ALRIGHT Recent Pernese History: from 100 to 50 years ago, part 1. Spoiler: fostering, education, and psychic power About 100 years ago, 300 years into the most recent Long Interval, population growth led to a strong need to rework the systems. The first change was the fostering system, which before was mostly used by the rich to make connections to lower the chance for war, and by the poor as a means of dealing with unwanted kids or kids they couldn't afford without just aborting, killing, or abandoning them. The system worked, but only barely. It stopped war only when the agressors were both already nobility, and it kept children from being abandoned or killed only when someone actually had the resources to care for a whole nother child. The new system, tested with Fort Hold and the Healer and Harper Halls, was essentially an early form of universal education. Infants and very young children (from just weaned to four Turns old) were placed under the care of the Healer's Hall. This also gave birth to the pediatrician craft, or Children's Healer. Journeyman healers who were not journeying or working with a Master would take charge of two children of three or four Turns and one child of one or two Turns. Children spent from dawn to twilight at the Hall then went home when their parent or parents got home from their shop or field or whatever. Play time, nap time, and meals took up the majority of the day, but the older children of three and four Turns were taught simple tasks and chores as well. They were taught very simple cooking, taught how to use a belt knife safely, how to repair rips and tears in their clothes, how to read and write, how to keep a space clean, how to recognize plants that were safe to eat as well as ones that were dangerous, and very simple first aid. Older children, from five to ten or twelve depending on how quick the individual kids learned, were fostered at the Harper Hall. This gave birth to the education craft or Teaching Harper. Journeyman harpers who were neither journeying or working with a Master took charge of four or five children, and would retrieve them from home each morning and take them to the Hall. There they had breakfast, learned everything that Harpers usually taught each morning, and in the afternoons after lunch they went home to help their parents at their trade. Those who expressed a desire to work with dragons or watchweyrs were given a dog around this time, and anyone who expressed a desire to go into a trade other than that of their parents was taught the basics by their Teacher. After ten years of this system, the Holders noticed that their crop output was higher since parents didn't have to watch over their kids while working in the fields, and their kids were more competent at a younger age. They declared the exercise a success, and the Healer and Harper Hall started making outpost Halls at the other Holds, calling them Children's Halls. Thus began public education, funded by grateful Holders who were anxious to have the kind of prosperity Fort Hold was enjoying. For teens, up to age 16, they either worked with their families in the Holds, got an apprenticeship at a Hall, or joined up with a Weyr. They had all the basics, now they were learning stuff specific to what they were going to do later in life. This aspect was already perfectly functional, so they left it alone. Around fifteen years after the experiment began, every Hold had a Children's Hall. About five years after that, Children's Healers began noticing that some children seemed to have psychic powers of some kind, usually Empathy but very occasionally telepathy or Projection. Children with Empathy were usually found because they would start crying at the exact, precise time as another child, or when an adult got upset or angry. Telepathy was usually found when a child would get upset and a passing dragon or watchweyr would try to comfort them. Projection was harder, because the change to notice was much more subtle, and usually occured in concert with another power. The healer's perception would warp slightly, feeding the child or not outside of the time they were supposed to, ignoring dirt or a mess, and so on. It took about ten such occasions for someone to notice their mistakes, in which time the child in question basically had the run of the place. On average, out of every thousand kids, fifteen would have psychic powers on a noticable level, ten of which would have Empathy, four would have Telepathy, and one would have Projection and either Empathy or Telepathy. part 2 to be posted later this evening.