Books of all kinds and purposes, their short summaries as well as wide descriptions, come and enjoy.
We seek books, books that might be found in a library, on the shelf somewhere, or even lost in that dungeon. Required is the title and author, a thorough report on the contents, the perceived and true usefulness, a bit of background won't hurt either. Please try to avoid the obvious "fillers" (30 volumes of Elvish heroic poetry, etc). Remember that in many settings books are very expensive; they better be worth it!
You may also include books that are mentioned in other books, works the characters never may lay hands on. Their (reported) usefulness can be amazing, and any sage worth his salt craves them desperately. Yes, those Books. A very nice and complete example is M.J.Young's Cults of the Past (http://www.mjyoung.net/dungeon/cults001.html).
On the other hand, please avoid too magical or intelligent books, as they have a strong tendency to get cliche. (Not to speak of those oh-so-overdone demonic books possessing the reader...) We seek interesting, but still ordinary books.
??? (author not mentioned, owner is signed as some 'Nicholas Perfecto')
Magical Rituals and Ceremonies
Surprisingly, the book says little about anything magical, but it rather describes how to make rituals visually more appealing, including tips on choreography, choosing the right clothes and words, with a few tiny special effects (flashing powder, etc). While many would throw it away, as soon as they find its true contents, wizards may improve their magical abilities (well OK, give them a better image), and others may learn to fake spellcasting. The small book has flamboyant language that uses too much words.
The beauty of the written word
A very nicely-decorated compact tome, describing in detail the art of illuminating books (for those uninitiated, it is the art of decoration and illustration). It is quite favoured by the few masters of this art, being well written, with good examples, etc. Simply put, a solid work to consult if you are interested. There exist several copies, and some artists make their students create a copy as the final test of their apprenticeship.
The truth about Dwarven Smithing
The book attempts to prove that Dwarves are actually lousy smiths, but their inborn magical potential makes up for it. They show off their talent only because their small brains don't get it (yes, the author was quite a racist). The book is largely useless; however it sums up nicely the smithing styles and typical marks of items from several traditional smithies. Given a really thorough study, one may have a slightly better chance of noticing such an item even between normal ones.
The Basics of Scribbling and Drawing
The legendary and highly sought work, not for the instructions, which are too boring to read, nor for the exercises for a beginning artist, which are too tedious for most to endure. It contains a few sample drawings though. Especially noteworthy are the studies of anatomy, like the famous 'Bathing Nymphs Having Fun', all wonderful and erotic (but not pornographic) paintings. Rumoured to cause a statue redden with shame, many wealthy collectors would pay any sum for it... it's just finding it is a problem.
Vanikquen's Big Red Atlas.
Contains colourful and informative maps of the World and its countries. Two of the pages are stuck together. When pried apart they reveal a map of a continent no-one knew existed.
Zalrid the Mad's tome full of illustrations of the patterns of light he saw when he closed his eyes. He hoped to develop a system of divination from the study of these patterns, but went mad after illustrating plate #927. They are quite psychedelic patterns and most people suspect he was a little bit unstable beforehand.
Harmannh's Universal Translator.
A half-empty book (most pages only have a few words written on them). You write on a page the sentence you want to be translated and close the book. When you reopen it, the ink has copied onto the opposite leaf and the words have been translated. Useful, but alas the translation is unreliable, so 'Phurmuz ak-itasa, kusalakor nam-un kot' ('I'm taking a bath, removing the grime of the day' in Modern Heric) might become 'Submersion at me is being, of today emanating slurry'. About half the book has already been used, mostly student looking up rude words.
Wings and Talons
A detailed treatise on the art of Falconry, it attempts to cover all of its aspects; from the basic care and feeding of birds of prey, through an insight into their habits and thinking, up to their basic training. Although the author certainly took great care, and obviously consulted experts on the field, he has never tried anything himself, having a great respect of these wonderful birds. As a result, there are a few misconceptions any hawker can recognize. If the book is or was owned by one, the respective places will be overwritten. The book is respected in other matters. A large grey feather is stitched on its foreside.
(authored by the barony's Fowl and Livestock Office, not existing anymore)
Burning Marks of the Barony
Displays all the burning marks local landlords used on their cattle, along with a short description of each, and its owner. Since by law no two may be the same, the book is partially usefull even today, a hundred years after it was made public. Some burning marks are not valid anymore, others have new owners. The office that registers them today still tries to keep it up-to-date, but does not publish it anymore. The pages have a tendency to fall out due to regular use.
Gardan, the Royal Master of Arms
A question of honour
A very thin book, with large friendly letters even impatient nobles may bother to read, contains the rules for a fair duel. Described are also the three basic dueling forms of the aristocracy, Fencing (often to the first blood only), The Sword and Dagger, and The Knight's Battle (mounted, with heavy armor). However elegant it may look in its red leather and golden letters on the cover, it is made and sold for profit, the nobility regularly buying it. It is likely the well-known 'author' never wrote it.
Carefully avoiding any herbs that might be harmful, it is a fine resource none the less. The drawings are very precise, and herbs on most common ailments can be found here. Mind you, most potent magical herbs have also nefarious uses, thus are not displayed here. The book is worn with much use, it is both large and heavy due to its binding. The author was an apothecarian, and many simple brews are mentioned.
On The Roads Of Dhurtania, with Inoxim Frappel
A traveller's guide to a country that is supposed to lie a thousand miles to the east. The author was apparently a forerunner of roleplaying (or smoked something...), because it is completely fictional! Numerous local customs are described, with cities and villages, historical monuments as well as exotic foods. The author friendly warns of anything he might have overlooked as a foreigner, and the possibility of change over the years, but hopes the guide is good enough... the book is twenty years old and no one has discovered the truth yet. It is already quoted in several other books as a reliable resource on exotic cultures.
Compiled by the adventurer turned sage, Anjet, this bestiary is a listing of the various beasts and monsters that Anjet encountered during her extensive travels through the jungles of the Wylden Coast. Weaknesses, and effective tactics to defeating some of the more dangerous monsters can be quite effective for begining to intermediate adventurers.
The Lady of Hawkes
A collection of childrens stories that details the adventures of the Lady Hawke, an early adventurer who had the magical ability to turn into a hawk to escape traps, spy on foes, and occassionally be captured again. The work is well known and copies of this work range from newly made on block presses to copies that are dated to several hundred years old. The word is accredited to the Lady Hawke, though most sages agree that she is a fictitious creation of an author who wished to remain anonymous.
The Queens Codex
The Queens Codex is an old, and badly damaged spellbook. Many of its surviving pages have been taken up with the personal ramblings of the unknown mage who fell in love with the Queen of a great and powerful nation. There are even some well done sketches that depict a queen who ruled some 300 years ago. Some regard this work as an incomplete tragedy, others view it as a waste of a spellbook, and others wonder where the last third of the book has vanished to.
The Lay of Night and Day
This 4000 page, 8 volume work hails from the arid wastes that were once civilized and occupied by men and women. The work is a historical epic of the nation as it was back during one of its golden ages, and given its size and quality it was the work of a literary master. Many of its elaborately detailed stories deal with couples in love overcoming many hardships including great distances, outside harassers, infidelity, and even love overcoming the bonds of death.
In the Temple of Aphrodite
This work is considered one of the most risque books that a collector can own that is not openly heretical/evil/magical. The book details the inner working of the Temple/lodge of Aphrodite, and is always illustrated with various nudes in varying explicit positions. The book is quite expensive to make and commands a high price on the market.
Tomu's Pillow Book
by Tomu (?)
Tomu is a popular Barbarian deity of love, sex, and women. This book is a description of the godly dalliances and trysts of Tomu (with no details left out and explicit illustrations), with a description of the sexual techniques and poses used by Tomu and her lovers therein. The last section of the book is an explanation of the theories of sexual power and the magic it provides, as well as techniques for getting and giving the most in a sexual encounter. The book is said to have been written by Tomu herself, though it probably was not; in the country it originates in, it is common and perfectly exceptable for authors to attribute their works to a famous hero or God. Tomu's Pillow Book commands high prices on the market of books, and is very popular with the nobility. All courtesans and concubines inevitably possess this book.
The Book of Happy Hours
by Bullfrog's Shout
This book is a series of humorous illustrated stories about the characters Rabbit, Snake, Crane, and Frog, with an appearance from Bo'te (a guinea-pig like animal. See The Empire in Setting Forge; if you like, make it Rat instead), Grasshopper, and Eagle. The book is much like a book of comic-strips (as in a newspaper). The Book of Happy Hours is popular with the lower economic class, and it illustrates the aphorism 'Count only the happy hours'.
The Journey of Red Salmon
by Gazes at the Moon
The Journey of Red Salmon relates a well-known folktale about a man named Red Salmon, who, losing his dog, runs into the wilderness searching for it, and becomes himself lost. On a long journey back to his home he encounters many dangers, including a raging Urwhor, evil brother Fire Spirits, a great Centipede who awakes only every ninety years, and man-eating Barbarians. Red Salmon begins the tale as a bumbling, incompetent fool, searching for his dog, but by the end, he is a strong, resilient adventurer. Red Salmon eventually finds his home once again, and finds that in his absence, his dog has come home, and his family, thinking him dead, have had a funeral.
