The story of Averno began with the witch, Aster. After arriving with her daughter, Iris, she built a small cottage at the edge of the woods. A home, a place where they could escape their past. But Abraham Turner, an evangelical preacher from Richmond, made that impossible. He burned their cottage to the ground and murdered Iris. When he tried to come for Aster too, however, she felt something change in her. A rage, older than words can describe. She reached into the place beyond, ripped open the fabric between the worlds, and created a haven. The forest. A world between the worlds. Averno sits in the shadow of the woods, where eyes are always watching.
Three Main Locations
The Forest, A New School, Averno
Where it all began
After Aster's daughter was killed, she created the Forest- reached into the fabric between worlds, tore a hole in space and time, made a cathedral of trees and sky where she was the only god. Her consciousness dissipated, scattering among the branches until the only pieces left were shadow- the Shadow Mothers. The Forest always watches, and the forest always protects. Neglected children from the town disappear into the night, carried away in the velvety arms of shadows, to a place where they will always be safe.
A Revolutionary Education
In June of 1761, two odd things happened in Averno.
On Sunday, a construction crew arrived with all the materials needed to build the reconstruction of an 18th-century castle. On Monday, 7 letters arrived in the post office. Every day, a different stranger came and picked up one letter. By Saturday, the private investor funding the castle ran out of money, and construction was halted, leaving the back side of the castle to be hastily covered up with plywood. That night, the post office was locked up for the weekend, with one letter remaining. It was gone when the postmaster returned on Monday. And that morning the 6 departments (and rumored seventh) were established, and acceptance letters began going out.
A town untouched by time
"Founded" by the Turner family in 1703, Averno has always stood in the shadow of the Forest. No matter where you stand in the town, you feel watched. Walking down the street, people stop and stare, and even in an empty room, you get the sense that you are not alone.