Thanks for the compliment - though if you like this style, you should check out some of Captain Penguin's work, of which this is but a pale imitation. To answer the question: yes, I did make all of this myself, if you mean the intro and the puzzle itself. I did steal a couple of quotes:
"Beware the boar, beware the swan/The salt sea bore her body on" is from the Fionavar Tapestry.
"East is east and west is west and ne'er the twain shall meet" is from a poem by Kipling.
"Climb every mountain/Ford every stream/Follow every rainbow/Till you find your dream" is from The Sound of Music.
"To long they delved, and too deeply, till they awoke what lay sleeping beneath its roots" is a paraphrase of a comment made in Lord of the Rings.
The rest I either made up or else are just general sayings (e.g. "Silence is Golden"). Go to Comment
Entertainment and shows. Objects which are flashy and give an impressive effect (think Gandalf's fireworks (or the recently posted Phoenix Food)). Some very wealthy people may keep an illusionist as part of their staff, just as they might keep a court bard, to provide spectacles at gatherings. Some wizards could make quite a good living by providing spectacular and showy (if temporary) "exhibits" for rich people's parties. Go to Comment
Extreme sports. Anyone up for a bit of wyvern riding? How about climbing sheer cliffs with the aid of certain magical spells? Naturally, these activities will have enough safeguards that they will not actually be that risky (compared to real adventuring), but of course accidents do sometimes happen. Probably most popular amongst the younger generation. Go to Comment
Continuing the rare foods/endangered monsters theme: other items from rare beasts. Clothes made from their hide, ornaments made from their horns; the rarer and more dangerous the beast the better. Would make a challenge to adventurers to kill the beast without slashing up the hide or burning it to a crisp with a fireball. Another thing could be medicines and things made from these creatures. Unlike in our world, the efficacy of these medicines wouldn't be just superstition: the powedered horn of a magical creature might well have wondrous effects of one kind of another. Go to Comment
Personal transportation. Tame gryphons, magic carpets, winged horses: whatever you have in your world. Unlike some of the luxury items, this would have a very practical use; however, it could also be a status symbol and luxury item: rather like a private jet or personal helicopter. Go to Comment
Form changing: maybe a rich nobleman commissions a performance of a historical play in which the entire cast is polymorphed to look like the characters they are playing. Maybe the rich would pay to be transformed in to an eagle for a day to experience flying. For comedy value, maybe there are a group of people who are in to LARPing and are rich enough to pay some wizards to provide the realism (transforming them in to characters, providing illusions of the monsters, etc.) Go to Comment
Mind affecting spells: people could pay to have spells cast on them to make them happy; give them pleasing hallucinations, etc. Maybe this is frowned upon, in the same way that drugs are. Go to Comment
Art can of course be extended to the arts, including music, plays, etc. Many a noble may wish to be seen as a patron of the arts (or may genuinely like them), thus spending large amounts of money supporting these things. Go to Comment
Piety: many of the churches in England were constructed in the middle ages by wealthy merchants. The rich may well endow or construct new temples for a number of reasons including genuine piety, the wish to give an appearance of piety and the wish to be seen to having constructed a large and impressive building which will last for many centuries. Go to Comment
Nobles may spend their money on large statues and monuments commemorating their deeds and victories. There's almost no limit to the amount they can spend on this, though being too ostentatious could invite the disapproval of those of a higher rank. In a high magic world these statues and monuments could potential be imbued with a spell that influences all who look on the statue respect and honour the person it is in honour of. Go to Comment
A good idea - I like the way that a magician might find the profession of musician a natural alternative. Perhaps musical and magical talent are linked, the way mathematical and musical talent seem to be in the real world. Go to Comment
I don't think you're the first person to be thrown for loops on how to rate it, as it had almost 150 hits before there were any votes or comments! That's a great idea about using it as lock to guard a treasure to be opened at any time: if I ever use it again, that's definitely how I'll use it so thanks for suggesting it!
P.S. Yes, I did come up with it myself. However, as with Maranesh's Challenge, I stole a couple of quotes:
The bottom right poem is from The Lord of the Rings.
The top centre poem is heavily inspired by a poem in Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.
The rest I made up. Go to Comment
Good, solid, sensible idea for organisation. I'm mainly voting and commenting here to get this off the "unvoted" list as I'm not really too sure how you vote and comment on a codex of this nature. Go to Comment
This is a very good plot - simple at its basis, but well described and fleshed out. I like the "tentacle" aspect particularly: I doubt I'd have thought of it and it would really confuse the PCs. Go to Comment
As with Chaosmark, I agree that a bit more could be done with it. These could be a real bane to a wounded magical creature (e.g. dragons, gryphons, etc.). Unlike a wounded mage, who could avoid their attention by just not spell-casting for a while (usually no problem, especially if wounded), such creatures can not change their nature.
Would also make it difficult for a wounded mage to hide, e.g. after a battle. Go to Comment
The road has never been more than an overgrown mud track, little travelled and little cared for, petered out to nothing more than a flattened earthen line, barely distinguishable from the rest of the landscape. The soil is dark and fecund and dark oaks stand like sentinels at the forest edge, their branches high and leafy. From them hang grizzly human bones, skulls and shiny precious stones. Who put these strange totems there? Are they warnings? Do the PCs dare to take the stones?