Knowledge

Atlas

The Kingdom of Temeria
by Marco Knopf
“Temeria, the jewel of the North, has silver lilies on a black background as its emblem. The kingdom, always powerful, has gained even more prominence in recent years under the wise rule of the good King Foltest. Redania lies to the north, across the Pontar river, while mountain ranges can be found to the south and east. One of them is Mahakam, a stronghold of dwarves and gnomes, past which the lands of Lyria and Aedirn lie. The capital of Temeria is Vizima, located on the shores of Lake Vizima. Maribor is the realm’s second largest city.”

A guide to Vizima

A Guide to Vizima
Marco Knopf
Like most human cities, Vizima was built on the foundations of an elven city. The seat of the Termerian kings grew over the centuries and today consists of three large districts, a port and sprawling outskirts. In the Temple Quarter, the visitor’s attention is drawn to the monumental Cloister of the Order of the Flaming Rose. Saint Lebioda’s Hospital, famous for the many miraculous recoveries that have occurred there, is also hard to miss. While admiring these edifices, avoid wandering into the nonhuman district, which has become a den of poverty and the lair of social outcasts. Most nonhumans have been relocated to Old Vizima, which has become a ghetto inaccessible to visitors. Currently the Trade Quarter is developing rapidly. This is hardly surprising as it is home to wealthy merchants as well as trade and political officials. The city’s leading bank and the town hall can also be found here. While in Vizima’s Trade Quarter be sure to visit the famous marketplace, where traders offer goods from around the world.

Foreign Lands

oreign Lands
by Marco Knopf
“The Nilfgaardian Empire is gigantic. It was once but a single realm that went on to conquer neighboring lands and assimilate their populations. Today all who hail from the south are called Nilfgaardians, though some take offense as they have sought to preserve their national identity.

Nilfgaard is ruled by a tyrannical emperor. He tolerates no opposition and knows no pity. Some call him the White Flame Dancing on His Enemies Barrows. His symbol (and the Empires) is a silver sun on a black background. It is worth noting that the female ruler of the Valley of Flowers (the sole existing elven state) considers herself a vassal of the emperor."

Guide of the Imperial City

Welcome, dear traveler, to the illustrious Imperial City, the heart of civilization in the world and seat of power for the Jade Empire. In this fine city, the wonders of the modern age are plain for all to see. Walk down the expansive boulevards, shop at the many fine booths and stores, and see how the most advanced and civilized people in the world live. You will be awed and amazed by the sights of the city. Explore the Imperial City for the experience of a lifetime!

Grand Inquisitor’s Will

In your obedience to Death’s Hand, do not neglect to heed the complex demands of our mistress Jia, second in glory only to the Hand of Death himself.

Our mistress demands that all of her servants think clearly and completely in all that they do. She expects that all Lotus Assassins exercise their minds as thoroughly as they suppress the impulses of their hearts. As Grand Inquisitor, Mistress Jia knows all things that happen within the fortress and without. Not even the deepest secrets of the most remote places in the Empire escape her knowledge.

Mistress Jia demands that we be cunning, ruthless, and complete in our loyalty to her master and ours, Death’s Hand. To disrespect her is to disrespect the Empire, the Emperor, and Death’s Hand himself.

Dragon of Storms

Being an argument on the origins of Focus.

Min Shi the Dragon of Storms was a master who lived hundreds of years before the formation of the Jade Empire. Legends of her exploits could fill a library and while the veracity of such fables must be questioned, all the yarns agree that she formalized the teachings of the Storm Dragon style and brought knowledge of true focus to the martial arts.

Debates still rage on the subject, but the evidence is there to support such claims. Take, for instance, that harmonic combinations initiated by Storm Dragon invariable allow the user to collect his thoughts and steal some of his opponent’s focus essence. Such a synergy is hard to dismiss, and when I questioned Jian the Iron Fist, a master of some renown, he replied, “Only a fool denies legends. They always hold a grain of truth.” Jian speaks wisely; would it be so hard to accept that Storm Dragon was developed to make it easier for its adepts to achieve true focus in battle? This author thinks not.

The Celestial Order

The Lands of the Howling Beasts

To the west of the Jade Empire proper lies the Land of Howling Spirits, a range of sheer mountains and desolate, haunted passes. Not many men dwell in this harsh land. It does not support much in the way of communities, and those who dwell there are hardy mountainfolk who rely on themselves and their herds of goats more than trust in nature.

There is one exception to this rule. High in the mountains lies a secluded monastery, home to a reclusive and mysterious order known as the Spirit Monks. They tend an unknown charge in their sealed monastery. No one, not even an emperor, has been able to discover what lies within. The monks possess strange powers, but they exist in balance with nature. Eventually that land will be absorbed, and the Empire shall learn its secrets.

The Mysterious East

Scholars know little about the culture that lies across the Glass Ocean. The tribes of that land have a sizeable amount of gold and a near insatiable demand for silk and spices. They also seem able to manufacture metals to an astounding degree, though perhaps not in as sophisticated a manner as our master tradesmen. Still, something on the other side of the Glass Ocean bears investigation. Unfortunately, few trade fleets have ever successfully made the passage, and those trade caravans that do pass follow a circuitous route through unenlightened peoples hostile to the Jade Empire.

Shadows in the Trees

Travelers in the Great Southern Forest often report strange sightings and bizarre phenomena. Aside from the hospitality of the Pilgrim’s Rest Inn, the forest is nearly entirely wilderness, and the verdant canopy of the forest hides wonderful and fearsome creatures unlike any seen anywhere else in the Empire.

The strangest tales are those of a shadow among the trees that seems to follow visitors to the forest. Philosophers hoping to reflect in the peace of the forest often report feeling watched, and patrons of the Pilgrim’s Rest Inn claim to have seen a strange silhouette darting among the trees. Despite the apparent otherworldly nature of this figure, those who witness it sense no aggression and attribute it to the mysteries of the forest.

The Undertow

The farther east one goes across the Ocean of Glass, the colder and drier the air becomes. Modern scholars have struggled to understand this phenomenon, but to no avail. If one travels far enough, the sea currents all change, drawing east, just as all winds begin to draw in the same direction. Myths persist, however, of something greater, an ancient devouring evil detailed in the legends of the barbarian savages who line among the isles of the Glass Ocean. The legends tell of a voracious creature, a great demon trying to draw the entire world into its maw. An expedition sent during the Star Dynasty to discover the truth of these legends never returned and was presumed lost at sea.

THE FOREST OF YEW by Taylor
Though once the large, prosperous city of Justice, Yew has been swallowed by the Deep Forest. However, let not it be said that this turn of events was not by the will of the people. As the cities grew throughout the land, many found it difficult to continue peaceful existances as simple farmers and herders. More and more it became necessary to learn trades involving the exchange of goods and services, and the was considerably less instances of of self-sufficiency.
While most Britannian found this pleasing, there were those who wanted a return to the less mechanical side of life. And those same people, many of whom came from Yew, began to populate the Deep Forest. Though it will not be long before the growing cities and towns catch up to them, for now, many are able to lose themselves amongst the trees, the deer, and the Emps.
Oddly enough, very few people have actually encountered these ape-like creatures. Little is known about them, they seem to shun human contact. However, observations have revealed that they are definitely herbivores, nevering eating meat. The Emps forge homes from the wood of dead trees, and built shelters high up in the limbs of Silverleaf trees. Of course, Emps are not the only creatures who…

The Northern Wastes

The nine seas surround Albion, but to the North is the Wasteland. Some say there’s nothing, and others that it is Jack of Blades true home. The old Scribes say that it was once a mighty empire before the glaciers came. Libraries of arcane knowledge still exist beneath the ice, and those who once lived there sleep deeply beneath the cold blanket, ready to reawaken when the time comes and Albion is ruled again by one man.

Monsters Books

The Celestial Order

The Celestial Order, Volume 1 Edit
Location: Heaven – Forest Shadow’s Temple
The world is a place of order. When order is not enforced, chaos reigns. Chaos is the natural state of the world. The order that currently exists in the result of the power of the Great Dragon. Out of this steaming chaos, the Great Dragon created the world, perfect in every way. But nature the forces of the universe, demand balance. For every bit of order, there must be corresponding chaos. That first world, that perfect world, was pure order. It could not last.

The perfect order choked life and did not allow growth, and so chaos was allowed back into the world.
The Celestial Order, Volume 2 Edit
Location: First floor – Imperial Palace
The Great Dragon loosed chaos upon the world he had created, separating man from the beasts and laying foundation for the eventual order that would unite humanity: this glorious Jade Empire. The great animals’ spirits of the past were cast out from the human communities, and Man was forever separated and elevated above the common beasts. Man who now the guardian of order, imposing his will on nature and shaping it to his desire.

But balance must exist in all things. Man was a bastion of order, with chaos in his heart. For as long as the world remains in chaos, man will always war and strive against his fellow man. This is the way of nature. Until the Great Dragon returns to bring the world to order or humanity brings itself above the cycle of nature, this is the way it will always be.
The Celestial Order, Volume 3 Edit
Location: Lord Lao’s Furnace
The Celestial Bureaucracy is made up of all the servants that the Great Dragon left behind to administer creation. According to the priests and augers, they know nothing of their creator or where it has gone. The Great Dragon has transcended heaven, they say. They, in their faithfulness, remain behind.

Or so they say. Over the millennia, many have fallen from their duties and have become part of the chaos in the world. This, we can only suppose, is part of creation as well. But as representatives of order, humanity suffers most from the attentions of these chaotic spirits and demons.
Jade Empire Bestiary.

Jade Empire Bestiary, Volume 1 Edit
Located in the swamp, on the outskirts of Two Rivers, inside the gazebo.

Ogres
These curious beasts are not always as dangerous as their looks might imply. Those who confront one of these hulking monstrosities should treat them with caution, however, for despite the ogres’ obvious skills at making weapons and armor, they are little more than wild animals. Although ogres are typically resistant to earth and air magic, fire and ice do significant damage to them, and weapons are usually effective against their thick hides.
Jade Empire Bestiary, Volume 2 Edit
Located within the Lotus Assassin Fortress, in the Golem Press Room.

A Thought on Golems

Until recently, very little was known about golems; those few people skilled enough to craft golems keep their secrets carefully. Powerful and deadly foes, golems are feared throughout the Empire. Though their workings remain a mystery, there are several useful characteristics worth nothing about these formidable opponents. These man-made beasts are immune to most types of magic. Their solid exteriors are best attacked with equally strong forces. Weapons and strength are the best ways to defeat these dangerous adversaries.
Jade Empire Bestiary, Volume 3 Edit
Located in the Spirit Cave, beneath Two Rivers.

To Kill a Spirit

A wise monk once asked, “How can you kill a thing that is already dead?” The answer is simple: you cannot. You can, however, disperse a spirit. This is not the same as killing, but it has a similar effect. It is important to remember that spirits are virtually immune to man-made weapons. You must confront spirits with martial, magic, or transformation styles. Never underestimate the strength of spirits. They may appear insubstantial, but they can still be deadly to the living.
Jade Empire Bestiary, Volume 4 Edit
Located in the Pirate Workshop, within the Pirate Stronghold, off the coast of Tien’s Landing.

The Dangers of Demons

The average person is never likely to come across one of these horrific beings. Demons are some of the most dangerous and malevolent beings in all of Jade Empire. Though some demons are not evil, they are all powerful, and rarely can they be trusted. If confronted by a malicious demon, it is important to remember that they are usually immune to magic, especially the larger demons. You can successfully combat them with weapons and simple martial styles. Strangely enough, on those rare occasions when demons and ghosts were seen to tangle the strange magics used by the ghosts seem to affect these malevolent beasts.
Jade Empire Bestiary, Volume 5 Edit
Located within the Heaven realm, accessed by completing the Ritual of Seasons, in the Forest Shadow Temple.

Horse Demons

Words are only wasted describing these equine horrors, for their appearances are all too easily recalled from the nightmares of childhood. All the legends talk of these beasts’ fiery manes and terrifying strength, but few sources delve beyond the lore to seek out the fact. It was a most fortunate happenstance that led this author into a roadside discussion with the venerable Li Shi Tun, a master warrior who had recently destroyed one of these beasts. His insight proved most valuable, for it was this master who first made clear the true effect of the horse demon’s terrifying mane. Holding out blistered hands, the ancient warrior made his point most clearly: to strike a creature who controls elemental fires with such ease is to strike the flame itself. One must be prepared to hurt themselves with each attack.

The Tricksters
The fox spirits are among the most wily and deceptive of all the minions of heaven. They think nothing of playing games with mortals, and they often follow no rules at all. Though some are said to serve honorably in the Celestial Bureaucracy, many more have made their mark in more sinister ways. Tales of demons snatching children from their beds, husbands and wives led astray, and good men led into lives of excess and murderous depravity are all the work of these spirits. Never, should you value your life, trust one of this breed completely, no matter how honorable their intentions seem.

The Pale Balverine

There was an Archer who believed he was the best in the land. He was also a lord, but had fallen out of favour with his people and had been imprisoned for lying. Determined to prove himself on his release, he set off to battle fearsome Balverines. He was bitten but did not die. Instead he changed and over time became a powerful, evil Balverine. Normal weapons hardly hurt him. So thick was his skin. But he hadn’t counted on a red-robed woman’s solid silver arrow of truth which pierced him and killed him.

Creatures of the North

This well-worn book was written by the local Snowspire historian and adventurer, Rewer, but one of the blank pages at the front has recently been filled with Scythe’s uneasy handwriting: “This ancient volume contains the only description of Summoners I have found. Their presence at this time is highly unnatural. They should have faded with the centuries as I have. Unless something else has returned them to this world…”

ICE TROLL
Closely related to the Earth and Rock Trolls, these impressive beasts have adapted to their arctic environment. Their frozen attacks are not to be taken lightly.
SUCCUBUS QUEEN
Related to the Nymphs of mainland Albion, though many have found them more resilient. Their death is not brought about easily. They are able to conjure up what local people call Wraiths, though many scholars prefer the term hoar Skeleton.
WRAITHS
These are Undead creatures, whose frosty visage perfectly mirrors the icy spectre of death that permeates them.
SUMMONERS
Colossal undead warriors reanimated through dark magics. Older accounts record their ability to summon creatures from the underworld to unleash upon their victims. More recent observers — those few who have survived — have dismissed this as a myth. Still, their name remains, as does their reputation as one of the most powerful creatures to ever walk our lands. Their command of lightning is especially arresting.

Magic Books

An invitation to Magic

An Invitation to Magic
by Anabelle Radfind
“Magic is an incarnation of Chaos, a key which opens forbidden doors to nightmares, to the powers of pure Evil capable of annihilating the entire world. Do you not fear magic? Do you still want to tame it, to wield it?

Know then that magic is a talent given only to the chosen few. Have you found this talent within you? Do you want to tap into this source?

Know then that years of intensive study await you. You must gain extensive knowledge and constantly sharpen your mind. Creative magic is not witcher Signs and parlor tricks. Magic is an Art.

Once you learn to control the Art, you will gain power over fire, water, earth and air. Power over people’s minds. Power over yourself."

Ithlinne’s Prophecy

Aen Ithlinnespeath
The Prophecy of Ithlinne Aegli aep Aevenien
“I tell you that the time of the sword and axe approaches, the time of the Wolf’s Blizzard. The Time of the White Frost and White Light, the Time of Madness and Disdain, Tedd Deireadh, the Final Age. The world will perish amidst ice and be reborn with the new sun. Reborn of the Elder Blood, of Hen Ichaer, of a planted seed. A seed that will not sprout but burst into flames!

Ess’tuath esse! So shall it be! Watch for the signs! I will tell you what these signs will be — the earth will run with the blood of Aen Seidhe, the Blood of the Elves…"

Black Leopard Style

Zou How grew up in a small fishing village in the south. His uncle was a great warrior, but he died when Zou How was still quite young. The young man longed to learn the ways of his uncle, but his parents did not want him to get involved in such a dangerous life. Despite their caution, Zou How used his uncle’s incomplete journals and notes to teach himself how to fight, eventually creating his own techniques to fill in the blanks. His new style was eventually called Black Leopard Style, and it was one of the most formidable styles of his time.

Auspicious Portents

Understanding the stars and the universe is a very important goal. By examining the universe, we can Interpret and predict things to come. The sky is where the Great Dragon was said to dwell, and in his illustrious home we can see the signs of his effects on creation.

Of the observable phenomena, three major ones are the most auspicious: comets, the flames of the heavens, passing across the sky; eclipse, during which the power of the gods blocks the sun for brief periods; and falling stars, marking the descent of one of the Celestial Bureaucracy to the earth.

The Inner Self

The great Wheel of Life turns eternal, bringing one through life, into death, then back around again into life. Though the new life is always different, the core essence, the spirit, of a person remains the same. This spirit, breathed into each person, is eternal. To achieve harmony with the universe, one must perfect their harmony with the spirit. Indeed, the spirit in each individual is a reflection of that greater universe. It is a reflection of the Wheel of Life and the Great Dragon that created it.

THE APOTHECARY’S DESK REFERENCE by Fetoau
It is the author’s expectation that thou art reading this to familiarize thyself with the effects of various potions based on their color. The first part of this work will discuss such aspects, with the remaining pages covering the materials and steps required to make such alchemal creations.
Definitions:
Black potion: Drinking this will render the individual invisible for several minutes.
Blue potion: This mixture will put the imbiber into a deep sleep.
Orange potion: This potion will awaken an individual who was magically put to sleep.
Purple potion: This concoction will provide magical protection for several minutes of hard fighting.
White potion: This potion will provide a small bit of illumination, much like a candle, for a few minutes.
Yellow potion: This powerful mixture will give healing aid to the imbiber’s wounds.
WARNING: Green potion: This potion is a dangerous toxin, and will poison the imbiber, possibly killing the individual. Red potion: This fabulous drink will cure most poisons, including those acquired from the slugs in the swamps and that gained from drinking a GREEN potion.
This next section details how one can best recreate these uncanny concoctions…

The WIll Ushers Book of Spells
BERSERK
Berserk sends the Hero into a frenzy, with greatly increased speed and strength.
FORCE PUSH
This spell creates a powerful blast of energy which radiates out from the caster, sending nearby enemies sprawling. Useful when greatly outnumbered.
ENFLAME
Enflame blasts the area surrounding the caster with a wave of fire.
LIGHTNING
This spell creates and arc of pure energy which leaps from the fingertips of the caster to the target. Higher Levels can strike more than one foe at a time.
FIREBALL
The magician’s favourite! This creates a ball of fire in the palm of the casters hand which flies toward the target when released. Larger Fireballs are extremely explosive.
ASSASSIN’S RUSH
This spell propels the caster through space in the blink of an eye. If a victim is targeted, the spell enables the caster to move behind this unfortunate instantaneously. The thief’s greatest friend!
TURNCOAT
This Insidious spell confuses the enemy, turning the target into an unwitting ally.
SLOW TIME
Slow Time affects the very fabric of time itself: slowing everything in Albion to a crawl.
MULTI-ARROW
Once this spell is cast, each arrow fired is magically transformed into a multitude of death delivering projectiles, causing much greater damage.
SHIELD
For the most passively minded, this allows the caster to reduce the damage of enemy attacks by surrounding him in a protective sphere of energy.
HEAL
This allows the caster to trade in his magical energy for health. A magician’s Favourite!
DRAIN LIFE
A singularly unpleasant spell. Drain Life allows the caster to heal himself by draining his enemies life-force.
MULTI-STRIKE
This spell imbues the user’s blade with the ability to strike multiple times with a single blow. Combined with other spells, this little trick is devastating.
BATTLE CHARGE
The Battle Charge propels the caster forward at great speed, smashing any in his path, and blasting all nearby aside.
SUMMON
Summon pulls an allied creature’s soul from the netherworld to help the caster. If this creature kills another, it is replaced by the soul of the newly fallen victim.
GHOSTLY SWORD
This Spell summons a number of ethereal blades from the netherworld to do battle on behalf of the caster.

Other Books

THE PROVISIONER’S GUIDE TO USEFUL EQUIPMENT by Dell
While most suppliers will rave about the effectiveness of a good sword or specially fitted armour, I personally feel that proper exploring gear is much more necessary. Consider this, dear reader. While thou might happen to encouter a wild bear in thy travels, or, even less likely, a troll, thou art doubtless going to be in need of much more mundane equipment. With thou possibly be outside city walls when darkness comes? Then buy a torch. And how wilt thou carry thy provisions? A backpack wilt prove necessary. And what about a container for thy refreshment? Purchase a jug or bucket. As for…

THE ACCEDENS OF ARMOURY by Legh
This book on heraldry not only describes various houses for ease of recognition, but also demonstrates elements used in their concepton. Thus, this book will also permit the reader to formalize an heraldric symbol of his own.

THE BIOPARAPHYSICS OF THE HEALING ARTS by Lady Leigh
Within this rather in-depth and complex look at healing are the ideas considered to be the definitive text on healing wounds, curing poison, and resurrecting the recently dead. Within can be found suggested remedies for any known sickness in Britannia, including the dreaded Zoradin’s Disease, which causes a loss of vision followed by an extreme sensitivity to noise. In addition, the book lists a few of the after-effects of healing and curing, such as an increase in appetite, intense restlessness, and slight dizzy spells. Though not for good as an introduction to healing for beginners, the tome is perfect for the seasoned healer.

WHAT COLOR IS THY BLADE? by Menion
The first step in effective sword-forging is to fill a crucible with metal. Then, with the bellows, the fire should be made extrememly hot When the flame no longer continues to grow in its glow, set the crucible on the fire to melt the metal. Afterwards, pour the molten metal into the blade mold and let it cool. Be warned! The crucible is at an extremely high temperature. Lift the cooled blade from the mold. Again heat up the fire and set the blade within. Be careful not to let it lose its shape though. Just set it in there long enough for the blade to become malleable.
When it is ready, finish shaping it on the anvil with the hammer. When thou hast formed a blade of the desired shape, use the quenching barrel to cool the metal. It will harden quickly, so make sure the blade is as sharp as thou dost want it to be. All that thou is left to do now is to put the pommel over the tang. It takes some doing to make a fine, sturdy sword, but the finished weapon is well worth it!

THE BLACKSMITH’S HANDBOOK by Christopher
Within this book can be found the details of fine metal-working. The chapters are broken down into sections related to the specific type of smithy. Armourers need only read the chapters on armour, weapon smiths need only read the chapters on weapon forging, and blacksmiths have the remaining chapters which discuss horseshoes to iron gates.

THIRTEEN MONTHS IN A YEAR by Euralyn
This epic details a long, fierce war between swords and spells in a fictional land called Corellethra. The story revolves around a family of sorcerers. In an attempt to usurp his father’s power, the youngest brother forms an evil plot of patricide, and must be stopped by an outside group of sell-swords.

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO BRITANNIAN MINERALS, PRECIOUS, AND SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES by B. Ledbetter
Herein one can find the descriptions of a plethora of rocks and gems.
…One can find lead in a variety of veins. While a common ore, lead is used with such frequency in items such as horse shoes that it is a valuable metal to procure.
…Gold is quite rare. Though generally without function, gold has maintained its worth by its very rarity. The refined form is so full of shine that many give it to their lovers as tokens of affection. It is a well-known rumor that one who loves enough to give gold loves enough to remain true.
…Blackrock is an odd substance, only recently discovered. The there seems to be little interest in it, and even less use for it, a small handful of experimenters have noticed it has a profound effect on magic (though these same researches refuse to comment on what, exactly, the material does)…

OBSERVATIONS OF BLACK ROCK by Rudyom The Mage
The mysterious substance known as Black Rock is completely indestructible. Only by magical means can it be molded and shaped. Black Rock can be found in small quantities beneath the ground, sometimes near lodes of iron ore or lead. Black Rock can be excavated by conventional means, but melting it down into a malleable substance is impossible, except by magic. I have found that a combination of electrical energy and magnetic energy has a profound effect upon the substance. Together, these properties cause Black Rock to become permeable, that is, one can put one’s hand through the substance as if it were water!
Further study reveals that Black Rock might work as a teleportation device if magic, electrical energy, magnetic energy, and the correct alignment of heavenly bodies act together upon the substance. This theory still needs to be tested. The Black Rock transmuter I created out of an old wand does not work. It was meant to shoot electrical and magnetic charges into Black Rock, but all it does is make the substance explode! (I must be careful not to let the transmuter get into the wrong hands. Pointing it at a large quantity of Black Rock might produce a devastating explosion!)
I must quit for the day. The headaches that have been plaguing me have gotten worse. I am forgetting more and more. Very soon, I am afraid, I will forget how to cast simple spells. I believe something might be affecting the magical ether. But I cannot be sure…

MORGAN’S GUIDE TO UNIFINISHED NOVELS by Morgan
An enlightening discourse on the enigma of blank tomes. Beginning with the heretofore unresolved mysteries of empty… (the rest of the book is blank)

HOW DEATH AFFECTS THOSE WHO WORK AROUND IT WITH REGULARITY
Day 1: Subject (Tiery) seems friendly enough and willing to accept my company.
Day 2: Subject exhibiting strange sense of humor, very morbid.
Day 3: No contact with subject.
Day 4: Subject makes continual references to recent conversations with cemetery occupants.
Day 5: …

HUBERT’S HAIR-RAISING ADVENTURE by Bill Peet
Hubert the Lion was haughty and vain
And especially proud of his elegant mane.
But conceit of this sort isn’t proper at all
And Hubert the Lion was due for a fall.
One day as he sharpened his claws on a rock
He received a most horrible, terrible shock.
A flaming hot spark flew up into the air,
Came down on his head and ignited his hair.
With a roar of surprise he took off like a streak,
Away through the jungle to Zamboozi Creek.
He leaped in kersplash! with a shower of bubbles,
And came bobbing up with a head full of stubbles.
At first he just stared with a wide-open mouth
At the cloud of black smoke drifting off to the south.
Then he felt with his paws just in back of his ears
And he suddenly realized the worst of his fears.
’I’m ruined,’ he shouted, ‘oh what’ll I do!
I’d rather be dead or go live in a zoo!
And if anyone sees me, oh what a disgrace,
So I’d better discover a good hiding place!’

ƒ
RECORDS OF THE HIGH COURT OF YEW
Hook — Hook is known to be an extremely dangerous killer, a pirate who left his own band of scalliwags to become a freelance assassin for whomever might meet his price. It is believed that he is linked to at least fourteen murders in Britannia. All of the victims had been mutilated with a sharp object believed to be the handiwork of a hook-hand. It is not known where Hook resides, but many believe he has a secret hideout on Buccaneer’s Den. His most recent sighting confirmed that he is travelling with a warrior gargoyle named Forskis.
Kellin… is wanted in several townships for thievery. He uses many aliases, including Tervis, Kreg, and Hodge. He was last seen near the forest of Yew and is believed to have gone into hiding…
Sullivan… is wanted in several townships for fraud, thievery, and other petty crimes. He is known to be a member of The Fellowship, though The Fellowship has denied any knowledge of such a member. In many reports of the man’s crimes, victims have stated that he claimed to be the Avatar.

Alagner’s Book of Astounding Things
A compiled volume of items of interest both magical and mundane by Alagner. In this volume, compiled for easy reference, are some of the many fascinating constructions I have found during my researches. These items range from interesting uses for mundane items to fascinating miscarriages of magic. Please read and enjoy the varied realm of My Brittannia.
Potions: An historical point of interest from the last several hundred years. Circa 0207 there was a rather infamous case of a resourceful peeping-tom. One may ask what this has to do with potions, but the publicity generated from this trail about the use and misuse of magical potions of X-ray vision encouraged all honorable mages and alchemists to cease making the amazing potions. And, as these potions fell into disuse, the affectation of calling them white potions also slowly ceased, and a lesser known concoction (which, ironically, is appreciably more white than the original X-ray potion I was able to view (see Alagners Index of Treasures, entry 15, for more information), that of common illumination, became its replacement.
Flying Carpets: A recurring magic. As many of you undoubtedly know the Flying Carpet was essential to the Avatar in his legendary quest to save Lord British from the Three Shadowlords. However,few people realize that this fascinating piece of lore has been rediscovered and, according to my sources, hidden just inside the dungeon Destard, (or is it Despise, I always get those mixed up (NOTE: look this up before publication)).
This amazing carpet could fly over water and swamps with no adverse effects, a marvelous tool for the common adventurer and essential for the Avatar. (An interesting side note: according to an ancient tome, the carpet was actually believed a failure by its creater for its inability to rise more than a few inches off the ground)
Wands: A trio of terrible weaponry. The three identified varieties of magical wand all seem to have been made for the express purpose of changing the combat-weak spellcaster into a killing machine. And, for those with the ability to keep them from wearing out (no small feat of magic, mind you, but simple for anyone capable of crafting the wand in the first place), they are perhaps the most formidable weapons of their size.
Fire Wand: This wand fires a bolt of flaming death. According to all known texts on the subject, the carnage was called “amazing.”
Lightning Wand: The effects of a bolt of lightning as it bursts forth from the wand is as devastating, as its counterpart, the fire wand. However, according to one of its proponents, “the corpses look and smell much less offensive.”
Magician’s Wand: While only slightly more lethal than the typical bow, this wand is rendered quite effective due to two interesting facets: Its damage is of a most magical nature and more than quite powerful against monsters likely to hassle a mage, and, it NEVER runs out of charges. If thou art interested in power and duration, this is the wand for thee.
Silver Serpent Venom: mage’s dream, youth’s bane. Once upon a time, the ability to gather this reagent was heralded as the beginning of a new era of magicry. It was the epitome of High Wizardry, but alas, as frequently happens, the promise paid but little. While direct doses of this reagent give a boost to strength, the permanent damage done to the body far outweighs any temporary advantage.
Unfortunately, these adverse effects tend to carry over to the spells cast using this reagent. Before his illness, Garok Al-Mat, a mage of the high mountains, was experimenting with the vemom in conjunction with spider silk and giant bee pollen. His hope was to bind the qualities into an effective casting reagent for divination. But his work is now lost forever.
Hoe of Destruction: accidental glory. One of the most recent magic items created, this once ordinary hoe dates back to only a few years ago when one of the first mages (a bush mage of no real merit) to succumb to the illness that now plagues all mages, was asked to both repair a broken hoe for a local farmer and enchant a sword for a warrior. Unfortunately, his perhaps-never-to-be-repeated-enchantment has made this hoe one of the better melee weapons around today. This hoe can be distinguished by it distinctive red, glowing head. Be wary if thou dost ever face it.
(Items below this point need more research before publication.)
Firedoom Staff: lethality personified. This staff, which hurls exploding fireballs that actually seek out a target, is perhaps the most lethal of all magic weapons created in the era of human-gargoyle cooperation. But, as with most of the more powerful magic weapons, its limited life span means it may fail thee at the worst of times.
Great Dagger: A great idea but shy of a wonder. This dagger is perhaps one of the most ingeniously economical items ever produced. It appears to be naught more than an ordinary dagger, save for large, red stone for a pommel. However, when one strikes with it, it is magically transormed into a two-handed sword. It hides well, and is light on the belt, but no more dangerous that an ordinary two-handed sword (which, of course, is in no way feeble).
Glass Sword : A historical legacy of death. These single-use swords will almost always kill any creature in a single blow, but they are seldom useful for a second opponent. Other Miscellaneous Magical Weaponry. As a general case, any person with a modicum of magical talent can identify magical weapons, armour and other apparatuses by their pulsating glow. Often, however, the color indicates even more about the item than just the existence of the enchantment. For example, a green field often denotes a poisoning weapon.
Starbursts: clouds of flying death. Originally designed as a small transportable weapon, this magically laminated throwing star bursts into a cloud of similar stars upon contact with its target. Although not terribly devasting, it is the tiny size that makes it such an effective defence. Its small size also makes it a valuable backup missile weapon, for many can be carried together.
Burst Arrows: an area effect arrow. The arrow functions as a regular arrow, but upon impact, explodes into a thousand flying shards of death.
Magic Boomerang: there and back again. These magical boomerangs are to the gargoyle race as the magical sword it to human warriors. Their most common weapon, boomerangs have the amazing ability to pass through walls and other solid objects and still return to the thrower. Excellent for hunting in the mountains.
Venom Dagger: the assassins tool. This shimmering green dagger is actually the enchanted tooth of a poisonous sea serpent, joined to the hilt of a regular dagger. Its envenomed blade injects the slow poison into its victim, but it frequently breaks. It is the perfect assassination weapon (see Alagners History, Assassination of Baron Johann IV (page 54)).
Stone Harpy: The Stone harpy is the creation of the twisted mind of the magus and paranoid lord of Spectran. It is reputed to be magically triggered by the approaching close approach of any creature.

Alagner’s Thesis on the Fellowship

These are my observations concerning the organization known as The Fellowship. Although The Fellowship portends to be a group of optimists with a philosophy called `Triad of Inner Strength’, there are many fallacies which can be gleaned by careful examination of the group’s `values’.
The first `value’ is Strive For Unity. This implies that that we should all work together in harmony and towards one goal in life. However, careful examination of this tenet reveals that members of The Fellowship consider themselves an elite group, and a prejudicial one at that. They tend to believe that if one is not for them, then they are indeed against them! And if one is against them, then may fortune be with that person, for he/she may very well come to a bad end!
The second `value’ is Trust Thy Brother. This implies that each member trusts implicitly other Fellowship members, and that each will do favors or deeds for another without question. On the other hand, this might mean that a member should do what another says REGARDLESS of the implications of the act. In other words, `do as I say and do not question it!’ seems to be the underlying subtext of this tenet.
The third `value’ is Worthiness Precedes Reward. If one does good deeds for The Fellowship, then one will be rewarded. The other side of the coin, of course, is that if one does NOT do good deeds for The Fellowship, then one will get his JUST reward! In The Fellowship, a `reward’ can be either `good’ or `bad’!
The Fellowship has been duping the masses of Britannia now for twenty years. They are becoming stronger and stronger. After careful study, I have come to the conclusion that the group is serving some higher, malevolent entity, referred to by the organization’s inner circle as `The Guardian’. More information needs to be obtained about The Guardian, but I am certain that he is very dangerous.
The Fellowship seems to be organized into three distinct grades of members. Grade One consists of the general masses of naive innocents who have joined, thinking that their pathetic little lives will be helped in some way. Grade Two consists of the various branch leaders who make up the inner circle of Fellowship leaders.
There is also a Grade Three — those Fellowship leaders who are in administrative positions within the group: men such as Batlin, and the mysterious couple Elizabeth and Abraham who travel the country distributing The Fellowship’s funds. (Not much is known about these two — it is said they are twins — brother and sister.) I believe that the few Grade Three members are in direct communication with The Guardian and believe they will be serving as his lieutenants should The Guardian ultimately gain power in the land.
Already, The Guardian is promising to be a powerful threat. Magic in Britannia has taken a turn for the worse in the past few years. I believe that The Guardian has done something to cause this malady. Not many people have noticed that Britannia’s problem with Moongates — their being so unreliable — occurred around the same time.
It follows that The Guardian is most likely responsible for this serious plague. The Guardian also possesses some kind of power which allows him to speak to and `charm’ naive innocents so that they will gladly join The Fellowship and become Grade One members. These unfortunate lambs will most likely become The Guardian’s slaves should he ever come into power.
After I have obtained enough proof of my theories concerning The Fellowship, I shall present this notebook to Lord British himself and rid Britannia of these very dangerous, lying fascists.

Histories

History of the World

The History of the World
by Roderick de Novembre
“When the criminal’s stake had been lit and the flames reached her, she began insulting all the knights, barons, mages and councilors gathered in the square in such foul language that they were all filled with dread. Though wet logs had been stacked to prevent the hag from burning too quickly and provide her a chance to suffer in the flames, dry wood was soon added to the fire to end the execution more swiftly.

She must truly have harbored a demon inside her as she uttered not a single scream though she sizzled fair enough. Instead, she began cursing horribly.

“An avenger shall be born from my own blood,” she cried. “From the defiled Elder Blood, a destroyer of nations and worlds will rise! He shall avenge my torment! Death, death and revenge upon you and your offspring!” That was all she managed to articulate before she perished. Such was the death of Falka, her punishment for the innocent blood she had spilled."

Elder Blood
Vilgefortz of Roggeveen
“It is impossible to accurately trace the genes of Lara Dorren. The fates of entire generations are lost to time, their picture further distorted by unclear lineages, bastard children, intentional historical falsification and a simple lack of records. In many cases, Elder Blood is too thin and has lost its power.

Moreover, not every Source attributes their magical skills to the presence of Lara’s genes. A few, in whom the mutation has occurred, are marked by extraordinary abilities. They are able to travel through time and space and possess certain magical abilities. These talents are, however, wild and uncontrolled, manifesting themselves in times of stress or strong emotions, surprising even their possessors.

History knows of travelers flung far in time and space by their own abilities. That is why the Brotherhood of Sorcerers should take special care of Source-children, raise them under its watchful eyes."

Fairytales and Stories
by Flourens Delannoy
“Then the fairy said to the witcher: “I will tell you what to do: put on a pair of iron shoes, pick up an iron staff. Walk in the iron shoes to the end of the world, pat the ground before you with the staff, and sprinkle it with tears. Walk through fire and water, do not stop, do not look back. And when your shoes wear out, and when the iron staff shatters, when the wind and the heat dry your eyes so that you cannot shed another tear, then you will have reached the world’s end, and you will have found what you seek what you love. Perhaps.”

And so the witcher walked through fire and water without looking back. But he took neither the iron shoes nor the staff. He took only his witcher’s sword. He did not heed the words of the fairy. And that’s a good thing, because she was an evil fairy."

The Flower and the Flame
by Knight Eric Vogel, with the consent of his Superiors
“It was at the time when the Order of the White Rose was falling into decay and declining in power.

Masters and knights were equally corrupt, lacking in faith; they preferred a warm bed to fighting, street girls to prayer.

Rudolf Valaris ceded the title of grand master to Jacques de Aldersberg, a man of great piety and righteousness. It is said that during the conclave, a white rose in his hand burst into flames and pious fear seized those present. Jacques had a clear vision of necessary reforms and did not hesitate to put them into effect. He changed the name of the order, which is now known as the Order of the Flaming Rose.

Above all, he set the knights a new goal — to serve and protect humans from creatures of darkness and monsters, a category he expanded to include those known as the Scoia’tael."

Cults and Religions of the Nordlings
Stefan Keller
“Among the numerous faiths of the Nordlings, the most widespread is the cult of Melitele, a goddess in three forms: young girl, mature woman and old hag. Melitele is a Mother Goddess, caring for her children. Primarily women pray to her, though men in need might also utter supplications. The religion is a vestige of the old matriarchy and testifies to the weakness of the Nordlings — people who worship female deities are soft-hearted and incapable of preparing their sons for war.

