Many years ago, the Republic determined to build a new Ospedale dei Malati di Mente in the Dominante. They intended to hide the mentally ill away from the city and the whole Empire, so that the city always showed its kinder face. This building can be considered as the last great action of real power from the old Empire. In a few months, a new island was created in the lagoon, and in less than a year an imposing building was built to house the Ospedale.
For many years, it seemed that the mental hospital fulfilled its role, removing madmen from the streets of Venice. It soon became one of the most respected institutions in the Dominante, under the rule of its esteemed director, Doctor Andreas Nifo. However, upon the arrival of its current director, Doctor Faust Van der Kaine, things began to change. Somehow, the doctors were the first to discover the residual magic existing in the world, long before the appearance of the Rent in the Sky. They discovered that madmen have the ability to channel magic, and that doctors can capture this magic to use it as a fuel for their various weapons. They may even control the madmen’s broken mind, using them as puppets in the hands of their puppeteers.
Unfortunately for the madmen, the next discovery was that they channelled magic better if they were subjected to torture. By means of physical and psychic pain, they managed to extract a larger quantity of this weird magical energy. However, before the appearance of the Rent in the Sky, they never managed to collect enough energy to make their weapons truly functional.
After the appearance of the Rent in the Sky, everything changed. Amazed, these doctors found out that the madmen suddenly began expelling huge amounts of magical energy. From this moment on, their weapons proved to be highly destructive. A new world opened up for the doctors. They began to contact foreign powers, which funded their experiments with the hope of getting hold of some of these extraordinary weapons.
The continual tortures suffered by the madmen at the Ospedale were so extreme that even the doctors lost their sanity. Those with the ability to see magic know that the Ospedale is a dangerous, special place. Out of its high walls comes an eerie magical mist, with the colour of death and suffering. Some people even claim that the Ospedale is not entirely in our world any more. They say there’s a portal open between the real world and that of the demons.
Nevertheless, the Ospedale has never been investigated. They undoubtedly hide many secrets which are uncomfortable to the nobility, and with their silence they buy a kind of autonomy unheard of in the Republic. If this doesn’t work, fear undoubtedly will