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Ever since the Gem of the North gained its reputation as a place of great learning and magic, it has attracted a large population of storytellers and musicians. These artists find a common home in the college of Foclucan, one of the finest schools of bardcraft in Faerun.

High Mage TanisellAlso known as the Cloaked Lord of Silverymoon, Tanisell was a refugee from Ascalhorn whose humble ways and powerful magic got him elected High Mage in 883 DR, following the death of Lady Wolf. authorized the construction of a bardic college in 902 DR as an extension of the works program that included the Vault of Sages just two years before. The new school, christened Foclucan after the Elven word for "gathering of artists", was to be an extension of the Lady's College. Unlike the Lady's College, however, those who attended Foclucan were not expected to lend their talents to the city's defense. Instead, their sole task was to add to the ever-growing pool of artistry, music and lore that made Silverymoon the envy of Faerun.

The fall of AscalhornIn 882 DR and subsequent terror of Hellgate Keep had served to reinforce the idea that Silverymoon was destined to carry on the banner of cultural cooperation and achievement that had been so tragically lost with the destruction of Myth Drannor some two centuries past. The new dangers threatening the Gem of the North served up a cold contrast to the beauty and warmth of Silverymoon's artistic achievements, and Foclucan was established to insure that the city remained a beacon of light in the savage North.

For hundreds of years the reputation of Foclucan grew, until it was finally recognized as the most prestigious bardic college on the continent. Many young bards were enticed to brave the dangers of the North in order to receive their training from the master bards of Foclucan. Disaster struck the college in the Year of the Black Horde (1235 DR), when orcs overran the city of Silverymoon and Foclucan was decimated by the powerful siege engines of the foul creatures.

Scattered or killed during the siege, most of the bards affiliated with the college were no longer present to oversee the rebuilding of the famous college, and as a result it lay in ruins for over a hundred years. Of those bards that stayed in the North, one group resettled in Waterdeep and started a small school that eventually led to the rededication of the bardic college of New Olamn in 1366 DR.

Nostalgic for their former reputation, the Silveraen responded to the opening of New Olamn by calling for Alustriel to allocate resources to rebuild Foclucan, which had been further ravaged by a fire when students from a nearby wizards' school had a ritual go awry in the ruins. The Spellguard investigated this incident and found that the ruins of Foclucan were frequented by students looking for a place to practice forbidden magic, prompting them to recommend their destruction. Though Alustriel had kept the ruins of the school intact in hopes of one day rebuilding the legendary college, she was busy negotiating the peace treaty that would form the nation of Luruar and could not spare attention to the matter.

Months passed as the Spellguard presented their case before the court, only to have a sentimental group of Silveraen save the site with their pleas. After another accident happened within the ruins, however, Taern Hornblade prepared to order the clearing of the ruins as one of his first acts as High Mage. At this time, the well-respected Silveraen bard Mythros Syllantham petitioned the court to hold on their action.

Mythros proposed to rebuild the school as a symbol of the strength of the new nation of Luruar, a signal to all its enemies that the nation had not only survived the challenges of the past, but had flourished despite them. The Silveraen rallied around this idea, and Alustriel, who had recently returned from visiting her sister in AglarondHer sister, The Simbul, had asked for a conference to discuss mysterious movements by her archenemies the Red Wizards of Thay. The Red Wizards had pulled many of their troops back within their borders and ceased many of their military operations. The Simbul, fearing another attack upon her country, had convened a council of trusted allies to try to divine the Thayans' intent., gave the plan her blessing.

With unprecedented cooperation from the people of Silverymoon, as well as the generous donation of gold by recent noble immigrants such as Lady Stelar NesharA young Waterdhavian noblewoman, she came to Silverymoon with her brother, Lord Khallos Nesher, to pursue training in magic and lore. It was her financing that allowed the early proponents of rebuilding the school to sway public opinion to their side. Not surprisingly her brother now sits on Foclucan's board of directors, though he has never shown interest in anything but profit before., the bards' college of Foclucan was re-dedicated on the 26th day of MirtulThe final day of the Spring Festival, an annual gathering of bards in Silverymoon at which performances of all types are featured., 1371 DR.

The re-dedication of Foclucan turned out to be a large draw for the city, and many of the bards stayed after the Spring Festival was over. This created a temporary glut of talent, and many have taken to the streets in order to earn their living. While the people of Silverymoon have always had a place in their hearts for bards, the excessive amount of street performers is actually causing some concerns, especially in the market district.

Using the eight specialty tracks of the University as a guideline, Foclucan has broken up its educational program into seven tracks. The seven specialties in which bards can train are winds, performance, strings, magic, composition, lore and voice. Students are always free to pursue a more general education as well, and even students following a specific track have course slots open with which to study other disciplines.

Foclucan follows the quarterly schedule of the University, with each session lasting nine weeks. Students are free to choose their path based on their interests, but each quarter they must choose at least one of the Essential Studies classes, assuming they have not completed them all. Advanced and Master studies may not be chosen until all the Essentials are completed. A full course of study is considered taking four courses per quarter, three quarters per year.

Two non-concurrent quarters must be spent travelling the land accumulating lore. Each student is expected to provide two recitals before graduation, sharing what they learned on their sojourns with their fellow students. These recitals can take the form of musical concerts, storytelling sessions, art exhibits, or any other method of relaying what they have learned or accumulated. In addition to holding two recitals, students are also expected to attend ten recitals per year.

Private lessons are also a large part of the education at Foclucan. Although musical instruments are most often the focus during private lessons, lore studies and ancient languages can be substituted for less musically inclined bards. Students meet with their tutors twice a week, but are expected to devote a great deal of time each day to assigned projects.

Three years of study completes the Foclucan curriculum, totaling twenty eight courses, two sojourns and sixty-three weeks of private lessons. New students are referred to as Baiters, a slightly derogatory name derived from Cormyrian court historyA Baiter was a messenger that attempted to lessen the impact of bad news by entertaining the king and court before delivering the scroll. They were generally seen as cowardly and usually were not in the least bit entertaining.. Students having completed at least one year of study are referred to as Apprentices; 3rd years are called Players.


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