OK, guys, get this...
During my recent visit to the Walt Disney Studios, I broke away from my SEVENTY-EIGHT dollar tour to go explore the deep recesses of the lot, determined to find the famed frozen head of the great Mr. Walt Disney and take a few neat photos for my blog.
Well, anyways, as I roamed through the underground hallways, I was unsuccessful in finding the cryogenic room. HOWEVER! I did find something I never expected to find. Down a lone, flickering corridor, a single vault door with a spray painted '13' stood. Carefully stepping down the hall, I looked around to see if anyone was around - there wasn't a soul besides my own. Taking a breath, I spun the lock handle, pulled open the heavy door, and let the brilliant golden light flood my senses...
Once my eyes adjusted, I gasped. The sight was too beautiful to comprehend...
I had found the elusive, the famed, Disney Vault.
But here's the thing! The fault wasn't filled with the reels upon reels of footage! No! This vault was filled with artifacts! Yes! After I looked around for a small moment and left (reveling in the Golden Age Glow), I looked up Mr. Walt Disney in the Warehouse Agent database - He was a former agent! How's them apples, huh?
I dug a little further, and I found out that the Disney company stores artifacts that, among their other effects, release heavy waves of inspiration, which ignite passions amongst those in the area. Such a high level of excitement to the brain can cause burn outs or addiction, which is why they are not stored at the Warehouse for the agent's and the other, more sensitive artifact's safety. Mr. Disney volunteered to care for these artifacts, and as a consequence, gained complete fame when the artists in his studio picked up on the inspiration wavelengths buried deep below them. In turn, each of these artifacts became the inspiring forces behind the Disney Animated Canon Club.
So, in the order in which these artifacts affected the silver screen, I give to you 'Warehouse Disney'!
Countess Elizabeth Bathory's Crown - This Eastern European woman is well known for her cruel torture inflicted upon local peasant girls who she hired to work at her castle. These girls were beaten, stuck with needles, burned, mutilated, bitten, and/or starved, and it is thought that her victims numbered well into the hundreds. Finally caught by an entourage sent by King Mathias II, she spent the rest of her days under house arrest in one room. Her crown, delicately placed in the Disney Vault, will imbue the wearer with a homicidal rage against young women.
James Bartley's Britches - In 1891, an English ship Star of the East came across a sperm whale, and the efforts to harpoon the creature ultimately ended in one of the boats being upended by the whale's tail, drowning one man whilst prompting the mysterious disappearance of one Mr. James Bartley. The remaining crew began to carve up the whale once it had been killed, and the next morning, upon hauling up the stomach, found an unconscious Mr. Bartley inside, bleached by the gastric juices and stark-raving mad for weeks after, but very much alive. These slacks, in an effort to keep him alive, became an artifact. Wearing the pants allows the wearer to be able to breath normally without oxygen, but strips them of their skin pigment and sanity the longer the pants are worn.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Prism - Goethe was one of the most well-known writers of his time, becoming famous by the age of twenty five for his works, and only gained popularity as the years went on. A painter and politician as well, Goethe divulged himself in many projects and areas of interest, and in 1810 wrote his treatise on color, entitled Zur Farbenlehre, or Theory of Colours, as a direct argument against Newton's Opticks. In it, he detailed his views on the nature and perception of colours, and contains some of the earliest published evidence of phenomena such as 'chromatic aberration.' Shining light through the prism makes whatever objects caught in the beam to lose their ability to reflect light accurately - depending on how long the beam is held, this can range from simply blurring the object to making it visually disappear.
Memorial Fresco of Hanno the Elephant - The pet white elephant of Pope Leo X, Hanno came to the Pope's court in 1514 with a Portuguese ambassador. He made such an impression (Hanno was rumored to have danced and then knelt in front of the Pope during his introduction) that the elephant became a great favorite of the court, and Pope featured him in several parades. However, two years after arriving at Rome, he fell ill and was given a laxative enriched with gold. This further complicated his health, and he soon died. Raffaello Santi himself carved the memorial epitaph and fresco, which was thought to have been lost to time. Reading the epitaph at the bottom will release a loud trumpet of elephant calls at anyone nearby the reader thinks of, while simultaneously increasing the fortune and popularity of the reader. Overuse causes death through angina.
Celtic Red Deer Hide - The Celts of the West Highlands revered deer as supernatural animals, considering them 'fairy cattle' that were cared for by a local fairy giantess, who while also being able to transform into a deer, would choose the one that would be killed by the hunters on the next day's hunt. This particular hide was thrice-blessed by Celtic magic, giving it its remarkable powers. Wearing the pelt gives the user the ability to communicate with animals, though more clarity happens between communications with temperate forest creatures. The animals, recognizing the hide, will bow down to its power and treat the wearer like royalty. Misusing the power, however, adds up to any other situation regarding tyrannical monarchs - the throne is overturned. The user will be punished by the pelt, being frightened to death.
