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The Nether Scrolls was the name given to a certain set of fifty scrolls that dealt with fundamental magic theory.[2] They were also known as the Golden Skins of the World Serpent.[1]

DescriptionEdit

The Nether Scrolls were a set of small scrolls that described fundamental magical theory.[2] Two sets were known to exist, one set older and more tarnished than the other.[3]

The contents were written over fifty scrolls divided into five chapters, each consisting of ten scrolls. Each scroll was made of a precious metal, namely gold[2] or platinum,[4] made flexible like paper[2] with silvery letters floating upon the surface. Each time a page was read, new knowledge appeared, allowing the scroll to contain more information than the small size should have allowed.[2] When a reader gained sufficient understanding, re-reading the scrolls provided additional knowledge and information. There did not seem to be any limit to the amount of information one scroll could contain,[4] although the amount of knowledge contained wasn't endless, it would still require an entire month to read through.[2] No destructive magics could affect the scrolls. They could be physically destroyed, but would always reform themselves eventually.[3]

InfluenceEdit

The Nether Scrolls were among the most influential artifacts in Faerûn.[4] In fact, in the 14th century DR, a good portion of the sum of magical knowledge on Toril was based on the theory described in these scrolls. Shreds of its knowledge were known by every mage in one fashion or the other with varying degrees of completeness.[2]

Humans from Netheril 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.[5] After the discovery, the Netherese started to base their magic on the scrolls' theory, instead of the elves', for their magic followed inferior standards.[6] After the discovery of the Nether Scrolls, the arcane might of Netheril increased immeasurably.[5] They learnt to craft mythallar[7] and left their former mentors, the elves, behind in power, albeit only for a short time before their fall[8] due to Karsus's Folly.[9]

Known ScrollsEdit

While the Nether Scrolls had no direct magical powers, they provided a vast body of supply of arcane knowledge.[4]

The tomb of Hsssthak once contained Nether Scrolls known to the ancient elves to contain a pair of spells that could allow lizardfolk to gain much power and prestige.[10] These scrolls contained the awaken intelligence and alter beast spells.[11]

As mentioned above, every mage, knowing or not, based their magic on the theory of the Nether Scrolls. Reading the ten scrolls that made up a chapter gave a reader comprehensive and holistic knowledge that expressed itself in special permanent abilities.[12]

ChaptersEdit

The five chapters were:

Arcanus Fundare
The chapter "Foundations of Magic" was about fundamental magic. It gave the reader an instant boost to their spells' effectiveness and magical skill matching and/or surpassing that of true masters, but no additional base magical power.[2]
Magicus Creare
The chapter "Spells of Creation" was about magic item creation. Reading it provided the user with the ability to create new magic items and the ability to create any magic item with less expenditure of one's essence.[13]
Maior Creare
The chapter "Major Creation" dealt also with the creation of magic items but with the focus on constructs. It made the reader not only understand how to construct constructs but also how to reliably create them at top quality without any fluctuation.[13]
Planus Mechanus
The chapter "Studies of the Planes" dealt with the planes and allowed the reader to use plane shift and to not suffer any negative effects from other planes' environments.[13]
Ars Factum
The chapter "Of the Creation of Artifacts" Its contents were unknown, though naturally it was suspected to deal with making artifacts. This chapter's scrolls required some kind of key to be read, but it was never discovered.[13]

HistoryEdit

In around −30,000 DR, the Nether Scrolls[5] or, as they were then known, the Golden Skins of the World Serpent,[1] were created in Oreme[5] 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.[4]

In −3533 DR, the Netherese discovered the scrolls amid the ruins of Aryvandaar.[6]

In −3095 DR, the elves of Cormanthyr stole one set of the Nether Scrolls and hid it away in Windsong Tower.[14]After then at an unknown date, Tyvollus Aluviirsan transformed one set of the Nether Scrolls into the Quess'Ar'Teranthvar.[15]

In −2436 DR, seven of Netheril's remaining Nether Scrolls were stolen by an unknown thief and returned to several creator race ruins: three were returned to the Hall of Mists, two to the Crypt of Hssthak, and two were taken to an unknown location.[16]

In −1896 DR, a band of thieves stole 24 parts of the Nether Scrolls from the chambers of Ioulaum. Frightened of discovery, they mashed the scrolls into golden lumps and sold them.[17]

In −664 DR, the remaining Nether Scrolls are stolen en route to Eileanar (Karsus Enclave).[18][19]

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 156. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (Encyclopedia Arcana). (TSR, Inc.), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 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.
  6. 6.0 6.1 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.
  7. Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  8. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 40. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  9. Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 81. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  10. Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  11. Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  12. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 156–157. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 157. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  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. 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.
  16. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  17. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 8–9. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  18. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  19. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 10. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.

Further ReadingEdit

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