The Collective Institute of Scientific Development, Exploration and Technological Advancement, known to those going there as simply The Institute, because even super geniuses know when a name is too much of a mouthful to use in conversation.
Show spoilerThe Institute is the premier higher education institution within the Nexus. All the best and brightest minds who make up the Collective can trace their diplomas to being granted by the Institute.
and as Lilly put it, the acronym for this place makes OWCA actually sound cool in comparison.
The Institute takes in new enrolles from all parts of the metaverse. If you wish to learn more about a topic, or have a thirst for knowledge that needs to be quenched, the Institute will welcome you with open arms. This has resulted in the Institute becoming what is arguably the most diverse settlement in all of the Nexus herself, with Rift Born, dragons, cyborgs, Humans, Lichs, Reapers, and even some Celestials being either past or current students and staff within the Institute.
The Institute functions akin to any University or College you would find back on Earth. As such, its structure is very similar to one you would find in a stereotypical school setting. Those who have just enrolled are Freshman, after passing a few classes, they become sophmores, then Juniors, and then Seniors. There is one main different though. The Institute does not have a set amount of time for each "year" of classes. One can remain a freshman for several decades, or on the flip side, one could graduate from the Institute in its entirety within the first few months. Those who do graduate are also given the choice to remain at the Institute as either Faculty, or depending on how fast they graduate, they could get an invitation to join the Prodigy Division over at The Collective.
As the Institute was created by the Chairman of the Collective, it seems very unlikely that it is not secured and well defended. As of current, we do not know what sort of defensive counter measueres are present here though, as they have never had any reason to be activated.
Industry & Trade
The Institute doesn't exactly have it's own Trading or Industry, as its primary purpose is a place of Higher Education for Rift Born and natives alike. Even Some of the best and brightest minds to ever join the Collective once passed through the halls of this Instiitution. In that regard, if one had to answer what the Institute traded, the simplest answer was that it trades and distributes knowledge, and it does so completely free of charge.
While the Institute itself may be structured in a manner that closely resembles a typical university setting, the innerworking of the Institute are nothing short of magical. Each classroom is designed to be capable of total restructuring to suit the teachers needs for the class. You could enter a classroom on day 1 and see a typical lecture hall setup, and enter the same room the next day and see a chemistry lab complete with testtubes, beakers and the like. Outside the Classrooms lie the Dorms, designed and upgraded by the Chairman to function like the Exclusive Rooms that existed back in the Neo-Tesseract and Dimension K. This allows the Dorm to be entirely reshaped to the whim of the one who takes residence there.
As is mentioned in the infrastructure section, the Institute is structured in a manner similar to a typical University. Due to this, the Institute can be divided into various districts. The Academy Grounds and Courtyard make up the outside of the Institute building itself. This is where everyone would enter when first visiting the Institute. Inside the Institute itself, 3 hallways lead to the various sections on the first floor. Hallway A leads to the lower level classrooms. Hallway B lead to the Grand Library, an infinitely large library holding both Fictional and Nonfictional books. The Fiction setion is accesible to everyone, freshman and above, but the Nonfiction section is restricted to Juniors and above due to the knowledge that is held within said Restricted Section. Down in Hallway C, the Cafetaria can be found. On the upper floors, the higher level classes are located as well as the Hall of Prodigies.
The Institute doesn't exactly hold typical physical assets. That being said, in terms of knowledge, they hold the 2nd largest collection of books and knowledge in the Nexus and beyond, only being exceeded by the Akashic Records in its contents. Beyond that, there aren't really any notable assets held by the Institute itself.
Guilds and Factions
While the Institute may have started out as being ran solely by the Collective, in the current era, the Institute has become a joint venture between the Collective, the Remaining, those from 1272, and those from the DoD. Effectively every major faction now participates in this joint venture, save for Avalon and the Guild, making it one of the largest and most expansive joint ventures in known history.
While the Insitute has only recently entered the public eye en masse during the current era, it's actually a far older institution than most are aware of, dating back to the tail end of the 1st era. Having been founded initially by Merlin, Damien, and Doctor Allen Lee, the Institute served as a hub for consolidating all the vast knowledge the Collective holds and a medium from which to quickly and easily disseminate said knowledge to recruits. After Diana May joined the Collective, she helped Damien and Merlin found the Prodigy division for exceptionally bright minds to become a part of. Initially, the Institute was invite-only, as only the best and brightest were granted an invite to this institution. However, late into the 5th era, the Chairman chose to alter this policy to allow for all newcomers to join the Institute when they arrive on this side from the Main Hub. This has resulted in Rift Born and Natives alike joining the Institute to further their knowledge of the vast expanse that is the Nexus.
Late Era 1