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.
Arcadia: The Realm in which almost all Humans become Wyrdlings. The Realm is as wondrous, odd, terrifying, mysterious, or ever-changing as it needs to be; in other words, whatever situation needs to arise in order to create a Wyrdling, Arcadia has a place within itself to allow it to happen.
Astral Reaches, The: Sometimes called the Astral Plane, this is a Realm of pure thought which reflects the thinking mind of every single sentient being in this universe. Has multiple levels, reflecting everything from a single person’s dreams to the very Soul of the universe.
CES: aka The Cognitive Exploration Society. Psychic-esque Mages who dabble in telekinetic and telepathic magics.
Elder One: Incredibly old beings of immense power that roam through time and space "consuming" various realms and substantially altering them. Folks who get drawn into these Realms or come in contact with the power of an Elder One are forever changed and known thereafter as Wyrdlings.
Eternal City, The: A universe-sized mechanical metropolis/technological nightmare Realm. Wyrdlings will very seldomly be taken here to endure their transformation. Reserved solely for Wyrdlings with a mechanical/technological transformation.
Exalted Order, The: A Mage society, which runs counter to the High Council. Focused more on the advancement and the empowerment of all Mages, instead of freedom of thought and independence. Though the divide with the High Council is ideological, the two groups have fought literal wars in the past.
Faeries: The imaginary magical beings found in folklore and fairy tales from around the world. The term used by most non-Wyrdlings to describe a Wyrdling.
Great Dark: A realm of pure darkness. Wyrdlings will very seldomly be taken here to endure their transformation.
Glamour: A magical "mask" produced by the Mists to keep a Wyrdling's true form hidden. Looks mostly human, though on occasion some traits of the Wyrdling's true form will show through.
Herald: A servant of the Elder Ones. Very little is currently known about Heralds in-universe.
High Council: A Mage society, which runs counter to the Exalted Order. Focused on individual freedom and personal empowerment, the High Council seeks the liberation and empowerment of all of humanity but as individuals. Though the divide with the Exalted Order is ideological, the two groups have fought literal wars in the past.
Kadji: Spiritual Mages akin to modern-day shamans, focusing on healing, speaking with spirits, and controlling the elements.
Kindly Ones: Another name for the powerful creatures native to Arcadia. They have tremendous magical power in their own realm, but have almost none in our world. Thus, they rarely leave their own territories.
Labyrinth, The A common name for the bizarre space between Earth and the realm of Arcadia. It a place where the rules of reality begin to break down, but are not wholly under the sway of the Kindly Ones. Thus, there is a degree of order (time flows quickly but consistently, gravity functions mostly normally, etc), but remain mutable if a strong enough individual tries to manipulate the area.
Lian: Alchemists and mystics who specialize in enchanting items and altering the life force of those around them.
Mara: Necromancers and blood Mages who focus on speaking with the spirits, hexing their foes, and finding themselves very comfortable with the concepts of death and decay.
Masar: Logical, rationalistic Mages who take a mathematical approach to things like fate. Also focus on warding and manipulating probability.
Mists: The Mists are the mystical forces that keep mortals and other supernatural beings from seeing a Wyrdling for what it truly is. The Mists keep a Wyrdling's Glamour working and causes anyone who discovers the Wyrdling's true form to "forget" what they saw.
Opifex: Enchanters and smiths who see a blurred line between the worlds of science and magic.
Outer Realms: The places outside of known reality. Literally used to mean the places outside the ordered universes known to sentient races, specifically the strange non-places that the Elder Ones call home. In some contexts, this term can also mean any universe beyond Earth, Arcadia, and the Spiritual Realms.
Schism War: The name for a series of conflicts between the Exalted Order and the High Council. The war began as a family conflict between two cousins and has since blossomed to a millennia long battle between the authoritarian Order and the egalitarian Council. The War continues today with a new "heating up" of conflict.
Seasonal Courts: The closest thing that Wyrdlings have to leadership, the Seasonal Courts take responsibility for governing the Wyrdling community, particularly those who live within “Wyrdtown.” The Courts (one for each of the four seasons) is ruled by a single leader (typically under the title of “Baron” or “Duke”), with a number of Courtiers of high rank. Beneath these Courtiers are the general members, which hold no title but owe allegiance to the appropriate leader in exchange for certain seasonal powers (e.g. Freezing breath for Winter) and protection. The Courts are always lead by one of the Barons/Dukes, but the individual leader rotates with the physical seasons.
Silvani: Naturalist and shape-shifting Mages who can control the weather, put poxes upon their enemies, and change the form of themselves and the people around them.
Societies: Like-minded groups of Mages who tend to study the same schools of magic.
Sophia: Spiritual Mages who focus on healing, protecting, and communicating with the spirits.
Spirit Wilds, The: The spiritual realm representing the primal nature of the world. This is a place where everything is alive and represented by a spirit. Predatory spirits prey upon the weak and even cities take on the appearance of a wild place, becoming a literal concrete jungle. A mage can learn much here, and maybe even find a Totem spirit, but there is always a lingering hint of danger for the incautious.
Tanka: Mages heralded as fortune tellers and prophets, with the abilities to see into the future, relive the past, and shape the present.
Traits: Essentially, the abilities/spells/attributes that make a Wyrdling, well, Wyrd. Each Wyrdling can possess up to three traits, and they are as varied as the Wyrdlings themselves.
Underworld: The spiritual realm of the Dead. The souls of those who have died with unfinished business often linger in the Underworld, crossing over the Wall into the living lands in places deeply tied to their lives (e.g. A “haunted house” where the person was murdered). Whenever the spirit is not in the physical world, they linger in this Realm; the realm itself resembling a half-decayed, almost “post-apocalyptic,” version of the physical world across the Wall.
Wall, The: A blanket term for the "barrier" between Earth and all other Realms (such as Arcadia, the Underworld, etc).
Wyrdling: The term for a person who has been taken by/touched by the power of an Elder One and as a result has been left something more than Human.
Wyrdtown: The neighborhood, a short distance south of downtown, where the majority of Columbiana’s Wyrdlings live. While they are under no obligation to live in this neighborhood, and many do not, most choose to do so for two reasons. The first is that it is comforting to live near others who share the traumatic experiences of Arcadia. The second is the presence and implied protections of the Seasonal Courts. This area has seen an increasing presence of young Mages as of late, which concerns some of the old-guard of the community...