Early in the First Age, the No Moon scholar Woodchuck the Younger first compiled this impressive tome, which recorded all known history, had encyclopedic knowledge of cultures and customs across Creation, and instructions on how to perform a wide variety of useful tasks. It was intended as a primer for children, and widely distributed to those who followed the philosophy of preparedness espoused by Woodchuck the Younger. New versions were periodically produced over the centuries, right until the end of the First Age.
What makes this an artifact rather than just a useful tome is its size. The codex is roughly as big as a paperback book, yet holds far more than should be possible. The amazingly clear and well-organized index allows the reader to find whatever topic he desires quickly and easily. (One of the extensive appendices even describes just how it is that the book contains so much information.) Any given copy is a priceless treasure trove of near-total knowledge up to the point when it was written, which could range from just after the Primordial War to just before the Usurpation.
Mechanically, the codex provides automatic successes on Lore rolls relating to the First Age. Superficial knowledge can be gleaned quickly, and more detailed information requires longer study.
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Additionally, the practical knowledge contained therein can be used to figure out how to perform simple tasks immediately (such as light a fire, set a broken limb, or start a typical Essence-powered vehicle) as well as for long-term study. A character with access to the book can use it in place of a mentor for learning any ability up to level 5, including learning any common charms for that ability.
In the first age, these books were merely Artifact •, though in the present they are valued much more highly. While the technology underlying its information storage is at best Artifact ••, the knowledge within is potentially priceless. In that respect, it acts more like Artifact N/A, in that it can have significant effects on the plot of the game and Storytellers should only allow it if they wish it.