Academy of Astartes
Located on the slopes of and within one of the peaks of the Spears of Astartes mountains, the Academy of Astartes is the monastic seat of the Sisters of Astartes and is the order’s spiritual home and the site of their training facilities and school for the non-ordained.
Purpose / Function
The Academy’s primary purpose is to house the sisters and novices of the Sisters of Astartes, as well as providing training facilities where they can continue to hone their impressive martial skills; an extensive library dedicated to theological works linked to their patron Divine, Astartes, as well as books on strategy and martial technique manuals; and a large chapel at the centre of the complex where their regular worship to Astartes takes place. Additionally, the Academy has facilities linked to its secondary function as a boarding school for the female children of the Empire of Turelion's nobility, as well as occasionally the daughters of noble families from further afield. These facilities include separate teaching and study rooms, a separate library with a broader range of tomes to aid with the study of the pupils and accommodation separate from that used by the sisters themselves.
When one approaches the Academy, all that one will see at first are five towers jutting straight from the slope of the southernmost peak in the Spears of Astartes mountains. Four of these towers are set in a square, with the fifth and most elaborate having been placed at the centre of the square. The four exterior towers contain a variety of spaces, with one being the primary dormitory for the sisters and novices of the order; one being an array of individual rooms for the Sisters Superior of the order; one containing the Academy’s library, and; one the dormitory and related facilities for the pupils being schooled at the Academy. The fifth and most elaborate tower contains guest rooms for the use of important visitors, the apartments of the Abbess and, at its pinnacle the Academy’s chapel, dedicated to Astartes. These towers are connected to one another by an underground structure beneath the mountain, with several floors given over to a variety of functions. One of these floors contains the kitchens and refectory where all the sisters, novices and pupils dine together; one the teaching rooms and library for the pupils, and; the largest of these floors, a vast open space contains the training areas for practicing martial arts and weapons drills, along with a shooting range for the practice of archery and throwing skills. The lowest of these levels, which contains the stables to house the order’s horses and other steeds, provides access to the outside world via a heavily fortified gatehouse, with a road linking the Academy to the Pilgrim’s Way in the Relialo Plains below.
Should the Academy ever be attacked, given that the bulk of it is beneath the ground there are ample spaces for the Sisters of Astartes to fortify and resist attack, and given the order’s focus on martial skills, there is an enormous supply of weapons and ammunition that can be used in defence of their home. Additionally, each of the four exterior towers has battlements along with ballistae emplacements to defend the monastery from aerial attack. The gatehouse, providing primary access to the complex has several layers of gates and is deemed to be virtually impregnable.