The Visage of the Demon
by Stay At Home
Stay At Home was a well-known artist and illustrator of books, and it is widely held that his finest (but most gruesome) work is the Visage of the Demon, a frightful series of paintings of various mortals that Stay At Home had encountered, shown in such a manner as to make their images monstrous and evil in countenance, and surrounded by images of horror and war. Within, there are images of several Imperial Governors of Stay At Home's day, as well as an image of many common criminals, and even a painting of an Urwhor, and of a Duerga. The most evil-looking image is that of Shards of Basalt, once the Governor of Red Coast, who was known to be a cruel and draconian man; Stay At Home depicted him standing in his finest robes while horrible demons devour children around him, and a starving man tugs at his robe. Stay At Home intended the Visage of the Demon to be a scathing attack on individuals who he considered to be 'Demons among Men', that is, evil. The book was a popular political statement in Stay At Home's day, but it has now become little more than a book of particularly frightening images.
Roshellion's Posthumous Book of Images:
Foremost poet of the past 500 years, Roshellion (pronounced 'rose-hell-eeon') is known for masterpieces such as 'Carelie et Adanare', 'Sojhuanika' and 'The Lectern'. But equally fascinating are his notebooks, filled with half-written sentences and thoughts, images and metaphors that came to his mind to be jotted down, never to be used again. And yet among them are strands of coherence, arcs of concept which led him on a journey through many beautiful images before he left the arc without reason and moved on. Collected and edited by Hejintson, they form Roshellion's Book of Images.
A real-world example: Mediaeval Books of Hours. The Visconti Hours, the Duc de Berry's Hours, etc. These were beautifully illustrated tomes produced by mediaeval artists to list all the stages (hours) in the monastic prayer cycle. A similar idea could be used to provide a novel presentation of a gameworld's calendar.
See for example:
Unnamed Tome of the Dwarves
Unearthed from a long ruined dwarven hold, this book is immense, bound in thick leather and brass. There are well over 2,000 pages of then vellum, crisp and dry with the passage of time. The survivable condition of the book is accounted to the unnaturally dry nature of the chamber it was discovered in. Indeed, the bodies of the dwarves felled in battle with orcs were dessicated into withered mummies, still clutching at mortal wounds, and weapons. such is the tenacity of the dwarves.
The book itself has suffered several strikes from a bladed weapon that cut at least two inches into the five inch thick book. It is likely the dwarven scribe responcible for the book used it to parry attacks in the last few minutes of his life.
The contents of the book bely its estimated wealth. Written in carefully scripted dwarven runes, the book depicts the reclamation of the long abandoned dwarven hold by the dwarves following brave colonists and explorers from distant mountain holds. Most of the book involves the minutae of recolonization, and the restoration of the mine works at the hold as well as repairing damage inflicted by the ancient foes who destroyed the inhabitants of old.
The last chapter chronicles the fall of the hold once again. The dwarves fought the deep orcs for each inch of the ancient hold, grudging only surrendering each chamber and hallway over a pile of their own dead. Despair overcomes the scribe in the last few pages as he writings become less precise and legible. Claustrophobia and morale collapsed as the seeminly unlimited orcs drove them back into a last stronghold, the tomb of the Dwarven lord who lead the reclamation. In hastily scribbled low dwarven, his last words have resonated with every -person who has read them.
...They are coming
Of Truth And Duty
The grey book is old and little used. Starting with the discussion of a few laws, the reader slowly learns who the author was: an executioner. Gradually, the book reverts from fair treating of prisoners to their correct execution, up to the extraction of truth from unwilling individuums. Torturer devices and techniques are described too. There are few pictures, but softer natures may feel quite disgusted. Some sick, but otherwise harmless individuums have a certain unhealthy fascination for it. There certainly exist books both more cruel and bloody to indulge in, but its calm, factual language has its own appeal.
The Haunted Woods
Turns out to be something like a meditational handbook. Leading the reader through a large forest, where many creatures and spirits dwell, friendly and hostile, one can face various enemies in his imagination. There is no solution given, but the book claims that through finding a way to defeat these mighty enemies that corresponds with one's soul, one can attain a larger control about his life, and be empowered to achieve more, overcome fears, etc.
Note: the Western Woods are a good example of a haunted forest. If the place actually exists in the game world, and is as described, the value of the book is many, many times higher than it seems.
Nymphs and Satyrs at Play: an illustrated guide to the social interactions of two reclusive woodland species
Although the tome was put forth as a guide for cryptoanthropologists (people who study magical sentient races), most of the copies in existence are currently in the possession of adolescent male wizards, regardless of their field of academic study. To be sure, the author was very thorough in his documentation of the aforementioned 'social interactions', but the main features in this book are hundreds of pages of detailed illustrations of both species, alone and together in various postures and positions to demonstrate their energetic social interations
Despite the fact that he suffered a mental breakdown shortly after returning from his research trip, the author went on to publish another book, entitled Nymphs and Satyrs: the Author's Cut, which is currently banned in nine duchies.
A chess journal is a two part book. The first part is normally a rule book for chess, with many of the classic strategies and games being played out. The second part is a journal where you can record your own games (to be reviewed for future strategies and proficiency) and jot down ideas on strategies. Usually the first part has margin notes and cribs as well. This is really a workbook.
In many cases, the previous owner will put additional notes about their existance in the second half. Many Generals work out battle plans in their second section, utilizing chess analogies. Merchants might use it to define their strategies. Assassin's their plans. You never know what you might find when you read the second half of a used Chess Journal.
Scrolls of the Crimson Eye
Despite the title, The Scrolls is a thin book with a brown leather binding with a red embossed eye on the cover. The Eye is the symbol of a holy order of Evil Cult Hunters, those that hunt the Demon Cults.
The book outlines how to hunt for a Demon/ Evil Cult. It outlines the general strategies one needs to employ (looking for unusual missing and various kinds of patterns, knowledge of what cults want, etc), tactics on searching for cultists and meeting places, tactics on following possible cultists, lore on how to defend against demon cult magics and effective spells against cultists, lore about various demons and evil creatures, and dozens of pieces of advice (many of them as handwritten margin notes) on how to be more effective.
However, there are people looking for these books other than paladin and hunting types. For an Evil Cultist, it is a guide for what NOT TO DO and THINGS TO BE CAREFUL WHEN DOING.
On amorality of the printed word
A rather slim book, written by hand, with hand-painted illustrations. It is propaganda against the unclean and primitive new invention: the printing press. All fine readers should ally against dirty writing, and the low quality produced for people that cannot enjoy the real value of a book. While written by a sharp pen, the theological arguments are of rather low quality.
War Of The Three Summers, a brief history
The large book was originally bound from the notes of a young scribe, a servant of the legendary commander Valus Lefthanded. Besides the naive admiration of a young officer, it describes in solid detail the battles as they happened, with sketches of the units and their movements, and tries to determine the reason for success or defeat.
While there now are better books available on the topic, this is actually the first treatise on the strategies of war. Consequently, it is owned or sought by collectors and/or experts on the field.
The Banned Book of Hell
Perhaps the demon realm's first graphic novel,this collection of badly drawn illustrations parodying the Lord of the Desolate Shore and the other arch-fiends of Hell,enjoys a huge following among the imps and other lesser demons that resent the sometimes brutal and always heavy yoke imposed on them by their superiors.
The identity of it's author is unknown,but it is widely held that he was a disgruntled minor demon in the service of the Lord of the Desolate Shore. His master,when hearing about the existence of this most disloyal document from a loyal boot licker,had it's creator put to death,so the popular story goes,but unfortunately not before it was borrowed by a group of the imp's cousins. The most outrageous scene in the book is a particularly lewd one that touches on the famous impotency of the Lord of the Desolate Shore. It depicts him trying to get aroused in the company of his wives,but failing pathetically.
The One Hundred Upright Actions
Often simply referred to as the Hundred, this is a dry and uninteresting book on the proper methods of warfare. The book has no interesting battles or illustrations, rather it deals with the precise operations of troop formations, the most effective methods to maintain a good camp with excellent sentry protection, and the like. It is standard issue to newly commisioned officers, though few read it during decadent times. Most good officers have read the book and understand its protocols and procedures, while those who havent are generally sloppy officers who can make crucial and expensive mistakes.
The New Atlantis
A utopian and visionary essay, left unfinished; its plot structure has been frequently recycled for formula science fiction novels. References to the philosophy of the Rosicrucians and Freemasons are abundant. It is maintained that the New Atlantis was the blueprint for the founding of new countries of the realm. 'This fable my lord devised, to the end that he might exhibit therein a model or description of a college, instituted for the interpreting of nature, and the producing of great and marvellous works for the benefit of man, under the name of Solomon's House, or the College of the Six Days' Works. This book must be read by anyone interested in mystical history.
The Sylva Sylvarum: Or a Natural History in Ten Centuries
One of the greatest repository of scientific ideas, facts, beliefs, fables, conjectures, covering all fields of nature. Part III of the Great Instauration. Foundation stone of the Royal Society.Originally published with the New Atlantis, but most later editions exclude it.
The Advancement of Learning
A report on the deficiencies of learning in the current century, along with possible approaches for overcoming them. (see an excerpt on the transmission of knowledge) This seminal philosophical treatise, originally penned in 1605 and considered the first major philosophical work written in English, also offers the first description of science as a tool to improve the human condition. This breakthrough work of the English Renaissance hailed new times and new possibilities for the human species.
The collected essays written by The Great Philosopher Lord Bashonis. The fifty papers covers a wide variety of topics from Truth, Love, Proper Manners, Friendship, Travel, and the correct way to Groom.
The Book of the Loon
This book was written by herxzark the insane. at first glance it says nothing, only a garble of words that make no sense. When read under moonlight though, it is an epic poem about The death of magic and the world being fooled into thinking that they are progressing into a new age of cars and electricity. Most take this controversial piece with a grain of salt; discrediting it as 'the ramblings of a foolish madman.'
