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Mad Poet Abdul Alhazred holds the Necronomicon.
(Magic item)

Caster Level (1E)
Major artifact
Slot (1E)
Source: What Grows Within, pg(s). 73

The Necronomicon, originally named Kitab al-Azif (كتاب العزيف), is a blasphemous text, written by the Mad Poet Abdul Alhazred, containing an account of the Outer Gods, Great Old Ones, and their mad cultists.1


Around 3525 AR, after spending a decade alone in the Empty Quarter, Abdul Alhazred penned the Kitab al-Azif. The book's already-sinister notoriety only grew after its author was devoured on the streets of Damascus in 3533 AR by an invisible monster.1

In 3745 AR, the Kitab al-Azif was discovered by Byzantine scholar Theodorus Philetas and translated into Greek under the name Necronomicon. Philetas was later forced to burn the translation publicly on the steps of a church, but before that, he had already hidden another copy in the town of Ulthar in the Dreamlands.1

In the ensuing centuries, the Necronomicon was translated into numerous other languages. One such language was Necril: the necromancer Geir, a member of the Whispering Way, found the Necronomicon in the Dreamlands, transported it to Ghasterhall in Ustalav, and began to translate it during his quest to become a lich and impress his master Tar-Baphon. Aware that the Whispering Way forbade passing secrets via anything other than whispers and paranoid that he would be found out, Geir enhanced the translation with powerful abjuration magic that prevented it from being divined or teleported and hoped that Tar-Baphon would be impressed enough by the gift of the book to pardon him for this violation. His efforts rewarded him with transformation into a lich in 3751 AR.1

In 3754 AR, Geir finished the translation and destroyed the stolen Greek version just as the Shining Crusade began. However, when trying to deliver the Necronomicon to Tar-Baphon, he was ambushed and killed by paladins, who recognised the Necronomicon as a dangerous book, but not its true significance. The Necronomicon was sent to Zimar, eventually making its way to the scholar Natharen Olatidar. Natharen began to study the book in search for secrets to help the Shining Crusade and grew paranoid that agents of Tar-Baphon might have infiltrated Zimar to reclaim the book.1

In 3756 AR, Natharen contacted Nyarlathotep to help his research. This act drove him insane: he became convinced that the supposed Whispering Way agents were actually working for something far more sinister, and killed a dozen innocents before the authorities killed him, recognised the dangers of the Necronomicon, and put it in a secure vault in Zimar for proper investigation after the end of the Shining Crusade. However, this never happened, as the Necronomicon was forgotten in the vault.1

During the Keleshite invasion of Taldor in 4079 AR, the Qadiran scholar Asea Imbandi personally rescued hundreds of books from Zimar's vaults, including the Necronomicon. As soon as she began to study it, she committed suicide from the Zenith of the Dawnflower in Katheer. Other scholars saw the book's dangers from the notes she left behind, and put it in the Mysterium under heavy wards, where it stayed until it was stolen by Haserton Lowls IV.1


The Necril translation of the Necronomicon is bound in leather cured from the faces of several people, preserved in their final painful moments. Its 888 pages are written on thin, resilient parchment, greasy and cool to the touch.1

Sections of the Necronomicon include:

  • Geir's initial musings
  • Abdul Alhazred's wanderings across Earth
  • How to contact and interact with Mythos creatures
  • Details of the Elder Mythos (the largest and most dangerous section to sane minds)
  • Magic of the Elder Mythos
  • Similarities between humans and deep ones; how to gain or remove a deep one corruption
  • How to transfer minds from one body to another
  • Formulae for contacting the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones
  • Information on the Dreamlands
  • How to manipulate time and space1

The Necril translation of the Necronomicon is particularly hard to destroy compared to other copies (none of which exists on Golarion). It cannot be located by divination, while teleportation will always leave it behind and risks teleporting the spellcaster to a singularly dangerous location full of undead or Elder Mythos creatures. It can only be destroyed after both Geir (who has since become a demilich) and the Dreamlands duplicate of Alhazred have been destroyed as well, but the destruction of either will likely attract the attention of Nyarlathotep, who might attempt to rescue the Necronomicon and relocate it to another planet.1


Original source: The Necronomicon was first mentioned in H. P. Lovecraft's short story "The Hound", written in 1922 and published in 1924. The Necronomicon's purported author, the "Mad Arab" Abdul Alhazred, had been quoted a year earlier in Lovecraft's "The Nameless City", written and published in 1921.

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