[The Beast-Book] [Penagol]
Welcome, reader, to my work. Written upon these pages is a World hidden to the Tribes. Indeed, even the Eighth Tribe lives in ignorance of the world around them, sheltered by their Fallen City of Hom.
Outside the Tribes' solace lies dangers both known and secret. When hunting, did not your Teachers tell you of your preys' habits? Where the Deer stop and drink? Where Gray Bears left their scratchings and spoor? When the Sun disappeared and the Moon and your fires lit the Night, did not the Elders tell you of the nighttime Monsters? The Skullers, naught but rattling bone? The filthy Zoms, eyes aflame with Hatred for the Living?
What weight of Knowledge did they truly possess? Often only the greatest Hunters, those who learn what cannot be taught, truly Live through the eyes of their prey. But you? A Great Hunter? And what of that which cannot be hunted? The Horrors of the Z'Bri. The Swarms of the Scray. Who will teach you of they?
I will, reader. I will teach you, through my pages of words, of all the Creatures you know and even Beasts you may wish lived only in Dreams.
Be you an Urban dweller? Be you without knowledge of the World around you? Fear not, reader, for Alexia Beast-Writer's words will act as your guide and companion.
Introduction to Alexia Beast-Writer's Book of BeastsThe Words of Others
What of Alexia? The Beast-Writer? Seems she's making this book about all sorts of creatures, as if any good hunter couldn't tell you! And anyway, who around here can read but the Keepers? And they probably know it all already.
You want to meet her? Couldn't imagine what for, you don't look too tough. Just wait here for a month or two. See, at times she'll show up here in Hom looking for some folks willing to escort her through the Outlands or the Rust Wastes. Even a crazy like Alexia knows the wilds're full of danger, so she'll pay folks to help her out. In fact, last month one of her escort parties returned with a bag full of Relics! They said she'd led them into the Rust Wastes, left 'em alone for a week, and came back with that bag!
So if you want to get rich quick, a trip with Alexia couldn't hurt. But before you run off with your sword in the air, you'd do well to remember that half her parties don't come back. The Fatimas only know what happens to 'em out there in the wilds, so you watch your back!
Jeran of HomThe Beast-Book
Truth be told, Alexia's Beast-Book is actually a set of journals gathered in one place. Alexia keeps them in a secret cache hidden beneath the Rust Wastes, about two clicks from the Keepers' stronghold, Olympus. If she can be persuaded to sell some of her knowledge, she needs to take the journals to Olympus where the Keepers will copy them in black ink onto slick-surfaced paper. This is a very expensive endeavor, and currently there are two places in Hom where Keeper duplicates of the Beast-Book may be read: The Sepulcher, home of Veruka the Wraith [see T8:104,109]; and protected beneath the Cage [see T8:108] in what some call the Vaults.
Each original journal contains Alexia's field notes and any later observations on the various inhabitants of Vimary. Some creatures, like raccoons and field mice, fill only a single journal. Others, such as zoms and wolves, can take up five or more with constant additions. The copies in the Sepulcher and beneath the Cage are arranged nearly identically to the originals, while the Weaver should decide on the quality and content of any other collections.
Access to the originals is extremely difficult, given Alexia's demeanor. Veruka the Wraith allows trusted visitors to see her copies, and the Librarian escorts the curious into the Vault. Both people allow the journals to be transcribed, encouraging a donation for the privilege.
Aside from the Keepers and Alexia herself, only Deus [see T8:106] has seen the original Beast-Book and will readily obtain a Keeper duplicate for a high enough price (the collection kept by Veruka was originally purchased by Deus). He will never disclose the location of Alexia's hidden cache beneath the Rust Wastes.
Alexia was raised to be a record-keeper in Magdalen's Diplomat Guild, taught the valuable skills of literacy and observation. Her poor social skills and horrid scars (she was the sole survivor of a scray swarm attack in her youth) led the Diplomats to guide her into the role of scribe. She learned quickly, not only keeping official records, but stealing materials so she could compose her own works. Alexia and an entire band of Diplomats disappeared on a diplomatic excursion into Squat territory. Her sudden appearance weeks later, claiming to be the sole-survivor of a Z'bri attack, coupled with the Guild's discovery of her sizable cache of stolen material, led to Alexia's exile. She now belongs to the ranks of the Fallen, often retreating for weeks at a time into the wilderness for her studies. At times she makes vague references to a Mentor, but any attempt to pursue the topic is met with silence and a cold stare.
Highlights: Condescending, impersonal, intellectual.
Attributes: APP -2, BLD -1, CRE +1, INF -1, KNO +2, PER +1, WIL -1
Secondary Traits: STA 20, UD 2, AD 3
Eminences: Conflict and Recognition
Skills: Animal Handling 1/+1, Archery 1/0, Camouflage 2/+1, Etiquette 1/-1, Lore (Z'Bri) 1/+2, Lore (Animal) 3/+2, Melee 1/0, Notice (Tracking) 2/+1, Sneak 2/0, Survival 1/+1, Read/Write (Tribal) 2/+2, Synthesis 1
Not much is known of the Librarian, save his current role as custodian of Hom's Vaults. He lives within the Vaults below the Cage, relying on the charity of others for sustenance. The tattoos on his forehead openly declare him as a Keeper, but the rest of his past is kept secret. Though the Librarian reveals nothing of his origins, he readily shares any information contained in the Vaults. Spending most of his time underground, the Librarian hobbles from shelf to shelf organizing, reading and rereading books. There are even some information-storing Relics kept, though most people suspect he gives anything of true value to the Keepers.
An approachable wellspring of knowledge, the Librarian is one of the most sought after citizens of Hom, provided the visitor brings a bite to eat or something new for the shelves.
Highlights: Friendly, open.
Attributes: AGI -2, BLD -1, CRE +1, FIT -1, INF +1, KNO +3, PER +1
Secondary Traits: STR -1, STA 20, UD 1, AD 1
Skills: Craft (Bookbinding) 1/+1, Forgery 2/+1, Investigation 2/+1, Read/Write (Tribal, Fanzay, Gaelish) 1/+3, Read/Write (Keepspeak) 2/+1, Speak (Tribal, Fanzay, Gaelish) 1/+3, Teaching 1/+1, Techlore (Electronics) 2/+3, Technosmithing (Remembrance) 1/+3