Keys in the Wizard’s Lockbox, Lot #2

1: foot-long patinated bronze key with a bow shaped like a buckler; stem is a thin almost-cylinder resembling a C in cross-section; no visible bit, but sophisticated patterns etched on the inside face of the stem (opens the lost mausoleum/armory of Casserak Thousand-Blades; stem will wrap around the handle of any non-artifact melee weapon pressed to it and grant proficiency/attunement to the wielder)

2: pure silver key in a bottle of holy water sealed with the mark of the Soporites (locks the outside door of any structure and traps incorporeal undead inside until the key is destroyed)

3: black iron key, bow wound about with a red ribbon (key to the nearest Forgeron Ranger safehouse, supposedly stocked with wilderness exploration gear and maps of Widowmaker Wood)

4: plain white ceramic key, jagged microspines all up and down stem (unlocks a breathing hole in a Vigilarium Institute alpine isolation cell; whatever’s contained inside might be able to communicate or escape through such a hole)

5: shortsword-sized polished steel key with spikes on the bow and a thick piece of scrap iron crudely welded to the bit, blocking usage (opens the collar restraining Klorthakturym, dragon prizefighter, in his lair-cell in the Grand Coliseum of Septuagryx)

6: ornate and unusually heavy electrum key found chained to an object or person with at least three different locks (opens the decadent boudoirs of the Winkindrege Club, a society of libertines who are always hiring guides for their dungeon safaris)

7: entirely unremarkable iron key, aura of transmutation (jailbird’s muddlekey; if added to a keyring, adds 1d10 keys to the ring and regularly swaps the shapes of all keys on the ring; any attempt to use a key on the ring requires 1d10 minutes of trial and error as the keys actively swap their shapes to confound usage)

8: wetly shiny pitch black key no bigger than a matchstick (slides effortlessly and painlessly into the pupil of a humanoid eye; once inserted, the subject perfectly recalls what they saw within the past month and may only speak the truth for as long as the key remains)

9: wide, stubby brass key (opens three locked chapters and some of the hollow inclusions in the Puzzlebook of Varsaimies, a holy relic of the wandering tinkers of the Wastes)

10: granite pestle, chipped in a manner that suggests a bit, engraved with a Dwarven word meaning “unstoppable” (gatecrasher key; as an action, hold the key in hand and speak the command word to turn it into a battering ram weighing >100lbs)

11: gray soapstone key; gathers lint if kept in a pocket or pack (very small mimic; if attached to a key ring, sprouts legs and drags it away while you rest. Can be placated by feeding it lint and raisins, but is shy and will not eat if observed.)

12: perfectly translucent key; pliable like firm clay at the tip (placing the key in a lock instantly shrinks the user and places them inside the hollow body of the key, from wherein they can press outward to manipulate the shape of the key’s exterior [does not confer knowledge of the internal components of most locks, skill checks still required]; once the correct shape has been attained or the user wills it, the user returns to their usual size and prior position outside the key. The hollow inside the key has a universally breathable atmosphere that lasts for ten minutes.)

13: bone key; porous lattice covers bow (locks any door or aperture that will take a key, crumbles upon removal from the lock; traps the aperture with either a sinewy snare or a flurry of bone shards [user’s choice] that activates when the aperture is next tried)

14: wrought-iron key inlaid with colorful enamel with a twisted stem and intricate many-toothed wards (key to the Edgecliff Racer, whose toothed treads, aerodynamic sails, and draft-manticores make it a vehicle to be reckoned with)

15: nickel key with a bow in the shape of a banner engraved with a crest, with a pointed tip (if stabbed through a map of the territory matching the crest on the banner and turned, causes a social disruption: if unlocked, the area becomes easy to enter or leave amidst sudden mass greed and collapsing notions of privacy; if locked, the area becomes very difficult to enter or leave as law enforcement or other armed agents impose curfews and lockdowns. The effects last for one day and one night.)

16: decorative key no longer than a human pinkie finger (unlocks a previously-hidden compartment in a trinket or other object sentimental to a party member)

17: sandstone key; flat, pommel-like bow is etched with a clothlike pattern (inserting the key and pressing it flush to a section of the Wall of Stories in the Chikochka Caverns opens a secret passage to the Monastery of Storytellers)

18: key made of troll flesh; warm to the touch, squirms and farts (feed it to any bridge troll for riddle-free safe passage, or return it to Novice Fleshmage Melglaf for a reward in gold pieces)

19: crumb-sized rhodium key (opens the observatory inside the snowglobe on the desk of Kyrie Oprananovis, Master Librarian of the Zenith Spire)

20: tachylite ring, hot to the touch, containing 1d12 mossy pumice keys (if flung into the air over the ocean, the keyring breaks apart and distributes the keys over a 1d20-mile radius; a brand-new island rises from the sea where each key landed. Each island has a 1d10×100-foot radius and a one-in-six chance to be actively volcanic)

Look for more installments of Keys in the Wizard’s Lockbox in the future.  -ð

Catch Scriv and friends on The Morph Report!

