Tuesday, February 26, 2019

FLINTLOCK FANTASY: Campaign Notes VII: The Book of Stone

The book is titled "THEORETICA ON THE DESIGN OF THE DEMONLOCK FIREARM & THE MEANS TO ACQUIRE ITS BASE MATERIALS" by Doctor Palso Anduriac, published by University of Kvantio in the year 406CC (some six years ago and after the advent of the printing press; why it is illuminated by hand and not printed en masse is not stated). It is written entirely in Luzori; while the script used is identical to that used in Malazari and Thaumatri, the language is quite different.

Given the petrified nature of the book it is very fragile. Every bit of it has been transformed into grantite or shale, and the ink has turned to veins of obsidian and other semi-precious stones. Whenever it is opened, the reader must make a Reflex Save DC 12 or 1d10 pages will snap away from the spine (roll d8 to see from which section); a second Reflex Save DC 12 is required or the pages shatter entirely.

The book is 160 pages long and contains an introduction followed by six and one sections:

The Introduction includes a beautiful title page and a very brief description of the contents of the book, as well as dedications and notes of thanks and support aimed at high ranking members of the Kvantio scientific community. (4 pages)

Part One is an overview and analysis of the history and current development of firearm technology on the Thaumatrian continent, including its weaknesses and shortcomings. Reading this section will grant +1 Rank in Knowledge (Firearms). (28 pages)

Part Two describes the means not only to overcome these deficiencies but to increase the effectiveness and range through the use of the demonlock firearm mechanism. (16 pages)

Part Three contains technical information on the construction of the demonlock mechanism, as well as the formula required to prepare the demonstone powder. A character skilled with Craft (firearms) will be able to follow these instructions to create a prototype demonlock pistol, though it is a DC25 Craft check. A character skilled with Craft (alchemy) will be able to follow these instructions to create demonstone powder, though its ingredients are very difficult to find… (32 pages).

Part Four contains the process by which demonstone powder can be acquired. This section of the book delves deeply into heretical theories and sorcerous magic, for it involves the ritual summoning of Jugger Behem to this world – a heinous sin in the eyes of almost all faiths and states. It follows the ritual with further arcane practices to bind and hold the summoned creature to your whim. This information was provided by a high ranking Jugger Behem cultist name Zarin Chereti; his very words are included, with a notably different style. Reading this section will grant +1 Rank in Knowledge (Jugger Behem). (32 pages).

Part Five details the final essential component in the construction of demonstone powder: a gorgon from the southern continent must be acquired and persuaded to turn the summoned Jugger Behem to stone. Treating with the barbaric gorgons is considered treason by most nations. Means are given as to the methods of possible contact and what might persuade a gorgon to perform the required services. Reading this section will grant +1 Rank in Knowledge (Gorgons). (16 pages)

Part Six is an account of the manufacture of a prototype demonlock pistol and the first attempt at manufacturing demonstone powder. Utilising the eye carved from the face of living gorgon and embedded in the flesh from the Gift of the Giver, the summoned demon was petrified and the demonstone ground into powder. Combined with the superior demonlock firing mechanism, the experiment is a complete success. Four prototypes were made; one was given to the University of Kvantio as thanks for their ongoing support; the fate of the other three is not mentioned. Reading this section will grant +1 Rank in Craft (Demonlock Firearms). (24 pages)

Part Six and One is a list that the author has created of various, gunsmiths, weapons dealers, suppliers and craftsfolk in Luzori and Radahu, as well as countries further afield that may prove useful in the proposed endeavour. The de Camondo family of Malazar is prominently mentioned. The details are current as of the year 406CC, only 6 years out of date. (8 pages)

Should the book be subjected to detect magic or identify spells, they will reveal the book does possess a magical aura: conjuration magic is present, of moderate power. If the reader does not speak Luzori, each use of a comprehend languages extract will enable the reader to understand 10 pages at 1st level.

SPOILERS No peeking, players! (highlight to read): Part 4 is the most dangerous to read: the cultist Chereti provided the information under duress, and for his sufferings he decided to have his revenge by secretly including arcane summoning rituals in written form. Hidden in the illuminated marginalia are the Jugger sigils: all they require is the touch of the living to activate. Once activated the sigils vanish from the page, leaving blank circles in their absence. There are two blank circles already evident. Anyone reading this section must make a Perception check DC 20 to notice and realise that the sigils have dark implications; failure requires a Reflex Save DC 15 to avoid accidentally triggering one of the symbols. If triggered, a Jugger Behem emerges from the pages to attack the reader. The book contained 5 sets of summoning sigils; two have been activated already.

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