In recent years, the cult of Melitele has found a rival in the cult of the Eternal Fire, which came out of Novigrad. Clerics of the Eternal Fire demonstrate fanaticism and almost complete devotion. The religion is hostile toward any form of otherness, including non-humans. The Order of the Flaming Rose is the cult’s military arm.

The treatise also examines other faiths, including the cult of the Lionhead Spider."

The Conjunction of the Spheres (First Edition)

The Conjunction of the Spheres
by Adam Nivelle
“The cataclysm commonly known as the Conjunction of the Spheres happened one and a half millennia ago. A cosmic collision of several parallel universes, this disaster left numerous creatures not native to our reality trapped here. For example, ghouls and graveirs, which lack their own ecological niches are simply relics of the Conjunction.
The elves claim that humans also arrived in this world during the Conjunction. This occurred soon after they managed to destroy their own world. The elves claim that it was during the Conjunction that humans learned to use magic.
Of course, these are all vile lies and foul fabrications circulated by nonhumans, who will resort to the most malicious slander to justify their claims.”

Conjunction of the Spheres
By Geralt

There are scores of learned works, dissertations and treatises about this magical cataclysm from about 1500 years ago. Because of this event, creatures never seen before entered our world, and still do not have their own ecological niche here. Among others, graveirs and ghouls are relics of the permeation of the spheres, though elven tradition has it that we, humans, are also newcomers from that time. The sorcerers claim that time humanity received both the wondrous gift and the terrible curse that they consider magic to be at that time.

Aftermath of the Nilfgaard War

The Aftermath of the War
Jurga of Maribor
It should be stated clearly and plainly: the order created after the war with Nilfgaard is no order. It is a mess. Kings still tremble before the might of the Black Ones, Nilfgaard still threatens the North. Sorceresses and spies work from the shadows, pulling puppet strings. Monsters roam the roads, while soldiers do what they want and oppress simple folk. A mess, I say.

Amongst all the dangers, two are especially significant. The first comes from the nonhumans, who have assimilated only superficially. Nilfgaard has given the elves hope for a rebirth, it has placed swords in their hands and a slogan on their lips. We will know no peace while nonhumans walk the earth. The second resides in new religious movements. Only a few years ago the cult of the Eternal Fire was laughed at: how can one worship fire? Some mocked it, saying: “Maybe we should start worshiping mud or the winds?” They now bow their heads before the might of the Order and demonstrate themselves to be zealous neophytes.

Fundamentalism has always drawn strength from hypocrisy and ignorance. Never before in history, however, has there been so much on which to draw.

What then can an ordinary man do in such turbulent times? Maintain his integrity and decency — that’s what.

LIst of Complaints

Being a collection of the indignities suffered by Minister Sheng at the hands of the backward shanty town of Tien’s Landing:
His hat has been soiled.
A parchment was stolen from him before a speech at a community gathering.
His cat was viciously threatened.
A chair at his table was placed backward.
His finger was slammed in a door not once, but thrice.
An egg was thrown at him by an unknown assailant.
His cart was stolen, filled with soiled garments, and then returned.
His face was ridiculed by young children.
His prized tonberry was squashed.
It was suggested that he perform acts of deliberate indecency upon himself.
He was forced to suffer the interminable and petty gripes of the people.
His hair was accused of being impermanent and false.
The honor of his family was impugned.
He suffered a disabling attack by a pack of bees.
His reputation was maligned by brigands. Brigands!
A local dog evacuated in the Minister’s shoe.
He was given a gift of turtle eggs by a visiting merchant.
It was suggested that he would be able to trace his lineage to a simple courtesan.
He was referred to as “smelly.”
He slipped in mud, no doubt placed in his path by jealous townsfolk.
Sailors burned down his office.

THe Cataclysm

Many tales circulate of the travels of the Water People, but one of the most disturbing tales comes from far to the west, beyond the Ocean of Tempus. Rumors persist of an area in the middle of the western ocean that is inhospitable to life. The farther one travels across the Ocean of Tempus, the warmer the climate becomes. Many have postulated that this may be because you approach the resting place of the sun, but there must be another explanation, not shrouded in myths and superstition.

Of particular note are reports of an enormous cloud that rises miles into the air, visible to those few brave enough to travel the increasingly rough seas of Tempus. At night, this cloud glows with heat, and its acrid smell carries on the wood. Those who approach too closely fall in. The few ghost ships found in that area where filled with the desiccated corpses, their skin rotting and their hair and teeth falling from their bodies. One particularly disturbing log, penned in the shaking hand of a dying captain of one of these lost craft, suggests that the skies were filled with a roar like the cries of the gods, and it finished with unfortunate man’s wish that death take him before the howling demons descend upon him.

Imperial Champions

Gaze upon these words with reverence, for they offer some small slice of the history of the most glorious contest in the arena.

The Ravager:
Deadly, cold, and precise. The Ravager refuses to speak and shows no care for the crowd, but none can question his deadly strength. Wildy popular with the more bloodthirsty members of our crowd, the Ravager’s rare flights are always sold out.

Raging Ox:
All of the Imperial City fondly remembers Raging Ox, our recently retired Imperial Champion. Quick with a smile and famous for his antics both in and out of the ring, Ox’s legend will live many lifetimes.

Kai Lan the Serpent:
Kai Lan’s phenomenal control over magic and his intense focus made him one of the greatest champions to grace the ring of the Imperial Arena. Cold an imperious, Kai Lan played to the crowd to cultivate a love/hate relationship that has persisted to this day.

Horse Lord Tactics
Unlike the ordered armies of the Jade Empire, the Horselords favor lightly armored units of horseman, who can move rapidly over the field of battle. Moving like a rushing tide, small groups of horseman harry all angles of their opponent’s flanks. Armed with bows, almost to a man, these mounted archers can rain destruction upon unprepared foes. While the Horselord tactics are surprisingly effective, their men lack the discipline of the Imperial Army; for all the damage they can inflict the horseland forces have difficulty holding strategic locations. For now, the Jade Empire exists in an uneasy peace with the Horselords, leaving the savages to their arid lands north of the Seat of Heaven Province.

The History of Flight

The History of Flight Vol 1 Edit
The first person to attempt flight was Cao Shong, an early scholar who originally came from the Prosperous East. Though his ideas were creative, they were hardly sound. Cao Shong met an early end after he strapped several canisters of dragon powder to a bamboo chair and ignited it. It was at first rumored that he had survived the ill-fated mission, but few truly believe that anyone could have survived such a disastrous explosion. His death, however, was not completely in vain. Several of his writings were studied by later scholars, and some of his ideas were adapted for the first successful human flights.
The History of Flight Vol 2 Edit
The first known successful flight was made by Mad Fong. Though he had studied to become a scholar, he was kicked out of the school for destroying one of their buildings. Based on the history books, it is difficult to determine if Fong was a genius, or insane. Either way, his techniques were original and in the end, successful. Though his first several attempts were unsuccessful, he refused to give up. Despite the costs and the obvious danger to his own life, Fong persevered until he completed his first prototype flyer. The flyer didn’t do much more than hop across the landscape, but it was a start. A year later, he was able to travel for nearly a mile before crashing, and unfortunately, dying, in the process.
The History of Flight Vol 3 Edit
Several years after Mad Fong’s first successful flight, a scholar from the south discovered the unusual device known simply as the Inscrutable Power Source. A few years later, Scholar Shu Wen came up with a design for a flyer that used this mysterious new device. Initial attempts bordered on apocalyptic, in one case destroying half of a mountainside and the village that lay below. Several scholars tried to outlaw the use of this strange new energy source, but Shu Wen continued his experiments until at last he was successful. Unfortunately, his prototype was too successful; both he and the flyer took off at great speeds toward the north, and neither was ever seen again.
The History of Flight Vol 4 Edit
Some time after Scholar Shu Wen and his prototype flyer disappeared, an apprentice from the Imperial City discovered the scholar’s cryptic notes, detailing the use of the Inscrutable Power Source. The apprentice showed the information to his master, General Sung Tao. Sung Tao was an engineer before he joined the army, and he recognized the potential of the scholar’s work. He convinced Emperor Sun Siwen to fund a project to develop a flyer for use in the army. The emperor agreed readily and after several months of trying the first true flyer was created. Within a year the skies near the Imperial Palace were filled with flyers. Though the safety of the new flyers was questionable, it didn’t take long for others to adopt and improve upon the design.

Journey of Abbot Song

Something is wrong. The Water Dragon won’t speak of it openly, but I can sense that she is troubled by something. No one else suspects, not even her caretakers. But she is the Water Dragon, and if she wants us to know surely she will tell us.

Still, the storm continues to grow. Last week, one of the fountain guardians actually left their post unattended. And there were more conflicts among the monks this past year than I care to recall. The storm is building strength, and it seems poised to strike right at the heart of Dirge. I cannot say for certain, but I believe the Spirit Monks, the whole Empire in fact, is in grave danger. I can only trust that Water Dragon also senses it, and is preparing for whatever may come.

There is something disturbing in the air tonight. I cannot be sure of my suspicions, but I wonder at the behavior of some of the younger monks. They seem nervous, like something is about to happen. Not long ago, I spotted one of them leaving the well room off the temple, and when I asked why she was down there she could produce no reason that satisfied my fears. The look she gave me when I assigned her extra chores as penance for being distracted from her duties chilled my heart; it was filled with such menace. Could some of the younger acolytes have discovered the secret path at the bottom of the well? Are they leaving our monastery without my permission? To what end? Troubling questions that will have to wait until tomorrow to answer.

Order of the Lotus

As far as we know, all copies of the larger text were destroyed, but I shall include a fragment below for your amusement:

“Protection of our glorious Emperor has always been the purpose of the Order of the Lotus. The Lotus Monks are the personal servants and protectors of the Emperor of the Jade Empire, governed by the Hand of Heaven, Sun Kin. They are servants, guards, teachers, doctors, and spiritual advisors. With their simple robes and dyed hands, they are an omnipresent and unpredictable force whose importance is disproportionate to their numbers. Anyone who wishes a presence in the court of the Emperor must, in some way, appease the Lotus Monks. Should someone displease the Emperor or offend the glory of the Empire, the consequences can be dramatic. Fortunately, they watch themselves as well as others, and any who stray are punished accordingly.”

How quaint. Blood stains the hands much better than dye.
-Lim.

The Long Drought

The Long Drought stands as one of the worst periods in Jade Empire’s recent history. Ten years of scorching heat and little rainfall took their toll on even the prodigious reserves of the Empire’s granaries. The sages predicted at least three more devastatingly dry years, while those in the Ministry of Harmony watched the death toll mount into the hundreds of thousands. Then Emperor Sun Hai declared that the drought was over, and somehow it was. Through the Emperor’s divine will, green returned to our parched land, and stability was restored.

The Old Kingdoms

“Tho Fan”, or The Old Tongue, was the native language of one of many kingdoms struggling for supremacy before the Empire was unified by Sagacious Tien, our first Emperor. As the wars raged, constant shifts in territorial leadership spread the use of the Old Tongue. By the time Sagacious Tien formed the Empire, the Old Tongue was so widely spread that it became a second official language of the Jade Empire.

The Righteous Siege

“Days turned to weeks as denial of the Emperor’s authority continued. The gates of the fortress did not yield until cowards within were convinced to turn on their fellows. Victory was as inevitable as the tide, but losses were felt. Two brothers were claimed by crimes that remain unspoken, lest the heart of the Empire break with the telling. Death’s Hand rose in their stead, to serve while Sun Hai returned life to the withered land. In the weeks that followed, the price of disloyalty was made clear to those in and out of the Emperor’s honored grasp. A difficult time full of changes that not all would accept, but necessary cruelties ensured that no one in the Jade Empire would ever go thirsty again.”

Tragedy at Tien’s Landing

Let the history of this town not be forgotten, for the water that defines our border covers ghosts of children.

Nearly two decades ago, just after the shining Emperor Sun brought water to the land again, Tien’s Landing lay where the water now stands. Children played and people lived and worked in the peace that only the lands away from the bustle of the heart of the Empire can bring. When the Great Dam came, few believed that the Emperor would allow us to come to harm, but harm came in the form of water that covered our homes and buried our families. When the flooding came to an end, the town of Tien’s Landing lay submerged beneath this new sea, where only ghosts and ruined homes could flourish.

Those who survived lived to rebuild, and Tien’s Landing has come to prosper once again. Lest anyone here forget, however, we must always remember that our lives bend to the whims of the gods, the Emperor, and the decades-old machinery of the Great Dam.

Texts of War

In the art of war, it is not enough to have superiority in numbers, or strength in arms. True victory, lasting victory, is a cultural thing. To stop a conflict, you must not only defeat armies, you must defeat the will to fight. You must appease your enemy, convince them they have won, or eradicate them utterly. A nation with an expansive population, therefore, benefits from extermination. With a surplus of peasants, a newly cleared land can be rapidly repopulated, and, with an Infrastructure of buildings already in place, made productive in short order. In the reign of Emperor Yuan XI this was demonstrated most admirable in the marshlands to the south.

The Undeniable Fire
Of all threats the young Jade Empire faced, the greatest was the barbarian warlord Zeng Sai. Titled “The Tree that Defies the Fire,” Zeng Sai managed to organize the barbaric Horselords into an efficient and deadly machine of warfare, conquering much of the lands to the west and north of the Empire before coming to bear on the borders of the Jade Empire itself. Zeng Sai, whose savagery denied even the great Wall built to keep his people out, led his hungry, maddened people to attack our fledgling Empire in a rabid attempt to destroy all that would become our advanced and prosperous civilization.

So vicious and deadly was Zeng Sai’s attack that it roused the insular Spirit Monks from their temple in the Land of Howling Spirits to come to the Empire’s aid. Left unconquered by the devouring Horselord army, the monks of Dirge stood alongside the Empire and, in a great battle recounted by sages, playwrights, and scholars around the known world, laid waste to Zeng Sai and his ravenous army of wild bowmen. With the help of the monks from Dirge, the Empire finally burned down the Tree that Defies the Fire, and our glorious land has never since faced so deadly a foe.

The Way of the Lotus

Many acolytes misinterpret the tenets of the Lotus Assassin order. Stated simply, there are no tenets save one: obedience. Some believe we preach strength over all, but one must be strong to even be considered for recruitment. We are assassins, not monks. Our order does not teach as much as act. Leave the teachings to the scholars in their wasteful garden. Our mandate is to serve the will of the Emperor through Death’s Hand and Grand Inquisitor Jia. Because they demand strength, we give them strength. Because they demand cunning, we give them cunning. Most of all, they demand obedience, and so we give them obedience. To do otherwise would be to spit in the eyes of those who hold our spirits in their hands. Acolytes may create philosophical justifications for the lives they have chosen, but in the end, our masters’ wills are the only truth and the only law we serve.

THE BOOK OF THE FELLOWSHIP by Batlin of Britain
Good morning to thee, gentle friend and traveller! No matter what time of day it might be when thou art reading this- no matter what the hour of the clock- I say good morning to thee because this very moment brings to thee the coming of the dawn. The dawn, as everyone knows, is the moment when illumination comes. The dawn marks the end of the long dark night. It is the moment that marks a new beginning. It is my humble hope that these words may be for thee a dawning, or at least, a sort of awakening…

LORD BRITISH The biography of Britannia’s longtime ruler
by K.Bennos
…While many may remember that Lord British was once but one of eight monarchs (back when the lands were known as Sosaria), few are aware that he is not even a native of our own lovely Britannia. His origin is from another world, one from which he entered ours by way of a red moongate (In fact, it is through this same type of gate that the Avatar of legend purportedly enters Britannia.) As ruler of one of the eight kingdoms, he was instrumental in selecting a champion to face Mondain, Minax, and Exodus. When the terrible machine, Exodus, was defeated, ‘twas Lord British behind whom all the people of Sosaria rallied. The unified land become known as Britannia, with Lord British as the sole monarch.
Though never let it be said he rules with a tyrannical hand. His reign has always been one of Truth, Love, and Courage, supported by his utmost belief in the eight virtues. It was Lord British who had the insight to call forth a quest for the Avatar (whom also happened to be the champion from the days of Sosaria), and who gave prosperity and happiness unto the people.
Then came his mysterious disappearance, when the Stranger who became the Avatar was called by his companions to aid in the search for the lost monarch. Note how Lord Blackthorn, affected by the Shadowlords, quickly turned Britannia’s fair lands into a place of terror. But find our noble Lord the Avatar did, and Britannia was restored its former, peaceful state.
Then came the gargoyles, and our honorable sovereign thoughtfully requested the return of the Avatar…

THE SILENCE OF CHASTITY by I.M. Munk
The treatise on the monks of the Brotherhood of the Rose, including how they compare to their stereotypes.
…One common misconception is that monks still hold on to the outdated notion that “silence is golden.” While this was, perhaps, a tenet they supported as late as 0103, no longer do the monks of the renowned Empath Abbey care to remain speechless…
…There is no doubt that monks love wine. Not only are there more monk stories centering on the creation of wine, but any visit to the Abbey will reveal just how much of the entire building is devoted to the formation the delicious mixture…

EVERYTHING AN AVATAR SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEX:
(all pages in this book are blank!)

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNIA Volume I. A – E.
Another volume in a long series of books detailing every known geographical location and historical personage. This work covers Aakara, the first mayor of Trinsic, through Exodus, the vile offspring of Mondain and Minax.

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNIA Volume II. F – L.
Here is another volume in a long series of books detailing every known geographical location and historical personage. This work covers Faalga, the ancient sage of reptiles, through Lyceaum, the reknowned library that is now a part of Moonglow.

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNIA Volume III. M – P.
Here is another volume in a long series of books detailing every known geographical location and historical personage. This tome covers Kanos, an historical tower in ancient Yew, through Pusmoran, the orginator of the rarely-used fourth person point of view.

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNIA Volume IV. Q – U.
Here is another volume in a long series of books detailing every known geographical location and historical personage. This book covers Quaaxetlornicom, the mythilogical snow beast of the North, through, Utopia, the proposed manifestation of the time-honored concept of a perfect society.

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNIA Volume V. V – Z.
Here is another volume in a long series of books detailing every known geographical location and historical personage. This tome covers Vargaz, contemporary storyteller and compiler of legendary parables, through Zyand, a prehistoric island.

ULTIMA: THE AVATAR ADVENTURES by Rusel DeMaria and Caroline Spector
Within the pages of this tome are the details of the many adventurous exploits of the Avatar, beginning with after the destruction of Exodus. The details within this book are amazingly accurate, and the descriptions should prove to be surprisingly vivid.

The Book of Circles

All begins with the three principles: Control, Passion and Diligence. From Control springs Direction. From Passion springs Feeling. From Diligence springs Persistence. But these three virtues are no more important than the other five: Control combines with Passion to give Balance. Passion combines with Diligence to yield Achievement. And Diligence joins with Control to provide Precision. The absence of Control, Passion and Diligence is Chaos. Thus the absence of the principles points toward the seventh virtue, Order. The three principles unify to form Singularity. This is the eighth virtue, but it is also the first, because within Singularity can be found all the principles, and thus all the virtues. A circle has no end. It continues forever, with all parts equally important in the success of the whole. Our society is the same. It too continues forever, with all members (and all virtues) equal parts of the unified whole.

The Book of Prophecies
Mariah can translate the Book of Prophecies once she has both pieces of the Silver Tablet.
“An ancient prophecy tells of the final days, when the end of our world shall come. Three signs will precede the end. Thrice shall a being of great evil come unto our land, and by this it shall be known that the end is nigh.”
“This evil one is of another race, who consider the evil one a great prophet. Yet this false prophet follows not the principles of Control, Passion and Diligence. One day the prophet will come and desecrate our most holy shrine. And the false prophet will steal our most holy artifact, the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom. This shall be the first sign of the end.”
“Then, it is written, the false prophet shall descend deep into the bowels of the earth. And the false prophet will cause the underworld to collapse. This will cause great earthquakes to tear our world asunder, and there will be a time of plague and famine. This shall be the second sign of the end.”
“One last time shall the false prophet come. This time, the false prophet will come with a band of warriors. And they will destroy all that remains of the gargoyle race.”
“There is only one way that this prophecy may be averted: That is by the sacrifice of the false prophet.”

The Oakvale Raid

Written by one of the few survivors, this is a harrowing account of the night Oakvale was burnt to the ground in the most savage Bandit raid in Albion’s recorded history. Despite the honesty of the author’s grief, the book raised some controversy by refuting the established theory that laid the blame on the Bandits of the Twinblade clan, and suggesting that the feared Jack of Blades masterminded the attack.

The Old Kingdom
Long ago the kingdom of Archon ruled every corner of Albion. The World was peaceful and in perfect order, though many wondered if the force that held it altogether was not corrupt. For Archon had in his possession a sword of vast and mysterious power, and Albion’s elders wrote of gradual changes overcoming their leader. These changes spread to the kingdom itself. Strange structures were erected round the world, and huge armoured figures were seen guarding four hubs of energy and Archon’s Castle itself. Every living thing was touched by the Sword’s influence, and soon foul creatures the world had never seen before darkened the people’s lives. And yet no record exists of what caused the fall of the Kingdom. So suddenly, so irrevocably, Archon and the Sword disappeared, but the darkness remained.

The other Land

During the Old Kingdom, people fled the hatred, the pain within Albion in their masses. Boats sped from the shores in every direction. And one group of emigrants pitched up in paradise. Warm seas, palm trees and coral sands beckoned. And the inhabitants welcomed the visitors with food, comfort and grace. But the people of Albion had headcolds and when they passed these onto the islanders, almost all of them died. And the Albion Settlers, not knowing how to farm the weird fruits, catch fish or hunt the wild pigs and chickens, died too. But the few islanders who survived buried the dead and rebuilt their paradise. With new, impenetrable beach defences.

The Albion Dragons

Many Dragons lived in Albion, but the Old Kingdom huntsmen killed them for sport. The survivors fled to the mountains and the Northern Wastes and overtime they grew less powerful, and their fiery breath less dangerous. Without man they had no natural enemies. But a dragon is a dragon and to this day when an Albion child has an accident in this underpants it’s known as ‘Seeing a Dragon’. Although sometimes it’s just known as ‘pooing yourself, you dirty little boy’.

A History of the Guild

A passage at the back of the book has been marked out: “The tale of Avo’s Tear, the mythical sword that would one day strike down all evil, emerged from the death of Solcius, the most powerful Mage ever to train in the Guild. Solcius famously died closing a vortex that threatened to engulf the city of Bowerstone. In order to perform this most dangerous of spells, Solcius required an object to focus all his Will into one point in space. He took the sword from a fallen guard and imbued it with all his powers before casting it into the mystical void. The explosion killed Solcius and those around him, and the sword disappeared along with the vortex. A legend soon began to spread: that the sword still existed in this world, hidden somewhere deep in the Guild, and awaiting a Hero worthy of wielding the formidable might of its blade.”

The Heros Arena
Heroes left the Guild and made their choices, good or evil, in Albion. But, with the freedom to do as they chose, they often clashed. Sometimes they fought to the death. These bouts were often arranged in advance and people traveled from miles around to see them. Eventually the Arena was built, and the bouts became bigger and more spectacular. Creatures from across Albion were captured and brought there for Heroes to kill. One rule remained from the olden days, though. Should either combatant so choose, the battles could be to the death.

The Bloodline
Though the Old Kingdom vanished centuries ago, pieces of it remain scattered throughout Albion. The Guild in its magnificent glory, ruined architectural corpses, dark and unholy secrets throbbing beneath the earth. But more survives than stone and magic. For there is still among us the living legacy of the Kingdom itself. A lineage that is connected with all that made the Kingdom great and somehow ended up destroying it. Whether they are the descendants of Archon himself or of the makers of the Sword, or perhaps of those who managed to extinguish its power, it is not known. Though generations separate them from the days of the Fall, there walk today survivors of this bloodline, and an ancient power courses though their veins. They may as Heroes or they may hide among the masses, but their link to the Sword wielded by Archon himself, the Sword of Aeons, is confirmed in all the documents I have unearthed. If I can find the living descendants of this bloodline, I may be able to uncover what happened to the Sword, and perhaps the days of the Old Kingdom can be restored. There is one to whom all the signs direct me. Though she lives a quiet life now, she has done much to mark her as the one. And now the bloodline continues through her children. A son and a daughter. And the power that lives in her will be passed on to them one day.

Poems

Dandelion’s Ballads

Autumn’s scents have pervaded the air.
The wind stole the words from our lips,
That’s the way must be, please don’t shed,
Those diamonds that run down your cheek.

Hymns of Madness and Despair
Philip Ward
“I tell you: When the Sleeper awakens, Dawn will come for the Children of the Deep.

I tell you: It is I — I am the Doom of the World, I am its Hope.

The unjust waslk a straight path. My paths are unknown. The lips of the unjust are caked with filth. I am the cleansing. The unjust bow before false lords and will be tramped into the ground. For who is above the Lords?"

Three Haikus by Miko the Bard

Terrible beauty,
Building scream in agony,
Oakvale is burning.

Warrior or Mage,
Choose evil or choose goodness,
A beard or moustache.

Sword of Albion,
Sleeping until the true Blood,
Flows red on its blade

PLays

The Repentant Alchemist

This is a play by Philipth Morley, Albion’s most celebrated dramatist. It is the story of a Bowerstone innkeeper who discovers his wife is cheating on him with every man in town. As revenge, he concocts a new ale with the peculiar properties of making anyone who drinks it die horribly if they should have indulged relations with the innkeeper’s unfaithful wife. He soon finds himself without living customers and decides to partake of his malevolent beverage himself.

Tall Tales

Lara’s Gift

Lara’s Gift
based on an elven fairy tale
“…but even pleas and invocations didn’t soften the stone hearts of the dh’oine, the cruel and merciless humans. And when Lara grabbed the carriage door, begging for mercy — not for herself, but for her child — the queen ordered a thug to swing his sword, cutting her fingers off. The winter cold set in that night, and on a hill amidst woods, Lara drew her last breath while giving birth to her daughter, whom she protected with what warmth was left in her body. And even though night, winter and blizzard were all around, springtime suddenly came to the hill and feainnewedd flowers bloomed. To this day those flowers are found in only two places: the valley of Dol Blathanna and on the hill where Lara Dorren aep Shiadhal died.”

Monstrum of Description of Witchers

Monstrum, or a Portrayal of Witchers
Anonymous
“Indeed, there is nothing more repulsive than these monsters that defy nature and are known by the name of witcher, as they are the offspring of foul sorcery and witchcraft. They are unscrupulous scoundrels without conscience and virtue, veritable creatures from hell capable only of taking lives. They have no place amongst decent and honest folk.
And this Kaer Morhen where these villains nest and practice foul rituals must be wiped off the face of the earth, and all evil traces of it need be treated with salt and saltpeter to complete the deed.”

The Nature of Witchers

Once as numerous as the beasts they fought, today the witchers are seen as a relic of times long gone. The exact nature of their training remains a mystery. It is known it consists, among others, of the Trails – processes that transform the organism using a specific combination of secret herbs and infusions. Those who survive them gain superhuman reflexes, speed of reaction, the ability to see in the dark and many other traits making them lethal foes. During their training they learn swordplay and basics of magic, known as Signs. Armed in this set of abilities, the witchers can effectively fulfill their objective, that is protect humans from the monsters inhabiting our world.

Against Nonhumans

Against Nonhumans
Anonymous
“It was then that the elven wise men called the Sages gathered in the dungeons beneath Reinhold Castle. The eldest of them said: “The day and the hour have come. We are here to discuss the fall of humans. We will avenge the death of Lara Dorren, we will shed their blood and drown the world in chaos. We will hide in the fortress for five hundred years while the chosen live in human cities and become their neighbors. Everyone knows their place in the Plan, whether elf, dwarf, gnome, sorcerer, or Nilfgaardian. Whoever betrays us is doomed. We will call ourselves Superiors, because we have no lords over us and we spit on gods.”

Then all swore an oath and each drank the blood of an innocent child from a golden chalice to seal their obedience to the Plan."

Ars Amandi
by Publius Naso
The way to a mans’s heart is through his stomach. The way to a lady’s heart is paved with beautiful words and appropriate gifts. Many have lost fortunes trying to win a woman’s heart. This book explains how to avoid that fate.

One must know that ladies’ tastes vary according to their status. A gift fit for a peasant girl will not please a noblewoman. Simple girls will be happy with a flower, while refined courtesans will laugh at a bouquet and only show favor [when she] is presented with a gold ring. But beware of traps! Sometimes, with much effort, you win a lady’s heart only to become her slave, ready to fulfill her every wish! Avoid earning the heart of your woman at the cost of your own head!

The Rotten Apple

This classic political treaty uses the first metaphor to provide a theoretical solution to all of society’s problems. The most controversial of these ideas involves the abolishment of the Heroes’ Guild (symbolized by a rare breed of crop-destroying insect immune to most pesticides). By an extraordinary coincidence, when taken literally, most of the advice is also extremely effective in actual fruit farming.

Popular Books

The Balverine Slayer
This book is a worshipful, some say exaggerated, history of Knothole Glade’s most famous Balverine Slayer, Scarlet Robe. It tells the story of her first encounter with one of the beasts, at the tender age of fifteen, when she astounded Knothole Glade’s elder warriors by killing a particularly fierce Balverine using only a piece of wood. It goes on to give a detailed account of her stay with the Heroes’ Guild, her pivotal role in the Great Balverine Extermination battle and her triumph in the Arena.

Making Friends
Among the gems of wisdom contained in this book are these: “It is generally considered ill-mannered to hit people”. “Albion is a materialistic place: shower people with gifts and they’ll love you for it” and "Performing good deeds will make everyone appreciate you much more.

Windbreaker Rule Book
This guide to making yourself obnoxious, includes the following tips: learn to swear and do it whenever you please, hit people for no reason at all, and break wind with wild abandon.

The Ugly Guide
Though admittedly writing for a small market, the author of this manual has many handy tips on making yourself less attractive. Among the chief ideas are: eating plenty of fattening pies, releasing that uncomfortable build-up of bowel gases and making rude gestures to your would-be admirers.

The Sock Method
Subtitled ‘How to Make Yourself Sexier in Ten Days’, this guide advises its readers to master really Heroic poses, learn to flirt, wear stylish clothes and avoid bad haircuts.

Eyes of a Killer
This handbook gives some tips on making yourself scarier to other people. Performing acts of great evil, have certain tattoos applied to your body and mastering a really nasty laugh are all considered winners.

You Are Not A Bad Person
Originally written to help reformed Bandits and serial killers to become accepted members of society, this book teaches you how to appear less scary to impressionable villagers. It seems not waving your weapons about, avoiding dark clothes and evil-looking tattoos, and letting out the odd giggle all work a treat.

The Trigamist

This cheap and racy novel tells the story of a no good scoundrel Geroneous Wilkout, a young man who marries three women in three different towns and pays the ultimate price. Having posed as a Hero from the Guild in order to win the three ladies’ hearts, Geroneous finds juggling three households a difficult but rewarding lifestyle, until one day his deceit catches up with him. After a mix-up in his busy schedule in the more intimate of his matrimonial duties, the three wives discover their husbands secret and devise a terrible punishment: a visit from the Mythical Castrating Mountain Monkey.

The Trials of Aarkan

This epic poem was once taught in every school, but its themes were regurgitated so often by lesser verse makers it lost all its power and is now virtually forgotten. It tells the story of a young boy whose village is destroyed by a band of savages. Orphaned, he is taken in by an old warrior who teaches him the ways of the sword. As a grown man, he slays an ancient evil and restores order to his world.

Tales of Twinblade

Heroes, good or evil, need self-discipline. And Twinblade, a young, powerful swordsman, was no different. After graduation, he stopped taking Quests at the Guild when he realized he could take what he wanted from anyone. His love of gold and growing resentment of other Heroes drove him to live in the woods as a thief. His strength and ruthlessness led him to face and kill other Bandit Clan Leaders and he united the Forest Clans and became King of the Bandits. But deep inside him, Twinblade never lost the code of honor and respect the Guild had instilled in him.

The Tales of Maxley
As everyone knows, Hobbes are stupid creatures. But every so often a clever one comes along. Maxley was one such Hobbe, and tired of eating raw flesh and sleeping in streams, he left to seek his fortune in the world of humans. He murdered a nobleman and stole his clothes, dressed up and walked tall on the road to Bowerstone. When he arrived people complimented him on his appearance. When he answered, his Hobbe grunting gave him away. The guards killed Maxley and put his head on a spike. It is better to keep quiet and be thought an idiot then to open one’s mouth and prove it.

The Tailor’s Tragedy

This is a play by Philipth Morley, Albions most celebrated dramatist. The title’s tailor is a young man from far away lands who washes up on the shores of Oakvale after the merchant ship he is traveling in is torn apart by storms. Thanks to the generosity of the townspeople, he is able to open a store, and the outlandish style of his suits and dresses soon make him a success. He eventually marries a beautiful girl and dies a happy old man surrounded by loving children. The title is thought to be a misprint.

The Guild of Zeroes
This satirical pamphlet purports to be a journal of a Zero in training, and is a thinly veiled attack on the Guild, the self-claimed superiority of its members and the cult of celebrity that surrounds them. The author disappeared shortly after its publication.

Magic Books

Basics of Alchemy

Basics of Alchemy
Master Jeremiah
“To understand alchemy, you must understand two great truths. First truth: “As above, so below.” Second truth: “Everything is one.”

These truths teach that alchemical substances are everywhere around you — in field herbs, in human and animal bowels, even in rocks. This is because alchemy is life, and life is alchemy. Once you understand alchemical processes, you will understand the processes of life and the world of nature will become an open book.

Yet alchemy is also knowledge. Does the potion require a flower or a leaf? Where is vermilion found — in the kidney or the eye? These questions are answered by books. Therefore, read both the old masters and new works. Practice your herbalist skills and mixing oils and powders.

However, first and foremost experiment — because the greatest discoveries in alchemy have come about through experimentation."

Harmonic Combinations

“To fight without thought is suicide. The path to victory is laid out one step at a time, each ahead of your opponent’s.”
-Sagacious Tien

Harmonic combinations demand the use of two styles in rapid succession. The first must be of the class called Support, the second from the class known as Martial. Timing is the key: begins with a focused disabling effect, and follow quickly with a powerful barehanded blow. The two actions working in concert will create a harmonic channel in your chi and wreak havoc upon your foe. You must be swift, as the window to create the harmony is limited. Disable your foe, close swiftly as you change style, and strike with all available force. Let nothing stand in your way, but beware. Opponents of great strength may possess the training to resist this technique. Thought will guide you to victory. Harmonic combinations will ensure the journey is swift.

Killer JOkes

KILLER JOKES
by Trixter
Welcome reader and learn the age old art of practical jokes. I, Trixter have studied long and hard from the tomes of the ancient masters to achieve the knowledge and wisdom that I may now impart on you, the novice.

Chapter One:
Exploding Books
(Heh, heh…)
Afterwards, they all will explode and, in the worst case, cause death to the reader.

HUBERT’S HAIR-RAISING ADVENTURE by Bill Peet
Hubert the Lion was haughty and vain
And especially proud of his elegant mane.
But conceit of this sort isn’t proper at all
And Hubert the Lion was due for a fall.
One day as he sharpened his claws on a rock
He received a most horrible, terrible shock.
A flaming hot spark flew up into the air,
Came down on his head and ignited his hair.
With a roar of surprise he took off like a streak,
Away through the jungle to Zamboozi Creek.
He leaped in kersplash! with a shower of bubbles,
And came bobbing up with a head full of stubbles.
At first he just stared with a wide-open mouth
At the cloud of black smoke drifting off to the south.
Then he felt with his paws just in back of his ears
And he suddenly realized the worst of his fears.
’I’m ruined,’ he shouted, ‘oh what’ll I do!
I’d rather be dead or go live in a zoo!
And if anyone sees me, oh what a disgrace,
So I’d better discover a good hiding place!’

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert Heinlein (First Edition)
The struggles of an individual from another planet who finds difficutly assimilating into his new society and culture.

CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG by Ian Fleming
This wonderful childrens’s story of a car that could fly has been pleasing youths and adults alike for many generations.

THE WIZARD OF OZ by Frank L. Baum
The tale of a little girl, Dorthy, who, with her dog, Toto, travels through whirlwinds and magic to a fanciful land called Oz. Dorothy’s search for ideals in this land win her three new friends. The first, a brainless scarecrow, whose ultimate wisdom teaches her the principle of Truth. The second, a heartless tin-man, whose undying devotion shows her the principle of Love. Finally, Dorothy encounters a cowardly lion, who, facing all perils to save her, demonstrates the principle of Courage.

COLLECTED PLAYS by Raymundo
Housed inside this anthology of stage works are such greats as “Three on a Codpiece”, “The Trials of the Avatar”, “The Plagiarist”, “Clue”, “Thumbs Down”, and several other prize-winning pieces. For convenience in production, several suggested costumes and make-up techniques are listed in the back.

NO TIME TO DANCE by B.A. Morler
The wonderful depiction of the busy life of two industrious scholars, caught betwixt the demands of a forceful taskmaster and the pressure of time.

MURDER BY MONGBAT by J. Dial
This extraordianary work depicts an enthralling, but far too gory thriller. Chapter after chapter describes innovative and impressive ways to disembowel people and animals.

DOLPHIN IN THE DUNES by Pietre Hueman
Contained within the pages of this book is what seems to be an allegory for human familial relations. The work is obviously fiction, but the understones suggest extensive study on Hueman’s part. Halfway through the work, the point of view shifts, permitting the reader to see multiple sides of each issue.

MANDIBLES by Peter Munchley
Held between the covers of this book is an action-adventure novel about a man-eating sea creature who terrorizes a small coastal town for several months.

GARGOYLE LIKE ME by Darok
Within this work lies a fascinating novel of a human who poses as a Gargoyle to view what life is like from the Gargish point of view. The story is a remarkable mix of historical and entertaining facts from encounters with many gargoyles. A particular emphasis of the work is the importance of the gargoyle family structure.
As there is no evidence of gargoyles having a gender, it is odd how close “father” gargoyles maintain a relationship with their (presumably) adopted sons. The attitudes seems similar to that of how the more intelligent, winged gargoyles treat the wingless. There is an air of condescension, but the feelings of care still exist, as if the wingless were children to be protect and watched over by the winged.

GARGOYLE LIKE ME by Darok
Within this work lies a fascinating novel of a human who poses as a Gargoyle to view what life is like from the Gargish point of view. The story is a remarkable mix of historical and entertaining facts from encounters with many gargoyles. A particular emphasis of the work is the importance of the gargoyle family structure.
As there is no evidence of gargoyles having a gender, it is odd how close “father” gargoyles maintain a relationship with their (presumably) adopted sons. The attitudes seems similar to that of how the more intelligent, winged gargoyles treat the wingless. There is an air of condescension, but the feelings of care still exist, as if the wingless were children to be protect and watched over by the winged.

