This book is the size of a human hand. Two stiff leather plates, which four metal rings along the long edge hold together, cover the book. Two lines on the cover spell out something in the Draconic alphabet, and the orientation of those words indicates that the book should be read with the rings held away from the viewer rather than to the left. The pages are thin leather sheets likewise attached to the rings, and some pages have a tab protruding from the bottom; each tab has Draconic writing on it.
Last Record: Teresken, wandering banelar, 19 Kythorn, 1372 DR.
Description: This book is about 7 inches wide and 4 inches tall. The four metal rings pass through the covers and the leather pages along the long end. The writing on the cover and interior runs parallel to the spine rather than perpendicular to it, and the book's construction makes it easy to flip through all of the pages continuously.
The cover text spells Kaupaer's Quick Book in the Halruaan tongue (which uses the Draconic alphabet) and the interior is all in Halruaan as well. The handwriting is erratic and sloppy, as if the writer completed the book quickly, and errors are crossed out and corrections filled in by the same hand in several places. The few illustrations are rudimentary and barely adequate for explaining the gestures needed to cast the book's spells.
Each page has writing on only one side and the pages are so small that each page in this book is the equivalent of only half a page in a normal spellbook. Each page that starts a new spell has a leather tab sewn to it; the tab bears the name of the spell (in Draconic writing) that begins on that page.
History: Kaupaer was an energetic and talented Halruaan wizard who was born about 1302 DR. He developed an interest in rapid motion and fast magic. He is best known for his spell Kaupaer's skittish nerves (which lets a creature react more quickly to threats) but he actually penned at least a dozen unique spells, most of which are lost because he never took the time to transcribe them and give them to others. (Kaupaer's skittish nerves is something he developed as an apprentice and his master was so impressed with it that he sent a copy to one of Halruaa's academies, and from there the spell spread to other parts of Faerûn.) The Quick Book is one of the few known copies of his spells that he wrote in his own hand. Nobody knows why he wrote the book; it may have been for his personal use while traveling (it reads as if he expects the reader to already be familiar with the spells within it) or if he planned it as a gift or payment to another spellcaster.
Always restless, Kaupaer traveled through most of southwestern Faerûn, including Tashalar, Chult, Calimshan, and Tethyr. His actual fate is unknown, but he was last seen in Tethyr during their civil war, and he may have thought he could outsmart or outrun Balagos the Flying Flame or one of the dragons of the Wealdath. The Quick Book turned up in the hands of another Halruaan wizard, Athym Gedreghost, who traveled northward after a disagreement with his homeland's ruling council. Athym says he sold the book to a banelar named Teresken whom he encountered in the Snowflake Mountains; the wizard needed information about Cormyr and the Dalelands, and the banelar was on the lookout for interesting spells to sell to its allies.
Contents: The book's fourteen small pages hold six low-level spells. There are no other pages in the book other than the spell pages. Two of the spells (cat's grace and expeditious retreat) are common spells and require no special effort to learn. The others (including Kaupaer's skittish nerves, which is still somewhat uncommon) 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 the following order -- apparently in no particular order of importance. Perhaps the author felt that the tabs on the pages allowed him to find the spell he wanted easily and thus he didn't bother to organize it better.
- Kaupaer's skittish nerves (Magic of Faerûn)
- cat's grace
- Kaupaer's reflexive strike (new spell, see below)
- expeditious retreat
- speed swim (Magic of Faerûn)
- Kaupaer's quickblast (new spell, see below)
Transmutation [see text]
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 1
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 free action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One creature
Saving Throw: Reflex half
Spell Resistance: Yes
A tiny sphere of cold, electricity, or fire speeds from you to the target and deals 1 point of appropriate energy damage per caster level (maximum 5 points). The spell has the descriptor for the kind of energy you select; for example, this is a [cold] spell if you choose a sphere of cold.
You can cast this spell with an instant utterance. Casting the spell is a free action, like a quickened spell, and it counts toward the normal limit of one quickened spell per round.
