Book of Beastliness
The adventurers approached the town of Slog just before nightfall. There appeared to be a great commotion in the center of town, Chalk and the others hurried to see what was happening.
Chained to a large stone block was a hideous, demonic looking figure that snarled and clawed at the crowd. Next to it lay a beautifully inlaid book.
Koram drew his Crystal Sword.
“You cannot slay our good mayor!” one of the yokels shouted.
The fighter stood perplexed.
“We just need the curse removed! Every year one of us tries reading the interesting facts in the book to the others without changing. This year the mayor drew the winning lot, but was unable to read very much before becoming this hideous creature,” explained a foppish man dressed as a wizard. “Sadly the mayor started reading before we realized that our town’s priest was taking tribute to the king.”
Valance rolled up his sleeves and grinned greedily. Dozens of tiny spiders crawled higher up the cleric’s arm.
“Need a curse removed?” asked the priest of the Spider God. “How much gold have you got?”
A curiously cursed item, perhaps a cruel joke of mischievous deities, the Book of Beastliness appears as a thick and heavy book. To anyone that can read the book appears to be filled with strange, outlandish knowledge, the kind that titillates and amuses. Strange creatures, horrific rituals and odd gods are described in lurid detail.
Benefit: This vile book, while appearing innocuous and informative, actually grants very little knowledge; the information is illusory and comes from what interests the reader. Those who can read will find the book to be very interesting, to the point of distraction (-2 on all initiative and observation rolls due to trying to put the thing down) and within 1d4 days one of the following will happen upon a failed save versus spell-like devices at -2:
The reader while develop a strange face that is bestial in some way; goat-like, rat-like, devoid of features (although sense are not affected) or in any way unnerving. (-2 Charisma)
The one distracted by the book develops a nervous shake and stutter when the book is not in hand. (-2 Dex)
Broken bones: The body of the reader becomes twisted, as if the bones were broken and remade awkwardly. (-2 Con, -2 Dex)
Horrific appearance: The reader becomes transformed into an eerie creature with a demonic or beastman appearance and becomes savage and unruly. (-2 Wisdom, -4 Charisma)
A Remove Curse, Limited Wish, Wish or Alter Reality spell will return the victim to normal.
Usable by: Anyone who can read.