The Borderlands class was written and taught by Eniara Sedai. It was an elective open to any member.
Eniara Kisharad rose from her chair and picked up a stack of paper. Immediately, her students quieted and turned their chairs to face her.
"Good morning, class. Welcome to the Borderlands. I am Eniara Sedai, the Amyrlin Seat as most of you know, and I intend to kick butt, give out impossible assignments, and then fail each and every one of you." Across the room faces went pale. Eniara walked around like a taskmistress and stared each student in the eye.
"You will eat, sleep, and breathe this class. Anything I ask will be done immediately." She stopped at her desk and hopped onto it. "Just kidding." Shock painted the faces again and nobody seemed to know what to do. Eniara took one look and laughed.
"Don't worry. This class isn't going to kill you. Just because I'm the Amyrlin doesn't make me any different from any other human being. But, I do expect you to try and I want your cooperation when it is needed. I have had to fail very few in all my time teaching so don't fret about your grade. I want you to have fun in here as well as learn a good deal. Now, how many of you are Borderlanders by birth?" A hand went up.
"Oh, come on...don't be shy. I don't bite unless absolutely necessary." Several students chuckled with her and some more hands went up.
"Good. Well, for those of you who raised your hands, this will be something of a review with some new things that I doubt you know, even about your own home. The lessons on each nation will not be long but I will deal with a lot of information so be sure to take notes. I, myself, am from Kandor so I know the Borderlands first hand. They can be wild and dangerous, but they are also very beautiful and have some unique qualities. Also note that not a one of the Borderland nations share a southern border with another nation. South of Shienar there is unclaimed territory clear to the River Erinin. The other nations are bordered by the Black Hills. Today, I want to give a short lesson on the Borderlands in general. The next several lessons will focus on each nation individually. Any questions?" No one moved. Eniara continued.
"Very well, let's begin. All of the nations labeled as 'Borderlands' share one main characteristic: they border the Blight. Because of this border, the nations of Shienar, Arafel, Kandor, and Saldaea are instrumental in protecting the rest of the world from the Shadow. Year after year they send their armies to fight and turn back the Shadowspawn that try to move south. Just over a half-century ago, there was a 5th Borderland nation. Malkier was a great country and was ruled by King al'Jesar Burundaran and his queen, el'Ethanae. Under the Golden Crane, Malkier was strong and powerful. One year however, a larger than normal number of Shadowspawn advanced after a hard winter. The other Borderland countries needed their troops to protect their own borders. Malkier went to battle and was over-run. No longer a nation it has served as a reminder of what can happen to any of the Borderlands. It saddens me greatly to think of Malkier's tragic fate." Eniara paused to let the students catch up in their notetaking.
"After the War of the Hundred Years, twenty-four nations were formed from what had been Artur Hawkwing's kingdom. Five of those were today's present Borderlands and Malkier. Over the years, most of the twenty-four nations disappeared but the Borderlands held strong. The people constructed a signal relay system with light towers at half-mile intervals all along the edge of the Blight. These spread the news and warned of attacks and raids. They saved lives and enabled nations to come to the rescue of others. This is another example of the Borderlands' working together." Eniara paused again.
"Well, I don't want to get too detailed and spoil the individual lessons so that'll be all for today. I generally give writing assignments for homework so be prepared. Today, I want you to research one fact about Malkier that I didn't mention. Your answer doesn't need to be really long, but two words won't cut it. Class dismissed."
OOC: Okay, I don't intend the homework to be difficult but I do want to see some effort. You may use any source but I need a real fact and a description of it. Do your best.
Eniara greeted her students as they entered the room on the second day of class.
"Good morning! Will everyone please get their homework out so I can collect it? Thank you." She walked around and gathered up the papers.
"Today we will be having a short lesson about the easternmost Borderland, Shienar. Shienar is bordered by the Spine of the World on the east and what was once Malkier on the north. Currently, Shienar is ruled by King Laran Tojiwa in the capital of Fal Moran. Nearly every year he leads the lances to fight back the Shadow at Tarwin's Gap, a pass in the mountains in the northeastern corner of the country. This is a favorite spot of Shadowspawn to attempt to penetrate the Borderlands. Often one or two other Borderland nations send troops to back up the Shienarians. The Shienarian soldiers are famous for their topknots as well being the finest heavy calvary in the world. The banner of Shienar is a swooping black hawk on a field of three blue and two white horizontal stripes. Within Shienar there is one Ogier Stedding: Sholoon." Eniara paused. This was going to be a short lesson.
