Be it known that I, Dr. Cowbird Green (MgD, Brøhaven ’23; MM, CCU, ’19), formerly the lead investigative reporter for the Medicine and Magilogy Society, have been repulsed by said institution for providing a truthful report. Refusing to allow anyone to hold the truth hostage to expedience, I have been induced to write this pamphlet under my own expense.
In order to publish this I have had to mortgage my home; if there be any among my readership with any sense of moral justice, they will feel compelled to send generous financial aid to the address listed above.
Dr. Cowbird Green
Dr. Cowbird Green, MgD
Up until a week ago, the Med. & Mag. Soc. had a department called the giant tracking research team. Under our able manager, B. Brown, we investigated the various claims surrounding the missing giant* , hereafter referred to simply as the giant. However, after I presented a version of this report to B. Brown he advised me to pretend I had not made the discoveries in it at all. This I took as poppycock, and appealed to the editorial board for a right-to-print order. Said board claimed my findings too political and promptly dissolved the entire giant tracking research team.
I therefore, along with Dr. Beaux Smoot, a cousin of the Smoots spoken of in Imp Report the Third, undertake to make my findings public in this pamphlet form. In it we will attempt to give satisfactory answers to the following questions:
We hope by addressing these issues in turn, we can provide a better sense for what is really going on behind the scenes in these recent articles.
The Enchanter published an article some months ago stating their findings about the nature of the giant. This article, speaking only of the magical processes, not their results, excited little comment outside the target audience of The Enchanter. Although it is the only direct evidence we have of the giant’s makeup, experts assure us there is plenty of additional indireect evidence available to make findings.
“The giant is only partially organic at this point,” Dr. Mol, professor of physiology at Brøhaven and sitting director of the Brøhaven Institute of Magilogic Organ Replacement (BIMOR), explained to us when we asked how a lungless giant could exist.
“As time goes on his remaining cells are being replaced with twiz, a kind of synthetic flax which is easily generated by enchantments formulated after the Smith & Dogwood school. Within the year we should expect him to have little left of his original makeup besides a few stray neurons in his brain and upper spine.”
Dr. Mol explained that despite many benefits to the giant himself, there were a number of disadvantages associated with this change as well. “At present his nerve mass still qualifies him for ‘living’ status, but we calculate that within the next thirty days he will pass the limiting ratio and be considered only a ‘pseudo-intelligent construct,’ which removes all of his internationally-recognized rights. In eight months we anticipate he will be categorized only an ‘automaton.’ ”
In his second article, the giant referred to a two-day jog that took him from near the center of this continent into the Gattah desert some three thousand miles away and over the sea of Brimmoth. In the first report of the giant tracking team, it was hypothesized that this trek was possible due to short-term enchanter portaling. There was some question at the time if such portaling was even possible; we now know it is not† . However, there is another, more elegant answer.
“It has long been known that in theory, space is not flat, but bumpy like a piece of crumpled paper,” explained Tom Veneer, researcher at BIMOR. “It’s one of the tools we use to power artificial hearts; we get it to resonate in the curvature so it doesn’t go as far up as it does down [as it vibrates in place] and let gravity supply the necessary power.”
Veneer stated that, in principle, just the right vibrations of the molecules in a body could reduce distances significantly by “only visiting small spaces,” but was unable to cite any work showing it could be done in practice. Despite the lack of published experiment, some of our own research showed, without any intention of doing so, that such a shortening of space is possible.
It has been remarked that Gött is in the center of a marshy area, and that some tracks are preserved in the mud. We located a set of tracks of the giant from his chandelier-onion currier job, and found that for most of the journey the spacing between footsteps was around nine feet, a bit longer that the maximum possible spread of the giant’s legs. This would be unremarkable in a run, but by the shape of the impacts we were able to completely rule out any pace more than a comfortable walk. We thus conclude that the giant only actually traversed half the distance, somehow skipping the rest in the “bumps” of space.
We admit that this half-of-space-missing does not account for the full distance (we would need to skirt around 90% to do that) nor for the ocean. Dr. Smoot is of the opinion that the pair actually ran entirely through a small area of space which has not been mapped or discovered because it is fits into a very small part of the outer topology of the universe; Dr. Green refuses to take a stand at this point, since his training does not include any topology and many experts seem to disagree about even the theoretic possibility of macroscopic spacewarpings.
The imp reports refer to a number of people in passing who are obviously all familiar with each other, but probably not so familiar to the ordinary reader. This section presents a brief overview of each.
Kabeous Kohg is a witch and a bounty hunter. Her imp introduces her very well, leaving out only a few minor details worth noting. The first is that Kohg is not fond of witches, nor does she identify herself with them, though she is not known to object to people calling her a witch. The other is that she is instantly recognizable by sight across the known world, being rather striking in appearance and having worked on many of the most visible cases in recent history.
