A Book A Day For November

Book 21: The Magic of Ancient Judges, by Argus of Jerbiton (Communication +3, Wisdom of Athena Mastery 7, Oath of Truth Master 10, The Will of Alatheia Mastery 8)

Order of Hermes Lore Tractatus (Quality 9)
Code of Hermes Tractatus (Quality 9)
Wisdom of Athena Summa (Level 3, Quality 9)
Oath of Truth Summa (Level 5, Quality 9)
The Will of Alatheia Summa (Level 4, Quality 9)

Argus of Jerbiton was a Mercurian mage who lived and died about two centuries ago. In his time, he was recognized as the foremost expert in Fenicil's rituals. His record as a Quaesitor was impressive, and his judgement in legal cases was universally respected. So his odd, possibly Twilight-induced, personal habits were mostly ignored. The historical record contains his accomplishments, and does not mention how he used to carry dead animals everywhere.

This huge, thick, heavy book is considered the authoritative text on the spells contained within. It speaks of their histories, how they were discovered by the Order, the situations in which they are useful, the legal rulings surrounding their use, and notable stories of their use. But mostly it explains how best to cast them. It's clear, straightforward, and extremely detailed.

In places, sections of text have been blacked out. It's generally assumed that this was done to contain dangerous or politically sensitive information, but in fact it was an attempt to preserve Argus's dignity. His apprentice didn't want his memory besmirched by a bit of deranged rambling.

The Magic of Ancient Judges is written in Latin. The only known copy is in Fenicil's library at Magvillus. Any Guernicus mage who visits is welcome to study it, but members of other Houses are strictly forbidden even to open it.

Book 22: Theory and Practice of Enchanted Item Construction, or Secrets of House Verditius, by Bella of Verditius (Communication +2, Good Teacher, House Verditius Lore 14)

Magic Theory Tractatus (Quality 11)
House Verditius Lore Summa (Level 7, Quality 11)

Bella of House Verditius was, like many members of her House, very paranoid. She knew the lore of her House inside and out, and wished to pass it down to future generations, but was terrified that it might leak out to outsiders. So she created a rather unusual invested item.

Theory and Practice of Enchanted Item Construction appears to be a lengthy and well-written but otherwise ordinary tractatus on Magic Theory. Only when touched by a loyal member of House Verditius does it reveal its true nature, transforming into a tome called Secrets of House Verditius. Both texts are written in Latin. Bella's writing style is very clear, but often slightly odd. She had a fondness for obscure words.

Due to the vagaries of history, the true nature of this book has been forgotten. It sits in a Hermetic library and waits to surprise the next faithful Verditius to touch it.

Read the Reader
InMe 55
R: Touch, D: Instant, T: Individual
This spell determines whether the person touching the book is a loyal Verditius mage.
(Base 15, +1 Touch, +10 levels unlimited uses, +25 levels Penetration)

Transform the Tome
MuAn(He) 43
R: Personal, D: Concentration, T: Individual
When touched by a loyal Verditius mage, the book transforms.
(Base 3, +1 Herbam requisite, +4 complexity, +1 Concentration, +10 levels unlimited uses, +3 levels linked trigger, +5 level item maintains concentration)

Book 23: The Glory of Jupiter, by Venus of Merinita (Communication +4, Faerie Lore 4)

Faerie Lore Tractatus (Quality 10)

A huge and beautiful book with a gem-encrusted cover of solid gold. It's too heavy for one person to carry, and would crush your legs if you tried to read it normally, so it's stored on a podium specially designed to hold it.

As the name implies, The Glory of Jupiter is about the faerie god Jupiter. The tone is reverent, since the author was a devout worshipper of the Olympian Gods. In places, the text descends into sniping at rival deities. Despite the worshipful tone, it's reliably accurate.

The creation of this book was a group effort for a small faction of Olympian-worshipping magi. Venus was the best author, so she did the writing. Other magi contributed lavish illustrations, gold and gems for the cover, and various pieces of Jupiter-lore. The book was meant to demonstrate their faith and glorify their highest god, so they spared no expense.

The Glory of Jupiter is written in Classical Greek.

Book 24: The Armour Of The Magi, by Frederick of Tytalus (Communication -1, Parma Magica 5)

Parma Magica Summa (Level 2, Quality 5)

The Order of Hermes would very much like to destroy this book. It's not well-written or particularly informative, but it poses a genuine threat to the Order's magical dominance of Europe.

Frederick of Tytalus had a death wish. He loved challenges even more than a Tytalus was expected to, and was never happier than when he was facing a foe who outmatched him utterly. So when it was discovered that he'd been waging a secret private war against the entire Order for years, nobody who knew him was terribly surprised.

