RWBY: Beacon Academy
Huntsman Academies are institutions in Remnant dedicated to training Huntsman and Huntresses, warriors warriors whose task it is to defend the Kingsdoms from the creatures of Grimm. The Academies and their staff also play a significant role in organizing the defense of the Kingdoms.
Prior to the establishment of the four Academies, combat training came exclusively from the many combat schools throughout the Kingdoms. Almost 80 years ago, the Great War came to its conclusion, and the peace secured at Vytal saw to the creation of the Academies, one to each of the four kingdoms. The Academies would train Huntsman and Huntresses, whose sole purpose it would be to fight the Grimm, and whose allegieance would not be tied to any individual Kingdom. Huntsman and Huntresses would have the freedom to work for whomever they wished and choose whatever types of jobs they wished to take from mission boards.
The Academies were also given the responsibility to defend each Kingdom's Cross Continental Transmit tower.
The Huntsman Academies and the Kingdoms they correspond to are:
- Vale – Beacon Academy
- Mistral – Haven Academy
- Vacuo – Shade Academy
- Atlas – Atlas Academy
Atlas is the only Kingdom whose Academy is part of the state itself. After the Kingdom's capital was moved from Mantle to Alsius, Atlas Academy, the government, and the military coalesced into a single entity known as the Kingdom of Atlas.
In honor of the peace of Vytal, students from the four Academies also attend the Vytal Festival, a biennial celebration of the diverse culture of the Kingdoms. In the festival students compete in a combat tournament against contestants from other Academies in order to prove their skills and motivate them to strive for excellence. This tradition continues into the present day, with Academies sending students to the host Kingdom every two years to compete in their name.
As institutions that train the next generation of Huntsman and Huntresses, the future defenders of the world, Academies are vital to the security of the Kingdoms. The staff of the Academies are are highly skilled Huntsmen themselves, and they work to protect the world from harm in addition to teaching and mentoring students.
Students are generally admitted to an Academy at age 17, though exceptions may be made for those with remarkable skill, but this is usually only by invitation. Before a potential student can attend an Academy, they must usually attend a Primary Combat School (Signal Academy in Vale, Sanctum Academy in Mistral, Alsius Academy in Atlas, and others), which are institutions which teach more basic tenets of combat, such as forging a unique weapon. However, some students are accepted without having attended a Primary Combat School if they are skilled enough.
Courses at an Academy last four years and consist of both practical and theoretical portions. Classroom lessons include courses on history as well as the various types of Grimm. For first-year students, the practical component could include obtaining red sap samples for botany and fighting against captive Grimm in a controlled enviornment. As students advance through the years the practical components becoming gradually more dangerous.
In addition, sparring or practice matches are held between students; in the lead up to the Vytal Festival, these matches may include students from visiting Academies.
Students also go on real missions in the course of their training. First-year students generally go on lower-risk missions and are accompanied by a Huntsman or Huntress, but second-year and above students may go on higher-risk missions alone. Some dangerous missions may bring students outside the borders of the Kingdoms and involve actual combat with Grimm. Aside from providing students with valuable work experience, these student missions also serve to keep the Kingdoms safe from harm.