The Ackerly Green Secret Society was a series of events that occurred over the summer of 2018, based around a group of magiqal adventurers who all owned a Herman the Hippocampus pin.

Description Edit

Ackerly Green Secret Society was an adventuring campaign created by Warner Green in the 1960s in the Book of The Wild. The Secret Society was resurrected by CJ Bernstein after he stumbled upon a box of pins from the old Ackerly Green, leading to strange occurrences in the new Ackerly Green offices.

History Edit

The Ackerly Green Secret Society kicked off with "Wonder." Together with Orvin Wallace, CJ was able to track down remnants of the former Ackerly Green, finding a warehouse filled with boxes of Herman the Hippocampus pins. The pins came with a note that they were for the Ackerly Green Secret Society, which CJ surmised meant that they were from the Book of The Wild, since the Book of Kings Ackerly Green wouldn't have had the readership to justify a secret society[1]. After acquiring the pins, CJ noticed they had some strange features, such as always finding their way on the things he would wear[2].

Over the past few weeks, CJ noted odd occurrences: talking, pages turning, pages tearing, old phones ringing, the feeling of someone brushing past me when he's the only one there, even the clacking of typewriters. CJ and Devin agreed that the new offices of Ackerly Green felt like they were being haunted by the old offices of Ackerly Green. Things escalated when CJ recieved a call from building management that there had been a bunch of noise complaints made by his office neighbors. A neighbor said it sounded like someone was having a knockdown, drag out fight in the AGP office. CJ drove to the office to try and figure out what was happening. He could hear the yelling and the smashing of things from the floor’s lobby, but when he got to the office door, it got quiet. He unlocked the door, opened it, and just as he was about to turn on the light, he saw someone, standing in the dark, staring back at him. When he turned on the light, it was gone. When CJ checked if anything in the office was amiss, he found that there wasn’t a single thing in the office out of place[3].

CJ continue working at the office, not noticing anything besides the usual odd sounds, but he kept having the nagging urge to return to the storage building where the pins were housed. Noticing he seemed to get the thoughts when he was wearing the pin, CJ decided it was a sign and snuck into the storage room. In the room, CJ found a strip of paper from Warner Green, introducing members into the Secret Society. When CJ went to leave the room, he received a notification on his phone, sent from the Ackerly Green App - “I looked across the cold and silver swirling sea[4].” CJ also noted that a chronocompass had been added to the app that he himself hadn't added[5]. Confused and concerned, CJ wondered if the process of building the app had been magiq.

Another evening in the office, CJ heard someone walking about. He opened the door and saw the ghost, Woolie, who was frantically pacing the office. CJ described him as not looking like a typical ghost, but more of a blur who sometimes came into focus. When Woolie noticed CJ and stopped pacing. He was in clothes from another century, possibly from the 17th or 18th century, and he had a blue coat on. Parts were light blue, some were darker blue, and the colors looked like they were moving, changing. The two were able to communicate with each other. The ghost told CJ that he was a member of the path of Wool, and that he was massacred by the Silver.

CJ's First Interview With Woolie Edit

CJ's First Interview With Woolie

G: Can you hear me?
S: Yes, you?
G: Do you know why I’m here?
S: No. I thought it was about the pins? (I showed it to him but he didn’t seem to recognize it.) It’s our company mascot.
Ackerly Green Publishing.
G: That is this place?
S: Yeah. Do you know anything about it?
G: No.
S: Do you remember anything about yourself? Where you’re from? Maybe what you’re doing here?
G: I am lost to myself. There are holes… in my mind. I want to remember but there are missing pieces. I don’t know why, but in looking for them I was drawn here.
S: To the office?
G: Something is happening here.
S: I know. I thought you were part of it.
G: I am lost. I saw a light. I followed it. But I cannot remember what I was searching for. What I thought was waiting beyond the light. I found you here.
S: Sorry.
G: Can you help me somehow?
S: I don’t know. I have friends who know more about this kind of thing. Well, not really ghosts, so much as magic…
G: Magic.
S: Yeah.
G: I know magic.
S: You do?
G: I was killed by magic. I saw others fall.
S: Who fell?
G: The Monarchs.
S: You’re Monarch’s Mountain? Are you talking about Neithernor? The war?
G: The massacre.
S: Is this because we’ve been to Neithernor?

He didn’t answer.

S: Maybe you got lost and followed someone through a door? Maybe that was the light? G: I do not remember… I looked across…

He stopped.

