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Collection of Books

by Geoff Gander

Magic & Magical Theory:

Elementary Alchemy (Jaradan Marny). Used at Glantri School of Magic, provides listing of essential alchemical tools and minerals, and what they are supposed to do. 200 pages, 7 cn.

Practical Magic: An Introductory Guide (Faculty of the Great School of Magic). Used at Glantri School of Magic, provides an overview of what magic is and how spellcasters tap into the energy to cast their spells. Also contains exercises in memorisation, proper use and care of simple spellcasting tools (quills, ink, books, etc.). 150 pages, 5 cn.

A Basic Guide to the Planes (Willem van der Heijden). Provides an overview of how the planes are structured, and describes some of the more common creatures known to inhabit some of them. 150 pages, 5 cn.

General Interest:

Fantastic Beasts of the World (Augustus Scaevola). Describes what many people know about the better-known fantastic beasts of Mystara, including dragons, giants, griffons, hippogriffs, and rocs. It does not discuss strengths and weaknesses, but it does mention where these creatures typically live, what they eat, and how they live, as well as some other details that are wholly inaccurate. 200 pages, 8 cn.

My Time in Sind (Coryden Hallonica). Describes the cities of Sayr Ulan and Jahore, as well as the land in between. It contains some notes about Sindi society, customs, and religion, but contains no small amount of prejudice. 85 pages, 4 cn.

Fallen Nations of the Known World (Theodorus Osteropoulos). Details the assorted duchies, baronies, and kingdoms that have existed in what is now the Known World since the crowning of the first emperor of Thyatis, but had fallen by the time of the book's publication (AC 983). Some nations, such as pre-conquest Traladara, will probably be known to the casual reader, but other realms covered include the Thyatian and Alphatian colonies in Ylaruam, and the various states that existed in what is now Darokin. Each entry outlines the nation's rise and fall, as well as any stories surrounding prominent people from that land. 250 pages, 12 cn.

The Sword Singers (Aron Haldryn). Relates the history of the Sword Singers of Darokin, from the order's founding by Jaenelle of Daelbar to the death of the last known member in AC 941. Some prominent Sword Singers are described in detail, but the book's focus is largely on the organisation and history of this group of Darokinian bards. 196 pages, 6 cn.

Heroes of Alasiya (Tariq al-Faizal). Relates the most famous deeds of some of the greatest Alasiyan heroes, from the time of the desert tribes to the campaigns against the Thyatians and Alphatians. This book is notable in that it acknowledges the bold deeds of ancient heroes, even if they were not True Believers. 200 pages, 6 cn.

That Which Should Not Be:

Principia Maleficarum (Anon.). An ancient (c. BC 350) catalogue of malicious Immortals, demons, and their servants. Outlines the chaotic Immortals' known goals and describes their more commonly used avatars (some of which may no longer be in use), and describes the ecology of demons.
Some people think this book is a derivative of an earlier Milenian work, which would mean that it would have to have been written before BC 600 (the Thyatian arrival in Brun). 500 pages, 50 cn.

Notes on the Precepts of Akh'All (Roger of Crowlerd). This book was written by the Darokinian wizard Roger in AC 950, at a time during which he had access to one of the known copies of the Precepts of Akh'All, in one of the better known libraries in Sundsvall. Roger had heard that the book supposedly contained a number of rare spells, and so he took it upon himself to study and summarise the difficult volume in the hopes of finding them. Even to his highly trained mind, the Precepts were nearly unintelligible at times, but he managed to discover one spell (identify servitor). Years later, Roger's notes were stolen by a thief in search of spellbooks and other precious loot, who, thinking the manuscript to be worthless, fenced it in Darokin City. Eventually, Roger's notes found their way into the possession of someone who knew their value, who then had several cheap copies made - many of which still exist today. 65 pages, 3 cn.

DM Note: As a summary of the original Precepts, Roger's notes only contain the key elements of the original document, and are written in a very dry, pointed manner. Readers will not get a full sense of the scale of the Outer Beings' power, their cosmology is discussed in only the briefest sense, and very little attention is paid to prophecies of their future battles with the Immortals. Roger's description and analysis of the identify servitor spell, however, is precise - which is sensible given that the notes were written for his own use. Any spellcaster who reads this book will recognise the spell for what it is, and understand how it is supposed to work. Readers can gain the Outer Being Lore skill at 1 by studying the book; those who already have the skill cannot improve it.