Original Recording of 'Pelo Telefono' - While many people claimed to have written this Latin American number, Ernesto dos Santos originally registered the song and is traditionally thought to be the writer. This song holds special claim as the first true samba song produced, and the one that inspired samba to spread beyond traditional Carnival music. Listening to the song (a phonograph recording, of course), makes whoever is in the vicinity start samba dancing, slowly losing their inhibitions. If the song is not stopped before it ends, the dancers will approach anyone they haven't been completely honest with and come abrasively honest with them.
Stuffed Speckled Chachalaca - This bird is native to South America, this particular one hailing from eastern Brazil. They are somewhat large, tree-dwelling birds, with spotted plumage on the lower neck and chest. Interestingly, the little amount of fossilized evidence indicates that this bird evolved not below the equator, but in North or Northern Central America. This artifact, collected in 1910, emits large bird calls when picked up and, when shaken, causes chaos in Rube Goldberg-esque sequences. The user's hair will turn a brilliant red for weeks afterwards, and the skin will become hot pink.
Sergei Prokofiev's Chess Board and Pieces - Sergei Prokofiev, renowned Russian composer, pianist, and conductor, created innumerable musical works in his lifetime. Some of his most well-known pieces include Scythian Suite, Chout, Le pas d'acier, The Prodigal Son, The Love for Three Oranges, his interpretation of Romeo and Juliet, and a smartly timed opera of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. When not working musically, he held another passion for chess, and this board he used extensively during 1936. This board activates by initiating a game, and will not deactivate until the game is complete. For every piece that the player loses, a corresponding person in their life will be attacked, and potentially killed, by a large wolf creature that disappears after the deed is done. If the player loses, they suffer the same fate as the others, and will be killed. Winning prevents this, and heals those who survived their attacks.
Sinclair Lewis's Writing Desk - Sinclair Lewis was an American writer and playwright from Minnesota, who often had trouble fitting in with his peers, evidenced by his unsuccessful attempt at running away to join the Mexican-American War when he was thirteen. As he grew, he began to make a career of writing, and finally stepped into the spotlight with his small-town life novel entitled Main Street. He would go on to write many more stories throughout his life, and would become the first American writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1930. Unfortunately, he suffered from a strong addiction to alcohol, and would eventually die from a heart attack and alcohol complication. The desk makes whoever sits at it have a growing, nagging sense of loneliness, growing until they try to find some way to release it (running away, substance abuse, fighting, etc.). These methods never work, however, and from excess they will end up killing themselves unless the desk is neutralized.
Slue-Foot Sue's Bustle - One day, when Pecos Bill was riding his 'hoss, a pretty young lass called Sue became his heart's boss. She was Oh! such a lady, and Oh! such a sight! He spelled his proposal in the stars that night. Sue was glad, she loved Pecos Bill, but asked for two things, lest the matrimony still. One, a fine bustle, of the best spring and silk, and two, for an opportunity to that she'd want to milk. While Bill would give her the best bustle that money could make her, he gulped and sweated when she insisted to ride Widowmaker. Widowmaker, Bill's horse, was cranky and mad, to lose to this woman his own very best lad. So when Sue sat down on Widowmaker's broad back, he bucked so much that even Bill had lost track. But Sue was sure footed, and held on quite fast - until, of course, what was to happen happened at last. Her bustle kept on bouncing, and bounced her right off! She bounced to the moon! (Please, now, don't scoff.) Bill mourned at her loss, and cries to the moon, hoping one day to see her, perhaps someday soon. The bustle, of course, was collected, still pretty, and retains to this day high tensile elasticity.
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's Airplane's Undercarriage Leg and Wheel - Sir Charles Kingsford was an early Australian aviator who, after WWI, put his flying skills to use. Among his many accomplishments, he was the first pilot to make a non-stop flight across the Australian continent and the first pilot to make flights between Australia and New Zealand. In 1934, he purchased a Lockheed Altair named the Lady Southern Cross, because he wished to participate in the famous MacRobertson Air Race - however, due to him being unable to make the trip because of time constraints, he instead made the first trans-Pacific flight from Australia to the United States. It was during his attempt to break the England-Australia speed record set by C.W.A. Scott and Tom Campbell Black, however, a year later, that he and his co-pilot Tommy Pethybride were met with tragedy. While flying over the Andaman Sea, the plane disappeared on November 8th, 1935. Though the bodies were never recovered, the undercarriage leg of the plane - which happened to be the Lady Southern Cross - was found eighteen months later by Burmese fishermen. Attaching the leg and wheel to any mechanical device makes it more efficient and, similar to the famed menorah of Hanukkah, makes it's power source last far longer than it normally would. People around the artifact will also receive similar affects, being more energetic and ambitious. However, it also causes seemingly random disappearances whilst in use.
