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.

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Apr 26 2018, 06:33 PM
[dohtml]<link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Catamaran" rel="stylesheet" type='text/css'><center><center><div style="font-family: 'Catamaran', sans-serif;font-size:30px;color:#D94E1F;">THE INDEPENDENT SOCIETIES</div></center><div style="width:400px;background-color:#EF8B2C;height:20px;"></div><div style="width:400px;text-align:justify;font-size:14px;"><br>
These are the Mage Societies which were founded independent of the Cult/Order/Council. Though the increasingly global scale of the Schism Wars eventually forced them to take a side in the conflict to some degree. Politically, these groups are considered full members of the Council and thus are given all the benefits and expected to perform all the duties required of that allegiance. Due to their former independent status however, they are afforded more freedom to govern themselves and operate independent of the Council. (Similar to the States within the United States, they must follow Federal Laws and have influence over said laws but are free to govern themselves outside of any Federal legislation).<br><br><div style="width:400px;background-color:#EF8B2C;height:20px;"></div><br><br>

Name: Lian
Nicknames: Lyon {Preferred spelling in Europe}, Lianjin Shu {Full Official Title}, The Alchemist’s Guild
In-A-Nutshell:Alchemists and Mystic Scientists
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Council Representative: Samuel Degallo (Descendant of a long line of Alchemists who can trace their lineage back to the Roman period. Chosen when the previous Councilor died at Leng. Still relatively young (currently 37), but with a natural talent for the brewing of potions and potent charisma.)<br><br>
Inspiration: Daoism (History), Nicolas Flamel (History/Harry Potter), Snape (Harry Potter), Ra’s Al-Ghul(Batman), Gargamel (Smurfs), Lord Hallyne (Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones), Walter White (Breaking Bad)<br><br>
Schools: Decay, Enchanting, Transmutation<br><br>
Style Examples:
  • Sam knows he’s going to need all the luck he can get in order to find and confront his former teacher, who is now a powerful and corrupt Lich. By brewing an ancient and secret combination of herbs, chemicals, and ritualistically boiling a potion over the course of 7 months, 7 days, and 7 hours. On the night of the confrontation, Sam drinks the potion and over the course of the following evening every moment of luck or chance falls in his favor.
  • Richard needs strength to protect his students. Having no carefully produced elixirs at hand, he instead relies upon Internal Alchemy. Breathing deeply and carefully applying pressure to certain muscle structures, he super-charges his muscles and nearly doubles his strength. Unfortunately, once his students are safe and the spell wears off, his muscles are sore enough to be crippling.
  • Elia finds herself trapped in a collapsed mine. She knows that the only way to escape is through the side of the mountain itself. The only way to do so in the limited time she has before her oxygen runs out. She digs through her pack and pulls out various vials of inert chemicals, produced earlier in her laboratory. Mixing the chemicals in the remains of crushed helmet recovered from an unfortunate miner nearby, she produces a remarkably powerful acid which can eat through stone in seconds but cannot harm flesh. Though it still takes her over an hour, she manages to reach fresh air and sunlight through careful application of her concoction.
<br><br>History: Alchemy and its practitioners can claim descent from natural philosophers and wise-men around the world and deep into history. However, the group of Alchemists which boast membership in the Council were founded even before the Brothers formed the Cult. Tracing back to Ancient Greece and boasting many famous early “scientists,” the Guild was firmly entrenched in Roman society long before and after the Cult’s founding. Close allies however, the two organizations often supported one another and the Guild often proved an easy public face for the groups’ shared dealings behind the scenes.
When the Schism War broke out, the Guild proved too closely entwined with the two sides to survive their split. Two “new Guilds” were formed, the Purifico and the Fluxus. Purifico would join Titus in Atlantis and survives in much the way it was after its formation. Fluxus however, proved as mutable and changing as their name implied. With each new culture the Council encountered in its exile, Fluxus absorbed the practices and practitioners of the local Alchemists. The House went through hundreds of structures and dozens of names until the Lianjin Shu joined the Council. An ancient order of Alchemists in the Middle Kingdom, they provided the structure and form for the passionate and fluid Fluxus. Once more reformed into something resembling the ancient Guild, the Lian found new purpose.
Lian today is an egalitarian and influential House. Spread across the globe and spanning countless cultures, Lian has tremendous adaptability and power. While the practices of the Old Alchemies are still commonly practiced by Lian, increasingly over the last century its mages have shifted away from the mysticism of the past and have instead opted for a more modern approach. Much like their cousins in CES and Opifex, Lian and its members typically prefer the terms Science and Scientist over that of Magic and Mage, but they realize that the two concepts are two sides of the same coin. Much as they adapt to the present while remembering the past, Lian is always in a state of educated flux…