Book of the Civilized Man
Beccles of Daniel (1215)
Civilized Man is believed to be the first (insert common local langauage) courtesy book (or book of manners). The book is significant because in the later Lost Ages dozens of such courtesy books were produced, indeed courtesy books have a long history in ancient and modern history. Because this appears to be the first in (local country) history, it represents a new awakening to etiquette and decorum in court society, which occurred sometime in the 13th century. As a general rule, a book of etiquette is a mark of a dynamic rather than a stable society, one in which there is an influx of 'new' men, who have not been indoctrinated with the correct decorum from an early age and who are avid to catch up in a hurry.
Scribed in NewBurrough, eventually reprinted by Blue Press 52 pgs
See what real books in the 13th century were like?
Liber Abaci (1110) The Book of the Abacus or The Book of Calculation.
Fibonaccius The Master of Arithmetic
In this work, Fibonaccius introduced to The Lands Arabic numerals, also known as the decimal system, which he had learned by studying with People Far away. Liber Abaci was not the first book in The Land to describe decimal numerals, but by addressing tradesmen rather than academics, it was the book that convinced the public of the superiority of the new system. He showed the system and how to use it. The latter chapters shows a number of mathematical tools to derives approximations, both numerical and geometrical, of irrational numbers such as square roots. The book also includes Euclidean geometric proofs and a study of simultaneous linear equations.
It has been scribed so many times it is beyond counting. (pun, get it?)
Reprinted by the New Blue Press newbury 88pp. 36 illus.
See what real books in the 13th century were like?
How to weave a Web of Romance by Mike Rotch
The book is for men who are looking for a girlfriend. It tells them to treat girls equally to men...girls love that.It emphasizes being slow and steady, never being too pushy or demanding, It suggests the right time to get a present for one's loved one, and suggests what to get, depending on how rich the would be seducer is.And should the person get married, it explains how to make the marriage work and keep the love alive.
Apicius: Cookery and Dining in Imperial Times.
(Edited and Translated by Dommers 1468) Second Printing
This is the second printing of the first new tongue translation of Apicius de re Coquinaria, the oldest known cookbook in existence. It is also one of the few translations of this original Imperial cookbook prepared by a profesional chef. This book will appeal to gourmets, professional and amateur chefs, cultural historians, and others who want to see, first hand, the foods on which Imperial peoples dined. This in the unabridged republication of the original 1436 edition.
Printed in Newbury by the New Blue Press 301 pages. 80 Illus
Empire of Pleasures: Luxury and Indulgence in the Imperial Realm (Dahlus 1428)
A geography of luxury runs through the literature of Imperial Times-- Persica the golden peaches whose Imperial name pinpointed Persia as the source of their world-wide migration -- Caecubum, a fine, rare, dry red wine from Campanian vineyards that were once prized, afterwards neglected; these flavors were identified, evaluated and tasted in a single work. Empire of Pleasures presents an evocative survey of the sensory culture of the Imperium, showing how the Imperial themselves depicted and visualized their food, wine and entertainments in literature and in art. With numerous illustrations, and recipes to conjure up the luxurious flavors and aromas of Imperial literature, Empires of Pleasures will be welcomed by anyone with an interest in classical literature and culture.
Printed in Newbury at the Blue Press 304 pp. 37 plates and figures
Galenus on Food and Diet (Granus 1430)
A modern translation of Galenus . At the apogee of ancient medical advances stood Galenus, one of the first founder of the Seven Stars and the personal physician to the Fifth Emperor. A prolific writer, among his surviving works is what he believed to be the definitive guide to a healthy diet, based on the theory of the four humours. In these treatises Galenus sets out this theory, which was to be profoundly influential on medicine for many centuries, and describes in fascination detail the effects on health of a vast range of foods, from lettuce, lard and fish to peaches, pickles and hyacinths. This books provides many captivating insights into the ancient understanding of food and health.
Printed in Newbury at Blue Press 120 pp. 50 plates
Of Agricultura (Pilfany 1465)
This work of Caton the elder is essential to our understanding of classical Imperial domestic economy, as well as being the first extended Imperial prose work to have survived to this day. Caton has information for everyone: on planting and maintaining olive groves, on supervising the staff, on making various loaves or gruels out of grains, on the manifold curative properties of cabbage, on getting good prices at market, and much, much more. This is a new translation and detailed commentary composed with a mind to the culinary and cultural historian, who may not be familiar with the byways of early Imperial agriculture. .
Printed in Newbury by New Blue Press 243 pages. Illus.
The Praise of Folly (Erasmus 1511).
The essay is filled with classical allusions delivered in a style typical of the learned humanists of the Renaissance. Folly parades as one of the gods, offspring of Inebriation and Ignorance, whose faithful companions include Philautia (self-love), Kolakia (flattery), Lethe (oblivion), Misoponia (laziness), Hedone (pleasure), Anoia (thoughtlessness), Tryphe (wantonness), Komos (intemperance) and Eegretos Hypnos (dead sleep).
It starts off with a satirical learned encomium after the manner of the Ancient satirist Lucian, whose work Erasmus had recently translated into Latin. It then takes a darker tone in a series of orations, as Folly praises self-deception and madness and moves to a satirical examination of pious superstitions and practices in the Church and the folly of pedants (including Erasmus himself).
The Praise of Folly is considered one of the most influential works of literature in Civilization and one of the catalysts of the Reformation.
(Based upon a real book)
Of Metals and Their Uses
~by Eye Yorn Darksmith
This 56 page phamplet is one that is quite useful to a smithy and wanted by most, yet hard to come by due to each copy being handwritten. The author is one Eye Yorn Darksmith, a certain psuedonym. While not willing to publish with his true name, the contents of the phamplet are very informative, listing almost every metal known to civilization, their properties (as ascertained by him), and their common/not so common uses within a mere 44 pages.
The final 12 pages list some mythological metals and their supposed properties, as well as a few potential applications should the metals truly exist.
This is a fairly recent work, dating back only a few decades.
One Tooth Or Many
The works of a lone genius and an obsessed tooth collector, it is a true foundation for the science of paleontology... that may arise one day. A thick tome contains vast knowledge on identifying the properties of a tooths' original owner - what does it eat, how big is it, and even how it looks. No easy read, though, it takes time to find the needed information.
(Note that this NPC... would pay much for the book, if not already owning it.)
To Leech Or Not To Leech
Recommended for all that want to call themselves doctors, the small thick book is the result of long research on using leeches on many common ailments. Besides slightly dubious uses, it concentrates on serious wounds and ways how leeches can help curing gangrene, even poisoning. Many doctors and healers have leeches and treat patients with the help of this book.
The Animal Healing
A much rarer and less known work of this author, it is about animals, but also lesser creatures such as spiders and insects, the ways they heal and how they could be used to heal people. It is mostly composed of observations, and theories, with a few experimental treatments. Speaking about dogs licking their wounds, and whether it helps if they lick their masters' wounds, about poisons helping the sick sometimes, serious healers should be very careful about trying anything from this book.
The End By Dragon Kinde
Another apocalyptic scenario. The author argues that dragons as a race are actually social creatures... so much that they live in gigantic communities in thousands, like bees in a swarm. These communities (or it may be only one) move across the world and settle for a time in one place, live in it until they consume all resources, and leave it a complete wasteland, then move on.
The terrible creatures known as dragons are only outsiders, expelled from the swarm and roaming on their own. Alone, they may be killed. But when they COME, it will be all over... all civilisation, and most life will be erased from the surface. It may come back, in a few thousand years. There is also a theory, that such a thing has already happened, and tries to find evidence, but with little success yet.
The book itself is mostly to be found by various sages, and many keep this knowledge out of the reach for common people, just to be sure. (See the inspiration.)
by The Great Philospher Lord Bashonis
A utopian and visionary essay, left unfinished; its plot structure has been frequently recycled for formula science fiction novels. References to the philosophy of the Rosicrucians and Freemasons are abundant. It is maintained that the New Atlantis was the blueprint for the founding of new countries of the realm. 'This fable my lord devised, to the end that he might exhibit therein a model or description of a college, instituted for the interpreting of nature, and the producing of great and marvellous works for the benefit of man, under the name of Solomon's House, or the College of the Six Days' Works. This book must be read by anyone interested in mystical history.
Advertisement Touching A Holy War
by The Great Philospher Lord Bashonis
Published 10 years after its writing, by a foreign pressman who did not know what he published. This book argues that a society dedicated to science and technology would 'relieve the human estate,' providing a longer, healthier, more informed, and more ennobling life for everyone. This remarkable work stands as a document of major historical importance and intense current relevance because it offers an additional reason for the modern revolution. In it, the author dares to suggest that a revolution in thinking and acting is necessary because European intellectual and spiritual life as well as European politics had been captured by religious fanaticism that threatened to plunge Renaissance Europe into another dark age. The Author chose the old literary device of dialogue to present his argument for wholesale change indirectly. In the conversation of his characters he allows readers to see the reasons for kindling spiritual warfare against the spiritual rulers of European civilization. An Advertisement Touching a Holy War gives a great philosopher's reasons for initiating the war between science and religion that was actually fought in the coming centuries in Western civilization and of which we are the heirs.
