The following entries represent writings of interest found in the tower libraries. They all potentially provide bonuses to rolls or allow access to spells/abilities/classes, though it is up to the players to plumb the depths of these books (which means you need to read them, and then justify specific bonuses or access).
The Music of the Spheres: A Treatise on the Utilization of Cosmic Harmonics
Inside this weighty tome’s electrum cover are aluminum pages inset with other precious metals and stones. Draconic runes form the basis of the text, though the treatise dips into numerous other planar languages throughout, and thin concentric rings are etched into the back of each page. Careful study indicates that the metals, stones, and lines are used to illustrate principles of cosmic harmonics.
-The Components of Cosmic Harmony
-The Interplay of Elements
-Paths of Power: Walking the Spheres, Arcane Harmony of the Sublime Chord, Seeking the Primal Song
-Additional Notes: Words of Creation, Darkspeech, Truenaming, Words of Power, Other Songs
-A Final Movement: Beyond Sound, Dance and Moving in Time to the Cosmic Rhythm, …
Methods and Conventions in Truenaming
This unassuming leather-bound collection of papyrus scrolls is remarkable in that it appears in pristine condition, as though it were written only yesterday. The scrolls combine Celestial, Draconic, and Infernal script to illustrate basic concepts in truenaming. A magical quartz crystal is inset in the cover, and can be activated to aid in sounding out syllables of true speech.
-History of True speech
-A Beginner’s Lexicon
-The Truth about Words
-Unravelling the Mystery of Names
-Spells Utilizing True Speech and Truenaming
Mordenkainen’s Jumbled Notes: Annotated Edition
This simple hardbound book with printed paper pages is a collection of unpublished notes on spell design, modified casting methods, and other arcane “tinkering” written in Draconic and Greyhawk Common speech. Annotations provided by Atterbine, Mordenkainen’s little known 9th apprentice, are included.
-Collection 1: Spellcraft
-Collection 2: Formalized Methods of Spell Modification
-Collection 3: Creative Casting Approaches, and Other Methods of Spontaneous Spell Modification
-Collection 4: Permanent Magic
[Untitled Children’s Tale]
This worn remnant of a children’s story is layered in arcane wards guarding against damage or theft, though the wards appear to have been placed long after the design of the book. The cover and back half of the book are missing, but what remains of the book is a stunning work of graphic design illustrating a children’s fable, or perhaps a creation myth. The text is written in a flowing, hypnotic script that blends elements of extremely ancient elven and sylvan to great poetic effect.
In the beginning there was Nothing…
Then there was something…
Then there were many, many somethings.
The Nothing was angry at all the noise…
And It tried to make everything go away.
But Fire was too fierce…
Water too mutable…
Earth too enduring…
Air too turbulent…
And Spirit too Bright.
Others were nourished…
But there was a greedy, hungry, Dragon…
And it was so strong that it took whatever it wanted.
The Dragon ate the Flame and it was fierce…
The Dragon ate the Water and it was mutable…
The Dragon ate the Earth and it was enduring…
The Dragon ate the Air and it was turbulent…
The Dragon ate the Spirit and it was Bright.
The Dragon ate and ate…
Until it was too full…
Even though the Dragon was bigger than big…
It tried to eat things that were too big for even It…
And all that eating gave the Dragon a terrible stomach ache.
Eventually the Dragon could eat no more…
It found a Tree to wrap Itself around…
Taking shelter under the Tree’s branches…
Even as it drowsily gnawed at the roots…
And dreamed grand dreams of creation.
This small, spiral bound collection of papers could easily be mistaken for a hastily printed business presentation handout, were it not for the living adamant, nannite infused binding. The text is neatly typed in a mixture of draconic and a dialect of common designed for the discussion of scientific research, and is illustrated with small, generic graphics. A keen eye will note small, uneven lines near the binding on each page, as though the pages were once ripped out and glued almost seamlessly back into place. The index following the introduction refers to a great deal of information, including numerous tables and charts, but unfortunately all pages past the index page were clearly ripped out.
It is curious that we were the one to do this, to enter the Tower. There were so many others that were more qualified, but perhaps that is why WE saved the multiverse twice. We simply did what needed doing, whether or not we were the “right” ones for the job… But that is not the point of this story, merely a bit of idle contemplation. The purpose of this narrative is to share insights into the purposes and functions of the Tower, so that the Knowledge is retained in the event of unforeseeable catastrophe.
I was (am?) a god of Knowledge you see, and I believe that understanding can save us when all else fails. I have, of course, embedded this knowledge (and much more) into the Tower subsystems, but these journals are a failsafe of sorts, hardcopies secreted throughout the Tower’s many libraries (perhaps the safest repositories of knowledge in the multiverse), hidden among the detritus of Cycles past. I also have a second purpose in writing this narrative: I think people should understand the “why” of their suffering. I am purposefully vague in places, however. Without understanding and application, Knowledge is of little use, a collection of arbitrary facts. Understanding can only emerge from knowledge through the meaning-making efforts of thinking beings, but telling entities all the answers seldom results in them developing greater understanding, it just creates followers incapable of applying knowledge toward novel situations. And… that is all I have to say about that.