Nicknames: The Shadow Clan, Maradooshan, Skotoseiskia, Dilaan Laqoon, Sgriosaineolas, {Countless ot her regional names}
In-A-Nutshell: Necromancers
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Council Representative: "The Shadow” (True identity unknown, ritualistically purged of identity when elected) <br><br>
Inspiration: Black Hand (Green Lantern), Kel’thuzad (Warcraft), Horned King (Black Cauldron), Dr. Orpheus (Venture Bros.), The Sith (Star Wars), Dr. Facilier (Princess and the Frog), Victor Frankenstein (Frankenstein), Rogue (X-Men)<br><br>
Schools: Decay, Hexing, Spiritus<br><br>
Style Examples:
  • Peter must break through a locked door in order to reach the vile artifact he seeks to destroy. There is no chance he will find the key, and he lacks the strength to kick it down himself. Pulling out a femur bone from within his cloak, he quietly chants a paean to the dead already claimed by the artifact and promises vengeance if the lock were to fail. With a sudden motion, he snaps the bone in half. A moment later, the lock begins to tarnish and rust while the surrounding wood begins to rot, until the door looks centuries old. With a sharp kick, the decayed wood gives and the metal shatters. The door swings open.
  • Kat is investigating the murder of one of her Circle mates, but cannot seem to find any leads. While she knows her Circle-mate did not leave behind a Ghost, she suspects her friend wasn’t the murderer’s first victim. After a bit of research she tracks down the grave of a man whose death seemed eerily similar. Tracing a circle of salt around the grave of the victim, she invokes Dis Pater and prays for guidance for the slain. With a dagger cuts her palm open and annoints her circle with five drops of blood. After a moment of silence, a faint male figure forms within the circle. Now she could only hope this Ghost would provide some answers.
  • Hotaru is dying and she knows it. A single bullet to the stomach would likely kill anyone, but five? She won’t survive the hour unless she does something. Fortunately, the gang-banger who shot her provides an easy alternative to her death: his. He’s gloating and showing off his prowess to his nearby buddies. Either he doesn’t notice, or doesn’t care, as she crawls over to him. Dragging herself to her feet, she revels in the pain. She channels the screaming pain and terror of incoming death, uses it to fuel her magic. She feels her limbs fill with the strength of the grave and she closes her hands over his throat and squeezes. She barely notices his struggles or his friends sudden panic. All she notices is the weakening hold of her soul in her body, and the same happening to her killer. She squeezes harder and his struggles grow weak. Finally, his body dies and his soul flows into her with only moments to spare. The bullets rise to fall out of her wounds, the wounds close, and she feels her heart begin to beat strongly again. Tossing their friend’s corpse aside, Hotaru looks to the gang-members. “Run.”
<br><br>History:Necromancy is an Art as old as Shamanism, but unlike its spiritual cousin Necromancy has often been at odds with its communities. Shamanism tends to be favored and beloved by its community, even if it keeps its distance due to unease and worry. Necromancers are often seen instead as selfish, cruel, or even evil. Even when working towards the good of a community, Necromancers are often condemned, exiled, or even executed by misunderstanding benefactors. Ironically, this mistrust more often creates “evil” Necromancers than the Art itself. Due to this discrimination, Necromancers organized earlier than any other mystic group. Though often scattered and individualistic, Death Magi created networks of mutual aid and support to survive their persecutions. Soon thereafter, they formed ranks (based on a combination of skill, age, and charisma) and organizational regions. All of this predated that of the Cult of Thoth by centuries or, as some argue, even millenia. To say the “Shadow Clan” of Necromancers is ancient is a gross understatement and it often held itself apart from the Cult and its later Schism Wars.
This changed with the Black Death. Much of the mortal blame in the era fell upon “witches” and “necromancers” despite there being no clear connection between the will-workers and the disease. Even those who would form the Council suspected the “Shadow Clan” of creating the plague to win favor with the Order. While the Clan had no official part in the plague or the ensuing tragedy, some within the Clan suspected that some of their compatriots were involved to some degree and this concern was only vindicated when a substantial portion (some estimates reach a solid third of the Clan) defected to join the Atlanteans.
Between the betrayal of their own and the increasing pressure from the Atlanteans (including their former friends and family who had joined them), the Clan found themselves in dire need of allies. Fortunately for them, the Council (then on the run) was in similar circumstance and the two groups joined their strength to survive in the rapidly changing world. At first the two groups maintained their individual identities, but over the centuries the lines between the two slowly blurred until the Clan and Council were one and the same.
Today, the Mara (a shortening of the Council’s “official” name for the Shadow Clan, Maradooshan) are wholly loyal members of the Council, but are afforded certain liberties due to their former independence. These include (but are not limited to) their Councillor’s identity remaining a total secret, even to other Councilors. “The Shadow” is selected every year at the (N. Hemisphere) Winter Solstice by the “Shadow Council.” The selection process, the ritual which removes and obscures the Shadow’s identity, and even the identity of the Shadow Council remain wholly unknown to the High Council as a whole. In addition, the Mara are given leave to “police” the Council for traitors (both Atlantean spies and other threats) and ignore some of the laws of the Council. Because of these liberties, the former independence of the Mara, and the long standing prejudices against Necromancy; the Mara tend to face tremendous prejudice from their fellows.