The Advancement of Learning
by The Great Philospher Lord Bashonis
A report on the deficiencies of learning in the current century, along with possible approaches for overcoming them. (see an excerpt on the transmission of knowledge) This seminal philosophical treatise, originally penned in ten years before publishing and considered the first major philosophical work written in Human Tongue, also offers the first description of science as a tool to improve the human condition. This breakthrough work of the Renaissance hailed new times and new possibilities for the human species.
De augmentis scientiarum or Of Arguments Scientific
Allegedly by The Great Philospher Lord Bashonis
The Author distinguishes between duty to the community, an ethical matter, and duty to God, a purely religious matter. Any moral action is the action of the human will, which is governed by reason and spurred on by the passions; habit is what aids men in directing their will toward the good. No universal rules can be made, as both situations and men's characters differ.
Note: This work, and works of this author were banned in several countries and listed as 'proscribed' by several churches.
The collected essays written by The Great Philospher Lord Bashonis. The fifty papers covers a wide variety of topics from Truth, Love, Proper Manners, Friendship, Travel, and the correct way to Groom.
The Kelchius Works
The author of this work is unknown. The work was discovered by in the Library at Kelchius, stuffed deep in the archives. The work hold a number of unique effects and how to achieve them. It also includes some alternate ways to achieve standard effects that are more difficult to dispell (though harder to do).
The Phantasmal Path
A work by the Classic Author Tricerus, the Phantasmal Path discusses illusion, the theories behind them, and a very detailed not on the most effective tips and tricks to utilize illusions to their maximum effect.
Folio of Murders
This books details all the murder cases brought before the insert City's court for a 50 year period, starting 173 years ago. It lists the defendants, all the evidence, the participants, witnessess, and a summary of their testimonies. It makes interesting reading. What makes the book more interesting is that it is bound in Human Skin. The skin of killed murderers were used to cover all the copies of this book.
The practice, known as anthropodermic bibliopegy, was sometimes used in the 18th and 19th centuries when accounts of murder trials were bound in the killer's skin. Anatomy books also were sometimes bound in the skin of a dissected cadaver. And many books dating from the French Revolution used Human Leather as covers.
The Power of the Word
A single word can bring a man life or death, it can make him a liar or a honest person. Words have so much power that it foolish to ignore it...
This large leather-bound book is quite verbous on its subject: the use of words and speech in spellcasting, not leaving out the non-magical uses of the voice, from children's rhymes up to political speeches. There is much to be learned here, and lazier students of the magical arts often made to read it whole, as both a punishment and a lesson.
The last chapter of the book has in the last few years recieved quite an attention: the chapter shows examples of a good wielding of the speech, in nonsensical but well-written poems. A student has found a beginner spell hidden inside of a short poem... is it only an accident, or are there more spells, especially in the longer poems? It is known a few of Denmeer's spells have been lost to history. Recovering them would at the very least bring high respect from other magic-users.
Reo Historican d'Thaumatugican - The History Path of Magic
printed 1473 New Blue Press newbury 119pp. 18 illus.
Galron was, by all reckoning, a mage of middling repute. However, he has achieved ever lasting fame centuries later as being the writer of some of the oldest surivivng thaumatugical works known to the world. Scholars today are unsure if Galron was writing personal notes or a text on magic, based on the surviving fragments. His writing style was simple and direct. Maddingly, he is referencing things which seem to have been common knowledge in his day but are lost to today.
Rhodes was opinionated, but he was very detailed in covering the scholarly history of magic. He wrote something about anyone who was of note (and a few that really were not), books of note, events of historical note that impacted magic or its practioners, and the rest of the symphony of history. He also wrote about non-human magics, various other elements, and various techniques. Practioners either love or hate the man's work, but they all know it.
The Albethia Chronicles
This book is a copy of a copy. There was to be a pressed (printed) version, but that press house was burned to the ground.
The original text hails from Albethia, the Land of the Monarch. The personal journal of the Monarch has been copied periodically to allow it to survive potential disasters. This is allegedly one of those copies, from 73 years ago. It details the story of the First Lord, how The Gods granted him immortality by the passing of his soul to others so he may always keep Albethia safe. The chronicles is allegedly important to keep his memories fresh.
Some claim this is a fake, a fabrication produced by Albethian Intelligencers to put 'fear' into their enemies. The fact that the Albethians went to incredible lengths to retrieve it and elimnate existing copies(including the death and exposure of several of their own spies) is often quoted as an elaborate ruse to create versimilitude for the work. If it is a fake, it is divine in origin, as it includes such a huge wealth of details and some state secrets that are minorly embarassing to Albethia.
The Communities of the Crowns and their Intelligencers, are unsure about this work. If it is true, it could completely change their stances in regards to Albethia. If it is false, then it is such an elaborate ruse that people are still talking about it 40 years later.
Related to node 2110
The Diadache of the Acolytes of Dalraaen
An ancient book that describes the earliest practices and teachings of the Order of Dalraaen. The book dates back to the Order's founding and is said to have been written by The Hearer, the prophet who first heard Dalraaen's call. It explains who Dalraaen is and his purpose; namely, he is the embodiment of justice and he brings order to the fallen world. The first half of the book is pure theology, while the second half regards rules and practices. The book describes how to set up a court (the Order's version of a church), how to seek priests for the Order, the proper way to run a trial. This book would be of interest to clerics or monks, perhaps historians, and followers of Dalraaen; a religiously unaffiliated warrior would find the theology too heady and the rules too repetitive.
The Great Blue Sky, an anthology of works
Great Blue Sky, compiled by the famous Hongsai poet and author Chrysanthemum Lajiung, is a collection of anecdotes, poetry, and stories from soldiers from all armies of the Great War (though Srathic and Corheen soldiers predominate, Hong is a neutral nation, so it is easier for Lajiung to collect works from both Treaty soldiers and Compact soldiers). It is a continuously-growing collection- each year of the Great War sees more submissions to it's pages. It contains some schlock, and some remarkably beautiful work, as well as much interesting and innovative literature. Many of the themes of Great Blue Sky reflect the horrors of war, the disillusionment created by it, themes of patriotism and heroism, as well as the manner in which human lives are changed by the War's brutality.
A very famous portion of the book, known generally as the Nonsense Chapters or the Secrets of Truth, were penned by a (possibly insane) member of the Ohhaen army named Truth Ssukheyra. Generally consisting of pages and pages of stream-of-consciousness nonsense and bizarre rhyming vignettes, it is interspersed with words apparently made up at random by Ssukheyra himself.
On the sea by Verbin Symwe
Written by a merchant who came into the posessions of several ships, it is a little sorted array of various advices for anyone that wants to do business on the sea. You will not learn how to do business, or how to lead a ship by reading it. However, you will get quite an idea of all the dangers and risks that you can step into - anything from monsters or pirates up to how you can discern a good or bad ship, and not be fooled in negotiations with greedy captians.
It is more of a chaotic introduction than a real 'study book', but many have found it quite useful. The original book was penned by the merchant for his children, one of which has sold a copy as 'memoirs of a great tradesman' to another merchant - and so the book has spread.
My Life, by Stelton Manwee
It is a very bad first attempt at writing which likely never made a second. At times a diary, at times a novel of sorts, it was written by an insignificant apprentice of some common craft (the resentment for the trade by the author is clearly reflected as its exact nature is never told, only mentioned in passing). And so it goes on and on, expressing feelings, and how the day was, and what people said, and what happened, and what it could be like, and... absolute boredom, really.
What saved the book so far from being burned was an accident, which let it soak up in much phosphorus, an unknown element at that time. If the book is exposed to daylight, it will then slightly glow in darkness. Thus have arisen the rumours, nay, legends of a potent magical tome hiding many secrets, that was hidden into an ordinary personal journal, its power being so great that it cannot be felt as magical.
The book, without any power or secrets, has in the last century travelled half the world, being found and lost again, sold and stolen, cheated and even killed for sometimes. Heavily researched and experimented upon, it has still not divulged its secrets.
Local Holidays by Veronus Sender
The small, journal-like book bound in leather, is a handy summary of all the different holidays in the towns and townships of the kingdom. Listed are the location/area where it is celebrated, the proper time of year, what is occasion, how does it all look, what are the customs, etc.
Despite its briefness, the book is actually very useful for anyone doing extensive travelling. It was equally useful to the author, the compiler of the knowledge, a foreign spy on a researching journey. What has become of the spy is not known (could there be secret remarks hidden in the original?); the book has been recovered and copied several times.
Holidays are the best time of the year for a visit any place. People are much more relaxed and open to strangers, especially if they know what to talk about, what to compliment, what to avoid, etc.
It's possible books of this kind have been also created for other countries by now. Owners of this book may be suspected of being spies to a foreign power.
The Elven Identity This book, penned more than 300 years ago has been repeatedly attacked as nothing more than a hate motivated attack against the Elves. The book describes how the elders of the Elven race seek to dominate the world, and bring humanity to it's knees and serve the elves. The book details how the humans were once the slaves of the elves and how they escaped their bondage. It also draws correllations between the Elves and the Orcs, as well as the Elves and every single magical or enviromental disaster to afflict humanity. Oddly, the normally aloof Elves harbor a strong grudge against this book and hunt it quite vigorously.
Time Broken Forever by Yeshir Monaf
The collection of personal memories and thoughts of the then-minister of culture and arts, it is quickly revealed as covert, but still useless yammering about how great the times were before, and everything used to be, and all people were well advised by the wisdom of our forefathers, and so on, and so forth. It tends to have very, very long sentences.
