The First Object is called such merely by tradition, and because this assemblage is clearly a discrete object that has been broken into parts, much like the Fifteenth Object. Such was this Object’s lack of grandeur that for many years, this Academy did not accept its place in the Sequence, and considered it a secondary product of the manifestation of the Eighth Object (then, of course, refered to as the Seventh).
The thirty pieces in this assemblage, as reconstructed by Pergamum of Criamon, form an incomplete, hollow, cylinder of glass The cylinder is five inches high and three inches wide. As reconstructed, it is slightly wider at the open end than at the closed, although some who have studied the reconstruction believe this to be an effect of the method used to bind the pieces together. The closed end has an uncoloured intaglio of the Caerulea, and this led to the earlier, and now presumed mistaken, assumption that these fragments could not have predated the manifestation of the Fourth Object. It is believed that when gathered, the Object was in five pieces, but that it was broken up to create a makeshift weapon by pressing pieces between two boards, to create a sharp edge.
The glass of the First Object is thinner, stronger, clearer and smoother than can be created by mundane means.
Thirteen added fragments of glass have traditionally been associated with this Object, but following the reconstruction, their provenance is in dispute. They are made of thicker glass, which shares many of the properties of that found in the First Object, but these pieces do not have the pronounced curve caused by its cylindrical shape. They may come from a single object made of flat glass, but if this is the case, it must also have been a magically created object, as the widths of the extra pieces all correspond to within a hair.
Some claim these pieces are residue from a later manifestation. Others that these form the true First Object, or that they are an unrecognized Second Object. Few other theories seem possible, as, like all of the objects and residues, these additional pieces are unaffected by Hermetic magic.
The history of the First Object is difficult to trace. It may have been present for thousands of years before it enters the historical record, hidden in an Egyptian tomb (see Lucius), or it may, as Tenacious contends, have appeared with a loud, shattering sound mere instants before it was first retrieved by Adamo the Barber on the Second of April, 1220. Adamo was a man of Venice, and particularly shrewd. He presented this odd glass to an acquaintance in the trade, called Simon in the later play by Vilnius but having no recorded name. Recognising its quality the man known for convenience as Simon, in turn, took it to his guildmasters.
The mistaken belief that the Object was Egyptian or Damascene, and a fear that their monopoly on the finest glass was to come to an end had many unpleasant repercussions for the Order. It led to a craftsman’s revolt in Venice, and further militarization. It caused what can now, all diplomatic talk aside, be called a war between the Order and the Serene Republic. The servant of a Verditius magus claimed publicly that such glass was easy to make with a suitable magic item. This prompted a raid on Samos, covertly supported by Western, traditional elements of House Verditius who sold magical items to the aggressors under the Roman Treaty, sometimes through Redcap proxies.
When this came to light, the two halves of House Verditius coalesced around the two putative Primi. House Jerbiton and Tremere supported the eastern half, while House Tytalus supported the western. An emergency Tribunal was called, the matter investigated and the glass recovered. By this time other Objects had manifested, and so it was not clear that the pieces of glass were, themselves, the earliest known Object.
At least six other artefacts have, at some time, had strong claims to the position of First Object. Some are forgeries. Some lack physical evidence of their existence, being reported but uncollected. Two were residues of later manifestations, misidentified. One was an Object, now universally accepted as after the Third in the Sequence.