Magic Books of Faerun06/16/2004


The Codicil of White
(Cold Spells for Auril's Wizards)



A wooden cover bound in white ermine fur binds this tall, thin book. A clasp and lock of tarnished silver locks away a series of vellum pages. The fur is somewhat worn around the edges from long use.

Last Record: Cefra Windrivver, Aurilian cleric, 13 Hammer, 1372 DR.

Description: The book's cover is a single piece of white ermine fur cut to size and sewn onto a pair of seasoned white pine boards. A clasp and lock of tarnished silver normally holds the book closed, though the key is missing and the lock has been forced open. The vellum pages are inked in dark blue with silver painted around the edges, although two pages at the end look as though someone added them after the book's creation, and these pages lack the silver border of the first thirty-eight pages). The pages are sewn to a leather spine with strips of sinew, and the spine in turn is sewn to the covers underneath the ermine. The cover has no markings identifying the book, but the first page bears the book's title and Auril's holy symbol.

The book radiates faint abjuration.

History: Auril's faith is strongest in the colder lands of Faerûn, and she has many secret temples along the Spine of the World that bring terror and dominion to small settlements of people trying to eke out a living. The priestess who created the Codicil remains unknown, but, given the book's contents, she may have been both a cleric of Auril and a wizard of some power. This wizard-priest created the Codicil as a repository of Aurilian rituals and arcane magic appropriate to the Frostmaiden's temperament. (Several similar books of rituals exist, though the Codicil is the only one known to have arcane spells in it) For at least a hundred years, the book was passed down from cleric to cleric and kept secret within the church hierarchy; it never passed into the hands of the unfaithful. In late 1348 DR, a group of adventurers called the Company of Seven Stars obtained the Codicil from some bandits who attacked a Neverwinter caravan the Company guarded. They sold it to the sage Erpalio of Neverwinter, and Erpalio's writings made its description known to those outside of the faith. Later that winter, someone found Erpalio frozen to death in his (otherwise warm) home that winter, and nobody could find the book among his possessions. Many presume the church discovered its location, murdered Erpalio, and recovered their property.

The book has not had a confirmed sighting since that time, though a lone survivor of a bugbear ambush in the hills north of the Cold Wood (in the Silver Marches) reports seeing a woman in the distance shouting at the bugbears with her arms raised holding a square piece of white fur. A magical search of the man's memories shows the woman is a cleric of Auril and the object she held may be the Codicil. What she is doing in the company of bugbears, why she carries the book (if it is the book), and whether she has the church's approval is unknown.

Contents: After the title page, the next thirteen pages of the Codicil cover the basic rites, rituals, and services of Auril, including the proper phrasing needed to summon an ice para-elemental (see Manual of the Planes) with divine summon monster spells. Most of these rituals are cruel and depraved. Good individuals may find them too distasteful to use, but the rituals have no alignment descriptor and characters of any alignment can use them.

The next thirteen pages describe major ceremonies of the faith, including coming of age, burial, ordination as a cleric or druid, investiture of authority, dedication of holy sites, and special vows for unusual services or contracts.

The material on these pages contains enough information of the church of Auril to grant anyone a +2 circumstance bonus on Knowledge (religion) checks relating to Auril's faith, provided the character has the book on hand for reference. The bonus also applies on unskilled Knowledge (religion) checks (Intelligence checks) relating to Auril's faith.

The remaining pages of TheCodicil of White are devoted to arcane magic. The creator wanted Aurilian wizards and sorcerers to use the book as a primer so that they could gain a better understanding of the faith and of the goddess' favorite magic. These last pages contain the following arcane spells in order:

  • chill touch
  • frost fingers (new spell*, see below)
  • gust of wind
  • shatter
  • wall of ice

*This spell is an unusual spell as noted on page 54 of the Player's Handbook. Sorcerers can learn the spell only if they research it independently or obtain a written copy of the spell.

After the last spell are two pages of notes in a different handwriting. The notes explain how to prepare the frost fingers spell in such a way that its area is increased. Treat deciphering these notes as a 2nd-level spell (DC 22 Spellcraft check to decipher, see Player's Handbook page 178). Once a wizard deciphers the notes, she can prepare the frost fingers spell as if she had modified it with the Widen Spell feat, except that it uses a 3rd-level spell slot (instead of the typical 4th-level slot for using the Widen Spell feat on a 1st-level spell). This counts as a metamagic effect and all normal metamagic rules apply. The notes apply only to the frost fingers spell; they can't be used to make Widen Spell or any other metamagic feat more efficient with any other spells. These notes can be copied to another book just like any spell, though they have no effect unless used with the frost fingers spell.

The book grants cold resistance 10 (as a ring of minor energy resistance) to anyone carrying it. It is completely waterproof.

Frost Fingers
Evocation [Cold]
Level: Sorcerer/wizard 1
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 15 ft.
Area: Cone-shaped burst
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Reflex half
Spell Resistance: Yes

A cone of blistering cold shoots from your fingertips. Any creature in the area of this cold takes 1d4 points of cold damage per caster level (maximum 5d4). Small volumes of water-based liquids such as puddles of water, flasks of wine, and potion vials freeze solid if the cold touches them, though this does not cause the container (if any) to crack or break.

