Dark Days in Sion
Exemplary youth’s of Atheneas schools, gifted in fitness and leadership are selected as Archon-candidates, obliged to leave home at the age of 12 to join sternly disciplined groups under the supervision of a hierarchy of officers at the Archon Academy. From age 12 to 18, they undergo an increasingly severe course of training. They are taught survival skills and whatever else is necessary to be a great soldier. Lessons are very hard and often painful.
Only warfare matters to these candidates. The boys are not fed well, told that they must steal food if necessary. If they are caught, they are beaten. They walk barefoot, sleep on hard beds, and work at gymnastics, running, jumping, javelin throwing, swimming, and hunting. They are subjected to strict discipline and harsh physical punishment; indeed, they are taught to take pride in the amount of pain they endure.
At the age of 18, candidates became military cadets and learned the arts of war. At 20, candidates have to pass a difficult test of fitness, military ability, and leadership skills. Any candidate who does not pass these examinations is exiled from the Archon Academy and forced to join The Legion instead, an awful disgrace. Those that pass serve as Archons in the standing army of the Commonwealth of Athenea.
Archons are not allowed to touch money as a matter of discipline. All their needs are provided by the army. They live, eat, sleep, and continue to train in their barracks. Even if they are married, they do not live with their wives and families. Military service does not end for an Archon until the age of 50. At age 50, an Archon accepts a fief of land from the government where they retire with their family and live off their accrued wages.