The Wizards Library Part 1 of 6
Date: Sun, February 12, 2006
Topic: The Library

Presented herein are 109 wizardly grimoires, each presented in a card catalog format. No longer must one guess at what is on a wizard's bookshelf or what is between the covers of a particular tome.

The Wizard’s Library

The Wizards Library Part 1 of 6
By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung
Posted with permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.


Wizard’s routinely have spellbooks as they need them to record their spells for future reference. Another, more colorful, name for a spellbook would be a grimoire. A wizard’s grimoire, however, is often more than a collection of spells. It can contain a wizard’s researches, notes and theories. It may contain a lists of spell components, details of various rituals and information on magic items or monsters the wizard has encountered. Nonetheless, spells inevitably remain its signature or defining feature.

Most wizards acquire the spells in their spellbook either from a teacher, from trading with another wizard they may know or encounter or after finding a spell scroll. Another way to acquire spells would be to obtain another wizard’s spellbook or grimoire. When this occurs, however, the grimoire is often no more than the unnamed tome of an all but unnamed wizard containing a collection of spells with little additional or meaningful history or detail. This is not, however, always the case.

The Flanaess has more than its share of grimoires that do have names, do have histories and do have details. Canon records over one hundred named spellbooks or grimoires. Many of these have been given substantial histories that make for more than a bound collection of spell scrolls. This article collects one hundred nine such grimoires, notes where they are described within canon and fleshes them out with some additional detail.

The reason for compiling such a list is to allow a wizard to more easily find grimoires that are more than just spell collections. Over time, a wizard might come to have a magical library comprised of such grimoires. Because a grimoire can contain more than just a collection of spells, more detail may suggest adventures or provide a means to facilitate a wizard’s access to knowledge that might otherwise be unavailable to them.


The descriptions of grimoires that follow are presented in a standardized format. Each grimoire is given a "card catalog" entry. Each such entry begins with the name of the grimoire taken from canon, followed by the name of the author, if the author is known. It is important to note, however, that the name of the author given for a grimoire may be unreliable. A grimoire may be falsely attributed to a particular person or persons. This may be because more than one individual is known by that name or because the real author wished to disguise his or her identity or because the author chose to adopt a more impressive sounding name.

Few grimoires are published as a normal book would be. No grimoires are printed. Grimoires are instead copied by hand, usually by a wizard’s apprentices, who may or may not copy all of the original text and who may add material of their own. As apprentices copy their master’s grimoires, verbatim, or in creating their own fledgling grimoires, the number of copies in circulation increases. Copies may subsequently become lost. They may be stolen. It is in these ways that grimoires enter a wider circulation with multiple copies becoming known. Obviously, copies of some grimoires will become more widely copied and known than others. The most widely known may become almost standard texts for the instruction of wizards, found in any significant library of wizardry. The number of copies in circulation for any of the grimoires discussed will, however, rarely number more than a dozen, if that.

Because grimoires are not published in the traditional sense, they do not have exact dates when they first appeared in circulation or were written. Similarly, there are no definable editions of a grimoire. Instead, grimoires are said to belong to a particular magical age. An age is a variable period of time. The most recent ages of magic, being better known, are shorter than earlier ages about which much less is known. Ultimately, the assignment of a particular grimoire to a specific age is a rough approximation. Grimoires from elder ages do not necessarily contain more potent spells. Powerful spells have been known in every age. What older grimoires may contain, that newer grimoires do not, is information or knowledge, lore or secrets of times past that are now all but forgotten. The Ages of Magic recognized by wizards in the Flanaess are as follows -

4th Age - 500 CY to Date
3rd Age - 400 CY to 499CY
2nd Age - 0 CY to 399CY
1st Age - -1 CY and Before

The notes following the entry for the age of a grimoire are either summarizations of canon or entirely new material. The notes are not intended to be exhaustive but to suggest ideas for further elaboration or research in the canon source material. While each grimoire entry is capable of standing on its own, a narrative thread has been interwoven among all of the descriptions. Many grimoires are related to each other or share common authorship or other elements in their histories. This article will serve those looking for a bit more colorful or detailed description of a grimoire but will also reward the reader who reads the entire article and makes the connections between grimoires. Such connections may suggest further possibilities.