The Japanese Nighingale - Long ago, the Emperor of China was befuddled to hear that despite his lavish palace, exquisite gardens, and beautiful towns, the thing of his country that everyone believed to be the best part was some, unknown (to him at least) bird called the Nightingale. This bird was said to have such a beautiful song, that anyone who passed it, whether a leisurely noble or a busy peasant, stopped to hear the Nightingale's voice. Immediately demanding this bird's presence in his own court, the Emperor was delighted and moved to find that all reports had been exactly true, that the little bird's voice was undoubtedly the most beautiful thing in all of his lands, and likely farther. The one fault that the wealthy Emperor found was the Nightingale's drab appearance, gray as it was. But he nevertheless had her stay in his palace, where she serenaded the court and it's guests for a long time. However, the Japanese Emperor, who had heard of this phenomenal bird, for one reason or another, sent a gift to his Chinese neighbor, a mechanical nightingale encrusted with rubies and sapphires and diamonds and gold and silver and all matters of precious materials. When wound up, this invention, through delicate clockwork engineering, would sing the Nightingale's sweet melody over and over again. The Emperor was so delighted by this present that he sent the dull, drab, and tired Nightingale away from his palace, and wound the mechanical nightingale repeatedly. Though the original Nightingale and the Emperor would eventually be reunited, the story of the mechanical one is key here. This extremely delicate device, when activated, sings a melody so sweet that it can hypnotize others into a suggestive trance that lasts for as long as the song plays. However, listening to it causes the victims to be addicted to the notes, and without proper control over this urge will grow sickly and die if not exposed to the song. The owner also grows in greed due to this power, and will often manipulate the bird's abilities towards acquiring large amounts of wealth. There is a rumor that floating around the Indian subcontinent that there is a feather from the original Nightingale that can reverse the Japanese Nightingale's effects, but no concrete leads have been found on it.
'Vincent Van Gogh's Paintbrush - Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter in the 1800s, who, with his far-flinging influence, has become a well-known and well-respected artist even into the twenty-first century. Van Gogh was especially famous for his use of color, emotional invocation, and rough painting syle to create such well-known masterpieces such as The Starry Night, Still Life: Vase with Twelve 'Sunflowers, and Painter on the Road to Tarscon. This was a complete one-eighty from his earlier works, which used more somber colours and controlled painting style, like The ''Potato Eaters and Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette, a switch which occurred when he moved to the South of France in 1888 and was inspired by the natural light on the terrain. This paintbrush, which accompanied him during this time, can paint onto reality. When handled as if using a normal paintbrush and swished around on a surface, the object becomes more beautiful and appealing to people. However, the object slowly starts to begin looking like something straight out of a Van Gogh painting, becoming bright and textured over time, and eventually turns into paint.
Swiss Trychels - A trychel is a large cow bell traditionally used in Switzerland, and is comprised of several sheets of metal hammered together. At one point good trychel were rare and coveted items, and there is lore of how a lost sheperd in a mountain was offered by a beautiful fairy a gift of either a bag of gold coins, a trychel, or the fairy herself; the young man chose the trychel. Whether these bells orginated from that trychel is unknown, but it would certainly explain how they got their power. What is known is that during his honeymoon in Switzerland in 1894, a Scottish author named James Matthew Barrie picked them up along with a St. Bernard puppy as a gift for his new wife. This author would eventually write a famous play and then novel ten years later, using both the dog and the bells as inspiration, but the bells themselves inspired Barrie in ways that are untold in biographies. These trychels, when shaken, make those who hear the chimes have a very small emotional capacity, feeling emotions with reckless abandonment and unable to wrest feelings under control. While they were used as sound effects during Barrie's aforementioned play, their effects can be diminished by a flash of bright light, as Barrie inadvertently showed while portraying a character as a ball of reflected light on stage.
Matteo Bandello's/Arthur Brooke's Cross - In the late fifteenth century, a man who would eventually come to influence a billion dollar industry and create pop-culture references that exist to this day, a Matteo Bandello, was born in Italy. Matteo Bandello was an Italian writer, solider, and monk, who is noted as being the educator of the famous Lucrezia Gonzaga, the two of them sharing a close relationship. But perhaps one of his most well-known actions is his writing of the Novelle, a collection of Italian stories depicting contemporary tales as well as historical accounts. These would become the source of inspiration for many dramtists, including an Arthur Brooke, an English poet who lived in the sixteenth century. Brooke would write 'The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet' in 1562, a translation in free verse of Bandello's original story...however, that is only the official, public version. Truthfully, Arthur Brooke was Matteo Bandello, who had survived for decades using some sort of youth-related artifact (the details are incredibly difficult to make out), and who, similar to a certain James MacPhearson centuries later, tried to overthrow the balance of power in the Warehouse to use the artifacts for himself after he was spurned by one of the Regents. He was last seen sailing away on Theseus's Ship in 1563, and it is a still-active but very little paid-attention to alert to keep an eye out for him. Despite his intentions towards the Warehouse, the cross, which was collected from him before he made his escape, absorbed Bandello's incredible romanticism, and became an artifact all of it's own. Gripping the cross or hanging it on a wall will make whoever is nearby fall desperately in love with whoever they see first, making them susceptible to any suggestion made by the person to appease them. Turning the cross upside down or dropping it creates the opposite effect, making the person extremely disliked and a target of people's rage.
