Black Books of Elverum

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Sample pages & cover from Mary Rustad's 1990 edition; pages suggest appearance of original hand-written tome

The Black Books of Elverum, AKA Svartbøker

Origin: (story/scenario the tome appears in)

Description

The Black Books of Elverum is a handwritten two-volume diabolical grimoire in the Cyprian tradition that was discovered in an attic in an Iowa farmhouse; it was likely written between 1790 and 1820 by individual practitioners, and mixes Christian and pagan concepts and superstitions. Includes a number of spells that might be used by the common folk - practical handbooks for daily concerns like stopping a toothache, retrieving stolen goods, and protecting livestock. A partial spell list:

"If a person haunts after death; How to awaken love in a woman; When you want to release the angels from Hell; Another way to put out a fire; How to control the evil spirits; Protection against being bewitched; Protection against being captured in war; Protection from arrows; So that dogs won't bark at you; So that wolves and bears cannot hurt cattle; So you won't miss when shooting; The art of seeing who has bewitched another's animals; The magic from swallow stones; To avoid bullets; To be bulletproof; To calm anger; To cause sleeplessness; To conjure up the evil spirits to force a thief to return that which he has stolen; To cure a fever; To fish in a hudler's pond; To free yourself from promises you've unwisely made; To heal an eye infection; To make yourself hard/strong; To make yourself invisible; To put out a flame or an accidental fire; To weaken the poison from a snake; To win at card and dice games; To win at judicial proceedings; To win in court; To win when trading; When everyone in a house shall sleep; When you wish for someone to sleep twenty-four hours...."

Svartbøker - 1790-1820s Norwegian Originals

Language: Handwritten Norwegian

Physical Description: A sheaf of musty, worm-eaten yellowed pages roughly bound together and containing a number of spells invoking demons to perform common, practical spells for every-day life. Though most of the well-known and publicized content will be the usual folk magic typical of this sort of tome, some of the variable and highly personalized versions of this text may contain Mythos content.

General Content: A diabolical Folk Mythos grimoire similar in content to other such tomes (such as "The Long Lost Friend"), but with a more folk-satanic tone, calling upon any of a number of such demons as Lucifer, Asmodey, Belial, Beelzebub, and other less-common names.


1800s English Translations

Language: Norwegian and English; anonymously and privately published

Physical Description: Crude, stained, dog-eared, and battered pocket-sized hard-back book with a plain black linen cover, containing an English translation of most of the original text's spells invoking demons to perform common, practical spells for every-day life, along with additions made by previous owners in the margins and endpapers. Though most of the original, well-known and publicized content will be the usual folk magic typical of this sort of tome, some of the individualized handwritten note and sketch additions to this text made by Powwower owners of the text may contain Mythos content.

General Content: A diabolical Folk Mythos grimoire similar in content to other such tomes (such as "The Long Lost Friend"), but with a more folk-satanic tone, calling upon any of a number of such demons as Lucifer, Asmodey, Belial, Beelzebub, and other less-common names.


1970s-1990s English Translation

Language: Norwegian and English

Physical Description: Paperback mass-market publication, black paperboard cover with grey lettering; an expurgated translation from Gothic into Norwegian by Per Sande and Per Holke, translated into English by Mary Rustad; photocopies of Old Norwegian pages facing the English translation, with some illustrations of demons drawn by Mary Rustad, and other illustrations taken from Norwegian artist Theodor Kittelsen. Includes an account of a 17th-century Norwegian witch trial, an account of Mary's discovery of her source text, and an essay on the sociological and historical context of the tome. Generally will not include any mythos content, and is intended for a more academic audience of sociologists, anthropologists, etc.


Quotes

  • An Incantation:
    "Sole Mando oasiluta Sabra Spesis
    Fera habat Tabenta Jasa Sanar
    Qvadua dimas pulmoruno
    Famaseise Sapas Crema alfunt
    debmus Seara Seraslos alo
    Seurata Cabi Lolulos in Nomine
    Matris Sieuts Spiritus Amen."
    (Apparently gibberish in imitation of Latin?)
  • "I call upon you, Lucifer and all your followers. And I conjure the Devil from Hell. Do not give this thief either rest, relaxation, or tranquility before he brings back to me that which he was stolen from me. God, do not let this thief have any rest or tranquility, day or night, morning or evening. Let his heart burn like a burning ember that can never be extinguished and let him be as restless as a wave on a wild beach, until he has returned the goods he has stolen from me, to the spot or place it was taken from. This shall fully happen in the Devil's dreaded name that lives in Hell's abyss."
  • "When you want to release the angels from Hell, you should in the morning when you rise say this: 'I renounce you, God the Father that has made me. I renounce you, the Holy Spirit that has blessed me. I will never worship or serve you after this day, and I completely swear to Lucifer, ruler of the dark abyss. And I swear to his rule, and he shall serve me and do what I ask of him. In exchange I will give my own blood as insurance and a pledge. This insures me to him with body and soul for all eternity, if he does what I ask, order, or command of him. And thereupon I sign with my own hand and with my own blood. This to be certain and true in every possible way.' Beware of: The day you will release and follow after Lucifer, you should rise in the Devil's name, get dressed in the Devil's name. Yes! Wash, comb your hair, and go out in the Devil's name. Everything that you undertake shall happen in the Devil's name that day."


Appearances

  • (none)


Keeper Notes, Heresies and Controversies

  • The 1800s English translation is fictional, and intended to be something that can be fudged to fit into a "classic era" campaign, or a Folk Mythos campaign, as a tome used by black wizards and cultists.

Mythos Content Spells:

  • Sanity Loss: little or none
  • Mythos Knowledge: little or none
  • Occult Knowledge: minor


External Links