Welcome to No Books of Men! We are a modern alternate history board set in a magical school nestled in the Columbiana Valley of the Rocky Mountains. Students of the Collegium Illustrata Columbiana (commonly called simply The Academy) are free to explore their wildest imaginations in learning the mystic arts, so long as it does not jeopardize the ongoing Shadow War with the Exarchs. How will you live up to the legacies of Merlin?






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Southern Shaman
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Berlinetta Biancardi

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Jan 8 2016, 06:20 PM
Education was a struggle. It was only a struggle, she felt, whenever it was such a rudimentary course such as Morality of Magic. Berlinetta didn't consider herself advanced enough to really be an educator of spiritual magics, as she, too, was still learning, but, she had a sneaking suspicion that teaching a course about a specific type of magic was much more well received than a general education course required of all students at Columbiana. With the fact that everyone had to take her course, Berlinetta was exposed to various personality types from various houses, and that was a more difficult task than just teaching a specific magic alone. There were a lot of questions. Always there were questions, and all the questions were polarizing. Someone from Batini didn't think the way that someone from Solficati thought, and someone from Diedne didn't imagine the way that someone from Criamon did. The unsorted were always usually very querulous. Once upon a time, Berlinetta fashioned herself as someone who could handle a great deal of personalities from kind to acerbic, to sweet and vitriolic. These days, however, especially with some students who exhibited behavioural problems, she was beginning to doubt her capability as an educator, and that doubt certainly shattered her confidence.

It was with much ambivalence that the shaman had decided to schedule a meeting with one of the senior faculty members. To her surprise and also uncertainty, she was told that she would have to meet with Noah Fenwick, a curious character if ever there were one. She always heard fables and stories about Noah. There was always gossip about the faculty members and the legends and legacies that they had created for themselves, or that others had imagined of them, and while she didn't know him well enough to discern anything about him, the nature of his legend was enough to make Berlinetta slightly apprehensive and nervous upon meeting him. She had met him before, in passing, but there was very little conversation had, and it was for that reason that she didn't really know what to expect. Not only was he her superior, many of the stories surrounding him spoke of volatility, and volatility was the exact opposite of what she had needed, in fact, she very much needed some semblance of consistency.

Biancardi was fifteen minutes early for her scheduled appointment with Professor Fenwick, and whenever the clock had struck three, the girl rose from the chair in the waiting area and knocked at the door. “Professor Fenwick?” She called, her eyes dodging back and forth in the hallway. Butterflies danced around in her stomach as it felt as if she were choking, an ode to the anxiousness that she often experienced in social situations which she could deem questionable or uncertain. Berlinetta had an intense fear of things going awry, and while she didn't necessarily expect it, it was the lack of knowing that bothered her more.
Jan 8 2016, 05:53 PM
Under the impression that Eidus Erinson wanted to ask her a couple of questions about spirits and spirit magic, amongst other things, Berlinetta had left the Long House and battled the snow on the way to the Alan Turing building. The Long House had been where she spent the majority of her academic career at Columbiana, and while she had a few courses in Alan Turing, it wasn't necessarily her staple. Too, it wasn't a facility which taught anything particularly related to spirit magic. It was, however, a much more decadent place to find oneself, and the people inside had different perspectives. They had different outlooks on the roles, applications, and usages of magic, and that in itself always fascinated Berlinetta. Never one to be closed off to the ideas of different types of magic, Biancardi was always invested in learning as much from others as she could, in spite of how little she may have known of or about them. Eidus Erinson was a curious figure. The shaman knew very little about him. If she recalled correctly, she may have had a class or two with him, but their conversation was never particularly extensive. Both were graduate students, that was certainly something that the two of them had in common. She knew that he was a research assistant, and that fit ultra well under the thumb of his house, and she was simply an accidental spiritual guru who offered insight and advice as long as people kept asking questions.

She sniffled as she opened the entrance door, stode down the long hallway, the heels of her boots echoing through the distance. The warmth of the interior was welcomed as she rubbed her numbed hands together. Alan Turing was decadent with much more modern fixtures than the Long House, and really, even the architecture and the props that each house surrounded themselves with mirrored their style of magic. Shamanism was perhaps one of the, if not the oldest form of magic, and many people which she had met that belonged to the scientific magics seemed to look upon shamanism, necromancy, and spirit magic as archaic, outdated, and utterly primitive in comparison to the advances that their own authorities had made in the magical realms and sects. Berlinetta wasn't one to quickly dismiss any type of magic, irregardless of how strict and almost monastic spirit magic in practice tended to be. She enjoyed that others understood magics in ways foreign to her.

