Worldbuilding: The Academy

The Empress Edalleddallendu Academy of Higher Learning at Ilelteddez

The Edally Academy was begun approximately one thousand years ago, in the time of the Emperor Eleddeltendel, who started four such academies around the country, naming them all after his ancestors. It occupies a place just outside the old walls of Ilelteddez, (ocean-on-land, seaport), a coastal city between the Arran Cities and Lannamer.

When it was first built, it was a single tower with three outbuildings. As the school expanded, three more towers were built around the first tower.

About 500 years ago, the original tower was torn down. Its foundation serves as the basis of a central courtyard now.

Around the courtyard, nine towers reach 6-1/2 stories into the air. These towers were originally both classroom and dormitory; now they serve as dorm space only.

A ring of buildings, connected by archways, circle the towers. The buildings are about 3-1/2 stories tall, and where their roofs touch the towers, a walkway has been built.

Those buildings now serve as primary classroom buildings for the school, however, the first story of each is now given over to teacher & staff apartments.

Outside of those are another ring of buildings, usually about 1 story tall. They serve as adjunct classrooms, outbuildings, and the like.

The towers themselves narrow as they go up, and are constructed of red stone with grey sandstone accents. They are built around a wide, round central chimney, which vents to the sky. Their windows are narrow, and only in recent years have the Art students begun replacing all of the oiled-cloth windows with stained glass to allow some light – and less air – in.

A spiral staircase circles the chimney all the way up; at the landing for each floor there is a small student lounge around a fireplace. The dormitory rooms ring the floor; smaller rooms on the top floor, larger rooms on the bottom. The school has a drop-out/failure rate such that, while it admits 18 students to each House each year, only nine to 12 graduate.

The first-year dorms – at the top – are three to a room, consisting of a fold-up bed, a fold-down desk, a folding chair, and the Calenyena equivalent of a trunk (rather like a garment bag) each. Bedding and upholstery is in House colors.

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0 thoughts on “Worldbuilding: The Academy

  1. Would that there was a model for grad school that did not involve hazing the students and/or treating them as slave labor … (Real world gripe, wheee!)

      • I know a number of people who left grad school despite being very good at the work because the conditions and/or expectations were various forms of terrible. Three to a tiny room and no personal space at the top of a six-floor walk-up fits right in. “Don’t worry, you won’t be spending any time in your room anyway, as you’ll be sleeping in lab (on a cot if you’re lucky) so that you can monitor experiments 24/7.” Or see ‘s commentary for a better stated take on another aspect of grad school.

        • oh. Cultural expectations; the Calenyena are used to sleeping one on top of each other and don’t have the personal-space expectations that are common in the US On the other hand, they are expected to work hard.

          • Poor conditions come in lots of forms. I’m not actually sure why that description kicked hissing and spitting about grad school quite so hard. But the hissing and spitting is about the real world. So … well under a thousand students total, depending on what the drop-out curve looks like. Not a particularly large university by modern/US standards.

                • Aah, I need to do a post on that. Part of the dropout rate is just that, dropout: people go until they find a spouse, until family calls, until they get homesick. Only about 1/20 students flat-out fail. Some can’t afford a full six years. Some decide they’d really rather be farmers, or whathave you.

                  • Is having any university education a good and useful thing, or has a lot of money been thrown at getting very little benefit if you don’t get a degree? I’m guessing the former, given some of the dropout conditions you list.

                    • Having an academy education is very helpful to getting ahead in life – officer in the military, engineer, etc.

        • holy crap that’s a shitty kind of grad school No one I know who went to grad school had an experience ANYTHING like that. Some undergrad programs, though…

          • I am conflating anecdata from multiple people. To be fair, biology experiments can/often do require frequent monitoring/maintenance at inconvenient intervals.

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