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Tales of Sanctuary: The Seven Books


 

 

Tweet of the Day: Beware of the angry white male public intellectual 

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Sanctuary, the Great City, the Eternal City, has always been, and always will be. Armies rise, fires rage, but she is all there is. A place with many hearts, a multitude of souls, but one singular mind, the Great Library and Archive. Within its halls exits every conceivable book, scroll, or tablet ever written by Men. The Student of Thought will find any and all works on every subject, ranging from the Divine to the Profane. But even here, there are books which some how survive the Centuries, the Great Fires, Crusades, and witch hunts. The Seven Books can always be found within the walls of the Library, regardless of how many times the stacks are purged of them. All of them are powerful, all of them hold a Truth, or Truths which makes them dangerous to someone:

  1. The Dark Paths of Seduction: Also known as The Way of Attraction, or the Ninety-Nine Sutras of Power,  this book contains a series of poems that if recited in the presence of a target will make them a willing carnal slave. Copies of this book find their way to the back rooms of noble homes, the seminaries of young acolytes and the packs of young students coming and going to the University District. Often this leads to the formation of self-destructive orgiastic cults bent on nothing but pure indulgence of the pleasures of the flesh to the point that if interrupted, turn the cult into a mob willing to rend the offender limb from limb with their bare hands. The Archivists keep the original in one of the Banned Books Sections, but it is unknown how faithful copies are made without touching the book or how these copies retain their power when to every examination the original seems devoid of magic or otherworldly presence.
  2. Men Over Gods: This blasphemous tome makes the bold claim that the deities are cosmic frauds, exploiting the weak and stupid, and that through proper magical preparation anyone can attain such power. It further claims that the true purpose of an enlightened mind is to reach godhood so that they may cleanse the cosmos of the divine taint. It also states that the Shattering of Hsyrule (the H is silent), the Fourth Moon, the Moon that is Not a Moon, occurred when the First Man challenged the Primordial Beings of Existence and they imprisoned Him/Her/It/They (the words change in every copy but it is always capitalized) inside Hsyrule. The final stage of Ascension leads the reader to merge with the First Man and the cleansing of the Cosmos. All of the Faiths in Sanctuary condemn this book as heresy, and yet, after many a book burning, ejection into another plane of existence and layers upon layers of entrapping magics, the tome always finds its way back the Library.
  3. One-Hundred and One Ways to Slay Death: A necromantic tome describing the many ways to cheat death and extend the life of the necromancer. Like Men Over Gods, it states that Death itself is a construct which can be overcome with the right techniques. Like The Dark Paths of Seduction, copies of this book find their way into the hands of the the lonely, or the power hungry leading to eruptions of mass murder combined with grisly rituals, all of which appear to extend the life of the reader beyond their natural state.  The Church of Eternal Justice finds this book particularly repulsive as it challenges the idea of the Cosmic Balance and that no one can escape justice, even through Death. The church convinced the High King to ban the book. Many Archivist believe that as the primary users of Necromancy in the city, the Church feels threatened by the tome.
  4. The Sign of the High King: High Kings come and go, but Sanctuary remains, or so goes the refrain among the servants and courtiers of the Palace, but this book claims that the City and the King are one, due to the fact that High King made a pact with a powerful extra planar entity that maintains the City regardless of which tragedy befalls it. It further claims that the true heir posses this sign of this pact somewhere in their body, and should the sign be removed or altered, the City would fall. The idea that the King is a willing slave to an otherworldly power does not sit well with the authorities. Yet, they have never move to ban or remove the book from the Great Library.
  5. The Songs of True Heroes: The one book, or in this case, series of tomes that has a known author, Helay Haliat, an elven bard of great renown. This collections stands apart in that it made up a of a series of tomes that run the gamut from stone tablets to modern paper copies, one-hundred and seventy-eight tomes in all. The second curious feature is that new tomes appear as heroes die through out the ages, even though Haliat must be surely be dead by now. And the third, and the one that brings the disapproval of every single faction withing the walls of the City, is that the volume recount with exacting detail the unvarnished truth about countless martyrs, saints, and heroes. This often contradicts other accounts to the point of destroying their veracity.
  6. The Bawdy Ballroom: Also known as The Succulent Terrace, The Kiss of the Butterflies and The Deflowering of Spring among many other names is a play set often (but not always) in a noble home during a dance or dinner. The scenes within are so explicit (and accompanied with animated pictures to match) that would make the best courtesans blush. But it is not its erotic content that brings this book to the attention of generations, but the very accurate depictions of the faces and acts of personages of power in the City, with matching notes on the margins. From patriarch to merchant princes, from upstart adventurers to dowager queens, the play does not flinch in showing the most debauch acts imaginable. And the afore mentioned animated drawings show these figures in uncanny accuracy even if the participants wore masks or employ illusionary magic. Furthermore those who put the play on any stage find themselves with the compulsion to indulge in their most base desires for all to see and then find that it is they who are named and shown in the book. Too many a scandal can be traced to the pages of The Bawdy Ballroom.
  7. The Tenfold Space: Also known as Truth Unrevealed, The Sleeping Mind, and The Beginning of Nothing. This book posits that the Great Library itself is not merely a repository of knowledge but is, in fact, the very mind of Civilization, a gigantic eldritch space that is self-aware but asleep. But should someone find a way to awaken the Great Library, reality would snap back into the Primordial Chaos, since the a paradox of an entity that knows all things now able to act upon Creation would destroy it and all things that ever were or would be.

 

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