the City of Aldergate. While the University asserts (occasionally contested) claim to every square inch of real estate inside the walls of the old city, most of the Colleges are located east of the River Fay, and all but the Far Four are east of the city's geographic center.

The Manse of the Vice-Chancellor Edit

(Main article: The Manse of the Vice-Chancellor)

The residence of the Vice-Chancellor of the University. Located at the southern corner of the Pentangle, contiguous with the Eldon House complex. Also contains the official Office of the Vice-Chancellor, and the Arkwell Privy Library.

Built in the 1140s by Henry II after the death of Chancellor Abelard, under the mistaken impression that he would be permitted to come in and throw his royal weight about. Old Hank fancied himself a bit of a philosopher, and quite liked the idea of keeping a "seat learned" where he could annoy and ennoble his court occasionally by making them rub shoulders with the lettered boffins of Aldergate. Consequently, the original building (which survives more or less entirely intact) was designed in line with Henry's tastes - a Norman fortress, three imposing storeys of siege-proof stone and basements to provision a small army.

The Arkwell Privy Library was added as an additional fourth storey in 1458. It contains a priceless collection of rare books and folios, which nobody can get at because it also contains the Sir Reggie Collection of Stolen Souvenirs. Also featuring a large and diverse assortment of ghosties, ghoulies, and slimy things that sneak up and kill you when you're not looking.

The Midwinter Hill Center for Integrated Science Edit

(Main article: The Midwinter Hill Center for Integrated Science)

MHCIS, unaffectionately referred to as "Bonehenge," represents the crowning achievement of Humanity's efforts to fully aggregate its scientific capabilities. Thousands of the finest scientists and difference engineers have been invited from 'round the world to join the most exceptional collaborative network of research and analytical facilities in history. Notable by his absence is Adrian Ward, who is not allowed in, for reasons that are presently unknown and by persons who will sorely regret it.

The Pentangle Edit

The Pentangle (informally "the Pent") is the true heart of the University, a five-sided grassy courtyard ringed by the First Five Colleges. A popular spot for picnics, live performances, political speeches, public orgies, and occasional LARP-battles for the future of humanity.

By tradition the Pent is a "place lawless" - even by Aldergate standards. Just as the University is separate from the laws of England, so the Pent is separate from the jurisdiction of either the Colleges or the Administration.

One notable feature is the Scholar's Tree, an ancient English Yew close to the Whipple College gate. Its grand knotty bole makes climbing easy, if prickly and unpleasant

Triple-E (The Gambrel College Center for the Engineering of Elementary Entities) Edit

The twin glass obelisks rising from Gambrel College are the above-ground bits of the University's second-biggest scientific research facility (after Midwinter Hill). The shiny towers are administration and office space; the laboratories are mostly underground.

Notable occupants of Triple-E include the late Sammie Brayden, who appears to have bullied herself an office which she never actually used. Inquiries continue.

The Vestergaard Center for the Arts Edit

Endowed by the late Solvig Vestergaard (thanks in no small part to the agency of a certain Mr. A.W., probably), the VCA is located on King's Common and consists of two uniquely revolutionary structures: the Parata Dynamic Gallery, and the Aldergate Playhouse.

The Wetherby Medical Complex Edit

In the 1950s, Regent House finally bowed to two unavoidable realities: that the University needed a unified medical campus, and that there wasn't room for it inside the City of Aldergate. The Wetherby Medical Complex was built just outside the city walls to the northwest, just a two-minute stroll up Queen's Parade from Buckminster College.

The buildings that make up the Wetherby Medical Complex were designed by Le Corbusier, and they're simply awful.


Other University sites and holdings Edit

  • Pitcairn Station - Research station on Pitcairn island in the southern Pacific Ocean.
  • The Nenets Array - Radio telescope array near the Barents sea in northern Russia.
  • Ormo II - Antarctic research facility operated by Newgrave College