S: You looked across what? G: It was dark, cold. I looked across…

I’m embarrassed to say it took me way to long to realize what he was trying to say. I finally caught up and frantically yanked my phone out of my pocket…

S: I got a weird text yesterday… I mean, a weird message. I think it might be for you.

I showed him the phone. He looked closely at it and repeated the phrase…

G: I looked across the cold and silver swirling sea.

Suddenly it was like all the heat and sound left the room. The lights went out. And it’s like we weren’t in the office. It was like a cold, black void.

And I could see him glowing in the darkness. The look on his face was like something had dawned on him. I could barely hear him–

G: I remember. I looked across the cold and silver swirling sea. I was the one who first saw them coming. I was the one who knew. I saw it all begin.

And then the lights came back up, I was back in the office, and he was gone.

CJ encountered the ghost again, who he nicknamed Woolie to coincide with him being on the path of Wool. When CJ saw Woolie again, he told CJ that the message he received by returning to the warehouse where he found the Herman the Hippocampus pins was a catalyst for Woolie regaining part of his memory. He then told CJ that there were shards left in his new memory. Small pieces that don’t belong there. He gave them to CJ, saying he believed they belonged to CJ and his friends.

CJ's Second Interview With Woolie Edit

CJ's Second Interview With Woolie

S: Do you mind if I type this? I don’t have the best memory and—

I put the keyboard in my lap and just started typing as he wrote.

W: …finally a parley had been agreed upon. It was decided that an assembly of house leaders would await them at the eastern shore at the dawn of Assembler’s Day. But they never meant to parley. They came as night fell on Assembler’s Eve. I stood at the watch. Was trusted as the first sight. I looked across the cold and silver swirling sea. I was the one who first saw them coming. I was the one who knew. And saw it all begin. I saw them, carried by wing, and wind, and blood-black sails. I was trusted as the first sight, but I stood, watching, unable to move, unable to speak. Unable to sound the cry. I failed. Frozen there as a great black wave of water rose up, obscuring their envoy, and laying waste to the house leaders who made camp on the shores. I watched them fall from sight beneath the mouth of the sea, the ice brine reaching up to the tower, and then the final silence fell up on me.

S: Is that the last thing you remember?
W: The black wave filled my chest. It drew me from the watch. There was no up or down. Only cold and dark and then… and then I cannot say. But then there was a light. And I followed it. Not swimming nor walking. I was willing myself after it. And then I was here.

He looked up at me and I realized it had become easier for me to see him. The spectral water that ran off him pooled around one of my shoes. I could see it wasn’t “real.” But I could see it.

W: The message you found was part of my memory. Part of what I lost. You made me remember that.
S: I’m so sorry.
W: No, you can help me. Help me to remember.
S: Is that what you want?
W: I am lost. And you found a part of me. Perhaps you could find more. To tell me who I am.
S: We’ll do whatever we can to help you.
W: There are… shards left in my new memory. Small pieces that don’t belong there. I think they might belong to you and your friends.

And then he started reciting a poem and I hope to God I got it right.

A clock
A courthouse
Two wheels in the sea
A tower
A market
A cemetery

The seal of a king
A carpenter’s cure
A union of time
A Romanesque lure
A brush with the law
As she spoke in a tree

That is all that you need For the first memory

He vanished before his voice did and by the end it was barely a whisper. I think that’s it, but I don’t know.

Mountaineers were able to map the hints to real-world locations, based around the locations of the pins. When Mountaineers went to the locations with the Ackerly Green App running, they received notifications congratulating them on finding the location and giving them a hint[6]. The locations were:

  • Balimora - “A market - the seal of a king” - “A Collector of Tales”
  • Thornmouth - Moses Carpenter’s Grave - “A cemetery - a carpenter’s cure” - “A Circle of Stones”
  • Flinterforge - Union Station Clock - “A clock - a union in time” - “A Lost Father”
  • Gossmere - Bancroft Tower - “A tower - a Romanesque lure” - “Buried Treasure”
  • Ebenguard - Asamkirche - “A memento mori - a sinister shear” - “A Swashbuckling Pirate”
  • Balimora - Kamloops Courthouse Gallery - “A courthouse - a brush with the law” - “A Fishing Town”

After all six locations had been found, they received the hints: a collector of tales, a circle of stones, a lost father, buried treasure, a swashbuckling pirate, and a fishing town[7].

After all the locations were found, CJ received a notification that the motion-detecting camera he had set up in the office recorded a portion of the Ackerly Green's Tales of Wonder podcast[8].