St. George's Lance and Shield - Long ago, in the eleventh century, the Crusader's brought back with them from the Eastern countries many riches, including these bifurcated artifacts. When asked about these artifacts' powers, the Crusaders recounted a story of a St. George, who while travelling to the crusades, passed by a young maiden dressed as a bride standing forlornly next to a lake. Entranced by the sight, St. George stopped his horse and conversed with the maiden for a while, though she begged him to leave her. Eventually he found the reason why; a large dragon rose from the lake, spewing toxicities and pestilence, intent on taking the girl as a sacrifice (to spare a nearby city). But armed with his lance, shield, and belief, St. George took arms against the monster, slashing at it with his lance until it was felled. Alone, the lance can cut through anything, and the shield dispells disease and poison. However, when used together, the person using them exudes strong religious feelings, able to persuade people to convert to or more firmly belief in Christianity.
Tallulah Bankhead's Bentley - Tallulah Bentley has often been described as "outrageous, outspoken, and uninhibited." Truthfully, there really couldn't be any better adjectives, other than, 'Tallulah Bankhead'. Ms. Bankhead was well known for her antics and wild behavior. Both a Broadway and Hollywood actress (as well as performing on the London stage scene), she was exceedingly popular with audiences, and even during slow spots in her career she never faded from public eye. Despite a very conservative upbringing, she was very liberal and quick to comment on taboo topics. For example, Ms. Bankhead once said off-handedly, "I've tried several varieties of sex. The conventional position makes me claustrophobic. And the others give me either stiff neck or lockjaw." During Ms. Bankhead's sucesses in London, she bought her Bentley, and loved to drive it. However, she was reputedly bad at directions, and kept getting lost, requiring her to pay cabbies to drive to her destination with her driving behind them. This car-turned-artifact was imbued with Ms. Bankhead's vivacious spirit. Sitting in the car makes the user project Tallulah Bankhead's personality, including her wit, liberal attitudes, sexual preferences, and calling people 'Darling', effects that continue after exiting the car and will only stop once the car is neutralized. However, the person also loses their sense of direction while the artifact is in use, and after being neutralized the person will be the subject of sexual scandal (though it is hardly ever true).
The Witches' Cauldron - This particular iron cauldron was used on the opening of Shakespeare's original play, Macbeth, as the device that the witches in the opening of the play used in order to perform their magic. These witches, symbols of chaos, darkness, and despair, are accredited to the tragedy that befalls the characters of the play, as without them, the titular character would not have performed the actions that got him, his wife, and so many others killed. Absorbing the moral compass of the play, the cauldron activates upon uttering the phrase "Boil and bubble", upon which the cauldren materializes boiling liquid inside of its confines. Similar to the Wishing Kettle, the Cauldren grants wishes - simply ask the cauldron for anything, so long as the favor is in rhyme, and the cauldren will grant the request. However, the cauldron is mischieviously wise, and will turn every wish into a lesson for the user. For example, were someone to wish to be king, the cauldron would make them Elvis Presley and place them at a Presley Convention, to teach them the dangers of popularity.
Louis the XIV's Sceptor - Though Louis the XIV is well known for his long rule and revitalization of the monarchy, one of the more important events that had ever taken place in his lifetime went largely unnoticed by the French population, and even more surprisingly, the royal court. Insistent on a new royal sceptor (as his old one was getting terribly drab and dingy), the King of France ordered that he be made a new one. The smith at the time, strapped for materials, decided to melt down two golden statues of Ahura Maza and Angra Mainyu, the deities of good and evil in the Zoroastriainsm religion. It is known that they were stored in the royal coffers, though how they got there is unknown - it is thought that some sort of reeling and dealing was done during the Crusades. In any event, the statues were considered 'worthless' to the French government and so were melted for the sceptor. However, it seems that the statues had been artifact-esque, for as soon as the new sceptor was presented to Louis and grabbed hold of it, an identical Louis was created, equal and equivalent to all of him save his morality. A Warehouse Agent at the time, Alexandre Dumas, neutralized the sceptor before a national upheaval could start, and covered the entire incident up with the publication of his story, The Man in the Iron Mask. Holding the sceptor creates an identical clone of the user, who is just like them but effectively opposite in their moral code - the sceptor will also split itself in two, one for the user and one for the clone. The twin will try to replace the original user using any means necessary.
