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Tomes for the Tome: Magical Books

by Jens Schnabel

The Encyclopedia Alphatia, volumes I - XVII

These are a number of large volumes containing great general knowledge of magic. There are at least seventeen volumes, but since it's is an ongoing project attempting to collect as much knowledge of magic as possible, the Alphatians put out new volumes on a fairly regular basis. No two volumes have ever appeared within a decade of each other, and sometimes centuries have passed between new volumes. Each volume is at least 1,000 pages long, is 20 inches in height, 14 inches wide, and 8 inches thick, and typically weighs approximately 20 pounds. On its cover is the symbol of a huge winged bull-like figure with the head of a human (the symbol of the empire of Alphatia). These books are invaluable if one is to do magical research, but they can usually be found only in the universities of magic in Alphatia, because the Alphatians guard their secrets with great care. Alphatian wizards, however, will usually be allowed to make use of them in the universities if he has proven himself worthy to the individual university (the value of this must be determined by the DM, but research cost should be cut by half and research time by one-quarter in most cases).

Lefevre's Basics of Magic

This book was written by the Glantrian wizard Lefevre about a hundred years ago and caused great debates among the wizards of Mystara. The Alphatians accused Lefevre of "stealing" their concepts of magic, while Thyatian wizards (who knew their concepts of magic from the time when Thyatis had been part of Alphatia) dismissed the work as "simplistic and common." The disputes went on for years until Lefevre received support from an unexpected side: the normally silent wizards of Honor Island of Ierendi proclaimed that in their opinion, Lefevre had "redefined the principles of magic precisely and concisely for a new era." There were objections to this conclusion, of course, but it basically ended the disputes, and over the years, Lefevre's work has grudgingly been accepted as the definite primary work on the basics of magic. It would seem that even the Alphatians accept this, as they haven't been able to produce a work as widely accepted as Lefevre's, but the truth probably is that the Alphatians forgot to redefine their principles of magic when they had the opportunity to and instead merely continued their traditions of magic without reevaluating them. This is a conclusion which is rarely, or indeed ever, stated loudly, but it is one that most scholars of magic seem to accept quietly...

The book itself now exists in so many different forms and translations, that it is likely to appear in just about any form. It functions a bit like a magical primer that explains all the basic principles and theories of magic, but without teaching any spells. An intelligent non-wizard could probably use this book to grasp the principles of magic enough to be considered an apprentice if he studied the book carefully for a couple of years.

Benjemyn's Book of Enchantments for Beasts

This is a fairly large book, 18 by 12 by 10 inches, and with a completely green cover. It is yet another book by an Alphatian wizard. Benjemyn greatly admired nature and its beasts, but he was also quite fond of using the powers within it to his own advantage, which sometimes made him unpopular among druids or rangers. Not that he abused nature or animals within it, but neither did he show them any great respect - he just liked having nature's creatures do his bidding. The tome he wrote contained all sorts of spells related to this, and is considered a good work on the subject by most of his fellow Alphatians. It contains all the various Monster Summoning spells as well as Mount, Summon Swarm, Plant Growth, Animal Growth, Conjure Animals, and Charm Plants. A large section of the book deals with various magical processes, such as how to make a homonculous (for which the book also contains the Mending, Mirror Image, and Wizard Eye spells), a Manikin (and where and how to find Mandragora roots). This part of the book also includes the Bind Tabi spell (from the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix). A part of the book is solely devoted to Familiars. Naturally, this section various Familiar Enhancer research spells (from the Wizard's Spell Compendium). Also included is the new spell, Benjemyn's Beastly Bond, which is described below.

