In the middle of another circle, in the center of the room, a twisted, withered corpse can be seen slumped over a few tomes lying open on the floor. The ground inside this circle is covered in esoteric symbols and scattered candles.
When the PCs attempt to leave their circles, any magic users find themselves trapped, as if an invisible, impenetrable cylinder. They remain imprisoned until a non-magical friend smudges, crosses or otherwise breaks the edge of their chalk circle.
If the body in the central circle is examined, its robes crumble away like ash at the slightest touch. The corpse is so disfigured that it is impossible to determine its age or sex. Under close observation, it will be revealed that the body has a third eye socket in the back of its head barely obscured by the stringy remains of hair. Also their appears to be a lamprey like mouth in place of a belly button.
A ring of keys can be found amidst the ash of the destroyed robe.
There are three tomes. All three are bound in plain leather and are equipped with a locking latch (like some diaries). They can be unlocked with keys on the dead mage's ring.
The first book is a densely written volume, which when deciphered will reveal a basic spell book. There are four spells inside:
- Circle - Allows the caster to draw a perfect circle (of any size). The circumference cannot be crossed by any magical being until it is broken by its creator or a non-magical creature. Sufficiently powerful magic users can power through the circle at the cost of 1d10 damage per level of the circle's creator.
- Sight - When active, Sight allows its user to see magic and magically invisible creatures. Sight comes with risk. While active it conveys a -4 penalty to normal senses and opens the user to certain arcane dangers.
- Shield - From whatever D&D rule set you prefer.
- Hold Static - The caster grabs a creature, their clothing etc. Until released, the target is rigid and paralyzed.
- Absorb - Allows the caster to absorb the life experience of its targets. The results of a failed casting are obvious.