|Edgewater Military Institute|
(Reference by Unknown Illustrator.)
Warmaster Idonea Holmes, First Captain of the First Western Legion Company
War-Women Captains & any appointed by them.
1000 cadets, six year academy, 80 graduates per year.
|“||Edgewater, where horses bow and growing wolves wield steel.||”|
–Horace Kellermen, Drustvar Historian
The Edgewater Military Institute is a military school seated in Teigntooth, Drustvar. It trains future members of the Western Legion in service of the Waycrest Guard. Although it's also known to yield candidates for the Itheca Guard and the Tenoch War-Women.
The academy is overseen and instructed over by the aforementioned War-Women, who are credited with building the school hundreds of years ago with the help of the House of Itheca and the House of Teign. Edgewater has persistently flourished since its conception, currently keeping an average of 1,000 students with 80 graduates each year.
The six year institution teaches various courses other than what's required for the Waycrest Guard. Most notably, mounted marksmanship, Tridune, and lasso combat-capture which comes from Tenochtri roots.
The Edgewater Military Institute was commissioned and physically built by Janismarie Itheca, the-then First Captain of the Tenoch War-Women, and her cousin, Linniay Teign, a member of the House of Teign who lorded over the land of Teigntooth. Alongside the very members of the elite war-women, the school was built with stone.
It's believed that Janismaire desired to further cement the Tenochtri as trusted and useful allies to the region of Drustvar. However, some believe that the institution was in preparation for another possible conflict similar to the Blood Purity Civil Wars that occurred a little over a millennium beforehand. Dyana Itheca, a descendant of Janismarie, believes Janis saw a vision of the Order of the Hearthfire or the Drust returning to the realm of the living while in the Halls of the Forebearers, and sought to prepare willing Drustvari for the future conflict.
Proved leaders, mentors, and experienced soldiers, only Tenoch War-Women are able to hold a high position within the institute. The Headmistress is currently Warmaster Idonea Holmes.
To show their mentor rank, these warriors carry their iconic golden, silver, or non-metal enchanted lassos. The material of their lasso is dependent on the instructor's rank. Only Captains can wield lassos made from pure Stormsilver coated in golden adornment, while lower officers appointed by the Captains carry leather lassos braided with pieces of leaf-metal. To the student's embarrassment, those caught brawling and fighting whilst not in training are generally subdued by being lassoed up and dragged off into the headmistress's office.
Life in Edgewater
Considered a strict school by many, graduates hailing from Edgewater are celebrated for their sharp discipline on the battlefield, both in their usage of impeccably coordinated ranged attacks and versatile close quarter confrontations.
Entry and Board
Edgewater allows children as young as 12 to join the academy, training them for 6 years until their graduation at 18. These students remain within the campus surrounding the stone built Riverfowl Keep for the entirety of their tutelage.
They're only allowed to leave for family visits three weeks a year. Many use this to go to the Festival of the Four Heights with their families, where they eat blessed Stag Stew and break Bear Bread in hopes of gaining the Great Stag's bravery and the Great Bear's resilience. Some are known to pray to the Wolf Father, Eaader, and the Wolf Mother, Gaana, for guardianship and ferocity.
Following their selected courses, students are sorted into three cohorts forming the notable field organization known as Stag Formation. The Horns, the Heart, and the Hoof.
The school's regime is infamously grinding, students wake up at 4 in the morning and they're not allowed to return to their beds until 8 in the afternoon. Their training is designed to make them skilled and disciplined. They also are frequently reminded of their role in Kul Tiras: to guard Drustvar and their families. Their diet consists of mostly meat.
Each morning, students are made to run a mile a day while they jump or climb over certain man-made obstacles. Frequently dodging bolas thrown by their instructors and supervisors as a further test. Not everything taught is in the physical, students learn how to read, write, and how to understand commands both verbal and written ones.
