School of Esa-Ajo
|School of Esa-Ajo|
|Proficiencies||Blades Combat Skill, Hunting Knowledge, Magical Knowledge, Athletic Training|
|Race||All except Kathar and Haat-Maraya|
The School of Esa-Ajo is a School unique to the Sihndar of Drowda. It started as and remains the only combat school taught amongst the Cult of Dronnal under the influence of the ways of the Drovv people. Its teaches combat with the khoptar, as well as techniques and information necessary to survive in the harsh landscape of Drowda. The School is noted for its allowance of individualism; it champions the ability to develop personal, unique combat styles and, in later stages, customized weapons. The full School name is ‘Esa’á Ajo’guá”, which is Sihndar Elven for “Ancient Sword”, and comes from their weapons’ historical ties to the Allorn Empire. The School is commonly shortened to “Esa-Ajo”.
In the northernmost parts of the Allorn Empire, the Altalar who aligned themselves with the Cult of Dronnal would become the first to learn the teachings of the School of Esa-Ajo under the stewardship of the client race called the Drovv. It was here, years before the Cataclysm, that the Esa-Ajo would be formed and taught with a strict mindset which would endure through its entire history. Once the Fifth Void Invasion came to be, and the armies of the Altalar were summoned, the Cult of Dronnal would answer the call. The disciplined warriors of Esa-Ajo took to the front lines much like their tutors the Drovv did before their extinction. With disciplined precision and agile movements, they proved themselves as formidable warriors, worthy of succeeding the Drovv in their never-ending mission of ensuring the safety of the world from the planar forces which threatened them every day.
Many of those trained in Esa-Ajo died in the war, or due to the rampant planar energies caused by the Wretching Tear. Yet the survivors were changed, tainted, and took on the name ‘Sihndar’. The older warriors of Esa-Ajo led the charge in reclaiming the lost Holds of Drowda, beating back the now mutated beasts and setting about teaching their ways to the new generations in order to keep the School alive. Today, each Sihndar Hold is considered an academy in its own right and teaches any who come how to fight the demons which taint the world. While still majorly locked to Drowda and the Holds, the Great Call has allowed the Sihndar to move out into the world once more, their exotic blades and talents piquing interest to their people and combat skill.
- Derronva Hold: Derronva Hold is the largest and most prestigious facility that teaches the School of Esa-Ajo. For most, the tutelage begins at another Hold, yet if the student is proven to be exceptional in their studies and training they are sent to Derronva Hold with the best to learn from the most skilled teachers available.
- Cobberan Hold: Cobberan Hold is where most of the non-Sihndar are sent to learn the combat School. While this hold is not the largest, non-Sihndar can find an accepting home and School to learn the ways of Esa-Ajo and the Sihndar.
- Rivaer Hold: Rivaer Hold is on the outskirts of most other Holds, being situated at the very end of the coast. It has come to be known as the most dangerous Schooling area as many beasts find their way to the wilds around the Hold.
Code of Conduct
Enrolling differs between two possibilities. For the Sihndar, they are given a choice at their teenage years, and for Non-Sihndar, they must stay on Drowda for ten years and combat the demons who roam the land. This is to ensure their loyalty to the Sihndar mindset and determination to learn just as they do. The School of Esa-Ajo has few codes of conduct due to the individuality it infuses in its practitioners. It has basic expectations of moral decency as the Sihndar see it, and is laced with staunch anti-Void/Exist sentiments for obvious reasons. The School emphasizes self-sacrifice, and the survival of the many over the few (for example, being daring is given high praise so long as it does not risk the lives of innocents). The khoptars used by the practitioners of the School are seen as extensions of themselves and valuable companions as if the blade was another number to an army. As such, it is a stain upon one’s honor and integrity to lose their khoptar and not retrieve it. The most important recovery missions embarked on by the School is to retrieve fallen khoptars which have been lost. When graduated, the practitioners must combat the Void/Exist in any way they so choose. Whether this leads them to stay on Drowda or leave to search for demons in other lands, the teachings of the School sticks with them, giving them the skill to combat their enemies effectively.
The School of Esa-Ajo’s tutelage officially lasts for ten years (yet it is not uncommon for new techniques and maneuvers to be developed later on). The most important thing to know of the School is the individuality it allows. The studies can be chosen to fit what the student wants to learn, and they can handle the khoptar in whatever way truly suits them along as it fits with the agile movements which are at the School's core. The first thing learned is a generalized form of magical knowledge that is later specialized depending on the choices of the student. Tests and exams are commonplace, perhaps even more so than in other Schools, just to ensure students are truly learning what could help them in a life and death scenario. After six months, the students are finally permitted to begin learning combat techniques and movements. Generally, this is first done with wooden khoptars, though as they progress iron khoptars become commonplace. After five years of training and studies, the students are permitted to begin being assigned to graduated members of the School in practical exercise outside of the Sihndar Holds. This is where the true danger begins, and the life of a student is in great danger.
There is a chance students may not return or be injured from the dangers which inhabit Drowda. If the student survives the harsh training and passes their exams up until this point, at the end of the 10th year, they are given the final tests that relates back to all their training. First is the exam based on the teachings of magical knowledge; this includes a basic overview and whatever specializations they have taken. Next is the test of battle. The student must fight a graduated member of the School, either defeating them or holding their ground long enough to impress the tutors (this coincides with the rite of adulthood for Sihndar, passing this means they pass the rite). If successful, they will gain their own personal khoptar, able to customize it to their own preference along with naming it. Finally comes the test of the hunt; the student is tasked with going out into Drowda with a small platoon of other soon-to-be-graduates to bring back the body of one beast each. This is to prove their skill in surviving outside of the Hold, their ability to track and hunt their prey, as well as their ability to work in a team. After all these tests are completed, they are considered fully graduated members and are able to teach or get larger assignments from the Holds.
OOC Rules for the School
- Athletic and Ripped are the permitted Body Shapes for the School of Esa-Ajo as it requires quick movements which cannot be afforded to larger builds. Lower builds are not suited for the intense training the school requires.
- The khoptar is the only weapon taught, and the training cannot generally be switched over to other blades.
- Given the unique blade and requirements to enroll in the school, it is not compatible with other schools, even agility combat schools.
- There have been rumors of a cavalry school taught beside the School of Esa-Ajo which employs the Drowdan Stags. However, it is not open to outsiders, and only local Sihndar who have firmly chosen to stay on the continent can learn this form of combat.
- There is a legend of a great Sihndar warrior trained in the arts of Esa-Ajo, who bore many titles yet lost his khoptar to a common Shssisse, a camouflaging creature of Drowda. While some say the blade it is still out there, most agree it is just a myth to tell Sihndar youth so they do not lose their own blades.
- Sihndar cultural practice has seeped into the school's practice in varying ways. The “Night of the Whistling Blades” being used as a moment of relaxation from the intense training as well as sharpening their khoptars. The rite of adulthood for Sihndar is also classed as the final examination and test of the school one must undertake.