From the back of the box:
An Excerpt from
An Investigation into the Natural System of Organisms and Their Surroundings
by Elminster of Shadowdale
The world is vast and varied, comprising towering mountains, dense jungles, and sprawling seas. There are regions so cold that their snow never melts, others so hot that their rain turns to steam as it touches the ground.
It is this variety of environments that accounts for the variety of life. In my travels I have noted 73 distinct types of pine trees. . . . I estimate the number of fishes at well over five thousand. The number of insect species likely exceeds the number of grains of sand on the shores of Dragon Reach.
Every environment, no matter how hostile to humankind, is compatible with some form of life. The diversity and adaptability of organisms are staggering. . . .
Within this set are nine booklets. Eight of them, each written by an expert in the area, describe various ecological niches on the continent of Faerun. Begin by reading the Explorer's Manual, which:
- introduces the reader to the organization of the eight area-specific booklets
- contains the whole of the above excerpt from Elminster's work-in-progress about Realmsian biodiversity
- provides color-coded encounter tables for the eight other booklets along with instructions for their use.
Would-be travelers are advised to read well the information presented by the Sage of Shadowdale and his eight compatriots, and to memorize the Rules of the Rabbit. There are only three: A rabbit isn't always a rabbit. A rabbit doesn't want to be rich. A rabbit doesn't always stay put. An explanation? You'll find it in the Explorer's Manual. Read on, thou hearty adventurer!