Xarathal's Libram of Benevolent Protections

This heavy tome was written by the wizard Xarathal long ago. It has become a very popular work among wizards of Mystara, and many copies of this book are said to exist by now. As such, the book can take many forms, but the form most commonly met, like that of the original, is that of a huge tome 24 inches tall, 18 inches wide, and 9 inches thick, as it easily has over 1,000 pages. It weighs more than 25 pounds. The cover of the original is made of some metal-like substance and has a symbol depicting a staff or wand with an eye on each side, which is Xarathal's Wizard Mark. The book itself is a work of extensive research on the protective spells of the school of Abjurations. It is difficult and heavy reading divided into many large chapters. However the book is semi-magical in that it will quite easily teach wizards new spells, though the book itself is not truly enchanted - magic was just used to make passages on difficult subjects a lot more easy to grasp than normally possible. For example, chapters 1 to 8 may be read for Protection from Evil (Protection from Evil, 10' radius), Protection from Cantrips, Protection from Normal Missiles, Minor Globe of Invulnerability (Globe of Invulnerability), Dismissal (Banishment), Anti-Magic Shell, Minor Spell Turning (Spell Turning), and Mind Blank respectively in the sense that at the end of every 3d6 days plus one per level of the spell of reading, the wizard may attempt a Chance to Learn Spell roll to learn either of the the spells. The spells given in parentheses are considered "superior" versions of the spells, and those may be learned by reading the chapter if the wizard knows the first spell, though they take another 1d6 days to read through. If a spell is failed, the wizard may not attempt to learn it again until he has advanced by a level of experience, nor may he try to learn the "superior" version from the book, if any. For example, a wizard tries to read chapter 5 to learn Dismissal, a 5th-level spell. Doing so will take 3d6 plus 5 days, and at the end he may check to see if he learns the spell. If the wizard succeeds (or if he already knows Dismissal), he may try to learn Banishment, which would require 4d6 plus 7 days of study (7th-level spell and an extra die for a "superior version" spell). Note that reading the book is free - there is no cost to learning spells this way (except for what the DM requires for a player to enter a spell into his spellbook).

The rest of the chapters in the book (9 to 13) are dedicated to heavy research notes on Abjuration spells. A wizard doing research on Abjuration spells using this book doesn't need other books, and so can cut the monetary cost of doing research to one-fifth of the normal cost. He'll still have to spend just as much doing so, although the book will give him a +20% chance to actually learn the spell he is researching.

The Arcane Ancestry of Alphatia

This mystical tome first appeared in the city of Aasla around 300 AY (700 BC) for unknown reasons. At the time, the Alphatians had begun studying many new philosophies of magic, and so it is widely held that the original tome was created by the Immortal Alphatia, who had just recently become known at the time. The tome contains many spells and philosophies known to the Alphatians prior to the destruction of their original homeworld, and it is believed that Alphatia created it so that the Alphatians would not forget their magical heritage. An enchanced copy was later created around 510 AY (roughly 490 BC) at great expense by Emperor Alphas III and his personal scribes and magists (who were themselves powerful wizards). The original tome later disappeared, although many wizards believe that it may have passed into the capable hands of the archmage Mylertendal in her tower in Aasla. Whatever became of it after the destruction of Aasla in 2004 AY (1004 AC) and later the destruction of Alphatia itself, is a mystery, however. The enhanced copy created by Alphas III and his assistants was kept at the University of Air Magics in Sundsvall, where it was supposedly guarded fiercely by Master Terari and many other powerful archmages.

The actual tome, i.e., the copy made by Alphas III (the original is lost to posterity, it seems), is an absolutely huge tome, being some 30 inches in height, 16 inches wide, and more than 12 inches thick. The book's covers are said to be made of the skin of a beholder and is supported by a metal alloy (most likely a mixture of primarily Adamantite with some Mithril). The pages are of a quality superior to those found in a traveling spellbook. The tome is said to weigh around 30 to 40 pounds. Yet even so, the book is said to contain far more spells than one would assume it could contain. In fact, rumor has it, that the book contains so many arcane secrets and lore that it has become sentient, i.e., acquired an intelligence of its own! DM notes: It would seem that the original book might have been the magic item that the wizardess Aasla created during her Trial phase before she became the Immortal Alphatia. The copy that Alphas III created is actually sentient. If it is handled, it may "awaken" and decide to fly around the room while bashing its cover and back in the air as if they were wings! For this reason, it is often kept in a strong glass case - not so much from keeping anyone from it as from keeping it from escaping! Whether this was also true for Aasla/Alphatia's original is uncertain. (See the new spell Alphatia's Spellbook Ward, below.) However, the book indeed contains a vast number of spells. All spells from the PHB, the Tome of Magic, the Complete Wizard's Handbook, and from Player's Option: Spells & Magic that the DM allows in his campaign will be in this book, as well as any specific Alphatian spells from the campaign! The original tome was even more powerful, for new spells appeared in that tome automatically as they were created! This feature does not seem to exist in Alphas III's copy, but there are always more pages available on which to inscribe new spells...

