Tuesday, July 28, 2020

V_Woolfe's Lost Shipments (Esoteric Enterprises spells and grimoires)

"Whisper blows across a Colorado field that's dry as bones. V_Woolfe is sitting in a plastic lawn chair underneath the rusty clouds that crawl by, reading, at last with nothing on her mind. There's a black-suited man next to her, who stares at the clouds with mournful attention. The fire in a car that crashed into a boulder earlier flaps in the wind like a flag. Time has progressed past the twenty-four mark and now, every hour is apostasy. She is going to die in three hours. Never mind that, though. It's a good book."

Who's to say what becomes of people like V_Woolfe, who chew on the dark stringy hyphae of the mycelium that stretches across America. Smuggling and internet sales of occult literature was easier in Europe, she always held, but that's not really true. It's different. In America, the roads are longer. More stuff gets lost. Not stolen, but lost lost.

Here's some books that might have gotten lost in transit.

(These books contain both spells that are and aren't in the base game. The ones that aren't are listed at the end.)

Art by Nokse Mojo

The Suitcase from Berlin

"It never left the safe behind a dadaist painting in an upstate New York apartment, like it was supposed to. Now it's sitting there, waiting for a train that'll never come because the conductor is turned to insects and the engine was pawned." 

Thaumaturgy and Marx's Theory of Labour, by Sotiria Dimopoulos, 19th century. Greek.
Spells: Blood to Money, Trace Power, Speak With Engine

The Eastern Account, by Hans Mauer, 20th century. German.
Spells: Peephole, Remove Identity, Protection from Weapons

The Sunken Box

"It was thrown overboard just outside a California industrial harbour town. The paranoid smuggler was shot two days later, and the bay combed, but the metal box was never found. They had to shoot the smuggler again, then, on a stormy evening in the hotel bar. And then they had to run him over with their car while driving to Vegas."

Anchovie Shanties, by unknown, 19th century.
Spells: Delirium, Raise Fishes, Octopus Flesh

The Dig, and other Tales, by Reverend J. Asher, 20th century.
Spells: Ignore Stench, Travel By Night, Speak With Insects

The Empty Car

"The driver went for a piss besides the road at night and saw a light in the distance. He started walking towards it and never came back. Now it's just sort of standing in the desert, where nobody cares to remove it. A coyote lives under it, and sand on the wind has stripped off the majority of the paint."

House With a Pool, by Diana Perez, 21th century. Spanish.
Spells: Blood in the Water, Know Guilt, Paranoia

Kentucky Cannibal Witch-King, by John Saul, 21th century.
Spells: Dopethrone, Gun Mouth, Flay

The Crate in the Forest

"It's stamped with the sign of a shipping company, but the logo is barely visible on the weathered wood under filthy plastic tarp. The crate lies in a forestial crevice just south of the Canadian border, in a contorted metallic nest of the pickup it was being carried by. There are no roads for miles, all dense forest, no car tracks."

The Kalyagin Anthology, by Maksim Kalyagin, 21st century. Russian.
Spells: Speak Through Corpse, Invisibility, Tunnel

My Time in Oregon, by unknown, 21st century.
Spells: Inhabit Animal, Weather, Floating Eye

Art by Sergey Kolesov


Blood to Money (rank 4, range touch, duration instantanous): You drain a living person of their energy and health, and it will convert itself into paper money, similar to what they could have made by the labour you've extracted from their body. The stronger the body, the bigger the wads of dollars. Curiously, Blood to Money is one of the few spells dependent on the state of the economy. The victim can Save against Magic to still be affected by the spell but make it not produce any money.

Trace Power (rank 3, range touch, duration instantaneous): By touching an item imbued with power or authority, either magical or mundane (a legislative document, a towering building, or even a plot of valuable land works just as well as a magical barrier), you can discover the identity of the holder(s) of its power. Can also be used on people to discover their employers. Anyone/anything that can do so has an opportunity to Save against Magic to resist the effect.

Speak with Engine: As Techspeak, but with machines that have an engine.

