The Contents of the Tremere Chantry Library
Allen Roberts; April-May, 2010
Allen Roberts; April 25, 2010
Allen Roberts goes to the chantry, curls up with a warm blanket, and reads a good book.
The small Chantry library sadly doesn't contain much in the way of Orson Scott Card aside from a badly damaged copy of Ender's Game. Rummaging about, you find that most of the books are either standard Thaumaturgical theory, the vastly unpopular Goetic Runes series or a stack of paperback volumes on metaphysics and astral entities which have been left out on the table. The small fiction section in which you locate in the shelving under an end table contains a few of Andrew Lang's fairy book series, several trashy-looking murder mysteries, The Da Vinci Code (which you find has been hollowed out and glued back together such as that it might conceal a spare set of house-keys), a few of Astrid Lindgren's children's books, and a small hard-cover copy of Otfried Preußler's The Satanic Mill, which you eventually settle on.
The book appears to be a fairy-tale-esque story relating a young hero's strange apprenticeship to a mysterious miller who teaches his disciples in the arts of necromancy and magic. You half-wonder if whomever managed to place this in a Tremere's library had a sense of humor.
Allen Roberts; May 23, 2010
Stealth x1 All Actions.
Using all of my summer Occult actions to determine a list of books that are a MUST HAVE for any occult library. I understand that level 1 occult influence doesn't go very deep, but I also understand that the Tremere library has been ravaged and may be missing even the simplest of volumes. Ergo, this action. Then, if there is anything left over, I would like to start acquiring said materials.
He'll also check out the hotel itself. Scope out the outside for good escape routes and noteworthy features, and go inside to have a look at security, and the layout. He'll go up to the room West was staying in and try to retrace the killer's steps.
The chantry library currently contains the following:
- Two copies of the old Tremere standard Das Tiefe Geheimnis (in both the original German and in English)
- A sad, worn and largely incomplete set of the vastly unpopular Goetic Runes Encyclopedia series (volumes. 11 through 27, with volumes 16 and 17 missing)
- Celestial Whispers: An Insider Account of Angel Divination by Morgan Risingstar. Raven's Prize Press, 2010. It's a bit dusty and stained with ashes, as though someone had lit incense over it or attempted to throw it in the fireplace.
- An unbound rough draft of an English translation (with commentary) of the Egyptian Book of Going Forth by Day by Dannica Waters. There are a series of handwritten notes in the margins comparing it to the translation by Budge in 1901.
- Another unbound rough draft of a partial English translation of Hesiod's Works and Days by F. Alexander. Browsing through it, you note that it uses quite modern (and often quite ribald) language.
- A forty-two page VeloBound scholarly paper entitled "The Psychology of Theosophistry and the Nazi Weltgeist: Examining the German Conception of the Actor" by Markus Relling. Published November 2009.
- Invisible Pink Unicorns and the Crucible of Sensation: Musings on Sex, Drugs and Magick in the Post-Modern Age by Dr. Willard Armiston. Rising Griffin Books, 2002.
- Interplanar Travel and the Metaphysics of the Soul by Beth Brandon. New Falcon Press, 1974.
- Advanced Astral Projection: Techniques for the Ascendant by Rael Palmer. New Falcon Press, 1978.
- A beaten up looking leather bound Latin tome entitled Ars Astrarum et Via Caeli. You can't seem to find an author or date, but you suspect it's very old. The few illustrations you can find depict various series of interlinked spheres and circles that bear pictorial similarities to the Sephirot or the Chakra.
- Principa Lamiae, a book of similar indecipherability to the Ars Astrarum. It too is in Latin, but several margin notes in English mention "the other" and "manifestation of the null."
- The Geas of Adam by Josephus Vernum. (Finally an archaic looking leather bound tome in English!) [Ask ST to see item card or to send you a description if read.]
- The Lesser Key of Solomon, 1995 edition of the translation by Crowley. A thin wooden wand-ish looking rod has been used as a bookmark. There is a bright green un-archaic looking post-it note reading "Do not Touch!" with an accompanying hand drawn angry-face.
