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.
Alias: Chuck (more or less prefered), Chaz, Chip... but never Charlie. A man has to have standards.
Character Type: Alumni (Ex-Faculty)
Secret Societies: The Triad, (Former) Gardener
PB: Adrien Brody
Appearance: Chuck is confined to a wheel chair, but otherwise no notable differences.
Fate: 2 Mind: 5 Prime: 4 Time: 3 Life: 3
Sin-Eating: One of the foremost responsibilities of the Guaridans of the Veil is to take on the burdens of sin so that others need not. But when the Guardians fail to execute this heavy burden, others must sometimes sully their own hands with ugly necessities. Accepting the price of his failure, however, a Guardian can assimilate the wickedness of others and purify it in the crucible of his ongoing sacrifice, redeeming the virtuous and embracing his own damnation thereby. This spell enables the Guardian to do just that, drawing out the sins of others and taking their weight upon his own soul, so sparing them the pain of wickedness and nudging them back toward virtue.
Channel Scourge: Every manifestation of the scourge widens the great gulf of the Abyss, or so the Guardians of the Veil teach their neophytes. By accepting the hurts of the scourge into one's own flesh these cultists believed that the Abyss could be denied greater purchase into the Fallen World. This spell enables just that, allowign the Guardian to draw Scourgelings and their effects into his own living pattern, thus preventing the taint of the Abyss from fruther infecting this world
Open the Abyss: The mage sends the mind of the victim down into the Great Abyss. The body will collapse in coma. The victim cannot experience anything else but emptiness and cannot do anything other than think. Most people turn insane after a few days (if time can be said to exist for them). In the beginning they just fall asleep, but then they start to drift between dream and wakefulness, unable to tell the difference. Hallucinations and delusions appear, and the personality begin to dissolve without any sensory impressions. Some advanced members of the Guardians meditate in the Abyss, sometimes for months and there are rumours of a monastery where several monks lived for years in the Abyss.
Anti-Reality: This rote is essentially the exact opposite of anti-magick. The marauder dissolves the supporting threads of the local Tapestry, allowing reality the flow more freely and adding excess quintessence to it. This creates a local region of dynamic reality, where the normal laws are temporarily suspended. A kind of anti- paradox zone, where vulgar magick may become coincidental. However, the rote itself is *very* vulgar. It will attract The Scourge and paradox spirits as honey attracts bees. But if the spirits enter the area, they become influenced by the local paradigm and may begin to behave in unexpected ways. In fact, they might start defending the *local* rules instead for a short time, in opposition to their unchanged brethren. Very confusing. Another side-effect is that the dynamic reality and free quintessence makes random events occur. This ranges from weak effects like having a glass coincidentally break or insects behaving strangely when the rote haven"t turned reality very dynamic, over more dramatic effects like potential fire coming real or spirits manifesting to truly bizarre and dangerous events like objects changing shape, breaches of the Gauntlet and reality behaving like a surrealist painting. Of course, what goes around comes around, and the last time Chuck used this spell...even for good, he was a full man.
Karmic Inversion: This rote represents of a way of stepping around the dance of od destruction. It allows the mage to take the damage he would have normally suffer from an encounter with the scourge and shuffle if off onto another mage. This normally ends up killing the recipient of the shuffled damage.
Paths of Power: This rote allows the mage to see ley lines and to sense the direction of the nearest source of power (node).
Flames of Purification: Mages of House Solifacti are not destructive by nature- it's better to change an item rather than destroy. Still, they have been known to wield the power of Prime to cleanse reality of abominations. By fanning her focus over a chosen object, a mage can invoke this Effect and cause the object to burst into mystical flames. This fire sheds no heat, yet it devours the target quickly.
Nick of Time: This allows the mage to arrive in a timely fashion to a number of situations...but in most cases as a point of advice or to serve as the cavalry for less than pleasant affairs, pitch in a bit of time magic and suddenly you end up having a real issue where you don't know where you're coming or going. Which sadly is Chuck's issue.