Name: Masar
Nicknames:Albahithin En Alhaqiqa, Masar Alhaqiqa
In-A-Nutshell: Mathemagicians and Rationalists
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Council Representative: George Ramirez (A powerful and arrogant statistician from the US. Claims his mathematic formulae can predict the future better than the Tanka, determine the thoughts/actions better than the CES, and design more potent artifacts than the Opifex. Whether his claims are true is debatable and most others merely roll their eyes at him.)<br><br>
Inspiration: The Calculator (Batman), Adrian Veidt (Watchmen), Gregory House (House), Will Hunting (Good Will Hunting), Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes series), Egghead Jr (Looney Tunes), David Levinson (Independence Day)<br><br>
Schools: Fate, Warding, Weather<br><br>
Style Examples:
  • Sal is up to something. He’s always up to something. Knowing all too well that his actions must remain secret while simultaneously steering people and things towards his goals, he seeks to ensure that Steven investigates the appropriate locations at the appropriate times. By analyzing his targets psychological habits and calculating the best moment to pique his target’s interest, Sal knows when and how. Now he simply has to make sure it happens. By building a near perfect model of Columbiana, disguised as a hobby train model in his basement, and placing a figure based on Steven and moving through the streets he creates sympathetic magics and “chance” occurrences that ensure his target goes where he wants and when.
  • Yusef is looking for a lost cache of mystic texts, predating the Cult of Thoth and rumored to hold untold secrets and tremendous power. He spends years researching the cache through myth, legend, and historical texts. Finally, when he feels he’s gathered enough information, he creates a powerful computer program infused with his own Mana and feeds all his collected information into it. By running countless scenarios and constructing innumerable models, all done at speeds impossible with modern computers, his output reveals three possible locations with a combined certainty of 93.41%. Now he only needs to convince someone to fund an expedition…
  • Naila is on the run. Her research into Atlantis and its hidden histories has been making enemies within both the Council and the Order, but the Order broke first and has now sent assassins to kill her. Running for her life, she finds herself trapped in an alleyway with no way out. Thinking quickly, knowing she has only moments, she looks around and with some rapid mental calculations she ascertains the method to get the most out of her own physical ability, physics, and the materials at hand. With perfectly timed applications of Mana and adrenaline, she leaps atop a nearby dumpster and seems to climb and leap up the very walls of the alley and to the rooftops above her. It’s bought her time, but she needs to keep moving…
<br><br>History: Founded in the late 8th century under the court of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, Alhaqiqa wasn’t the first large scale organization of mystics (the Cult of Thoth was the first), but it was the first truly multicultural mage society. The only requirements to joining in the early centuries was a dedication to reason as well as mysticism and conversion to Islam. By the 12th century, the Alhaqiqa was the only group to rival the High Order for sheer size. The Schism divided the High Order and rocketed Alhaqiqa to become the largest mystic order by almost double. Even the destruction of the House of Wisdom and Baghdad by the Mongols didn’t significantly damage the Alhaqiqa’s place at the top.
The Black Death changed everything. As the plague spread through the region, the Alhaqiqa were struck hard. Some figures estimate that nearly half the organization died in less than half a century, providing tremendous support for the theory of a mystic origin of the disease. As the Schism Wars divided the High Order in two and sent the High Council fleeing to the “corners” of the globe, the Alhaqiqa found themselves without a home and drastically lower numbers. The Council and Alhaqiqa found easy allies in each other, but Alhaqiqa refused to join the Counci formally for centuries. Their fiercely held independence finally failed after the Battle of Nasby and the lesser known as Iahab Alharb (or “Flame War”). The Scourge and the hundreds of lives lost at Iahab finally proved enough for Alhaqiqa to formally join the Council.
Today, the Masar still stubbornly cling to their history of independence and often prove contrarian to the rest of the Council. In the five centuries of its membership in the Council, Masar has proven the dissenting view in well over half the decisions made by the High Council. Many have argued at varying points that this is the result of deep seated resentment of having the join, a response to the Council’s “inherent racism,” or even just sheer bloody-mindedness. In truth, its that most of its Councilors have seen value in the “Devil’s Advocate” position to ensure sound decision making. This true purpose is little known and often overlooked, particularly because until very recently the Masar were powerful in Africa and the Middle-East but almost unseen outside those regions. People grow suspect of those things they don’t know or understand and the Masar revel in being the “X factor.”</div>
Apr 26 2018, 06:24 PM
[dohtml]<link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Catamaran" rel="stylesheet" type='text/css'><center><center><div style="font-family: 'Catamaran', sans-serif;font-size:32px;color:#D94E1F;">THE ANCIENT SOCIETIES</div></center><div style="width:400px;background-color:#EF8B2C;height:20px;"></div><div style="width:400px;text-align:justify;font-size:14px;"><br>

