Tuesday, November 8, 2011

[Resources] The Ormulum

Þiss boc iss nemmnedd Orrmulum
forrþi þatt Orrm itt wrohhte
This book is named Ormulum
because Orm created it

The Ormulum is a twelfth-century Middle English manuscript known as an exegesis, an interpretation of the bible. The manuscript contains nearly 20,000 lines of script, which, in addition to the historical homilies, provides a pronounciation guide to Middle English. The only copy that exists is at the Bodleian Library but it is incomplete, missing 210 homilies out of 242. Some of the losses are more recent - a seventeenth-century owner copied parts that no longer exist in the Bodleian manuscript.

The author, Orm, was an Augustinian monk who identified and named the manuscript after himself and is supposed to have started the text in 1150. The name Orm is Old Norse for dragon or worm and he signs the text as both Orm and Ormin (dragon-man).

Every game needs a mysterious, partially complete book and the Ormulum fits that to a "T." Where are the missing parts? What secrets do they hold? And what connection, if any, does Orm have with dragons (like, perhaps, the Lambton Worm or the Dragon of Mordiford)?


  1. Great resource and inspiration post.
    I am in the middle of creating an adventure where much of it takes place at an abbey. I was trying to think of a book that would be mysterious and part of the plot. This is just more food for fodder in that regard! Thanks!

  2. Yeah, that's a sweet piece of inspiration, right there.


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