kingoftreno asked: What is learning like? Is there some kind of scholarly tradition? Are there universities and colleges? Or are skills learned and passed along mostly through trade guilds, within families, from mentors, or through the community? ("Skills" could be practical, knowledge and research-based, scientific/mechanical, magical, etc.)
Well, here’s a giant word-vomit answer:
For general education:
One of the big things the Roese line brought about with peace between the cards was the promotion of education. The Library of Hearts that shows up later on in the story was once a location full of scholars, and a destination for many to study at. Members of the Roese family, the Cards, and even travelers from Wyndr would travel far to experience the knowledge held within its walls. As the relationship between the Cards deteriorated after the death of the Roese family, it has grown abandoned as it is in a technical No-Mans land on an island in a lake between the borders of Hearts, Diamonds, and the Capitol of Ruan.
Hearts and Clubs have the most traditional classroom style educations, which vary from a Schoolroom in a larger house in the rural areas to school buildings and universities in the larger cities. Usually teachers work with groups of students of an age range of about 3 years, and students are moved to higher groups as they master the current group’s objectives.
A lot of the education within Spades happens over winter by lantern light and in small groups. Smaller rooms hold the heat of groups best in the winter months. With this set up, there are many many tutors and teachers, so a quite high educators population. The educators often have other focuses through the summer seasons, and a lot of communication happens amongst them on the best ways to keep students active and engaged through the long winters.
Diamonds: A lot of gathering in courtyards or decks of ships with a wide variety of teachers cycling in and out with boat that arrive and leave, it feels informal for an observer, but children are allowed to learn at their own pace. While the education level may vary between each person, what they do know they generally know quite well. It is a generally accepted thing that one must be able to read before they can work on the boats, and many learn more than one language as they trade with foreign countries across the oceans.
In general, Ruan is a well-educated country, although the methods certainly vary.
As for magic education:
It depends on the magic type. There are types where pure instinct works and education isn’t really needed. There are also types where the most basic parts are instinct, but training is required to focus and strengthen it.
In example, the Healing clan has its own set lessons and training for the young of the clan where they learn to focus their magic and extend it past healing bruises on themselves to being able to heal severe injuries on others, something that takes a lot of practice and experience to master. Myrd Roese was able to extend his magic to healing bruises on friends’ knees as a very young child, and this was taken as a sign that he was to focus most of his training with that part of his heritage. The rest of his siblings have had lessons and training as well, but his has been the most intense. His training started off as group classes following strong members of the clan, watching how they did much of their healing (and learning a lot of general medical practices such as cleaning, setting bones, and stitches, because closing a dirty wound, straight up healing a misaligned bone, or hoping a giant hole will close without a guide using magic will all end badly for the patient) and slowly shown how to guide their magic past their own bodies. As the students grow older and master how to extend their magic, they are often assigned to a mentor and work 1 on 1 with them healing patients beneath the mentor’s watchful eyes.
Another example is Ida- her magic is based on encouraging seeds to sprout and fruit to ripen. Hers is mostly instinctual, but her training to strengthen it is more casual- a bit of working in a garden or in the orchards with parents or family members and figuring it out a bit by trial and error after being shown what happens. She mastered her type of magic by the age of 12 with no official training.
A lot of magics are family based and taught within it to a degree (although there are the families that are more clan like in their size).
Also, the abundance of magic in the people does not mean that they can instantly do things perfectly, there is always a manipulation or other knowledge that is needed for the magic to be successful. A smith cannot magically have a perfect sword with their metal-based magic, they must learn how to forge a sword and use their magic to support the process. A farmer can’t just push seeds to sprout with their magic and have a wonderful crop- they have to know how to tend the farm for a great yield.
As for trades, a lot of apprenticeship style things happen, and a way to get a child working with a great mentor is to imply how best the family’s magics can work with a skill. There are wide varieties of magic found on a single boat from water influences, metal based, wind based, etc, as they all have their uses. A blacksmith could have a fire influencing magic that makes the flames hotter without using as much fuel, or they could be able to work with metal ore to influence it to be softer for the blow of a hammer for quicker shaping.
An odd bit of education would be for the Cheshires. They recruit from all the Cards with an age range of 12-18. The type of magic a person has does not matter to them due to the style of technology they work with. There is a physical training section, technology training, and practical training to learn how the Cheshire Cats work. The trainees do not wear the helmets- the Cheshire helm and stripes have to be earned.
World Building Wednesday!
I’m working on the cover for Chapter 2 of Hearts of Roese (and working on some Science Ladies as well) and ready to answer questions as I work!
(Numbers already answered: 9, 17, 18, 22, 29, 6 [Alice] [Berwyn], 4 [QoH] [Roran], 24, 2 [QoH], 11 [QoH], 6 [Roran], 7 [QoH] )