These are the Mage Societies which are ancient beyond counting. These Societies and their current names and structure, as well as their allegiance to the High Council, is a very modern affectation. The roots and history of these Societies can be traced back even further than recorded history.
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Name: Kadji
Nicknames: The Spirit Lodge
In-A-Nutshell: Spiritualists
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Council Representative: Kichea of the Swahili (Though not consider a leadership position by the Kadji, Kichea still claims their seat on the High Council. She is a soft-spoken, but resolute individual who only speaks up when necessary.)<br><br>
Inspiration: Aang and Korra (Avatar), Yuna (Final Fantasy X), Calypso (Pirates of the Caribbean), Uncle (Jackie Chan Adventures), Andrew (Buffy: the Vampire Slayer), Thrall (Warcraft) Traditional Medicine Men and Women from across history.<br><br>
Schools: Elementalism, Healing, Spiritus<br><br>
Style Examples:
  • Jennifer meditates and calls out to the Spirits of the Forest to aid her in defeating her enemies. By promising to plant trees and expand the forest, she wins the favor of the spirits, who twist the branches of the trees to slow her enemies and vines to entangle their feet.
  • Emmanual has been approached by one of his disciples, whose child has grown terribly ill. After inspecting the child and the home, he discovers that the family had accidentally angered the spirits of the land where their home had been built. Through the drinking of Rum and wearing a mask made of green branches, Emmanual summons Grans-Bois into himself and negotiates with the angry nature spirits to leave the boy and heal the sickness.
  • Matt works repairing computers and he’s proven to be the fastest and most efficient in town. Many joke that he can “speak” to the computers and fix them with will alone. What many don’t know is that he does exactly that… By chanting over the computer in a room filled with incense smoke, he awakens the spirits of the computer and commands the spirit to fix the problem of its physical shell.<br><br>
History:Shamanism and other forms of Spirit-Talking has existed as long as humanity. Seeking answers to how nature worked and communicate across the divide of the Echo, these ancient mystics developed the first form of magic. Despite this ancient pedigree, the Cult of Thoth had very few Spirit-Talkers. What few there were in the Cult, they tended to come from the frontiers of the Roman Empire and were never truly organized. Indeed, many members of the Cult derided the Spirit-Talkers as “primitive barbarians” unworthy of Mana.
This changed when the Schism Wars began. The Order continued to mock the Spirit-Talkers, but the Council saw them differently. Whether it was true respect or desperation is difficult to determine, but the Council approached the Spirit-Talkers (one region at a time) as equals and offered a pact of mutual support. Many Spirit-Talkers rejected such deals and stayed independent of the Schism War, but many more joined. As the Council spread across the world to stay ahead of the Order, these mages encountered the naturalist and spiritual will-workers with increasing frequency. Soon, alliances made with the Spirit-Talkers and others proved to be instrumental to both the survival and eventual resurgence of the Council, thus more than deserving of a place among the Council.
Though still not large, the Kadji (or Spirit Lodge) have been valued members of the Council for centuries. Unlike most other Houses, the Kadji are barely organized. No leadership is acknowledged by the House as a whole, the only hierarchy is that of the venerable and wise. However, every few years (anywhere from three to fifty) the Kadji gather and elect a new representative to the Council. This representative holds no particular power over the rest of the Kadji, but is respected as the Spirit-Talker who supports the will of the Spirits and People.

Name: Silvani
Nicknames: Silvanites, Sylvan Lodge, Lodge of the Wilds, {Numerous local/regional names}
In-A-Nutshell: Naturalists and Shapeshifters
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Council Representative: Gn. Narangerel (A middle-aged woman with a remarkable talent to communicate with the natural world (both plant and animal) and weather manipulation. Despite her support of shapeshifters among the Silvani, she eschews it herself out of respect and tradition.)<br><br>
Inspiration: Poison Ivy (Batman), Storm (X-Men), Man-Thing (Marvel Comics), Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter), Beast Boy (Teen Titans), The Animorphs, Malfurion Stormrage (Warcraft), Amy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Nissa & Garruk (Magic: The Gathering).<br><br>
Schools: Hexing, Transmutation, Weather<br><br>
Style Examples:
  • Narangerel has been called upon to heal survivors of an Order’s attack. She has little of her usual herbs on hand, so she turns to the world around her for help. Chewing a bit of her reserve she enters a receptive state and communes with the plants of the area. Through the guidance of the natural world, such as the wisdom of the trees and the cunning of the ivy, she devises a crude but effective poultice (infused with a bit of Mana) to stabilize her patients until more intensive help can arrive.
  • Roan has a knack for growing things, a “green thumb” of a sort. Anything he touches seems to grow bigger, stronger, more potent, and faster than it would on its own. When is more mundane friends ask, he merely shrugs and says he has a knack for it or claims proper fertilizers are the cause. In reality its his tendency to speak calmly while watering his plants, carefully cultivating, and sacrificing a bit of his own blood as fertilizer.
  • Lady Nightshade has had enough. The logging companies, under manipulation of the Order she didn’t doubt, are coming to cut down her forest. She has to stop them, but she knows that these people only speak one language and that is the language of money. She can’t afford to do this traditionally, so she needs to make sure it costs them too much and make it seem accidental… Natural… She convinces the large beasts to overturn trucks, digging creatures to destabilize the ground beneath the effort, and by turning into a feline form she lead the predators to attack the workers. Sure a few employees die, but that drives up insurance and lawsuits. It will stop the logging and that is all that matters…
History:Much like the Kadji and Tanka, the Silvani theoretically predate any other House’s founding my centuries at the least and millennia at the most. Alongside the shaman and seers of the ancient world, the Silvani were the naturalists and herbalists of their communities. The line between these three groups are often blurry and indistinct, but the easiest way to describe the Silvani is their focus on the material and natural world (as opposed to the ephemeral and abstract worlds of the Kadji and Tanka). Despite their ancient pedigree and deep roots in countless cultures, the Silvani as an organized force are a very recent development.
The Silvani were known to the Roman Cult of Thoth from the very beginning and the modern name for these will-workers derives from the Cult’s name for them. Indeed, some members of the Cult made overtures towards approaching individual naturalists (particularly those worshiping Roman Wild Gods) and suggesting they organize themselves as equal members of the Cult. They were met with near universal rejection. The Silvani valued their freedom and independence too greatly to tie themselves to a group, let alone the wider Cult. Theirs was the natural world, the storms, and the seas. What need did they have for the paltry arguments of petty men?
This changed with the Schism War. That War drove a divide down the center of the world of will-workers, whether officially allied with a side or not. Some few joined the newly minted Order on their magic island, but they were rare. A few more joined the Council in fighting back against “oppression.” The vast majority rejected the war entirely, and soon found themselves caught in the crossfire and cut down by uncaring combatants. Plague ravaged their friends and family alike. The rise of monolithic governments and the outlaw of traditional beliefs dissolved their support networks. The rise of cities, filled to the brim with loyalists to both sides, weakened their Art. By the end of the Renaissance, the Silvani were on their last legs and growing desperate.
Some still call the Silvani’s alliance with the Council an act of betrayal and declare themselves as “independents.” These lost souls often rejoin the fold sooner or later, as they realize just how dangerous the world can be with some degree of support. Fortunately, even for those Silvani who chafe under the yoke, the Council is the sort to “live and let live” so long as basic tenants are followed. Even those Silvani who play the political game are often seen as devil’s advocates, rebels, and rabble as they seek to stir up trouble and shake up the status quo. Many of these same firebrands claim to do it for the betterment of the Council, by bring a bit of nature’s chaos to the marbled halls of the Council chambers.

