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 theater was closed for the day, but Faun still had a couple hours before she was due at Vreni's club for work. Having grown up in a time period with less than a fraction of the technology she was now exposed to, Faun preferred to fall back on more-archaic methods of passing the time. This usually manifested in either reading (she had become a familiar face at Columbiana's public library) or people-watching, as she was doing now. Faun sat on the steps of the theater's main entrance, hunched slightly in her thick winter jacket against the January chill, observing the everyday hustle and bustle of the town. It was, admittedly, an odd thing for someone her age to be doing--whenever she saw another adolescent, they typically had their noses in their phones. As miraculous as the technological leap had been to her, it was also more than a little bit intimidating. No, when Faun wanted to feel calm, it was best to stick to what was tried-and-true.
A police car drove down the road, disrupting the peace she had begun to feel. The feeling of being a prisoner wasn't quite as strong as it had been during her actual Durance, but she wasn't enjoying it's return. The quarantine business was worrying, to say the least. She wanted to believe the official story, that it was in response to a strain of illness, but at least as far as she could tell, the townsfolk appeared perfectly normal. Her theory about it having to do with the changelings nagged in her mind like the buzzing of a fly, but there hadn't been much evidence towards that, either.
She was drawn out of her worrying by a faint ruckus somewhere nearby. Puzzled, she leaned over, trying to see further down the street. What was going on over there?
"Sir, we've told you twice now. No one is allowed to come into or leave the city."
The police officer's voice was stern, but had an agitated edge to it, and Yuri knew he was pushing his luck by pestering the man. But this was a crisis, dammit! Or, it could become one very easily. Either way, it didn't matter; he needed to get outside of the Valley or the Balador might not survive the quarantine.
Being stuck in town meant people were getting bored fast, and boredom had a funny way of driving people to drink. Which was awesome for business, at least for a little while, but after the first week or so, supplies were running low. Normally, not a big deal, the club had its weekly alcohol shipment to fall back on, but with the quarantine, the delivery truck had no way of getting into the Valley.
Which was totally dildos. That... that was the saying, wasn't it?
"I know, I know. But you can make one exception, no?" Yuri wasn't above pleading, not when the future of his business was on the line, and, more importantly, the threat of having to face his sister's wrath if he failed. "I just need to--"
The cop sighed. "Sir, this is the last time I'm going to tell you; no one can enter or leave, for any reason, period, end of sentence. Now please step back from the blockade."
Yuri made an exasperated sound and dragged his hands down over his face before giving in and stomping off, muttering something unpleasant under his breath as he went. He managed to get a few yards away before letting loose with a fine little hissy fit, taking his irritation out on a poor, unsuspecting trash can stationed outside the theater by giving a swift kick, the metal bars surrounding the bin reverberating with the effort. "Ach! Hurensohn!" he cursed, shaking his foot back and forth and gritting his teeth together cause in hindsight, that was probably not the smartest idea.
She thought she could hear two voices conversing just down the street, around the corner and out of sight, but she couldn't tell what they were saying. One certainly seemed more irate than the other. The girl cocked her head as the conversation came to an end, replaced by the sound of an angry tread growing closer. A man turned the corner, frustration plainly evident in every line of his body. Once upon a time, Faun might have been startled by his appearance, like a photo negative shot through with accents of lunar blue, but now it was rare for the appearance of another changeling to truly surprise her. Some Keepers preferred to change their captives into grotesque mockeries of humans, others would transform them into something ethereal or inhuman entirely--whatever form was most suited to the role that Fae perceived them to fit. Faun wasn't sure what this man's use had been, though she couldn't shake the feeling that she had seen him somewhere before.
She watched from her post on the stairs as he stomped over to a trashcan and gave the unlucky receptacle a vicious kick, which immediately seemed to backfire. Unfamiliar words, though there was little doubt that they were expletives, ripped from him as he held his bashed foot off the ground. The accent was familiar, and she realized it was the same as that of her "boss" Vreni. She remembered glimpsing this same man at the club a few times, often talking to the Darkling woman. She had mentioned a brother...
Faun cleared her throat, hoping to get his attention without bringing down his apparent ire on herself. "Are you all right?" she asked. "I didn't hear much back there, but it doesn't seem like you were discussing anything good."
There were a few more muttered curses to accompany the first, but then, in typical Moonborn fashion, his ire quickly passed. By the time he heard the sound of someone clearing their throat, he had managed to find some chill, both hands brushing their fingers through his mop of hair as he let out the last bit of his annoyance with a huff. "Mmm?" He glanced over towards the theater, to see just where that throat-clearing had come from, and saw a woman with curved horns and cloven feet.
