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?

darkkenchild is the Head Admin here at No Books. He enjoys long walks on the beach and debating the metaphysical underpinnings of reality, so any questions about your character , the plot of No Books, and/or how magic works on the site, please do not hesitate to ask him.

Squeeji is the head of “Human Resources” here at No Books, and responsible for pretty much everything related to our contact with the outside world. Advertising, orientation, and just about anything to do with bringing in new blood is in her wheelhouse.
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"Drillbit" Herbert
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Born: 9 June 1991
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Application: http://nobooksofmen.b1.jcink.com/index.php?showtopic=51
Plotter: http://nobooksofmen.b1.jcink.com/index.php?showtopic=68
Age: 24
Alias: Squeeji
Great House: Criamon
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Herbert Silverman

Graduate Student

My Content
Sep 9 2015, 01:19 AM
He knew after three days his brother would be sent to check up on him. Herb knew that screening his calls was probably not the most adult thing to do, but he wasn't exactly feeling much like an adult. He didn't WANT to go to have seder dinner with his family, he didn't particularly CARE if was Rosh Hashanah. But he also knew he had three days before someone would pull him out of his apartment, and he certainly didn't want to go alone. Now normally this would be where Avery would come in, and normally he'd have happily invited his bestie-boo to the less then civil festivities at the Silverman household but to be entirely honest- Herb kept having other plans outside his comfortable norm.

Why wouldn't he just bring Ellis?

So he called his dd and was completely honest, "Um, hey dad, yeah...uh I'll be there Saturday night. Avery? No he can't make it. Can I bring a friend though? I got...well, uh, I got something to say I guess? Yeah...um alright." Herb had begun pacing the house as he chatted, just making rounds about the living room. "Oh no, it's fine...nothing like...bad or anything. Kay, yeah...see you soon. Uh huh. L'shanah tovah to you too."

It had been a pretty standard casual discussion that ended with him throwing his phone on the couch like it had scalded his hand and him making a noise like a balloon losing air at a rapid and whiny pace. Because the second he hung up, it just occurred to him what he had set in motion- he was bringing his boyfriend of well, a long while to dinner which would be stressful in and of itself, except he was also more or less coming out and oh yeah...his family were complete and utter MONSTERS.

All these things hit him a bit too hard and fast, so he laid down right on the floor between the couch and the coffee table, still...he couldn't stop internal screaming, and externally he was just kinda quietly screaming and hoping someone would come home because he was going to die.
Mar 25 2015, 07:25 PM
Avery was fast and stealthy for a guy with the build of Winnie the Pooh, Herb could never wrap his mind around that fact, but it sure made avoiding short, fat and proud of that a hard ass thing. Maybe he should have felt a bit bad about that, but after talking to Jenny it was really a situation where he didn't want to talk to Avery about the same damn thing. Because apparently, and he was starting to feel a bit funny about it too, but...last night had been weird. Weirder still, it hadn't felt too weird to him?

Herb knew he could have just avoided the whole thing by staying in home tonight. But he had to admit- he was kind of excited to go back out again and hang out with Ellis. So weird or no it was still happening, it just meant he had to go out the back door where they took the bodies at the end of his shift...because who'd expect him to head out that way right? Right? Well...honestly he never did, usually he ran upstairs the second he got his time sheet signed and ran upstairs to meet Avery by the front doors.

Not this time though.

They were still fighting he was pretty sure. But Herb had long since forgotten why, and it probably wasn't anything important, but that feeling of having someone mad at him was still burning under his skin and getting his blood pressure up- so he had a feeling maybe part of why it was so easy to ditch Avery was just that his bestie had no desire to really see him. Well, he couldn't blame him for that.

Sure made for a somber walk back to his parents house, that was for sure. Herb sighed as he unlocked the door- feeling like the latchkey kid he grew up as, lonely in a big empty house with no one really in it. Not that he could hear...he went and changed out the laundry from his lunch break, changing his scrubs for a pair of cosmic leggings and an loose sweater as he peeled out his contacts. "Oh god, god never again..." Yeah that whole pool water and sleep thing? Herb wasn't having it. Glasses for the rest of the night. FFFFFFuck. He pulled Ellis' clothes from the dryer, folding them carefully and placing them into his drawstring backpack.

