Nibelungen Institute for Cryptozoological Defence
Fear is the mother of foresight
Whilst Nibelungen is an ancient university – dating back to around the 7th century – N.I.C.D is a 21st-century foundation. The source of their funding is unclear, but it seems as though they receive direct investment from powerful Hexblood families in central Germany.
Their primary area of academic research is into magical creatures, particularly the more dangerous ones, including, dragons, serpents, and most specifically lycanthropes. Whilst their academic rigour is beyond reproach, NICD takes a practical approach to field research, testing new methods of capture, containment, and defence in real-world situations. This methodology has proven effective, yet costly. Many of their research fellows have been injured, and a few have died, yet they are driven to seek new knowledge despite the risks. Even their detractors – who would wish to write them off as little more than bloodthirsty monster hunters – could not help but be impressed with the breakthroughs they have made.
In much of the Witchard world, Werewolves are still despised, hated, and feared; lycanthropy is still considered a vile and contagious disease by most. In Germany, this led to a werewolf uprising – The Lander Rebellion – which grew to fearsome proportions, as the werewolf leaders known as The White Fangs fought against Witchards. Nibelungen was at the forefront of this fight, and many of the faculty and students still have old scores to settle.
For the researchers of NICD the risks associated with their quest for knowledge informs both their culture and their identity: Scars are worn proudly, and their attitude towards magical creatures – particularly the Were – tends towards the conservative. Perhaps they struggle to assimilate to a refined academic setting; they’re more comfortable stalking wolves through the mountains than learned seminars and polite pastries. Their clothing tends towards active fieldwork rather than hunting knowledge in libraries.
NICD’s heraldic crest is the swan. Of all the houses of Nibelungen, Krabat it is the only one that features on the crest of The Institute because it represents the defeat of evil.