The bastion of academic excellence known as Bute University is soon to celebrate its four hundredth anniversary. In its time, it has seen wars of all shapes, sizes, and reasons, it has seen famine, it was once besieged by a King, and it has even been at the centre of some of the most politically interesting events in Ghyll history. How Bute began can explain its influence today.
Bute began life as an experiment in tolerance. During the reign of King Harandraff the Great, times were very different and scholarly pursuits were frowned upon. There was only one true history and that history was, literally, the King's Story. A group of freethinkers, Teachers, landed nobility, and their respected hangers-on decided something had to change. It is arguable that this group of like-minded people not only began the university (which they did) but were the forerunners of the Amphitheatre aristocracy.
Soon after beginning its life, Bute managed to anger the King by releasing a view of history that made Harandraff's family less than perfect. However, it can be said that this version of history made his family seem more real, that they had achieved a lot through adversity. However, the King decreed that his family "Always were here, Always will be here"... which was unfortunate considering events to come.
The King raised an army and marched on to Bute. At this time, Bute was a small collection of buildings in the market town of the same name. However, that town, being a site of economic and strategic interest, merited a wall and some considerable defenses, most bought by the nobility that supported the ideals of Bute (it is said that this was mainly a version of history that made their families look more important).
The siege began. It lasted only six months before breaking, as the Kingdom now found itself in a Civil War. This war lasted seven long years, resulting in the total extermination of all remaining family members of the King and their descendants. There would now never be any more of that noble, if somewhat closeminded, line. Bute, being recognized as the place where everything began, therefore had a hand in the administration that followed. Bute and its collection of Masters, Mistresses, Deans, and Chancellors has not been able to keep out of politics since.
The Campus Today
Bute has a large campus comprising three lakes, a forest, and what can only be described as blasted moorland. The buildings are mostly around 200 years of age, dating from its bicentennial; however the new science buildings have only recently been completed, the Chancellor having decided that a major building project should be undertaken for "....every 200 years of fine academic achievement".
The modern campus has been a hotbed of interesting events. There have been some famous people walking these halls, the most well-known being Bysted Timperton, who served for five years as the Chancellor, the most prestigious position the university has to offer. His leadership can only be described as opportunistic. Though a fine scholar, his book purchases and governorship showed a man who was willing to challenge today’s status quo. It was under the Chancellorship of Bysted Timperton that the house system was reorganized, encompassing 5 teams competing over 23 events each academic year. This has now become tradition, although his choice of houses and the number of events is telling.
One of the most interesting features of the Bute campus is the famous Timperton Clocktower, built in the second year of his Chancellorship where it became something of an obsession. During the final nights of construction, it is said that the Chancellor spent almost every waking hour inside, and strange lights and the sounds of "chanting like monks" could be heard within.
--Bartmoss 12:01, 15 Sep 2004