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Scholastic wayfarer

While this profession has long been replaced by people who now call themselves explorers, scholars, naturalists, anthropologists, I do like to consider myself a scholastic wayfarer. Their legacy is history itself.
—  Ordall Marvo Nisent, realm guide

Scholastic sanctums

Knowledge was never limited to a specific class or societal role throughout much of Garyialan history. Anybody who felt like obtaining knowledge, discover or invent was allowed to do so. People of knowledge gathered at small schools known as scholastic sanctums. Thinkers, philosophers and healers were taught in such places.
A special kind of scholar was the scholastic wayfarer, a scholar not limited to a single sanctum, and tasked with travelling across the empire to gather and share knowledge. A few scholastic wayfarers even travelled across the borders of the empire to gather knowleedge on "out there". Many records and manuscripts written by scholastic wayfarers throughout history are still intact and used as a teaching tool today.

The fall of sanctums and rise of universities

During the Aldria dynasty (1228 - 1663), Garyiala was swept up in the religious expansion of Bel Senir. For several years, Bel Senir had found a foothold in eastern Garyiala and from there missionaries soon travelled north, south and west. It was Emperor Haskar who eventually implemented Bel Senir as state religion over Kysan, Garyialan folk religion, in 1650 SD.
This adaption of a new religion caused many changes in the Garyialan societies, like the clear separation between the duties of men and women, separation of societal classes and overall segregation of communities. Another change was the movement of knowledge from anybody who felt like obtaining it to monasteries. All of these changes led to much unrest, and after almost half a century of war during the Three dynasties period (1664 - 1720), a period known for its bloody battles for religious freedom, state and religion were once more separated.
Scholastic wayfarers never returned in the form they used to be. With the development of proper higher education and the rise of medieval universities even prior to the dissolvement of scholastic sanctums, scholars began to specialize in specific fields of knowledge. Moreover, the increasing international communication between civilizations and their universities made scholastic wayfarers no longer necessary in bringing knowledge about “out there” home.

Legacy

During their time, scholastic wayfarers were regarded highly, for they gathered important knowledge about the unknown and sent it home. Nowadays, scholastic wayfarers are still regarded with the same esteem, for if it were not for them, much of development would not have been the same. Scholastic wayfarers painted a bigger picture of the world Garyialans lived in, prevented cultural and scientific stagnation and provided the basis for many developments across history.
One of the most well known scholastic wayfarers is Kenda Otany, a curious and tenacious woman who travelled the world during the eight century. She described many locations within but especially outside of Garyiala’s borders at the time, met many civilizations and observed their differences but also their similarities. Notably, she was the first one to describe that many peoples across the lands she travelled were plagued by beasts of the night, and coined the term “malevolent creatures”, which is still used today.

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Cover image: by Jari Hytönen

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