Books and Scrolls
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ID: 279


October 30, 2006, 7:03 am

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Tome of Illusions


Deep within a strange labyrinth, a book wields the magic of its former master. Illusion becomes reality.

A book of any kind, any shape, and any colour(s). It freely changes its outward look, anytime. Mostly there is something written on the cover, but those are just random letters, so don’t try to find a sense.

This is the spell-book of the famous Illusionist and Trickster Lumiro Ambiente. He was well-known in many big towns, for performing illusions small and grand, entertaining crowds with his art.

As he travelled through less populated parts af the land, a dragon came upon him. It took quite some talk for the silver-tongued Lumiro, but he was allowed to go after donating some thousand gold (which he did not have, at least no real gold…). Yet even stupid dragons know much about gold, and this one soon learned its mistake.

Who knows what happened afterwards? Maybe he killed the poor mage while he reviewed his spells, or tortured him, cursed or just ate. Whatever happened, The Master of Illusory Arts was never seen again, and his book remained where it fell.

Now it lies within a mysterious labyrint, with many bizzare creatures, strange lights and sounds filling its corridors.

Plot Hooks?
- finding the labyrinth just per chance
- seeking for remains of a once-famous illusionist
- A child finds the entrance, plays with some unnatural but friendly creatures. Some local fools want to explore, and a giant lizard scares them away. Let the heroes explore, this dangerous place.
- some character’s ability to sense magic finds this place (handy if can not sense it is about illusions)

Magical Properties:

There is power in magic. There is power in spells. And if you write down a spell, a part of its power will remain on the paper. In spell-books, as this one is, many spells are written. The power trapped within sometimes changes the book, and even manifests outside it. And if a magician is strongly bound to the book, something of his power and personality remains too…

The book is slightly intelligent. While it is not much smart, it is well-versed in matters of Illusion Magic. What’s more, it can cast many illusion spells, and it does often. Its personality comes from a famous trickster and entertainer, so it tries to entertain and somewhat scare its visitors. What is more entertaining (and scaring) for adventurers than monsters? (Insert Evil DM grin here.)

Even illusions are slightly real, if cast by a master. The book can be considered a master of the field, and it had much time. Many monsters crawl the labyrinth’s halls, perfect illusions resembling life a bit too much.

Even the labyrinth itself is a big illusion: every single brick is. While the walls seem unbreakable, effects that disturb magic do no good…  A cave-in may kill the caster. In hundreds of years, much dust ended up on the labyrinth, becoming soil, supporting trees over time. Only the entrance is still visible.

Inside the labyrinth many mysterious effects happen, as the book creates them without stopping and often randomly. Encounters are dangerous, but somehow the wannabee heroes survive even great challenges without problems! Should they find and take the book, it all becomes more serious (unless they know about everything being illusions). The book can show a single random illusion spell at a time, not more. It would not like to leave its labyrinth. The book controls everything in its domain, even walls.

Just as reminder: there are many great riches inside…  wonderful, glowing hordes of gold and treasures…  sadly they won’t last long after taken out of the labyrinth…

Should someone destroy the book, the labyrinth falls apart in a spectacular cinematic way, and the unlucky one gets cursed: a very strong illusion changes his/her appearance to that of Lumiro Ambiente, and (s)he is fated to meet THAT dragon soon.

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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

February 15, 2005, 8:53
What? Almost two years and no comments? I know it's a bit strange, but no one has anything to add to it?

Dragon Lord
February 15, 2005, 9:28
Hey, don't blame me - I only found this site a couple of months ago

Shades of Terry Prachett (remember the Library, which is so large it only exists in L-space) but it does make a kind of bizarre sense

Potentially a bit munchkin I thought and the curse for whoever destroys it is perhaps a bit of a cliche (now a big mean dragon is after you) but I quite like it anyway

February 15, 2005, 21:26
Wow... Never noticed it before.

February 15, 2005, 23:58
To be honest, it was submitted 13 days before I joined. I never saw it as a "new post", nor has it ever come up as a random item.

Things have often gotten lost in our data shuffle. Just something that did.
February 16, 2005, 8:46
OK, OK, stop the apologies. I just wished to see anyone adding something to this "Illusions gone wild" idea.

The curse is certainly a bit cliche.

Hmmm... it is not said a big mean dragon is after the unlucky one, just that he is fated to meet him. Could be a surprise for the dragon, that ate him or burned to nothingness. A parley may be possible.

Alternatively, the character not only looks like the Illusionist, he could start to see his ghost. Or he could start to exhibit his personality traits (oops, another cliche). This could go on until the ghost is dealt with, or the book is written anew.

Or something else still.
July 17, 2011, 14:31

A cute idea. Too bad anyone with Truesight could walk right through the whole thing. I like the story, with the curse opening up good plot potential, but the idea I like the most in this submission is that simply writing a spell imbues a book with magic. It has interesting implications for magic items and any writing. 

Voted valadaar
January 7, 2015, 10:09
I agree with PA mostly, and its why I don't think any detection (or illusion) magic should be absolutely effective.

The idea that a spellbook can be effected by the spells it contains is a great one, and could lead to may variations.

Link Backs


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Grendel

The Door

A nifty little encounter appropriate for any powerful sorcerer/magically adept monsters lair.

When the party have penetrated to an appropriatly impressive level/room they encounter The Door, this door is a vessel through which the Sorcerer/Monster can safely work against any intruders, the door is heavy duty iron bound studded oak wrought with craft skill and magic, set in the middle is a crystal orb, once the party get within a preset distance the orb flickers briefly as the door warns its "master" of the intruders, the master can then effectivly possess the door itself, this means that all movement the door is capable of (i.e. opening and closing) come under the control of the master, the master can also cast spells from the door as if he were there himself, all the while any damage that is inflicted in return merely damages the door, this will in effect ruin any of the parties chances of surprise, allow the master to assess the parties abilities while remaining safe and sound and finally will probably cause the party to waste some of their juicier items/spells on a chunk of wood and iron, and if the master happens to have a deadly spell or three it could also reduce the size of the party,

Of course if you wanted to be really nasty you could have the door open to admit one person and then slam shut on the second person (squish) whilst blasting away with every spell in the mastrs repetoir

Encounter  ( Cave/ Underground ) | August 20, 2004 | View | UpVote 2xp

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