Scott Joplin's Piano - Scott Joplin, undoubtedly one of the most famous African-American composers, lived during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and was influential in the revitalization of American music through the making of ragtime, fast paced and fun dance numbers which attracted the young scene. He is often cited as being the person who tore away the Victorian style of music, to pave the way towards fresher music, such as the jazz scene that would occur later. However, despite the liberating style ragtime has become known as, Joplin was far more reserved in his compositions than his precessors, creating tones of light and mirth as well as songs of despair and sadness. His most famous and influential piece is oft considered to be the Maple Leaf Rag, though that was only one of his many, many works, most of which were considered obscure to the public eye. This piano, on which he composed many of his songs, will often be found playing a ragtime piece when left alone. Sitting at it, however, and playing the keys, makes the person a virtuoso and gifted in music theory as well as performance, giving them a music craze. However, it also increases depression and leads the user into a spiral of misfortune and/or insanity.
The Lion man of the Hohlenstein Stadel - This roughly foot-tall statue, carved from ivory and presumed to have been created some 40,000 years ago, was found in the Stadel-Hohle im Holenstein, in the Lonetal (lone valley, translated), in the Swabian Alps in Germany in 1939. One of the oldest statues in existence, it is not known what this figure is supposed to represent - an anthropomorphic representation of a cave lion or perhaps a deity - or even if the statue is a Lion 'man' at all. However, it is one of the oldest statues to date and one of the first documented cases of zoomorphism, or an animal shaped form. Perhaps knowing this, or because of it's connection to an unknown deity, this artifact, when physically touched, will render the user into a human-animal hybrid. The animals the people transform into, albeit not completely, seems to reside in their personality. Interestingly, the artifact has an opposite affect on animals - if touched by a creature other than human an animal/human hybrid will occur. The artifact is neutralized by slicing into the left arm of the afflicted seven times, being more or less transverse in cuts, to match the statue. Should the artifact not be neutralized in a timely manner, the afflicted with transform completely into the form they had been combined with - embarrassingly, this artifact is often accredited for the George Langelaan's science fiction phenomena, The Fly, which simply isn't true - the disintegrator-reintegrators are stored in the Warehouse, after all.
A.A. Milne's Honey Dipper - When it was reported that children in New York were suffering with gastric problems that were proving to worsen, Warehouse Agents were quick to come on the scene. Investigations confirmed that all the children but one were in the upper class, and sick within a week prior to the gastrointestinal symptoms appearing. It turns out the mother of the child from the lower-class family had been hired as a caretaker for the sick children of the rich families, and quite innocently had used A.A. Milne's Honey Dipper, which she had picked up somewhere along the line, to spread the sweetener on the children's food, including her own child when he came down with a cold. The dipper acts as a dowsing rod for children in need of comfort, and whenever honey that has touched the dipper is ingested, the consumer's endorphins will fire off, making them happier and more active. Unfortunately, it also makes them absolutely ravenous for honey, and they won't stop eating it until their body shuts down.
Aesop's Rope - Despite the evidence to the contrary, there is no discernible evidence that Aesop was actually a Warehouse agent, or even a Warehouse associate. However, there are plenty of his artifacts around, either in the Warehouse, out in the world, or like, this rope, in a private collection. Aesop's whole life story is further surrounded in mystery, so how these artifacts even came about is not well-known. If Aesop's accounts are to be taken at face value, a lion once caught and threatened to kill a pesky mouse, who begged to be freed. The lion, amused by his prey's begging, let the creature go. It was only a few days later that the mouse found the lion caught in a hunter's snare, and, remembering the larger being's act of kindness, chewed through the rope until the lion was freed. This rope, which seems to have been frayed...or chewed...at one end, will entangle the first person to touch it. Should another person set the first free, the first will become so loyal and thankful to the second that they would do anything for them should they ask.
Samuel Clemens' Riverboat Whistle - Samuel Clemens, who would later be known best under his penname Mark Twain, is a famous American writer who became particularly famous for his presentation of the darker sides of humanity. He would go on to capture the imaginations of an insurmountable amount of readers, but before all that he was a riverboat pilot along the Mississippi. Now, while most people know about that story, not many know that Clemens was a very good friend of one particular Nikola Tesla. The story goes that when Nikola Tesla was told he could only tell one person about a secret government project he had been hired on, he had been unwittingly told he should probably tell his wife. Never married, Tesla cheekily called Clemens. Whether that story is true or not is debated, but Clemens was made aware of the Warehouse, and when it was discovered that Clemens' old whistle from his riverboat days had become an artifact in 1930, Tesla was given the artifact (and a vat of neutralizer) to remember his deceased friend. The whistle, when blown, adjusts the wavelength balance of the brain so that conflicts are resolved peacefully, promoting equality and decency between estranged parties. However, the whistle does have a nasty habit of making Halley's Comet's orbit go a little funky...which is why no one talks about the accident with the Mars Rover...