Rounding the corner, the shaman noted Eidus sitting in the commons of the building, she slipped to the table with theatrical, widened eyes. “Sorry if I am not punctual. You could catch death outside! No matter what I do, I will never get accustomed to this weather.” She laughed out, shedding her coat and lying it on the table as she took her seat across from the alchemist. “I know that you mentioned the other day that you were curious about spirit magic, and that you also had something you wanted to discuss. Is there anything in particular that you would like to know or ask about? I am really better at answering questions, honestly, especially if I don't have any material prepared for like a course.” Amber eyes glanced at him earnestly. It was an exciting opportunity for the shaman. It was rare, at least, she felt, that someone from his proverbial neck of the woods to want to know anything about spirit magic which seemed to many a form of kitchen magic involving chicken parts, bones, snakes, blood, and guts. There were times in which she had failed to understand how spirit magic befuddled other mage types and sub-types. It was a type of magic that inherently seemed to belong to her, and yet, in reverse, alchemy and other scientific modes of magic seemed to her a rocket science that she couldn't fathom comprehending.
Jan 5 2016, 07:56 PM
SHE HAD AWOKEN earlier that day than usual. Recently, Biancardi hadn't been sleeping well for some ominous, foreboding feeling that seemed to often overwhelm her at night. She would conduct her rituals and rites, she would converse with the many spirits that she had gotten to know, and none of their insight could quell the dissonance she experienced and the apprehension that seemed to loom about Columbiana as of late. Feelings and emotions were fickle, unsuual things, and for some reason the shaman couldn't shake the eerie vibes that loitered unsolicited. Perhaps it was merely a psychological trick of her own mind, of her own cognition making her feel insecure. Regardless, she would have to shed those feelings in order to be able to instruct her class. Berlinetta could recall the days of being an undergraduate, with less responsibilities, and those days were much more preferential than the present. These days, plights were amok, and she was entering young adulthood with a platter full of responsibilities that she wouldn't have had previously if she were only an undergraduate.

Unlike other instructors who may have preferred a more conventional setting their courses, Berlinetta preferred the Longhouse, in spite of its lack of accommodations as opposed to the novelty of the facilities. The Longhouse was her favorite location on the grounds, and it was for that reason that she had chosen to instruct her course, in spite of its entry level status, there. The Longhouse Berlinetta often found herself at more than any other place, and whether that was because most of her classes were there, and most of her house happened to be around there, or because of the heap of spirits which were around was unknown. All Berlinetta knew was that it was the place that seemed to her to be the most comfortable.

The student body was interesting. Of course, she wasn't in a position before of having to be responsible for many of them. Now, that was primarily her position what with working hand in hand with the facility's guidance counselor. And there was one student in one of her classes that seemed to be a perpetual trouble maker. Alexander Bonham. It had come to her attention that he was noted for having attempted to steal a book from the bookstore, and to what she would have imagined was his dismay, he was prevented from doing so due to some hex placed upon the book. To her it seemed to be a sort of cosmic irony, a karmic slice of retribution if one would, and an ode to the fact that nature required a balance. At least, in Diedne, that was the way that things were viewed and perceived. Interestingly enough, Alexander wasn't a bad student. Certainly, there were many times in which he had been inattentive in class, not necessarily disruptive, but, certainly never fully present for class. Yet, Mr. Bonham always seemed to pass, irregardless of how present he may or may not have been during the actual class period.

“Alright everyone, that's it for today.” She announced, gently closing her book. Berlinetta scanned the group of students, her eyes affixed upon Mr. Bonham. “Alexander?” She began, slipping over to the student. “I would like to talk with you for a moment, if you do not mind.” She stated, furrowing her brows. There was a great deal of general confusion about Alexander as a person. Berlinetta didn't know much about him personally. She didn't know why he had a continual record of ill behavior. She didn't know why he continued to do the things that he obviously knew that he would get into trouble for. Perhaps some would have said that it wasn't any of her business. Perhaps some had felt that Berlinetta was always snooping where she didn't belong, and a while ago, as an undergraduate, she might have been inclined to agree with such a sentiment. These days, however, working in the counseling department of Columbiana, Berlinetta had taken a genuine interest in the the well being of all the students mentally, emotionally, and physically. She suspected that he wouldn't be eager to discuss anything and would likely make a mockery of their chat, but, it seemed to her well worth the effort to get to know him a bit better.
Jan 5 2016, 01:39 AM
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<td width="280" valign="top" bgcolor="#000000"><div align="justify"><font color="#3F3F40" size="1">Hailing from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, Berlinetta Biancardi is a Shaman with Diedne and Meritini leanings. Having already studied at Columbiana, Berlinetta is a graduate student who hopes to refine her mind as well as hone her magical prowess to the best of her abilities.<p>

