An in-role guide to your time here in the Book of Travels. There is limited technical information due to preserving many of the secrets this game contains, however there information pertaining to basics, lore, creatures and reagents you may find useful. Enjoy!
Updates and Changlogs
Apologies, but I’m going to keep things out of character in the spoilers for simplicity sake. You can view this guide and the recent changelogs as I continue to work my way through BoT and its lore, locations, mobs, items and magic.
**All Changes will be dated along with details below, please stay tuned and watch for up to date information.**
10/20/2021 – All Information is based on current build as of this date.
Greetings strangers, travelers and merchants upon this long and winding path. I am Many-Faces, humble wanderer and binder along this Braided Shore. I have roamed these parts for many days and many more nights, in search of lore long forgotten and knowledge obscure and strange. I see a few of you are new to this new world, souls lost upon the Crying Shores perhaps? Worry not, for I will be happy to give you some words for your time here. Come, join me for Tea, and relax.
Let me tell you the life of the [bold] Khelim [/bold]. Dandelions, we are called, defined by our way of life in this land. We travel from coasts to forests and beyond, seeking endlessly, by virtue of creed or faith or musings. Tidings of lands, foreign to tongues that have only known the Knot, find refuge in the soft billowing steam of the Teahouses, joined by hands and hearts of paths all over.
To we who wander, some may find comfort in the simple things, foraging in fields for Tea and small comfort. To others, we venture to the bustling towns and sleepy villages, making friends and memories along the way. Still others seek more venturesome roads, taking to danger and lost knowledge hidden deep in the ephemeral wilds of the world.
This is but a Forward as I’m sure you’ve guessed and one where I should introduce myself. I am Many-Faces, seeker of lost lores, tales and trinkets. Under my false forms and names, many don’t notice a helpful hand with their lockbbox, or an altar in need of a spark, but I’m always with you with Tea and traveling tales to spare.
Within this guide you will find that I spare no secret nor reveal too much. This is to help you learn, my friend. After all, were I to tell you of your Journey, you would not be the maker of your own destiny, no? Instead, I will try my best to help you find your feet along the road where the cardinal winds will favor you and good fortune, danger and companionship await….
Your Story, Your Choices
You may find yourself surpriased by these words, but this is a world of opportunity and, most crucially, a world of choices. How you choose to spend your time, what roads to take, which people to talk to and why. These are fundamentals to any wanderer worth their knots and it begins with your Form.
When you first begin, you may be a little daunted by the thought of Forms. These are the beginning threads of your story. Your quirks and personality draws from them, as well as your affinity for one of the Four Cardinal Winds. These choices may appear simple, but each one can make a significant difference later on. Take your time to view them and make your decisions according to how you want to play.
Affinity of the Cardinal Winds
One thing you will need to decide is your affinity for one of the four Winds. Aligning with one of them will make memorizing spells and abilities easier. I will give you my personal notes on each of these winds, but there is more lore about them from sources both local and far away….
The North Wind:
Of the Cardinals, the Northern Wind is the most industrial, favoring those sound of mind and body. It is a Wind that guides swiftly to ends, both physically and spiritually. Spells that allow one to recovery, healing, and even some for swift transportation exist in this affinity. Mechanics is its guiding trait, providing insight into the machinery of the Elden, as well as lending to means of travel.
The South Wind
Energetic and Vibrant, the Southern Wind brings forth storms, not of malice, but of vigor and strife. It favors those who practice the martial arts. Warriors and Wardens all owe their combat prowess to the South Wind. There are some Knot Spells attributed to the South that increase travelling options, such as gateways and other curious spells, leading to notions that the South catches what the other spells do not fall under. But this is a misconception as some of the most powerful spells reside with a Wind of such great strength. Physicality is its guiding trait, lending strength of body, providing the fortitude to overcome obstacles.
The East Wind
The capricious of the Cardinals, the Eastern Wind is one of nature and of change. It governs the natural flow of the world, allowing for the transmutation and summoning of earthly designs, such as pools of water, fruit trees, and even flowers. It also allows for the communion of animals and their aspects in interesting ways. A particular favorite of merchants and Thieves alike, those aligned with the East can gain insight and even new perspectives. Sociality is the guiding trait, lending persuasion into every word they breathe.
The West Wind
The realm of spirits, of illusion, and of magic, the Western Wind keeps matters of the mystical. Binders bearing affinity to the West find it easier to cast spectacular feats of illusion, changing their appearance and even fashion objects of ethereal light. With such feats of trickery, deception often lends into potent powers to confuse the mind and fool the senses. Spirituality is its guiding trait, allowing those with intellect to pierce the veil and bring forth miracles of magic.
Another thing to consider are the four Talents]. These are skills that enable you to interact with different aspects of the world. Being adept at Mechanics for example provides keen insight into machinery, complex mechanisms, and even math homework. Meanwhile, being skilled in Spirituality enables you to commune with the Three Realms of the Spirits, and to call upon lost forgotten rites.