Material Component: A drop of quicksilver and a blue, yellow, or red glass marble.
Kaupaer's Reflexive Strike Transmutation
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 1
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Target: Creature touched
Duration: 10 minutes/level or until discharged
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)
You heighten the target's aggressive reflexes, allowing her to react more quickly when opportunities arise in combat. The target can make one more attack of opportunity per round than normal. The target can also make attacks of opportunity even if flat-footed. When the target makes the attack of opportunity provided by this spell, it is discharged. (Making attacks of opportunity does not discharge this spell until the target makes an attack of opportunity he could not have made without this spell.)
Example: A fighter without the Combat Reflexes feat normally can make only one attack of opportunity in 1 round, and never while flat-footed. With this spell he can make up to two attacks of opportunity in 1 round or even make one while flat-footed. The spell remains in place until its duration expires or until he makes two attacks of opportunity in 1 round or one attack of opportunity while flat-footed, since only in either of those situations is he drawing upon the spell to let him make an attack of opportunity he couldn't normally make.
Example: A ranger with 14 Dexterity and the Combat Reflexes feat normally can make up to three attacks of opportunity in 1 round (one normally, two from the feat) and can make an attack of opportunity while flat-footed. With this spell he could make up to four attacks of opportunity in 1 round. The spell remains in place until its duration expires or he makes four attacks of opportunity in 1 round, since only in that situation is he drawing upon the spell to let him make an attack of opportunity he couldn't normally make. (He can already make attacks of opportunity while flat-footed, so doing so never triggers this spell unless his enemies provoke four attacks of opportunity in 1 round while he's flat-footed, which triggers the first part of the spell.)
Material Component: A small, gold spring.
Price: 350 gp (spellbook value only). As a historical reference it is worth another 1,000 gp to a mage-scholar, Candlekeep, or most wizards from Halruaa.
Last Known Bearer: Teresken, wandering banelar.
Teresken hatched about 100 years ago in caves under the Sunset Mountains. He has always been involved with the Banites closely, acting as a guard, mentor, scout, and courier for Bane's priests and temples. He was saddened when the Black Hand was destroyed during the Time of Troubles, and though he was disappointed with Iyachtu Xvim's attempts to claim Bane's legacy, unlike most banelars he did not throw in with the Cyricists. Teresken spent several years exploring the Underdark with a group of charmed slaves, and he made contact with at least one Vhaeraunian drow outpost. When he returned to the surface in Ches of 1372, he learned that Bane had returned. Intrigued, Teresken visited some of his few surviving Banite contacts and traded information, then met with his clutchmate (sibling from the same clutch of eggs) Sebesken at the Twin Towers of the Eternal Eclipse in Amn. Teresken decided to remain neutral until the interfaith conflict sorted itself out. Now he spends his time making trips between Darkhold and the Twin Towers, with an occasional stop in the Underdark, passing messages and trading interesting magic items to any interested parties. When traveling, he uses disguise self to appear as a guardian naga and misdirection to hide his true alignment. It was on one of these trips that he met Athym Gedreghost, who traded him the Quick Book in exchange for information on the nearby countries. He may sell or trade it to the Twin Towers, to Darkhold, or the drow, and he may already have done so.
Teresken may have his eyes on taking over Darkhold, either for his own purposes or to re-establish it as a Banite stronghold rather than just a Zhentarim stronghold. He prefers Bane to Cyric and Banites to Cyricists, and at some point he may decide to journey to Zhentil Keep and use his knowledge and experience to get Darkhold back in line, with himself as the leader. Nobody knows how long Teresken is willing to tolerate the infighting in Darkhold; he might arrange to have his drow allies attack the fortress, killing all inside and leaving it open to repopulation by Banite-Zhentarim (assuming he can get the drow to leave after the attack, of course . . .).
Teresken rarely travels alone; a gang of evil humanoids, an ogre, and some other large monster, all charmed with his magic, usually accompany him.
