The Alexandrian

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101 Curious Items - Roman Sundial26.     A small ball of white marble – roughly three inches across – which hovers in the air until it is touched or disturbed, at which point it falls to the floor and ceases to exhibit any supernatural properties.

27.     A sundial which runs backward.

28.     A bowl full of golden apples found in the midst of ruins which have long been left desolate and uninhabited. They are quite edible and unspoiled. If they are taken beyond the ruins, they will lose their golden sheen and appear – in all respects – as normal, red apples. So long as they remain within the ruins, however, they are golden, and will not age or rot.

29.     Within an elegant hinged case of black onyx, the characters find a set of masterwork gaming darts. Although useless for combat, the darts will give a +2 skill check bonus to anyone using them to play a game of darts (due to their superb balance and construction).

30.     A lucky rabbit’s foot which hangs from a golden chain. Although separated from the rest of the rabbit, the foot magically lives on: It will respond to touch, bleed if injured, and so forth.

31.     A decorative fountain, crafted elegantly from a single block of jade and decorated with gold leaf, in which the water flows in the wrong direction.

32.     A plain mirror with a frame of pale ashwood. Whenever someone looks in the mirror, however, they perceive an elven face in place of their own.

33.     A ring composed of a simple gold band, inscribed with a complex set of blackened runes, which appear to signify nothing at all.

34.     A large tome, bound in leather and clasped with gold. A closer inspection of this volume will reveal that each page is a perfectly preserved dragon scale, which has been inscribed with the black blood of a fiend. The book describes the four spirits (quicksilver, orpiment, sal ammoniac, sulfur) and seven bodies (gold, silver, iron, quicksilver, lead, tin, copper) of traditional alchemy.

35.     A large spectacle, designed for a creature possessed of only a single eye in the middle of their head.

36.     A peg leg inscribed with a pirate’s treasure map. The map is either false or its treasure has long since been plundered. If you wish to provide the PCs with a true map, then one may be found in the hollow compartment within the leg.

37.     A small ivory case, filled to the brim with the wings of fairies.

38.     A delicately carved hope chest of polished cherry wood. The box contains nothing but a remarkably fine, gray sand drawn from some unknown locale. Beneath the new moon, this sand glows a faint blue.

39.     A small, heart-shaped token carved out of rose-colored sandstone, holding the mad soul of a princess who was trapped there by a sorcerer many centuries ago. Her body remains in the hidden royal sepulchers of her homeland, perfectly preserved by ancient magic.

40.     A prismatic crystal which echoes back – in a deep, melodious voice – every word which is said around it two seconds after it has been said.

41.     Within the ruined remnants of a ruined fireplace, an everburning flame still flickers with eternal life. At night, the light of this flame dances across the ghostly forms of those who once lived in the room this fireplace once warmed.

42.     A disk of finely polished stone. On one side, the elvish rune for death is inscribed in blackest obsidian. Upon the other, the dwarven rune for life is inscribed into the palest ivory.

43.     An ancient waterwheel which rests within a dry riverbed, but which still turns with a creaking memory of its ancient motion.

44.     Deep in ruins which predate the characters by generations, they uncover a forgotten account of history. Anyone familiar with the kingdom’s history who studies this text will find references to a king who has apparently been excised from the modern records.

45.     Two disks of hardened quicksilver laying atop one another. If they are separated, a tornado springs up between them – anchored on each end to a disk.

46.     Only a few crumbling bricks standing in the midst of a grassy plain stand as testament to what once must have been a mighty wall. Looking through a small chink in this wall, however, reveals not the plain which sweeps away upon the other side, but, instead, a strange desert with dunes of multi-colored sands.

47.     A mask carved to look like the face of a man, but which has been fitted for something wholly other.

48.     Coming to a door which has long been sealed, the PCs find a tiny toy soldier which marches ceaselessly back and forth – eternally vigilant against those who would disturb his portal.

49.     A statuette of a dragon, forged from the finest mithril, which responds to yes or no questions which are posed to it in draconic. The answers given may appear prophetic or oracular, but are actually random.

50.     The Erian Tapestry. A famous (or forgotten) tapestry depicting the Fall of Erian. The figures upon the tapestry move and change, re-enacting – in an artistically abstracted form – the legendary battle over the course of half an hour.

Continued tomorrow…

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