Special Items: Books

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The Elfen Ranger’s Journal

Among Ensender Eanderon’s notes are that an elf sword was rumored to have been found among goblins somewhere far south of Stone Goblin, by one of the religious orders there. He’s narrowed it down to the Illustrators or the Astronomers.

“Tragos asked how I knew it’s an unknown sword. I told him, we know where all the Elven swords are. We aren’t missing any.”

“I know there is a secret or hidden door in the back barracks, probably near the two guards forever on duty in the main corridor. The Order is not as small as it looks. There are still well over a hundred members. But they aren’t all living in those tiny cave-barracks and few seem to live in the countryside.”

The Notebook of Abacus Dome

Open Journal.png

The notebook contains mostly notes on the day-to-day running of the Order. A diligent search will discover a few entries that deal with the discovery of the dead at Illustrious Castle in 911. The notes are on small, loose-leaf papers wrapped in a leather folio. Each day begins a new page, though some pages can be on the backs of others. Paper is relatively expensive in Highland, and so they used front and back for notes such as these.

There are no notes for November 20 or 21. A search through the rest of the notes will bring up a handful of other times when Abacus missed a day or two, but not very many. Most of them are followed by a note about being too busy. In this case, there are no notes those days; this was, although he did not realize it, under Eliazu’s urging. Abacus Dome took detailed notes those days, but then tore them out later under Eliazu’s influence. Eliazu did not want a written record of any of the castle or its carnage, however, in the demon’s weakened state it had to focus on the most important part, and influenced the abbott to throw out his notes on the secret back room that leads into the underground.

Mess Hall Map

The abbreviations used by the map-maker are abbreviations of Latin words that denote what the room is for. Mostly self-explanatory, this is a map of the secret places before the summoning went awry.

bllts ballatus dance
ccntrm cocinatorium kitchen
cll cellola servant’s room
cn sprms cena supremus last supper
crcrrm carcerarium prison
crmnls cerimonialis ritual
dlm dolium place for grain, etc.
dprtrm adparatorium sacrificial preparation room
dscttr adsectator student
lbrrm librarium library
pprts apparatus equipment
prgts purgatus cleanse
trlm atriolum ante-room

The True Family

Worshipped in secret, in the shadowy places of the world, little is known about this sect. What little is known is known only by specialized scholars. Chances are, none of the player characters know much, if anything, about them. They sometimes refer to themselves as “the fit may rule”, an anagram for “the True Family”.

Worshippers of the True Family tend to be Ordered and Ordered Evil. Worshippers worship the entire pantheon. Their Gods include Nias, the Bishop of Bone, who commands the red-stick men; Laten, the Horse of Hunger who commands the five night riders; and Hetae, the Queen of Insects and the Hidden Word. Prophets of the Night Gods use spirits of order, death, charm, prophecy, and prophet.

Within this adventure, the corruption of the Order to the service of the True Family was performed by Wendell Redstar, a True Family prophet captured by the Order who, as prisoner, wormed his way into the confidence of Tragos and the other leaders of the Order.

Wendell brought three books to the Order, which can currently be found in the upstairs Secret Rooms (14). These are written in Latin, the Ancient tongue.

Lord Thew’s Family Tales

A collection of exploits of the True Family. One somewhat unique feature of the religion is that it explicitly believes in other pantheons; one of the True Family’s goals is to overcome and enslave all other pantheons, including the Christian God.

This book explicitly references Christianity, including the trinity, Mary, and Lucifer. It references the Greek Gods (which the characters may not recognize). It also references Arlindor and the Elven Gods. And there are some completely cryptic places, such as the Dry City and the Shells.

Among the Dry City are the papercuts, acephali (headless men), not flies, oblivion fleas, trivial pursuits, and prayer bees. In something to do with a shell, there are the First Fallen and the creatures of nowhere. The papercuts are accompanied by an illustration of a playing card and beneath it the words “Too late he heard that snapping sound.” A poem accompanies it, about a boy who reads late into the night, wasting candles, despite his mother’s urgings to sleep and work hard.

