Silvana: Spirit Of The Wood
A gothic and imaginative photographic journey accompanied by new music from Astrea Corp.
Born mid 17th century to a respected and well-to-do family in an eastern North Carolina settlement, Savannah Burger was the youngest daughter of William and Agatha Burger. William Burger was an established apothecary and longstanding member of the town’s governing council. At the same time, Agatha cared for their four children and their small farm and garden, all while helping William with the apothecary. Savannah was a very precocious child, showing a keen interest in her father’s work and a fondness for the family garden.
Though very respected, as Savannah got older, her independent and free-spirited nature was seen as out of step and too progressive for the deeply religious town. The family’s reputation began to tarnish as rumors of paganism and accusations of heresy swirled. It was around this time that William learned of the lush woodlands in western North Carolina and started conducting long journeys with Savannah, and her older brother, Wallace, to explore and forage the flora and fungi from the region. As Savannah became more involved in helping her father, their experimentations advanced, resulting in their introduction into the world of alchemy.
This only fueled the speculation surrounding the Burgers, deepening the divide between the once-loved family and the townspeople. As the elder children began to leave home and the strain on the business became too much, William and Agatha became reclusive and hermit-like, rarely leaving the darkness of their home. This left Savannah to run the fledgling apothecary business, with only travelers unknowing of the family’s reputation serving as customers. In this time of solitude and desperation, William began to dabble in forbidden alchemy, which finally led to charges of witchcraft.
Due to the disdain that had festered for the Burger family, they were not granted a fair trial. Instead, there was a private town hall in which mob mentality reigned supreme, eventually turning riotous. Suspecting this would be their fate, William and Agatha kept their valuables in a secret room, chief amongst them, rare herbs and roots, detailed maps of the western lands William explored with Savannah, and his book of experiments and alchemic research. Leaving this in Savannah’s possession, she escaped through underground tunnels on the property, coming to the surface in the woods just beyond the family property. To her horror, she could hear her father and mother’s screams as she watched the flames that were set upon her home dance in the grey skies.
Persevering, Savannah made her way west, using William’s maps and relying on her knowledge of the land to nourish and shelter her body. She settled in the forests of Blue Ridge Mountains, renounced her name, Savannah, leaving it behind in the flatlands of her namesake, and adopted the moniker Silvana, or Silvana of the Wood. In the solitude of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she had the freedom to practice her alchemy, discovering other ancient arts of mysticism and witchcraft.
Through these practices, Silvana learned the technique of etheric travel, which allowed for out of body travel by the soul. Etheric travel allowed her to communicate with her siblings, which she warned never to return to their village. She privately urged Wallace to join her in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they could continue their parents' work and plot their revenge. He would consent. They exacted their revenge that winter, murdering the accusers and participants of the mob, and burning the village to the ground.
They would go their separate ways after that bloody day, resolute and forever bound by their actions. Upon returning to the forest, Silvana would learn to preserve her life, using alchemy and witchcraft to conduct rituals in which she would successfully connect her soul and lifeforce to that of the forest and mountains, vowing to protect the land that gave her and her family so much throughout her life. It is here that she traverses between the physical and ethereal realms, offering guidance and protection to those with the most honorable and righteous souls. But beware, for if you intend to cause harm to the land and its inhabitants, Silvana, Spirit of the Wood, will bring the fury of her wrath and destruction upon your soul and lay ruin to your life.
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