Okay, the book isn’t actually the name of this story. I couldn’t come up with one. This is actually a piece i wrote for a player in a D&D game i was running. He came in part way through and i needed to add his character to the game and this is the piece i wrote to bring him in. Enjoy
Blood seeps from a shallow cut over your right, momentarily blinding you. Balling up your right fist you rub your eye clear, succeeding only in smearing blood and dirt across your face. Your heart races as your eyes dart around you. You aren’t sure where you are, or how you got here, all you know is you need to run. You can’t tell if you hear the sound of pounding hooves in the background, or if it’s the beating of your own heart, intent on breaking through your ribcage.
You’ve never been more afraid in your entire life. This, your first big adventure in a life lived mainly for study and through books has some how gone so horribly wrong.
“Calm down,” you mutter quietly to yourself, but your legs refuse to stop shaking. You can hear the faintest hint of a tear in the back of your voice.
“It’s okay,” you follow it up with, but your beating heart tells you that’s a lie. You are not going to be okay. You are not sure you are ever going to be okay again. You run your hands over your body to check to see if everything is still there. Yes, everything seems to be in place. Your bag of holding is still hidden in your belt, so presumably the 4,872 gold pieces, 3631 Silver pieces and 8,090 copper pieces you had in at are still in place.
You are also assuming that the 500 Platinum pieces you were given are still in place as well.
Instinctively, you pull one of the platinum pieces out and run your fingers over it. You should have known this was going to go bad. On each and every coin, someone took the time to scratch the royal seal out off with a giant X. The Coin was still good, but you would have to be wary of where you spent it or be branded a traitor to the crown.
When you woke up that day, when you started this adventure the last thing you expected was not only to uncover a plot to murder the Princess and end the Monarchy, but the rewrite the very fabric of what you knew as existence. You should have known, you should have seen, but you had blinders on, all you could see was that book.
The Black Book, a strange mixture of Necromancy and Divine magic. A guidebook to the Abyssal and the celestial all at the same time. The legends say that the book held two intelligences, that were constantly at war with each, other fighting for dominion. The things it had to teach you, the pathways that were open before you.
As you stand, knee deep in the stream, bending down to wash the blood away and check your wounds in the reflection, you remember the ring on your finger. After rubbing the water over your face, you stumble to the shore of the stream and expel a charge on your ring. Instantly your hair is clean and dry again and your clothes are perfect.
More importantly, the cut on your head is beginning to close up. Your heart is still beating uncontrollably, nothing in the ring is going to help with that. The sun will be up soon, and you need to find some place to hide. They are after you, after what they did to Wix…. After what the Mage let them do to him!
And the knowledge that Wix’s fate was to be yours….
Head down, you plunge into the underbrush. In the fight to escape, when the Paladin was by your side, you used up all your magic. You had nothing left. Just you and the book. A silent prayer, your next steps would be guided by the gods of Providence.
You can hear them moving in the trees and the brush around you. They are hunting you. The gods truly seem to be on your side. You grip in your hand a small Wand of Magic Missile, but you are reluctant to use it. It has one charge left, and you don’t want to risk it.
You tucker down in a hollow under a tree, the wand facing out in front of you, your face stained with tears. They are moving through the darkness. Dozens of them. Faceless cultists leading firey hell hounds. You don’t know how long you sit here, you don’t know how long you spend in darkness before sleep takes you.
As you sleep, your mind does not rest. Instead it wanders backwards, over the journey.
It all started for you, as all great adventures do, in a Library. The Annex was the greatest library in all of Kadavaria, and even though you were hesitant to exploit your family connections, you knew that your father was good friends with the Library’s curator, Dr Cranberry Mistletoes, a tinker Gnome of some great renown.
Using your family connections, you reached out to the college and were granted admittance into the school and the Library beyond. You spent hours and hours in that library, years up on years. Over the time you developed kind of kin ship with Dr Misteletoes and an even deeper bond with his assistant. A minotaur named Edward Longhorns. Something about Edward, it was almost impossible not to like. He for such an angry looking beast, he looked at the world with a trusting wonder and knew nothing but love. His was a life dedicated to peace, no matter what the cost.
The library itself was an amazing place. It always seemed bigger than you expected and while you didn’t always find what you were looking for, you always found what you needed. It was set in the basement of the college under the queen’s lake. The ceiling of the Library was a great glass ceiling that when you looked up you could see the lakes waters rippling above you, the fish swimming about.
Life was good, until about a month ago when you came to the library for that evenings study only to find the campus a buzz. Someone it had seemed, sometime after second bell, had stolen the library. The door frame at the bottom of the stairwell opened to nothing but a dirt wall. The bottom of the lake was now nothing but dirt.