The multiverse at the end of the 7th Cycle was in tatters due to the war with the fungus, and the Tower was one of the few unexplored options, a monolithic, inscrutable monument that had endured since at least the 3rd Cycle. Even the other gods knew little of its origin. They only theorized about its purpose, and none were willing to risk eternal imprisonment to understand more. We were willing though, because my analyses indicated that there was little chance at a successful defense using more conventional means. So, while several of us undertook a secret quest to retrieve the Anathema from the void and recruit them to our cause, the rest of us entered the Tower.
Upon entry we were faced with challenges the likes of which we had not seen since our trials at the end of the 6th cycle, but we fought our way through. It was difficult, as our divine power was mostly stripped upon entry (similar to other rare points throughout the planes, godly might is suppressed inside the Tower; in this case the cause appears to be a thinning of the connection between followers and their divine patrons), and the structure appeared to reserve its greatest challenges for us. We climbed through the tower despite the forces set against us. Finally, empowered by my allies’ sacrifices, I bested the Steward of the tower to claim the stewardship for myself. Then my true challenges began.
Upon assuming the mantle of stewardship, the remainder of my divine powers returned to me in a flood, though my connection to my prime material worshipers was still tenuous. My new followers were all the denizens of the tower, all those that cursed at, prayed to, and bled for this damnable monument to survival. Along with my power came a flood of knowledge: the purpose of the Tower, its design, the infinite realms connected to it. I am barred from conveying the majority of this knowledge, and only a fraction of the information I am allowed to convey is something that can be reported in mere writing. So I will be concise: the Tower is one of the most important artifacts in existence, at least as essential as the Dream Locus. I leave the discovery of WHY the Tower is so important to the explorations of the reader, and instead focus the remainder of this journal on the design of the Tower. Or more precisely, the changes to the structure and function of the tower made during my stewardship.
Major Redesign Components: Level Pattern, Multiverse Alignment, Transit, Failsafes, Soul Repository, Elemental Power and Energy Conduits, GEMS: General Energy Matrices
Minor Components: Challenge Rating, Rewards, Guilds, … [page ends]
A Catalog of Mythic Creatures
This hefty tome is bound in fine leather drawn from several different animals. The pages are of impossibly fine vellum, and the expertly scribed, illuminated text defaults to elven throughout, though individual entries are written in the native language of the creature when possible.
- Defining “Mythic”
- Musings on the Origins of Superlative Power
- A Taxonomy of Power
This small printed manual with a zippable plastic cover is written in a poorly edited dialect local to a scientifically advanced prime material plane. The author or authors vacillate between technical information on the use of magitechnological approaches to develop neural interfaces, and philosophical ramblings regarding establishing a magitechnological singularity resulting in mass enlightenment and liberation from an oppressive police state.
This simple handwritten journal is bound in inexpensive leather, and contains the field notes of one of the tower’s many doomed travelers. The author describes numerous facets of tower life before relating the last moments of their life before dying of suffocation in a sealed pit.
Found some more of these weird gems. They seem to drop from the strongest monsters on a floor, especially the better ones, though sometimes the little stuff drops gems too, so I don’t know. The elemental ones seem like they use the same energies that run the rest of the tower.
I hate constructs.
The higher levels get progressively stranger. We went for a long walk up high, thinking to see if there was something different upstairs. For a while we found machines, and magical devices that shed no magic aura. Even higher we found warped creations straight out of the lore of the outer planes. On a lark, we took a trip to 1 billion, but the stuff there was so twisted that we went straight back to the pad.
I think we should join a guild. Halen’s Mage’s Guild is pretty impressive, and seems like a good fit since we all use arcane magic at least a little. Gen from the Silver Knights keeps bothering me about joining, talking about the fact that they still have the resources of Argentum Draconis, but they are a dying guild; I can’t complain about the help they’ve given me, but soon all their quests will clear out the last of their ranks. People are already calling them the gray knights. The only other option I’m interested in at this point is the pathfinders, but they don’t seem strong enough to be worthwhile; knowledge is great and all, but the tower is about survival too.
Do I pursue secret knowledge, or do I get the upgrades? The consensus seems to be that the upgrades are generally better, unless you are going for something very specific, but I notice that the strongest people I meet have a mix of the two.
Why do the “people” (or the people that can travel between levels at least) I meet in the tower never give out gems when we kill them, but all the level-bound stuff does? Oh, other random gem rumor: dragons, outsiders, and elementals have the best drops.
So… I thought that the leadership turning into a lich would cause problems, but if anything the guild is more efficient. Works for me. Hopefully those of us that came in before the transition will be viewed more favorably.
Things were going smoothly, then I fell in a hole that sealed itself shut. I figured the others would get me out right after the fight, but its been an hour, and I’m running out of air. I hate this place, its just one big tease. You get the carrot of awesome power you could never have imagined or achieved on your own, and the stick of… well, everything else is the stick I guess. Then its all pointless, you fall into a hole and die, nothing to show for it. Although I guess I have one thing to show, one thing original I made while I was here: a spell to glitch technology that stores information (not the mechanical kind). Screw you tower, I hope all your shit jams up. Enjoy a free spell, all I ask is that you remember my name, [illegible smear of ink], if or when you use it.
I miss you Aramathea