Full Item Description
The cabinet is made of the reddish brown wood known as Rustwood. When the cabinet was made four decades ago, Rustwood was the material that the nobility bought. Then a couple of decades followed in which Rustwood was considered out of fashion. In any case: Both of the cabinet doors have been painted with mountain landscapes in earth tones. The doors are solid with a silver lock. The key has been lost though, and the story tells how Count Malisso threw it away in one of his heartbroken fits of rage. The corners of the Cabinet have been carefully carved and the carvings depict leaves and geese catching flight. At the very bottom of the cabinet, the signature of its maker: “Monscillo”, can be found. He was a legendary craftsman whose crafts became very sought after and ultimately ridiculously overpriced. The Cabinet is astonishingly heavy and should prove a burden for nearly any pair of PCs.
After finishing a difficult mission for a noble, the PCs get what he promised: A reward fit for kings. It is the renowned Malisso Cabinet, commissioned by Count Malisso as a gift for the girl he was betrothed to marry. He spent a small fortune on the masterful paintings and intricate carvings on the cabinet, but to his utter dismay his betrothed found love within the embrace of another man and the just finished cabinet became a reminder of a love lost. The noble sold it and with time the cabinet has been connected with a number of unfortunate incidents; the bankruptcy of a wealthy merchant, the death of a champion racing horse and the imprisonment of it’s previous owner; the royal chamberlain (apparently the royal treasury fared noticeably poorer than his personal fortune). Thus the Malisso cabinet gained a reputation as a bringer of bad luck.
Selling it: The Malisso Cabinet is an exquisitely crafted piece of furniture and well renowned among large parts of the nobility and those merchants who know style and fashion. It will bring the PCs a large amount of money, should they be able to actually get it sold. There is the accompanying superstition that will make it difficult to sell. It should prove easy to sell to fences and less knowledgeable merchants, but it will bring less than a tenth of the real price if sold in this manner.
Usage and hooks: Obviously the Malisso Cabinet could be used as an alternative method of payment. The clever GM might want to take it a step further! Make sure the PCs are well aware of the cost of the cabinet, and exploit their greed to make sure they don’t dump it immediately. Then the cabinet could be used in a number of ways:
· An interested potential buyer approaches the PCs and bargain for the Cabinet. He leaves without buying it, but later thieves will try to steal the cabinet from their possession. Whether they succeed or not will be up to the PCs vigilance, but the timing will be suspicious and the buyer is too wealthy to be targeted by the law. No one will believe the PCs, or they dare not believe them, so what will they do?
· The curse is not real! The PCs get the aid of a competent church, and then discover that the curse is all imagined. The cost of the Cabinet skyrockets, but now everyone wants it. And they are willing to threaten the PCs to ensure that they do get it. Will the PCs make a deal with one party, gaining a lot of enemies in the process? How will the less savoury try to convince the PCs?
· Nurturing the cursed theory: Whenever the players encounter a bit of bad luck (especially when the GM made those unlucky dice rolls), just casually confirm that they were close to the Cabinet, or that they still own the Cabinet. This should be done at a later stage, as it will probably lead to their getting rid of it. A nice way to keep the PCs paranoid when in a stressed situation.
· It is a forgery! The powerful noble whom the PCs helped did not want to get rid of the Cabinet after all. Perhaps he just wanted to lose the attention of troublemakers, or perhaps he is just plain greedy? In any case he ordered a fraud by a skilled, but far cheaper, craftsman and gave the cheap imitation to PCs. Now they have sold their services, endured problem after problem, only to discover that it was all for nothing. The original employer enjoys the cabinet in full privacy, while the PCs get all the associated problems (see above). They get a minimal sum from a laughing furniture connoisseur, how will they react?