"Does everyone have that down?" Most nodded their heads.
"Okay. Just a couple things more. If you were to ask a number of Shienarians what three things they value most, most would probably give you the same answer. They would say life, peace, and beauty. I will be finishing each lesson with a quote from the nation we are studying. A very common saying is Shienar is 'Peace favor your Sword.' Think on why this quote would have importance. Your homework for tonight is to write a paragraph on why Shienarians value life, peace, and beauty. You're dismissed."
OOC: Your paragraph needs to be at least 200 words long. I know this seems like a lot but I really want you to think about Shienarian values.
Eniara stood up and walked around the class collecting homework. Glancing at the pages she saw that nearly everyone had done very well in explaining Shienarian values.
"Well, class. You all seem to have done a fine job on the assignment. I hope you do as well again tonight. Today we will be covering the nation of Arafel. Let's begin, shall we? Arafel is a medium sized nation bordered on the east by Shienar and on the west by Kandor. The Blightborder is, of course, in the north. The landscape of Arafel is very similar to that of Shienar with a few more hilly areas thrown in for asthetic purposes." The class laughed at the joke. "Arafel is currently ruled by King Deatin Shodiran. The King resides in the capital city of Shol Arbela which is fairly centrally located. Within Arafel there are 2 steddings: Shanjing and Tannali. Arafel's banner is three white roses on a field of red quartered with three red roses on white." Eniara walked up to her desk and tacked the banner of Arafel up next to the Shienarian one already on the wall.
"Arafel's fighting men most always wear two swords on their backs and the majority are able to use both at once. I have met several Arafellin soldiers and I can tell you from experience that they are just as deadly, and perhaps more so, as any Borerlander soldier. The Arafellin people are, perhaps, best known for their distinctive hair style. Most of them wair their hair in two long braids. This is not uncommon for women from other nations but the men of Arafel wear them also. At the ends of these braids you will often see silver bells. No other nation has this custom and so it identifies a native of Arafel quite quickly. I will finish today's lesson with a saying from Arafel. 'The dancing is sweeter on the edge of a sword.'" Eniara stopped and let everyone finish their notes.
"Today's homework will be to answer the following questions. Each one needs to be a short paragraph.
1. Why would Arafel have chosen roses for it's banner?
2. Do you think that the Arafellin have an easier time defending their land than Shienar? Why or why not?
"That's all. Be sure to give reasons for you opinions. Class dismissed."
Eniara smiled as her students entered the room on the fourth day of class. The lesson for the day was on Kandor, her homeland. The students took their seats and Eniara stood.
"Hello, everyone. Will you pass your homework forward please?" There was a rustle of papers and Eniara placed the stack on her desk.
"Today we will be learning about Kandor. This is a special lesson for me seeing as that I grew up there. The land of Kandor is quite varied. Some of it is flat and good for farming but much is quite hilly. Kandor is bordered by Arafel on the east and Saldaea on the west. I'm sure by now all of you know what the northern border is. The capital city, Chachin, is located in the north-central region of the nation and Kandor is home to one stedding: Chiantal. Currently the ruler of Kandor is Queen Kiana Morasu Daenyara who, by the way, is my cousin." Several students gave Eniara shocked looks and she grinned. Picking up a banner from the desk she hung it next to those of Shienar and Arafel already on the wall.
"Kandor's standard is a rearing red horse on a field of pale green. The Kadori are unique to the borderlands, not because of some special military ability, but because of their skill in trade. Though the nation does maintain a strong military force, the pinnacle of Kandori society is a renown guild of merchants. Since Chachin is the capital, one might assume that it is also the major trade center." Several students nodded. "This is not so. Chachin, in relation to the capitals of Shienar and Arafel, is very close to the Blightborder. This places the city in constant danger so although the merchant's guild is headquartered in Chachin, the actual trading is centered farther south. This focus on trade has make Kandor a very wealthy nation." Eniara paused to let notetakers catch up.
"The Kandori, like the Arafellin, are well known and easily identified by their dress. Most commmoners and nobles wear earrings and the men grow distinctive forked beards. Many also wear two or three chains on their coats. I distinctly remember my father's beard and three silver chains from when I was a child. You also may have heard that Kandori women wear breeches." Eniara grinned at the students. "This is very true. Many women choose to wear a kind of loose, puffed trousers if you will. They aren't often seen outside the nation since most of the women who wear them only do so around home." Several of the students look horrified at the thought and others wore looks of jealousy. Eniara laughed. "Perhaps I should have brought in a pair for each of you."