Scissorman.pngJohnny threw the book to ground.
Too late he heard that snapping sound.

Beneath his sheets he hid in gloom.
The snipping stopped outside his room.

The door flew open, in he ran:
The great, long red-legged scissor man.

He snipped and snapped from side to side.
One hand soothed, one hand lied.

When morning came, the room was bare.
The sun shone in, ‘twas no one there.

But on the bed his father built,
A John-shaped hole lay in the quilt.

The Fit May Rule

A catechism of the religion: a series of studies and rituals designed to convince the reader to join the service of the True Family. There are rituals for individual conversion as well as rituals for group conversion. Anyone reading this book must make a willpower roll at a bonus of 10 or be compelled over time to search out more information about the True Family, work out the anagram, and eventually convert. If they are guided to read it by a True Family prophet, there is a penalty on the willpower roll of the prophet’s level.

It’s a catechism. Look at the world around you. Examine your life. Your birth gods have abandoned you. The true family welcomes you back. Read, and enjoy.

Discussing Lesser Families

A description of rituals for summoning and binding the servants of other Gods, especially the demons “below the shell”, but also including what appear to be angels, muses, and dryads. Studying this book should be disgusting, enlightening, and confusing as hell. It will give the reader a better understanding of how Eliazu was summoned. But it will also introduce things the characters have no idea about.

This is a difficult text. The members of the Order who studied it did so for months before performing the ritual, and still failed. It also contains clues about how to reverse the process and send the demon back home. Successfully extracting that information will require an intelligence roll. A failed roll will give the reader some information, but not all of it. It takes one month to read it well; for every week under four weeks, there is a penalty of one to the roll; for every day under four days, there is a penalty of one. However much the roll was made by, give them that many clues rolled randomly.

According to Discussing Lesser Families, a summoned demon may be forced home through the following steps:

1. Open the circle with the creature’s sigil to allow the creature escape.

2. The circle is opened by inscribing the creature’s sigil in a smaller circle upon the circle’s edge.

3. The opening must be made in a specific direction.

4. The direction is the rising of the sun.

5. The circle that holds the creature’s sigil must be two hand’s diameter.

6. The circle’s width must be measured from the ritual’s performer.

7. Do not break the larger circle while inscribing the smaller one until the moment of the ritual’s voicing.

8. The ritual should be performed at the first rays of dawn.

9. If the ritual can be performed in a place of power, it is more likely to be successful.

10. The further you can be from the creature the safer you will be.

11. The creature, during the ritual, may be able to affect the physical world.

12. This thing reads like stereo instructions.

Discussing Lesser Families references The Summoning Powers of Words (see More When Doors Mow Spun Death) as an important encoded text, as well as Recalling the Fallen of the Lost Families (not found in this adventure), a set of rituals for calling “back” unbelievers who have “fallen to the shell lands”.

Discussing Lesser Families is also a mojo resource level 3 for True Family researches.

More When Doors Mow Spun Gifts

By Sam Noyuno

This is an encoded book on demon-summoning. It is an incredibly obtuse and, frankly, insane encoding method. Each sentence is an anagram. The title of the book is an anagram for “The Summoning Powers of Words”. The author’s name is an anagram of “Anonymous”. It mentions the First Fallen and the creatures of nowhere—but only in anagram.

It is unreasonable to expect your players to solve this riddle, except to guess that it is in anagram. That’s the important deduction. The rest can be handled in-game through intelligence rolls or practical mojo, although if they desire it you can certainly let the players work on the problem for as long as they want.

Translating this book should take a human lifetime for a 15 intelligence, and comparatively less for higher intelligences. The Guide should determine what knowledge is contained in the book. Once they figure out the scheme, you can let them decipher it for one mojo per sentence, or five hundred mojo per chapter. If they actually pay those costs, it should lead to some amazing and enriching—and very dangerous—adventures.

