Full Item Description
Book of Surprises
Nerundill shivered as he stepped into the library of the ancient tower. The book he sought lay on a podium at the end of a long row of book shelves that ran from the floor to the top of the 15’ ceiling.
As he draws near, he sees that the book lay open. He notices that the pages are gilded at the edges. What he could see of the cover seemed to be rich brown leather. Golden corner protectors and gleaming red rubies adorned the outer edges of the cover.
Nerundill stopped a few feet away and began chanting and weaving his fingers in increasingly intricate patterns. “No sense taking any chances being this to the prize”, he thought. The wizards who created this tower had been extremely devious in setting the lower levels with a multitude of traps, as is evident with his lack of companions. He had hired them to get him to this point. They had been very helpful in finding most of the traps. The ones they hadn’t found, they had conveniently sprung themselves. He felt a small twinge of guilt at having used them so, but nonetheless they had been beneath his station as an Archmage and therefore expendable.
Nerundill pulled himself from his from his reverie. No traps had been detected and it was time to proceed. He began another round of chanting and gesturing. Pausing as he finished, his eyes flew open as the auras surrounding the book sprang to life. The dancing golden and silver auras seemed to give the book a life of its own. The thick tome contained immeasurable power as the rumors had hinted.
Shaking badly in anticipation, he could hardly move toward the book. As he eagerly stepped up to gaze upon the pages, he laid his hands on both sides of the book. In the blink of an eye, the book snapped shut with such violence that it took him a moment to realize what had just occurred. He looked at the end of his arms where his hands used to be. The room spun around as Nerundill staggered back and turned to see two figures with swords drawn. They were clad from head to toe, except for a slit in their masks for their eyes, in deep charcoal gray, bordering on black. Nerundill saw it all clearly in his last moments in this world. The book itself had been a trap. An enemy of his warlord had hired Ruyin Isham, The Shadow of Fists. Nerundill knew no more.
These were troubled times in Tellram. The Hanril chieftains seat of power lay across the jagged peaks of the Dragon’s Teeth. The lands on the chieftains side of the Teeth were settled and stable. In the lands on the other side of the Teeth things were less than settled.
The warlords on this side fought with one another on a nearly constant basis. Usurping land and the peasants that worked it in an attempt to garner the power and the garrison of the defeated warlord.
Many of these warlords enlisted the aid of mages to bolster their own forces. These mages were usually powerful, which opposing warlords were keen on eliminating them before committing their forces to battle. Unfortunately they would send their own mage to do the job.
It seemed a reasonable way to eliminate an enemy mage. Much to the warlords dismay, mages battling with fireballs and other enormously destructive spells often left many soldiers and peasants alike near death or dead. The ensuing fight could also make a shambles of the crops and outlying areas. Occasionally leaving some fields unable to sustain any form of plant life for several seasons.
Enter a mysterious, enterprising clan of assassins from high in the Dragon’s Teeth, The Ruyin Ishram, The Shadow Fists. They developed methods of emanating these mages with far less destruction and nearly no loss of assets the hiring warlord wished to remain intact.
To that end, they developed tactics and methods of defeating mages abilities leaving them open to physical attack. One of these methods was the Tablatura Ni’ Shockra, the Book of Surprises.
The Book of Surprises is exceedingly beautiful to behold with gilded pages, aged parchment, leather bound and intricately worked with gold and gemstones. Designed to catch a mages attention. To make the book appear to be an ancient magical tome, the Fists imbued the book with five powerful but illusionary auras, calling to the mages innermost desires for the power that are rumored to be held within the book. All of this makes the Book of Surprises an effective bait for the trap that is the Book, for that is what the book truly is.
The book, a bear trap in disguise, with razor sharp blades instead of teeth, was designed to snap violently shut by means of powerful springs enclosed in the bindings. The trigger is located in the outer edges of the pages. When the book snaps shut it quite effectively removes the mages ability to use somatic components, as well as leaving them with grievous wounds.
In order for a mage to see through the illusion, he must make a DC25. Once the trigger has been tripped, because of the heavy spring within the books binding, it takes a reflex save of 22. If the mage fails the reflex save, it takes a fort save DC20 to not go into some form of shock. If the mage fails the fort save, he is in shock for 1d4 rounds, where he will get another chance to save.