Founded on the third of June, 1217 AR, by Zen Borgen and Jarl Silverthorne, Silverbriar Academy has grown quickly over the years, beginning as a single, one-room stone building, and expanding to encompass nine multi-story dormitories, three large lecture houses, and an additional three stone buildings for instructive laboratories. The original stone building still stands as a flagstone to the circle of those edifices, all ringing a central grassy courtyard, and is used primarily as the head office. Nominally, the city’s cathedral is also part of the academy’s campus; however, it is located blocks away, and only frequented by students invested in studying the mysteries of the Aesir.
Silverbriar Academy’s motto is, “Stupor Mundi.” This is notable, as the motto is in Elven, and neither of the two founders were particularly fond of elvish culture. The phrase either translates as, “Behold, the magnificent wonder of all the world!” or, “Behold, the supreme idiocy of everything!” depending on how it is spoken. Jarl Silverthorne, who came up with the motto, has refused utterly to clarify one way or the other.
The nine dormitories are named after the nine realms supported from the branches of the World Tree, Yggdrasil: Asgard, Alfheim, Svartalheim, Midgard, Jötunheim, Vanaheim, Niflheim, Muspell, and Helheim. Despite rumors and superstitions that have developed throughout the years, there is no official rule for determining which students get assigned rooms in which dormitories; as far as the academy’s leadership insists, the process is entirely random. Nevertheless, many students believe that elves are more likely to get placed in Alfheim, dwarves in Jötunheim, and humans in Midgard. These students seem to focus only on those three races, and ignore the various gnomes and half-orcs who also attend the academy.
The central courtyard, roughly 150 feet in diameter, is one of the few areas in all of the rocky, mountainous city of Silverbriar that is level, and covered in lush, green grass. Its center bears a small, stone statue of a goat, ostensibly commemorating the impressive herd of goats that live in the surrounding mountains, and give their milk toward the cheese that is Silverbriar’s chief export. As such, the courtyard has come to be known colloquially as Goat Quad. To date, however, no one has figured out why images of butterflies, owls, mules, cats, wolves, and tiny dragons adorn the pedestal the goat perches upon.
Admittance into Silverbriar Academy is a simple matter of signing up for classes and paying the tuition. Anyone with the coin can receive two full years of education, and there are scholarships available for those deemed worthy and without coin. However, the academy also offers six additional years’ worth of intense, specialized training, which in addition to payment, require entrance exams each successive year. It is not uncommon for individual professors to personally pay these tuition fees for favored students, as the joy of instructing eager minds is largely why each one took a position at the academy.
Tuition costs are [TBD; likely 700-1000] gold per calendar year, for the first two years. Additional years’ tuition are based upon the student’s choice of specialization and, more importantly, performance during annual entrance exams. Even if a student gets accepted into an advanced year of education, a poor exam score might set tuition costs prohibitively high to actually enroll. Those lucky and dedicated few, who persist through all eight years of training at Silverbriar Academy, are awarded with a cloak, clasped with an ornate silver bramble of thorns. It is rumored these cloaks contain powerful protective enchantments, and all who wear them are afforded the highest respect across the length and breadth of Thunder Rift.
The academy currently employs [XXXX]… [TBD]