f you are perusing this hefty, gilded and leather-bound volume, three things may be presumed about you. First: you can read, which - congratulations! You are already amongst the highest echelons of the educated elite! You must be either a noble, a scholar, or a lowborn without ready access to friends or outdoor activities. Second: you, like so many others before you, have developed a keen taste for that most intoxicating of elixirs: ADVENTURE. And third: armed as you are with intelligence and a yearning for exploration, you wish not to be immediately slain by the first kobold or ill-tempered wood sprite that crosses your path.
Well, fear not, brave adventurer, for I, Thagorast the Wizard (of the Annointed Esterloch Council, Defender of the Ancient Athaeneum of Thrond, and High Champion of the Sapphire Spire eight years running, no big deal) have spent much of the last two centuries traveling these lands, meticulously compiling the bestiary you now hold in your hands. I have devoted my life to observing, cataloguing, and, yes, alright, DISPATCHING all manner of living and unliving creatures in these lands: from the rocky shores of Tattersail to the highest peaks of Devilscar, from the obsidian caverns of the Nine Fingers to the fetid sewers of Spectral City (my review: skip them).
Upon these pages you shall find inscribed the names, habits and unique methods of attack and defense practiced by each of these "Dwellers," as I like to call them. My hope is that each entry shall provide you with the knowledge to face these creatures bravely and with a sound strategy in battle, in those cases where the creature is near or below your strength and skill. For those creatures stronger than yourself, let this guide serve as a detailed glimpse at the way you are likely to be gruesomely murdered. As long as you do not attempt to read this book WHILST in battle (an all-too-common blunder!), it should serve a very useful purpose.
And unlike OTHER TOMES of this kind (I'm looking at thee, BIDRICK THE FABULOUS - a self-bestowed title, I ASSURE YOU), everything within this manual is TRUE, UNEMBELLISHED and VERIFIED by myself. I do not outsource my adventuring as some authors do, sending wave after wave of pupils and apprentices to their deaths while I sit in my sanctum and scrawl notes. (Of course I have apprentices and of course many of them have died horribly, but at least I was FIGHTING BY THEIR SIDE whilst they bravely CARRIED MY STUFF).
And with that I invite you to read on, and learn of these many fantastical Dwellers you are sure to encounter on your path toward adventure, riches and renown. Tread with courage, vigilance, curiosity, and above all else, purpose!