Magic Books of Faerûn

By Sean K Reynolds

Guildbook of the Watchful Order - (Volume 1: Spells from the "Watch Wizards" of Waterdeep)

This book is bound in brown leather, stitched in large purple silk thread, and marked with an upright white hand on the front cover. The vellum pages are edged with gold, and a leather bookmark hangs from the spine. The spine bears a white number "1" in Thorass.

Last Record: Bren Greycastle, Waterdhavian sorcerer, 7 Mirtul, 1373 DR.

Description: This book is about 1 foot square with sturdy leather covers sewn together with thick purple silk. The front cover bears an upright white hand symbol, identical to that on the livery of the Watchful Order of Magisters and Protectors, a guild in Waterdeep that hires itself out to protect the city from crime, fires, and other dangers. On the spine is the number "1" in Thorass runes, and its hue matches the white of the hand on the cover. The interior pages are high-quality vellum, inked in black and carefully illustrated with diagrams and pictures showing the material components and effects of the spells.

All of the text is in Chondathan with a Waterdhavian dialect. The cover page bears the title Guildbook of the Watchful Order, Volume 1, with the subtitle Exclusive Property of the Watchful Order of Magisters and Protectors, Waterdeep. The book appears well-handled but kept in very good condition; clearly this book has never been dragged through a dungeon or spent a long time moldering on a wizard's corpse somewhere in the wilderness.

History: The Watchful Order of Magisters and Protectors is a guild of arcanists that was formed in Waterdeep over fifty years ago. They hire themselves out to protect the city from dangers, particularly unruly spellcasters, and they encourage local and visiting mages to be prudent and conservative in their use of magic in public so that the people of Waterdeep will respect mages for their restraint rather than fearing them for their power. Over the years they have created or acquired a collection of nonlethal spells useful for detaining criminals inside the city without causing damage to property and innocent bystanders. These spells were eventually collected into a pair of books called the Guildbooks of the Watchful Order. Members of the guild are given access to the books so they can safely protect the city. Some believe that three copies of each of the two volumes exist: one kept at the guild headquarters, one kept in the home of the guildmaster (currently Mhair Szeltune, who has been guildmaster for over twenty years and is considering retiring soon), and one kept in a secret location.

The sorcerer Bren Greycastle was one of many young mages who grew up in Waterdeep and joined the Guild, serving his home city for several years as a Watch Wizard, occasionally delving into Undermountain in search of loot and glory. Bren is the most recent person to borrow the copy of Volume 1 kept in the guildhouse, and when he left with the other three members of his adventuring company, he apparently took the book with him, since it was not returned to the guildhouse. The guild is protective of its custom spells (as well as the other information the book contains; see below) and wants the book returned; senior members of the guild are using magic to track Bren's location, and as soon as he rests in a destination they are familiar with, they plan to use teleport to reach him and take back the book and bring him to Waterdeep on a thieving charge. If some other group finds Bren and the book before they do, the guild would be quite grateful if both are turned over, especially if it is done quietly.

Contents: The first ten pages of the book describe various portals in, under, and near Waterdeep known to the guild; these descriptions include all information about the portal that can be determined with an analyze portal spell. The guild magisters use these portals to get about the city in a hurry, such as when they need to converge on a disturbance.

The next four pages describe metamagic theory on how to convert an energy spell so that it deals nonlethal damage instead of normal damage (as per the Subdual Substitution spell from Tome and Blood, though in the D&D 3.5 it should be called Nonlethal Substitution). Many members of the Watch Wizards take this feat to let them utilize their damaging spells in a nonlethal way.

The remaining twenty-three pages describe fifteen arcane spells often used by the guild to subdue, detain, and incapacitate troublemakers without harm to locals and property. Two of the spells are new; the new spells are considered unusual spells, and any spellcaster who wishes to use them must first decipher them as described in the Arcane Magical Writings section of Chapter 10: Magic of the Player's Handbook.

The spells in the book are scribed in order of spell level and alphabetically within that spell level.

(Volume 2 is believed to be of similar length and hold the following spells, plus notes on other portals known to the guild: deep slumber, dispel magic, flashburst, hold person, ray of exhaustion, summon monster III, tongues, and arcane eye.)

