April 1, 2023

A Handful of Sorcery

Mathilde's hands were red and sticky.

She hunched in a supply closet, in the pool of a tiny green-cased lamp. Her hands shook. She fumbled a tiny key from her uniform pocket. The uniform, decorated with four iron oak leaves and a golden crest, denoted a tertiary-level Academy student with honors. The navy wool glistened with stain.

Beside her, on a crate of scouring powder, there lay a great, waxy pale book girded in iron. A lock, its keyhole shiny with wear, kept its block of thick pages tight and shut. Beside, just out of the light, there lay, in a pool of tacky red, a stocking with something lumpy inside, leaking.

Key in hand, Mathilde glanced at the closet door. Shut. Quivering, she jammed the key into the book's lock. The pages spilled open with a rustle like dry hands over bare flesh. Mathilde drew an onyx pen and a sewing pin from her pocket. Panting, she again looked at the door. Still shut. She stuck the pin into the web of her thumb without hesitation. The wound welled, and she inked the pen nib therein.

She began to write, bowing close to the soft, veined pages. Her hair, tangled and sticky, painted streaks over the page as she scribbled:

"I did it. I have it."

As her words dried, new ones sprung from under the surface of the page, blooming like burst capillaries. The script was not Mathilde's at all. Crabbed, cursive strokes.

"I know. I can taste him on the page." Then, after a moment: "I knew you could do it. You have come so far since first I wrote to you."

Mathilde flushed, she pursed her lips, wrote.

"Thank you." Then: "But, I am afraid they will know it was me."

The book wrote back. "Did you do exactly as we planned?"


"Then what have you to fear? What are the few, dabbling magicians of the Academy against a Beauty?"

There was a tapping. Mathilde startled, darted towards the door, but the sound was merely the stocking, dripping gently onto the floor. She shivered, turned back to the page.

She wrote. "Thank you. But I am not a sorcerer. I am not you."

The book flooded with red text. "But you are not the girl of ten who first pricked her finger and wrote to me. I know by the strength of your hand and the ripeness of your blood that you are grown. And I know by the other ink that pollutes my page that you have the resolve, the strength befitting true Beauty. All you lacked were bones."

Mathilde's breathing quickened as she read. As she neared the end of the line and the words began to fade, she glanced at the stocking, at the humps of knuckles and the red stump within. As if it knew her gaze, the book wrote.

"And after tonight, I know you lack nothing at all."

Beyond the closet door, distant, there was a cry, and a response, panicked and muffled.

"They are looking for me." Mathilde wrote quick. "I fear I will not escape, even after all I have accomplished."

Large text flew over the page, as if excited. "You have the vice, do you not?"

Mathilde glanced to a folded contraption like a metal spider squashed between two bookboards, nested between two texts within her open book bag. A small tube labeled scalpels, surgical, sanitive was tucked beside. "Yes." she wrote.

"And the serum?"


"Good. The bone will do the rest, even if not yet healed. You know what you must do."

Another shout from outside. Pounding feet passed the door. Mathilde jabbed the pen nib into her hand, wrote, script messy and bleeding. "I am afraid."

"Fear does not make leave of even Beauty. Begin, I will guide you."

Mathilde swallowed dryly. "I know. I will," she wrote.

Setting down the pen, she withdrew the roll of scalpels. She produced several bottles of fluid, the crooked vice from her bag, and several rolls of gauze.

She drew the stocking-covered thing towards her, glanced toward the door, and began to cut.


Knucklebones are perhaps the most recognizable of all sorceries.

Artificial, finely-crafted surrogates for natural human fingerbones. Worn within the flesh of the hand, they grant unnatural powers in exchange for the nutrient salts of the wearer's blood.

Artifacts, all. Ancient, all. Knucklebones' powers and accompanying prestige are worth any and all suffering and disfigurement entailed in their implantation within the delicate structures of the hand.

The process of cutting magic bones into the hand, a process known as abscission, is aided by but a few sorcerous technologies. Namely, the palmar vice, a spidery apparatus meant to immobilize the hand, and to pierce and hold the delicate, pared veins, ligaments, muscles, and flesh for the surgeon as they operate upon their own twitching extremity.

A well-implanted bone is a scar to remember forever. A failed installation means the loss of a digit. A clumsy job means lingering pain and loss of function; but most would make this trade for magic powers without a moment's doubt.

Knucklebones, whose potency tempts would-be magicians and neo-sorcerers to atrocities against their fellows who wear them. The digirati are a cannibal sort, who, wealthy, mostly, socialize under a layer of polite society and pretense, but all the while gloat, want, and predate. They prey upon those less able, meanwhile admiring and scheming against those with more impressive hands.

d100 Magic Knucklebones

Below lies a d100 list of these bones. Among them are weapons, strange relics, brilliant medicines, instruments of espionage, manipulations of mortality, transgressions against humanity, and, merest of all, vanities from an age of sorcery.