100 years after the events of the Animorphs, confined to distance learning by a pandemic, students in a college history class go back to the (primary) source and learn about the teens who saved the world!  And reference a lot of garbage memes.

Holy canoli, you’ve stuck with BLP this long?!  You’re a true comrade.  Or maybe you’re just finding us, in which case, hi!, I’m Scriv, and you’ve just read the elevator pitch for one of my quarantine projects.  (Okay, I don’t have a lot of quarantine projects that aren’t The Morph Report [does playing a lot of Dark Souls count?], but calling it “my quarantine project” sounds like it’s my brainchild, which it ain’t, I only start showing up in Episode 3.  Regardless!)  You can check it out here; our Twitter is also a good way to keep up with what we’re doing, and that’s here.

Hope you all are well!  I have a little something in the works for you tabletop nerds; in the meantime, take good care of yourself and the people around you.

Keys in the Wizard’s Lockbox, Lot #1

1: brass key, many spokes radiating from a solid core with a twist handle (allows the playing of the Cyclian Resonator)

2: long, thin lead key to a warded lock (opens the “Volatile Components” cabinet of the wizard’s alchemy table)

3: matte black skeleton key engraved with various diacritics and punctuation marks (opens any one small lock once, as long as the user swears while jamming the key in with excessive force)

4: mummified rabbit’s foot on a loop of chain (pawprint unlocks a back room of Lollygag’s Gambling House)

5: silver key charm on a gold necklace (placing the necklace on the statue of the first queen of Sistrel-Kath opens the way to her mirror-hall mausoleum)

6: copper key with green patina, bow in the shape of a smiling mask (if placed under a pillow and slept on, opens the way to the dreams of Lisivilla, the Tarnish Artist)

7: egg-beater handle turns numerous bits and blades (key to the ironworks subsystem of the Liberator Rig, a massive traveling contraption-monger)

8: silver hat pin with thin grooves and a large, disc-shaped head featuring the silhouette of a human (deactivates and lays open one of the simulacra in Pygmalion’s Garden)

9: a key carved from quartz with a thin strip of linen bearing a sixty-syllable word wrapped around the stem (key and word needed to reopen the Learning Church of the Panoptic in case of lockdown)

10: knapped flint key (melts any metal lock owned or overseen by the Doctiloquence Initiative; reusable until the Initiative’s vault of cursed items is breached)

11: key smoothly transitions from hematite to wood to lacquered horn (symbol of the Adaptive Legislature; upon display, grants access to their debate sessions and advanced transmutation practicums)

12: pitted and rusted iron warding key (bow unscrews and pulls out to reveal map to Parcel Brigade lockbox/dead drop location)

13: broken basalt key (if frozen in a block of ice, the ice around the key will reform the missing half; shattering the block produces the key. Key matches one gibbet in the Gelid Estacade.)

14: ring of many colorful ceramic keys (each to one of a network of safe houses on different planes, all accessible from a planar gate in the City of Spires)

15: resin key with insect inclusions (key to the lac treehouse of Eriack Shilaj; turn clockwise for the Candymaker aspect [sociable], counterclockwise for the Matchmaker aspect [sulfrous])

16: ornate, lacy key made of sugar (provides the next spoken password as long as the taste remains on the tongue)

17: very heavy key of an unknown metal, occasionally sheds flakes of dried blood (opens the House of Dispossession, where the Tailors harvest the genetic curse of the fiend-blooded)

18: blank key, slightly greasy, stamped with “DO NOT COPY” (hidden compartment contains a single monofilament blowgun dart; inside of key stamped with “RETURN TO SENDER”)

19: human molar tooth, blackened with age (opens the screaming skull lock of the Carrion Aerie; the skull is missing plenty of other teeth.)

20: two-foot diameter iron ring inscribed with a 20-simplex graph, a pin at each vertex (unseals the Ur-Tome, which is currently in use as a bludgeoning weapon by the fire giant Slumbering Thurnor)

 

Look for more installments of Keys in the Wizard’s Lockbox in the future.  -ð

Scriv’s Decade in Music: The Ones That Got Away

Several bands in my 2010-2019 retrospective put out albums that I didn’t get to listen to (Clutch, Shahmen, Chained To The Bottom Of The Ocean, Cult of Luna, and Lingua Ignota come to mind most immediately.) While those releases are definitely hot on my list, I wanted to highlight a couple other bands that I probably should have gotten to by now, and a few albums that skated in right at the end of 2019 that I haven’t had the chance to check out in depth yet, who I haven’t already talked about.

Continue reading Scriv’s Decade in Music: The Ones That Got Away