The details of Frederick's private war were complicated and have mostly become irrelevant with the passing of time. But one of his strategies, writing and copying and distributing The Armour Of The Magi, troubles the Order to this day. Frederick had hidden copies in secret caches all over Europe before being forced into Final Twilight and despite heroic efforts it proved impossible to track down every copy. Every few decades a cache is found, and another hedge wizard who learned the Parma Magica from it turns up.

It's worth mentioning that Frederick probably couldn't have made so many copies alone. He must have had help. From who, or what, is completely unknown.

Book 25: A New Theory Of Magic, by Bonisagus (Communication +3, Good Teacher, Magic Theory 2 at the time)

Magic Theory Tractatus (Quality 12)

The first-ever book on Hermetic theory. Bonisagus wrote it shortly after inventing Hermetic magic, for the benefit of the students he expected to acquire. Most of the Founders read it, and the historical record mentions it several times. Unfortunately, the book has been lost. House Flambeau records say Flambeau gave it to Tremere, House Tremere records say Tremere never received it.

No matter what happened, the book somehow ended up in a locked box in one of the laboratories at the ruined covenant of Halvanath. It might be the most valuable of the many treasures waiting for anyone who braves the ruins. Nobody knows it's there, but it will likely be found sooner or later since it's well-known that the remains of Halvanath are worth looting.

A New Theory Of Magic is written in Latin. Although it's obsolete in a number of places, its unique perspective and excellent quality make studying it very worthwhile for modern magi.

Book 26: Secrets of the Earth, by Vorthos of Bonisagus (Communication +0, Incomprehensible, Terram 32, Philosiphae 6)

Terram Tractatus (Quality 3)
Philosiphae Tractatus (Quality 3)

A lengthy and tedious book describing various mundane and magical properties of dirt in exhaustive detail. It's poorly organized and the handwriting is terrible, so extracting meaning from it is pretty difficult.

Unfortunately, the author is a pretty powerful magus. And he's proud of this book. If you claim to have read and liked it, it'll earn you points with him. Lying to him, of course, will infuriate him if he finds out about it. So if you really need Vorthos' favour, it might be best just to bite the bullet and read the damn thing.

Secrets of the Earth is written in Latin.

Book 27: The Authority of the Pontiff, by Virgil of Guernicus (Communication +2)

Theology Tractatus (Quality 8)
Civil and Canon Law Tractatus (Quality 8)

Virgil of Guernicus was known, in the Order, as a fervent supporter of the Pope in the Investiture Controversy. He truly and deeply believed that the Pope was God's representative, and that his authority should be essentially unlimited.

So unbeknownst to the Order, Virgil wrote and enchanted a Latin tract arguing that the Pope is King of the earth. The book's arguments are lengthy and complex, delving deep into theology and law, but even without the magic on the book they're quite convincing. With the magic, they're unbelievably compelling.

It would be quite a scandal if Virgil's interference in Church affairs was discovered. That seems unlikely, since the book is not signed and anyway the Church owns it so magi are unlikely to encounter it. But all it would take is one magus touching the book, noticing the effect bounce off his Parma Magica, and investigating.

Convincing Charm
ReMe 35
R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Individual
Inclines anyone who touches the book to read it, take it seriously, and eventually be convinced by the arguments contained in it. Unable to pierce Magic Resistance and not hard to resist if you're inclined to actually try, but very very effective on unsuspecting mundanes.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +10 levels unlimited uses)

Stretching the definition of book a bit here, but who's gonna call me out on it?

Book 28: The Gruagach Monolith, allegedly by the god Gruagach (Communication +4, Gruagach Lore 16)

Gruagach Lore Summa (Level 8, Quality 10)

An ancient stone pillar carved with Ogham runes, hidden in a remote corner of the Scottish wilderness. The Gruagachan tell stories about it, claiming that it contains the words of their god. This may or may not be true, but it's certain that the pillar describes Gruagach history and ritual in great detail.

Studying the Gruagach Monolith is profitable, but not pleasant. It's outdoors and the weather in the region is often harsh. Spending one or more seasons studying it will likely reduce the Living Conditions modifier on your ageing roll. There's also the possibility that other Gruagachan will show up, which can lead to trouble when at least one is Gifted. If you can get along you can all study without penalty, but that's not something you can take for granted.

The Gruagach Monolith is obviously written in Pictish.

