Written by Compilation
There are a great deal of information available through books in the Library of Salen, this article gives a glimpse into a few of them.
A Discussion Over TeaEdit
Author: Shu Fueng Han
Contents: A Discussion Over Tea contains information about the northern fiefdoms, their geography, culture and military strength. It is written in the form of a discussion between a wise man and his pupil.
Availability: This work is generally available in the southern parts of Adylheim, but are rarely seen elsewhere.
Sample Passage: According to a certain person, a number of years ago Tagadano Kyen told this story: In the practise of medicine the northerners make little difference between those who are high born and those who are low born, believing that both may be treated equally.
A Travelogue of the EastEdit
Author: Theran of Grey Lake
Contents: A Travelogue of the East contains information on the History of Longmoor, as well as some information about some of the more peculiar sights to be seen there, such as Aeshnidae breeders, but the majority of the books deals with the author's daring travels in Ogre lands and his many narrow escapes from capture by the Ogres as well as remarking on the strange lands beyond the Ribs. It is believed by many that Theran never actually left Longmoor and that much of his book is nothing more than conjecture. Certainly the first part of his book dealing with Longmoor takes the form of a rather factual debate, whereas the parts dealing with Ogres seem filled with wild adventures and hyperbole.
Availability: This book is available throughout Adylheim though though it is not an widely valued tome.
Sample Passage: ... and as they lifted us up on our shoulders the people of this land greeted us as gods, for that was surely how we looked to them. None had ever before come through the Ribs, and certainly not as grand company as me and my men. I am abashed to admit it, but they gave me several of their women, claiming I would give them grand children and they all walked away satisfied that night. The next morning the Dancing Emperor himself suggested we stay at his court and marry, but my men and me were determined to go home...
Zebediah Cornflower's Guide for the Curious TravellerEdit
Author: Zebediah Cornflower
Contents: For the most part Zebediah Cornflower's Guide for the Curious Traveller deals with the various wonders which may be found throughout Adylheim, generally with a few notes on their history and myths concerning the place. It has been noted for trading depth for breadth though and none of the information available shows any particular depth of knowledge beyond the more obvious. It also contains travelling tips on how to avoid bandits, some of the edible plants available in different parts of Adylheim and an extra large section on what to do in case you run into bears.
Availability: The Guide is among the more common travelogues available.
Sample Passage: The White Castle is noted as being one of the more spectacular sights in Arameia, an entire castle frozen in time. It is a delightful sight. I advice seeing it at dusk, when the light plays spectacularly against the glimmering white walls of the castle.
A Traveller's TaleEdit
Author: Luke Firstfield
Contents: A travel log that spans all seven fiefdoms, that particularly notes quirky and odd local customs and rituals, from the point of view of the author.
Availability: Common as books go, though its more popular amongst peasants (who can read) than nobles due to the low society rank of the author.
Sample Passage: ...and there I saw a pig, which bizarrely, the local peasants had placed upon a butter-and-mustard coated flat stone, which apparently kept the villages safe from visitors from Faerie. Needless to say, the pig was not too happy about this, and had been tethered to a wooden post so it wouldn't wander off.
Tomes of MagicEdit
Author: Tyron Silverhand (Called the Duke of Night)
Contents: The mage-scholars of Teslan guard tomes of dark knowledge and darker secrets in their library-fortress in Salen. Of their archive, the most infamous book is the assorted notes of the infamous Tyron Silverhand. The book is said to be crafted from the bones and skin of the family of his nemesis, Emperor Wesland II. It contains the bloodthirsty nobleman's notes concerning the study of Low Magic and, specifically the summoning of the dead. Rumor has that he wove spells of madness throughout his prose--and that even accurate copies can drive even the strongest of minds mad.
Availability: A number of translations and re-organized manuscripts can be found in libraries of particularly powerful mages. In many kingdoms, mere ownership of a replication is grounds for a swift execution.
Sample Passage: ...in the dead of night I descended into my laboratories. She was screaming still, but the sigils carved into her flesh still performed their curious work. Though her entrails lay at her feet, she seemed as hale and hardy as this morn. It took three days for her to die.
A Theorum of IntangibilitiesEdit
Author: Archwizard Theor Leondarm
Contents: A Theorum of Intangibilities mainly consists of the Archwizard's research into wards, a lot of which is faulty, but the book nevertheless contains several interesting points concerning some of the more simple wards and some introduction to making truly powerful wards. It is for the most part written in the form of a treatise, with occasional notes interspersed written by Leondarm's notarius which are largely held to be either insignificant or plain wrong.
Availability: Rare outside fairly extensive collections of magical books.
Sample Passage: The proper Barrier to hinder the egress of the Qiqirn is not easily constructed, but requires the fabrication of a Derisive Ward of great potency, which may be achieved through the application of the Tertiary Theorem to the construction of the wards, or alternately, one could merely achieve the effect of scaring the beast away through shouting it's true name, but as the author of this novel knows, finding such a name is no mean feat, all things considered, of course the prudent scryer might have more luck.
The Paginarum FulvarumEdit
Contents: The Paginarum Fulvarum is a sorceror's dream, the book is rumoured to be a near complete listing of all the minor and major entities within reach of summoning spells, their true names and the specific spells needed to summon, bind and banish them. Lesser copies of it tends to contain numerous errors, traps and similar for the unwary.
Availability: The Paginarum Fulvarum's fame is rivalled only by its scarcity. According to the records only three true copies exist, one of whom was lost in the Great Winter Fire, the remaining two have both been lost to time. Several lesser copies have been made, though even these are rare, such copies are often riddled with faults, lacking entire sections or plagued by faults. Knowing of its fame wizards have been known to make trapped copies to ensure that the unwary do not try to steal their secrets, certain frauds have also constructed convincing facsimiles which have been sold for substantial sums.