We should probably also note that Kohg does not care about humans or human law, but is so strictly a lady of her word (and so incredibly deadly) that she is accepted into most civilized societies anyway.
Abbots Alan Grensville and Smïrnoff Case are the two most recent heads of the shrine of transcendence, a religious institution devoted to the worship of the unknown.
Abbot Case is noted for his very personal interpretation of the theology, claiming that the less one knows, the more one has to worship.
Abbot Grensville was much more active, believing that the only true unknown was the unknowable, and that it was the duty of the monks to seek out the unknowable by trying to understand the currently unknown. He was also somewhat controversial in his political activism, and his unexplained disappearance several months ago was regarded by the monks as an act of their god.
Maliutka Malkh is a dragon, renowned for her age, diplomacy, and erratic ways. She has published in most of the major journals of the magical research community, but also once ate an entire city because they tried to settle part of her territory. She is the only dragon on the continent that is accepted as part of the culture and not regarded as a pest to be eradicated.
Grumpkin, Bolger, and Fenderhorn are generally considered to be only one person. Grumpkin is a cat, and is regarded as one of the brightest people in existence. He has somehow merged being with Bolger, a chubby and exceedingly stupid human, and Fenderhorn, a fairly normal rock troll.
Contrary to the impression given by Imp Report the Third, Fenderhorn did return from his trip with Kohg to see Malkh. We believe, however, that he did not return in the company of Kohg, but rather came on his own several days later. It is not clear if this was a trick played by Grumpkin to irk Kohg, or whether it was actually an unavoidable consequence of the interview with Malkh.
What can be said about the silver dragon? Not a lot; the only evidence we even have for its existence is a single article by a medic giant. However, there is enough in that article to deduce a fair amount.
First off, the giant referred to the dragon as being in the same neighborhood of size as he himself was, which means the dragon is not a dragon at all. Even dragon eggs are larger than that, and not even in theory could a smaller dragon survive; they are physiologically adapted to vastness and would be just as incapable of dwarfism as a human would be of being the size of a mouse.
The beast was, however, very draconian in other ways; might it be some sort of dragon-kin, biologically related to true dragons but on a smaller scale? To answer this we spoke to Dr. Little, curator of the bestial display at the Fran zoological gardens.
“There is of course a lot of error in the account we have,” Little noted by way of introduction; “we have no clear reference to the size, bone structure or habits of this being. However, even assuming it to be the size of an elephant and as much like a dragon in other ways as possible, there could hardly be any shared genetic ancestry.”
It appears that almost all dragon traits are completely useless at more reasonable sizes. For instance, Little stated, take the ability to fly.
“Dragons fly by the aid of an special organ called the waffle, which. . . has to be heavier than [2 tons], or else [it]. . . can’t even support its own weight.” This means the creature the giant met would have to have had its own, non-draconian method of flight, a significant zoological difference.
If the beast was not even related to dragons, though, how do we account for the poisonous breath? A senior member of the Med. & Mag. Soc. and well-known toxicologist, who asked that his name not be printed, gave this concise overview:
“We’ve seen lots of poisonous gasses like the one [the giant] described. Myconoids [aka vegepygmies] regularly emit spores that have very similar effects if properly concentrated; we also see similar results in people who breath too much salt and plankton while using Airbubble or The Rover’s Pipe in deep-ocean exploration. It could even be something as simple as ingesting ferrous greenrock and letting the stomach acid produce the toxins to be eructed at the proper time; depending on the exact acids and gas dosages, we could see similar symptoms.”
Many places are referred to in passing in the various articles about the giant. Although we cannot legally disclose the exact location of all of these sites, we can tell where many of them are found and put reasonable bounds on the rest.
The location of Gött is no secret, and was described in the previous writings of the giant tracking team; we see no need to add to that information.
The giant ended his run in the savanna to the northeast of the Gattah desert. Although we cannot disclose all of our reasons for knowing this, we will point out that it is the only savanna with a sandy desert, then a rocky desert, then Sock city, each at the right distance for the giant’s trek, which is also within a few day’s pipod journey from the Smoots’ labratory.
The exact location of the abbey named “the shrine of transcendence” is a zealously-guarded secret, but it is known to be in the northwest quarter of the Birdrock highlands.
Besides that it is on the border of Malkh’s territory, no information about the home of Grumpkin, Bolger, and Fenderhorn seems to be in the public domain.
Maliutka Malkh owns several hundred miles of the Warm Ice range, which separates the major port cities of Lons and Balic from the rest of the continent.
