Gwen Brooks grew up in a 1930s brownstone in Chicago, IL. Naturally curious, Gwen was constantly reading the books owned by her family and checked out from the Chicago Public Library. She would often stay up late reading, unable to put the book down when her parents told her to turn off the light and go to bed. Her father, Adam Brooks, is an architect and city planner, and her mother, Olivia Brooks, is a professor of Italian Literature at the University of Chicago. Gwen’s younger brother, Ryan, is a physicist in California. Gwen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Ancient History and English Literature in 1998 from the University of Chicago.
Phase Aspect: Just Let Me Finish This Chapter…
After college, Gwen spent a number of years backpacking through Europe and parts of the Near East with her then-boyfriend Greg and friends Adelaine and Rich. The four enjoyed urban exploring and funded their years of travel by working odd jobs at youth hostels, farms, bars, restaurants, etc. along the way. Gwen and her friends learned many things during their time abroad; a smattering of several languages, how to herd goats, what not to say to an Irishman in a bar, and a few assorted spells. While exploring catacombs beneath the streets of Prague, Adelaine discovered an old manuscript decorated with strange symbols. Curious, Gwen opened it and attempted to read the Latin in the text. She blacked out and woke up several days later in a hospital room. Despite her best efforts, she was unable to find Greg or her friends anywhere. The people who brought her to the hospital, a couple who ran a small cafe near one of the entrances to the catacombs, say they found Gwen slumped against a wall near the catacombs, comatose and clutching the manuscript. The manuscript was taken to Charles University in Prague (Univerzita Karlova v Praze), where it is currently stored. The manuscript is a collection of texts about the ancient Ammonite god Moloch, and so modern scholars now refer to it as the Moloch Manuscript. Gwen spent the next two years trying to find Greg and her friends, but could find no trace of them anywhere.
She finally returned to the United States and moved to Columbus, OH, where she opened Coffeeshop Codex, a combination bookstore and coffeehouse. Gwen also sells a selection of spellbooks and magical supplies to members of the magical community in Columbus, though these not sold alongside the more mundane merchandise. Since returning from Europe, she has also deepened her knowledge of magic and improved her ability to cast spells, though she is not registered with the Council.
Phase Aspect: Curiosity Killed My Friends
First Adventure: Books and Such
A few years after opening Coffeeshop Codex, Gwen hears about a traveling exhibition coming to OSU’s Rare Books and Special Collections and featuring the Moloch MS. Driven by her fatal curiosity, she attends the exhibit when it opens in Columbus, hoping to get another look at the Moloch MS…
Phase Aspect: A Curious Inscription
Guest Star in “The After-Party is Always More Fun”
She saw me! I am her advisor’s neighbor, and had gotten home late myself after a night of research at Coffeeshop Codex. I rush over to help, and Danielle and I manage to fight off the Red Court Vampire. In the process Danielle and I are both injured. I go to the ER and mention to the ER doc that someone else might need help…
Phase Aspect: Just Bein’ Neighborly
Guest Star in “Ghosts of Doubt”
On my way back to the bookshop after lunch, I am lost in thought about a particular spell I’d recently read about. The spell conjures ghosts, and my concentration is enough to summon the ghost of Ashlynn’s mother, who was desperately trying to get through to warn her daughter. I have no idea that this happened.
Phase Aspect: Whoops! Did I Do That?