In order for Edgewater's cadets to gain pain tolerance, they undergo daily activities specifically designed for this reason. Such as "Bruising", where students spar one another with hard wooden swords or quarterstaves under fair supervision. Additionally, students often hike mountain trails with heavy sacks filled with rocks, dirt, or logs behind their backs.
Cadets are regularly given small doses of poisons and venom in order for them to build immunity over the years. Typically during in meals. Graduates, at 18 years old, undergo being injected with a stronger mixture, which if successful, grants them complete non-susceptibility to all toxins native to Drustvar.
For those over 16, they are taught how to handle explosives and other dangerous materials.
Bond in Friendship
Students are encouraged to help one another, as does each animal in the forest to maintain balance. Bullying and fighting among students is severely punished, often by detention and being made to eat a horrid tasting but well nourishing nutrition bread in place of warm meals. Despite the harsh instruction of the school, many students often become lifelong friends and become battle brothers and sisters in blood oaths.
Students are prohibited from attending seasonal banquets if they've not yet mastered one course in the institute's roster. They are however, allowed to rest in the rivers close to the area. Though, no student is allowed to adventure too far into the surrounding wilds. There is also a library within Riverfowl Keep which allows students to read, or to take a book to their bunk. As noted by Claudina Itheca during her time at the school, many like to swing on ropes tied on trees. War games are also popular.
At 18, students are given a suit of light armor, a weapon of their choice; typically a sword, and a sash showing what cohort they lived with. A celebration is held and most, in a last act of bravery before proceeding into the guard, spar with one another.
The Three Houses
According to their selected courses, students are sorted into three house-sects forming the notable field organization known as Stag Formation. The Horns, the Heart, and the Hoof.
- The primary force, the "Horns", close the enemy and pin it in position, engaging in melee combat.
- The secondary force, the "Heart" would give the enemy a bloody embrace or a "hug" by encircling the enemy while the Horns keep them pinned. Typically with large shields.
- The third force, the "Hoof" are usually a large group of archers, marksmen, and rangers, hidden on top of trees or mountains in order to rain down projectiles. Their name refers to their ability to jump on enemies from higher heights, like a stag's hoof stomping down. The Hoof sometimes act as a secret reserve, seated behind the Heart and are committed to keep the enemy within the encirclement.
These groups also learn other formations such as the Wild Clover, in order to adapt to different situations, terrain, and to achieve the element of surprise.
Students belonging to this cohort are called "Horns" or "Of the Horn". Their sect colors are gold and grey, sometimes black is added, representing the Athair's worries which crown him as the leader of the darken forest. The Banner of the Horn includes two mighty golden antlers resting upon a forest of grey and two crossed black hilt swords.
Students belonging to this cohort are called "Hearts" or "Of the Heart". Their sect colors are argent white and crimson red, sometimes a shining silver is added, representing Athair's purity, his mane, and the blood that pumps from his heart. The Banner of the Horn includes a vibrantly colored red bleeding heart above a silver or grey circle crown on a sea of white.
Students belonging to this cohort are called "Hooves" or "Of the Hoof". Their sect colors are dark green and daisy yellow, sometimes an earthy brown is added, representing the flowers, the grass, and the dirt ground the Mighty Stag makes his stand on. The Banner of the Hoof includes a mighty hoof above a green background joined by a yellow bow, arrow, and dagger.
- Martel Itheca of the Heart.
- Claudina Itheca of the Horn.
- Roycel Redmourn of the Hoof.
- Horses trained in Edgewater bow when commanded to or when they see someone bend before them. This is also widespread in Teigntooth, where it was more than likely spread by the institute.
- All cadets learn star mapping, a part of wayfinding which tells its user where they are via the stars. This is done so students do not get lost in the woods or mountains to perish.
- Some cadets call the aurora borealis their bedtime lights and claim to hear songs sung by the spirits of the Drustvari Forest. Many students adhere to the Belief of the Forest in one manner or the other.
- There are many formations learned in the institute, yet the house-group name stays the same. Hence why Edgewater is said to be the only place on Azeroth where a stag's heart can hit you first before its horns.