It wasn't yet noticed, that Yeshir also described here in fullness a particular evening with fine music in the background, and two figures, that he greatly admired, both theological capacities, and in their view, also intellectual experts on any topic, that debated the nature of art, and its relation to the truth; and by proxy also the relation of religion to truth, which they elaborated onto a depth even poor Yeshir could not understand, but he did note the quality of the argument, which in the end slowly, but inevitably turned onto the respective religions the partners in discussion were representing, even seeming to make their argument a little heated, if such a thing was possible with such wise men. What history has to say, however, that on the very next day these two theologians clashed their arguments again, and this time their dispute became so heated, that it drew in their interested listeners, all priests and supporters of one or another great man, provoking the "Small Holy War", that cost lives in the hundreds, and forever tarnished the relations between these two formerly friendly religions.
(from Healey Pickle)
An unnamed personal diary of a traveler and occasional adventurer. Being attacked way too many times, while writing something into it, it was repeatedly repaired and reinforced. Now it is a small book with a massive iron casing, quite heavy for its size. Strapped to hand, it can be used as a small shield.
The writing is of a low quality, but some interesting details of the region traveled can be found.
Your family's priest will raise an eyebrow if he sees it, but the pamphlet is not forbidden or anything; in fact it can be found in many a private library. It describes several "guaranteed" techniques how to improve the chances of getting a child, and particularly a son (or daughter). Many of the methods are publicly known, this is more of a collection. Success of the method described is debatable, but there is no great harm in trying them.
Black Leaves by Armia Sillerion
Written by the daughter of a wealthy duke, these poems are the product of youth and fashion, as is the name she has written it under. The first few pieces were illuminated by hand in white ink on black pages, and they have some financial as artistic worth. The rest was printed in the usual way black-on-white, to lower the outrageous costs.
The baroness has lost the interest in "dark poetry" long before, being over fifty with grandchildren growing up, but she still likes to prattle about her artistic youth when in society.
(Note: if the Tenebrists exist in this world, it may have been inspired by their art.)
End of humanity by Rockop Mulfon
A Malthusian vision of the future, where the races will rise beyond today's limits, and multiply into untold numbers, until the very world will not be able to support them. From then on (and surely even until then), the future will be made of conflicts and wars uncounted, each more dangerous than the one before, and each grinding away on the few principles that seem to be accepted now.
The book is often referred to as example study of hopelessness, as the author sees no remedy to the downfall, it is deemed inescapable. The only way out, however false, is isolation from the world around, that offers but an illusion of safety. The author died in seclusion as a proof of the seriousness of his ideas.
Household Gate by Chrystill Alnef
Locks and keys, that is the content of this book. Alnef was a reknown locksmith, and explained here the workings of all but his most expensive designs, Numerous pictures bordering on modern technical schema's make a large part of the book, along with closer views on some heavy-duty parts, and the materials and techniques necessary for manufacturing a lock that will last.
It should be noted noted, that Alnef himself didn't write the book, being illiterate, and by that time with a failing eyesight. Instead he has dictated it to one of his apprentices, so a few little mistakes have crept in. The book purposefully avoids the topic of lockpicking, but the information inside is of great value for thieves anyway. The copies will be closely guarded by their owners.
79) Pretoran Path
Pallarandus of Cellica pp330 1490
The author expresses the idea that the world is in such chaos because the individuals in the world do not have a strong unifying moral code. He suggests a return to the "superior moral and ethical code of the Imperium". The Imperium had a rough meritocracy based on magical power and raw wealth. Each member of the Imperium seemed to know his place in society and his responsibilities. The strict codes of the Imperium, as passed down to us from various historical sources, would help restore the stability of modern age and help bring it towards a new Golden Age similar to that of Imperial Times.
This books has stirred up quite a controversy. Various movements in churches and bodies politic have taken on this challange. While most are not promoting the draconic Imperial System, they are pushing a greater adherence to their own moral codes and a return to a "more moral" state. These groups have begun to polarize courts and countries. Eventually this book could lead to war between various movements and their adherients.
The Song of Onahanalianaoilio
by Hanal Enithiel
This poem, the epic tale of an ancient Elvish champion, his fiancee, several cousins, a human cave dweller that they befriended, and a prophetic trout, is widely regarded as the sort of story that could only be created by a race that does not sleep and has a lot of time on their hands.
The first 16 volumes are virtually incomprehensible to human readers. The numerous subplots, romances, deaths, mysterious reappearances, and lost cousins leave the reader baffled, especially as many of the characters have similar, virtually unpronouncable, Elvish names (The cousins Onocanathiel, Canocarathiel, Carogamathiel, and Sifonorthiel are typical examples.)
According to elves, these books are full of subtle humor and political satire, referring to events of over a thousand years earlier. They have never successfully explained this humor to a human, but it may explain the tale's timeless appeal to elves. The author was apparently a famous wit, known for his many pithy aphorisms, none of which were deemed dignified enough to include in his grand opus.
The last 14 books of the tale are much more accessible to human readers, although few have the patience to slog through the first 16 incomprehensible volumes to get to that point. According to Elvish historians, the author suffered a grievious head wound before completing his great work, and was barely conscious when he wrote them. Elves find these volumes extremely dull, and generally only finish reading them as a gesture of respect for the genius author that composed the first half.
The background information presented in the first 16 volumes is exquisitely detailed and accurate, describing Elvish fortresses and temples, many of them locations where no human has ever been permitted to intrude. Some of these sites have been abandoned in the centuries since the time described in the books; they often appear exactly as the author described them, aside from the damage wrought by the passage of the centuries.
The Pure Passage
by Holgart Gertarter
This text, allegedly a manual describing techniques to preserve one's health into old age, spends most of its length encouraging the reader to avoid sexual relations. In its pages, the author (a member of a conservative sect that believed that self-indulgence was responsible for many of the world's ills) advocated a life of silence and contemplation of spiritual matters.
The Pure Passage is still commonly quoted by the dour clergy found in the coastal fishing villages.
The Asakran Index of Guilds
To say that guilds are important in the conservative barony of Asakra would be a gross understatement. This book lists all of the established guilds, and a large part of the respective laws and their internal regulations.
It is a large, tiring book with heavy pages, offering a wealth of information on the barony, the local power players, various customs and festivals, and ways of doing business; a reference book that belongs into the library of an important state official, rarely opened. A man on the street would just say - all that you can learn for a few beers.
Fishes of the seven seas by Chevalier Billard
A treatise lightly dwelling on the subject of fishes, mainly fishes that can be caught and eaten. Without any of that scientific mumble, it contains only the practical information what to catch, how to catch and process it, and what to avoid. It also briefly describes whale-hunting, but that is better to try with some practical experience. The author, a merchant who owed his wealth to sea, penned it down as an ode to the Great Blue, being an avid fisher as well.
There exist two editions. A single large, beautifully illuminated book with finely detailed pictures of fishes is in the Seaman's Guild, and well cared for. There are also many small, journal-like books in circulation, said to be one of the few books a true captain would read until the end.
The Winds of the Human Body by Papan Vener
Ridiculed by students of the art of medicine even today, the book pays the price for what the author saw as a poeticly descriptive title. 'The Winds' are a similar theory to the Four Humours, instead of basic (liquid) substances it concentrates on the various gases that pass through or are produced by the body. To his credit, the author does not claim his is the only truth, in fact, he presents it as complementary to the other teachings.
Concentrating primarily on breathing and the respiratory parts of the body, and the intestinal tract, many symptoms are listed and connected with diseases and unhealthy conditions, all based on the author's observations during his long practice of medicine. Many are mere hypotheses, or conjectures, but he has duly documented all doubts and questions. The work is actually pretty modern in its thinking for the age and current standards of medicine. Sadly, it has elicited few comments from other authors. Some of the more useful techniques and symptoms are but slowly adopted by studied doctors.
The book is large and heavy. Due to a low-quality binding are most copies re-bound now.
Fruits and Berries of the lands by Broskin Horseshoe
The author concentrates on his home land, but a few close countries are also covered. Listed are many fruits and berries, their everyday uses and some more distinct effects (primitive healing appliances, what can cause bad digestion, etc), even a little on gardening and gathering.
Note: there are also many consumables which are mostly avoided for having a bad taste, or are hard to process/digest, ways to make them more accessible are usually provided. This information can be very useful during a famine.
85) Glimpses of Future
A pamphlet of the cheapest kind, it collected together the 'most important prophecies of gifted seers'; it was penned down during the rule of the last king, that attracted a large number of these individuums. Gladly they provided their visions of the future, and here they are stored for posterity.
Of course, a large number of them is evidently disproven by now. Others may not come true for hundreds of years. Still others may have been right or wrong, or will be right, or will be wrong depending on how precisely you interpret their most poetic formulations. A few are just ridiculous.
But there might be a grain of truth among the weeds... beware, if that little noticed prophecy starts to become true.
86) The Two Hearts by Methymere Cromwell
Researching many known cases of lycanthropy, the author explores the behavior of werewolves, and matches it against his knowledge of wolves and men. Of particular interest is what he considers a discrepancy between the heart of a man, and the heart of an animal. It is here, where the observed initial phase of lycanthropy comes from - the wild, uncontrolled rage. According to the author, this blind savagery is not an attribute of the animal, and even less of the man. It is their confused amalgamation that is hard to control.
Perhaps will the man and animal find an even ground, and meld together, and create a stable creature. If not, there will be uncontrollable outbursts, that turn the affected into a monster. And a monster cannot be trusted.
It should be noted, that the author does never claim, that the other, 'stable' werewolves are trustworthy or friendly. But the intention behind the book becomes at the end clear: if some sort of balance with were-creatures can be achieved, it can be only through understanding, and finding of potential allies. Perhaps the knowledge contained here can help.
