Throughout history, Reapers have always had trouble keeping up with the amount of dead and dying, especially when it comes to wars, famines, and natural disasters. But, for the most part, they had managed to keep up with the steady incline of dead as well as lost souls (souls who have not crossed-over to the Otherside), balancing the physical and spiritual realms. Before Black Rose Academy, Reapers were inducted into the Reaping Realm by Master Grim Reapers. They would approach either a lost soul or someone close to their death date and offer them the opportunity of an apprenticeship as a Grim Reaper. In reaping tradition, after five years of full-fledged reaping, a reaper would take on an apprentice. The apprentice would work under the reaper for a minimum of four years or until the Master felt they were capable of reaping on their own, and then the Master would grant them their status as Master Grim Reaper.
This way of soliciting and inducting new reapers worked for over 4,000 years, but it had one serious flaw: around 1750, several Master Grim Reapers were not taking on apprenticeships. On top of this, several Master Grim Reapers and Great Masters decided to cross over. This chain of events caused not only a shortage in Grim Reapers.
Normally, a Master Grim Reaper can handle up to 200 souls a day, and Great Masters can handle up to 900. There are normally around ten Great Masters and anywhere to two-hundred Masters. Because of this lack in apprenticeships, when several wars broke out world-wide in the mid-1800’s – the Taiping Rebellion and Dungan Revolt of China, the American Civil War, and Paraguayan War – Reapers experienced such an intense flooding of souls, there was no way for them to keep up, creating “The Reaper Shortage of 1869”. During this time, there were Six Great Masters and only 97 Masters.
In response The Grim Reaper Shortage of 1869, The Inner Circle, six of the world’s most powerful and renowned Grim Reapers known widely as “The Six Greats”, met to discuss a solution to their problems. During the Circle’s meeting, Ophelia Runewerk and two others (Madame Andrea des Fleurs and Sir Walter of England) proposed the idea of a “Reaper Training Program”. The six were split on the decision. The other three Great Masters dissented because they were sure that the school would create “sub-par” Reapers.
When Black Rose Academy was founded in 1869, The Inner Circle split into two groups: Essentialists who believed that the one-on-one teaching method was the only way to properly teach a Master Grim Reaper, and Institutionalists who believed that it was possible to teach Master Grim Reapers in a more public setting. Black Rose Academy was active by 1871, and the two schools of thought have been bickering since. Within Black Rose Academy’s first four years, it created more than fifteen capable Master Grim Reapers. Within the first year of their graduation, there was a significant decline in the number of lost souls worldwide. The two schools of thought are now more based on money and pedigree. Essentialists are almost always Elitists, while Institutionalists are usually not. However, it can’t be denied that Black Rose Academy’s Reaper Training Program has successfully created enough Master Grim Reapers to capably cross-over the millions upon millions of souls, both lost and dying, that the equilibrium between the Otherside and the Physical Realm has been achieved, a feat that hasn’t been achieved seen since before the Crusades.
As wars began increasing in frequency and their death tolls soared due to technological advances in weaponry and fighting tactics, the need for Master Reapers and Black Rose Academy’s Reaper Training Program has not declined. With the Earth’s ever-climbing rate of population, there are more people dying than ever before, and now the Grim Reapers are even responsible for solving the Earth’s over-population problem. The saying goes: Until the humans nuke themselves and every last soul is crossed over, Black Rose Academy will be a necessity. So every two years, Madame Runewerk selects a number of lost souls, soon-to-be-dead, or human beings interested in death or dying (usually the suicidal, though not limited to the suicidal).
If a lost soul is selected, a Master Grim Reaper is sent to the lost soul (this also includes those in a coma) and offers them two options: either they cross-over or they become part of Black Rose Academy. For the more alive individual, Madame Runewerk sends out this e-mail informing them of their eligibility for Black Rose Academy’s Reaper Training Program.
To Whom It May Concern:
The Black Rose Academy of Reaping would proudly like to offer you enrollment within our Reaper Training Program. We have selected you as a candidate because you have displayed an open-minded nature and an interest in death. I warn you, the path to becoming a Grim Reaper is not easy. You will be required to die in the physical sense, meaning that your friends and family will believe you are dead, although you will not technically be “dead”, which infers that your spirit has moved on from the physical realm and has crossed over to The Otherside. As a Reaper, your soul is bound to the physical realm, as we are the ones who escort the souls of the living to The Otherside. You will become the messenger of Death.
It is common knowledge that the world is over-populated with souls, both living and dead. Currently, there are not enough Reapers to fulfill the requirements necessary to balance the worlds of the living and dead. We implore you to deeply consider our offer. For those of you considering suicide, I beg of you to consider becoming a Reaper. There are already enough lost souls in our world.
If this e-mail has perked a curiosity within you and you find yourself interested in our Reaper Training Program, please respond to this e-mail as quickly as possible. We will send one of our counselors to you via astral projection. I implore you, please consider this offer. If you choose not to attend or do not respond within 24 hours to this e-mail, your memory will be wiped and the e-mail will be erased to protect knowledge of our existence.
Dr. Ophelia Runewerk,
Headmistress of Black Rose Academy
There are two positions available Professors and Students. There are only six slots for professors. You will have to choose a title and field of study.