Vade Mecum Atrocitas (The Handbook on Wickedness)

The Vade Mecum Atrocitas is a publication that has been in circulation in various forms for nearly a millennium. Thought to have been originally translated from recovered texts of the Collatian Dynasty, the Vade Mecum Atrocitas has subsisted through both ancient and modern Decusian culture despite repeated attempts to scour it from the annals of history. While no modern scholar could accurately surmise what texts or ancient knowledge may have originally served as the basis of the present-day Atrocitas, it is inferred that these recovered Collatian works had been centered around the occult and paranormal. Modern day editions of the Atrocitas, as it is most commonly referred to as, most likely resembles little of what Collatian literature it may of been based upon, simply due to it’s nature of being a collaborative work stitched together over literal centuries. Contemporary versions of the Atrocitas consist mostly of the accounts of first-hand experiences and observations of and with various metaphysical and paranormal entities that are purported by the Atrocitas to have or have had existed within Vitaveus. Ascribed to a plethora of different authors over a varied period of time, the present-day editions of the Atrocitas is a sprawling compendium of information covering a large range of topics and ideals, all of which share common underlying themes relating to that of the paranormal, the metaphysical, the esoteric and the occult.

The Atrocitas, as other works like it, have been a subject of controversy within the Decusian culture since the original publication and distribution of the work. The Atrocitas’ various chapters and treatises cover a wide variety of themes and ideas deemed heretical and even blasphemous by the Venerated Church of Decus, and thus, has been considered contraband for nearly as long as it’s existed in published form. Originally declared to be an illegal work of literature by the Inconcessus Accord of 917 A.S., mere possession of a copy of the Vade Mecum Atrocitas remains illegal to this day. In more zealous periods of the Republic’s history (of which ebb and flow much unlike a unsettled lake), the mere possession of the Atrocitas begot the ire of the Venerated Inquisition, often resulting in outright execution. While it is evident that the Atrocitas is the work of an innumerable amount of authors over various periods of time (notably, both before and after the widespread adoption of the Decusian culture upon Vitaveus), individual works within the Vade Mecum Atrocitas are often attributed to one of a select few recurring individual names and characters. This peculiar form of attribution can be for one of many reasons; the most obvious being the inherent danger of being attributed as an author of inherently illegal literature. Some scholars believe that this peculiar authoring method is a form of recognizing and even honoring the most early collaborators to the Atrocitas, and has transformed into a tradition of sorts. Yet there are a select few that, beyond any logical reason, favor more mystical explanations, particularly that the small pantheon of authors attributed to the Atrocitas are in fact immortal beings, inexplicably adding to the Atrocitas over the course of a millennium.

Mysticism and paranormal explanations aside, it cannot be disputed that the Vade Mecum Atrocitas carries with it a plethora of unanswered questions regarding it’s very nature. While obtaining a copy of the Atrocitas can usually be done without an exorbitant amount of difficulty (especially within less regulated areas of the Republic, such as the Midlands or even the Western Territories), the sources of the Atrocitas’ publication are often a heavily guarded secret. One could deduce that a centralized and organized establishment is behind the publication of the Atrocitas, as nearly every decade, a new edition of the work is distributed among the Republic. Yet do to the very nature of the works the Atrocitas purports to document in sometimes meticulous detail, one can never assume that a copy of the Atrocitas is truly genuine, if one can even attribute such a word to a work such as the Atrocitas. Incidentally, simply due to it’s nature of documenting and detailing creatures, events and occurrences that simply do not exist in modern-day Vitaveus, many look upon the Atrocitas as fantastical nonsense. Many present-day scholars have even petitioned the Venerated Church to add the Atrocitas as an exception from the Inconcessus Accord, under the premise that the work represents a masterpiece of Decusian folklore. Despite all of this, the Vade Mecum Atrocitas remains an illegal piece of literature within the Venerated Republic of Decus, whether it be due to superstition, long-standing ecclesial traditions, or simple tried-and-true bureaucracy. Yet in spite of it being considered a work of fiction by the majority of educated, rational members of society, the Atrocitas is considered canon to many elements of our culture. Certain sects and orders of Orthodox Decusian traditionalists look upon the Atrocitas as evidence to the existence of the “Ill” throughout ancient and modern history, and often use the Atrocitas and works akin to it as evidence to support their zealous ideologies. In other parts of the Republic, such as the under-developed Western Territories, the Atrocitas is almost a staple of life, often heralded to be as vital to one’s survival as water or the blade.

Collected Works

A collection of works that are often referenced within the Atrocitas…

The Art of Magic and the Arcane

Entities, Creatures and Presences