Another satyr here in town? How interesting... but unlike Kate, who he had pestered on more than one occasion when she had wandered too close to the club, this girl's fur was a warm, red-brown, her skin more fair, and hey wait a minute, he'd seen her before, hadn't he? He saw a lot of faces pass through the Balador on any given night, some of them less than human-looking, and Yuri couldn't help but feel this one was familiar. A friend of Vreni's, maybe? No, wait, the new girl! Ha, he'd knew he remember eventually...
"Ah... yes, yes fine." Yuri waved a hand, trying to play off like this was no big thing, but his little tantrum a moment earlier was testament to the fact that it kinda was. "The police, they are not so helpful right now." There, that sounded better than what he wanted to say, which was, 'those guys are being total stubborn dicks'. Yuri rocked on his heels for a moment, then pointed towards the satyr before continuing on with his not-so-great grasp of the English language. "You work at the Balador." It wasn't a question, not really, he could feel that odd sensation of sorta-kinda knowing each other floating in the air between them. "Vreni hired you, yes?"
Ah, so that was who he had been talking to. The quarantine was causing tensions to run high, to say the least. The riots following the initial announcement had been a terrifying affair, and Faun had briefly found herself caught in the middle of them. Things seemed to have quieted down, but there was a deep-seated resentment bubbling underneath the town's surface, and odds were it was only a matter of time before trouble erupted again. All they could do, she supposed, was hope that the quarantine would be over quickly, and that things could return to normal without any more major upsets.
So they had seen eachother before. Faun nodded. "I do, and she did. Name's Faun, nice to meet you. I'm guessing that you're the brother she mentioned when I first met her?" Though the two of them were physically opposite--Vreni had dark hair and pair skin, while this man was white-haired and colored like the night--they had similar faces, and the same way of speaking.
"I only got out of the Hedge last year, in...October, I think it was." Had it really been four months since she had escaped Arcadia? "I needed work of some kind, and she was willing to help me out."
Yuri had luckily missed the worst of the riot, having been dead asleep as per usual until the late hours of the afternoon, and by the time he had dragged himself out of bed the worst of it had passed. Which was probably for the best; had he been awake and seen whoever had broken the windows at the front of the club during all the cacophony, there likely would have been some sort of rage-induced tussle started by the Darkling.
"Yes, that's me." A quick grin, and then, "I am Yuri. It is good to meet you." Back home, it was considered impolite for a man to offer up a hand to shake to a woman he had just met, but he had learned during his time here in America that really, anything went. He also learned that handshakes were more of a formal sort of greeting, the television usually showed stuffy businessmen passing them around, and so in lieu of all that, he offered the girl a thumbs up.
"Oh, so you are still new, then." Yuri nodded, remembering how strange it had been slipping back into a normal life after all the time he had spent in Arcadia. Hell, he had been out for years now, and still caught himself glancing over his shoulder, the paranoia he picked up scuttling around in the dark of his Keeper's manor still lingering to this day. "She has a good heart. It is just, ah, buried under all the..." He paused to wave his hand around in the air as she chose his words carefully, then added, "...Vreni." Hey, why mince words? He knew his sister's reputation preceded her. But it seemed Faun here managed to get on her good side.
"That means we are coworkers, yes?" Yuri glanced over towards the police blockade and considered a moment before turning his attention back to Faun, then smiled slyly as he asked, "So, tell me, how would you feel about doing some work off of the clock?"
All the Vreni? Well, that was certainly one way to put it. Faun hardly minded, though. After years of serving under a Keeper who could appear the perfect gentlemen right before having her torn apart by crows, she found she almost appreciated Vreni's prickly directness.
Yuri, on the other hand, seemed to be a different story. Not in a malicious sense, certainly not, but when he glanced back over at the nearby blockade, she saw a look of foxlike guile come over him. Oh boy. On one hand, Faun had never considered herself much of a rabble-rouser. To be honest, she was, for lack of a better word, somewhat of a bore. She was content living a quiet life--or at least she had been until her Durance. But the recent unrest in town had left her antsy and nervous, and she almost wanted something to happen, anything to break the tension.
She raised a brow at his question. "That depends," she said, "on exactly what kind of work we're talking about, and how likely I am to end up taking a baton to the face for helping you do it."