THE BOOK OF FORGOTTEN MANTRAS
akkhorkramaowdetrasanokspankamiahxiopyofowtagoosiyamvilwezforatasgsemtexashiyeyachodisnibawfesupayuitswerxesledzepbokmarsakcesblahswu…

STRUCK COMMANDER by Gilberto
This tome is the fanciful story of a man who, along with several comrades, gains access to a flying vehicle — much like a cart — and uses his abilities to fight terrorists and despotic monarchs who employ mercenaries using their own flying carts.

GONE WITH THE WISP by Margareta Mitchellino
This novel, purportedly written by a young gypsy woman, depicts the golden days of Britannia. Filled with short anecdotes Mitchellino claims came from her people, the piece is quite amusing.

KARENNA’S WORKOUT by Karenna
Found within this plain-bound volume is a combat and exercise training manual. The work provides simple yet complete illustrations demonstrating a variety of steps that will not only disable an opponent, but also aids in good cardiovascular circulation.

KARENNA’S PREGNANCY WORKOUT by Karenna
Herein are many words of wisdom for use within the realm of combat and exercise for pregnant women. The drawings included perfectly illustrate in explicit detail how these forms differ from more conventional styles, and how pregnancy truly affects fighting skills.

KARENNA’S TOTAL BODY WORKOUT by Karenna
Found upon the pages of this combat and exercise training manual are words that expand upon the original edition. Sadly, this work has recieved much less attention than Karenna’s other two.

THE FIVE STAGES OF LAWN CARE by A.P. Berk
This is the brilliant and witty depiction of the humorous antics of two young boys during one very hot summer in Britannia. From courting to practicing sword-play, the duo never seem to be able to avoid trouble. Though the boys grow up by the end of the story, they don’t quite seem to lose all of their youthful instinct.

AND THEN THERE WAS KAREN… by B. MacDae
Within the pages of this tome are words that relate the story of how one man’s life was changed by a woman, both during their relationship and after. The tale is bittersweet, but both survive to to become happier people with better outlooks on their lives.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE by Wislem
To be the words comprising the complete Gargish primer, designed to educate the young gargoyle mind, both winged and wingless.
THE INTRINSIC COMPLEXITIES OF INVESTIGATING A NEW SPECIES OF FLORA IN THE LAND OF BRITANNIA by Perrin
This scientific journal describes, with examples, the process by which one studies plant life. The book is divided into multiple sections, one for the layman, one for the hobbyist, and one for the learned scholar, and includes a warning about the difficulties of gathering specimens from the poisonous swamps.

RINGWORLD by Larry Niven
Herein lie the words that tell of adventures to be had in the space between Britannia and the heavens. The work, although fictional, preposes that there are many undiscovered lands that lie between Britannia and other suns.

MAGIC AND THE ART OF HORSE-AND-WAGON MAINTENANCE
This lengthy tome contains wonderous jewels of wisdom concerning all aspects of life. The words exalt the value of basic, common pleasures and denounce the relevance that material possessions have to happiness. The philosophy is simple enough to be easily grasped, yet complete enough to be quite comprehensive. The main irony of the title is apparent to anyone who has ever cared for a horse, for, as any stablemaster or horse owner can attest, horses need no food or rest.

JESSE’S BOOK OF PERFORMANCE ART by Jesse
This anthology is filled with many performance art scripts. The author, a controversial and eccentric Britannian actor, maintains that many aspects of both acting and performance art are quite similar.
…Consider the actor. He uses dialogue, facial changes, and movement to convey his lines. His actions, called a PERFORMANCE, combined with the playwrite’s script, express an emotion or a message. The performance artist uses the very same techniques. The one possible exception is that he is both the writer AND the performer. In fact, the practice of many facets of performance art can better an actor’s skill…

THE WRITE STUFF by Perrin
Within these pages is found a treatise on the value of literacy and proper writing skills. The first few chapters briefly discuss the various elements of good literature. The subsequent text analyzes the qualities of the elements to determine why they are integral to quality literature. The essay ends with a description of the process by which a promising writer can apply what has been learned to construct better prose.

THAT BEER NEEDS A HEAD ON IT! by Yongi
Found within are many a recipe for the most delicious of alcoholic beverages. Not only are the pages filled with descriptions of the various processes by which one produces these drinks, but also with a great number of suggestions for serving methods. In addition, the back index references each drink by type and color.

THE DAY IT DIDN’T WORK by R. Allen G.
This collection of essays details the difficulties in overseeing a group of well-meaning misfits in a mechanical environment — especially when the overseer is a misfit, as well!

NO ONE LEAVES by R. Allen G.
The sequel to THE DAY IT DIDN’T WORK. This short tome offers insight to why new mechanical contraptions don’t always function at the time agreed upon between mechanician and overseer, despite how constructed they may appear. In addition, the work discusses how to handle presenting the complaints to the tinkerers who worked on them, and how to persuade them to finish the work regardless of how tired they are and how late in the evening it is.

TREES, AND THEN SOME! by Ben
Previously titled MY LIFE AS A WOODCUTTER, this classic volume pleased readers more than two centuries ago. Much of it reads like a journal, with humorous commentary added by the author between groups of entries.
Day seven: Today received yet another order for more logs.
Day eleven: I am amazed at how frequently people are requesting my services. There is no longer any doubt to the rumors of the rapid growth in Britannia’s urban areas.
Day sixteen: Found new species of tree. Has silver looking leaves that sparkle and grow quite large. Size indicates that the trees live very long, but grow slowly.
Day twenty-eight: Had an odd request for a few of these new “Silverleaf” trees.
Day Forty: Number of requests for Silverleaf has nearly matched that of “ordinary” trees. Wonder what they could want them for. I wonder why everyone has become so crazy for these special trees. I doubt even one so insane as Lord British’s Chuckles would pass these off as any sort of precious metal, though if anyone would, we all know it would be the man who carries so much weight with Lord British (the weight of wine bottles, that is).

BLOODIED BLADES AND BUXOM BEAUTIES A.G. Fishmor
This illustrious tome depicts the life of the romantic pirate, Roguerre, as he sails the Northeast Sea. As he travels from port to port, his adventures become increasingly dangerous, and as equally lucrative. The climax of the novel finds Roguerre in the clutches of a despotic island ruler, from whom he must escape and save the beautiful native princess.

THE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN YEAR, THREE-MONTH, SEVEN-DAY WAR by Perrin
Within this work of fiction is written the renowned historical treatise that describes an intense and bloody civil war in the land of Britannia. The parable is designed to strike home the advantages the people of Britannia have by remaining unified under the rule of Lord British.

BLACK MOON, RED DAY by Euralyn
This novel is set in THIRTEEN MONTHS IN A YEAR’s Corellethra. The story describes an epic struggle of man against nature as shifting celestial bodies cause violent changes in the land. In the end, only the mighty, supernatural abilities of a sorcerous family can prevent global destruction.

TWO IN THE FOLD by Morian
Herein lies a fable of treachery in the fair city of Britain. A despicable guild of thieves who seek political power in the government sends two of its best members to infiltrate the Royal castle. The true conflict arises when two of the Royal gaurds begin to bicker so violently with each other that they miss important pieces if evidence that lead to the two thieves.

THIS OLDE SHIP by Owen of Minoc
This tome contains much more than just the fundamentals for building ships and other assorted sailing vessels, it has everything any shipwright could ever need. The text is aimed at amateurs (which is what most of thou are in comparison) but holds jewels of wisdom for even the almost skilled shipwright. The latter part of this fine manual is dedicated to the repair of damaged ships, and makes a distinction between working on one’s own ships and those crafted by others.

THE CARVER CHRONICLES by Morfin
Here, finally in one volume are the details of the skills necessary for butchering. The work discusses several contemporary styles, including the author’s own. Be warned, noble reader, that Morfin leads into a graphic level of detail that would turn the stomach of all but the toughest meat carvers.

HERO FERTILIZER by Werdron
A warrior’s handbook, depicting several esoteric fighting styles. Each step is accompanied by a short piece of fiction, permitting the reader better visualization of the detailed style.

WHAT COULD BE LEFT BUT THE ASHES by N. Flaims
Herein are the many essays covering an indepth study of the aftermath of a volcanic eruption. The work was extensively researched, and is filled with testamonials from many a survivor. The most interesting story is told by Fendora, a young woman from Minoc, who claims to have experienced a volcanic eruption near every one of the five towns in which she has lived.

THE SUMMER OF MY SATISFACTION by Plexes
The story within this novel relates the tale of Good King Kettle, who rules a great land without any troubles.

HITHER COMES THE RAIN by Perrin
Within the pages of this book are descriptions of the various effects of Spring weather on plants and animals in Britannia, explaining that Britannia seems to see an increase in the amount of rainfall each year.

WHITE RAIN by Perrin
This detailed tome is filled with descriptions of the various effects Winter weather has on plants and animals in Britannia.
MILORD CONDUCT by Aleina
Found within is a description of the proper behavior for courtiers and courted individuals. The book reveals many different techniques for both polite and impolite seduction.

TO THE DEATH! by Zaksam
This book is an in-depth manual of the fighting styles prevalent in Britannia. The author distinguishes between contemporary and historical styles, and comments on the value of each.

BLADE OF THE GRYPHON BARONY by Pebrogdy
This novel is about a knight’s fight against the doctrines of his society to win the love of a common maiden.

THE WINNING NUMBER by A.P. Berk
Herein is the sequel to THE FIVE STAGES OF LAWN CARE. This novel, which focuses on the same two men, is set ten years after the former work.

THE SCENT OF VALOR by Wetterson Herein can be found the definitive word on chivalry and the duties to a knight’s liege.

HOW THE WEST WAS by Yuclydia
This tome of history tracks the geography of Britannia from the early centuries to more recent times. The included maps provide a level of detail never before seen in a work of this nature. In addition, the short chapter on the once-important virtues reveals their source from the broader tenets of Truth, Love, and Courage.

THY MESSAGE RECEIVED! by For-Lem
Translated by Jillian
Within this diary is revealed the poor treatment of the gargoyle race since the return of the Codex two centuries ago.
“To have noticed that humans remain uncomfortable with us. They have given us our own island to populate, but is this gift designed to keep us segregated? To have wondered why so few gargoyles leave Terfin. To have no more doubts, having lived in Vesper. To see the hatred for our race. To see, to FEEL, the disgust. To understand not, for it was humans who destroyed OUR land, not gargoyles. To seek communication. To seek friendship. To seek trust. To speculate that none are forthcoming.
To ask the humans, “Why?” To see the terror and loathing and to know there will be no answer given. To hope for a future of harmony, but to realize that, with segregation, there can be none. To hope for education of both races, for our children and ourselves. To hope, and to live…"
IBALD ENCOUNTERS by Madden
Within the pages of this anthology are many stories full of suggestive prose.

THE KNIGHT AND THE THIEF by Hobbs
This novel describes the life of an heroic warrior suffering from delusions of an alternate life as a rogue and cutpurse.

THE TRIO by Leepeartson
Compiled from the music of three master bards, this full volume contains a collection of songs for a variety of stringed and percussion instruments.
THE BLACK COMPENDIUM Written by Mondain, with annotations by the enchantress Minax and magical formulae by the hellspawn Exodus
To extend one’s life is a complicated procedure, taking years to complete. However, there is an additional side effect: invulnerability. I have broken this work down into chapters based on each individual ritual. It is very important that these steps are performed in the order presented.
First, thou must procure a five stone’s of the dust of crushed rubies. This must be mixed thoroughly with the ooze of a slime, enough to make the rubies into a thick paste. After thou hast created the paste, set it in an ivory jar and place the entire container in a bucket of olive oil for three years. The next step is too procure 10 newborn babes, none more than six days old. With a knife cut from the bone of a harpy, thou must remove of the blood from each newborn. To be kept fresh, the blood must be stored in an onyx flask, though mixing of each baby’s blood is quite permissible. Now thou shalt seek out…
NO WAY TO JUMP by Desmonth
Herein lies the compilation that discusses various elements found in adventure stories. In addition to an evaluation of their literary worth, one essay demonstrates how to apply such elements in other styles.

STEALING THE WIND by Brianna
Kite-building techniques thou hast never seen before, from the simple box kite to the mind-numbing criscross butterfly. Each kite is presented in several forms, from beginning to end. At the end of the essay is a listing of wind variables and flying styles.

BROMMER’S FLORA by Brommer
This large tome describes most of common plants indigenous to Britannia.
…The Greer plant is especially fascinating, for it spends most of its life huddled with its leaves wrapperd up in a tight ball. However, every so often, the leaves will unfurl, radiating out from the stem…
…The Reaper is unique in that it is both plant and animal. Resembling a large tree, the Reaper is able capable of self-animation as well as self-locomotion. Reapers have been known to attack those who cause harm to their home (i.e. the forests), but seldom reveal themselves otherwise…

BROMMER’S FAUNA by Brommer
Betwixt the covers of this book can be found details on the most prevalent animals that inhabit the lands of Britannia.
…Deer are quite prevalent in the forested areas of Britannia. They are shy creatures, generally shunning the presence of man, whom they know hunt them. Atop their head sit a pair of antlers…
…The fox is a small animal, akin to a dog or a wolf. It is an omnivore, and more than willing to make off with a farmer’s chicken when it tires of other foods…

BROMMER’S BRITANNIA by Brommer
Betwixt the covers of this atlas is a detailed description of the entire continent of Britannia and the nearby islands.

UP IS OUT by Goodefellow
Herein is discussed the most current theories on gravity and mass. After years of study and research, the author finally put the fruits of his labor down in the pages of this tome, which includes his discussion on falling apples.

WEAVING by Carlyn
This is a complete sourcebook for a variety of patterns. Included are patterns for clothing, blankets, quilts, and sheets. The introduction even includes a section on weaving one’s own cloth.
…take the bale of wool and stretch it out across the wheel to make the thread. Once that is done, pull the thread across the loom and begin weaving. Shortly thou wilt have a nice stretch of cloth from which canst make a variety of useful things. For variation, use different colored threads on the loom to create exciting patterns.

FOLLOW THE STARS by Laurnen
This is a guidebook for navigation, with most of the pages illustrating various constellations and heavenly bodies. The final sections contain maps useful to any ship mate or captain.

HOW TO CONQUER THE WORLD IN THREE EASY STEPS by Maximillian the Amazingly Mean
Found within are the ravings of a deranged meglomaniac cleric, describing his plans for the domination of Britannia.
…and after I have acquired the Vas Corp spell, there will be no one to defy me, for all will fear my casting of the spell. Even the loft Lord Brit, himself, will offer his obeisance to me…

TREN I, II, III, IV . . . XVII
This autobiography, penned by the obtuse mage, reveals Tren’s life in all of his incarnations as he continually strove to possess more powerful beings.

SIR KILROY Anonymous
This novel details the rise of a shining white knight, driven to madness by the women in his life.

MY CUP RUNNETH OVER by Marseine
This illustrious volume holds many detailed instructions for neophyte vintners. The books even includes tips on selecting choice grapes and proper labeling techiniques. The tome lists several monks from the Brotherhood of the Rose as sources.

SPRING PLANTING, AUTUMNM HARVEST
Held within these pages is the explaination of agriculture in detail, including the much misunderstood mulching process. The middle section is an illustrated guide to many gardening implements.

SHOOT THE MOON by Oswauld
Herein can be found the guidebook for druidic culture. Details on rituals, spells, and the organizational structure fill the rather large number of pages that make up this fine well-spring of knowledge.

OUTPOST by Gasreth
Betwixt the covers of this volume is invaluable reading for all soldiers. This manual details the tactics and strategies of siege warfare, from the point of view of the attacker and the defender.
…and remember, a soldier’s best line of active defense is the cannon. After thy comrades have already loaded the cannon, simply aim the cannon at thy target and fire away!
LANDSHIPS by Equinestra
Not only does this extensive tome describe the many riding beasts in Britannia, but it also discusses riding styles and techniques. In addition, it addresses the reasons for the popularity of carts, explaining why so few people choose to continue riding horses. The final chapter covers flying carpets, and how they will ultimately replace all non-magical means of travel.

LANDSHIPS OF WAR by Equinestra
An illustrated guide to jousting and barding. This work builds upon the concepts presented in the prequel, LANDSHIPS.
…a preferred tactic of veterans such as Hillard the Mighty was to center themselves atop their carts and fire missiles unto their foes who were unable to surmount the vehicle.

WHY GOOD MAGES LIKE BLACK MAGIC by Magus
Despite the rather frivolous title, this complete tome explains the value of applying magic for the benefit of society, as opposed to selfish, personal gain. The concepts presented herein mesh quite well with those exemplified by the virtues.

WHEN STARTS THE ADVENTURE by Sabra
Herein can be found a novel relating the travels of a fledgling warrior, struggling to gain skill and respect in a treacherous world. As the warrior gains experience in dealing with opposition, he begins to notice how well the land is balanced in ideaology: for every evil, there seems to be a good, and vice-versa.

WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES by P. Nolan
Within the pages of this book is the story of a bard, a blonde, and a bottle — the perfect combination for a classic tale of the war between the sexes.

THE COMPLEATE HISTORY OF THE LUTE by Devonaillion with foreword by the Master Bard, Iolo
Herein are the words penned by the illustrious master lute-player, himself. The voluminous work begins with a description of the building process and carefully leads into the music theory.
I heartfully and willingly share my title with this young and very talented virtuoso, and recommend that thee follow his words of wisdom well — Iolo Arbalest

BIRDS OF BRITANNIA by Brother Wayne
Bound here is the comprehensive guide to the avian species, beautifully and colorfully illustrated by many different artists.
…Surprising to many is that the Silver-Winged Pharcelot is not the most prevelent bird in Britannia, though arguably the most visible. Far more popular is the Black-Tipped Grackle, but it’s predilection for dark, cool areas make is considerable less visible.

I AM NOT A DRAGON by Thomson
Within these pages is a bawdy tale of Belnarth, fictional lord of Serpent’s Hold. This volume is part one of a great trilogy involving the humorous exploits of the lord and his fellow knights.

THE DRAGON COMPENDIUM by Perrin
Found almost exclusively in the dungeon Destard, dragons are an ancient race of large reptiles. They possess great intelligence, and a few also use magic, sometimes summoning other creatures to fight with — or for — them in battle. However, in combat, they are quite formidable without any aid, for in addition to their sharp claws and the rows of razor-like teeth that fill their maws, they are capable of producing large clouds of fiery death. That, combined with their ability to become invisible makes them more than a match for any foolish enough to cross one.
Shouldst one ever be found that is willing to bargain with thee, I strongly suggest doing so, for very few can survive a battle with one of these terrible lizards, and even fewer can emerge victorious.
THE TRANSITIVE VAMPIRE by Karen Elizabeth Gordon
This richly-detailed tome is a “handbook of grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed.”

THE TOME OF THE DEAD by Suvol Shadowface
The crinkled pages of this book appear to be made of an odd sort of leather. It contains various essays concerning the treatment of the deceased, especially the bodily remains. One chapter is entitled 101 uses for the human heart. Another passage describes the method by which human skin is tanned and pressed for use as writing material…

ARTIFACTS OF DARKNESS by Mordra Morgaelin
Within the pages of this handwritten book are many references to devices of destructive power. Amongst them are Mondain’s Skull and Gem of Immortality, Minax’s Crystal Ring, and the Dark Core of Exodus’ memories. More recent entries describe the Crown of the Liche King, the Well of Souls, and a mysterious Blackrock Sword which apparently has the power to slay even one so powerful as Lord British. A short essay, involving a metal plate hung above a door, explains what seems to be a far simpler method of dispatching the noble monarch.

THE LIGHT UNTIL DAWN by Drennal
Herein is the short book that discusses both moons of Britannia, Trammel and Felucca, in detail, explaining their orbits, approximate sizes, and expected compositions. In addition, there is a short essay about the possibility of people who live on these moons, and how to contact them. The work also includes a short story about a sorceress who discovers a way to change the color of Felucca. After testing her observations, she quickly learns that the changes have little affect on anything or anyone.

CODAVAR by Nexa
Within the pages of this novel is the parable of an usurping lord seemingly inspired by Blackthorn’s tyrranical rule during Lord British’s disappearance more than two hundred years ago.

RITUAL MAGIC by Nicodemus
The ability to combine one’s power with that of another mage’s is fundamental to the casting of enchantments. While standing in an outer triangle of a pentagram, up to five wizards may enhance the effects of their spells. The bloodletting from either a goat, sheep, or cat — one per mage — is necessary, in addition to the consumption of the secretion of a type three acid slug. Once all the materials are gathered, each mage must stand within one of the five corners of a pentagram drawn from the dust of a dragon’s thigh bone…

PATHWAYS OF PLANAR TRAVEL by Nicodemus
Herein are the many complex formulae necessary for travel between and through the many diverse planes of existence. Each plane is accessed by a moongate, and even our very own Lord British came to Britannia from one of these planes via a moongate. However, this also leads to some concern. To this point, every individual who has entered Britannia from another plane has been benevolent (most notably Lord British and the Avatar). But if they have the ability to employ these gates, is there not the chance that other, evil beings might, too, be able to venture into our fair lands at their whimsy? A thought to be considered for the future.

ENCHANTING ITEMS FOR HOUSEHOLD USE by Nicodemus
Found upon the pages of this tome are many a recipe for the creation of “mundane” magic utensils and apparatuses, including such items as the SELF-PROPELLED BROOM, the GHOST WRITING QUILL, and the ALARM GEM. Toward the unfinished end of the book, the entries become erratic and almost unreadable, as if written down in a hurry. Many of the latter items seem a little demented: the GIANT OBSIDIAN FLYSWATTER, the EXPLODING CORNCOB HOLDER, and the COMB OF MANY BLADES. It would seem that this mage was not conjuring with all of his reagents.

MISCELLANEOUS CANTRIPS by Anonymous
As the title says, this book describes the minor spells that fall into the bailiwick of charlatans and prestidigitators.

MODERN NECROMANCY by Horance
The author of this poetic treatise attempts to show how necromancy has been maligned throughout the years and explains the beneficial knowledge that can be garnered by studying the effects of magic on a lifeless corpse, including the more recent art of returning life to a dead companion, known as resurrection.

THE SYMBOLOGY OF RUNES by Smidgeon the Green
Found within is the complete dictionary of terms for understanding and translating runes. In addition, the work discusses in depth the relation between runes and magic. Based on the intense text within, it would seem that the author is either a profound dolt or a simple genius.

A GUIDE TO CHILDCARE FOR THE RICH AND FAMOUS by Lady M, with love for Samantha Meng Ling
Within is the extensive guide for nannies, describing contemporary techniques and the latest in trouble shooting with children of all ages. A special chapter details the art of diaper changing, and adds a touch of humor by describing (for the more soldierly sorts who may be reading) the effects of hurling soiled diapers at one’s enemies.
ALAGNER’S BOOK OF MARVELOUS AND ASTONISHING THINGS
A compiled volume of items of interest both magical and mundane by Alagner. In this volume, compiled for easy reference, are some of the many fascinating constructions I have found during my researches. These items range from interesting uses for mundane items to fascinating miscarriages of magic. Please read and enjoy the varied realm of My Brittannia.
Potions: An historical point of interest from the last several hundred years. Circa 0207 there was a rather infamous case of a resourceful peeping-tom. One may ask what this has to do with potions, but the publicity generated from this trail about the use and misuse of magical potions of X-ray vision encouraged all honorable mages and alchemists to cease making the amazing potions. And, as these potions fell into disuse, the affectation of calling them white potions also slowly ceased, and a lesser known concoction (which, ironically, is appreciably more white than the original X-ray potion I was able to view (see Alagners Index of Treasures, entry 15, for more information), that of common illumination, became its replacement.
Flying Carpets: A recurring magic. As many of you undoubtedly know the Flying Carpet was essential to the Avatar in his legendary quest to save Lord British from the Three Shadowlords. However,few people realize that this fascinating piece of lore has been rediscovered and, according to my sources, hidden just inside the dungeon Destard, (or is it Despise, I always get those mixed up (NOTE: look this up before publication)).
This amazing carpet could fly over water and swamps with no adverse effects, a marvelous tool for the common adventurer and essential for the Avatar. (An interesting side note: according to an ancient tome, the carpet was actually believed a failure by its creater for its inability to rise more than a few inches off the ground)
Wands: A trio of terrible weaponry. The three identified varieties of magical wand all seem to have been made for the express purpose of changing the combat-weak spellcaster into a killing machine. And, for those with the ability to keep them from wearing out (no small feat of magic, mind you, but simple for anyone capable of crafting the wand in the first place), they are perhaps the most formidable weapons of their size.
Fire Wand: This wand fires a bolt of flaming death. According to all known texts on the subject, the carnage was called “amazing.”
Lightning Wand: The effects of a bolt of lightning as it bursts forth from the wand is as devastating, as its counterpart, the fire wand. However, according to one of its proponents, “the corpses look and smell much less offensive.”
Magicians Wand: While only slightly more lethal than the typical bow, this wand is rendered quite effective due to two interesting facets: Its damage is of a most magical nature and more than quite powerful against monsters likely to hassle a mage, and, it NEVER runs out of charges. If thou art interested in power and duration, this is the wand for thee.
Silver Serpent venom: mage’s dream, youth’s bane. Once upon a time, the ability to gather this reagent was heralded as the beginning of a new era of magicry. It was the epitome of High Wizardry, but alas, as frequently happens, the promise paid but little. While direct doses of this reagent give a boost to strength, the permanent damage done to the body far outweighs any temporary advantage.
Unfortunately, these adverse effects tend to carry over to the spells cast using this reagent. Before his illness, Garok Al-Mat, a mage of the high mountains, was experimenting with the vemom in conjunction with spider silk and giant bee pollen. His hope was to bind the qualities into an effective casting reagent for divination. But his work is now lost forever.
Hoe of Destruction: accidental glory. One of the most recent magic items created, this once ordinary hoe dates back to only a few years ago when one of the first mages (a bush mage of no real merit) to succumb to the illness that now plagues all mages, was asked to both repair a broken hoe for a local farmer and enchant a sword for a warrior. Unfortunately, his perhaps-never-to-be-repeated-enchantment has made this hoe one of the better melee weapons around today. This hoe can be distinguished by it distinctive red, glowing head. Be wary if thou dost ever face it.
(Items below this point need more research before publication.)
FireDoom Staff: lethality personified. This staff, which hurls exploding fireballs that actually seek out a target, is perhaps the most lethal of all magic weapons created in the era of human-gargoyle cooperation. But, as with most of the more powerful magic weapons, its limited life span means it may fail thee at the worst of times.
Great Dagger: A great idea but shy of a wonder. This dagger is perhaps one of the most ingeniously economical items ever produced. It appears to be naught more than an ordinary dagger, save for large, red stone for a pommel. However, when one strikes with it, it is magically transormed into a two-handed sword. It hides well, and is light on the belt, but no more dangerous that an ordinary two-handed sword (which, of course, is in no way feeble).
Glass Swords : A historical legacy of death. These single-use swords will almost always kill any creature in a single blow, but they are seldom useful for a second opponent. Other Miscellaneous Magical Weaponry. As a general case, any person with a modicum of magical talent can identify magical weapons, armour and other apparatuses by their pulsating glow. Often, however, the color indicates even more about the item than just the existence of the enchantment. For example, a green field often denotes a poisoning weapon.
Starbursts: clouds of flying death. Originally designed as a small transportable weapon, this magically laminated throwing star bursts into a cloud of similar stars upon contact with its target. Although not terribly devasting, it is the tiny size that makes it such an effective defence. Its small size also makes it a valuable backup missile weapon, for many can be carried together.
Burst Arrows: an area effect arrow. The arrow functions as a regular arrow, but upon impact, explodes into a thousand flying shards of death.
Magic Boomerangs: there and back again. These magical boomerangs are to the gargoyle race as the magical sword it to human warriors. Their most common weapon, boomerangs have the amazing ability to pass through walls and other solid objects and still return to the thrower. Excellent for hunting in the mountains.
Venom Dagger : the assassins tool. This shimmering green dagger is actually the enchanted tooth of a poisonous sea serpent, joined to the hilt of a regular dagger. Its envenomed blade injects the slow poison into its victim, but it frequently breaks. It is the perfect assassination weapon (see Alagners History, Assassination of Baron Johann IV (page 54)).
Stone Harpy: The Stone harpy is the creation of the twisted mind of the magus and paranoid lord of Spectran. It is reputed to be magically triggered by the approaching close approach of any creature.

THE HISTORY OF STONEGATE by Shazle
The story of Stonegate Castle is, indeed, an interesting one. At one time the keep was occupied by the Shadowlords, during Lord British’s disappearance and Blackthorn’s evil rule. However, once the Avatar returned our noble monarch to his throne, eliminating the Shadowlords from Britannia, a family of cyclops made the castle their home. Not more than three decades from then the walls were abandoned.
This lasted but for a short time, however, for a small colony of wingless gargoyles found refuge within the confines of the keep. Three years later they were driven out by Lord Vemelon of Jhelom, who chose to retain the castle for his own purposes. For several generations ownership was passed down the Vemelon line until one day the very mountains nearby opened up, and the swamps engulfed the castle. Now, rumors purport that a colony of trolls have taken up residence amongst the ruins, along with an ancient wizard, but no one has ever confirmed their existence.

THE WAY OF THE SWALLOW by Foiles
Within the pages of this tome lies the story of a mother who loved, and was deeply loved by, her family. Though the work ends sadly with the death of the mother, her family gains comfort in the knowledge that her inner spirit has found a better place to rest.

VARGAZ’S STORIES OF LEGEND
Reasons why one should never build doors facing north or west. Many centuries ago, the prophet, Father Antos, foretold the coming of a plague of Locusts that would arrive from the lands to the north. He predicted that their source area was so important that it would indicate who would survive the attack, and who would not. He predicted that anyone living in a house having a door with a northern exposure would perish under the onslaught. Two days later, the locusts came, and in the aftermath, it was discoverd that only the houses with doors on the north wall were destroyed.
…The naturalist, Ergan, incorporating Algarth’s discovery that the sun rises from the east, theorized that the nightly path of many dark-dwelling nasties could be traced. As the sun moves slowly to the west, Ergan contends, shadows increase in the east, forcing monsters to move that direction to stay out of the sun. Therefore, as denizens of the dark travel from the west, they are more likely to invade households with doors that directly cross their paths…

ONE HUNDRED AND ONE WAYS TO CHEAT AT NIM by Dr. Cat
Within the pages of this tome are all the many ways to earn supplementary gold by gambling at Nim. Written by the originator of the game, himself, this book covers in depth such strategies as, “claw first, question later” and “there are no ways to skin a cat.”

PLAY DIRECTING: ANALYSIS, COMMUNICATION AND STYLE by Francis Hodge
Within the pages of this highly respected textbook one can find the highly touted, and sometimes controversial, methods of staging a play. Written by an eminent Professor Emeritus from a university in a distant land, this book is considered by most thespians as the definitive source book on directing.

ON ACTING by Laurence Olivier
Within the pages of this tome are the theories and philosophies of acting, as well as personal anecdotes, written by a noted thespian of a distant land. Apparently this book was one of the many brought to Britannia by Lord British.

THOU ART WHAT THEE EATS by Fordras
Within these pages thou wilt find the comparitive analysis of many of things we, humans, place in our bodies in the name of food. I will attempt to provide for thee information on what constitutes “good” food and what constitutes “bad,” and will display the information by mentioning each type from best to worst, first in terms of nutritional value and second by taste.
A large chop of fine meat, including mutton, fowl, ham, or ribs, is by far the most nourishing. This does not include other forms of beef, however, for they are usually served in smaller portions. Pork and sausage are also lower on the proverbial “scale,” for they are not quite as filling. In place of meat, I would recommend flounder, cheese, or potatoes, for they are also quite good for thee. In some instances, trout, fish and chips, and some breads will pass for a meal.
An egg and most any other fruit and vegetable, including: an apple, a banana, a carrot, a pumpkin, a bunch of grapes, and various cakes, will suffice in a pinch. However, despite its delectible taste and extravagant price, Silverleaf meals have absolutely no value on this chart at all. The moral is, my friend, never pass up meats when thou hast the chance to dine upon them!
Obviously, not everything that tastes good is nourishing. At the top of this list, I must put down Silverleaf. The taste is absolutely exquisite! Short of that, I recommend roast mutton with a lovely Minoxian glaze sauce. Add a potato as a side course, with the whole meal preceeded by a few raw vegetables, and thou truly hast a wonderful feast! For a second course, I would suggest…

MAN VERSUS FISH: THE ULTIMATE CONFLICT by Aquastyr
Thou might consider fishing to be an activity designed simply to feed thy familty. Daily thou takest thy fishing pole and trod to the lake in hopes of catching thy dinner. However, say I, fishing is much more!
A fisherman is much like a knight, off to conquer the terrible dragon. Certainly, the terrain is familiar, just as the knight’s homeland is to him, but the contest is where the real comparison lies. While a knight carries with him a great and powerful sword, and fisherman must arm himself with a sturdy pole. Of course, another important weapon for the fisherman is his mind. He will need a keen sense of observation to aid him in his struggle against the slippery opponents.
The first thing he must do is search for a body of water where the fish are so common that they are forced to jump above the water simply to have room for the others. A lake or pond filled with fish will provide the wise fisherman a better opportunity for an encounter. And how does a fisherman catch his prey. Not by sitting idly by and waiting for them to jump into his pail! For once the creature grabs hold of the bait, the fisherman must fight and thrash his way, as if attacking the very beast, itself. Minutes seem to turn to hours as the warrior battles with his fish, until finally, all energy spent from both sides, the fish is dragged unwillingly into the waiting bucket. And then, the process must begin anew…

KNIGHT’S BRIDGE IN A NUTSHELL by Nicodemus
This is a board game for two players. Each player begins with three pieces. The object is to move thy three pieces in concert in order to force the treasure from the center of the board to thine own side. All the while, thine opponent shall be attempting to do the same. Each turn consists of a player either “moving” or “pushing” a piece followed by a similar action by the opposing player.
A legal “move” consists of placing one’s piece in any adjacent, unoccupied black or white square. A legal “push” is performed when a player forces a piece, either an opponent’s or the treasure, one space directly away from his piece. The exception to the latter rule, making a “push” illegal, occurs when a player wishes to “push” a piece into the space from which it just left in the preceding turn.
If any piece, excluding the treasure, is “pushed” onto a blue square or off the board, that piece is considered lost, and is removed from play. The treasure may not be “pushed” off the board. To win the game, a player must “push” the treasure to the back row of squares on his side of the board.

MEMPTO RAYS: A QUALITATIVE STUDY IN METAPARAPHILOSOPHICAL RADIATION by Mempto
Despite Felcrodan’s theory of 0335, there are, indeed, rays of energy that constantly bombard Britannia. In fact, these very same rays permeate of all the known space between Britannia and the stars. Recent experiments have proven my theory that these rays, known hereafter as “Mempto Rays”, are lethal to all non-living matter. In fact, Mempto rays have demonstrated their ability numerous times, once killing an entire boulder in a matter of a few hours. It is my recommendation…
CHICKEN RAISING by Daheness Gon
While handling chickens is a relatively easy task, as is collecting eggs, there are several pieces of information that will be of much use to the novice owner. For example, quite a number of hens have soft, delect fluff on their underside which they developed as chicks, but never outgrew. As a result, the coarse straw of the nest tends to irritate their hide. As a result, many hens will bury their eggs beneath a thin layer of straw. This provides warmth that the egg is missing because the mother will not fully set herself down upon the egg.
In addition, most hens do not lay their eggs at the same time as their sister hens. A hen must rest at the minimum three full hours before she will capable of producing another. And do not be concerned if more time is necessary for thy hens to create more of their offspring.

THE ART OF FIELD DRESSING by Creston Forward by Lady Leigh
Though I personally advocate the use of healing herbs and more sterile bandaging environments, the steps told in this treatise will suffice until better healing care becomes available. Follow Creston’s steps carefully, and thou wilt have no trouble forming a reliable, if not perfect, way to prevent serious blood-loss. Remember, however, that there is no care as good as clean sheets, a sturdy bed, and proper attention! — Lady Leigh of Serpent’s Hold
As long as one has shears, cloth, and a conscious mind, thou wilt have little fear of bleeding to death on the corpse-littered fields of battle. Simply cut the cloth into strips and bandages. Quickly placing the center of the bandage over the wound, wrap the strip around and around the bleeding area. As the cloth begins to soak up the blood, it will combine with the natural healing aspects of the body to staunch the flow of blood and to quicken the healing process. In no time at all, thou wilt be ready to travel again (though I advise this travel to be to the house of a competent healer!).

WATER ON THE CAT by Mowze
(This text is a humorous diatribe, and should be taken as nothing more than such. Any of the following activities should only be performed when water is abundant enough to be in surplus. Droughts are serious business, and this work is in no way designed to indicate otherwise. — The editor)
The using of a bucket to draw water from a well takes nothing more than common sense, however UPON what to use the water is often a more difficult question to answer. Cats are, of course, my personal favorite objects of such torture. But, thy friends will usually do quite nicely, providing they have no form of retaliation and are not quick to anger. Children are a little less choice, though considerably more deserving, for their parents DO often anger quickly when their offspring is threatened.

