Hidden in the rotten corners of the world are grimoires potent enough to drive a reader mad. Great power seeps from the pages, and even the most stalwart monk, sagacious wizard or noble knight risks his very sanity with the turn of every page.
Here are eight of the foulest tomes every transcribed, ready to be found in the necromancer’s library:
- Libermorbus: This seemingly innocuous book acts as a virus, piercing other tomes with tendrils of ink and replacing their stories with its own disturbed utterings. A creature who reads the text gains a knowledge of infectious madness, but also becomes a vector for its linguistic plague.
- The Putrid Tome: The Putrid Tome reeks of human waste and rotting flesh. Its curdled green pages rot flesh and putrefy the eyes, so it must be handled with the greatest care. A creature able to withstand its fetid words gains power over decay and disease.
- The Rat’s Nest: The Rat’s Nest was written into the very fabric of the world, and cannot be unwritten. No matter how many copies are burned, the text continues to appears through arcane symbols in the filth of the world. A passing mage may notice patterns in grey mould spores or rat nests, and, fascinated by the strange runes, translate the scripture into legible text before succumbing to insanity. A creature who reads The Rat’s Nest learns the secret of eternal life through the sacrifice of humanity.
- The Sable Flame: The Sable Flame is at all times consumed by a black fire that burns all but its own pages. Souls devoured by the flame scream for release. A reader gains mastery over the creation of burning skeletons and other fiery undead.
- Sacralexicon: The secrets within this book are enough to shatter the piety of even the most devout holy man. Each god listed in its infinite index is implicated on a single page of undeniable truths. A creature able to withstand its secrets and see past the rotten falsehoods at the core of every deity gains divine power beyond that of mere mortals.
- The Sanguine Resurrection: The text in this apparently blank book only appears with a healthy dose of blood. Each of the thirteen chapters requires an entire human’s worth of blood and gore. It lists the process and ingredients needed for the resurrection of vampires and their ilk.
- The Skin Tome: The words of this tome can only be tattooed on a living human’s flesh—they disappear if written on any other surface. As a result, the “book” is often chained down and gagged for study. While reading the text itself does not necessarily induce insanity, the steps necessary to acquire and study the human subject might. A reader gains insight into arcane suffering.
- Vivomoira: Once read, Vivomoira is never silent. It whispers of betrayal, filling the reader with such paranoia that he eventually suspects his own skin and flesh. Suicide in self-defence is the most common cause of death. A reader gains knowledge into the raising of ghosts and incorporeal undead.
Jeff Gomez’s steady migration has taken him from sunny California to snowy Boston, and then back again. Now the proud owner of a self-sustaining online business, he devotes his time to his blog, Zenith Games, and freelance writing for RPG publishers. In addition to products on his website, such as Jacob’s Tower, Jeff has written adventures, edited universes, collaborated on classes, and line directed source books (over 1 million words in in two years alone).
This articles appears in 20 Things #16: Necromancer’s Lair.
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