The Leicester Graveyard Dirt War of 2013
I assume that you all already know to not bother looking up the War in either the papers, or the history books? Good, good. Yes, of course this sort of thing doesn’t spill over into the non-magical world. For one thing, the non-magical world doesn’t really want to hear about this sort of thing. Magic is typically mostly socially acceptable in our culture when it’s perceived as being faintly ridiculous. Having people get killed over handfuls of dirt is kind of antithetical to that.
But graveyard dirt from Leicester — specifically, dirt from the car park excavation that revealed the burial site of Richard III of England — was and is valuable. Typically, graveyard dirt is fairly potent on its own, occultly speaking. Graveyard dirt from a monarch, doubly so. Graveyard dirt from the secret grave of a highly controversial king who is also a potent figure in English literature? Off the charts-powerful, and with nary a protective or grounding spell cast on it to lower the street value.
Unfortunately, between the time of the unearthing of the grave and the unaccountably-delayed appearance of the Crown’s Special Agents to take occult control of the site, a magical crime cabal managed to abscond with about five hundred pounds of pure graveyard dirt. And this particular dirt (soon called ‘richdirt’ by the polite, and a slightly ruder name by everybody else) soon became legendary in the occult underworld. The deaths started up shortly thereafter.
Not particularly from any sort of curse: they died because when you have a quarter-ton’s worth of something that’s worth ten times its weight in gold and has no legal owner, it’s easy to slip into a gang war or two. This one lasted most of a year and killed about three thousand or so people, on at least four continents; it only ended when the magical law enforcement agency that Europe doesn’t have reached out their equally nonexistent North American, African, and Asian counterparts to secure the remaining richdirt. Since then the supply has been extremely carefully regulated and controlled.
And that leads to your team’s new assignment. Here’s a pound of the stuff: it needs to be in the hands of a Sydney magical research lab by the end of the week. No, you don’t need to know what the lab needs it for. You do need to know that the street value of what you have is now somewhere around a quarter of a million dollars American, so don’t lose it. And be very suspicious of anybody who shows too keen an interest in your dirt, starting with your own immediate superiors…