CJ Bernstein

CJ Bernstein

Magic is Real


But at some point in the early part of this century something happened that changed our entire history.

Magic was erased from the world, time and memory were altered, and most proof of our magical history somehow vanished.


Throughout our altered history there have been people who’ve been haunted by fragments of memories that our world was once more wondrous, more full of imagination and magical creation.

Those memories have sent people and secret societies in desperate search of artifacts and evidence that have somehow managed to survive the change.


But there is one curious constant among those sensitive few.

A memory shared by everybody who is aware of the change in our world.

They all remember a series of unnamed books they’ve come to call the lost collection.

Decades have passed without a single copy of that series ever being discovered, but in 2005 the most concrete proof of the lost collection’s existence was found in the abandoned remains of the New York Insane Asylum on Roosevelt Island.

A small paperback called ACKERLY GREEN’S GUIDE TO MAGIQ.

Many believe this guide, this magical examination, was a supplemental book published alongside *the lost collection.* The words and phrases within it ringing long lost memories of another, more wondrous time.

The discovery of that book sparked a new age of interest in the other history, and a renewed search for proof.

And in the summer of 2016 proof was promised.

A site appeared online with the image of a book bound closed by four locks, floating in a multi-colored abyss. Hidden in the filigree of its worn cover was the rhyme:

Sixteen chapters locked within
Truth and treasure you might win
The gathered parts unlock the door
Beyond is what you’re searching for

Someone or something was reaching out to us, from somewhere else, beckoning us to seek the truth.

So a small group of believers, calling themselves The Mountaineers, decided that instead of searching for the truth in secret, they would gather anyone who believed in magic, whether they remembered the books or not, and together they’d unlock this book.

The Mountaineers published The Guide to MAGIQ online and used it as a recruiting tool to find others to help unlock the book.
In the span of a year, The Mountaineers learned that magic truly did exist, and still does in hidden places in our world, but what little remains was quickly fading.

And they learned that a group called The Council of The 18 Gates was working through The Book of Briars to help us.

The Mountaineers fought shadowy organizations, investigated powerful magicians, saved the lives of countless people, and, working with Deirdre Green, the last heir of Ackerly Green Publishing, finally opened The Book of Briars.

Now we wait to see what truth The Book has kept safe between its covers all this time.

The events that led to the opening of The Book has been chronicled and collected in a two-volume series called The Monarch Papers.

We believe Deirdre Green has left our world to explore Neithernor, a pocket realm that still contains the history and magic of the Lost Age. She’s left the daily workings of Ackerly Green Publishing in the hands of CJ Bernstein, writer, veteran member of a previous iteration of The Mountaineers, and father to the children who found The Guide to MAGIQ on a park bench in the fall of 2015.

That’s the tale of magic and Ackerly Green Publishing, but there’s so much more to tell. If you’d like to read more about magic, The Book of Briars, or the people and places involved in the adventure that came to be know as The Monarch Papers, you can speak with our mechanical wiki, Herman, below!