The Famous Adventurer here!
The main structure of the School for Heroes was originally built as Harwich Castle to defend against Viking invaders on the shores of distant Albion. One hundred years ago, it was transferred stone by stone by Thomas Deflora, the founder of the Oaken Acorn Vineyard. Deflora had grown up in Albion, and so he wished to bring a bit of Albion to Marete. The additions of the roman bath and roman villa entranceway were his architectural improvements to the property.
After the winery closed down, due to many years of bad grapes, the property went through a series of owners. It had the reputation of being 'Haunted' - some say that Deflora hung himself from the huge oak and that his spirit still wanders at night. Others said that the Wild Woods was openly hostile to anyone who dared to approach the property. The grounds and the castle were eventually abandoned to the elements and the property taken over by the Crown of Marete.
Then, I, the Famous Adventurer, decided that it was time to share to the worlds my expertise and wisdom gathered from years of personal experience. Since I am an honored member of the Marete Royal Court (yes, I have of course been knighted, but you need not address me with the proper Sir Famous Adventurer - a simple 'My Lord' will suffice...), I requested that this property be dedicated to the greater education of heroic endeavors. Thus, I opened The School for Heroes on the site of the former vineyard. I said to myself, vine not? - It's a grape place for a school.
As for the silly superstitions about strange phenomena on the school grounds, I reassure you that there is nothing to them. Over the course of the four years since the school was founded here, we have had no verified incidents of wandering ghosts, curses, or students swallowed by trees. Your safety at our school is one of our many priorities.
As you enter through the arched doors into our educational edifice, you will find yourself in our reception area. Here, the charming and competent Ms. Sophia Miranda will greet and answer any questions you have about the school. After you sign into our register, a student guide will escort you through the premises to your destination.
The Main Hall
From the reception area, you first enter the Main Hall. Here, the elegant beauty of the original wine magnate's mansion can be seen at its fullest magnificence. The gleaming crystal and gemstone-laden chandelier which illuminates this area in sparkling radiance from the vaulted ceiling was created by the artist Faberjay. Furniture crafted by artisans throughout the world stand as a testament to their durability and design. We request that the students not actually use any of these original pieces. They are genuine antiques. Please refrain from carving your initials on the mahogany mantelpiece that arches over the faux fireplace.
The Student Recreation Lounge
From the Main Hall, you will see the two great stairs that lead to the second floor, and hallways to the north and the south. Directly south of the Main Hall is the Student Lounge with its pool table, card playing and board game section, and working fireplace for those chilly evenings of entertaining social intramural interactions. Along the south wall, you will find the magic mirror internet connection to Earth for your web browsing recreation. Since this is the only available web connection for student recreation, please share nicely.
North of the Main Hall is our library. Reference books abound amidst study desks, comfy chairs for quiet contemplation of informational bliss, and shelves of books from two worlds. A noise dampening spell maintains the sanctity of study here. All books borrowed from this library automatically teleport back to their proper place in three days time. In the cabinet on the northeast corner is an autographed collection of the first publications of all the Famous Adventurer's Guides to Heroism, and the Hero Magazine. You will need special permission to access this cabinet - they are a small monument to our humble beginnings as the premier education for Heroes.
The Lecture Hall
When you enter the Lecture Hall, you enter the heart of our school. This is where I, the Famous Adventurer, give my speeches and guest lectures on the topics of heroism. It is from this august location that my weekly (or at least, monthly) talks about the progress of the school and where all award ceremonies are held. It's the font of many memorable moments that will remain in the minds of our alumni for the rest of their heroic lives.
The Dining Hall
While we have regular meal hours at our school to provide the freshest, most savory of gustatory experiences, the Dining Hall has fruit and healthy snacks available at all hours. Unfortunately, after the evening meal, you will have to knock upon the kitchen door to request further sustenance. Most food left out at night does not long remain in the Dining Hall.
Oddly enough, the healthful snacks of dried fish, dehydrated cabbage crisps, and turnip casserole usually manage to survive the nighttime depredations.
The Warrior Way
The southern wing of the castle houses the future leaders of tomorrow, our Warriors. Students in the Warrior Ward are housed barracks style. Each student has his or her own bunk, footlocker, and shelf space. Warriors are expected to do five hours of service to the school a month.
The Adjutant is the Warrior's version of the Teaching Assistant. The Adjutant is selected from the highest ranking and honor students. The Adjutant is your voice and advocate, as well as your immediate superior officer. It's always wise to treat him or her with respect.
Stairs from the Warrior Ward lead upward to the Paladin Wing. There is also access to the Practice Field near the Warrior Lecture Hall.
