Magnum Opus' Muse Arcane

Magnum Opus Herself


The Hall of Terrible Silence

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The first exhibition room at the street level, my Hall of Terrible Silence remains quiet at all times save when the mimir stationed here speaks. That's due to a special silence spell that I placed here myself. It's permanent, so please don't go trying to dispel it or vocalise your own magics. Why? Well, when I first inherited the Musée it was, shall we say, haunted by unquiet spirits. Some sort of poltergeist, presumably, although judging the effect he's had one some patrons, banshee might be a more appropriate description, perhaps! I call him, affectionately I think, "Figment". He doesn't seem to leave this Hall, and he doesn't damage much any more (most things in the hall are now securely screwed down so they can't be thrown!)

He does, or rather did, make the most spine-chilling noises, though. I couldn't really bring myself to destroy the wretched thing, but equally I couldn't expect patrons to bear constant moaning from beyond the grave. My solution, I think, brings the best of both worlds. With a silent command I or the mimir can end or raise the silent cloak, so I'm able to enjoy the screams when the Musée is closed, and end them when I want to open up.

So if you feel chilly fingers grasping at your clothing, you can feel safe in the knowledge that's it's only one of the undead, and nothing to worry about...

Presently I have two exhibits here in the Hall of Terrible Silence:

The Pax Benevolus

A giant scroll some fourteen feet long by three feet wide when unfurled, the Pax Benevolus, inscribed in ink of purest white on emerald-green lizard skin, is one of the few copies its kind outside the Upper Planes. It's a contract, of sorts, dreamed up by a bunch of Upper Planar powers some millennia back, which lays down a basic moral code. The idea was, apparently, that the religions would decide what was, and what wasn't, a sin, then sign up to the Pax as a moral charter. There are ten main rules on the document, in the format "It Is Wrong To..." Such as:
  1. It Is Wrong To Kill
  2. It Is Wrong To Covet What is Not Thy Own
  3. It Is Wrong To Commit Adultery to Mortal or Power
  4. It Is Wrong To Steal
  5. It Is Wrong To Lie or Twist What is True to Benefit Thyself
  6. It Is Wrong To Worship Graven Images and Sacrifice Lives to Us
  7. It Is Wrong To Dishonour Thy Parents and Family
  8. It Is Wrong To Sully the Purity of the Upper Planes
  9. It Is Wrong To Consort With Fiends
  10. It Is Wrong To Work on Holy Days

It was not an unqualified success. Problems occurred when religions with very different moral and ethical outlooks, who still all called themselves 'good', objected to certain phrases. For example the Aztec pantheon, reliant on human and animal sacrifice, for a portion of their power, were angered that other powers considered this practice evil. Powers of war and battle demanded that 'kill' be commuted to 'murder'. Powers of merchants argued that coveting was the basis of all trade. The Celts objected to the 'graven images' phrase and they certainly were not alone. Powers of diplomacy and negotiation were offended that their attempts at calming the vicious Blood War were considered wrong.

Many years of debate followed, and the the Upper Planes were wracked with several Holy Wars of their own, usually of words and icy glares, but many times blood was spilled on Hallowed Ground. The powers of good eventually realised that good was not a thing that could be written down easily, and added enough clauses and ifs and buts to make a modron think twice. The fanfare of the Pax was rather spoiled, but the result has been a valuable tool in negotiations. While the powers of good might be expected to form a united front when times are hard, this just ain't true, berk.

In a stunningly naïve gesture, the powers of good then offered other powers a chance to sign up to their Pax Benevolus. While a few neutral deities took up the offer, many more sent back curt replies to the effect that it was not their wish to enforce morality and limit the freedom of their followers by imposing arbitrary rules and regulations. That offended some of the chaotic good deities in turn. Nobody thought to ask the Lady of Pain what she thought.

The response from evil powers was uniformly rude, except for one or two tricksters (the Norse power Loki springs to mind) who pretended to like the idea, only to embarrass the powers of good in the end. On the whole, evil deities were highly amused by the whole charade, and simply could not understand why the good powers would wish to weaken themselves in such a manner.

This particular Pax Benevolus is especially rare in that it's one of the first drafts, made before the additional corrections, modifications and errata were added. It has not been signed by any powers.

The Day the Angels Fell

An essay recorded in a free-floating mimir, detailing my research into the origin of the fiends, with samples of script from several ancient tomes displayed in glass-fronted cases. Beware of breaking the glass; these precious tomes are defended by magic most terrifying, as an over-inquisitive kender discovered to his peril a week or so back. His remains have been cleared away, but you can still see the scorch marks there and there. To access the recording, speak this command. Sure, I know the room's magically silent, but this mimir can lip-read. Oh, and please don't mind the screams when the mimir speaks, they're usually quite harmless...
MimirMimir, tell me More...

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