The Thirteen Portals to Dark Salvation

This is said to be yet another dark, corrupting work of Mystara's history. Rumors claim that the person who solves the riddles within this book will eventually be able to open a portal to one of the darker planes, step through, and be accepted as a ruler of demonic hordes. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, though, because nobody has ever begun solving the riddles and remained sane (or alive!) long enough to open the last portal... or, at least, so it is said! Who wrote this book is not known exactly, but persistent rumors claim that it might have been Tranthalatl, an ancient priest of the Azcans, who was seduced by the power of the "Outer Beings"... Then again, those who believe that also maintain that the various books are really a key to unlock the Immortal prisons of the Outer Beings and set them free, or, perhaps, to allow a mortal to join them in their prison. Apparently only a relatively few copies of this book is said to exist. Most scholars seem to agree that five such tomes exist or have existed, but nobody knows for sure. These rumors are all speculation, though, and perhaps this tome does not even exist at all...

The Thanatopsis

This is actually a more general terms for several dark texts, though those are similar, or at least greatly related. Each of these books is a rather large tome wrapped in some smelly, leather material which is actually human skin. The paper is parchment, but it has withstood the passage of time with unnerving fortitude. It is a ghastly work of horrible and dark rituals and forbidden lore. Some have said that that it was written by Hussein, a cleric of Thanatos, who is known best as "The Insane Ylari". Rumor has it that he wrote this book based on a script give to him by Thanatos, while others say that the evil tome itself has been written by Thanatos himself. In the ghastly tome called the "Thanatopsis," Thanatos is said to have revealed many dark secrets, including how to destroy the "Bead of Oblivion."

Some have speculated that an original text of the "Thanatopsis" was then given to Hussein, and based on that Hussein then wrote "Death's Victorious Path," one of the versions of the "Thanatopsis." However, it would seem that a number of versions exist of this tome, as rumors claim that it has been seen in several languages and not just Hussein's native Ylari tongue. This is actually true. The "Thanatopsis" was written, at least partially, by Thanatos himself, but because it was the work of an Immortal (in part at least), the other Immortals hunted it down continuously and made sure the foul work was destroyed. In order to prevent this, Thanatos gave Hussein one copy and then had him make a mortal version of it. Hussein wrote the first volume in Ylari, but he might also have written both the Alphatian and Thyatian translationtions, or else they were the first translations of this dark text. Later the book has been translated to Antalian, Sindhi, Traladaran, and Elvish. In truth, these books were written so that the knowledge would be spread. In part this was to prevent the other Immortals from finding out about this, though that was certain to fail over the years, but the primary reason was to find a way to work around the Immortal rule of non-interference - if the books were the work of mortals, then the other Immortals would themselves be prevented by that rule from interfering with them.

Still, to achieve his goal and destroy the Bead of Oblivion, Thanatos would need exceedingly powerful wizards, because Immortal magic of any kind would not be permissible. So these works were written in seven copies to draw great wizards to them and eventually combine their power and use the books to destroy the Bead of Oblivion. This could be achieved because the books carry a fiendishly subtle curse in them. Apart from the different languages, the books are said to be rather similar, though they are said to contain very different knowledge. The Alphatian text, for example, is said to contain vast amounts of magical research notes, and wizards who read this text are said to find that they can suddenly cast more spells than usual and sometimes learn entirely new spells seemingly at random... Naturally this feature makes the text very desired by wizards, but there have been instances where this is also said to have occurred for wizards in possession of one of the other translations.