George A. Romero's Camera - George A. Romero is one of the biggest names in film - and zombies. In 1968, George Romero and his friends John Russo and Russel Streiner attempted to make a horror film independently. The film underwent two revisions, the final being written mainly by Romero in three days, and became about reanimated human corpses that consumed living flesh. The film was incredibly successful for an independent film, and even had the honor of being one of the biggest sources of controversy for its generation, thanks to the violent aspects of the movie. It sparked a franchise that has given Romero the title of being the Grandfather of Zombies. This movie is none other than Dawn of the Dead. This camera, which was used to film the production, absorbed the grisly scenes and terror that the first zombie movie created. Now, whatever living thing is captured on film by the camera is 'infected' with the zombie disease from the movie, which shows symptoms by making the subject flicker to a grainy black and white tone. When the person is completely black and white, the transformation is complete.
Edward John Dent's Chronometer - In 1834, the Palace of Westminster, the home of Parliment, was destroyed by a heavy fire. Though efforts were made to find a new location for both houses of Parliment, tradition proved to be too heavy to ignore, and so they pushed for a new building to be built on top of the old one. Big Ben, the infamous northern clock tower, had it's clockwork built by Edward John Dent, a clockmaker who was famous for his precise chronomatic creations. Dent became bent, as it were, on the idea of success and being the best clock maker in the world, and won the illustrious honor of being the clock maker of the inner workings of Big Ben. Unfortunately, however, he died before the work could be completed, leaving his adopted stepson to finish the work - with Dent's personal Chronometer. The clock is so accurately made that it aligns the body that is holding it with it's own personal ticks, a consistency which allows incredible feats of the body and mind. The user would find themselves able to accomplish nearly any task with these advances, but the consistant ticks make the user go mad, and usually mad for power because of their perceived superiority. This fate unfortunately befell another Big Ben builder, the designer of the clock tower, Augustus Pugin, who swiped the chronometer from Dent's stepson.
Nikolai Nikolaevich Konstantinov's Cat Collar - In 1968, the British musical Oliver! became a major motion picture in Great Britain. But in the USSR, a different foray into film was created. Mathmatician Nikolai Konstantinov was eager to find a way to calculate and graph the moment of an object on a computer, in order to improve scientific work. With assistance from Victor Minahkin and Vladimir Ponomarenko, Konstantinov designed the very first computer generated imagery - a cat. Konstantinov's collar, which belonged to his own cat at the time, became imbued with the program's special characteristics. Now whenever the collar is worn by an organism, the body can move via computers and allow digital teleportation. Overusage can burn out the body, however.
Echo's Belt - Grecian myth tells the story of Echo, an Oread from Mount Kithairon, who was enlisted by Zeus as his latest attempt to seduce women without being caught by his wife, Hera. Echo was a gifted storyteller, and was told to distract Hera with neverending stories. Though initially pleased with Echo's stories, once Hera caught on to the nymphs' plot, the goddess angrily took away Echo's voice. In addition to this, Echo was cursed to only be able to say what was immeadiately spoken to her. When Echo eventually met and fell in love with Narcissus, his rejection of her made Echo so miserable that she wandered the world until nothing was left of her but her repeating voice - and this belt. Carrying the weight of Hera's curse, those who wear this belt suffer the same as Echo did until they fade away.
Rainbow Serpent Scale - The Rainbow Serpent is a deity shared across nearly all Australian Aboriginee cultures, described as a large snake creature that controls the world's most precious commodity - water. It is also attributed to forming the landscape and weather of Australia itself. Legend has it that before everything else existed, the Rainbow Serpent awoke from a deep slumber and flew around the world, carving its gorges and canyons as she went. She then filled her tracks with water to create rivers, oceans, and streams. As life began in this world, she would turn the wicked and quarralsome into stone, and turn the wise and obedient into humans. Mythological, yes, but there is fossil evidence to suggest that the stories of this serpent are based on very real, very large snakes from the genus Wonambi, which last lived in Australia before going extinct. This scale is a large, iridescent serpent scale, about the size of a dinner plate. Curiously enough, when light it shone on the scale, a blast of water flows from its concave side. Perhaps the Rainbow Serpent wasn't just a myth after all.
Masonry from the Epang Palace - The influence China has enacted over the course of human history is a subject that innumerable academics have studied. This diverse and powerful culture is thought to have existed at least since 3000 B.C.E., but China as it would be recognized today is thought to have started in 221 B.C.E., when the emporer of the Qin dynasty, Qin Shi Huang, conquered and united the six other states to form the first unified "China." It is suspected that China's current name derives from the Qin Dynasty's own name, in fact. As the self proclaimed First Emporer, Qin Shi Huang began work on what would become known as one of the largest and most ornately beautiful buildings in the ancient world, the Epang Palace.
