Canton aq Liir
Liir, College of
Liir, College of
Liir (est. 128 Seceria) is a widely renowned institution of higher education and the arts, with both the mundane and the arcane forms of the latter being thoroughly represented. The school is quite ancient, dating to the early years of Seceria, making it one of the two oldest such institutions to still be taking on students. It is one of only three traditional Colleges remaining in Aerythe, being staffed and maintained entirely by dedicated followers of the Eld’Wuyn; this has cost the school some of its prospective enrollment in more recent years, but the Eld’Wuyn maintains an unshakable reputation for wisdom, knowledge, and instruction in many otherwise neglected areas of scholarly interest; as such, it has not only tradition on its side, but also a high degree of popularity with the wealthy, the learned, and the aristocracy (which are often enough the same group of people) in several northern kingdoms and minor states.
For the first half of its storied history, Liir accepted students by invitation only; its attendants came from some of the wealthiest and most powerful families of Aerythe, who paid a staggering cost to have their younger generations sent to Liir to learn everything from arithmetic and poetry to alchemy and battle strategy. The college experienced a brief upset in response to the Charter Proclamation of 471 Trivius, which required all such institutions to offer admittance to any prospective student, provided a clearly-established fee could be met; the proclamation had been heavily supported by a brief-yet-powerful movement against the Eld’Wuyn and its followers, with the intention of opening the institution’s doors to a more religiously diverse group of students. Surviving documentation, which shows a full decade with a student body that increased in size by nearly four times as compared to previous years, suggests that the strategy was briefly successful; Liir’s governing council ultimately found a way to work around the law, however, by raising their required entry fee to the staggeringly ridiculous amount of 1.25 million guiles per academic semester, whereupon promising candidates were sought out and offered scholarships. The college’s attendance plummeted, but those students in attendance were actually paying, on average, slightly more than what the students of bygone years had paid for their attendance, and an additional deal was worked out between the governing council and the County of Canton by which Liir received funding from County coffers in exchange for works of art, engineering, and wartime soldiery from its gifted and highly-trained student body. The opposing movement to the Eld’Wuyn fell out of favor shortly thereafter, while the concepts of educational scholarships and government funding for educational institutions were, by all accounts, put into practice for the first time ever, anywhere.
In more recent centuries, Liir has founded several annual festivals, celebrations of artistry, theatrics and trade; these have brought a great deal of fame and money to Canton, which as a result has become one of the few remaining holdouts for the Eld’Wuyn. Ironically, the existence of this faith, once very much intolerant of other religious organizations, in Canton, marks the county as both a place of unusually liberal religious freedom and a favored retreat of the wealthy and the noble from much of Aerythe.