Sample Passage: One of the greater presidents of the Demonic Plane is known as Buer. He normally appears in the form of a five-branched star, though sometimes as a five-spoked wheel, he moves around by rolling. On occasion he may also appear with the head of a lion and five goat legs, allowing him to walk in any direction. He is an excellent teacher of philosophy and logic and knows many of the secrets of herbal alchemy. Buer is also known to be an excellent doctor and may cure just about any illness. Here follows, his true name and the spells of his binding, banishment and summoning...
Observations on the Greater RealmsEdit
Author: Ygres Felding
Contents: Observations on the Greater Realms contains information on some of the planes that are more important from a summoner's perspective. Although it does not include names of inhabitants or anything substantial on the art of summoning itself, the information included is often helpful to anyone seeking knowledge about the denizens of those planes or what it is like on the planes themselves. An in-depth discussion can be found about the Angelic and Elemental planes; the chapter on the Infernal Realm is simply a collection of notes. The author disappeared during one of her surveys of the latter realm, before she could compile her notes into prose, and her students simply affixed what she had so far to the back of the book. Some copies have had the last chapter condensed into prose by a well-meaning scribe, but most scholars prefer the original, fearing details may be lost in any alteration.
Availability: Ygres Felding's work is moderately common in libraries that specialize in magical matters. Elsewhere, it is more difficult to come by.
Sample Passage: Even where passages can be found, the ground is broken and rough in this section of the Realm of Earth, making travel difficult. The gnomes here seem eager to befriend outsiders, as they recieve few visitors, but talking with them is difficult because they are constantly appearing and disappearing out of the stone cliffs, as if unable to sit still and converse for long. Why they are so much more frenetically active than others of their kind I'd met elsewhere I was unable to ascertain. Regardless, the stale air makes the trip an oppressive one, but safer than most...
A Bestiary of the BizarreEdit
Author: Abraham Harker
Contents: A Bestiary of the Bizarre has an encyclopaedic feel, detailing several of the more bizarre and strange creatures one may come across while travelling the breadth of Adylheim. It includes everything from various theriantropes, to undead and ghostly infections, to sea monsters, phoenixes, unicorns, drakes and all manner of other beastly and not so beastly creatures. These entries include suggestions on how to deal with these creatures and what course of action to take if they should become hostile.
Availability: A Bestiary of the Bizarre is a relatively rare work. It is more often found in the north, than elsewhere, but while some marvel at some of the more morbid detail which has gone into the Bestiary, few have an interest in such things beyond idle curiosity.
Sample Passage: One way to ensure that ghosts pursuing one do not follow is to ensure that there is running water between you and the ghost. While some ghosts (such as the ghosts of those who have drowned) are not afraid of water, some find themselves unable to cross water where there is no bridge or similar to allow them to cross. The size of the water rarely makes any difference, small streams are often as useful as large rivers, although streams often make it easier for the ghost to find a spot to cross.
The Wonders of the CosmosEdit
Author: Jon "Thoraz the Great" Wheatley
Contents: This book contains the rambling account of a self-declared planar traveller whose primary means of exploration involved consuming an inadvisably broad variety of psychoactive herbs. The book is long and entertaining, albeit mostly unwittedly, and it discusses travels to a huge variety of planes near and far. Most treat the book as an amusing work of fiction, but some scholars say there is, surprisingly, some truth buried somewhere in the hallucinations of "Thoraz," even when he discusses areas beyond the spirit realm. Unfortunately, seperating it from the nonsense is difficult at best, and sometimes nigh-impossible. It is, however, one of very few widely-available books that discuss the more obscure and distant realms, and so has been a resource of last resort on many occasions.
Availability: The Wonders of the Cosmos is fairly popular for its entertainment value, and so has been copied many times despite its length. There is a reasonable chance of finding it in any book collection that devotes significant space to fiction.
Sample Passage: There wasn't a name for this place, but people lived there anyway. Tall people, really tall. Way tall, and purple. They offered me something to drink, but I didn't want it. I'm pretty sure it was made out of monkey. It was a good place to rest and relax, but my inner sense told me it wasn't somewhere you should stay for long, so I moved on. I just can't get over how tall those guys were, though. And purple.
Principles of Water and Fire: Master Li's Guide to the Art of the StraightswordEdit
Author: Mo Li
Contents: Despite the expansive name, it is a straightforward how-to manual discussing various forms and motions used with the jian. The book can be helpful for students who want to learn the basics but can't find a teacher. It also discusses the dao to an extent, but the focus is on the jian. The book includes illustrations to help convey the proper technique.
Availability: Though not hard to come by in Andragoria (as books go), it is rare elsewhere, because the weapons it teaches are correspondingly rare.
Sample Passage: Remembering to keep the body loose and fluid, the blade is held high in this form, with the guard held ready to intercept, as illustrated. In any defensive posture, responsiveness is key, so your habit should be ensuring that your muscles are loose. From this posture, one can readily move to Forms B or D, as needed depending on circumstances...
The Unfortunate Circumstances of LestinaEdit
Author: Sir Hert of Fries
Contents: The Unfortunate Circumstances of Lestina is a novel about the young maid Lestina and her adventures. While entertaining, its contents hold little to no factual worth.
Availability: Common, especially among the more hot blooded male nobles.
Sample Passage: It was a dark and stormy night. Her bosom heaving Lestina ran through the forest, the branches tearing at her thin night gown even as the sounds of the ogres drew closer. Could she finally escape them, or was it death that followed on Lestina's heels?