The rooms were built by 70,000 slaves, and were said to have been filled with treasures. The palace also functioned as the state archive, where two of every otherwise destroyed documents were stored after the famous book burnings of the Qin Dynasty. The Epang Palace, however, was never finished. Qin Shi Huang died fifteen years into his reign, and his son only briefly took up the mantle of power before the Qin were overthrown completely. Unfortunately, the Epang Palace and its archives were destroyed. This masonry is some of the last surviving evidence that the building even existed - and caused the almost complete disappearance of anything else. When this masonry is included into a building, the building becomes linked to the person who owns it. Like the Epang to Qin Shi Huang, the building is tie to the conscious desires of the user, and can be used to build a structure on a whim. Unfortunately, extended usage can and will lead to mercury poisoning. If the user is ever killed, the building dies as well, and burns to ashes.
Kamāl ud-Dīn Behzād’s Turban – The art of Persian miniature painting is one that goes back centuries, but hit significant stride in the 15th and 16th centuries, in large part due to Behzad’s influence. Originally a Chinese art that the Persian’s adopted, the miniatures are small paintings that were inscribed into books to accompany myths and poetry, and are richly detailed and vividly complex examples of artistry. They’re known for their utilizations of geometrics to give three dimensional space to a two dimensional creation. An orphan that rose to artistic prominence, Behzad is accredited as one of the most famous of these miniature painters - in reality he was the director of a painting workshop, but his training inspired what became to be known as the definition of Persian miniatures. His ability to combine organic eyelines into the geometric surfaces, light and dark values to breathe life into his work, as well as his humorous and cosmopolitan approach to the human form, makes him a prominent figure in history despite the fact that very little is known about him. When wearing the turban that Behzad wore, the user has the ability to warp reality to their whim, like he would in his work. Spatial orientation and appearances can be altered in acts of prestidigitation. Unfortunately, the acts are limited in scale. The smaller the reality warp, the more real and permanent it will be, even after the turban is neutralized. As the warp grows, the more flawed and temporary it becomes.
Lion Country Safari Park Sign – This towering structure, which is thirty-odd feet tall, once stood at the entrance to the Irvine Ranch Lion Country Safari Park, which operated from 1970 to 1984 in Orange County, California. Resembling two white tusks elevating a stylized lion head that was the logo of the company that owned the park, this park has some notoriety as one of the unluckiest safari parks in existence – open for only fourteen years, the park was not as popular as it’s Florida-based predecessor, and began to sink financially from the beginning. Frasier, a former Mexican circus lion that had been sold to the park once he had gotten too old and sick to perform, was surprisingly the park’s saving grace. Frasier proved to be extremely virile, and popular with the lionesses, siring over thirty-three cubs during his time at the park. Lion County Safari made him their star act, and even went so far as to agree to have him be the subject of a film (a terrible flop of a film, but a film nonetheless) called “Frasier, the Sensuous Lion.” Unfortunately, Frasier died two years after the park opened, and the already low attendance dropped considerably. Soon the park began to fall apart, and the animals grew rowdy. Notable examples of this include Bubbles, the hippopotamus who escaped the park for 19 days as she wallowed in a nearby drainage pit, and Misty, the elephant who crushed her handler’s skull before running onto the highway and causing a traffic jam. This sign seems to have captured both the best and the worst aspects of the park’s operation. When active, it creates a lush, fertile area that can halt and even reverse the aging process. However, the longer the sign stays active, the more dangerous it becomes, destroying everything man-made within its zone of influence.
Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq’s Compass – Unique amongst the other artifacts in the Disney Vault, this compass was previously owned by a Warehouse Regent, de Busbecq, who lived during the 16th century as a Flemish writer and herbalist. Extraordinarily intelligent, de Busbecq entered the service of Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I in 1552, becoming his diplomat in the court of the Sultan Suleiman the I during a border dispute a few years later. During his eight years in what is present day Turkey, de Busbecq not only negotiated, but explored, documenting plants he found (and sending some back, which is how the tulip and lilac came to Europe) and finding rare texts that were thought to be lost, including De Materia Medica, which is now known as the Vienna Dioscorides. His explorations and interactions with the court and country of Suleiman was documented in letters, the compendium of which known today as the famous Turkish Letters, one of the first pieces of travel writing ever done. It was during one of his collecting ventures that he and Warehouse 9 were introduced, and he was brought into the organization. He would continue to serve as diplomat and active regent until 1562, when Maximillian II began to succeed his father Ferdinand I, necessitating de Busbecq’s return. He never saw the Warehouse again. In some small way, however, perhaps his spirit has – through his compass. Imbued with his intuition, intelligence, and adventuring spirit, the compass will push the user with large gusts of wind in the direction of what they need most – a wind that smells just faintly of tulips and apples. When de Busbecq was murdered in 1592, his compass disappeared, until it cropped up again in 1607, when an Englishman named John Smith used it to impress the Powahtan Tribe in Virginia.
