I’ve been trying to jostle my creative brain by spending a few minutes each day writing a list of something. So far, I’ve got “names for swords”, “items of jewelry”, and “things found in an abandoned dwarven mine”, among several others. Today’s list was “book titles” which got a little silly (Auntie Medalia’s Guide to Poultices, Balms, and Salves is kind of my favorite), and probably resulted from my perusing a new-to-me blog about medieval books. (I sent the link to my Ars Magica group, who are appropriately geeked-out.) But the book theme intrigues me, so here are a few books for an Ars Magica saga …
On the Interactions between Forms and Techniques (Magic Theory Summa level 5, quality 8) by Thomas ex Bonisagus. Written in Latin on parchment, illuminated and illustrated, bound with leather-covered wooden boards. The book systematically addresses all 50 combinations of forms and techniques, organized by form. If the book is left open during a new moon, the symbols for the techniques glow with their associated color (white for Creo, gold for Intellego, fluctuating colors for Muto, black for Perdo, and purple for Rego); this is a side effect of Thomas’ sigil and has no other effects. However, so thoroughly did the author treat the techniques, that a season of study just on one technique discussed in the book gives the benefit of a tractatus of quality 8 on that technique.
Man’s Magnificent Mansion (Mentem Summa level 9, quality 7) by Iocasta ex Criamon. Written in Latin on parchment, illuminated and illustrated, bound with hard leather covers, dyed green. The front cover has been worked into the image of a face with glass eyes, which, from sitting Iocasta’s lab for a long period has developed some warping, and now has the virtue, piercing gaze. Some claim the face laughs at them, but the laughter may be the echo of Iocasta’s sigil.
De Alterationes (Muto tractatus, quality 7) by Iocasta ex Criamon. Written in Latin on parchment, illuminated, as an extended scroll sewn to a soft leather cover. The sentence “Woe to one who unfurls this scroll without first paying tribute to its author; you shall find the contents too unwieldy,” are the first words written in the text, and are immediately followed by an illustration of a naked laughing woman, which is the only illustration in the book. Anyone unrolling the scroll past this point without kissing the image triggers the magical effect instilled in the book: the scroll unfurls and unfurls and unfurls, resulting in a huge and unwieldy scroll, one-thousand times longer than the original. Iocasta was known for her sense of humor. (The Terribly Long Scroll MuAn(Re)30: Makes the scroll 1000 times longer and unrolls it completely, one time per day for sun duration. Base 4, +1 req, +2 Sun, +3 size)
On the Care and Healing of Beasts (Animal tractatus and Animal Handling tractatus, quality 6) by Boniface ex Bjornaer. Written in Latin on linen sheets, bound with polished wood with silver and pearl decorations. Also contains lab texts for the spells True Rest of the Injured Beast and Soothe the Ferocious Bear.
Stimulating the Senses (Imaginem tractatus, quality 8) by Carolinus ex Jerbiton. Written in Latin on parchment, illuminated and illustrated, bound with hardened leather decorated with quartz, and containing a bookmark made of five brightly dyed cloth ribbons. If the ribbons are stroked while the book is open to particular pages, animated images appear, some with sound and some with scent, to further illustrate the text, raising the quality to 10. (The Illustrated Text CrIm5: creates images that affect two senses while the reader strokes the ribbon while reading aloud text on particular pages. Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)