Smoker's Timing: Smokers have their own library of small tricks and amusements relating to their particular vice. As such, this rote relies more on the superstitions surrounding smoking than upon any sort of mage paradigm. The smoker's timing relies upon the well-established urban legend that any time a smoker waits for something, he need only start a new cigarette and it'll arrive. The smoker can be waiting for traffic to move, for a meal to arrive, for a bus to show up - all he has to do is pull out a smoke, light it and take a drag. The phenomenon almost always takes place nigh-immediately thereafter.
Finding the Vulgar: Pardox energies are subtle and capricious, but often telltale indicators of magickal activity. Even small acts of vulgar magick leave traces and general resonance, which can be found by clever mages.
Node Spike: The Node Spike rote is one of the more fearsome modern magics - it serves as a response to the Exarch's recent trend of "tagging" Nodes with Resonance and then tracking down people who've used the Node and thus become carriers of that Resonance. The mage performs a symbolically painful or poisonous act - self mutilation, drinking something mildly acidic (painfully so) or otherwise generating a strong aura of anguish. Then, the mage casts that concentrated hate and pain into the Node itself. The next time the Node's accessed with Prime magic, this psychic spike lashes out at the hapless Node user.
Third Eye Inward: The mage enters a deep trance and enters himself mentally, as if he went on an astral journey. He will enter his own inner world, where all his dreams, memories and thoughts are represented. He can then wander just as if he was in a normal realm. Mages can find the most surprising things in the labyrinth of the mind, dreams, memories of forgotten persons, old hobgoblins and subconscious horrors may appear, speak to him or even attack. There might be portals from old dreams to the chimerae. To end the journey the mage has to return to his starting point, where he will awaken.
Tap the Wells of Power: By tapping into the founts of magic power scattered across the globe, the mage can temporarily access spells and abilities beyond her current skills and knowledge. These spells are contingent on the location activated and are more a factor of the location than the mage using them, as the mage merely becomes a lens through which the power is focused. Additionally, the mana of a place can be unpredictable and spells temporarily accessed are often unstable and chaotic.
Counterspell: The mage can now dissolve spells as they are cast and prevent them from ever resolving. Additionally, the caster is required to only possess a single dot in one of the spheres used for the spell to be dissolved.
Third Eye: With this spell, the mage can detect the presence if any mystical influence on any minds within 10 yards. This allows her to detect mind control, telepathic eavesdropping, and other ways that other mages have affected the minds of others.
Mental Shield: Sometimes the mage wants to protect herself from the prying (third-)eyes of others and this spell allows her to do so. The caster can choose whether this shield takes the form of total concealment of thoughts, blatant barriers against intrusion, or by temporarily erasing memories from her own mind. This spell lasts up to six hours per casting.
Psychic Assault: Some spells damage opponents through magical manipulations of objects or the body, but this spell makes the concept of "Mind Over Matter" literally. Through a direct psychic blast, the caster forces the targets body to spasm and neurons to misfire, causing extremely painful and debilitating damage to the target's physical form. This attack is incapable of killing, but sometimes the subject wishes it were...
Subliminal Urging: The mage can project emotions and feelings into the minds of others. This is not mind control, but can lead the target to predictable results. Blinding rage is as likely to result in physical attacks as direct mind manipulation, if used artfully by the caster. Additionally, the target may become aware of such manipulations if they are drastically different than normal; such as feeling delight at the funeral of a beloved spouse.
Time Warp: By pulling time back into a loop, the mage causes a small area to suffer a local "rewind" of time. The mage herself remains immunized against this Effect due to her command of Time magic (otherwise he wouldn't know that he'd done anything and the looping would be almost pointless). From there, the mage can change her actions and responses to a given situation, already knowing how it would turn out otherwise. By combining Life and Mind with the Effect, the mage can actually rewind herself physically and undo the effects of physical trauma, while still retaining her memory of the events that never happened.
