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Barak declared that he would build academies of learning. He starts by gathering different trades people and what scholars he could find. He sent scribes to work with craftsmen and learn the trades and with the help of the journeymen and master craftsmen, the scholars started turning knowledge that had previously been passed down from master to apprentice through training into books. These scholars apprenticed in these skills as well, tasked by the king to understand the craft as best they could to better teach it later. After roughly four years Barak himself helped build the first academy for Viriathus. It was small and looked more like a church than a proper schoolhouse. Rows of wooden benches ran the width of the hall and a small platform where the instructor would lecture from was at the front. Three days a week children would go to the school and learn to read and write, then they would learn history and a general knowledge of the trades. The children were tasked with copying the books word for word. Here they would learn and the higher quality copies would be bound and used as new books. Slowly, as trade increased with the dwarves, Barak was able to give a little more money to the schools. He bought materials for the students to practice the skills they had learned and in the process build improvements to their school. The first Watchers were simply the original Zealandian warriors that fought beside Barak and his group against the mountain demons. Having already been trained under the master skills of Barak, Brian, Langdon, and Carol, and since their home had been destroyed, many of these warriors had seen the merit in assisting Barak by being militia trainers in other towns and villages, to build a strong local defence against any threats. The Watchers were required to build their own house and training ground. In the beginning there just wasn’t the money to hire hands to build accommodations for them. Often though, the townspeople helped with the construction. The Watchers were required to have his or her own garden and hunt for food. Barak was in little position to be sending food to the weapon instructors nor did he feel it right to demand that the villages feed them. This was the root of the tradition in which all students in each academy allocated a plot of land in which to grow their own food. Over time the students would grow strong ties to the town’s Watcher, or Watchers for the larger town which had two or more. As the next generation of Watchers had often attended schooling in Viriathus, many of them brought their own books which they had copied while in school and took them in order to instruct their students not only in warfare, but in history, mathematics, and basic craftsman skills. As with the academy in Viriathus, the students were required to demonstrate their skills on the schools themselves. Constant renovating by the students helped build the schools in the larger towns eventually into academies in their own right. In smaller towns where larger schools would be wasteful, the Watcher would instruct his or her students and they worked on parts of the town in their instruction. However, this education and training in the trades always played a second to the Watcher’s true purpose, training the villagers in being a fighting force worth reckoning. In the weapon training it was not just the younger crowd that took part. Everyone in the village was required to be trained in at least one weapon. Emphasis was placed on the children and young adults, for it was easier for them to adapt rather than forcing many older people to training. The larger towns and Viriathus would eventually expand their academies to have branches dedicated to very specific training and trades. Viriathus however was the only place to have an academy dedicated to magic. This was one of the very first schools set up. Until her death Carol did most of the instruction and Langdon would on occasion teach as well, though he refused to share his knowledge in areas other than healing. In time an addition was made where he could have his own class and train dedicated healers. Twenty years after Barak’s coronation the academies were off to a very good start. Barak had begun hiring Dwarven stonemasons and blacksmiths to teach in Viriathus. By now students would be going more days of the week along with a few more hours each day. Skill was what measured each student’s prestige. These skills were applied continually to the academies until the schools were spectacular to behold. The two grandest were unarguably in Viriathus and Foothill.

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