The cover of the book was made from a thin slab of slate bound in Amnian yoxen leather that was dyed a glossy black color. It was embossed with a pattern of a human and a dragon and had an oval plate on its center that had Bowgentle's personal rune. There were 53 sheets of vellum in the book, sewn into the spine with silk.
Bowgentle sought magical knowledge from many dangerous locations in Faerûn during his years. In his old age, the mage stopped by the School of Wonder, wrote down his spells, and shared them with the apprentices there. When Bowgentle died, and the Masters of the school learned of his passing, they ordered a compilation of his spells to be written and titled it Bowgentle's Book. It was closely guarded in the school's library.
Some years later, fiends attacked the school, slew the masters and most of the apprentices, and burned its walls and towers. Thieves looted the school, while it was still smoldering, and among their loot was Bowgentle's Book. Years later, it appeared in a cache of goods acquired by the master thief Vaerum in Scornubel and was accurately identified by the sage Laertilus. Vaerum's guild found itself in a "gray war" with another group of thieves and the spellbook vanished. Its whereabouts were unknown as of 1359 DR.
The banshee Agatha said, apparently truthfully, that she traded Bowgentle's Book to Tsernoth, a necromancer from Iriaebor some time before 1391 DR, but did not know the whereabouts of the book after that.[note 1]
The book's 53 pages contained many common and uncommon spells, two that were unique as of its publication and one that was crafted by Bowgentle himself. Three pages were dedicated to applications and preparations for the spell cantrip. These were the spells inscribed in the book: Affect normal fires • Cantrip • Hold portal • Identify • Mending • Read magic • Sleep • Continual light • Darkness, 15' radius • Detect evil • Detect invisibility • Dispel silence • ESP • Forget • Knock • Levitate • Locate object • Magic mouth • Rope trick • Strength • Wizard lock • Blink • Dispel magic • Fireball • Fly • Hold person • Infravision • Leomund's tiny hut • Lightning bolt • Protection from evil, 10' radius • Protection from normal missiles • Slow • Tongues • Water breathing • Bowgentle's fleeting journey (unique) • Charm monster • Confusion • Dimension door • Enchanted weapon • Fire shield • Minor globe of invulnerability • Polymorph other • Polymorph self • Remove curse • Wizard eye • Bigby's interposing hand • Cone of cold • Hold monster • Passwall • Wall of force