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Nether Scrolls was the name for a certain set of 50 scrolls that dealt with fundamental magic theory.[1]

DescriptionEdit

Nether scrolls were a set of small scrolls that described fundamental magical theory.[1] Two sets were known to exist, one set older and more tarnished than the other.[2] The content was written over 50 scrolls divided in five chapters, each of them compassing 10 scrolls. Each scroll was made of precious metal, gold[1] or platinum,[3] made flexible like paper[1] and the silvery letters floated about the surface. Each time a page was read, different knowledge appeared, allowing the scroll to contain more information than the small size should have allowed.[1] When a reader gained sufficient understanding, re-reading the scrolls provided new knowledge and information. There did not seem to be any limit to the amount of information one scroll could contain,[3] though the actual amount of knowledge contained wasn't endless, it was still an amount that required an entire month to read through.[1] No destructive magics could affect the scrolls. They could be physically destroyed, but would always reform themselves eventually.[2]

ImpactEdit

The nether scrolls were among the most influential artifacts in Faerûn.[3] In fact, in the 14th century DR, what counted as magic and spells on Toril was based on the theory described in these scrolls, at least in some way. Shreds of its knowledge were known by every mage in one fashion or the other with varying completeness.[1]

Humans from Netheril were the ones who found the scrolls among the ruins of Aryvandaar, a fallen sun elven empire. These elves however, had not dared to use the power of the scrolls themselves.[4] After the discovery, the netherese started to base their magic on the scrolls’ theory instead of the elves', for their magic followed inferior standards.[5] After the discovery of the Nether Scrolls, the arcane might of Netheril increased immeasurably.[4] They learnt to craft mythallar[6] and left their former mentors, the elves, behind in power, albeit only for a short time before their fall[7] due to Karsus’ folly.[8]

Known Scrolls Edit

While nether scrolls had no direct magical powers, they provided a seemingly-limitless supply of arcane knowledge,[3] the limitless nature was indeed only seemingly and a scroll could be read completely in a month of dedicated study.[1] The tomb of Hsssthak once contained scrolls known to the ancient elves to contain a pair of spells that could allow lizardfolk to gain much power and prestige.[9] These scrolls contain the awaken intelligence and alter beast spells.[10] As mentioned above, every mage, knowing or not, based their magic on the theory of the nether scrolls and was unaware about knowing some part of the scrolls’ content. Reading the ten interrelated scrolls, that made up a chapter, gave a reader comprehensive and wholistic knowledge that expressed itself in special permanent capabilities.[11]

The chapters and bestowing powersEdit

The five chapters were:

Arcanus Fundare
The chapter “Foundations of Magic“ was about fundamental magic, it gave the reader an instant boost to its spells effectiveness and the reader’s magical skill, matching and/or surpassing that of true masters, but no additional base magical power.[1]
Magicus Creare
The chapter “Spells of Creation“ was about magic item creation, reading it provided the user the ability to create new magic items and the ability to create any magic item with less expenditure of one’s essence.[12]
Maior Creare
The chapter “Major Creation“ dealt also with the creation of magic items but with the focus on constructs. Reading it made the reader not only understand how to construct constructs at all but also how to reliably create them at top quality without any fluctuation.[12]
Planus Mechanus
The chapter “Studies of the Planes“ dealt with planes and allowed the reader to use ’’plane shift’’ and to not suffer any negative effects from other planes’ environments.[12]
Ars Factum
What the content of the chapter “Of the Creation of Artifacts“ was about was unknown, though naturally it was suspected to deal with what the title said to deal with. This chapter’s scrolls couldn’t be just read like the others and required some kind of key to be read. Said key was never discovered.[12]

HistoryEdit

c. -30000 DR 
The Nether Scrolls[4] or the Golden Skins of the World Serpent[13] were created in Oreme[4] by the sarrukh. They sought to gather all magical knowledge from their vast empire’s borders into one location, in order to consolidate their arcane power. This effort spawned its own secret society, the Ba'etith, and lasted thousands of years after the fall of the empires of the Creator Races. Their creation included magic from the batrachi and aearee (although not fey or humans, the two other Creator Races) as well.[3]
-3533 DR 
The Netherese discover the scrolls amid the ruins of Aryvandaar.[5]
-3095 DR 
The elves of Cormanthyr steal one set of the Nether Scrolls and hide it away in Windsong Tower.[14]
-1896 DR
A band of thieves steal 24 parts of the Nether Scrolls from the chambers of Ioulaum. Frightened of discovery, they mash the scrolls into golden lumps and sell them.[15]
Unknown Date
Tyvollus Aluviirsan transforms one set of the Nether Scrolls into Quess Ar Teranthvar.[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 156. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (Encyclopedia Arcana). (TSR, Inc.), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Greg A. Vaughan, Skip Williams, Thomas M. Reid (November 2007). Anauroch: The Empire of Shade. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 102. ISBN 0-7869-4362-9.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  6. Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  7. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 40. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  8. Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 81. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  9. Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  10. Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  11. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 156–157. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 157. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  13. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  14. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 29. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  15. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 8–9. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  16. Greg A. Vaughan, Skip Williams, Thomas M. Reid (November 2007). Anauroch: The Empire of Shade. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 124. ISBN 0-7869-4362-9.

Further readingEdit

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