Item Seed: Hellcrawler.


Description: take a M26 Pershing tank, replace the 90mm main gun with a stubbier, classified cylinder which causes nosebleeds in any human that looks too closely at the classified symbols etched on its surface, swap out the engine for a literally indestructible cube of some classified alloy that smells faintly of copper and iron, and cover the (significantly reduced) armor with more alarming, classified symbols. The machine guns remain unchanged. The sealed crew compartment is larger than a regular Pershing tank, and can carry 6 humans and their gear sustainably. Hellcrawlers have a classified life support system that can keep up to 9 humans alive indefinitely.

Weight: 45 tons

Operational Range: For as long as the crew holds out

Max Speed: 50 mph on roads, 10 mph off road

Crew capacity: 6

Continue reading Item Seed: Hellcrawler.

Item Seed: The Grimoire Basement Tapes, 1967-1972

The Grimoire Basement Tapes, 1967-1972

Description: a double-thickness jewel case containing five CDs. The CDs are labeled 1 through 5, but have no other identification. The jewel case is light green, with the title “The Grimoire Basement Tapes, 1967-1972” on the front. No other information about the CDs are available. The jewel case and CDs positively radiate supernatural power, to the point where it is noticeable for even non-magical entities.

Effects: each CD features thirty minutes of odd, strangely complex music that incorporates both classic and modern musical instruments, plus extensive vocals in no easily recognizable language. It became clear, very quickly, that listening to each CD all the way through gave a temporary ability to the listener (only one at a time, and the choice is apparently random). 

Cautious experimentation has determined the following:

Continue reading Item Seed: The Grimoire Basement Tapes, 1967-1972

Item Seed: Murder Cannolis.

Murder Cannolis

Description: they’re cannolis that have been bathed in the death energies thrown off by someone who has been suddenly and ritually murdered.  Murder Cannolis don’t have to be dipped in blood or anything like that to gain their esoteric status. In fact, it’s preferable that they’re not, because pastries that have been in direct contact with an actual corpse are the very definition of ‘gross’ and ‘unsanitary.’

Powers: Soak up a man’s death, soak up that which he leaves behind.  Murder Cannolis bring good financial luck; eat one, and a portion of the victim’s total wealth gets transferred to you.  This is usually coincidental in nature, but sometimes it just comes down to a sudden bank account deposit.

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Item Seed: Tattoo Geraniums.

Tattoo Geraniums

pelargonium zonale laeti

Tattoo Geraniums are not themselves magical; they are flowering plants that have been deliberately bred for ritual magic susceptibility.  More specifically, the Geraniums can be used to ‘draw’ permanent magic sigils and designs outdoors, using the living plants as the ‘ink.’ The sigils drawn this way tend to be fairly robust, as a by-product of the enchantment process: it is difficult to deliberately destroy any individual Tattoo Geranium.  But if one of the plants is destroyed, it can be swapped out with another one of the same color.  

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Item Seed: The Heart of Cincinnati.

The Heart of Cincinnati

Description: a chain necklace.  The pendant is a small hunk of concrete that’s shaped roughly like a Valentine’s heart.  The Heart of Cincinnati is perfectly safe to wear; it never catches on skin or clothing, and is always slightly warm to the touch.

Powers: “Whosoever wears this Token is the Hidden Ruler of Cincinnati.”

Continue reading Item Seed: The Heart of Cincinnati.

Item Seed: Idol of Disputation.

Idol of Disputation

Description: a small ceramic figurine of a leering, fat humanoid (some versions are male, some female).  The Idol of Disputation will show up as magical on a standard scan. The Idol is sturdy enough to be dropped, but it will break if deliberately thrown to the ground.

Powers: Normally, an Idol of Disputation generates a field (12 feet radius) that encourages people to argue.  It won’t force people to disagree with each other, but if they were inclined to do so anyway this artifact will more or less egg them on.  Note that the argument does not have to be hostile, and that the artifact will not impose an emotional state on anyone; universities will often keep Idols around in order to encourage wide-ranging and vigorous student debates in class.

Continue reading Item Seed: Idol of Disputation.

Item Seed: Geriatricol.


Description: well, in its ‘natural’ form Geriatricol is a swarm of self-replicating nanobots that are individually too small to see.  But in its natural form Geriatricol will self-destruct when exposed to atmosphere, so it usually comes in the form of a yellow gel pill.

Powers: one dose of Geriatricol cosmetically ages the subject.  Within five minutes of ingestion, his or her skin and hair will wrinkle and whiten; sweat, stools, and urine will become compatible with an old person’s; and a superficial blood analysis will bring back a positive result for a number of minor ailments associated with being old.  The effects are not permanent: if not reversed, the process begins to reverse itself within two weeks and completely reverse within two more. Underlying health, reflexes, mental agility, bodily functions, and ultimate lifespan remain unaffected.

Continue reading Item Seed: Geriatricol.

Item Seed: Hydraulic Dowsing Rods

Hydraulic Dowsing Rods

Description: A Y-shaped wooden stick, encased in brass wires, gears, a glass reservoir in the crook of the Y, a small steam engine and whistle in the base, and a few pressure gauges here and there.  Basically, it all looks very steampunk, right down to the occasional puff of steam.  

Powers: liquid detection.  Pour a liquid in the reservoir, activate the steam engine, and start dowsing.  When the Hydraulic Dowsing Rod comes within fifty feet of a liquid that matches one in the reservoir, the whistle starts blowing.  The closer the liquid, the louder the whistle.

Continue reading Item Seed: Hydraulic Dowsing Rods

Item Seed: The Blade of Aureate Frost.

Blade of Aureate Frost

Description: a shortsword with a yellow-orange blade made out of iron-rich ice.  The blade constantly smokes in any temperature above the freezing point of water, but is magically enchanted to never melt or shatter (although it can chip; see below).  The hilt is wrapped in leather, plastic, twine, and a variety of other non-conductive materials, but is still almost painfully cold to touch. The Blade smells, highly unpleasantly, of rust and blood.

Powers: wounds inflicted by the Blade of Aureate Frost take extra-long to heal naturally, although magical healing will work normally.  The wounds are also more likely to get infected, and typically scar. In some cases a piece of the Blade will chip off and embed itself in the wound; if this happens, the victim will gradually lose his sense of touch, become uncomfortable in any temperature above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and will likely come back as an ice-themed zombie after his death.  All of this can be treated by healing magic, theurgic intervention, or modern, cutting-edge medicine.

Continue reading Item Seed: The Blade of Aureate Frost.

Item Seed: Resolute Sword.

Resolute Sword

Description: 1845 Pattern Royal Navy cutlass, with leather grip and iron cupped guard.  The sword suffered slight rust damage in the past, but is currently clean and in good repair.  The blade is single-edge and very slightly curved.

Powers: Anyone fighting with the Resolute Sword can never accidentally harm either a British subject or an American citizen.  Even deliberate attacks require an act of will for each strike, unless the target is a known, confessed traitor to either the United Kingdom or the United States.  It is also an extremely sharp sword.

Continue reading Item Seed: Resolute Sword.