Forefront among the Dread Empire’s military complex is the School of Tarakhal; putting the Tenpennies of the Regalian Empire to shame, the School produces a class of professional soldier far more formidable in skill than that of the Ailor of the Empire, boasting over 300 years of continuous operation, from the days without Magic in the wake of the Cataclysm where only Steel could secure victory. Crafted by one of the most powerful military-inclined Kaahls, the School has survived through centuries of conflict and still churns out its warriors for conflicts abroad, and at home.
The Kathar are a Race with a long, often bloody history, but the School of Tarakhal is the exception with its proud military tradition. The School was founded over 300 years ago in the time leading up to the Cataclysm, during the earliest days of the Ay’llat Kaahl, and the Dread Empire. The Kaahl during this era restructured its household guard into a highly-trained private army, with the warrior-Mage Ka’dral at its head, its foremost trainer and organiser. Though the use of physical martial prowess was looked down upon by Ka’dral’s contemporaries at first, the Cataclysm that came soon changed their mind. Stripped of their incredible magical gifts, Ka’dral’s soldiers promptly carved out new, greater borders for the Ay’llat Kaahl, easily overwhelming the Magic-dependent militaries of their rivals. However, such a form of combat was unable to go unnoticed for long. Ka’dral’s son, Raxan, was drawn into the Pathar Dynasty as the lover of Empress Tavura and became her Champion. While enhanced by the powers such a position granted him, his usage of Tarakhal combat prompted interest from warriors across the fledgeling Dread Empire. The Ay’llat saw an opportunity in spreading their influence and, while Raxan was ultimately felled in combat, their legacy has endured. Now, the Ay’llat Kaahl makes considerable profits and holds great power over the Dread military through the maintenance of one hundred military academies, called Paxori in Kathar Altalar. Thousands of professional career soldiers are trained at these Paxori on an annual basis, often for the enemies of Kaahl Ay’llat, but as frequently for their own, reinforcing their military prowess and maintaining the fame- or, indeed, infamy- of the School of Tarakhal.
- Praxori Rax-Gonos: This Praxori is found within the capital of the Ay’llat powerbase, Gonof’las. It is the oldest, and the closest to the Ay’llat Kaahl, literally, as the building is connected to their principal manor house through several discrete passages.
- Praxori Zagurna: Colloquially known as the Praxori of Punishment, the facility is operated by a group of slavers from a coastal fortress on the northern tip of Saivale. The students there are most commonly served on, hand and foot, with living test subjects for their skills to top it off. However, they also must help in the acquiring of these slaves and are the earliest students sent into the field.
- Praxori Un’tugan: Located within the lands of the Princedoms of Osc'ïrd, this academy is known as the Lost Praxori. Formed by social exiles and deserters from the Dread Empire’s army, this is how the School’s knowledge has leaked to the Solstithar, as well as the Oscithar.
Code of Conduct
The School of Tarakhal has no true system of belief or code of conduct. Due to Kathar beliefs around a lack of rules to govern combat, beyond that of skill winning out, the School does not emphasize any regulations itself, only maintaining an unspoken code against killing one’s own instructor or a Praxori director until at least after graduation.
The School of Tarakhal is comparable to the Ailor Blackmarks, in that Tarakhal graduates are never faint-hearted or weak-willed, producing only hardened professionals and lovers of the thrill of battle. Tarakhal entry is only accepted in Kathar and Haat-Maraya aged sixteen or above, with them being bunked together in gender-separate dorms for the first three years of education. In that time, their physical body is exercised, and they learn the basics of the I-handled shortsword known as a Bazol in repeated, methodical drills. After these three years, the School roughly divides its students in half and spends one year teaching them either skills in the Lesser Bazol, a form of dagger, or the elegant Kassan Whip, a lightly barbed instrument of Kathar war-making. Training with the Whip is particularly harsh, as the students are further divided, and one half is taught how to harm an armed opponent, the opponent being the other students. The process then switches, all of this done to enhance the ferocity and actively begin enmity between students to force the strongest to survive and thrive, often at the price of the lives of weaker students, whether weak of body or weak of spirit. Once the year has passed, the educators then switch the class with the other half, thus fully teaching all students by the end of five years on how to use all three weapons. However, the School actively encourages further education and training in the favored weapons of the user, in addition to spending time seeking out Sorcery education to enhance their combat, ideally through aesthetics adding to a fear factor and skills to help their conflict. Ultimately, most Tarakhal soldiers graduate after seven years, though Praxori boards of governance often allow students to remain on for ten, sometimes even fifteen years, so long as they can pay extra for their extra period of enrollment.
- The Ay’llat often have at least one family member on the governance board of every Praxori under their control. While this has waned with time, sometimes having more or less based on political feuds and associated deaths, at current, 92 of the 100 academies operated by the family have one such member.
- When not making war, either against other Kathar or the enemies of the Dread Empire, Tarakhal-taught soldiers sometimes find their way into slaving professions given their knowledge and skill with whips.
- Some claim the current son of the Ay’llat Khaal’s matriarch, Bahzarneer, is the second coming of Raxan. Indeed, the young man has almost perfectly modeled his life after that of his ancestor and is seen by many as being on track to be a Champion himself. There is just one small problem: his extremely close relationship with another warrior prodigy, Hanno, a warrior educated in the School of Akhl'xarak.
Antimreoir, Scribbe, Woodwork||
HydraLana on 02/22/2021.|
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