The whereabouts of the warehouse of the Smoots is discussed in the section devoted to them and their work.
In only one area was our research completely valueless. We know nothing about the glow flies, the men who had them, or almost anything else in that particular sequence of events. Every expert we spoke with had a different opinion, and none of them led to verifiable leads.
The indentity of the Smoot family is undoubtably the most significant revelation of this investigation. The three make up the “huge engineering firm” SIGS, renowned across the world for their lazer eggs, lazer pumps, sonic ionizers, mist chains, and SIGS bearings.
The release of the first SIGS lazer egg occurred on the wedding day of Ignatious and Guinevere, and its name was a present from Samantha in recognition that Guinevere was part of the family; prior to this, the three had worked along with their cousins Beaux and Violet Smoot in a very low-key research-type project. Guinevere had double-flashed Violet with a particularly potent handmade lazer generator the month before the wedding, killing her, which is why Beaux left the group before they completed their egg lazer-stripping tool.
The SIGS warehouse is located on Throat avenue in Three Elms, an independent trading-outpost-turned-metropolis located on the west seaport just south of The City‡ .
How SIGS came to be so radically successful we do not know. We have a fairly good understanding of the science of lazer emission and control, and the sonic tools were something Samantha had often spoken of as a possibility, but mist chains, bearings, and pipods are quite another thing altogether. Research performed by Beaux in association with the Society for Material Difference has shown that both mist chains and SIGS bearings are made of a kind of non-particulate fluid which they call hard condensates; they present an elegant proof in this month’s issue of Material Review showing that such a substance cannot be created by any known chemical or molecular process.
We propose that SIGS has discovered a way of using the curvature of space to access a previously-undocumented part of the universe where they find this material and possibly also where they produce their inventions in unknown factories. We know that both Samantha and Ingatius have long show interest in this curvature, and, since we know the materials they sell cannot be generated in the known universe, are forced to conclude they are produced outside of it.
Kabeous Kohg’s knowledge of the identities of SIGS, apparently without having actually seen them before, is excessively troubling. We have no other evidence that SIGS ever revealed their identity to anyone (even their own family), and have no idea why Kohg would be an exception to the rule. It is clear, however, that Samantha knew that Kohg would recognize them, which implies there was perhaps some covert collaboration between the two.
We unfortunately cannot reveal exactly what enquiries we have made, nor the nature of our intermediate findings on this topic, for fear it would impede our ongoing investigation.
Sonic Hair Disrupters are a special subset of phonon-based resonance cutters. This technology, developed by Beaux and Samantha Smooth several years ago, makes use of quantization of sound waves to generate sound patterns that combine into a powerful localized pulse a specified distance into filaments of a specified width. After being tuned to a particular person’s hair, it can be safely used to make fine, clean cuts of hairs even below the surface of the skin. Anyone interested in purchasing one from Dr. Smoot may write to the address at the beginning of this document.
The observant reader will have noticed that in Imp Report the Third, Corky is somehow surprised when Sam shows her the imp, despite the fact that the imp gives description of her facial expressions for several minutes as she inspected the picture before this introduction. The reader will also have noted that the Corky called the imp “pink,” which by the imp’s own confession is not an accurate description.
The most obvious solution to this apparent conflict is to say that Corky is blind. But if Corky is blind, how could she inspect the painting? Another option is that she is merely very unobservant; however, experience with Guinevere convinces us this is far from being correct. We have no reason to believe she is at fault for misperception.
Another viable option is that perhaps the imp is not an imp at all, but rather an ooze mephit. Though all mephits look much like imps, they each have a variety of oddities and quirks to them; one of the quirks of an ooze mephit is its semi-translucence and emotion-based coloration. The problem with this hypothesis is that very many people have seen Kohg’s imp, and none have even hinted at such properties before.
We spoke with Mr. Charles Grant, co-proprietor of the Tidy Shop of Tidbits, and asked him about the imp.
“Oh, it was an ugly one, no mistake. Sort of a pasty grey color, with scrawny little limbs and a pot belly. Its nose was about as far from the ideal,” here he touched his own nose, “as a nose can get. Loathsome beast.”
After some discussion we came to the conclusion that, for someone with Guinevere’s bizarre sense of humor, calling the imp a precious pink cherub is entirely in the realm of possibility. How it was kept from her notice immediately we don’t know; however, despite the fact that the imp reports itself sitting on Samantha’s shoulder, Mr. Grant did have this to say as well.
“The only sense that woman showed was the way she shoved the imp right out of sight before she left. Though I must admit, compared to the imp even she didn’t look so bad. Still, hiding the imp like that was a smart move.”
“How did she hide it?” we asked.
