Academy of Arikanda
Located in the Heartlander region of Vaienn, the Academy of Arikanda is the single largest repository of knowledge and house of learning in Arikanda. It holds no allegiance to any empire or city state, and publicly states that its resources and facilities are available to any who may need them. In truth, the Faculty is not quite this charitable, usually requiring either a donation or service to be carried out for them for admission to the city.
Purpose / Function
The Academy was built several centuries prior to the story by a group of Heartlander scholars. It was built to serve as an isolated complex where knowledge could be stored and academic minds could research and teach. It has always been apolitical, and is far enough into the Heartlands to not be easily conquered.
Most of the Academy is spread across a series of rock formations rising up from the mountains of the southern Heartlands. The buildings themselves are constructed atop the flattened tops of the formations from a variety of sources; the oldest being mud-brick, but others being of refined stone blocks. The larger/more significant buildings are built as multiple floors, connected by stairwells inside the building. It is unclear how the flat tops of the rock pillars came to be.
The Academy was founded in 312 DoM, and traces its origin to Nelor of Ormond, a former priest and scholar of the Essene Templar. Nelor was a polymath and philosopher in addition to his career as a priest, and his interests in the sciences and philosophy began to outweigh his commitment to the Gods. He decided shortly thereafter to amiably leave the priesthood, and traveled most of southern Arikanda meeting with various minds and collecting knowledge from throughout the continent. His ultimate dream was to collate all of this knowledge in a central location for the betterment of civilisation. He founded the Academy with this in mind in a mountain range in the the Heartlands. Throughout the centuries the Academy has grown, as some of the greatest aspiring minds come to both learn and contribute to their own fields of knowledge. Originally a library and place of conference, the Academy eventually crystallised into a school with lecturers, debates and departments. The , as it came to be known, became its own governing body of the area in and around the Academy. Many of the foremost tutors and scholars now make pilgrimages to study at the Academy, and indeed many rulers have learned there.