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