Friday, June 8, 2012

Down the Glen Tramp Little Men

The alternate title for this was "Fifty Shades of...Followers," but I decided to nab a line from a classic poem instead.

Ahem.  So, this past Monday, (that's June 4 if you're reading this in the grimdark future), I hit fifty followers.  (Ironically, as with my first follower, my fiftieth follower is someone I know personally in my Monkeysphere.)

Incidentally, I was at 271 posts at the time.  So I guess that's something, too.

At any rate, to celebrate, here are fifty things you can find at the local Goblin Market, Swap Meet, or other genre-specific eldritch market.

Fifty Strange Objects

1. Several sheets of flash paper containing several examples of Victorian erotic art.  If the pages are burned together and the smoke is inhaled, the character will get a vision of the location of a hidden sorcerer's crypt containing untold riches and rituals.

2. A thumb drive containing a .mpeg file depicting an elementary school play.  It appears to be a play about woodland animals learning to live in harmony, but during the final musical number, a soloist steps forward and begins reciting a monologue from The King in Yellow.  Screaming starts just before the media player crashes.

3. The Box.

4. Nineteen left socks.

5. A mad sorcerer's grimoire written on a single, continuous piece of tanned hide.  Analysis suggests it's human skin.

6. A Glock 17 that oozes human tears whenever it is fired.

7. A singer's voice in a wooden box.

8. The memory of a comical loss of virginity.

9. A box containing several years' worth of the Fortean Times.  Someone has written "True" or "False" next to each article heading.

10. A clay figurine which is supposedly some sort of homunculus, although the activation commands are forgotten.  In truth, it is merely a prison for the soul of a dead magus.  Note that both things may be true — if the proper syllables are spoken, it may be forced to animate and obey the petitioner.

11. A vicious knifing.

12. An aluminum water bottle of purple liquid.  This liquid has all the typical effects of LSD, save that the user can also see ghosts.

13. The memory of a mundane family vacation to the beach.

14. A hamburger in sealed lucite.  The plaque indicates that it was purchased from McDonald's on December 12, 1948, making it one of the first hamburgers sold at the renovated San Bernardino location.

15. Bigfoot's Social Security card.

16. Something off this Goblin Market table.

17. A snowglobe, depicting a small town in the Midwest and evidently originating from their chamber of commerce.  When the snowglobe is shaken, it rains (or snows) in the actual town.

18. A silverware set made by Paul Revere.  Old stains that look like strange rust cover some of the pieces.  If any old DNA can be extracted, it is revealed to be wolf blood.

19. A black garbage bag full of fingernail clippings.

20. A copy of the famous August 1991 issue of Vanity Fair featuring a nude, pregnant Demi Moore on the cover.  If examined closely, one can see the vague outline of an inhuman shape in her pregnant belly.

21. A fleeting memory of the color jale.

22. The Axe with the Edge of the Sun.

23. A ball-peen hammer.  Any slot machine touched with this ball-peen hammer will release its jackpot.

24. A dog's corpse, prepared with taxidermy.  Any cavities in the body are filled with fortune cookie fortunes.

25. A jar of baby teeth.

26. A brown glass eye.  If placed in an empty eye socket, it renders the user completely immune to injuries sustained from car accidents, even if she is thrown clear of the vehicle.

27. A set of polyhedral dice made of meteoric iron.

28. A dirty speculum.  If touched to a wooden object, an image of the woodwright will appear in the user's head, along with an impression of the person's name.  If the object is mass produced, the user will get an impression of everybody involved in its creation.

29. An unlabeled VHS tape.  The tape appears to be an amateur documentary on a man named "Phil" as he goes through his errands.  Any person, place, or thing with a supernatural talent or origin exudes a golden halo.  Phil is not supernatural, but several things in the background of the video are.

30. A hatchet head, pitted with rust stains.

31. A collection of 57 wheat pennies.

32. A musket ball, retrieved from a human cadaver.

33. Something off this Random Magical Junk table.

34. A CD of The Art of War by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.  The CD is heavily scratched and cannot be played, although when held to the light, the scratches appear to form arcane symbols.

35. A recipe for a medieval immortality elixir, pieced together as a collage of magazine clippings.

36. A clump of bees, pickled in formaldehyde.  Close examination reveals that the bees' legs have grown together, forming the clump of bees.

37. A child's drawing of a black shape labeled "CENTER TOOME."

38. A toy steak, carved from wood and painted.

39. A leather wallet stuffed with joss paper in the form of Hell bank notes.

40. A rattle.  It appears to be a Barbie leg jammed into a baby doll's head, and the head is filled with some sort of object (beads? bones?) to make it rattle.  The baby head is haphazardly decorated as a jester's ninny-stick.

41. A yellowed sheet of vellum containing a recipe for hummus.  The Latin writings sarcastically refer to it as a work of alchemy, which might confuse a modern scholar.

42. A violin that makes music so terrible it causes actual psychological stress in victims.

43. A monocle.  If dipped in milk, it allows the user to diagnose any illnesses currently affecting any person the user can see.

44. A jar of dappled light, filtered through autumn leaves.

45. A Ziploc bag of black piano keys.

46. An unlabeled 5 1/4" floppy disk.  Assuming the operator can run the program, the screen will read, "COORDINATES?"  If the operator inputs a valid address, the program will read "Y" if a magical item is present in the location and "N" if one is not present.

47. An elephant's leg, hollowed out as an umbrella stand.  It still emanates the infrasonic signals used by elephants to communicate over long distances.  If somehow decoded, it appears to be a mating signal.

48. A baseball cap which, when worn, makes the wearer seem appropriately dressed.  It does not alter appearance, and it does not allow the wearer to enter places where he would not be allowed, but it does mean that the character can wear a T-shirt and jeans to a formal affair and not be turned away based upon his mode of dress.

49. A sardine key that opens any lock it touches.

50. Six hairs in a jar stoppered with wax and human blood.


  1. Cool. I like tables that link to other tables.

    1. The ultimate, Platonic ideal of a role-playing system will just be one giant table that links to all other tables.


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