A SHORT TREATISE ON BRITANNIAN SOCIETY by Clayton
The hierarchy of the peoples of Britannia follows a traditional order. Though little here is meant to be law, the entire content was compiled from observartiions made throughout the land. All citizens of Britannia, obviously, owe alleigance to the just and noble Lord British. The next in line to receive our respect are the members of the Great Council, which comprises one citizen from each town or city in Britannia.
Members of the Great Council are followed by the winged gargoyles, for they are highly educated and well-versed in all matters of life. Many a winged friend has supplied words of wisdom to a traveler venturing through Terfin. Just below the winged gargoyles follow the wonderous masses of humanity, without whom the economic and governmental aspects would collapse. These, of course, are followed by the less worldly, but quite, quite strong wingless gargoyles. Much of the impact upon our economic system has come from…

A BAKER’S HANDBOOK by Settlar
The fundamentals for baking all come from knowledge of how to perform one simple task: baking bread. If thou art able to do that, thou canst bake anything, from meat pies to tarts for thy guests. It is important to set the flour first upon the table. Many bakers prefer to manipulate the dough on the hearth itself, but I prefer preheating the hearth (it makes for more thorough baking), so that is not possible. To the four, add water and mix until the two are well combined. The dough should be damp enough to be kneaded easily but is should not be runny.
Now is the time to place the dough on the hearth and bake it. After but a few minutes, thou wilt have quite tasty bread to eat. Now, the next item will prove a true treat for thy loved ones…

LOGBOOK OF ASTELLERON
… I have grown lonely here on the island. Despite my golems, I have no one with whom I can converse, no one with any personality. Even the animals spend less time here than on the main island. Each day I look upon the horizon for a sign of someone. I have no fear of strangers, for either I will meet the Avatar, or the golems I created to protect the Shrines will fend off hostile visitors…
…I am exhilirated! Today, while on the main island, I happened by a tree. While this is not inherently odd, I noticed that the tree seemed to grow not out of the ground, but from a large rock. Equally unusual was the five stones surrounding it, each located the same distance from each other and from the center stone. They looked much like they could represent vertices of a five-pointed star. And then I realized to what I was a witness: the legendary Stone of Castambre. Even had I not noticed the Tree of Life springing forth from the boulder, the Pentacle of rocks gave all away…
…The first test was a success. I used a pick to chip away a bit of the stone. I was startled at first by the bleeding, but as I heard not a whit of any sound indicating pain, I continued. I am about to confer with the book to determine my next action…
…I am afraid I will have little time to continue this journal for the moment. I realize that a true scientist would record daily with the utmost accuracy what he has done and witnessed, but the amount of work each day requires leaves me long past the point of exhaustion…
…I have done it! My newest two golems can actually speak! And they offer original comments, not mere echoes of my own thought. The instructions in the book are correct. Bollux, my first attempt, succeeded, but my inexperience left him a little less intelligent than I would have preferred. However, his “brother,” Adjhar, benefited from my mistake with the other, and has full speech capabilities. As I sit now, writing this, I can hear them discussing weather! I must go now and talk with them. Oddly enough, the sky no longer seems overcast…

GOLEMS: FROM CLAY TO STONE by Castadon
Stone golems can be created from any hard rock. However, it is important to note that the enchantments require they be anthropomorphic in shape. Any other construct, or an incomplete one, will not be able to hold the creature together or permit locomotion. Once the sufficient amount of stone has been gathered and placed roughly in the shape of a man, thou must cast the Vas Rel Ailem spell (see appendix QQ for spell description) to form the rock into a person.
Needless to record, perhaps, the creature will barely resemble anything human, but will be able to function similarly. The next enchantment is Kal Mani (appendix QQ). This will “breathe life” into the newly created golems, or rather, breathe animation into them. Once created, each golem will have enough rudimentary intelligence to obey and respond to three single-word commands, or one extensive request of any length.
Appendix K: The Stone of Castambre. This mythological rock has legendary powers that permits one to shape and enchant stone — and only stone — to create golems by following only a single, short ritual instead of the lengthy and time-consuming process described in previous chapters. Though the Stone’s existence has never been confirmed, there are also other purported powers that could make a risky investigation quite worth while. For additional information, see “The Stone of Castambre,” by MacCuth.

THE STONE OF CASTAMBRE by MacCuth
Legendary rock? Perhaps. Powerful relic? Definitely. The Stone Of Castambre — named for the mage who is rumored to have enchanted and placed it — is said to be located on the Isle of Fire, also the location of the Shrines of the Three Principles. Of course, since knowledge of the Isle has long since disappeared, knowledge of the infamous Stone is equally mysterious. However, through research and study of Castambre’s diary I have brought to light a few clues to the Stone’s whereabouts.
The major purpose of the Stone’s power is to animate inanimate objects: statues, golems, tools, etc. In addition, shouldst the desired object be one already imbued with the power of conversation, the Stone will enhance such powers, giving the object, or rather, creature, independent thought. Historians claim that it is with this stone that Castambre concocted creatures of such deep personalities that, from behind a curtain, it was impossible to differentiated between a person and one of his creations.
But how do I capture this ability, I hear thee ask. First, assuming thou hast already discovered the Isle of Fire (no mean feat, I assure thee), thou must then search for the “pentacle of rocks” — five boulders arranged as though they were vertices in a pentagram. In the center thou shouldst notice a sixth rock, from which grows a large, healthy tree — the Tree of Life. This sixth rock is Castambre’s Stone.
However, finding the Stone is only half the battle, for now thou must perform magicks beyonds the abilities of normal men. With a … thou must…. ……. Once the “heart” has been placed within the “chest” of the creature, the ritual may begin. First, using perhaps the same pick, thou must strike the Tree hard enough to draw blood. Blood from a Tree, questions thee? Aye, I say, for this Tree is one of life and energy — collected from the nutrients of the Stone, and bleed it does.
Some say thou wilt be able to hear the shrieks of pain from Castambre’s Stone, but that rumor is waning. Thou wilt need enough of the Tree’s life force to fill a bucket. After the blood has been properly contained, it must be spilled in five spots about the body of the stone creature as if the creature were Castambre’s Stone and the puddles of blood the five rocks of the pentacle. In fact, it is necessary to set down five such small rocks to mark the location upon which the blood must be spilled.
Then must thou cast Vas Flam Uus (see detachable page at end of volume), setting fire to each of the puddles of blood. Following that must be chanted the sacred words gleaned from Castambre’s journals (also on detachable page). Now that the creature is enchanted, of course, it will become necessary to instruct it, much as one educates a child. However, a stone golem will learn much more quickly…

THE DARK CORE OF EXODUS by Erethian
Exodus was a mixture of etherial being and magical mechanism. Its living portion, or psyche, was comprised of its ambitions, desires, curiosity, in total, its personality. The subject matter of this tome, however, lies upon a part of its more physical manifestation. The Core was the receptacle of Exodus’ memories and mental force. The psyche was almost like a parasite, feeding off the world around and depositing what it gained within the Core. What was Exodus’ purpose? Who or what did it serve? This is matter of which I write. Exodus served none other than… (The text remains unfinished.)

ETHICAL HEDONISM by R. Allen G.
This handbook details a non-religous religion in which people live for the joy of living and make it their responsibility to keep the entire world out of disrepair.

CONVERTING MOONGATES TO THINE OWN USE by Erethian
Moongates come in four known varieties: blue, a gate across a land, red, a gate connecting worlds, black, a gate that traverses dimensions, and the theoretical silver, a time gate. These gates, to a lesser or greater degree, owe their power to the force exerted by large bodies of matter, moving through the space around us. Therefore, I postulate that if one can know what forces are being exerted, one can manipulate the destination of any given moongate by changing these forces…
The book goes on to describe certain methods of manipulation, and save for the prohibitively large amounts of power required to effect even the weakest of moongates, the logic seems sound.

How to keep the Avatar busy for hours looking for a clue— (please scroll forward) How to keep the Avatar very busy for hours looking for a clue— (please scroll forward) How to keep the Avatar very very busy for hours looking for a clue - (please scroll forward) How to keep the Avatar very -very very busy for hours looking for a clue - (please scroll forward) How to keep the Avatar so very -very very incredibly busy for hours looking for a clue - (please scroll forward) How to keep the Avatar so very -very absolutely unbelievably and incredibly busy for hours looking for a clue — (please scroll forward) When thou art not so busy, thou shouldst seek out Margareta the gypsy in Minoc and have thy fortune told!
Signed – Chuckles

KEEP BRITANNIA CLEANSEND THE GARGOYLES BACK!
Paid for by the Britannian Purity League

Between these columns, upon this pedestal, once sat the CODEX OF ULTIMATE WISDOM.
Now it lies in the infinite darkness of the Void, forever shining as a beacon of knowledge to the races of man and gargoyle.
Those who would seek the wisdom contained therein must unite the mystic lenses in the same manner as the Avatar did more than two hundred years ago.
Lord British
To search for Singularity through Control, Passion, and Dilligence.
Lord Draxinusom

Selwyn’s Last Will:
I do hearby bequeath my firedoom staff to anyone who is mighty and cunning enough to penetrate the defenses of my fortress and slay my pet.
May all who read this rot in death!
Selwyn

Phil’s Guide to Unfinished Usecode
by Phil
An enlightening discourse on the enigma of usecode. Beginning with the heretofore unresolved mysteries of global variables…

Lord British
The biography of Britannia’s longtime ruler
by K.Bennos
…While many may remember that Lord British was once but one of eight monarchs (when the lands were known as Sosaria), few are aware that he is not even a native of our own lovely Britannia. His origin is from another world, one from which he entered ours by way of a red moongate. (In fact, it is through this same type of gate that the Avatar of legend purportedly enters Britannia.) As ruler of one of the eight kingdoms, he was instrumental in selecting a champion to face Mondain, Minax, and Exodus.
When the terrible machine, Exodus, was defeated, ‘twas Lord British behind whom all the people of Sosaria rallied. The unified land become known as Britannia, with Lord British as the sole monarch. Never let it be said, though, that he rules with a tyrannical hand. His reign hath always been one of Truth, Love, and Courage, supported by his utmost belief in the eight virtues. It was Lord British who had the insight to call forth a quest for the Avatar (who also happened to be the champion from the days of Sosaria), and who gave prosperity and happiness unto the people.
Then came his mysterious disappearance, when the Stranger who became the Avatar was called by his companions to aid in the search for the lost monarch. Note how Lord Blackthorn, affected by the Shadowlords, quickly turned Britannia’s fair lands into a place of terror. But find our noble Lord the Avatar did, and Britannia was restored to its former, peaceful state.
Then came the gargoyles, and our honorable sovereign thoughtfully requested the return of the Avatar..

The Apothecary;s Desk Reference
by Fetoau
It is the author’s expectation that thou art reading this to familiarize thyself with the effects of various potions based on their color. The first part of this work will discuss such aspects, with the remaining pages covering the materials and steps required to make such alchemical creations.
Definitions:
Black potion: Drinking this will render the individual invisible for several minutes.
Blue potion: This mixture will put the imbiber into a deep sleep.
Orange potion: This potion will awaken an individual who was magically put to sleep.
Purple potion: This concoction will provide magical protection for several minutes of hard fighting.
White potion: This potion will provide a small bit of illumination, much like a candle, for a few minutes.
Yellow potion: This powerful mixture will give healing aid to the imbiber’s wounds.
WARNING: Green potion: This potion is a dangerous toxin, and will poison the imbiber, possibly killing the individual.
Red potion: This fabulous drink will cure most poisons, including those acquired from the slugs in the swamps and that gained from drinking a GREEN potion.
Bluish Black potion: For thine adventures in the Icy Lands, that renowned concoction is critical in such climate. It is for thee to use in plenty for it will prevent thee from freezing to death.
Orange Shimmering potion: Specifically designed for the busy wizard whose lifestyle requires him or her to cast many a spell. Once this delectable potion is absorbed it will enable thee to cast many more spells.
This next section details how one can best recreate these uncanny concoctions…

The Provisioner’s Guide to Useful Equipment
by Dell
While most suppliers will rave about the effectiveness of a good sword or specially fitted armour, I personally feel that proper exploring gear is much more necessary. Consider this, dear reader. While thou mightest happen to encounter a wild bear in thy travels, or, even less likely, a troll, thou art doubtless going to be in need of much more mundane equipment. Wilt thou possibly be outside city walls when darkness comes? Then buy a torch. And how wilt thou carry thy provisions? A backpack will prove necessary. And what about a container for thy refreshment? Purchase a jug or bucket. As for…

What Color is Thy Blade
by Menion
The first step in effective sword-forging is to fill a crucible with metal. Then, with the bellows, the fire should be made extremely hot. When the flame no longer continues to grow in its glow, set the crucible on the fire to melt the metal. Afterwards, pour the molten metal into the blade mold and let it cool. Be warned! The crucible is at an extremely high temperature. Lift the cooled blade from the mold. Again heat up the fire and set the blade within. Be careful not to let it lose its shape. Set it in there only long enough for the blade to become malleable.
When it is ready, finish shaping it on the anvil with the hammer. When thou hast formed a blade of the desired shape, use the quenching barrel to cool the metal. It will harden quickly, so be sure the blade is as sharp as thou dost want it to be. All that thou hast left to do now is to put the pommel over the tang. It will require hard work to make a fine, sturdy sword, but the finished weapon is well worth it!

The Journal of the King of the White Dragon
On the Twelfth Day before the Solstice Festival: Shamino, traitor, I will destroy thee as thou didst destroy my beloved daughter, Beatrix. Shamino, cursed be thy name, I befriended thee and thou didst betray me. I asked my people to help thee erect thy castle and betrayal is thine only response to them. Traitor!
On the Eleventh Day before the Solstice Festival: Despair hath been the daily lot of my poor Beatrix. Now, I myself have my share of worries. I am surrounded by traitors and goblins are closing in on the castle. Shamino, doomed be thy name, I, King of the White Dragon, want to hang, draw and quarter thee. My poor Beatrix was so joyful when thou didst request her hand from me. I agreed happily to such a union. My beloved daughter left me in order to live in thy new castle. By that time thou hadst already been touched by the obsession to foil Mondain from his conquest of the world. Thou didst leave on thy journey to seek the advice of Lord British, from hence never to return. The long-awaited wedding was never to be. My lovely child, my Beatrix, remained unwed waiting for her love to return. She loved thee and had faith in thee, Shamino, cursed be thine offspring.
On the Tenth Day before the Solstice Festival: Those goblins, I see those malformed goblins coming for us. They are destroying our wealth and our lives as Shamino, cursed be his name and his lineage, destroyed my Beatrix’s health and life. She died forlorn. Thy treacherous heart led Beatrix to a lonely grave.
On the Ninth Day before the Solstice Festival: The Kingdom is plagued by hordes of goblins that grow more fierce and daring with each passing season. I am surrounded by traitors and should not trust anyone. What to do? Beatrix, thine adorable light no longer shines upon me. How solitary thou must be in thy cold bed. This year I will hold the grandest Solstice Festival ever. Thou wilt love it. ’Tis especially dedicated to thee, my right well beloved.
On the Eighth Day before the Solstice Festival: Those magic-warped goblins are everywhere and they are persistent. They must be led by that villainous Shamino. A man who doth not keep his word is less than a man. How couldst thou trust him, Beatrix.
On the Seventh Day before the Solstice Festival: Shamino the deceitful and his allies are waiting in the dark passages of this castle to ambush me. I know it. I saw them in my dream last night. They will not succeed. They cannot succeed for I have a plan to save my people from traitors and ravaging goblins. Beatrix, I will let thee know about this idea of mine, thou wilt be delighted…
On the Sixth Day before the Solstice Festival: My dearest beloved one, how thou must long for company in thy misery. This bacchanal will bring thee all of thy friends and our people. That villainous Shamino will have the fate he doth deserve.
On the Third Day before the Solstice Festival: I am looking forward to seeing thy Solstice Festival, yes, this season is thy Festival. I planned it for thee. And, indeed, for all of us. Traitors and deceivers alike are in for a surprise. All of my subjects and myself — we will not leave anything for the goblins to take.
Two days hence…. On the Eve of the Solstice Festival: All is prepared for my greatest bacchanal ever.
On the morning of the Solstice Festival: Beatrix, soon we will be reunited and part never again. This Solstice Festival will be recorded in the annals of the Kingdom of The White Dragon. It is to be the greatest feast ever! Let us all rejoice in one night of revelry! After the midnight revels and before the end of the night, a new dawn will rise…

Diary
Anonymous
I was hired by Batlin the first time we met, in Fawn. A recently shipwrecked pirate, I had escaped from the Storms as well as jail. Since then I have been in his service with no interruption nor reason to complain.
Week 1: Our first meeting was a strange one. I remember gazing around from the shores of the bay, climbing on top of a hill and seeing no signs of life. No signs of life for miles and miles around except in a spot in the middle of the bay where I perceived a shimmering city: Fawn. On my way downhill I ran into a group of men in which I recognized an old pirate friend of mine, Pilot. They were looking for manpower and I was available. Pilot introduced me to Batlin and I was in. We marched into Fawn where Batlin had some business to conduct.
Weeks later: How we got to this place, I am not certain, for I was blindfolded while we were in the doing of it. All I can say is that my master knows powerful magics, which allow us to step aside from the barriers of this physical world. Thus, I find myself in the frozen north, in the abandoned sanctuary of a long dead people. Here, we have slain a Beast of Ice, and captured a Daemon’s Soul. Soon after the Daemon was imprisoned, I beheld with anxious eyes a dreadful vortex. Believe me, I have seen many a storm on various seas and continents, but never ever such a fury. It is as if Nature herself is in contortion.
On the third day of the following week: At the first streak of dawn, we travelled overland across the snowy wastes to the great mountains which my master calls the Peaks of Skullcrusher. In the depths beneath the mountains, we sought another of these Daemons. This proved to be a difficult task. We had to keep a strict watch to discover him in his hiding place. Finally, we trapped the second prisoner, whose name is Anarchy. We searched all over the Skullcrusher mountains for this bane.
On the last day of the week: Then, we travelled by magical means until we found ourselves in the tangled forest of the northlands. The last Daemon had eluded us in the Plains of Ice, but in his new form he was not so swift. Now his trail hath led us to this ruined castle. I will finish this entry later tonight.

Love Sonnets
by Beatrix
To the only begetter of these sonnets
To the well-wishing adventurer in setting forth…
I
Shamino, valiant adventurer, Homo malicious
Adored from mine earliest hour,
Magnanimously, thy presence on all dost shower
Infinite love! By life thou dost devour,
Non-fading and delicious, Our charming love, sweetest power.
II
My heart is a chest Of bitterness
Since we are apart
A harness of teardrops
I fear lest I should fall from some height
On my shoulder
The weight
In mine heart
The pain
Why wait?
Why explain?
Shamino Dost thou not Know How to care?
III
Since the War of Mondain
One memory I keep
When beyond these Realms
Thinking of us I weep
Is there one more
Chance to meet under the elms?
IV
Never this warrior’s destiny
allowed His love to gain
Though restless, roving on adventure proud
He traversed oft the land
And oft the main
But love is like grain
It needs a tender hand
To grow, flourish and mature
The Wrath of Mondain
Destroyed our bond
Thy past thou shalt nurture
For greater future
In the worlds beyond
V
Sunset Over the Main Gate
Going thy way I stare at thee
Breathing in thy scent
I start the ascend
Hastily Blasting thee with a spectral
spell I shimmer Away.
VI
Beneath the yew
Thoughts of thee
Keep me warm and jolly
Raindrops like dew
On a lily’s petal
Gently brushing my skin
Cleansing for the soul
What a delight
Never too soon
Watching my reflection
In the river
As doth the Harvest Moon
Night after night
In this season.
VII
Shamino, shadows of thee appear
Before mine eyes all the year
I see the main road clear
Winding down to thy Castle
Where the winds whistle
There, at night I delight
At the magic sight
Of spectral spells like thunder
On thy neck, warrior
Thou shalt not Abandon me.
My Life
by Yakka
I grew up in a tiny village on the southern coast. Life hath been good so far and I know it will be longer than this book.

My Records
by Vasculio
- One locket stolen from Frigidazzi, who refused to accept the passion I would have spent on her.
- The Living Scalp stolen from Filbercio, who sentenced me to die.
- The Spectral Orb stolen from Mortegro. I hate him, for he uncovered my dangerous research and betrayed me to the Council of Mages.
- The Flux Analyzer stolen from Gustacio. Gustacio the influential, Gustacio the dignified, Gustacio the magisterial, I despise thee! I despise thee for thou representest everything I could never be.
- The Wand of Stone, taken from Torrissio. I blast mine hatred of Torrissio to the seven winds, for he was my partner in twisting the rules of the Mages, yet he abandoned me to their justice.

My Journal
by Maleccio
I was born and raised in the city of Moonshade, a foe of Vasculio. Then I was taken to this place, where I am a prisoner of He Who Was Dead — Vasculio. Vasculio survives beyond death! He doth drink blood out of the living to keep himself alive. Hence his great thirst for fresh blood. His corpse is animated by means of spells and the Forbidden Reagent. I am his prisoner, fettered worse than a wild beast; manacled by mine hands and feet by day and by night. My blood is so vital to him that he is afraid I could break away. How could I in this cage. At times, I feel like survival is a meaningless word. I am exhausted. He hath been awakening me at all hours of the already too short night, thereby robbing me of mine all too brief night’s slumber.
This week I managed to write more. I feel better than last month but still weak. All through these interminable weeks in this cage, I have suffered from chronic weariness. I do not believe escape is possible. I have seen Death face to face and she hath seen me. I am more than ever determined to continue to struggle for survival, for this is the primary instinct of the animal.
The following week: I am losing track of time. I can track seven day periods but do not seem to recall any other relevant information; seasons and days are not part of my realm. Like life, they escape me. Am I less than an animal? This deranged mage, frantically seeking the lost secrets of Ophidian magic, certainly treats me as such. Actually, I do not feel anything anymore. I may live like an animal, but in my mind I am a man. I still think and write, therefore I exist. If this journal survives me and thou art reading it, regardless of the time elapsed, then I am alive. I am alive because my thoughts are alive.
Today, fifth day of this present week, I am going to tell thee more about the twisted Vasculio. He boasts that his magical powers are too great to be defeated by mere mortals. I have to tell thee that he was executed in Moonshade for practicing spells too diabolical for Man. His powerful magic allowed him to continue living as a liche. Also, I shall share this with thee, so that thou mayest make good use of it: Remember that no information hath value until thou dost test it. My words, hereunder, will guide thine understanding. Vasculio hath been experimenting with eternal life theories. Once, he stumbled upon a magic formula which, when used with the blood of an innocent, allowed a dead body to live longer. Moments before his execution he intoned the spell to keep his body living. Later he escaped from his coffin and travelled to Skullcrusher. Why Skullcrusher, thou askest? The answer is simply because he knew there was a second source for Stoneheart. Stoneheart is the prime ingredient of Bloodspawn, here in these caverns.
There is also another important reason. Vasculio knew that his enemies, the Mages of Moonshade, would never follow him here. Seventh day of the present week: This undying sorcerer doth spend his time researching new spells. He is convinced that great magical secrets lie beyond the sealed entrances. He detects great power and magic in these areas. Vasculio hath not been able to locate the Grand Shrine within the great labyrinth beneath the Skullcrusher Peaks. I could tell thee that he stores provisions to support his allies, the man-eating Gwani. But this is not out of charity for them, for he also lives on with their blood. At this point I must stop writing for I can hear Vasculio howling in the tunnels. This is a sign that he is coming for me once more…

Curriculum
by Vasculio
As they lower me down to this
hole in the ground
I scream for help, but they
cannot hear a sound.
I scratch on this lid.
My fingers they bleed.
They plant me deep like
an evil seed.
Now my bones decompose.
My flesh doth rot.
But soon I will rise and
torture the lot

Mine Experiments
by Vasculio
Day 1: This is the dawn of a new era for me. I have been experimenting with eternal life for so long now. At last, I am seeing some results.
Day 2: Entranced more Gwani in order to increase the number of my servants
Day 3: Forced the Gwani to give to me the secret of entering certain passages. Experiments still in progress. A pint or two should keep me alive, depending on the frequency of transfusion.
Day 8: The lost secret of the Ophidians is within my reach, I can feel it. Ophidian magic will give to me absolute power.
Day 12: Last week I stumbled upon this magic formula which further lengthens the life span of a dead body. What a discovery! I need to use the mixture in an adequate proportion with the blood of an innocent.
Day 17: The caverns around Skullcrusher are filled with Stoneheart. More than I ever knew! I need as much Stoneheart as I may find since this is the prime ingredient of Bloodspawn. Stoneheart doth possess the red-orange glow of stalagmites. Once pulverized and mixed with fresh human blood it turns into a powerful magical reagent. Even though I have tried extremely powerful spells, Bloodspawn is easy and safe to transport. The mages who say otherwise are fools.
Day 21: This day I have spent researching many new spells. Exhausting. The prisoners in the cage may not live long enough to fulfill my plans. They seem to be weak.
Day 28: I am convinced that great magical secrets lie beyond the sealed entrances, for I sense great power and magic in the vicinity.
Day 34: Today is a sad day. My servants have failed me! While transporting Bloodspawn, they suffered simultaneous seizures and toppled into a chasm — the Bloodspawn was lost! This is endangering my schedule. I need more workers. They must work longer hours. Toil is a necessity; sleep, an addiction from which they must be weaned.

Beyond the Sealed Entrances
by Vasculio
After all these years, I found two sealed entrances in the depths. I believe there is much to be discovered beyond these entrances, for they must have been sealed for a reason which doth go beyond mine understanding at this point in time. I have detected great power and magic in those areas. I presume that superior magical secrets lie beyond the sealed entrances.

My Journal
by Dolfo
The Magic Gate hath not been easy to use. We had to search for the answer and it was only after much trial and error that we were able to determine that the key is a sequence of five colors. Red directly precedes White: Blue follows Yellow: Yellow directly follows Red: Yellow and White do not immediately follow one another.
As heretofore, the access to the doors of the Temple is blocked by a lock. The combination to this lock caused much commotion. Herein is mine experience revealed to thee as it unfolded. Mark my words, for they will save thee much time. I write the letters in our alphabet, but substitute the Serpent Runic letters to make thine understanding plain. I cannot write those cursed snake shapes. The runes must be placed left to right on the floor before the brass doors; any other placement will result in endless frustration. I tried W.O.B. and C., none of the runes were in the right position. I then tried C.B.W. and O.— again, none of the runes were in the correct position. I then tried the O rune in the first position, which was not where it belonged, and knew I could discern the puzzle…

Memoirs
by Brother Markus
In the middle of a stormy night, a deafening roar of thunder tore apart the heavens and woke us. It was to be followed by five rapid and resounding knocks on the main door. I rose out of bed, donned my sandals and walked to the double doors. A desperate hand was pounding on the wooden frame. Most likely some belated traveller had been caught in the storm, I thought.
As I half-opened the door, a swift streak of lightning pierced dramatically across the clouds, illuminating the darkness. Through the slashing rain appeared the figure of a bedraggled man, bedraggled yet with the certain stamp of nobility in his brow. Yet I did not recognize him. He rushed in, looking for the hearth. Several of my brethren helped him with dry clothes and a hot beverage. He said his name was Blackthorn, and that he had come a long way to seek refuge in our monastery.
He thanked us sincerely and then asked for hospitality, which we granted him. He said that he was an exile from a land called Britannia, and that since his departure he had been roaming the seas in search of a haven. He stayed with us, at the Monastery, for some time. We taught him from the writings of Xenka, whence he learned that birth, ranks, titles, power and gold are meaningless, for this world is but a thoroughfare. We are all brought into this world equal in rights and we depart from it carrying nothing with us but our deeds, good and ill.

My Diary
by Pendar
Day 1: Alea jacta est! Departure for the daemons’ stronghold, with all our worthy company. Finally, we are ready to pursue this campaign. We are going to erase these daemons from the face of the earth. Dungeon Furnace, thy time hath come, thou wilt burn! Our troops are marching into the caves. I am more relaxed after all those days of recruiting men. This is a strong army, as large as daybreak, whereby thou wilt observe the valor concealed in our noble hearts. Monitorian knights have never feared anything or anyone, certainly not daemons! I am confident in a swift victory for our side.
Day 4: ’Tis hot, with a stench like brimstone in the air. The mist doth have an unhealthy odor, and our limited supply of foods hath made us cautious. Wrapped in my bedroll by the fire, I slept soundly. So did most of our men. The battle hath been taking its toll on us all. In the morning, I rose at the sound of the war drums echoing in the distance. They kept coming. In brief, by one means or the other, our company was diminished.
Day 7: The next move was to attack before daemons could form into a solid defense again. Lost two of my right best old stalwarts in a horrible manner. They walked too close to the pool and were taken by that horror in the pool. Knight, pity thy companions for they left for the abysmal depths of the unknown.
Day 11: Tense and anxious times have fallen upon thee, Pendar. Burning as was the day, I broke out in a chill as I witnessed the company being decimated. What a slaughter! Darkness closed in upon us. For the last couple of days, I have not slept, though I am weary and tormented. I confess having scarcely closed mine eyes on any night this past week. The nights are sleepless and the days seem to be endless nights.
Week 5: I saw a star in the caverns, large and bright. It was surely an omen. I rose and walked aimlessly; soon a peaceful feeling was to overcome me. At that moment, my self-confidence was higher than the sun in the sky. The lure of combat swept again through my veins, mine heart was pounding, I was ready to go into a decisive battle.

The Sleeping Bull
Register
Rodolfo of Moonshade
Nakholy of Fawn
Ensorcio of Moonshade
Rishar of Monitor
Batlin of Fawn
Palos, manservant of Batlin
Rodolfo of Moonshade
Rishar of Monitor

The Book of Prophecies
by Xenka
When a stranger sojourns with thee in thy land, thou shalt not do him or her wrong. The stranger who sojourns with thee shall be to thee as the native among ye. And thou shalt love him or her as thyself; for I see the advent of a Hero From Another World who would unite the Serpents and save the world. I see the rocks in motion, and trees bursting open — I see treasures which have lain hidden for centuries coming forth. There I see one which is of three. It is black. It is magic.
Clearly do I see a Hero From Another World, but let it be said that they must not advance as one alone! I pray thee above all things to have this in remembrance. They must be accompanied by The Three. The Hero From Another World will succeed through the use of powerful magic, the aid of specters, and the implements three of the Hierophant.
My words shed light upon darkness. Follow the unfolding of my words and thou wilt see that the friends of the Hero shall be enemies. Visions shall make wiser than enemies, for thus is it always with . The Hero From Another World must triumph even in Dreams. The dead shall aid , but enemies among the living shall abound. A careful choice of ally is necessary to ensure success. The Hero From Another World will even need a thief and a braggart as ally. I see the future as through a veil — shall be allied with those once enemies, and shall find good men in bad company. I see the color red, and a woman is involved.

Pirate Diary
Day 8 — This rotten place ain’t for me. It don’t seem possible to revel around here.
Day 9 — Did some work for Batlin. He thinks too much of hisself. I wish he’d fall off a cliff.
Day 12 — Why did I ever leave Britannia?
Day 20 — Batlin better pay me in gold or I’ll be teachin’ him a lesson. Gold is the only way for me to leave this bilgehole and have some fun in Britannia. Already know what I’ll be buyin’! Buccaneer’s Den is my idea of a good place to be!

My Journal
by Silverpate
Day 3 of Week 9: Today, I had another argument with Erstam, that old crazy mage with a foul temper! I could never stand him, I never will. Who doth he think he is? Erstam and I are so different that we simply cannot work together.
Day 4 of Week 9: My precious Jawbone, I am so glad thou art mine, I use thee often and often again and still have no grounds to complain. What would I do without thee, tell me? Erstam, thou art not the only one who can travel through the Void!
Day 7 of Week 9: Thy magic telescope is merely another trick thou hadst divined when thou didst fear my powers. Useless piece of equipment for a crazy old mage. I am tired of thee. I understand why Drogeni never came back… Thou art looking for immortality and will end alone, Erstam! I, Silverpate, will prove thee wrong. I will discover the solution relevant to our matters.

Weaving
by Carlyn
This is a complete sourcebook for a variety of patterns. Included are patterns for clothing, blankets, quilts, and sheets. The introduction even includes a section on weaving one’s own cloth.
…take the bale of wool and spin it on the wheel to make the thread. Once that is done, warp the thread across the loom and begin weaving. Shortly thou wilt have a nice length of cloth from which canst make a variety of useful things. For variation, use different colored threads on the loom to create exciting patterns.

The Black Compendium
Written by Mondain,
with annotations by the enchantress Minax
and magical formulae by the hellspawn Exodus.
To extend one’s life is a complicated procedure, taking years to complete. However, there is an additional side effect: invulnerability. I have broken this work down into chapters based on each individual ritual. It is very important that these steps be performed in the order presented.
First, thou must procure five stones of the dust of crushed rubies. This must be mixed thoroughly with the ooze of a slime, enough to make the rubies into a thick paste. After thou hast created the paste, set it in an ivory jar and place the entire container in a bucket of olive oil for three years.
The next step is to procure 10 newborn babes, none more than six days old. With a knife cut from the bone of a harpy, thou must remove the blood from each newborn. To be kept fresh, the blood must be stored in an onyx flask, though mixing of each baby’s blood is quite permissible.
Now thou shalt seek out…

Brommer’s Flora
by Brommer
This large tome describes most of the common plants indigenous to Britannia.
…The Greer plant is especially fascinating, for it spends most of its life huddled with its leaves wrapped in a tight ball. However, every so often, the leaves will unfurl, radiating out from the stem… …The Reaper is unique in that it is both plant and animal. Resembling a large tree, the Reaper is capable of self-animation as well as self-locomotion. Reapers have been known to attack those who cause harm to their home (i.e., the forests), but seldom reveal themselves otherwise…

Brommer’s Fauna
by Brommer
Betwixt the covers of this book can be found details on the most prevalent animals that inhabit the lands of Britannia.
…Deer are quite prevalent in the forested areas of Britannia. They are shy creatures, generally shunning the presence of man, whom they know hunt them. Atop their head sits a pair of antlers… …The fox is a small animal, akin to a dog or a wolf. It is an omnivore, and more than willing to make do with a farmer’s chicken when it tires of other foods…

Birds of Britannia
by Brother Wayne
Bound here is the comprehensive guide to the avian species, beautifully and colorfully illustrated by many different artists.
…Surprising to many is that the Silver-Winged Pharcelot is not the most prevalent bird in Britannia, though it is arguably the most visible. Far more popular is the Black-Tipped Grackle, but its predilection for dark, cool areas makes it considerably less visible.

Philiphus’s Wisdom
by Philiphus
An enlightening discourse on the enigma of programming. Beginning with the heretofore unresolved mysteries of global variables…

Temple of Balance
Only he who hath achieved balance within this temple may be free to find greater balance on the path to the Grand Shrine. He who wishes to find fulfillment must use the fire of chaos and the ice of order to restore balance. Only a true serpent of fire and serpent of ice will bring thee to balance.

Implements of Balance
A devout follower will know the true path towards Balance. Thou shouldst know the arts necessary to achieve Balance. To those of you who have forgotten your lessons — take heed: Fire is the embodiment of the force of Chaos, Ice is the embodiment of the force of Order. The Ice Diamond and the Fire Ruby are necessary to achieve balance within the shrine. Disciple of Balance, know the true way to balance fire is with ice, and the one way to balance ice is with fire. Using thy tools of the candles of fire and the solids of ice thou mayest achieve the way to Balance and to the Shrine.

Iskeriss’s Journal
The Great Hierophant, who feared that the followers of Chaos would attempt to gain access to the Sacred Library, ordered the Adepts of the Conjury to construct a secure means of entering the Library. The Adepts spent many long nights in contemplation, rejecting one idea after another as being too impractical. It was the suggestion of a mere apprentice, Kethiss, that was finally accepted by all of the Adepts. Our Beloved Leader, the Great Hierophant, was soon informed that there could be only one way to gain ingress into the Sacred Library. The Adepts, acting in concert, placed a charm of teleportation upon our Gate. The Great Hierophant was adamant, however, that he alone could have access to the Sacred Library. Thus, the Adepts wove the charm of teleportation so that it would only trigger when the Wand of the Serpent was used on the Gate.
The Great Hierophant, may he live a thousand years, hath successfully entered the Sacred Library by using the Wand of the Serpent and stepping upon the Serpent Gate…

The Shrine of Balance
Before proceeding to the main shrine, the devout follower must reacquaint himself or herself with the six shrines of the Temple. These shrines are dedicated to the forces of: Discipline, Tolerance, Ethicality, Enthusiasm, Emotion, and Logic.
One achieves enlightenment through Balance.
Tolerance becomes the chain that unites the whole.
Ethicality is a beacon to guide our actions.
Enthusiasm is a rose that brings beauty to our rising.
Discipline is our weapon against faltering.
Emotion is a heart that is a reservoir of our feelings.
Logic is calculated truths leading us from ignorance.
Tolerance balanced with Ethicality brings us Harmony.
Enthusiasm balanced with Discipline bestows Dedication upon us.
Emotion blended with Logic and Logic balanced with Emotion achieve Rationality.
Only by achieving Harmony, Dedication, and Rationality can one find the path to the Grand Shrine of Balance. Balance is the key to the Shrine.

Artifacts of Communion
Before the War of Imbalance our priests did fashion three artifacts: the Web of Fate, the Moon’s Eye, and a Magic Lens. Each artifact was made for a particular temple. The Web of Fate was placed within the Temple of Tolerance. The Moon’s Eye was placed within the Temple of Emotion, and the Magic Lens was placed within the Temple of Enthusiasm. Our holy fathers used the power of these artifacts to commune with the Power of the Void — to answer questions that the mind of mortals could never fathom.
The War of Imbalance changed everything! The artifacts no longer worked properly; the holy father’s questions were left unanswered — their hoarse voices echoed within the deserted temples. The only power left within the holy artifacts was the ability to divine the location of the Banes of Chaos. Each artifact could spy upon a different Bane.

Guidelines of Life
by Shaushauna
1: Tolerance becomes the chain that unites the solidarity into the whole.
2: Ethicality is a beacon to guide our actions.
3: Enthusiasm brings beauty to our rising.
4: Discipline is a weapon against faltering.
5: Emotion is a heart beating strong and proud.
6: Logic is a straight guide upon which we can rely…

Penguins of the North
Observations by Ssashartha
Talking about all living creatures on our beloved Serpent Isle, we cannot forget to mention the family of the penguins. Those clumsy-looking beings are called birds even though they cannot fly. They live in the northern part of this island. Penguins are very good divers. The short wings of their strong bodies are used as a rudder. Out of the water they walk upright just as Men and the tail is an important tool to keep balance. Depending on the species, they can grow taller than 3 feet. No matter what the species, all penguins live in a sociable manner and breed in seemingly peaceful colonies. The female penguins take much pride in building the nests. Because of their size, penguin nests can easily contain more than mere eggs…

Tenets of Discipline
Precepts by Shushuro
1: “One cannot master the world around him without first mastering oneself.”
2: “A task left unfinished is a task failed.”
3. “The means to succeed is brought about by discipline.”
4. “Discipline brings about obedience. Obedience brings about order.”
5. “The mind disciplines the body.”

Temples of Order
by Shrithos
Pilgrims, it is a great journey to visit the three Temples of Order. Do not let the obstacles sway thee from thy destination, for though the path is difficult, the rewards are many. Seek the Fountains, for their Water is the essence of the Force which resides at that sanctuary. Imbibe the Waters, and drink of the fruit of thy quest.
The Temple of Ethicality is found near the coast, south of the Spinebreaker Mountains. It was built in such a way that those who come here may gain inspiration from the view. This is the first Temple on the Pilgrimage of Order.
Continue next to the Temple of Discipline. The western branch of the Spinebreaker Mountains is where the Temple of Discipline was carved out. Seek the great bay, then follow the eastern coast until thou dost reach the mountains. Continue east, and thou shalt be sure to find the entrance.
Lastly, the Temple of Logic lies within the Glacier Mountains, with the entrance being in the southern tip of the mountain chain. There are many passageways until one finds the Tests of Logic which lead to the sanctum.
Above all, do not mistake any Temple of Chaos for one of the sanctuaries of Order, for in this path lies Madness. Only Order is fit for study; chaos defiles all it touches.

