De Vermis Mysteriis

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The De Vermis Mysteriis (also known as the Mysteries of the Worm) is the title of a fictional book created by Robert Bloch. H.P. Lovecraft provided the latin name of the title.

Description

De Vermis Mysteriis is the work of one Ludvig Prinn; a Flemish alchemist and supposed sorcerer. Prinn had spent a great deal of time traveling in the east (particularly in Syria and Eygpt) and claimed to have obtained a great age through the use of his sorcery. Eventualy Prinn was captured by the Inquisition and sentanced to death. While awaiting execution in his cell he wrote the volume he called De Vermiss Mysteriis. How Prinn managed to have the blasphemous manuscript smuggled past his captors is unknown though the nobleman and sorcerer Baron Hauptman is supposed to have had a hand in it. The book was published in Cologne during the next year, by Eucharius Cervicornnus.

Contents

The De Vermis Mysteriis is slightly over seven hundred pages long and split into sixteen chapters. These chapters deal with subjects such as Irim City of the Pillars, The Priesthood of Nephren Ka and the avatars of Nyarlathotep worshipped in the east, and avatars of Mordiggian and Cthulhu said to be worshiped by Ghoul cults. Part of the last chapter deals with a bizarre time drug that alters one's perception of time The same section allso contains the instructions for creating the Pnakotic Pentangle.

Another of the later chapters entitiled the Saracenic Rituals, focuses on the summoning and controlling other worldly beings. The layout of this chapter is a good example of Prinn's somewhat sadistic sense of humour since some of the spells required to control these summoned beings are written in totally different sections of the book.

Other supposed spells in the De Vermis Mysteriis include a ritual for summoning a child of Shub-Niggurath, a formula for calling up the spirit from the remains of its corpse, and instructions on how to craft a certain symbol Prinn claims to be a powerful aid in banishing entities.

Eucharius Cervicornnus

"A huge book lay open upon the stand, writ both in Latin and crabbed runes which looked, to my unpractised eye, either Druidic or pre-Celtic.... I closed the book and looked at the words stamped into the leather: De Vermis Mystenis. My Latin is rusty, but serviceable enough to translate: The Mysteries of the Worm. As I touched it, that accursed church... seemed to swim before me. It seemed that I heard low, chanting voices, full of hideous yet eager fear -and below that sound, another, filling the bowels of the earth. An hallucination, I doubt it not - but at the same moment, the church was filled with a very real sound, which I can only describe as a huge and macabre turning beneath my feet. The pulpit trembled beneath my fingers; the desecrated cross trembled on the wall."
- Stephen King, "Jerusalem's Lot"

The De Vermis Mystreriis was first published in Brussels in 1542 at the press of Cologne. This edition is written in Latin and in runes that might be described as "Druidic or Pre-Celtic" to the untrained eye, or akin to Aklo by Mythos scholars. A copy of this book was brought to Jerusalem's Lot in the 1700s, before the town fell to a nameless doom and was erased from history.

German Translation

In 1587 a German translation of the De Vermis Mysteriis was published in Hamburg. The contents were abridged and some parts censored.

"Kelly" Translation

In 1573 an English translation of the Latin De Vermis Mysteriis was published. Although this translation is sometimes said to be the work of Edward Kelly it was likely produced by an unnamed scholar.

The Mystries of the Worm

An Italian gentleman named Charles Leggett produced another English translation entitled The Mystries of the Worm [sic]. It was published in London during 1821.

Clergyman X's translation

Sometime in the Eighteen Hundreds an individual known only as "Clergyman X" made an English translation of the Saracenic Rituals. It was published in monograph form. The text is highly censored.

Role Playing Game Stats

Eucharius Cervicornnus edition  
Sanity Loss 1D6/2D6; Cthulhu Mythos + 12 Percent. Average 48 weeks to study and comprehend/196 hours to skim.
German Translation 
Sanity Loss 1D4/1D8; Cthulhu Mythos + 9 Percent. Average 32 weeks to study and comprehend/64 hours to skim.
"Kelly" Translation 
Sanity Loss 1D6/2D6; Cthulhu Mythos + 10 Percent. Average 36 weeks to study and comprehend/72 hours to skim.
The Mystries of the Worm 
Sanity Loss 1D4/1D8; Cthulhu Mythos + 8 Percent. Average 38 weeks to study and comprehend/56 hours to skim.
Clergyman X's translation 
Sanity Loss 1/1D3; Cthulhu Mythos + 6 Percent. Average 6 weeks to study and comprehend/

A player who sucessfuly studies any edition of the De Vermis Mysteriis gains skill checks in Astronomy, History and Ocult.