I had a fabulous time working with the map designer who did my previous two maps to do a map of Schola.
Michael MB did a great job taking my sketches (and the existing outline of the island from previous work) and turning it into this image.
A word about scale: the school is a square about 650 feet on each side going around the outer walls. (so quite large! That’s nearly twice the height of Big Ben.) Because that’s a really annoying scale to work with, the houses in the village are not to scale (and many of them are multiple houses in the same building.)
Check out the map on WorldAnvil for markers that link to specific locations and give more information, but here’s a quick rundown of where things are:
The south of the island is Schola village, which is mostly home and work space for magical crafters and others who benefit from a fairly low population density and strong magical potency. There’s a dock for the ferry, a portal, a large village square for gatherings and celebrations. It also has three pubs, and a range of shops, including a bookstore and a cafe. There’s also a village school.
Several of the secret societies also maintain a house in the village for their private use.
How many people live in the village? I haven’t ever fully pinned down a number, but probably around one to two thousand including children. That doesn’t include the school, which is 350 students, and about 75 staff members of varying types.
That cluster of small buildings on the west coastline are cottages, used for the incoming first years prior to their sorting into houses (the last week of August, every year), and also used for various small group activities and excursions during the rest of the year. The cottages have basic comforts – beds, storage, bathing – with the larger building providing food and indoor gathering space.
The bulk of the island
The green areas on the map are farm fields and orchards, including pasturage. Scholan can be self-sufficient for food if needed, especially with some supplemental fishing or barter with the local mermaid population.
Ordinarily, they do import a range of food goods by portal and ferry, just because it’s more of a pain to produce those things on the island or they’d like a greater variety than what they can grow easily. However, they do have enough space to rotate pastures, as well as magical support to replenish the ground and encourage better growth and harvest.
(I’ve been thinking about this recently because I’ve been considering the implications of rationing in World War II on Schola.)
There’s a beach along the east coast, and cliffs running along the entire east coast (below the school itself) down to the southern end of those boulders. Basically, that brown border is beach. There are caves tucked into the cliff face in several places, one of which features in Chasing Legends (and another of which is mentioned in Point By Point briefly.)
It’s about a two mile walk from the front of the school down to the village, give or take half a mile. Close enough to be walkable (though there are also carts or small carriages that run up and back when that’s needed), but far enough that you aren’t just wandering down there between classes.
The school itself was built as a fortified castle right around 1100 CE, and it’s a fairly typical design for that. Eventually, the fourth wall of the outer curtain wall was removed, leaving it open on three sides. If there is ever a need for fortification in the future, the inner keep can be solidly fortified and hold everyone from the school (and quite likely the village) comfortably for a period of time. It’s a very big keep.
To the north of the keep (though tucked up against the raised ground that the castle is built on) are the stables, which hold a good couple of dozen horses, as well as having pastures and turnout spaces.
The seven houses have space in the curtain wall (and the building added to that over time). Running clockwise from the top left, it goes:
- Library and staff rooms (where Alexander and Isembard live in Eclipse)
The ground floor of each house has the head of house’s quarters, a large common room space, a house library and study space, and rooms for the house staff who live in. The second and third floors have dormitories for first years, and rooms for the other four years, split by gender.
The main keep holds six floors for most of the space, with the two rooms on the left added later (around the 1300s). These host the salle (at the north) and rooms for Alchemy (on the south) that are a bit more protected to contain any magic that’s got a touch out of control. (Those are both a single story if a very tall one.)
The rest of the space is a mix of classrooms, staff offices, workrooms, and all the other things a school needs. The bulk of the ground floor (the east half of the keep) is the Great Hall, where meals and announcements take place, with kitchens to the north, and the infirmary to the south.
Again, go check out my authorial wiki for more details! I’ll be back next week to talk about connecting books across series and arcs (with some treats about what’s coming soon in those arcs.)