Meanwhile has the book achieved notoriety in some circles; those interested in wolves, and... related topics. It has become very rare after the last religious upheaval, burned along other works that were deemed dangerous.
87) Palchar's Book of Travels
Palchar worked as a "Scout" for his most esteemed crown, looking for new trade opportunies. For 18 years he waundered the world for The Crown of Handan searching. There is actually a statue in his honor in Winderholdz. He traveled from Ocadian Desert to The Wastes to The Marches and various places between.
Upon retiring, he took his notes and shuffled them into a slightly romantic and less than perfectly accurate book of his travels. While not the worst book of travels ever written, it is far from the best in terms of accuracy.
His is the account that is attributed the great quote about the Occadian Desert:
The ochre sands stretch for miles around. Something kicks up the dust. It's a yak. A desert-yak. It ambles slowly, nuzzling the ground for the low-growing shrubs. The ranger freezes. "Stay very still," he warns. "Don't move at all." "What is it?" I ask, breathlessly. "It's the most dangerous creature in the whole Ocadian desert. And it's about to eat that yak..." (thank you Epi!)
Chronicles of the Cloister of Many Hands
Written by over a dozen monks, herein is documented the rise and fall of the Scarlet Temple after its two hundred years of existence. From its humble beginnings, through the massive expansion of its buildings grows also the shadow of nearby tribes, who get ever bolder; while the civilization here grows weaker. Slowly a militarization of the peaceful order becomes apparent, and more and more resources need to be devoted to defense. But not even this sad development is enough, the temple is destroyed, and few monks could flee with their bare lives, carrying a handful of precious tomes they were able to save. This was one of them.
Those wishing to visit the region, or the temple's ruins would do well to read it. Parts of it were copied, but there is only one specimen, frail with age and damaged by its journey into safety. It is deposited with care in a temple of the faith.
Finger-Creep and Ear-Slicer
A work of obsession; a scribe that neglected to sign it, has lived out here his hatred for corrupt officials and clerks of all sorts, and created the image of a hell dedicated specifically for them. It is detailed up to the last torture procedure, and horrible beast that lurks here - for instance 'Finger-Creep' is a creature with a huge head and bony armor, its awkwardly shaped maw is only able to consume the fingers of its victim, and goes for them with great ferocity and power.
It is agreed by those few who know of it, that the author was insane. A stray remark of the lecherous natures of immoral officials, that shy not away from abusing their power over the wives of others may prove otherwise. Anyway, the work is entirely fictional.
(If a plot hook is desired, some creature from the thin book can be real - or an evil wizard could be creating the more imaginative beasts.)
The Miller's Friend
by Friedrich Mell
The Miller's Friend is a small volume bound in scuffed leather and filled with cramped, handwritten text. Filled with secrets of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Millers and Simnelers, few outside that notorious brotherhood have ever seen it.
The handwritten text is a manual for millers, filled with advice on making their business as profitable as possible. While some of the chapters describe sound business practices, others detail underhanded dodges and cheats favored by millers and bakers. Loopholes in the various regulations that regulate their trade are described, along with ways to tamper with honest-seeming scales or adulterate flour without getting caught.
Guilbard's Albatross author unknown
This is an old, badly weathered tome that documents the misadventures of one, Guilbard Brove. In his day, Guilbard was known as the unluckiest man in the whole world. The book never actually explains or even postulates as to why Guilbard was so unlucky, but the author, whomever it was, details the sailors slip ups, mistakes, and near brushes with death, with amazing relish. Ironically, at the end of the book, Guilbard survives all of his trials and tribulations, and sails off into the proverbial sunset, never to be seen again.
Interestingly, the book does not take a comedic or anecdotal approach, but rather one of gloom and melancholy, painting Guilbard as an everyman of sorts, a mournful and soulful figure smothered and tormented by lifes little disappointments, peccadilloes, and misfortunes. It is incongruous and ironic of course, that ultimately Guilbard comes to a relatively blissful and happy ending.
Warning: some literary figures speculate that Guilbards Albatross is a carefully disguised Book of Discordia, and may indeed have an adverse effect on a readers long-term mental state. The fact that the author of this peculiar tale is unknown, only adds to the oddness surrounding this seemingly simple book.
A Life Not Chosen (Sapper's Bible)
An intriguing book because so few have seemingly been written on the subject in such depth and detail, this is a dry, pedantic work, dealing with the inglorious professions of sapping and mining, a guide and testament to those men and women whose work involved tunneling beneath earth and rock and moat, penetrating, weakening, and deteriorating great fortresses, towers and castles, allowing for armies to overtake and sack them, attaining the glory that so eludes the sappers.
This book is an indispensable guide for armies and generals. It details digging and tunneling techniques, features invaluable information on various forms of underground and underwater demolition, and lists dozens of actual siege reenactments from past wars and battles, with commentary on the successes and failures, focusing of course on the hazardous role of the under-appreciated but invaluable, sapper.
An expose of early engineering really, as well as being an invaluable source and guide for any military unit, this books usefulness is self-evident.
The title of the tome, A Life Not Chosen, is actually a battle cry and often-whispered credo of the sappers exclusive brotherhood.
93) The Honoring of Princess Elesia of Holderan line and Prince Corrinth of Maderline and their Bonding of Peace.
This book details the nine day festival surrounding the Princess's arrival and nupitals. It goes through the entrances, to the presentations at court, the exchanging of gifts, the ceremony itself, and the details of the high dinner, the signing of the peace accord, the first true grand tourney, and the birth of Childess of North Calling who was an unexpected visitor at the coronation (and whos title as "The Child of Peace" made her an important figure in both country's histories). It is one of the great events in the history of the world detailed in, well, great detail. The books was written in both Holderine and Kaden editions.
See The Festival and Its Book to expand on this. I wrote that entire article just to explain this book submission. This is an example of a Festival Book. It is a reminder that people made "souviner programs" in the 1500s
Cannibals Delight anonymous
An onerous but meticulous expose of cannibalism, this book was purportedly written not by primal savages or some isolated tribe, but by the survivors of the Last Winter, a time of failed crops, disastrous weather, and starvation, experienced by the villagers of Hullotz several centuries earlier. During this time of extreme desperation, the villagers took to eating their dead, having little choice in the matter.
Eventually eating the dead turned to sacrificing those still living for the benefit of feeding the community. Many perished ignobly, but ensured the continued existence of others. Later still the book takes on a laborious exposition of every edible body part, and even goes on to identify proper cooking techniques, as well as the nutritional value of various cuts.
This book takes a very matter of fact approach in identifying the root causes and particular taboos associated with cannibalism, but does not glamorize or advocate the practice. It is merely the tale of a distressed people taking desperate measures.
This fact has not unfortunately prevented this book from becoming a bible of sorts for those of a more sinister bend, and passages from the book are often quoted by some humanoid tribes and baleful cultists.
End Note: this book does not actually have a title, and was written by unidentified villagers, Cannibals Delight being a modern euphemistic term for this disturbing treatise.
The White Dolphin Linrod Wessler
This zoologists dream is an expose of every endangered animal species of a particular continent. The author describes at least three hundred species that are, as he believes, on the verge of extinction, including the authors personal favorite creature, the little seen, and misunderstood, White River Dolphin.
One interesting and ironic by-product of this book, is the fact that those shady characters and harvesters that are always on the hunt and lookout for animal body parts and ingredients for arcane spell casters, collectors and alchemists use this book to help track down the species in question, for as human nature dictates, the rarer the species, the more its body parts seem to be in demand.
Throughout his life, a man will walk many paths, pass through many beginnings, and many endings. A crucial, and often a traumatic change is death; an end of one path, a beginning of another.
This book is one of the few texts belonging solely to the loose religion of the Path, many times rewritten and extended. It revolves around death - the philosophical views of what happens to a soul in the transition, how it can go astray, and how to help it on the right path. There are no prayers of holy power, for those secrets are taught by one priest to another, never written down.
But there are words to soothe the spirits, and for those who mourn. Surprisingly for a religious text is a part on other religions included, on their burial rituals and customs; and those of many cultures. A wandering priest travels far and wide. His services are welcome everywhere.
97) The Pegoran Codex
This is a classic codex, originally sections of a scroll were cut out and bound together into a book form. That 720 page codex was then copied by scribes for generations. This is one of the first books on mathematics and logic. It runs the spectrum between algebra, geometry, fluxions (also known as calculus's limits, derivatives, and integrals), and their odd trigometry and geometry of the round Obantions (a combination of differential geometry and topology).
The Pegorans were a very strange people, but they were academic geniuses. This collection of eight scrolls called the "Eight Layers of the Universe" (their poetic name for mathematics), was only the "basic primer" for their understandings. The codex itself mentions higher learning of mathematics. We can only guess at these "Advanced learnings" as Modern Culture has yet to do more than expand slightly upon the foundation laid by the Codex.
"A Treatise on the Nature of Tattooed Wards and Enchantments"
by Amitr IV, Second son of Hanur
This book is quite huge and bound with a very thin plating of copper, with delicate swirling patterns engraved on the cover. The first three pages seems to have been torn away and must have once held the index of the book.
The book itself is dryly written, but that is compensated by beautiful illustrations of various tattoo patterns and detailed explanations on how the patterns affect any magic infused into it. The book itself is rare and seldom offered for sale, but is carefully guarded by the owners - wealthy men that hold either professional interest, or collect rare books.
Those hoping to actually find any magic wards and enchantments inside its covers will be disappointed, for the book merely explains different patterns, how to make them and how they affect the flow of magic. It will boost the potential of any enchantment cast on a tattoo prepared after the instructions given within the book.
Oddly the author also included several poems scattered throughout the book, on the rim of the page, and in the copies that have been made, these seemingly unrelated poems have been included on the same page as they originally appeared. There are those who claim the poems to hold revelance to the subject within, but no proof has ever been presented.
"The Threefold Code for Hacking Implants"
by Dr. Edward Smythe-Blithers
This e-book is considered a must for hackers throughout the forbidden sector, as it clearly and precisely states the three key concepts for hacking into implants of any kind. Though the techniques presented within has since grown obsolete, the general principles still hold sway and Dr. Jonathan has since been immortalized, mentally, by several underground hacker communities.
Ironically Dr. Edward Smythe-Blithers was a corporate contracted researcher hired to discover any critical weakness within the fledgling implant systems of his time. His discoveries were so startling that they were hushed down at first, but copies escaped the corporate vaults and made it into the hands of the hacking community. Dr. Edward Smythe-Blithers himself, a stalwart critic of hackers everywhere, was devastated by this turn of events, but his career rocketed after his findings became public and he later pioneered one of the first software companies to provide sophisticated security for implants and other vulnerable pieces of technology.
100) Orders of Hierarchy
By Dr. Tamaguchi Tirakato
This books (the old word for bound file) is one of the holy tomes of the Synthetic Minds. At the time it was not well recieved, mostly because its implications were not fully understood and the technology to impliment them was just emerging. It sets down the tenets by which all synethic minds are modelled. While technology and theory has extended beyondthis work, it still serves as the root for all true synth minds since - both wet and dry.
Proof that they might go by a different name, but books will continue on into the future
101) A Long Tale
By Paul Fitz
This book, (which combines four books of the Long Tale Series), chronicles the adventures of a "mystic guardian", a practioner of magic in a non magical world which defends it from spiritual and magical threats it can not understand. It is reasonably well written, though by using a foil - usually the sidekick Runebear - it occasionally goes into "theory and practice" of magic and supernatural events (a practice known as Asimoving). Published after his death two decades ago, the series is a fiction benchmark for the Urban Fantasy field.
Then The Change Happened.
In light of the true nature of reality, many "fans" of the series realized that Mr Fitz was in fact a true Mystic Guardian that had defended the world. His books were his way of "training" the next generation of mages and guardians. This idea had garnered serious consideration after having the series mentioned again and again by a number of adepts.
After reviewing his few surviving papers, and interviewing his children and two surviving friends, the journalist Myrin Marx could prove that Mr. Fitz was indeed a guardian, the first one ever publically known. His results were published in "The Last Secret Guardian" Times Publishing.
102) Sailor's Journey by Ptholus WindRider
You could only hear the rest of them. And you could only hear them because they didn't mind being heard. Running in the trees they were. We followed the little guy named Dorto. He led us to a spot and said in broken Gallen, "Here is village". There was nothing there I tell you. We looked about and could not see a thing. He smiled and pointed up. You could see it then, the huts and nests and ropes. A bunch of them were just hanging there by their feet looking at us. It was going to be an odd night.
WindRider was a "low officer" on a number of Far Traders of the Amberline Fleet. Being a Far Trader for Golden Circle Households, he was always going to exotic and different places. That is saying something for an Amberline ship. Windrider was a variety of officers on his various postings, but never made captain. Windrider is best known for being the heroic first mate on the exploration journey of The Walkabout under the famed Captain Pike. While the bulk of the books covers some of the interesting stops on that journey, his six decades of sailing for the Golden Circle and the interesting stops there flesh out the rest of the book.
It should be noted that like many of the minor nobles, he could "sea shift" to a small degree. Thus he traveled to places not normally accessible by the Golden Circle
103) The Frankenstein Journal
Of course, he never called it that. It was those that followed him who did. Dr Victor Frankenstein was a genius. A man ahead of his time. He combined radical sciences with alchemy to create life where there was none. We all know how that turned out, but there is something we don't know. The Frankenstein Journal, a book containing all of his notes and experiences, survived. The leather of the binding is strong and soft after all these decades and exposure to the elements. A footnote on one page tells of this treatment he applied to the book (one for leather and one for the paper) after leaving a water stain on it. In a few hours of experimenting the man had created an improvement on leather treatment and near perfect paper. Years of observations and experiments have been recorded in the journal. The man was compulsively detailed. Even his brief ideas, ones he never really worked on, were defined with such detail that most scientific journals would of accepted them as article.
In this journal was the Adam Equation, the part biological, part alchemical forumula he used to bring life, as well as countless lab reports and other ideas that flowed from his mind. The journal was preserved by an as yet unknown party. It has floated through the fringe science community and the book collectors over the decades. It always seem to disappear for a time, supposedly in the hands of an annonymous scientist at that time.
It has copied, often imperfectly by people who were less knowledgable and precise than the good doctor. Thus threre are three "bloodlines" of these copies. The Frankfurt line is the most complete. However others have added their own comments and lines to the journal. Some of these are insane, while others insightful additions. The Madrid line copies the book into Spanish. Originating in the early 1900s, it was a reasonably complete translation. Many of the Madrid Copies were also treated with the perfect paper and leather treatment. The West manuscript, was found after WWII. The infamous Dr. West obviously did not have a complete copy of Frankensteins original work. However, he was able to piece together an process much like the Adam Formula. This work has the advantage of being typed. Exerpts of this book have found their way onto the internet. However, they seem to disappear as quickly as they are posted.
Coupling the Flows: Power Equations 101
This is a beginning workbook for trainees in the magical arts. It teaches basic magical theory, including the scientific, mathematical side of magic. It also includes problems for the reader to work through on their own, power equations for simple spells and charms. A copy of this book will invariably be found in the library of any wizard or former apprentice.
105-A Handbook of the Sorcery Springs Geyser Basin
This book is not that expensive and can be brought from Ye Olde Sorcery Springs Giftshop near the enterance to the park. It contains a map to the springs and what the water from each one does, park rules and regulations, a history of the park's founding, and gruesome true tales of those who acted the idiot in the Basin and paid with their lives.
The Necromancer's Journal
This is a thick, leather tome that has obviously seen a lot of wear. A large gash on the front seems to attest to it having been used to block the swing of a weapon at some point in the past.
Contained within the aging pages is the journal of a forgotten necromancer, chronicling his journey from struggling to raise solitary skeletons, to eventually binding wraiths and raising the contents of a small graveyard simultaneously. Along with being an interesting (and at some points, funny) read, it mentions a relic that he found during his travels, to which he attests great power. Though he never stated its actual properties, he did also mention that it had considerable drawbacks, and that the weak minded could "lose themselves to it, body and soul."
Study of The Middle Ages (1420)
In this scholarly work, Pifondis Arrandi, studies how the Fall of The Great Empire led to the creation of the Fedual State in which our great lands were locked into until The New Understandings occured and spread throughout the civilized world.
From Country Estate to the Gelden Mannor system, the changes brought about by the Fall of the Empire and the Comming of the Hordes, are documented. He shows how the Fedual system crystalized under the Holy Empire. He takes a step by step approach, listing several Holy Imperial edicts, which formed this system of life that defined our ancestors for nearly 500 years. Even when the Holy Empire fractured, the structures remained. This history is painstakingly documented in this 800 page tome of knowledge.
The Hvansrausen Hunting Manual
This dog-eared field-guide of sorts is one of the prized possessions and a familial heirloom of the Hvansrausen baronial clan. The familys considerable land-holdings have long been isolated from the rest of the Archduchy and remain to this day, nearly engulfed by a vast primordial forest of pitch-black pine, slough-oak and dead-ash.
These never-ending woods, broken up by occasional by fields of wildflowers, flooded forests, and treacherous, fog-choked peat-bogs, not to mention the castles and ploughed farmsteads of the Hvansrausens, eventually lead to a long range of foothills and valleys culminating in a great range of unforgiving peaks to the east.
These countless miles of wilderness and near-wilderness have served as prime hunting grounds for many noble enthusiasts from across the Archduchy, but particularly so for the Hvansrausen barons and their kin, for these folk have truly mastered the art of hunting over the years, and as can be expected consider themselves masters of their particular terrain.
The Hvansrausen Hunting Manual do this day, is kept at the current barons favorite hunting lodge, a huge fort-like compound at the edge of the great forest. The work is the quintessential field guide for the hunter of dangerous game. Everything is included, as countless generations of Hvansrausens have updated the entries and added their particular experiences over the centuries. Of some interest to adventurers, is a section dealing with the proper tactics and strategies involved in dealing with three particularly unique beasts, which are native and still found in numbers in these lands, but extinct elsewhere. These are the grotesque Bleed-Boar, the treacherous Burr-Lion, and the incredibly dangerous Dragon-Hawk.
The rest of the manual covers riding, tracking, stalking, and otherwise deals with all aspects of the huntsmans trade. The final chapter deals with hunting dogs and falconry, as the Hvansrausens have bred both an original stock of hunting scent-canines, (the well-respected Hvansrausen Hound) and sight-falcons as well over the centuries.
On the Customs & Rituals of the Otara River Valley Peoples, by Prof. Zevid Schraef
This is a dense, heavy book with thick paper bound in hard, cheap leather. The pages have wide margins, on which many are scrawled detailed notes and underlined passages. Many pages are dogeared, some with stains, though the cover seems to have taken the brunt of wear with ring stains from mugs and various scratched and mars.
