Ravenswood Academy divides its students into five magical houses and a group of independents. This page includes clips from the 2021 Yearbook of the Ravenswood Academy Discord game.
Motto: Verum non abscondam a dis aut felium (You cannot hide the truth from gods or cats).
Description: The branch families forming House Armitage sprang from an English cult who discovered the Dreamland— a barrier marking the egress to countless dimensions. Originally formed during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I by the Esoteric Order of Heavenly Delight, this coterie of magicians explored other dimensions and learned of the threat, and promise, of apotheosis.
They met secretly in their dreams, in the land of Ulthar, where they aligned themselves with cats of all dimensions. These cats naturally slipped between the Dreamlands and the world humans know as Earth. The magicians struck a bargain with the cats. They exchanged secrets and lore, and the goddess Bast imbued them with a portion of Her power. In honor of this alliance, harming a cat is forbidden; members of the Order are often rewarded with a feline familiar and a silver key that transports them to the Dreamlands.
House Armitage spreads throughout places of power, uniting with elite, wealthy families. House Armitage seeks out students who possess a great thirst for knowledge, an intolerance for wasted talent, and a deep reverence for the flesh. They believe true magic comes from a union of spirit and flesh that generates an unstoppable will.
Playing an Armitage: Structure is a tool and not a trap. You repurpose whatever magical or mystical tradition to suit your needs. This attitude often bleeds into your personal life, as you create your own rules and manage your life as best suits you. House Armitage is forever identified by their feline familiars. Most magicians spoil their cats, treating them like the gods they once were.
Apotheosis is a personal mission for House Armitage. They have little doubt that humanity would survive quite well under their reign, for their wisdom surely makes them benevolent gods.
Motto: Mille manus subtilis faucibus purus (The subtle hand slices a thousand throats).
Description: While most believe this family rose to prominence during the Spanish conquest of the New World and subsequent destruction of the Aztec Empire, evidence of their sigil, along with their worship of Hastur the Unspeakable, appeared long before in the small county of Carcassonne in southern France. The Holy Church in Rome spoke of them in whispers as the “Carcaso,”the false shepherds who burned souls to further their black arts.
Ravenswood Academy tells of a lost, glittering city and of impossible spires and obsidian domes floating among the treacherous mists and rumbling clouds of a distant dimension. The city orbited twin black suns, illuminated by sister moons. Only the children of Cassilda and Camilla escaped the destruction of Carcosa when it sank into the mists. Their kin spawned a diaspora that transgressed the laws of a linear universe, sprinkling their people across time and space, forever changing it. Some scholars say that their influence was first felt in the previous timeline, when a theatrical director discovered and performed a lost play entitled The King in Yellow in Paris in 1920.
House Carcosa became patrons of the arts, masters of marketing and social media, and shrewd creators of fashion and media content. They seek out students who understand the value of optics and imagery and who possess the personal magnetism and talent to influence others. Magic is about shaping reality as is deception.
Playing a Carcosa: House Carcosa of Ravenswood Academy values cunning, deception, and foresight in their initiates, as their progenitors sharpened their skills in diplomacy and politics during the Thousand-Year War of the Yellow King. Carcosans look beyond the easy and simple answer. They understand the true cost of apotheosis and want to be a dozen or more steps ahead of their enemies. House Carcosa has a reputation for being charmingly fatalistic and are always playing for more time, remembering that in time the stars will be right; this world will be lost except for those who ascend.
Each year, alumni of this solemn household host a feast for lost Carcosa in memory of Cassilda and in preparation for the return of their King.
Motto: In vino verum. Ut in chao est (In wine, truth. In chaos, order).
Description: As a family with a heritage traced to antiquity, through the rise and fall of empires, the Kouris made their fortune in the wine and food trade before the rise of the nation-state. The Kouris bought and sold their wares across Europe and sank their teeth into agriculture across the world. Some say that when the world was young, they worshiped Dionysus and Pan. They were known as the Bacchae, wild men and women driven mad by ecstatic frenzy. They danced clad only in fawn skins, and learned to perform natural magic cast through a thyrsus: a long stick wrapped in ivy or grape leaves, tipped with a pinecone.
