The Book of Remembrances
I have found the Book of Remembrances in the royal library... a wellspring of knowledge directly from the mouths of great rulers and scholars of the past... my only wish is that I might discover a way to add my own knowledge to this work.
T'Arkia, Imperial High Mage
On this day, the fifth day of New Spring, I have made a truly amazing discovery. I have found the Book of Remembrances in the royal library. When I first pulled it off the dusty shelves of a long forgotten wing of the archives and opened it, I felt a sense of dread fill me. But now I know this book for its true power. It is a wellspring of knowledge directly from the mouths of great rulers and scholars of the past—upon study of the book, these men and women come to life in front of my very eyes. They are insubstantial to the touch, and yet I see them, and they tell me whatever I desire to know. I plan to study this book thoroughly yet cautiously.
T'Arkia, Imperial High Mage
Full Item Description
The Book of Remembrances is a large, plain looking leatherbound book. There is no writing on the outside of the book save an inscription on the spine of the book-"Remembrances". The book appears to be a rather average book of history written by a series of emperors, nobles, scholars and sorcerors, but when one begins to read one of the entries aloud, the ghostly form of the writer appears and will tell the reader anything that he or she knew in their lifetime. The magic behind this book is difficult to ascertain, but when one first touches the book, a feeling of great dread falls over them for an instant, and then disappears.
The Book of Remembrances was crafted by the ancient wizard Hadromir in an long forgotten age. Hadromir craved a way to perfectly preserve his knowledge for future generations, and in his later years, finally perfected a way to copy his soul into a book, so that a reader would be able to interact with a shadow of him and learn of the great knowledge he possessed. Unfortunately, his theory was flawed, and on the moment of his death the book captured his soul in its now cursed pages. The book has since been lost and rediscovered numerous times, each time denying a new victim access to the afterlife and adding them to its collection of knowledge.
I have given myself over completely to the book. The people within it beckon to me like a siren's call, and I answer willingly. Time itself has slipped away from my reckoning—I do not know how long it has been since I have eaten or slept, and I do not care. My only wish is that I might discover a way to add my own knowledge to this work. So far, that secret still eludes me, and it is the one thing none in the book can tell me. Either the book will not part with that knowledge, so that only the most clever can discover it, or they honestly do not know. I will record my teachings in the book, and perhaps someday I will discover the book's secret.
T'Arkia, Imperial High Mage
The Book of Remembrances is an extraordinarily powerful magic item. Due to the magical experiments done on it by Hadromir, it possesses multiple layers of powerful enchantments. When one opens the book, it steadily causes the reader to develop an obsession with studying the book. The book then works its primary magic—over the course of several days, it binds the reader's soul to its pages. After the soul is bound, the magical obsession wears off and it is merely an interesting and highly useful item. The book has no immediate detrimental effects, but at the moment of the users death, it tears their soul from their body locks it in its pages forever.
I have lived a long and fruitful life... I feel a pulling deep within my soul... it seems the Lighted One will wait no longer for me... Pray my souls journey is a short one... I will see you all again on the other side...
Last words of T'Arkia, Imperial High Mage
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? Responses (9)
So is the soul trapped in a Limbo within the book? And would a Ring of Heaven save the soul from such a foul fate?
Yes, the souls are trapped in a sort of Limbo... whether or not they are aware of this fate is debatable though. In my opinion, the souls contained in the book know only of the events of their life. Their fates after death are beyond their knowledge, as part of the books magic. Thus, the soul of T'Arkia, for example, might not even know that it didn't make it to the afterlife. All in all not a horrible fate, but for those who expected an encounter with their given god, it would be. Otherwise, lets face it, many of the souls would warn users against using this book. As for a ring of heaven, I imagine it could go either way. On one hand, the ring has the advantage of proximity, being directly on the finger of the deceased... on the other hand, the Book is a powerful artifact, while the ring seems like a relatively mass produced kind of thing (correct me if I am mistaken). On the third hand, a church official who had lived a holy life but had been a reader of the Book would not think to use a Ring (he might even think such a thing blasphemous) and would therefore have his soul taken by the book. Anyways, I imagine the Ring would win out by virtue of closeness (unless the person died within say, a few miles of the Book), but if it were removed or destroyed, the book would take the soul then.
Anyways, I always think too hard about these things when they're brought up. Thanks, Cheka Man, for the interesting discussion!
My only problem with these items is that we have mortal magic defying the immortal. I think that there would need to be some form of power behind the mage's creation of this item. At least in my opinion on the power level of mortal magic. For a normal mage to be able to craft something like this is a bit far out for me.
That said, it is a cool item and a nice 'trap'. I would like to know how one could become released from the item - this could be an interesting plot as someone might seek to release the spirit of one or more of the great mages stored within.
I see this item as primarily an accident, a failure of a great mages life work. I don't think that this item would be duplicatable, even by the original creator. Thus, yes, it is quite powerful for the average wizard to whip up over the weekend, but as the result of a lifetime of work and unforeseen magical complications during its making, and thus we have quite a handy cursed item.
I think the way to solve val's problem would be to make it either a cursededed evil artifact, or perhaps an artifact with the blessing of the Knowledge god, whomever that might be, who negotiates with the other deities to 'lease' the souls of the faithful for a short time (in the "grand timescale"). Said souls very well might know of their death, and the pious ones would consider it their final act of service before their final reward (assuming they are informed of the terms of their stay within the book), whereas the evil ones might be scheming and plotting within the book to try and remain immortal (the means of which would be as varied as you like).
An interesting item such as this always opens up new avenues of thought and idea. Nice work sveri!
Thanks, Chaos. I think your comment shows that there could be another form of this book (maybe its own sub altogether) that might house those who knowingly place themselves into the book in exchange for some degree of immortality, or as a service to a deity. Such a sub might make an even better item than this one!
I enjoyed this, a good spin on the "cursed-limbo-ish-prison-like-soul eating book."
What Mike said.
So as i understand it, the souls bound to the book are also obliged to reveal all they know to the reader (petitioner of information)?
I like it. A fun tool for GM's wishing to impart information to PCs in different "voices"
I quite like the basic idea and the write-up. It was an enjoyable read.