From that list, you find yourself intelligent enough to infer that for the most part, people at this Chantry have probably been obtaining books as they go, depending on the topic at hand, and that the Tremere really don't have much in the way of a standard collection.
You make a few carefully placed phone calls and get some very pleasant looking 19th century editions of The Book of Abramelin, Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, and The Key of Solomon (the not so Lesser one) - all basic grimoires that are found in most hermetic libraries. You also considerately pick out a copy of the Liber Razielis Archangeli (just in case somebody ends up doing Kabbalistic work) and manage to track down volumes 32 and 41 of Goetic Runes.
The six tomes set you back a few hundred dollars - far less than they'd be worth if sold by a discerning collector. You take satisfaction in adding them to the mostly barren shelves of the Bronx Chantry's library.
Das Tiefe Geheimnis = Standard Tremere book
Goetic Runes Encyclopedia series = Collect all 60 for a prize!
Celestial Whispers, Book of Going Forth by Day, "The Psychology of Theosophistry and the Nazi Weltgeist," Invisible Pink Unicorns and the Crucible of Sensation = Samuel Johnson's Occult GROW books.
Interplanar Travel and the Metaphysics of the Soul, Advanced Astral Projection: Techniques for the Ascendant, Ars Astrarum et Via Caeli, Principa Lamiae = Larissa doing research on the Familiar Face.
The Geas of Adam = Scrounge Card
The Lesser Key of Solomon = Larissa doing research on the Magister Gargimelli [Another Scrounge Card]
Allen Roberts; November 6, 2007
First summer action (1/3)
Goal: Find a way to organize the Tremere Library.
Ask my bureau friends to give me a variety of different systems for organizing libraries, specifically for organizing religious, occult, or philosophical sections. Have them highlight the pros and cons of different styles of organization, but try not to let on what, precisely, I'm doing.
There isn't really that much to sort in the Tremere library, sadly. Non-magical books fit fairly easily into the Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress numbering systems, as do some of the less esoteric occult books.
Looking over what you deduce is probably of interest to Devonshire and Johnson, you guess that the library will eventually see some influx of works on astral projection and archaic religious texts in the foreseeable future.
You ask a few friends at local libraries how they might classify a New Age, philosophical, or religious book collection, and find that most of them recommend going by broad category (Judaism, Existentialists, Eastern Thought) rather than by Author or Date, at least, if you want the collection to be browseable.
Looking ahead to eventually expanding the sad state of Tremere holdings, you decide privately to organize first into Hermetic and non-Hermetic, and then to divide Hermetic works by historical period and non-Hermetic works by magical system - ordered roughly by the era in which they first became popular. While this is of little consequence now (what with the Tremere owning less than thirty Hermetic books) by the end of the summer you find yourself having prepared a very thorough system which should cover most of the basic Thaumaturgical and proto-Thaumaturgical volumes you ever could hope to acquire. In addition to this, you furnish a very easy to browse numbering system for non-Hermetic works which would allow for divisions between pre-New-Age and New Age meta-planar theory; historical Paganism, Medieval to Enlightenment Pagan-based Witchcraft Accounts, neo-Paganism and Cultural Revival Pagainsm; and first, second and third wave Chaos Magick. In this vastly exciting process, you naturally accrue a shopping list of additional books to buy based on the current make-up of the Chantry. You excitedly begin to make arrangements for purchases, and set aside labels and spaces for eventual acquisitions.
This does, of course, leave the Chantry looking somewhat peculiar. By the beginning of August, most shelves of the building's large antiquarian sitting room now have perhaps one or two books sitting upon them, arranged with semi-irregular gaps between them. Place cards, lined up in neatly ordered rows alongside the current selections, foretell the arrival of the eventual drove of volumes which will complete the library (or at least... this wing of it).
The only book left out of place is the Lesser Key which awkwardly lies in the midst of what should be the Dianic Wicca section, unmoved, along with it's ominous sticky note, since the beginning of summer.