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Against the Shadow  |  Magic Items  |  The Book of Starlight
The Book of Starlight
The Book of Starlight

    The night sky is awash with stars, unobscured by clouds or moonlight. On a night such as this, most souls would be huddled indoors, fearful of the creatures that hunt during the darkest of nights; but three either very brave or foolish men are moving hurriedly up a lightly forested hill. Their steps are sure as if the path was well known. After several hours of climbing, the three men finally arrive at the hill’s summit and a scattered collection of ruined buildings.
    The eldest of the three walks toward one building that has better stood the ravages of time. The four walls still stand strong and proud, but the roof is completely gone and the door long since turned to dust. Inside the building, in the center of the room, is a single square pillar, which looks like it once supported the roof. The rest of the building is bare, except for leaves and the ever-encroaching ivy. With no adornment and nothing left from the previous inhabitants, its unclear how old the building might be.
    As the other two men enter the building, the elder turns toward them. “My time as your teacher is coming to a close. The hashu (great hunt) is calling to me, telling me my time to ascend is near.”
    The two younger men appear stunned by the news. Before they can question their teacher, he holds up his hands and smiles. “Do not worry about me, I look forward to joining the host, it is my time. You are the future of the Sahi and to help guide you when I’m gone, I entrust you with the greatest secret of our priesthood. Before the destruction of our kingdom, the great host warned the faithful. Those most skilled at seeing the messages in the stars knew that many of our people would die and we, the Sahi, would be hunted like dogs, our monasteries would burn, and our lore destroyed. To prevent that loss, the greatest of the Sahi hid our most valuable lore in such a way that only the truly faithful could find it. Since my grandfather’s time, the Dark God’s hounds have searched but could not find our greatest treasure.”
    “Help me clear away the vines and be careful where they touch the walls. Do not damage the walls nor cut the vines. When we’re done, we must leave the room as we found it.”
    When the walls have been cleared, the elder brings the two younger men to the stone pillar. Carefully, he wipes dust away from the pillar revealing small indentations in the pillar that could easily be mistaken as natural flaws in the stone. The elder turns to his students, “what do you see?”
    The two younger men walk around the pillar, clearing more of the dirt and running their fingers over the holes. “These marks form the great constellations.”
    The older man smiles, “very good, I am proud of you. Now, place your hands on the constellation of Dal Mahi, the mistress of lore and sing the song of her ascendance.” All three raise their voices in Dal Mahi’s song. As the song comes to a close, the room seems to darken as if the pillar is absorbing the starlight. Minutes pass as the darkness deepens and then suddenly the pillar begins to glow with the magnified light of the stars, casting its light on all four of the room’s walls. As the magnified light hits the walls, words begin to appear. Every wall is covered in glowing script, tens of thousands of forbidden words; words telling of the host and how to read the messages in the sky, words’ telling of magic of great power, and words holding prophesies foretelling the future of their people. The words are a treasure of untold magnitude and are possibly the greatest hope for the Sarcosans.

    The Book of Starlight was created by the Sahi to preserve their knowledge from the Shadow. The book is based on a series of spells. The basic spell is an advanced version of the spell Arcane Mark. Like the current spell, the words can be invisible and revealed only under certain circumstances. The words only appear when lit by very powerful starlight, in this case, starlight collected in the pillar and then cast on the walls. The only time this form of light is available is on moonless nights where the bright moon doesn’t obscure the light from the stars. The pillar absorbs the light and casts it out in a form of True Seeing. The rune is imbedded in the constellation marking Dal Mahi and is activated by contact with the rune and the song of her ascension. I’ve probably mangled the rules, but I think it would be doable as a ritual.

Author: Kane

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