Teresken: Male banelar naga wizard 3; CR 11; Huge aberration; HD 7d8+35 plus 3d4+15; hp 88; Init +6; Spd 30 ft., swim 30 ft.; AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15; Base Atk +6; Grp +22; Atk +12 melee (2d6+8 plus poison, sting); Full Atk +12 melee (2d6+8 plus poison, sting) and +7 melee (1d8+4 plus poison, bite); Space/Reach 20 ft./10 ft.; SA poison, spells; SQ darkvision 60 ft., fast healing 2, immunities (acid, poison), magic items, resist petrification; AL LE; SV Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +13; Str 26, Dex 14, Con 21, Int 19, Wis 16, Cha 16.
Skills and Feats: Concentration +14, Diplomacy +12, Hide -6, Intimidate +12, Knowledge (religion) +8, Knowledge (Underdark [Northdark] local) +12, Knowledge (Western Heartlands local) +11, Listen +5, Spellcraft +8, Spot +12, Swim +16, Use Magic Device +12; Eschew Materials[B], Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Scribe Scroll[B], Spell Focus (enchantment).
Poison (Ex): Bite or sting, injury or contact, Fortitude DC 18, initial damage 2d4 Con, secondary damage unconsciousness for 1d3 hours. As a side effect of the poison, the victim's skin turns blue around the wound until the secondary damage ends.
Spells: Teresken casts spells as a 6th-level cleric with access to the Evil, Magic, and Water domains and as a 9th-level wizard (six effective levels of wizard as a racial ability plus three actual wizard class levels). He can cast a single spell every round as a free action while attacking.
Fast Healing (Ex): Teresken regains hit points at the rate of 2 per round. Fast healing does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation, and it does not allow a creature to regrow or reattach lost body parts.
Magic Items: Teresken collects magic items and uses them freely. His tentacles can wear or manipulate amulets, rings, wands, rods, potions, and similar small items.
Resist Petrification (Ex): Teresken gets a +3 racial bonus on saving throws made to resist petrification.
Cleric Spells Prepared (5/4/4/3; caster level 6th): 0 -- cure minor wounds (4), purify food and drink; 1st -- cure light wounds, divine favor, obscuring mist, summon monster I; 2nd -- bear's endurance, desecrate, hold person (2, DC 15); 3rd -- cure serious wounds, dispel magic, summon monster III.
Wizard Spells Prepared (4/5/5/4/3/1; caster level 9th): 0 -- detect magic, mage hand, prestidigitation, read magic; 1st -- charm person (2, DC 17), disguise self, Kaupaer's quickblast (DC 15), mage armor; 2nd -- cat's grace, invisibility, Melf's acid arrow (+8 ranged touch), misdirection (DC 16), resist energy; 3rd -- fly, haste, Mestil's acid breath (DC 17, Magic of Faerûn), stinking cloud (DC 17); 4th -- charm monster (DC 20), dimension door, greater invisibility; 5th -- acid storm (DC 19, Magic of Faerûn).
Spellbook: as above plus 0 -- acid splash, arcane mark, dancing lights, daze, detect poison, disrupt undead, flare, ghost sound, light, mending, message, open/close, ray of frost, resistance, touch of fatigue; 1st -- comprehend languages, corrosive grasp (Magic of Faerûn), expeditious retreat, feather fall, hold portal, Kaupaer's skittish nerves, magic missile, sleep, summon undead I (Magic of Faerûn), unseen servant; 2nd -- Aganazzar's scorcher (FRCS), death armor (Magic of Faerûn); 3rd -- fireball,slow; 4th -- Darsson's potion (Magic of Faerûn), solid fog.
Possessions:Ring of protection +1, dusty rose ioun stone,wand of cure serious wounds (6 charges), wand of blacklight (3 charges), 375 gp.
Note: The banelar above utilizes the base version found in Serpent Kingdoms.
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About the Author
Sean K Reynolds lives in Encinitas, California, and runs his own small press 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. You can find more game material at Sean's website.