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.
Before climbing into the window, Mund was antsy. Twisting on his feet and looking around, he merely shrugged at Alex's comments. "S'true, mon. Jail ain't fun. Gettin' both be worse dough." He grinned and waved his hands around in a 'prove me wrong' sort of gesture. "Not to be arguin. Jus' sayin'."
"No offense meant, Little Dude." Mund grinned in such a way that it was a bit unclear if the repeated use of the derided moniker was a joke or him being dense. Maybe both. Not to mention they all kinda seemed like 'little dudes' to Mund at his hunched 6'2". "I mean don' let me stop ya, mon. You do you. I jus' don' tink it'll be a gud idea." He shrugged again and started slowly shuffling towards his fated meeting with a crossbow.
Once through the window and completely assured of his wise decision, Mund proved to be as much a source of bad ideas as any other. What with an arrow in his arm and all. "Aw shit mon... Dis really hurts..." He winced in such an exaggerated fashion that it was almost comical, or at least it would've been if anyone had been paying attention instead of triggering traps of their own. He glanced between the changeling girl, the short guy getting a little haircut, and the dude nearly getting beaned with a paint can and he couldn't help but chuckle to himself despite the pain. At least until he saw the british guy hanging upside down by his ankles.... The he couldn't hold back a loud and boisterous guffawing that sounded halfway between snorting and cackling. "Sorry... Mon... Just... Hahaha..." He wiped a tear from his eye before seeming to sober up enough to nod to Faye. "But... Yeah... She's right... This may have been a bad idea..." He trailed off as his gaze turned to the stairs where he saw a gaunt face staring down the barrel of a shotgun aimed at the group.
Percy had been watching the chaos unfold outside his window for a while now. He had avoided catching the bug moving through town through a combination of liberal use of sanitizer (as per usual) and paranoid use of face masks and the like during business hours when he heard the first sniffles. He knew, just knew! that there was more to this than simply the flu. Didn't help that the 'rag' and the others in his poker group were full of theories when he brought it up. Between Dering, Gathers, and the other Watchtowers, Percy had heard more theories than he could expect and more.
He knew that it was a bad idea to go to that meeting in town, and he had told everyone who would listen. Of course, he also had a reputation as a shut-in and a hermit, so most dismissed him out of hand. Now they knew better. As the rioting began and he was vindicated, Percy had merely retreated away from the window with a self-satisfied grin...
...Until he heard shouting downstairs. Looters! Madmen! Rapists! With a worried squeak and trembling hands, Percy had grabbed one of the dozen loaded firearms within arm's reach of his bed and slowly made his way down the steps to the storefront. Stopping at the top of the steps, with barely enough room to squat and aim his shotgun, he traced over the strange group of criminals who had broken in. Training over the faces of some weirdo rastafarian, a trembling hipster kid, a pale girl, a young punk, and... "Will?" Percy squeaked out in surprised. What was going on here?
Avery didn't say this out loud, but he was thinking it pretty hard. Because seriously. He was almost decapitated, Rasta had a crossbow through his hand, hoodie guy took a shot to the face, and as he slowly and cautiously stood up straight on still-shaky legs, Avery watched as the red haired girl from outside got pummeled with stones and the Englishman got strung-up by a leg. Awesome. This was going just swimmingly.
Okay, he had to focus, there were people injured here and the guy with the dreds was huffawing something awful over there, which probably meant he was starting to lose it from blood loss. Or he was just as baked as Avery suspected he was. Either way. The pint-sized doctor started to wander over to cut the man who introduced himself as Will loose, already planning out how he was going to tackle that injured hand, muttering, "Gee, ya think?" under his breath at the notion that maybe this wasn't the best plan.
He only managed to get a few steps forwards before he caught sight of a man crouched down near the stairs holding a shotgun, and he froze, the fear he felt as that hatchet had gone sailing over his head a moment ago back in full force. He swore to God, if he died in this freaking basement from a shotgun blast to the face, he was going to be so pissed. Better nip this in the bud before it came to that. Avery's reflexes kicked in and he quickly settled the tips of his fingers against the side of his head, ready to send Shotgun McGee a nice insta-coma to the brain when he paused. Seemed the guy knew Blondie. Avery glanced over at the upside down Brit, and asked, "You know this nutjob?"