The Importance of Meditation
Manual by Zazanush
The importance of meditation becomes noticeable when people of all ages admit that they are living a better, more peaceful life since they started to seek communion with the Serpent of Order. To apply the power of meditation to one’s life, young student, obey the rules and follow them as they are written in this manual. I have gathered some guidelines that are easy to understand, so that thou mayest begin with these relaxing exercises without having to investigate any further.
1: Find thyself a place where thou wilt not be disturbed by anyone or anything.
2: Carefully spread the Mat of Meditation on the floor. Use only the prepared mats, for they are imbued with special powers to aid meditation.
3: Kneel and close thine eyes.
4: Concentrate on breathing very slowly and deeply.
5: Begin repeating the mantra “Issit.”
6: Do not speak.
7: Do not let anything interrupt thee.
8: Continue with the mantras until thou dost feel total peace of mind.
These lessons will lead thee to a much higher level of meditation. They will prepare thee for the climax of the Test of Discipline.

The History of Serpent Isle
by Harashash
During the First Age, the world was divided into four continents — the LANDS OF LORD BRITISH, the LANDS OF THE FEUDAL LORDS, the LANDS OF DARK UNKNOWN, and the LANDS OF DANGER AND DESPAIR. After the evil wizard Mondain was defeated, only the Lands of Danger and Despair remained — all other continents were destroyed. The Lands of Danger and Despair became what we now call Serpent Isle, in honor of the Great Earth Serpent who is our guide. It was he who called to us from the Void, and in answer to our pleas, he taught us the ways of the Serpent — the Way of Balance.
The population on Serpent Isle grew. The citizens helped each other and relied on each other. There was no crime and people were holding to their traditions. Parents taught their children about the Virtues of Order and Chaos. These traditions were passed on from generation to generation.
Their devotions were presided over by the Great Hierophant. He was the only one allowed to open the Wall of Lights and enter the Void — a magical place that connects dimensions in space and mayhap even time! Because great danger is involved in entering the Void, only the Great Hierophant is entitled to operate the Wall of Lights. Much knowledge is required for this procedure and the Great Hierophant must be in possession of the Artifacts of the Serpent.

The Test of Purity
by Larushash
Throughout our lives we must measure ourselves in tests of one form or another. This treatise is meant to be read by those who will be given the test of purity. Purity is important for a free soul and demands discipline, logic and ethicality from the obedient human being. Obedience demands a person who is capable of putting others first and himself last. Putting others first demands discipline; the ability to finish a task without being distracted. Putting others first demands logic that will block the emotion that may ask thee to do otherwise. Putting others first demands ethicality that makes one believe in abiding the rules of conduct.
Discipline, Logic and Ethicality in their purest form and always obeyed will give one a free soul. A soul that is not enslaved by materialism, egoism and other evil characteristics. They will serve thee to the purpose of a dedicated life, a life in harmony with the ability to understand the meaning of life and the world around thee. The person that truly lives his life by these rules will be rewarded….

The Power of Magic
by Rossinoss
Many of us have learned with difficulty what it means when an item important to us disappears. In most cases those things disappeared forcibly — they disappeared by theft! It became necessary to protect brave citizens and their property. People invented their own types of ‘protection-devices’! Some of those were unfortunately dangerous and harmed the person they were supposed to protect. Some of them were useful and very effective. Here are some advanced techniques to protect thyself and thy property.
To create a device that will protect thine home against fire, certain items are required. The owner will need 1 keg of moondust and 1 keg of roasted ice ants. The mixture of both must be spread around the house in a circle. Unfortunately this procedure hath not been proven to be absolutely effective yet.
To protect thy farm animals and pets against gruesome predators, a feed mixture out of the following ingredients is very helpful: 1 bucket of red corn, 1 bucket of fish spawn, 1 bucket of ground gargoyle horn and 1 bucket of water from the silver fountain. Feed this to the animals about once a week before sunrise.
The most effective way to protect doors against intruders hath been proven to be a combination puzzle for the lock.

Funeral Ceremonies
by Javallaja
The darkest day of all arrives when one of our Great Hierophants lies down to close his eyes forever. The country’s grief is so apparent that it seems that it may be touched. Every follower, down to the littlest child, can feel the void that unfolds with the loss of the Great Hierophant. The only way acceptable to pay our last respects is a ceremony that indicates without any doubt how important this being was to our society and how much they are missed by us.
The body must be laid in state for three full days. After the blessings, the body will be dressed in holy clothes and decorated with holy flowers, so that the ordinary folks may greet the Great Hierophant for the last time, in a quiet manner. Loud wailing and gnashing is not tolerated. The pain must be held back until the outside of the shrine is reached. People may bring small tokens and leave them with the Hierophant to show their gratitude. A state of mourning for the period of seven days is ordered for the whole country. Every temple and every shrine will be open day and night, so people may gather at all times and share their grief.
One last word to those people who never followed the Great Hierophant with all their heart: Rebellion, interruptions of the ceremony and all other possible disturbances will be prosecuted and punished. No crime will go unseen. Keep in mind: ‘The Serpent Watches Over All!’

Civil War or The Evil Forces of Chaos
by Lorick
Every morning when I rise it becomes clearer and clearer to me and to many other people. The Forces of Chaos cannot be the right way of belief. What they are doing is wrong and evil. It will bring our country to a downfall. Their actions are destroying the faith of the citizens in leaders and leadership. Something must be done. There must be a way to end this Civil War. Thousands and thousands of brave followers have been victimized and sacrificed by the powers of Chaos. And thousands more are to follow if this war doth not come to an end soon. Someone must be there to help our people and protect them from the unbridled Tolerance and Anarchy of THOSE people, that were the root cause of this war. There must be a way, there must be….

Diary of Diabolical Traps
I, Seliashor, am accompanying a score of soldiers and scholars ordered to retrieve the Golden Orb. I was chosen for my knowledge of traps; a specialty particularly suited for a journey into unknown lands controlled by a mind such as the Fiend’s.
First Level—The first trap! A soldier, wandering into an alcove, found himself separated from his command by poison fields! I had the good fortune to be looking his way when he triggered the trap; it is obviously of magical nature. If this is all we will face, the ring will surely be ours.
Second Level—The Fiend has raised the stakes! We discovered a large cavern, in which were numerous statues of harpies and decorative suits of armor. We had immediately deduced that these were traps and would smite us if we stepped to near, but the real trap was more cleverly hidden! Caltrops, painted to match the color of the floor, drew a great deal of blood from the soldiers as they gingerly avoided the obvious statue traps. Clever.
Second Level—We have discovered the next trap. A small number of chests, clustered together, proved to be explosive if tampered with. Amateurish—I spotted the trap before any of the foolish soldiers could tamper with it.
Third Level—Three soldiers entered a completely barren cavern and triggered a truly fiendish trap. When they reached the center of the room, we heard the sound of a bell. Nervous seconds passed. Just when we relaxed, a spell of terrifyingly destructive nature went off. The soldiers were consumed in flames which appeared from empty air, disappeared, and reappeared in other locations. Had they fled from the room, they would have lived. There was a body in there, and my mind’s eye can still see the light cast from our torches glinting of a golden object in its hands. If it was the orb, it is lost, for not one of our number dares to face the flames. I think it was naught but a gold statue or somesuch; more accurately, I hope it was.
Third Level—we sent another soldier to his death. He was sent into the narrow mouth of a cavern. I knew he would not return. When he entered the cavern, an energy field appeared in the narrow opening! Neither I nor our wizard had Dispel Field in our spellbooks; he was left to die. He was one of the last soldiers alive; our prospects for survival are grim.

Denizens of the Caves
by Isstherios
During our inhabitance of this remote outpost we have been assaulted by creatures of such uniqueness and variety that I have taken it upon myself to create a bestiary.
Arachnian: This terrifying creature has the full body, head and legs of the giant spider common to our island, with the torso, head and arms of a man growing from just behind its spider-head. Speculation abounds as to the origin of these horrible hybrids; some claim the mad servants of Chaos created it in one of their endless foolish experiments, others say it was the work of a long-dead lunatic mage. Regardless of how they came to be, the Arachnian is perhaps the deadliest of all foes we face here at Serpent’s Fang.
Liche: This is not so much a creature as it is a being, but I consider it worthy of note here. All of the folk I have spoken to in the keep are rather retiscent about the liche, but I have compiled the following information: The liche was here before the keep was established. It is undead; once alive, it entered a state of “unliving” which heightened its power but nullified what humanity it may have had when it was alive. It can command undead and hurl the most devastating of spells.
Naga: A fearsome creature whose lower half is that of a giant snake and upper half is that of a human woman, the Naga is capable of delivering devastating vollies of arrows at those who dare intrude upon its lair. The Naga’s origin, like that of the Arachnian (see above) is questionable. It is best, when a Naga is spotted, to close for battle immediately, lest their arrows bring thee down before thou hast a chance to flee. Additionally, they have been known to use snakes as a front line while the Naga pick intruders off with arrows.
Shasrajah: These menacing, scaled freaks have intimidating forms of attack; with their long, snake-like necks they thrust their heads toward their enemy, latching on with their rending teeth, then with their strong neck muscles ripping flesh off. Though they seldom land hits, they are deceptively quick and resilient to blows. However, they are enormously stupid, unable to even open doors. They often attack in groups, making them more dangerous, but they are easily led into traps. Thus have we been able to repel their regular attacks.
I have considerable information on the origin of these beasts; basically, they were an attempt by the forces of Chaos to fuse viper and man. The Lords of Discipline (those fortunate soldiers whose minds were transferred into the bodies of automatons) had brought the advantage to Order in the war, and these Shasrajah were their attempt to tip the scales in their favor. Fortunately, the soldiers sacrificed to this wasteful end went insane in their new bodies. They escaped from the lab and began spreading their foul race all over the subterranean realms of our isle…

The Lost Orbs
Compiled by Isstherios
I have compiled this work so that, when we have the manpower to seek out the four lost orbs, all of the information we have will be available to the seeker.
The first orb, golden in hue, was stored within the keep in a secret location until stolen by a soldier of Chaos. He imbibed a potion of invisibility and followed behind the commander, who had gone to retrieve the orb. When he found the room, he attacked the unwary commander and stole the orb. However, his invisibility wore off as he was making good his escape and he was seen by a troop of guards. The guards chased the thief until he was cornered southeast of the keep; his only escape from the guards would have been to plunge into the Fiend’s Domain. This he did, and was never seen again. We presume it has come into the Fiend’s possession and expect he will try to use it to his advantage.
The purple orb, reputedly housed in the Commander’s bedchambers, was also purloined by a Chaosite, though this one was no soldier. Those few who saw it will never forget it; they know not whether the thing was man, beast, or both. The thing was bipedal and vaguely humanoid, but it had the fur, large ears, feline face, and claws of a cat. It was being held prisoner in the keep, but an undisciplined soldier on duty relaxed on his watch and the cat-man escaped. I know not how it found its way into the Commander’s bedchambers; I assume that its escape was not well-planned and he happened upon it by chance. However it did find the orb, the cat-man stole it and ran into the Maze. No one has seen the creature or the orb since.
The red orb was not stolen, but is out of our hands all the same. Prior to the closure of the addition to the outpost, to the southwest of the keep, SubCommander Gareth was charged with the task of transporting the orb to this area; we can assume he accomplished his mission, but Gareth never did return. Shortly thereafter the area was surrendered to the creatures that currently reign there. It is my presumption that the orb still rests within this catacomb.
The blue orb is certainly the strangest tale, but its possessor is a known entity; it rests in the decayed hands of the lich Aram-Dol. How that malevolent entity came to possess the blue orb is where the strange tale doth lie. Approximately the same time the red orb was carried to presumed safety, the blue orb was to be carried to a location only SubCommander Gareth knew. The six automatons sent on this mission were ambushed not far from the outpost; lookouts witnessed the battle but could not send aid in time. The attackers were assumed to be spies of Chaos, but their identities will forever be unknown. They outnumbered the automatons by fully a score; the battle was quick. They fled away with great haste.
Later a merchant traveling to the keep from Shasavrah reported that he had seen the thieves in a small town west of the keep, but the orb was stolen from them, along with much of their supplies, in the night. The orb appeared again in the hands of authorities in Thiriastith, who siezed it from a suspected stolen goods fence. Not knowing its import, the authorities auctioned it as a bauble to a wizard who knew what the orb was. This wizard, who was known only as the Asp, aspired to steal the silver seed. He came to Serpent’s Fang as an adventure seeker and was told that the other orbs were stolen or lost. He discerned their whereabouts from this information, but that which he was told was apparently not true, for he set out immediately for Aram-Dol’s lair.
Foolishly, he brought the one orb he possessed with him into those foul tunnels of Aram-Dol’s lair. The dead that walk those caverns and tunnels soon forced the Asp to join them in their ever-living death. This new soldier of Aram-Dol brought the orb to the lich, thus bringing a momentary end to its lengthy sojourn.

On Accessing The Serpent Gate
by Shalsaraiah
Though it be true that most of the Serpent Gates are centerpieces of the destinations they serve, in our fair city this is not so. To provide a measure of security, we have made our Gate inaccessible to all those who are not given permission by the Hierophant himself, for it is he who holds the keys. He doth keep on his person the Key of Fire and entrusts to an advisor (whose identity is kept secret to those outside the clergy) the Key of Ice. When these two keys are placed on the altar in the Great Temple, these two keys merge to form the blackrock key.
It is with this key that the Hierophant opens the door to the Serpent Gate: a simple brass door on the temple’s balcony. From here the traveller is teleported to a grand room, wherein he walks on graceful bridges to the Serpent Gate. I myself was once chosen to carry the Key of Ice, and I did keep it on my person even when bathing in the bath house. I can assure thee that the Hierophant kept it close to his breast, even during his leisurely strolls through the park…

Report on the Shasrajah
by Jaljashram
O Great Hierophant, sorrow fills mine heart to tell thee the regretful news that our great hope, the Shasrajah, cannot be counted on to attach the venomous fangs of victory about the necks of our enemies. Our great experiment hath failed.
As thou hast already been told, we had found a means by which the minds of our finest warriors and the bodies of snakes could be fused with one another. The resulting warrior would wreak terrible havoc on the forces of Order, bringing them their well-deserved destruction. In the earliest stages of the experiment all was well; we succeeded in joining Adder with Man in five of seven volunteers. The resulting form was vaguely humanoid, with resilient green skin, tough as the scales of a serpent.
We found that the soldiers’ minds were very much unchanged, and coupled with the quickness and sensitivity to smell of the adder, the Shasrajah were formidable in battle. Their long necks had tremendous reach, and they preferred to attack solely with their strong jaws. We were encouraged by this success, and accepted eighty-three more warriors to undergo the metamorphosis. All was well, as seventy-one survived. We believed we had found a counter to the automaton warriors the forces of Order had reputedly developed.
Much to our chagrin, however, our experiment went awry shortly thereafter. As we had them do battle to assess their powers, we noticed a disturbing trait — the warrior would become more bloodthirsty and uncontrollable with each triumph! Soon they began to rebel against our commands. We had no choice but to exterminate them and begin anew, but the five hundred soldiers we sent against our own creations — our monsters — were unable to best them. We surrendered the area to them, enclosing them with stout doors in the corridors leading out. I can only assume that they have died. O Great Hierophant, I would recommend never performing these experiments again; they are more potentially dangerous than they are potentially helpful…

Servants of Order
by Isstherios
Over the years, we who follow Order have devised a number of ingenious servants to simplify our lives. The earliest attempt is known as the “Animated Suit of Armor”. Though automatons have made these nothing more than curiosities, some functional units are still in use today (e.g. the Fiend’s Domain, but I implore you not to go exploring just to see one) The animated suits of armor have picked up many knicknames, such as “Suits,” “Brass-brains,” “Dummies,” etc. They are severely limited in capability, able to understand but a few words, and even then are more than likely to forget orders more than three words in length. They were used primarily as guards, for they could take more damage than a human guard and were replaced easier if slain than a man would be.
The next achievement, representing a significant leap in servant design, was the “Brass Automaton.” These are still used (particularly by frontier outposts such as Serpent’s Fang) because they are far more intelligent than animated suits of armor and less costly to create than iron automatons (see next page). Their main drawback is that, like the animated suits of armor, they cannot be re-used once they are slain.
Most commonly used are the “Iron Automatons.” Since they are considered the standard servant in our time, they are referred to simply as automatons. Iron automatons are slightly stronger, quicker, and more resilient than brass automatons as well as slightly more intelligent. The greatest advantage, however, is that if an iron automaton is slain, it can be reactivated. The spell used, Create Automaton, is found in nearly every wizard’s spellbook. These advantages do not come free, however; they are more costly to initially create and drain more mana and reagents than the lesser servants.
The greatest of all the automatons are not servants at all. The Lords of Discipline are automatons with the minds of the greatest warriors transferred into their bodies. They are unsurpassed in strength, speed, intellect, and resilience, and have thus far proven to be the determining factor in the war. It is to this culmination of our knowledge that we, the followers of the Serpent of Order, shall emerge triumphant in our struggle with the misled followers of Chaos.

Strength Through Ethics
by Sheshemenien
Dear reader, I intend this essay to be a guide for thee. For thou art what thou dost do. Thou dost do what thou dost judge best for thyself. But, in this matter, is thy judgement as clear as the sky on a summer day? That is the question. If thou canst not answer without a reasonable doubt, thou needest to be enlightened. The purpose of this essay is to increase thy strength through enlightenment. Ethics will enlighten thee.
Strength is to the adventurer what milk is to the newborn. Without it there is no growth, only dwindling and loss of Life. The path to fulfillment is a long climb towards the heights of the highest and greatest mountain of all. Herein, I will show thee that there are no shortcuts, and the rewards awaiting thee are abundant. Be frugal and be prodigal. In order to receive, thou hast need to give, give, and give again. Allow me to clarify this. Do not misunderstand my words. Do not expect to receive something in exchange for thy gift. Thy gift must come from thine heart. If thou dost expect the recipient to thank thee, thou art on the wrong path. Thou shalt thank the recipient.
Meditate upon those words of wisdom and thy strength will grow with thee. Show respect for all life forms. Unless they do attack thee, spare them. Be blameless and upright. Being sincere and fair in all of thy transactions will provide thee with more power than thou ever hadst. Thou wert strong, thou wilt be stronger. Thy strength will be exalted in truth. Be great amongst the multitude of thy brethren. Relieve commoners and seek their welfare. Be humble. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance flow from thy mouth like wisdom from the fountains of Spinebreaker. Thou shalt not use thy tongue to deceive.
Remember to practice whatever thou dost advocate. Quality should be thy rule. Quality of craftsmanship if thou art a craftsman, quality of the time spent with thy brethren, quality of the words thou speakest, quality in thine actions. Quality secures thine ascent above the multitude. Be patient in all circumstances. That will make thee wealthy, for each minute is a priceless gem. Remember that water and ice are two facets of the same element. Be that element. Like water avoid obstacles as large as mountains. Like ice provide a solid path between two banks. Rush like water to extinguish a fire. Avoid fire as unto ice.
Strength feeds on Ethics and Ethics on strength. When trouble and anguish come upon thee, Ethics will give thee the strength to overcome. By this thou shalt overcome.

The Structure of Order
A collection of the Principles of Order
compiled by Shaashaanna
The Philosophy of Order is based upon the Three Forces of Order. The Philosophy of Order is a set of principles meant to lead thee on the path toward strength through enlightenment.
The Three Forces are as follows:
- Ethicality
- Discipline
- Logic
Most righteous reader, let us examine the structure of Order as it appears through the Forces of Order and the underlying principles of the philosophy of Order.
Ethicality: What is Ethicality? Ethicality is the belief in abiding by rules of conduct. Those rules must be in thy mouth, in thy mind and in thine heart at all times. Doing so thou wilt understand thou art those rules. The rules are the Forces. The rules are not a part of thee, they are thee and thou art the rules. Once those rules, or Forces, are one with thee, then, and only then, canst thou abide regardless of the circumstances. Those rules of conduct are not too difficult for thee; neither are they distant so that thou art not able to achieve them. Those rules of conduct are within thy reach. Moreover, they are necessary if thou dost not wish to be torn and slain by beasts. Beware, dear reader, for the beasts of Chaos are watching each of thy steps. Thou shalt perform the words of the Philosophy of Order that are written herein if thou art to live as a man.
Discipline: What is Discipline? Discipline is the ability to finish what one hath begun, and to not be distracted. Persevere, dearest reader, persevere! Listen carefully to these words and let those principles be with thee. Listen to silence and it will speak to thee. Discipline is patiently rebuilding thine house washed away by a solstice flood. In other words, Discipline is not surrendering thy quest even though some of thy precious belongings have been eroded or destroyed.
Logic: What is Logic? Some will tell thee that Logic is ‘a little bird chirping in a meadow’ or that it is ‘a wreath of flowers which smell bad’. Do not lend thine ears to their confusing messages. We say, dearest reader, that Logic deals with two states in the Land of Thought: true and false. Thou shalt realize that: Logic is mightier than magic. Logic turns darkness into bright daylight. Logic will illuminate the tunnel of ignorance for thee. It will bring thee confidence and knowledge. Logic is the ability to think clearly and to reason to a conclusion, without emotional bias. Logic is the power from within which will infallibly guide thee throughout various realms across time and waters.
With the Three forces of Order, wisdom and might are on thy side, dear reader. Once thou dost have the Forces of Order in thy life thou shouldst have no fear. Once thou dost have the Forces of Order in thy life thou shouldst have no doubt. Once thou dost have the Forces of Order in thy life thou shouldst have no emotion. Moreover, neither bias nor conceit affect thee.
Will it be well with thee when thou wilt be put to trial or wilt thou let Chaos overcome thee? Chaos is wrong and hath no place within our philosophy. Do not attempt any sort of combination for thou shalt count Balance as thine enemy. Respect those words for they are words of wisdom. Honor the Great Serpent, for he taught us this system for the benefit of all.

Holy Book of the Ophidians
Our Sacred Books will reveal to thee what thou must know to live the life of a true Ophidian. Respect The Books for They were written with the pain, the blood and the hopes of thine ancestors. Read our Books to know thyself. Thou shalt be clean when touching The Books. Thou shalt be pure when reading The Books. Thou shalt read The Books aloud. Thou shalt not say with thy tongue that which thou wouldst not make good with thine actions. Now, thou mayest proceed.
Herein lies the tale of the Ophidians. The Ophidians are the inhabitants of this continent. In the First Age, the world was divided into four continents. There was no magic in the land, and two Kings ruled in peace. This was before the Enlightenment came to us. Then came a great war, and the Four Lands were sundered from one another. Then, we were alone. The Destruction was great. One Kingdom fell when its liege died while abroad. Madness took the King of the White Dragon. Then the Great Earth Serpent spoke to us! Our people built beautiful cities in safe places under the ground. Six temples were built, and three special Shrines. The Serpents lived among us. This was our world.
This was the time after the defeat of Mondain, when our spiritual leader The Great Hierophant of The Ophidians explained the changes in the Universe through our ethical philosophy of Balance, and its twin properties of Order and Chaos. The Serpent spoke to us through him. The Great Hierophant was the only one who could open the Wall of Lights. The Wall of Lights is the entrance into the Void. He entered the Void to speak with the Serpents.
Our temples and shrines were organized in the following manner:
The Three Grand Shrines
The Chaos Temples
The Order Temples
The total number being nine.
The Three Grand Shrines were divided into Balance, Chaos and Order. The Chaos Temples were divided into the Temple of Emotion, the Temple of Enthusiasm, the Temple of Tolerance. The Order Temples were divided into the Temple of Ethicality, the Temple of Discipline, the Temple of Logic. The six temples had sub-leaders: the Master of Ethicality, the Master of Discipline, the Master of Logic, the Master of Emotion, the Master of Enthusiasm, and the Master of Tolerance.
During ceremonies, the Great Hierophant was assisted by the Order Hierophant and the Chaos Hierophant. Rich jewelry and shining armour were worn at that time. Throughout the years we had different successors in charge of those functions. The deceased Great Hierophants were buried on the Isle of the Crypts. Then came the Disaster. The Great Earth Serpent was taken from the Void, no longer to communicate with us! We became obsessed with the struggle between Order and Chaos. No more Balance!
The Great Hierophant was murdered and his sacred artifacts were plundered by zealots of Chaos. Rivalry corrupted the hearts and minds of our people. The reigns of belligerent factions began. War broke out. Armies marched, cities were laid waste, and lava flowed from the deep. The Chaos people were defeated. This is when the Chaos Serpent was brought from the Void and split into three Forces. Lest they should wander the world, they were imprisoned at the three Temples of Order.
The scourges of war, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions with their lava flows and destruction reduced the isle to a desolate land. Thereupon, the Order people left the land of their Ancestors known as Serpent Isle in search of a better place. This is a foolish quest. I alone, a servant of Balance, am left. I soon will die. All is Death, and the land forsaken.

My Life and My Beliefs
by Svenjaja
I do not have much time left. I hope it will be enough time to write everything down, before THEY come for me. And THEY will come… I came here to this Temple full of love and inspiration. All I wanted was to read the writings of artistic truth. The wise men would talk to me and I wanted to listen to them. But then it happened… I did everything right, I followed the rules, but I still got confused. After fasting for two days in the meditation room and staring at the red and black floor, I was still waiting for a sign. A sign which would show me the right path to follow. And finally, I could rejoice. I found my calling and I was taken to the Pool of Dedication.
But then the soldiers came and destroyed everything. They killed the Great Hierophant of Chaos in the garden. Somehow the people saved the Sceptre of Enlightenment. They were able to hide it beneath the lectern… I hope for the safety of my brother Sethys, for he doth have the key to the Altar of Tolerance. The Great Hierophant had entrusted him with the key, before the soldiers arrived… I cannot hope for mine own safety, for I am sitting here now, awaiting my death. The Order fanatics will come soon and with them my death is arriving…

And Light There Will Be
by Sasoshi, the Mage
The Ophidians have been living too long in the darkness. I have been experimenting with different compounds and different ingredients to find a way to create light, light that lasts much longer than the artificial light that we have. It hath taken me years and years of my life. There have been many accidents with all the devices and the lighting of the Magic Candles. The candles will announce this celebration throughout the sky. He who follows the Ways of Balance will shine. He who shines will pass the Trials of Fire and Ice. He who passes the Trials will enter the Antechamber of the Grand Shrine.

The Doctrine of Chaos
by Vessuvius
I believe in the Forces and Powers of Chaos. I believe in the ways of Tolerance, Enthusiasm and Emotion. I believe that those ways will show me how to better myself and therefore how to better my life. I believe that believing in Tolerance will teach me the acceptance of all things. I believe that believing in Enthusiasm will teach me the source of the energy which will allow me to accomplish great tasks. I believe that believing in Emotion will give me the ability to perceive feelings which come from the heart and not the mind.

Devotion
by Eshrashardt
The Forces of Order must be stopped. We cannot go on like this much longer. We hope that our beliefs in the Forces of Chaos will help us to survive. If we are able to survive, then our devotion to Enthusiasm will be rewarded in the world beyond our lives. We can hear the Void calling our names. We know we need to follow, but we are not ready yet. We must stop Order first. That must be the purpose of our being here. If we are successful then we can leave this world without feeling guilty. If we stop Order then our lives have not been wasted here. We need to accomplish our task to be able to prove our worthiness. Only in that do we see a way to truly show our gratitude.
SIGNED: Iljosha
SIGNED: Shamshellar
SIGNED: Eshrashardt

The Serpent Lamp Posts
by Sivashvos
These majestic sculptures, each a great snake poised triumphantly with its mock prey, a shining magical globe, in its mouth, are signatures of our cities. We owe these magnificent light-bearing monuments to a spellcaster who went by the name Eshalveras. It was he who first poised a light globe on a statue of a serpent, making these statues holy reminders of those we owe our being to, but also functional parts of our cities. I was granted, for purposes of recording for posterity the events of our times, the opportunity to converse with this brilliant mage so as to provide insights into his remarkable creation.
Eshalveras revealed to me that it was naught but three reagents combined to form the luminous mineral which acts as long-lasting fuel for the lamps. All of these, Agnium, Serpentinium, and Zerine, can be found in many wizards’ labs, and certainly in Eshalveras’ lab within the Conjury. The true magic lies in the pedestal, nondescript in appearance but powerful in magic. The reagents, when placed on the pedestal, fuse to form the light mineral, which can then be used in the lamp posts. Eshalveras is truly a remarkable man; he was able to relate to me many exciting tales of dweomercraft in our day…

The Great Heirophants
by Zavajorish
The first Hierophant ever to commission a pair of our Temples was Sheshevra. He was selected because of his outstanding qualities of leadership and his overwhelming sense of Harmony. He commissioned the Temples of Tolerance and Ethicality. The Ophidians needed a spiritual leader like him to teach them the doctrines of Balance. He was responsible for the Temples and their ways of belief. He was given the authority to perform all important ceremonies of the Serpent People, known as the Ophidians.

The Great Heirophants
by Zavajorish
The last Hierophant to commission a pair of our Temples was Sessessej. He was selected because of his outstanding qualities of leadership and his overwhelming sense of Rationality. He commissioned the Temples of Emotion and Logic. The Ophidians needed a spiritual leader like him to teach them the doctrines of Balance. He was responsible for the Temples and their ways of belief. He was given the authority to perform all important ceremonies of the Serpent People, known as the Ophidians.

The Voice
by Shavazoss
With this book I want to express my pride. I am one of the few that are allowed to serve our Great Hierophant and I am proud to serve him. He is one of the few people left in these days who know what life is about. His wisdom and his leadership have shown me the purpose of life. To serve him is quite an experience and I am very thankful to be the one who is blessed with the duty. He hath told me about many events in his life and I want to share these with thee.
At one point in his life he visited the Isle of Balance, which is also known as Sunrise Isle. He hath climbed the mountain there to the top. And that is where the most amazing of his stories took place. On top of that mountain he heard the voice of the Great Earth Serpent. The Great Earth Serpent told him to commission the building of the Serpent Gates and the three Grand Shrines… Believe me reader, when I listened to this, I shuddered with awe… I still cannot believe that I am the one chosen to be his servant. What a blessing it is…

At Ease
Handbook for the Commissioned Soldier
by Sharzshov
This handbook will help the Commissioned Soldier to realize how important it is to know how to handle the masses of lower rank soldiers. Only a well trained army is capable of winning a war. The only way to have a well trained army is through the Commissioned Soldier. He is responsible for the training, dedication and devotion of his troops. This is not a training manual. This handbook merely emphasizes the importance of authority. Only the strong and strict leader will receive the respect from his troops that a good leader deserves. Only troops which are willing to take orders are good troops. Therefore troops will follow only orders that are given by a strong leader whom they respect.
Conclusion: there is only one rule on how to train masses of soldiers: Showing strength and authority to the lower rank soldiers, the noncommissioned troops. Only the Commissioned Soldier that interacts on a strong and strict basis with his troops will lead them to victory in combat…

Disciplning Soldiers
by Sethmantih
It hath become necessary to create a means of disciplining our soldiery. Though the soldiers we are given to work with are generally obedient and disciplined, on occasion an unruly soldier will appear in the ranks. It would be foolish to merely dismiss this able-bodied man, for in these times of war every hand capable of holding a sword must do so. Nay, dismissal is not the answer. What, then, are we to do with those who resist the teachings of discipline? By what means may we save this soldier from the lure of Chaos and place him firmly back on the path toward being a useful implement with which to smite the Chaotic forces? With these questions our Master did challenge the wisest men in the Temple. I, Sethmantih, did solve these challenges…

My Journey
by Shartmannah
On my journey to find the Serpent Fountain I was troubled many times with doubt about my quest. Was I doing the right thing? Was I taking the correct path? How much longer could I resist the urge to accept failure? I hunted through the master’s chambers, stared into the coffins of those who once cared for the temple, and searched the library for the keys and implements necessary to complete the quest. The Master would only tell me two things; that I would have no reason to leave the temple, and that somewhere on the path my discipline would be tested. I speak only in generalities, lest my words be seen by the wild eyes of one undisciplined. I doubt not that such a person would die on the way to the water, but there are wards against death in all its incarnations.
My discipline was indeed tested, and tested harshly. The key to completing my quest was perseverance. I had to search the same place many times and not admit defeat; I had to discipline my mind to keep it from wandering. The hardest part of the path to the fountain lay just before it, and I bear the scars on my feet, but, as is taught here, if one can only discipline the mind, the body can then be trained. I pushed the pain from my mind, so that I did not feel the acid searing my flesh, eating away at my skin.
When finally I did reach the fountain, the test was not over — to return to the temple proper, I had to brave the acid again. The test made me strong, obedient, disciplined. Had I failed, I would be as one of those whose hearts I seek to skewer; chaotic and undisciplined. Due to the lessons of discipline I had learned, I was able to not only force the pain from my mind as the acid tried to eat my legs away, but steel my flesh against it so that now only the soles of my feet bear mild scars…

The War of Order and Chaos
by Ssanettess
No one truly knows what happened to cause the war between the Forces of Chaos and Order about 300 years ago. No one can say for sure that he knows which devilish thoughts possessed people to fight each other when they were supposed to love each other and treat each other with respect. But everyone hath been paying for it since the war ended. The Order Forces won the war, and imprisoned the Chaos Forces. But what exactly did they win? It seems that they miss their brothers and sisters now. And who is to say that the Order Forces enjoyed throwing the Chaos Forces into confinement. Going back to the days before the war, living in peace with the Chaos Forces would be a dream come true for me…

The Symbol of Discipline
by Sharless
The Symbol of Discipline is a reminder of what we, the Initiates of Discipline, must strive for. Consisting of three prongs, they symbolize the following: Mind, Body, and Environment. The mind is the first level of discipline; without Discipline of the Mind, one cannot master the other levels of discipline. Discipline of the Body is the second level of discipline, for one cannot master one’s surroundings without first mastering one’s self. The third branch of the symbol represents Discipline of Environment. This branch, added to represent the superiority of Order, justifies the military’s presence here; if one can master one’s self, one can then master the world around him, and drive Chaos out from his environment.
The symbols here in our temple are not mere inspiration, however. The Altar before the serpent statue doth have upon it two slots. In order to insure the security of our temple, the automatons are aided by a safeguard against defilers — bolts of lightning fire from the altar unless the quartz symbol is placed in the slot on the left side. A bridge spanning the water around the statue is called into being if the obsidian symbol is placed in the right slot; if it is not there, none can gain access to the Water of Discipline.

The Book of Discipline
by Shrosvitash
The ultimate wisdom of life may only be reached through discipline. It takes strength and concentration to follow the guidelines of discipline. Therefore the weak and distracted mind will fail. The weak and distracted mind will not have the power to succeed. And only that power will take thee to the top. But there is no room for the weak at the top. Only the strong mind will find a place there.

Our Great Leader
by Shilonar
The religion of our great nation must have leaders, worthy leaders. There are things, events and ceremonies, that require a person of great trust. The nation hath decided to choose trustworthy people for those positions and give them certain ranks. Full of respect do we call the leader of the Shrine of Balance our Great Hierophant. Only the Great Hierophant can perform the important ceremonies at the Grand Shrine of Balance. During those ceremonies, however, he receives help from the leaders of the Shrine of Order and Chaos. They have the rank of Order Hierophant and Chaos Hierophant.
All three have assistants to help them with their duties; these are the sub-leaders. These assistants are of high rank also and we give them the title of Master. These Masters are the leaders of our Temples. Each one of them is authorized to perform ceremonies in their own Temple.

Our Blessed Serpent Isle
by Shovaresh
Our beloved Serpent Isle is the prettiest country there is. No place can be more enjoyable for mankind. It is so peaceful. There is no anger or distrust in the population. Everything is balanced, people live together well. There cannot be any other place in any other dimension that could possibly be more peaceful or more blessed with beauty. Only balance is responsible for the well-being of this country. Only balance makes it possible for people to live together in peace. Only balance will provide good harvests, which provide enough food. People that have enough to eat are happy and do not have to worry whether they are going to live to the next day. Balance is the ultimate way to freedom and peace. The beauty of our country cannot be put into words. One must go and discover it for himself.

Is There Hope
by Shovaughana
I do not know what to do anymore. I am desperate. We are all going to die, I know it. I and my children are going to die and there is no way for me to protect mine own flesh and blood… It all began with the soldiers entering the city. Without any warning they attacked us. They began to kill people immediately, the elderly, the children and us women. Those heartless and cold-blooded bastards do not care…
Mine only hope is that our men will return in time to defend and protect us. Our food supplies are frighteningly low. Soon we all will be starving. I am already eating only the bare minimum. All my rations I give to my children, hoping that they will survive until our rescuers arrive. I need to support them in every way I possibly can, they are our future — they are my life. I could not forgive myself if anything happened to them… I do not know if I have the strength to wait for the rescue. If there is no chance for us to survive and wait for them, I will have to choose. The choice is between letting those murderers enjoy us — or else…

War of Imbalance
by Suranniss
This shall be the last entry I make before following my kinsmen to a better life. ’Tis appropriate, I think, that I use a newly bound book with the finest vellum; after all, it may be an Age or more before ’tis found — if ever.
Before I continue, I should write a few words about mine homeland — Serpent Isle. Before the War of Imbalance, the dreadful war that did tear asunder our beloved homeland, Serpent Isle was a fair land indeed. The land was in Harmony: our people were at peace — secure within our glorious subterranean cities. The arts prospered under the generous patronage of our most beloved Hierophant, blessed be his name, and no citizen went hungry or was bereft of a home. We were content and happy; we had no reason to suspect that our happiness would not continue indefinitely. We were so naive.
The War of Imbalance started simply enough, but by the time ’twas over most of our people were slaughtered, our cities devastated, and the land laid waste. I have been lucky, for I have survived to write about the tragedy. I cannot say the same thing about many of my friends — they are all dead. Even as I write, the Adepts are scurrying about, preparing for the great ceremony that shall energize the Wall of Lights. Soon, I and my surviving comrades shall leave our shattered land, never to return. I am afraid of the future, but I know I cannot live in the past. I can only remember the past. I shall strive to remember the times of joy and try to forget the ashen, bitter memories of the war.
The Adepts are ready, they have begun the ceremony. I feel a great surge of power! The light! ’Tis blinding! The Adepts have succeeded. The Wall of Lights is so beautiful…

A Treatise on the Construction of Living Gems
by Ssyorsik
The construction of living gems requires many a component as well as Pure Discipline. This Treatise contains the exact formulae and incantations which thou dost perform in order to succeed in the construction of living gems. The magical fabrication of gems is one thou shouldst be warned about. For thee and thy kindred, make no attempt if thou dost doubt thy magical powers. Ice Worms are to be found. The Ice Worm doth have to be destroyed. Then wrest its heart from the body. The Worm Heart is cold and hard. The soul of brave warriors who fight magnificently in combat within the Harvest Moon period, or any equinox, escape the battlefield and may be contained within such a gem. Hence the name ‘living gem’. Once infused with the soul of a glorious warrior, such gems are placed inside the automatons. This is what gives them true life.

