A transmedia universe marred by internal controversy, including allegations of manipulation and plagiarism.

Averno began as a transmedia franchise envisioned by Morgan Smith, described as a “Marvel Universe for musicals,” encompassing various forms of media such as musicals, podcasts, short films, and alternate reality games set in the fictional town of Averno, Virginia. The project aimed to offer a collaborative and immersive narrative experience, engaging audiences across multiple platforms.

Controversy and Response

However, the ambitious project soon became the center of controversy. Allegations of extreme unprofessionalism, racism, gaslighting, and manipulation by Morgan Smith surfaced, leading to significant backlash from the community and team members involved in Averno. The discord within the Averno team culminated in the release of a Google document on August 11, 2021, containing statements from multiple team members and evidence supporting their decision to dissociate from the Averno project. This document highlighted various grievances, including but not limited to, the aforementioned allegations against Smith.

In response to the controversy, Smith issued a private apology to the Averno team, which was met with further backlash. Additionally, some official Averno social media accounts began to restrict interactions and delete content related to the allegations.

Exverno: A Counter-Movement

In the wake of these events, a counter-movement known as “Exverno” emerged. Exverno was established on various social media platforms to spread awareness about the situation and to provide a support network for the victims of the alleged abuses within the Averno project. The Exverno movement encourages followers to unfollow official Averno accounts, unsubscribe from related Patreon accounts, and support those who worked on Averno by engaging with new transmedia franchises.

The Exverno initiative also emphasizes mental health support for affected individuals, signaling a community-driven effort to address and heal from the controversies surrounding Averno​​​​.

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