Tome of the Great Maker

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The Tome of the Great Maker contains more than 5,000 dense pages, detailing the entire history of Autochthonia, from a few years before the Departure (when Autochthon left Creation) to the present, a period of nearly 4,880 years. Written in Old Realm, the book offers a confusing, disjointed jumble of not only history, but religious doctrine, procedural details of how to live within Autochthonia, and so on.

It takes a while to plow through, but collectively, you find the following things of note:

  • Long before humanity existed, Autochthon created a servant race of skilled workers and artisans called the Mountain Folk (sometimes called Jadeborn). This race worked and lived in a vast underground series of caverns underneath the Blessed Isle. A few decade prior to the Departure, the "shining rulers of Creation" (presumably the Solar Deliberative) ordered Autochthon to place a geas on this entire race, preventing them from ever leaving their underground realm.
  • Prior to the departure, prevented from taking his Mountain Folk with him, Autochthon assembled eight human heroes: Claslat, Estasia, Gulak, Jarish, Kamak, Nurad, Sova, Yugash. It is from these heroes that the eight cities of Autochthonia take their names.
  • The first section of the book devotes a lot of time to these eight heroes, and their tasks before and just after the Departure. In particular, it tells of their epic question over Creation to assemble the materials to build the Ewer of Souls, the container that would hold the souls that Autochthon needed to survive. The writing in this section of the book claims to have been made by the heroes themselves, and is quite flowery and heroic, and specifics of locations they went seem to have been made intentionally cryptic.
  • The book claims that the eight filled the Ewer after its construction, but does not specify where the souls came from.
  • The eight were sent to recruit loyal mortal followers to tend to Autochthon's needs. Thousands came, but the book makes fairly clear that, end the end, Autochthon just abducted tens of thousands more when time came to leave. (This information only appears in the original book, not in more modern copies.)
  • The book mentions some particular plants brought in during the Departure, but that none could be kept going beyond a decade or so. It's a completely trivial point, but Jorias thinks you might be able to use it as the "clue" that lets you cure the plague (which, of course, you don't actually need).
  • During the early years, Autochthon was still largely conscious and helped the Autochthonians. As his final waking act before fading into sleep, he instructed his most skilled craftspeople in the difficult process needed to make the alchemical exalted. Once the first batch was created, Autochthon was never heard again.
  • The soulgems now in the heads of all Autochthonians were developed after this, based on some of the procedures needed to create alchemical exalted.
  • The religion and structure of all of the Autochthonian nations is fairly similar, but originally it wasn't, which caused lots of friction, animosity and fighting between the nations. So the Conclave was held, setting the general structure and religion. War became less frequent, but still occurred.
  • A section of the book deals with heretical cults that were quashed, usually by alchemicals. One of these involved a woman who claimed to see the future. Although she claimed her visions came from Autochthon, she came from the despised Lumpen and often issued prophesies that were deemed dangerous to the social order. After her cult was destroyed, she was being interrogated but said nothing for days. Then, quite suddenly, she spouted out one sentence and passed out. The next day, another sentence. The day after, another, just before dying from no discernible cause. What she said (and, in fact any mention of her at all) is recorded only in the original Tome, not any copies:
    • When the city screams, only the Makers's eye will show the way to salvation. This jumps out at you, because you have all heard of the Eye of Autochthon, a legend in Creation, said to be one of the most powerful artifacts in existence. It didn't show up in Creation, however, until long after the Departure, so those in Autochthonia would have no idea that it exists.
    • Through the remnants of green dead throngs, will come the frozen false face to corrupt the Maker, subverting Him for all time. It's possible that "green dead throngs" refers to plague victims.
    • The triumph of the locust will be great, but dies when the Age is consumed by the Earth Dragon. It may be that "locust" here refers to the Autochthonians themselves, as Regret mentions that the people of Gem referred to the invading Autochthonians as "locusts". Again, this is a reference that those inside Autochthonia wouldn't actually know.
  • The information in this book can be used to teach the sciences of: Architectonics , Genesis , Magitech ●●, and all levels of the mortal thaumaturgical arts of alchemy, elementalism, enchantment, geomancy and orisonurgy.