Some align this House with the minor deities such as the Green Man or the Lady of the Glen. For what is a name when all living things feed the light? Ravenswood Academy recognizes that the ultimate patron for House Kouris is theBlack Goat of the Woods, Shub-Niggurath. Members of this House must voluntarily sign the Book of Azathoth before becoming imbued with the power of their patron. Nyarlathotep also serves the slumbering Azathoth and is sworn to spread its chaos to all minds. Members of this family nearly died out during the Salem Witch Trials, when Keziah Mason was judged for witchcraft and hanged.
House Kouris leveraged their ancient talents to become master brewers of wine and beer, leaders in theater, and influencers of any place that involves large groups of people with ritualist behavior. Many become healers, offer places of respite, or serve as modern doulas and spiritual guides. They are leaders in many movements encouraging nature to thrive, such as the small house trend.
Playing a Kouris: You are an avatar of passion, fluidity of thought, and full of fight and delight. You enjoy nature, the utter chaos of the universe, and the endless possibilities of what might challenge you next.
As a Kouris, you possess a savage awareness of your progenitors’ history: those who walked the world when it was young and the land green, lush, and untainted by human hands. Your family protects the few places of the true wild left and jealously guard the places of power where magic is strongest. Some dare to scoff at the Kouris, thinking them to be the party kids and not realizing that their quarterly Bacchanalias give them a taste for blood and apotheosis.
Motto: Non potest esse frater amicus, sed amicus semper frater erit ( A brother may not be a friend, but a friend will always be a brother. ).
Founding Father Benjamin Franklin planted the seed that one day grew into the House of Leng. He wanted to introduce silk production to the Colonies to remove their dependence on Europe. He thankfully discovered an American strain of ginseng that stirred some interest and began a dialogue with merchants in China. A self-taught hedge wizard, Franklin also used this as an opportunity to exchange lore with the Zheng shipping merchants and other hedge-wizards. He learned of the Dreamlands, the iced plateau crossed by potent ley lines, and a mystical flower known as the Sacred Lotus of Leng.
He immediately saw a connection between the Tibetan legend of the Mi-go and the First Peoples’ stories of the Wendigo; he sensed opportunity. Curiosity and greed led him to creating an American version of the Illuminati, only this time it included Quakers (who followed the Watchmakers’ dogma), the Zheng from China, formerly enslaved African hedge wizards, and local indigenous tribes (the Delaware, Susquehannock, Shawnee, and Iroquois).
They explored the Dreamlands together, forming alliances along magical bloodlines and learning to tap into the ley lines. There, they found the Mi-Go, a race of bat-winged fungi with strange mutagenic properties. Franklin admired their strict logic and superior technology, but even he found their practice of using brain cylinders as living computers horrific. This species was advanced in knowledge and technology, but limited in the soul and in magic. The Mi-Go were destined to die out unless they found an ally.
The families that one day become House Leng forged an agreement. The Mi-Go supported the House and introduced them to their patron, Yog-Sothoth. This cosmic creature, an amorphous entity of glowing orbs and tentacles, imbued them with knowledge and strength in exchange for providing sacred lotus harvests.
House Leng is now known for their stoic demeanor and logic, showing passion for new knowledge and arcane power. This House of magicians, above all others, communes with their patron to exchange knowledge. It is said that the Mi-Go saw something special in humanity that the other eldritch patrons simply never bothered to examine.
Others praise members of House Leng as being good-humored and as possessing a skilled business acumen. For the first one hundred years that Ravenswood Academy’s operated, the Lengs were at the bottom of society; they take anyone with great intelligence and magical talent. Their reputation became golden, however, when Dean Lavinia Whatley opened the school’s gates to anyone with the skill to walk through them.
