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How To Get To The Academy
« on: January 04, 2012, 11:19:19 AM »
ACADEMY LOCATION
Situated on the edge of the bordering lands of Woaving, the Black Isle is surrounded by seemingly impenetrable cliffs, with no beach in sight to land a vessel. In the centre of the isle stands a large dark grey stone building, its three towers looming over the dense forestry that surrounds it. Within its walls only the very elite, the very persistent or the well connected are invited to train to become assassins.

LANDS OF WOAVING
Those who desire to become applicants at the Academy must first travel to a large city (if not already in one) and find an unsigned black painted shop.  The location varies depending on the city.  This shop almost always presents as an alchemy, but sometimes fronts as a heralds post (messengers).  Only those in the know recognise the fact that a shop painted black AND without a sign means it is an Academy run business.  A request to join the Academy must be made here.  The information given is free, as anybody who wishes to join the Academy can do so.

WHO KNOWS ABOUT THE ACADEMY
All royalty and noble-born people know about the Academy, because they're usually the ones to use their services obtained through the shops (as they can afford it).  Most of those who have a magical ability know about the shop, usually passed word-of-mouth from other magic users.  All others have heard about the shop in ways that they shouldn't have, such as overhearing a conversation, being told by someone who shouldn't have told, figuring it out through observation.

TRAVELLING TO THE ACADEMY
The information given to the applicant informs them they must travel to the shipping city of Portsmouth (if they've not come from there) and find a captain of a vessel willing to take them to the Black Isle.  The applicant must say the words: "How will we get past the mermaids?" and hear in return: "Make believe we're a fish."  The captain will request payment, and payment must be met.  Once paid, the captain will take the applicant aboard the vessel, then they will sail for a minimum of two nights (longer, if the chosen ship isn't one of the fast ones) before arriving at the Black Isle.  There is a natural tunnel set in the cliffs of the Black Isle, but passage must be made a certain way for there are many jagged rocks both visible and beneath the ocean's surface which can sink the smallest or largest of ships when hit.  Once in the tunnel, the waters become passive and there is a dock.  The applicant is met by someone from the Academy and then led to the building itself, where they will have to face a series of mental and practical tests over the course of a week.

THE ENTRANCE TESTS
There is an interview with the intention of finding out more about the applicant's character and personality.  This interview can last between half an hour to two hours.
There is a written test that takes about an hour to complete.  Not everyone can sit this, for not every applicant can read and write.
There is a practical logic test that involves building a clock from an illustrated diagram, a matching pairs 'game', and a next-pattern-in-the-series test.  This takes about two hours.
There are weaponry tests in any weapons that the applicant declares they have had at least a basic training in. Half an hour is granted to display skills in each named weapon.
There is a 'magical probe' spell cast upon the applicant to determine if they have any magical ability.  This takes five minutes.
There is a display of magical abilities only if the applicant declares that they have magical skill.  This can take up to half an hour and rarely goes beyond that.
There is a performance only if the applicant declares that they have an artistic skill.  This takes at least half an hour.
There is a basic obstacle course to determine the applicant's level of fitness, stamina and determination.  This takes around two hours.

These tests are given in no particular order.  Each test is overseen by a Master who then makes notes on the applicants ability.  The Grand Masters of each house look at the combined reports and then declare whether they wish to take on the applicant into their house.  If an applicant has more than one house available to them, they may choose after talking with one of the Masters from that house.  The House of Libramen puts in a request for every applicant, but if there is an option they have never been chosen.