There are already a vast array of tomes covering every subject floating out among Khorvaire. The party has begun to assemble a small library of such tomes through out all of their adventures. Contained below is the collection of tomes that the party has brought together in their own personal collection. The entries are somewhat truncated, but all the most essential information is included. Read on as there is much to be learned from these texts.
Dragon’s Blood: A Guide to the Strange Elixer
By Felix Ir’Lemmna, stolen from his study by Lilane
The book is freshly penned on quality parchment. The brown canvas cover is quality although it is in a state of disrepair thanks to the books mistreatment by Lilane. The book is written in a strange code that has taken some time to decipher.
Dragon’s Blood is a strange substance that seems to hold several benefits to those with Dragonmarks or those with innate arcane spell casting ability. I have studied the possible interaction that causes this boost so that the substance may become purified and used without the ill effects that it causes.
Sulfur and Humanoid Blood serve to start the brew. They are the easy portion of the mix, forming a base from which to start the mixture. The remaining ingredients are rather rare, or their production is limited by the areas in which they are found. Wildvayne, one of the key catalysts in the concoction, is grown only in the deep crevasses of the Byshek Mountians in Droaam. It carries with it properties that are unlike any other in any variety of flora that I have encountered. It tends to emit a low hum if it is listened to in total silence. I have also seen that the plant is very responsive to the mood of its caretaker.
Purified Byshek ore, also found almost exclusively in Droaam is also a large portion of the concoction. It seems that in samples that I was able to procure from various sources, the metal was purified and then shaven down to a fine powder. The Byshek I believe, bonds the substance to the blood. It seems to pull blood from any direction into it, merging them together. I would presume that this property of Byshek could serve any number of other uses. In my studies of the substance I found several mentions of the metal being used to create weapons that were powerful forces against demons.
Khyber shards make a portion of the mix as well, which I believe maybe one of two reasons for the huge price attached to the substance. The shards seem to act as a sort of method of harnessing the arcane properties of the caster or mark bearer. The function is similar to the way that House Lyrandar airships bind and focus the power of the fire elementals used in their propulsion.
The last bit of the mixture is, depending on your particular moral sense, the most difficult to come by. It seems that the final agent in creating Dragon’s Blood is a part from the body of a sentient humanoid. The particular piece is what determines the variety of Dragon’s Blood produced. The Pancreas is used in the creation of the most simple variety of the substance, Black Dragon’s Blood. This item can be removed via surgery with the victim having a slim chance to survive. (With proper healing and bed rest that is.) The other forms come at the cost of the life of the donor. Blue Dragon’s Blood requires the brain of a fairly intelligent being. (Int 12 or Better) The most potent form calls for the heart from a strong and healthy humanoid. (Con 15 or Better) All of these ingredients are what have led me to stop further research on the substance itself. I could not accept the toll of lives that it would take to have enough supply to meet the demands of my work.
That being said, I still believe that if we can discover the exact methodology by which the Dragon’s Blood amplifies the imbibers arcane potential, we would be able to accomplish indescribable wonders with the magics of our age. There is a reverse to that as well though. There is potential for great evil as well and the type of person that would be willing to accept the number of deaths that it would take to develop a steady supply of the substance.
Mysterious Infernal Tome
By Unknown, acquired from Vundry
The tome is weighty in size, covered in a strange black material that resembles onyx hued leather. The pages are yellowed with age. There is a strange marking upon the cover of the tome. It bears a strange similarity to a dragonmark, although there is no known mark such as this. The pages are filled with strange images and odd infernal scripts. It details, in images and words, the exact construction of various devices. The price was high for the tome, and the translation was laborious, but the knowledge could be paramount.
Dark Lords who rest here now, to feed upon the suffering of others. We relate these secrets for extracting the precious red elixir upon which you feed. May they be passed down so that in the eons upon which you will reign, your devout may supply you the sustenance that will crave as you tear asunder the weak of will.
