Magic Books of Faerun
Tar'Ael Veluuthra
(Whetstone of the Blade)
By Sean K Reynolds

A thin, strong vine ties together this collection of half-circular papers. An oil of some sort keeps the cover, which is a large, dried leaf folded along the center, supple enough to bend without cracking. Scratched into the front cover is a circle of Espruar characters. The whole thing looks like it is normally rolled up and carried in a scroll tube.

Last Record: Threlya Dlardrageth, fey'ri scout, outside Evereska, 5 Alturiak, 1371 DR.

Description: The book's cover is a particularly large green leaf from a silverbark tree (known for its large oval leaves) folded in half along the central vein. The Espruar characters on the front spell out the book's name in Elven. Its few pages are sewn to the spine with a thin vine. The whole book has a gentle bend to it as if it is normally kept coiled in a roll (back cover on the inside) and carried in a scroll tube.

The pages are made from plant pulp soaked in water, beaten into a mush, and dried on flat pieces of wood. (They retain faint remnants of the drying surface's texture.) The writing on the pages is in a delicate elven hand, written in the Elven tongue with pleasant aromatic ink. While it possesses no cover page, the first page has a sentence above the first spell:

"May we drive the cursed vermin from our blessed land, may they despoil it no longer with their sweat, axes, and blood."

The back cover of the book radiates magic (faint transmutation).

History: The Eldreth Veluuthra is a secret group of elves who wish to eradicate all humans from Faerūn. Having seen how humans treat each other, elves, and the plants and animals of the world, these extremist elves see no other way to preserve their chosen land than to commit genocide. To this end, they gather in small cells and make deadly ambushes on human settlements, scouts, and other folks who stray too near elven territory. Though their attacks have done little so far to deter human expansion, the Eldreth Veluuthra (the name means "Victorious Blade of the People" in Elven) are undaunted. (More information on this group is in the book Lords of Darkness.)

Most elves consider the Eldreth Veluuthra an embarrassment and don't acknowledge their existence; in fact, few humans know about this secret group (though the Harpers have clashed with them many times). Because of their unpopular ideas, the extremists meet in secret to teach each other the ways of stealth and the best techniques for eliminating humans without being discovered. To this purpose, one of the wizards of the group wrote a spellbook he calls the Tar'Ael Veluuthra, or "Whetstone of the Victorious Blade." In this book he copied key arcane spells of stealth, spying, and maneuverability, so that it could be passed from cell to cell and educate other members of this group. He also included a secret magic on the back cover with the keys to crafting human-bane arrows. Others may have duplicated this book and its special magic, and nobody knows how many copies exist. (None know how old the original book is, though mentions of it in journals and other notes appear as early as 1345 DR). Certainly the spells within it are valuable, though human churches and nonhumans who don't hold the same grudge as the Eldreth Veluuthra might object to the discovery and use of the back cover's formula.

The current bearer is a fey'ri named Threlya Dlardrageth. Most recently someone spotted her outside of Evereska (well before it was attacked by the phaerimm), afraid to enter the elven sanctuary for fear of the elves discovering her true nature. While waiting outside the city wall, she was approached by the Green Blades of Corellon, a group of elven adventurers. She mistook one of them for Herianamae, and when they pointed out her mistake, she blurted out a question about the Eldreth Veluuthra. This caused some alarm among the Blades, and she panicked, assuming her winged form and fleeing into the forest. Though the identity of the "demonic flying elf" is not known, the Blades circulated her description among Evereskan elves (and presumably the survivors of the attack on the city would remember their story and her description).

Contents:Tar'Ael Veluuthra contains the following arcane spells in order:

  • clairaudience/clairvoyance
  • climb (new spell*, see below)
  • expeditious retreat
  • invisibility
  • jump
  • message

*This spell is an unusual spell as noted on pages 54, 179, and 180 of the Player's Handbook. Sorcerers, druids, and rangers can learn the spell only if they research it independently or obtain a written copy of the spell.

The back cover has a special ability. If someone drips blood from the heart of a freshly-killed human (dead no more than 10 minutes) on the outside back cover, the blood twists to form Elven letters spelling out a magic item formula. If the instructions are followed, the formula allows a spellcaster to craft up to six +1 human-bane arrows over the next 8 hours, as if he had the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat. For each arrow to be crafted the character must provide a masterwork arrow, 160 gp worth of materials, and 7 XP. He does not have to meet any other prerequisites (such as caster levels, prerequisite spells, and so on); the words of the ritual and the human blood provide the rest of the necessary power to craft the arrows. All other rules for crafting magic items apply (the character cannot be interrupted, and so on). Each freshly killed human can activate the book only once and the blood from that human can create up to six +1 human-bane arrows only. After the crafter uses the formula to craft arrows, or if 8 hours have passed, the blood-writing fades and the crafter must use another human heart's blood to activate it again.

Each time someone activates the magic formula, it takes into account local fluctuations in the Weave and the amount of innate power stored within the blood of the slain human. If copied from the back of the spellbook, the formula is useless because each human's blood is different, and the ebb and flow of the Weave makes each ritual unique. The ritual provides no benefit to anyone who already has the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat, although the arrows it creates are equivalent to those created with the feat and such a character could use the feat to add additional enhancement bonuses or weapon properties to the arrows. The ritual does not allow a character to create anything other than +1 human-bane arrows, and it does not allow a character to add enhancement bonuses or the human-bane property to existing magic arrows.

Climb
Transmutation
Level: Drd 1, Rgr 1, Sor/Wiz 1
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature touched
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes

The subject gets a +10 enhancement bonus on Climb checks. The enhancement bonus increases to +20 at caster level 5th, and to +30 (the maximum) at caster level 9th. Unlike with spider climb, this does not allow the target to climb on ceilings, and it does not give her a Climb speed.

