|“||The Books must be brought back into this world to help us bring on the Year of the Skulls. The first Book is the most important. I don't know its title. But by the time I finish writing it down I will be able to read it and to use it to bring forth the other Books. I will be able to use those to open the way for my mother.||”|
The Books of the Dead were created by the Deceivers, followers of the goddess Kina, for the purpose of bringing about the Year of the Skulls. The knowledge within them could empower Kina's cult priests to free her from her prehistoric prison beneath the glittering plain. Ensuring that the Books of the Dead could never be put to use became one of the primary goals of the modern Black Company, which ironically was the precise opposite goal of that same organization's founders.
Before Croaker's AnnalsEdit
After the Books were written, Rhaydreynak, emperor of the land that is now Taglios and the Shadowlands, launched a crusade against the Deceivers, killing them wherever they could be found. Some Deceiver survivors escaped onto the plain, to protect themselves and preserve the Books of the Dead, and eventually the Deceiver saint Mahtnahan dan Jakel killed Rhaydreynak with a silver rumel. However, no one in the home-world who knew where the Books were hidden survived Rhaydreynak's slaughter, so the Books were considered lost. The Books were stored in the ice caverns below the fortress with no name at the center of the plain, where they remained for hundreds of years, utterly forgotten by everyone, even the next generation of Deceiver priests.
She Is the DarknessEdit
During the Siege of Overlook, the Daughter of Night (Kina's living instrument) was trapped with Narayan Singh, the chief Strangler jamadar. She received the revelation from Kina that her hand would be guided to write the first Book of the Dead. She painstakingly worked to transcribe the first Book, which was the only one that needed to be written down. Once the first was written, it could be read aloud and used bring forth the others with sorcery.
The Daughter nearly completed her new copy of the first volume of the Books of the Dead. It was bound in tan vellum. But, this copy was stolen from Overlook by the Howler. It was next appropriated secretly by Uncle Doj, who concealed it within a camouflaged Shadowlander cemetery.
Sleepy, the Annalist and highest-ranking member of the Black Company in Water Sleeps, intuited correctly that her ally Uncle Doj had hidden the stolen copy of the first volume of the Books of the Dead. He eventually agreed to give it to her, and together they retrieved it from the fancy tomb where he had squirreled it away. (About 5 years later, this location would become the site of the Battle at the Shadowlander cemetery in Soldiers Live.) Sleepy handed the book over to Narayan Singh at the Grove of Doom in exchange for the golden pickax.
|“||The scriptures are no good locked up inside me. They must be out, in written form, to assume their full power. They must be there so that the cantor priests can sing from them continuously during the time of resurrection.||”|
Although the originals were destroyed, the entire text was perfectly memorized by Kina's demon servant, the Khadidas (an entity which possessed the body of Goblin). When Tobo's Unknown Shadows discovered and reported this, the threat of the Books being rewritten was understood to be very real. Though the Khadidas and the Daughter escaped to the Grove of Doom after the Battle of the Middle Ground, they had no writing supplies to transcribe the Books.
The Books of the Dead were lost forever when the Khadidas was neutralized long enough for Croaker to orchestrate the death of Kina.