Walking was his norm, portals or no...he could catch his thoughts when he walked, the cool still air had a way of centering him, and he was taking his time anyways, thinking mostly, but also he had ordered a pizza so you know...no need to rush that right? Still he was trying to piece together the day before and the week before that. Like was there a connection? Maybe not. Hopefully not. Though he couldn't help but try to see if past events were pieces to a greater puzzle. Because part of him just couldn't grapple with the idea that these things just happened randomly. Shadow men, hounds of hell and wax monsters or strange boys at coffee shops...These things just didn't happen randomly right?

Did they?

Well at least it didn't seem a straight up waste, Ellis seemed like good people, even if Herb didn't know what to think about him...he was- different that was for certain. Herb still couldn't shake his wonder at whatever he had done to that sculpture- since it sure as hell wasn't awakened magic. And yet...yet he didn't want to question it. For once he didn't want to question a good thing just to have it go bad. It would but he wasn't going to push it along- he just simply didn't have the heart for it. Besides, Herb couldn't help but reason he needed a friend right about now, a nice, neutral friend who was...probably a diabolical or something terrible. Maybe the valley killer. Why not? That would be his luck.

Shit. No he wasn't going to think like that.

A huff of air and he hopped himself up enough to walk back into the bar, pay for his pizzas and portal out- crumpling into a pile on the landing of Ellis' apartment stairs, a pile still holding up the boxes of food in some miracle mound. "Hnnnnnng." Sure everything from his hair down was sore but they food was alright and that's all that mattered. He grumbled and groaned, pulling himself out of his knot- and knocked on the door, still feeling a little bit excited...but now more a pensive excited.
Mar 2 2015, 05:52 AM
It had been a rather uneventful night of sleep, which Herb had been grateful for, typically when it came to trying to get any rest he found little. Strange dreams had come after his awakening and finding a little peace even because of full blown exhaustion had been a bit of a blessing. So as the sun started to peek through the curtains enough that he could no longer ignore it, Herb started to stir with a smile on his face and a contented grumble at the fact he was warm and feeling particularly snugly with...

His eyes opened up slowly as he forgot some details there, he wasn't in his apartment, and it took a moment to orient himself, until it occurred to him- he had spent the night apparently at Ellis' place, but he hadn't remembered exactly falling asleep. But he obviously had, and he found himself arms wrapped around the man, hands folded on his chest and face against his neck.


Herb wasn't fazed in the slightest, this had...well okay it wasn't even the first time this had happened to him, and while it was weird to him that he had woken up somewhere unfamiliar, the where part, the part with him spooning someone he barely knew? That was not even worth mentioning, except for that part where he couldn't really free himself to go take another leak in the shower because Ellis had grabbed up his hands. But that was an entirely different problem all together. "Hey...hey wake up, what time is it?" He whispered it, just so he didn't startle him, just in case- he had done enough damage already and a wake and horror was just not an option.

But really the time thing was a concern, because while he probably missed his classes he couldn't really miss his lab time...so yeah, time was of the essence and he was held tight and there was no clock in sight.
Aug 19 2014, 01:37 AM
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Yo this is Herb, I'm not here and I don't know why you're leaving a message. I'll never get back to you. You know me. You know this. Either send me a text or hit my KIK.