Shit seemed to hit the fan real quick. First it had just been the guy in dreads and Alex nursing wounds, but then everyone else piled in and pretty soon it was open season. People were getting beat down left and right by the very shop itself. Someone was either paranoid, sadistic, or both. Alex held a hand to his head, trying to stem the tide of blood pouring out of his cut brow. It did little to help and mostly just made a larger mess. He watched as Faun stepped towards him and triggered a cascade of stones. Ouch.
To Alex’s surprise though she picked herself right up and kept on going, bringing him a jacket with which to press to his head. Well uh, it was the first time anyone had ever bothered to help him after a traumatic injury and he didn’t know quite what to think of it. Naturally he did the first thing that came to mind, try to shrug off the injury and pretend like he was totally okay. “Uh, I don’t….I’m good…” He shooed away the jacket, pulling away. Gotta be strong and stoic for the ladies, of course. Unfortunately the idea of thanking Faun hadn’t crossed his mind, and likely wouldn’t until he was safely back in his dorm room, left to stew in the memories of everything he’d done wrong.
Alex turned to see that at some point, the blonde guy had gotten himself strung up in the middle of the room aaaaaand, some guy busted in with a shotgun ready to go. “OH, yeah and everyone just went and shit on my idea.” Who was feeling a little salty? Alex. Really, he was just a bit sore about being beat up by a bunch of goddamn booby traps. It was definitely did not make for a cool story.
But the shopkeeper was here, and armed. For all his shortcomings, Alex was at least aware that charging someone with a shotgun was going to end badly for him. “We’re not here to steal your…” Alex looked around the shop quickly. He’d never actually been inside an antique store before, didn’t exactly seem like his kind of place. “...I dunno, your garage sale stuff. We’re just trying to keep from getting boned by the cops.”
Alex batted away the jacket, prompting Faun to roll her eyes. This wasn't exactly the time for trying to act tough. She was about to chide him when her eyes caught the glint of light on gunmetal. Someone had burst in with a shotgun, and it was aimed at them.
Faun stiffened, both from fear and from the thickening of her stone shell. Great. If this kept up, they'd have to carry her out of here in a wheelbarrow. Alex snarked, and she shushed him out of the corner of her mouth, keeping her eyes trained on the man with the gun and trying not to make any sudden movements (though that wasn't likely to happen given her current condition). A bullet might not be able to go through stone, but it would still hurt like hell.
Oddly enough, the gun-nut seemed tor recognize one of their party. Faun looked over at the blonde man, who was currently hanging upside-down. That was...good, maybe? Maybe he wouldn't open fire after all. She nodded in agreement with Alex's next statement. "We didn't mean to trespass, honest. We're just trying to get away from the riots."
The laughter was contagious, or at least in his half drunk state Will couldn't help himself and began chortling along with dreds. Maybe not the best way to react, but stress and he didn't exactly make the best bed fellows. So couple a few yelling folks, some booby traps and a shot gun, and well....English wasn't doing so hot.
That nutjob? That nutjob....he spun a little and finally swung to where he could see what was going on, waving his arms to stay in place to no avail, so on the second spin around he got a better look. "Oh...oi..." he sighed resigned to his spinning and the realization that yes, that nutjob he certainly did know. "Ey Percy..." Another snort of amusement and he just couldn't believe his luck (or lack there of), "This your house then? The hell man...help us out." No time for scolding, but he wasn't having this, since the others had said their peace, no harm no foul meant, just a few folks trying to get out of the storm as it were.
Mund was finding all this far too amusing, considering the immediate threat of death and his bleeding wound was driving him to almost manic laughter. He just sat there, pointing for long time, at the gun pointed at his head and chuckling. When Avery started making his way to Mund and the two messing around with jackets, the laughter only increased. Granted, laughter was kind of Mund's typical reaction to stress, but the twitching of the man with a gun didn't seem to be responding well to the sound.
Mund completely lost it however when he noticed the slowly turning Will dangling from the ceiling. To be fair, it was a hilarious sight to see, but Mund began to realize that there might be something more to his laughter than simple stress as he began to feel woozy. "Oooh... I don' feel so good mon..." He wobbled little and fell forward with a loud thud.
Percy was staring, or rather trying to stare, at Will over the barrel of his gun. The dreadlocked kid was cackling like a madman and it was driving Percy's anxiety to the limit. Slowly Percy traced the sights of his gun back to point at the weirdo and seriously considered pulling the trigger. Fortunately, it didn't come to that as the young man collapsed with a loud thud. "Oh thank god. That was super annoying..."
