Secrets of the Dreaming Dark
Secrets of the Dreaming Dark is an anonymous work originating from late in the Age of Darkness, when the void between the stars had never been deeper. Its pages, written in dense Aklo, have been transcribed numerous times, but never completely. Many of these incomplete copies of the book still exist, but only seven complete copies of the original (itself long lost) are thought to still survive. All seven copies are bound in identical midnight-black shantak leather. Complex star charts, tangled equations, and baffling maps of strange worlds disrupt the text, along with painstakingly detailed images of the hideous creatures that dwell in and beyond the Dark Tapestry. Full comprehension of the text requires mastery of the Aklo tongue and years of toil, but the gist of its contents can be absorbed by spending 96 hours studying the tome and then succeeding at a DC 35 Linguistics check.
A complete copy of this book is considered a minor artifact, while incomplete versions are worth the total value of the components present.
Pages 1-195: Roughly the first half of the immense book is a tangled and often self-contradictory investigation into hundreds of worlds said to exist in or be touched by the Dark Tapestry. A fragment concerning the nehthalggu of the Dominion of the Black is the most detailed, yet even this section on their mysterious interstellar empire remains vague. Those who use this section of the book as a reference when attempting Knowledge checks related to the Dark Tapestry or its inhabitants (save the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods) gain a +10 bonus on such checks and can attempt such checks untrained.
This portion of Secrets of the Dreaming Dark is worth 10,000 gp.
Pages 196-239: This section of the book focuses on the manipulation and alteration of certain spells normally limited to the summoning of outsiders from other planes. When using this section of the book as a focus while casting planar ally, planar binding, their lesser and greater variants, or gate, the spellcaster can use the spell to instead conjure creatures from the Dark Tapestry. However, these pages offer little advice on how to protect oneself from such entities.
This section of the book is worth 5,000 gp.
Pages 240-281: This section of the book feels almost rushed, as if the unknown author were afraid of going into full detail on the subject, or perhaps feared offering too much information. These pages focus on the various Great Old Ones and Outer Gods associated with the Dark Tapestry, and can aid Knowledge checks concerning this subject as detailed above for the Dark Tapestry, save that the bonus granted is only +4.
This section of the book is worth 1,600 gp.
Pages 282-317: This section, composed mainly in haunting verse, compiles no less than 61 different dreams, apparently recorded from as many different subjects. Each dream features themes from the Dark Tapestry, and each entry is appended with a date and cause of death. While theories abound, no one has yet determined how these dates and deaths relate to the dreams themselves. If one studies these pages and then augments her next sleep with certain rare drugs, there is a small chance her mind will be touched by one of the entities or intelligences alluded to in the manuscript.
Most such visitations result in the dreamer taking 4d6 points of Intelligence drain, but in some rare cases (5% of instances) the dreamer wakens to find that her Intelligence score has permanently increased by 1d3 and she has permanently lost the ability to dream (preventing further use of this section of the book).
This portion of Secrets of the Dreaming Dark functions only in complete versions of the
book. In an incomplete volume, this section of the book is worth 2,000 gp.
Pages 318-371: This section of the book is the one that causes many spellcasters to seek out the tome. It contains dozens of strange, rare, and often dangerous arcane spells tied to the Dark Tapestry. Frustratingly, the spells in each of the seven existing copies are different, and often incomplete, forcing those who wish to learn them to acquire multiple copies of the book in order to reconstruct them.
The value of this section depends on the total scribing cost of the spells within (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook 219).
Pages 372-404: The final pages are the tome’s most maddening and mysterious, for here, in all surviving copies, an unknown hand has blotted out the majority of the words with a tenacious black ink that resists all attempts at removal by means both magic and mundane, and defies attempts to see through it. The only legible worse on these pages include “house,” “home,” and in one single case, “firmament” (this one word being the only word in the entire book written in red, whereas the rest of the book is written in black-this is also the only time the word firmament appears in the tome). Any strange secrets that lie hidden beneath the ink have yet to be revealed.