  1. Accumulator bone. Rare. Similar in appearance to the reservoir bone, but reinforced against breakage by bands of greenish alloy. This proximal phalange is often worn to complement a bone requiring high quantities of rare salts, which are toxic at blood concentrations above baseline. The accumulator bone gradually harvests the bloodstream's baseline rare salt levels and caches them in quantities sufficient for later use. This provides an attractive alternative to injecting a toxic hypodermic of rare salt solution, an experience most magicians are eager to forgo.
  2. Amaranthine bone. Exceptional. Few are known outside the hands of stately and established practitioners. A marvelous red-green ammolite thumb metacarpal, lustrous and clearly precious. In the hand, it is easily forgotten, for it is utterly inconspicuous. It can remain there for decades, rarely remembered, as its effect is one of absence: While the precious bone rests, unobtrusive and rarely thought of, it rids the wearer, particularly as they age, of malignancy. The wearer will hardly notice their clear, youthful skin, for it will never bloom and blotch with rotting growths. They will not remark upon their hale, vigorous lungs, for they never fill with blood and corrupted flesh. They will barely observe their stretching age as it extends for remarkably vernal decades, unburdened by cancerous agonies of any kind at all. For these properties of life extension, the amaranthine bone is among the most coveted of all.
  3. Anastatic bone. Rare. Prized by those conscious of their mortality, as the digirati most often are. It should only be installed in the left hand. This metacarpal is clear crystal, capped at both ends by golden joint contacts. The crystal encloses a marrow of tiny black globes, like roe. Once abscised, the bone lies dormant, activating only when it judges circulation to be stopped or near-failing. Upon activation, the bone launches a surge of medicated blood towards the great vessels of the heart. Veins bulge from the arm, and the hand blackens with hematoma. It pummels the cardiovascular system in an effort to revive it, bursting vessels and bruising the heart. Should this blast of enriched blood succeed in restarting circulation, the wearer will be little better than on the brink of death, but they will be briefly alive.
  4. Anchor bone. Semi-rare. A black metal medial phalange. Despite its size, the anchor bone weighs a kilogram and more. Its weight deranges the grace of the hand and tests the capacity of the wearer's fragile flesh, causing the newly implanted finger to pool with edema, delaying healing horribly. The wearer will be hard pressed to ever again make agile use of the implanted hand. All this must be endured to enjoy the bone's function, which is innate to its massive material. It is crafted from basphory lead, a metal multiplicatively more massive than gold, sourced only from within the earth of the Coast. It is an element intrinsically linked to the human world, that cannot easily be translated to other realms. As such, this knucklebone of basphory lead, which distributes its massive payload finely throughout the wearer' body, serves to anchor them within the natural world, preventing their passage, at least for a moment, through the interstiction points between other worlds. More effective than mince toads, it is among the most potent preventatives a traveler can want in the prevention of accidental traversal to alien realms.
  5. Anode bones; AKA magician's lightning. Deeply antique. A gunmetal distal phalange of unusual design. It is robustly heavy. Something moves inside, ringing softy. Most include a beautifully-sculpted protrusion, often chisel-like or deftly scalloped, which replaces, painfully, either the pad of the fingertip or the fingernail. Without a galvanic bone to potentiate it, an anode bone is a potent electroshock weapon; its touch delivers excruciating electric current, sufficient to burn flesh and seize muscle. With the addition of a galvanic bone, it creates a terrifying, roaring arc of directed energy powerful enough to immolate or instantly incapacitate. A handful of potentiated anode bones produces lightning bolts capable of vaporizing foes, reducing them to ash and stinking ozone. Only thought is required to activate an anode bone, a deadly reflex which takes practice to restrain. *
  6. Anodyne bone. Uncommon. A greasy-black proximal phalange, too small for any finger but the pinky. It is unadorned, excepting the upper joint head, which is a lacquerlike red substance. Abscission of the bone takes double the usual time to heal, remaining inflamed and weeping, but causing suspiciously little pain. When popped, the bone produces a spreading warmth that dulls pain and soothes the mind. It conjures a flavor of raw sugar under the tongue. The effect is delicious, able to mulcify even profound injury and woe into more manageable terms. It is, however, addictive, and becomes less useful with abuse.
  7. Ataraxic bone. Rare. A licorice-colored medial phalange suitable for the thumb. The implanted ataraxic bone will reject unless provided subdermal injections of cerebrospinal fluid, placed within the webbing of the thumb twice a day for a week. When popped, eliciting a greasy sensation within the joint, the bone releases a brilliant sensation up the arm and within the chest. This hair-raising sensation accompanies an exhilarating clarity of mind that sweeps away distraction, indecision, and anxiety, providing a few minutes of pellucid focus and unimpeded thought. It begets inspiration and realization even in the exhausted mind. It is best used sparingly, however, as its overuse will build strange connections within the mind that breed nonsensical causalities and hallucinatory revelations.
  8. Awe bone; AKA magician's glamour. Extremely rare. A glistening hematite metacarpal. It inflicts intermittent goosebumps and chills within the wearer for months after abscission. The bone is activated by pinching it within the palm, a pensive gesture, eliciting a powerful frisson and an expanding low-frequency thrum that stirs the chest, sickening. Surrounding people are intensely affected, struck by an exhilarating, penetrating shudder that raises hairs, stutters the heart, and robs breath from the lungs. It is so sudden and inexplicable as to instill existential dread, or deep certainty that something supernatural and awesome has come to pass. It is as terrifying as it is euphoric, and if played wisely by a charismatic sorcerer, can aid in the installation of fear and awe in even steadfast hearts. Anyone aware of the bone, however, is largely immune to the turmoil it inspires.
  9. Beauty's hand. Rare. Sought after by magicians of a provocative predisposition. A lustrous magnetite scaphoid bone. Implanted and fully healed, it summons dreadful pain in the fingertips, which over a course of days slough their nails, leaving sensitive, fleshy beds. These empty beds are assumed by new, dark nails constructed from biological alloy. They grow slow, sped only by a diet rich in heme iron, in fish and meats, and in citrus. Grown, they are steel-hard, perfectly straight, and readily filed to vicious points. They are durable, reinforced by a vaulted curve more profound than in human nails. The Beauties of ancient Idra, in their plentiful, disturbed frescoes, are depicted with these nails, which they wore long and sharpened in each imperious hand.
  10. Bone of acuity, AKA the forehanded bone. Exceptional. Curiously, the bone of acuity is one of few to be worn as a carpal. The pisiform bone, specifically, on the side of the palm. It is a delicate platinum cage containing shrunken matrices of old organs. It causes an intermittent racing heart, when healing, evidence of its re-hydrated glands' integration with the endocrine system. Wearers of the bone of acuity are hyper-sensitive to motion. Fast, incoming objects trigger the entire body as effectively as a needle held close to an open eye, initiating a menace reflex that launches them swiftly, if not gracefully, away. It is a bone for magicians who fear injury by physical blows. Indeed, it will save them from sudden strikes, though it will also cause them to dodge things as innocuous as swooping pigeons or falling acorns. The bone of acuity is limited in scope, and cannot spare the wearer from the swift flechettes of modern projectile weapons.
  11. Bone of dorveille. Uncommon. This proximal phalange is crafted from narwhal ivory. It is soothing to hold, and begs to be turned through the fingers like a worry stone. Wearers tend to become protective of it, liable to cosset the installed digit, a behavior which must be consciously un-learned. Once installed, cracking the related knuckle flushes the wearer with a sensation akin to emerging from productive, healing sleep. It clears the grime of fatigue from the mind, at least temporarily. Overuse of the bone commits the wearer to a continual sensation of having awoken mid-sleep. Not fully aware, but not fully fatigued. They may exist like this indefinitely, at some cost to their body and mind.
  12. Bone of lament. Rare. A fingertip, semitransparent green, resembling chrome chalcedony. It is deeply uncomfortable in the healing hand, post abscission, spoiling sleep and souring the mind. It is a bone of simple device: A touch by the fingertip inspires agony in other creatures. Unmitigated, pounding pain, transmitted through the skin and nerves with no real injury, that fades soon after the touch is removed. Its intensity induces panic and recoil in most, though some are reduced to paralytic submission after no more than a moment's touch. It is the worth of an entire torturer's arsenal in a single fingertip. Its wear is sneered at even by the otherwise amoral majority of the digirati, who consider its simple sadism gauche.
  13. Bone of ruin. A legendary weapon. An entire pointer finger wrought in openwork alloy, completely hollow, delicately articulated. Its installation is a surgical feat, demanding the exenteration of an entire finger, plus the microsurgical attachment of living blood vessels to hidden channels within the bone. In order to heal, the wearer must consume vile, dangerous elixirs loaded with heavy metal salts. In time, the hollow bones fill with hidden, sorcerous marrow; the machinery of their potent design. Finally healed, the bone is a weapon both precise and catastrophic. With a thought,* the pointed finger generates a blinding, instantaneous lance of energetic destruction: A particle beam, massively potent, that instantaneously boils flesh, bone, and steel. It explodes fist-sized paths through foes, creating gouts of steam and expanding plasma, searing its bright path and resultant explosion into onlooking eyes. It is a weapon not readily brought to bear, however, for its use requires fatal rare blood salt concentrations.
  14. Boundary bone. Semi-rare. A polished chalcedony proximal phalange. It seems to resist movement, as if fixed in place by an internal weight. The boundary bone's purpose is difficult to discover, if one is not already aware of it, for it activates only in truly rare places. Like a mince toad, it functions as a warning against nearby interstiction points; against the boundaries of encroaching worlds. It warns of entrances to the fathomless Underworld, gates to the pathless and fatal fairyland of the Otherworld, seaways to the trackless Dark Continent, and passages to all other worlds alike. Unlike a mince toad, helpfully, the bone does not disappear upon proximity to the otherworldly, and instead flares, heating alarmingly within the hand, prompting the wearer to stop in their tracks, lest they disappear forever.
  15. Calefacient bone. Particular, but not rare. A dark alloy metacarpal, heat tinted an apricot hue, engraved with a line of smooth, unknown glyphs. When abscised, the bone becomes uncomfortably hot before settling in and matching the heat of the body. In the hand, it is heavy, though not uncomfortably. The bone's utility is seen when the hand is clenched, which causes the it to warm pleasantly within the palm, protecting the entire hand from frost and contributing extra warm to the body's blood supply. It is a fine ally against frostbite and hypothermia. It is efficient, requiring only a few common salts. Its only disadvantage is a propensity to make the hand sweat, while in use.
  16. Catabolic, or sapper bone. Relatively common. This light, coral-like medial phalange can be uncomfortable to implant, as it becomes dry and abrasive if kept outside the body. Within days of implantation, it establishes new, tiny organelles in the finger and changes the user's fingerprint to a porous mass of tiny holes. Upon touching another creature's skin, the sapper bone puts out wriggling microtubules through these holes. They invade the target's skin and begin extracting salts at a steady rate from their bloodstream, producing an itchy sensation for both parties. The sapper bone does not work on targets whose hearts have stopped.
  17. Cibarious bone. AKA the taster bone. Uncommon. A brass medial phalange, green with patina. It must be polished before installation. Worn throughout modern history by magicians fond of preparing curious game, by hunters and eaters of rare plants, and by those fearing assassination. Its utility is simple: It judges the safe comestibility of any morsel of food held in the hand, or any beverage in which the finger is dipped. Poisoned or bioincompatible substances cause the bone to twinge sharply. The bone is not easily fooled, but it cannot detect harmful bacteria.