Price: 1,600 gp (waterproofed spellbook value only). If the cold resistance ability is known, add 24,000 gp to the price. A buyer interested in religious lore might pay up to 500 gp more for it. The church of Auril is more likely to try to take it than buy it, especially if they believe the bearer has read of the secret rituals within, but in the hands of a powerful buyer they would pay an additional 5,000 gp for it. A member of the faith who finds and returns the book would be rewarded a like amount in wealth, magic, or services.

Last Known Bearer: Cefra Windrivver, Aurilian cleric.

Cefra was born in a remote town ruled by a lawful evil sect of clerics of Auril. Raised in the harsh and stern environment of the church, she was chosen to enter the clergy because of her snow-white hair and ice-blue eyes. Cefra became an acolyte of the church and learned early on that being slack in her duties resulted in beatings and being tied up outside overnight. After just two of these near-fatal exposures she buckled down, though she kept her thoughts to herself, particularly her resentment of the extremely strict senior priestesses. She eventually was ordained as a cleric of the Frostmaiden and began a slow crawl upward through the ranks. Her inner desire to run things her own way rather than obey the sometimes impractical edicts of the town high priestess limited her advancement.

Two years later in 1371 DR, the town church made preparations to ordain its newest member, a young man named Tamall Horndusk, son of the high priestess. To honor her son in the name of the Cold Goddess, the high priestess sent a request to the House of Auril's Breath in Glister (north of the Moonsea) that he be ordained with the Codicil, the very same book used to ordain her thirty years before; they honored the request and an air elemental delivered the book. Tamall was due to be ordained at the next new moon. However, on the last night of the full moon previous to that, a large pack of Malarite werewolves attacked the town. These lycanthropes had been sniffing at the edges of town, and, once they realized the town belonged to Auril, they couldn't resist the bloodlust. When the werewolves struck, the townsfolk and the clerics rushed to defend themselves against the lycanthropes. In the confusion, Cefra stole the Codicil from the high priestess' house and ran away into the night.

She wandered for several weeks, using her magic to hunt animals and to protect herself from the cold. When she started seeing bugbear tracks, she formulated a plan. Through clever use of her magic and careful bribes of items taken from the high priestess' home, she introduced herself to the bugbears, made an alliance with the chief, and set herself up as their priestess. The bugbears had recently lost their spiritual guide, and it took little to convince them to accept her as a replacement.

Now Cefra has her own group of converts, and she has been teaching them her outlook on the worship of Auril, using the Codicil as a reference. In recent months she has provided magical enhancements to their hunting and raiding parties. Additionally, at least one member of the tribe shows promise as a potential acolyte. She assumes everyone in her old town is dead and doesn't miss them.

However, some townsfolk survived, including Tamall Horndusk. The young man saw Cefra fleeing during the attack and feels she may be responsible somehow. Since all the true clerics were dead or missing, the townsfolk saw that they were free of the priestly stranglehold that had plagued them for years and chased him out of town. With luck, Tamall hooked up with a caravan and reached another place of civilization. He has been on the lookout for information about anyone matching Cefra's description since then. In the meantime, he has studied the arts of war, feeling he is not worthy to join Auril's clergy until he avenges his mother's death by killing the woman he feels is responsible. (Also, Auril's dogma prevents him from acting against another cleric, so being ordained at this time would prevent him from finding vengeance.)

Cefra Windrivver: Female human cleric 6 of Auril; CR 6; Medium humanoid; HD 6d8+12; hp 39; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 15, touch 10, flat-footed 15; Base Atk +4; Grp +3; Atk +3 melee (1d8-1/x3, battleaxe) or +5 ranged (1d8/19-20, masterwork light crossbow); Full Atk +3 melee (1d8-1/x3, battleaxe) or +5 ranged (1d8/19-20, masterwork light crossbow); SA rebuke undead 5/day; AL CE; SV Fort +8, Ref +3, Will +10; Str 8, Dex 10, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 14.

Skills and Feats: Concentration +8, Diplomacy +6, Heal +6, Knowledge (history) +3, Knowledge (religion) +5, Listen +6, Spellcraft +5, Spot +6, Survival +4; Alertness, Iron Will, Martial Weapon Proficiency (battleaxe), Quick Draw.

Cleric Spells Prepared (5/4+1/4+1/2+1; save DC 12 + spell level): 0 -- cure minor wounds (2), detect poison, light, purify food and drink; 1st -- chill touch*, endure elements, faith healing (Magic of Faerûn) (2), obscuring mist; 2nd -- aid, aura against flame (Magic of Faerûn), cure moderate wounds, delay poison, wind wall*; 3rd -- prayer, sleet storm*, summon monster III.

*Domain spell. Deity: Auril. Domains: Air (turn earth/rebuke air 5/day), Cold (turn fire /rebuke cold 5/day).

Possessions: Masterwork breastplate, battleaxe, masterwork light crossbow, crossbow bolts (50), cloak of resistance +1, wand of cure light wounds (35), wand of bear's endurance (16), wand of bull's strength (11), wand of chill metal (20), silver headband (50 gp), silver holy symbol, white wolf fur cloak (50 gp), cold weather outfit, 89 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 Ed Greenwood for the writeup of the Codicil in Pages From the Mages. You can find more game material at Sean's website, Sean's website.

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