Quotes / Tome of Eldritch Lore

"I have examined this book, perused its pages, and inspected the reflections of those despicable authors who have added their peculiar insights into this most foul work, yet I refuse to see this tome as evil. This book is just a book. Where evil exists in regard to this tome is in the intent behind its use. I can imagine how a wretched man with darkness in his heart might find the contents here instructive to feeding his vile ambition. Yet can we not also see how a virtuous man might scan these same pages for insights into how he might triumph over that same darkness? This book is a tool and nothing more. Do not be put off by the sharpened edges and the curious odors wafting from its pages."
Shemeshka the Marauder, on the Book of Vile Darkness

"These are not on the public shelves lest untrained handling cause the collapse of everything it is possible to imagine."

Urag gro-Shub: An Elder Scroll is an instrument of immense knowledge and power. To read an Elder Scroll, a person must have the most rigorously trained mind, or else risk madness. Even so, the Divines usually take the reader's sight as a price.
Dragonborn: A price for what?
Urag gro-Shub: The simplest way to put it is "knowledge," but there's nothing simple about an Elder Scroll. It's a reflection of all possible futures and all possible pasts. Each reader sees different reflections through different lenses, and may come away with a very different reading. But at the same time, all of it is true. Even the falsehoods. Especially the falsehoods.
Dragonborn: Who wrote the Elder Scrolls?
Urag gro-Shub: It would take a month to explain to you how that very question doesn't even make sense. The Scrolls exist here, with us, but also beyond and beneath. Before and after. They are bits of the Divine made substance so we could know them... sorry, talking about the Scrolls, you usually end up in irritating and vague metaphors like that. Some people who study them devoutly go mad.

"Flesh. Bone. Bound together with the oddest magickal incantation. This wretched book is where it all began so long ago. Before time, before humanity."
Doctor Edward Roivas, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, about the Tome of Eternal Darkness.

"Once a spider skittered halfway across Flagg's book, touched a spell so terrible not even the magician dared use it, and turned instantly to stone.
Flagg grinned."

"There rose within him the tantalizing faith that somewhere an easy gate existed, which if one found would admit him freely to those outer deeps whose echoes rattled so dimly at the back of his memory."
H.P. Lovecraft, "The Descendant"

"Come: see the instrument of Their homecoming - what you have come looking for. The new Bible... that starts the Change... helps you See..."
Sutter Cane, In the Mouth of Madness

"The Necronomicon? You can't be shown one!
While the libraries
never will loan one!
But if it's so rare
And guarded with care
Why does every nut case seem to own one?"
Dennis Maggard

"The Old Ones wrote novels?"
"I doubt you’d appreciate them. Even if you learned the language and the writing didn’t drive you insane, they’re... well, they’re for a select audience."

"A long time ago, when the world was so new nothing had a name, something woke up. It learned all about what was and what would be... but most of all it learned what couldn't be, what shouldn't be. And it gave those things names, names it wrote on indestructible pages, because a namer has mastery of the named."
Diabolique, "Darkhold #10"

Not all of the books that we handle are beautiful inside and out. We breathe in the dust of the worst of them, fragments of their venom, and we poison ourselves. That is what happened to Maggs. He sourced books, and the stranger the better, but he would not read them. Yet I believe that his curiosity about the Atlas overcame his fear: he looked upon it, and something in it took root in his brain.

Upon rereading the pages of the book compiled previously (which has mouldered in a lead-lined box since publication) I noticed a subtle change had occurred to the pages. When I opened the covers, I noticed a faint odour. At first, I thought it was quite a pleasant smell, in fact, I felt a little light headed as it entered my lungs. But after a few breaths, I felt a dull pain behind my eyes, and waves of nausea rolled over me; what had previously been an intoxicating perfume quickly turned sour. Working with the manuscript again became a horrible experience. I experienced visions, disturbing and arousing in equal measure, and sleep became impossible to find. When it did overtake me, my dreams were filled with viler visions and debauchery. I was most glad when it was over. I have heard tell that there is an edition of this book that fell into the hands of a daemon-worshiping cult in Wolfenburg. They cast foul magic on it and wrapped the book in the skin of a daemon; even to touch this edition is to curse yourself.
Read this at your peril, guard your morals, and submit not to the temptations put before you.

It is said that amongst those Seekers After Truth who have gazed upon these profane volumes, some were driven mad immediately, while others tore out their own bloodied eyes rather than peruse the writhing calligraphy a heartbeat longer than they had to. And on these forgotten shelves, amongst those titles that should never be named, there is one grimoire that is said to be the most hideous of them all. That book is the very Lexicon of Fear itself. Within its seductively soft and supple pages are the words of terror themselves, made manifest by the tales they may recount to the unwary reader.
Horrorology, by Stephen Jones

These infamous "black books" distill the essence of the Pit through the written word. Bound in ominous leather covers (many of which obviously come from human "cattle") and filled with odd glyphs and strange designs, a grimoire is more than just a book. Within its pages, mysteries are revealed in esoteric language. A reader who manages to plumb the book's obscure symbolism and unearthly designs learns just a little bit more about Heaven, Hell and the denizens of both.
The instruction is not as easy as it sounds. Madness lies on each page of any grimoire worth the name. Some of these books feature living diagrams, foldout pages, captured winds, and other uncanny phenomena. And then there are the revelations themselves - devil-summoning rites, the True Names of angels, corpse-poetry and brain-crushing metaphysics. A person who reads a grimoire is at the very least disturbed; one who actually understands it is a step or two closer to insanity.