A breakaway sect of the Artificers Guild, once the Guild's branch in Venice, the Scuola are now their own organization free of the rules and regulations that the Artificers are subjected to. Now free to do what they want, the Scuola have effectively taken control of Italy since the Risorgimento and hold most of the true power, using the King as their puppet. Going against the wishes of the Pope they have begun to integrate automatons more and more into Italian life and culture, and have even begun mechanizing the Italian people themselves. They have equipped people with body modifications suited to their particular job so as to better complete their work and make it easier; soldiers with rifles for arms, glassblowers with ceramic hands, and airship sailors with hooks and tools where their fingers should be are only some examples.
While there are some who agree with the Scuola's vision of a modernized Italy, and by extension Italians, there are those are vehemently disagree and fight against their control of the country violently. These rebels, called the Zouave, are considered criminals because they openly defy the Scuola and attack using terrorism and guerilla methods, and the Scuola are "allies" of Italy. The Zouave believe that the Scuola's automatons will one day replace human workers entirely, or that eventually they will all be half-human, half-automaton slaves to progress.