The School is a vast complex of interconnected halls, classrooms, chambers, storage closets, dormitories, living spaces, libraries and offices, all within the confines of an immense Victorian building. The grounds, which include gardens, forests, hedge mazes, ponds, sports fields, follies and even a graveyard, extend about a quarter to a half mile out from the School and are bounded by an insurmountable stone wall topped with iron spikes. Nothing is new here, though most things are carefully maintained, only areas that have fallen out of use are covered in dust or cobwebs. Taken as a whole the School is much larger than any school on earth by a factor of 10. It has at least a dozen floors above ground and at least as many under ground. There only seems to be 3 seasons at the School; Fall, Winter and Spring, the concept of Summer being anathema. Where the necessities of life like coal, food and clothing come from are a mystery known only to those with the spark, like the Headmaster.
Life in the School
Newcomers will quickly find that education is taken very seriously here and discipline handled in quite an old fashioned manner. Everyone must attend 12 years of round the clock mandatory lessons, taught by rote, with frequent tests and grueling end of the year exams. Failure means they must repeat that year in its entirety. To the denizens of the School though this is normal. They spend the entirety of their lives there after all. They are born there, either children of other denizens or delivered at the front door in baskets, maturate in the nursery before attending school, become teachers, administration or other staff, then die and are buried in the graveyard. To them the greatest honor possible is to become the headmaster (headmistress) and at the very least to join the esteemed faculty. To end up as a groundskeeper or lunch lady is considered a great disgrace.
Something about the School makes it confusing to even those who have spent their entire lives there. Every day feels like the first day there or that dream where you forgot to go to school all year and don’t know where anything is. Only the teachers and administration seems immune to this effect.
Newcomers to the School
On entering this recursion travelers will find themselves becoming students, their year level dependent on their mix of intellect and knowledge based skills. Standards are high though. It is not uncommon for college graduates from earth being placed back in junior high upon arriving in the School. As in most of your stricter earth schools, the rules must be obeyed here or else, so perusal of the student handbook upon arrival is strongly advised. The Schools detention rooms are roughly the equivalent of earth solitary confinement chambers.
No technology more complicated than steam power or gas lighting works in the Steam and most of what can be found there is even older. Typically only mundane items that one would commonly find in a school or country manor will be found here. Magic is also not a feature of the School, there are no wizards or sorcerers and such things are considered flights of fancy.