Monday, September 4, 2023

7 Grimoires and Lost Texts

Libri Pontificales
Latin, ~290 BCE

A record of the names, prayers, and sacrificial rites of every god known to republican-era Rome. This copy contains 2155 entries, many of which are written in shorthand and contain nothing beyond name(s), altar type, sacrifice, and holy day. Language is obtuse and archaic, with some older passages lapsing into Etruscan.

  • Make Contact - Regardless of deity, the rituals follow the same transactional outline of sacrifice and request. The difficulty lies in deciphering the procedures, procuring the correct offering, and correctly identifying the subject.

Monster Manuela
English, 1977

A copy of the Monster Manual for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. "Happy 12th birthday, Manuella!" is written on the inside front cover in faded blue pen. Book contains copious marginal notes and annotations, most of which are the mundane but enthusiastic commentary of a teenage dungeon master.

  • Door to the Roots of Zan - It works best on cellar doors, basement doors, on doors unused or long-locked. Doors to rooms that have no windows. The passage was always there, you just lacked the means to see it.

The Dzyan Dissection
English, ~1990s

A 3-ring binder containing several hundred pages of the writings of Helena Blavatsky; the text has been annotated with terse, matter-of-fact commentary pointing out every contradiction, inconsistancy, unsubstantiated claim, logical fallacy, historical untruth, and theological misconception in the text, leading to a commentary several times longer than the source text itself.

  • Null - Fully laid bare by the anonymous redactor, the combined ontological weight of the source text's inaccuracy will dissipate any true occult workings it comes in close contact with. Rituals will fail, enchantments will fizzle out, the anomalous will be rendered mundane. Mild effects will occur within 3 meters, substantial effects at 1 meter, and total obliteration of the unnatural elements when touched.

Last Great Dangerous Visions

English, 2037 (alleged); 1985 (first documented copy)

Short story collection of trangressive science fiction. 28/47 authors are extant individuals, though none have any record or memory of writing the stories contained within. The remaining 19 authors are of unknown ontological status.

Only the copyright page, index, and titles are readable: the rest has been redacted. Still, those who have come into contact with the book or learned of its existence will vouch for the contents' status as haunting, grotesque, transgressive, taboo, and other such adjectives. When pressed about the contents, reponses will be vague; those that contain any meaningful description of the contents will bear no correlation with any other account. Reconstructions of the stories remains unlikely.

  • Anomalous properties unknown. 

Book of the Waters
Ge'ez, ~1410s

Fragmentary apocryphal text regarding a vision delivered to an unnamed hermit, wherein an angel elaborates in great detail the spirits of the abyssal oceans. The hermit, not believing these claims, demands that the angel show him; the angel does so, again in great detail. Multiple sections of the text are repeated word-for-word. The hermit comes to deeply regret his descision, a repentence that the angel has no intention of acknowledging (not while there are yet more varieties of horrific snaggletoothed fish to catalogue)

  • Abyssal Familiar - A spirit not entirely unlike a gulper eel is bound to the text. It will act as typical for a bound familiar, though its cunning and appetite are a measure more than most.


Itadakimasu, Kyoko-chan!
Japanese, 2019

A slice-of-life story about teenagers starting a cooking club which, upon close reading, contains detailed subtextual directions on the creation of a philosopher's stone. Only known copy is an omnibus edition of the first three volumes, leaving the remaining nine steps unknown.

  • The Great Work (Partial) - The first three steps are sufficient to create a lesser homunculus. It can only follow basic commands, and will dissolve into a slurry of its component materials within hours, but it will suffice.

Meat and Honey
Akkadian, ~1600s BCE

Series of clay tablets containing an incomplete translation of the Homestuck epilogues. Creative liberties have been taken with the text, including a diatribe by Karkat about his negative experiences with the copper merchant Ea-Nasir and a lengthy aside describing an argument between scribes over Vriska's moral status, inserted in a section that did not contain the character in question.

  • Anomalous properties unknown.


  1. Last one courtesy of HMTW and the fact that Ea-Nasir will always be funny.

    1. Everybody (ie. a tiny nerdy circle of us) loves a good Late-Bronze Age business letter joke...

  2. The secret to Last Great Dangerous Visions is that its occult potency rises the closer in time, space, and culture it gets to the late-60's Californian sci-fi milieu.
    If you could somehow get a copy into the dreamworld of Harlan Ellison in 1966 the results would be apocalyptic - hence his subconscious drive to sabotage its predecessor.

    1. Dangerous Visions is a book that would actually be improved if all copies were lost, and we only had its reputation.

  3. The Dzyan Dissection seems like the most powerful and sought-after thing listed, Meat and Honey is the most unsettling for a number of reasons and I would love to throw this into a modern Call of Cthuluhu game.