The True Believers
by Sschadams
The true believers are not only to be found at the rituals and ceremonies. There are many poor souls out there who are pretending they do not believe in religious gatherings and activities. They want to make us believe that they do not need anyone for the sake of their souls. They are wrong, and deep down in their hearts, they know it, too. Sooner or later they will attend ceremonies. Most of them do not come back for a while, but that one appearance rouses their curiosity enough to attend again. It takes courage to admit that everyone needs some kind of belief. I understand that and I do not push for their trust. I know that deep down, underneath all that ruin, is a soul that wants to be rescued. It takes time, but I have all the time I ever need. I can wait and I will. I know that my day will come. And then I will open mine arms and welcome them into our religious community. There is room for everyone, no one will be turned away. And no one will be pressured to join us.

Body Transference
The Ultimate Warrior
When a warrior hath demonstrated unswerving Discipline, the Order Hierophant may approve the creation of the Ultimate Warrior. The candidate must be willing to cast aside his or her own body in favor of that of an undying automaton. This is the highest honor of Order… to serve as Order’s warrior through all time.
The candidate shall be conducted to the chamber with all pomp and pageantry. Upon the left dais shall stand the inanimate automaton husk. The candidate shall ascend to the right dais after the transference button hath been pressed. Once the bodies have been transferred, the Final Test of Discipline must be completed. In this, the candidate must strike down the now-empty husk that he or she formerly knew as his or her body. Until this is done, the body transfer is not complete and the process will reverse unless the organic husk is destroyed.
Some few candidates may find themselves unable to withstand the transference, and as such would normally be considered failures. But it is the Order Hierophant’s wishes that no stigma be attached to this weakness. The candidate shall be allowed to live the remainder of his or her life in service to Order, being an exemplar in all but the Final Test of Discipline.

A Soldier’s Notes
These sheep all went to their deaths with smiles on their accursed faces! We pulled out their fingernails, seared their flesh with burning coals, peeled their skin back with rusty knives, gouged out their eyes with sharp sticks, and still they said nothing! We must have the answer. But I cannot obtain the answer to my question now that they all lie dead. Could there be any truth to the old one’s claim that “meditation leads to enlightenment?” Whatever the answer may be, there is no time left. We must go. I have ordered the destruction of the temple — there must be no trace of this structure left…

Musings
by Issik the Architect
The snowswept surface of Sunrise Isle is totally barren. No life can live long upon the surface. It is a good thing, indeed, that the Great Hierophant decreed that it was too dangerous to allow access to the surface.

Magic Candles
The devout follower of Balance will know how to form the blocks of ice which are necessary in achieving Balance. To those of you who have forgotten your lessons, take heed: Take the magic tapers to the Walls of Ice. Therein, use the tapers upon the walls.
Create Soul Prism: This spell doth enchant a prism so that it may become the receptacle for a soul. Though powerful, this spell hath limited applications. The reagents necessary are: sulfuric ash, blood moss, garlic, mandrake root, spider silk, and serpent scales.
Create Automata: This spell is actually misnamed, for it doth not create automata, rather, it repairs them. If thou dost have a damaged automaton, simply cast this spell over the body and it shall be fully restored. The necessary reagents to cast this spell are as follows: sulfuric ash, mandrake root, spider silk, and serpent scales.
Create Ice: This spell immobilizes a chosen enemy in a block of ice. After a short period of time, the ice shatters, and the foe is released. Only two reagents are necessary to cast this spell: worm heart and spider silk.
Invoke Serpent: This spell summons a snow serpent that is “friendly” to the caster. The reagents necessary to cast this spell are as follows: blood moss, garlic, worm heart, spider silk, and serpent scales.
Serpent Bond: This powerful spell transforms the caster into a serpent for a short duration. This spell is very useful for obtaining ingress into places ordinarily inaccessible, such as a small crawlspace. The reagents necessary to cast this spell are as follows: blood moss, black pearl, garlic, worm heart, spider silk, and serpent scales.
Imbalance: This powerful spell is very dangerous. The energy released by this spell sprays out in a random pattern, usually destroying whatever is hit. The reagents necessary to cast this spell are as follows: blood moss, sulfuric ash, worm heart, nightshade plant, and serpent scales.

Erax’s Journal
I alone have managed to safely return to the surface. Mine arrogant curiosity was almost mine undoing. The ruined Ophidian structure in the caverns below the swamp is very dangerous. My companions fell to the blows of the undead. No monk should ever return there. I have taken the key that opens the gate to the area and hidden it in the hollow tree near the southeastern portion of the ruin in the swamp. I pray that no one shall ever find that key…

Xenka’s Prophecies
Scattered Verses, Part I
Madness! Madness is all I can see! The world hath turned inside out. The stars shine blood red… Men are beasts… Beasts are men… Ashes… Ashes. The End is upon us all… Snakes leering in the void… Dancing a dance of death. The vision is over. I am without Sight…

Xenka’s Prophecies
Scattered Verses, Part II
I see the Hero From Another World ringing the bells! I am not there. I am dead. Ring the bells. Oh, joy! What sweet music the bells make I am dreaming. I hear the bells and I wake…

Xenka’s Prophecies
Scattered Verses, Part III
I See the frozen waste…
The Hero From Another World is there…
I See men who are not men covered in fur…
I See the Hero From Another World strike…
No! The world is collapsing! I cannot breathe!

Xenka’s Visions
Scattered Verses, Part IV
The Hero From Another World will meet the descendants of the Silver Captain under the sign of the Bull. The Hero From Another World will be betrayed by a follower of the Other…

Xenka’s Visions
Scattered Verses, Part V
In the City of Mages,
on the Isle of Beyond,
Doth the Hero walk
Mages with two faces prance about
To prove his worth,
The Hero From Another World
Must survive the perils of Freedom…

Horticultural Notes
The Mandrake Root, by Trexin the Gardener
The mandrake root is a short-stemmed plant that hath a fleshy, often forked root, somewhat resembling a man. This tuber, though not particularly pleasant to gaze upon, doth have useful qualities. The root seems to add power to certain spells of the greater circles. The mandrake root, contrary to what my colleague Moxa thinks, can indeed be found on our lonely isle. The root can be found growing in the swamp that is located on the northern part of the island. Most peculiarly, the root doth seemingly appear at random times…

Horticultural Notes
The Berry Bush, by Trexin the Gardener
I have discovered a wonderful plant that I have named the Berry Bush. The fruit of this plant hath a wonderfully bittersweet, tangy taste. Furthermore, the bush doth grow well in our intemperate clime and needs little maintenance to produce an abundant crop.

Pikeman’s Diary
I returned home to the Bull as soon as I received Mother’s letter. It was not easy to relinquish my command, but Mother needed me, and so here I am. I have examined the grounds and found nothing. Mother says she heard noises from the cellar the night Father disappeared. When I investigated, I found crates overturned, but nothing else. I feel so useless! If only I had something, some shred of evidence indicating what became of Father…

Sleeping Bull
Welcome to the Sleeping Bull Inn! Our inn hath been owned by the same family for four generations. We have a long tradition of service. We will do our best to ensure that thy stay at the inn will be most enjoyable. If thou hast any questions, please inquire of Mistress Devra or Master Angus.

Bren’s Diary
This day Silverpate came to see me. The black-harted demon came to glote, and to give me scroll and kwill. He said that I could rite whate’er I wanted, fer I would never see daylite agin. I fear he is rite. Silverpate beleves that I stole from him, the paranoid old coot! I ne’er woud beleve me mates when they spoke of the “littel demons” in the cap’in’s pate, tellin him what to do. Corse, I beleved em rite enuf when ol’ Pate tole me these things hisself! Alas, I lerned too late to prevent me imprisonment. I figure ol’ Pate will ne’er read me words, and if he do, then so be it.
Whomever ye be that reads me words, be warned aginst Cap’in Silverpate. He uses majic wardrobes to spy on his own mates! The littel swiches at the Bull don’t work, the cap’in said, unless the “Master Wardrobe” is used. This “Master Wardrobe” be sichuated down in these here catacomes. I also herd the evil-harted bastard yammer bout sum Serpint Gate. Ol’ Pate said the gate was hidden. It be rite hard to be thinkin strate, but I think the cap’n said something bout too torches markin the hidden entrans. Maybe this Serpint Gate cood help thee. Corse, it be likely that no bloke will e’er read me scribling…
Pate thinks everyone be after his trezhure. So distrustful be ol’ Pate, he even spies on his own famly! Let it be nown that I, Bren, cheef bosun on the Black Gull, were a pirate who ne’er turned aginst one o’ his own…

Magic Scrolls – A Primer
The process of inscribing scrolls with mystic runes is beyond the scope of this primer. Using these enchanted scrolls, however, is a trivial matter. To unleash the power of the spell, simply unroll the parchment. The Runes of Power, and the scroll itself, will be totally consumed by the energies that are released.

Beatrix’s Diary
Beloved Shamino: Right beloved Sir, I recommend me to thee, greeting thee well and sending thee my blessings. I have to confess and apologize to thee for I have looted the King’s private arms. I beg of thee not to condemn me too hastily for I committed that horrible action when the castle was under siege. Danger was everywhere and so were the goblins. Thou wert not here and I had to take action. We need thee at the castle, prithee, when art thou returning? Life without thee is an endless torment. The goblins seemed to be a deliverance more than a threat to me. I am right sorry for this and wish it hath been otherwise. I wait daily for thee to come hither. Faithfully, thy Beatrix

Dupre’s Letter
I know I did evil things whilst I was under the control of the Bane. In order to atone for the harm I have caused, I shall sacrifice myself to the Crematorium. If mine ashes can help restore the balance, then I might be partially redeemed for mine evil acts. Farewell, Dupre

Treasure Map
Me Map, but I don’t need to say that, because if it’s anybody but me what’s looking at this, I don’t want to tell where me treasure is, so read no further, ye dog, lest I leave yer fate to the briny deep! This is dead-reckoning right, but I’m awfully drunk and mebbe I’m holdin’ this thing upside-down. 98S,28W 33 Paces past the rock, excludin’ that break I took fer drinkin’. 11 Paces east of the whatever that blasted thing is. 30 Paces, I think, because I was staggerin’ about a bit and I stumbled and lost me count a couple o’ times, past whatever me stinkin’ map says is supposed to be there; I was sober when I drew that beauty. Unless this is me what’s readin’ this, I hope the treasure’s already gone, ye thief!

Batlin’s Contract
I have paid thee — and paid thee well — to fulfill the contract. Only fools would pay a great sum for an easy task… And I am no fool. Remember, I have chosen thee because thou art the best weapon available to me at the moment. Make no mistake, the Avatar is not an easy target and certainly the most challenging thou hast ever had. Dispose of the Avatar quickly. Destroy this note. No evidence should be left behind thee. X

Love Letter
My dearest, I beg thy forgiveness for my behavior last night. This difficulty with the Avatar hath disrupted my performance, but I assure thee that once we have taken care of , I will hold a private celebration thou shalt not soon forget…

Parting Verses
by Vasculio
As they lower me down,
To this hole in the ground,
I scream for help,
But they can’t hear a sound.
I scratch on this lid,
My fingers they bleed.
They plant me deep,
Like an evil seed.
Now my bones decompose,
My flesh doth rot,
But soon I will rise,
And torture the lot

Freli’s Letter
Right Heartily and Beloved Father, I recommend me to thee, letting thee know I am doing exceedingly well! Though I miss thee nd my beloved sister, Alyssand, I am so excited. I have been learning so much magic, thou wouldst not believe thine eyes. I am good. Honest. I swear to thee, that’s what the Mages here are saying. ’Tis fun, but frightening as well. I am a dedicated student, Father, thou canst be proud of me. And Alyssand, too. I miss thee so much. Thou shouldst visit. The Palace is a sight to see. Gorgeous! These Mages are incredible! Learning how to be a Mage is not easy, but I love it as much as I miss thee. Thou art on my mind everyday. I hope to see thee soon. Eternal love, Freli

Knight’s Test
To thee, fine warrior, who hast made it this far: If thou seekest to be a Knight of Monitor, thou must be willing to shed thy blood for the defense of others. To prove thy resolve, take this claw and use it upon thy person. Let thy blood be thine oath.
- Shmed, Master of Knight’s Test
To thee, fine warrior, who hast made it this far: If thou seekest to be a Knight of Monitor, thou must mingle thy blood with the ashes of our ancient foe, Gurnordir the goblin king. Thy blood pledges vengeance against our enemies, and will give thee thy totem animal, the key to thy soul.
-
Shmed, Master of Knight’s Test

Note From Cantra
I love thee, father. I hope thou dost kill more than thy share of goblins. Come home soon. Cantra

Frigidazzi’s Note
Note to myself for further exploration of the North: I seem to have lost the Serpent Tooth I took from the Mad Mage. Need to check the area near the savages, as that was where I last remember having it with me. Frigidazzi

Erstam’s Letter
Dearest Drogeni,
What follows is an excerpt from my translation of an ancient manuscript. The translation is crude since I do not as yet fully understand the Serpent Runes, but I think thou wilt find this very exciting. Until we meet again,
— Erstam, thy devoted servant
I write this in great haste, for I can already hear the forces of Order breaching the keep walls. I know not how this missive will survive to reach the outside lands, or for that matter, future generations. Mine only hope is that this speedily-drafted work will offer record of our hallowed philosophy. For our culture to have any chance of enduring the ages, someone, somewhere must find this. Please, reader, I beseech thee, spread the word of our peoples. Release the spirit of our word and learn from the wisdom of the past.

Filbercio’s Love Letters
My darling Rotoluncia, I know thy feelings about my letters, but I cannot help myself — I think of thee day and night! Thou art the light of my miserable existence. Thou art like the sun, blinding all who doth gaze upon thy beauty. Thy lips are more luscious than the sweetest fruit. Thy skin is smoother than the most glorious rose. Thou art the essence of womanhood; none can surpass thee! Please, I beg of thee, say that thou wilt be mine! Anxiously awaiting thy reply, Filbercio
My darling Rotoluncia, I know that thou dost love me as much as I love thee. Let us forget all of the intrigue that plagues this city and flee to the mainland! I can have built for us a modest love nest where we may spend the rest of our days in bliss! Thy servant, Filbercio
My darling Rotoluncia, I tried to sleep after our dalliance this night, yet I cannot. The feel of thy silken hair and the sweet taste of thy lips linger. Oh, my darling, I cannot wait until I see thee again. I feel that I shall go mad if I cannot make thee mine! Thy lover, Filbercio
Rotoluncia, I saw thee staring at that pig Torrissio at the banquet last night and I know now that thine affections shown toward me were false. Thou art a cow and a shabby sorceress as well! Do not try to pretend otherwise, for I know the truth now. I want nothing more from thee ever again! Filbercio

Letter From Pomgirdun
Marsten, Lord of Monitor: The destruction of thine enemies is certain. My brave Goblin warriors have already plundered the Fawn Tower, and the Wolves which guarded it. Next, we shall strike the Bull Tower, and the Bears which serve there. Hail to victory! Soon, the Wolves and Bears shall cease to trouble thee. Then Monitor and the Goblins shall live in peace, and thou shalt be King of the Monitorians. Do not let this messenger fall into the hands of our enemies. — Pomdirgun, Chieftain of the Goblin Horde

Letter From Marsten
Honor be to thee, Pomdirgun, Chieftain of the Goblin Horde: Letting thee know that all of our plans in these parts fare well. I have learned from the Wolves that they plan to launch a patrol in the early morning hours of the seventh day of the new moon. If thou dost ambush the patrol, then it shall be easy for thee to overrun Fawn Tower itself. The Wolves shall be critically weakened, and the City of Fawn shall quake in fear! But if thou canst, spare the life of the leader of the patrol. She is a favorite of my liege. We beg of thee not to let this messenger fall into the hands of our enemies, the Wolves. — Spektor, writing on behalf of Lord Marsten
Honor be to thee, Pomdirgun, Chieftain of the Goblin Horde: Letting thee know that all of our plans in these parts fare well. Having learned from our successful experience with Fawn Tower, we have decided to withdraw, on the fourth night of the coming moon, as many troops as possible from Bull Tower. The Bears shall be marching westward on the plains, and shall be easily slaughtered. Then thou canst take the Tower, and plunder the Inn of the Sleeping Bull. We want to remind thee of the supreme importance not to let this messenger fall into the hands of our enemies, the Wolves and the Bears. — Marsten, King of Monitor

Letter in Freedom
Old man, if thou dost truly wish to survive Freedom, but dost feel that thou canst live to tell the tale of Lorthondo’s final test, thou hast only to serve in my slave pit. Tend to my pets and I shall personally show thee to the door and to the blue skies of daylight and freedom. Guard my nightmare and care for him well. He is a treasure and a daemon in one. Take him through the teleporter once each day and let him feel the grass beneath his hooves. Take care, for one strike of his hoof could kill an old fool such as thou. Be thou sure to keep Sabrina from him. I fear that she doth frighten him. I find it strange that such a wild, untamed creature such as that should be frightened of her touch. Then again, mayhaps I can fathom why.
Lastly, take great care of my small furry prize. Do not be fooled by its diminutive size, it hath taken the lives of many a foolhardy man who dared to approach thinking it might make a tasty morsel. Thou shouldst treat it with as much respect as thou wouldst bestow upon me. If thou dost not, either one of us could end thy miserable existence. In the supply room, thou wilt find a year’s worth of carrots for Buggs. Feed him but one per day. Place the carrots upon his golden plate — ’tis the only way that he will feed. He is of royal lineage — a born predator. If thou dost not, thou mayest find that thou art his next meal. Serve me well, old man, and thou mayest live to see the outside of this prison some year…

Hazard’s Note
To me fellow trappers: Greetings to ye. I will be heading north when ye be reading this message. Make sure ye guard the cave and protect our goods well. If I find out ye let some ne’er-do-well steal our goods, I’ll personally skin every one of ye bastards, hang yer hide on me walls, and eat yer black hearts for supper! By the way, don’t be lookin fer the wonderful glass sword that appeared after the last storm, for I took it with me. I be headin’ back to the North. This fancy sword should be mighty handy for slaying some dragon or other fearsome beast… Slaughter a beast in mine honor. – Hazard

Purlonio’s Tale
I, Purlonio, merchant of Moonshade, am about to tell my tale. Back in the early days of the Sosarian colonization of Serpent Isle, I had accumulated — I have to tell thee — a massive fortune in the city. After a most unusual dream, I called upon an enchantress for help. She was expensive, but of good and right advice. Drogeni, the Wizard, warned me that I was about to lose all of my cherished wealth in the near future and that there was nothing she could do to prevent this from happening. I thought I could outsmart Fate…
I took all of my possessions, all of my gold, in a ship to this cave in the far northern reaches for safe storage. I hired Drogeni to create a series of tunnels in the rear of the cave so that a magic map would be required and no one could survive without it. Thereupon, I had the wizard conjure an Ice Dragon to guard my riches. Once this was done, we sailed back to the southern plains where I rid myself of the enchantress so that no one would ever know the secret to my riches. Unfortunately, upon the death of the wizard, the magical map disintegrated. Fearing that the prophecy had come true, I went back to the cave and tried to find the route to my riches. To this day, I have not found my treasure.
In my life as a criminal, as they call me, I have had many a task to overcome. None before was as hard as the ones I am about to describe. This is done so that thou mayest save thy time and thy life. Of all the traps I had to overcome, the most interesting ones were the spear traps. First of all, thou needest to enter the caretaker’s room. After many an observation and many more days than thou wouldst think, I discovered the routine of the caretaker. He usually is on patrol during the whole afternoon. He makes his rounds at noon and midnight. In his storehouse, thou shouldst find barrels and chests. Rummaging through the barrels I found a hidden lever. That lever, I came to realize later, turns off the spear traps in the corridor. Make good use of that, my friend. Blessings upon thee.

Pendar’s Treasure
To My Good Brethren and Comrades In Arms, After many long, arduous and harrowing adventures I have collected this considerable treasure. While this fair measure of wealth would be enough to keep a man happy for the rest of his days, I cannot possess it without remembering my good fellow knights - many to whom I owe my very life. It is to thee that I leave this bountiful reward. It is secured by the soundest means that I currently have at my disposal. To obtain it, one need only use THE KEY.
Ever-faithful, Pendar

Gaunt’s Vengeance
Hark, adventurer, and read these words well. Many know me as Gannt the Bard, singer of songs, and writer of fine poetry for all to enjoy. Though many know of me, most do not know of my life, or at least of how I came to this end. Read, and read well, dear adventurer. If thou hast any justice in thine heart, or any pity in thy soul, then thou wilt seek vengeance for mine untimely death. If thou, hearty adventurer, hast any sense of duty to avenge evils, then thou must seek out the craven and cowardly Captain Stokes of the rusty old bucket ‘The Mustang’ and exact just payment, for alas, since I am not of this world, I cannot.
One day as I was at the Inn of Sleeping Bull, plucking my lute, not bothering anyone, but practicing my trade, in walked the swine, Captain Stokes, billowing foul fog upon us with his ill-smelling fag. Seeing that no one in the fair establishment could stomach the pungent smell of his tobacco-like rot, I dared to ask him to put it out, for the sake of all our healths. He stared at me, then turned a blind eye. I went back to strumming my lute, ‘til again the smell began to bring tears to mine eyes. Again I asked him, begged him to stop, but again he turned away.
Finally, as gentle ladies began to leave for air, and good children began to cough and cry from the Captain’s reeking root, I tried once more. This time, though, he answered with the blade of his dagger. He thrust well through my lute and into mine entrails, stuffing it deep into my belly. He grinned and twisted the blade, not once nor twice, but thrice! Being but a humble bard and quite mortal, I had little choice but to expire. I fell in a pool of mine own blood, mine hand strumming my last chord as I fell.
I ask thee, I beg of thee to give me peace, and exact vengeance for my death. Before thee is the key to his rotten hovel which thou mayest find to the west of Fawn, above the forest of Knight’s Test. Many ill-begotten instruments doth he hide in his house of ill-wares. Beware them! Please, noble adventurer, exact justice for my death, and exact the toll from that evil Captain Stokes. Do this and let my spirit rest peacefully… Gannt…

The Art of Winemaking
The art of winemaking is not a difficult trade; indeed, making fine wine is the simplest of tasks. There are those laymen, however, who doth think making wine is some great secret. Nothing could be further from the truth! Sorcery hath made the process of making wine very easy, but sorcery cannot make the wine taste good. To make great wine, thou needest but one commodity — great grapes! That is the secret to making a truly great vintage, one that shall be remembered by all who partake.

Lord British’s Letter
Dear Avatar, All of the portents indicate that this Quest to Find Batlin shall severely tax thine abilities. Consequently, I have ordered the armouries of the kingdom opened in order to equip thee and thy good companions. Thou shalt be given these things -
The Glass Sword, which can slay any foe (but which is destroyed in the act of such slaughter).
The MageBane, a fabled weapon which thou didst recover in thy previous encounter with Batlin. It steals the magic from sorcerers who oppose thee.
The Daemon Sword which thou didst obtain at the Forge of Virtue. It is truly a terrible weapon, but thou wilt surely need it. Beware the Daemon within!
Rudyom’s Wand, which doth make blackrock to explode.
The strange Serpent of Blackrock, which thou didst obtain from netherworlds during thy most recent adventure. Its powers are unknown, but those who gave it thee promised that it would be useful to thee soon.
A spellbook, to which hath been added every spell that could be speedily obtained.
For thee to wear, a set of armour of the best enchantments: breastplate, helm, and gauntlets.
For Iolo the Bard: a crossbow, which he doth wield so well.
For noble Dupre: a Magic Shield which I have prepared for him.
For Shamino the Ranger: a Magic Bow, and a goodly supply of Burst Arrows, which he shall no doubt use to good purpose.
As well as such common items as torches, a pair of swamp boots, a good dagger, and much food for an extended journey. Travel in safety, and may the villain Batlin soon fall into thine hands! Also, I hope that thou shalt soon find Iolo’s lost wife, the goodwoman Gwenno. -
Lord British, thy liege.

Shamino’s Note
The list of items which we found ourselves with after the storm:
Prepared by Shamino.
With additional notes by Dupre.
And further comments by Iolo, since being freed from that vile Monitorian prison cell!
A pinecone from the northern woods.
A pair of moonsilk stockings, such as the enchantress Columna doth wear.
A funerary urn containing the Ashes of the Dead, taken from the Caves of Monitor.
The missing apparatus from the laboratory of Erstam, the so-called Mad Mage.
A pumice rock from the fiery depths of some dungeon.
The engagement ring belonging to Alyssand of Fawn.
The elegant fur cap which Filbercio the MageLord purchased for his favorite, the sorceress Frigidazzi.
The well-worn slippers belonging to Devra, the mistress of the Inn of the Sleeping Bull.
The ceremonial breastplate of the Priestess of Beauty, who is Kylista of Fawn. A very attractive lady, I should add.
A penguin egg, such as may be found in the ice fields of the distant north.
A grisly brush made from the bones of some poor victim of the Goblins. How foul!
A bottle of that excellent vintage of wine sold by the Rangers of Moonshade. Why, I should sample some now…
Jeweled coins from the City of Beauty, Fawn.
The skull of a great mountain bear.
The severed hand from one of the Mad Mage’s experiments. It is not dead, yet not living — it doth not decay.
One of the common shields used by the Pikemen of Monitor.
The dangerous mineral known as Stoneheart, which is used to produce the illegal reagent Bloodspawn.
Frigidazzi’s Invitations
Dearest Avatar, I would like to congratulate thee from the bottom of mine heart, on obtaining thy spellbook. That was not an easy task. Thou didst accomplish it most admirably. Also, I have been told that thou art asking questions about me. I think I would be the best person from whom to obtain the ultimate answers to thy questions. That is, the ones concerning myself. For all those reasons and so many more, I would like for thee to come to my manor. Frigidazzi.
Dearest Avatar, Love and Honor be to thee. Letting thee know that I cannot wait to see thee again. I cannot think of time far from thy strong person and handsome body. Thy broad shoulders and great arms are such an open invitation for a woman like me. Thine eyes, Avatar, so piercing yet so full of love. I could feel that love during thy last visit. I beg of thee, come visit me tonight. Thou dost remember where my manor is, dost thou not? I have a very rare spell (a true tongue-twister) I could teach thee and thou wouldst be the only one enjoying that treasured spell of mine. Once more, I beg of thee, do come tonight and do come alone. Thy love, Frigidazzi.
Dearest Avatar, A thousand apologies is what I present thee with. I am the one who caused thee to be arrested and I cannot forgive myself. Thou hauntest my dreams. Memories of thee flash in front of mine eyes and the only way I can solve this nightmare is by presenting thee with a very special gift. I beg of thee to accept these Serpent Earrings, a token of mine affection for thee, Avatar. Frigidazzi.
Dearest Avatar, Love and Honor be to thee. Letting thee know that I cannot wait to see thee again. I cannot think of time far from thy strong and good-hearted person. Thine eyes, Avatar, so piercing yet so full of love. I could feel that love during thy last visit. I beg of thee, come visit me tonight. I have a very rare spell I could teach thee and thou wouldst be the only one learning it. Once more, I beg of thee, do come tonight and do come alone. Sincerely thy, Frigidazzi.

Gustacio’s Call
Fedabiblio, this is a message to let thee know that all is not well. I desperately need thine help. I beg of thee to answer my call. Thou must needs use the Crystal Ball. Gustacio.

Captain Hawk’s Treasure
To the right good Avatar, Thou must not think thy quest is done. For I offer ye a great challenge. To ye I leave my treasure — if thou canst find it. Within this booty lies a Serpent Crown, waiting for ye to discover its hiding place. Captain Hawk.

Stefano’s Note
Avatar, I have in my possession something extremely valuable which would be even more vital to thee. Thou couldst make good use of it, believe me. If thou art interested (and thou shouldst be), come to the cabin in the forest. Stefano.

Flindo’s Letters
From Flindo To Torrissio:
Dearest and most Powerful Mage, I recommend me to thee as well as the bearer of this message. This letter of introduction entitles the bearer to a chat with thee. Trust thy righteous friend, Torrissio, the bearer is worth thy time. I thank thee for thine understanding. Treat the bearer the way thou wouldst treat me. With a right good will, sincerely thy, Flindo
To Melino and Columna:
Dearest and most Powerful Mages, I recommend me to thee as well as the bearer of this message. This letter of introduction entitles the bearer to a chat with you. Trust thy righteous friend, the bearer is worth your time. I thank you for your understanding. Treat the bearer the way you would treat me. With a right good will, faithfully, Flindo

Columna’s Diary
I have made the most wonderful discovery about the Comb that I took from that empty-headed ruler of Fawn! No longer shall I be forced to content myself with the bumbling attentions of Melino, my pitiful excuse for a husband! For upon using the Comb on myself, I have become beautiful and desirable! No one will ever guess now that Mosh and I are twins! Now I may use my wits for better things… like the Adept Torrissio! Columna

Aram-Dol’s Tests
Know, adventurer, that to proceed onward thou must pass three puzzles. At the first test, throw two down. At the second test: throw three down to get eight. At the third test: throw four down to get twelve. If the levers are not in the correct position when the button is depressed, thou wilt surely be destroyed. Aram-Dol

Followers of Order
True follower of Order do not despair! The Hierophant hath led us to a new world via passage through the Wall of Lights! Though thou wert not here to make the passage, fear not. Some day thou too wilt join us. If thou wishest to enter into the Temple of the Hierophant thou must merely place the symbols of Order upon the pedestal indicated by the plaque. Once the three artifacts have been placed one at a time, the door will swing wide.
If thou art a true disciple thou wilt have read the scrolls that contain the words of wisdom that thou needest to decipher the plaque’s meaning. The sacred Library of the Hierophant shall remain secure from those who art not of Order. For if thou art not true, thou wilt never enter into the Hierophant’s temple. Behold! Thou art worthy to cross to the Temple of Balance! Within my pages lie the bridges to the great chasms. When thou dost reach the great pillars, stand between them and read my words once more.

Ship’s Logbook
Day 24: Still looking for the miser’s treasure. Fair wind and weather all day. The men are as excited as ever. Plundered a passing ship, appropriated some gold and wine. Lost one man in the fight.
Day 31: Very stormy weather and worse at night. No encounter.
Day 32: Uneventful except for repairs from last night’s storm.
Day 40: This hideout is not easy to find. The men are becoming nervous.
Day 41: Ice filling the horizon! Temperature hath dropped. We are freezing. The men complain they have never seen such weather this time of the year. Burning more and more oil to stay warm. Our provisions are diminishing rapidly.
Day 45: Strange how ice magnifies all. Leaden sky is upon us. On the word of a pirate, we will pierce through this as a sword through soft bellies! A day of dead calm.
Day 54: Was forced to hang a brace of men who stole some food from the cook. The weather combined with our disappointing search for the miser’s base hath created an unbearable atmosphere. Ice is surrounding us and it feels as though we are imprisoned in this place.
Day 55: We had a storm last night. Two men were found frozen on the quarter-deck. One man missing. He most likely went overboard due to the dense and damp fog, in that cold, inky black night. This treasure hunt is costing us too many men, and might cost us even more…
Day 56: We are wedged in by an icefloe. Food is running low. Frozen land all around us, the ship is trapped. And so are we.
Day 57: Much arguing about rations. We are down to our last portion. We are but a few survivors, bundled in our rags. The terror of the seas, HA! We would not scare a mouse these days.
Day 58: Finishing each other is what we have been doing for the last twenty-four hours. Such a waste! ’Tis only the two of us now and a portion of food, a single portion of food. Yet I shall not give in!

Journal
Day 17 — Everyone is overjoyed that we have actually reached the northern marches, including myself. I look forward to setting camp and finding treasure!
Day 22 — We were forced to kill a pair of wolves near the encampment.
Day 28 — The men are upset that no gold hath been found… However, I remain confident of our venture.
Day 40 — Finding more wolves than gold.
Day 41 — Gold. At last!
Day 45 — Women and children are finding gold nuggets. How exciting! This is fabulous! ’Tis finally paying.
Day 69 — More have been eaten alive. Wolves. More wolves. Men behaving like wolves. Worse than wolves. They are after our gold. For them, life is suddenly worthless. How could they value a nugget more than its true worth?
Day 108 — No one can be trusted. Who will be the next target? Hopefully, I will survive and my gold will not be stolen.
Day 121 — Something horrible happened to Hamlin. He was found with his throat slit and, of course, his gold was missing. This worthless gold that he hath painstakingly gathered killed him. So, this is what it hath come to… Goldthirsty and bloodthirsty bastards.
Day 127 — I have finally found a vein of gold, from whence I retrieved a small quantity with my pick.
Day 148-149 — I lay awake on my bedroll all night until dawn, cannot seem to be able to sleep. Too many angry thoughts disturbing my mind. At daybreak, I rose in a state of exhaustion.
Day 167 — More men are fighting amongst themselves. I am so weary. Is this what I wanted? The encampment is split into factions. Now, I will cease writing and rest by the fire, gathering much needed strength for tomorrow.
Day 183 — Draygan betrayed us. Who would have thought it? I think bitterly of his treachery. The ship is burnt. We are doomed. The howling is getting closer…

Hazard’s Ledger – Pelts
Sales by customer
Expressed in monetari
…Summer
Glendor, 3 pelts – 90
Miri, 1 pelt – 50
Tranch, 6 pelts – 180
Falco, 3 pelts – 90 Autumn
Cellia of Monitor, 4 pelts – 88
Voldin of Fawn, 2 pelts – 90
Early Winter
Tornaldo of Moonshade, 3 pelts – 1035
Yelinda of Fawn, 4 pelts – 138
Jorvin of Fawn, 1 pelt – 34
Hard freeze
Marsten of Monitor, 4 pelts – 88
Brendann of Monitor, 2 pelts – 69
Fedabiblio of Moonshade, 1 pelt – 34
Late Winter
Cellia of Monitor, 2 pelts – 63
Torrissio of Moonshade, 4 pelts – 140
Early Spring
Cellia of Monitor, 1 pelt – 35
Late Spring
Karl of Monitor, 1 pelt – 25
Garth of Fawn, 2 pelts – 79
Marnok, 1 pelt – 35

Briggio’s Book of Astonishing Things
A compiled volume of items of interest both magical and mundane
by Briggio of Moonshade
In this volume, compiled for easy reference, are some of the many fascinating constructions I have found during my researches. These items range from interesting uses for mundane items to fascinating miscarriages of magic.
Wands: A trio of terrible weaponry. The three identified varieties of magical wand all seem to have been made for the express purpose of changing the combat-weak spellcaster into a battle-ready automaton. And, for those with the ability to keep them from losing their potency (no small feat of magic, mind thee, but simple for anyone capable of crafting the wand in the first place), they are perhaps the most formidable weapons of their size. Fire Wand: This wand releases a bolt of flaming death. According to all known texts on the subject, the carnage was called “amazing.”
Lightning Wand: The effect of a bolt of lightning as it bursts forth from the wand is as devastating as its counterpart, the fire wand. However, according to one of its proponents, “the corpses look and smell much less offensive.”
Magician’s Wand: While only slightly more lethal than the typical bow, this wand is rendered quite effective due to two interesting facets: Its damage is of a most magical nature and more than powerful against monsters with a predilection for challenging mages, and, it NEVER ceases to function. If thou art interested in power and duration, this is the wand for thee.
FireDoom Staff: Lethality itself. This staff, which hurls exploding fireballs that actually seek out a target, is perhaps the most lethal of all magical weapons created in the era of human-gargoyle cooperation. But, as with most of the more powerful magic weapons, its limited life means it may fail thee at the worst of times.
Glass Swords : A historical legacy of death. These single-use swords will almost always kill any creature in a single blow, but they are seldom useful for a second opponent.
Other Miscellaneous Magical Weaponry. As a general case, any person with a modicum of magical talent can identify magical weapons, armour and other apparatus by their pulsating glow. Often, however, the color indicates even more about the item than merely the existence of the enchantment. For example, a green field often denotes a poisoning weapon.
Burst Arrows: An arrow of myriad targets. The arrow functions as a normal arrow, but upon impact, explodes into a thousand flying shards of death.
Venom Dagger : The assassin’s tool. This shimmering green dagger is actually the enchanted tooth of a poisonous sea serpent, joined to the hilt of a normal dagger. Its envenomed blade injects a slow poison into its victim, but it frequently breaks. It is the perfect assassination weapon (see Alagner’s History, Assassination of Baron Johann IV (page 54)).
Stone Harpy: Unnatural beast. The stone harpy is the creation of the twisted mind of the magus. It is reputed to be magically triggered by the close approach of any creature.

Drinking Songs Dupre Taught Me
Volume One – Maids in Trades
Come all of ye trades and ye tradesmen,
and let ye be wise that are fools.
But remember each day that your trade would decay
if a maid did not look to your tools.
The blacksmith, the smokey old blacksmith,
‘tis known as a jolly old fellow.
But his iron would burn old, and his fire would grow cold,
If a maid did not blow up the bellows.
And then there’s the candlestick maker,
he works up the tallow so quick.
But his craft would be marred, and the works not get hard,
If a maid did not hold up the wick.
The ploughman, the jolly old ploughman,
he follows the plow in the silt.
But ‘tis ne’er a clod turned, if a maid had not learned him,
To drive the blade up to the hilt.
The brewer, the jolly old brewer,
he maketh a very fine ale.
But his brew would be waste, if there’s no maid to taste,
And make sure that it doesn’t grow stale.
So come all ye journeymen, craftsmen,
and all that are apprenticed to trade.
For ‘tis ne’er a screw or a nut would be turned,
If it weren’t for the help of a maid!

Drinking Songs Dupre Taught Me
Volume Two – Roll Thy Leg Over
If all the young ladies were little white rabbits,
I’d be a hare, and teach them bad habits!
Refrain:
Roll thy leg over, roll thy leg over,
Roll thy leg over the man in the moon.
If all the young ladies were bricks in a pile,
I’d be a mason and lay them in style!
If all the young ladies were cocks in the hay,
I’d be a hen, and I’d have a good lay.
If all the young ladies were bats in a steeple,
and I were a bat, there’d be more bats than people.
If all the young ladies were bells in a tower,
and I were a clapper, I’d ring every hour!
If all the young ladies were doors of stout wood,
and I were a knocker, I’d bang them up good!
If all the young ladies were stones in a mill,
and I were some grain between them, I’d spill…
If all the young ladies were coconuts sweet,
I’d suck out their juices and chew on their meat.
If all the young ladies were birds in their nests,
I’d be an egg and lie under their breasts.

