Jun
05
2018
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Item Seed: The Insinuation Codex.

Insinuation Codex – Google Docs

 

The Insinuation Codex

 

This unpleasant tome of unsavory magical lore was first published in Charlottetown, Canada in 1793.  The publisher was Jonathan Grimsby, a Connecticut Loyalist of evil reputation, both in his old home and new one. When his house was struck repeatedly by lightning in 1802 (over a three day period), presumably killing everyone inside, no-one mourned.  No-one, in fact, bothered with a funeral.

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May
21
2018
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Item Seed: Smoke Scabbards.

Smoke Scabbards – Google Docs

Smoke Scabbards

These charming assassination tools somehow never get officially banned by various nations or public institutions; Smoke Scabbards are simply too useful. In their natural form a Smoke Scabbard is a dirty grey-brown thin sheet of magical fabric. When it’s used to completely wrap a weapon (usually no larger than a dagger), the sheet and whatever it’s wrapped around transforms into a cohesive cloud of gas that can be inhaled and kept in a container — like, say, a pair of lungs — for eight hours.  At the end of that eight hours, the Scabbard is expulsed from its container and solidifies back into a sheet and whatever it was wrapped around. If the Scabbard was being kept in somebody’s lungs, the expulsion does not cause direct damage but is highly unpleasant.  Note that the magical effect can be ended early, if desired.

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May
12
2018
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Item Seed: Lincoln’s Bow.

Lincoln’s Bow – Google Docs

Lincoln’s Bow

 

This 19th Century recurve composite bow is fairly obviously enchanted, given that it’s made out of American chestnut while still looking brand-new.  Well, brand-new and archaic, at the same time; it’s a hand-tooled, wood-and-sinew affair with about a hundred pounds of draw weight and featuring a single white crystal inset just above the grip.  The string was originally gut, but apparently could be ( and was ) replaced safely without breaking the Bow’s enchantment.

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May
08
2018
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Item Seed: Lava Ice Cream.

Lava Ice Cream – Google Docs

Lava Ice Cream

 

Lava Ice Cream is in fact made from lava; well, the lava is technically flavoring.  It’s a fascinating use of enchanting magic, really; the base is regular ice cream that has had the lava magically mixed with it.  The result is an ice cream that simultaneously tastes hot (but not dangerously hot) while still showing all the properties of something that melts at room temperature.  The sensation is remarkable, particularly since Lava Ice Cream doesn’t actually taste horrible.  A bit salty-sweet, but that’s hardly unusual in the ice cream world.

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May
04
2018
3

Item Seed: Taiga Tea.

Taiga Tea – Google Docs

Taiga Tea

Camellia exotica

 

This plant superficially resembles Camellia sinensis (the common tea plant), but it only grows in the Ural montane tundra/taiga region. The plant itself has leaves that are significantly more purple on the underside, and the plant does not increase in size past a certain point.  Camellia exotica plants are also considerably hardier than ‘regular’ tea plants, and can survive in much more hostile conditions.  It is not exactly an invasive species, but it grows well and fairly quickly.

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Apr
28
2018
1

Item Seed: Emergency Bags.

Emergency Bags – Google Docs

 

Emergency Bags

 

They’re bags that hold emergencies, actually. As in, you can store one in there. Originally that was written out as ‘trap one in there,’ but sometimes people do want to have pre-generated emergencies on hand.

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Apr
23
2018
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Item Seed (heh): Sequoia Mortars.

Got dark quick.

Sequoia Mortars – Google Docs

Sequoia Mortars

 

Description: It looks remarkably like a World War II American M2 Mortar, if they had been made out of rich, brown-inlaid wood (and glowed faintly blue in the dark). Unlike most Elvish items, Sequoia Mortars appear to be mass… ‘produced?’ ‘Grown?’ ‘Conjured?’  There’s also an extremely death-tinged magical aura about them that many mages find unpleasant. They’re not quite Evil weapons, but they’re closer to ones than you’d normally expect Elves to get.