</div></div></div></div><div class="mayacredit">♥ maya</div></center>[/doHTML]
Aug 11 2014, 09:57 PM

Player Name: Squeeji

Character Name: Herbert Chayyim Silverman

Alias: Herb

Age: 24

Character Type: Graduate

House: House Criamon

Secret Societies: Janissaries

PB: Ben Whishaw

Appearance: No notable differences

  • Death: 2
  • Fate: 3
  • Prime: 2
  • Space: 3
  • Time: 3
  • Astrological Prediction: The Order of Hermes is the master among the traditions in matters of astrology and planning. One major use of astrology has been to find the most suitable time to perform magick, by studying the conjunctions of the planets and stars. The astrologer analyses the act of magick, determines which planets rule it (for example, Prime is ruled by the Sun while Spirit is ruled by the Moon) and then tries to find the best conjunctions. Magick of the right type performed then will be more powerful and safe.
  • Break the Flow: The mage can disturb the flow of quintessence which sustains a magickal effect. This is done by disturbing it so it won"t discharge into its target, but into something else or just into reality in general. This will disrupt the magick for a short while (some types of magick may even be dispelled by this). This of course only works on magick which is fuelled by a flow of quintessence or is upheld by a concentrating mage. It will temporarily break down a barrier, make an eternal flame go out or turn a temporarily boosted Life- mage normal. Hermetic mages usually perform this by "cutting off" the power with their seal, while intoning the name of a powerful god or force.
  • Portal: By literally "tearing" a hole in space, the mage creates a spatial warp through which the caster (and anyone else who uses it before the "tear" heals itself) can travel. The mage steps into the Portal and "vanishes" from one place and instantly "appears" somewhere else, as determined when the spell is cast. Unless directly concentrating the portal to hold a portal open longer longer when casting, a portal only remains open for a short time (about 5 minutes) before sealing shut; if effort is put towards holding it open longer, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain concentration and it cannot be held open longer than about 15 minutes.
  • Forensic Gaze: The mage peers at a corpse to ascertain the cause of death, and no physical contact with the corpse is required. The knowledge appears as a ghostly image floating above the body visible only to the caster.
  • Inner Dance: With this rote, the Dancer maintains an awareness of the near- probabilities, and determines which are most likely to occur--and reacts to them. It can be used to aid the Ability use in any instance where foresight could help--Combat, auto racing, etc. You see the opponent's moves before he can make them. This rote has a duration of one turn per success.
    Search out the Path: This rote enables the Dancer to find her way nearly any location she can visualize. She simply walks in the directions which "feel right" according to her vision of the Dance, and arrives in the proper location.
  • Occam's Razor: Static magic functions through the creation of coincidences - things that are unlikely, but possible. Fo example, it is extremely unlikely that a coin flipped 100 times will land tails up each time. Possible, but extremely unlikely.
    Occam's Razor states that explanations that are extremely unlikely should be rejected in favor of more logical ones. The rote that shares its name works by lowering the entropy in a system, reducing the random chance that is necessary for coincidences to succeed. This makes performing static magic much more difficult - the coincidences simply don't happen.
  • Nusiance: This rote is one that generally calls attention to the one bearing its effects. THis is the rote that could be responsible for that day where you put your shirt on backwards (but didn"t notice til sometime round noon), dropped a plate at breakfast, forgot your bus pass, forgot to do up your fly, dragged toilet paper around on the bottom of your shoe, misplaced keys, forgot meetings, put a red shirt in with the whites... that kind of day.

