Established in the later part of the 17th century, the school is located near Lake Brosno, which lies in the Tver region, near the town of Andreapol. The location is no accident; it was chosen quite carefully by the school's founders for one very specific reason. It is in Lake Brosno that the Great Dragon lives, and along with the many charms placed around the school, the dragon is its main protector. After all, it was the dragon that scared to death the Tatar-Mongol army that headed for Novgorod in the 13th century, and it has a rather nasty habit of eating anyone who comes too close, so you can't really ask for a better safeguard than that!
The school itself could better be described as a palace, which again is no accident. The name of the school, Koldovstoretz, is derived from the Russian "koldovstvo" meaning "witchcraft" and "dvoretz" , meaning "palace". Thus it translates, literally, to "palace of witchcraft". And as you will see, the founders themselves were certainly no strangers to the concept of palace living. Thus, it would make sense that they wished to have their school modeled after a style that they already knew so well.
The four founders
Four founders from four of the most noble houses in Russia-Antony Aristov, Alexander Romanov, Victoria Grigoriev, and Tatiana Voronin. They had very little in common save their noble birth, and the fact that they were exiles from their own country. The story of how they first came to know each other is laced with tragedy, but the outcome proves that even in the darkest of storms, a light manages to shine.
The year was 1675 and the country was in embattled in the Russo-Turkish War with the Ottoman Empire. At a time when trust was held in a miser's fist, the noble houses had no choice but to take drastic measures to protect their own. Old disputes were put aside to band against the common enemies, and a council was held to discuss the issue. The matter was decided in a matter of hours by the respective heads of each family. Their firstborn, male or female, would be sent into exile until the danger had passed. Needless to say, they were given no choice in the matter. Harsh, yes, but it was a far better cry than ending up dead or worse yet, as a political pawn. Packed off to nearby Finland, the four young nobles were set up in a remote country house with a skeleton crew of trusted servants.
Resentment was the sentiment of the day, but the onset of boredom and the rise of common sense saw the four start to forge friendships that would last a lifetime. Though their personalities differed greatly, they found that they all had a common bond that ran stronger than their noble blood. All four of them were capable of performing magic, and the words "ved'ma and "koldun" (witch and wizard) were whispered first in hushed tones, and as trust between them grew, spoken with more confidence. Let us take a brief look now at the personalities of each to better understand the outcome:
Antony Aristov-He was the eldest among them, and by silent decree he became their leader. Antony was a force of nature to be reckoned with, having a quick wit and even quicker temper. He voiced his resentment the loudest, bitter about having his request to remain in Russia and join the fighting forces denied. He had inherited his magical abilities from his mother, though his father had encouraged him from earliest childhood to pursue it. It was a powerful political tool, and it had been drilled into Antony since before he could walk that political power was the most important thing a man could possess.
Alexander Romanov-Unlike Antony, Alexander was quite content with the cards fate had dealt him. He saw the exile as a gift, rather than a curse, for at last he was free to admit what he truly was without fear of reprisal. Both of his parents were magically gifted, and both had chosen to turn their backs on it long before Alexander was born. They despised everything to do with magic, and decried it nothing more than 'sin' and 'parlour tricks of the Devil". It was strictly forbidden in their household, and any caught practicing it were subject to the harshest of punishment, sometimes even death. Alexander, though the eldest son was no exception; he still bore the scars on his back from the beating he had received at the hands of his father when the man had caught him levitating a goblet for amusement. It was a lesson he never forgot, and his shy, often reticent nature was perhaps the result of it.
Victoria Grigoriev-Victoria was a true product of her bloodline, and the most consciously aware of her status in life. Cosseted and spoiled by her family because of her position as eldest, she was used to getting her own way and being praised for the tiniest of accomplishments. Used to the ministrations of simpering servants, she was most vocal in complaint about the exile, considering it a great personal hardship. Sharp of tongue and cursed with a waspish temper, the battles between her and Antony were legendary. Time tempered her, however, and much to the surprise of everyone, the two of them would go on to wed. She viewed magic as something fit for only the nobility; and had she ever enrolled at Hogwarts would have most certainly been a Slytherin.
Tatiana Veronin-Among the four, Tatiana was the only one to receive any sort of formal magical training, and thus soon became, by default, the teacher among them. Blessed with the good fortune to have parents who fully supported her practice of magic, though they, themselves, had no such abilities, they had procured for her a tutor in the magical arts to whom they paid a handsome stipend for him to school their only daughter. Sweet and compliant of nature, one would be hard-pressed to recall an incident where she ever lost her temper or spoke a harsh word against any. She was grateful to her parents for protecting her from the ugliness of war, and was more than happy to accept her lot among them.
Four years into their exile, the war was declared over; treaties had been ratified and they could come home. Antony and Victoria's wedding a year later was a most lavish affair, and the newly married couple was gifted with a castle on the banks of Lake Brosno by the bride's father. It was not long before the mutual agreement was reached to issue Alexander and Tatiana invitations to reside there as well. Talk soon turned to magic once again, and Antony broached the idea of turning his new home into a school where children of nobility could have a safe place to learn magic in the proper sense, with proper tutors. The idea was well-received by all, especially Alexander. The only dissent came when Tatiana suggested that it be open to all classes, not just the nobility; an argument that would take her the better part of ten years to win. Underneath her sweet nature lay a core of iron, and she was not adverse to biding her time. In the end, even the class-conscious Victoria was quick to agree.
The School Today
Koldovstoretz may admit any class, but they are definitely elite and quite stringent in their choosing of students. Each prospective student is expected to pass an entrance exam before admittance, which includes demonstrations of rudimentary magic. It is believed that magic is an inherited gift, not a learned skill, and the school will not waste its precious time on any who do not show the proper aptitude for it. Honing it will come later under the eagle-eye of the professors, who have been recruited from all over the globe and considered to be among the best in their respective fields.
The school colours are that of the Russian flag, namely red, white, and blue. The boys wear robes of blue, the girls red, with both being adorned with a white sash trimmed in gold.
The school prides itself on an almost militaristic discipline; there is little room for individual expression and each student is expected to conform both to the rules of the school and their individual houses. Fools are not suffered gladly, and reprisals are harsh and swift when rules are broken. The system is rigid, but fair, and by unanimous decree, corporal punishment has been banned since the school's inception. The students generally seem to thrive well, and though a strict atmosphere, it is not without laughter and fun. In fact, Koldovstoretz prides itself on its Quidditch teams. Most notable is their practice of flying on whole uprooted trees instead of broomsticks.
The four houses of the school are named after the four founders, namely:
House Aristov-This house favours students who are brave, fearless, and seeking adventure
House Romanov-This house favours those whose natural affinity is for healing. The Herbology Club and Care of Magical Creatures Club both got their start in this house, and students here will often intern at the nearby magic-hospital during their last year of schooling.
House Grigoriev-This house favours students who understand and crave power. It is very unusual for a child without at least a trace of royal blood to be admitted into House Grigoriev, though it has happened a time or two.
House Veronin-This house favours the natural scholars. Many professors have risen from the ranks of House Veronin. It was also from this house that Nikolai Polanov hailed. Nikolai competed in the Wizarding Schools Potions Championship, where he took 2nd place to win the Silver Cauldron. He has since gone on to become the Potions Professor at the school.