Peephole (rank 1, range touch, duration 1 minute per level): The caster makes appear a hole in a solid surface, and accordingly, somewhere on the surface of that same material (the concrete of a building, the soil of a plot of land, the caster, the metal of a crane, ...) another hole appears at a location of the caster's choosing. The caster can look through the hole and see out the other end, or put their ear to it and listen, but not both at the same time.

Remove Identity (rank 5, range touch, duration permanent): The caster targets an item or a person, and any written records, pictures and videos of them are erased. People notice this: they can tell there are suddenly blanks where a name, a description or a picture of a person should be. For one day per level, it remains impossible to create any permanent record of the target. Descriptors that do not name the target, like "My brother's hiking buddy" don't disappear. This spell takes longer to cast the more famous the target object or person is. When targeting an object, only reference to that object is erased, not to similar objects or objects of the same make, brand or appearance.

Delirium (rank 2, range 30ft, duration as long as caster remains intoxicated): The caster shares the effect of their intoxication with any creatures that can be affected by it within range. These creatures can Save against Poison to resist its effects.

Raise Fishes (rank 4, range 30ft, duration 1 minute per level): Around the caster, any body of water or device that produces water or accepts water, like a tap, a showerhead, a drain, a pump, a well, etc. begins to produce and expel dead and live fish and fleshy sea creatures. This tide of fish will quickly fill up indoor spaces, but decay more quickly than usual when the spell ends (though not instantly).

Ignore Stench (rank 1, range self or touch, duration 10 minutes per level): The caster can ignore any Saves required to be made, and other negative effects, that are brought about by overwhelming or disgusting smells.

Travel by Night (rank 3, range self or one vehicle, duration one nightly travel): So long as the sun is down and you remain in transit, a small burning flame persists in the air above your head or vehicle and your journey will be relatively unobstructed. All but the most severe weather will not affect you, weak creatures will not attack you and weak magic cannot affect you. Strong creatures or magic can Save against Magic to overcome this effect, but when they do you sense their approach.

Speak with Insects: As Speak with Animals, but allows the caster to speak with any insects rather than a specific type, but not with other animals.

Speak through Corpse (rank 2, range 1 mile per level., duration 1 minute per level): The caster can speak through the mouth/throat of a human corpse that they know the appearance of. If the caster knows of multiple corpses within the range, they can speak through them simultaneously. This spell can be cast to also hear what the corpse hears, but this limits the scope to one chosen corpse.

Tunnel (rank 5, range self, duration 1 minute per level): The caster becomes able to walk through dirt, rock and concrete without resistance, leaving a human-shaped tunnel. They do not fall through it, but can walk downwards in an incline to descend, like going down a hill. The caster cannot pass through metal.

Inhabit Animal (rank 4, range touch, duration 1 hour per level): The caster can inhabit the body of one mundane animal no larger than a tiger, crawling into them and effectively controlling their body. From the moment this happens the animal is by all means dead, but will still register as alive while you inhabit it. When leaving the animal, the caster tears out of it, even when the animal is much smaller than the caster.

Weather (rank 3, range one area, duration instantaneous): The caster learns with certainty the weather that will occur in a particular area, and can appeal to it as though persuading a person to change slightly, but not drastically. If it's already going to rain, you can persuade it to become a monsoon, but not if it would normally have been sunny.

Blood in the Water (rank 1, range self, duration 15 minutes per level): The caster becomes hyperaware of the scent of blood in the air and the water, allowing them to follow trail-like scents of those who have passed through the area while bleeding.

Gun Mouth (rank 2, range self, duration 1 round per level): The barrel of a heavy machine gun comes out of the caster's mouth, which they can use to attack (as assault rifle) for the duration of the spell, though the shaking of the gun rattles their head and makes their eyes look like googly ones when you shake them. The caster must make a Save vs Stun or be concussed when the spell ends.

Paranoia (rank 5,  range 10ft per level, duration instantaneous): Like with the Fear spell, chosen targets within the radius Save vs Magic, or irrationally believe that they are followed, observed, hunted or otherwise the target/under threat of an entity of the caster's specification. The spell will gently change their perception of reality to fall more in line with this belief. This latter effect, and any magical forcing of the belief caused by the spell, is considered a curse for the purposes of removing it. However, it may still leave lasting psychological effects even after the spell ends.