Personality: There are simply a lot of things that doesn't make sense about Chuck, but he's a product of what happens when a man has looked into the abyss and it stared back...however, instead of simply seeming as haunted as one would expect he's put up a pretty believable facade. Everything is fine, a smile on his face a wink in any direction towards anyone who steals a glance and an easy laugh towards anything that could otherwise bother him
Genuinely he's as kind as he acts, with a bit too much love for the world around him. No matter the time and the time in the place. He's unable to find nothing good about anyone, knowing full well that as humans- they are all intrinsically flawed. So there is no purpose to look for what is already there, when its better to notice what is rarely recognized. Humanity as it is, is not evil by nature...but it does get tainted sometimes before they even got a chance, but the soul, just like any element could be purified...reformed into something stronger then it began.
Chuck is a man who truly saw his life going to hell with good intentions, and just sort of rolled over with it. He is powerless to stop himself from trying to do good, and even more so powerless for the terrible things it tends to bring with it. But that's simply how it goes, the pros of such altruistic behavior always outweighing the cons at the very least...because simply while he might never sleep another night through, he can take heart that he did his best, and never may he be faulted.
That said, Chuck chases his demons with whatever he can get his hands on. Drugs, alcohol sex...Anything to dull the pain even if he makes him increasingly detached from the world he's part of, and he's starting to make less and less sense-
Though he didn't quite start out making much in the first place- Chuck tends to be hard to understand, he's needs a routine but he bucks against it constantly. He likes what he likes, until suddenly he doesn't like it anymore. His chain of thought and desires seem very non sequitar by most people's standards, but it all makes sense to Chuck. There is a method to his madness. But you'd be hard pressed to see it. Honestly though it can make him difficult to work with because he's fickle, difficult and hard to get to focus.
Chuck is a lover of philosophy, sociology and various forms of odd theology- bent with a sort of twisted brilliance that one would attribute to Burroughs or Ginsberg, that is to say, he's a beatnik about fifty years too late (or perhaps not). Though that has made him pretty zenned out about things, he's got a breezy way about him that just ponders things through, talks them out, and then moves on if its just part of the greater truths of the universe he's not yet meant to know.
History: The details of Chuck's life are vast- and like an uncorrelated printout- out of order. While the timing and the setting is out of place at the very least it all the same details. A file toppled over with the papers all on the ground, it's all there, it's just a goddamn mess.
Chuck was born into a life of privilege, his parents were immensely wealthy and equally unlucky. His father died of 'unknown causes' when he was very young and his mother slipped into a cycle of alcohol addiction that lead to equal parts neglect and abuse where Chuck was concerned. It was in that time he awoken, and like a Dickens' novel he was hurried away from his terrible life to one of magic and mystery...
That was arguably worse than the one he knew.
His mentor was not a cruel man by nature, but the work was more then Chuck's heart could take. As he was taught to right the wrongs of the world by means of his own martyrdom. Always destined to be where he needed but only to serve some terrible part in history to some extent. To take the very world on his shoulders. A labor of love that very nearly cost him his life, though it did slow him down.
Chuck withdrew from his duties, stating that his disability kept him from being of any use- but really, he was just scared.. Existing, but not truly alive. It wasn't long before slipped into a depression that lead him into some poor decision making that came to roost. When a one night stand came back around and left him a single father...he tried to clean up his act, but it was hard...so hard, the world had left it's taint on him.
It wasn't until he met another 'out of order' man that Chuck found peace, in even the face of familial chaos. All the while being harried by the Order to resume his duties. But external peace was momentary, and inner peace prevalent but tested. He sometimes wonders if his family was cursed, and him along with it. His son has currently broken nearly every tenant of the Shadow Law, his relationship (at least to him) feels ever so rocky, and now to make matters worse- to settle his debts he's picked up what's left of his life, and has moved to Columbiana to profess on a subject he swore he'd never, ever touch again.