In "Date Night", after a date with his husband Matt, CJ was led by his pin to a shadow of Herman in the front window’s glass of a little store front that had been abandoned and left with a rotting for-sale sign in its window for what looked like decades. CJ described it as "the memory of a shadow."

CJ decided to go back to the storefront in "Cellar Door" after he did not get any callback after calling the for-sale sign for weeks. In the building was an old desk that contained part of a shipping receipt for a big crate that was sent to Marrekech. It said “Return has been paid for, but only upon request.” Although the recipient's address was torn off, the deliverer's address showed the building he was in - previously known as the Ackerly Green Book Shop. The sender's name was "A.G." While CJ was in the building, his phone buzzed with a notification - “I’d found the key, and with it, a way to leave this world behind.”

CJ spoke with Woolie once again in "On the Atlantic," noting that the man was more solid than before, but flickering in and out, and that he was more chatty than usual.

CJ's Third Interview With Woolie Edit

CJ's Third Interview With Woolie

"I can remember now that I had suffered a great loss that I am still unable to recall, but was decided that I would not let it pull me down. This was in my first life. My life without magic. I had found myself suffocated by the city and all that was expected of me, so I joined a ship’s crew out of New York Harbor, ferrying goods back and forth from ports along both sides of the Atlantic. It was bliss. Freedom, some semblance of adventure. New vistas, new ideas.

We’d been out on a run for a week, returning from Nova Scotia, and we happened on a battered lifeboat with only a single soul on board. A man, older than my father, near dead from cold and thirst. We brought him onboard and I, as the most junior man of the crew, was tasked with keeping him alive until we made port in six days’ time.

I kept watch on him, and after a night of filling his belly with water and cured meat he was strong enough to sit up, strong enough to speak.

He’d booked passage on a screw steamer that was coming up from San Juan when they’d run into bad weather and took on water. He said things that didn’t make sense. He said his work was almost done and he had to keep on. He’d walked a long trail and was sure he had almost reached the end of his journey. There was another world beyond this, where truth had been hidden, and he had found a secret road to walk that would lead him to the truth and allow him to leave this all behind.

He was delirious so I put him to bed for the night. But I couldn’t sleep. Something about what he’d said. The hidden truth about the world. Leaving this all behind. It had plucked a string in me, the thrum resonating in my chest, warming me. I wanted to know what he’d meant, needed to know more about this path, this truth. He was a minister and I his wide-eyed believer. I checked on him early the next morning, but he had passed sometime in the night.

In his rucksack was a waterlogged journal. In it he had written the names and locations of hundreds of places from all around the world. A list made up of sculptures, ancient ruins, works of art… Most of them had been crossed out. However, he had connected the remaining names with a thick red line that ran through the journal. On the line he’d written the words, “The Path”.

It seemed like lunacy, but I recall a feeling like a fire running through me the moment I saw those two words. The Path. There was a knock on the cabin door and I answered it, assuming it was the captain come to check on the gentleman, but there was no one on the other side. I turned back to the journal on the table.

The image of a door on its last page, where the red line ended. I felt a kinship with the man’s madness. A connection. We both saw the lie of this world, but he had sought the truth at all costs. In the months after losing all I had, I’d considered taking my own life to end my torment. To free myself. But he had persevered. Worked out the way the truth had been locked away. And now I knew with a mad, unexplainable certainty that I’d found the key, and with it, a way to leave this world behind."

He stopped talking. I turned around to ask him a question, and he was gone. I transcribed everything I scribbled and just now looked up at the dry erase board we have in the office. He was writing on it, the words disappearing just as he wrote them, but I got them down. There was another riddle hidden in his memory…

On wheels or wings
On wires or things
That grow but aren’t alive
That travel between north and south
Or twinkle in the sky

A link in the address
Where gold bubbles flow
A mill I can reach
And minerals low
A meeting of waters
A jolt in the air

Go have a wander
There’s memories there

With Woolie's appearance came a new set of locations. CJ later suggested that the new locations may all be connected to museums, giving some helpful hints on where Mountaineers could look next[9]

  • Weatherwatch - Logan Museum of Anthropology - "And minerals low that grow but aren’t alive" - "A sinister storm"
  • Flinterforge - SPARK Museum - "A jolt in the air on wires or things" - "A broken heart"
  • Balimora - Kamloops Museum and Archives - "A meeting of waters" - "A lost ship"
  • Balimora - Champaign Aviation Museum - "Where gold bubbles flow, On wheels or wings" - "The little island"
  • Gossmere - Bucks County Civil War Library - “A link-in the address, that travel between north and south” - "Dark shoals"
  • Ebenguard - Millican Hall - “A mill-I-can reach, or twinkle in the sky” - "Choppy water"
After the second set of coordinates were located, Woolie failed to reappear[10]. However, Catherine, CJ's assistant, found a strange ticket to a haunted lighthouse. In the meantime, CJ continue tracking down the Ackerly Green shipment, eventually leading him to mainland China[11]. A woman had contacted CJ, telling him they might have a lead on some stock that remained after the former Ackerly Green went under. Meanwhile, Catherine was
magimystically drawn to the Brooklyn Collection, when she received an application alert - “A world that could not have been imagined by man[12].”