Through the wizards grapevine you heard that a Drow Wizard by the name of Wix had sent a party to search for the library. Again, due to your families place you had been to the Tower Castle in the center of Bridge Town and knew Wix to be the one of the court magicians that sat on the king’s council with Dr. Mistletoes.
Fearing that your friends were lost, and all the knowledge with in was lost with it, you decided to go to Tower Castle to see if you could speak with Wix. It took some talking, but eventually you were led to the wizard in his home below the bridge. Your timing could not have been better. An hour sooner and you would have been dismissed without getting to plead your case, an hour later and they would have been gone.
The Goddess of Providence it seems has taken interest in you.
It was too late to join on the grand adventure to find the library, so Wix turned you away. As his guards began to lead you out of his chamber though, the doors banged open and in walked a female half Drow Warlock, and A female half Orc warrior carrying the head severed head of a human being in one hand, and a black book in the other.
The Warlock you would come to discover was the Old Drows daughter Autumn and the Half Orc Paladin was her lover Doria Caine.
For a moment you locked eyes with the Warlock and a shudder went down your spine as he you looked away. You could feel it moving inside her. Either this woman had made a deal with a devil, or someone had used her in their own deal. You didn’t know which, but you could feel that dark spirit moving inside her, and its shadows playing in the back of her eyes.
She drew her magic from the demon trapped with in her soul.
The book though… When you saw the book you immediately knew it for what it was, and as Caine stepped forward, setting the head on the table and removing the book from under her arm, you instinctively stepped forward to take another look at it. Wix picked up the book and looked at the grizzled warrior women before him and asked a loud “where did you get this? Have you found the library?”
You had seen the book before. At the Library about a year ago. It had been on Dr. Misteltoes desk. He had been arguing over it with another wizard. A large giant of a man with flowing white hair and beard. But that was before, that was before…. The sound of your own voice surprised you…
“The Black Book” you whispered, “Dr Mistletoes said it was stolen.”
“The thief had it” Doria muttered as she pushed the head over. “Your daughter tried to speak with him, but he isn’t talking”
Wix the senior motioned you over and asked you what you knew of the book. You were only able to regurgitate what little knew from Dr Mistletoes, but it was enough. He hired you on the spot for 500 platinum pieces to be paid to you by his partner when you reached the Cairn Ferox. They needed two spells from the book, and they needed you to find them and translate them.
At the time you did not know the evil you stood across from. While Wix has the best interests of the kingdom at heart, he was not a nice man. He and his brotherhood, the brotherhood of the open hand, where hiding a secret. A secret only a few people knew. The king was not the King. The real king was dead, murdered a long time ago and replaced.
You didn’t know it at the time, but eventually you discovered the brotherhood planned to kill the King and his family and replace the fake King with one of their own. None of this made sense… The implications. The King, you had met the king. When you were young you met the king. Thanks to your father, the Princess Isabella had even come to one of your birthday parties! They were good people. It didn’t make sense.
The first spell you were to find was a locating spell. It was an incredibly complex spell that once cast, never went away until the target of the spell or the caster were dead. Each caster could only have one locating Spell could active at a time, and once you cast it you knew the location of your target, no matter where they went. Even into other dimensions.
Surprisingly the spell was actually a lost wedding custom. Upon pledging their lives to each other the husband and wife would cast the spell on each other. It was sweet in a weird overly protective way.
They forced you to cast it on a wood elf Named Evening Flowers. It was strange though. Once your caught onto her, her location kept jumping erratically. Almost like the pocket dimension she was hiding in kept moving. But you were able to narrow down three locations that you were pretty sure you could find her.
Eventually, you found that she was the Thief, Finnian Raws lover, and she was hiding in his home. Still later, you discovered that they meant to kill her to protect the secret. Even later though, you discovered that she was actually the one who killed the king when he was still a prince seventy-five years ago. She
Supposedly her dagger was still stained with the blood of the real king, and the brother hood of the open hand wanted that blood.
The second spell was a complex resurrection spell with an even more complex ritual attached to it. You put the pieces together as you traveled to the Cairn, and when you arrived you wished you hadn’t. You were greeted by a tall barrel-chested Necromancer who dressed like a storm giant and had a flowing white Beard.
You immediately recognized him as the wizard that was fighting with Dr. MIsteltoes, the one that tried to take the book.
His name was Tragger Radnor and he is by far the scariest person you’ve ever met in your life. He tossed you a bag with the five Hundred platinum pieces and thanked you for your work. You immediately tried to talk them out of the ritual, but to now avail. The magics they were dealing with… Even for magicians so much more powerful than you… it was dangerous. People were going to die, and souls were going to be eaten.
