General layout and aesthetic
The school is a large complex built around a hill on the outskirts of Ponyville near the Palace of Friendship. The school entrance, main lobby, and guidance office are built into the hill, while the classrooms, dorms, dining hall,and most other facilities are built on top of the hill. Most of the buildings and rooms are connected by a group of hallways built in a square around the courtyard.
The decor loosely follows the aesthetics of the Palace of Friendship, with a blue/purple paint job and the crystals mostly reserved for accents. Most of the walls are made of painted stone, with some exceptions made in certain rooms like the lecture hall. The floor is also made of stone, though it’s not very apparent as almost every hall and room is lined with carpet. All the rooms are lit with yellow lanterns, which contribute to the school’s overall warm and cushy vibe.
Specific rooms and locations
A large, open hall that encompasses most of the school’s lower level, inside the hill. Crystal-topped columns dot the hall and ceiling itself is made of glass, serving as a reservoir for the waterfall flowing over the front of the school. Busts representing the Pillars of Old Equestria line the path leading from the front door up to a raised platform at the other end of the hall. As implied in the name, it functions as the entrance lobby for the school and is also used to give announcements to the entire student body.
Counselor Starlight’s office and sometimes bedroom at the school. The room, while actually quite large, initially appears small due to how crammed with stuff it is. It features several bookshelves, including one standing at an angle that reaches up to the ceiling, and various cutesy decorations to make the place more lively. The door is always open to students who are going through a tough time and need guidance and, since Starlight does orientation, is often the first stop of any new students at the school.
The courtyard is, naturally, located in the center of the school complex. The large, open space is decorated with a variety of statues, shrubbery, trees, and flowers. Various benches are scattered throughout to provide seating for students. A canal runs through the courtyard, forming an island in the center before feeding into the twin waterfalls at the entrance of the school. Not many school related activities happen here; it’s just a place to hang out.
Popular referred to as the student dorm or just “the dorm,” the students’ quarters have been expanded significantly since the middle of summer in order to keep up with the influx of new students. Now taking up an entire wing of the school, the building contains 30 dorm rooms divided between two floors, with a communal bathroom/shower complex on each floor. In addition, a large common room is located on the first floor. Each dorm room follows the general aesthetic of the rest of the school, but students are free to customize and rearrange them as they please. It’s not uncommon for friendly contests to take place based around various points of competition (best dorm room, fastest flying lap around the school while carrying Sandbar, etc.) with an equal variety of ways the students are divided up (boys vs girls, feathers vs no feathers, 1st floor vs 2nd floor, etc.)
The rec room is a two story building located adjacent to the students’ quarters. Originally an empty building with no clear purpose, it was converted into a rec room by Headmare Twilight at the end of the summer to make the original 5 foreign students (Smolder, Silverstream, Yona, Gallus, and Ocellus) and their friends feel more comfortable in their unfamiliar surroundings. It contains:
-A small, heated swimming pool as requested by Silverstream, located at the very back of the room.
-A large alcove with a few arcade machines, as requested by Gallus, located immediately to the right from the front door.
-A sizeable library and chill out couch for Ocellus and Sandbar, respectively. Located on the other side of the front doors, opposite the arcade.
-A space set aside for Yona to...smash things, complete with easily smashable objects such as logs and broken chairs. Located between the pool and the arcade.
-A set of exercise equipment and a chest to store gems for Smolder. Built on top of the arcade and accessible by stairs.
-An empty space with a upright canvas and painting supplies for Galena Irontalon, who was instrumental in actually getting the room made. Located between the miniature library and the pool.
Along with these features, there’s a circular table in the center of the room that seats 8 and a large dry erase board mounted on the outside wall of the arcade wall for messages.
A large room built to accommodate a larger amount of students than the regular classrooms. It features tiered, cushioned seating in a half-circular arrangement, a generous selection of books, an orrery suspended above the speaking platform, and a large window with an unobstructed view of the Palace of Friendship. It’s primarily used by Headmare Twilight and guest speakers to give lectures, but it can be used for more conventional activities as well.
A large open space located on the south side of the school. It features the markings for a regulation buckball field, three sets of tiered bleachers, and a running track circling the outside of the field. As the name implies, it is primarily used to play buckball. However, it is also used for other activities and the bleacher arrangement makes it ideal for outdoor events.
A lengthy hall filled with all kinds of books. Although the building itself is three stories tall, only the first floor has any significant usable space, as the second floor is only a thin, railed walkway along the walls. The library contains several standard work tables, along with a number of seating cushions and bean bag chairs for more casual reading. The shelves of the first floor are catered towards exploring new subjects, containing books mostly with basic, general information, while the books on the second floor are for more advanced, specific fields of knowledge. The corner shelves next to the library entrance contain nothing but fiction, with a wide selection of genres.
The library is also home to the only widely known entrance to the Catacombs: a small grate in the floor by one of the windows.
A vast network of ponymade tunnels, natural caves, and magic crystalline chambers created for an unknown purpose. The only known points of access are various, conspicuous grates in the floor scattered around the school. The roots of the Tree of Harmony have spread throughout and colonized the catacombs and the Tree itself has been known to offer assistance to students in the midst of a friendship problem. While its intentions are good, the Tree’s methods of “helping” can be rather...unconventional.
A slim tower that is also one of the school’s tallest buildings. At the top is a circular indoor viewing platform with room for 3 ponies or 1.5 yaks. There’s not much on the platform itself: a few telescopes, a box of star charts, and a pair of binoculars. The only way to the top is a pony-sized bucket attached to a mechanical pulley system. The observatory’s intended purpose is to observe the stars, but its placement also makes it useful for keeping track of goings-on at the school.