Apart from the individual characterestics, the various tomes are very similar, however, except they contain pages which is very special. These pages have strange incantations written on them in some strange language, which is actually Nithian. Alphatians might conclude from this that the book originated in Thothia (since Thothia is the only place on Mystara's surface where Nithian is still spoken), while the book is actually related to the original Nithia. These pages cannot be understood with spells like Read Magic or Comprehend Languages, but only by someone who actually takes to time to learn to read the Nithian language, because the magic of the pages prevent it (this is to force the wizard to learn the Nithian language). This still requires use of the Read Magic spell, though. The incantations on the unusual pages contain one or more spells that function as permanent scrolls - a wizard can always read and understand these (if he can read Nithian, that is), and he can keep casting them for as many times as he wants to without exhausting the magic of the pages. Yet doing so carries a curse that is impossible to detect. Each time this is done, a saving throw (with modifiers for Wisdom) to resist the effects of the tome must be rolled. The DM should roll this secretly since the player might never find out! The DM should note down the character's Wisdom score and subtract one from it every time this save is failed, although the character does not actually suffer a penalty to his Wisdom score. Making a successful save only delays the curse, though. Once the character has read the passage, a similar save must be made once per month as well, unless, of course, he reads it more frequently, in which case a save is made every time he does so. Every time the DM lowers the Wisdom score in secret, the character attitude changes a little, since the curse is driving him closer to becoming a minion under the control of Thanatos. Once the amount reaches zero the character loses all control and becomes an utterly loyal servant of Thanatos. If this happens, he will seek only to find the other tomes and make sure that other wizards are similarly cursed. Naturally, the curse only affects him so that this is a goal for him - he does not suddenly change his attitude overnight, but subtly begins working towards this, possibly for reason unknown to him. If the wizard is particularly intelligent, it may even be that he suddenly seems to become narcoleptic and falls asleep at the most inopportune times (so it will seem to the wizard), while he actually works on his secret goal during this time...

If finding the other books and cursing wizards with them succeeds for all the tomes, then there have been rumors that claim that these wizards will go to remote desert-area in the emirate of Nithia in Ylaruam immediately and read the seven passages simultaneously. Together these will constitute a powerful summoning spell. Unknown to all, Hussein actually kept the last original copy of the "Thanatopsis" and used its vast powers to turn himself into a Mummy lord, and then used incantations in the book to create a huge pyramid which he then hid deep under the sands of Ylaruam, waiting for eternities for the time when Thanatos' plans would finally succeed, and he could return. If the Summoning spell is cast, Hussein's pyramid will rise from below... When it does, and the spell is finished, Hussein will appear in the middle of the circle of wizard at the top of his pyramid with the real "Thanatopsis" and finish the last phrases of the incantation himself. Once this is done, it will expend the lifeforces of the seven wizards and Disintegrate them, and possibly destroy the Bead of Oblivion!

One would assume from this that people have tried to destroy the seven tomes over the years. That is certainly the case, but somehow they always survive. Perhaps new versions are written, but it seems more likely that the volumes are protected by some sort of spell that gives the illusion that the book is destroyed while it is actually Teleported to a safer location. The unusual page of each volume contains a spell that functions as a permanent wizard scroll, but the spell on the page is not the same from version to version. The following gives the name of each translation, the country in which it originated, and then the spells written as 'scrolls' on special pages within it:

Ylari text: Death's Victorious Path
Invisibility, 10' radius, Whispering Wind

Alphatian text: Comprehending the Endless Abyss of Terror's Magic...
Spells:  Fly, Detect Magic, Read Magic

Thyatian text: On Black Aspects
Spells:  Dispel Magic, Shield
Elven text: Dark Roots of Deep Evil
Spells:  Infravision, Bind

Traladaran text: Curses of the Corrupted Souls from Beyond
Spells:  Remove Curse, Light

Sindhi text: Oblivion's End
Spells:  Monster Summoning I, Spook

Antalian text: Corruption Triumphant
Spells:  Protection from Evil, 10' radius, Taunt

The rest of one of these books is not magical (or, at least, not that mortals can detect), but it does contain vast knowledge. If used in research (see Player's Option: Spells & Magic, p. 65-66), it is such an unusual work that it's worth 2,000 gp, except if it's being used to research Necromantic spells, in which case it is worth 5,000 gp.