“How? How should I know? I don’t make a habit of staring at my customers. Shoved it in one of her bottomless pockets, like as not.”
What does this mean? We aren’t certain, but it certainly smells of magic. Samantha never revealed any inclination to incantation before, but she did confess to using an imp-finding incantation over a range of several dozen miles (without any apparent difficulty) in the latest imp report, and nothing else seems to meet the facts.
Lazer figures heavily into the imp reports. Although not a proprietary or secret idea, it isn’t particularly common either, so a short discussion of lazers and related comments on lasers seems in order.
First off, let us be very clear about terminology: laser is concentrated light with only a single wave function shared by many photons; lazer is a volatile pseudo-matter, typically defined as being comprised of vacuous vortices, which causes oxygen and carbon to glow dimly and can be absorbed into organic matter.
The vortex nature of lazer means it can only exist if being actively spun at both ends, unless it is closed into a loop. Its superfluid characteristics allow it to be manipulated by lasers of the appropriate wavelength.
For many years it was believed that lazer could only be created magically, but more recent developments have shown that particular combinations of lasers can be used to spin weak lazer at a very high efficiency, and since then lazers have almost always been accompanied by lasers, which leads to no small confusion in terminology.
Lazer has two qualities that are important to be aware of. First, each strand of lazer seeks to be as small as possible, but cannot pass through other lazer or non-organic solids. A strand of lazer acts much like a very slippery glowing elastic band.
Second, lazer is strongly sensitive to some yet-undiscovered side effect of synaptic activity in the nerves. This not only allows incredibly sensitive measurements of nerve activity, but also means that if a sufficient quantity of lazer is absorbed by the body it will “flash,” causing every nerve in the entire body to fire at once and rendering the victim unconscious for several hours. A much larger dosage causes what is called a double flash, where the firing of the synapses is sufficient to force the nerve endings away from each other, resulting in immediate death. At extremely high concentrations even nerveless matter can flash, resulting in a full-fledged detonation. This is what caused the explosion in Imp Report the Second.
Since lazer cannot pass through itself, it can be braided much like any other cord. Odd-strand braids don’t work very well—because of the angular momentum of the vortex they tend to bunch into tight balls—but even-strand braids can be made very stiff and straight. Lazer eggs use lasers to extract lazer from organic matter and braid it into an odd-strand braid inside the casing. Pipods use an even-strand braid in the neck to sense nerve action in the hands and arms.
The imp mentioned in its latest some yet-to-be-produced device called a “lazer slug.” Beyond the name, we have no information about what such a device may be.
The Socks are more formally known as the people of Ti’aa'oö-pâ Schtsienso—which is reason enough to call them the socks if you don’t happen to have a remarkably elastic tongue. Ti’aa'oö-pâ Schtsienso is the name of the topologist, but he was named after the city they are from, which is also the name of the region of the desert the city resides in.
The socks have been in constant conflict with their two closest neighbors, Ti’aa'oö-pâ Skhtsienso and Ta'a.uv Schtsienso (whom we will collectively refer to as the boots), for several centuries. They seem to have always hated each other, but recently have catalyzed their hatred in an argument about magic and topology.
The socks take the stance that they ought to push the larger parts of space together to create large bubbles of space, increasing the overall usable size of the universe. The boots disagree, stating that such an action would put a rift in the very fabric of the universe and open a currently unknown realm to view, which they claim (without offering evidence, as the Big Sock likes to point out) is filled with all sorts of violent creatures that would take over the world if unleashed.
Why the socks are chasing the giant is still a matter of active investigation. We suspect it has something to do with his space-skipping practices, but are not certain. We do have strong leads that indicate the socks sent the bait that the giant followed into the desert, but have not yet been able to verify them.
The above report represents the form of the best knowledge available on the subject of the giant. Details are excluded, but the overall emphasis is clear; the giant has gotten himself tied up in a war over the topology of the universe and has managed to rope in the most deadly bounty hunter in the history of the world as well as the most prolific inventors of the modern age.
We offer it as our opinion that before this blows over the entire world will be drastically changed. Too many powerful forces are involved for a peaceful, easy escape to be probable. Social commentators have long remarked that the Boot-Sock war would have the whole world taking sides if only other nations were aroused to the issues over which they are fighting; SIGS, Kohg, or the giant could each have done this on their own, if they wished, but with all three tied up in the conflict there is little doubt major world players will soon weigh in.
Disclaimer: The publishers would like to remind the reader that we accept no responsibility for the content of this pamphlet. No effort has been made to verify the radical claims of the authors. We publish this work in the same spirit in which we publish any work of fiction; for the entertainment of our readers, and because the necessary fees have been paid.