The Tenth Object is a small drawing of a serpent with the feet of a chicken. It is, presumably an illumination from a book, although the backing material, whatever it was, has been completely destroyed by the mystical properties of the object. This left only a thin layer of metallic paint or leaf, which was mounted on a cerulean board by Clement of Criamon to make the Object more robust. The Object destroys most containers, but it can be kept safely in containers made of cerulean wood, and handled safely with tools of the same substance.

The Tenth Object was recovered by the Order in 1230 by Magdelena of The Knights of the Ibis, and members of her sect, uniquely seem unaffected by its baleful properties. This is so noticeable that its members, in our own time, have adopted this creature, which they call “the basilisk”, as a symbol for their officer cadets.

The Tenth Object poisons whatever it touches. Its poison is mystical, insofar as it corrupts things based on their points of weakness, rather than, like a conventional poison, harming every victim in the same way. Some people who touch the Object suffer hallucinations, metal illness, or loss of prized attributes of personal character.  Other suffer from the exacerbation of physical maladies, or are poisoned. The poisonings suffered vary in symptom from snake venom to foxglove essence. Although Hermetic magic cannot assist those so poisoned (as the Object seems to target weaknesses in the Essential Nature) the sap from the cerulea is sometimes useful, if only as a palliative.

The Tenth Object was claimed from a cult called “Infernalists” in the Order’s records. Further research into the meeting place of this cult finds no trace of an Infernal Aura. The cult was said to worship a “feminine Lucifer” or a “golden Angel not of the Lord” which of course ties this object to the Pieta (see the Twenty-First Object) and perhaps to the Thirteenth.

 

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