Of the Reptiles and their Ways (Anon.). This book is said to have been written by Suleiman al-Kalim himself during his many trials on the long road to Immortality, though many students of the Nahmeh claim that the writing style is not the same. It describes the lizard men and troglodytes of the Known World, with special attention to their rituals, philosophies, and the nature of their magic. In doing so, the book speculates as to the origin of the their beliefs, citing ancient scrolls that tell of an evil empire of sorcerous lizard men that lay somewhere to the west, many centuries ago. It also cites tales heard in less civilised regions of a great battle between an empire of lizard men and a kingdom of men that took place "long before the world changed", which resulted in the destruction of both lands. A close examination of this text by a magic user will reveal notes on a lizard man spell for summoning "demons" (summon lesser servitor) which are sufficiently detailed to cast it. 250 pages, 20 cn.

DM Note: The lizard man tribes described by the unknown author (who may very well have been al-Kalim) were the decadent remnants of fallen Mogreth, most of whom are now long dead. The troglodyte tribes were encountered in the region north of what is now Selenica, and they are very much still alive today. The empire mentioned in the book is Y'hog, whose infamy persists in highly fragmentary form to this day. The lore of the Carnifex (of which the spell is the smallest part) was maintained to some degree by Outer Being cults that survived Y'hog's destruction. Fragments of that knowledge made their way to lizard man and troglodyte tribes in the Known World, some of whom continue to venerate the Outer Beings in debased form.
A good portion of the information in this book was taken from the Ctesiphon Scrolls, which the author found and deciphered during his travels (but subsequently lost). Studying this book will give the reader an Outer Being Lore skill of 2, or raise their existing score by 1 if it is 3 or less.

The Ctesiphon Scrolls (Anon.). These papyrus scrolls (a total of six) are coated with a strange resin that seems to have protected them from the ravages of time, as it is obvious that they are ancient. They are written in Doulakki (readers proficient in Classical Traldar will be able to read them with an unmodified Intelligence check; those who can read Milenian must make a halved Intelligence check to do so), and are a direct translation of the originals, which were written in Nithian. They were found in a dry well in Ctesiphon (which was built on the ruins of a much older Doulakki city-state destroyed by Nithia). The scrolls tell of Mogreth, its inhabitants, and their habits, going as far as to describe the pantheon of beings they worshipped and the rituals they employed to gain their favour. The final scroll, however, purports to have been copied from a collection of even older scrolls, which were supposedly found "in an ancient ruined city, in the great southern land across the dreaded sea". This scroll tells of the "lighted realm of Lhomarr", which fought against "the dominion of the unnameable serpent sorcerers", and was destroyed, though not all of the knowledge of its people perished with it.
The scrolls contain the following spells (some hidden in the text, others not) - contact lesser servitor, summon lesser servitor, contact greater servitor, contact Outer Being, nullify outer power, spectral vision.

DM Note: Should the original Nithian version of the Ctesiphon Scrolls ever be found, and compared with the Doulakki version, the two sets of scrolls could serve as a sort of Rosetta Stone for the purpose of translating Nithian hieroglyphics. Such a process would be very long and difficult, and probably subject to Immortal sabotage, but if successful, a vast wealth of knowledge could be laid open for exploration. Reading the scrolls will give the reader an Outer Being Lore skill of 3, or raise their existing score by 1 if it is 5 or less. The new spells are described below:

Spectral Vision (4th level)

Range: 10'
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: Allows caster to see one location or object on his or her plane, at any specified time up to the present.

When casting this spell, the caster names a specific location or object to be viewed, as well as the time period (up to the time of casting). The spell's target does not have to be well known to the caster, but the quality of the viewing will improve if he or she is more familiar with it.
The spell will not work if the time period chosen predates the existence of the spell's target, and it cannot be targeted at specific people. In this way, the caster could see images of Y'hog or Blackmoor in their heyday, or view an object (such as a crown) that no longer exists.

The image produced by the spell floats in the air at the caster's eye level, and can be seen by anyone present. Its edges are blurred, and no movement can be seen - it is essentially a snapshot of the past. This spell could help an adventuring party find treasure in a lost city if the landmarks they are looking for no longer exist, for example, or it could aid them in research.

Contact Greater Servitor (5th level spell):

Range: 0' (caster only)
Duration: Two questions
Effect: Allows the caster to contact a member on one of the greater servitor races of the Outer Beings.

Casting this spell allows the caster to contact a greater servitor of the Outer Beings, on either the Prime Material or Ethereal Planes, for the purpose of asking it two questions. The spell lasts until both questions are answered. The greater servitor may answer these questions in any way it desires, either as a "yes/no", or a more detailed response, but the answer will in all cases be truthful. The caster may wish to engage the servitor in a battle of wills to obtain anything more than a "yes" or "no" response, in which case the caster and servitor must make an Intelligence checks per question, with the lowest roll succeeding. This can only be tried once per question. The caster does not control which greater servitor is contacted; although the DM should make sure that the servitor possesses at least one useful piece of information.