Book 29: Barclay's Tattoos, by Barclay the Gruagach (Communication +1, Good Teacher, Give 6, Take 5)

Give Tractatus (Quality 10)
Take Tractatus (Quality 10)

Barclay is an old Gruagach who currently lies semi-conscious on his deathbed. For his own reasons, he inscribed his body with Pictish texts on Gruagach Arts in his younger years. Now that he's dying, his students aren't sure what to do. They don't want to let the knowledge on his skin rot away. But they're not going to skin their master's corpse. And there doesn't seem to be enough time to copy the texts onto another medium.

The majority of his students think the tattoos should just be forgotten. It's a shame, they say, but there's really no way to preserve the knowledge without desecrating a corpse. There's just one student who's determined to preserve the texts somehow. That student might, potentially, seek out help from Hermetic magi or other non-Gruagach, because he's got his mind set on this and he's not the kind of guy who gives up easily.

Book 30: Polymathes' Journal, by Polymathes the dragon (Communication +3)

Magic Lore Tractatus (Quality 9)
(Area) Lore Tractatus (Quality 9)

Polymathes is quite an unusual dragon. He cares little for silver or gold, but treasures books. So it's not surprising that he's picked up the human habit of journal-writing.

Polymathes' journal is a set of large stone tablets with Latin script carved into them. Lacking hands, Polymathes writes with his razor-sharp claws. As a result his handwriting is rather shaky, but it's large and not hard to read.

The subject matter of the journal is, for the most part, surprisingly mundane. It's just Polymathes' day-to-day life. But reading about the day-to-day life of a dragon is quite interesting. And there are drawings here and there which add up to an accurate map of the area around Polymathes' lair.

Book 31: The Scroll of the Dead, by an unknown Canaanite (Communication +1, Canaanite Necromancy 11)

Canaanite Necromancy Summa (Level 5, Quality 7)

This ancient papryrus scroll might well be the last written record of Canaanite Necromancy. It's a complex and poetic, but very detailed, description of the rituals needed to speak with and command the dead. Whoever the author was, they clearly had a flair for the dramatic; even minor works of necromancy are described in grandiose terms.

The Scroll of the Dead is currently in the possession of a mighty Sahir with no love for the Order of Hermes. He is currently performing research, trying to expand his control over djinn to the dead. He's not having much luck, although he's been able to restore the once-illegible text to a decent condition. Unfortunately for him, this scroll is almost entirely concerned with practicalities. It says little about the underlying theory of the art.

The Scroll of the Dead is written in Hebrew.

Book 32: The Caverns of the Mind, by a spirit summoned by Fortuna of Bonisagus (Communication +0, Art of Memory 16)

Art of Memory Summa (Level 5, Quality 15)

A small-but-thick book that teaches its reader to construct a memory palace; or better yet, a memory cave. It begins with insultingly simple allegories that seem pointless, and steadily builds up to an extremely practical and highly technical description of how the Art of Memory works.

The handwriting is odd; it's not pretty, but it's inhumanly consistent. Every "a" looks sloppy in the exact same way.

Fortuna acquired this book as part of her research into memory-altering magic. She sought the ability to grant knowledge and skill with Hermetic magic, and summoned a mighty spirit of the forgotten past to aid her in that search. She bound that spirit to write a book explaining the nature of memory, and The Caverns of the Mind was the result.

The book didn't end up being very useful to her research, but she was happy to have it. Mostly because the Caverns of the Mind has an unexpected quality: every year or so, a new page appears between its covers. The new page is covered in incomprehensible glyphs and contains two pawns of Mentem vis.

To this day, the book sits in the library of her covenant. It's written in Latin, and some of the magi have studied it, but its value as a vis source surpasses its value as a book.

1 Like

That's all, folks. Kinda surprised I made it to the end.

If you liked the thread, or even if you didn't, please leave a comment. This sort of thing is a lot more fun when you're not talking to an empty room.

It was amazing!!!

I was wary of commenting during as it would interrrupt the flow. But you had some really inspired ideas.

Thank you!


This was great, fun to read, and I looked forward to seeing it each day. My original thought was to take all the books from this event and make them a single treasure to be found by the PC magi, but as certain books came out, that became problematic. Still, can use many of them immediately and more in time.

Thank you so much and congratulations!

Congratulations on making it through the month! I managed it a couple of years back with a set of verditius items, and we've had 30 tribunal cases, 30 saints, 30 spells, 30 ideas... well done on adding to the list. We salute your courage, your indefatigability...

Thanks and you're welcome. I'm glad you all enjoyed the thread.

I wanted to take part of it, but refrain to intervene in your flow. I might post a few books on my own now that you completed your challenge :slight_smile:

Go for it.