The Taralon Antiques Roadshow

Mark Schneider Entries
1. SEAMRIPPER: The artifact is a small knife. Nothing spectacular, a small steel blade with a bone handle, perhaps with some gold or silver decoration. It resembles a small knife a seamstress may use to open a seam.

Actually it may have been just that, before some wizard enchanted it for his purposes. Not necessarily an evil one, but at least he was either rather jealous of his collegues or just mischievous. The purpose of the knife is nothing else than to open some sort of seam: to rip up the silver cord, the bond between a wizard and his familiar.

The method of use and what happens afterward are uncertain: perhaps someone can try to attach the familiar to himself afterwards, or just keep it imprisoned.

2. A PIECE OF JUNK? (Overheard in a Southwark tavern)

If I ever had a magic artifact ?

Nah, d'ya think I'd sit in this lousy tavern then ?

Seen some on my journeys ? Nah, an' of that I'm glad. Just get trouble with that stuff, lemme tell ya. But I've heard of some, when I was still sailin' south. D'ya want to hear about 'em ?

Well, perhaps ya should get me 'n ale first, me throat is kinda dry, y'know ?

Ahh, much better... well, as I said, when I still was sailin', and it's been quite a while, y' know, we sailed down to the south one summer, to a port called... well, methinks it was Ev'rydamn, or something like that. Silly name for a town, if you ask me, but damned the place was.

You can't imagine the bloody heat down there, an' they'd stinging flies the size of me thumb, an' those little beasts sucked your blood right out of ya, if ya wasn't careful ! Ah, ya don't believe me, do ya ? But it's true, Iíve seen 'em, and swatted a great many of 'em!

Ah, "go on wit' the story", ya say, but this is the story, isn't it ?

Allright, allright, so we had just docked then and had unloaded our cargo, now, don't ask what it was, I don't remember right now. When we was finished in the evening, me an' me pals went to a tavern. An' what do ya know, the place was buzzin' with rumours of some magic thingy that had been stolen from some guy who was the king of the place or something like that. Well, we settled down, and soon we heard the whole story.

Actually it was many stories, for everyone seemed to tell me something else. But everyone told me that some guy sneaked right into that palace and stole the thing right from under the nose of this king-guy. If y'ask me, if he can't keep his things together, it's only right that he looses 'em !

So what was stolen, was a flute. It was made of... of ivory, that's what they called it. They said it was carved from a tooth of some strange beast they've got down there, a... a liffant, liffant that beast is called. Now that was a sight, I tell ya. Saw one of 'em a few days later before we left. It's a fearsome beast, I tell ya ! It was at least four times as big as the biggest horse I've ever seen, and legs as thick as a stout ale barrel and as long as a small tree ! It was all grey as stone and had ears at least as large as me shirt ! But the most impressing sight was the face !

For the beast had a muzzle that looked liked a great snake or a thick rope, and it hung all the way down to the earth, and it had two huge tusks, just like a boar, but they was at least twice as long as me arm !

And that's what they said the flute was carved of !

Now, ya don't believe a single word ! Don't say no, I see it in your eyes ! 'tis indeed a sad world, when the youth don't even believe the words of a honest sailor anymore. Ah, it is a shame. But If ya get me 'nother ale, I'll forget the insult, alright ?

So they had this flute, which was made of the tooth of that strange beast, alright ? And someone just had stolen it. Ah to me it really didn't sound like something worth stealin'. Do you know what that dumb thing did ? If ya played it, ya could lure some animals to you. You just had to think about the animal you wanted to have. Well, at first I thought that's a nice little thing, if you're out in the woods an' in need of a meal. Good for fishing, too. And then those people tell me you can't harm the beast for that would, now what did they say ? Yes, "break the flute's enchantment, permanently." Now, of what use is this thing, if ya can't use it properly, I ask ya ? So I told 'em, but they, they said that it was a mighty artifact, for if you had lured a beast to you, you could talk to it. And now what good should this do to you, I ask ?

Bad enough as it already is, people always tellin' me I should stop drinkin' so much, so I definitely don't need any beasts startin' to do the same ! And if ya ask me, them animals are pretty stupid, eh ? Don't know what I would talk about wit'em.

So, whoever should want to have such a stupid flute, eh ? If they'd something, let's say, that makes me wake up in the mornin' without a hangover after a long night at the tavern, or something that makes sure that I've always a coin for'n ale in my pocket, or something that makes the tavern gals look a little bit friendlier to me, well that would be something worth stealin'.

And so I told that bunch of southerners that their pretty flute just sounded like a great piece of junk to me.

Well, I think that was when the brawl started. Me an' me pals were dumped on the street, but then, we wanted to leave anyway. Well, I never heard what became of the flute or that thief, but then I don't really care either. So, if ya want to hear 'nother story, you better get me an ale, me throat is dry again !

3. THE HOUR-GLASS CRYSTAL: The artifact is made of two clear cone-shaped crystals, each about 1 1/2 inches long. They are connected at the pointed end, so that they look like 3-inch-long hour-glass. Twisting the crystals will cause time to turn back 60 seconds.

It was made by a wizard who had enough of all those moments when you stand in front of the broken vase, the ruined work, the smashed window and think: "I wish that that just did not happen !"

After being used, the crystals need to recharge, so they can't be used to time-travel into the past.