It is an unassuming, timeless marvel of mysterious origins and significant usefulness. It remains an artifact unto itself, providing illumination for those who need it in their lives, and moving on, ever ready to serve and light the darkness for the next master.
When was the last time you truly used, focused on, for any significant length of time, your imagination; your active, conscious, willful, artistic creativity, to get back in touch with that ability to appreciate the wonder that you yourself can create and bring forth, all from within yourself? Were you ever able to do that? Did you ever do that? Can you still do it? Do you do it when you game, as player or GM? Will you do it? Could this be missing from a lot of the newer, younger RPG'ers of today?
It looks like a cook's book. It is a cook's book. It is also where the cook, who happened to be a master spy, encoded all his secrets and contacts. The book has innocently fallen into your group's hands. Everyone wants it, and many are not subtle or peaceful in their attempts.