In September 2018, CJ moved offices to another floor and, after the move, received another visit from Woolie. In "Moving Office," Woolie's form was faded, the magiq keeping him in the Ackerly Green office weakening. However, he was able to tell CJ about his exploration into Neithernor.

CJ's Fourth Interview With Woolie Edit

CJ's Fourth Interview With Woolie

So, while I was gone, the company we’re renting office space from decided that they needed our current space for their own employees. The good news is we now have a slightly bigger office and a window. The bad news is basically everything else. I was freaking out that we were maybe going to somehow lose Woolie or this connection to the other AGP.

We finally moved into the new office and hadn’t heard anything for about a week and a half, until this morning. Catherine wasn’t in the office yet, but Woolie came back and he was fragmented, and fading, whereas before he had become more… corporeal before? Now he was back to the way he was when he first showed up. Whatever seems to be happening with the Instagram account and the sounds in the office also seems to be happening to Woolie. Like we’re losing our connection to him, or his connection to us. He was originally drawn to the office because he said there was some kind of light in it. Maybe that light’s disappearing. Like magiq?

He was talking but I could only hear about a quarter of it. He was telling me about his first steps into Neithernor. He said he was welcomed with open arms by these people who had taken these ancient ruins and turned them into beautiful homes for the six guilds that he’d come to learn about, almost like club houses. Rotting wood and crumbling stone had been covered with tapestries, cloths, and furniture, and there were tents set up all over the place. It was like these grown-ups were living some wonderful childlike adventure. He saw people going and coming through doors to our world, people learning magic, people sitting around campfires, telling stories, detailing adventures they had in this world. He met groups of people gathered under massive trees reading old books and parchments, working together to try and learn unknown languages and decipher strange codes. He said he finally felt like he was home. I’m not positive, and it may be because I’m biased, but I think he said he was an Ebenguard. How he describes Neithernor, and the new houses, the path of wool, all sounded extraordinary. I have no idea why I can’t knock in but maybe it’s just not my thing, yeah? Anyway, I’ve been pretty preoccupied.

After about ten minutes he disappeared mid-sentence and didn’t come back. I stayed until the early hours of the morning just in case, and just when I was about to leave, on the chalkboard, I found one phrase, written in what I assume is his handwriting…

“When the sun god finds one sister who still holds aloft her fire”

That was it. It doesn’t seem like it’s a lot to go on. I mean, what the hell is happening? The Book of Briars has been inexplicably delayed, whatever connection we had to the other Ackerly Green and Woolie seems to be dissolving. Any ideas what we should do?

As for the AG package, no word yet from China but I’ve been following up regularly. I’ll let you know as soon as I know something.

After the discussion, CJ found a phrase written on his chalkboard. The first clue led to a series of chain reactions:

  • Balimora - Statue of Liberty in Fort Collins City Park - “When the sun god finds one sister who still holds aloft her fire”
  • Balimora - Spadena House in Beverly Hills - "And the crooked river reaches where the star-eyed witch retires"
  • Gossmere - The Brennender Berg - "When the lebewesen lights upon a never-ending flame"
  • Thornmouth - Captain Cook Birthplace Museum - "And rummaging where dragons flee, you come upon a name."
  • Unknown - Metropolitan Police Coat Hook - "When the common nail has been enhanced to aid a humbled sentry"
  • Balimora - Drexell University - “Go to higher ground where all who seek knowledge are granted entry”

While Mountaineers searched for their clues, CJ followed up on the shipment. He was able to get in touch with the woman from China, who told him that she did indeed have a shipment there. However, sending the shipment required a password, set up by "A.G." before it could be sent[13].

The final clue led to the word "Vordicriminant" which proved to be the keyword to release the Ackerly Green shipment[14]. The package was promptly sent out and was revealed to be a strange cabinet that seemed to have too many drawers[15]. CJ, however, was unable to open any of the drawers, but did detect a strange rattling noise. Within the shipment was also a piece of paper for Hermie the Hippocampus - a cute cartoonish version of Herman[16].

