Mar
03
2018
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Item Seed: The Breasted Lexicon.

No jokes, please: that was the guy’s name, OK?

Breasted Lexicon – Google Docs

The Breasted Lexicon

 

Upon first look, this set of three standard sized, spiral bound notebooks seems utterly mundane.  The notebooks are filled with hand drawn Egyptian hieroglyphics and their English translations; at two words per page, there are twelve hundred of the most common ancient Egyptian words (arranged alphabetically by English translation), featuring the etymology of the word over time.  The text is clearly from one hand; neat, precise, using standard ballpoint ink (the pen was clearly replaced several times during the transcription), and making few mistakes.  No signature or name is associated with the handwriting, and there is surprisingly little in the way of marginalia, or even wear.

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Feb
27
2018
1

Item Seed: Private Gazetteer of JJ and JW Abert.

Private Gazetteer of JJ and JW Abert – Google Docs

Private Gazetteer of JJ and JW Abert

(US Topographical Corps)

 

This set of six very fat notebooks and journals is essentially the esoteric explorer’s equivalent of El Dorado — a description of which can be found in volume 3, pages 56-59.  Lt. James Abert rather liked it; lovely climate and excellent cuisine.  They even had coffee, which had been blessedly brought in by a previous explorer a century before. One of his better places to have a visit, all in all.

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Feb
26
2018
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Item Seed: The Edelweiss Grimoire.

Edelweiss Grimoire – Google Docs

The Edelweiss Grimoire

 

It usually bemuses beginning alchemists when they come to this ‘textbook’ in class: after all, it’s simply a DVD with The Sound of Music on it.  This bemusement typically lasts only until they sit down and actually watch it — as in, with their esoteric ears on.  The songs are the important thing; once you decipher and memorize the code keys found in “Do-Re-Me,” you quickly realize that the words and music are actually clever formularies for various alchemical processes:

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Feb
25
2018
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Item Seed: Vallandigham’s Needles.

Vallandigham’s Needles – Google Docs

Vallandigham’s Needles

 

These nine short bone needles were reportedly carved (presumably post-mortem) from the vertebrae of Clement Vallandigham, possibly the most notorious of the American Civil War pro-Confederate Copperheads.  They are about three inches long each, smell somewhat unpleasantly musty, and are remarkably difficult if not impossible to break.  The end of each Vallandigham Needle has a hole, suitable for inserting a tuft of feathers or other stabilizer in flight.

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Feb
24
2018
1

Item seed: The Laser Sword Briefcase.

Laser Sword Briefcase – Google Docs

 

The Laser Sword Briefcase

 

Everybody wants a laser sword.  For forty years, since that movie came out, the call has been incessant: provide the Conspiracy with laser swords.  At first it was gussied up as a request for ‘power knives’ with short, but variable blades that could be used to cut through locks and hinges and whatnot — and, admittedly, that would be useful.  But what people really wanted were katanas made out of energy.  

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Feb
17
2018
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Item Seed: The Amulet of Georgiana Appelo.

Amulet of Georgiana Appelo – Google Docs

The Amulet of Georgiana Appelo

 

Description: a moderately heavy gold amulet, in a gaudy Rococo style. The front is inscribed with the Appelo coat of arms (a Guineaman, centered in a triangle of three apples).  The back has two moveable rings of characters, in no known alphabet.  The Amulet of Georgiana Appelo always feels just a little too warm for full comfort.

 

It’s a tragic tale, in its way: but it’s one of those tales where the pathos is tempered by the fact that virtually everybody involved in it got precisely what they deserved.  That’s what brought the Amulet of Georgiana Appelo to the relevant authorities’ attention, in fact. Normally real life is, ah,  sloppier.

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Feb
12
2018
2

Item Seed: Dragon Eggs.

Dragon Eggs – Google Docs

Dragon Eggs

 

Just what it says on the sticker: one and a half dozen slightly leathery, bronze-tinged eggs, in a standard-looking cardboard container.  The carton is about twice as large as normal, however (so are the eggs) and the carton assures you that the eggs do not need refrigeration.  And, in point of fact, they apparently do not.

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Feb
11
2018
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Item Seed: The Pinkerton Protocol.

Pinkerton Protocol – Google Docs

The Pinkerton Protocol

 

This file is a legend among American federal bureaucrats; not everybody’s heard of it, but those who have are all convinced that the Pinkerton Protocol is real, effective, and unfortunately not possessed by anybody who owes them a favor.  It is, supposedly, a 1865 treaty between the US Government and “The Folk of the Air,” put together by Allan Pinkerton and signed by Abraham Lincoln.  It also supposedly has been reaffirmed by every American President since then, which sounds impossible.  Surely someone would have leaked the Protocol by now.

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Feb
09
2018
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Item Seed: Squalenol-5.

Squalenol-5 – Google Docs

Squalenol-5

 

Squalenol-5 is derived from oil pressed from genetically-modified olives that were also grown in a strong thaumaturgical field.  It’s a remarkably effective antidominant; even a trace presence in the bloodstream can prevent a demon from taking full possession of a victim, as well as significantly boost the victim’s own willpower when it comes to expelling the demon naturally.  Squalenol-5 is also nontoxic (well, unless you’re a demon) and tastes more or less like it was derived from olive oil.  Put it in a salad dressing and nobody would notice.

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Feb
08
2018
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Item Seed: The Mask of Cleopatra.

Mask of Cleopatra – Google Docs

Mask of Cleopatra

 

Description: a half-face ‘mask’ made up of delicate golden wires supporting a clear blue crystal.  Despite its appearance, the Mask is incredibly durable; it also does not particularly obscure the face. Oddly, most people seem to forget fairly quickly that the bearer of the Mask is actually wearing it, as it more or less just seems to fit the face.  Only women may wear the Mask of Cleopatra; well, men can wear it, but they get no benefit from doing so.

 

And you’re thinking of the wrong Cleopatra, actually.  Maybe.  The nature of the Mask obscures the issue.  The Mask of Cleopatra was originally owned by Cleopatra Eurydice (henceforth to be known as ‘Cleopatra-Prime’), one of the many wives of Philip II of Macedon, and — according to some fragmentary and frankly dubious records — supposedly destined to produce a child who would conquer the world. Which is why Philip’s wife Olympias had Cleopatra-Prime’s kids’ murdered; if anybody was going to conquer the world, it would be Olympia’s child Alexander.  Cleopatra-Prime committed suicide, the board was cleared, Alexander still failed to conquer the planet, drop curtain.

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