Following the general descriptive note, and spells known to usually be contained within a grimoire are listed. The spell notation may indicate that the spells contained in the volume are unique to that volume, merely versions of widely known spells or unknown, meaning that different copies of the grimoire may contain practically any spell. In addition to the spells listed, additional spells might also be present. Most grimoires are written in arcane code. Perhaps, portions of the grimoire have yet to be decoded or yet to be decoded properly or fully. Invisible ink or secret page dweomers may also account for spells other than those listed. Of course, as each copy of a grimoire is a unique creation, the copyist may simply have included additional spells.

Finally, the canon source for each grimoire is listed. Publication and page number are provided for each entry. While the catalog descriptions of the grimoires can stand alone without reference to the original source material, the original material will often add a wealth of additional detail and information.

The grimoires are presented alphabetically by title. In the Appendices the grimoires are presented alphabetically by both age and author.

A Word on Sources

Not every book of occult, esoteric or magical knowledge is a grimoire. At an irreducible minimum, a grimoire contains spells and is functionally synonymous with the more basic notion of the spellbook. Bearing this definition in mind, a number of canon texts will not be found in this listing. The Chronicle of Secret Times and The Secrets of Ye Skye Revealed, for example, are not grimoires and are, therefore, not included.

Similarly, unique books of which but a single copy exists, even if they contain spells, are not included. Thus, the Codex of Mordenkainen and the Codex of Infinite Planes are not included.

Some number of grimoires included are not specifically identified in their source material as belonging to Greyhawk by name. These grimoires may be thought of as "generic." None of these generic grimoires are identified with any other setting, however. They are included because they easily suggest their useful adoption into Greyhawk.

Perhaps controversially, a few Ravenloft grimoires are recognized as being Greyhawk grimoires. Ravenloft is its own setting but also takes from every setting, including Greyhawk (e.g. Vecna, Azalin etc.). I have seen no reason to exclude such Ravenloft material.

In much the same way, I have included two grimoires from the Al-Qadim setting or Zakhara, which is presented as both a generic setting and as tied to the Forgotten Realms. In these cases, I have provided Greyhawk connections for the material.

Grimoires, Alphabetical By Title:

Acererak’s Libram
Written by Acererak
Age - 2nd
Notes - A souvenir of the plundering of Acererak’s final resting place, the Libram pales by comparison to the arch-lich’s other arcane writings. He appears not have been trying very hard. With so many tomb robbers making their way to Acererak’s last abode, each looking for something to show off back home, one cannot but imagine the arch-lich busily preparing yet another volume for the rapacious tourists to liberate, all the while plotting their inventive murder.
Unique Spells - Acererak’s Blackstone
Source - Dragon 225, p.53

Alterations of Tangibles and Intangibles
Written by Yagrax
Age - 3rd
Notes - Written by Zagyg under his frequent pseudonym, Alterations of Tangibles and Intangibles is a straightforward text. It was written early in Zagyg’s career, before he was overtaken by madness. Some scholars speculate it was actually written when Zagyg was still apprenticed to Lyzandred. If true, Zagyg was indeed a precocious youth.
Known Spells - Melt/Transmute Water to Dust/ Item/Material/Fabricate/Crystalbrittle
Source - Dragon 82, pp.57-59

Ancient Cryptomacy
Written by Phandal
Age - 1st
Notes - On uncertain origin, Phandal, sometimes Phandral, is among the earliest known authors of a magical grimoire. A treatise on both mundane and magical codes and ciphers as well as trap-making of a most unusual sort, it is speculated than Phandal may have been other than human or even demi-human.
Known Spells - Sending/Wizard Mark/Secret Page/Sepia Snake Sigil
Source - Dragon 82, pp.57-59