In "[1]," CJ encountered a strange apartment building while walking to his barber. The door buzzed him in and the intercom told him that he had been granted access. Unable to resist exploring, CJ entered and found an old piece of cardstock with a phone number. The number failed to pick up, but CJ did receive a new application notice - “A light that both blinded me and made me whole.” Later, Woolie appeared yet again, his essence seeming to fade away. He revealed more of his memories, of a woman he loved and how they parted ways. He knew he did something terrible but couldn't remember what, and began to break down as he lost his foothold on the world.

CJ's Fifth Interview With Woolie Edit

CJ's Fifth Interview With Woolie

He finally woke me up last night.

I was camping in the office, and Woolie showed up around midnight, about an hour after I scared the hell out of the cleaning people.

He was in terrible shape, flickering and faded. Distraught.
What follows is what I pieced together from what I could hear and understand.

“The light that drew me here is almost gone, and I feel myself breaking apart, turning to ash like embers on the wind. I was something real, but now I am vanishing. Held together with a light that wanes by the moment.

I knock and knock to try and get back to what I lost. Who I left behind. But my hands pass through the doors like mist. I can’t return to her.

Molly. My own Molly. The first of my guild who welcomed me. The girl who lived across the world, who I never would’ve laid eyes on had I not found Neithernor. The warmth of her hands. The light in her eyes. A light that both blinded me and made me whole. I never deserved her, but I feel as if I have somehow betrayed her, though I don’t know how, not by following through the open door, to the light of this place. No, it was before we were all made of mist. I broke her heart. The pieces here, still in my hands, but I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know much of anything anymore. All the warmth is fading from your world. Perhaps I belong here, having wronged the ones I love, though how escapes my mind.

I will end here, in ash, undeserving of a way back home to her, and unknowing why.”

Then he knelt in the corner of the office and wept in silence. It was heartbreaking.

I sat beside him. I couldn’t touch him to console him, and he either couldn’t hear me or didn’t want to. I don’t know when, but I fell asleep there with him, and it wasn’t until the sun rose that I noticed he was gone and fragments of phrases had appeared on the walls. Written in what I think is ash.

After a couple hours of toying with them, Catherine and I think this is the order they go:

As the hunter’s moon ascends, find a feast for all the senses
Seek a long-abandoned sun that’s now rotting behind fences
Find a monument to travel and a way to let in light
And a view upon a hilltop that once was used for flight
Feel the wind over the water, where bodies lie below
Then find the lonely, wayward stone where prairie grasses grow.

Unable to get to some of the locations in person, the Mountaineers struggled to continue. However, a member of the Low named SpiritSeer approached one of the recruits in private, gaining a rapport[17]. She eventually felt confident enough to post[18] and explained the situation at the Low. Spiritseer explained that the Low was divided on its opinion of the Mountaineers, some doubtful of their legitimacy and others angry that they were so open with magiqal secrets[19]. The Low shut out SpiritSeer once they learned she had created an account on the forums. However, SpiritSeer chose to go ahead and share a useful spell that could help the Mountaineers visit far off destinations[20].

The Mountaineers invoked The Living Spirit spell to astral project themselves to the locations. The locations themselves were discovered in part through a scrying spell, allowing some of the Mountaineers to get a glimpse at the location.

  • “As the hunter’s moon ascends, find a feast for all the senses” - Feast of the Hunter’s Moon - “I’ll keep fighting for the oppressed[21].”
  • “Seek a long-abandoned sun that’s now rotting behind fences” - Palace of the Golden Orbs - “I chose a life free of magic.”[22]
  • “Find a monument to travel and a way to let in light” - Cathedral of the Air Stained Window - "I am proud to be an outsider." [23]
  • “And a view upon a hilltop that once was used for flight” - Big Hill - "I was the unexpected sibling."[24]
  • “Feel the wind over the water, where bodies lie below” - Windover - “I won’t let my family be forgotten.”[25]
  • “Then find the lonely, wayward stone where prairie grasses grow” - Big Rock - "I manage a little bookshop"[26]
After the new memories had been unlocked, CJ revealed that he had followed up with the phone number from the apartment. It had led to a private tour of the New York subway station and a slot had recently been opened up. Catherine also noted a strange occurance of her own - her journal had been swapped out with another, similar journal in size and color[27]. The journal was empty, except that it said “Continued in Vol. 6 – Evelyn Avis Green” at the corner of the last page[28].