Berlinetta was tasked with teaching <i>Morality of Magic</i> an introductory course into the inner workings and morality of using and or abusing magic. It is a class that she takes quite seriously, especially considering the fact that there have been several slights in the magical world of late.<p>

<u><b>Friends:</b></u><br>
Berlinetta is a kind and hospitable person, it is for that reason that she may have several friends at the academy. Berlinetta is one that enjoys conversations with hot tea, and due to the nature of her spiritual abilities, Biancardi is capable of entertaining herself and others with hours worth of good conversation. There is little that she is incapable of discussing or chatting about.<p>

<u><b>Enemies:</b></u><br>
While there are very few people whom Berlinetta dislikes, that isn't to say that she will be without enemy. Certainly there have been a few presences which she has encountered that she hasn't much cared for, but Biancardi doesn't outright consider those people to be enemies so to speak.<p>

<u><b>Lovers:</b></u><br>
Not off of the romantic market, but certainly not on it, Berlinetta prefers to remain focused on her studies and her duties as an assistant to the guidance counsellor of the academy. Berlinetta views affections and romance as a distraction from her duties, and it is for that reason that Netta is oftentimes more than not awkward in situations which she has deemed questionable.
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<td width="280" valign="top" bgcolor="#000000"><div align="justify"><font color="#3F3F40" size="1"> The daughter of two affluent British Jerbiton socialites, Sarah-Maud Rosemond is a professor of Psychical Science, Psychical Defence, and American Law & Government at Columbiana. Considered one of the foremost authorities of the mind and the Jerbiton mode of thinking, Sarah-Maud is a stringent educator whose reputation for intolerance of foolishness precedes her.<p>

Rosemond is a figure well known in the Alan Turing complex to all houses who cohort and learn in said building. The mind witch has a penchant for combining modern psychological, neurological, mnemonic, and amnestic sciences with psychical and parapsychical sciences to round out her coursework. Currently, she is overseeing research which she assures her colleagues is more than cutting-edge and groundbreaking.<p>

<u><b>Associates:</b></u><br>
Rosemond's stature at the school is well known, though, not for being an educator alone. Much of Sarah-Maud's merits are known for the advances she has been able to make on the front of psychical phenomenons and psychical operations. Sarah-Maud has particularly close connections with Solficati and Veriditius, often converging with them to create psychical enhancing devices.<p>

<u><b>Enemies:</b></u><br>
A woman who largely remains to herself, Sarah-Maud is not without adversary. Many of Rosemond's adversaries are professional, alone. Education is rife with quarrelsome souls who disagree amongst themselves about how education should follow, and being a rather unorthodox instructor in a field which is quickly growing often lands one with a bull's eye on their backs. Rosemond's courses are grueling, and often her students are under seemingly immense stress in order to be able to perform and to perform well.<p>

<u><b>Lovers:</b></u><br>
The telepath is assuredly emotionally unavailable to everyone. That said, it is impossible to imagine Rosemond in any types of romantic preoccupations. Sarah-Maud is consummately married to her career and the advancement of science and psionics. It is for that reason that she meets anyone who offers unsolicited romantic or sexual advances with vitriol. One way to end up on her proverbial "bad" side is to try and coquette her.
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Jan 4 2016, 06:50 PM


Player Name: Harvard.

Character Name: Berlinetta Biancardi.

Alias: Harvard.

Age: Twenty-Four.

Character Type: Mage

Class Level: Graduate.

Profession: Counsellor's Assistant, Morality of Magic Intro instructor.

House: Diedne.

Secret Societies: None.

PB: Katerina Graham.

Appearance: No differences.

Spheres:

Forces: 4.
Spirit: 4.

Rotes:

Forces:
- Influence Sound: The mage can manipulate preexisting sound waves in basic waves. By directing the amplitude and direction of sounds, the mage can hear whispers from across the room, ensure that his voice reaches his target over the sound of a crowd, o make sure that his voice only goes in a single direction. Volume manipulation isn't possible yet, nor is creating sound from nothing.

