Sunday, July 6, 2014

Nissian's Message in the Embassy Log

Greetings my children, since your presence is so much more welcome in your mother’s home I’m hoping I can inconvenience you to recover these items from her hoard.  I assure you at one time they were mine and should you succeed you may keep The Tome of Clear Thought which I believe will help your cause against The Jailer.

Vacuous Grimoire: A book of this sort is identical to a normal one, although if a detect magic spell is cast, a magical aura will be noted. Any character who opens the work and reads so much as a single glyph therein must make two will saving throws. The first is to determine if a D6 of Intelligence is lost; the second is to find if two D6 points of Wisdom are lost. Once opened and read, the vacuous grimoire remains; to be properly destroyed, the book must be returned to its plane and place of origin, after which a Wish spell must be cast. If the tome is placed with other books, its appearance will instantly alter to conform to the look of these other works.

Collapsing Spell Book :This resembles an ordinary traveling spell book, except that it can be folded over and over until it is a square one inch on each side. The book can be unfolded when its owner wishes to consult it, then folded back into its small size for easy carrying.

Contracts of Nepthas : These magical contracts are written in black ink on golden-brown Scraphite. The contracts are usually found in ivory tubes, each tube containing 1d6 contracts. The contracts are blank and can be filled in by the user. The contracts will radiate magic if detected, but carry no overt signs of their special nature The contract of Nepthas automatically places a True Name enchantment upon any persons who sign it in order to insure that both parties hold to the agreement. Anyone who has signed a contract of Nepthas and breaks the contract is struck deaf, blind, and dumb. The effects of the punishment last until the contract is fulfilled or they are freed via a Wish spell.  
A contract involves two parties agreeing on a set of conditions. The conditions are usually very specific, but if they are not, they might be perverted in the same way that a wish spell might be misinterpreted. If a group of adventurers signs a contract with a king stating that they will slay a dragon in the Northern Hills by the eve of the new moon, slaying any dragon will fulfill the contract, although the king may have had a specific dragon in mind. If the king agrees to pay the adventurers upon the completion of the task, the king had better have the money when the party returns.  Contracts signed by persons under the influence of charm and similar spells are null and void. A forged contract is also void. If any person who signs a contract dies before its completion, that person's obligation is ended. Note, however, that if a group of adventurers signs a contract and one of their members dies, the survivors are still bound to the contract. A deadline for both parties' responsibilities must be stated in the contract in order for it to be activated.  A mistaken missive spell alters the words written on the contract of Nepthas but does not free characters who have signed the contract from their obligations.

Tome of Mystical Equations: This book is indistinguishable from other magical tomes. It contains charts and equations relating to several of the spells belonging to the school of Numbers.

Trimia's Catalogue of Outer Plane Artifacts: This magical device is a large book bound in heavy wooden covers that do not reveal the title or nature of the work. Upon opening to the first page, the owner finds the title of the book along with a table of contents listing the various outer planes. Upon opening the book to the desired page, the owner finds either a blank page (25% chance) or a description of a magical device (75% chance) that provides transportation to that particular plane.  Along with the description of the device is a price ranging from 1,000 to 20,000 gp (1d20x 1,000). If the appropriate sum is laid on the open book and a vanish spell is subsequently cast on the coins, the transport device shown appears in place of the cash. The page then immediately goes blank and the catalogue disappears, teleported to a random location on the Prime Material plane. The transport device can deliver characters to the outer planes and can return them to their point of departure on the Prime Material plane. Each transport device brings a person or persons to the upper layer of an outer plane. The point of arrival in the plane is left to the DM and usually changes each time the device is used. Each device has a command word which is always  the name of the plane associated with the device. Unless otherwise noted, anyone touching the device or touching the person who holds the device is transported to the upper plane of the outer plane named.  Each transport device can be used once per day.  With each use, there is a 5% chance the device will malfunction, sending the characters to the desired plane, but with the device itself disappearing.