The legendary humanist Zevid Schraef was an expert in his field for decades. In his early years, he studied many foreign cultures by living among them for years at a time. The corpus of his works form the backbone of anthropological academia today. His work on the culture he termed the "Otara River Valley People," known better as the K'Otara'an today, is considered a cornerstone text and essential for any student of humanism. It covers in great detail the lifestyle of the K'Otara'an: family structures, linguistics, religious rituals, daily habits, diet, cultural norms, etc. Academy professors commonly refer to the book as "The Old Standard," calling it the best example of making another culture accessible through science.
Most academy students would disagree: Prof. Schraef's style is extremely clinical, covering minutia at length and seeming to gloss over in a few complex words subjects which the K'Otara'an held in great importance. Students prefer to call it "The Old Snoozer" because of its exhaustive boringness. Some teachers at mage schools, however, are now seeking the book as a primer on legendary K'Otara'an magic, citing Schraef's detailed notes on the natives rituals as valuable source material.
Letters of the route
These books are usually in the form of diaries, or actual bound letter paper. There is much empty space, but what is written is pure gold: these are the most vital details of trade routes - where the caravans should pass and where to camp, what to avoid and which alternatives can be taken. Useful contact people and trustworthy guides are recorded, as any betrayals. The books are expected to be rewritten and updated with each journey.
Now, of course does a good merchant know his route and will learn by traveling. A book like this is for the very long treks with high risk and many changing conditions. It is passed only from one caravan master to another, trust and belonging to the same guild are required. The value of one is far beyond what its dirty covers betray.
Each book contains numerous critical misinformations, just in case someone inappropriate came across it.
The Fireworker's Cookbook
This shows how to make firecrackers and other fireworks and also warns of what can happen if things go wrong, such as getting one's fingers blown off or worse. It is illegal in three city states and two kingdoms.
Merlindas Falltower: The Hand That Feeds
A valuable lecture on the behavior of animals and their training. The author promises, that a careful student will be able to control or influence any non-sentient beast. (The enthusiasm of the book is quite infective and has killed several careless readers.)
The book allows to learn the basic treatment and finding ways to connect better with animals. Every basic species is covered, the knowledge applies to many other beasts. Several nice tricks and how to impart them are included.
Dances with Orcs by Eleanor Thwane
One of the only humans to spend much time with Orcs in their naturel habitat without being killed or enslaved as a result, Eleanor found an injured Orc and healed it's wounds. She was very interested in them and had been for years, even learning their tounge. The Orc both led her to it's tribe and stopped them from killing her or making her into a slave. As an Honaury Orc she was able to find out quite a bit about their customs and stayed with them for several weeks. Much of the book is of little direct use but it does have some useful Orc phrases and warnings of how not to act around Orcs.
Br. Orloas the Venerable
The Visions of the Heavenly Spheres according to the Visionary, Brother Orloas
Purported to be a divine revelation from the gods to a (now defunct) monk. In it, he describes seeing the far-off spheres: the moons, the 'moving starres', the stars of the firmament. Strange worlds are described: here a world where ice issues forth from geysers, there a place where the day brings fire and the night freezing death. The descriptions are vivid, if at times fevered and disjointed:
The god, whom I know only as 'Star-Strider', has again came to me in the night. This evening we were brought to what he called a star, but I saw not the firmament as our astrologers have promised, but a blazing fire ever-burning, vast and vast beyond my knowledge and beyond understanding. Star-Strider said many stars are like this, ours included; others are smaller, and some thousands of times larger. Thousands! It is beyond me, and I lose hope at the knowledge, for how can I ever understand these things that are so far beyond? Star-Strider tells me our people will one day see all these things and beyond. We must trust the gods in their wisdom, or we have no hope otherwise!
After publishing his visions, Orloas was expelled from his order. His small fringe cult didn't last beyond his lifetime, but scholars still occasionally read his literature, some as a study in madness, others a theological survey, still others for some hidden truth behind the mad monk's writings.
115) Book of fleeting dreams
This book contains a list of the possible meanings of items, places or events one can see in their dreams. Such cheap volumes are often used by women of all layers of society to decipher their badly remembered nightly fantasies. However, rarely one of these books will come with a specific enchantment that few are aware of. When one touches his forehead with the book in the first moments after waking up, a random scene from the person's dreams that night (exactly like he or she had seen it) appears on the last empty page of the book for about a minute. This always happens, whether the person remembers that particular dream or not. Some magically inclined people have used this property to glean some insight into their own dreams while others that have unwittingly used the book's magic have been scared to death seeing their nightmares on its pages.
116. Into the night
After the route of King Rupert's Army in the Severian Forest, an officer penned this small work about the observed tactics of Severian Elves, the mistakes made and the few good decisions. There are many theories about defenses against the Elves and their superior archery, particularly dangerous at night and in the woods.
The officer did not sign his book, but his name is known in the army as is his fate: he was demoted for criticizing his superiors and moved to a distant outpost.
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? Responses (48)
I just want to say that this is great and I have adapted a few of these to work in my world. The difference being I have made some of these tomes magical in nature and the reader actually gains a benefit from reading it, or a curse in the case of one of the unlucky tomes I created. This was an aspect I had long forgotten as a supliment for magic items.
I love this as a thread. I love it as submissions. I will continue to love it.
I like books.
Why I didn't vote on this long ago when I read it is beyond me. This is wonderful manfred and a perfect idea for simple goodies for people to find. Once again Good job.
Ah, great! Keep the books coming people! A really useful collection and one of the more successful transfers from the forum.
It is a great thread. I would SO love to vote for it. :)
what is there to say? This is wonderful! Manfred here's your vote!
Oh and this should be a Golden Submission!
(don't want to continue in a mono-syllabic dialogue, but...)
Posted one of my last books as a comment rather than a scroll post. So I had to edit it out, post it correctly, and put in the 'oops' into the comments.
There, is that sufficiently syllabic for you?
Work to be a really useful poster. Work to be a really useful poster. Work to be a really useful poster. Work to be a really useful poster. Work to be a really useful poster. Work to be a really useful poster. Work to be a really useful poster. Work to be a really useful poster.
In other words, the reply is considered to be sufficiently syllabic, and informative enough to fulfil it's intended informative purpose.
Has this submission become Gold, without me noticing?
Great thanks to everyone that has helped it to grow, and continues until today. *bows*
You are welcome. Now post some things of your own... here and other places.
I have always failed to vote and comment upon this one, but read and used it alot.
This is one of those; I'm glad he did this posts. A splendid collection of books.
One day I shall contribute as well, but Mathom has me in his grasp.
Someday, over the rainbow...
P.S Nothing less than a 5.0.
The proper study of mankind is books.
I wish that I could read these books in rl. 5/5
I so wish i could write like you. Words are not knowable for this work.
Allow me to thank in this place to all that have contributed to this great scroll. It seems that it is the largest scroll we have around - may it grow even more!
This is in my top three of favorite scrolls.
Mine too. Now if we could just get more people to submit books for the scroll....
Moved two books, added some more. And I think this deserves the 101 freetext, too.
Only 77 at this time, but it includes several other linked submissions which would, technically, put it over the top.
Would like a 101 scroll submissions though. So we should try and generate some more books.
That is actually the plan, to attack the 101 boundary. Oh yes.
Oh, and counting all of the linked subs could probably bring it close to two hundred. :)
After I read the introduction, especially the part about not putting in "filler" books of no interest, I couldn't resist adding 30 volumes of Elvish epic poetry.
*tears his hair off*
No, that's "Onahanalianaoilio".
Ladies and Gentlemen, there are officially 101 books here!
I herewith open the celebrations of this fantastic theme, and want to thank all those who have contributed to the topic. Let us stop and ponder what all we went through until we came this far. This does not mean, of course, that further books won't be accepted, quite the contrary. Our next target will be an even more impressive number, I can grant you...
*A massive book flies from somewhere and silences the speaker. That is also a good use for a book.*
We now have 101 scroll entries :)
33 scroll posts (2nd to manfred's 35) and most of the item books. I really do love this submission.
Okay... where exactly did the numbering break, again?
Yay! *clap clap*
I hate it when I miss click something, this sub should NOT be challenged, I was aiming for the Hall of Honour link and it clicked on "Challenge" instead.
There are a few literal, word for word scroll repeats here that should be pruned. Advertisements Touching a Holy War, Of Scientific Arguments, and a few others.
No, they are here for the same reason there are write up for "non imaginary items". Just because they are "normal"/"non imaginary" does not mean people actually know them. They are just as helpful as either things to pull out or as inspirational as imaginary books.
No, I'm referring to the fact that there are actual, literal repeats. i.e. there are multiple scroll entries that are exactly the same.
Pruning performed. Thanks!
Where's the scribe.... My Archmage needs some copies of some of these for his library!
HoHing this with the suggestion that RGTraynor's "30 Books from the Forgotten Library" be added.
*coughs* Ladies and Gentlemen, It is not often that I find something truly deserving of the five of fives, but this! This! Is worthy.
I am late, this I know, but late is indeed, better than never.
Without further ado, I also gift this submission, my Hall of Honour vote! So that it may be seen by others, and spread throughout the Citadel once more!
My minion will now give you each your own personal copy.
*Minion scurries hurriedly around the room, handing copies to it's Strolenati masters*
Thank you for your time folks..
EDIT: HoH will be given on Monday, as for some reason my HoH hasn't been refreshed for today :(
There, HoH added :)
Great collection, I'll read through it and try adding to it!