He glanced towards Avery, who had seemed like he was heading over to check on the giggling idiot before Percy had arrived. Percy had no way of knowing if the guy had any clue what he was doing, but... "Make sure he's not dead..." He pointed between Avery and Mund with the barrel of his gun. "Last thing I want is having to explain a body to the cops... Especially tonight..." Percy shook his head at that thought as he lowered the gun (but not relaxing his hold on it or his nearness to the trigger). "But yeah... I know that nutjob." He nodded at the assessment. Will was kinda crazy now that Percy thought about it.
"I do appreciate that..." Percy rolled his eyes at Alex's statement. It wasn't theft that Percy was worried about here. Vandalism from punk kids? Sure. Invasion of evil monsters? Definitely. Burglary? Nah. Percy knew that, while some of his antiques were quite valuable, most thieves wouldn't even give his shop a second glance. "...but why did you choose my shop to hide in." He glanced briefy at Will, but continued to talk to Alex. "That wasn't a smart move..."
Percy's eyebrows rose as he truly noticed the girl for the first time. Boy did she seem out of place with a stoner, a hipster, a punk, and Will. "I understand that, young lady." His voice was still tense with anxiety, but it was cler he was trying to sound calm and reasonable. "I just mean that out of all the shops on this street, you probably could've chosen a better one to hide from cops and rioters..." At the thought of the riots, Percy sighed. "I just wish someone had listened to me. I could've told you this was coming. Maybe not that it would happen tonight maybe, but..." He shrugged, gun still at the ready even if it wasn't pointing at anyone.
"...some people thought I was just being paranoid." Percy glared daggers at Will with that statement. Quickly his expression softened however and he reached down to unsheathe a dagger from his belt to cut the rope which strung from the eyelets above Percy over to where it was tied around Will's leg. To say he was satisfied by the thud would be an understatement, but he did little more than smile at it actually happening. After moment Percy sighed and stood up. "Come on. Let's get out of my basement and upstairs to where its safer." He paused before smiling and going up the stairs, calling over his shoulder. "After all, you haven't even sprung half the traps down here..."
Percy opened the door to the shop proper on the ground floor, which was absolutely cluttered with dusty and ill-kept antiques. He set his gun on the counter and pushed some of the tables full of costume jewelry and knick-knacks aside to make room for the injured to lay down. "Make sure no one's dead or dying please." He sighed and glanced outside to see some of the rioters run past and national guard troops following shortly behind. "At least not until this is over and I kick your asses out." He dropped heavily into an old chair with frayed upholstry within arm's reach of the counter and the gun, sending dust up in a cloud. "If we're lucky, looter's will try to break in and they'll see how I've been ready for this for months..."
If Alex hadn’t been risking a shotgun shell to the face, he probably would have joined Mund in the laughing cause...well, watching a guy dangling from the ceiling was pretty fucking funny. Naw, he was gonna shut up unless he thought he could talk his way out of this one. Which, of course he did. He thought he could talk his way out of a lot of stuff.
“Yeah, well, they’re beating everyone to a pulp out there and your shop was closest.” Or at least Alex assumed that was why Mund had chosen it. He’d just blindly followed along because the group had vetoed his ideas. “Preeeeetty sure if we’d had the choice, we’d’ve rather taken shelter in a shop that wasn’t booby trapped like something outta a Indiana Jones movie.” Because goddamn, anything would have been better than hiding here.
Will smacking the floor elicited a loud snort and snicker from Alex but no offer for help. Mund was out for the count it seemed, and the short guy had been tasked to make sure he wasn’t dead. Alex looked first at the very large and possibly unconscious Mund and then to tiny lil’ Avery, and then back to Mund...and then back to Avery. “Good luck gettin him up the stairs.” He laughed and followed Percy, from a distance, to the main floor. He wanted out of that accursed basement ASAP.
The bleeding from his own injury had subsided a bit but...well, it was still a bloody mess. He probably needed a couple stitches but, eh, he wasn’t about to walk to the hospital with all that bullshit going on outside.
Alex took a seat on the floor with his back against the counter, since that seemed like the safest thing he could do at this point. He was going to need something to do while he waited for this all to blow over so he pulled out one of the cell phones he’d pickpocketed and started messing with it.