    Nothing extraordinary happens on it's own, but all those little nuisance items that make you feel foolish happen if you"re the recipient of the effects of this rote.
  • Protection against the Winds of Randomness: The mage surround himself with a field of negative randomness, giving him some protection against random events (like getting the poisoned drink on the tray, winning on lottery or being hit by a falling flower-pot). When the mage uses this rote, he takes some item from the vicinity, like a four-leaf clower, a napkin or a coin. This object will become the "lucky thing". This item will partially show how much "luck" remains or if the rote successfully defends the mage. When the rote ends, the "lucky thing" will be lost or destroyed.
  • Suppress Aura: The Caster cloaks their own aura in an aura of decay, essentially disguising their aura as part of the “background noise” of existence. Those attempting to read her aura perceive only a “typical” human aura or none at all, depending on the choice of the caster of this spell.
  • See the Infinite: This rote is used to achieve gnosis. It works just like Co-locality perception; the mage successively sees more and more of the whole universe. Instead of instantly seeing everything (which even the Gnostics acknowledge would be disastrous), they start with the things in the vicinity, slowly expanding their vision outwards. The mage sees more and more, and will hopefully begin to understand something of the idea of the infinite as they expand their vision. Many Gnostics meditate using this rote, trying to expand the vision just a little bit more. This practice is of course dangerous, and countless Gnostics have become insane or died after accidentally seeing too much.
  • Strengthen Destiny: Some powerful magi are not content merely to watch the flow of history, they want to direct it. When they see a tendency they like, they perform elaborate ecstatic rituals to fuel the causal chains supporting it and increase the chance it will grow. This will help the development through random events and "the flow of history".
  • Sense Angled Time: Time does not always flow smoothly, sometimes there are corners and discontinuities in it for unknown reasons. These corners are dangerous times, since the defences of reality and casualty are briefly removed. Powerful beings of the Deep Umbra and dangerous weirdness may appear, and many momentous events occur at these times. This makes it especially important to know them beforehand. The Technocracy calls the "Bifurcation Points", and spend much energy neutralizing them or manipulating events around them.
Personality: Herbert is giddy, but not necessarily friendly, in fact more often than not the mage is outright nasty hidden in a pleasant veneer, a natural reaction from dealing with the Order as long as he has. He's always quick with a joke- but he's always the man who laughs first, laughs loudest and doesn't seem to know when to quit. In fact he seems just about amused about everything around him, more so when things aren't funny at all, that's about when he's at his worst really.

While Herbert has an eye for divination, he's remarkably morbid- there is no breaking the news gently when it comes to Herb, which is probably why he doesn't live with the living any longer, he's just better off working with the dead. But he argues that's because no one really understands that everything is just matters temporal, there's no real reason to feel sorry for anyone, its all a gag. He's been slipping off further and further from others since his traumatic awakening, and its storing to show.

A good sense of misguided humor probably wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't for the fact that Herbert is just a bit too intense, equal parts his own sort of bitter self rightenous indignation and from all of his years of training within a more traditional Hermetic family. He doesn't blink much and carries himself like he's ready to take on the world. He doesn't back down and he apparently hasn't found anything to scare, shame or coerce him to behave himself. While that might make him seem threatening, which might be his intention, it's only because he only seems so absolutely unhinged that people generally don't know what to think of him.

It doesn't help that when Herb isn't sharpening his claws on whatever or whoever raises his ire he's particularly strange. Though he often plays the part of grinning stoic Herb is actually quite sensitive and prone to melodrama. Flamboyant and prone to romantic notions with little to no restraint Herb is often considered 'living out loud'. He might not show it on his sleeve but he feels quite intensely, a good day keeps him riding high and a bad one has him crippled to the point of uselessness- so long as he actually takes it personally. There's never been a relationship he's walked away from that he didn't mourn for months at a time. Romantic or otherwise, he can be very clingy and it's hard for him to let go. Until he does, and then its like they never existed before.

There is no depth to constant mirth, he's not secretly depressed, his situation doesn't necessarily bother him or if it is it's not as though he's ever shown such an inkling. He's confident, perhaps too much so, which might be thanks to the fact he's got nothing or no one to impress anymore. He generally hates structure to the point of rebellion, especially towards anything involving the Traditions. Because who knows what's next and who has a say on how the future will go? He lives in a constant state of schadenfreude he knows more than he's letting on, and life is just a private joke which he doesn't share the punch line. Eat, sleep and be merry, for tomorrow we die. And life all too short to take too seriously..

Where would one start with Herbert Silverman? Born to the Order of Hermes to a powerful pair of parents and nothing but high expectations. Each of those expectations he failed above and beyond all comprehension, even under the watchful eye of private and personal enlightened training. He was a difficult child, lackadaisical and lazy, he never saw the point, really the point of anything. The more they fought and forced to put him in the mold, the more he bucked and fought back, yet Herbert laughed, he laughed because they didn't seem to be aware that insanity was trying to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.