See the Props section for the encoded text of the first few paragraphs of the first chapter. Chapters include:

Encoded Chapter Title Unencoded Chapter Title
More When Doors Mow Spun Gifts The Summoning Powers of Words
Shearing Howl Dead Chants Reaching the Shadowlands
Ring of Rim as Mesh of Hate Lurks Raising from the Realm of Husks
Let Leash Chill Tong Calling to the Shell
Once Dicer Rile Faith Count The Ritual for Coincidence
Elite Ox Bird Hum The Delirium Box

More When Doors Mow Spun Gifts

See More When Doors Mow Spun Gifts under Props for encoded text of the first few paragraphs.

Shearing Howl Dead Chants

Show test children throw this toe shaft at sad fig wights.

Ring of Rim as Mesh of Hate Lurks

Fire lash foe thaw doe mesh of hate lurks.

Count Once Dicer Rile Faith

Throw man dies lord.

The Summoning Powers of Words


Words are the source of power for the human race. Indeed, it is the written language that is the source of magic and the means of summoning. If you would summon Nowhere, you must know where on it is. Through words is the power of the True Family.

To understand the nature of summoning, you must know where those you summon exist. The World as we know it is not the only world. There are things below, and things above. And there are things in the realm of the Ether, and the realm of the Astral. The semi-material, and the semi-light.

Exercise utmost care when summoning from husk and shell and lower than shell. If you fail to protect the world from the demon, the Earth itself will refuse to accept the creature’s entrance into the world of blood. As a man vomiting, it will heave and expel the nightmare.

Reaching the Shadowlands

With the first light on the Gods was cast the first shadow. The shadowlands are the shadow of the divine and the shadow of humanity. The shadows are shell and husk. Mindless forms may be risen from the realm of husk to do the true family’s bidding. Powerful creatures may be summoned from the realm of shell under the true family’s control.

Raising from the Realm of Husks

The realm of husks are the shadow of life.

Calling to the Shell

The shell is the shadow of the divine. Creatures of the shell feed from fear, desire, pain, despair, and all the emotions of the living.

Creatures of the shell are restricted from appearing in the natural world. They may appear only through summoning. While summoned they are susceptible to banishment by sorcery, ritual, or divine command.

The Ritual for Coincidence

The world is random. Though we have bound it to stability, its natural state is chaos. An egg laid with the face of a God has no meaning but what we give it. Through this meaning that we assign, we gain power over the gods and all other creatures.

Coincidences occur every hour of our lives without attracting even momentary notice. There are combinations of simple natural objects that through the correct placement have the power of affecting the natural world, the divine world, and the shadow world.

The Delirium Box

The Delirium Box siphons husks from the living to create Ur-Men. The Delirium Box can also create minor Men from Nowhere. The Delirium Box is a gateway to the city where no one goes.

No More Stars

There is an abridged, version of More When Doors in the Library at Biblyon, entitled “No More Stars”. It was taken from the Order’s upstairs library after the Order died. Notes in the papers say that they believe it to have been written by Minar Taxos of the Astronomers, “one of the many Orders in the mountains of East Highland.” (But the Astronomers of West Highland have an excerpt that says it is from the Illustrators, if the characters have gone through The Lost Castle of the Astronomers.)

No More Stars contains “More When Doors Mow Spun Death” (without the title), “Shearing Howl Dead Chants”, “Once Dicer Rile Faith Count”, and “Elite Ox Bird Hum”. See Lost Castle of the Astronomers for an abridged text of the title chapter, that the Astronomers copied and stole during one of their raids.

Venison Stew

Posted in the kitchen is this recipe commonly served in Biblyon.

1. 15 pounds shoulder

2. 1 cup flour

3. 1 cup bacon lard

4. 6 cups boiling water

5. 1 bottle wine

6. 1 ½ tablespoon thyme, marjoram, and basil

7. 1 1 ½ tablespoon parsley

8. 4 large onions, chopped

9. 1 tablespoon salt

10. 2 teaspoons pepper

11. 16 carrots quartered

12. 4 turnips chopped

13. 16 potatoes quartered

Cut the venison into bite-sized pieces; dredge in flour and brown in hot lard. Add water, wine, herbs, onion, salt, and pepper and bring to boil. Simmer two hours. Add roots, cover, and simmer another hour. Add water as needed.

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