Zandell Academy, normally named Zandell Institute by those who attend the school in light of the strictness of rules, uniformed attire and forbiddance of ‘non-family male visitors’ to the student body, as this is an exclusive all girls school. The steep tuition and harsh introductory process keep the institute ‘pure’, the student body mainly consisting of those of noble background and of very successful merchant families.
Girls are most often forced to come to the school to learn the manners and etiquette required of a Lady of their particular status and caste, though it is not unheard of for young ladies to apply on their own with the desire for refinement in hopes of one day marrying above their station.
The often rumored ‘extreme’ practices of the institute is stemmed from the required, and quite dreaded, ‘Disciplinary Contract’ that a student’s family signs upon the acceptance of a daughter into the institute, while these terms do allow ‘Physical Punishment’ in extreme cases, these incidents are rare and reserved for the most problematic and rebellious of students.
The grand walled Zandell Academy is as imposing as it is beautiful, a single story polished cobblestone wall surrounds the grounds with an elegant seemingly endless coil of black wrought iron fencing atop it which is tastefully wound into the images of vines, leaves and birds in flight, it is rumored among the students that if any ‘man’ were to touch the sharp edges of this beautiful fortification, he would take ill and certainly die without discoverable cause. More than likely such rumors were planted to discourage ‘inappropriate visitors’, but who knows for sure? The fourteen story building is the envy of the district, being tightly wedged between two ageless identical standing gears from which the city is famous for, while these two ageless monoliths may be awe-inspiring to the casual passer, for the unhappy student on her first day, they look far too much like a grand set of manacles bearing down on either side of the main entrance. The success of the impressive architecture is solely in thanks to these twin ‘cuffs’ as the institute’s cornerstones and core pillars are built under and over the ageless rings. The classrooms, dormitories, auditoriums and hallways are lavishly furnished and always complimented with fragrant roses, a favorite of Headmistress Charlene Del`Lance, the rigidly cold and imposing symbol of the school, and principle who has held absolute power in the institute for nearly sixty years. It is amusingly rumored that Lady Del`Lance is actually a man, being a mortal just shy of ninety years old has made her less curvy than when in her prime, but more than likely this rumor is fueled by the fifty-plus years of pipe-smoke that has warped her voice much deeper than one would expect.