A Cat of Tindalos

A Cat of Tindalos

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Monster-of-the-Week Item:"Christian Book of the Dead"

Christian Book of the Dead

An exceedingly rare and powerful arcane text or grimore the "Christian Book of the Dead" is a collection of translated older, medieval magical rituals centered on the “heretical” practice of Christian Necromancy by the Cathars (sometimes referred to as the Albigensians) a gnostic sect centered in Southern France brutally eliminated by the Inquisition.  The original text is in Church Latin of the late 13th century by a William of Baskerville but an abridged modern translation was produced in 1920s by a Professor M.R. James for the Red Dragon Press.

The book describes magic spells centered on focusing the will, identification with the dead person and speaking the “true name” of the Angel of Death to achieve the desired results. Magic circles of salt or sacrificial blood are often required to keep the caster safe from harm and any defect in the magic ritual may prove disastrous to the necromancer. The book describes rituals that allow one to conjure spirits of the dead and speak with them as well as raise suicides from the dead to become zombies under the control of the necromancer.

The book also details the rituals necessary to create a "Hand of Glory".

Famously the original but not the abridged text also includes a ritual that allows for the manufacture of an item called Gabriel’s Horn, a musical instrument when sounded that can transform four zombies created by the book’s ritual into the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and bring about the end of the world.

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