"Today I will close with a saying used often in my family. It is not the most common Kandori quotation but I think it embodies the people. 'A sharp sword alone is merely a candle. Wielded by a strong spirit and mind, it blazes through shadow like the sun.' Your homework for tonight is to write a paragraph on why you think the Kandori value trade so much more than the other Borderlands. You're dismissed." Eniara sat on her desk and waited while everyone left the room.
OCC: This homework will be mostly opinion since the books don't say much about Kandori trade. As usual I'll be looking mainly for quality of writing.
Eniara sat on her desk watching her students wander in on the last day of lectures. She enjoyed teaching this class and was always sad to come to the end of the lessons. When everyone had taken their seats, Eniara stood and looked around the class.
"Good morning, everyone. If you would please pass your assignments forward, I will collect them. I'd like to thank you all for being such a wonderful class. It has been a joy to teach you about the Borderlands." When all the papers had been collected, Eniara sat them on her desk and smiled.
"Today is our last day of lectures." Several of the students broke out in wide grins. "I will try to keep this lesson short and your homework for tonight should be a nice break. Today we will be dealing with the westernmost Boderland nation, Saldaea. Saldaea is also the largest of the borderlands by nearly two to one. The landscape varies greatly with a large amount of very hilly terrain. There also are a great number of farms. Many of the Saldaean nobles own estates the size of the entire nation of Mayene. The eastern border of Saldaea is Kandor and the western is the Aryth Ocean. The nation also has the highest Borderland concentration of Ogier stedding at three. They are Chosium, Jongai, and Saishen. Saldaea's capital city is currently Maradon and the nation is ruled by King Devian Bazanir." Eniara paused and hung the final banner of the Borderlands up next to the three already on the wall.
"Saldaea's banner is three silver fish on a field of dark blue. The nation's military is led by the Marshal General and has, by far, the finest light calvary in the world. The calvarymen train so much that they often show off by doing incredible stunts. I once watched a Saldaean in full armor ride doing a handstand on the back of a galloping stallion. Another unique thing to Saldaea is that wives go off to war with their husbands. It is not uncommon for a Saldaean woman to pick up her fallen husband's sword and plunge into a battle. The women are also famous for their scandalous dancing and complex language of fans. The notorious sa'sara is not uncommon knowledge in Saldaea, despite the fact that numerous kings and queens have tried to disavow it." Eniara stopped and let the notetakers catch up.
"The dress in Saldaea is very modest. The ladies wear high-necked, floor length dresses and the men like high-collared coats. They also have a great fondness for elaborate embroidery. I will finish the lesson today with a Saldaean poem. 'My heart rises with the sun. To the chime of swords I die at sunset.' Your homework for tonight will be a review of sorts and will not be a paragraph. Instead, I want you to make a list of all the Ogier stedding located in the Borderlands, and also make a list of one new thing you learned about each nation. That's it. You're free to go. Be sure to review for the exam. It will involve writing." Eniara sat on her desk and sipped her water and everyone filed out of the room.
OOC: Just make a list of the items I asked for...make the things you learned complete sentences please.
Lesson 6 (Final)
Eniara walked around the room distributing paper before her class arrived. When each desk had several sheets, she placed the rest of the stack on her desk and sipped her water while she waited for the students to wander in. When everyone was seated, she began.
"Good morning, everyone. I hope you all got a good night's sleep and are ready to go. Today is the final exam over the Borderlands. Before we begin, will you please pass your homework to the front of the room. Thank you." Eniara gathered up the assignments and placed them on her desk.
"I'm sure most of you have figured out by now that you will be doing an essay today. I have placed several sheets of paper on all the desks but if you need more, please raise your hand and I'll bring you extra. What I want you to do today is write an essay, at least 300 words in length, on why you believe the Borderland nations have existed so long when other nations of comparable age have crumbled. I expect to see specific facts from the lessons mentioned. Be sure to back up your reasonings. Also, somewhere in your essay, please mention at least one of the sayings I closed each lesson with and tie it to the essay topic. That is it. If you have any questions, please raise your hand and I will come to you. You may begin." Eniara smiled at the sound of pen on paper and walked around the room helping students.
OOC: That's it! I had fun doing this class...please leave you e-mail addys with you essay post and I'll mail you your grades.