- Brass cage. Empty. If you put a small animal in the cage and take your eye off it for a couple of minutes, the animal will be gone. You will find it again later in an unexpected place.
- Oak wardrobe. Holds a portal to a very small magical realm. Basically just a snowy field with a single lamp-post and an overfriendly faun who wants to hang out.
- Turk's-head meerschaum pipe. Haunted by a wise but perfidious vizier. The smoke whispers sage advice into your ear and secretly plots to steal your body.
- Porcelain piggy bank. Bulges grotesquely as it's fed more and more coins, becoming less cute and more of a stubbly, obese, feral hog with a Videodrome-style flesh slot in its back.
- Dried basilisk. Actually a Jenny Haniver - the mummified carcass of a stingray, cut to look like a grinning imp. Will definitely probably come alive if you just do the right thing to it.
- Clay teapot. Used for thousands of years to brew the ritual mind-palace tea of the Monks of Leng, and retains some of its unearthly flavour. Weird dreams if you drink from it.
- Divination dice. Carved from animal bone. Inscribed with cryptic sigils. Used to tell the future, but the manual that explains the sigils is so torn and faded it's almost impossible to read.
- Ship in a bottle. Crewed by dozens of tiny sailors who seem to think they're caught in the doldrums on an endless glassy sea. You can hear them if you put your ear to the mouth.
- Cuckoo clock. Every hour a different bird comes out, its species foretelling the mood of the hour. Cracking it open to inspect the mechanism reveals a small wooden egg.
- Oil lamp. Home to a small fire demon that will do its best to grant wishes in exchange for its favourite fuel, liquefied human fat. Pretends it's a lot more powerful than it is.
- Shrunken head. Holds the vengeful spirit of a jungle warrior. If you decapitate a small animal and attach the head, it will serve you as a familiar. The head will explain this in dreams.
- Stuffed crocodile. Crawl into its mouth and come out the mouth of a random crocodile somewhere in the world. Tickle its belly and it barfs up something a crocodile ate.
- Music box. The tune it plays seems hauntingly familiar, like you heard it as a child. Trying to track it down will lead you to a horrible revelation about your past.
- Butterfly collection. Preserved under glass. If you smash the glass and pull out the pins they will come back to life and turn out to be vampires.
- Faded globe. Depicts the fused, hyperborean continents of the world as it was in a forgotten age, before the kingdoms of forbidden science sank below the waves.
- Harpsichord. Makes you play like a virtuoso until blood spurts out from between the keys and you collapse into a coma. Only a true musical genius can tame it.
- Oil painting. Depicts a decrepit old man. Somewhere in the world there's a handsome young immortal who wants this back. He's famous enough that you'll hear if he crumbles to dust.
- Medical skeleton. If you remove some of its bones it will come to life at night and try to get more bones. Currently missing two metacarpals. Friendly, loves to dance.
- Well-worn overcoat. Huge, warm, bulky. Countless pockets with coins and little trinkets the last owner left behind. You keep finding new ones and the stuff in them keeps getting stranger.
- Engraved whale tooth. The whale wants it back. It's ruthless and creative. Don't think that just because you're on land it can't find a way to get to you.
Saturday 21 March 2020
d20 things in the creepy old curiosity shoppe
inspired by this