Which was sort of a metaphor for The Order now wasn't it? After all, there was a reason they were losing and it was just a rut of hanging on to the old ways a constant cycle of futility while the Exarchs adapted to what it was to be human and they were stuck in some Sword and Sorcerery time warp- for that...they were doomed for which there was nothing he could really do.

It wasn't as though he hadn't tried when he was younger, there was nothing more he wanted than his parent's approval, but try as he might as they tried to force his awakening, Herb could never graduate past the second degree, which only made him more difficult, he questioned too much, he was far too contrary...which was a far cry from what was expected of a good member of the Order, the only saving grace to his name was (funny enough) his name even though his mother held the bulk of the fame in the family. But if not for his father's constant backing chances were he wouldn't have made it as long as he had, while his mother Antoinette had given up on Herb for his awakened brother Anthony, it was his father Sal that found something within the covenant for his son to do.

Herb was his father's assistant keeping the Jewish artifact maker's workshop clean both spiritually and literally. He did a good enough job doing hedgemagic, the grunt work of managing this that and the other thing was just too much fun, it was absolutely great to achieve nothing more than being a glorified janitor. There Herbert would always be struck right where he was, even though what he did didn't really amount to anything in the grand scheme of things.

So Herbert turned his back on Order with his Sal's blessing before he changed his mind, right into a world of university studies as a student at the Academy he might not have been able to be a proper enlightened, but he was set on doing something good for the world. Even though he went at it with all the speed and efficiency of someone so burnt out on academia somewhere around puberty. So much so that it was almost a sure thing that he wasn't going to get much done without something to focus him, even though at his young age he had an idea of what he wanted to do. But at nineteen his only interest was socializing with regular people without any concern of The Golden Path. Of course as a strange kid with a weird upbringing had much ability to actually connect with people, which was...not all, his roommates came and went, often because of his own passive aggressive mind games, so Herb found himself more or less alone until one fateful day the wrong guy got transferred into his room.

Roommate number three was named Avery. He had a girl name and a hair cut to match if he happened to play softball. For whatever reason, the two hit it off naturally, sure Herb was trying, but the guy was weird too and he liked that, but it took him some time to figure out what made him seem odd. Because honestly there was something he found suspicious about getting along with someone. Especially as their roommate status went from friend to full on bromance in almost no time at all. Both interested in the same end goal, the two started to take classes together, which was just about the push Herb needed to actually pull his ass to bed and get to his lectures. After that passing the courses was no problem. No the real problem came when Herb accidentally got himself caught doing goetia during a diagnostic lab...sure he thought nothing of it at first, until Avery called him out on it- a mage himself. Which should have been expected in a school full of the damn things, but you know...mum's the word and all that.

The two remained inseparable for the entire four years of their undergrad years. Though it was apparent that going through his pre-med courses, he simply did not have the people skills to cut it as a general practitioner, really anything involve working with actual living human beings with feelings- oh he had the grades no problem, in comparison to Hermetic training, a public university was basically no big deal. No what was a big deal was after all that time, it seemed that Avery and he had to go their separate ways...which was fine, of course it was fine, his best friend went off to California and he stayed in the valley that had always been his prison. That was fine and well except that Herb was starting to feel stress in an unusual way, as it started to feel like his head was about to explode, his condition deteriorated more and more...until one day, in a state of mental break down he ended up using the industrial drill in the morgue to trepan the pressure from under his skull.

Herb died.

Though through that act of death his body acted out to survive and he finally did what he had been unable to do for twenty three years prior. Herbert Silverman awakened, a small galaxy cracking open from his head finally expanding and stretching enough to be of some magical influence. Avery came back to just to look in on him, his dad seemed proud of of him...and Herb has felt nothing but a little guilty about the whole thing, worse given the whispers going around town about an 'attempted suicide' and the like, but ever since he's been a beacon towards the strange (or at least he thinks so), and in the last year it's only gotten worse.
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