Nirvana: The device used to transport to the plane of Nirvana is a small pocket watch, a device of unspeakable rarity. The watch keeps perfect time according to the yearly cycle of the sun and never needs winding. The watch is solid gold and has two long, thin gold chains that run through a metal loop at the top of the watch.
Arcadia: Arcadia's transportation device is a palm-sized metal sculpture representing the outlines of geometrical shapes. The largest shape is a six-sided cubic cage made of 12 silver rods. Within this cube is a four-sided pyramid, also made of silver rods. Inside the pyramid is a circle of silver.
Seven Heavens: A featureless sphere of gold is used to travel to the Seven Heavens. The sphere is three inches in diameter and would appear to be nothing more than a valuable bauble if not for the golden glow it always radiates. The glow has the properties of a continual light spell.
Twin Paradises: This device appears to be a featureless cube of silver measuring three inches on a side. If it is carefully examined, four small, nearly invisible buttons will be visible. If the four buttons are pressed in the correct order, the cube splits in half. (The correct order can be determined through the use of legend lore and similar spells.) The device will teleport to the Twin Paradises when half the cube is held in each hand and the command word is spoken. The travelers arrive in Dothion, considered the topmost plane. The two halves of the cube must be reassembled before it can once again be used to teleport.
Elysium: The device used to reach this plane is a sturdy currach, a primitive vessel made from thick hide stretched over a wood-and-wicker frame. This device functions as a normal ship, with a seaworthiness rating of 95%. If anyone touches the ship's mast and speaks the word Elysium, the boat, its passengers and crew, and all cargo are transported to the Oceanus River in the plane of Amoria.
Happy Hunting Grounds: A leaf sculpted of gold is the device used to arrive in the Happy Hunting Grounds. The leaf is about two inches long and is wrought in fine detail.
Olympus: The device used to reach the plane of Olympus is a silver chariot. The chariot can comfortably hold four passengers and their gear or eight passengers without equipment. A team of four horses must be attached to the chariot; when the chariot is in motion and the command word is spoken, the horses, chariot, passengers, and gear are transported to Olympus. The chariot arrives in the plane in motion.
Gladsheim: The device used to reach Gladsheim is a prism approximately three inches in length. To operate the device, the prism must be used outdoors to create a rainbow on the ground. When the command word is spoken, the rainbow grows out of the ground and rises up into the sky. The rainbow lasts for 1 turn. Anyone who steps  into the rainbow is whisked up the colored path and into the plane of Asgard.
Limbo: Limbo is reached through the use of a magical mirror. When a person stands before the mirror, he sees his own image reflected normally.  The reflected world behind him, however, is in utter chaos—the bricks from the wall behind him float in the air, flames drift across the room, gold and silver pieces break apart and wander aimlessly. If the command word is spoken as a character looks into the mirror, he is transported to any of the planes of Limbo. The mirror does not travel to Limbo. Another means of returning to the Prime Material plane must be found.
Pandemonium: This device is a jar perpetually filled with black pitch. When the pitch is spread on a stone wall and the command word spoken, a portal forms in the wall, leading to a cavern in Pandesmos. The pitch evaporates after 5 rounds and magically reappears in the jar.
Abyss: Pazunia, the uppermost layer of the innumerable layers of the Abyss, can be reached through the use of a circular black cloth that looks like a portable hole. The cloth is three feet in diameter and can be folded to fit inside a pocket. When the cloth is spread on the ground and the command word is spoken, the cloth becomes a pit that leads to the plane. The cloth exists as a pit for 1 turn, then returns to its state as a piece of cloth. It does not follow travelers to the Abyss
Tarterus: This device is a necklace of dull, reddish pearls. A character who wears the necklace and speaks the command word will be transported (along with anyone touching him) to Othrys, the topmost layer of the plane.
Hades: The device used to reach Hades is an iron keelboat. When any character on the boat speaks the command word, the keelboat and all it passengers are transported to the river Styx in Oinos, the uppermost layer of Hades.
Gehenna: Characters who wish to travel to Gehenna must gather in a small, enclosed room with this magical urn of silver and bronze. A flame must be lit within the urn using materials that cause a great deal of smoke. When the room is so choked with smoke that breathing is almost impossible, the command word may be spoken. This transports everyone and everything in the room, including the urn, to Khala, the uppermost layer of Gehenna.
Nine Hells: The Nine Hells can be reached by using special pieces of blood-red coal. When one of these coals is lit or dropped into a flame, a ball of fire flares out from the coal. It does no damage, but transports all creatures and objects within 20 feet to Avernus. No command word is needed for the effect to take place.

Acheron: The device used to reach Aceheron is a two-inch cube of black onyx. The cube always appears as a puzzle inside a black sack. The puzzle is made up of 43 small pieces, which must be fit together to form the cube. When complete, the command word must be spoken. Solving the puzzle require an Intelligence check at half a creature's Intelligence score. Each attempt to solve the puzzle requires 1d6 turns. Once the cube has been used to teleport, it falls to pieces. The pieces all reappear in the sack, wherever it might be. To use the device again, the pieces must be reassembled

Tome of Clear Thought: A work of this nature is indistinguishable from any normal book. Any single character who reads a tome of clear thought will be able to practice mental exercises that will increase his Intelligence by one to three points. Reading a work of this nature takes 48 hours time over six days. The reader then must begin a program of concentration and mental discipline within one week of reading the tome. After a month of such exercise, Intelligence goes up. The knowledge gained from reading the work can never be recorded or articulated. After fulfilling the month of concentration and mental discipline the reader of the book may enter into a state of waking meditation or Clear Thought that protects them against Psionic attack.  When entering the Meditation of Clear Thought, the reader of the tome may take an amount of intelligence damage up to the number of points gained from reading the Tome.  For each point of damage taken in this way the devotee of Clear Thought is completely protected from Psionic attack for an equal number of days. Points spent in this way may not be magically healed by anything short of a Wish Spell. Points spent in this manner return at a rate of 1/week. Any further perusal of a tome of clear thought will be of no benefit to the character.
Drawback: While suffering from intelligence damage the devotee of Clear Thought’s other reactions are slower causing them to suffer a -4 penalty to Initiative, Perception, and Reflex Saving Throws.

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