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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Crystal Wright


My Content
Feb 5 2016, 01:17 PM
Chrys was hyper-ventilating. To say she was nervous would be the undstatement of her nearly two centuries of existence. "Oh god... What did I do...?" She couldn't believe she had done this, that she had willlingly subjected herself to this madness. She scanned her memories for the thousandth time and felt sure that, yes, this was the most stressful thing she could recall beyond the day she chose to Fall. Nothing else even compared to this, and even those moments where she had felt fear for chances of dissolution hadn't been the same because they were not the result of her own decisions... This? This was her fault.

It had started innocently enough. The Technology and Engineering department had been doing its yearly fund--raising gala, trying to increase the scholarship funds and maybe donate a bit of the extra to finishing the rebuilding of the Student Center. She paid the fee to go, dug around until she found an acceptable cocktail dress, and expected to spend the rest of the evening hovering near the hors d'oeuvres table. She didn't even mingle or look around much until the 'date auction' came under way. She didn't expect to see much out of the norm, the same grad students and younger staff playing the crowd for a few extra bucks. Then, rather than the expected little asian girl from years before, Chrys heard the name Noah Fenwick announced. Shell-shocked, she turned to look just in time to see a hand rise and a bid being placed. On impulse she shouted "fifteen hundred" and only realized as silence rose that the previous bid hadn't been five hundred but had rather been fifty. The shout of "Sold!" had sealed her embarassing fate...

Now, the day of said date had arrived and if she were more prone to hyperbole, Chrys would be claiming that her heart was about to beat out of her chest from sheer panic. It was far too late to cancel, and guilt had prevented her from rescinding her bid anyhow. Besides, part of her had wanted this to happen. Maybe not in this way, but still... After all, uknowing or not, Noah had been instrumental in her Fall. She had harbored feelings for him for longer than he even knew she existed. This was why she had bid in the first place, in full-on Freudian style. She had been trying to work up the courage to ask him out for half a decade. Maybe it was Fate after all...

...but even if it was, she still felt about ready to vomit and was considering locking the door while turning out the lights. "Maybe if he thought I wasn't home... That I forgot...? No. He'll be here any minute and I couldn't do that to him... Could I...?"
Oct 20 2015, 04:12 PM
Chrys didn't want to be here, truth be told. It was a dark night, and only a few short days before Halloween, and she had no sane reason to be sneaking around in this darkened theatre, but she had some unfinished business to which she needed to attend. She could be at home and working on her costume for the Faculty party where she hoped to run into a certain someone. She could be working on what she'd say to him. She could even be working on one of the jamming devices or monkey-wrenching tools she had begun to develop for her mission. No, instead she was here creeping around an empty theatre and nagged by this bizarre thing called a conscience. It was a strange, foreign sort of feeling. One she had never been programmed to feel, but the implications of her Fall were still things that she was discovering daily.

This whole foolhardy gesture had started three days previously. She had walked past the theatre on her way home from her afternoon class and had noticed the sign which indicated there would be night of horror movies and ghost stories on All Hallow's Eve. It was a holiday celebrated by the people of this world, Western Civilizations in particular, to either remind themselves of the fear their species retained from their time as apes or to remember loved ones who had passed... Chrys had never been entirely certain which was the more accurate explanation, but that was not relevant. What was were the decorations that made her think of spirits of the dead and the theatre at once. She had the thought and the context, which had accessed repressed memories from her mental archive and reminded her of when she had come to this very same theatre in the 1960s and what she had done to those poor teenagers...

That was when she had felt it, that emotion that humans called 'guilt.' It had taken her some time, and a few awkward conversations with her more trusted colleagues at the Academy, to connect her new feeling with the concept of guilt. She hated it. It gnawed at her, wheedling its way into her thoughts for days and driving her slowly mad. Finally, a few hours ago, she decided she needed to do something to assuage her guilt and that had led her here, to the empty theatre in the night. Except...

It wasn't empty. Unbeknownst to Chrys, the theatre had become home to the local Freehold and was rarely entirely empty. When the theatre was closed, the Changelings came out to hold their Courts and socialize. Even when it was open, the theatre served the Freehold by supporting its denizens financially. Tonight, when the theatre had closed after the final show, Chrys had broken in through a window in the back and found herself backstage. She was already halfway to her target, sneaking around to avoid detection from outside or any lingering employees, she didn't notice immediately that just beyond the curtain there were half a dozen changelings that were relaxing in the seats and it was likely that at least one had heard her by now...
Oct 20 2015, 04:06 PM
Chrys needed to meet more people. She knew this and knew that it would help her maintain her Cover. She would gain a greater context for who she was now that she had a living human host, allowing her to better understand the emotions that seemed so foreign to her. It would help her co-workers get to know her and allow her to socialize more easily. Above all, it would help remind her why she had Fallen in the first place. Of course, there was a complication that all too often got in her way. She wasn't a Mage like so many of her co-workers. Sure, her Cover had provision built into it so she fit in. She was a known member of House Batini in good standing. She had, through trickery and clever Embed use, proven herself mystically capable as a Master. So far, everything was covered and she knew no one really suspected her of being anything other than Professor Crystal Wright. That was good...

...but it was also very lonely. Crystal was known to be insular and was rarely seen outside of her office or classroom. Indeed, despite being seen frequently walking through town as she traveled between her home and campus, she was rarely seen speaking to anyone beyond the bare minimum. She avoided social events on campus and in-town alike. Nothing seemed out of character for the sort of woman she was known to be, but she desperately wished to find someone to talk to about everything. She was the only Rogue Herald in the Valley as far as she knew and none knew her secret, not even the man who had driven her to Fall. The only others who even knew her kind existed were the other Heralds, who now hunted her either for revenge for her former master or to absorb her power into themselves to serve their own masters.

That was why she was, for the very first time, sitting at the food court. This was not the first time she had visited the place, though she did not require food for sustenance she enjoyed the act and it helped support her Cover as well. She always took her food to go and retreated to the comfort of her office however, and never lingered longer than was truly necessary. Now though? Now she sat alone at a table, slowly picking apart the Chinese food she had ordered and eating it one thing at a time. First a forkful of rice, then a piece of chicken, then a water chestnut, then more rice... Slowly and meticulously she ate her food and never allowed more than one kind of food enter at a time, though only the most astute observer would likely notice this fact. She seemed to be enjoying it however, as she smiled and closed her eyes for a fraction of a moment with each bite. She had chosen to eat here in hopes that someone would join her, but a large part of her was nervous at the concept and wondered if this was a foolish idea....
Oct 19 2015, 06:43 PM

Name: Crystal Wright

Player: darkkenchild

Alias: Professor Wright, Damien Redcloud, {{Chrysopoeia}}, Chrys (Only to those "in-the-know"), Alice Jenkins

Age: 73

Type: Rogue Herald

Profession: Classical Literature Professor / Private Investigator

PB: Judy Greer / Eric Balfour

Group: Inquisitor w/ Saboteur leanings

Appearance: Cover has no significant differences.

Chrys is a genderless humanoid constructed of Ivory and a strange blue metallic substance whose forms seems to shift and undulate slightly as if viewed through a camera that is ever-so-slightly out of focus. Her head is hairless, revealing clear plastic-looking panels which reveal a skull made of the same blue metal and the circuitry underneath which it protects. Its eyes are not actually anything resembling human organs, but instead are a series of interchangeable lenses. Upon her back is a set of wings whose "feathers" appear to be the pieces of a satellite dish broken into slats and attached to a structure made of the blue metal. If one looks at her form long enough, she seems to be "wrong" dimensionally as she consistently shifts between two, three, and four dimensional space.