- Control Heat/Light/Sound The mage can now affect the intensity of any of those he could only influence before, making things hotter/colder, brighter/dimmer, or louder/softer.

- Create Force: The mage can now summon any previously mentioned force (Fire, Light, Sound, Electricity), seemingly from thin air and when combined with other spells can control the flow of said energies completely.

- Control Weather: The mage can create or divert weather patterns to simulate any sort of 'normal' (i.e. non-disastrous) weather in an area. This can result in a wide range of effects, from strong (but not devastating) winds, rain, directed thunderbolts, frigidly cold temperatures, etc.

Spirit:
- Spirit Tongue: The mage can hear and speak with spirits as if they were conversing in her native tongue. This spell is essential for working with spirits, as without it she is incapable of understand and communicating with spirits unless the spirit itself is capable of speaking a language she understands. Note that this spell does not have any effect when conversing with ghosts.

- Coaxing the Spirits: The caster can whisper to a spirit sleeping within a material object and request its aid. The spirit does not truly awaken, but it does release a bit of power to aid the caster. Locks become easier to pick, a wooden statue becomes easier to carve, or a car seems to more intuitively move with the driver.

- Second Sight: The mage can sense spirits in her vicinity and detect how strong the Wall between the worlds is in her area, and thus ascertain how difficult it will be to work her other spirit magics. Note that this spell does reveal ghosts as well, but they are hazy and indistinct without using Fate magics as well.

- Peer Through the Wall: Where the mage could earlier only sense the presence of spirits, she can now see into the Spirit World itself. This allows sight into only one of the three spirit worlds at a time (i.e. Astral Reaches, Spirit Wilds, or Underworld).

- Ephemeral Shield: By wrapping herself in the ephemera of the spirit worlds, the caster shields herself against physical and ephemeral attacks simultaneously. By alternately causing the mage to fade into the spirit world and the physical world, this spell weakens the impact of attacks from the opposing source.

- Spirit Summons: This spell calls out to a spirit, either summoning a specific one or putting out a general call to the nearest one that meets the caster's criteria. The spirit comes to the caster as quickly as it is capable, though it cannot travel any further than 100 miles from its home territory. Once it arrives at the summoner's location, the spirit is not compelled to any action and is likely quite annoyed if it was not summoned using the proper and polite methods.

-Spirit Road: This spell creates a portal (or "road) through the Wall and into the Spirit Worlds. This gateway allows the mage and anyone else who chooses to enter to access one of the Spirit Realms, though only one (Astral Reaches, Spirit Wilds, or Underworld) can be accessed from a given portal at a given time. Additionally, to open direct passage to the Astral and Underworld realms, the caster must have at least a single point in the Mind and Fate sphere respectively.

- Essence Gift: The mage can convert Mana into Spiritual Essence and vice versa, allow her to "feed" her mana to a spirit or draw mystic power from a spirit. Generally, unless using this spell on a spirit which has granted permission, this spell is a quick way to make enemies in the spirit worlds.

Personality: Humble and outgoing, Berlinetta Biancardi is a portrait of her meager upbringing in the southern portion of the United States. Hospitable and caring, Biancardi is often open to vasts walks of life given her propensity for spirit magics and having spent a long time learning their language and conversing with the spirits. Spirits to Berlinetta are just as sacred as family and friends, and it is for that reason that Berlinetta can be viewed as a rather “oddity” amongst a school of vastly different Houses and inclinations. Though not “religious” by any means, Berlinetta makes it a point to get what she likes to call her “spiritual” time in whenever she can. Rather than conducting a religious ceremony, Berlinetta has her own rites and rituals which she performs to communicate with the spirits and learn from those that are willing to instruct her in ways of spirit magic.

Having dealt with a slew of different personalities both real and spiritual, Berlinetta is very level-headed with a keen sight and discernment often unseen in those her age. Because of her level of emotional maturity, Berlinetta often acts as a voice of reason in moments of distress and chaos, preferring to take the metaphorical moral high ground in nearly all situations and allow most situations to be water off of the ducks back, relatively speaking.

In many instances, Berlinetta can be viewed as a stick in the mud for her preference of practicing magic and conversing with spirits rather than being a fixture at what some might call parties around the academy. There are indeed times when Biancardi has displayed streaks of antisocial behaviors, largely in part due to her preference of being alone rather than developing or giving into bouts of social anxiety in larger settings.
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