Forbidden Tome: Shosple Colupis.

Shosple Colupis

Description:  18th century (best guess: 1730 AD) printed book, bound in yellow leather.  128 printed pages, plus 8 illustrations in the center. Each illustrated page has a slight cut at the top, as if an attempt was made to remove them with a razor.  The book’s title page and introduction is in French; the main text itself is in Catalan. All printer’s information was removed via scorching. The total number of books in the first (and presumably only) printing is unknown.

Value: There are several chants and prayers that give significant short-term protection against sanity-wrecking magical workings; the illustrations show diagrams and patterns that do the same thing, more permanently.  The only catch is that the person using the chants and diagrams must be able to read and speak Catalan fluently. The older the dialect, the better.

The Shosple Colupis was first documented in 1735, when it was mentioned in the correspondence of a notorious French libertine whose grandfather was implicated in the Affair of the Poisons in the previous century.  According to the letter, the grandfather was able to trade his life and freedom in exchange for silence; and he indeed lived to an advanced age in rural seclusion, not to mention local infamy. The nobleman inherited his grandfather’s estate in 1728, after a peculiar and distasteful set of circumstances of the sort that make determining an exact body count… problematical.

The new heir traveled to the decrepit, worm-eaten chateau to find it filled with forbidden tomes, rich in forbidden knowledge; shockingly, the nobleman promptly turned around, went back to Paris, and hired a professional occultist to sort out the library and sell off the good bits to the highest bidder.  One of the good bits was the Shosple Colupis, which was deemed valuable enough to be worth a private printing.  The original purported to be the history and breviary of a Pyrenees heretical cult that ‘venerated’ a ‘Saint’ Colu.  This cult was wiped out during the Catalonian rebellion during the 17th Century, under what was fairly clearly the flimsiest of pretexts.  Presumably this was when the original copy of the book made it north to France.

It should be noted that the nobleman who arranged for the printing and resale of the Shosple Colupis went on to have a reasonably uneventful life, before dying in 1780 with no legitimate heirs himself.  The same cannot be said for most of the people who have possessed it since then; they tend to have short lives even by the standards of true occultists.  The problem is that the chants and diagrams work too well; anyone who masters them will quickly over-rely on their ability to protect his or her sanity.  Plus, the newly-warded sorcerer will become dangerously overconfident. This usually results in the sorcerer misjudging how safe he is before starting a working, and then something gets called up that cannot be put down, and then it all becomes this thing.  Sometimes literally.
There are those who suspect that Shosple Colupis was designed to be a trap from the beginning.  Then again, there have been sorcerers who have managed to own the book and not be dragged, screaming into an abyss; but then, those people were usually the kind that their colleagues never really saw as being abyss-bound in the first place.  There’s just a certain type that just has that happen to them, OK?  And they kind of know it, themselves. No, really.  It’s like they’re just marking time until a Great Old One stops by to eat them.