CJ visited the station in "Down to City Hall Station" and found a strange photo on his phone that he didn't remember taking. It had the word "betrayer" on it. During this time, CJ also revisited the Ackerly Green Instagram and found strange comments from "AG[29]." While this occurred, Catherine realize that the Ackerly Green offices were a trigger for text to appear in the journal. She endeavored to record the writings before they faded, staying up all night to do so.

Avis Green's Journal Entries Edit

Avis Green's Journal Entries

“It seems others with magimystic sensitivities have experienced strange occurrences of late, though my nephew isn’t convinced it’s necessarily limited to those with knowledge of the Arcanum, only that they’re more keen to accept disappearing objects and strange sounds as magimystic. But there have been enough observed and recorded instances in a small amount of time that it’s impossible now to believe it’s not a coincidence.

Fina said I was calling out in my sleep last night, something about [there was no word there, or there was a blur, almost like it was “deeper”, more obscured, than the other words]. I confided that strange things have been happening, and I showed her the journal. She said writing has been so important to me these past few years, to help me work through things, and suggested I should keep writing my journals and book records, even if they disappear. The point, she explained in her never-ending wisdom, isn’t necessarily to preserve, but to express. Things don’t have to exist forever to have mattered–”[30]

Something is happening. Most of the world continues on the rails of mundane life, but those living within the eddies of magic are concerned. Like birds aware of an impending storm before they’ve caught sight of far-off clouds. Magimystic energy is behaving erratically, or so I’m told by my nephew and his coven, who are all aflutter with activity and are currently using the bookstore basement as a central office to investigate it, though I’m unclear why and frankly, haven’t tried to understand. I chose a life free of magic. As much as one can be free of magic knowing the history of our family, and having seen more than most could ever imagine exists. My brother never understood, not entirely, why I chose to live a mostly-mundane life, or more so why I relinquished my part in Ackerly Green Publishing in exchange for my little book shop on the first floor. I contend that there is more that matters in the world than magic and its never-ending pursuit.[31]

“Sully attempted to explain “wells” to me when I finally asked why he and his rowdy, over-excited friends he calls a coven have set up what they call “basecamp” in the cellar. What I gathered from his rambling was that there are places in the world “touched by magic” in a way that leaves an indelible mark. He and his associates use them as barometers to measure magimystic energy. He says that very recently wells have begun growing deeper, stronger, and behaving more strangely. He says that wells growing deeper might sound like a good thing, but in fact, it may also mean that magic is trying to dig in and take hold as something attempts to take it. Or destroy it. We still know so little about how magic truly works. It is a strange time. Despite everything that’s happened, all that we have experienced and endured, what I would give to have my incorrigible older brother by my side. But he’s gone.”[32]

“I can’t sleep. They think I can’t hear, but Sully and his friends whisper about the dark force, once defeated, and their fear that it may have risen again, and these strange events might be warnings of a coming storm. I know our minds are simply running rampant, searching for a cause. But you can’t unring a bell. A name that had almost lost its chill, but now the old familiar cold has returned.”[33]

Things are changing rapidly. Even those living their lives in the strictly mundane have begun to experience the alterations. We have far less time that we realized, and yet we still don’t know what’s truly happened, only that our world is changing, and magic is somehow being eradicated. Even the bridges are beginning to falter. If they were to break… I know enough about the magimystic to understand what that possibility portends.

Those in the greater world of the magimystic with more courage and foresight than I have taken the offensive, on a worldwide hunt for whoever might be responsible, hoping to undo the alterations, or at least stop what’s happening before all is too far gone.

I did not choose this world, this life, but to think that a universe of hidden wonder, just outside the periphery of the mundane, might cease to exist without anyone learning what is truly possible… To lose that choice without ever having learned it was a choice to make, that is a reason to fight.[34]

It’s worse than we imagined. It’s not only magic, it’s memory, too. Our minds are being altered. It happened in small ways at first, misplaced things and misremembered plans, but now more and more we are forgetting everything we once knew. It’s also happening more quickly now. What was once a ripple on the surface of the world is now a wave, and we are all soon to be swept up in it if we don’t act in time.[35]

My dear nephew is a genius. If the first plan fails, stopping whatever is happening or whoever is responsible, then we will need a second plan to buy more time.

He and his friends are working on a stopgap spell that I have been asked to help cast when all is ready. He says that my being a Green, and casting it here at Ackerly Green is essential. So despite my reservations, I’ll help.

It’s a multifold spell. A manner of magimystic tripwire that once activated will trigger a spell to cast itself. That’s what they’re working on now, trying to make it work when no one’s been able to make a self-casting spell work before. Like his father, he’s prone to the theater of magic and has named the spell “The Last Figuration.”

