Bogleech.com's 2018 Horror Write-off:
A collection of wares
Submitted by squidpizza
I was browsing the internet one day, when I saw an advert for “Godsend Arcana.” Normally something I’d skip over, but the name… spoke to me, I guess. It seemed to be one of those cheesy lootbox-of-the-month things, but it was cheap and had some neat little prizes. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it actually delivered once a week, but quickly forgot about it. Until the first package arrived, of course.
Once a week, now, I get package. It’s an ordinary cardboard box, printed with a label that looked a bit like a lizard skeleton. When I open it, there’s always something different inside. Something from another world. They’re always labelled, numbered, and diagrammed, and smell faintly of ancient books, almost like a museum set piece. I don’t know what to make of them, but at least they’re always interesting. For posterity, I’m recording them here, along with my notes on whatever I get.
“Figure 1: A simple dagger made from Olympian Ivory. Olympian Ivory is not carved, or forged. It is grown, from divine tooth and claw. Once bonded to an owner, it will never leave their side, which is particularly useful for arrowheads or thrown weapons.”
Works like advertised; if you let it out of your sight it reappears next to you. The dagger is slightly warm to the touch and is much, much sharper than it looks. Found that out the hard way. Cutting tomatoes.
“Figure 2: A polished scale from one of the Lovers. Regardless of how far two paired scales are separated, the mirror-like structure will share what the other sees and hears. A terrible fate befalls the bearer of a paired scale when its twin breaks.”
The mirror-scale shows a clearing in bluish-green woods. Sometimes, I see and can talk to a guy in there. He doesn’t wear any clothes, and he has enormous wooden antlers, but mom always said I didn’t deserve the luxury of judging people based on appearances.
“Figure 3: A small bottle of raw Nightmares, harvested from the fossilized brain of the Magus. Reputable sellers of this item would tell you to never let it touch the skin of a living thing, if there were any such people in the world. Exorbitantly expensive this time of the year.”
It looks like a little bottle of pure-black oil and sloshes around very slightly on its own. Holding it close creates a sensation of intense fear and anxiety. Antler guy agrees that I should probably not touch it.
“Figure 4: A cross-section of godsbone, cut open to reveal the marrow. The marrow can be brewed into a savory tea that will bolster the power of certain occult magics, but seriously alters the perception of time of those who consume it. Highly addictive.”
Looks like a fossilized banana. The marrow is still reddish-raw colored and smells, well, like meat. It’s getting harder to resist trying it, but I’ve stored it somewhere safe to avoid temptation.
“Figure 5: A collection of imported foodstuffs from the saline Flesh Lakes. Nearly all of it is boiled, pickled, salted, steamed, candied, or otherwise cooked, for only the desperate or the mad consume them raw.”
[There are several pages of illegible handwriting and abstract sketches of deep-sea animals, which appear to be the aforementioned food products.]
DO. NOT. EAT. RAW.
DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT. [this continues for another three pages and abruptly stops]
“Figure 6: A square bottle of Empress Wine. Technically a misnomer, as it's closer to mead. A single drink of Empress Wine is said to make one so sober that they approach intoxication from the other side, and also leave a hangover so strong that it persists beyond death itself.”
It’s getting harder to go outside, so this is all the booze I have now. At this point side effects are the least of my worries, and it’s not too bad. Tastes like oranges and burning dust.
“Figure 7: A carrion sapling cut from the Hanged Man. If planted in rotting meat and watered with animal blood, it will reach maturity within ten days and bear fruit. The organs are rich, especially the mouthwateringly gelatinous eyeballs.”
The eyeballs blink. This is my new normal.
They’re not bad once you fry them, though.
“Figure 8: A starstone, plucked from the body of a dead dryad. Not as dangerous as its host creature, but makes a wonderful celestial sphere.”
The star patterns don’t match Earth’s. It’s always slightly damp to the touch. Antler guy says dryads are shapeshifters that hunt down people who wander into the woods alone, and are almost impossible to kill. He’s cute when he’s nervous.
“Figure 9: A pickled and preserved Olympian Maggot. Occultists favor these as familiars, for their ability to detect and consume Olympian Ivory. Warriors shun them for the same reasons.”
I went on a ‘date’ with the guy. We both ate together, at the same time. It tasted like briney lobster. He ate some raw tubers he dug up.
“Figure 10: A spellbook bound in Chariot Leather. Recovered from a leader of a dead god’s cult.”
C’mon, c’mon. There has to be something in here about getting there. Has to be. This book has more pages than it should. I don’t think it ever ends.
“Figure 11: A snuffbox of ground Emperor Pollen. A necessary ingredient in many powerful conjuration spells.”
‘When coated in a wielder’s blood and Emperor Pollen, an Olympian Ivory blade can be used to teleport a single wielder anywhere in the multiverse, at the cost of a limb.”
Hopefully this counts.
It’ll be okay.
[The journal ends here. It was recovered along with the body of an anthropology student in their apartment. Autopsy showed large keratinous growths on the face, in the throat, and on the arms, but the apparent cause of death was bleeding out from a severed right arm. The case was deemed suicide. No other abnormal items were found in or around the apartment, and records show no existence of “Godsend Arcana.”.]