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The Josephine Blanchard Convent

by Jesper Andersen

Located in the bleak and desolate hills about 10 miles south west of the Tower of High Sonden lies a gothic stone structure called the Josephine Blanchard Convent. It consists of several large stone buildings with flagstone roofs and gargoyle ornaments surrounded by a walled compound with gardens, fountains, an apple orchard and a small graveyard. A large, ornamented gate of iron bars, featuring some rather disturbing demonic faces, blocks the only way in or out of the compound.

The convent functions as something of a cross between a retirement home, a hospital and an asylum for the insane. Most residents are Glantrian arcaners who have given up the eternal intrigue and magical studies and just want to die in peace. In the convent's hospital wing is a bed section for patients with rare magical diseases. Since Glantri has outlawed all divine magic what can be done for patients with e.g. mummy rot or energy drain is somewhat limited, but the convent's staff does its best to ease their suffering. Feebleminded patients are often brought here and have their sanity restored by Limited Wish Spells (at a price of course).

Finally, the Josephine Blanchard Convent, which was named after its founder, has an asylum section for the insane. Eventually, some Glantrian wizards grow senile from old age or are inflicted with madness by too many magical experiments. Such individuals are a threat to society, because every odd day they manage to get one of their spellcastings right (even if they no longer remember why they wanted to cast the spell) and that can cause immense damage. The asylum wing of the convent is generally off-limits to visitors and heavily patrolled by the staff with anti-magic defences. Patients are confined to specially prepared anti-magic areas where the staff does its outmost to accommodate their often erratic behaviour.

The leader of the convent is Madame Odette Gaudet, a strong-willed woman from New Averoigne. She is very strict about visitors and takes great pride in the efficiency of her staff. Maintaining peace and tranquillity for her residents is her greatest priority.