Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Five Hottest Clickbait Books of the Hill Cantons

I love the hell out of books and naturally my bibliomania pushes its way into the campaign. In fact my notebooks are sloppy with this kind of in-game artifacts and self-indulgence. Five best-selling examples from the campaign year 40214...

A Briefe and True Report of the Divers Land and Peoples of the Feral Shore
Author: Alojiza nad Hromon
Physical Appearance: Crimson pelgrane hide cover with a gorgeously-illuminated interior rendered in the ink of bisytsia (she-devil) tears. Pressed paper (disappointingly cheap and thin). 86 pages
Cost: 149 gold suns and 99 copper sags

The third best-selling release this year from the Guild of Potboilers, Ghost Writers, Scribes and Jakes Farmers. The book is “selling in the tens,” an astounding commercial hat trick for the guild, and relates the author's experiences having scandalously dressed in simple cloth and cut her exquisite curly main into a bob to pass as a common laborer in the little-known Kezmaroki crown colony called Karldeset (or King's Ten). Strangely the book is written in the form of random tables.

Choice Excerpts:
“5. The colonists of the Shore differ much in apparel from the Kežmarokis although little in indolence and deceitfulness.”

“38. The Lords of the Shore are coarse and low. Indeed they wallow in their base natures, self-describing their Company as the Nefarious Nine. Colony discipline is handled quite-literally by a clown who fear of curbs the excess of vice commonly found in an assemblage of drink-besotted laboring men. And the rest of the bizarre Nine number among them an oily grifter, a disturbing doctor of unknown academic acumen, a full-toothed handsome but shady royal pretender, a foppishly-attired cave dwarf, a vinegar-smelling half-giant, a drunken alien priest, and a clockwork midget.”

“59. It is an error to call those on the Shore heretically ultra-orthodox (as is the common way with Kežiamoors), the folk are true pagans raising a vast new temple—in between two villages inhabited only by monkeys--to the vanity of the dead many-faced gods of the Old Pahr.”

A Brief Relation of the World-Dungeon Unitary, As it Was Delivered to the Folk of Marlinko
Author: Son of Mulmak
Physical Appearance: Folded, continuous codex with pressed paper and printed by a cutting-edge “printing press”. 16 pages.
Cost: 20 gold suns
A provocative new pamphlet rocking the excitable (and riot-prone) academic world of the Cantons. The booklet theorizes that mirroring the surface of the world is a vast subterranean network of dank chambers, byzantine tunnels, tomb complexes, fiendish traps, treasure houses, and creatures fell.

That said “dungeons” combining those elements exist is a matter of consensus among scholars, but this new doctrine of pandungeonism that claims that all said murderholes are but the surface manifestations of a single world-dungeon has already drawn the ire of the ecumenical council of the Temple who have deemed it and its anonymous author “borderline heretical.”

The Altricious Cycle of Supernal Japery
Author: Third-Commander Jaasher, translation by Lady Szara
Physical Appearance: Compressed fingernail-clipping cover with scraped donkey-skin parchment.
48 pages
Cost: 250 gold suns
A cruelly satirical book of poetry written in Classical Eld Iambic pentameter now translated into the vernacular of Low Hyperborean by the famous society lady (and rumored strigoi) Lady Szara. The translated copy is subtitled “As Seen in the Slumbering Ursine Dunes” and sports a promotional blurb from Sir Eld: “The underdeveloped hairless ape mind cannot wrap its feeble brain capacity around the sheer joy and wonder of Jaasher's work. Still buy it if you must.”
Five Shades of Azure
Author: Captain Balazas
Physical Appearance: Sparse but functional leather-bound volume with standard vellum. Full-color erotic plates inside. 128 pages.
Cost: 300 gold suns
Choice Excerpt: “Contrary to the prejudices of the Rock [High Kežmarok] our Pahr subjects here on the Shore are not quite the uncouth louts they are made out to be in polite society. To the contrary, I have had many a pleasing—if such a word can be used when suffering the pains of court exile—moment here at Vygrot in their hearty bearded company laughing at their colorful tall tales, seeing the blush of the red-cheeked village maidens in their white linen and floral bodices...[long, racy and embarrassingly clumsy digression].

Lost Vlko and Romuilak the Lupine
Author: Unattributed but commissioned by “He Whose Howls Echo Among the Ages, His Fecundity, Tazrun, the Illuminous and Mighty Seneschal of All the Southlands.”
Physical Appearance: Embroidered leather cover strung with cat-gut and smelling vaguely of wet dog. 64 pages
Cost: 150 gold suns
Choice Excerpt: “For a people who had their origin in the horse-stunk nomad hordes of the Sea of Grass the Pahr people have been remarkably at home in the scrubby hills, rounded peaks, high valleys and crags of Zem. While many of the hill clans have long since been domesticated into the (slightly) more sedate lives of Overkingdom cantons, tales of the “lost kingdoms”, Old Pahr petty mountain kingdoms that dropped from the historical record centuries ago--and into the popular imagination of this day.

One such tale that looms large in the so-called Southern Cycle, that great collection of folk ballads and tall tales of how the Pahr came to migrate, conquer and be conquered in the post-Hyperborean era, is that of Vlko and its hirsute, half-wild founder, Romuilak the Lupine. Many a man of science would like to believe that Vlko still exists, nestled high in the Cerny mountains, with a people prospering by the simple, bellicose virtues of the Old Pahr hidden and secure from modernity.”

Also Rans
A Modest Survey of History High and Low in the Overkingdom's Late Modernity by the scandal-ridden Cantontonal historian Jiri Paveliak (whose elaborate backstory bedazzles all). 

The World-Dialectic: Is it For You? by Jarek the Nagsman.


  1. There's a program called PocketMods that lays an 8-page PDF out across one page so that you can cut and fold it into a stapleless book. I've been using it to make a few little books to hand out to players when they're researching or when they find books as treasure.

    1. Oh that's super neato, definitely will have to use that. Thanks!

  2. Why didn't you mention any of the works by Mandamus the Scholar? His paper on the intersection of the semantics of Fourth Dynasy Hyperboran heiroglyphics with the eschatology of atemporal extradimensional beings as found in subterranean environments caused quite the stir at last year's academic conference.

    1. Sadly I believe I failed my saving throw throw and was thus asleep during the presentation. It's sitting on my night stand now...

    2. It's funny how often that happens ...