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The title's in Olde English, so it must be good!
One of the last gasps of hermetic magick can be found in your neighborhood library.
History of the Tome:
Sometime between 1672 AD and 1678 AD, a former scholar of the Catholic Church disappeared and went into hiding. His name has been lost to history, but those who have heard of the Tome refer to its author as Robert of the Western Forest. An apt descriptor, as he spent the missing six years of his life in a forest, writing a book filled with pure evil. At least that's what the church said when he walked out of the forest one day, tried to enter the nearest house of God, and dropped dead as soon as he passed through the threshhold.
Appearance of the Tome:
The Tome is old. Really, really old. Not quite falling apart, but it sure looks like it's on the verge of it. The cover is old leather on thin planks of wood, the pages are yellowed parchment, anf the ink is allegedly from some dark, squid-like demon creature from beyond the Solar System. If anyone takes the time to test it, they'll find that it is typical ink, right down to the chemical additives of the times. The language used is an old variation of English as it is known today, which is very odd, as the author allegedly only knew how to write in Latin.
Care and Feeding of the Tome:
The Tome is filled with passages of varying relevance and legibility, carrying all the complicated plot and expression of Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce, only more so. Seeing as how complicated the book is, most people will be hard pressed to find anything of even remote interest inside the pages. The problem is further compounded by the differing interests of various people.
In game terms, whoever reads the book cover to cover must make a Mind Roll.
On a success, the reader gains a hunch, which can be used as normal.
On a failure, the reader gains nothing more than a splitting headache. No wound point loss, but GMs may apply negative shifts towards actions needing concentration and focus, at their descretion.
On a matched success, the reader can grasp some knowledge of the occult, magick, and the Invisible Clergy. The reader gains a skill at 5% relating in some way to what was learned; Occult Lore, IC Lore, and the like.
On a matched failure, the reader is overcome by crippling paranoia and must make a stress check of Isolation-6.
On a critical success, the reader can extract some sort of ritual from the book through some complicated decoding process that takes about four hours. This ritual is chosen by the GM, but should be relevant to the reader's interests and/or the circumstances at hand.
On a fumble, the reader thinks they have discovered a powerful ritual, and they have. However, the ritual they decode from the book is actually a ritual that invites a demon to take up permanent residence in the mind of the reader, across the hall from the repressed childhood traumas and next to the broom closet. Exorcisms will do no good, but other anti-demon approaches (Dipsomancy, Entropomancy) may help, at the GM's descretion.
A given reader can only use the Tome once, and that's it.
Behavior of the Tome:
The Tome likes to travel for some reason. Its been found by Bibliomancers and locked up no less than four different times, but it always disappears through some random occurance. It shows up in public and private libraries everywhere, with no discernable pattern.
Speaking of Bibliomancers, casting any spell from that school on the Tome is not a good idea; the result is the same as if the demon-invocation ritual from a fumbled roll occurs. On the other hand, if you can find it and get it home to your Library, you can get a major charge from the one of a kind book. Just be sure to use it before the Tome disappears again....
Miscellaneous Data on the Tome:
When wielded by an angry illiterate person (or anyone else), the Tome does +6 damage for being big and heavy.
why would someone use "ye olde" in the title of their book when they write it? unless it's a hoax! also, not much of demon summoning in hermeticism. that's a dead give away to a hoax.
Or maybe it's the real thing but it wants you to think it's a hoax, so that real scholars will pooh-pooh it and not it pay too much attention.
Miniature Wicker Zombu | profile | Apr 03, 05 | 8:40 am