The Magonomicon

This is a huge tome, and it is a creation of absolute evil, for the book is intelligent! It was originally created by an Alphatian archmage named Wamorthen who was absolutely paranoid about possibly having his spellbooks destroyed, so he created this tome in an attempt to secure all his spells in one book which he then tried to protect from any form of destruction. For years and years he researched new spells and added to the book's power and enchanted it with protective spells, and he originally named his great work "Wamorthen's Wealth of Wizardry and Wisdom." Some of these spells were actually semi-intelligent (similar to spells like Magic Mouth or Contingency, which take effect only when certain conditions arise), so that the book could defend itself if needed. As time passed the various trigger effects and semi-intelligences of the book's protective spells and wards started to combine and a dark intelligence began to emerge. This intelligence studied the spells inherent to it and learned to master them itself. This was exactly what Wamorthen wanted and he was ecstatic about the result and hastened to continue his research as he renamed his tome "The Magonomicon".

But in the end the book decided that Wamorthen himself was a threat to it and destroyed him, and then used it's magic to pose as him. In killing him, however, it realized that it could use the Energy Drain spell within it to usurp Wamorthen's soul and so sustain itself with magical intelligence. The book is still just a thing born from the fears of the wizard, however. It is an abomination of life, yet at the same time it is also cursed with an intelligence that makes it very aware of that fact! Thus it exists only in an ever growing fear of destruction. Nor does it have a spirit of it's own, and so it is constantly being threatened with dissolving into nothingness. To prevent that, the book usurps the lifeforce of wizards it comes across by "eating" their souls to extend its own existence. Only wizards will do, for they are the only people with the magical intelligence needed to extend the book's dark existence. Typically the book will do so by allowing itself to be "found" by a wizard. If the wizard uses magic to determine whether it is hostile to him, it will use it's own magic to mask it's true nature. If the wizard has spells unknown to it, it will give him time to write those into it so that it can improve upon it's own magical powers, though naturally only if it can remain "alive" for long enough to allow him to do so. If that is not the case, it will devour the wizard's soul immediately and then attempt to absorb unknown spells into itself...

In this fashion, this dark work has gathered vast magical powers and spells over the years [under AD&D rules it is safe to assume that it knows at least all wizard spells in the Player's Handbook, the Tome of Magic, the Complete Wizard's Handbook, and Player's Option: Spells & Magic. Naturally, the DM must decide this for his campaign, but should consider adding many unusual or rare spells to the book to reflect its highly magical nature and the vast knowledge it has acquired of magic]. This book is a horrible thing of evil and corruption, but because of its subtle nature, it is not well known. Those few sages or arch-mages who have realized its existence over the years tend to refer to it as "Wamorthen's Folly," "Wizards' Bane," or the "Nemesis of Archmages."

The Book seeks to become a living thing by attaining its own soul or spirit, but it has not be able to do yet - it can only devour and usurp the souls of the living, not actually claim one for itself (having learned of the Immortals, the book has recently decided that it will one day seek Immortality for itself). In its true form, which none see because the book hides it with its Illusion spells, one can actually see the twisted faces of the tormented souls that it has devoured over the years writhe in agony and pain over their eternal torment. So the book often tries to hide its true nature. It will often possess wizards or even more common folk with spells like Magic Jar or Domination, or even use spells like Polymorph Self or Shape Change to hide its true nature. The book can Fly at will and has evolved many wards and immunities over the years. It has a paranoid fear of fire and has thus improved its resistance to fire continuously, but although it is practically immune to fire now, it will likely flee from it anyway (saving throw).

