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.
The Infamous Noah Fenwick, the great mad scientist of the Shadow War. Lauded as a hero by some and a villain by others. A silver age genius stuck in a modern age. Stories about his actions are still used as cautionary fables mentors use to teach young apprentices about hubris, impulsiveness and impracticality. Though the legend is more talk then reality, certainly Noah had his day in the sun, but these days most enlightened think the man is dead, and they might not be far off, that particular Noah Fenwick went the way of the battles he fought. What's left is an Etherite no less brilliant, but far more humbled in spite of himself, he's still fighting the good fight, he just doesn't know how to do it anymore.
There's just something about Noah that's strange about friends. He wants them just like anybody, but he doesn't exactly change his behavior to get any. So if someone is willing to deal with a belligerent man-child who sometimes throws impressive tantrums about his work, or tends to be rude, sarcastic and cagey around new people...then by all means, go ahead. However, Noah shows a different side of himself around those who have earned his trust, around the right people he can be almost downright charming in an awkward sort of way, at the very least he'll do whatever he can to never let someone he cares about down, but usually that's not actually how it works
Once upon a time, Noah championed the Order after the fall of Doissetep, making the Exarchs the greatest evil in his universe...of course that was about a decade ago, and in that time his sister married one of the bad guys and he ended up living in their basement. Which has a way of changing a man's mind. After all, they both lost in a way..Noah is adhering to a live and let live mentality these days. No more being arched and arching in return, he's on the level these days. The only way to get his hackles raised to bring out a ray gun and raise hell would be if someone threatened his family, an offense that would be be remedied with vaporization. Otherwise, he has no real enemies that he knows or cares about, though chances are, there are some enlightened that remembered the mad scientist that caused all that trouble back during the war and think they have a score to settle. <h1>Romance</h1>
Noah has been married a few times, and each marriage has fallen apart because of how difficult he is. Though difficult as he may be, there's a certain charm to the mad scientist, he's impulsive and passionate, when he falls in love that person is the sun in his sky and his world revolves around her. He falls fast, he falls hard, and he commits far, far too easily. Then that sun goes supernova and the he finds himself spiraling off into the universe. However, in Noah's world this cycle is worth it, even if he's aware of it. There's always a future Mrs. Fenwick on the horizon, and subsequently a future ex-Mrs. Fenwick past that horizon.
Herbert Silverman was a lackadaisical child, that grew up into a lackadaisical adult and the talk of the Valley. The son of two of Columbiana's movers and shakers, he stayed an Acolyte of the Order up until his explosive awakening by his own hand, and a 9v Power Drill. What came out was nothing but star stuff, and Herb can see forever...but what he can't quite focus on is why he's become the center fo the universe for all the strange goings on within this cursed place. But he keeps his eyes down and tries to cope, which hasn't been quite doing the trick.
Herb knows he doesn't have much in the way of friends ane the ones he has, probably don't like him. That's okay. He doesn't blame them. He's a challenging man that people don't quite understand. However, even though he's difficult, flippant, and mostly sardonic to the point where no one really believes him, Herb has always been honest with those he considers friends, though sometimes even that makes him come off as rude and blunt. To those who tolerate him, he does his best to be legitimately less repugnant- in fact he almost goes completely spastic and clingy, which can be it's own deterrent.
There aren't many people that can stand Herbert for very long, but for the most part he's not done anything to warrant the status of enemy, but who knows? Some people can't take a damn joke. Sometimes, he wonders if maybe the Traditions might be upset he's keeping company with a Technocrat. Maybe. They might think Herbert owes them, and he doesn't hardly feel the same way, but while he might have once thought of them as an antagonist, he's now even more aware of how pointless they all really are, and he pities them. It's that pity that keeps him from ever really thinking about them anymore. Though that's something to deal with when or if it ever comes up.
A bit flamboyant, and with a friendship that seems to cross some intimacy boundaries, Herb swears that he's into women- which is half true at any length. He's left his failed relationships behind him, and about the time he's sworn off love, it seems he's found it in a strange place. Maybe his sexuality is best described as: Anyone who is nice to me. He's not quite so serious enough to get serious about relationships. But knowing this its one of the few things he's respectful about-people's romantic feelings. He doesn't like breaking hearts, but his own heart is easily broken at the slightest rejection or provocation. Anyone who wants to be with Herb is going to have share time with the man in his life and they're both pretty high maintenance.
