Yarash's Spellbook

A crude-looking book of parchment pages bound in lizardman hide.

Category:
book/scroll
Description:

Yarash’s spellbook is composed of loose-leaf parchment, held together with strings and bound in lizardman flesh. It appears very old, save for the strings which are recent additions. It’s construction allows it to be easily expanded and new pages added, which appears to have happened a great many times judging by the varying ages of the pages.

Yarash’s Spellbook contains the following spells.

Cantrips:

  • Blade Ward5, Friends5, Minor Illusion5, Poison Spray5, Prestidigitation5
    1st level:
  • Alarm5, Affect Normal Fires2, Alter Digits2, Enhance Trait1, False Life5, Grease5, Magic Missile 5, Protection from Evil and Good5, Ray of Sickness5, Reflected Image2, Unseen Servant5
    2nd level:
  • Alter Self5, Arcane Lock5, Enlarge/Reduce5, Gentle Repose5, Hand of Tentacles2, Invisibility5, Locate Object5, Mirror Image5, See Invisibility5, Spider Climb 5, Suggestion5, Unbridle the Wild Beast1
    3rd level:
  • Detect Shapechanger2, Feign Death5, Fly5, Lightning Bolt5, Magic Circle5, Protection from Amorphs2, Slow5, Teratism I1, Water Breathing5, Watery Double2
    4th level:
  • Confusion5, Control Water5, Degenerate Breed1, Distort Life I2, Duplicate2, Locate Creature5, Polymorph5, Polymorph Other2
    5th level:
  • Contact Other Plane5, Distance Distortion2, Guise of the Yak-Man2, Slow Mutation2, Teleportation Circle5, Teratism II1
    6th level:
  • Clone Animal2, Dragon Scales2, Eyebite5, Lusus Naturae1, Murlynd’s Void2
    7th level:
  • Project Image5, Teleport5, Teratism III1
    8th level:
  • Clone2, Evolve2, Maze5

1 These spells do not appear in the Wizard’s Spell Compendium and are reproduced below for convenience.

2 These spells appear in AD&D 2nd Edition.

5 These spells are taken from the D&D 5th Edition player’s handbook.

Bio:

New/Unique/Unusual Spells

Enhance Trait (Alteration)
Level: 1
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: 10 minutes + 10 minutes per caster level
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: 1 animal
Saving Throw: None

By means of this spell, a merlane can enhance one aspect of an animal. This trait can range from its ability to run fast, to the size of its claws, to its talent for stalking prey. This spell works only on normal animals. The following traits can be enhanced: the animal can gain one of the following bonuses:

  • An additional Hit Die (including increased hit points and proficiency bonus if applicable).
  • +10 feet to a single movement type.
  • +2 to a single ability score.

Other special traits of an animal can also be enhanced, but these require adjudication by the DM. By using this spell, the merlane could induce his horse to run faster, his guard dog to be more ferocious, and the like. Several traits can be affected at once with additional castings of the spell. For the magic to be made permanent, a teratism spell must be used.


Unbridle the Wild Beast (alteration)
Level: 2
Range: 0
Components: V, S
Duration: Permanent
Casting Time: 2
Area of Effect: 1 animal
Saving Throw: See below

A merlane can use this spell to release an animal from the effects of domestication or training. Any mundane animal, ranging from a songbird to a bull to a hunting dog, is automatically affected with no saving throw permitted. The only animals that are allowed a chance to resist the effects of the spell are those under the personal care and attention of a trainer, animals affected by an animal friendship, charm mammal, or similar spell, or followers of a druid or ranger. Familiars gained by the find familiar spell are immune to this spell.

An affected animal immediately seeks to flee the area and return to its natural habitat. If prevented from doing so it may become hostile. If the animal is hungry, injured, or frightened, it may lash out at the closest being. The animal’s keeper may try to help the animal resist the spell if he is present. He gets one opportunity to roll his skill at Animal Handling (with a DC equal to the spell’s save DC). If he succeeds on the roll, the animal is allowed to make a saving throw and does so with advantage. Likewise, any animal under the influence of a prior enchantment makes its save with advantage.

