This is an old, badly weathered tome that documents the misadventures of one, Guilbard Brove. In his day, Guilbard was known as the unluckiest man in the whole world. The book never actually explains or even postulates as to why Guilbard was so unlucky, but the author, whomever it was, details the sailors slip ups, mistakes, and near brushes with death, with amazing relish. Ironically, at the end of the book, Guilbard survives all of his trials and tribulations, and sails off into the proverbial sunset, never to be seen again.
Interestingly, the book does not take a comedic or anecdotal approach, but rather one of gloom and melancholy, painting Guilbard as an everyman of sorts, a mournful and soulful figure smothered and tormented by lifes little disappointments, peccadilloes, and misfortunes. It is incongruous and ironic of course, that ultimately Guilbard comes to a relatively blissful and happy ending.
Warning: some literary figures speculate that Guilbards Albatross is a carefully disguised Book of Discordia, and may indeed have an adverse effect on a readers long-term mental state. The fact that the author of this peculiar tale is unknown, only adds to the oddness surrounding this seemingly simple book. Go to Comment
An intriguing book because so few have seemingly been written on the subject in such depth and detail, this is a dry, pedantic work, dealing with the inglorious professions of sapping and mining, a guide and testament to those men and women whose work involved tunneling beneath earth and rock and moat, penetrating, weakening, and deteriorating great fortresses, towers and castles, allowing for armies to overtake and sack them, attaining the glory that so eludes the sappers.
This book is an indispensable guide for armies and generals. It details digging and tunneling techniques, features invaluable information on various forms of underground and underwater demolition, and lists dozens of actual siege reenactments from past wars and battles, with commentary on the successes and failures, focusing of course on the hazardous role of the under-appreciated but invaluable, sapper.
An expose of early engineering really, as well as being an invaluable source and guide for any military unit, this books usefulness is self-evident.
The title of the tome, A Life Not Chosen, is actually a battle cry and often-whispered credo of the sappers exclusive brotherhood. Go to Comment
An onerous but meticulous expose of cannibalism, this book was purportedly written not by primal savages or some isolated tribe, but by the survivors of the Last Winter, a time of failed crops, disastrous weather, and starvation, experienced by the villagers of Hullotz several centuries earlier. During this time of extreme desperation, the villagers took to eating their dead, having little choice in the matter.
Eventually eating the dead turned to sacrificing those still living for the benefit of feeding the community. Many perished ignobly, but ensured the continued existence of others. Later still the book takes on a laborious exposition of every edible body part, and even goes on to identify proper cooking techniques, as well as the nutritional value of various cuts.
This book takes a very matter of fact approach in identifying the root causes and particular taboos associated with cannibalism, but does not glamorize or advocate the practice. It is merely the tale of a distressed people taking desperate measures.
This fact has not unfortunately prevented this book from becoming a bible of sorts for those of a more sinister bend, and passages from the book are often quoted by some humanoid tribes and baleful cultists.
End Note: this book does not actually have a title, and was written by unidentified villagers, Cannibals Delight being a modern euphemistic term for this disturbing treatise. Go to Comment
This zoologists dream is an expose of every endangered animal species of a particular continent. The author describes at least three hundred species that are, as he believes, on the verge of extinction, including the authors personal favorite creature, the little seen, and misunderstood, White River Dolphin.
One interesting and ironic by-product of this book, is the fact that those shady characters and harvesters that are always on the hunt and lookout for animal body parts and ingredients for arcane spell casters, collectors and alchemists use this book to help track down the species in question, for as human nature dictates, the rarer the species, the more its body parts seem to be in demand. Go to Comment
This dog-eared field-guide of sorts is one of the prized possessions and a familial heirloom of the Hvansrausen baronial clan. The familys considerable land-holdings have long been isolated from the rest of the Archduchy and remain to this day, nearly engulfed by a vast primordial forest of pitch-black pine, slough-oak and dead-ash.
These never-ending woods, broken up by occasional by fields of wildflowers, flooded forests, and treacherous, fog-choked peat-bogs, not to mention the castles and ploughed farmsteads of the Hvansrausens, eventually lead to a long range of foothills and valleys culminating in a great range of unforgiving peaks to the east.
These countless miles of wilderness and near-wilderness have served as prime hunting grounds for many noble enthusiasts from across the Archduchy, but particularly so for the Hvansrausen barons and their kin, for these folk have truly mastered the art of hunting over the years, and as can be expected consider themselves masters of their particular terrain.
The Hvansrausen Hunting Manual do this day, is kept at the current barons favorite hunting lodge, a huge fort-like compound at the edge of the great forest. The work is the quintessential field guide for the hunter of dangerous game. Everything is included, as countless generations of Hvansrausens have updated the entries and added their particular experiences over the centuries. Of some interest to adventurers, is a section dealing with the proper tactics and strategies involved in dealing with three particularly unique beasts, which are native and still found in numbers in these lands, but extinct elsewhere. These are the grotesque Bleed-Boar, the treacherous Burr-Lion, and the incredibly dangerous Dragon-Hawk.
The rest of the manual covers riding, tracking, stalking, and otherwise deals with all aspects of the huntsmans trade. The final chapter deals with hunting dogs and falconry, as the Hvansrausens have bred both an original stock of hunting scent-canines, (the well-respected Hvansrausen Hound) and sight-falcons as well over the centuries. Go to Comment
A monthly series of amorous and quite naughty adventures, featuring the brother and sister team of Axell and Iphigenia. Originally nobles, disinherited due to their lustful antics, and given the boot from the 'high society' crowd for their lascivious ways, (which are too extreme even for the hedonists of their age), The siblings spend their time traipsing around the world, seducing everyone and anyone they come across. Each issue's story ends with the sister and brother culminating their debauchery, usually with holy men and women, who could not resist the twins carnal 'love'. Though never actually written, there are even allusions to their incestuous love for one another. Priests and Monks abhor these periodicals especially, and can often be found burning them, during public sermons. Of course the people can't get enough!
'...Father Paolo is sent as an exorcist, but after one look at Iphigenia's blue eyes and cascading copper hair, all that gets exorcised is his own inhibition' Go to Comment
This certainly deserves a BUMP, considering the recent uptick in talented, newly-joined Citadelians, who might not have come across this gem yet. Look at all those linked entries. Stupendous! Go to Comment
without giving you a song-n-dance on why I love it, let me say I just DO!! If I did go into a long shpiel, i'd mention the genius&simplicity thing, but Scras once again said it first (and better) *sigh*