Jun
04
2019
5

Item Seed: Pleasures of the Heart.

Pleasures of the Heart

Description: an elderly book, seemingly indifferently bound, 250 pages of good but old-quality paper.  The text is printed in an unknown type and written in a variant of English that seems closest to the 18th Century, albeit one with considerably more Middle-Mongolian loan words.  The book is profusely illustrated, in a manner that can only be described as incredibly soothing. For that matter; merely holding the book is a remarkably refreshing and relaxing experience.

Pleasures of the Heart started showing up in the more disreputable London literary circles in the early Edwardian period.  Nobody knows where the book came from or who wrote it, which only contributed to its reputation as a — well, it’s complicated.  You know how some books corrupt men utterly? Pleasures of the Heart more or less does the opposite.

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Jun
03
2019
2

Item Seed: Emblem of the Burning Foal.

Emblem of the Burning Foal

Description: Mundanely, a golden 7th century BC Scythian shield emblem.  The esoteric version gives heightened endurance, strength, and reflexes to the wearer, but only if she is female and has performed various rituals in veneration of the Scythian goddess Tabiti.  The esoteric version is also hot to the touch, but not painfully so.

The Emblem of the Burning Foal straddles ‘regular’ magic and theurgy; apparently, the only ones who could make these items were mages who were also metalworkers and Enaree, or priests of the Scythian religion (these kinds of elaborate enchantment requirements happen a lot with magical items with more power than average, particularly in the historical period).  There are maybe forty, forty-five esoterically active Emblems of the Burning Foal out there, and thirty-two of them are in possession of underground magical groups who are willing to perform the necessary rituals to Tabiti (which, to be fair, are straightforward and non-pernicious).  The remainder are either in museums, or being carefully studied by occult researchers, or simply possessed by mundane owners unaware of what they have.

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May
29
2019
1

Item Seed: Samsonola Oil

Samsonola Oil

Description: a opaque red-brown liquid that smells, not at all unpleasantly, of barbershop. The old-style kind, with the shaving cream and the blue liquid for the combs and the rest.  Samsonola Oil is not toxic, but it tastes horrible, and drinking it confers no benefit.

Effects: Rubbing a dose into a subject’s scalp will make him (Samsonola Oil only works on men) immune to the ill effects of fatigue for a full day.  The subject can still ‘feel’ tired, and can go to sleep normally, but any symptoms of fatigue will be strictly cosmetic. Doses of Samsonola Oil can be sequentially used with no side effects; men under the effect of the elixir will not suddenly have all that cumulative fatigue hit them at once, once it wears off.  This is mentioned only because people apparently keep expecting that to happen.

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May
27
2019
2

Item Seed: The Ten-Pie Pete Radio Show.

The Ten-Pie Pete Radio Show, Volume 1

(1947)

Description: A collection of 10 LP vinyl records, printed by Columbia Records in 1954.  Each LP features an episode from the Ten-Pie Pete Radio Show, a half-hour combined comedy/musical radio performance hosted by General Foods.  The LPs are packaged in a worn but intact album with a cartoon of Ten-Pie Pete (a friendly-looking hobo carrying a pie) on the front.

First found: 1997, in a Brooklyn second-hand thrift shop.  No other items of this type were ever found in that establishment.

Never heard of Ten-Pie Pete?  Well, neither has anybody else (certainly nobody has at Sony or Kraft Foods, and they were asked to rather comprehensively check).  The actual presser is a company that nobody’s ever heard of; and the cast is likewise unknown, except maybe for a ‘Janet E. Ace’ (listed as ‘Mrs. Missus’).  It definitely looks authentic for 1954.

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May
25
2019
2

Item Seed: Eggplant Bombs

Eggplant Bombs

Solanum melongena ruptio

They’re not very explosive.  No shrapnel, either.  They’re just eggplants that have been treated with Vita-Rays to well beyond the Royal Biological Artifice Society’s recommended guidelines for enhanced vegetables.  To activate an Eggplant Bomb, simply press the pre-installed button to inject vinegar to the Bomb’s insides, smack the Bomb smartly to start the chemical reaction inside, and throw very, very hard.

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May
23
2019
--

Item Seed: The Light-girded Orrery.

I’ve wanted to write this star system up forever.

The Light-girded Orrery

Description: A small, folded cube of metal, plastic, and other substances not immediately identifiable by a regular scan.  When unfolded, it reveals an orrery (a physical representation of a solar system) of an unknown star system: the display is three-dimensional, and uses colored force fields, cunningly arranged, to represent the planetary objects and (yellow) star.  When each planetary object in the Light-girded Orrery is touched, the touched object flashes to grey, and text in an unknown language (and, in many cases, stylized pictures of what appear to be sapient lifeforms) flashes on its surface.

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May
22
2019
--

Item Seed: Weedweave.

Weedweave

This is the High Fantasy equivalent of plastic; its name is fairly literal, as the first step in the weedweaving process does involve weaving together plant stalks into a hollow structure of the desired shape.  The mage then imbues the structure with magical energy, which permanently transforms it into something reasonably light, flexible, waterproof, fireproof, and non-conductive. Assume that a weedweave item is about as strong as hard plastic, and that a weedweave garment is about as supple as thick cloth.

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May
19
2019
1

Item Seed: The Iquique Mount.

The Iquique Mount

Description: A fairly gruesome-looking taxidermy full body mount.  The mount itself is humanoid (not even remotely coincidentally resembling a ‘Grey Alien’) in form, with well-preserved skin and glass eyes; the manikin is polyurethane foam over a not-particularly-accurate internal armature.  The Iquique Mount is affixed to a wooden base, with the date “July 18th, 1980” inscribed on it. There is no obvious sign of any sort of fatal wound.

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May
15
2019
2

Item Seed: Gravesdigger.

Gravesdigger

Description: varies.  Gravesdigger usually appears as a pistol, revolver, or submachine gun, chambered to fit whatever ammunition is reasonably available in the area.  Like most esoteric firearms, Gravesdigger doesn’t jam, corrode, or misfire; on the other hand, the artifact radiates evil strongly enough that prolonged exposure to it can curdle milk.

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May
13
2019
--

Item Seed: Soul-Seeds.

Soul-Seeds

Description: a oblong metal hollow tube with a large wooden button at one end.  When pushed, a sharp needle is extended from the other end via a small spring (the process is neither blindingly fast nor painfully slow).  The needle is enchanted with a minor preservation spell; any blood smeared on its surface (from, say, being jabbed into somebody’s flesh) will remain fresh and viable indefinitely.

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