|This article is about the current version of Mystcraft.|
The descriptive book is an object crafted in the Book Binder. It creates and allows travel to a new custom dimension, known as an "Age." Ages can be random, or crafted carefully by writing a description of the desired Age with symbol pages.
The safest way to use a descriptive book is to place it on a lectern or book stand first. To use a book displayed in this way, right click to open the book to the first page, then left-click the linking panel to travel to the Age described.
The same process is used with a book held in the hand, but at the risk of damaging or destroying the book itself (see Warnings:Dropped Books, below).
With books that have been written with symbols, opening the book and then clicking on the folded page corners allow you to turn the pages and review which symbols were used, and in what order. This is useful to learn about the grammar of writing, or to figure out why an Age is not what you expected.
A book on the ground is picked up by sneak-right-clicking with an empty hand.
One Way Trip
All links to new Ages are one-way. It is highly recommended that you carry one or more linking books with you. Without a return linking book, you may become trapped in the new Age if there is not a star fissure to jump into. Otherwise, hope that the materials necessary to create ink, paper, and other supplies are available on this Age in order to write new Ages in search of a star fissure.
A descriptive book used to link to an Age does not follow the user. If protected by a lectern or book stand, it remains safe. However, if the book was held in the user's hand when they linked, it will drop to the ground and begin taking damage which cannot be repaired. The rate of damage is faster when exposed to liquid, such as during rain or if dropped into a lake or other body of water. Books dropped into lava are almost instantly destroyed.
Sometimes Ages are written poorly. Common writing problems include an insufficiently specific description, greed (an Age made entirely of diamond ore, for example), including contradictory elements, or simply not following the grammar used by the special form of the D'ni language known as "The Skill" or "The Art." When writing errors are made, Ages can exhibit features known collectively as instability.
Instability can manifest subtle ways, such as the occasional unexpected onset of undesirable potion effects, or in more spectacular and highly hazardous ways, such as a rain of destructive meteors. A particularly insidious form of instability is Decay, which as its name suggests, causes the very substance of the Age itself to decay, eventually leading to its complete destruction over time. Being trapped in a decaying Age is problematic.
In a book binder, put leather in the square slot on the left side of the interface and a link panel page plus, optionally, any desired symbol pages in the wide dark field underneath. Right-clicking on the dark field with a collation folder will empty the contents of the folder, in order, into the book binder for ease of composition and binding.
Name the Age in the text box at the top, and the bound descriptive book will appear in the square box at the right of the interface.