A nomadic werewolf that calls the valley her home, June protects the parts of Columbiana where magi aren't welcome. Talented at parkour and being a squirrelly S.O.B. She seems to have dabbled in just about everything in her short time on this this earth. However, she's great fun if you can stomach her wild ways, a force of nature that seems to never stop heckling and pranking those who take themselves far far too seriously. Seems she just has a knack of showing up just where she needs to be...which may or may not be because she just assumes that where she is happens to be where she needs to be.
June is one of those sorts who makes friends easily, just because she's so darn friendly, sure you can't trust her nine times out of ten due to her joking nature and penchant for causing chaos- but most of the time she's as loyal as loyal can be...just don't be surprised if she drags you along for her idea of "fun". She just as a strange way of showing affection to those she likes...like a teenager, that means she just tortures the objects of her friendship with pranks until they give up and love her back. Like some sort of twisted Stockholm Syndrome
A walking time bomb of misfortune like June has bound to create some tension with those she's spent time with. Never-mind that her business practices can be a bit...questionable, she's no doubt stolen from someone who took offense to her flippant consideration of 'ownership'. Also she isn't particalarly careful with the spiritual upkeep she does do...which is certain to draw all sorts of attention, both good and bad. The worst of which was a the dream demon Rohn'aqurek...but she managed it. Lord knows that her fellow Uratha don't approve of her lifestyle, that much is for certain.
As anyone with a healthy sense of humor June likes her lovers to be able to make her laugh. But anyone willing to court the young Fury needs to take anything she does or says with a grain of salt and a shot of penicillin. A certain amount of patience needs to be taken into account too... June's moods change quickly, she is mercurial to say the least, not just in mind but in body as well...so anyone who catches her fancy has to be ready to tolerate her particular peculiarities. <br><br>
However she is incredibly open-minded about those she takes a liking to-or what- for that matter and when she gets it in her mind that she wants someone she doesn't let up. That is, until she grows bored of them. Which is usually the case.
A bit hyper-kinetic and a bit extreme when it comes to personality, Kate can be a hard person to get on with. Certainly she makes great acquaintances mostly, she was well trained in social niceties and can speak very pretty for the most part, but true friends are rare...as sooner or later she shows her honest and somewhat scary self. However, among those she loves, cares for and trusts...she might not always show it, but she does adore them to the point she'd die for them- they're better then her family for the most part. Though she has a funny way of showing her love mostly with near aggressive affection and money because that mushy gushy stuff is not what she's all about.
A lot actually. A whole lot- Kate was born into upper crust hostility and she just kept things going as she grew up. A nasty bit of work as a Summer courtier she has no qualms speaking her mind, or backing it up. Besides being the greater evil in so many peoples' universe has given her an undue sense of pride by this point, because she finds it almost flattering. Whoever it is, between her family, her fellow Lost or even the Others in Arcadia. She certainly doesn't lose sleep because of them, they are just rabble looking for a fight, and while she won't start anything (a lie), she sure as hell will end it. <h1>Romance</h1>
Kate likes her boys just like she likes her girls...big, dumb and pretty. Preferably a combination of all three, but sixty-six percent is fine (after all, Ds get degrees, her final academy scores attest to that). Anyways, Kate will let someone know if she's interested which is probably for the best, her bluntness might not be romantic in the least...she really isn't, but the alternative to not waiting for her signals have put many would-be suitors in traction.
Elizabeth and Ben: She knows slightly more than jack shit about computers, but Lissi might be friendly enough to draw Ben out of his shell. She grew up around lots of weird grouchy old folks, many of whom were in poor mental health, so she’s probably not too bothered by that stuff. She also dabbles in death magic and is a member of house Thanatos, I don’t know if that’d freak him out.
Elizabeth and Steve: Lissi is very much mired in the past and nostalgic for things she’s never actually seen. She utterly fascinated by all of his spirit-y stuff. I have no idea how they’d run into each other though.
