This tome details each realm in the Plane of Darkness. It can only be read in the current realm that it is located in. This wholly evil tome is bound in jet black hide. Its inner pages are composed of pliable sheets of metal that feel like parchement but sparkle and shimmer like plates of polished steel. Each page changes in accordance with the realm of the Plane of Darkness it is read in. It was discovered in Kazan- Oud
Contents of the Tome[edit | edit source]
You consult the Tome of Darkness given to you by Lord Rimoah. Its metallic pages appear to be as blank as when you first flicked through them, but then you turn to one page that is now very different. Coloured designs have appeared, surrounded by a ragged text which radiates a flickering spectrum of light. Using your Magnakai Discipline of Pathsmanship, you are able to decipher much of this arcane writing.
The text tells of a creature called Nza’pok, Lord of the Mire, and of his Throne of Power which is located upon an islet at the mouth of the River of Flies. It describes the many vile deeds he has perpetrated for the cause of Evil, for which he has been greatly rewarded by Naar. The Dark God has granted him his own domain within the Plane of Darkness. It goes on to list the names of the creatures that are enslaved to him. But most interestingly it tells of a secret name ‘Khula’ which can be used to bind him, and of an amulet which he possesses that will enable one to leave his territory.
The pages of the Tome seem to hold the key to the hierarchy of the Plane of Darkness and contain information that is needed to move from one domain to another. Unfortunately, not all of the book appears legible at any one time.
The page that revealed to you information about Nza’pok’s realm is now blank, but the one following it has changed in both colour and texture. Lines of spidery writing have appeared on a page that now looks and feels like cured animal hide.
The writings tell of two powerful beings called the Künae, the Lords of Decay, and of their Throne of Power which is located upon ‘the rotting corpse of Ghandezh, the Wyrm of Naaros’. You scan the page, passing over a long list of vile deeds that have earned the Künae the right to rule their ignoble realm, until you come to the part which details the secret names which can bind them. The names are ‘Jantoor’ and ‘Rhunadan’. The text instructs those who would use these names in the presence of the Künae to exercise great caution, for if the name that is spoken is not directed at the correct Lord of Decay, the ‘evocator will sacrifice his body and soul and be enslaved to the Künae forever upon the realm of putrefaction’. The text gives no indication of how to identify each of the Künae and does not state how and when their secret names should be used to bind them. Yet it does state that in order to leave their realm one must possess a ‘ring of power’, one of two such rings which exist and are worn ‘upon the first fingers of the right hands of the Künae’.
You discover two pages that have changed both in colour and texture. A cluster of rust-red lettering is enclosed within the black runic borders that outline these two sheets of creamy parchment.
The words tell of Zantaz, the Lord of the Pit, whose many accompanying titles include Reaper of Gloom, Armourer of the Fell Legions, and Guardian of the Gate of Dragonflame. It says that he presides over a ‘deep realm of rock, iron, steel, and flame’, and that among the many eternal duties he has been set by Naar, his primary task is to forge weapons of power for the Dark God’s champions. Zantaz has no secret name, but you are able to translate the text which details how one can leave his domain. It makes for uneasy reading. The Tome states that any who wish to depart must first ‘defeat Zantaz in mortal combat and cast his body into the Pit of Darkflame, from whence he shall be reborn’. Only by proving oneself worthy in combat against Zantaz can one cause ‘the Gate of Dragonflame to release the worthy victor’.
Its metallic pages appear as blank as when you first looked through them, but then you discover a page that is now very different. Bold black text stands out from a page that glimmers like mirrored steel.
The text tells of a creature called Huan’zhor the Dragonlord and of his Throne of Power which is located within ‘a nest of fire atop the Tree of the Wyrm’. It lists the many acts of evil perpetrated by Huan’zhor during his long existence, for which he has been generously rewarded by Naar; the Dark God has granted him this fiery domain within the Plane of Darkness. It continues at length to describe the creatures that are enslaved to him, which include the Lavas, the Zarthyn, and the Chugotha. But most interestingly it reveals his secret name ‘Zheva’ which can be used to bind him and tells of a magical item, the Scarab of the Wingless Dragon, which can be found in the ‘nest of fire’ and which can be used to effect an escape from his realm.
The page that revealed to you information about the realm of Huan’zhor is now featureless, but the one which follows it has transformed; it has taken on the appearance of a thin sheet of ice. Sandwiched within its transparent layers are lines of blood-red writing interposed with intricate diagrams and astrological charts.
The writings confirm some of what you already know, and they also provide you with fresh information that may aid your quest. You have entered the realm of the Demoness Shamath, the Mistress of the Gates of Darkness. The Tome does not tell of her defeat by your hand, but you assume that this is because it was written long before your recent victory over her and her minions. Speaking as if she were still in control here, it says that she rules this domain from her Throne of Power which stands beside the Pool of Sorrows. You pass over the long list of unspeakably cruel deeds which earned her the right to rule this icy realm, and the revelation of her secret name ‘Gnekasha’ until you discover that which interests you most: details of how to escape from this realm. You swallow hard when you read that all those who would seek to leave the realm of Shamath must first ‘spill their own blood in the Pool of Sorrows’.
The transparent page that revealed information about Shamath’s realm is now blank, but the one which follows has changed in colour and texture. Lines of glowing text have appeared on a page that is as dark as deep space.
It tells of ‘Avarvae the Tormentress’. It reveals that this void, which is her domain, is called ‘The Oblivion of the Tortured Souls’. You ignore the list of her cruel and evil deeds, and search out her secret name. Unfortunately you discover that there is no name to bind her. However, you do learn that no special artefact is required to leave her realm and there are two exits: The Gates of Darkness, by which you entered, and the Bridge of the Damned.
As you traverse the great Bridge of the Damned, you consult the Tome of Darkness and it confirms your highest hopes and your deepest fears.
Ahead lies the realm of Naar and his dread stronghold of Dazganon. The Tome warns those who would voluntarily seek to enter Naar’s fortress that they must possess three magical artefacts: the Nza’pok Amulet, a Künae Ring, and the Scarab of the Wingless Dragon. The final page of the Tome lists the names of Naar’s closest minions who dwell within Dazganon and one who dwells without whose name is ‘Tzor, The Guardian of the Plain of Despair, Keeper of Evil Souls’. The text of the final page states that there is no secret name to bind Naar and, most chillingly, that there is no exit from his dread fortress.
As you close the Tome it suddenly ignites and is consumed by voracious tongues of blue flame.