An animal that becomes wild by this spell may once more be domesticated though the DM may impose certain penalties to any attempt to do so.


Teratism I (Alteration)
Level: 3
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: Permanent
Casting Time: 1 round
Area of Effect: 1 animal
Saving Throw: None

As opposed to the more powerful merlane spell, lusus naturae spell, which allows the mage to breed unnatural animals and creatures, teratism transmutes an animal instantly with permanent effects. The first version of this spell is the weakest, causing only minor changes in the animal. Some of the following aspects of an animal may be altered with a touch of the caster’s hand:

  • Minor changes to hide can be made. This will lower (or raise) a creature’s natural AC by 2. But a tiger whose skin is like striped leather would be a remarkable sight. A shark whose skin is furred may fetch a great deal to some menageries.
  • Strange coloration can be added to any feature of the animal. Thus the merlane can cause a hound’s eyes to glow a sinister orange or endow a songbird with bright silver plumage.
  • Unnatural sounds can be added. Though the animal is incapable of intelligible speech, it could be made to say a phrase over and over again. Or its normal cries would be changed into something different. Strange sounds can be linked to the animal’s movements, so that when the hawk flaps its wings a resonance of thunder is heard.
  • Other minor changes can be made in accordance with the DM approval.

This spell has no effect on animals that have already been magically altered by anyone other than the casting merlane. So a giant insect cannot suddenly have its carapace changed to scales unless it was enlarged by the same merlane. Of course the spell (or its more powerful variants) can be cast multiple times on an animal, the end result being something that rarely resembles its source stock.

This spell allows Alteration magic spells below 3rd level to be cast upon an animal (such as enhance trait or enlarge) with permanent effect.

The altered animals, known as teratisms, are sterile.

Note that in no way does the casting of this spell ensure that the creature will obey the merlane. If the wizard is wise he will only make trained pets into teratisms.


Degenerate Breed (Alteration)
Level: 4
Range: 0
Components: V, S
Duration: See below
Casting Time: 6
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Negates

This spell allows a merlane to degenerate a monster back to its source stock. Only those creatures that are based on a normal animal can be affected. As with most merlane spells, wizard familiars are immune to the effects of degenerate breed.

Should a targeted creature fail its saving throw against magic, it degenerates that round. Winter wolves transform into normal pale wolves. Giant-sized versions of a normal animal, such as spiders or snakes, simply shrink down two steps in size (so from L to S, and so on). The DM has final say when considering if some monsters may appear to be altered animals in form but are truly supernatural (such as shadow hounds) and thus unaffected by this spell.

The duration of the spell is dependent on how tough the affected creature is. Should the merlane be of higher level than creature has Hit Dice, then the change is permanent until dispelled. Otherwise, the effects last for a number of rounds equal to the caster’s level.


Teratism II (Alteration)
Level: 5
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: Permanent
Casting Time: 1 round
Area of Effect: 1 animal
Saving Throw: None

This spell is a more potent version of teratism I. All the limitations of that spell still apply. However, the merlane can now induce stranger changes in an animal’s form and magical capabilities may now be imbued.

  • An additional limb can be added. It is fully functional but can be placed wherever the character touches. However, while this may allow an additional attack, this also tends to hamper a creature’s movement, at least, for several weeks depending on where the limb is located.
  • A lesser special ability may be added. The merlane can grant the teratism an arcane trait equal to any spell of 2nd level or below. The merlane must cast the spell within the round following the teratism casting. Thus, he can imbue a trained hawk with the ability to detect evil, so that it might better stop foes of its creator. Or that large toad could breathe out foul vapors equal to a stinking cloud.
  • Special limbs can be added or existing limbs warped. Thus, wings or fins can be created, allowing the creature to move in another environment.