James C. McReynolds’ Judicial Robe – McReynolds was a former United States Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, who served on the bench from 1914 to 1941. Before formally becoming a Supreme Court Justice, he was the United States Attorney General for Woodrow Wilson, who would select him to be on the court – presumably to rid the cabinet of McReynolds. Known for his rudeness and bigotry, most people had a terrible time getting along with McReynolds professionally. Perhaps most disturbing about his behavior was his bigotry – he refused to sit next to Justice Louis Brandeis for the court photograph of 1924 because he was Jewish, turned his back on attorney Charles Hamilton Houston during his entire presentation because he was black, and walked out of the courtroom whenever a woman spoke as an attorney. His black domestic help at home gave him the unfortunate nickname “Pussywillow” in response to his horrid racism. But despite his sour attitude, he was by many counts an equally as charitable man. He adopted thirty three children orphaned after the 1940 London bombing, and left his entire estate to charity when he died. These robes were donated to his alma mater Vanderbilt University, and stayed there for only a few short days before the Warehouse was forced to swap the robes for something that didn’t have such adverse reactions towards the new chancellor Harvie Branscomb. These robes were so infused with McReynolds bitterness and tyrant behavior that they will lash out at anyone McReynolds would have disliked. With a sound similar to a gavel being brought down, these robes surrounds itself with a temporary vacuous bubble about ten feet in every direction, depriving the area of oxygen briefly. This sudden decompression is extremely painful despite lasting less than two seconds, and the sudden rush of air into the space once the vacuum collapses can cause a fiery explosion.
Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus’ Plow - Estimated to have lived from 519 to 430 B.C.E, Cincinnatus was at one point a very wealthy Roman aristocrat, who was known for his efforts against policies that improved the lives of plebeians. Unfortunately, his son Caeso Quinctius inherited his father’s tastes, and chased away peasants from the political forums to prevent them from interfering. This overt act of control led to Caeso’s arrest, subsequent bail, a nd escape from the country – which meant his father Cincinnatus was forced to pay the state a fine so crippling that the former aristocrat had to retire his family to a small farm and live off the land. Yet from this situational irony, Cincinnatus became one of the greatest Roman heroes. A year after his fall from grace he was elected one of the two suffect consul in the Senate, and was highly praised for his work then – which is why when Rome was under attack by the Aequians in 458, the Senate voted Cincinnatus as Magister Populi, or dictator! Though the term lasted six months, Cincinnatus retired after fifteen days; he had defeated the enemy by then, and refused to hold the title longer than necessary. This happened again in 439, and again Cincinnatus was given the title of dictator, only to resign it when the crisis was averted, this time within a week of receiving the honor. Cincinnatus has been a symbol of civic virtue and modesty since, and the plow that he used to sow his fields after losing his wealth became an artifact as a result. Present when he received his first summons to be dictator, this plow attunes any who use it with increasingly selfless behavior as it is pushed along. It was at one point attained by Augustine Warner, a Virginian colonist, who likely only used it until a more contemporary plow could be bought. Regardless, however, it was kept in his family as an antique until being collected by Warehouse 11 in 1743 - just not before it permanently influenced Augustine’s young great-grandchild, George Washington.
When you wish upon a star...
It makes no difference who you are...
Anything your heart desires...
Will come to you...
35 Down! A hell of a lot more to go!
And here are Reader-Suggested Artifacts!
This artifact is so cool, it's below zero! Brought to you by Mr. Mammoth, as an artifact for the upcoming Disney animated feature, Frozen:
Siberian Mammoth Tusk - A meter-long fragment from a preserved mammoth in Russia. Although considered a rare occurrence, more and more mammoths are being found. It is said that mammoths were entombed in ice so quickly that the grass they were eating didn't have time to digest. When one comes into contact with the tusk, they will be immediately frozen in a block of ice. The process is irreversible and the people touched by it will not be recovered, but if it is used in a very warm climate, the process is considerably slower and, although it takes a long time for the ice to thaw out in this case, the victim will live through the incident and come out with no ill effects once the ice is thawed. This side to the artifact was found out when the Warehouse Agent assigned to retrieving the tusk got lost in the desert while in possession of the artifact, and in a last-ditch attempt to save himself from dehydration, froze himself with the tusk, which kept him cool and moist enough to survive until a rescue plane found him.
These next two are both inspired by the Tic-Tok Crocodile in Peter Pan, and are both brought to you by Mr. Mammoth again. These artifacts prove that temptation can be a...well, not a nice thing to deal with.
Ernest Hemmingway's Stuffed Marlin - This was the marlin that gave Hemmingway the inspiration to write "The Old Man and the Sea". Touching the marlin will give the person an almost fanatical desire to gain possesion of the fish, and will cause the person to do almost anything to get a hold of it, even if it would mean doing something that in their right mind they wouldn't even consider.
Herman Melville's Harpoon - Used to have the same effects as the marlin, but this was the harpoon that the marlin was stabbed with, and in that great jab all of the "artifact energy" was transferred from the harpoon to the marlin. The harpoon does, though, still retain some of the energy, and prolonged duration of holding the harpoon will cause a deep longing for it, and therefore it is still considered an artifact.