 

To use, aim the Sequoia Mortar at your target (typical range is about one quarter to one half mile).  Drop in the payload (a modified Sequoia pine cone; the payload is very expensive and hideously rare) and enough mana to get the pine cone launched and distributed. Once the Mortar’s been fired, either fire it again, or grab it and run like the devil.  Enemy mages will come looking for you.

 

Once at the top of its arc, the Sequoia Mortar round will disintegrate, causing its seeds (typically about sixty viable ones per cone) to descend straight down above the target, ignoring wind.  Once they land, the seeds will rapidly mature into a sequoia sapling. Extremely rapidly: a sequoia tree seeded by this method will reach full maturity in 5 years.  Worse, the sequoia’s growth will be fuelled via frankly necromantic means: these things suck out all the sentient life force within five hundred feet.  Spend more than fifteen minutes in the presence of a growing Sequoia Mortar tree, and you’ll be too weak to move. Spend more than a half hour, and you’ll never move again. The death field dissipates after the tree matures in five years, which is a lot shorter-term to an Elf than it is to a Human or Orc; and it’s otherwise a normal tree.  So: excellent for clearing out stubborn legionary camps and/or walled colonies.

 

The only reason Elves can get away with using Sequoia Mortars is because Elves generally do not engage in wars of aggression.  These are explicitly guerrilla weapons, and they only get broken out when invaders manage to viciously conquer a significant portion of Elvish lands.  Using them offensively absolutely infuriates the other races; using them defensively usually just results in indifferent shrugs. A sentient race has a right to defend itself against aggressors, right?  But by the same token: nobody says anything when it turns out that Elves caught with a Sequoia Mortar invariably decide to fight to the death, rather than be captured. Mess with death magic, accept the consequences.

 

Apr
22
2018
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Item Seed: Transcendent Pajamas.

These might be a bit of a trap.

Transcendent Pajamas – Google Docs

Transcendent Pajamas

 

Description: one set of men’s cotton pajamas, blue and white, with an Atomic Age motiff (the pajamas were made in the early 1950s).  The Pajamas will magically adjust to fit any regular-sized human being above the age of sixteen, and do not get dirty, fray, or otherwise decay.  Theoretically the two pieces of the Transcendent Pajamas will not work if separated, but nobody’s ever been able to manage that trick for very long.  The ‘Transcendent’ modifier, incidentally, refers to the Pajamas’ appearance: they are universally considered to be hideously tacky, including by magical species that cannot otherwise understand the concept.

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Mar
28
2018
1

Item Seed: The Baruri Carapace.

Baruri Carapace – Google Docs

The Baruri Carapace

 

This item was trawled from the bottom of the Baruri River (a tributary of the Rio Negro, which is itself a tributary of the Amazon) in Brazil, embedded in a lump of curiously hardened clay.  The Baruri Carapace is a remarkably complete set of plate (breastplate, helmet) and scale mail (arms, legs); while the (presumably leather) bindings and linings used have long since rotted away, the armor plates and scales remained essentially intact.  The Carapace was made for somebody about 5 feet 4 inches tall, although researchers are less sure about that.

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Mar
23
2018
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Item Seed: Sun Eggs.

Sun Eggs – Google Docs

Sun Eggs

 

Description: an ovoid shape that does look a lot like a Terran bird’s egg.  The Sun Eggs given to humanity are about the size of a human male, weigh half a ton, and are utterly impervious to any attempt to analyze them more thoroughly than ‘Well, it’s light green in color, smooth, and neither warm nor cold to the touch.’  Oh, and they don’t topple over. Or break. You can pick one up with the right tools, but Sun Eggs don’t suffer damage from anything.

 

Why ‘Sun Eggs?’ Well, that’s what the envoy from the half-mythical Elder Planets called them when they gave Earth three of the things.  The envoy went on to solemnly inform the bemused Terran diplomatic delegation that in billions of years these Eggs would hatch into new suns, and that in the meantime humanity was to protect and cherish them. As it has been done before, with countless other races, for billions and billions of years.

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