The Tales from Avistrum series began in 2004 with The Medallion of Akpuch. There we learned about the dark witch Persephone, and her desire to raise an army of the dead using the mysterious Medallion. She sent Dementors to attack the school and wrest the Medallion from the faculty’s protection. She failed in this quest, and the Medallion was placed beyond her reach forever.
The story continued the next spring with Shadows of Persephone, where Persephone once again attacked the school. This time her plot began with the assassination of the Secretary of Magic, but her ultimate target was the school, where she could twist the students into an army of dark wizards and witches, loyal to her. We learned that Persephone was a powerful metamorphmagus, capable of transforming to look like anyone, without the help of Polyjuice Potion. She masqueraded as Professor Kobiyashi in her final showdown with the faculty. Persephone escaped without revealing her true form.
Eighteen months later, in Kings and Pawns, the fear of Persephone had forced radical action by the Department of Magic. The practice and teaching of Transfiguration was outlawed by the PRETEND (PRevention of Transfiguration Enhanced Deception) Act. Professor Kraven Bloodthorne had disappeared, and Persephone abducted Professor Grasella Moffatt. Persephone planned traps for the rest of the faculty, but they discovered her plans and switched places with one another using Polyjuice Potion. When she attempted to take the school by force after thinking she had eliminated all of the faculty, the tables were turned, and she was captured. The students and faculty used a memory charm to erase her memory completely, removing her as a threat forever.
The following year, in The Chalice of Khufu, an old enemy from Headmaster Dowling‘s past, Nikolai Matado, escaped from prison. Clark went undercover to foil his plans, but was captured and forced to reveal the location of Matado’s goal, the Chalice of Khufu, which gave its holder tremendous powers of mind control. The staff searched for the artifact to keep it safe from Matado, but he surprised them because he had Professor Aberfoyle under the Imperius Curse. The students foiled his plans, and Aberfoyle was able to use the residual link from the curse to read Matado’s mind and find the Headmaster. Matado was returned to prison, and the Chalice was hidden away once again.
In 2009, in Echoes of Salem, Professor Dowling, along with Professors Aberfoyle and Deserand, were placed under a curse which caused them to forget their adult lives and return to childhood. A new ally, Muggle Congressman Simon Drake, joined with the wizarding government to help solve the disappearance of many wizards and witches, including several Avistrum faculty members. Some evidence pointed toward former Professor Bloodthorne as the perpetrator. Bloodthorne infiltrated the school, knocking out several faculty members and taking Robin Kayenta-Dowling hostage. The curse’s hold on Clark was temporarily released as his wife was threatened, and he attacked Bloodthorne, but the three cursed professors were all knocked unconscious, as was Drake, hit by an errant stunning spell. Bloodthorne was somehow released from the Imperius Curse which controlled him, and helped divine the source of the curse, a group of amulets. When the students destroyed the amulets, the professors were saved, but at great cost – Persephone’s mind had been re-awakened as well. Bloodthorne, although welcomed back to the school, was taken into custody by the Department of Magic for questioning.
Bloodthorne was interrogated by Senator Oswald Kensington in the bowels of Alcatraz prison, then released until his trial, which took place from April 17-19, 2010. The trial was highly irregular, with Kensington leading the prosecution, and Dowling presenting Bloodthorne’s defense. The court refused to allow numerous pieces of evidence from the defense, while allowing a last-minute affidavit from Persephone without permitting Dowling to cross-examine her. Bloodthorne was convicted of charges relating to the destruction of Timmernak. Outraged by the injustice of the trial, Dowling aided Bloodthorne in escaping the courtroom, and the two of them fled.
We learned more of the story behind two of our house ghosts, Johnny and Aleator Boudreaux, in the 30-minute film A Soldier’s Story. We caught up with Dowling and Bloodthorne, and their ally Scorpio Douglas, in another film, Fugitives. Both of these paved the way for the next chapter.
In 2010’s Fall from Grace, Kraven and Clark were finally able to clear their names and return to the school after rescuing Secretary Greywolf. Greywolf pardoned them before resigning his office. The staff discovered an ancient archway that can be used by ghosts to enter and exit the Void. A note Johnny left buried for Robin led them to discover that he was trapped in the Void, and Aleator went in to rescue him. Johnny returned from the Void, but not with Aleator; rather, it was with his father, Confederate Colonel Alain Boudreaux. Persephone seemed to be infiltrating the school, but Simon Drake accused Clark and Kraven of the incidents, and forced Professor Kobiyashi to place them under house arrest. Persephone did indeed attack the school, but Clark and Kraven were not her accomplices. Rather, it was revealed that Simon Drake was really a wizard, not a Muggle, and had been her master! Drake took Amelia Emberwing, the Head Girl, hostage, and killed Persephone in front of the students. When the school entered a magical lockdown after the murder, Drake managed to flee the school and escape.
With Secretary Greywolf’s retirement, the job was up for election in April 2011. Both Oswald Kensington and Polonius Aberfoyle announced their intention to run. Shortly before the election, Simon Drake also announced a write-in campaign. After a hard-fought campaign, Drake managed to take four states, leaving the election in doubt until Aberfoyle’s home state of Colorado provided the final electoral votes he needed for a majority. Aberfoyle took the stage for a victory speech, and Kensington showed up to concede in person. When a mysterious assailant appeared in the crowd, poised to attack Senator Kensington, Aberfoyle shielded him from the spell and immediately lapsed into a coma.