Vetron’s Guide to Weapons and Armour Their Effectiveness and Value
Here are listed, for easy comparison, various weapons and their effects upon opponents. Consider them to be rated on a scale of 1 to 100, with the lower valued weapons being less effective upon thine adversary:
Axe, two-handed: 10
Blowgun: 1, causes enemy to fall asleep and be poisoned
Bow: 8
Cannon: 90
Club 2
Crossbow: 10
Dagger: 1
Halberd: 10
Hammer: 4
Hammer, two-handed: 9
Knife: 2
Mace: 5
Main gauche: 2
Morningstar: 5
Powder keg: 16
Sling: 3
Sword: 6
Sword, two-handed: 11
Throwing axe: 4
Torch: 3
Whip: 4
Armour and shields and their protection effectiveness are described here to permit the informed soldier the opportunity to select the armour best suited to his or her fighting style:
Buckler: 1
Chain armour: 2
Chain coif: 2
Chain leggings: 2
Crested helm: 3
Curved heater: 3
Gauntlets: 2
Gorget: 3
Great helm: 4
Greaves: 2
Kidney belt: 1
Leather armour: 1
Leather boots: 1
Leather collar: 1
Leather gloves: 1
Leather helm: 1
Leather leggings: 1
Plate armour: 4
Plate leggings: 3
Scale armour: 2
Spiked shield: 2
Wooden shield: 2
Here is a list of the better-known enchanted weapons:
Magic arrow: 4
Magic axe: 8, can be thrown
Magic bow: 12
Magic sword: 7, very accurate
Glass sword: 127, breaks
Enchanted armour:
Magic armour: 5,
Magic gauntlets: 3,
Magic gorget: 4,
Magic helm: 5,
Magic leggings: 4,
Magic shield: 4

The Art of Field Dressing
by Harnna
Though I personally advocate the use of healing herbs and more cleanly bandaging environments, the steps told in this treatise will suffice until better healing care becomes available. Follow these steps carefully, and thou wilt have no trouble forming a reliable, if not perfect, way to prevent serious blood-loss. Remember, however, that there is no care as good as clean sheets, a sturdy bed, and proper attention!
As long as one doth have shears, cloth, and a conscious mind, thou wilt have little fear of bleeding to death on the corpse-littered fields of battle. Simply cut the cloth into strips and bandages. Quickly placing the center of the bandage over the wound, wrap the strip around and around the bleeding area. As the cloth begins to soak with blood, it will combine with the natural healing aspects of the body to staunch the flow of blood and to quicken the healing process. In no time, thou wilt be ready to travel again (though I advise this travel be to the house of a competent healer!).

My Notebook
Anonymous
The observations enclosed herein are based on mine experiments. Reader, for thy sake and thy thirst for knowledge, I have decided to provide thee with the following accounts. Long ago, when I accidentally landed on this world, the primitive sentients living here erected a temple to me and my ‘chariot.’ But they were boring and impetuous! Soon, the cats emerged as a more likeable group than any other creatures. Thereafter, I was to begin some experiments on them. Quite successful indeed. My liking for these cats caused me to contemplate how to widen and strengthen their intelligences. Thereupon, I set out to modify the Power Generator. Thus began the experiments.
The Generator provided the felines with a more obdurate life energy, one which was most difficult to suppress — the cats die, yet with stubborn energy return once again to life! The side effect is that strange glow which surrounds them. After several manipulations I was successful in increasing their lives up to nine times. Thus no one would be able to truly defeat them until their ninth life. The source of all extra life resides in the Power Generator. Dear reader, make of mine experiments what thou wilt.

Mine Experiments
by Teldrono
This book belongs to Teldrono The Mage
For thee, bright reader, I have been deep in the heart of darkness in search of the Way. The Way to reverse or even negate the effects of Bloodspawn hath been my quest. Stoneheart is also on my mind, thou art right, so right… By the way, dear reader, if thou shouldst know how to obtain some, contact me immediately. I thank thee in advance for thy kindness.
Let us begin, for I am losing track of what thou art interested in. Thou art not afraid of dying, art thou? Well, then I shall proceed and tell thee what all this truly concerns. The more I would experiment with it, the closer I would come to success. That was mine intuition. Well, I must admit it did not work. Bloodspawn is bound to have some side effects. I do not know which yet. The heart of the matter, if I may say so dear reader, is that thou art about to take possession of a secret. Darkness may fall upon thee at the very same time. I recommend thou beest extremely careful, a fatal accident is easily triggered when manipulating those forces.
In the heart of the mountain, I found the red-orange mineral. I collected samples and, after many a transformation, I turned it into the Forbidden Reagent. Thou art certain, dearest reader, that thou fearest death no more? I want to make it clear this is nothing like what thou hast seen before… Many a mage’s life was taken away. How did I turn it into a powerful magical reagent, thou askest? Yes, indeed, how? Oh! I remember, thou hast only to crush it into a fine powder. Then, thou dost combine the powder with fresh human blood. ‘Tis just so!
This powerful reagent, too powerful for my fellow mages who were fools enough to lose their lives, enables thee to create some spells. It might make possible the spells to flay men’s minds, or set swords into dancing death, or to decimate entire cities. Mass death. Well, think of it, thou mayest be able to make matter disintegrate, and even call lightning to thy service, if I recall correctly mine experiments. These are the powers of Bloodspawn.
Dear reader, thou art now ready to experiment, or ready to lose thy life. Remember how careful thou shouldst be when carrying it. Finding safe means to avoid the Bloodspawn’s side effects is of primary concern. Herein, I did give thee all thou wilt ever need to know. Thou mightest want to be prepared for fits. Experimenting with Bloodspawn and Stoneheart will trigger numerous disorders. Many a time did I attempt to delay the onset of the fits, all in vain, alas.
The future doth not seem to be a long shining path. I even wonder how long I will remain sane. Thou art the reason why I wrote such a book, dear reader, it is for thee to read and for thee to take our place once I be gone. This powerful knowledge painfully extracted from the heart of darkness must outlive us. Thou shalt continue!

Observations of Pain
by MageLord Filbercio
I. Introduction
We have always thought of “pain” as the unpleasant reaction of a being’s nervous system to certain environmental stimuli. But through my recent studies, I believe that I have come to understand pain as a state of mind, rather than a simple physical reaction. It is very easy to inflict physical pain on someone. A casual look about my laboratory will prove that. Iron maidens, thumbscrews, and racks are all useful for this purpose, but what should be done for the person who can literally accept and even ignore physical pain? In this case, a test of one’s mental faculties shall be necessary. Research thy subject carefully, and discover what tears into his soul. Understand his psyche, and use what thou dost discover to help augment the physical torture.
We will look now at a few examples. Suppose thou dost want to cause a harpsichordist pain. Thumbscrews are the obvious choice, but why not add to his experience by playing the blissful tune “Sea Shanty”? This should produce some very good results. Similarly, if the subject is a writer, strapping him to “the rack” and reading from the dismal “Sir Trout’s Plot Guide” will have him writhing. Throughout these pages, thou wilt find even more insidious ways to produce pain. Read them well, and thou wilt never be disappointed with the results.

Poetry for the Romantic Lute
by Sir D. Dey
“Soliloquy”
I gave my love a chicken
that had no bone
I gave my love a cherry
that had no stone
I wrote my love a story
that had no end…

Notes
by Erstam
Decade 1: This is a new era for me. This newfound land is marvelous! A great destiny awaits our people and thee, Erstam! So much to learn from this land, I am overcome with joy. So much to learn about its fauna and flora, I must start early in the morning. Tonight sleep is not to be found. I must go out, explore and meet the creatures of the night.
2nd Year of Third Decade: Last night I decided to explore the catacombs of the city. I left as fast as I went in. This is not for a man of mine age. The place was filled with creatures unknown to me at this point. My mind doth not know how to describe them. The best description I can conjure is to say that they were some sort of monster, half-man half-rat.
4th Decade, 1st Year: I am still amazed at the variety and abundance of wildlife. Thy grip on nature is always fragile at first, Erstam, remember? As often as not, I would run into a monster or an unknown species. I vividly remember, dear reader, the strange cat I encountered tonight. It was eerie. The cat glowed like a spell. I left in great haste fearing for my life. Such a cat must have a strange effect upon us. I wonder what deranged mind created such a danger.
5th Decade, Third Year: Found some ruins not too far from here. Interesting discovery of a jawbone and large fangs. A relic from an ancient culture?
7th Decade, 4th Year: Today, I encountered a strange white-haired creature from the icy lands; it seemed to be a cross between Man and Beast. Found the clue to how the Ophidians stepped from place to place without travelling through the space between. The answer lies in the Void!
2nd Year of the Eighth Decade: That was the most frightening time so far. Dearest reader, thou wilt not believe me, but let me assure thee of the veracity of this tale. I was wandering in the forest at the northeast edge of town, when I heard this stentorian noise, this growl. I was petrified. Directly in front of me, a terrifying predator, the beast stood erect on its feet, towering well over mine height. Its huge claws and sharp teeth sent a chill down my poor old spine. I still shiver thinking of it when writing these words. The creature lunged for my backpack, tore it asunder and devoured all of the honey jars I had saved for the outing.
6th Year of Eighth Decade: Those jealous mages stole some secrets and powers from me. They want the Teeth, I am certain of it! I shall have to take up residence on some isle, where they cannot find me…
3rd Year of Ninth Decade: I stood all night working on a few formulas. Dawn already. What a chill bleak morning. Need to throw more wood in the fire.
4th Year of Ninth Decade: Today, icy blew the winds from beyond the Frozen Lands. If this lasts I will have to make more dried meat. Food is low. Need more firewood.
6th Year of Ninth Decade: The day passed rather rapidly, uneventfully.
8th Year of the Ninth Decade: What a beautiful sunrise! I can almost taste the salt breeze from the sea. How invigorating!

A Short Treatise on Combat & Habiliments of War
Introduction:
Trusty and well-beloved adventurer, I greet thee well and thank thee for reading this short treatise. Herein, combat tactics will be described for thy benefit in setting forth, dearest adventurer. Thou wilt learn how to read a book and how to fight intelligently in our worlds.
Thy safety is important for the worlds are vast enough for thee to roam freely about. Restless warrior, I know thou hast oft crisscrossed the land and oft the swamps, so think how easy a prey an injured man would be for the creatures who inhabit these realms.
The basic rule of safety in combat and in unknown territories is not to think of thyself as over-mighty. Thou mayest be witty and subtle in thy speech, but thou must be even more alert and aware of thy combat environment. Adapt to thine opponent, to the weather and to the terrain.
Know thyself, know thine opponent. Thou shalt know thy limits. Thou shalt identify as quickly as possible what kind of creature thou art faced with so that thou canst use the most appropriate strategy.
For example, know that herbivores will flee quite oft. On the other hand, carnivorous creatures attack the weakest opponent. Some creatures will attack at random or toward the weakest party member. Thou shouldst expect militiamen and guards to use tactically accurate strategies. The weakest member will be attacked, flanking will be used, as well as tactical retreats, and so forth…
Always use logic. Creatures from the Icy Lands will be more susceptible to fire, for example, and swamp creatures are immune to poison. When attacking foes, a good strategy is easily available to thee: thou canst always hide and shoot. Or thou canst flank and protect thyself quite well. When flanking, it is best to use some long range type of habiliment. For example, a crossbow could be given to an ally who is flanking. Make sure the ally who is flanking does not hurt any of the other members in thy group. Caution is strongly advised.
Use thine habiliment of war well. A bow always requires arrows. Ensure thou art not short of ammunition or wielding a useless weapon. Use thy surroundings to slow thine opponents. For example, thou mayest lay down caltrops on thine enemy’s path. Most of all, always maintain a good balance between ranged and non-ranged habiliment of war within thy travelling group.
Upon leaving a town for thine adventures in the wilderness, do stop by the various shoppes to purchase a backpack and fill it with many a variety of foods. Long trips without food will leave thee weak and more susceptible to wounds from thine enemies’ attacks. Thou shalt not bypass a trainer’s hall. Thou shouldst train hard to become a better warrior. Visit trainers and learn from them. Those hours spent training with masters may save thy life.
While it is necessary to use armour wisely, I recommend to thee to buy armour as soon as possible. In doing so take into consideration the following qualities: weight, sturdiness, protection. Armour may be divided into the two types appearing hereunder: antique and magic. The magic armour type is almost twice as effective in protecting thee as the antique one. Antique armour includes leather, metal scales, chain mail and metal plates. The sturdier the material, the greater the protection. Leather armour, boots, collar, gloves and helm offer the least protection. On the other hand, they will be the lightest. Scale armour and chain armour, chain coif and chain leggings are a bit better than leather, but not overmuch.
Shields: a buckler or a wooden shield will provide thee with the least amount of protection in this category. A brass shield or a curved heater will provide thee with the most protection. By protection, thou shouldst understand that thine attacker will be deflected away from thee. Amongst helms, thy choice is great and the best protection comes from the magic helm. The great helm is nearly as efficient, though. The crested helm and the caddelite helm do offer the same amount of safety.
Chain armour, chain coif, and chain leggings will decrease very little the impact of enemy blows. Thou wilt need a gorget and some greaves for those exposed vital areas. A kidney belt could be useful but, I must needs warn thee, of little protection. Plate armour offers solid protection for thy money. I would recommend a pair of plate leggings as well. The ultimate protection, in matters of armour, at this point in time, is as follows: a magic helm, a magic shield, a magic gorget, a pair of magic leggings and some magic gauntlets.
Dearest fighter, for thine ease I will divide weapons into groups. Thus, at one glance, thou mayest easily remember their efficiency. I will begin with the least damaging weapons: Blowguns, boomerangs, daggers, slings, pitchforks, picks and whips have very little effect. A magic axe, a mace, a morning star, a two-handed axe, a spear, a shovel or a sword are of limited effect upon thine opponent. A scythe, a bow, a fire sword, a musket, or a two handed hammer are slightly more damaging.
Crossbows (my favorite), halberds, lightning whips, magic bows, fire wands and fire bolts are very powerful weapons. Find the best weapon and armour thou canst obtain. Remember all weapons ought to be kept ready for immediate use. One more word of wisdom: Do not neglect thy sleeping time. Sleeping frequently will give thee the rest fighters need. An eight hour sleep will restore full strength for thee and thine allies.
If thou hast weak allies, thou shouldst know the most suitable and productive method of combat is to prompt them to attack the weakest enemy or encourage them to flee. In order to protect a weak ally, thou shouldst bestow the protection halo on them. In addition to that, thou mayest put the strongest member in thy group in charge of protecting the weakest.
When attacking foes, a good strategy is easily available to thee: thou canst always hide and shoot. Or thou canst flank and protect thyself quite well. When flanking, it is best to use long range type of habiliments, for example, a crossbow. Be sure the member of thy group who is flanking doth not hurt any of thine other allies. Caution is strongly advised.
Thy band members armed with heavy weapons should be swift to attack the strongest opponent. Other members should follow thy guidance and attack the weakest enemies. When reading a book, look for useful information and memorize it or jot it down, for thou mayest have need of it later. Read quickly, but read all pages. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of reading all of the pages of a book.
Conclusion: Dearest adventurer, I beseech thee to thoroughly consider the aforesaid cautions and advice. The reason that I wrote such a treatise is to sharpen thy fighting skills, but thou canst tell that is not a goal in itself. My goal in using my quill is truly to convince thee with all mine heart and all mine expertise to hasten home safely once thy quest hath been completed and thy thirst for adventuring quenched.

The Sleeping Soldier
Registry
Gwenno
Alinda of Monitor
Batlin the Sage
Draygan
Peter of Monitor

A Treatise on Torture
by Evad, Royal Servant to the King of the White Dragon
I have been given the privilege of chronicling the King’s romp through madness. As a reward, I will be slain quickly. His Majesty began with a commoner named Patric, stretching him on the rack. By his own hands, His Majesty turned the man to a babbling wretch over the course of twelve hours.
…After boiling the flesh from a family of farmers, His Majesty became inspired. He restrained a noble, a guest at the great banquet, upon the torture table and applied tourniquets to each of his limbs. One by one the limbs became useless strands of dead flesh. He showed mercy on the victim by killing him only five hours later by opening numerous small wounds on his person and letting him bleed to death.
The King of the White Dragon killed his own wife by slaying a bull, slitting open the carcass, and placing her, tied securely, into the opening. He then sewed the opening shut such that naught but her head protruded. He sat outside and watched as the carcass decayed around her and vultures and other carrion beasts picked apart the meat — the bull’s and hers…

Principles of Economics
By Hyle
Economics is, simply put, the study of how an entity could most efficiently allocate its limited resources. I use the word “Entity” because these principles, moderately adjusted, may be applied on different levels. From the largest, and consequently least detailed, level — that of a worldwide market in which the intricacies of trade and specialization are most emphasized, to an individual business’s or, smaller still, an individual’s struggle to gain maximum utility from the limited funds provided by that person’s livelihood.
Let us begin by defining some simple, underlying theories which may dictate the behavior of our target, which, for the purposes of this book, will focus on the economy as a whole. I intend later to publish a separate document on the wholly different level of business and/or individual-level economic fundamentals. As is the case in any science, one must first be given a foundation upon which to build his knowledge; in this particular instance, I will refer to the “Tower of Economic Understanding.”
The market is the basis of my study. A market is not a tangible thing — not like the marketplace at which one might trade with merchants for needs or wants (these I will define further into the book), although a marketplace is a part of the market. Rather, the market consists of the consumer (the entity purchasing the resource) and the seller (the entity offering the resource for sale or trade). For example, at the aforementioned marketplace, the baker, offering a loaf of bread, would be the seller, and an entity interested in purchasing the loaf would be the consumer.
A market exists when there is a resource to be exchanged. A resource, in simplest terms, can be either a good or a service. A good is a tangible item — examples include water, diamonds, and false beards. A service is something which is performed by an entity; e.g. the service a cargo ship supplies or even governmental bodies such as a standing garrison of soldiers…

The Dwellers of Serpent Isle
By Byman
One quarter of a millennium ago, the man-daemon Lord British impressed upon the citizens of Sosaria his Eight Virtues. Most of the citizens were deluded into believing that his way of life was just and fair. Some were strong enough to oppose his rule and fled to begin their own civilization, free of the oppressive autocracy. These brave folk, led by a mage whose bravery is now sadly forgotten, ventured out to sea, with little idea as to their destination; only a firm belief that Lord British was a tyrant whose rule was not to be tolerated.
Erstam led them to a large island, which was instantly christened “New Sosaria.” The land’s name was changed shortly thereafter to “Serpent Isle,” after the strange ruins found there. There were three principal groups who left Sosaria — the Mages of Moon, the chivalrous folk of the Two Montors, and the folk of the port city of Fawn. Each had their own reasons for joining in the emigration: the mages because they felt that certain of Lord British’s virtues were unrealistic; the Fawnese because Lord British had failed to acknowledge a ninth virtue — Beauty; and the brave folk of Monitor because of their belief that Courage ranked above all else…

Courageous Deeds
By Andrew of Monitor
Chapter One: The tale of Kosric and Pedigar
The brothers Kosric and Pedigar sailed with the original expedition to Serpent Isle, when the land was more unknown and mysterious than it is today. Each brother was the Lord of one of the two Montors on Sosaria, and, not content to settle for Lord British’s uncompromising and misguided rule, convinced their people to set sail with the mages of Moon and the people of Fawn to the new land.
Lost in the history books of the other two cities, however, is the tale of what happened when the tired sojourners first set foot on this new land. The leader, a mage who went by the name Erstam (it surely could not be the same mad Erstam who performs intolerable experiments today), was given the honor of stepping first on Serpent Isle. It was then up to the leaders of the individual groups to decide who would next trod upon the unknown isle.
Kosric and Pedigar claimed the right, as their group were the finest warriors among them. The Fawnese claimed it also, arguing that their beauty should mingle with the beauty of the new island before anyone else. The Moonshadian mages, being untrustworthy, teleported themselves onto the island while the other two groups were engaged in discussion, stealing the honor. The greatest honor gone, the Fawnese and Monitorians descended the gangplank together. The Moonshadians scattered themselves like the four winds before they could be reprimanded, and the Fawnese ran to explore the beauty of the island.
At that moment, emerging from the hills and woodlands, trolls began an assault on the intrepid band. Were it not for Kosric and Pedigar and their Monitorian soldiers, the expedition would have failed then and there, for the Fawnese and Moonshadians were caught unawares. However, the two launched themselves at the foes, Kosric wielding his hammer, “Thunderbolt,” and Pedigar with his greatsword, and brought doom upon the foul trolls.
When the battle was over, a score of courageous Monitorians lay dead beside the bodies of twice that number of trolls. Let it not be forgotten, brave Monitorian, that it was thine ancestors who led the way for all civilized life on this island.

Recipe Books
By Petra
Apple Way:
2 apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of corn starch
2 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 double pie crust
Place the apples, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon into a large bowl and combine them. Put the mixture into the bottom pie crust with the butter. Put on top pie crust and cut slits for steam to escape. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.
Sweet Muffins:
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup warm water
5 ounces of yeast
1 egg
4 cups unsifted flour
Scald milk, stir in sugar, salt, and butter. Cool to lukewarm. Measure warm water into a large warm bowl. Add yeast and stir until dissolved. Stir in lukewarm milk mixture, egg, and half of the flour, and beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Cover the bowl tightly with waxed paper. Refrigerate the dough at least two hours. Divide dough into two halves and roll each piece into a 9 by 14 inch rectangle. Brush lightly with melted butter. Filling: Sprinkle the rectangle with a mixture of 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/3 cup raisins and pecans. Roll the rectangles so that they are 9 inches long (like a jelly roll). Make sure the edges are firmly sealed.
Cut each roll into nine equal pieces and place them in a greased pan (leave enough room for the pieces to expand). Cover the pan and let the dough rise in a warm place until the rolls have doubled in size. Bake at a moderate temperature (350 F degrees) for about 30 minutes. Frosting: Frost with a mixture of confectioner’s sugar (1 1/2 cup) and 5 teaspoons of milk.

Devra’s Recipes
Chicken and Rice:
2 cups rice
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped green pepper
3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
3 tablespoons salad oil
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups slivered cooked chicken
3 ripe tomatoes, cut in thin wedges
Cook green pepper and onions in oil till tender. Blend cornstarch and a little chicken stock. Add remaining stock and soy sauce. Gently stir chicken and stock into vegetables. Cook and stir until sauce is clear and thickened. Add tomatoes and cook just until heated. Serve over rice. Serves six.
Broccoli Casserole:
1/2 stick butter
1 cup of rice, cooked
1 cup chopped onions
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
6 ounces of cream of mushroom soup
4 ounces of melted cheese
Melt butter in skillet; add chopped onion and saute until clear. Add the chopped broccoli. Stir thoroughly. Add the cream of mushroom soup. Stir and simmer a few minutes. Add 1 cup cooked rice; stir and simmer. If too thick, add a small amount of water and cook 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Apple Nut Squares:
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup cooking oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups peeled, diced apples
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch pan. In large mixing bowl, combine first 8 ingredients; beat rapidly for 3 minutes (about 150 strokes). Stir in apples and pecans. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with whipped topping, ice cream, or as is, dusted with powdered sugar. Serves 12 to 15.
Teatime Tassies:
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sifted flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon soft butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
dash of salt
2/3 cup broken almonds, or other nuts
Blend cream cheese and butter. Stir in flour. Chill 1 hour. Shape in 2 dozen 1" balls. Form dough on bottom and sides of cups or muffin tins. Beat remaining ingredients together except nuts. Divide half of the nuts among the cups. Add egg mixture to top with remaining nuts. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.
Saucy Franks:
1 lb. franks
2 tablespoons butter
10 3/4 oz. tomato soup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
Score franks in corkscrew fashion. In skillet, brown franks lightly in butter. Add remaining ingredients except green pepper. Simmer covered 10 minutes. Add green pepper and cook 5 minutes longer.
Peanut Butter Fudge:
2 cups sugar
dash of salt
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon light syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix first 4 ingredients and cook until soft ball stage. Add remaining ingredients and blend. Pour quickly into greased pan and cut into squares.
Noodles:
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon soft butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 cup flour
Combine egg, butter, salt, milk, and vinegar. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Roll out very thin on floured surface. Let dough stand about 2 hours, until dried. Cut into strips. Drop noodles in salted water or broth. Cook for 10 minutes. Makes 3 cups of uncooked noodles.

Trout Surprise
By Jendon
Pan Fried Whole Trout:
Trout, 2 to 3 lbs. cleaned
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
3 tbsp. butter
8 tbsp. vegetable oilv 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Wash trout under cold water; pat dry with a towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix cornmeal and flour. In heavy skillet, melt butter in oil over moderate heat. When the foam begins to subside, roll trout in cornmeal/flour mixture, shake off excess and put in skillet. Fry 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and flaky. Serve with lemon wedges.

Fighting is an Art
By Johnson
Lesson One: In fighting, thou must never lose, no matter what thou must do. Anyone fighting thee is an enemy. An enemy must be destroyed. During battle thou wilt be confronted by thine enemy. Thou must defeat him, or thou wilt bring disgrace upon thyself, thy clan, and thy trainer. Battles are always on the horizon. Thou must train hard, and work thyself hard. Thou must think battle, eat battle, sleep battle if thou dost expect to be victorious. Those warriors who do not think they can do this should contemplate another line of work.
Knowing thy weapon is the greatest value. Be it sword, mace, or bow, thou must train with it until mastery if thou dost want to be a true warrior. If thou hast not the time or the mind to train in this fashion then thou shouldst perhaps train with the shovel and the carrying of animal wastes from the fields instead. It is better for thee to serve thy clan as best as thou canst, though it be a less than knight-worthy post, than for thee to run in battle and endanger thy comrades.
Anyone caught running away from a battle should be put to the sword immediately, lest others feel that they may let their womanish fears prevail. The true knight is not he who fights battles, but he who relishes in the spilling of blood. He who is enthralled with the smell of a bowel split wide, or the sight of anothers’ blood staining his sword and armour, should be praised above all. This is what a true knight seeks. He is a true master in the arts of fighting.
Lord British’s Tyrannical Adventure
by Anonymous
Lord British was a monarch who was haughty and vain
And especially proud of his despotic reign.
But conceit of this sort isn’t proper at all
And soon the old tyrant was doomed for a fall.v One day as he viewed his subjects from on high,
A voluptuous young wench caught his tired old eye.
Bending over to see, that oversexed goat
Let his gold crown slip and fall into the moat.
With a cry of sheer terror he jumped like a fool,
he rushed to his ditch (it reeked like a cesspool).
He leaped in kersplash! and sank like a stone.
(Everyone hoped for a new heir to the throne.)
But alas he came up and staggered from the sewer,
his robes smelled of offal, his breath like manure.
“Why did I do that? What possessed me today?
I’m as daft as old Iolo, and now I smell like Dupre.”
“And if anyone sees me, oh what a disgrace,
I had better leave if I want to save face!”
But a crowd had assembled and stared, amazed,
the sight confused them, the stench left them dazed.
Then with a shriek a young boy began to laugh,
giggling and pointing at the king’s fecal bath.
Becoming enraged, the monarch suddenly turned wild,
He looked like he wanted to strangle the child!
His hand turned to fist, he struck lightning fast,
but the old poop missed, and fell on his ass.
Not holding back, the crowd soon roared,
The laughter was deafening. It grew till it soared.
But the king found no humor and called for his men.
The arrival of the guard quickly silenced the din.
“For all of you who found humor in my sorrow and misfortune
Will soon find the rack! And pain! And contortion!
Then I will cackle as you stew and boil,
in a pot full of lard and bubbling oil.
And for those who survive this (they’d liefer be dead),
I’ll pluck out their eyes, and chop off their head!
Finally in the wind their bodies will swing,
Then you fools will be sorry for laughing at this king!”
Then all were led away at the point of a sword,
While old Lord Brit took a dip in a ford.
Then he laughed at the cries that screamed through the night,
He chuckled at their anguish, he cackled at their plight.
In Britannia today no one openly tells this tale,
lest they find themselves thrown in tyrant’s darkest jail.
But here in our new homeland this song can be sung,
the tale of how British acquired his faint smell of dung.

The Crying Lute
By Gannt
The lute in mine hands as I softly strum,
cries for it knows the hollow man I have become,
of my tragedy, of my sorrow, of my lonely despair.
Only my lute listens, alone, only it cares.
Though I am a knight, and mine emotions I hide,
I still feel the soul-eating darkness inside.
I am a man of armour and a man of the sword,
but the blackness I feel I cannot ward.
The green swine came, silent coward attacks,
with bow and arrow, with sword and axe.
They came for our blood, for our flesh to eat,
We hacked them to death, our blades flaying their meat.
Though I have loved her, she still left this life,
her pale white skin pierced by a goblin’s bloody knife.
But I am left here, an empty shell of a man.
I cannot speak, the sorrow is more than I can stand.
Others drink themselves blind, but I cannot partake
The others celebrate, but smiles I can’t fake.
I will sit here by the fire and softly strum,
only my lute knows the hollow man I have finally become.

The House of the Unicorn
By Gannt
Come! Enter into the rich house of the Unicorn.
Open your ears and minds,
Absorb the magic of the steed’s fair horn!
We are not now, nor never have we been
Children of the Unicorn.
But if we give in to ourselves,
and listen to music of the elves
one day soon we will be with the Unicorn.
On the day of thy birth
came forth a new ray of sun to our earth
Providing warmth and green riches
to drive away the sorcery of witches.
And we all take part in the gifts of the harvest moon,
and give ourselves to the lute and the tune
and drink the wealth of the early morning dew
and savor the pleasure held by the precious chosen few.
Oh, to belong to the chosen of the Unicorn,
The wealth of spirit, no fear of the forlorn.
We can dance in the meadows by the whispering wonders,
and ride forth on lightning and command the thunder.
Oh, great steed, thou magical beast,
in thine honor we break bread and feast.
We raise our cups high in twilight’s last never
We are in the House of the Unicorn where we will dwell forever.

No Such Thing as Fairies
By Gannt
In our childhood years we learn that fairies glow,
and this is good as everyone knows.
But we partake the juice of the dark berries
though we know there are no such thing as fairies…
We cry, though we rarely let it show,
our tears fall like melting mountain snow.
But still the fairies float like smoke rings though the night.
stealing us blind with their mythical magical sight.
And with the fortune to seize priceless treasures,
and the subsequent Moonshadian pleasures
and as we grow older and bolder and drawn,
the fairies visit us less till, alas, they are gone.
But for our offspring the fairies will still glow,
and this is good as every child knows.
But we keep partaking in the juice of the dark berries
for we know that there are no such things as fairies…

Guide to Knighthood
By Graeme of Monitor
Courage is in thine heart; if thine heart is not in danger of being pierced by a blade, then thou canst not fight with courage. Courageous men choose as weapons the sword, hammer, mace, and axe. Be wary of those who wield these weapons well, for they are fierce foes. Be also wary of those who weave spells, for they have no courage, and the cowardly weave webs of deceit, lies, and trickery. Courage manifests itself on a battlefield, and the side whose courage is greatest, regardless of numbers, shall emerge victorious. A courageous man knows that one can leave the battlefield only two ways: By eliminating all of the enemies or in death. A man whose life thou hast saved, or who hath saved thine, can be trusted the rest of thy life.
A knight must never work toward personal goals in lieu of the goals of his Lord. Courage is not only taking sword up against his foe; it is the courage to admit to and remedy his own shortcomings, and if it happens that the knight is wrong, he must have the courage to admit as much. A knight must know, beyond the martial skills of the weapon of his fancy, the art of tactics, as it may some day come to him that the lives of his fellow knights may be decided by his tactical decisions.
Any knight who betrays another will never be allowed to take up arms again. A knight who perpetrates such a wrongdoing is no knight; he is like unto the goblins he once warred against. Courage is separate from stupidity; there comes a time to run and regroup in some battles, but only those which are unwinnable.

Warriors of Fortune Quarterly
The Adventurer’s Guidebook
For you men who are stern of heart and gifted in the ways of weapons of steel, fortunes more mightier than you can dream of lie in your near future. All you must do is read the secrets held within these pages and you will be on the way to riches. Enter into mysteries that have baffled men through the ages, with rewards greater than those of today’s kingdoms. Come, adventure and gold are on your horizon.
This issue offers the stern-hearted adventurer a chance to be the first to a miser’s treasure! With more gold than ten ships can carry! Read on, and learn the history and the location of one of the world’s richest lost lairs. Couldst thou be the first to find it?
Many hundreds of years ago there was a miser named Triphako who had accumulated a massive fortune by swindling the local natives and by hiring pirates to attack his competitor’s ships and cargo. One night after he had a vivid dream about losing his vast wealth, Triphako consulted a great wizard. The sage forewarned that the miser was about to lose all of his wealth in the near future and that nothing that he could do would prevent this. Thinking that he could avoid the prophecy, the miser took all of his gold to a cave in the northern icy reaches for safe storage. He hired the wizard to create a series of tunnels in the rear of the cave that no one could find their way through without a magical map.
When all was finished, the wizard conjured an Ice Dragon to guard the mouth of the cave that led to the riches. On the voyage back to the palace, the miser, fearing that the wizard would allow his secret to be known, killed the wizard by pushing him into the sea. Unfortunately for him, upon the wizard’s death, the magical map disappeared in a puff of blue smoke. Fearing that the prophecy had come true, the miser returned to the cave and tried to find the route to his riches. True to the wizard’s warning, the miser never did reach his riches. Most say that he lies somewhere within the frozen caverns, for he never returned.
To this day no one hath survived the tunnels and reached the lair of the Ice Dragon. Some have attempted to face the Ice Dragons at the mouth of their cave, but all have either fled, or become permanent fixtures in the ice surrounding the cavern’s mouth. If thou beest brave, and sure of thy skills in battle, thou mayest find the secret way into the lair of Triphako and to his riches untold.

The Rites of Cremation
by Tolbert
Let this book serve as a guide to those who follow me in the honorable profession of cremator to the finest warriors in all the lands known to mankind, the fine fighters of Monitor! Most of this will become known during thine apprenticeship, but these written words will serve to bolster that which thy predecessor will be teaching thee.
The most important thing thou canst learn of thy profession is this: being a cremator is no less honorable or worthy a duty than taking up sword and shield and doing battle with goblins, trolls, and all the other uncivilized fiends that populate our land. I put to any doubters this question: where would a warrior be if he knew that, should he die valiantly in battle, his body would not be brought back to receive a proper cremation? That his body, primed and trained for war in life, should feed the carrion cowards who would rather flee than fight, or perhaps a meal for the wives of those foul beings who struck him down? He would be in the rear of the force, hoping that he returns home; worried more for his life than guiding his blade through the hearts of his enemies.
I have shown thee the worth of thy profession; now I will reveal to thee the import of burning one’s body, as opposed to the primitive practice of burial. Thou hast known from the day thy first words were spoken that there is mystical power in the ashes of the dead. ’Tis true, and thou dost know this from thy Test of Knighthood. Ashes are the soul of a man; his spirit is locked within the remains of his lifeless body, and burning it releases the spirit from its imprisonment. If this is not done, the spirit will go insane and rise up as a monster — lifeless, yet hateful and vengeful and animated. The spirit is in torment. This is no way for a courageous knight to spend eternity. For such a reason, the cremator is a respected and honored member of our stout city.
The question arises that, after the body is cremated (the method is described in detail in a later chapter), where must the ashes be stored? Fortune and wisdom on the part of our forefathers have placed us in a land whereby an opening in the great mountains to the west can serve as catacombs; a tomb for the courageous dead. It seems that these were once daemon lands, as evidenced by the ruins in the northwest, but more definitively by the catacombs. Therein, coffins and dusty tapestries hold their unburned dead. No doubt the place is naught but ruins because the maddened corpses did rise up and wreak their vengeance on the fools…

Temples of Chaos
Translated by Miggim
Xenka’s prophecies mention the ancient Ophidian temples of Chaos as somehow being important to the Hero From Another World. Though I have not been able to decipher the true meaning of Xenka’s visions regarding these temples, I feel that the Hero From Another World shall surely need some information regarding their location. I have translated a brief description of the Chaos temples from Ophidian script into Runic.
The Temple of Emotion was carved from the living rock of Skullcrusher. To find the Temple of Emotion thou shouldst look for a small lake. The temple’s entrance is a small distance south of this lake. The Temple of Enthusiasm lies along the coast, north of the great Spinebreaker mountains. The Temple of Tolerance was built near the coast at the northern end of the snowy valley between the Spinebreaker and Skullcrusher mountains.

Great Practical Jokes
Chapter One: Exploding Books
Heh, heh, heh…

Ethics
The Ethical Man obtains his strength through Ethics. Hence, he is stronger as well as more daring. The Ethical Man would risk his life to save another man’s life. On the topic of Wealth and Ethics: To be truly ethical, thou shouldst reject Wealth. Wealth corrupts the soul. It doth do so by placing a greater value upon goods and material possessions rather than upon the “anima”, that is the living matter or spiritual matter. Spiritual kinship should be established as early as possible instead of the numerous tentative efforts by parents and the various communities to establish a Wealth kinship.
Believing thou shouldst abide by rules of conduct, learning well and being of good rule and disposition are what will make an ethical Man of thee. Wealth turns too many men away from rules of conduct. Quickly enough, young men like thee become wastrels and haunters of alehouses, thereby losing their temporary possession, Wealth, but above all losing their richest dowry, their only true wealth, their soul. Ethics will prevent thee from following that path. Reject Wealth, my dear reader and most assured brother, and be truly ethical. I hope I have convinced thee, for if so, I have saved thee.
Never, NEVER, surrender to thine enemies. Fight to the death, but do not abandon thine Ethics. The serpent of gold can send thee along the path to knowledge, but only if balanced by wisdom. Thou mayest already have felt the ill fortune brought about by wealth without wisdom; now use thy newfound wisdom to balance the power of gold.

The Chaos Gate
Let this be a final warning: Those who enter this room lacking in discipline will forfeit their lives. Those who know not the password, Despair! The brass gate bars thy way, would-be intruder, and only those privy to the secret password know when to use the runes! Crawl back to your cities of structured folly and temples of Order, dog! As I lie here, slowly dying of starvation, I laugh at thy fate, for though our city hath fallen, fool, thou wilt not use my gate as a means of ingress!
Here in our city, your fellow dogs revel in their victory, knowing not that I have sealed them within! There, look! A general shakes his fist at me through the brass gate, sealed within! Nay, Order dogs, thou wilt not use my gate to send your metal slayers toward my fellows! Thou wilt have to use the serpent gates to conquer the southern lands! I can die in peace, knowing that, though mine home lies in ruin and the Chaos that is our city is now under the control of the enemy, my gate will stand closed for all eternity!