  18. Collet bone. Uncommon. A silver phalange. Variants have been found for every joint in the thumb and fingers. It is strangely cratered, as if struck by a tiny hammer. Its purpose is entirely decorative: Via a coating-and-placement process involving a serum of blood plasma and zinc, gemstones may be set into the back of the implanted collet bone, through the skin, allowing them to be worn as a sort of band-less ring. It is thought that Dark Age sorcerers traded regularly in gems, and wore their favorites with the aid of this bone.
  19. Cortege bone. Scarce, borderline unknown. A hideous black fingertip, pitted and spongy. Few would naturally discover its purpose, for the cortege bone makes the wearer a true agent of plague, the invisible yet omnipresent human affliction. It launches an infestation of plague within the wearer's bones so thoroughly that they will rise as a grue within minutes of death. They will also rapidly reinfect nearby humans who do not currently carry it, and speed their infection at a similarly terrible pace. This is a mere side effect, however. The cortege bone's intended purpose is subtle, but unique: It makes the wearer a friend to grues. The wearer may walk among the scuttling dead as easily as if they already were themselves.
  20. Countersign bone. Uncommon. A pinky-tip of soft iron traced with the remnants of old micro-hieroglyphics. Dark Age sorcerers used these extensively as a badge of fraternity. When formalizing a new coterie or assuming new members, members would, as standard practice, open their pinky-tip and grave a signature, a secret phrase unique to their alliance, upon the soft metal the bone. All members would share the same phrase within their countersign bones, marking their confederacy. This process was critical for identifying members, as countersign bones grow warm if brought near another sharing the same signature. As such, partisans, having never met before but sharing allegiance could be assured of each others' loyalty by a brief handshake. Strangers refusing a handshake could not be trusted.
  21. Crassamentum AKA clot bone. Uncommon. A rust-red twist of some wirelike substance bunched into the shape of an intermediate phalange. It demands a wearying bulk of salts when healing. This demand lessens to near-nothing after some time, but resumes if the wearer ever need recover from substantial blood loss. It is a necessary drain, for the clot bone continually occupies itself with the breakdown and altered reconstruction of every one of the wearer's thrombocytes. Each platelet becomes a motile, eellike agent. These squirming cells are a considerable upgrade, for they enable near-instant coagulation, driven as they are to swiftly gather and rank-up like soldiers at the site of hemorrhaging. For its properties in first aid, the clot bone is sought after by magicians, if only for its utility in aiding later abscissions.
  22. Deadlatch bone. Common. A heavy brass medial phalange. If iron filings are brought near it, they dance into a peculiar, invariable shape. Not a natural magnetic field at all, but a unique figure. The shape is like a passphrase, keyed to the sensitive interior of some lock or locks out in the world, meant to act upon the fine mechanisms within and turn its otherwise-inaccessible latch. Inside innumerable ruins, manses, chests, and lockers, there dwell hidden locks meant only for specific deadlatch bones. Of course, the task of finding the matching bone usually impossible. As such, these locks go unopened, if they not destroyed by a skilled lockbreaker. The key bones, however, still see use: New locks can be keyed to them, given some knowledge of sorcerous locksmithy, and built to match the needs of magicians and neosorcerers in need of a bit of personalized security.
  23. Death-knell. Arrant, mythographic sorcery. A long, ivory bone that fits not at all in a mortal hand. With a thought and the crook of a finger, the wearer may discharge a shockfront capable of ripping all life from a human body. It quakes the heart from its housing, bursts blood from the tissues of the lungs, and ruptures the fragile vessels of the mind. Only the most stouthearted can survive, leaving even them on the brink of death. A death-knell bone does not harden its host against this mortal blow. Additionally, discharging it requires fatal blood levels of rare, toxic salts unknown to the human body. How the creators of such a weapon wielded it and survived can only be supposed. Chirologists believe it a weapon from before the coming of Aveth, when some sorcerers commanded powers over life and death unknown to modern minds.
  24. Deciduous bone. Very common. Naught but a common, polished grey bone of some silicous material. It occurs in many forms, every variant of which may be located with not too much effort, among the digirati, at least, to fit any bone in any portion of the hand. It has no properties at all, save for the simple utility of filling an empty socket. If in the event a magician must remove a magic knucklebone from one of their digits, due to dysfunction, discomfort, or some other reason, they should hope to have a deciduous bone to stand in its place, rather than suffer a useless, crippling gap in their otherwise full hand. Deciduous bones are still made today, and many practitioners possess the recipe. Since a natural bone is required to make one, a well-prepared magician might gradually convert all their natural knucklebones into deciduous bones as they are replaced with more potent surrogates, a practice both practical and sentimental.
  25. Delaminant bone. Deeply rare; most are ruined. A tungsten fingertip. It is easily ruined, for it dissolves if exposed to natural blood, fatally poisoning the wearer. Before abscission, the subject must withstand a water fast for a fortnight, then consume a dreadful philter meant to denature specific blood components. Implanted, the bone demands a steady supply of rare salts. The implanted fingertip loses its print. The nailbed falls away, leaving a mere smooth nub. A touch by this digit, which is perpetually coated in an unpleasant dew, applies a horrible, penetrating venom. It sabotages the connective tissues of living things, causing flesh to separate into its constituent layers in a sickening wet ripple; to sag like cooked meat off the bone. Muscles release from their insertion points, slack and useless. Fat and skin, separated from their blood supply, tempt gangrene. Blood vessels tear, causing hematoma throughout. Tissue damage is limited only by the life of the venom, which spreads only so far. Usually, a single touch can sabotage half a limb. The wearer is immune to their own venom.
  26. Demulcent bone. Uncommon. A platinum proximal phalange inlaid with rue flowers; traditional Nôr symbols of good health. It is of relatively new manufacture, created a mere 950 years ago by sorcerers in the employ of King Alfward the Iron, first King of Firlund. The abscised bone yields little inflammation while healing, and takes some time to take up fully and healthily within the hand. When popped, it has little immediate effect. Within an hour, however, it gradually soothes common ills, reducing fever, mollifying aches, and diminishing hay fever. Popular rumors suggest that this mild, helpful bone was designed by the order of the old King himself, who was by the end of his lengthy reign, had become an arthritic, tired old monarch. Further reinforcing the bone's connection to Alfward, who died of renal disease, overuse of the demulcent bone exhibits notable wear upon the kidneys.
  27. Earhorn bone. Uncommon, but only because they are regarded as unstylish; often discarded in favor of more exciting bones. An intermediate phalange formed of a smoky red stone, like aragonite. The bone is marked with indentations like inverted cones. These cones fill with a spongy tissue, once abscised, and are scarcely palpable under the skin. Some weeks after implantation, the bone shows its character: When pressed against a surface, the implanted finger, or more accurately, the bone within, becomes microphonic. Like a remote ear. Easily pressed to a shut door, it gladly receives the vibrations of conversation or movement beyond. It is disorientating, listening through a clutched wineglass or dagger-hilt, but it is a disorientation that comes with certain benefits to an enquiring mind. The bone, should it ever be removed, leaves its ex-wearer with a feeling of deafness that takes some time to fade.
  28. Empasm bone. A carnelian pinky metacarpal stocked with yellow inclusions resembling insect eggs. Its effect within the hand is largely indiscernible to the wearer, for it is subtle: It changes the wearer's scent. The common human odors of sweat and osmidrosis are utterly replaced, superseded by an exotic, faintly alcoholic, basilic tone that grows pungent only when the wearer goes unwashed for some time. It is an unnerving fragrance, not for its own characteristics, for it is not unpleasant, but for its complete replacement of the odors that connote a human being. It labels its wearer as not a mortal, but as a sorcerer; an unnatural creature indeed. Notably, creatures hostile to or fond of eating humans will treat the wearer with some neutrality, if they acknowledge them at all.
  29. Ersatz bone; AKA an os réplique, or a late-age replica. One of many imitation knucklebones created during the Epiphaenid Revival, a short-lived but industrious sorcerous civilization that existed in what is now Alderreach. Caches of these imitations appear sporadically on the black market, sourced from ventures within ancient Epiphaenid cities. ** An ersatz bone takes the form of any normal common-to-uncommon bone, such as a bone of woe or a thundercrack bone, albeit with slight variances, which are indiscernible to a novice. The bone functions as expected, but heals slowly when abscised, inviting infection. It also consumes salt at an elevated rate. Some, the poorest in quality, may subject the wearer to heavy metal poisoning over time. Many fledgling magicians, often cutters, wear ersatz bones, unaware that their cheaper-than-average hand is full of fakes.
  30. Excarnate bone. Very rare. A leaden capitate bone. Its implantation presents a parlous aspect to any would-be surgeon, for its intended home is within the very core of the wrist, a location not easily disturbed without harm. Implanted, it precipitates for some weeks, goading painful twinges throughout the hand. Eventually, in a turn mistakable for rejection and necrosis, the hand swells, undergoes a sort of autogenic degloving: It sheds its flesh and fat, revealing a skeletal neo-extremity. A beautiful, skinned appendage sheathed in a transparent, durable, gutlike material that displays all the hand's precious bone within a dense cabling of silver integumentary tissue. Ruddy muscles twitch throughout, wrapped by stiff cobalt-and-carmine venous trees. This nouveau-limb extends to the wrist, where regular flesh resumes. In this form, the hand is strengthened. It is largely cutproof. Most notably, it can be induced, via an elixir of solvents, to open its vault of metallic tendons, allowing access to the precious knucklebones within without need for surgery.
  31. Excursive bone. Rare, but unpopular. A polished proximal phalange with a steel ligature midway down its length. Within the hand, a ringlike band of scar tissue, scored in the middle, forms over this ligature. The band's utility is revealed via a sickening twisting gesture that, with a sucking sound, causes the finger to separate at the band, spilling a faint quantity of blood. Theoretically, this allows the swapping of fingertips with others similarly connected to excursive bones. It is limited, however, by the availability of said bones, and also by the lifetime of a fingertip separated from its body, which is distressingly low. Modern magicians suppose that some function of the excursive bone is forgotten or missing, that it must pose some greater utility; or offer a connection to some greater, more impressive sorcerous device.
  32. Focus. Uncommon. A copper proximal or medial phalange with grey glass insulating its joint ends. Wavelike folds complicate the metal of its underside. When implanted adjacent to certain potent bones, the focus bone engenders unique, flat, metallic tissues underside the implanted finger. These crinkle softly, nearly undetectably. The bone and its tissues have no individual function. Rather, they compliment bones that emit killing energy, concentrating and augmenting the range and power of their rays. Several focus bones, in addition to certain gestural techniques, will greatly enhance the excruciating radiance of screamer bones and magician's fire.
  33. Germ; AKA fomite bone. Uncommonly worn, but not rare. A translucent medial phalange with microtubes feeding a tiny organelle. The appearance of the organelle is variable. When found, it is usually necrotic black with plague. This betrays the germ bone's purpose: A container for disease or microbiota. It may be easily colonized with a new infection by placing it on an agar plate containing the target microorganism. Once colonized and implanted, a germ bone may be hyperextended to produce an invisible burst of bacteria or virus particles. Wearing a germ bone usually inoculates the magician against its contents. This cannot save them from plague, however. As such, germ bones, when excised from the hands of dead magicians, are often filled with plague, recolonized by the latent infection in the wearer's bones.
