Wilderlands Age of Worms
The Nethertome of Trask
This ancient prayerbook consists of more than 500 pages, bound in reddish and greenish leather made from the skin of some unknown aberration. The metal figure of an otherworldly, hideous six-armed creature adorns the cover. The first 22 pages are an esoteric selection of divine spells recorded in the notation of an archivist:
1st level: chill of the grave*, cause fear, command, detect undead, erase, ghoul light*, grease, lesser confusion, sleep
2nd level: augury, blade of pain and fear*, enthrall, ghoul glyph*, Melf’s acid arrow, secret page, touch of madness*
The notation used for the 22 pages of spells is very archaic, but still intelligible. The remaining pages are filled with text and diagrams in a language that would be recognizable only to an elite few: Ancient Kelnoran. A character that can read Ancient Kelnoran who peruses these pages finds them to be mostly incomprehensible babbling, with a few references to “Elder Gods” and many cryptic, nonsensical passages that appear to be intended as “prophesies.” While reading the pages, eerie disembodied voices become audible to the reader (and only the reader). These voices grant a +2 circumstance bonus on Knowledge: Religion checks relating to evil deities. The reader can stop the voices by closing the book.
Knowledge: History DC22
Trask was an archivist during the fall of the ancient empire of Kelnore. His studies focused on the forbidden lore of the Elder Gods that dwell in the darkness beyond the Void. Trask recorded the results of his research in the book known as the Nethertome of Trask. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on one’s perspective), the bulk of the Nethertome’s writing appears meaningless even to those who read Ancient Kelnoran. Some sages say that Trask’s contact with the Gods of the Outer Darkness drove him utterly mad and, thus, the Nethertome is simply the writings of a madman. Others argue that Trask was not entirely mad, but merely paranoid (perhaps justifiably), and scribed the Nethertome in a code that only the most diligent student of the writing would be able to decipher. Someone with the appropriate skills that found the Nethertome in his possession might be able to discover the truth, perhaps uncovering Trask’s lost secrets. Of course, dark knowledge often comes at a price.