Name: Tanka
Nicknames: Lodge of the Tankahupa (traditional name), Seers
In-A-Nutshell: Fate Watchers and Prophets
<div style="height:250px;width:475px;overflow:auto;border:4px solid darkorange;padding:2%">Council Representative: Diego Munoz (A soft spoken man from Colombia with an eternally distant expression. Though he rarely speaks, and almost never above a whisper, his wise counsel has steered the Council away from disaster countless times)<br><br>
Inspiration: Abdul Alhazred (Lovecraft Mythos), Sybil Trelawney (Harry Potter), The Weird Sisters (Macbeth), Destiny (X-Men), Doyle/Cordelia (Angel), The Doctor (Doctor Who), The Drunken Master, Garnet (Steven Universe), Yoda (Star Wars) <br><br>
Schools: Fate, Scrying, Telepathy <br><br>
Style Examples:
  • Diego has just returned from a meeting of the High Council. War is on the tongues of some of his fellow Councilors, understandable in the wake of Leng’s destruction, but Diego is skeptical. He knows the Order wants them wiped out, and there needs to be a response, but he fears a new Schism War would end poorly. As he entered his modest apartments, he went to the fridge and pulled out a small clay jug. He poured himself a glass of Ayahuasca, which he quickly drank down before entering his meditation chamber. Sitting on a small rug, lovingly hand woven by his mother decades ago, he sat down and calmed his breathing. Soon, the Gods granted him visions of the future. War promised naught but blood and fire. Overtures of peace proved no different. Only inaction showed a path to salvation, only by allowing a million tiny wars could they avoid a destructive War.
  • Tom needs to escape the temple where he found his latest artifact, but there are countless traps and threats between him and the outside. As he runs, he allows his conscious mind to turn off and retreat into an active meditative state. Instinctively, he leaps over opening pits, dodges dart traps, and ducking under pendulums. To the observer, he knew when the dangers were coming before they happened and in a way he did. When he finally nears the exit, he sees his beloved wife and he flashes her a sudden grin. Thus his concentration broke and the last heavy stone pendulum struck him in the head and into unconsciousness.
  • Ophelia is haunted by her dreams, has been her whole life. She sees objects and shapes, figures and animals, symbols float through her dreaming mind, all focused on the people she will meet in the next day. She sees omens and portents in flights of birds, movement of the wind, and the shapes of the clouds. Often she cannot discern what the meaning of these visions mean, but once in a while she is so struck by the dreams that she researches and interprets their messages. She can see the multitude of possible futures, so many possibilities so as to overwhelm, everywhere she looks.
History:Some see time as a river, flowing from past to future. Others claim that time is predetermined and we merely play out a script we cannot see. The Tanka know the truth: time is an ocean with no beginning or end, that time does not pass from one to another outside our perception of it. All time occurs at once and yet it does not. Time is fixed, yet it can be changed. Time has always existed, yet it never will. Contrary to a fault, the Tanka are privy to knowledge the other Houses can never understand, yet someday they must. They will speak of the future since the dawn of time, yet they have known the past to the end of time.<br><br>

