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The Tome of Ages

by Geoff Gander

This book is composed of two hinged electrum covers, measuring 10" wide and 1' tall, sealed with a small gold clasp, which can be opened by pressing a tiny button hidden in the carvings on its surface (1/4 Intelligence check to discover, or thieves may make a normal Find Traps roll). The book is roughly one inch thick, and is filled with yellowed vellum pages - 295 in all. Neither the covers nor the spine are marked in any way.

Opening the book, however, will not aid the reader; the script will not resemble any known language of modern Mystara. It is in fact written in Lhomarrian, using a script that had fallen out of use centuries before that land sank into the sea. This book could be read using the read languages spell (a process that would be very time-consuming), or someone who knows the modern Lhomarrian language written and spoken in Selhomarr may do so. In the latter case, every attempt to read this book will succeed with a successful Intelligence check penalised at -5.

Written circa BC 7600, the Tome of Ages tells the tale of the ancient battles between Ixion (known as Xeron to the Lhomarrians) and the Outer Beings. It describes how he defeated them, and sealed them away in their prisons for eternity. It then goes at length to explain the apparent motivations of the Outer Beings, and how it is believed that no prison will hold them forever. This section is quite dire in its implications, stating on no uncertain terms that the world would be destroyed if these powerful beings managed to become free once more. The supposed prison dimension where the Outer Beings are kept is also described to some degree, though the wording is vague, hinting at vistas that cannot be conceived in three dimensional space, and of unspeakable horrors inflicted upon those who enter uninvited.

There is also a discussion of the places around the world where the Lhomarrians knew Outer Being worship existed, based on the accounts of explorers. Although geographic references given in the text will have little meaning to modern readers, certain clues do exist that may, if the reader was in that region before, and knows its local history, provide a reasonable chance of guessing the modern locations of these places. They include: the Amalur Lowlands of Davania, the Blight Swamp of Karameikos, the westernmost spurs of the Cruth Mountains, the Orc's Head Peninsula, The Arm of the Immortals, the Izondian coast of Davania, and the Brasol Range. The descriptions vary for each location, but all of them refer to the presence of temples devoted to the Outer Beings in those places. Each of these regions is described as being permeated by evil. Whether or not some vestiges of that ancient corruption still exist in those places today is up to the DM, though they could take any form. Regardless, the descriptions given for each region are vague, though an underlying sense of ancient malice pervades them. Anyone reading this section will be made uneasy at the very least.

There is only one known copy of this book, its location unknown. The Tome of Ages is a useful tool for the DM to provide additional information to adventurers investigating the fragmentary legends concerning the Outer Beings. It should be remembered that much of the writing in this book is vague; none of the Outer Beings are named, nor is their number estimated. It should also be kept in mind that its account of ancient history is incorrect, in that it attributes to Ixion the deed of imprisoning the Outer Beings. Also, no time frame is given for any events listed; readers will have no idea how old the book might be, unless they are well-versed in ancient Lhomarrian history - an almost impossible achievement unless they have been to Selhomarr and studied its most ancient records thoroughly. Readers will also gain the skill Outer Being Lore at 2, unless they already possess it, in which case it will increase by one.