History and Appearance
The daemonic chapters of the Book of the Damned are bound between covers of perpetually frozen and compressed ashes that seem to suck away ambient light into their material. All known copies of the text appear to be some variety of palimpsest, with the words written over the intentionally erased words of an earlier draft, though it is unknown when and by whom this redaction took place. In each case, the edited portions describe specific names relating to the earliest history of the plane, sometimes with entire pages being censored. Scholars suspect this is related to the same magic utilized by the Horsemen to scour their own records and history in cycles when one of the Four has been replaced.
Abilities and Effects
Aura overwhelming all schools [evil]; CL 25th; Slot none; Weight 12 lbs.
Any good-aligned creature who touches this section of the Book of the Damned gains one negative level. This level cannot be restored until the character has remained more than 10 feet away from the book for 24 hours. Creatures attempting to read the book that are not neutral evil must make a DC 15 Will save or have their alignment permanently take one step toward neutral evil.
Written in a mixture of Abyssal and Infernal, sometimes changing from one to the other mid-sentence, the text requires true fluency in both languages to fully understand the nuances and true meaning of the text. As a reader proceeds, he becomes aware of a dull pressure on the back of his skull and a buzzing static. Eventually the text begins to “speak” to him, inserting telepathic impressions and images to complement the text. A telepathic creature may “read” the text without actually opening the book merely by holding it and concentrating.
A reader who splashes his own blood onto the book (which is promptly absorbed) and spends 30 days (not necessarily consecutively) reading the book receives several benefits. The book contains copies of every spell with the evil descriptor, as well as all of the spells on pages 38–39 and those listed below. The user gains at +4 bonus on all Knowledge (planes) checks when using the book as a resource (consulting it for at least an hour regarding a question), and its descriptions of Abaddon are so accurate that any teleportation to or within that plane always brings the caster to the desired location (no familiarity roll needed). Any energy-draining spell cast by the bearer bestows +1 additional negative level on affected creatures.
The daemonic portion of the Book of the Damned serves as the focal point for a permanent unhallow effect and sympathy attuned to attract neutral evil creatures. As long as the book is carried, its owner casts all evil spells as if he were two caster levels higher and gains a +2 bonus on all Charisma-based skills and checks when interacting with neutral evil creatures. Four times per day, the tome can be used to cast one of the following spells: blasphemy, circle of death, energy drain, death knell, soul bind, or soul transfer. It is believed that the bearer can be scried at any time, without a saving throw, by the Four Horsemen or their elite agents.
The daemonic Book of the Damned can be destroyed by washing away the text on each page with the tears of a good outsider, at which point the book crumbles to ashes. As long as the other sections of the book exist, however, the daemonic section always turns up again somewhere, undamaged and whole.