Jun
24
2017
0

Item Seed: Thumpers.

Thumpers – Google Docs

 

Thumpers

 

Thumpers are the kind of anti-psionic devices you get when psionic abilities start showing up in the population at an early-medieval level of technology.  They’re crude, brute-force, and indiscriminate in their effect — but they work, which is the important thing.  In fact, to the people in power that typically commission the devices, that’s really the only thing.

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Jun
20
2017
0

Item Seed: The Beccar Harmonicas.

Beccar Harmonicas – Google Docs

The Beccar Harmonicas

So-called for their reappearance during a raid on a collector living in Beccar (a suburb of Bueno Aires that once boasted residents like Mengele and Eichmann) that revealed the existence of not only the harmonicas, but a veritable treasure-trove of Nazi memorabilia.  Which was actually mostly kitsch.  Deliberately so, in fact: hiding the existence of the harmonicas was the crucial objective, and what better way to hide them than to mix them in with horribly tacky busts and geegaws?

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Jun
20
2017
0

Item Seed: The Maxim Ostracod Tracer Round.

Maxim Ostracod Tracer Round – Google Docs

 

The Maxim Ostracod Tracer Round

 

The Maxim Ostracod Tracer Round has the distinction of being the only tool of war to ever be successfully banned by the Royal Interplanetary Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. And it took some doing: the British Empire’s Venusian forces swore by the things. But even the most jingoistic regimental colonel would privately concede that the RISPCA perhaps had a point.

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Jun
18
2017
5

Item Seed: Beer Gun.

Beer Gun – Google Docs

 

Beer Gun

 

This thing, to put it simply, is a monster of mid-20th century engineering.  The Beer Gun looks roughly like a drastically scaled-down version of a M61 Vulcan rotary cannon; while it is light enough to be fired by a person, there’s a handle on the top to grab while firing. The user frankly needs it, given that this thing kicks like a mule. The Beer Gun has six muzzleloading barrels: each barrel can fit one standard-sized can of Budweiser beer from the 1950s (the US Army manual that accompanies each Beer Gun is adamant that only Budweiser is to be used).  The firing mechanism is one heavy-duty titanium spring per barrel: once a chamber has been fired, it takes a total of one minute of steady ratcheting with an included jack to cock the spring back. There are no electrical or chemical components to the Beer Gun at all, and all of the mechanical parts are designed to be as rugged as possible.

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Jun
11
2017
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Item Seed: Spray-Sort.

Sometimes I write out the title, and then wait for it to tell me what it is.

Spray-Sort – Google Docs

Spray-Sort

 

One of the things that virtually godlike high-tech alien races soon learn to do is to regularly come up with entertaining shiny gimcracks with which to distract the rather less high-tech alien races.  Why? Because the less-advanced races can still be aggravating, or even dangerous; and if you think that technological superiority is a perfect and flawless game-winner, contemplate whether the existence of tanks and nuclear warheads makes you, personally, any safer when somebody comes up and hits you over the head with a rock.

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Jun
09
2017
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Item Seed: Mappa Moon-Day.

Mappa Moon-Day – Google Docs

Mappa Moon-day

 

This somewhat sardonic name for a magical artifact that’s over eight hundred years old is the sort of thing that you get when you don’t pay attention to what your grad students are doing. One jokester calls the item the “Mappa Moon-Day” at an absolutely critical moment during a sorcerous transport, and now that’s how it is defined by the universe. People have to call it that, if they want to activate the item at all.

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Jun
07
2017
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Item Seed: Kingsmead.

Kingsmead – Google Docs

 

Kingsmead

 

The recipe for Kingsmead has existed in European occult circles for at least two thousand years, with significant gaps.  The brew can only be made from honey from a beehive on Crown lands (however you define ‘Crown’): when properly prepared, it gives the drinker the ability to shrug off pain and wounds (half all damage taken, and damage regenerates in one-third the usual time) taken while in the Crown’s service. Traditionally, it was given to only the most loyal royal bodyguards and household troops, and those who took it kept it secret.

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Jun
05
2017
1

Item/Creature Seed: Mummified Spitfires.

Mummified Spitfires – Google Docs

 

Mummified Spitfires

 

The legend has it that, after World War 2, the British government buried a number of Spitfire airplanes in Burma (after prepping them for long-term storage underground).  This legend has been investigated several times, over the years; most recently in 2013.  It’s pretty clear by now that, in fact, no Spitfires were ever actually buried in that country.

 

Well, of course not.  The British buried the blessed things in Australia.  Even in 1945 it was becoming clear that decolonization was looming on the horizon. God only knows who would rule Burma after the land left the Empire; probably would end up being some military junta, or something equally obnoxious.  Better to put the planes out in the Outback, where it was dryer, handy to various friendly magical communities, and under the oversight of, well, yes, Australians, but they were good chaps. Underneath it all.

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Jun
02
2017
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Item Seed: Relikvii.

Because Commies make my [expletive deleted] teeth ache and I’m trying to not be That Guy, that’s why.

Relikvii – Google Docs

 

Relikvii

 

Well, that’s the Russian slang term for the stuff; God forbid that the old Soviet Union ever use such a superstition-drenched name to describe True Proper Soviet Proletarian Scien — sorry. Old habits die hard, you know? Relikvii are your standard Unholy Artifacts, Demonology edition: they’re a single-shot aid for summoning demons. You can imagine how Stalin-era internal propagandists had to come up with new and unique ways to talk their way around that.

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May
31
2017
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Item Seed: Shackleton Mold.

Blame this.

Shackleton Mold – Google Docs

Shackleton Mold

 

This is some cutting-edge stuff, to be sure.  Shackleton Mold get its name from where it was recently discovered: back in 1915 a set of photo negatives from the Ross Sea Party Antarctic expedition got enclosed in a block of ice, then left frozen for a century.  Yes, 1915.  Which is to say, several decades before the 1947 Invasion from Beyond that fundamentally altered our microbial ecosystem and made us vulnerable to the Greys‘ genetic attacks.  Sure, we fended them off, eventually — but we’ve been doing repair work ever since.  The Mold has thus been an absolute godsend: covert recovery specialists were able to get a sample of the stuff before it got contaminated, which gives us a baseline for what our DNA looked like before we all got infected.  

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May
30
2017
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Item Seed: The Sausage Protocols.

I had no idea where this was going.

Sausage Protocols – Google Docs

The Sausage Protocols

 

Description: a standard cardboard accordion file, wrapped in elastic bands and bearing various stencils and imprints that place and date it to the US Army, circa 1936 or so.  Interestingly, there are no classification stickers or warnings anywhere in the file; everything was stamped as being cleared for public dissemination at some point in 2007. There isn’t even any red tape or tabs.

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May
28
2017
3

Item Seed: Pinball Wizard.

Pinball Wizard – Google Docs

Pinball Wizard

 

Despite the name, this isn’t wizardry. It’s just good, honest 24th Century social science, being forced to use primitive 20th Century technology (specifically, seven heavily modified pinball machines).  At least, that was what the guy said when the agents burst into his lair; there was also a lot of bluster and sneers about “ignorant fools” and “Cower! Cower before the might of the Chan the Unstoppa…” It was about then that the guy’s integral temporal field finally overloaded from the strain of accumulated paradox, and sent him wherever people go when they get booted out of the timestream.  Don’t feel too bad about old Chan, though; the 24th Century seems to be mostly populated by megalomaniacal jerks, judging by how many of them keep showing up here.

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