Principles of Balance
I write this in great haste, for I can already hear the forces of Order breaching the keep walls. I know not how this missive will survive to reach the outside lands, or for that matter, future generations. Mine only hope is that this speedily-drafted work will offer record of our hallowed philosophy. For our culture to have any chance of enduring the ages, someone, somewhere must find this. Please, reader, I beseech thee, spread the word of our peoples.
Balance — The harmony between the Principles of Order and Chaos — is the one pure axiom we hold true. All three Principles are symbolized in our hieroglyphs: The Great Earth Serpent, keeper of Balance, lies on a vertical plane, around which the two opposing serpents of Chaos and Order wrap themselves. Chaos and Order each embrace three Forces. These six Forces, when combined, form the three Principles of Balance. The Forces of Chaos are Tolerance, Enthusiasm, and Emotion; the Forces of Order are Ethicality, Discipline, and Logic.
CHAOS — Tolerance is that which encourages the acceptance of all things. Enthusiasm is the energy that allows one to perform great tasks. Emotion is the ability to perceive those feelings that come from the heart, as opposed to coming from the mind.
ORDER — Ethicality is the belief that there is great value in abiding by rules of conduct. Discipline is the drive to complete a task and avoid the distractions that will prevent its completion. Logic permits clear, reasoned thought, free from any instinctual biases.
BALANCE — From the marriage between two Forces, one each from Chaos and Order, come the Principles. Tolerance and Ethicality combine to form Harmony, the ability to be at peace with the self, the individual, and the world. From the union of Enthusiasm and Discipline springs Dedication, that which permits one to surmount obstacles and lead others. Finally, Emotion tempered by Logic results in Rationality, the ability to comprehend life and understand the world around us.
The Forces of Chaos and Order must ever remain in Balance, for imbalance leads to disaster. Witness the war-torn state of our world today! As thou canst surely see, my world hath been torn asunder by disregard for Balance - our dearest axiom! If thou dost thrive in a time less violent, I can do no more than plead with thee to help restore Balance to the Serpent Isle! I must end this brief explication here, for I can hear mine attackers pounding upon the oaken door downstairs. I wish thee and thy world better fortune than mine own.
-
Ssithnos, the Great Hierophant

Report on the Cleansing of the Fiend’s Domain
Subcommander Stherask, I regret to inform thee that, of the entire company of brass automatons, not one has returned. This mission has not only proven costly in terms of the efforts expended by our wizards to create these automatons, but in the lives of brave soldiers as well. Of the three humans we had sent on the mission, Lieutenant Alspeth and her two sergeants, Shesparios and Iskil, none have returned. We can only fear the worst in this case; the mission has failed. Were it not for the unfaltering faith I have in thee and our Commander, I would question the value of our attempt, as the Fiend has ceased to meddle in the affairs of Serpent’s Fang.
I assure thee, Subcommander, that none blame thee for the deaths of those three fine warriors. All who know of the failed mission have no doubts that this was a just cause for loss of lives.

Ritual of Reunification
First — Open the window into the Void by placing the Blackrock Serpent in its proper slot.
Second — Each imprisoned Bane must be placed upon the altar corresponding to its Principle. Unrestrained Emotion leads to Madness. Unchecked Enthusiasm leads to Wantonness. Unthinking Tolerance produces Anarchy. The Flame of Chaos shall welcome each Bane to its proper place.
Third — That which shall bond the Banes together must be placed upon the remaining altar. If all is done correctly, Chaos shall be reunited.

Ethicality
As a follower of Order thou must always conform to the principles of conduct as accepted by our alliance. Without these as guides we as a people would be lost. We would be no better than those who are controlled by Chaos. We are far better than those who permit anarchy to control their lives and their thoughts. We must be eternally vigilant to insure that our system of ethics stands strong, that it must not be corrupted from within. We must insure that we remain pure, for corruption is the strength of our enemy, though it will be his own undoing should we stand aligned against it.
Student of Ethicality, take heed! Thou must be stronger than thou art in order to stand against the false truths that Chaos will tempt thee with. As iron is in a forge, thou wilt be blasted with the torrent of Chaos and corruption ’til thou wilt lose thy brittleness and harden into a core of strength. Through Ethics, thou canst become free of the anarchy and pain that lies within Chaos and ignorance.

Library of the Order Hierophant
The Great Library of the Hierophant contains all the history and knowledge that defines and guides the followers of Order. Though it is hidden away within the bowels of the mountain, a student of Order may enter it through the portal in the Temple of the Hierophant.
In times of disaster and of war, the Great Library was sealed to prevent its valuable works from being destroyed, or from falling into the hands of Chaos. Entry into the Library meant first opening the door to the Temple of the Hierophant. This could only be achieved by a student placing the correct symbols of Order on the pedestal before the door to the temple. Since only true followers of Order would have the understanding of the symbols, this was the first test to prevent those of Chaos from desecrating both Temple and Library. Only those who have studied the writers and poets of Order will have the wisdom and knowledge to open the door.
Once the door opens the student doth need the Sceptre of the Hierophant to gain entry into the Library. Since the Hierophant keeps it in his charge, only by asking his permission can one gain access. Should the Sceptre be lost, or the Hierophant killed in battle, the Library will remain forever closed, away from the corruptions of Chaos.
With Sceptre in hand, the student must stand in front of the blue pedestal of the temple. He must place the Sceptre atop the pedestal. The student will then gain instant access to the Library. All knowledge of Order is held there as a bastion against corruption and Chaos.

What is Order
a poem by Sschittek the Wise
What is Order?
Is it a rule?
Is it a law?
Is it a whip with barbs to control the unruly?
It is not any of these, it is more…
It is wisdom, it is knowledge,
It is a sense of duty!
Ethicality is a Scroll,
speaking of principles,
of wisdom and of freedom
from fear and hate.
It is a gleam of sunrise
guiding thee toward enlightenment
and to thy true fate.
Discipline is strength of the mind,
born of willpower and knowledge,
cleansing like a noon summer shower.
It is a well-honed Serpent Dagger,
a blade that cuts through
Chaos and corruption’s foul power.
Logic is a straight path,
without obstacles or brambles,
free from both rock and tooth.
Logic is precise and unswerving,
counting Order’s truth on an
eternal Abacus of Truth.

Symbols of the Serpent
To commune with the Serpent one must be in possession of the Earrings of the Serpent. Only via these can the Great Serpent channel his words to thee. To be at one with Balance one must have the blackrock Serpents of Order, Chaos, and of Balance. To enter into the Grand Shrine of Balance one must wear the Armour of the Serpent, carry the great Staff of the Serpent, and wear the Crown of the Serpent upon one’s head. Only after these are obtained may one enter the most sacred of sanctums of the people of the Ophidian order.

Ardiniss’ Note
I have blocked the entrance to the Catacombs beneath our outpost with walls of force. None may pass ere this key is used. If thy need is great, and thou dost follow in the steps of Order, thou shalt know what to do to retrieve Loriel’s Gift. – Ardiniss

Outpost Note
Notes: I have looked for a way through to the other chambers of this cursed outpost, but have yet found nothing. I did discover that the well in the southernmost chamber was empty. By using rope I lowered myself down into the darkness. At the last chamber I could go no further — a wall of some kind of eldritch force blocked my way. I discerned that no ordinary key would grant me passage. I will search for this key.

Silverpate’s Treasure
To the adventurer actively looking for me treasure: Yes, thou be looking for me gold, I ken that much. Beware! All is not as easy as it seems. All is not as it appears. Thou may not see what is there and what thou do not see can harm ye. Nevertheless, what thou do not see may save thy life. Thy rewards will make ye rich. In order to go there, thou hast to find the entrance. Obvious, yes? Yes, but the entrance is not to be found easily, for it is a hidden one. Good luck to ye! – Silverpate.

Melino’s Note
To Gustacio, wisest of Mages — The Mundane outsider, the Avatar, carried a very rare and powerful weapon. The blade gained its considerable power from a Daemon bound within the blade by a most puissant enchantment. I would very much like to study the Mundane’s blade. Unfortunately, they released the Daemon from the sword in order to escape from the Mountains of Freedom. I wonder… how doth a mere Mundane obtain such a weapon? Now the blade needs to have its sorcerous energies realigned if it is to ever contain another bound spirit. I could repair it if I coud use thy flux analyzer. I know that the device was stolen from thee years ago. Hast thou ever recovered it? — Melino

Horn of the Gwani
I See the Hero From Another Land in the frozen lands of the North. The Hero seeks the wife of their oldest companion. A wall of ice doth prevent the Hero from reaching the woman. The Hero lifts a horn — the Horn of the Gwani — to their lips and blows. The sound of the horn is deafening! The wall of ice is shattered!

Ruggs’ Love Letter
Dearest Delphynia,
The enchanted afternoon when I first saw thy precious face, thou wert in the full bloom of thy beauty and I was blinded. I forgot everything, everyone. I forgot all about Batlin standing next to me and the reagents we were supposed to purchase. That day I fell in love with thee, my Delphynia. But I fear thou wert blinded by my physical appearance as well. Alas! The scars that twist my face are not a pretty sight. Look beyond mine appearance, Delphynia. Let thy mind’s eye see my soul. Thy mind is less deceitful than thine eyes which only glance at the surface of things and people. If thou wilt but look, thou wouldst see the hidden treasures of thy scarred Ruggs. For I am a good man. My heart is pure and so is my mind, Delphynia. I beg of thee, look at me. ’Til I see thee again, Ruggs.

Delphynia’s Answer
Most esteemed Ruggs,
I cannot forget the day I first beheld thy face, for it is never far from my mind. As thou art never far from mine heart. I will admit that to thee, though it may shame me. I cannot promise when, or if, we can ever be together, dear Ruggs. For thou art in exile, and I am the only healer in Fawn. I cannot dwell outside of the gates with thee, no matter how much mine heart may wish it. But someday, if the heavens smile upon us, I shall be able to cast aside my doubts and come to thee as thy love. Until then, I remain ever thine. — Delphynia

Iolo’s Notes
Oh, Great Captains, my Great Captains! So powerful you were yesterday, so pitiful you are today. Rulers of the City are now prisoners of the Oracle. What a fate you might have met! Iolo is pleased that such powerful creatures as you, Great Captains, have lost power, herein uncovering the fools in them… Iolo
Everyone is in search of The Lady of Fawn. For The Lady hath been lost since dawn. Barking their strange tune throughout the city, All of them, townsfolk and priests. Iolo did it, enjoying such feasts. Avatar, is it not pretty? — Iolo
Right adventurous Avatar, I greet thee well, Avatar, sending thee my blessings and letting thee know that it appears that thou art not paying due attention to my clues. I require thee that thou dost so.
Faithfully thine, Iolo

Serpent Armor
I must seek out Voldin. He will know what can be done against the power that this “Mad” Iolo doth exhibit. I still can hardly believe what hath befallen me, Zulith, Chancellor of Fawn — the most clever man on Serpent Isle: forced to flee from an insane mage! Still, all is not lost: the treasure room is well hidden and I have one of its two keys. Lady Yelinda doth have the other, though I doubt she remembers it. The so-called Serpent Armour is safe from that devil Iolo, and I still have my freedom and my life. Yet I cannot leave Fawn till I have secured all of the treasure!
Hah! ’Tis laughable to think about the titular ruler of Fawn — Lady Yelinda — a woman that hath the intelligence of a fish. ’Tis best that she spend the rest of her days trapped in Gorlab, the fool! She thought that I was merely redecorating her throneroom when in sooth I had constructed (with the help of a Moonshadian mage) an illusionary wall in the southeast room of the palace! That is where I had to store the Serpent Armour. ’Tis safe from all, I tell you! PS: I must incorporate these writings into my diary lest I forget!

Batlin’s Note
Journey to the mint; ambush the hero there. Succeed in thy mission and thou shalt be richly rewarded. There is but one penalty for failure — death! Remember, the Avatar often travels with accursed companions, and they may be present. Ignore the companions — direct thine energies to one goal: the destruction of the Avatar! Destroy this note. No evidence should be left behind thee. — Batlin

Leon’s Note
Honor be to thee, dear reader. This piece of parchment is mine only means of communication with thee. Mad Iolo cruelly removed my tongue, that I might lead by example and not by words! I am so disenchanted… I cannot bear the fact that I could not save the city from further plagues. Moreover, there is absolutely no sign of the return of Batlin. What is going to happen? Thou shouldst tell me, I beg of thee. — Leon.

Karnax’s Diagnosis
Order be to thee, my right good reader! Beware that when the virtues are in imbalance, a whole new system is set in motion. The Chaos Forces without the Order Forces create the Chaos Anti-Forces. I hope thou dost understand what the implications of such a change mean.
A virtue like Tolerance without Ethicality creates a lack of standards of conduct and would lead, without a doubt, to Anarchy. Enthusiasm without Discipline promises actions without self-restraint that is Wantonness. Emotion deprived of Logic would foster an inability to overcome emotional impulses with rational thoughts, which augurs Insanity.
On the other hand, the Order Forces without the Chaos Forces create the Order Anti-Forces. In this case, it means that Ethicality without Tolerance would bring about disrespect for the beliefs and rights of others. Discipline without Enthusiasm would foster a spirit of hopelessness which retards positive action. That is called Apathy. Logic without Emotion leads to self-advancing actions taken without regard to the wants or needs of others. That is called Ruthlessness.
Hence, it is now obvious that only Discipline can correct Gwenno. Have this in remembrance and take care of thyself, Karnax

Minax’s Poem
Through darkness and despair
The land was bare
Looking for Thee, Mondain
Alas, but in vain
My soul and mine heart
Pierced by Cupid’s dart
Will never heal
Without Mondain’s will
Love is a desolate land
Unless Thou, Mondain
Takest me by the hand
To thy youth fountain
— Minax

Notes to Myself
by Erstam
Methinks I knowest now why the blink spell no longer works. These cursed teleportation storms disturb the ether in such a way that the spell often ceases to function. Other times, it is partially successful, as when I cast it on Vasel’s predecessor. Nasty business, that. After many weeks of fruitless study, I can only conclude that the blink spell simply no longer works correctly. Nine times out of ten, nothing at all happens, while the results of the tenth occurrence are best not pondered. The most obvious reason for these failures is this blasted weather we have been experiencing. Maybe when the storms lessen, I can divine the answer. Until then, I will continue in mine attempts to find the answer. Notes this day, by Gustacio.

The Magic Compass
This is said to be the legendary artifact which guided Erstam the Mad during the voyage to Serpent Isle. To use it, thou must set the Compass upon the ground, and then chant the mantra ‘Yleg Ort.’ According to legend, the compass will show thee the way to travel, but only if thou art worthy. As for myself, I have never been able to make the damn thing work. Hence, I am donating it to the Seminarium.
Filbercio the MageLord

Denyel’s Note
I have been here for more days than I am able to remember, though I have not forgotten the day I entered this forsaken cave which has become my tomb. That was 2-29-0227. But my food was depleted long ago, and the rats are more interested in eating me than letting me eat them. My strength is gone, as is my will. If thou dost find this, please tell Mythra I love her.
—Denyel

Rest House
Welcome, travellers, and be at ease. This rest house is open to all who Walk in Beauty. Feel free to take whatever food thou mayest need. As a courtesy to other travellers, please leave the rest house in the manner that thou didst find it…

Broken Oar Inn
Welcome to the Broken Oar, the finest inn in the known world! While thou art staying at our fine inn, thou mayest like to try our fine food. Inquire downstairs with the bartender, Jendon. We hope that thou dost enjoy thy stay at our establishment…

Angus’ Note
Dearest Devra, I hate having to leave thee for even a moment, but my father is as unmovable as a mountain! The months that we shared have been unforgettable. I will miss thee so much! I will miss thy wondrous red hair, thy silken skin, and thy lovely voice. I will miss all of thee. Please write to me. As thou knowest, I shall be going back to our inn, the Sleeping Bull.
Love, Angus

The Official Logbook of Crimes and Punishment
as recorded by Salkind, the Scheneshal of Tenebrae
during the reign of her ladyship Mordea.
The following is a list of the crimes of known enemies of the state, and of the swift and just punishments as decreed by her ladyship:
Armin: Guilty of inciting and spreading rebellious ideologies counter to the views of the state, inventing and proclaiming malicious slander against her ladyship, provoking treasonous acts in public, and assaulting the captain of the guard, highway robbery, and treachery. Punishment: Death by beheading.
Hermes: Writing many treasonous and slanderous articles against the government, participating in the forging of royal documents, arousing riots and melees and other civil disturbances, resisting formal arrest, and other vile and treacherous acts.
Brandem: Guilty of participating in public disturbances aimed at undermining the state, destruction of public property, making threats against prominent members of the community, plotting the assassination of her ladyship, buccaneering, and other vile acts of treachery. Punishment: 100 lashes, then death by beheading.
Dibeyer: Guilty of exciting the public to hysteria with controversial rhetoric banned by the state, calling unlawful gatherings and assembles, inciting the youth of Tenebrae to pillage and plunder their own town, damage to state property through the use of arson, committing statutory rape, public intoxication, striking a guardsman with a wooden club, wounding him, pillaging the poor, and an assortment of other treacherous acts. Punishment: Death by beheading. Also fined 250 coins.
Zoch: Guilty of following the rhetoric exposed by Dibeyer, sales of weapons without a permit from the state, passing counterfeit coins, defrauding widows of their inheritance, public intoxication, poaching on the grounds of the palace, brigandage, and many other acts treacherous in nature. Punishment: Fined, flogged, then Death by beheading.
Toran: Guilty of inciting and spreading ideologies contrary to the state, participating in public disturbances aimed at undermining the government, swindling the public through the sales of fake gems, privateering, purloining, pilfering, pick pocketing, and an assortment of other acts of treachery, too many to mention here. Punishment: Death by beheading.
Bentic: Guilty of researching into forbidden subjects, disobeying royal orders to cease all probings into such studies, speading malicous lies slanderous to Lady Mordea, inventing stories found defamatory to the well-being of the Tempestry, the pilfering of books from the state’s library, and acts of treachery too treacherous in nature that they may not be listed here. The confiscated research is secured in the dungeon evidence chamber for further review to determine the presence of additional conspirators. Punishment: Death by beheading

Bentic’s Journal
In my investigations of the royal bloodline I have uncovered many facts—-facts have lead me to more questions. Keldan the farmer, son of Treal. Forced to marry Lord Kean’s daughter, Celidia. Why would royalty want such a simple man? Keldan and Ariel… Did Celidia ever know? If so, when did she find out? And how? Ariel had a child, a son. Did Keldan send her away to protect them from Celidia, or did Celidia order it?
Celidia demanded a child. Mordea is born with the powers of Tempestry. Yet Lord Kean was no Tempest, nor was his wife… But where is Keldan and Ariel’s son? Both mother and child sent to live with the fishermen… Devon knows not his own father… Could Devon be a Tempest?!!? If so, by his being the first birth, his powers would be stronger than Mordea’s! I must investigate this further, though if Mordea should uncover my quest, my life will be forfeit…>br?

Honor Lost
by Meltzars the Troll
The state of my people leaves me distraught. Even the name Troll is an insult humans hurl at each other, while in my time the name Troll was noble and respected. What factors led my people down this path of twisted barbarism I will endeavor to discover. Since I was laid low by the sleeping disease contracted in my studies of the arcane, there were no efforts to revive me, and now I see why. All trolls with any mystic skills are gone!Indeed it seems that only the ignorant buffoons remain, and are breeding our society into mindless brutes.
After I awakened, I was shocked to see Trolls dressed in no more than rags, and even more surprised at the garbled, vile insults they hurled at me. After they drove me from their shelter (imagine Trolls living in caves like beasts) I encountered a group of our old allies, the Humans. Upon sighting me, they drew weapons and charged! My surprise was equaled by theirs when I turned and ran, believing these to be bandits or raiders. It seems that a Troll who thinks of self preservation is alien to them.
My own clothes are torn and tattered, and it shames me to wear them, but it seems Trolls no longer harvest the silk of the kith. If only I had learned to use the loom in my youth I would spin my own cloth. I also hunger for fine wine and breads, but it seems my fellows have resorted to stealing toraxes from humans and eating them raw. One of the Trolls I currently reside with brought in a Human child, and was going to eat him! I would stand for no more, and blasted the Troll with a spell of light. The others huddled away from me and stared with fear and hatred. I will carry the injured child back to the gates of the human city. When the guards see my act of goodwill, they will hear me out, and perhaps I will find allies among them.

Expedition Journal, Book II
Day Seventeen… It’s been about four days since Salem received the fatal blow, and some strange events have happened. Three children entered the camp before midnight, claiming to be childhood friends of his. When she saw them, Iane let out a fearsome scream and collapsed, and the little strangers made a hasty retreat into the night. How could children be childhood friends of a man in his late thirties?
Day Eighteen… This morning around breakfast, Iane explained that the childhood companions were only illusions that Salem used to create to entertain himself, and if the illusions still existed, then Salem must still be alive. We will seek advice when we return to Tenebrae.
Day Nineteen… After a rugged day of travel yesterday, we all expected a much needed and well deserved rest in Tenebrae, but it was not to be. As soon as the door to our leased cabin was opened, those three children were lurking about inside. Still they pleaded for us to rescue Salem, and we had decided to let them stay with us and investigate their claims in the morning. The fact that they knew our destination before we did unnerves me to no end. There was no sleep to be had with the mournful gaze of the oldest child (who calls himself Collin) watching me all night.
Day Twenty… Today we went on a wild chase with the fire brigade as they attempted to douse several fires that started simultaneously around Tenebrae when a shower of flaming stones rained from the sky. Ianes skirts caught fire, and she raised quite a stir when she leapt into the Tempest’s fountain to douse them, and discovered it was stocked with snapping eels!
Day Twenty-One… We have spent the day on the road, following the directions of Collin. He has offered no information about Salem’s condition other than he needs help. After what I saw happen to him, there is no way he could be alive. What kind of help does a dead person need? I guess we will find out tomorrow.
Day Twenty-Two… The black shadow of the keep still falls over us as the sun rises on the other side. The silence and cold here is not natural, and Warwick is convinced we are being watched from the twisted spires. I am going to carry my speaking stone into the place, and it will recognize Salem without error.

De-Venoming the Kith
By Ioria
Removing the venom sacs from a kith should only be done to an animal between the ages of four to six days. Sedate the kith by allowing it to inhale the vapors of boiling kalas leaves and mushroom spores. Do not breathe these vapors or intense headaches and dizzyness will occur. Once the animal is sedated, roll it over onto its back and locate the bony plate at the base of the mandible. Insert a wedge or pick into the seam at the base of this plate, and press firmly until the plate begins to slide. It will still be attached to the abdomen by several fiberous bands.
Lay the plate back over the abdomen and locate a pale membrane near the base of the mandible. Make an incision diagonally across the membrane and wedge it open. Inside there is a purple muscle. Slide this muscle towards the Kith’s head, and underneath is a green or yellow gland with two tubes leading into the throat. Wrap the gland in a heavy cloth, and clamp off the larger of the tubes as close to the gland as possible. Cut the tube just behind the clamp, and firmly squeeze the gland until any venom in it has been forced down the remaining tube. Cut the second tube and lift out the empty gland.
Now stitch together the ends of the tubes, and fill the cavity with the boiled kalas leaves. Slide the muscle back in place, and stitch the membrane closed. Repeat the process at the base of the second mandible. When both glands have been removed, lay the plate back over the exposed area, and bind to the kiths’s body with cord or bandages until it re-attaches. Note: Some kith have no venom sac on the right side of the head. If the gland is not visible after opening the cavity, it may be one of these animals, but search the area throughly before closing the cavity.

The Beauty of Rhian
By Toran
Her luminous candle guides my way in the darkness, warm and soft, my heart sings when bathed in her light. The gentle whisper of love calls out a name, Rhian. And my heart answers it. Melody is her voice, whispering softly to my soul, a gentle chime of love. While I live, Rhian is my life.

The Voices of Mary
By Salem
I wake in the night and the rooms are all dead,
I follow a dream; she still echoes in my head,
The new girl is twitching, asleep on the floor,
I move through dark rooms, and pass through the door,
Out in the chill, I follow the walk,
The spirits aren’t speaking, so there’s no need to talk,
The moon has arisen, to flower over the world,
While tendrils of mist snake out, and slowly unfurl,
There’s a sign by the sea that doesn’t make sense,
And out past the jetty wait sirens, horny and tense,
Briefly, through windows in the pale glass waves,
I see lost faces, ruined heroes in watery graves,
I know what comes next, because I’ve read all my lines,
I’ve been over my part, millions of times,
As the waters roll in and I’m swallowed by sea,
I can hear Mary whisper, calling to me,
‘Come on, baby,’ from somewhere she cries,
‘I want you to love me like spiders love flies’

Eye of the Boulder, the Runes of Myth Drainer
My love, my life, my doom! I began my search for the Eye shortly after my nineteenth year, while still in training with the Necromancers. Had I known at that young age what would befall me upon the completion of my undertaking, I would have spent my days differently, seeking companionship over mystic power; warm love rather than cold stone. But my desire for the Eye was all consuming.
It is said to have been found at the heart of an otherworldly chunk of rock, perhaps a part of some ancient tool or weapon, that fell from the sky during a time when godlike beings fought for dominance of this world and the worlds beyond. The Eye was later sundered into half a dozen finely chiseled runestones by the Leechlord, referred to in some texts as ‘the Drainer of Myths’. The subsequent details concerning the runestones and their uses became the events of legend, as Tempests and heroes fought for possession of the pieces of the Eye.
Though it took many years, it was I who finally managed to collect all the pieces. And with each part of the Eye that I added to my collection, my power grew, enabling me to recover successive pieces with greater ease. Obsessively, I laid the groundwork during those years of searching, preparing for the time when I could finally reintegrate the six disc-like pieces of the Eye. On the day of completion, once I had enacted the last of the rituals, my primary apprentice and I fitted the Eye directly into the freshly carved socket at the base of my skull, linking the mystic stone’s energies with those of my own nervous system.
Only then did I learn that the Eye’s sorcerous operations were antithetical to my own. Immediately, its dire effects became apparent. My memory and other mental faculties grew weaker, the images I beheld lost resolution, and the sounds around me began to seem like bland reproductions. I left my hidden tower, staggering forward at a grueling pace, one step at a time. And since then, the events of my days have seemed the tired tellings of a poor storyteller, and all I have wanted is release.I am ashamed to have wasted so much time and so many of my resources upon such a disappointing thing. I sought nothing less than the Ultimate, but instead received only a pale reflection, a hint of what could have been.

Captain’s Report
I recommend the new young guard Grommet for a commendation for bravery. As a troll, larger than most, marched directly and purposefully toward our station, we prepared to destroy it from a safe distance with firegems. Before we attacked, Grommet saw that it carried in it’s arms a little girl. We hesitated in our attack, and he charged out and met the beast with his sword drawn.In the ensuing battle the troll was driven to it’s knees, and as it begged for it’s life, Grommet slew the creature. Some of Grommets blows flew a little awry, and the little girl was mortally injured by one of them. She was only a peasant however, and of no import. Grommet will make a fine addition to the officers ranks.
Captain Stovan

The Saga of Bone Crusher
And so it was in the early days of Pagan that the Titan of Earth, Lithos, declared that all who lived upon his lands should pay homage to him. With his mighty earthquakes, he demanded that the people of Tenebrae bow to him, lest he shake their houses down around them.‘But mighty Lithos,’said the Lord Elsmil, the Tempest, ‘we are under the guidance of Hydros. From her we receive the rain for the crops and the fish for our table. We can not bow to you.’ This greatly angered Lithos and to punish the people of Tenebrae, he sent a great army of undead skeletons to slaughter them. Lord Elsmil, went to Hydros.
‘Please,’ he begged her. ‘The people of your city are being slain by the minions of your brother, Lithos. We must have your help.’ Hydros heard the plea of her Tempest and gave to him a mighty hammer. ‘You shall have this weapon called Bone Crusher and with it defeat the minions of Lithos.’ she said. When Lord Elsmil arrived back at the battle, it was going poorly for the Tenebraens. They were fighting bravely, but were outnumbered two to one by the undead. Lord Elsmil let out a mighty roar and waded into the carnage wielding the mighty Bone Crusher. The skeletons fell before him like trees and the tide of the battle was turned. By evening the last of the skeletons were being hunted down in the woods and the town of Tenebrae was saved.
However, Lord Elsmil was missing. The Tenebraens began to look for him. They finally found his crushed body on the battle field, but the wonderous Bone Crusher was nowhere to bee seen.They looked for it for many days and nights, but did not find it. Though several of the searchers found the prints of bony feet in the soft dirt of the western forest. By the looks of the prints, they said, the skeletons were dragging something heavy behind them. A few of the searchers even say they caught a glimpse of bony white and the glint of light off something gold. To this day, intrepid treasure hunters continue to look for the hammer called Bone Crusher.

Enemies of Tenebrae
compiled by The Royal Seneschal, His Eminence, Salkind
The following is a list of those citizens and former citizens of Tenebrae who are suspected to be involved in dealings or activities that may be construed to be dangerous or otherwise damaging to the City/State of Tenebrae.
Aramina
Darion
Devon
Kilandra
Korick
Orlok
Rhian
Gwilliam
Corinth
Torwin
Cyrrus
These people are to be considered dangerous and will be constantly watched for suspicious activity.

Spellbooks of Theurgy
The Spell of Divination
The divination spell is a most practical spell. It allows the caster to know his exact location, the time of day, the day of the week, and the current month. The Focus necessary for casting this spell resembles a sextant. The spell also has a vocal aspect. The words that must be uttered at the moment of casting are ‘In Wis.’
The Spell of Healing Touch
This is the least powerful of the healing spells of Stratos and one of the first usually learned by Adepts. The Focus necessary to cast this spell represents a pointing hand. The words that must be uttered at the moment of casting are ‘In Mani.’
The Spell of Aerial Servant
One of the more impressive of the Theurgic spells, Aerial Servant is also one of the most versatile. Upon casting of the Aerial Servant spell, a whirling being of Air is called into existance. This being will accept the Theurgist’s directives to manipulate or move any object. One of the more interesting aspects of this spell is that the Aerial Servant is able to move objects through another solid object, such as a door or wall. The Focus used to represent this spell represents an Arm Band and the casting words are ‘Kal Ort Xen.’
The Spell of Reveal
This spell is a dissipation spell, meaning that it will actually dispell another type of magic, specifically the spell of invisibility. When the Theurgist casts this spell, a wave of energy moves away from the caster in ever increasing concentric circles. These energy waves will dispell all forms of invisibility. The Focus used for this spell is an open eye and the casting words are ‘Ort Lor.’
The Spell of Restoration
One of the most powerful spells available to the Theurgist, this spell restores the recipient to full health, providing the recipient is still alive upon the beginning of the casting. It will eliminate wounds and maimings and will cure disease. This spell is one that the Theurgist will find in great demand. The Focus for this spell resembles an open hand. The words which must be uttered upon casting the spell are ‘Vas In Mani.’
The Spell of Fade From Sight
This spell is another very versatile spell as it allows the caster to become invisible to the sight of nearly all mortal beings. The Focus representing this spell is a closed eye. The words to be spoken during the casting are ‘Quas An Lor.’
The Spell of Air Walk
The Air Walk spell is the most highly valued spell a Theurgist can learn, for it is only through the use of this spell that a Theurgist can reach Stratos and hear the Mystic Voice. When this spell is cast, the Theurgist is capable of jumping quite a great distance with the aid of the surrounding air. It is interesting to note, that the first time a Theurgist experiences this spell is when he has completed the Tests and seeks Stratos for the first time. If Stratos is pleased with the Theurgist, then she will grant the spell without the use of a Focus. From that point on, however, the Theurgist must have the Focus representing wings to cast this spell. Words of power must also be spoken. For this spell those words are ‘Vas Hur Por.’
The Spell of Hear Truth
A useful spell for any number of reasons. This spell allows the Theurgist to hear both what the speaker is saying and what the truth is. If the speaker is, indeed, speaking untruthfully, the truth will come to the caster as if carried on a breeze. The Focus for this spell resembles a chain. The words spoken upon casting are ‘An Quas Lor.’
The Spell of Intervention
A powerful spell, upon casting the spell of Intervention, the Theurgist calls into being a wall of Air that blocks all damaging forces. While this spell will protect the caster from all blows and striking attacks, it will not protect the caster from immersion in lava or drowning in Water. The Focus for this spell resembles a fist and the words used are ‘In Sanct An Jux.’
The Spell of Resurrection
As told to Cyrrus by Stellos
In all my time as the leader of the Theurgists on Argentrock Isle, I hold dearest to my heart the time I received the Spell of Resurrection from the Mystic Voice that is our dear Stratos.I was no more than 60 when Kalen brought the body of his beloved to me. She had been dead for a number of days, and I knew there was not much I could do. However, I saw the love that burned in Kalen’s eyes and knew I had to try. I took the body of the woman to Windy Point and begged Stratos to return the spirit to the body. Stratos told me that the price would be high. I agreed to it, without hesitation.
At that point began the journey I will never forget. My spirit left my body and I began to fly. Oh, the glorious freedom, to fly above the clouds and soar the open skies. As I flew higher, the winds became stronger, soon it was a battle just to continue, but I struggled onward. Suddenly, before my eyes there was a shimmering cloud. It was on the edge of the sky and the Ethereal Void. Undaunted, I flew into the cloud, and what did I behold but a brilliant ball of fire and light. Stratos whispered to me that I beheld what hadn’t been seen by a Pagan in years…something called the sun.
At that moment, my body back on the ground opened its mouth and breathed the Breath of Life into the body of Keldan’s betrothed. The next thing I new, I was surrounded by darkness and back in my body. I asked what had happened and why it was so dark. At that, Keldan began to weep. It was then I knew that in viewing this wonderful sun, I had lost my sight. But I know it was a small price to pay, for Keldan’s betrothed put her soft hand in mine and thanked me for returning her to Keldan. This is a price I would ask no other to pay and therefore, there is no focus or words of power for it.

Journal of Veras the Healer
My dearest Prevan, I regret to tell you that I will not be home from this visit as soon as I had thought. My healing services will be needed here for some time as a terrible thing has happened to this small village. Two nights ago, as I had just finished my evening rituals, I heard a horrible commotion from the town square. I ran out to see what the trouble was, only to find the town overrun by trolls. The trolls had come in search of their favorite meal, human children.
From house to house they went, ripping doors off and brushing aside the men as if they were no more than flies. Mothers wailed as babes were torn from their breasts and fathers cried in anguish as one by one their children were eaten alive. The bloody procession went on and on, and I fear the screams and sobs will ring in my darkest dreams forever.And then, a miracle occured. From the final house, came not a cry of torment, but one of victory. We raced down the street to the house. We found the inside strewn with the bodies of the trolls and there in the middle stood Nehdra, a young woman who had just given birth a few days before. She had her newborn clutched in one arm, in the other was a magnificent golden sword.
She told us that as the trolls burst in, she had grabbed the only weapon she had, a knitting needle, and had cried out to Stratos to protect her child. Instantly, in answer to her plea, the great Stratos turned the needle into a magnificent sword. She said the sword fairly danced in her hand, slaying the trolls left and right until none were left alive. While I can find some solace in the miracle Stratos performed, I am afraid the task ahead of me is almost overwhelming. I do what I can to ease the hurts, but wounds of the mind Stratos gives no power to heal.
I will stay until I have done all I can, then I will carry the sword, now called ’Nehdra’s Needle’ to Argentrock Isle. There I will prepare a small shrine for it in the catacombs beneath the monastery. I do miss you, my love, and ask that you watch over our dear little Stellos until I can return. It is sad his mother must be away from him so soon after his birth, but I must serve where I am needed. I am sure you understand. All my love, Veras

The Chronicle of Pagan
A treatise on the Glorious History of this Foremost Society
There is little in the world more refreshing to me than knowledge. I remember in my youth hearing tales of legendary times, unexplored places and fantastic beasts. I constantly pestered my parents and instructors with an endless number of questions. How does this work? Why did they act in such a manner? Where can I find these plants? My thirst for information was — nay, still is — insatiable. I spent hours at a time investigating all I could about my surroundings. Unfortunately, as I realized early in life, I lacked much in the way of physical prowess, making exploration difficult.
Imagine my pleasure when I discovered that not only did life itself teach me things great and wonderous, but the myriad ancient tomes could offer nearly as much. It was then that I elected to dedicate this humble life to filling my mind and library with all the knowledge I could. Thus, I humbly add these words to the collection of wisdom that already fills the multitude of bookshelves throughout the land. I hope my work may someday imbue curiosity into the hearts of others.

Scroll of Dispelling Magical Portals.
By Mythran
This scroll has been constructed to unravel the countermagics used to to seal portals. Do not store in damp areas.

Detection Scroll of Trapped Chests
Enchanted by Varkus
Caster! Using this scroll will forewarn you of all trap laden chests.

Destruction Scroll of Traps in Chests
Enchanted by Varkus
Caster! Casting this scroll will destroy traps within all nearby chests. Beware! You do so at your own risk!

Scroll of Healing
Enchanted by Varkus
Caster! Casting this scroll will improve the quality of your health, and heal many of your minor wounds. Use only as directed.

Scroll of Restoration
Enchanted by Varkus
Caster! Casting this scroll will restore you to full health, and heal your major wounds. Beware! If you are already at prime health, this powerful magic may weaken you. Use only as directed.

Scroll of Invisibility
Enchanted by Magethief Vermin
In casting this scroll my friend you will become as clear as the wind itself. Mind that you practice stealth, for any noises you make may give you away. Mind to that you act quickly, lest this magic wear away while you are about your devious acts. Vermin.

Scroll of Revisibility
Enchanted by Magethief Vermin
Casting this scroll my friend will reveal any hidden treasure around you. Mind you though, do not cast this while you thieve, for you too will be revealed. Vermin.

Logbooks in the Pit of Earth
I can go no further. These blasted magical walls have taken my strength, and I am afraid, my life. Too late have I discovered a way to detect the walls without cost to myself.These humble mushrooms that litter the floor awake the wall’s power when tossed at them! Alas, I can only eat these mushrooms. Perhaps they may bring me strength to escape this cavern… I lie here awaiting the end. I know now that I will never see Lithos, curse these frail bones of mine. My strength is not great enough to withstand these tests. My only hope is that my twin brother will make it though without me. My hopes and spirit rest with him… Should anyone find this note, please tell him of my passing. Thank you, Bryan
I lie here awaiting the end. I know now that I will never see Lithos, curse these frail bones of mine. My strength is not great enough to withstand these tests. My only hope is that my twin brother will make it though without me. My hopes and spirit rest with him… Should anyone find this note, please tell him of my passing. Thank you, Bruce

Scroll
Have trust in things you cannot see
For in the smallest you must believe.
Cast stone into flame and you shall find
All your doubts left behind
Cross the impossible to the great beyond
And only ’til then can you carry on.

Knowledge

Imperial Dreams EvilElitest