Saberlane was a member of the '94 Mountaineers.
CJ Bernstein, also known as Saberlane, grew up in rural Florida, coming from an impoverished family that didn't afford him many opportunities to read books. His love of reading was fostered through librarians and English teachers, who allowed him glimpses into magical worlds that only books can provide. CJ was a high school drop out, and a twice college dropout, once majoring in musical theatre. He eventually decided to pursue screenwriting and moved to Los Angeles where, after a year, "happenstance and luck and being almost sort-of prepared led me to my first sold script."
CJ worked for many years as a screenwriter for movies, but became disillusioned with having a job that forced him to chase other people's ideas, and which didn't allow him to take creative risks. CJ had worlds in his mind that he wished to share with the world. After consulting with his husband, Matt, he chose to pursue his dream and move to New York City to become an indie publisher and author.
In the spring of 2013, CJ's kids found Ackerly Green's Guide to Magiq on a park bench in New York City, and the Guide became a cherished book in their household. The book was eventually tracked down by Mountaineers in early 2016, who asked if they could see it, but it was in tatters by the time they arrive. The Guide had finally disintegrated, but not before one of the children had made a hand-drawn copy. The Mountaineers begin the painstaking process of reproducing the Guide based on the rough copy and their fragmented memories of its content and illustrations. The Guide was released online, which included a foreword by CJ.
Phase Three Edit
Saberlane was mentioned in Martin Rank's post "The Quiet," during the time between Phase Two and Phase Three. Martin mentioned that he did not know Saberlane personally, but had heard of his name .
Phase Four Edit
Saberlane was first mentioned in Fragment Fourteen in Knatz's journal. She noted that Saberlane had suggested she put it online, but mentioned that she would be keeping it a secret from everyone but him. When Knatz began tracking down loose threads in the hopes of opening the Book of Briars, she remembered a Mountaineer named Nib who, in the early days of the forums, had received a locked briefcase from Benefactor. The briefcase had mostly been forgotten as no one could figure out how to open it, and there were many artifacts in play, but Knatz had an urge to check on it. So, she traveled to South Carolina, meeting up with Saberlane, to check on it. Saberlane assisted Knatz in asking around for Nib and, once they found his house on Lake Blalock, Saberlane found him in the cellar. Nib's mind was wiped from the Storm and the only thing he could mention of the briefcase was that it was "with Faris," but Knatz was able to figure out that it was thrown over the edge of the lake near his boat, which was named Faris. With the briefcase acquired, Saberlane and Knatz drove down to Atlanta together, where Saberlane flew back to Jacksonville.
Knatz was able to get the briefcase open with the help of the modern day Mounties, who planted the two combinations in her mind using the Fletcher Dawson website. Inside the briefcase was wood and metal parts. A bunch of little bits and pieces, like metal tines, a brass plate with holes in it, and flat wooden pieces and trim. Not knowing how to assemble it, Knatz asked Saberlane to come up to Chicago to help her, noting the his father used to build things and praying that he might also have some carpentry skills. Saberlane was able to assemble the box, allowing Knatz to put on the lid, but the box slammed shut and refused to open. Suddenly, the color of the box began to shift and words appeared on it, mentioning an unowl's rhyme. Knatz went through several of the unrhymes, which she solved with the help of Saberlane and the modern day Mounties. As Knatz solved more puzzles, she realized that the strange dreams she was having were someone trying to communicate with her and, when she told this to Saberlane, he believed the dreams were from the Mountaineers in 2017. Knatz was able to successfully open the box with a song the Mounties sang to her, gaining the word Obscuriotempus.
When Augernon returned, he asked to see Knatz, so she and Saberlane parted ways. Not wanting him to worry, Knatz sent Saberlane to New York with the box, to see if taking it to the Ramble would cause any reaction to the box. The results were unsuccessful, but Augernon was able to formulate a last ditch effort to save the remaining Mountaineers. He had visited his grandfather and learned a bastard hex that could cause them to forget everything they knew about magiq. Augernon believed that this would shield them from the Storm, so he rallied all the Mountaineers to come together and perform the spell. Saberlane and the other remaining Mountaineers chose to forget to save themselves from the horrors of the Storm, and Augernon sacrificed himself to the Storm so that the others would be safe. It wiped him away completely, but allowed the Mountaineers to walk away not remembering anything, and the Storm thought it did its job.
After the Monarch Papers Edit
After Deirdre left for Neithernor, she told the Mountaineers that Ackerly Green would be in good hands. The new steward introduced himself as CJ Bernstein - formerly known as Saberlane. Having lost his memories of the Mountaineers, CJ went on to live a normal life, marrying his husband Matt and adopting two kids. When the Ackerly Green Website was released, a new post by Deirdre Green was included in the Further Tales section. In the post, which was written right before Deirdre joined the forums, Deirdre described her struggles getting Ackerly Green Publishing on social media. She realized that both the Twitter handle and Instagram account were already registered under the name AckerlyGreen. By emailing Instagram, she was able to get the address of the person who registered the account - firstname.lastname@example.org. The man was CJ, revealed to be Saberlane, the man who had found the MAGIQ Guide and who had asked to be left alone for the sake of his family. CJ admitted that he found himself strangely drawn to the company and that he was using the accounts to try to find other people who might remember the company. Deirdre and CJ began a friendship over emails and CJ helped Deirdre learn how to resurrect the publishing company. As Deirdre's interest in running a publishing company waned, she decided to leave it in the hands of CJ.