In the more literal realm of the physical world, the Tanka can trace their roots back to the earliest peoples and religions of the human race. They have always been enigmatic and somehow apart from their compatriots. Even in communities where they interacted with the ancestors of the Silvani and the Kadji, their companions didn’t quite comprehend what the Tanka and their prophecies meant but their wisdom was greatly valued. So valuable were their visions that every group would eventually come to these scattered mystics and ask for their membership. The Cult of Thoth asked and the Tanka said, “Not now.” The Alhaqiqa asked and the Tanka said, “Not now. The Shadow Clan asked and the Tanka said, “Not now.” The Alchemists asked and the Tanka said, “Not now.”<br><br>

At the Dawn of the Schism Wars, the Tanka (previously still unorganized) arrived en masse to support the flagging forces of the Council. While some individual Seers had joined with the Order, the majority showed support for the Council instead and their guidance helped to save the Council in the tough years following the First Schism War. Ever since, their guidance has been rarely given but always heeded (if not always followed). The Tanka are the advisers, guides, and consulars of the Council. They are few in number and politically weak, but they are not concerned with such temporal matters. They see a bigger picture. Their concerns are greater than the Council, the Order, and even the Schism Wars themselves. Just what the greatest seers and visionaries of the Tanka see in their rituals are unknown even to the less potent of their own ranks. It is truly a mystery…</div>[/dohtml]
Apr 26 2018, 06:22 PM
[dohtml]<link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Catamaran" rel="stylesheet" type='text/css'><center><center><div style="font-family: 'Catamaran', sans-serif;font-size:32px;color:#D94E1F;">THE FOUNDING SOCIETIES</div></center><div style="width:400px;background-color:#EF8B2C;height:20px;"></div><div style="width:400px;text-align:justify;font-size:14px;"><br>
These are the Mage Societies which were there when the High Council, or rather its predecessor: the Cult of Thoth, was founded in the time of Ancient Rome. They have helped shape the History of the Cult and the High Council that followed it, and in turn has been shaped by that History. When the Schism drove a wedge down the center of the Cult and created the rivals in the Council and the Order, these Societies were also split. When the first Schism Wars raged, these Societies fought against their former comrades. Even now, these Societies must deal with the fact that they are mirrored in the much hated Order.
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Name: CES
Nicknames: Cognitive Exploration Society, The Choleric Examination Society (Archaic)
In-A-Nutshell: Psychics and Parapsychologists
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Council Representative: Aahi Rath (A 1st generation Hindi-American and well known (even in mundane academia) Cognitive Psychologist)<br><br>
Inspiration: Professor X (X-men), Lyn Cassady (Men Who Stare at Goats), Carrie (Carrie), Fredrick Abberline (From Hell), Raz and others (Psychonauts), The Jedi (Star Wars Series)<br><br>
Schools: Scrying, Telekinesis, Telepathy<br><br>
Style Examples:
  • Fatima channels Mana into her understanding of Psychology and body language to interpret her target’s thoughts, thus allowing her to read his mind and glean details impossible with “mundane” Psychology.
  • Niklas channels Mana into his Tarot deck as he focuses on his werewolf problems and how to solve them. Softly chanting a prayer for guidance as he lays out cards in the traditional five-card spread, he glimpses the motives keeping the werewolves in town and thus how he might encourage them to move along.
  • Kimiko knows that her presence is required at a meeting of her fellow Masons, but she lacks the ability to teleport and doesn’t have the time to travel along mundane routes. Using a carefully designed computer program she creates a semi-solid hologram of herself at the meeting site before meditating on the location and projecting her consciousness through the internet allowing her to utilize telepresence and attend the meeting psychically.
<br><br>History:CES was originally founded as the Collegium Essentialis Sophia and has always been loyal to the High Council. Some members of CES claim a lineage which can be traced back to before the Cult of Thoth, though these claims have never been substantiated. Regardless of its exact pedigree, CES has supported the Council since time immemorial.<br><br>

During the first Schism War, CES was divided almost cleanly in half. Their connection to the divine through the power of the mind and rational thought encouraged many to support Titus and his claim of purity, both of purpose and blood. After eight centuries however, CES had acquired a powerful anti-authoritarian streak. This latter group saw Titus and his claims of divine right and power as cause for concern, especially as it closely resembled a rising trend in mundane politics. Defiantly, the group split. Followers of Divine Wisdom joined Titus in Atlantis and renamed themselves the Ordo Sophia. The remaining members retained the title of CES, but abandoned its original meaning and instead renamed themselves the Choloric Examination Society.
The CES have since retained their defiant, modernist, and revolutionary spirit. A tradition of renaming the group (though keeping the initials CES) every century or so has taken root. Democratic and philosophical governance has always been the norm, but in 1763 Democratic representation became the official structure of the CES. Since then, the Councillor and all other positions (including the local Magisters) have been democratically elected and serve five year terms.

