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During my run through of the Skeleton King's crypt I found books with Loric's story (2) and several from the scribe.

The templar I met insisted that if we found any books about his order that they were his.

Further into the game, during Act II, he again mentioned books about his order and a willingness to share them.

I thought I did a good job of looking around, but I didn't find any books, did I miss them?

Are they strictly a plot device and don't actually relate to any game items?

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I think he's referring to the Templar Relics, which are equitable items exclusive to the follower. –  Krazer May 17 '12 at 1:33
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He can be talking about the book that drops from Jondar, where he discover some information.

As they journey together the Hero begins to ask Kormac about his past prior to joining the Templars, of which Kormac has no memories. He explains that like many Templars he was once a criminal who was purged of his evil ways and made to serve the light, forgetting his past. The Hero continues to as ask Kormac if he ever wantes to learn of his past, and persuades him to look into it, using the information from a book that his traitorous comrade Jondar had in his possession.

As Kormac reads the book he grows worried that he could be being corrupted like Jondar was, and fall back to his old away. Kormac finds information on the Order that shocks him, and comes to a passage which undoes the spell that removed his memories when he reads it, allowing him to remember his past.

Source

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This seems to be most of what he was talking about... if we found additional books like the one he already has ... so strictly a flavour thing. –  Tharius May 26 '12 at 13:20
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It is possible that the tomes would normally appear on lecterns, but when the Templar is with you, you won't get the books but random drops instead.

See this forum post and this entry on lecterns at diablowiki.net.

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Those posts both seem to indicate that I've found all the lore I was meant to find in the area and so the tomes are giving me gold instead. –  Tharius May 17 '12 at 2:20
    
The lore tomes don't appear on lecterns if you've completed all that series of tomes, i.e. Leoric's Journals, that are supposed to appear at that location, similarly for Cain's Lost Satchel and so forth. –  Tharius Mar 5 '13 at 3:40
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