Unseen University

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Unseen University map by Kefka updated for Quow's Cow Bar

The Unseen University (abbreviated as the UU) is the primary institute of wizardry on the Discworld, located off Sator Square in Ankh-Morpork.


The Unseen University's most valuable facility is the library, containing 12 spellbooks and the vast majority of spells available to wizards. Also inside the university is the student lounge (or advancement room) where wizards can be trained in their primaries by the guild. The gym, which contains the beginners' tome and a newbie chest, is also a good place for student wizards to get useful items and spells, as well as honing their skills on Dwmmigh.


Joining the guild is a fairly simple task, achieved by typing 'join' in the hallway outside the student lounge. Upon doing this the player is greeted by Ragnel, who will explain the basics of magic and provide the student with a copy of Master Woddeley's Occult Primer (which is also a talker), and recruit them into the guild to become an 'Unseen University Initiate'. The student can then advance using the guild's student lounge and choose an order when their guild level is at least 40.


The different skill trees can be advanced to different levels.

  • Magic skills to level 50 before choosing a specialization.
  • The specialization's skills can be advanced to level 300.
  • The adventuring and people trees to level 25.
  • The covert and crafts trees to level 10.
  • The faith tree to level 5.


The Unseen University consists of eight specializations, or orders, each led by a senior wizard. They are:

Order Specialization Senior Wizard
The Ancient and Truly Original Sages of the Unbroken Circle Elemental magic Pterrific
The Hoodwinkers Illusion and Conjuring Drygur
Mrs. Widgery's Lodgers General magic Geryon
The Ancient and Truly Original Brothers of the Silver Star Magical artifacts Kari
The Venerable Council of Seers Knowledge and Lore Arturos
The Sages of the Unknown Shadow Demonology Marya
The Order of Midnight Necromancy Toffee
The Last Order Playerkilling Quin

An order can be chosen in the order selection room (inside the order complex north of the student lounge) upon reaching guild level 40. Advancement in the guild cannot exceed level 50 unless an order is joined.

There are also rooms for each Order that only wizards of that Order can enter.

The Library

South side cut from Zari's full UU Library map (see full library map)

The library is located on the north side of a courtyard just east of the great hall. It contains the following spellbooks:

As the library has such a high concentration of background magic, spells cannot be cast inside it.


Directions within the library are relative to the wizard, and thus consist only of forward, backward, left and right. This means that moving involves turning to face that direction and then proceeding forwards, so the direction the wizard turned to face in the previous room becomes 'forward' in the next room.

The library is 8 columns wide and 160 rows deep, though all known books are contained within the first 23 rows. The columns wrap around such that the rightmost column is adjacent to the leftmost column; moving about in the library is similar to moving on the inside wall of a giant cylinder. A thaumometer may be used to assist in navigation, as the background magic in each room is equal to five times its row number (with the first row having a background of 5 Thaums and the 160th 800 Thaums). This method of navigation does have its perils however, as the divination check required to read a thaumometer becomes more difficult for higher levels of background magic.

See also the full library map.


The library contains several distortions:

 There is a strange distortion in space and time to the right of you!

Moving right in this situation will send the wizard into L-space. Distortions will move of their own accord after a period of time.

Distortion forming

A distortion in time and space is forming!

Distortion disappearing

The distortion fades away.


As of Thu Feb 26 2015 Wizards can try to 'seal [the] distortion' (blog post "Distorted Reality" )

  • Each attempt costs varying amounts of GP, between 100 GP at the very start of the library, all the way up to 600 GP at the very back of the library - the deeper you go, the more GP it costs.
  • Sealing a distortion is a skillcheck on magic.spells.special, with the skillcheck increasing in difficulty the deeper into the Library you go.
  • A critical fail on the skillcheck will pull you into L-Space.
  • It is possible to TM magic.spells.special from sealing.

The cost of sealing a distortion is modeled by the following formula:


You close your eyes and reach towards the distortion with your mind. You manage to force its edges together until it seals shut entirely.
You confidently probe the distortion with your mind.  With a perfectly-judged mental push you force it to seal shut.


You attempt to gain a mental grip on the edges of the distortion but just can't seem to manage it.
You attempt to force the edges of the distortion closed with your mind; all you get for your trouble is a slight headache.

Critical failure

A critical skill failure will drag you to L-Space and leave the original distortion intact.

An unseen force starts dragging you towards the distortion. You hardly have time to blink before you're pulled inside.


As of Tue Apr 11 12:11:58 2023 witches can glare at a distortion to make it shift to cover another exit.

  • This is especially useful when the distortion is covering the exit you need to use. At some points in the library there are choke points that prevent leaving/going further in and distortions are often found there.
  • Each attempt costs varying amounts of GP that increase as the amount of rows increase, which can be measured as the number of thaums in the room (row = thaums / 5).
    • This appears to be the same amount of GP as seal.
  • Sealing a distortion is a skillcheck on magic.spells.special, with the skillcheck increasing in difficulty the deeper into the Library you go.
glare [at] [the] distortion                 Attempt to make a space-timedistortion shift out of the way.


You glare firmly at the distortion, willing it to get out of the way.  The distortion wavers briefly, then moves to a new position.


You glare intently at the distortion, willing it to get out of the way.  Disappointingly, nothing seems to happen.


  • The Lecturer in Recent Runes is a high level wizard who automatically teaches commands when you have sufficient skill to learn them. He can be found wandering the university grounds. Spawns in the middle of Great Hall.
  • The Communications Imp is an enslaved demon who will automatically grant new guild titles to wizards when they reach certain guild levels. He can be found wandering the university grounds. Spawns in the Admissions Office.
  • Dwmmigh is another enslaved demon with a slightly more sinister purpose, that is to provide wizards with a target for offensive spell practise (similar to a training dummy for melee). He can be found chained to the floor in the gym.
  • The Gatekeeper is near the University Gates, if you kill him, you will be warned by members of the University.
  • The Professor of Recondite Architecture is a wizard that will give you a random origami item when given a piece of paper. He can be found standing in the octangle in front of the university.
  • The Professor of Extreme Horticulture can be found wandering the octangle.
  • The Bursar can be found wandering the octangle but will also sometimes vanish.

See also

External Links