Each of the major cities in Avalon has an institution where Avalon's youth learn basic skills and sample guild professional abilities prior to joining a guild.
All newly born adventurers in Avalon begin life with only an insubstantial taste of the skills which they might one day learn. The Academies are charitable institutions set up by city councils that invite all novices to join so that they may be trained in a few more of the basic adventuring skills. Indeed, before you can progress to a fully-fledged guild you must have graduated from an Academy of some sort. This means that you must acquire a level of competency sufficient to warrant your progression to a more specialised guild.
The Academies are generally to be found not more than a few steps away from the centre of a city. Mercinae's Academy is the oldest of all, while Thakria's Institute and Parrius' College are more recent constructions. The Orphanage of Silverfalls is the youngest of the land's institutions. Each has a variety of tutors, all of whom are well-versed in the basic skills, and all of whom are willing to provide lessons and guides at any hour of the day or night. Membership and teaching within these halls of learning is absolutely free, a far-sighted move on the part of the city Councils who are keen to encourage excellence among their citizens, in order that the glory of their city as a whole may be furthered.
The time you spend within an Academy before you come to graduate is a crucial one. You are well advised to spend time thinking about the possible future for your character; where your goals are to lie. Soon you will have graduated and it is better to have decided early on which guild you would prefer to take a look at, rather than dallying about aimlessly. During this important stopgap, discuss matters of a future guild with as many people as you can so that when the time comes to decide, you have already eliminated those that you feel are not appropriate for your character. You should also be aware of the dreams - type HELP DREAMS for further information.