Playing a Leng: Quaker roots run deep in Leng. You believe in integrity, equality, and simplicity; you never forget your stewardship of the Earth toward apotheosis. Politeness and honesty, even towards your enemies, are potent tools for building alliances. This is how the Leng secured agreements with both the Spiders of Leng and the Mi-Go. While the pacifism of the Leng is legendary, you do fight if and when there’s a need.
You might not have the physical power of Wakefields or the fury of the Kouris, but you are the most feared. Typically, you avoid the House competitions, caring only for the final judgement and how it can benefit you; however, should you be slighted or wronged, you apply all of your passion to ending the feud as spectacularly as possible. Others know if they have a secret to trade, you will do nearly anything to get it.
Motto: Non solum nulla sagittis (I stand alone and bow to none).
Some pledge to RavenswoodAcademy without a patron’s protection, dedicating themselves to the school itself. These Ronin walk Ravenswood’s hallowed halls without protection or support. Technically, only those who pledge to a House after their first year are afforded recognition under the mystical accord. Tormenting a Ronin is perfectly legal, so long as their tormentors don’t break propriety or bully them in front of the wrong facility member.
If a Ronin survives their first year, they undergo a spiritual metamorphosis in which they imprint upon the magic of the Academy itself, rather than being imbued by their patron. Like the song says, freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose; the Ronin have ultimate freedom. They have nothing left to lose, and the only claims upon their soul are those which they freely give.
Playing a Ronin: You usually have a Devil-May-Care attitude and practical approach to magic. You lived through one grindhouse, why not another?
The universe might be cold and uncaring, but there’s joy in spitting in the faces of multiple gods. Legends had it on one dimension, long ago, the Ronin banded together to repel that world’s reaping. If such a thing happened, it happened when the stars were wrong. Most reputable scholars believe this legend is a cruel joke from the pit bosses of the patrons, as they enjoy devouring any flashes of hope before the final curtain call.
Motto: Magnaque aquis latitat (Deep waters hide great terror).
Wealthy shipping and fishing merchants, this family came from a quiet Massachusetts town in Essex County known as Innsmouth. They personally funded a sizableportion of the American Revolution through strange golden coins embedded with the image of a hydra. Their reach crosses the Atlantic, around the great continents and human empires, to the South Pacific islands and mainland New Zealand.
Bitter rivals of the Carcosans, the Wakefields are the water to their air: forever apart and opposed. Their patrons are Mother Hydra and Father Dagon, who spend their time in the sleeping city of R’lyeh, tending to their slumbering masters in the deep waters of the Atlantic. While the Carcosans dream of their lost city, the Wakefields dutifully prepare for the time when the stars align, and the dread city R’lyeh rises from the dark waters to rule Earth once again.
Their progenitors, the Marsh family, were nearly wiped out in a Prohibition-era raid at Innsmouth. The branch families (the Wakefields, the Orne, and the Gilman) battled for decades to rule, until the Wakefields managed to make significant inroads into the American and British governments during World War II.
Allied with the Esoteric Order of Dagon, House Wakefield has a strong base of operation in the mundane world, within the cults to the Great Old Ones, and with other magicians. Patience is key to House Wakefield. They are destined to win this world. When the stars are right, their patron Cthulhu will rise from R’lyeh on the Atlantic floor. This world shall be swept away and the oceans turned to boiling blood, yet the Wakefields will achieve Apotheosis.
Playing a Wakefield: You value strength, knowledge, and loyalty. Some think you a cold fish, but you understand your place in the cosmic plan. You delight in your heritage, experience ecstasy in your physical superiority, and find wisdom in communing with the spirits of the dead.
Some descendants and adoptees of the House find their faces slowly evolving to the Innsmouth look— narrow faces, flat noses, and bulging eyes. Truth be told, these are the first signs of the transformation your family undertakes when the sea finally calls to them, before they awaken as Deep Ones.