The Coast has known the marvel that is the printing press for well over three centuries. In the time since then, literacy has become pervasive in the upper-middle class and above. People enjoy a wide selection of finely produced, if expensive, books. A selection of such books is listed below.
- The Encyclopedia Arcanica. This 23 book Collection would be a prized element of any scholar's collection. It describes, in excellent detail, the most mysterious and esoteric subjects of the known world; beginning with Aathelfern, and ending with Zytothurian.
- Pseodomonarchaea Demonum. This book, author unknown, is currently banned in all Southern coastal countries. It depicts, with dubious accuracy, the power structure and supposed hierarchies of the viral entities known as demons.
- The Deductive Treatises, by Maxwellian Horacio. Horacio's treatises are, in higher scholarly circles, regarded as hogwash. The series is composed of several tomes, each of which covers an exciting and fantastical subject, such as dragons, Ælves, and giant landworms. These tomes are useful only for their entertainment value, as the information within them is complete supposition and armchair-philosophy.
- The Collected Works of Merrill. Merrill was an ancient poet of mysterious origin. Whoever he or she was, they wrote a substantial body of poetic work. Most of Merrill's pieces are short, rhyme sweetly, and end on a somewhat disturbing note. Scholars have found that many of Merrill's poems reference Otherworld phenomena, a field of study which is fearful and poorly-understood at best. Thus, Merrill's Collected Works has become a useful, if vague, reference for those who wish to understand the Otherworld and its denizens.
- Ferring's Last March. This short journal was written 500 years ago by a Northern field-commander. Though it is poorly translated, it recounts, in simple accuracy, the lay and ways of the Northlands as they were in olden times.
- The Red-water Journal. This collection of notes has recently become popular reading in port cities. The notes were found in 384, on the water-logged body of a sailor, who was spotted, floating, in the Trackless Isles. The notes tell of the fearful last days of the whaling ship Spineback. They describe its course being lost in a fog bank, its first mate going mad from whispering song, and its crew being stolen from the rails as they stared, transfixed, at the red water below them.
- Pepper, Shook. This book was highly popular following its release in Firlund. It is a romance, following the love affair between Pepper, an aristocrat's daughter, and Louis, a dashing gentleman thief, who together embark upon many daring heists. Though the book is meant purely as escapist reading, it does contain several uncanny descriptions of locks, descriptions that are quite helpful when identifying such mechanisms.
- Bones. This tome is one of madness. It tells, from a broken first-person narrative, of a man's struggle to survive in an evil, subterranean land. He does eventually emerge from the depths, but he leaves his sanity behind.
Books in Your Game (author's note)
I've been considering using books as a fun method of bypassing skill checks for knowledge. It's more flavorful, to be sure, to attach the lore you're going to spout to a player to a nice book, rather than simply saying "here's what you remember." Anyway, it'd be fun to get players to start hoarding books. I may have to write a heist sandbox about stealing from University library in Firlund, sometime.