With Secretary-elect Aberfoyle unconscious in the hospital for months, Kensington assumed the role of Acting Secretary, guiding the wizarding government’s attempts to prevent Simon Drake from taking over. Dowling and the other Dark Hunters worked in secret to find Drake and destroy his organization. Their efforts were depicted in the Worlds at War feature-length film.
In 2011’s Worlds at War, the school was under enhanced protection from the Aurors’ Department, led by Captain Anton Tovoretski. Despite this, a mysterious package was allowed to enter the school which brought Professor Boudreaux back to life. Several of the school’s prefects were not present for the start of term, and Headmistress Kobiyashi dispatched owls to them to figure out where they were. Johnny behaved strangely, and Aleator eventually had him quarantined. Secretary Aberfoyle awakened from his long coma, and took over from Senator Kensington. Simon Drake sent a package containing Ophelia Aaron’s prefect badge and a singed, tattered scarf, shocking the staff and launching a manhunt for all the prefects, which turned up nothing.
Simon Drake somehow used Johnny to enter the school, kill an Auror, and confront the faculty. All the other Aurors, except for Tovoretski, were revealed to be moles for Drake. Drake admitted to killing Ophelia, and threatened the lives of the other prefects if he didn’t get what he wanted. He also claimed to have been the one to restore Aleator to life, announcing that the Deputy Headmaster had been kept alive by a horcrux he created when avenging his wife’s murder. He did this, he said, to keep Aleator from entering the Void through the archway. While Drake summoned the Boogeyman and allowed him to torture Aberfoyle, Kensington, Bloodthorne, Deserand, and Dowling, his Regulators tossed the school. They finally found some papers belonging to Lobostro prefect Falchion. Preparing to leave, Drake had one more surprise, as he took control of Johnny using the star tattooed upon his left palm. Johnny, in tears, followed unwillingly behind Drake, who promised to return the missing prefects unharmed. He warned the staff that they had 1 year to join him, or he would destroy Avistrum as he had Timmernak.
In the aftermath, Secretary Aberfoyle called for a unity government and appointed Kensington as his Vice Secretary and Secretary of War. They promoted Tovoretski to Chief Auror, and recalled Dowling to the Aurors Service. Dowling accepted, naming Boudreaux and Scorpio Douglas as deputies. He also asked Kraven Bloodthorne, but Bloodthorne refused, announcing his intention to atone for his crimes by rebuilding Timmernak. Professor Deserand volunteered to go with him, and the two left, arm-in-arm.
Despondent over the loss of his friend Johnny, Professor Boudreaux had the idea to use the little soldier figurines that Johnny had left around the school to try to summon him back through the Void. The students and faculty concentrated on summoning him, and the portal came alive. A version of Johnny emerged, but one who seemed not to know who or where he was, mistaking Aleator for his father Alain. As the Professor began to explain, Professor Kobiyashi dismissed the students.
In April 2012, Simon Drake began leading in polls to be the Republican nominee for U.S. President. Horrified at the ramifications if Drake gained control of the U.S. Army, Aberfoyle, Dowling and Boudreaux hatched a plan. Scorpio Douglas impersonated Drake using Polyjuice Potion and broke into Drake’s office, planting papers and retrieving a stone tablet with an ancient Sumerian prophecy on it. However, Scorpio drank all of the available Polyjuice, leaving the conspirators scrambling for a new plan.
The next day, Drake entered the castle, but was greeted by confusion rather than fear. Boudreaux asked, “What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in Washington!” Drake was similarly confused, and watched in horror as a press conference began live,
(Watch it here!)
Figuring out that it was Persephone impersonating him, he tried to take his rage out on her upon her return, but was stopped by Boudreaux. As the faculty prepared to attack, Drake produced a little surprise of his own: he had taken Vice Secretary Kensington captive, and gave Dowling the Vice Secretary’s watch as proof. Everyone stood down on Aberfoyle’s command.
Sneering that forcing him to consolidate his power in the wizarding world would only make him stronger, Drake escaped, reminding everyone that they had only 6 more months to make their decision.
After searching for several weeks, the Auror’s Service managed to locate and rescue Kensington, who took charge of shoring up the defenses around Avistrum and Salem, preparing for Drake’s deadline of October 2012.
Salem was attacked and invaded before Drake closed in on the walls of Avistrum leading into Tales from Avistrum: Endgame.
In April the following year, as the students were celebrating it was announced that Persephone would be guest teaching a class on Astrology. During which she was confronted by Seraphina, the head of P.A.L.M.
Following the Destruction of the Founder’s Fountain by Drake’s Soldier, Professor Trent Voertigern began franticly experimenting with what samples were left over. Over the early Fall of 2013 he kept track of his progress by recording journal entries on a muggle device.
At the same time a message was delivered to Clark via a strange underground broadcast…
These event lead us to Tales from Avistrum: Redemption