Ben and Elizabeth- Ben has no natural fear of death, it's the after parts he worries about but he supposes that really isn't something he should fret about over much. When it comes to things freaking him out? He's got that stoic old 'seen it all' kind of attitude that comes from maybe seeing it all...he doesn't ever quite say what he's doing for the University, but it's something, and it isn't all teaching freshmen excel. That said Ben sits outside the Turing building often (he's a habitual smoker) and doesn't complain overmuch when people show up around him- though he doesn't seek much in the ways of company on his own.
Steve and Elizabeth- The nice thing about Steve is that he might be the closest thing the Valley has to a welcome wagon, as it is, it's hard to not use the term: xenophobic when in regards to Columbiana's locals. Steve on the other hand makes an attempt to at least greet and meet new faces- especially the new, typically uncertain undergrads. Maybe Elizabeth met him then? He's an old fixture in the area, though it's not well known that he's anything other then a mage (though why he dropped his House has been something of a mystery and heated debate). Otherwise he's almost boring, working to pay the bills, camping to have some fun, and stressing because he has a daughter who is coming up to be a freshmen this year at the university.
Darcy and Elizabeth- I'm cheating by posting this, because the character isn't even done yet, BUT HE WILL BE (darnit). Anyways, ol' Darcy has the touch of death upon him, and it's left a mark and some lasting weirdness to his life. He'll be right off the bus when he does make it to Columbiana, hunting down a lost ginger who disappeared without telling him much about what's up...(Matt). Of course the issue there being, normal mortals don't often leave the Valley once they've been there awhile.
Herb and Elizabeth- Herb has been dead. Straight up, and it kinda made him a full blown mage. Now why isn't he part of house Thanatos? No one knows. Especially since the kid is Columbiana's very own junior Coroner. Either way he often runs in the circles with other death mages...and for that they might know each other in passing.
Elizabeth and Ben: Lissi might have been in one of his classes when she was an undergrad. She probably struggled in class because she finds working with computers to be tedious. If he sits outside a lot she’s probably already made a habit of saying hello to him whenever she’s walking past the building. She’d definitely be willing to stop and chat with him. I read through his character survey and they both like books and music/musicals (and Lissi is a mediocre piano player) so maybe we could work some of that in somehow. Basically, if you decide he needs friends or if you want to torment him with someone friendly, Lissi can help with that hahaha.
Elizabeth and Steve: I think it would make sense to assume they met when she first came to town. They might eventually have some connection through his daughter, other than that I’m drawing a blank.
Elizabeth and Darcy: Hahaha, well you’ve certainly gotten my curiosity! I’d love to do something with them when you bring him in.
Elizabeth and Herb: Herb sounds like someone Elizabeth would definitely know and would definitely want to talk to. She’d be like, “You’ve been dead? TELL ME MORE PLS.-whips out journal to take notes- “She’s never actually died, unlike a lot of the death mages. She’s been around a lot of death, and traveled to the underworld by magical means, but she’s never actually croaked. I also assume she needs to get bones/hair/other icky things for some of her spells and...well, who better to try to get them from than the junior coroner? If he’s still into wearing floral print tights, she might have something to say about that to.
Ben and Elizabeth- He'd feel for her, really he would, but as a professor, he lacks a bit of sympathy for his students. I don't agree with it, but he's a 'give a packet and god be with ye' type of computer teacher. After all, keyboarding class isn't what he signed up for, and regrettably he looks down his nose at the 101 classes he has to teach. Not the kids mind you, just the lessons...what a waste of everyone's time and money! That said he'd chat well enough, I don't know that he's very vocal about his musical tastes or abilities (I keep thinking he knows how to play the banjo but at questionable ability) but Ben is a very private man who tries to keep his personal life and his work life separate- even though he really doesn't have much of the latter. He does take joyrides with his golf cart around town on occasion...I think for these two it would definitely be a random encounter. Maybe emphasis on the random bit. LOL
Steve and Elizabeth- They might just be friendly acquaintances then, no need to stress more of a connection then that. I might app his daughter at some point (or put her up for adoption-not sure yet), so maybe something will come up then!