Name: Opifex
Nicknames: Artisans, Guangjiang, Alharfiiyan, Fundi, Artesanos, {Countless other names for Artisans in other languages}
In-A-Nutshell: Enchanters and Magismiths (also Science!)
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Council Representative: Miriam Deitrich (A revivalist blacksmith, Miriam has helped to “rediscover” the “lost” arts of medieval blacksmithing within the mortal world, and has continuously refined the art of mystic blacksmithing in ways unseen in generations.)<br><br>
Inspiration: Doc Brown (Back to the Future), Egon Spengler (Ghostbusters), MacGuyver (MacGuyver), Tony Stark (Iron Man), Victor Frankenstein (Frankenstein), Professor Farnsworth (Futurama), Gepetto (Pinocchio), Hephaestus (Greek Myth), Bismuth (Steven Universe), Sauron (Lord of the Rings)<br><br>
Schools: Elementalism, Enchanting, Transmutation<br><br>
Style Examples:
  • Noah is under attack by Mantis Men in the Hollow Lands. He needs to defend himself. Fortunately, he had earlier constructed a ray gun which utilizes aetheric resonance to pull Mana out of the air and into pure energy which is emitted in the form of an energy beam. Unfortunately, because of the unstable nature of the crystals, he only has a limited number of shots before the crystals crack and become useless. Hopefully he’ll be safe before that point…
  • Miriam is crafting a sword to be used by the Guardians of Avalon. She wants to construct the weapon from the mythic element of Mithril, for its lightness and strength. Through a careful smelting process where she combines silver, crystalized Mana, and an arcane mixture of herbs and oils by the light of a full moon. She has been asked to include a minor form of countermagick, to defend against invasion by the Order, to which she carves runes of protection into the near-final product.
  • Emil has already lived for a century and he wishes to continue to prolong his life. Using a three tiered system, he will add another half century to his life span. First he immerses himself in a vat of mercurous chloride treated with Xenon radiation, which retards the degradation of his cellular structure. Second, he walks into a specially crafted chamber which alters his personal chronal timeline through bombardment with tachyon particles. Finally, he performs self-surgery and installs a new blood cycling device which cleans and replaces old cells in the bloodstream and eventually reverses the aging process slightly. Of course, all of this work prolongs his life but the Scourge effects of breaking nature’s laws make it impossible to fully reverse the aging process and making him increasingly frail and ancient looking with each treatment.
<br><br>History:The Opifex inhabit a strange place in the Council. They claim a lineage that traces back almost as far as the Kadji and the Silvani, claim independent organization under a variety of monikers and timeframes (varying on region and culture), and yet only trace their “official” history back to the Cult of Thoth. Semi-independent even in the Roman Cult’s period, the Opifex were still wholly dependent on the Cult (and its successors) to justify its existence. This isn’t to say that mystic artisans were all reliant upon the Cult (most weren’t), nor to say that all artisans were members of the Opifex (most weren’t). Rather, the Cult was the first to organize artisans into a coherent and politically independent group, and (excluding the later Alhaqiqa) for much of history the only large and significant grouping of its kind.
Because of its unique position within the Cult, the Opifex were powerfully divided by the events of the Schism. Legends speak of the Opifex’s Order Hall literally rumbling with the thunder and fury of the debates in the early days of the divide. Legends also speak, possibly less reliably, of how said hall was literally split in twain by a bolt of lightning when Titus and his followers (almost half the Opifex with him) departed for Atlantis. What is known historical fact is the failed attempts to mend the rift within the Opifex. Decades of failed communication, internal political strife, and an eventual frigid silence cementing the divide. It isn’t a coincidence that when the Schism turned to open War, there were Opifex weapons and machinery in abundance on both sides. When the Council went into retreat, the Opifex unexpectedly grew to proportions equal to (and eventually beyond) their original numbers. By recruiting and giving equal place to global artisans, the Opifex grew into a political and temporal powerhouse.
Today, the Opifex are one of the largest Houses (surpassed only by CES) and easily one of the most influential voices in the Council. This is due largely to two major causes. The first in the open handed and full throated inclusiveness of the Opifex. They welcomed artisans of skill, regardless of ethnicity or background, even in the time of the Roman Cult and their openness served them well during the Council’s flight. The other cause is equally simple, but surprisingly effective, and that is their drive to modernize. The inventive and innovative drive has always been at the heart of the Opifex and it has led to a state where traditional Blacksmiths and Woodworkers stand side-by-side with Electrical Engineers and Theoretical Physicists. Their openness to all comers (so long as they have the “Gift” or “Genius” to keep up) and decidedly modern outlook makes them popular with new and modern magi in ways only comparable to CES. The future is in their hands after all…

