Dreadnaught Academy ~ The rival academy to Weaponry, the Dreadnaught Academy focuses on creating a ruthless pirate, rather than a versatile (Hawkers) or powerful (Weaponry) pirate. Those in the Dreadnaught Academy are given call-signs based on ghosts and monsters of various cultures, and many hail from Pagan nations where they have learned arcane or magical arts. A grizzly and unforgiving force to meet on the High Seas. Her flag is a black field with a white skull in the top lefthand corner with a serpent slithering from its mouth in the shape of a hook.
In order to be accepted as a recruit in Dreadnaught Academy (as opposed to an unregistered pirate among her grunt crew), the hopeful must place in the Nonian Trials which Dreadnaught holds every year, from Nisan 1st to 7th. These trials contain 12 tasks each named for one of the Nonian Deities and heroes. For each Trial won, that crew member gains 1 Rank. The 12 Ranks determine the percentage of cut the crew member makes from pirating raids, quality and location of bunk, entitlement to rations, services and the like. A single crew member can achieve as many Ranks as he (or she) can win. Since the Ranks are only held for the year, the crew can't get soft, for they will lose all seniority and need to recompete the following season.
In the rare even that a single crew mate manages to win all 12 Trials, he can challenge any of the Appointed Crew (which includes Captain, First Mate and Bosun) for their post. However, whomever they challenge gets to determine the terms of the challenge, including what sort of punishment they can extract from the challenger should they lose. No one has yet managed to best Dreadnaught in these challenges.
The Appointed Crew often compete in these trials as well, but they cannot place and earn the Ranked positions in addition to their appointed titles, so it is more for the challenge and to stay sharp than true competition. Out of whichever crew win the 12 Ranks, the Captain chooses the Cook, Medic, Cabin Boy, Quarter Masters, Navigators, Helmsmen and so forth for the coming season. Any new members who manage to Rank are granted a Pirate's Title and officially become registered pirates under Dreadnaught's crew.
The Nonial Trials:Edit
Are all performed nude and without tools or weapons unless otherwise stated. Note that the Nonian Trials are also performed in Rabinon every 5 years, something like the Oympics. They take place in the following order, separated by the day on which they occur:
•The Heracles: A Dead Weight Lift Competition. Whomever competes must up the previously lifted weight by 5 stones and succeed in the lift, the next must up this amount and so forth. If a competitor cannot lift the next amount, he is disqualified and the next person in line attempts it without adding on weight, and the order resumes until only a single man is left standing.
•The Poseidon: An Endurance Swim. In open ocean, the competitors swim for as long as they can, or until the sun sets, whichever comes first.
•The Chiron: A Sensory Deprivation Test. Technically this one begins at sunset the night before. The competitors spend the night gagged, bound, deprived of food, water or sleep. They remain blindfolded the following day, and are put to a number of dexterity, identification and reflex 'tests'. This is usually merely the rest of the crew tormenting, teasing and otherwise besetting the competitors to elicit a reaction from them.
•The Hermes: A Footrace. The race is down around the decks of the ship, and is simply a matter of the fastest to the finish line. This sprint is either performed in heats or the best out of three, depending on the number of challengers.
•The Dionysus: A Drinking Competition. The crew mates must drink until last man standing, quite literally. Vomiting voids the match, as does passing out, or dying of liver failure.
•The Helios: A Balancing Competition. On the morning after The Dionysus, the members must walk the bowsprit on the very prow of the ship. Not only must they keep their balance out over the rushing waves breaking on the ship's prow, they must also try to knock their opponents from the beam using only feet, hands and wits.
•The Hephastus: A Wrestling Match. The challengers are oiled and matched off in pairs of two, with the winner moving on to face the next opponent in a Round Robin format. The goal is to pin, subdue or render insensate one's opponent. While biting and kicking are not exactly forbidden, the matches can get very ugly and dangerous and deadly very quickly if someone tries to play foul.
•The Hades: A Deep Dive. The challengers need to not only be able to swim to great depths, they must also hold their breath for that same distance, manage to untie a rope holding a hoop and then swim to the surface bearing it in hand. If more than one sailor makes it down to the hoop, they must subaqua fight for the hoop first before returning to the surface.
•The Apollo: A Marksmanship Contest. Various targets are set about the rigging, some stationary, some half-hidden and some moving targets. The competitors can use any distance weapon they choose (including thrown weapons, bows, hook shots etc - but whatever weapon they choose, it must stay in the target for the shot to count) to discern and accurately hit all of the targets. Marks are awarded for the closeness to the bullseye, the speed with which they were shot, and the number hit correctly.
•The Perseus: An Obstacle Course. The Perseus lasts for most of the day, and involves dodging, climbing, swinging, running, coordination, flexibility and strength. It is as much a race as it is a checkpoint course. Each of the components must be used and defeated. Broken bones are a common outcome from some of the obstacles they employ, as well as fire and pikes, not to mention poisons and snares.
•The Ares: A Duel. The competing crew are paired off at random and duel with 1 chosen weapon. The terms are to first blood, but occasionally some overzealous competitor accidentally kills their man. These winners are then paired off again and so on and so forth until only one is left standing.
•The Zeus: The Arduous Climb. A short break is had for lunch between the Ares and the Zeus, but this big finale to the Nonial Trials involves weights being strapped to the competitors and then without tools or weapons, they must climb the main mast of the Bright Star to retrieve her colours. Yet for this race, all members start for the mast simultaneously, meaning one needs to fight off other competitors as well as climb, and retrieve the flag unmolested and get it to the Helmsman intact to win this Rank.