Darcy and Elizabeth- I plan on buckling down and getting him done tomorrow. If not, beat me relentlessly until I do so. You have been given permission!
Herb and Elizabeth- Herb will talk to a lamp post if you put a smiley face on it. The rumors of his death are exaggerated, but not exactly untrue, which by the way is why he's completely embarrassed by it. Yet no one has ever really asked him what he saw on the other side. Most everyone just assumed he tried to kill himself and scolded him for that (which wasn't the case). He kinda has an issue expressing himself or maybe it's just that no one really listens to him, mostly because both are correct, magically there's something a bit off about him that way. However he tries to keep light and breezy about all that screwed up stuff, and yes he still wears weird clothes and whatever the party line is...he ~totally doesn't have bodyparts or anything~ in his posession ever. *
Luc and Noah: Luc is fascinated by Noah, in the anthropological sense of the word. The fact that this man is still alive is little less than an absolute miracle, if even half of the rumors Luc's picked up are true, and he has a soft spot in his heart for brazen, reckless, zealous members of the intelligentsia. His single-minded pursuit of the Exarchs is a little...something (let's cut to the quick; Luc's sympathies towards the Exarchs have only recently gone sour; he's generally comfortable with the notion that sleepers should stay sleeping for their own safety), but the passion with which Noah pursues said ends would surely be infectious. Their fields of study are polar opposites, so probably not much room for a teacher/student relationship, but I could very much see Luc wanting to ingratiate himself, at least somewhat, with this dynamo of a campus personage.
Luc and Herb: This could go either way, I think. They're both grad students who received formal magic instruction through their families, so there's likely some overlap in backgrounds there which creates common ground, and they're both just a bit too intense and just a bit too self righteous, which could either mesh well into a brotherhood-of-the-put-upon or explode like sodium in water. Maybe it's a little bit of both. Either way, I think personal plottage is highly probable. Assuming both of them were once undergrads at Columbiana, there's room for a preexisting relationship of some kind. Let me know what you think!
Oh my gosh Luc! I missed your reply to my plotter! D:
This was a huge oversight on my part and if I ever take longer then a few days to notice this sort of thing again, please please please give me a poke!
Luc and Noah: Noah would look at Luc with some sympathy, he is after all, a young man and see the thing about being young....it's not who you really are, and that's who everyone is going to remember you as. Funny how that works. I could see these two getting along well enough mostly because Noah is actually a lot more low key then people give him credit for.
Luc and Herb: Herb was the black sheep of the family for certain, "Did you hear how Silverman's boy didn't awaken?" This was all especially bad given that his dad is just a prominent figure in the community, made worse that the rumor tree is that Herb tried to kill himself with a 9v drill and awakened by barely surviving that. Then and only then did he start getting a bit of attention that wasn't negative from a lot of the valley...so Luc's self righteous behavior might be nothing in comparison to the self righteous indignation that Herb has going from himself, which you're right, they'd either get along and everyone would hate it...or they'd damn near each each other. Maybe both depending on the day.
Elizabeth and Darcy: They'll definitely have stuff to talk about and she'd offer to help look for his missing/”dead” friend. I don’t know if they can go on a day trip to the underworld since he’s a sleeper, but she might be able to help him rule out death somehow. Beyond that she knows fuckall about Arcadia so she’d be useless to him there. Until then, they have to meet somehow, so we could go with some normal encounter around town somewhere, or something weirder (Getting stuck inside a shop together because it's literally raining cats and dogs outside, or one of them has a car-unicorn accident, idk).
Helene and Vreni: if you're not burnt out on Vreni-in-the-theater threads -- Helene has earned herself a reputation for being super curmudgeonly, but before she was taken to Arcadia she was a very good singer/Broadway starlet...and then she was put into a giant birdcage and basically kept as a pet canary for ages, and when she escaped she didn’t even get to keep her youth (that’s honestly a big reason why she’s so bitter). They both seem to fear their singing will draw too much attention to themselves, but if Helene ever visits the theater she might slip up and Vreni could catch her.