As he explains it, if magic reaches a predetermined nadir, and the memories of those fighting to protect it have continued to degrade, then using the wells as measuring devices, the tripwire will snap, and the spell will theoretically cast itself without the help of a magimystic, using the company as its safest center since it is a powerful well. The spell will use whatever it can reach, the people, places, wells, and objects in its surroundings to protect what’s left of magiq and give those still fighting for it a chance. He says I’m important to creating it but is too busy to explain how right now.

He and his friends are grimly excited and feverishly working all hours to bring this about. I can do nothing at the moment but tend to the books and be with Fina. My two loves[36].

Sully has explained the part I am to take in all of this. What he needs me to do. What he needs me to find. If things weren’t so dire, I would refuse, but the world is crumbling around us, and it seems that whoever is to blame if there is anyone to blame, hasn’t yet been discovered. We’re nearly out of time.

Our world as we know it is coming to a close and we have to act swiftly to save it. The Last Figuration will draw not only objects and people to aid it but also summon the hidden objects required to open Warner’s safe, which I have brought back at Sully’s request, though I swore to never look on [missing word here] again. There are countless combinations to the safe, most of which I never learned, but I know one, and that is where I’ve hidden the object Sullivan has given me to keep and protect. Even holding it… It is an object that could at best, turn the tide of our world’s demise, but at the very least it could buy those who remain in the end extra time, a temporary dam, granting them enough power to keep fighting this scourge[37].

I can only imagine how my brother would feel if he were to see me now, fighting for everything he believed in. I turned my back on him, and will always regret it, but now I can do something to fight for the world he loved so much, and perhaps after, do what I can to protect it. Continue it. I was never proud of my name. Not like Warner. But I am a Green. And I will fight for the world of magic[38].

What white light awaits us in the end. Nothing but fractured thought and light. Nothing and everything. Serafina is lost to me in the blinding. There was far less time than we imagined. It happened too fast to fix. Too fast for our spell to work. We failed. In the light there is a new world emerging. Gray and without wonder, washing us away. But a last imagining comes to me. One last chance to save magic. I will try and cross the broken bridge, to enter the fray or follow my brother on to [39]

In "The Dreamer", CJ revealed that he had been having strange dreams, where he felt like he was piggybacking off someone else's dreams. He could feel himself being inextricably connected with Woolie, but it was painful. He was drawn into Woolie's nightmares.
Woolie's Nightmare

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m possessed, but part of whatever’s left of Woolie has taken up residence in my head and I’m feeling his feels and dreaming his dreams. And this morning a ghost wrote his dream down, through my hands, into my dream journal.

You know, like you do on Sunday. This is Woolie’s nightmare.

“My memories are lies. As I fall to pieces, the lies fall away as well.

The man we saved from the boat, the one who began me on the path to Neithernor, he did not lead me down the path of wool like my memories tell me. I can see that now. He set me on a journey to the island across the great sea. To those who called themselves the Silver. That is how I first found Neithernor. I learned of the other houses from them, yearned for their community and sense of wonder. I never felt like I belonged with the Silver and in time they became suspicious of me and rejected me.

They made me forget them and set me back into the world with only an inkling, a need, to return to a place I couldn’t remember. And that’s how I found Neithernor a second time, though until these dreams I believed it was my first. That is how I joined All Ebgorad, how I found my Molly there on that shore that looked onto the sea that stretched between the Silver and us. How I found my home and heart.

In time, when a meeting was to be held on that same shore, a parley for peace that would begin on Assembler’s Day, I fought, despite my inexperience, to be watch on that night. To be the first sight. And Molly fought for me to have the honor, the responsibility. But it was not me who asked to be the first sight. It was the Silver. It had all been their plan. They sowed a seed in my mind before sending me back to the mundane world. A seed that would grow into a need for me to return as one of the six guilds, and to ignore their seabound betrayal until it was too late to stop them. The Silver lied, lied to us all, but it was I who was the betrayer.

When I saw them approach, their blood-black sails raised, the wave tall enough to wash us all away, I did not warn my kin, my family. My Molly. I watched, unable to speak. The seed they had planted in me had grown into a choking vine, and there I died in silence, beneath the waves, forsaking all I ever wanted. All I ever loved.

My every waking thought has been about returning to Neithernor to find my Molly’s spirit and hold her again. But I don’t deserve her. I don’t deserve the world I handed to our enemy.”