Lusus Naturae (alteration)

Level: 6
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Permanent
Casting Time: special
Area of Effect: 1 individual or object
Saving Throw: None

This is the spell for which a merlane is infamous. Lusus naturae allows the wizard to create new life and form new breeds, for good or ill. This is no easy task, and failure is common. This is not a swift spell like teratism; rather it takes at least a month to attempt to fashion a lusus naturae. During that time, the merlane must be deeply involved in imbuing in his creation all the traits he desires, an effort that calls for painstaking research, careful administration of additional spellcasting or rare components (see below), and the casting of lusus naturae every third day to ensure that the source stock is affected.

Before the casting of the spell, much time should be spent in preparation. The player and the DM should meet and confer on what sort of life the merlane character wishes to create. The DM then can consider the proposal and suggest the means to that end in regards to material components. Such components should be either animal parts that will be related to the final result or actual living specimens.

The base chance of success is equal to the merlane’s Intelligence plus five times his level of experience. Of course, there are modifiers, as shown in the table below.

Lusus naturae modifiers Situation Modifier
Have studied a similar creature before +10%
Have cast discern sire on specimen of creature to be bred +20%
Have created a similar creature before +25%
New species -25%
Creature is a combination of different animal classes (mammal, avian, insect, etc.) -10%/class
Each Hit Die of creature -5% per hit die
For every additional spell that needs to be cast -5%
For every additional week in experimentation spent in the past month +5%

Unnatural abilities can be imbued to a lusus naturae through the casting of similar spells and/or rare material components during the process. For instance, if the merlane wishes to create a gigantic scorpion with a stinger that can ignite into flames, he may need to cast burning hands around the source stock every day, and perhaps let it lie on a bed of rare charcoal specially imported from faraway lands.

If the spell fails to work, the DM then rolls the percentage chance again, secretly to see if something horrible and unexpected does come from the experiment. If that roll succeeds then a creature is created, but not the sort the merlane had anticipated let alone wanted. Lusus naturae can breed amongst their own kind. Their ecology will vary, but is still dependent on the source stock from which they came. Thus, a creature made from canine stock will be easier to train, be a carnivore, and tend to travel in packs if let loose in the wild. Something fashioned from fish stock may be hard to control, dependent on water, and be omnivorous. A merlane can never truly be totally sure what the consequences of shaping new life may bring.

Much like teratism, this spell does not in any way make the created creature domesticated to the merlane’s will. He must go through the slow process of handling and training the young creature if he is to be its master.


Teratism III (Alteration)
Level: 7
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: Permanent
Casting Time: 1 round
Area of Effect: 1 animal
Saving Throw: None

This is the most powerful version of the teratism spell to date. The traits listed below are only some of the possible transformations that can be induced in an animal. The DM has the final say in what other traits can be bestowed.

  • An additional head can be created. This would allow for an additional bite attack, perhaps increased senses that would make surprising the creature near impossible, and so forth.
  • Greater special abilities can be imbued. The merlane can grant the teratism a special trait equal to any spell of 4th level or below. Again the merlane must cast the spell within one round of the teratism casting. Thus he can have lizard’s eyes burn with such brilliance equal to that of a fire charm spell, so that hapless victims will approach and be enthralled by the blaze until within reach of the creature’s jaws.
  • Speech can be given to an animal, but it will only be as capable of language as its intelligence allows. The usual means of granting greater intelligence is usually through enhance trait, though some have used teratism; the results of the latter are not always to be trusted, as insanity has occurred occasionally.
  • Unnatural hide can be given to the beast. The skin can be radically changed to such materials as stone or metal. Some merlanes have even hinted that they have created dangerous raptors with feathers of silk but claws of glass. Such reports have yet to be substantiated. The teratism can benefit by an increase of up to 6 to its AC.

Yarash's Spellbook

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