[Newbie help] learning
Each and every character has a set list of skills and spells that can learn.
Some classes get both skills and spells, while others get only skills.  To
see which skills your character can learn, type skills.  In the same
fashion, spells displays all the spells which can be learned.
In order to improve your skills and spells, you must find a trainer who can
train each particular skill and spell (on some MUDs, this is known as
"practice").  Once you know something about a skill or spell, simply using
it will allow you to slowly improve even further.  To learn more about
training, type help training.
However you must gain experience points in order to train skills and spells
once you have found a trainer.  You may gain experience in one of five ways:
   1. Killing mobiles or 'mobs' (e.g., beasts, practice dummies, monsters)
   2. Using skills and spells that your character has learned
   3. Complete in-game quests (see help quests for more information)
   4. Getting a bonus from an immortal for good roleplaying
   5. Getting a bonus from a paragon for good roleplaying
Please note: Immortals can also penalize you for bad roleplaying by taking 
  experience points away - although sometimes they have been known to be a
  bit more creative in their punishments.
See also: newbie training skills spells xp faq