Tome of Verbosity
SummaryA rather big tome for most humanoids, the covers and spine are made from a hardened alloy of palladium. Etched, curvaceous lines in sweeping arcs and wonderful spirals adorn them, and pulsing, yellow-tinted magical light hums through the lines. The tome's pages have a plastic-like texture despite their appearance of white, bleached parchment. As for the actual writings and drawings, the tome has a self-writing form of magical ink, its black letters accompanied by red underscores when necessary. Long ago, a delirious mage sought to catalog all his worldly knowledge, for old age had begun to steal it from him. He poured what was left of his life in crafting a 'perfect tome', able to store endless amounts of information that anyone wrote into it. The tome could then be told to summon the information to the reader, providing in exacting (and ever-more complex) detail. For a time, the tome did exactly as it was designed, which soon became a problem in the following centuries. As other scholars and great minds poured their knowledge into the tome, it began displaying ever increasing amounts of information. A simple one-page matter turned into two, then four, then eight, and so forth. The more generic the questions asked, the more the tome supplied to try and answer them. So began a tug-of-war between the users and the tome: to get actual answers, they had to ask more specific questions. The more specific the question, the more the tome tried to answer them. After centuries of such, the tome's relentlessly detailed and extensive responses began to drive people mad. It was, after all, doing as it was designed to do, but unfortunately it had no built in capability to stop. To try and do so would destroy the priceless knowledge entombed within its self-writing pages. Those who could extract answers and leave before being consumed became the caretakers of the tome. Invariably, they would become prey to it, but greater powers always desired something from it. In the last few centuries, a monastic order dedicated to knowledge would claim ownership of the tome. The venerable Order of the Lamp protects the tome in their vast library, forbidding any from delving its pages.
Mechanics & Inner Workings
The tome remembers everything written into and erased out of it. One must speak what they seek while it is closed, then open the tome. The information presented is self-ordering, typically in what the tome believes to be 'most-to-least' important. As one moves from page-to-page, the writings change to portray new information. When they reach 'the end', they return to the first pages again, but the order of information is different. If one imagined the pages as a view into one long, infinite scroll, they can begin to understand how the tome presents itself.
A notable artifact in the lands of Aerthen and Lophern for those who deal in scholarly or learned matters. The tome often serves as a cautionary tale on the effects of unbound magical artifacts. It was never an evil creation, it simply lacked limits--doing what it was designed to do. As such, it is often the grandfather piece to which most owe their safety precautions from.