Sealed Texts of the Sundered Age
freak lodes of material culture
The cumulative effects of repeated Sunderings present numerous problems to historical research. Prime among them is the lack of archives from the most powerful players on both the pre- and post-Sundering scenes, like the Tripartite Hegemony. Instead most historians’ reconstructions of affairs before or between Sunderings rely on isolated informal archives assembled by untrained individuals with interests in completely collecting some small aspect of the common culture of their times. Captain Mellek Bruton of Yi-Vinrof’s Third Archaeological Corps coined the term “freak lodes of material culture” in 18,659 PS to describe the biased nature of these isolated sources, though a great deal of emotional and social information can be gleaned from such isolates.
Well-studied freak lodes include Harral Bar Smit’s gigantic collection of ancient toys. Despite never having been removed from their boxes, many of the toys were poorly preserved – most notably the badly deteriorated Element Dolls. Nevertheless, Bar Smit’s collection, which includes his own plasticized corpse, is thought to include every toy ever produced by the prehistoric corporation, Jelaxis Enterprises, including the Umbra Pet which has been reproduced and remarketed to consumers on Twelfth Zillish.
Another famous freak lode is the Beryl Elios Library of performance materials discovered in the hulk of a post-Second Sundering Vetani yacht. This well-preserved collection was assembled by a wealthy aficionado and includes show posters, kazoos, a complete (though possibly bootlegged) recording of Kawanii and his Inestimable Pastel Leotards, memorabilia, and even Beryl’s deathmask (or a copy of it).
- contribution by Shishil Doon Crow