Friday, October 5, 2012

From Nagrothea (A Random Table...)

Items Suspected of Originating in Nagrothea (D20)
  1. A monocle fashioned from faceted green glass. It adheres to your skin and won't be removed by anything less than using the Voorish Sign. It allows the wearer to clearly see Perdu, automatically Read Magic, and gain a +1 bonus to hit all invisible or insubstantial creatures with melee weapons or spells. However, it also has a distressing tendency to attract Unseen Beasts and Horla, which some feel is a bad bargain.
  2. A delicately carved translucent bone flute that can be used to attract or repel Drab Jellies when played correctly.
  3. One heavily creased, folded, mutilated and marked-up copy of Wilkinson's Expurgated Guide to Contemporary Aklo Grammar. Reduces casting time for all spells or rites arranged in Aklo by (1d20%).
  4. (1d4) cut-glass alcohol lamps etched with layered demi-glyphs that are arranged so as to cast warding shadows across the walls of a small room. Acts like a randomly determined Scroll of Protection for as long as the alcohol lasts.
  5. A battered and dented old Zoetrope fitted with a band depicting an incomplete set of Tarot cards that has been severely scribbled over and blotted out in part. Only four cards can be clearly identified and they belong to a macabre deck heretofore unknown to any serious collector or known authority.
  6. A pristine copy of Aldermeir's Prospectus of Sublimation set in strict, orthodox Drugazian type. Unfortunately all the essential keys to the various esoteric sequences have been removed, rendering the book all but useless except as a door-stop.
  7. A moth-eaten cloak of bat's wool that still carries a base 60% chance to render the wearer totally ignorable to lesser forms of undead.
  8. A folio of poetry rendered by a fine, scribal hand in the utmost Positurri calligraphic style including a version of Keat's Lamia done entirely in the blood of the inscriber. Repeated reading of the piece carries a slight chance of either attracting a Lamia or of corrupting the reader into a passionate devotee to the ways of the Lamia-bound. There are those who claim that one reading performed under the proper conditions could grant some measure of skill in Poetry...but this could well just be a cruel lie circulated by the Lamia-spawn who find this all one exquisite joke.
  9. The extremely rare Second Volume of Sonnets 37-68 of The Fungi From Yuggoth in the original Azodian. Originally this was a spurious forgery, at least according to most mainstream sources. There are others who claim that the book was recovered by a now-forgotten dreamer, a nameless oneiricist who specialized in retrieving unwritten books. Since only three copies have survived intact, they're still quite valuable. To the right collector. Having the book in one's possession tends to foment increasingly disturbing nightmares, requiring a Save once a night in order to avoid suffering a temporary -1 penalty to WIS. Anyone reaching 0 WIS wanders off into the night, most are never heard from again.
  10. A stout, metal-bound dark wood box containing scores of banned dissertations. Anyone opening the box must Save or suffer a deep and abiding intellectual malaise persisting for 1d4 weeks during which time they will find it impossible to learn new spells, write anything original, or discuss anything in detail without growing entirely too bored to concentrate. Repeated attempts to examine the contents of this box could lead to a prolonged inability to cast spells above 6th level.
  11. (1d4) Bottles of hand-blown blackened glass containing effervescent wines that can only be drunk in the middle of a dream.
  12. A three-ring binder packed with uneven yellowed pages filled with a densely scratchy-scrawled manuscript of dream interpretations, all of them terribly, horribly wrong.
  13. An elegantly filigreed bone tube fitted with triangular knobs on either end. Any scroll inserted into this case is re-written into a flawed version of Zaftigery that has been revised by a sadistic Morlock gourmand.
  14. A wonderfully well-wrought platinum fountain pen that makes it entirely impossible to ever write a sonnet ever again, no Save allowed. If wielded as a stabbing weapon it is -1 to hit, +2 to damage, with a 25% chance to strike an opponent unable to read poetry ever again, should they fail to make a Save.
  15. A grub-leather slipcase secured with red thread and a lead seal stamped with the wardent impramitur of Domdre Mergue is alleged to contain one of the only known copies of The Wermic Journal of the Transgressive Octovoid. It is to be noted that Mergue disappeared under suspicious circumstances involving some sort of negotiations with what is whimsically referred to as a 'cabal of Horla.' Everyone knows that such a thing is utterly impossible, absolutely preposterous.
  16. A cover-less and beer-stained Etrurian-to-Aklo Dictionary missing the middle 80-or-so pages. On one of the remaining pages there is a set of hastily-written notes regarding some sort of Brazen Seal. Too bad the illustration accompanying the notes was ripped out of the book.
  17. Three over-large and deformed penguin-skulls mounted atop a sturdy black handle wrapped in Marmoset-leather. Each of the skulls will bite for (2d4) damage when wielded as a weapon. The skulls also can be used in conjunction with Contact Other Plane spells, as well as in the casting of Summon/Banish Giant Albino Penguin, Protection From Penguin-kind, Reverberation of the White Cascade, Inflict Cataract, among other even more obscure and less well-known spells. At least one semi-reliable source asserts that this three-skulled tri-mace can also be set-up in a three-way crossroads and used to capture and interrogate spirits who can be bribed to teach some of the spells mentioned. Details of how to go about this particular rite are said to be encoded within a volume of the Liber Penguinus believed to be in the collection of a Triloo librarian known as Idvard.
  18. A complete skull-extraction tool-kit hand-crafted from the finest stainless steel and platinum, each piece expertly balanced and lovingly embedded within a black lacquer case lined with crushed velvet. Three hidden, parallel drawers in the front slide out to reveal a set of anatomical diagrams, an illustrated guide to basic flensing, flaying and skinning techniques, and a pamphlet discussing how to fully clean and preserve a freshly extracted skull.
  19. Delicate and demur, this elegant cameo carved from oily black stone grants the wearer the ability to see past the flesh to the bones beneath. The effect lingers for one month after removing or ridding one's self of the outre bit of jewelry, but having worn it even for a few minutes grants a permanent +1 to all CHAR reactions with Osteomorphs, Bone-Cullers and related cultists.
  20. A small, tapered vial of lovely yellowed glass with a finger-bone stopper. It contains one full dose of the toxic substance used by the Moulders to reshape the bones of their victims. Upon contact with flesh the brownish paste actively burrows towards any calcium-deposits such as bones where it bonds with them and renders them stiffly malleable for the next (1d4) x10 minutes, during which time the bones can be manipulated and shaped like sculptor's putty. The changes remain permanent.
The place was dark and dusty and all but lost
Deep within tangled, twisted alleys near the high-quays,
Stinking of strange things brought in from the skies.
Reeking with foul, feral miasmas,
Speckled suspiciously by whimpering grimes,
The fog clinging to everything that walks.
Behind dimly lit windows,
Obscured by smog-grit and quivering slime,
Could be seen the books, in piles like twisted pillars,
Wormeaten, ragged and tattered, frayed and fraying,
Rotted and rotting, arrayed from floor to roof;
Grimoires from Ganderkan and Mokthay,
Tomes of esoteristry not even the Dol-men have tried,
Battered old Almanacs from far river bank towns,
Manuscripts, folios, private editions, banned dissertations,
Hundreds and hundreds, score upon score of peculiar and forgotten lore,
All that crumbling wisdom was available at so little cost.
A few coins and a soul,
and it could all be yours in a trice.

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