Not that they could do the spell, you thought. No way they could find all the components the spell required. First off, it required seven individuals willing to give up their life. It could only be cast by someone who has succumbed to the powers of the abyssal, and it required a soul cast in crystal. Lastly, and most importantly it required the Golden Skull of a Wuderlak.
A Wuderlak, is the worst type of Vampire that ever existed. Rare and far more powerful then a normal vampire. They had all the powers but very few of the weakness. The lived on the blood and the soul of their victims, they grew stronger off the pain they caused. They were the shells of the Vampires left over from the other world before this one. They wandered the land soulless and direction less, living to do nothing but feast and destroy. They were essentially empty vessels. If you cast the right blood ritual though, a soul could be put in one.
Upon arrival at the Cairn you and your companions were taken into the basement, and their you saw it. The ritual chamber. Six men, in a circle tied to a stone Colum. A seventh was empty. In the center of the room was an empty bowl about a foot deep. A channel ran from each column to the bowl. In the center of the bowl, Tragger Radnor placed a golden Skull, the Skull of the Wuderlack. From his pocket he produced a green glowing gem.
Everything that happened next, happened so fast. You tried to stop it, but you couldn’t. Before you could react, Tragger Radnor waved his hand, and suddenly you couldn’t move. You were held in place by a mystical force. The trip had been about a week. During that time, you found became friends with the Paladin and her warlock lover. Their story was sad, and their love was tragic. Each of them had suffered great loss, and now that loss was only going to get worse.
The Paladian Doria Caine stepped up and tried to help you, but she was brushed aside. Autumn Wix screamed, and tried to save her lover, but before she could her Father and Tragger Radnor intervened. Wix the senior held a blade to the unconscious paladin and threatened to slit the Half Orcs throat if Autumn didn’t help. So in order to protect the life of her lover, Autumn Wix did the one thing she was afraid to do more than anything else.
She let the Demon inside her out, and she sacrificed herself to it.
As the Demon infested Autumn Wix began to cast the spell, one by one her father worked his way around the circle slitting the throats of the captive. With each one, the blood flowed down, filled the channel and mixed with each other in the bowl in the center, coating the golden skull. Finally, after the blood of six men stained the dagger, they approached you and placed the blade at your throat.
You were about to die.
The Gnome appeared from nowhere firing his giant metal gun into the room. The spell was broken just long enough for you to escape.
“Run!” Cranberry Misteltoes yelled at you as the shadows began to move and hands began to move out of the darkness towards you. You pulled Doria Caine to her feet and the two of you fled down the hallway. She tried to go back, but you wouldn’t let her. Faceless cultists, hell hounds and other, even darker spirits swirled around the Cairn.
As you looked back, you saw it, the Wuderlak taking form. The Seventh Sacrifice was completed. Instead of losing, Wix slit his own throat while his daughter held up the green Gem, finishing the spell and placing an unknown soul inside the creature. All the while Tragger Radnor battled the tinker gnome.
When you finally opened your eyes, you were very surprised you had slept. But you needed it. Your mind was clearer. You closed your eyes and you could still finish Evening Flowers out in the world, constantly moving. An entrance to her home wasn’t that far away. The wuderlak was still out their as well, and it wasn’t going to stop.
Especially since you had it’s soul. You weren’t sure exactly when or how you found it, but at some point, it was pressed into your hand. The green glowing gem with the soul meant for the creature. You needed help. You had to protect yourself from the creature that would keep coming for you.
Somewhere along the way you became separated from Doria. You lost her in the darkness as you were fighting. It was just you, alone in the world in desperate need of help. You pulled yourself out from under the tree and tried to get your bearings.
In the distance you could see a small farmhouse and could see smoke coming from the chimney.
Ring of Mending: Rare Magical Item used for Mending and Repairing your clothing and basic Magical Items. Also cleans you. Not only does it mend your clothing and basic Items, it also mends you. Once per day can be used either Any number of Healing Potions Equaling 1 Supreme Healing potion. IE, you can do 1 Supreme, or you can do Five Common. You could do 1 Superior and 1 Common, 2 Greater and 1 Common, 1 Great and 3 commons, what ever the combination, as long as it doesn’t go over the 10D4 + 20 or a Supreme. The Mending Spell has no limit and can be used as needed.
Winged Boots: Requires Attunement While you wear these boots, you have a flying speed equal to your walking speed. You can use the boots to fly for up to 4 hours, all at once or in several shorter flights, each one using a minimum of 1 minute from the Duration. If you are flying when the Duration expires, you descend at a rate of 30 feet per round until you land. The boots regain 2 hours of flying capability for every 12 hours they aren’t in use.
Cloak Of Protection: You gain a +2 bonus to AC and saving throws while you wear this cloak. Helm Of Comprehend Languages: While wearing this helm, you can use an action to cast the Comprehend Languages spell from it at will