Battleschools are schools which apprentices attend in order to become knights. Many of them will move on to become a part of the Araluen army, but they can also choose to be a freelance knight. Each fief has a battleschool attached to it, which is run by a battlemaster. Each school has a different number of apprentices, based on the size and importance of the fief. Apprentices must go through five years of training in order to become a knight.
Like all other apprentices, battleschool apprentices join at age fifteen. Parents usually make the decision by using their connections, but wards are offered the chance to join without going through this process. Because knighthood is considered low-level nobility, it’s likely many peasants view it as a chance to improve their social standings.
Weapons drills are a common feature in battleschool. Mock swords on used in the first few years, but advances to real swords with blunted edges later on. Other features of battleschool training are obstacle courses; long runs with heavy packs; brief and cold showers; short mealtimes; and classes on strategy, geography, leadership, and other topics.
In more removed fiefs, battleschool training often becomes lax and falls below the accepted standard. In this case, the fief’s assigned Ranger will report the failure to the commandant, and by extension, the monarch. This exact situation occurs in The Sorcerer in the North, when the Seacliff battleschool has become complacent and laid back.
- Cadets higher than first year are often called upon to assist the drill instructors.
- In times of war, all apprentices must fight in the army.
- Although knights and battleschool apprentices make up the bravest and strongest fighters of the King's army, the bulk of men still comes from regular soldiers, which are made of farmers and other commoners.