Arcanium is a school to train future leaders and combat experts to protect the normal citizens of . It is a very selective school, only accepting about 100 students every year. With four years of training, the total number of students attending is a little lower than 400, taking drop-outs and the inevitable serious injuries into account.
The school ‘grounds’ of Arcanium covers almost as much area as Ryzen itself (at least the parts within the walls). But whereas Ryzen is densely packed with residential areas and shops, most of Arcanium is open ground. At least half of the school grounds actually comprises the ruins where are held, while the rest is full of training grounds and other related facilities.
There are running tracks, swimming pools, and other athletic areas set aside for building basic stamina. But the primary draw for all students are the training areas for more specific workouts. Need to train your swordsmanship? There’s an area for that. Practice your archery? You’ll need to share the target range with the techy people trying out their newest projectile weapon gadgets. Speaking of which, there are workshops set aside just for creating new tools for those with the ability.
There are also professional blacksmiths on-sight to provide all of your weapon- and armor-related needs. All weapons from other sources, and that are intended to be used within The Games, need to be inspected and possibly modified by these blacksmiths as well. Failure to do so could lead to expulsion. Fortunately, these services are provided free of charge, as long as you can prove you’re not a slacker. Doing well in The Games, attending training regularly, and participating in missions are all good ways to prove your worth.
The curriculum of Arcanium is simple: perfect yourself. There are few set schedules. Every day, students are free to choose their own classes. Feel like practicing your swordsmanship today? Feel free. Maybe you have the urge to start learning magic. Seek out one of the professors that specialize in such a thing and find out if you have the aptitude. You could always decide you need to take a break, and just spend the day in town relaxing. Just remember: you were accepted into the school because you’re one of the best, and if you start to prove otherwise, you may find yourself no longer welcome.
Shortly after arriving at school as a Freshman begins orientation. New students are shown the grounds, how Arcanium functions, and introductions to professors. For those without a clear idea of how they want to focus their own studies, advisers are available and willing to work with them to figure out goals and offer suggestions. Once the week of orientation is over, and the new students are relatively acclimated to their new surroundings, the real fun begins.
Those students participating in The Games (ie. all of them) always do so in teams. These teams win or (more often) lose together, and there can only be one team left standing at the end of each exam. Students are graded on both individual performance, and how well the team placed in the standings (how early or late they were knocked out). Thus, those reaching for the highest grades must push their teammates to improve, and not just themselves. Spectators only get to see the teams working together during The Games, and assume the groups are organized between the students, choosing people who get along and work together beforehand, and train together constantly to build up trust.
Those spectators would be mistaken. During the week of orientation, the professors are watching and evaluating the students, discovering strengths and weaknesses, their attitudes and quirks. Finally, they make groups of students based on these findings, grouping students that cover each others weaknesses, that will motivate them to push themselves and their teammates when they need it, that will keep troublesome students in line. The students rarely see this themselves, and typically react with shock when they discover who their new partners are for four years. The size of groups are different, some seem to be perfect with just two students, others have been in groups of 6 or more. Training is not necessarily a group effort, as those training in the art of the sword rarely need to practice their magic usage (for example). But the most successful groups at least try to train together when they can.
Even without dedicated class schedules, there are professors on hand. They typically specialize in one thing (swordsmanship, magic, archery, etc.) and can usually be found in the training facilities catering to that specific skill. Most are former graduates that decided to focus on improving the next generations (or just didn’t want to leave), or are exceptional individuals that have proven their skill despite not having attended the Arcanium. Either way, their role is more one of peacekeeping than actual teaching, as students being trained in combat naturally tend to be confrontational.
At the end of your four years of attendance, a variety of options open up to you. The students that prove to be the best of the best (often called Ryzen’s Champions) are invited to join the Ryzen Council: the main body of government overseeing all of Ryzen. Not all accept the offer, but it’s only offered because the graduate has the ability to protect the city, and thus has the greatest insight into how best to serve it. At least, that’s the theory, and it seems to be working out so far. But other graduates are welcomed into the armed forces, often receiving officer commissions. Industry and Commercial companies, eager to try and emulate the city’s method of government, are always willing to accept graduates desiring less combat after their trials. Those with an inventive mind can easily find those willing to fund their works after graduation.
Despite the seemingly lackadaisical attitude of the school, there are rules that must be followed. Breaking them is not looked kindly upon:
- No unauthorized fighting – if you simply must fight, take it to the sparring zones, or save it for The Games.
- All weapons must be inspected and properly maintained – as long as you prove you’re not a drain on the school, this is free of charge, so you have no excuse.
- No deadly poisons – There’s no point in having the best fighters in the city killing each other, the can take care of that. Precautions are taken to ensure survival of all students at all times, and fast-acting poisons are one of the only things that are difficult to save the students from. This includes magical abilities as well as natural toxins. Use of any of these on another student is grounds for expulsion, and possibly criminal charges.
- Don’t be a drain on the school – Your meals, housing, weapon and armor maintenance are all provided free of charge, so that you can train yourself to your limits. Don’t try to take advantage of that.