The darkest corners of the secret world are not hidden in distant lands. They lie behind the landscaped lawns and locked doors of the American subdivision, fractured and private fiefdoms which see neither air nor light without the will of their masters. Named for the ghosts of the wild places they have replaced, these modern-day labyrinths hide monsters at their center, and few ever choose to brave their hidden depths.
Grey Jordan had no intention of becoming such an explorer. Idyllwood was meant as a stopgap, a place to regroup after a bitter divorce. It was to be a launch pad for his new life and a resting place for his preteen son, Isaac. He had no interest in the seemingly ordinary lives of his neighbors, until a single day widened the cracks in the foundation of his own.
A hidden fetish. A loss. A defilement. And the birth of a single spell, woven unwitting.
To uncover the secrets of the Idolwood, he must forge bonds with those broken souls surrounding him. He must shift the order which they have built, crack their own foundations and distill the secrets which they hide. Together they must cut the cancer from the center of their world, or be driven deeper into the twisted, private madness known as sorcery.
01 - Foundations - Young single father Grey Jordan and his son Isaac find something curious among the foundations of their home - and perhaps the foundation of Idyllwood. Questioning his nearest neighbor, Alex Pajari, results in no information, and a combination of one terrible day and an attempted home invasion rouse the spirit of resistance. The determination to make this place his own.
02 - Fetishes - We see the Hanged Man in his chambers, spinning a fetch-box to replace the one among the foundations, and make the acquaintance of Idyllwood's resident wise-woman, Edie Allaway, the gardener at the end of the road. Alexei finds another totem washed up along the riverbanks and brings it to Grey for consideration and comparison, though he won't stay long enough to fully discuss it before his schedule calls him away.
03 - Craft - Grey discovers the dollmaking subculture online, along with a strange rant by a stranger man about the use of dolls by nineteenth-centry serial killers, Burke and Hare. The blog indicates that the dolls are used as magical totems, designed to bring victims to those who wish them harm. Unsettled, Grey also finds that Edie Allaway, the gardener down the street, is involved in the dollmaking subculture. Alex and Grey agree to discuss the matter with her, though they may disagree on methods.
04 - Little Dolls - As the Hanged Man suffers further setbacks, we begin to see the man beneath his many masks. Grey and Alexei confront Edie Allaway with their finds and suspicions. Despite a rocky start, once in her garden, Edie shows herself willing and eager to help the two navigate the strange world now unfolding around them - unless, of course, she's simply as mad as those who work against her.
05 - Digging in the Dirt - As Grey and Edie explore the limits of her sorcery and the possible motives of the Hanged Man, Alex searches the forests and riverbanks for more clues. The Hanged Man and Gamine leap to defend their territory in Morgan Glen, and in a race against time the true spirit of Alexei Pajari is revealed.
06 - Breathless - Following the failed attempt on Alex Pajari's life, the Hanged Man and Gamine regroup in their suburban hideaway, bringing comfort and reassurance to one another even as they bring desperation and pain. Alex, after a brief encounter with the police, finds Isaac Jordan in the Morgan Glen parking lot with his 'friend' Brandon. Explaining the situation as best he can, he brings Isaac away - even as Brandon encourages the younger boy to meet him in the preserve again come midnight, under the watchful eyes of the final fetch.
07 - Abductions and Reflections - While Grey and Alex try to keep it together and figure out what to do next, Isaac fights with the rules of his home life. Meanwhile, Gamine plots revenge for failing the Hanged Man.
08 - Fasces - As Grey, Alex and Edie formally cement their pact to hunt down the maker of idols, Isaac races through the night with word of Brandon's kidnapping and the threat to kill him if word gets out. Grey realizes that with the presence of so many idols listening in on so many corners, they cannot trust the secret with anyone - even the police.
09 - The Wild Hunt: Part One - As one knot of hunters forms, another unravels. Both Grey and the Hanged Man begin to lose the firmness of their hold over those they command as their lieutenants alternately come into their own, and come to their senses. One life is lost as others hang in the balance.
10 - The Wild Hunt: Part Two - On the hunt, the covenant narrowly escapes disaster as Gamine flees their shared home. Stricken with thoughts of return and revenge, she makes her final choice as the covenant beards the sinister Hanged Man in his lair. Faced with the realities of blood and bondage, magic and death, Grey and Alex face off against the murderer - and against one another.
11 - Birth, Breath, Life, Death - In the Hanged Man's suburban throne room, watched over by his dolls, the Covenant debates their move. Grey wants nothing more than to execute the sorcerer, to protect his son and his home by removing the greatest threat to their safety. Alex and Edie have other ideas, though, ideas the Hanged Man seeks to exploit - fanning the flames until the final die is cast.
12 - Silent Nights - The Hanged Man is dead, and the newly awakened Grey Jordan has kept his son and secrets safe. A new covenant emerges from the ashes of the old, one formed for protection. Yet the seeds of doubt are quick to spring forth in the wake of a murder and a cover-up, and the cracks in a foundation can be easily seen from the shadows of Idyllwood.
World image by Amber Clark, Stopped Motion Photography, Copyright 2011