Skull & Shackles
Hiko's Tome of Fauna
Hiko’s Tome of Fauna is a notable ancient storybook of sorts, used initially to warn sailors and explorers of the creatures and aberrations not native to Kepic. The stories and songs were initially passed down from father to son by word of mouth, many of them believed entirely to be legend. It was written by the imperial hand in ancient Kepic.
Upon more recent studies many of the facts are accurate and those that are not may well have been at the time. Many Bards and performers from Kepic would have learnt the songs and poems within during their early studies, some later using them in foreign performances, where necessary embellishing the tales.
The oldest copy said to be written for the first Emperor’s son, documenting his fathers findings from war on the open seas and his expansion of the Kepician empire beyond the continent. It is unlikely that each account was the Emperor’s own but no man has been foolish enough to suggest this.
Though it remains in the possession of the Imperial Line the worn and ancient tome is housed in the great hall of the Reliquary of Transcendent knowledge and has been since its establishment during the Hibochi Dynasty. The book is well preserved, with access only granted through one of the Reliquary’s Matriarchs. It is a national treasure and seen as an essential part of Kepician history and indicative of her rich cultural heritage.
Copies of the original do exist though no book matches the level of detail or number of entries in the original. Students of the Reliquary are awarded a small leather bound copy of the shortened book detailing the more common of creatures and beasts known to roam the other continents and surrounding oceans. Due to Kepic’s own secretive rulers and protectionist nature none of the local fauna is included. This is believed to be so that should the book fall into the wrong hands foreigners would gain no advantage on the home continent. Legend tells of a second book identical to the first stolen from the palace. Some say this second volume held all of Kepic’s secrets, other report is as a decoy spreading false information of the homelands and the abilities of local fauna, cursed and intended for enemy spies.
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