That was the end of what he wrote. But, sitting there with the journal in the dark, I was thinking about A.G.’s journal and how she said it helped her work through things.

I felt compelled to keep writing, for her. For Woolie. For everything they’ve sacrificed, and honestly, this could be nonsense, or it could be clues…

Fall below the five waterfalls and trade a whip-crack for whiskey.
In her city of the dukes, find the fifteen creatures standing guard.
Coyotes drink in the place of wells where the black stars lie.
The father of gazelles hides a phantasmic collection in a minuscule place.
The proclamation tree casts shadows on the heads of the beautiful island.
A war of knives in a city of light follows a path to a star.

  • Fall below the five waterfalls and trade a whip-crack for whiskey. - Fort Whoop-Up, Lethbridge - “All that’s left of Ackerly printing House”
  • In her city of the dukes, find the fifteen creatures standing guard. - Animal Wall, Cardiff - “A good luck charm taken to war”
  • Coyotes drink in the place of wells where the black stars lie - Dark Star Park, Arlington, twined with Coyoacán - “Traveled the world in a pocket.”
  • The father of gazelles hides a phantasmic collection in a minuscule place. - This place in Brisbane - “Lost as a family and company grew”
  • The proclamation tree casts shadows on the heads of the beautiful island. - The Elisabet Ney Museum, Austin - “Found by a curious son.”
  • A war of knives in a city of light follows a path to a star. - Solar Walk, Gainesville - “A keepsake to a remarkable life.”
Finding the next set of clues, CJ revealed that a new object had found his way to the modern day Ackerly Green - a printing block with the old Ackerly Printing House logo[40].

Woolie's Plea Edit

Shortly after, Woolie reached out directly to the Mountaineers in "Intertwined," noting that he and Saberlane had become trapped together.

If I could leave him I would, but I cannot find the way out. I am in an endless dream of dark, wet halls and screeching cries. And mournful pounding like a dying heartbeat. Am I killing him too? If I could claw my way out of this nightmare without taking his life I would. To be done with what I know. What I did. I should’ve been stronger. I didn’t fight nearly hard enough. There had to have been a way to save them. All those wondering souls lost. Because I was weak.

All we hear are the sounds now. The sounds down in the dark. He too is fighting, trying to be himself. He is afraid to show, to share how much pain he is in. What are we meant to do?

As a response, a grounding hex was cast to keep Saberlane alive while they figured out how to safely split the two souls[41].

After Saberlane regained his sense of self, he updated in Mountaineers in "Of Two Minds." He noted that the video he had captured in the abandoned subway station had a knocking sound and endeavored to return. After the Mountaineers figured out the knocking pattern, CJ broke into the abandoned station and knocked into Neithernor. After doing so, he encountered the spirit of Molly, Woolie's long lost love, and the two
departed peacefully together[42]. While there, CJ found a Walking Stick and took it with him into the mundane. After returning to the Ackerly Green offices, CJ realized that the objects he'd found acted as a magimystical combination to opening the box. There were six notches on the top of the box. By putting each item on a notch, then tapping the drawer with the walking stick, he was able to open it[43]. Inside was a silver necklace with a caged pendant, holding a pearl-like crystal[44]. In addition to the note, the box also held a note from Avis Green:

This object is called an aliquary. It is an ingot of pure magimystic energy. Aliquaries are sometimes left behind when a powerful magimyst dies. We left this for someone like you to find, and since you have, then the efforts of my family were not completely in vain.

[A blurred out passage]

I can’t imagine what the world is like now. I’m not even sure where I am if it has come to you finding this. But with this aliquary, you will have a chance. You were led to this. Chosen to find it. Use it well, but judiciously. It may be all the magic that’s left.

Fight for wonder in the world, whether it is our world, or some new and unknown world beyond.

Remember that nothing is by chance.
Trust in magic,
Avis Green

Warner Green's Messsage to Secret Society Members Edit

Welcome to The Ackerly Green Secret Society

________ and as you know, elemental [materials] sometimes hold onto magic, and these pins, made of the rarest of metals, I’ve been told contain traces of magimystic energy. __________ and when the time comes, the pins may call on you to find what they have been asked to find __________ Something missing worth rediscovering. Further instructions are included within this mailing.


All you truly need to know is that this must be kept in the strictest of confidence. ____________________ The pin, its purpose, even your membership in this society, must be kept secret from those who cannot bring themselves to believe. But we believe. Magic is real, and it is up to us to seek it out, perhaps learn to use it, but most of all protect it.

Your friend and fellow member,
Warner Green

References Edit

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