  34. The guilty bone. Rare indeed. This medial phalange is crafted from bloodstone. It requires a period of "setting in," after abscission before it can be used, during which the wearer suffers brief memory blackouts at random. Its function is simple: Popping the bone elicits immediate, temporary amnesia. The wearer may do anything, commit any deed, within this time and store no memory of it, save their intention. Using the bone even once causes patches of déjà vu for weeks.
  35. Hemotoxic bone; AKA the strangler's bone. Few are known to exist. A cold, heavy, medial phalange, made of something resembling black marble streaked with burgundy. While healing in the abscised hand, the bone causes its wearer severe anemia. Fully healed, the bone is always active. It affects only the bare skin of other creatures. A slight touch by the implanted finger is harmless. A firm hold, however, is injurious indeed. The victim experiences weakness, faintness, as if subjected to a chokehold. Their skin grows pallid as the anoxic bone rapidly destroys the vital characteristics of their blood, changing it from bright red to sickening brown. A mere ten seconds of contact with the anoxic bone will induce a swoon, and any more will spell death.
  36. Hierodule bone. Common, but rarely worn. Thought to be an artifact of ancient Idra. Specifically, a bone worn by hierodules, by human slaves kept by the autarch Beauties of that bygone dominion. It is one of few bones made to replace a carpal. Specifically, the trapezium of the thumb. Chirologists assume this position within the hand was chosen for its inconvenience if removed; chosen to discourage a slave from simply severing a finger to remove the bone. The hierodule bone's function in that seat is a subtle one: It alters the wearer's blood type to one suitable for universal donation and use by other bodies. How the Idrans exploited this hematic alteration in their slaves is not clearly none. Perhaps they consumed, or took within their own veins, the blood of their chattel.
  37. Histolytic bone. Extremely scarce; desired for its horrifying utility as a weapon. A segmented proximal phalange formed of smooth, glassy grey chitin. Implanted, it proves disturbingly flexible for a time before acclimatizing. In this time, a line of pores develops under the wearer's finger, undetectably small. The bone is activated with a flicking gesture, performed as if to fling water from the fingers. Fine jets of clear, cloying poison project from the pores. On contact with flesh, the poison inflicts immediate cellular death. Foaming and stinking, it dissolves flesh, blood, and bone into raw organic sludge. If not quickly washed away or otherwise removed, the stuff will quickly destroy much or all of a human body. The resultant sludge is rich in salts, handily absorbed by a sapper bone.
  38. Hypocaust. Scarce. A brick red metacarpal glittering with agate inclusions. The wearer experiences perspiration and hot flashes for days following implantation, accompanied by severe fever. The fever never diminishes. Rather, the wearer adapts, living comfortably thereafter at a homeostatic temperature far above the norm. They give no outward sign of this change, save the curious warmth of their skin. This change makes them largely immune to the typical host of human viral infections, which cannot survive in so fervid an organism. Despite this change, the bone's wearer is still vulnerable to hyperthermia if heated any further, though they are somewhat resistant to cold.
  39. Ictus bone; AKA Magician’s rack. An entire set of pinky bones cut from pale sapphire. They are useless unless held in a set, and few complete sets remain today, making them extremely rare. A mere caress by the implanted digit instantly elicits muscle contractions so violent as to take limbs out of joint and twist bones to splinters. It is an effortless weapon, but one that comes at a certain cost: The rack must recharge between uses, drawing large quantities of rare salts from the blood. And, when charged, the rack is always active. Gloves must be worn to prevent accidental suffering. The wearer is immune to their own touch. Reservoir bones may double the rate of recharge.
  40. The Immaculate hand. Uncommon. A thumb metacarpal, utterly smooth, worked from white metal. Implanted, it causes the hand to flake all over, as if afflicted by dandruff. Within the course of months, the skin texture changes entirely. Where once there were palm and finger-prints, there stretches only pristine vellum-like hide. Utterly without mark, and quite dry. It never sweats. To a modern magician of sneakthief ambition, a pair of these bones makes them largely immune to the modern practice of forensic fingerprinting. This, however, is not the bone's original design: Immaculate bones were crafted for and forced upon the household staff of ancient sorcerers, who were required to leave no human mark upon their masters' spotless châteaux, manoirs, and palaces.
  41. Incarnadine bone. Very rare. A smoky glass medial phalange. While healing, it reduces the implanted finger to a spongy white wreck, as if all blood had fled the digit. This must be counteracted with massages meant to increase blood flow, and by targeted injections of salts into the lower joint of the bone. Properly healed, the bone is a devious, tortuous thing. If popped, it sweats incarnadine toxin, a substance legendary among tomb-delvers and among scholars of Ancient Idra. Known also as exsanguination fluid, the toxin wreaks a catastrophic effect on living skin: It causes flesh's pores to swell wide as pinpricks and let forth beads of blood, evidence of burst vessels below, that soon pour forth like a hundred open veins. Blood spills from affected flesh in red sheets, unable to clot. Even a spill of incarnadine toxin on bare flesh tempts fatal blood loss, as the stuff cannot be neutralized. One can only hope it inflicts a limb, that the extremity can be severed, sparing them from certain exsanguination. Appropriately, the bone makes the wearer immune to the fatal toxin it produces.
  42. Incubo bone. Rare. A thin, silver fingertip. Once abscised, it turns the wearer's nailbed a worrisome blue. Silver flecks appear sporadically in the fingernail. Its utility is somewhat perverse: A caress from the fingertip elicits instant sleep paralysis in a slumbering creature. If awakened by the caress or by other stimulus, they become fully aware, but maintain a state of total tetraplegia. The effect lasts for several minutes. It is a terrifying experience. Creatures subjected to it too often are prone to nightmares, and may store altered, hallucinatory memories of their time spent paralyzed.
  43. Inkwell bone. Common. This ebony distal phalange instills an ugly alteration in the fingertip. Within weeks of implantation, the fingerprint is lost, subsumed by a swelling of the pores. They diminish in number and grow to a bulbous size, eventually resembling closely-grouped octopus suckers. Each is penetrable at its puckered center, ideally by a pen of quill, and imparts a generous coating of blood to whatever pierces it. This distasteful function is one deeply useful to sorcerers, who, among other uses for their own blood, require it as ink for communication with the living tomes of old sorcery.
  44. Intercalative bone. Coveted by the digirati. A proximal phalange, though rarer examples suit the thumb or pinky. The proximal end is smooth and creamy, while the distal end is a mass of calcareous hooks and protrusions that come together to form an uncomfortable pseudo-joint. Installed, bone is deeply uncomfortable and will not bend. Healing provides no relief, for the finger quickly swells, becoming edematous and itchy. Within the inflammation, over the course of months, the bone generates another fingerbone, complete with vascular and integumentary tissue. It extends the implanted finger by one joint, creating a new, fully articulated natural phalange between the medial and proximal ones. This new, intercalant bone is totally mundane, existing only to be replaced by a more powerful, surrogate medial phalange. A magician would, at this time, remove the intercalative bone and swap it to an adjacent finger, beginning the process again in pursuit of a complete battery of long, four-jointed fingers, an achievement the digirati refer to as a royal hand.
  45. Keratic bone. Unfrequent, and unpopular with modern practitioners, who prefer gloves lined with delicate fin maille to the protection afforded by this bone. A matte, ochre metacarpal. Its unpopularity is quickly realized after the bone is abscised and healed, for it creates a noticeable and rapid change in the hand. Within weeks, heralded by itching and heat in the palm, the entire hand calluses thickly in an armor of keratinous layers. This armor covers all, save for numerous gaps between that permit movement to joints and the webbing of the hand. It is deathly pale, unlike a common, yellow callus, and its segments and folds do not truly resemble the armor of any other animal. Despite its appearance, the armor is appreciably protective, preventing both cuts and burns.
  46. Lode bone. Mundane, unpopular. Not to be confused with a magician's compass. *** A lode bone, a fingertip crafted from simple steel, contains a crystal hollow filled with liquid metal. Within, a red metal bead floats, continually pulled in one direction. When implanted, the wearer can feel its continual, gentle tug in that direction. What lies that way, few have discovered. It is not north, and it is not consistent between bones. Some magicians postulate that it indicates a planar orientation important in the art of dowsing. Others, that it points the way to the original wearer's treasure trove. Few know, however, that every lode bone possesses a partner-artifact called a lodestar: An ornate, warm pebble, to which it will point unerringly forever; a simple locator, to be stowed on something precious and worth returning to.
  47. Loimic bone; AKA a pathogenesis bone. Possibly unique; one was recently sold in a private auction in Silton. It is a fingertip taken from a grue, inlaid with golden complexities. Once implanted, the bone necrotizes the surrounding flesh, reducing the fingertip to its raw, unclean form. A touch by said fingertip is a killing one, although not instantly. It potentiates the latent plague within a body, should there be any, transforming its pathogenesis from a patient, latent one to a virulent, killing infection. Victims succumb within days, encrusted with scabby buboes and withering away with hemorrhagic fever, becoming grues shortly after death. Only those with no trace of plague in their skeleton, those who are well medicated with grisodate, are immune.
  48. Magician's armor. Extremely rare, as its users are apt to perish. This intermediate phalange, made stout for the thumb, is clear-lacquered grey marble. Its name is an oxymoron, for the effect of the bone is not protective in the least. Instead, the implanted bone, when activated, which requires a lateral twist of the thumb only possible once implanted and healed, numbs physical sensation profoundly. It allows touch to register, but completely erases pain. The wearer could bear a hundred axe blows and feel only the wetness of their blood. They could pass through fire, feeling only the lightness of encindered flesh fallen from bone. While the bone's utility is incredible, it is also limited, as the user may be functionally dead after testing its benefit
  49. Magician's masque. Only rumored to exist. Perhaps singular, if at all real. Said to be a black glass proximal phalange, useful only if implanted in the pointer finger. Among the Emperoussin digirati, stories abound of its most noted wearer, described as a well-dressed, slight gamine who appears uninvited at the exclusive, discrete society parties of magiciankind to sow discord and dismay; who always leaves one member in attendance short a precious finger, separated with clothiers' shears. Her visage, they say, is often veiled by fanned fingers held before the face, a coquettish gesture. A very intentional gesture, evidently, performed to activate the magician's masque, a bone which shields all behind it from memory. Or, perhaps more likely, that emits some locality or radiation that prevents conversion and storage of short term memories to long term. How, then, are these details of the bone's nefarious use remembered? Some say the bone is better known than expected, that it has been recounted in tomes of lore. Others say the rumors are the craftwork of the masqued magician, that she herself must gleefully sow them.
  50. Magnetiferous. Common. A simple bone, more a tool than anything else. It is a heavy, shining fingertip, unusually flat. The wearer must be careful to immobilize the implanted finger while healing, as the bone is capable of actuating before fully healed, risking hematoma. If popped to the side, the fingertip becomes powerfully magnetic, sufficient to lift several-kilo objects with naught but the tip of a finger. Dragging the finger through a bed of sand will result in its collection of many iron flakes. If popped to the other side, like a switch, it deactivates. The bone asks little of the body's salt reserves.
  51. Malison bone. Very rare. This knucklebone is a nonfunctional fake. It resembles one of any well-known, desirable bones, such as bone of woe, though never one so astonishingly rare as to attract overt scrutiny. It is a good copy, distinguishable from the real item only by a slight, hollow sloshing within the space of the marrow, difficult to detect. This hollowness belies the truth: A cursed bone is soaked full of ælfblood, a substance bound to bring misery upon those who possess it. Anyone even marginally well read in fairy stories knows that a person stained by ælfblood is cursed, marked forever. Surveilled by the Other, doomed to a life of torment and growing madness persecuted by its blackhearted denizens. Who manufactures these bones, few know. Rumors abound of the premature demises of foolish, would-be practitioners tricked into abscising fairy-blood and perishing before they realize their mistake.
  52. Matchstick. Plentifully available in magicians' circles. A steel thumb-bone, oft marked with a manufacturer's stamp. Some days after implantation, broad, calloused pores form at the thumb tip. When scraped, they produce a bead of volatile liquid that readily ignites upon a second scrape. The flame is like that of a proper lighter. Every day, the bone produces sufficient fuel to burn for a half minute. While the heat of the flame may toast the host thumb somewhat, lending a sooty appearance, it is not injurious.
  53. Mnemonic bone. Semi-rare. A proximal phalange cased in snowflake obsidian. As it settles into the hand, it causes random chills accompanied by sharp, disorientating recollections of events from minutes ago. When popped, it suffuses its wearer with a cold rush of neurotransmitters and sorcerous drugs that enhance capture and storage of memory, permitting perfect, photographic knowledge of all experiences for but a few minutes. Looking back on their recorded memories, the wearer could recite turned pages of a book without having initially read them, or count the petals of a flower glimpsed for but a second. These memories do not retain their perfection forever, however, and using the knucklebone is exhausting, so taxing is its pharmacological wear upon the mind.
  54. Morula bone. Rare, but deemed worthless by most. Its purpose is unknown to most magicians, and even those who do understand it do not wear it, for its utility belongs to a paradigm of sorcery mostly forgotten. A cartilaginous gibbet of a fingertip, hollow, enclosing the dried wreck of an organ, purple and shriveled. The thing requires three months of setting-in following implantation. These months are uncomfortable, for the bone is abrasive, causing inflammation and stiffness. During this time, the morula bone reacquires the soft sheathing for its cartilage and rehydrates the little purple organ housed within. Once established, the thing steadily generates minute clusters of cells, resembling mulberries, enclosed in fluid within a blister-like envelope. They push to the skin and establish themselves in a row on the back of the hand. They are readily plucked, leaving a tiny pockmark. For what purpose the ancient sorcerers required these morsels, few can say, but some guess that they are a component useful for some recipe prepared in a biological cauldron.
  55. Needlestick; AKA sting bone. An underabundant variation of the pocketknife bone. This wide fingertip, backed by mottled brown alloy, sports a channel on its underside, as if meant for a missing piece. Implanted, the fingertip swells horribly while healing. Prickling sensations abound, as if a splinter were floating within the pad of the finger. Once fully healed, the wearer notices new musculature under the fingertip, hard and tense. Swiftly tapping the fingernail against a surface, even a soft surface, causes a sting crafted from biological steel to lance out from the fingertip, through the wearer's skin. The sting emits a sharp crack, a sonic boom, so vicious is its speed. It is merely two centimeters long, but can pierce thick leather with ease. If worn adjacent to a germ bone or veneficious bone, the sting delivers a dose of the bacteria or poison housed inside.
  56. Nervure bone. Semi-rare. A medial phalange clad in griotte marble. To the new wearer, it is deeply uncomfortable, fostering sensations akin to glass beneath the skin of the hand and forearm. The pains last for weeks, during which the blood vessels of the hand swell and stand rigid within the flesh. In time, the swelling subsides, and the vessels become pliant again. They remain changed, however. Quite visible under the skin, the vessels of the altered hand appear partially corrugated, reinforced. Arched, like the spidery reinforcements of a cathedral dome. They are henceforth partially cutproof, protected as they are by new, cartilaginous arches. For this, nervure bones are valued by the rare magicians who intend participation in close quarters combat.
  57. Nutriment bone. Rare. Recent rumors among the digirati speak of an Emperoussin courtier who, discarded into the blackest dungeon in all the Dominion, survived his ordeal and escaped only due to this bone. The nutriment bone is like a hunk of dried sap, slightly pliant and sticky. It is built as a metacarpal, and remains sticky for a time while healing, stiff and disconcerting. It invokes a change in metabolism in the wearer, causing them, after a fast of 48 hours or so, to reduce their energy requirements dramatically. It slows the heart and the breath for ages at a time, slowing even the wearer's thoughts, plunging them into spells of conservatory torpor indistinguishable from death. Torpor, in which the body wrests all possible vitality from its reserves, interspersed with vigorous, lucid awareness. It is an ally against starvation, equipping the wearer with ages of pensive, preservative thought punctuated by opportunities for decisive action. The effect can last six months, so long as the wearer has access to at least a little water.
  58. Omen bone. Quite scarce. Crafted from crystal, this medial phalange contains a wilted, dry substance resembling dry leaves. Those aware of its purpose know its contents as ælfbone, a deadly difficult thing to acquire. In the hand, it lies silent and unnoticed unless creatures of the otherworld draw near, in which case it begins to twinge rapidly. It acts as a pre-admonition against the Other, a vigilance historical sorcerers would deeply desire, fearful as they were of the encroaching soldiers of fairyland.
  59. Oneiric bone. Extremely rare. A wavy, salmon colored metacarpal of fossilized brain tissue. While many bones entail themselves in human sleep, the oneiric bone is perhaps the most potent. And the most vile. In the hand, it does nothing to the wearer save invite soothing dreams. Dreams so regular, restorative, and pleasurable as to measurably increase the wearer's waking vitality and lifespan. To those surrounding the wearer, however, it is a horror: The oneiric bone acts upon the unconscious minds of humankind, souring their dreams and robbing them of productive rest. Worse, prolonged exposure to these dreams tempts the encroach of lurking, predatory nightmares: Horrid, unknown creatures that drive men to madness. Notably, the bone causes no ill to ragmen or mice at all.
  60. Oxide bone. Scarce. A lightweight distal phalange, possibly aluminum, with narrow slots in its underside. While healing, the implanted finger-pad develops a striated callus aligning with the slots. Popping the joint, which is squashy and may be popped repeatedly, causes an oil to well from it. It beads on the fingertip, reluctant to break unless applied to an iron or steel surface, in which case it spreads, distributing into and and rapidly weakening the metal. It produces bitter vapors and great flakes of rust, rapidly converting a small section of metal into naught but brittle oxide. It is an ally against the tyranny of locks, restraints, or even iron hatches, if given sufficient time and blood salts.
  61. Palliative bone. Rare. A red porcelain thumb-tip. Freshly abscised, it creates numbness in the implanted digit which takes some months to fade. According to recent unverifiable "studies," likely drawn from interrogation of an incunable by the Montcoy Coterie, the palliative bone is an old tool of the Idran Beauties, who used it to soothe their beastman chattel-reavers. The touch of the bone is soothing to nonsapient, warm-blooded creatures, who are cowed, soothed by it, made prone to later servility. The bone's powers, unknown in their mechanism, would appear merely tame. Tame, notwithstanding their utility in mastering all manor of awful chimerae.
  62. Parfum; AKA the redolent bone. An intermediate phalange of polished rose crystal. Inside lie minute complexities of organs in a wondrous array of colors and curlicue textures. Implanted, the bone faintly alters the flesh of the finger's second knuckle: Faint cracks, painless and moist, appear in the wrinkles underneath the finger. When popped, the joint exudes a scented oil that is both sophisticated and orgulous. The stuff is produced in quantities sufficient to apply as perfume throughout the day. It features accords of jasmine, light musk, and a soft but prurient animalic tone that draws more than average attention to the wearer. Other parfum bones exude different accords, but they are rarer, and are often more disturbing, or sometimes arousing, to modern sensibilities.
  63. Phlogiston bone. Uncommon. An eggshell-green thumbtip with a hollow in its surface. The nail of the implanted thumb becomes conspicuously transparent, revealing the hollow, which continually, gradually fills with golden goo. When squeezed particularly hard, the thumbtip lets its dollop of goo bead from under the nail, where it may be easily removed or finger-painted onto a surface. The stuff, despite its innocuous appearance, is potently pyrotechnic. Ignited, it undergoes a terrific exothermic reaction, vaporizing nearby materials, including iron, in a retina-searing, ear-splitting flash. The thermic effect is discrete, limited to surfaces directly painted with the goo. The goo, limited by its pea-sized quantity, cannot destroy much at a time, but it is a great ally in breaking locks. The goo does not keep. It spoils rapidly outside the bone and cannot be stockpiled.
  64. Phylaxis bone. Common. A flawless, smooth proximal phalange produced during the Near-Anther Continuance, a neosorcerous revival that occurred some 200 years ago. The phylaxis bone provides the immunity to a target infection, an effect which must be programmed into the bone's immunizing organelles. The programming requires a preparatory process before implantation. It requires the phylaxis bone be steeped in a slurry of the to-be wearer's blood combined with pulverized tissue from a person infected with a target illness. It is a process that holds certain risks, for even if the prospective wearer escapes infection while harvesting sample tissue, they may experience a fiendish reaction from the bone itself following implantation, a bodily response to the bone's alien immune organelles, which may result in rapid rejection. Despite this cost, the bone is a powerful one, capable of inoculating the wearer against even plague and blight.
  65. Pocketknife. AKA cat's claw. A garden-variety bone. A fingertip, sometimes a thumb-tip, crafted from polished petrified wood. There is a rectangular hollow in the very tip, within which lies a tiny, stout blade. Once implanted, the blade can be extended by a flick of the wrist. Doing so does cause the blade to painfully erupt from the flesh of the fingertip, but this wound is a minor one. This grows to be a nonissue, with use, as the blade establishes a channel in the flesh. This channel also allows the blade to be oiled, which increases its reliability and comfort of wear. Two or more cat's claws turn the hand into an adequate weapon.
  66. Potentiator; AKA galvanic bones. Semi-rare. A weighty intermediate phalange, often uncomfortably heavy. Some are etched in weird dialects of Ancient Nôr, lines describing electrical properties and capacity. They are indeed electrical in nature, capable of gradually converting the salts of the body into substantial charge waiting to be put to use. Potentiator bones are of no use on their own, but fulfill their name more than adequately when used to empower other, complimentary bones.
  67. Propagant bone. Unique. It lies somewhere, in a jar of brine, still connected to the decayed medial phalange of its previous wearer. It is a rugose, flexible pink organ shaped to inhabit the pinky-tip. Abscised, after an accelerated healing process, the nail of the implanted finger ablates, leaving the end of the finger entirely squashy. In the nail's place, a cluster of swollen, ulcerative pores appear. From within, they bud small tendrils of flesh. These eventually birth themselves, like maggots, sliding wetly out of their pores and fleeing the wearer, seeking to wriggle into and plumb the earth. Most of the grubs perish shortly after birth. The rest burrow away, hopefully never to be seen again.
  68. Quicksilver. Scarce. A polished proximal phalange crafted from flowing crucible steel. A concave channel lies in the belly of the bone. When installed, the digit undergoes increased vascular development, and variform patterns of blue veins form just below the knuckle. When popped, which is difficult, as the knuckle is stiff, the bone dumps a stupendous shot of adrenaline, plus stranger, unique drugs, into the bloodstream, enhancing strength, reflexes, and speed. The effect lasts for but a few moments, but in that time, the user is capable of furious, agile physicality far beyond their real means. Memories of this time are stored in excruciating detail, and as if the moment lasted minutes rather than seconds. The quicksilver bone does not spare its wearer: An unfit user may be left utterly wasted by their exertions, and even the strong will suffer strained muscles, troubled joints, and a racing heart.
  69. Raze bones. AKA magician's vengeance. An obscure, ruthless variation of the scuttle bone. A natural bone metacarpal set with reddish, dry receptors. It has no function while the magician is alive. However, if it detects cessation of blood flow, the raze bone initiates a cellular wildfire that detonates the body's remaining salts in a blinding instant, producing an expanding blast of energy that consumes the body and immolates anything within five meters. This detonation also occurs if the host hand is severed. However, its detonation is greatly reduced and consuming only the hand and all bones within.
  70. Reboantic bone. Uncommon to rare. A medial phalange of lightweight ceramic covered in delicate, silvery tain. The wearer must take care with the implanted digit, as this bone, even moreso than other already-fragile knucklebones, is easily shattered. The reboantic bone is a musical artifact. When hyperextended, the bone summons a ghostly tone shimmering with vibrato. Its pitch and tonality may be modulated, manipulated by subtly adjusting the position of the bone relative to its starting position. With a great deal of dabbling, a musically-inclined wearer may produce from the bone ephemeral music, performing with a series of gestures not unlike a conductor addressing some invisible choir. Multiple reboantic bones may be worn and played together, increasing the potential complexity of the wearer' performance.
  71. The bones of redoubt. Epic, but not unique. A thumb metacarpal and proximal phalange of delicate openwork enamel sheathing tortuous duochrome marrow. When activated, a motion requiring practiced hypermobility, the bones cause dust to spring into the air, and elicit auras and afterimages in the eyes of those nearby. These benign effects betray a powerful, invisible locality emitted by the bones: a two-meter sphere centered on the thumb. Ferromagnetic objects entering the locality are redirected with incredible violence, like a ricochet. Small projectiles leaving the locality do so white-hot and smoking, such is the force of their ejection. Larger objects, even steel-plated men-at-arms, are discarded with casual force. In exchange for their defensive powers, the bones of redoubt make awful demands of the wearer's blood salts: They may drink up the salt of a magician's lifeblood after but a few deflections.
  72. Refulgent bone; AKA the red lantern. Common, but unfashionable. A vitreous silica fingertip, slightly wider than normal. Inside is suspended a turbinate silver filament. After acclimatizing for some days, the bone induces a change in the fingertip's flesh, turning it semitranslucent. The bone becomes partially visible, flanked by arteries and nested in capillaries. If hyperextended with some force, the refulgent bone causes the fingertip to illuminate vividly from within, like a cherry coal. It is slightly brighter than a candle flame, and projects little heat. As the light is red, it preserves the wearer's night vision somewhat if used in darkness.
  73. Relict bone. Quite scarce. While most knucklebones are ancient, this shrunken, taupe metacarpal is clearly older than all the rest. It is traced with sunken whorls. Relict bones are never worn, for their presence in the hand is inexorably fatal. They draw a fine, constant stream of rare but essential salts from the blood, inducing a grim palsy in the wearer that gives way to seizures, and, over a period of weeks, leads into total catalepsy. This demise can be delayed by consuming additional rare salts, and it can be avoided only by the bone's excision from the hand. Most practitioners eschew relict bones, declaring them malfunctioning, ancient oddities; their true use lost to time. Others, deemed mad chirologists,✝ mostly, hypothecate they are a pathway to tantalizing powers unknown since the time of the Nôr, powers that may be unlocked only by feeding a relict bone astonishing quantities of rare salts. None have survived an attempt to test this hypothesis.
  74. The Renascent Hand. Hyper-rare. Deeply desirable. Despite its name, the Renascent Hand comprises a set of only two bones. They are carpals, specifically the scaphoid and lunate bone, bones deeply difficult to abscise without crippling the wrist. Only a truly skilled surgeon equipped with the specialty instruments of the digirati could ever properly implant the pair. Each bone is a smooth, dark amber struck through with bloodred microtubules and capped with red gold. Once implanted, it activates only if the host hand is damaged, at which point it induces regeneration far beyond the body's natural ability: Abscissions close and set in faster. Fingers crippled by violence or botched implantations right themselves. Even missing digits are slowly reacquired by the Renascent Hand. The Hand is not without flaws, however: It will gladly enecate and discard old or damaged tissue, which falls from the body, necrotic and foul, taking with it any implanted knucklebones that may be attached, requiring they be reimplanted. Additionally, any tissue the Renascent Hand regenerates is subtly different than the body's native flesh, softer and more tawny, and will rot if the Hand itself is damaged or removed. Finally, the Hand cannot be worn with intercalative, amaranthine, or relict bones, lest it bloom with vile, mutant malignancy.
  75. Reservoir. AKA saltcellar bone. Widely used. Unlike most bones, which have not been manufactured for centuries, saltcellar bones are still manufactured by cloistered Coastal practitioners. They are crystal, hollow proximal phalanges. Each has a symbol scratched in its center, denoting a classification of blood salt. Immediately once installed, they fill with blood plasma and begin stockpiling their favored salt in a concentrated solution. A full saltcellar bone safely increases the volume of one salt in a magician's bloodstream by 30%. If a saltcellar bone is designated to hold a toxic salt, it does not harm the user so long as it is contained in the bone.
  76. Saccharine bone; AKA the milk bone. Uncommon. A slightly opaque fingertip, striated like a fancy rock candy. A gooey yellow organ shows within, preserved. The bone does nothing unless the implanted fingertip is sucked at like a nipple. In this case, it exudes, with a deep soreness, a sweet nectar from the pores of the fingertip. Presumably, it is meant for the feeding of pixies and other pets. It is evidence of the idle pleasures of antique sorcerers, who are known to have kept little mutant pets and large, troublesome varietals of pixie.
  77. Saltern bone. Uncommon. A hollow thumb metacarpal of cut crystal, reminiscent of an overwrought spirits glass. Similar to the reservoir bone, this bone acts as a storehouse for salts. Unlike its more common counterpart, the saltern bone holds only rare salts. A respectable stock, representing the body's rarest compounds, all of which are toxic at any concentration above baseline. It keeps them isolated from the general body of blood, releasing them only when the bone is popped. This action should only be undertaken with an intended outlet for the salts, for the saltern bone's stocks are more than enough to poison an unwise wearer.
  78. Sanative bone. Uncommon. A fingertip of gore-purple porphyry. The implanted joint must be kept entirely straight as it heals, lest it form a stiff, painful thatch of scar tissue. Post recovery, the sanative bone may be popped sideways, causing yellowish dew to gather between the whorls of the finger-pad. This dew is potently bioactive. Upon contact with wet, exposed flesh, like an open wound, it stimulates rapid, agonizing formation of scar tissue. Drawing the activated fingertip through a gash will cause it to close in a minute or less, sutured by a cobweb of squirming scar fibers. Closure is accompanied by a dreadful, sucking pain, as if the scar fibers were being drawn from deep within the flesh. Wounds closed this way are permanently twisted and knotty, and may remain achingly painful. Additionally, closure may incur a loss of mobility should its course intersect muscle and connective tissue. As such, healing via the sanative bone is best kept as a tool of last resort.
  79. Sarcotic; AKA the bone of mending. Common enough. This black-grey osmium alloy metacarpal is smoothly inlaid with simple images of medicinal plants. It must be kept in a liter of the potential wearer's blood, changed daily, for a week before implantation. When ready, tiny, mouthlike lacunae open down its length, welling with blood. The implanted bone is a useful one, for it speeds the wearer's natural rate of regeneration. Often, it is the first knucklebone obtained and worn by novice magicians, as it speeds recovery times for later abscissions. The bone of mending ceases function and aches if not provided ample salts, and it is apt to ache ferociously when the body is healing. The wearer must nourish themselves richly with fish, fruit, and pickled foods to satisfy it.
  80. Savour bone. Rare. A distal phalange of brown jasper dotted with channels and holes, as if for blood vessels. Newly implanted, it gathers an unnerving sensation in the fingertip. A gustatory perception, as if the digit had become a tiny tongue bathed in some subacid, metallic broth. In fact, the digit does develop a mild bumpy texture not unlike tastebuds. The metallic flavor, which the wearer will come to realize is the tang of their own blood, fades as the bones sets in and heals. Eventually, the digit reliably provides an altered sense of taste. Not the tongue's sense, but something simpler: A categorical sense of the major blood salts in foods. With practice and reference, the wearer can plunge their fingers into a fruit or a cut of meat and glean, by its flavors, the rudimentary makeup of its nutritious salts.
  81. Screamer bone. Scarce. As a combat bone, it is considered more gracious than the bone of woe, though it may still rupture organs, namely eardrums. An alloy metacarpal patterned with shallow rills, with a hollow belly filled with the remnants of something like copper leaves, crumpled and broken. Following abscission, the ranks of leaves, and their accompanying gel-tissue casing, are regenerated, entailing a taxing recovery. When activated, a gesture requiring hyperextension of the fingers, the bone leaps to life, vibrating with such intensity as to shake the flesh of the hand, projecting from the palm an oppressive beam of sound. It is a continuous, modulating scream, alternating in frequency between piercing highs, causing splitting, deafening pain, and inaudible lows that resonate with the body itself, disrupting balance and invoking nausea and explosive sensations within the skull. A single shrieking bone has limited range and intensity. Worn in duplicate or triplicate, however, the bone generates crisp, imbricated metallic structures within the palm that massively enhance range and beam focus. When worn with duplicates and with focus bones, and by utilizing focusing gestures shared by bone of woe, the beam may be narrowed to a relatively accurate 5 degree cone.
  82. Scuttle. Increasingly rare. They are simple, natural human metacarpals with conspicuously large pores. A scuttle bone has no everyday utility while implanted. However, if the bone fails to receive fresh blood circulation, it activates, incinerating itself and the circumambient hand in an instant, presumably as a failsafe against theft by amputation. Scuttle bones are considered a testament to magicians' viciously competitive nature.
  83. Scytale bone. Scarce. A fingertip of polished pyrite. It is useful only to readers of ancient secret-writing, a system of hidden script used prolifically by the dead empire of Agadion, and sporadically by imitators thereafter. The secret-writers of Agadion concocted a tactile writing system composed of tiny bars. Miniscule bars, readable under a single fingertip. This, they programmed into reactive alloy bands that would raise their script only under the touch of a scytale bone. They employed this alloy prolifically, for it was then cheap to produce, decorating countless artifacts and structures with hidden writing. In modern days, readers and scribes of Agadese secret-writing are scarce, and the remaining scytale bones are scarcer still. As such, the secrets of old Agadion languish, unread for millennia, waiting for a lettered hand.
  84. Sealbone. Uncommon. A medial phalange of lapis lazuli shot with dry, rusty veins of dried gore. Once implanted, the wearer's blood darkens within a matter of days, hyperoxygenated. The effect of this change is unnoticeable until the wearer holds their breath, for the sealbone permits them to avoid asphyxia for many minutes at a time. If submerged, tiny pores open alongside the finger and begin bubbling, spewing carbon dioxide. This effect is beneficial, as it enables long dives without the burning of hungry lungs, but it is also dangerous, as the wearer is unaware of deadly hypoxia up until the moment it snuffs them out.
  85. Semaphore bone. Available enough; however, a single unit is rather useless. A tin fingertip set with concentric circles at its tip. While they are nowadays named for the flag-based system of communication used by sailing ships, semaphore bones are more accurately likened to teletype towers. They enable transmission of coded information over distance. Information, played out via a series of taps, in a code known as "magician's ordinary," transmitted to linked bones via queer radiation, and represented by the receiving bone as a series of clicks and twinges corresponding to the sender's taps. Not just any semaphore bone may send and receive, however: Ahead of implantation, they must be "aligned" by heat-curing all the bones involved in a crucible of hot mercury. Afterwards, any code tapped out by one will be felt by all the others, and vice versa. Modern magicians use these bones prolifically, and many have determined an order of etiquette to determine who is currently speaking and when the next wearer may speak.
  86. Signet. Mundane. A wide thumb-tip covered in convolutions. It alters the skin of the thumb-pad, transforming the standard whorls and valleys of the fingerprint into raised, callus-like ridges two millimeters high. They take the shape of a crest, or sigil, and may be used like a signet ring to press sealing wax. A new sigil may be programmed into the bone by painting it with lead oxide paste applied over a delicate stencil and letting it rest for a week before implantation.
  87. Soothe bone. Rare, avoided by those who know it, though some do seek to wear it explicitly for its nature. It is a semitransparent, rich caramel proximal phalange. A vascularized structure of ruby traceries glitters within. Like the anodyne bone, the implanted soothe bone releases a warm, heady narcotic into the bloodstream when popped. It, however, is far more potent, plunging the wearer into a beatific stupor with the initial pop. It washes over the limbs and mind, deeply comforting, and summons a hint of caramel in the mouth. Subsequent pops are equally strong, and will easily adhere the wearer to a languorous dependence near-impossible to deny. Pernicious, the soothe bone gradually increases the magnitude of its narcotic dose, accounting for tolerance, drawing ever more vital salt from the blood. If not severed, it will eventually destroy the wearer, either by a fatal dose of its hypopneic product or by robbing them of their cells' very vitality.
  88. Spinneret bone; AKA the magician's rope. Rare. Often worn under a gloved hand, given its subtle but noticeable appearance. A thumb tib formed from layered iron scutes, like a pine cone. The thing anchors itself rigorously in the adjoining joint with reinforcing ligaments not present in a natural thumb. It also alters the thumbnail, causing the natural nail to fall away, replacing it with a white, enamel-like counterpart after a period of some weeks after abscission. Once healed, the nail may be peeled away and removed, attached by a length of biological cord. Silky, durable gossamer. With gentle tension, more can be withdrawn from the thumb, inducing an uncomfortable sensation— a rush of blood to the digit and a deep, sucking unease, like a needle withdrawn from bone— as the spinneret produces more cord. A sufficient length of cord, held tightly using the false thumbnail and wrapped around the source thumb as an anchor, creates a very serviceable garrote. Once utilized, the cord is easily severed at the tip of the thumb with flame or with the wearer's teeth. A new thumbnail grows within a week.
  89. Talisman bone. Rare. A frosted, greenish glass proximal phalange. If held to a light, a wrinkled, plum-colored organ can be seen inside. Within the hand, it protects against cursed auras. Not auras of folkloric evil, despite the its superstitious name, but against the actual, corrupting aura known as "hex." Hex is a deadly presence, supposedly a variety of curse placed to deter looters, common to the ruins and leavings of bygone sorcery. It readily inhabits living bodies, mutating them, sapping vitality and inviting early death. It is near-impossible to uproot once lodged within the flesh, making preventatives such as this a dear necessity. Indeed, the bone is an effective preventative: The wearer may traverse even the most cursed halls of old sorcery, accumulating no clinging evil at all.
  90. Telesthetic bone. Very rare. A crystal medial phalange of a periwinkle hue. Inside shift red grains, flowing as if drawn about by magnetism. Within the hand, the telesthetic bone begets a growing, unnerving sensation. A roaming pressure, as if ephemeral creatures were moving, brushing close to the hand, that occurs only when people are nearby. Specifically, human people; mice, ragmen, and other creatures do not affect it. In time, the wearer realizes the extent of their new, supernatural sense: It is a detailed, continual awareness of humankind, of their proximity and movement. With practice and observation, the sense may be honed to detect nearby humans even through thick walls. Eventually, the wearer adapts to the sense, becoming unnerved by the absence of shifting human lives if separated from populations for too long.
  91. Theriac bone. Rare. Widely desired. A moss green intermediate phalange. It must be rehydrated in a solute bath of select inorganic salts before abscission. When ready, the bone develops an algae-like slime, and pores open at its joint caps, ready to interface with circulation. The bone's purpose is powerfully antitoxic, granting wearer either immunity or strong resistance to toxins that would end most lives decisively. Rumors suggest that it hosts a pharmacopeia of toxins, to which it gradually subjects the body, immunizing it. Others propose that it rapidly filters toxins from the blood, encapsulating them in some form of gel before sending them to be filtered by the kidneys. Whatever its mechanism, the theriac bone is a potent universal antidote, granting the wearer a fighting chance against otherwise fatal substances. As a side effect, it massively increases the wearer's tolerance to common drugs, most notably alcohol.
  92. Thundercrack bone. Uncommon. A porcelain bone, made for the intermediate phalange of the pinky. Inlaid with copper contacts on the joint. When the joint is popped, it creates a sonic boom akin to that of a lightning strike. An effective, deafening weapon, but a hazardous one. Thundercrack bones require small quantities of phosphate salts in the host bloodstream in order to pop, and stiffen displeasing if not popped in some time.
  93. Thunderflash. Uncommon. A proximal pinky phalange of liver-dark agate. Its forward joint is hollow and clad in copper. Spiny, argent structures protrude within. The implanted bone causes a strange split in the flesh of the knuckle. It gapes wetly when curled, revealing curls of delicate metallic elements within the joint. If popped, a motion best performed by hooking the pinky inward with the thumb, the split widens and disgorges a spray of tiny, insubstantial filaments that conflagrate in a flash so bright as to briefly blind even peripheral onlookers. If worn adjacent to a thundercrack bone, the thunderflash bone may be triggered concurrently, creating a powerful, disorienting audiovisual stun.
  94. Vacuous bone. Legendary. Said to be an unholy relic; the supposed fingerbone of a de-canonized Saint, name now forgotten, who lived when Aveth was still imagined as a hoplite with a skull helm and blazing halo. ✝✝ It appears to be a natural intermediate phalange, unblackened by plague, carved with ancient Umainic symbols proclaiming woe upon the faithful. In the hand, it swells, constructing a jacket of supplemental nervous tissue under a stiff perineurium. The bone's wearer will, so long as the bone remains in-hand, be passed over by the eye of Aveth, invisible and unvisited in dreams. Those around them, likewise, are invisible to the nocturnal awareness of the Lord. They will find no divine comfort or succor granted during prayer or hardship, as they are divorced from Her presence. The bone affects a significant distance, a mile or so, capable of separating hundreds or thousands from the holy auspice, replacing Her comforting dream presence with only disquiet sleep.
  95. Veneficious bone. Few exist. A proximal phalange of the thumb. It is a glassy, opalescent garnet bone, with a socket in the center, empty and crusted by some diminished biological contents. Some days after healing, the abscised bone begins an insidious alteration of the wearer's blood serum. While this alteration affects the wearer not at all, it is quite destructive to any creature that contacts or ingests the stuff, for the veneficious bone makes the wearer's blood a deadly poison. It is a vile coagulopathic agent, deranging the hemostasis of the target and drawing forth their own blood in spurts and rivulets from any tissue it touches, internal or external. It is deadly to bloodsuckers, and deeply dangerous to any nearby combatants who may draw the wearer's blood.
  96. Vervain bone. Extremely rare. A proximal phalange of red chalcedony carved with tiny, gaping faces. After its installation, the wearer discovers numerous new, cherry freckles on their body. Most magicians would kill for this bone,✝✝✝ for it is among the most powerful of all: It grants immunity to daemonism, to the assumption of the wearer's flesh by daemons; by the viral, outworld lifeforms summoned, contained, and wrung for knowledge by magicians in the forbidden art known as xenomantia. Daemons are siphoned into tenuous containment within resonance spheres, where they hang, contained by brutal forces, inhabiting chunks of meat. They are so contained, for free, they are biological wildfire, assuming the cells of living creatures with no abide for immunity or natural constraints, rapidly building in the human Coast some semblance of the unrecognizable, plasmic flesh-hell from which they hail. These lifeforms constantly seek escape. And, deeply intelligent as they are, they sometimes succeed. Xenomantia represents among the most advanced sorceries still known, and the risks entailed in its practice are equaled only by the knowledge gained.
  97. Vesicant; AKA the hornet bone. Scarce, exceptional. A yolk-yellow intermediate phalange, withered and sere. Though shrunken and thin, it expands somewhat after implantation as it rebuilds its lost organelles, lending the implanted finger a meaty, soft feeling. No matter how often it is washed, the finger will maintain a waxy, discolored sheen. Touching another creature's skin with the finger will cause them instant, searing pain, and leave behind a patch of wheals that rapidly blister into a profoundly painful burn that will weep and threaten infection in coming days. Additional vesicant bones may deliver more venom, creating an even more potent, stinging touch. The wearer is immune to their own venom, as are any other creatures who wear vesicant bones.
  98. Vespertine. Uncommon. A jade medial phalange, green as wheatgrass. Freshly abscised, it causes chaotic sleep for some nights, forcing the wearer abruptly awake at unexpected hours. Healed, it may be used to deliver a sort of wake-up call: The implanted finger may be twisted at any given hour, a gesture which causes the vespertine bone to creak and flush with cold. Doing so assigns that hour as the time to next wake, and aligns the wearer's sleep patterns to respect it. Indeed, 24 hours later, the bone will flood the wearer with wakefulness at that precise time, rousing them rested and aware without fail. It may be used to manage sleep with great regularity.
  99. Vimineous bone. A gross rarity. Few still exist, they are so fragile. The vimineous bone is a bundle of small, dry, finely segmented bone strands lashed together by silver bands carved with organic convolutions. Once cut into the finger, its healing process is defined by vast and peculiar pain, rife with sensations of sharp movement within the tumid finger, which leaks from under its nail. Finally, once the bone ceases its extended recovery, the wearer discovers its utility: Under the loosened, moist nail, there dwell minute tendrils. Neo-extremities. They may be extended and finely controlled at will, converting the fingertip into a kind of vulgar hand all its own. Each is finely boned, like the tail of a shrew, and tipped in a sharp metal claw. The tendrils are a fine ally in minute tasks, such as the abscission of future knuckle bones. The tendrils heal, if damaged, but cannot be replaced, if severed.
  100. Woe; AKA stoke bones or magician’s fire. Slightly scarcer than uncommon. Sought after for their violence. A copper metacarpal, thicker than is natural, with bottle-green glass joint-ends. Coiled gold rests neath the glass, and a long, concave focusing-plate lies along the bone's underside. Also known as "stoke bones" or "magician's fire," bones of woe are perhaps a magician's most recognizable and notoriously awful weapon. When activated, a queer gesture which requires locking the involved joints, the bone begins to burst directed, invisible radiation with every heartbeat, clicking capacitively, painfully loud. This radiation quickly boils water and heats metal. The effect of a single bone of woe is diffuse and ineffectual at range, but scales with additional, adjacent bones, which serve to focus and intensify the bursts. Placing one's palms side by side further focuses the effect, with practice. A single bone at touch or close range causes sensations of dreadful burning. Two may boil flesh at two meters, given time. Three or four makes a weapon of rare horror indeed. Cutters rarely earn more than one full hand. Woe bones' operative organelle will only function with an appropriate measure of phosphate salts in the bloodstream, and will greedily consume them. Full rules are in the playtest.


Edit: since posting this, I have been asked: "cool, but I still don't get what these are."

My answer is: In RPG terms, knucklebones are like carrying a set of wands, each of which allows you to cast a spell. Except they’re not wands at all, but little magic bones, and you keep them surgically implanted in your hand.

d100 magic knucklebones. Easier said than written. This one rather got away from me.

Written on an SP-111 under the influence of a lot of post rock. ~13,000 words, 53 writing sessions. I will still be tweaking it for a while.

In traditional D&D terms, this turned out to be the spell list for my game, albeit without rules. I do have rules for some knucklebones, but they are for the Incunabuli system playtest (which you are welcome to play, but won't provide rules that fit either 5E or a delicious retroclone.) I will write them largely as they are needed for use in my own game.

Upcoming entries to the Incunabuli project will include: Idra, and the Beauties thereof; xenomantia, and the daemons entailed therein; and hex, and what begets it.

People have DMed me about supporting the site. You are very kind. Soon, since we are nearing the end of an epic in my own campaign, I will edit and release my own campaign notes document (it is 45,000 words, at the moment, and contains a lot of ideas and scenarios from the coast) for a small fee, probably on Payhip or something, if you want to support the project. I'll release the edited Incunabuli world map as well (in typical super-high resolution.)

If you have not read anything on this site before, check out What is this Place?

Moreso, if you like Incunabuli, share it! Also, follow on Reddit and Twitter for updates.

Thank you for reading.


* Only the oldest, deadliest knucklebones interface so wholly with the nervous system that they actuate by mere thought. Some consider this a dangerous feature; that to kill with the ease of a lifted finger may put a practitioner dangerously within reach of the casual cruelties of old sorcery.

** The fortress-city of Belle Nocuous is most notable among the Epiphaenid ruins. This mountaintop complex, built into the awful ridges and precipitous landforms of Mount Salace, is subject to a continuous effort organized by Lagaos Treasury to empty it of its secrets and riches. The official cause of death for most cutters working the site is "falling."

*** A magician's compass is a discrete, unrelated instrument. They are usually pocket-sized ornate boxes with flip tops. While some do point north, they are more often cluttered with a cluster of dials, faces, and meters of unfamiliar and occult design. They are used in dowsing, the obscure art of detecting invisible forces and adjoining realms.

Chirologist: a scholar learned in magics of the hand.

✝✝ Depictions such as this are known as Aveta Estellador. Supposedly, the Lord appeared this way during her original lifetime on earth, during which she prosecuted holy war against the foes of Humanity. These are now largely expunged, considered profane, deleted from illuminated texts and effaced from any cathedral old enough to bear them. Modern depictions of the Stellades, the holy war, now feature Aveth in her modern style, which shares only the seven-pointed hasta with Aveta Estellador.

✝✝✝ More so than they are already inclined to kill each other. They are a competitive lot, and there are only so many good bones to go around.

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