After Deirdre left for Neithernor, CJ agreed to take on the role of steward of Ackerly Green Publishing. He planned to publish Martin Rank's account of the opening of the Book of Briars, as well as publish the contents of the Book of Briars. In doing so, CJ also began to dedicate his time to tracking down the old Ackerly Green books, such as The Forest of Darkening Glass, which he found in Bangladesh, coverless and missing its front matter.
Strange Occurrences Edit
Since CJ took over Ackerly Green, strange occurrences began to happen in regards to the Ackerly Green social media accounts. The Instagram in particular became a hub of unusual activities, with posts being made by someone other than CJ or his assistant, Devin. In "The Ackerly Green Book Shop" CJ told Mountaineers about the strange happenings on the account, asking if it was any of the Mountaineers who were messing with it.
CJ further mentioned that he had been experiencing unusual activities in the Ackerly Green offices, mentioning that, late at night, he would sometimes hear typewriters.
Ackerly Green Secret Society Edit
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. After acquiring the pins, CJ noticed they had some strange features, such as always finding their way on the things he would wear.
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 was 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.
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.” CJ also noted that a chronocompass had been added to the app that he himself hadn't added. 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, and 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|
CJ encountered the ghost again, who he nicknamed Woolie to coincide with him being on the path of Wool.
|CJ's Second Interview With Woolie|
Mountaineers were able to map the hints to real-world locations, based around the locations of the pins. After all six locations had been found, they received the hints: A collector of tales, A circle of stones, A lost feather, Buried treasure, A swashbuckling pirate, and A fishing town.
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|
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 nextAfter the second set of coordinates were located, Woolie failed to reappear. 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. 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.”
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|
After the discussion, CJ found a phrase written on his chalkboard. The first clue led to a series of chain reactions.
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.The final clue led to the word "Vordicriminant" which proved to be the keyword to release the Ackerly Green shipment. The package was promptly sent out and was revealed to be a strange cabinet that seemed to have too many drawers. 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.
In "," 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|
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."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.
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.Once 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. 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. Inside was a silver necklace with a caged pendant, holding a pearl-like crystal. The box contained a note, informing CJ that it was an Aliquary.
The Search for Magiq Edit
When SpiritSeer came to the forums and asked Mountaineers about a strange post tagged #TheSearchForMagiq, Saberlane admitted that he too had been following it. Supporting the Mountaineers in their choice to follow the post's lead and do a thirty day spell, he redesigned the spell image in his company's aesthetic and posted it on social media. He kept an eye on the SearchForMagiq Instagram account and updated the Mountaineers on any new posts.
When the Mountaineers realized that a veil was over them that barred them from communicating with other magimystics, Saberlane noted that he was unable to get in contact with Marty, even through his personal email. He also attempted to tag the old Mountaineers - Endri and Ascender, but to no avail.
- ↑ http://www.cjbernstein.com/about-contact/
- ↑ http://magiq.guide/
- ↑ http://forum.basecamp33.com/t/the-quiet/587/5
- ↑ https://ackerlygreen.com/2017/12/04/the-lost-post-of-deirdre-green/
- ↑ https://ackerlygreen.com/2017/12/01/publishers-letter/
- ↑ https://ackerlygreen.com/2018/03/13/the-ackerly-green-update-march-2018/
- ↑ http://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-ackerly-green-book-shop/1864/34
- ↑ https://ackerlygreen.com/2018/01/14/wonder/
- ↑ http://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/these-secret-society-pins/1843/2
- ↑ http://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-ackerly-green-update-march-2018/1931
- ↑ http://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-i-looked-across-the-cold-and-silver-swirling-sea/1951
- ↑ http://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-i-looked-across-the-cold-and-silver-swirling-sea/1951/13
- ↑ http://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/weve-done-something/2028
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-on-the-atlantic/2116/72
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-on-the-atlantic/2116/237
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-saberlanes-summer/2178
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-the-brooklyn-public-library/2182
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-moving-office/2184/198
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-moving-office/2184/226
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-moving-office/2184/265
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-moving-office/2184/315
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/spell-discussion-and-planning-for-woolie/2407/227
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/spell-discussion-and-planning-for-woolie/2407/234
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-down-to-city-hall-station/2437/5
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-the-dreamer/2447/136
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/complete-the-secret-society-calling-the-corners-for-saberlane-and-woolie/2473
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-of-two-minds/2560/55
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-of-two-minds/2560/62
- ↑ https://forum.ackerlygreen.com/t/the-secret-society-of-two-minds/2560/66