Numina: Embeds - Deep Cover (Key), Going Native (Key), Become the Lie (Interlock), Heart's Desire, In My Pocket, Without a Trace
Exploits - Everybody Hates Him, Evil Eye, Newton's Nightmare

Heraldic Form Powers - {{The following abilities can only be used by dropping her Cover and appearing in her true form, thus exposing herself to humans and Heralds alike.}} Spatial Distortion (Hide in higher/lower dimensions), Inhuman Intelligence ("I KNOW things"), Mental Resistance (Resists Mind Magics as if Mind 5), Advanced Optics (Can See for Miles or down to the microscopic level), Nanobot Configuration (Can Repair or Alter Form at Will), Clairvoyant Sight (Can See Anywhere in the World), Multiversal Antenna (Can See/Hear alternate realities)

History: Chrys doesn't know if she existed before the "Autocthonic One" summoned her before its central consciousness. She thinks she did, but she has absolutely no memory of such. She remembers pain then, pain and wonder, as she beheld It in all of Its glory. A maze of non-Euclidean architecture shot through with bizarrely divine machinery all keyed towards some ultimate goal that it had neither the capability nor the inclination to make her understand. She knew then what her purpose was to be. She was to make its will manifest on Earth, the realm which it could touch but fleetingly but so wished to bring into its wondrous fold.

She arrived on Earth in the year the locals referred to as "Nineteen Hundred and Forty-Two" with a singular mission. She was to collect the "parts" of the "Divine Work" and put them in place so that they might fulfill their destiny. The first of her targets was a young adventurer that would be needed at the Divine Work, but would not live to see its inception. Fortunately a woman displaced from time provided a useful opportunity to remedy this and with the pairs' unwitting assistance she sent him forward half a century to where he could play his role as intended. Then she set about spending the intervening time ensuring that other pieces would arrive on schedule. A man named Hastings was subtly encouraged to remain where he had been for decades already, rising to prominence at the local school. Artifacts the world over, their true purpose unknown to any but Chrys, were collected by well-meaning Magi. Whole families were encouraged to take root so that her master's plan would reach fruition. Then she met him.

Noah Fenwick was a headstrong young man with a bizarre way of thinking. He would often leave the Valley for reasons she could not fathom and risk his life in ways that were reckless and foolhardy. He fought when he thought it right, and nearly died wrong. He had a purpose in the Living City's plan, but if left to his own devices he would be absent or dead by the time his role was needed. So she followed him across the globe in secret. Manipulating spellworks to miss or hit him just so. Encouraging allies to support or turn against him, depending on circumstance, while enemies were encouraged to attack at the worst times. All to drive him home. None of it seemed to work. When she wanted him to go north, he went south. If she wanted him to retreat, he would charge forward. When she wanted his losses to drive him home they instead drove him to drug use. Even when she manipulated him into further depravity, so as to drive his family to intervene he instead cleaned up. He was maddening and frustrating and infuriating and... and... She realized somewhere along the way she had come to love him.

The day she realized that, some ten years ago, was the day she Fell from Grace and rebelled against her master. She went Rogue and retreated into her most recent Cover, hiding herself within the mousy Professor of Classical Literature at the Columbiana Academy. She planned to seek him out with her new found freedom, but instead he came to her. He took a job as a Professor as well, defying her plans and affirming her affections for him. Ever since, she has been examining the world and her understanding of it. She has begun to realize that Autocthonia does not wish to uplift humanity with its knowledge, but rather drag its Chaotic Essence into horrifying lockstep with the rest of the Living City. She knows that she loves this world too much to let that happen. She knows that she has to defend this world from her former master. She knows It hunts her, sending agents to both finish her work and eradicate her before she can disrupt Its plans. She knows she has to hide and struggle and fight and LIVE. Above all else, she knows that someday... someday soon... she will have to work up the courage to tell Noah how she feels... Or even to say more than two words to him without squeaking in terror before lapsing into silence...
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