Arcane Manipulations of the Entourage
Written by Otto
Age - 4th
Notes - Among the illustrious membership of the Circle of Eight, the wizard Otto is often overlooked as a mage or even seen as a figure of humor. Such does an injustice to a very capable dweomercrafter. Otto has a repertoire of highly unique spells based on music or sound but is no less accomplished as a master of enchantments. Arcane Manipulations of the Entourage is Otto’s masterpiece of the latter type of dweomer which has become a standard text, although often in abridged form. Not restricted solely to enchantments, Arcane Manipulations of the Entourage is a modern classic.
Known Spells -
Vol. 1 - Charm Person/Ray of Enfeeblement/Scare/Suggestion/Antipathy-Sympathy/Mass Suggestion
Vol. 2 - Alarm/Detect Illusion/Mislead/Dream/Dolor/Sequester
Vol. 3 - Friends/Hold Person/Charm Monster/Hold Monster/Charm Plants/Mass Charm
Vol. 4 - Sleep/Scare/Fumble/Geas/Otto’e Irresistible Dance/Confusion
Vol. 5 - Shout/Spook/Scare/Fear/Chaos
Vol. 6 - Explosive Runes/Power Word Stun/Power Word Kill/Power Word Blind/Symbol
Source - Dragon 82, pp.57-59

Arcane Puissance of Memory
Written by Rary
Age - 4th
Notes - Among several grimoires written by Rary which have subsequently become widely known from being copied by apprentices or otherwise, Arcane Puissance of Memory is perhaps the most significant. It is through this tome that much is learned of Tasirin, Ye’Cind, Johydee, Rialissom, as well as incidentally Lhegrand and Caligarde, and their dweomercraft. Arcane Puissance of Memory is a treasure trove of information related to the development of the wizardly arts in the Flanaess and presents one of the most complete lineages of wizardly masters and apprentices. It is perhaps the best known example of how magical knowledge has evolved and been transferred from master to apprentice in the Flanaess. Oddly, of Rary’s own master, little is revealed, not even his or her name.
Known Spells - Rary’s Mnemonic Enhancer/Forget/Mind Blank/Hypnotic Pattern
Source - Dragon 82, pp.57-59

Arcane Resistence of Dwarves and Halflings
Written by Serten
Age - 4th
Notes - Something of an underappreciated polymath, Serten explores why dwarves and halflings appear resistant to arcane influences. Now somewhat dated after the emergence of the Deep Oerth mages of the dwarves, this work still has great value for its groundbreaking study of arcane resistances. Through no fault of Serten’s, however, his work has unfortunately been seized upon by the Scarlet Brotherhood as "proof" of their theories of racial typing and superiority.
Known Spells - Dispel Magic/Remove Curse/Serten’s Spell Immunity/Anti-Magic Shell/Dispel Illusion/Dispel Exhaustion
Source - Dragon 82, pp.57-59

Architecture, Doors and Passages of Parallel Worlds
Written by Leomund & Mordenkainen
Age - 4th
Notes - Often imagined to be two distinct volumes, Architecture (Volume 1) and Doors and Passages of Parallel Worlds (Volume 2) are actually two parts of a single whole. A rare work by two mages writing in concert, Mordenkainen was definitely the junior partner in this relationship. In a very real sense, Mordenkainen was studying with Leomund when this grimoire was written. Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion was the immediate result of those studies.
Known Spells -
Vol. 1 - Leomund’s Secure Shelter/Leomund’s Tiny Hut/ Forecage/ Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion
Vol. 2 - Hold Portal/Knock/Jump/Wizard Lock
Source - Dragon 82, pp.57-59

Blood Codex of Ferranifer, The
Written by Ferranifer
Age - 3rd
Notes - The greatest tome concerning vampires and vampirism in the Flanaess, the Blood Codex was appropriately enough written by a vampire. It is consulted by vampire hunters, by those seeking to undergo the transformation to become a vampire and by those seeking knowledge of so-called "blood magics." This latter category of magery is a highly specialized form of magic with primeval origins but, later developed, sophisticated applications.
Spells - Unknown
Source - Return to the Tomb of Horrors, p.53

This article comes from Canonfire!

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