More Books From A Fantasy Library, Part 5

Libraries are one of those staples of a certain type of fantasy and horror fiction writing. Hidden away in the musty tomes and scrolls some vital, but forgotten piece of lore waits to be found.  Or perhaps somewhere among the shelves, lays a wealth of esoteric knowledge or rituals that can turn the tide for the heroes of our stories. Or maybe you’ve simply found someone’s old peculiar book collection.

Folks seemed to really enjoy the first set of books, so I’m going to try to make this a semi-regular series! As before, I’ll try to keep them generic enough for use in most fantasy settings, but you may see some personal favorite references creep in from time to time. 🙂

A full “library”, consolidating all posts, past and future, will reside here.

The Burning of Estkeld and the Someren Diaspora

Description:  Covered in a sturdy slate gray leather and embossed with a procession of distraught people carrying meager possessions on their backs. In the distance, a blighted smoking land is depicted. Before them hangs a constellation illustrated with semi-precious stones.

Summary: The interior lacks any dates or maps, making placing these events difficult, but the implication is one of distant antiquity.  It contains a collection of cautionary tales, fables and cultural strictures, many of which the people who transgressed against and were visited with a great calamity.  A small number escaped and now wander the realms.  A set of mundane rituals and holidays are included.

Analysis of Goblinoid Textile Patterns & Techniques

Description: Bound in a leather cover scored and textured so as to resembled woven cloth, this surprisingly large work is resplendent with clear and practical illustrations.  Small goblin caricatures appear occasionally to highlight notations and footnotes.

Summary:  This work appears to be the first-hand research of a human who spent extensive time among goblins, presumably with some sort of magical or extraordinary powers of disguise. Though primarily in the common language used by humans, it contains copious goblinoid phrases and terms. The author details numerous aspects of the practical and artistic aspects of goblinoid textiles.

Small Watercraft: Design, Manufacture and Maintenance

Description: This book includes a sturdy slip case that seems to have spared it from most of the ravages of time and use. It features several large fold-out pages which allow it to helpfully illustrate important details of various types of watercraft and their features.

Summary:  The work is both an overview of several of the sorts of small watercraft found throughout the realms, but freshwater and coastal use. Topics such as materials selection, fabrication techniques and designs for construction, as well as common repair and maintenance of existing craft are addressed.  A short chapter is dedicated to comparing the qualities of various types of craft, their strengths, weaknesses and best uses. The author is not named but a tiny figure of a whale (breaching, spouting, diving, etc) appears throughout as a playful signature of a sort.

Telluric Cartography:  Surveying the Unseen Currents

Description: This tome is bound with a series of "slip" hinges and a four-part cover that allows it to be opened in different directions. Within, its pages are covered in writing, diagrams and illustrations oriented at various angles that require the work to be rotated constantly in order to read it. Small, faceted glass beads embedded in the corners of both the back and front refract light in a curious and unexpected manner.

Summary: This peculiar tome consists of pages arranged in a non-linear manner.  Depending on the nature of information sought, the reader must navigate its content in different manners.  Whether the author is a genius or madman is debatable, but considerable effort and information is presented in a compelling, almost desperate tone about a theory of lines of energy laying beneath the surface of the world that can be harassed and channeled to potent effect.

The Procession of the Brides of Erendiz 

Description:  The tome is substantially heavier than one would expect, even for a work of this size. No author or dedication appears upon or within and the book always opens to the first page regardless of what section is chosen.  Once opened, the pages can only be turned one after another. The next page appears regardless of how many are flipped through or any attempts to skip forward.

Summary: The "Procession" documents the sacrificial brides of an entity called Erendiz.  The work is profoundly unsettling.  Considerable and increasing effort is required to progress through its contents. However, each bride entry contains some aspect or feature of Erendiz that is not commonly known, even among its followers.

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