Located in the Lost Desert of Western Egypt, the oasis that now houses a school of magic for young witches and wizards was once an active temple dedicated to the goddess Isis, and many features of the campus are still dedicated to or a reflection of that worship. The school is situated on a fairly small plot of land, as most of the academic areas are located underground. High stone walls and a large wooden gate border the property.
The temple itself is elevated with large stairs leading up to a raised rectangular platform that borders a vast courtyard below. As the campus can be entered from the lower entrance, the east and west are enclosed stone halls that serve as common areas for the Houses of the Sea and Desert. To the north a square dais raised higher than the rest of the temple platform serves as an open air dining space bordered by lush wine colored curtains hanging from the columns.. A yet further elevated portion in the center of the dining area is roped off for professors and students of the House of the Sun.
In the center of the sandy courtyard lies a welcoming oasis; a sizable body of crystal blue water bordered by lush palms and greenery. Students are welcome to swim in the oasis on their off hours, and many choose to picnic on the small beach during mealtimes. High above the oasis, gleaming goal posts stand for quidditch matches, allowing players who are knocked off their brooms to fall into the cool water as a refreshing break from the heat.
Above the columns that make up the temple, a stone patio and walkway allow students to relax in the sun or watch Quidditch matches from eye level. The northernmost part of the patio provides a portion of shade for a small section of the dining area and is home to the greenhouses, while a partially enclosed study area for students in the House of the Sun sits to the bottom. Stairs to reach the patio can be found at each corner of the temple.
The main labyrinth entrance lies on the southern end of the temple, once going up the main staircase one must descend a second staircase that leads underground. Two other entrances are accessible through the house common areas, but lead directly to the respective house dormitories.
Once inside the labyrinth, the only light comes from ever-burning torches every few meters, and the occasional enchanted rune or glyph etched into the wall. The main corridor follows the path of the above ground temple, forming a rectangular shape as it passes underneath the raised platform. Doors to the left and right sides of the halls lead to various classrooms, some leading to staircases that go even further underground. The most basic classes are held at the highest level, with more advanced courses being held further underground. The east and west sides of the labyrinth are home to the Desert and Sea dormitories, while the southern side is home to the dormitories of the House of the Sun. Professors living quarters and offices lie to the northern side. Above ground, common areas sit over the dormitories for each of the houses and the staff.
Beneath the oasis lies a magical corridor, though stone walls protect students from the elements, the corridor passes directly beneath the pond and allows students to see what is going on in the water above them. The enchantments are created with glyphs, which glow in a light golden color from the unseen walls. The labyrinth is also home to an extensive library, filled with all manner of ancient texts and scrolls and can be found at the end of the underwater corridor.
The school, built with ancient magic rather than the modern magic used at most institutions, is also home to a number of Rune Circles. The circles are located at the temple center, the four corners of the labyrinth's main corridor, the four corners of the outdoor walkways, and the four corners of the upper level patio. These work similar to floo powder and require students to step into the center of the circle and announce where they wish to go, whereafter they are instantly transported to one of the other rune circles in the temple.
Dormitories are accessed by using rune circles as well - they can only be accessed by taking a circle to the common area. To prevent students from entering dormitories and common areas that they are not welcome in, such as those of opposing houses or professor's quarters, a student must possess the proper cartouche to enter. A student attempting to enter a dormitory who does not have sufficient permission will be thrown to the ground and unable to use any of the circles for fifteen minutes.
Arrival at the school happens by way of caravan from Cairo, where students board carriages and camels to ride out to the temple in the cover of night. This trip is referred to as the Journey of a Thousand Stars, and while upper-grade students are given the option of arriving by broom or apparation to the front gate, many choose to take the Journey due to the excitement of it all.
Students are placed in one of two houses upon their arrival at the school, the House of the Sea or the House of the Desert, at midnight following the Journey of a Thousand Stars. New students are led to the grand staircase before their peers - at least, those who choose to watch a ritual held so late at night. Students are requested to put their hands on either side of a sun dial engraved with runes and glyphs, that in the dark of night will illuminate in either a shade of blue with the shadow pointing towards the east, or a shade of green with the shadow pointing towards the west.
A select number of students are welcomed from age 17-20 to study advanced programs in Transfiguration, Wandmaking, and Glyph Magic, but they must be accepted through the Sun Ceremony to attend. These students also serve as assistants to professors while they complete their studies, and may be transfers from other schools.
Students uniforms consist of loose white or ivory robes secured by a navy colored silk cord at the waist. Houses are denoted by a pure silver cartouche pin above the left breast, and are tinted an earthy green for Desert students, with a sky blue for those of the house of the Sea. Each cartouche pin also has the name of the house engraved in hieroglyphics. Decorative hats are not permitted during lessons, but students are welcome to wear jewelry or other adornments if they so choose, and religious garb such as head scarves or turbans are welcome as well.
Sandals are required only in the dining area, greenhouses, and while playing Quidditch, with bare feet being acceptable elsewhere. Professors may choose to require footwear in their classrooms if they so desire.
Professors uniforms are identical to students, except that they are required to wear wine colored robes instead of white or ivory. Professors are traditionally given a silver cord, however those that are alumni of Blessed Isis are permitted to wear their golden cord given to them in their seventh year. Professors who were previously in the House of the Sun are also permitted to wear their golden cartouche pin, as it is considered a great honor to have studied in that house.