Our on going efforts to capitalize on each little bit of pain inflicted upon the weak have led to vast amounts of progress in our work. We have learned that the pain can actually be harnessed into a liquid form that can be stored for great lengths of time. The escaping pain, categorized by a sharp change in blood viscosity and a brightening in color from “increased sensations”, seems to be attracted to a rare Metal Ore found on the Northwest most continent upon The Great Dragon, Eberron. It gleans a strange purple color when light is shone upon it.
We have fashioned devices that can accomplish this with relative ease. A well calculated blow to a vital organ of any weak mortal will draw forth an equal amount of pain from the pathetic lower-being. The process of extracting a dose of the substance inflicts a great amount of wear on the bodies of victims. Most are not able to withstand more than eight “extractions” before falling dead.
The Pain may be rationed out slowly to attempt to stem the loss of heath so rapidly from each victim. The pain must be extracted in small doses but in rapid succession. We have used the properties of the dark metal to control the smaller extractors in a sequence. The device we have named the Maiden Of Agony. It allows some of the thralls to survive the experience, occasionally. The process is sped up a bit as well but the cost in supply of the dark metal is very high.
The quality of torture and length of the suffering can lead to more pure forms of the concentrated pain. The substance in its purest forms has vast potential. It reacts strongly to the strange crystals we have found deep within the belly of Eberron. It seems to be able to open up vast worlds when combined. The process consumes both the crystal and the substance in the process though. In our experimentation, we found that where the portal opened up varied greatly. On more than one occasion the process allowed strange, but weak, creatures to enter into our plane. The method of controlling where to portal opens up to is as of yet unknown to us.
Byshek and Agony Research Notes
By Xor’chylic, 3 Notebooks
Working on it.
Lhazaar’s Warfare Treatise
This is an ancient text attributed to Lhazaar the Conqueror that takes a look at warfare and details several stratagems for success. The following is a summary of each chapter:
Chapter I – Planning This chapter explores the five attributes of command, (season, terrain, leadership, management, and moral right) and goes into the seven elements that determine the outcome of military engagements. It also delves cautiously into a thirteenth factor, an X factor, or luck, but does not go into much detail.
Chapter II – Waging War This explains the cost of war, economics, supply lines. It cautions against costly protracted sieges, and suggests that winning decisive victories quickly is paramount to success.
Chapter III – Strategic Attack This chapter defines the source of strength as unity, (a concept King Gallifar I would later adhere to strictly) not size, and discusses the five factors that are needed for success in warfare. In order of importance those are: Attack, Strategy, Alliances, Army, and Cities.
Chapter IV – Positioning Cautions commanders to advance their forces only when they can do so in safety, and to defend and hold their positions when they cannot move safely. It also teaches how to recognize strategic opportunities, and how to not create those opportunities for your enemy.
Chapter V – Directing Explains the use of creativity and timing in building an army’s momentum.
Chapter VI – Illusion and Reality Goes into the use of feints and the tactics of properly employed illusion magic to create opportunities to catch the enemy unaware.
Chapter VII – Engaging the Foe Explains the dangers of direct confrontations, and how to survive them should they be forced upon the commander.
Chapter VIII – Tactical Variation Describes the need to be flexible in ones thinking about how to employ forces to get the maximum effect. It also explains how to respond quickly to changing circumstances
Chapter IX – Entering Enemy Territory This chapter focuses on how to read ones opponent as he moves through enemy territory. It also tells of the many situations in which an army may find itself while in enemy territory.
Chapter X – Terrain A chapter strictly focused on position in the field and the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of position. It also goes into areas of resistance (distance, dangers, barriers) and how one can overcome them.
Chapter XI – Thirteen Situations Goes into the thirteen situations a commander may find himself in during a campaign and focuses on how to overcome the pitfalls and use the advantages of each.
Chapter XII – Attack by Fire and Magic Details how to use the environment to attack an opposing force, the five areas targeted by an attack, the five types of environmental attack, and how to survive such attacks.
Chapter XIII – The Use of Spies Tells of the importance of gaining good information sources, the seven sources of intelligence and how to exploit them to their best uses. It also goes into the use of sages and diviners to glean knowledge of the enemy.