Str N/A, Dex 17, Con N/A, Int 20, Wis 17, Cha N/A (16 when impersonating a wizard. The book could easily impersonate a warrior or other class, but it's so arrogant that it has never even considered it!). Alignment: Chaotic Evil. Armor Class -10 (AD&D) / 30 (3e). Movement, Fly 42 (A) (see the Improved Fly spell below, which requires no material component, but the book must flap its covers as if they were wings). HP 45. THAC0 13 / Attack bonus +7. Number of attacks: 1. Damage: as per spell or 1d6 (the book covers can grow nasty fangs if necessary, as can the facelike symbol on the front cover). Special Attacks: Spells. Special Defenses: see below. Magic Resistance: 70%. Size S. XP: 15,000.

The book is practically impossible to destroy, as it is protected by all sorts of special wards. A Stoneskin-like spell prevents all weapon not of +3 or higher enchantment from harming it, and even when hit, it takes only 1/4 of the damage inflicted to a maximum of 4 points (the attacker can still sustain full damage if it is using Fire Shield though). The book likes to protect itself with lots of wards if it has the chance to do so, and Mirror Image, Displace Self, Fire Shield, Improved Invisibility, Globe of Invulnerability, Mind Blank, or Prismatic Sphere are all favorite spells that the book will cast before combat if given the chance to do so. Apart from the obvious offensive spells (Fireballs, etc.), it also likes to summon monsters to fight for it with spells such as the various Monster Summoning spells, Conjure Elemental, or Invisible Stalker. The book has a magic resistance of 70% in general (as stated above), but is also completely immune to all fire and acid spells, while Magic Missiles never hit because of a permanent Shield-like spell. All direct magical attacks, such as Lightning Bolt or Cone of Cold against the book inflict only one-quarter damage if saved, up to a maximum of 8 points of damage, or half damage, up to a maximum of 15 points, if the save is failed (note that the book gets a save even if none are normally allowed, like for spells such as Ice Storm). This does not apply to indirect magical attacks like Bigby's Crushing Hand or Mordenkainen's Sword, though, which fall into the category of physcial attacks. Dispel Magic is basically useless against the book, though it can, of course, dispel magical effects created by the book, but it cannot affect the book itself. The book itself uses magic as if it were a mage of at least 20th level.

New Spells

Alphatia's Spellbook Ward

(Alteration, Enchantment/Charm)

Level: 9 (Wizard)
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 3 hours
Duration: 1 day per level of wizard
Area of Effect: 1 book
Saving Throw: None

This spell puts a powerful ward on any tome or other form of book. Alphatian archmages often use it to protect their various treasure tomes, spellbooks, or otherwise. In fact, the spell probably works on any book to some degree, but it was created mainly to protect spellbooks, and that is probably what it does best. The reason for this is that it bases its power on the knowledge it protects. It is not fully compatible with works of true magic and so functions only in a diminished form for such books, but non-magical books on magic, such as spellbooks, are the books that it can best protect (this must be determined by the DM). The spell can center a Fly spell on a book if required, and can animate the book so that it can protect itself when needed. The spell can also make use of other spells in the spellbook, though it is limited to casting only two from five possible each day (i.e., the spell may "memorize" five each day but cast only two of them), and usually prefers protective spells such as Stoneskin or Fire Shield. In a few cases the spellbooks of particularly powerful archmages have been rumored, for example, to use spells like Enlarge to grow to human size and then the animate feature to "grow" limbs to wield weapons! (In such a case the "book" will have the combat skills of a fighter 1/5 of the wizard's level of experience, but with no special abilities). In any event, the spell can make use of a certain level of spells depending on the wizard - if the spell is cast by an 18th level wizard, it can use 1st-level spells. For every two levels of experience above 18th the wizard achieves, the spell can use of spells of one level above that (i.e., wizard's level minus seventeen, divided by two and round up), so that the spellbook of an 24th-level wizard could use 4th-level spells (24-17=7. 7/2=3.5, round up to 4). If the book is not a spellbook, the DM should limit the amounts of spells that may be cast, the amount memorized, the highest level that may be cast, or all of these together. He can also limit the spells to one school of magic, such as Abjurations (which the spell is most fond of anyway). Note that the spell never uses directly hostile spells, such as Fireball, Lightning Bolt, or Magic Missile - it is a Ward and can only protect itself! It is more likely to Teleport to safety than it is to use Lightning Bolts on those seeking to harm it.