Noah and Dexter: If you’ve ever wanted to see how much crazy could be stuffed into one thread... I'm sure Dex has his eye on Noah, probably a whole file cabinet dedicated to the dangerous magical crap Noah’s been up to so that he can prepare for it. Hell, he believes part of the school board has been replaced by perfect cybernetic replications of themselves, and it would not surprise me at all if he believes Noah is responsible. I don’t know that Dexter has the stones to confront Noah on his own, but at the very least he’d be up for stalking Noah all over the place and recording all his movements via cassette tape.
Berlinetta & Noah I think that it is certainly true that Berlinetta has heard the stories and fables surrounding Noah's legend, and while all of those tales have fascinated her, the truth is, that Berlinetta is otherwise creeped out or unsure how to feel about Mr. Fenwick and it is for that reason alone that she doesn't make it a point to chat with him for fear of his reaction. Biancardi has overheard stories from faculty about Noah, and while those stories are often dismissed as gossip or heresay, it doesn't influence her to want to conversate with him anymore. Noah makes her nervous, and because of that, she has grown avoidant of his name and will often make diversions whenever she needs to to avoid interacting with him.
Berlinetta & Herbert Berlinetta knows Herbert and has known him as long as she has been at Columbiana, and it is for this reason that she has grown largely accustomed to him and his presence. In spite of his own idiosyncrasies, Herbert, in Berlinetta's book, is someone that she can trust, and she hopes that it is a mutual understanding between the two of them. Berlinetta is under the impression that due to the nature of his abilities, that Herbert is incapable of "seeing the forest for the trees," and that is alright, she wouldn't have Herbert any other way. Berlinetta considers Herbert her closest, if not best friend at Columbiana.
Berlinetta and Noah: The sad part about rumors is that while they have a grain of truth to them, they aren't always true. Noah was perhaps in half as frightening a mad scientist as people say, perhaps as much hero as villain. But these days, he's almost 'boring' if you were expecting something from ten-fifteen years ago. He's pleasant towards students he recognizes, and awkward around those he doesn't, but he's usually got enough sense to know if he makes someone uncomfortable so if Berlinetta is avoiding him, he wouldn't blame her and would give her her space. He's not a bad guy, it's just he has a hard time showing it...
Berlinetta and Herbert: If you know where to look, yeah Herb has been in the valley his entire life and isn't hard to miss. Sure he's snitty, and particular and generally...well, there's no good way to say it but 'weird' as he is the boy that is well known for trepanning himself. Berlinetta would right in trusting Herb, he's an honest guy (for good or for ill). As freshly awakened, it might not be so much "Can't see the forest for the trees" as much as "Has never been in the woods alone" in that regard.his relationship with magic, much like with people is complicated and messy. Herb has a lot of friends he doesn't think or know are friends. But I'm sure he's always delighted to see Berlinetta from time to time.
Of course, Herb is like a magnet of weird in the valley, up until recently he had been in the mess of whatever calamity had befallen the town, so he's been a wreck and a bit of a shut in holing up with his equally weird boyfriend. So maybe he needs to get out?
Berlinetta & Noah: I actually just developed an idea from writing my most recent response to Alex. I think that Berlinetta is going to struggle with teaching and instructing given the nature of the behavior of some students. I am wondering if there is any way to contact Noah about administrative duties and such. I think it could be a good opener and a way to interact with a faculty member that she may not always be around. Perhaps the situation is such that Noah is like the only free faculty member during a particular period, and she has to muster up enough courage to approach him about the situation.
Berlinetta & Herbert: Well, I think that we need to get them out and about, and while I am unsure the best way to do it, I think that they should doing something relatively adventurous. I am going to try and think of something neat and inventive for the two of them to do together. If you have any ideas, please let me know. I also need to get something up for the monthly challenge. Ugh. I am on fire right now.
Verena and Bill As soon as Bill works out where the Autumn court meets and deals with things (even if it's just us two) he'd like to get to know her know how she likes to operate within the Freehold around the Valley. Most importantly he would like to set up a little bit of a foothold here either by securing the hedge a bit more for the Freehold in the valley.