School of Melaak
|School of Melaak|
|Proficiencies||Pole Combat Skill, Shielding Combat Skill|
|Race||Any, though heavy emphasis on Qadir|
|Location||Farah’deen, Songaskian Masaya|
|Origins||Farah’deen, Songaskian Masaya|
The School of Melaak is a School developed by the Songaskia of Farah’deen. Having a need for properly trained slaves, these Drake-kin combined their combat knowledge to create their ideal warriors. Melaak fighters are referred to as “Alfannanin”, which is a bridged word between Faraddi and Sofaal meaning “entertainers”. This is the funny notion of the Melaak School, in that it’s perceived by the Songaskia as not only militarily useful but also great for sport, primarily in Songaskian Masaya slave fighting pits. Alfannanin make use of a spear that ranges from slightly shorter to as tall as themselves and are versatile warriors capable of maneuvering around the shorter range of swords with ease. While they sometimes use medium-sized shields in one hand, the average Alfannanin utilizes only their spear. They prefer using short, quick jabbing motions, often maneuvering their hands along the pole of the spear to twist the weapon. While in more spacious areas, they switch to wider swings and emphasize the force of the weapon’s impact instead of the tip’s blade while maintaining a distance between them and their opponent. Their technique is particularly threatened by combatants trained in the School of Blackmark or School of Pavisa, who prove to be a challenge to any Melaak warrior. More often than not, they are gathered in massive numbers as fodder troops on the battlefield. The Melaak fighters are trained to not only be capable of overwhelming Songaskia’s foes in the Masaya slave armies, but also to provide ample entertainment to the Songaskian elite in the urban centers of Farah’deen. The Melaak academies are primarily run by descendants of the Dragons Veerthil Varhakhluur the Red and Kash-Tooral the Black. Most of the other lineages leave the development of the soldiers in their hands as they are by far not as violent as the aforementioned lineages.
The School of Melaak was formed in 152 AC, a mere few years after the emergence of the Songaskia. In the beginning, Songaskian generals wanted ways to create efficient slave armies to fight their wars, rather than waste Songaskian blood. The primary slave demographic was - and always has been - their fallen enemy, the Qadir, who served as effective instruments in creating the Melaak. The Qadir slaves were originally trained in just the spear and small shield, acting as poorly-outfitted levies who were only useful in large numbers. This was deemed acceptable by the elite and the School continued to exist as it was for nearly a century.
In 238 AC, it became clear that, with the expansion of the Songaskian Empire, a better-organized slave army was required for continued success in war. Most of the individuals interested in developing the School of Melaak, or showing the slaves some more discipline, were descendants of Veerthil Varhakhluur the Red and Kash-Tooral the Black. While the former invented ways to manipulate the Qadir slaves into unwavering obedience, the latter developed the spear techniques nowadays used by the Melaak fighters. Over the next few years, the new training schedule had a fantastic impact on the slave armies from the Songaskian point of view. Troops were more formalized and cooperated better with each other, deploying organized phalanxes to fend the enemy off through coordinated walls of spears and shields.. The further the mental conditioning of the Veert descendants developed the more the number of defecting soldiers decreased and the more ruthless and obedient the soldiers became, making the Melaak a force to be reckoned with.
When there wasn’t a war to fight or a battle to win, the Melaak fighters were kept within their academies for the continuation of their training. Instead of aimlessly training day in day out, the Songaskia found a better way to utilize their warrior slaves; They organized rings and fighting pits for entertainment purposes. The slaves were put to the test against each other or animals in spectacles for the Songaskia. Spear wielders that stood out and won more battles earned more privileges. They were better accommodated and treated better than their comrades, even able to earn their freedom at some point in their career if permitted by the general which they served. However, of course, the free Melaak were vastly outnumbered by the ones still enslaved. With the establishment of the fighting pits all over the Masaya, the Songaskia had developed a way to both keep themselves entertained and their soldiers trained. To this day, improvements are still applied to the School of Melaak, and it continues to grow in strength as trainers discover more lethal techniques.
- Academy of Korbamakora: Located in the fortress which it is named after, it is by far the largest academy where Melaak slaves are trained for battle, though it has come to the point a huge section of this academy is dedicated to train fighters specifically, and only for entertainment in fighting pits.
- Jawara Academy: Located in one of the many pearl cities, Jawara is similar to any other average academy, except that it is mostly ran by former Melaaks that have adopted the Songaskian culture and who are now free men.
- Seydou Academy: Located in the shadow of one of the Mali Messas, this is by far one, if not the most ruthless facility a Melaak can find themselves in. Far more strict and intense than other locations, the name meaning ‘lucky’ is ironically used to say the least.
Code of Conduct
Alfannanin who are still in slavery typically have a vigorous loyalty code to the general they serve under, be it in the standing army or the fighting pits. They often have the code beaten into them every training session from a young age, up until graduation. Former Melaaks even find it exceedingly difficult to adjust to a life without slavery. Because of this loyalty complex, former Melaak slaves find it difficult to cause harm to the culture of their former masters, no matter how much they might hate them now. Defecting is not unheard of when one has a strong enough mind, but escaping is rarely attempted because of the difficulty of doing so and the punishment if caught. If a slave doesn’t succeed in graduating as a Melaak, they soon become some other type of slave, for the Songaskia do not allow their potential workforce go to waste.
Slaves enter any given academy at various ages, though younger individuals in their teenage years are often preferred, for their minds are more susceptible to the school’s mental conditioning. The first year consists of intense physical training. Each morning the Code is drilled into them anew and practically any Melaak will know it by heart before the first month is over. The first year is especially demanding, though once past that period it becomes like a routine to any fighter.
Once past the first year, the slaves will start their training with the spear. This training ensues for two more years, and the slaves subsequently learn how to fight with a round shield in one hand once they have mastered the spear. Throughout their third year and into the fourth year, soldiers are taught battle formations on large scale, often training with other facilities outside of the cities to simulate a battlefield situation. A graduation exam is then held after five to six years of training. From this point on, Melaak who are not sent out to fight within the armies enter the fighting pits and often travel across Farah’deen from location to location.
OOC Rules for the School
- This School is open to any Race, making no distinction between either sex.
- While other polearms are not unheard of, the Melaak almost exclusively use a spear about the size of themselves or smaller, given the techniques taught at the School are designed for spear-wielding, with or without a round shield.
- Body builds for this School range from Athletic to Muscular to accommodate for the nimble warriors on the battlefield as well as the generally better treated pit-fighting entertainers.
- Melaak fighters have a strong loyalty to their masters and while not unheard of not to, they usually struggle with (seriously) harming any Songaskia.
- One Songaskian general used his Alfannanin for all manners of activity, even going as far to have them attend to him with a parasol to keep him shaded on hot days. Ones that let the sun touch his skin were even executed.
- Alfannanin do not always have a tough life. It is very common for the skilled to become famous in the fighting pits, and even eventually earn their freedom. However, these former slaves usually stay around as tutors for future Melaak slaves.
- Stories of a grand tourney between different Melaak academies go around where a large area was set out wherein Melaak slaves had to battle against a Gargantuan Stoneback Phant. While no records of such an event have been found, it does serve as a strong story for those with a keg or two to empty.