Header image by Charlie on Flickr.
Roll 3D20 to determine what he’s got in stock today.
1 – Rosaries. They’re made out of bone and he assures you that they’re all “used,” whatever that means.
2 – Cats. He sells them by weight, using a pair of antique scales he’s set up on the pavement.
3 – Faberge Eggs. They look real. He claims to have located “the Faberge goose.”
4 – Handguns. These ones have fresh serial numbers on, painstakingly etched in with surprising skill, which point to recent (or upcoming) murders.
5 – Pot plants. He says they’re all tremendously venomous, and when you tell him that there’s a difference between “poisonous” and “venomous,” he rubs at a bandage on his wrist and tells you he understands the difference all too well.
6 – Blood bags. He does part-exchange, too, and pays a top dollar for unusual blood types.
7 – Fingerprints. They’re made out of hot wax, look like someone else’s fingertips, and last about twenty-four hours before they wrinkle up and drop off like scabs.
8 – Comedowns. He siphons off hangovers and comedowns, distills them into pills, and sells them to the sort of weirdos who want to skip the high and go straight to the torment.
9 – Condoms. He says they’re made of enchanted sheep guts, guaranteed to help you sire a child of strong limb and keen mind. (So: they don’t work.)
10 – Pages from books. He displays a random collection of pages from weird and esoteric books, some of which you’re pretty sure don’t exist, but he doesn’t seem to have the actual books themselves. You’ll need to keep coming back to buy them in installments, it seems.
11 – Meat. Good stuff, too! Completely above board – you’d expect it to be dog or human or something, but this is top-drawer primo horse meat.
12 – Eggs. Not guaranteed to be from chickens, but “most of them are.”
13 – Thorns. He says you can fashion them into crowns or armour that will keep you safe from fey magic; he’s wearing a full set, and bleeding quite a lot.
14 – Bottled spirits. By which we mean, of course: ghosts, condensed down into glass vessels. Take a drink, and normal folk get a brief hit of the ghost’s most important memory; those with the Sight get transported back to when it all happened.
15 – Injectable madnesses. Fancy trying out depression for the evening? Want to experience schizophrenia, but be able to go back to your normal life at the end of the weekend? Bored of a single identity, and want to dissociate into some others? He’s got your back.
16 – Music. Not sheet music or CDs, though. You give him the money, and then the tune follows you around like a faithful hound, appearing in adverts on TV and being hummed absent-mindedly by passers-by. He also sells removals.
17 – Happy families. Fully-functional, paint-by-numbers families that will move into your home and do… family stuff. The families are unaware that they were purchased out the back of a car, and it’s recommended that you don’t tell them.
18 – Moody jewellery. He maintains that all of it has been stolen from graves, or at the very least, that someone died wearing it. He has an excellent selection of widow’s wedding rings, some with the fingers still in.
19 – X-ray specs. And all other kinds of 1950’s/60’s spy gear and practical jokes from the back of a magazine, except it all works as advertised. (And it gives you tumours, too. But, hey – x-ray specs!)
20 – Experience points. He claims to have access to knowledge of “the great game” which you’re all in, and offers ways to increase your skills by making scratches on a piece of paper with your name on. Sounds daft, but it seems to work.
Glimmers is a series where Chris and Grant, the creative leads behind Rowan, Rook & Decard, create an urban horror world through the use of Dx tables. Because who has time to read a full setting book?
[GLIMMERS.] The city is alive. The city is connected, with streams of light and noise and people, to every other city; they are all the same being, all branches of the same concrete-and-glass tree. There are streets between them, forgotten streets, with secret names and grim inhabitants. (And: there are wild-lands, dark places, the Spaces Between, where nothing seems right. Airport waiting rooms. Churches, at night. Backwater villages.)
There is vast power in the thrum of machines and the buzz of traffic, and it can be yours, for a price.