Books of Communication Item in Istralar | World Anvil

Books of Communication

I spent a while working on these. Use them wisely.
  In a world as large and populous as Istralar, having a method of communicating across great distances is an incredibly valuable tool. For years, mages have found ways to do so - through scrying and other divinations, through enchantments and thought-links, and through conjured portals and teleportation. Some have taken the souls of the dead and turned them into messengers, others have reached out to the gods.   Galasthin has a system of teleporting arrows for conveying their messages; Gildómar makes use of the Iceflows and celestial summons in most urgent times. Medimia relies on a coded network of transmissions and whispers fuelled by divination. The Aletheian Empire has had many methods in the past, but with the ascension of Emperor Aneirin (or Cyne, as his friends know him), they have gained one of the most effective.   The Books of Communication, named simply for their primary function, are the result of a research project undertaken by Cyne during his time with the Lost Ones and thereafter. With the assistance of numerous powerful spellcasters across both arcane and divine borders, Cyne has been able to imbue sets of plain books with powerful ties to divination and conjuration to allow near-instant transmission of text to paired books so long as a given key is provided.   In layman's terms, the books send messages to one another based on the information written in said message. The name written at the top of a given page is the desired recipient of the message; the name signed at the bottom is who it's sent by. Only names encoded by Cyne or another person with equal access to the ledger all books are linked to (such as Liese Celadrion) can be utilised; others will simply cause the message to be magically erased from the page.  

History and Uses

You let them take your book? Do you realise how much they're worth? We're going to need to go and get it. Such a shame you managed to get it stolen by one of their soldiers, right? Do you think anyone'll notice if we just send a cloudkill through the-- okay, fine, send a squadron to that location and just wipe them out normally.
— Cyne
  The books were initially constructed for use by and with the Lost Ones, due to their close relationships with Cyne and vital importance to the realm. All members of the party are champions of various gods, and chief among them all is Ashlyn Alarian - long-lost princess of the Empire from a thousand years past, returned to the modern day by a sheer miracle. Naturally, when separated from the group due to his own duties, Cyne wished to keep in touch with them.   Liese Celadrion, High Priestess Aetha Tinuval, Thrinda Flametongue and a few other key mages of Cyne's acquaintance were consulted when initially drafting up the Books, though the initial final product was still mostly Cyne's own work. Liese later spent significant time on the project with Cyne to augment the books past the limits he'd thought impassable - her planar expertise allowed them to adjust the sending parameters of the books to work for liquids and some items placed within. An upgraded version to allow all item transfer is understood to be possible, but due to exertion on the wearer - due to the required consumption of significant power, mythical or otherwise - these have not been shared.   The War of Empires and Cyne's ascension to Emperor forced him to share the technology with greater numbers than he'd expected. He set up sub-networks and security protocols across his ledger and restricted access to himself via the books, all the while aware and greatly worried that the Lost Ones had disappeared from contact shortly after experiencing time issues (which they communicated to him and others through use of the books). They became a definitive tool in the war effort, one that Medimia's own methods of transmission could not contest. To this day, they have not been duplicated, and remain vital in the ongoing war.   Aside from the Lost Ones and members of the Eagle's Shadows, a number of significant persons across Aletheia and the world now have access to the communication network. The Kingdom of the Galasthin Elves and Gothadrun, as close allies of Aletheia, both have books within members of their high diplomatic branches; Galasthin has also received further books due to the unique situation of Talindë Ae'tharis, and due to the connections between Commander Lyadrí An'thimael and the Champions.   Books have previously fallen into fell hands - so long as Cyne is informed, this is not an issue. The book in question can be isolated and scried upon through the ledger, and through that, the thief can be dealt with. This has been used to great effect by the Shadows for assassination, particularly in the Medimian Empire - an attempted theft and smuggling led to the extermination of an entire Medimian research lab, greatly injuring that facet of the Amethystine Regiment and intercepting certain Medimian research for the Aletheian war effort.  
Write to me as soon as you can. I want to know you're okay, alright?
— Cyne to the Lost Ones

Manufacturing process

Each book is a feat in magical engineering. The base books themselves are prepared by an Aletheian bookmaker as completely mundane books with unprinted pages, though all are constructed to be durable and well-made, with genuine bindings in leather, expensive paper for the pages, and satin bookmarks built in.   The magical process is far more involved. Each book needs to be linked to the essential base ledger hidden within Cyne's personal demiplane; the exact process for this is a well-kept secret, but involves the books being soaked in an odd lightless liquid vat whilst Cyne inscribes certain runes and enchantments. Once a book's existence is linked, the enchantments for messages can be placed - due to how often this is needed nowadays, Cyne has both a team of assistants (drawn from his allies in the Shadows, instead of from the Empire) and a set of staves imbued with the right spells. The process can take as long as twelve hours per book, but oftentimes can be reduced through extra workers or through extreme exertion.   Finally, a series of spells must be programmed into the book through runic inscription. This is the most involved part of the process and requires not only special inks for the runes, but the use of ritual magic and spellcasting in conjunction to attune the books correctly. Once finished, the only remaining step is for Cyne to link the book to a particular section of the network, after which it may be used by any encoded within.   Certain books do have additional security procedures placed on them, such as being sectioned off into subnetworks. A Shadows spy with access to a book for operational purposes would not, for instance, be able to contact a Champion unless given prior access - and in general, Cyne has prohibited his own name from being accessed by almost anyone.
Year of Invention
Item type
Book / Document
Related Technologies
Owning Organization
Controlled - production carefully monitored
Base Price
Raw materials & Components
One (1) book per; significant quantities of spell components (exact details unrecorded for security purposes inks and liquids needed for imbuing process.
Access to ledger; ability to cast arcane spells; runic carving tools. Other tools kept secret for security purposes.


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Jan 1, 2021 15:06 by Michael Chandra

Let me write you a text, okay? ;)

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Jan 1, 2021 15:12 by Han

Heeee. In-game, the players @ people like it's Discord!

welcome to my signature! check out istralar!
Jan 3, 2021 01:35 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love this idea, and I really like how you've described the process to make one of these books.   I hope none of the messages have ever devolved into rude drawings!

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jan 3, 2021 11:02 by Han

I truly hate to break your heart, I really do x] The group's halfling was putting on a ring to give her.. a not-so-little something extra and then tracing its outline in her book at one point to send to her boy of the time!

welcome to my signature! check out istralar!
Jan 3, 2021 14:21 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

LOL. Typical party.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet