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"The Traits, Features, Characteristics, Peculiarities, Mannerisms, Qualities, and Attributes of the Hymergian Man-Fungus," with fold-out illustrations intact. You can't even look at it without the right glasses or you go crazy. And I got a pair of those too.
Met Bill, some junkman, who sold them to me at the Rotting Worm Book Faire in Old Habitsform. He wasn't even a licensed Dangerous Antiquities Dealer. However, unless the glasses are their own elaborate hoax, it appears to be authentic.
Bill obviously didn't know what it was worth, and he wasn't terribly interested in haggling. Either he just needed the money quick, or he was trying to figure out how to ask me to dinner.
I didn't give him the chance for the latter.
The whole "dangerous and haunted artifacts" thing can get to be a grind. After a few dozen enchanted animal skulls; a small gym's worth of possessed swords, daggers, sentient shuriken, demon whips; whispering and bleeding statues that moan in the night; soul-famished sweaters that bind the face and neck to extract the spirit of the wearer; baseball hats that give visions of indescribable horror; it can feel like you're just some kind of removalist, hired by the hour by another whiny rich collector who wouldn't know a dybbuk box from a Basano vase if it hit them in the head. And I've been tempted.
But the Cessation caper has reawakened my interest in books. Books! What beautiful, powerful things. A quick flip through the Zeppelin Nickel Ads & Estate Sale Register indicates that the Rotting Worm Book Faire in Old Habitsform is within range. Surely there will be some dangerous and haunted booksellers there with wealth and taste who may have need of my services. Perhaps I'll pick up something for myself while I am there.
Well the Psychic High School adventure turned out to be a near thing, but the retrieval of dangerous and haunted artifacts often does. Especially when they're held in a library as well guarded as Psyhigh's.
The easiest (and safest) approach was to check the book out, and then "forget" to return it. For such an endeavor I'd need to create a "fill-in" for myself, a homunculus, a rapid prototype clone which could take my place perfectly, reacting in all the right ways, having all my memories and idiosyncrasies, but with the distinct difference of not being "me" -- merely a robot, made out of some old roots, green tutia, sulfur, some fingernail clippings, and a page from my diary. Then, this body-double homunculus would apply for a library card, dutifully wait for the library card to arrive in the mail (successfully passing the battery of physical and psychic tests), then calmly walk into the library, check out the book, and walk out. Once back at her dorm room (we'd have to enroll my double into the school as well) I would creep in through the window at night and remove the book, delivering it immediately to the client (you don't want to remain in the vicinity of dangerous and haunted books for any length of time if you can help it). Then, when the book was overdue and the Library Police break down the door of my double, she can honestly claim that she lost it (and did not steal it) and instead of the usual punishments for stealing library books, she would only be subjected to the minimum sentence of working in the Psyhigh cafeteria for 17 years, the best 17 years of her life, where she made friends with all the lunch ladies, engaging in the camaraderie of hard, unappreciated labor for years upon years, then upon release consider getting a master's degree. That would be the easiest and safest.
But in this case, we had a deadline. So skipped the whole homunculus thing and just walked out with it. Bit of a scuffle on the way out. Delivered the book to the client and dropped their payment into my growing "vat of wishes." Just don't seem to use those up fast enough.
It’s pronounced No-men-kla-TUR. Captain of the Egregore. EGG-gree-gore. We specialize in the retrieval of dangerous and haunted artifacts, including books.
We’ve accepted a job to locate one of the most notoriously demonic tomes ever written—Cessation. Part romance novel, part apocalyptic doom manual, originally written by the mad Bulgarian monk Hristofor Zlatko and published in the 11th century to tremendously scathing reviews. However, through a series of clever international rights deals, as well as extensive rewriting by translators, the book appeared on several arcane bestseller lists throughout Europe. Ultimately banned and burned during the Inquisition, the only known copies exist under high security at the Vatican Library.
A handful of other copies and editions are thought to exist, scattered in secret collections across the world. One of them may apparently be found in the Psychic High School Lending Library and AV Center.
Our first step, obviously, is to apply for a library card.
a nice pair...
Job claimed by Rose Nomenclature 2018-10-27 15:33:17
Eye there all!
I've got a dire request to be done ASAP.
I need a certain book. You should find it at psyhigh, or somewhere around there. I misplaced it when I was there last.
Deliever this book to the conquest, should be easy to find. You know, the space zeppelin.
If you need help, the book has the word "œcessation" on its cover. It's probably not in the library too.
Job claimed by Rose Nomenclature 2018-10-27 15:31:44
aye, request needed finished ASAP.
Find book with word cessation on it at psyhigh, bla bla bla.
I need it really bad.
You aren't meant to ask
Deliever to the space zeppelin, conquest.