Mysterious fane on the banks of the Sea of Ohkotsk

Mysterious fane on the banks of the Sea of Ohkotsk

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Prydain Project - 13 Treasures of Prydain - The Three Peerless Books

In keeping with the traditions of Welsh myth, I decided to sort the Thirteen Treasures of Prydain into Triads.  Note that the campaign I have in mind is fairly magic poor, so some of the Thirteen Treasures may seem a bit flat for those who are playing full-on BECMI campaigns up to high levels.

The Three Peerless Books

All three of the Peerless Books appear as a folio of quality parchment pages in heavy wood and leather bindings.  The covers bear no inscription, but have been dyed a distinctive colour and illuminated with intricate knotwork designs.  All three Books will immediately give the impression of great age, while seeming perfectly preserved.

The Red Book of Dallwyr (known as The Book of Three)
The Red Book of Dallwyr is a large and heavy book, many inches thick and impractical to transport.  Through the power of their enchantment, the pages are inscribed with all matters of import to the Land of Prydain, past and present.  Many pages are illuminated with rich illustrations and detailed patterns which seem to move, but many more are filled with fine writing in a small but clear hand, though the letters seem to shift and change as they are being read.

Studying the Book for 1 day and 1 night will produce one of the following results:

  • The answer to a single yes/no question regarding the present (per the 5th level Cleric spell Commune)
  • The answer to a single question regarding the past (per the 3rd level Cleric spell Speak with Dead)
  • Identify 1 function of a magic item

Studying the Red Book of Dallwyr in this way is taxing to even the most powerful, and can only be attempted 3 times per week.  Each attempt must be followed by 1 full day of complete rest.

The force of the revelations within the Red Book is such that it can be consulted safely only by a magic-user or bard of sufficient level (MU 5, Bard 7).  Lower level magic-users or bards may attempt to use the book, but will suffer 3d6 damage (save vs Death Ray for half) and be rendered unconscious for 3 days and 3 nights.  Other characters will suffer 1d6 damage on touching the Book (no save) and are unable to even open it.  Should the Book be found open, the pages will be unreadable.

Status: Held in trust by the wizard Dallwyr Dallben

The White Book (known as The Book of Enchantments) and Peledryn of Llyr 
From the distant past until the fall of their stronghold at Caer Colur, The White Book of Llyr was held in trust for the people of Prydain by the enchantresses of the House of Llyr.  It is a small folio, relatively slim and light, bound in fine white leather with pine as backing.  To the naked eye, the pages appear blank - as though the Book were bound with fresh parchment in preparation for writing.  However, this is because the Book has been furnished with a cunning key: the Peledryn of Llyr.

The Peledryn seems to be no more than a small golden ball, of no great worth and perhaps the size of an apple (which it resembles).  However, once the trick is learned the Peledryn can be caused to glow with a bright light as per the Continual Light spell.  When the light of the Peledryn of Llyr falls on the pages of the White Book the truth is revealed: it is a comprehensive book of magic.

Studying the White Book using the Peledryn, and after first casting Read Magic, a magic-user can:

  • Memorize any spell of a level he or she can cast (all spells are contained in the Book)
  • Learn how to create any magic item (except weapons and armor)
  • Identify a magic item in the user's possession (including weapons and armor)

Memorizing spells works just as when the magic-user memorizes spells from their own spellbook.  Spells in the White Book cannot be transcribed onto scrolls or into a spellbook.

Given opportunity to study both the Book and the magic item for 1 full day, a magic-user can identify 1 function or bonus of any magic item in their possession.

Learning how to create a magic item requires longer study, however no other materials or resources are required and research takes half the normal time required.  Note that while the magic-user can learn how to create any magic item, it will still be necessary to gather the necessary materials and take the time to create the item.

Book status: Lost
Peledryn status: Lost

The Blue Book of Gwyddon Ganhebon (known as The Book of Craft)
The Blue Book was crafted by the famous bard Gwyddon Ganhebon to preserve the pinnacle of Prydain's practical knowledge, and contains all the secrets of every craft and profession.

To gain full use of this Book, the user must first spend 1 full month in uninterrupted study of its secrets, after which the character will gain 1 level.  This may be done only once.  From this point forward, the user may do any of the following:

Craft any ordinary item (including weapons and armor) at masterwork quality (x5 list value)
Repair any ordinary item (including weapons and armor), restoring it to ordinary quality
Correctly identify the value of ordinary items, including gems and jewelry

In addition:

  • A magic-user who uses this Book can use it to learn how to craft any magic weapon or armor.
  • If the owner of the Book is a ruler, the domain will produce 50% more crops and generate 50% more taxes, and livestock raised within its borders will be of such quality as to command double the usual price.
  • When the owner of the Book selects horses, they will be of such quality that they will be maximum hp, and will be able to travel 50% further before requiring rest, or bear 50% more weight for the ordinary distance.
  • If the owner oversees the construction of a ship, stronghold or other major undertaking of the like, there are 3 options:
  1. Complete the work in half the time for the ordinary price
  2. Complete the work in the ordinary time for half the price
  3. Complete the work in the ordinary time and for the ordinary price, but at a masterwork level - constructions and ships are 50% sturdier (can take 50% more damage before being destroyed) and ships travel at 150% the ordinary speed.

All these benefits are lost if the Book cannot be studied and referred to during the work, or if the Book is lost or destroyed.  The level gain is retained no matter what happens to the Book.

Status: Captured by Arawn and held in Annuvin

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