Material Component: A drop of tree sap or equally sticky material.

Price: 1,200 gp, though as a spellbook the tome is worth only 450 gp. Few characters would be willing to pay the full price if they already can craft magic arrows. Few buyers of good alignment would be willing to buy the book even if they didn't plan to make any arrows of human slaying (except, perhaps, to get the book out of circulation).

Last Known Bearer: Threlya Dlardrageth, fey'ri (daemonfey) scout.

(More information on the daemonfey, an exiled house of evil noble elves who have crossbred with demons to produce fey'ri and half-fiend elves, is in Lords of Darkness. Fey'ri originally appeared in Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerūn and were presented as a PC race in Races of Faerūn.

Threlya is a fey'ri, a third-generation fiend-tainted sun elf, born of a half-fiend elf father and a gold elf mother. She spent centuries imprisoned in a magical slumber, bound with her kin by outraged elves who discovered their demonic breeding. Freed when Hellgate Keep was destroyed, the fey'ri have remained in hiding, knowing that their numbers are too few to survive should elves or other demon-hating groups discover them. Threlya is the youngest grandchild of the leader of the daemonfey, and her family has put her under a lot of pressure to succeed and become powerful. Unfortunately, she is still very young and has much to learn about the world, although she already knows much about the exercise of power and obeying your elders. (When your elders can smite you with unholy fire, obedience is learned quickly.)

Since she only recently came of age, she has been given limited tasks in the outer world. Most of them are simple espionage like interacting with elves in public places to learn more about their culture and mannerisms (which she does in the guise of a tall, beautiful gold elf). Still adjusting to life in the outside world, her aloofness and awkwardness was noticed by one older elf in particular, who thought she looked uncomfortable being around so many humans. This older elf, Daryngrynth Sharparrow, is a member of the Eldreth Veluuthra, and after conversing with her privately, he decided to introduce her to Herianamae of Evereska, the wizard member of his cell. The wizard, happy to have a new pupil in magic and racism, lent Threlya the Tar'Ael Veluuthra, advising her to study its pages and guide her inner powers of sorcery to attune themselves to its teachings. Shortly thereafter, Threlya found herself called away to report to other daemonfey, who listened avidly to her reports about surface elves taking part in active evil and racism. They bid the young fey'ri to reunite with her tutors and find out more about this group (for the daemonfey are looking for potential allies and/or breeding stock). However, she hasn't located Daryngrynth or Herianamae and is trying to find some way to reach them. Remembering Herianamae's city of origin, she traveled to that place in hopes of finding her new ally, and a bad turn of events resulted in her taking wing. Her current whereabouts are unknown, especially after the phaerimm onslaught.

Though silver-tongued among her own people, Threlya is ignorant of many aspects of normal human and elven culture, and she prefers to keep quiet rather than speak and make a fool of herself. She is careful around people and creatures she recognizes as powerful. She eagerly learns more about people, acquires more magic, and finds weaknesses in her elven enemies. Though (like all of her people) she feels betrayed by normal elves, she has found herself attracted to the propaganda of the Eldreth Veluuthra and is similarly contemptuous of humans, unlike the other fey'ri who see them as potential slaves but not scum. She hides her loathing well, however, and can speak or listen to elves or humans without revealing her dislike.

Threlya Dlardrageth: Female fey'ri rogue 1/sorcerer 1; CR 3; Medium outsider (native); HD 1d6-1 plus 1d4-1; hp 3; Init +7; Spd 30 ft., fly 40 ft. (poor) in winged form; AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 11; Base Atk +0; Grp +0; Atk +1 melee (1d6/19-20, masterwork short sword) or +4 ranged (1d6/x3, masterwork shortbow); Full Atk +1 melee (1d6/19-20, masterwork short sword) or +4 ranged (1d6/x3, masterwork shortbow); SA sneak attack +1d6, spell-like abilities; SQ change shape (Medium humanoid forms only), damage reduction 10/magic, darkvision 60 ft., elven blood, enchantment resistance, fire resistance 10, immunities (sleep spells and effects), low-light vision, trapfinding; AL CE; SV Fort -1, Ref +5, Will +3; Str 10, Dex 17, Con 8, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 14.

Skills and Feats: Bluff +4, Diplomacy +6, Gather Information +6, Hide +9, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (arcana) +4, Listen +7, Move Silently +7, Search +4, Sense Motive +5, Spellcraft +4, Spot +7, Tumble +7, Use Magic Device +6; Improved Initiative.

Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day -- charm person (DC 13), suggestion (DC 15). Caster level 2nd.

Change Shape: At will, Threlya can assume any humanoid form of Medium size and can remain in that form indefinitely.

Elven Blood (Ex): For the purpose of all special abilities and effects, Threlya is considered an elf. She can use or create elven weapons and magic items with racially specific elven powers as if she were an elf.

Enchantment Resistance (Ex): Threlya has a +2 racial bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells and effects.

Trapfinding: Threlya can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a DC higher than 20.

Sorcerer Spells Known (5/4; save DC 12 + spell level): 0 -- acid splash, mage hand, mending, read magic; 1st -- mage armor, magic weapon.

Possessions: Masterwork short sword, masterwork shortbow, arrows (50), +1 human-bane arrow (1), ring of protection +1, potions of cure light wounds (3), potion of cat's grace, 47 gp.

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About the Author

Sean K Reynolds lives in Encinitas, California, and works for a video game company. His D&D credits include the Monster Manual, the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, and Savage Species. He'd like to thank Brian Cortijo for his advice in this article series, and Jason Carl for the Eldreth Veluuthra and daemonfey writeups in Lords of Darkness. You can find more game material at Sean's website.


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