Magnum Opus
Magnum Opus

Magnum Opus

 (Planar medusa priestess of Shekinester [she/her] / Sign of One / N)

QAIDA:Magnum Opus, you have long been regarded by Cagers as an eccentric verging dangerously on the barmy. What have you to say in your defence?
Nothing. The chant is probably right. I don’t know anyone else who’d willingly venture to Nessus, and then tell anyone who asked all about it. Digging up the darks that the Multiverse would rather forget is my passion, and probably will be the death of me, but this far I think I’ve escaped retaliation from the berks whose secrets I’m exposing. Perhaps that’s because I’m often out of the Cage on business, or in the Cage out of reach, or maybe it’s because my museum is so hard to find. Whatever; maybe I’m just lucky.
Q:You do seem comfortable with this mimir. I normally have to remind cutters to speak up and talk at the mimir while I am interviewing them.
M:I am familiar with mimirs. I have about a dozen of my own, stationed in my museum. I use them to record my essays and research; after all, more bashers can understand spoken common than read it for themselves. Besides, I find mimirs most useful for recording observation taken in the field; rather like you are doing yourself right now, except my subjects tend to be a little older than yours.
Q:You mentioned your museum. Do you think people are really interested in what you have to say? After all, it did happen a long time ago.
M:You only have to look at the faces of my visitors to see that’s a silly question. Real bloods are always curious about anything unknown, but when I present them with theories that may answer the more fundamental questions of our existence, they’re doubly keen to learn. You might say that the ancient history of Baator is dead and gone, but I believe it’s important to understand how the baatezu came to be like they are. If you understand something, you’re all the more prepared for it when it comes. And maybe it’s the Signer in me talking now, but I find it hard to believe a Multiverse that you’ve imagined yourself could hold secrets that you can’t or shouldn’t learn about. Maybe that’s why I do what I do…
Q:You have been accused by Tripicus, ursinal scholar of the Prime, of being sensationalist and making claims without being able to offer evidence.
M:I have. In turn, I accuse Tripicus of being a dreary old bear. He well knows that progress in theory cannot be made without a little guesswork. I make it clear to all my visitors that I cannot prove a word of what I offer, but if they had seen the sights I have seen then I assure you there’d be a lot more faith in my ideas. Actually, I’m looking into adding visual effects to the Musée by way of illusions and phantasms. I asked Kesto Brighteyes if he’d help me, but he’s too busy with his bookshop, apparently. He recommended instead another gnomish friend of his, one Belbrox. I don’t suppose you’ve heard of him? It’s something I’ll be pursuing, I think, provided he’s not too expensive.
Q:Does your work pay well?
M:No. I don’t charge much for entry into my museum; I figure that if cutters are keen enough to hunt for it then they deserve a break. I run up expenses pretty fast on my expeditions too; magic and psionics to protect a party from the more hostile planes, and guides like the blood Martiken Solitz sadly don’t come cheap. But then who ever said the truth wouldn’t be costly, eh? Much of my work is funded by donations from bloods who recognise its importance. They would like to remain anonymous.
Q:Bloods like Zadara the titan, Marchosias Chou and Traloc the sharn?
M:You took the very words out of my mind! Interesting power you have there. I trust those names will travel no further than your mimir?
Q:You live alone in the Musée. Do you get lonely?
M:I used to. Some years ago I took a companion in, but one day I was careless and there was an unfortunate.. incident. Of course, I paid to have the poor sod changed back to flesh, but he left me shortly afterwards. While I might dwell in the museum alone, (except for the ghosts of course), I do have many friends in Sigil. Dear little Julius often visits me, the planewalker Soma Purusha borrows and lends me books, and Lu Ruskin the tiefling key merchant, she likes a good bit of dark, which I exchange for keys I need to the rare portals I locate. That reminds me; Lissandra the Gateseeker pays good jink for dark on those portals too. There’s another source of income.
Q:Ah yes, I didn’t like to ask but since you brought it up. If your gaze is so dangerous, how do you avoid harming your patrons?
M:<laughs> I do have a rather fetching collection of statues in one of my galleries. <laughs again> I jest. You’ll notice my face covering? It’s called a ghoonghat. Mine is made of golden chains, which means cutters are safe, so long as I adjust it properly. You should come and see my statuary though. Most lifelike.
Q:<slightly too long pause> Err, I understand you know the tout Voilà! Tell me about him.
M:Ask him yourself! He’s the only one who really knows. As you well know, I’m not one to keep secrets to myself, but the only thing I can tell you is that he certainly ain’t a githzerai. ‘Course, I can’t prove a word of it; it’s just a hunch I have. But you also well know that one of my hunches is as good as the truth, most times. He’s at least as inquisitive as yourself too, my dear.
Q:Is there anything you do not dare to research?
M:Only one. I will not touch upon the Lady of Pain’s history. Heavens know I know more about it than your average tout, but she is one blood I won’t be featuring in my Musée. Why? It’s purely by her grace that I’m still out of the dead book right now, I reckon. I’ve heard chant that says I’m a favourite of hers, but if so, she never told me! Besides, a Lady needs her privacy, doesn’t she? If those leatherheads of the Will of the One want to pry and meddle into her decrees, they’re welcome to, but I’ll make sure I’m on a far away plane the day the Lady comes to put a stop to their antics! I’ve always been a mainstream factioneer myself; it’s the fringes of history that interest me.
Q:Magnum Opus, thank you very much.
M:The pleasure was all mine. I hope you’ll come and visit me in the Musée soon.

See Also:

  • Cage Rattlers: BelbroxMarchosias ChouJulius the SymmetricalSoma PurushaMartiken SolitzTralocVoilà!.
  • Uncaged: Faces of Sigil: Kesto Brighteyes (p16), Lissandra the Gateseeker (p60), Qaida (p80), Lu Ruskin (p86), Tripicus (p102), Will of the One (p110), Zadara (p118).
  • Magnum Opus’ Musée Arcane

Source: Jon Winter-Holt, based on original art by Chris Appelhans

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