“Poor kid. How old do you think? Fourteen, fifteen?” mused Vilas the Halfelf as he crouched next to the fallen rider resting his chin in his palms, his elbows supported against his thighs.
“About that age, Redhead, yes. Used to riding, with nice high boots.” observed Osborn, scratching his two week’s beard. “And it wasn’t the fall that killed him, look.” Young rider’s fine green cloak had two small holes in it and, when pulled aside, revealed two leather-fletched bolts burried deep in the boy’s back.
“Seems to me the thing he’s clutching to his chest might have something to do with why he’s dead. Turn him arround and see what it is, Os.”
There was a book in the dead rider’s hands. It was quite thin, bound in worn leather and all in all of rather unassuming appearance. Before the rangers had any more time to investigate, there was a sound of hooves from behind the bend.
These tomes are well known and sought after by adventurers and monster-hunters. Penned by the famous slayer of monstrosities, Konrad of Loevenburg, there are seven volumes of the Monstrous Manual, each dealing with certain creature or species. Whoever studies the manual for one week, learns enough about the weaknesses of the subject creature to gain +2 to damage when fighting it. Also, he will know any of its weaknesses, strengths and abilities that the author considered important.
The themes of six the books are: Basilisks, Dopplegangers, Ghouls, Ogres, Snake Folk, Vampires. The subject of the seventh volume is unknown.
Also, there is a rumor saying that anyone, who collects all the seven tomes will have the means to find Konrad’s secret hoard. Considering the fact that late Hunter Baron’s heir dug in the cellars of Loevenburg until several of its walls collapsed,even put his younger brother to torture and still found none of the fortune his father had collected, we can assume there’s at least one person who would do anything to possess all the seven volumes.