Name: Sophia
Nicknames: The New Sophia, Order of the Sophiates (archaic), Sophiates
In-A-Nutshell: Miracle-Workers & Priests/Priestesses
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Council Representative: Alexander Duchamp (A staunch and faithful Catholic who is much older than his apparent half-century appearance would indicate. Hardline and Conservative, he silently wishes there was less "pagan" influence in the Council, but politics and modernity make such things an acceptable evil in his world.)<br><br>
Inspiration: Claude Frollo (Hunchback of Notre Dame), Most Jedi (Star Wars), Matt Murdock (Daredevil), Nightcrawler (X-Men), The Faceless Men (Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones), Connor and Murphy McManus (Boondock Saints), Father Mulcahy (M*A*S*H), Rorschach (Watchmen)<br><br>
Schools: Healing, Spiritus, Warding<br><br>
Style Examples:
  • Maria needs a way out. The Order is attacking, the defenders are failing, and the day is lost. The only thing left, in her mind, is to ensure that defeat doesn’t become massacre. Dropping to her knees and praying for safe passage while invoking the name of St. Christopher she hopes to find a way to save herself and, more importantly, the other survivors. A moment later, the clouds above part and a beam of light appears. Knowing that her prayer was answered, Maria begins urging others into it. A moment later, she enters herself and finds herself in a field beneath a peaceful blue sky. Later, she would learn that she had ended up in Southern France, half a world away from the battle.
  • James has had enough. People have suffered and died for the Council’s petty wars with the Order. None of it meant anything and the leaders don’t care. A statement needs to be made. Invoking the name of God in Enochian he demands justice by listing his targets’ crimes. A moment later, a bright flash announces the arrival of a powerful Scourge spirit, which proceeds to impose ironic punishments on the accused.
  • Owen is under attack and running with a limp. Clearly, he finally crossed a line. Stumbling through the park he repeats the phrase “Pain is an illusion” over and over again knowing that so long as he maintains his mantra he will not feel the pain of his wounds. It buys him the time he needs to prepare himself to strike back. Carefully constructing a powerful existential argument against his target, properly charged with Mana, he knows will cause his opponent to become catatonic for a time. At least long enough for Owen to find safety.
<br><br>History:The Sophia are unique for surviving not one Schism, but two. The Order of Sophiates were founded before the Cult of Thoth as a religious order aligning itself with various gods and their cults within Roman Society. As members of varying religious orders, the Sophiates had widely varying beliefs but all agreed on the twin principles of Wisdom and Responsibility. They were commited to leading their non-Magi compatriots with wise counsel and responsible leadership, a cause which transcended individual belief and led them to co-found the Cult of Thoth alongside the other orders. Conflict arose however after coming of the Christ and his followers.
The Christian faith originally found no problem fitting in with the rest of the Sophiates, as Christian Magi were as committed to Wisdom and Responsibility as leaders of any faith. As time passed and the number of Christians within the Sophiates rose, conflict reared its head. During the reign of, and after the conversion of, Constantine I the proportion of Christians reached the tipping point at over half the Order’s numbers. Their numbers and the conversion of the Emperor emboldened the Christian Sophiates, which led to the Sophiate Schism. A period of “civil war” broke out between the two factions, with frequent conflicts (both philosophical and literal) breaking out over two decades. When the proverbial smoke cleared, the Sophiates had reformed and were again united despite religion but non-Christians now found themselves marginalized and cut off from political power both within the Sophiates and the High Council as a whole.This divide fostered resentment which bubbled beneath the surface for centuries and strife frequently broke out, though only rarely was this unrest visible to others within the High Council. This political divide was only exacerbated by increasingly common “heresies,” rejected by the “Pure Sophiates” following their own interpretation of Orthodoxy.
When the High Council began to divide between those loyal to Titus and those loyal to the Council, the Sophiates seemed uniform in its support of Titus and his “Responsible” rulership. The long standing rift within the Sophiates reared its head however, as those marginalized members of other religions and “heretical” sub-sects of Christianity declared themselves loyal to the Council. Many claim, even now, that this was a political manuever but the “New Sophia” denied anything but loyalty as their cause. These holy warriors proved potent allies, not for their numbers but for the zealous fervor they brought against the Order in defense of the Council. Every time the Schism Wars returned, the Sophiates took the fight to the enemy (either by sword or pen equally) and refused to back down.
Today, the Sophia are small and shrinking with each generation. The “True Sophiates” of the Order brought the vast majority of the group into the Order centuries ago and the “New Sophia” have never truly recovered. Though they have found recruits from across the globe, but never in large numbers. The “surrendered to god” (whatever god that may be) nature of the Sophia has proven difficult to reconcile with many religious magi, and thus these will-workers turn instead to other Houses. Those religious magi with the conviction to join are almost equally split between the “True” and “New” factions, and thus not shifting demographics much. This is exacerbated by the increasing areligiousness growing in young people today, which has caused a shift upward in the average age of the Sophia and the increasing perception that the Sophia are nothing more than “outdated old men” to most younger magi. Despite this perception, they retain political respect and influence on the Council through their fierce loyalty, fervent defense of the Council and its causes, and its dedication to Wise and Responsible leadership.
Mar 5 2016, 02:25 AM

Hello MTV, and welcome to my crib.

Or, more accurately, your character's crib. Where do they live? Do they own a house, rent an apartment, or crash on a series of couches? Do they have roommates, live alone, co-habitat with their S.O.? Is their space prim and proper, or does it look like an episodes of Hoarders could be shot at their place?

Describe your character's living situation.

((You may post as either your OOC account for all characters you play, or one answer per character account, either in-character or otherwise. The choice is yours!))
Feb 26 2016, 06:27 PM

What's in your wallet? Or more accurately, your character's pocket. What are the essentials they keep on themselves at all times? A purse full of everything from mints to the kitchen sink? Maybe they just was their cash up and shove it in their back pocket? Do they lug spell components with them everywhere they go? Time to get personal with possessions.

What does your character always have on their person?

((You may post as either your OOC account for all characters you play, or one answer per character account, either in-character or otherwise. The choice is yours!))
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