Dustwood is technically not a wood from a specific tree. It is an created fuel for fires.
Starting with the sawdust from a sawmill, adding a mixture of wax or pitch, and a few other things, the mixture is pounded or pressed toghether tightly. It is normally smashed into a round container, so when it is slipped out, it looks like a small perfectly round "log". (actually a lathed log, but you get the idea). It can either be used as a log or slices of a log can be used for a fire.
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.
Arune Spheres are hollow, blue reflective metallic spheres about 25 cm/ 10" in diameter (though some are larger). They are made of a thickish glass mirrored on the inside. When magical energies are flowed through the sphere, it produces a haunting tone, which can be varied by the type, intensity, and harmonics of energies passed through it. (It sounds like an electronic organ.) If multiple energy flows are generated, multiple sounds can be generated, some of which sound like mundane instruments. Masters of The Craft can replicate almost any sound in their memory with one. Though originally used as a training tools for those with The Power, it has been adapted to be a musical instrument. All it takes is someone with patience, medative training, and a touch of the Power, to use it. (Thus becoming the favorite instrument of anyone who was tested to the first level of the Craft, but failed to advance).
MoonInk: This alchemical product has 101 uses. The Ink/Paint dries to be totally clear and almost unnoticable. Under moonlight, it comes forth as a silver ink. It was originally used by the Elventi to enhance certain pieces of art. It is used by espionage types to produce secret messages, nobles for hiddle plots, and diabolical cultists to write their spell books (usually in books of holy texts, to throw off people reading it).
Tarot Cards are used by Magic folks to predict the future (cartomancy). Since the present becomes the future through the interplay of elementally alligned forces, the tumble of cards can give clues to the way the pattern of elements will be in the future.
This means a wizard will have a deck of cards with them. Since cards were used to train wizards in legerdemain, Since they have cards with them, they frequently know how to use them. Guild magic users often have a knack for fancy shuffles, palming cards, and a variety of card tricks and games.
Mages/ wizards and such use cards (playing cards or tarot cards) as training tools. The patterns created by certain layouts of cards are mnemonic devices to teach key elemental associations and paths. With such interesting names as the Tree of Life, Phoenix's tail, Rythm of Heart, and Balance of the sphere, there pattern represent the matrices used by magic users to focus and present power. Spell processes can be represented by a sequence of cards.
So mages will often be seen handing around hands of cards.
Wizards will have a deck of cards with them. Since cards were used to train wizards in legerdemain, Since they have cards with them, they frequently know how to use them. Guild magic users often have a knack for fancy shuffles, palming cards, and a variety of card tricks and games.
You find a book in the library, then when you start to read it, seems to change from pages of words to pages of images that seem to live and move. If you touch the page after the images appear, you travel into the story and now live in that world.
There is a book on that world, that leads back to this one.
A man is arrested for mass murder and found to be insane. Piles of corpses were found on his property, neatly stacked torsos with the skin peeled off and the limbs removed. The man readily admits the work is his, though he claims he was only chopping down trees, removing their branches, debarking them, and then stacking them to season.
The man may have swung the axe but it was a Druid who caused the delusion. This Druid is still on the loose and likely to repeat the crime. In time he may get more creative in his "punishments."