As mentioned above, Mechanics determines your knowledge and application of mechanical ingenuity both in ‘modern’ and ancient Elden technology. From simple locks, to complex machines, Those skilled in mechanics will find an easier time with metal.
A measurement of ones inner strength and perceptions to the metaphysical, those gifted in Spirituality will find an easier time dealing the affairs of the spirits. The use of Altars is a primary examples of this, and play a role in the lives of those of mystical means.
An understanding of society, Sociality can make or break success with people. If you need to convince anyone of anything, Sociality is the skill to possess as it can open the doors to the hearts of others, and may allow you to glean some useful information.
Denoting one’s sheer strength to overcome physical obstacles. It is a simple, but sturdy expression of raw power. Useful for overturning stones, untangling plants and other heavy lifting that requires more muscles than you knew you had in you.
Once you’ve determined your Form, you may now select Traits. These are pieces of you that can and WILL impact how you play. These changes can be minimal, but some can be debilitating such as earning an extra debuff card for certain things. Paying attention to what they do can make a significant difference. I won’t note them all here, but you can find their descriptions easily enough.
Once you have determined all the appropriate requisites, you are ready to begin your journey, wherever the Winds take you.
Arrival On a Strange Shore…
Sooner or later, you will arrive on the Braided Shore. However you reach this place, you will discover a great deal of land to explore, and choices to be made. Whether you acquire a wealth of goods in trading, patrol roads to keep them free of banditry, or perhaps simply wander and smoke beneath starry sky like I do, is simply decided by you. There are however a few points I should like to make.
A strange concept to some, Reagents are materials gathered along your path that are placed in your reagent pouch, that little bag attached to your (S)killbook. These are used in the conducting of Knot-Spells, allowing for creative powers, from changing your appearance and clothing, to summoning trees and even gateways to other places. How you acquire them is not my business..though you may find I left future notes later on below. Take your time to gather reagents, as stocking healthy amounts will allow you to cast spells more often and hone your skills faster.
The time of convenient coinage is past:
For many, especially the unlearned in this new land, a life of coin and easy gains has ended abruptly and for many, have been a sore source of complaint and irritation. So shackled by the yoke have they, that the act of bartering has left them. To those who would listen, I would tell you of some ways to help with this..
Firstly, pay attention to those who wish to trade. Their mannerisms, their motives, their quirks, and their trades. Each merchant peddling their wares will prefer different goods. It is up to you to figure it out. I will say if you find yourself with extra clothing.. you might have an easier time convincing a forgemen to part with something shiny. Which brings up my next point.
You will encounter at times certain merchants that enter the local villages, offering wares of their native land, asking for a significant amount of goods in return. Such luxurious commodities may be worth even more to the right people and not every market is in the public’s eye.
One more important thing to note, you may notice numbers when you trade. Their base ‘price’ will appear with nearly every good you possess. These numbers are manipulated based on a merchants particular needs, however.. your rate of exchange will also be affect by certain skills acquired through secretive means of Haggling.
Do not fear loss. There is no gain without loss, even when you turn assumed wealth into a singular medium. While it is true that most prefer gemstones with little to fear, you may also fare better to exchange for other equally valuable goods. The important lesson is to try different avenues. There are wandering traders who make their life on the road, that may even carry goods even you might not be aware of!
One more thing on this subject. There will come times when you find those in need. When you help them and in their gratitude, present you with a thankful Knot, hold fast to them. While a thank you might seem small in the face of bartering wealth, there are those that value them for more than what they seem, somewhere deep in the woods.
A Curious Knotted Tongue and a Temple on Isolated Shore:
You will find first that this land so foreign to our own speaks a language. Listen closely now for what I will tell you. Learn the language of the Vellan and more paths than roots in the oldest tree shall open to you. Trade, Gossip, Magic, and more are all ‘tied’ together in the secrets of the Knot.
There are a few ways to accomplish this, but one way I know involves passage to the trading island of Bat Saha. There are ways to reach that land of tide and tithing, and it would be rude of me to spoil such a trek from its name. Once you seek passage and arrive, you must find a Teacher. Seek the southern parts of the island, follow our namesakes, and you will find the guardians of a refuge. Just…mind their forms. If you need help seeking out Bat Saha, consider asking around for more accurate directions.
This is where paying attention is crucial while keeping a spot in your bag open for any gifts they may give you. Eventually you will need to travel around Bat Saha for a small time, but if you pay closely to the advice of the locals, you will learn of their ways.
Once you eventually complete that portion of your journey, new worlds and new words will be available to you to study and learn from and increase your worldly knowledge of these lands and may even earn you some additional secrets as well.
Combat for the Combative:
This has been a sore subject for a few wanderers I have found dueling with the friendly wardens along the road and become frustrated when they are soundly defeated. I will help you to understand as best I can the flow of strife. You may find these words helpful in discovering useful strategy or to simply avoid confrontation.
The Tri-weave of combat.
