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Friday, July 29, 2011
Collect Call from the Outer Dark
The City is awash with weird rumors, but one of the weirdest is about thaumaturgic artifact said to be in the possession of (or perhaps possessing) the City Telephone Company. In some inner corporate sanctum (so it goes) a secret order of technician-priests performs rituals in the service of a mummified severed head.
The rumors vary as to whether the head is housed in the City Telephone Company Skyscraper (a ziggurat-like structure that’s highest tower is topped by a Tesla coil-like spire--could it be more that decoration?) or a few blocks away in the research laboratories of its parent company, Reade Telephone (confirmed to be working on advances like etheric image transmission and trans-mortem communication). Wherever its housed, the head is said to be studded with electrodes attached to the glass sphere surrounding it. Beyond the dome, the “altar” upon when the head sits is surrounded by magic wards and electrical equipment like rune inscribed van de Graaff generators. Despite the sealed vacuum that surrounds the head, the room is always filled with its sonorous babbling.
What’s the heads purpose? That’s the question, isn't it? Some think its pronouncements are coded prophecies dutifully collected and decoded by the scientists. Others believe it's some sort of extradimensional computation device; it’s vocalizations are sonic representations of binary code, ultimately describing the entire multiverse and giving thaumaturgic mastery of reality itself. Still others are sure the head's a demon from the depths of the Pit and the sounds that hold its acolytes in such thrall are a slow working spell to breakdown the walls of the material world and overturn Creation.
Some adventures have gone looking for the head. Most have found nothing but stiff security at the telephone company offices. If anyone’s ever found the head, it doesn't seem they've lived to tell about it.