Price: 1,150 gp (spellbook value only). As a reference for Waterdeep's portals it's easily worth another 1,000 gp. The guild is willing to pay an additional 1,000 gp over that value to get the book back in their hands (and they will use magic (such as contact other plane, legend lore, or vision, among others) to make sure no copies were made and to locate anyone who may have read it), or it grants the bearer approximately 4,000 gp worth of common spell scrolls.

Last Known Bearer: Bren Greycastle, Waterdhavian sorcerer

Bren grew up in Waterdeep, the son of a wealthy architect. Sending him to the best schools, his family expected him to become a scholar or city official, and they were quite surprised when his sorcerer talent manifested. The family arranged for Bren to be apprenticed to a retired member of the Watchful Order of Magisters and Protectors, who nurtured her young student in the subtler forms of magic and (based on comments he has made to his adventuring fellows) intimacy. Bren completed his apprenticeship and hired himself as a guard for middle aristocrats and wealthy merchants, eventually saving enough of his own money to fund a short expedition into Undermountain. That taste of adventure and dramatic magic sparked a hunger for more.

When he was more experienced, he joined the Watchful Order, more to please his mentor than of any great interest in the guild. He grew bored with the rather mundane and subdued uses of magic the guild practiced in the interest of protecting property and citizens, and longed for breaks from the guild when he could plan another sortie into Undermountain. He and his fellow delvers -- Doren Stonebreaker (a dwarf berserker) and Thol Darkwood (half-orc cleric of Tymora) -- made several successful trips to Faerûn's most dangerous dungeon, but these delves became less fun after a strange monster dragged off their scout. They hired a replacement (a gnome bard named Zel Whitehorn) and did a couple trips after that, but they began to look for less dangerous work (since Undermountain is lethal, and they were lucky).

When the group heard about a castle available from the crown of Cormyr, they set out for that land to try to acquire a free castle. Just before leaving, Bren borrowed the Guildbook to refresh his memory of what magic he might want to develop next. In the rush of packing and traveling, he didn't realize he had packed the Guildbook along with his own belongings, and he has no idea that the guild is after him for stealing their property. Bren was last seen in Arabel with Doren, Thol, and Zel, having failed in their bid to acquire castle E'undsul in the Stonelands from the regent of Cormyr. Bren's plans are unknown at this time, though it's likely he'll be looking for adventure and the opportunity to use destructive magic openly. The longer he is away, the guiltier he looks, and the angrier the guild becomes.

If confronted about the Guildbook, Bren is surprised to find he still had it and is happy to turn it over to anyone he believes is a trustworthy agent of the guild. He has no plans to return to Waterdeep in the next few months and does not want to make the long trek back to the western coast of Faerûn, though he would accept if one of the people pursuing him were willing to use teleport to get there so he could explain his case. He and his friends are more than competent adventurers, and if they are attacked by overzealous searchers, they'll respond in kind.

Bren Greycastle: Male human sorcerer 8; CR 8; Medium humanoid; HD 8d4+11; hp 31; Init +5; Spd 30 ft.; AC 12, touch 11, flat-footed 11; Base Atk +4; Grp +4; Atk or Full Atk +5 melee (1d4+1/19-20, +1 dagger) or +5 ranged (1d8/19-20, light crossbow); AL NG; SV Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +6; Str 10, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 18.

Skills and Feats: Bluff +10, Concentration +10, Diplomacy +7, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (arcana) +10, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +4, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +7, Knowledge (local) +4, Knowledge (nature) +3, Knowledge (religion) +3, Sleight of Hand+4, Spellcraft +10, Spot +2; Education (Knowledge [arcana], Knowledge [dungeoneering]), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness.

Sorcerer Spells Known (6/7/7/6/4 per day; caster level 8th): 0 -- daze (DC 14), detect magic, disrupt undead (ranged touch +5), light, mage hand, message, open/close (DC 14), read magic; 1st -- color spray (DC 15), disarm, hypnotism (DC 15), mage armor, true strike; 2nd -- detect thoughts (DC 16), Melf's acid arrow (ranged touch +5), resist energy; 3rd -- dispel magic, greater magic weapon; 4th -- fear (DC 18).

Possessions: Amulet of natural armor +1, +1 dagger, light crossbow with 50 bolts, cloak of Charisma +2, potion of cure moderate wounds, 758 gp.

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