Like any good Knotwork, you require a few things to have a good grasp of combat. Preparation, Patience, Practicality These are vital three Knots that you must remember in any battle to succeed, lacking in any one Knot can spell disaster to the unprepared. Let’s begin with the first.
Preparation is the start to any traveler, both peaceful and combative. Your strength is a culmination of Force, Ward, Speed, and Burden, each playing for and against your overall skill. This is further improved upon through the use and practice of Tea. There are in this world particular brews to enhance your physical prowess*.
Equipment will greatly change your style of engagement, and you must be aware of your strengths and more often your weaknesses, Particularly Speed and Burden. The more you are weighed by your equipment, the slower you will be to strike. This can easily mean life or death. Next, we will discuss Patience.
Patience deals not with just maintaining a calm mind and sound spirit during excitable situations, but also accuracy. When you are in the midst of combat, you will feel yourself readying to strike. The longer you wait, the more accurate the strike. This is crucial to your success, for when you strike before and opponent, you will throw them off slightly, increasing the time it takes for them to counter you. Some you engage may be impatient and instead attack before they are ready. These blows are easily dodged and will not stray your own concentration.
This is where Speed and Burden come into play with the flow of combat. Increasing your Speed over Burden will allow you to strike quicker and with greater time for accurate strikes. If an opponent cannot hit you, they cannot beat you.
When a foe does land a blow, your Ward will protect you, until it is completely depleted. Pay special attention to this for just before a lethal strike, you will have one more chance to finish the battle. This works for either side, and can easily turn sour for the most confident of folks.
Having Patience will also serve you well outside of combat and even before an engagement, allowing you to measure from afar, your chances of winning an engagement can be. If you feel overwhelmed, you are more than likely correct and should avoid fighting, at least until you have refilled your Tea.
Lastly, Practicality is bringing the former two together into one flowing game. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and that of your opponents. For some that means even allowing your opponent to get the first hit in, but truly to those of sound Force and Speed, the victor is typically determined swiftly, unless of course you bring a butter knife against plated armor…. trust me you do not want to try that.
Find the style that works for you and practice against the Wardens, at least those who claim to spar, as it is important to duel those with honor than to be lost to Banditry.
*An important note: While you may find Teas to be invigorating, one must be careful to supply themselves with rest and another cupful after an engagement. The vigor that brews provide especially to Ward are temporary and should that potency be spent, you will not have it again. When you need to drink Tea again, but still feel its previous effects, cancelling the first will allow you to replenish the second.
The Language of the Khelims
This next part is something I personally use, and may be dismissed at your leisure. Often I encounter some who have some trouble understanding Vellan or perhaps have had one too many sips of a particularly strong Tea (Not naming names, but you know who you are.) and it becomes a bit difficult to properly communicate, however I’ve learned to adapt and I try to help teach others the way of Body Language.
Below are phrases I tend to use, sometimes together in periodic transmissions to get the point across and can even weave elaborate tales using these combinations. Feel free to experiement, just keep in mind the key concept: Context. Without that, you are ultimately just blithering on. This is especially true in places of danger, where communication is king and only a fool fails to listen.
Basics to combination phrases:
A few things to note while learning phrases, especially because using too many too rapidly can cause some confusion. so here’s some quick tips on contextual communication that can help you.
Using the Hourglass..
The Hourglass is useful for a few things.. such as asking others to wait.. it is also useful for when you have alot to say. I usually use Hourglass + Person When I have something a little long to say, as it helps address further strings of movements to better understand. This is also very useful for being around a campfire, as many people might be talking at once, and this helps to ensure everyone listens, knowing you have more to say.
This can be rather useful to show description for things that are relatively important to know.. such as friendly traders around the bend.. or perhaps a Maisu that has wandered too close to camp. Usually using the Endeavor Icons in tandem with the person can easily mean, things like Maisu or Mystic, so long as a Combat symbol shows up either before or after your description. I chose after.. but some do it before, whatever’s comfortable for you. Just make sure you get your point across or your friends might end up someone’s lunch.
- Combination Phrases:
- Person + Swords = Aggressive Persons/People (Bandits, Thieves and other malfactors)
If an Arrow is used afterwards, they mean in that direction. If an exclaimation (!) is used followed by an Arrow, then its a dangerous Person or People ahead.
- Animal + Swords = Aggressive Beasts
This is in tandem with the above, with an Arrow indicating direction. An exclaimation (!) followed with an arrow, however, means a dangerous beast is ahead.
- Travel Marker + House = Nomad’s Rest
This is a rather important one because it often means a fireplace and good shelter.. better than getting rained upon. An arrow usually means direction, however using a Spiritual after means they wish to perform a magic, and a useful one at that.
- Person + Broken Heart = Needs healing
This is one not seldom seen, but good to look out for. As you know of the way we remain in this world, we must take care of ourselves bodily. usually when someone exudes this, they wish for healing, so don’t be afraid to perform some goodness if you can.
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