The Bard Hall
Our Bard classes are set up with a great deal of emphasis on individual instruction and practice time. Students start the day with a brief inspiring speech. Students then express what they intend to accomplish during the day. They then go off to work on their individual project for most of the day. Late afternoon, students return to work together on a class performance project.
At the end of the week, students are expected to perform their work for peer criticism and applause. At the end of the month, there is a school-wide performance of their bardic talents in our Lecture Hall.
Our Bardic Instructor, Maestro Lorenzo Lafcadio, says, "It's a tough performance schedule with the toughest audience bards can ever face - one another. Still, there's no better way to perfect your performance than this. We bards band together to do our best!
The Conservatory is also part of Deflora's original additions to our domain. Obviously, Deflora had a passion for plants and created this conservatory to house and nurture them. Despite the years that this building was unoccupied, many of the original plants have survived due to the automatic watering system that catches the rain on the roof to water the plants. Our bards, and indeed, all students, are welcome to use the conservatory for their practices in this lush and refreshingly tropical paradise.
The Second Floor
Our second floor houses our Paladin and Wizard students and classes. It also contains the offices of staff and faculty. Best of all, it holds the Famous Adventurer's sanctum sanctorum and living quarters.
The Counselor Office
If you ever have a need for some astute advice, or some good guidance on your path to glory, Mr. Gerdy's office is always opened between the hours of nine to five on weekdays. He'll be happy to give you his opinion on any subject. Don't let his gruff manners and disciplinary duties dissuade you from confiding in Mr. Gerdy. He's there for you.
The Secretary Office
School Administration is difficult and exacting work. It takes a dedicated staff to keep the school running smoothly and the records recorded. The School for Heroes has Mrs. E. Gulch to organize, optimize, ostracize, and alphabetize our files.
Despite our best efforts, accidents do happen. Fortunately, we have Paladins to ease the pain when your guard slips during Weapon Practice or to detoxify poison when you take a magical dagger through the thigh. Our Paladin Instructor, Lady Moira of Glenshannon, is on call at all hours to unbreak your bones and mend your mishaps.
As our classes swell with students, we need to relieve the burden of our hard working educators. Thus, we have Teaching Assistants - advanced students who help other students with their studies and provide a buffer between the student and the teacher whenever there is friction. If you have a question about your assignments or duties, visit first your TA.
When they are not in the classroom or the practice fields instilling wisdom in the souls of the students, our faculty can be found in their offices from morning to evening meal. They will be happy to help you with your studies.
The Famous Adventurer's Office
The elegance of the old castle is readily apparent in this room. From the tasteful mahagony furnishings to the fine velvet tapestries adorning the splendiferous wood-paneled walls, the Famous Adventurer's office is embued with a sense of style. Maps and momentoes of his many dangerous expeditions to the far reaches of Gloriana adorn the walls and shelves.
Here, too, are a plethora of pamphlets, books, and magazines on every aspect of the art and craft of adventuring... all written by none other than the Famous Adventurer, himself. Framed and autographed daguerreotypes of the Famous Adventurer with great heroes and heads of state adorn the cedar-paneled walls (those that aren't covered by tapestries, of course).
People of quality come from the world around to bask in the reflected glory of this great man, this knight, this paragon of pen and paper heroism. We are honored to have the Famous Adventurer as the founder of our School for Heroes.
Students are permitted to visit the Famous Adventurer's office upon acquisition of letters of recommendation from their instructor, the School Counseler, and the School Secretary.
Faculty areas are strictly off limits to all students.
The Wizard Wing
The northern corridor of our school is where you will find our wacky Wizards. Yes, those mystic magicians who can conjure conies and wield wands work their wiles within these halls. Never fear - we have magic dampening wards around the area to contain any spell that gets a bit out of control. In the four years of operation, we have only had one serious magical mishap, and the student recovered from his frozen state with only a lingering tendency to break out in goosepimples and occasional uncontrollable shivering.
The Paladin Wing
The southern section of the second floor of our mansion houses those virtuous and valorous paragons of heroic pursuits - the Paladins. Paladins are those dedicated individuals who devote their lives in the service of those in need. Whether it is rescuing a kitten from a drain storm, volunteering at a blood drive, bringing cookies to a love-lost friend, or slaying evil overlords, Paladins go above and beyond the call of duty with their compassion and wisdom. We are proud to provide them with support and encouragement as they pursue their own impossible dreams - and make them real.
Paladins are expected to perform twenty hours of community service. However, they are actively discouraged from performing more than 80 hours of community service a week. After all, even Paladins need to have some time off from their noble vocation.