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Ancient History
You shiver with indrawn-breath as your hand caresses the plain but loathsome leather cover. Your gentle, sensitive fingertips caress a map of healed scars, calluses, the whirl of a palm and fingertip, the heavy stitching, gently circling the well-worn designs tattooed on living flesh...which was skinned off with a consecrated knife and tanned for this book. Such a pleasent, musky smell like old leather and paper, such a comforting heft to the tome. You can stand it no longer as you open the blasphemous book to gaze at the hidden horrors within the Dead Man's Book.

The Dead Man's Book is old, as these things go. Fifty years ago, shortly after the Awakening, a simple bookbinder's Talent awoke. Not much of a Talent, as these things go. But enough. He was already old, grey-hamed and hoary, and wanted a legacy. So he made one, stitched from dead men's flesh. And he wrote.

The pages of the book are of extremely fine, thin paper, bound and glued by hand by a master bookbinder. Each page has been hand-written, in English, in a steady, even, elegant and practiced hand in clear, high-quality ink. Aside from the cover and the contents, no unusual or forbidding materials or methods were used to construct this tome. There are six hundred pages, divided into three sections.

[ Spoiler ]

The White Section
Written on white paper with red ink, the first third of the grimoire may resemble to the layman nothing more than a simple Anatomy book, each of the two-hundred pages containing a picture or diagram of the human corpus or a part thereof, sketched from life in realistic detail. See here the muscles of the hand, the skin removed, the ligaments and viscera bare. See now, the little bones of the smallest finger, the shape and connections of the fingernail still attached and plain to see. Orderly notes dot the page, those unschooled with the Occult will note some are instructions, and containe unfamiliar words or phrases from some thaumaturgical grammer.

[ Spoiler ]

The Red Section
Written on red paper with black ink, the second third of the book is much more macabre. Recipes and formulae dot the page in occult script, interrupted regularly with supporting diagrams of a most unwholesome nature: bits and pieces of human flesh and bone arranged in mocking parody of innocuous tools and objects, strange geometrical designs with weirdling and familiar runes forming mystic circles...more disturbing still are the apparently harmless, seemingly unrelated diagrams of common objects, free of any bit of corpse or arcane design. For why would they be in this section, if they were truly not connected in some way with the hellish materials within.

[ Spoiler ]

The Black Section
The third section is written on black paper with an ink that glows white only in the dark, so that the reader sees letters of cold fire form before them, a baleful pale phosphoresence. No diagrams mark this section, no unwholsome pictures dot the pages. The matter of the text is darksome enough, more disturbing for the lack of though in this final, blashemous chapter even the author became reticient to put down the full scope of his ebon studies.

[ Spoiler ]

On the inside back cover, a different hand, using a bit of heated wire or some similiar implement, has burned the formulae for the Corps Cadavre: 6 spell, as used in the Petro Voudoun tradition.
Nasty stuff all around. Why is it that all books that deal on stuff related to necromancy must be bound in human flesh? wink.gif

I predict a sharp increase in the graverobbing of saintly tombs in the near future.

Oh, and here's hoping our GM doesn't read this thread and gets any ideas.
Mr Cjelli
Woah, creepy.

[ Spoiler ]
Demonseed Elite
This is excellent.
AH, as always, I bow to you.
Ancient History
Heh heh heh. Thankee, all.

QUOTE ("Aes")
Why is it that all books that deal on stuff related to necromancy must be bound in human flesh?

Tradition, professional pride, and it's part of the deal. Natch.

QUOTE ("Mr Cjelli")
[ Spoiler ]

As the dwarf wizard Del Rieka once said to his apprentices:
Humans have a phrase, "Knowledge is power." As usual they miss the mark. Knowledge alone is not sufficient.
This is awesome. Great work, AH! Will you put this up onto your home page, too?
Wow. Disturbing and yet the Nethermancer makes an appearance from Earthdawn into Shadowrun!

Of course, it could be influenced from a Horror...

Something for the long awaited Boo Scary Book of Shadowrun (which indeed may never see the light).
Ancient History
Ah, well. Not something for the site, no. Just one of many such works I've written up for this that or the other reason...they don't really go at all well with my site material. I've taken my liberties with it, for one thing, and not fleshed out the foci formulae as I might have. Imagine requiring a bit of wizard's blood, or the skull of a sorceror for the unique enchantment.

