L'académie des Objets Trouvés was built in 1936, on a sparse patch of land in Newfoundland, Canada. Although its late 1780s architecture is clearly out of place in the craggy, rural landscape, the structure has been there for as long as anyone can remember. From the moment it was first erected; a strange, grand building set back from the road like a mysterious stranger; anyone who passed it could not remember a time when it wasn't there. Much speculation circles throughout the island, stories of what the building's purpose is, who built it, when it came to be. None of them are correct, but all of them are held together by a common insistence... There has never been a time in their lives when it did not exist.
This is one of many spells that have been cast on the building, a sanctuary for supernatural kind. When Collette Deveraux, the headmistress and owner of the school, came to the island, she loved the seclusion and safety of an overlooked swatch of rocky land. The slopes and crags reminded her of Ireland, a people whose heartiness in the face of adversity she admired greatly. It was that kind of attitude, that survival instinct, that she wanted for her school.
But though the landscape sang of Irish blood, Collette would not settle for less than the smooth sophistication of France, and the architecture of her youth. The school was modeled in the same style of the favored royal architect of Louis XVI, Jean-Baptiste Benoît de Blinnes. In a way, with this structure Miss Devereaux hoped to exemplify to her students the lessons they would be taught within its walls; that although something may seem grander than its surroundings, though one might think that it does not fit where it is, that doesn't mean it doesn't belong there. The world will adapt to even the most unusual, with a little help.
Although it is almost impossible for a single person to do it alone, to create and capture the kind of finances, power and magic that would make the academy a success. That is what "They" are for. Much like the people in the coastal Newfoundland towns believe of L'académie, so too are the beliefs from supernaturals everywhere; "They" have always been there, always watching. No one, not even the eldest members, can be certain when "They" began, or who was the first of "Them". Like the presence of a God creator in many religions, "They" are a force greater than the individual, an idea that brings comfort but also acts as a warning to those who would oppose them. "Their" reach is far, and often without compassion.
Similar schools exist in other regions of the world, five others to be exact. As the world spun into the start of the 20th century, it became clear that the way in which the other schools were being run, with supernaturals of all ages brought to a common space to learn the same techniques, would not leave them suitable for the human world. Education was growing more and more important, for both men and women, and secondary schools, or "high schools", were spreading like wildfire. As social demands for jobs skills increased, teaching students the basics of general studies and focusing more on supernatural control and integration wasn't preparing them for a successful life on their own. Collette's academy was the first of its kind to specialize in one age group- students 11 to 19- and focus more on standardized education with extracurricular focus on human world integration.
"They", as an organization created to protect supernatural kind, set forth building Collette's school as a trial, an experiment that might become the new standard. And soon, it became so. Having students of a similar age group with education focused syllabi instead of a messy hodgepodge of people from all walks of life led to more successful integration, as well as better success in general for their individual careers and lives. Since Miss Deveraux's school focused on teenagers, "They" began a collection technique of supernaturals as they reached puberty, leading each student as they left their homes to arrive at the school, where they would begin their necessary education.
The school is heavily protected by dozens of charms, spells and curses. Although from beyond its heavy, black wrought iron gates, one can easily see the grounds and the buildings scattered throughout, anyone even one inch outside the fence will never see a person walking on the grass, or passing by a window in the grand main building. People are not visible from the outside, although all manner of wildlife comes and goes freely, and can just as freely be observed.
Often, curiosity will provoke people to approach the gates, and naturally some are dared to try and sneak onto the seemingly desolate grounds. From sunrise to sunset, the spell cast will make the intended trespassers imagine that they have been caught by a member of law enforcement, and promptly are escorted from the premises. From sunset to sunrise, a sudden sense of fear will creep over anyone who tries to cross the fence, and they will shamefully go home, too spooked to try to go in and too embarrassed by their cowardice to want to talk about it. Students will often sneak out of their rooms at night and walk the grounds to see if they can find anyone trying to dare to enter the grounds. Although they cannot be seen by the outsiders, students may shout or make noise in an effort to scare trespassers. While it cannot be confirmed, many claim the humans outside the gates did hear them. Regardless, it is a traditional way for students to pass the time and risk a few detentions.