Archives of Nethys

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Book of the Damned (Diabolic)

Source Book of the Damned pg. 198, Book of the Damned - Volume 1: Princes of Darkness pg. 48
Aura overwhelming all schools [evil, lawful] CL 25th
Slot none; Price —; Weight 12 lbs.


This flesh-bound folio contains pages from the Book of the Damned related to Hell and its infernal denizens. Its dry, yellowed parchment leaves bear profane symbols and diagrams, prayers to archdevils, descriptions of Hell and its torments, explanations of foul rites, heresies and libel profane to every god, vituperation against countless deities, explorations of diabolical life, and pages of evil magic supposedly expunged from the world long ago.

A good-aligned creature that so much as touches this section of the Book of the Damned gains 1 negative level. This level can’t be restored until the character has remained more than 10 feet away from this section of the book for 24 hours. A creature that is not lawful evil and attempts to read this section of the book must succeed at a DC 15 Will save or have his alignment permanently shift one step toward lawful evil.

Those who dare read this section of the Book of the Damned find that it holds a wealth of profane knowledge. Any character who can read Infernal and spends a total of 30 days (not necessarily consecutively) studying the folio uncovers numerous foul revelations and gains a number of benefits. Readers find that the tome holds copies of every spell with the evil spell descriptor, as well as create drug and sacrifice (see pages 183 and 185). A significant portion of this volume contains lists of fiendish true names hidden in complex metaphors and codes, allowing someone who has access to only this portion of the Book of the Damned to perform the manifest manifestation ritual (see page 193), but at a penalty of –4 to the skill checks involved due to the incomplete nature of these lists. The descriptions of Hell found within prove so detailed that any magical attempt to teleport to or within the infernal plane (such as by use of plane shift or teleport) takes the bearer to the exact intended destination with no familiarity roll needed.

Beyond its contents, this section of the Book of the Damned is itself a potent unholy magic item. At its most basic level, the tome serves as the focal point for a permanent unhallow effect and sympathy tuned to attract lawful evil creatures. Also, any greater devil using scry or a similar spell can view the diabolic Book of the Damned with no risk of being detected by the bearer.

Those in possession of these pages also gain a number of benefits. The bearer casts evil spells as if he were 2 caster levels higher and gains a +2 bonus on Charisma-based skills and checks when interacting with lawful evil creatures (these bonuses are considered to be profane bonuses and do not stack with similar bonuses granted by other parts of the Book of the Damned). Three times per day, the tome can be invoked to cast one of the following spells: desecrate, dictum, gate (to summon a hellmouth to Hell only), greater planar binding, hellfire ray, summon monster VII, and unholy blight. Once per day, the bearer can ask the folio a question related to Hell, lawful evil creatures, or any other profane topic; he then opens the book to a random page to find the answer, revealed as if he had cast vision.

Every time one of the artifact’s daily spells or its vision power is used, there is a cumulative 1% chance that a powerful devil takes note of the bearer and seeks to make use of him in some profane plot or simply claims his soul for Hell.


The diabolic Book of the Damned can be destroyed by scrubbing each page with waters harvested from the Maelstrom before feeding the soaked pages to a protean (which is typically destroyed in the process of consuming the potent lawful artifact). Unless the other three portions of the Book of the Damned are also destroyed within 24 hours, the diabolic Book of the Damned reappears unharmed at some random, obscure point in the multiverse.