Better yet, imagine the author of the book performed the Cage of Bones ritual on himself, and some darksome spirit is trapped within the yellowed bones of his rib cage or the mouldering, worm-eaten hollows of his skull. Trapped within a decayed form, unable to move...sending out silent calls to receptive minds, the queer and pitifully impressionable mourner, the dense but greedy gravedigger, the obstinate but desperate caretaker, even the strange and poetic teenager striving for thanatopsis.

Imagine the crumbled bones unearthed, the graveyard denizens whisked to some dank cellar or workshop. The torturously slow lessons on how to preserve the remainder of the corpse, to gather and prepare the sacrements required animate it, from the fetid corpses of animals and then people slain.

Ah, but even all prepared, the Master requires a true magician...skilled a talismonger the first foul disciple may be, another must be gained. Not one too powerful, not one too skilled or learned or wise or willful. A student. Mayhap even one who does not yet know they possess the Talent. That first one, now mad, oh yes, truly mad, will find such a one and seduce them, by knowledge or the pleasures of the flesh...or even by a common interests, a morbid fascination with the grounds, an appreciation for the atmosphere of the statuesque tombs and sepulchres that dot the cemetary, indeed. A darkling soul.

More nights of instruction, the slow revelation, the muted whisper of the rune-carved skull as the young magician, despite nightmares and some sublime but repressed loathing of self and ghoulish task and idiot assistant prepares the body, and with new-found skill enchants it.

It is enough. Perhaps, with a glimmering of the Sight, the young magician glimpses a fragment of smoky, oily tendril curl from the baleful skull. Sees glittering threads like black ice bind bone and withered sinew, until the dark spirit, not free, not free from its confinement, no, but now possessed of movement, mobility...and perhaps, just perhaps, with tomb dust and tomb rot and dried, dessicated burrowers fall from their hidden homes in joint and hollow, the desperate, desperate need to feed...
"The Dark Side is the path to powers that many consider unnatural."
"Is it possible for me to learn these powers?"
"Not from a Jedi. But you can learn them from Ancient History."

Ancient History is the Emperor!
DocMortand soul couldn't be in better hands.

*cackles evilly*
Very thought-provoking, as usual. Good job Ancient History. Once again I will reiterate my wish that I could play in your game.
Ancient History
Fortune, I wish I had a game so you could play in it.
Gosh dangit! I just ran a game with the Al Azif last month. I could have really used this then.
eek.gif ........
eek.gif ........

Wow. (gets on hands and knees and bows.)

I love this. My players are so going to hate me.
QUOTE (Mortax)
eek.gif ........
eek.gif ........

Wow. (gets on hands and knees and bows.)

I love this. My players are so going to hate me.

I will personally beat you down.


(Hold on, I have to silently mock Mortax for a second here. MOCKMOCKMOCK.)
Remember kiddies, October is only7 months away.

The last one is the REAL kicker. Binding a free spirit to your own bones. *shiver*
Ancient History
For those interested in influences, check out the short stories of Manly Wade Wellman and J. Gregory Keyes.
"The serpent and the rainbow" would also be good. Espessually if you tie it into vooden. (shivers) god that movie is creepy.
Question AH.

Is this material intended for use by ALL awakened, or only those with the Sacrificing Metamagic aka Blood Mages? I can see valid arguments from both ends, so I'd like to get a take from the maestro himself/herself/themselves.

Damn, getting the gender of all them monkeys accurate is tough.
Ancient History
All magicians. Why should blood mages get all the fun?

For a more serious answer, all magicians because the enchanter or talismonger in question is not drawing off the life energy of the metahuman subject per se, but rather the innate energies within the flesh, and the act of collecting it. Now, there might be some sympathetic energy generated from using this type of arcana, but I wouldn't describe it as drawing on the fled life energy. So, no direct connection to blood magic, open to all!
...... oh, that makes it even more horrifying.
Ancient History
Really? And here I thought the mispellings did that.
Mmmm... Toxic cage of bone
hehe, I can tell you how to make a rocket that will go to the moon, and with the right tools and supplies build it. I can't spell worth drek though, so it never bothers me.
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