Saturday Seed ~ 49 (Palladium Fantasy)

This week’s seed is for Palladium Fantasy. It would work best with a very experienced group, but can be altered to play a role in the lives of less-established characters.

The Seed

Almost a century ago, during a foray into the Old Kingdom by a group of then famous knights-errant now only dimly remembered in a few bawdy tavern songs, a massive tome was found in the ruins of what local legend reports was an academy of magic.*  Penned in an unknown language or code, yet with frequent, visible use of mystical symbols, the book has captured the imagination and ambition of those few granted leave to study its secrets – until it was stolen from the now disbanded order of knights.

The tome surfaced in story and rumor from time to time and from place to place, but only the most well-versed in magical lore would recognized these tales as belonging to the same story.

Those who obtain the book often struggle for years to glean its secrets, but it proves resistant even to magical translations. Eventually, those who study the book simply vanish, never to be seen again.

Recently, a wizard in the court of the King (your pick of which king) has been examining the tome with a group of experts from other magical fields in an unprecedented level of cooperation. A sudden breakthrough was made and gossip in the magical communities of the world began to spread as fast as enchantment could take it.

As should be expected,  the wizard attempted to read the book,  and vanished in front of the group before completing his first inhalation of breath.

Unable to locate him with any of the magical and mundane resources at their disposal, the group turned once again to the book, intending to approach its study in a different fashion. Before long, they discovered that the book had increased in size by one page since the wizard vanished.

Suspecting the tome ingests the experience of those who seek to read it, they have become even more desperate to uncover the secrets of fallen wizards and men of magic, which they believe must be recorded inside.

Planting the seed

Players may be recruited to help study the book, to help destroy it, to help release those trapped, or to out and out steal it. Rumors are spreading fast: the players might go after this all on their own for reasons of their own.

The book represents power – even if it is never obtained, there are many who will seek to secure it for themselves. This drive, whether it be based in greed, or fear of falling behind one’s enemies, is enough to alter everything the characters know about the boundaries, borders, and nations of their world.

As time passes, the mystique of this tome will only grow, and the forces sent to obtain it, will grow in accordance.

The details

The book is huge and very heavy, roughly 1m high by 550cm wide by 113cm thick. It is kept in a thick hide wrapping, travel stained and worn. The tome itself is bound in thick, hard, wood and leather backing, with no writing on the exterior. It is a deep brown, with deep scuff marks on all the corners.

The book is fastened shut by a simple clasp, with no lock. Inside, the pages are crisp and look as though newly made. The paper is thick and pulpy – looking as though it would greedily soak up the ink of a scrivener’s pen.

Each character is clearly defined, but most utterly elude translation – except for those maddeningly familiar characters, runes, and symbols of power that stand out from the main body of encoded gibberish. Looking at it could convince anyone that those who seek to translate it are more likely to go mad before ever succeeding.

What is going on

Quite simply, as wizards and other men of magic study the tome, it studies them. The harder students try to glean the secrets of the book, the more readily it learns about them. In time, it will be willing to impart hints and secrets… lures… goading the magus to greater efforts. Eventually, if the book is satisfied with the skill and intentions of the investigator, it will consume them. Nothing remains, but a new page will grow within the book almost immediately.

Can the book be deciphered and its secrets released? Is it alive or some sort of intelligent artifact or rune device?

That depends on you, doesn’t it?

* Yes, this Academy will feature in a future seed or seeds~

Speak your piece~

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Revelations of Glaaki

  • Invocation

    Do not summon up that which you cannot also put down:

    runescastshadows at the intersection of Google and Mail.

    Find us on Google+

  • Role-Playing Stack Exchange

%d bloggers like this: