By means of read magic, the caster could read magical inscriptions on objects such as books, scrolls, weapons, and the like, that would otherwise be unintelligible. This deciphering did not normally invoke the magic contained in the writing, although it might do so in the case of a cursed scroll. Furthermore, once the spell was cast and the caster had read the magical inscription, he or she was thereafter able to read that particular writing without recourse to the use of read magic. The caster could read at the rate of one page (250 words) per minute. The spell allowed the caster to identify a glyph of warding.
According to the Book of the Silver Talon, the ingredients for the ink used to inscribe read magic into spellbooks was: one ounce of giant squid sepia, one large sapphire, a drop of blood from the writer, a pinch of earth, a sprinkle of water and either one powdered carbuncle, a large rock crystal, the eye of an eagle, two eyes of a falcon or a fist-sized blue quartz.
The rocks and gems had to be powdered with a mortar and combined with the blood, water and earth. This mixture was heated in a crucible at night when the Tears of Selûne were visible at night. Once cooled, it was mixed with the sepia and stored in a vial or other container.
- Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (August 2000). Player's Handbook 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1551-4.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 62–66. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 269. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
- ↑ James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), p. 57. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 137. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
- ↑ Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), p. 180. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
- ↑ slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 18, 121–122. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Ed Greenwood, Tim Beach (1995). Pages from the Mages. (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-0183-7.