“Real magic can never be made by offering someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back.”
― Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
The mundane people of the world believe reality is simple. The world dies from fire and climate change, but there’s nothing one person can do about it so one might as well go through the motions of what’s expected: go to school, get a job, find a career, and start a family. Live your life, because love is all the magic one ever knows.
That’s the cruel joke. That’s what they want you to think. They want you to be terrified of losing what little you have, so that you’re ready to climb one step higher on that theoretical ladder of success. However, hidden beneath the mundane layer of reality, there’s a world of magic, terror, and wonder. There are secret places and prestigious academies where the talented, wealthy, and powerful learn the subtle art of magic.
The best of the best is Ravenswood Academy, the premiere magical university. Here, five scheming Houses pursue a dangerous agenda. Each advances their cause until the stars are right, and their House achieves apotheosis: an elevation to godhood for those who followed the right path. Only these houses are worthy to wield the magic of the Elder Things; only they are privileged enough to prepare the world and enjoy the spoils of victory!
Here’s the rub: magic is amazing, but it doesn’t solve your problems and just adds more complexity to the world. With each bit of magic you use, you make the world more appealing to the Old Ones. Worst of all, if you really want to excel, your patron must imbue you. You accept their power at the cost of a tiny speck of your soul, anchoring them even further to this reality.
If you want to survive, you need a circle of magicians who have your back. You also need to learn everything about magic, even the secrets Ravenswood Academy won’t teach you. Next, you have to escape the oppressive control of the Houses. When the stars are right, when that cosmic clock runs out, the Old Ones come to harvest this world. Do you fight the omniscient threat of the Great Old Ones? Do you sacrifice this world in service to them, ensuring your apotheosis in the next?
The target audience for Ravenswood Academy is adults who never stopped believing in the magic of the world, despite all of the horrific evidence suggesting otherwise. They grew up reading J.R.R. Tolkien and Ray Bradbury by day and sneaking pages of Steven King, Clive Barker, and H.P. Lovecraft at night. This audience waited for their call to magical adventure— whether from a wise wizard, the discovery of an ancient tomb, or the arrival of an admittance letter to a magical school.
Ravenswood Academy examines the magical school trope through the cynical eyes of adulthood and of those who want to relive their collegial experiences. All magic comes at a price. If you are willing to pay it, the eldritch forces of the universe are yours to command. How much of your soul did you plan on using anyway?
The world might end at any given moment. On this plane of existence, no one really knows when the stars are right. You and yours might be grist for the cosmic mill or, if you pick the right side, fight the Eternal War and reach apotheosis. During the spaces in between, what sort of life do you want?
The backbone of Ravenswood Academy is the narrative juxtaposition of self-discovery at college while learning to master the tide of dark forces of the universe. This genre combines tropes of the college experience with elements of Lovecraftian horror. Some of the warning descriptors include bullying/hazing, crude humor, sexual content, substance abuse, strong language, blood and gore, intense violence, and general ennui over your insignificance to the universe.
Movies: The Craft(dir. Andrew Fleming); Dreams in the Witch House (dir. Stuart Gordan); The Lord of Illusions (dir. Clive Barker);Prisoner of Azkaban (dir. Alfonso Cuarón); Practical Magic (dir. Griffin Dunne)
Novels and Comics: Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman; The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft; Daughter of Hounds by Caitlin R. Kiernan; Dreams in the Witch House by H.P. Lovecraft; The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson; The King in Yellow, by Robert W. Chambers; The Littlest Witch, by Jeanne Massey; The Invisibles by Grant Morrison; The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan; Shoggoths in Bloom by Elizabeth Bear
Television: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa); The Magicians (created by Sera Gamble and John McNamera); Motherland: Fort Salem (created by Eliot Laurence); My Hero Academia (created by Kohei Horikoshi); Soul Eater (created by Atsushi Ōkubo); Wizards of Waverly Place (created by Todd J. Greenwald)
The following Ravenswood Series are open for casting.