Sunday, May 8, 2011

Profile: Aelon College

The Yunian Society of Masters (Draco, first age) maintains an exclusive university in the mountains to the southeast of the port city of Aelon in Daeyul. It is a peculiar institution in that there are no requirements of merit, either as a condition of entry or as a condition of graduation; it is maintained as a public service. However, admittance is extremely limited, and students are only allowed to stay a maximum of five years.

All members of the Yunian Order are given one credit per year (at most one credit outstanding), which can be given to any human, humanoid, or other intelligent being the member desires, from esteemed warriors and craftsmen to orphans and common laborers. There is no explicit forbidding of criminals; however, there are Voidlings who oversee the admittance process and screen out applicants deemed to be dangerous.

It is not required that applicants arrive immediately, and indeed many do not; however, understandably, there are only so many slots for the incoming class. Since the total number of Yunians on the continent is quite low, and since the university has two active semesters, this is usually not a problem, but there have been times when some confluence of events caused a larger number of students to apply for entrance than the school than it could support. Where possible, students that cannot be accepted are turned back; the rest may apply for temporary housing--and temporary work to pay it off--until the next semester. The same deal is offered for students that arrive out of season, either too late in the semester to join an existing class or during the down periods without classes.

Classes at the college run the gamut of the Order's knowledge; notably, the school is authorized to teach things that might otherwise be restricted to particular nations, including access to nation-specific Dragons. Only the nation of Tiyoma refuses to give priveledged access, in accordance with their policy of protectionism. Because class sizes are small, it's generally the case that a particular class will have a lot of similar characteristics; for instance, they may have all trained in Demon weapons, or N-weapons, or Void mentalism, or the use of some more specific ability. In many cases, this is because one or a small number of exceptional students changes the normal classes to advanced ones, and others come along for the ride. They are not all equivalent in skill, nor will they all have the same set of skills, but certain similarities within a class will definitely appear.

While classes are not always taught by the absolute masters of any given skill, the teachers are expected to be knowledgeable, and are given first-class access to other Yunians when it comes to asking questions. Yunians are also encouraged to assist, for pay, whenever classes relevant to their expertise are ongoing.

Class selection is something of a haphazard arrangement; certain classes are always ongoing even if no students attend, because those classes are folded into the logistics of college life (farming, cooking, crafts, maintenance, cleaning, etc); students may work alongside the faculty and learn from them, or not, at their discretion. Basic martial and magical skills are likewise always offered; this encompasses wellness, self-defense, and general education in those areas. Other basic classes, like basic education (writing, math, logistics, etc) will be offered if even one student requests or requires it, but the instructors may not be on-call the whole semester if nobody does. Beyond that, more specialty classes tend to require a minimum number of students; only exceptional students can get advanced education without community interest. Classes are grouped by skill level, not student year; it is rare, but possible that a student in his final year will be learning alongside new students, and this effect can occasionally inflate the size of a few rare classes, some of which may only be taught every few years.

Classes with expensive tools or components--such as demon weapon use or various crafts--will usually have class-issue equipment that is rented to the students gratis for the duration. Students are encouraged to bring, buy, or craft their own equipment if they are studying seriously, and students with personal equipment may receive preferential treatment. However, in general, the classes are taught to prevent anyone from being left behind even if others are treated preferentially.

Military- and combat-oriented classes occasionally have outings, in an official capacity, either to deal with minor situations around the continent or to observe significant battles that are predicted or ongoing. Although there are frequently surprises during this trip, and students have sometimes died, it is by all accounts well looked forward to by most students as a practical application of their teachings.

Graduates from Aelon College may be sought after by militaries, or may go back to civilian life. Some, previously destitute, return to being homeless and jobless out of comfort, but only rarely do graduates fail to make good on their education at some point. Some end up becoming members of the Yunians themselves, although it isn't all that frequent of an occurance. Aelon College maintains a list of alums who became Yunians in a magic-resistant wall on the premesis; although it has been damaged and altered, as far as anyone can tell it has been rebuilt without loss or error.

All graduates of the college can entitle themselves Collegiates for the rest of their lives. It is not as prestigious a title as Yunian, but it is well respected most places.

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