The material component of this spell a gem of some great value, at least 500 gp. The gem must be crushed and sprinkled on the book and its pages as the spell is cast, requiring the wizard to flip through the pages of the book during spellcasting. If the gem is more valuable, the DM may assign bonuses such as letting the ward use more powerful spells as usual, or allow it to memorize and cast more spells than usual.

Improved Fly


Level: 5 (Wizard)
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1
Duration: 1 hour per level
Area of Effect: Creature touched
Saving Throw: None

This spell enables the wizard to bestow the power of magical flight upon a creature, similarly to the 3rd-level Fly spell, except that this spell has a longer duration and is more potent. The creature affected is able to move vertically and horizontally at a rate of initially 30 (half that if ascending, twice that if descending in a dive). The maneuverability class of the creature is initially B. Using the Improved Fly spell requires as much concentration as walking, so most spells can be cast while hovering or moving slowly (1/6 of flying movement rate, initially 5). Possible combat penalties while flying are known to the DM ("Aerial Combat", Chapter 9 of the DMG). However, the Improved Fly spell allows a recipient to improve upon the usefulness of the spell if he is familiar with it. The DM must determine when a character has become familiar enough with magical flight to improve his use of the spell. Any recipient may at some point improve the movement rate of the spell from 30 to 36. A wizard using the spell upon himself, however, may eventually (DM's discretion) take full advantage of the potentiality of the spell and thus improve the movement rate to 42, the maneuverability class to A, or eventually even both, though the latter can be achieved only after extensive use and training.

The material components of the Improved Fly spell are two wing feathers of a bird, one for each hand.

Benjemyn's Beastly Bond


Level: 6 (Wizard)
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 turn
Duration: Instantaneous
Area of Effect: One creature
Saving Throw: Negates

This spell is a prime example of how Alphatians often solve relatively simple problems by pouring magic onto them. The spell essentially turns one animal into a beast of burden or faithful companion for the wizard. Rather than going through the usual tiresome work of animal training, the Alphatians typically use spells such as this instead, as it is fast, sometimes effective, and always costly. The creature to be affected must be of at least animal Intelligence (1), but no more than than semi-intelligent (Intelligence 2 to 4). If this is not the case, the spell fails automatically. The creature must be under the control of the caster, and the caster must touch the creature all the time during the casting of the spell. This means that the creature must have been subdued and held captive for at least a week before the spell can work, though the chance of a succesful casting increases if the creature was domesticated before the spell is cast. It is quite common that an animal trainer will catch the animal and domesticate it, and then sell it to a wizard using this spell. When the spell is cast the creature must make a saving throw vs. Spell with a +4 bonus. This bonus may be changed at the DM's discretion if, for instance, the least possible requirements were met from the beast's capture to the casting of the spell, or, at the other extreme, if the creature was already domesticated by a skilled trainer. If the spell succeeds, the creature is treated as if it were trained by the caster of the spell from that point forward. The creature will know the caster, allow him to ride it if possible, answer to a name, and come to him at his command, if possible. The creature views its master in the same way a faithful dog would, if someone were to harm its master, it would likely defend him. The name and the command must be stated by the caster during the casting of the spell. For every three levels of experience above 12th, the wizard may magically teach one additional trick. Wizards may subsequently recast the spell as they achieve more levels of experience to do so, but may not teach more tricks than allowed by their levels. Note that the creature does not obtain a telepathic link with its master, as with the Find Familiar spell, although there are rumors that claim that there have been cases in which wizards have successfully used this spell upon a creature, and then the Find Familiar to make the creature their familiar, but how this is achieved is unclear (DM's discretion).

The material components of this spell are various herbs and alchemic liquids mixed with diamond dust and other expensive materials. Each casting of the spell costs a number of gold pieces equal to 1000 plus three times the experience point value of the creature to be affected.

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Copyright (c) 2000, Jens Schnabel. Used by permission. All rights reserved.