The Book of Unbinding
Physical Appearance: The book’s 290 pages of paper rest safely between its polished covers of meteoric rock. Alien veins of colorful cosmic matter give the book a reflective property.
Background: The lustful court astrologer, Berthiume di Miazza, wrote this unusual book less than two decades ago. Originally intended as a collection of love poetry, the spurned Berthiume instead created this cataclysmic collection of dire prophecies aimed directly at the former object of his affection, Vernadette di Luna. Sickly and ill tempered from birth, Berthiume’s father, the influential and wealthy nobleman, Leonardo di Miazza, quickly surmised that his only son’s future lay in the development of his mind rather than his frail frame. He enrolled Berthiume in the local university where the clever, but introverted, boy excelled at his studies, especially in the field of astrology. Unfortunately, his quick wit and able mind also bred an acerbic tongue, inhibiting his ability to socialize with his peers. Regardless of his social shortcomings, the intelligent young man graduated his university as its valedictorian and with his father’s assistance, he secured the position of court astrologer. Despite his initial success, the introspective and lonely young man grew despondent as he watched his peers meet and marry their respective loves. In time, Berthiume resigned himself to his solitary fate, thrusting himself completely into his official duties. However, the arrival of Vernadette drastically altered his perception.
Vernadette, a beautiful and aspiring astrologer in her own right, became Berthiume’s apprentice. At first, Berthiume attempted to suppress his feelings for the attractive young lady, butb eventually her charm and grace withered his resolve. The two began a passionate romance with the tacit approval of Leonardo and the king. As the months passed, Berthiume decided to propose to his lovely apprentice. Hoping to present his betrothed with an engagement gift, the fledgling poet began writing a book of poetry dedicated to Vernadette. After a few weeks of intense and secretive labor, the enraptured Berthiume completed his volume of sonnets and odes. However, Vernadette’s family loathed the intelligent but physically weak astrologer. Without her approval, Vernadette’s father arranged her marriage to a brash, young lieutenant in the kingdom’s cavalry unit. Unable to confront her true love with this horrific news, Vernadette fled the court and dutifully obeyed her father’s wishes.
When the enraged Berthiume discovered the truth, he cast his book of poetry into the fire, watching the pages crackle in its embers. However, the book’s cover remained unscathed. Dripping with venomous hatred, the spiteful and dejected Berthiume retrieved the surprisingly cool book from the fire and began the task of authoring his weapon of vengeance, The Book of Unbinding. A year later, Berthiume emerged from his solitude, bearing his completed masterpiece. Intend on achieving his revenge and armed with his terrible book, the spiteful Berthiume sought Vernadette’s father and husband. Driven by the book’s dire power, Berthiume literally tore them asunder. Proud of his grisly accomplishment,
Berthiume convinced himself that nothing stood between him and Vernadette. Yet, unknown to Berthiume, Vernadette and her father agreed to divorce her philandering and abusive husband and return to marry Berthiume. Although initially elated by his sudden and unexpected appearance, his ghoulish deeds sickened the innocent Vernadette. Overwhelmed by the tragic and shocking loss of her father and the malevolent transformation of her only love, Vernadette took her own life. Unmoved by her melancholy death, the amoral Berthiume resumed his career as court astrologer where he and his dreadful book remain to this very day.
Powers: The Book of Unbinding confers the following abilities upon its reader:
- Twice per day, the reader may cast ice storm as if she were a 20th level sorcerer.
- Once per day, the reader may teleport without error as if she were a 20th level sorcerer.
- Once per day, the reader may cast meteor swarm as if she were a 20th level sorcerer.
- Once per day, the reader may unleash a crackling black ray at one living creature within 300 feet. The ray strikes its target as a ranged touch attack. Any creature hit by the ray must roll a successful Fortitude save (DC 19) or the ray tears their body asunder instantly killing them. Even if the saving throw is successful, the creature stillsustains 5d6 points of damage.
Curse: Born from the dark recesses of space, sunlight inflicts 1d4 points of damage per round to its reader. Furthermore, the book’s reader is incapable of loving anyone else, instantly converting her alignment to neutral evil. The book’s tremendous cosmic energy also warps and distorts its owner’s physiology causing 1d6 points of Constitution damage. Ridding oneself of the book does not restore her alignment or emotional state.
Destruction: Scratching the book’s pages with a new bride’s ring negates the book’s powers for one day. Melting the wedding bands of a newly arried couple and pouring them onto its pages permanently destroys the book. The bride and groom may be married for no more than one lunar cycle; otherwise it has no effects. A successful Knowledge (Arcana) or (Astrology) check (DC 33) reveals this fact.
Caster Level: 20th