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Each claim on the list that follows could certainly be the beginning of a larger plot. Some of them presuppose particular genders and preferences, but the Presenter (or GM) should naturally alter them as appropriate. Some of the claimants may have genuine powers – others will undoubtedly prove to be frauds. It could be a mistake to assume that the more outrageous claims are necessarily the false ones…

They look you in the eyes and say… (d20)

  1. “Indeed, I have learned the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone, a mystery held close by the Magi of Persia from time immemorial. I require only the dung of a completely white goat from a litter of four, raised by a girl who has never heard a human voice raised in anger. The girl must have been born on a Wednesday in the sign of Virgo, and must have had her head shaved every day of her life from birth. After that, everything required is perfectly ordinary. Besides a flawless twenty carat diamond, which I will also need. Soon.”

  2. “I have extracted the fabled Carbuncle from the head of a toad that once lived in my garden. Unfortunately, if not kept in complete darkness the gem will collapse into dust. Therefore, while priceless, it must be kept in this unopened box. I am willing to part with it for only a small compensation of, perhaps, 5,000 livres”.

  3. “I can restore you to perfect health by running my magnetized hands across your body. You will need to be nude, of course, but how else can I be sure that the magnetic power is unimpeded?”

  4. “Using the ancient art taught to me in distant Cathay, I can measure your destiny by the shape of your ears. You, for example, are fated to become famous as the generous patron of an extraordinary man.”

  5. “You cannot see them, but you are followed by an army of fiery elementals, eager to immolate the next place where you sleep. Due to my pacts with their King, I empowered to prevent their assaults. For a modest fee, of course.”

  6. “Tremble, for the Antichrist has been born. But, only I know where. I can tell you, but only if you commit to sponsoring my quest to destroy him. It will take us across Europe, to many picturesque places and spa towns.”

  7. “I hold in my hands the lost Grimoire of Quaestius. It contains a powerful ritual that will reduce the mighty Lucifer to little more than a personal valet. The required components can generally be acquired without undue effort. Except perhaps for the heart of a reigning sovereign, which may prove somewhat more troublesome.”

  8. “You stand in the presence of an ambassador from the Rosicrucian Brotherhood itself, which has now decided to admit as members the daughters of Eve. However, I am bound to first administer the test of love, to insure that you can truly become one with the Brotherhood in spirit, soul and body. It is a duty which by sacred oath I must perform, though be assured that I personally find it most distasteful.”

  9. “The secret method of distilling the sacred Aqua Aurae has been taught from mother to daughter in an unbroken line since the days of ancient Egypt. You must pour it over your head to attain the worldly success you desire. I understand that its color and smell may have distressing implications, but if I was simply handing you hand you a bottle of that, surely the price would be less?”

  10. “Concealed within my walking stick is the sacred horn of the unicorn, which grants me the power to remove any poison. No, I cannot profane it by exposing it to your sight. Yes, I can be induced to use its magic for a token fee. Such as 10 guineas.”

  11. “Do you swear on your honor to hold secret what I am about to impart? Good. I have possession of the Ring of Solomon itself, but the sacrifices necessary to employ its holy might are too expensive for me to afford without your patronage. Naturally, I will gladly use the powers of the Ring on your behalf.”

  12. “In truth, I can no longer remember how old I am. I know I stopped counting sometime after nine hundred.”

  13. “During the term of my service with the East India Company, I found opportunity to be initiated into the mysteries of the Hindu Gymnosophists. Among the many esoteric doctrines imparted to me was the secret of flight. Once, I flew clear across the tall Himalayas, and saw with my own eyes the mystic land of Shambhala. That was truly an adventure! Unfortunately, I have found upon my return that the food of Europe is excessively heavy, and therefore prevents my becoming airborne. Nor can I use the other powers of my light-body while so encumbered. However, if you you were pay for my passage back to Madras, I could certainly demonstrate my abilities for you there.”

  14. “The celestial alignment that will occur within a month’s time presages the end of the world. Unless, I can obtain a certain gem that I can use to focus the sun’s rays to repel the malign influence of the stars. Such a gem exists in the jewelers on the Rue de N- , and can be had for a trifle of 10,000 francs. Unfortunately, the gem will be ruined by the ritual, and I will not be able to return it to you. It is but a small annoyance compared to being the world’s savior, no?”

  15. “I have developed the recipe for a miraculous healing salve, whose effectiveness I will happily demonstrate to you. I will merely need to whip my housekeeper, and apply it to her wounds. Yes, she must be completely disrobed, as must I to avoid staining my clothes. Naturally, I will derive no inappropriate satisfaction from this necessary display, but the progress of spiritual science must go on!”

  16. “We Illuminated ones hold the keys to true power in every sphere worldly and spiritual. Of course, it is a rule of our Order that no member may know the identity of any other member, save the one who initiated him, and the one he initiates. But you can trust me that the Order is both vast and mighty. And the dues are thoroughly reasonable.”

  17. “By means of the ancient Druidic arts I can speak to the plants of your garden, and determine how best to tend them. Right now they are expressing excitement and eagerness to grow, if only the master of the estate would employ someone who understood their language.”

  18. “During my sojourn in Egypt I acquired a book which taught me a foolproof method of finding treasure. Help me obtain the necessary materials, and I will split the proceeds with you. Unfortunately, some of the required items cannot currently be obtained from any merchant. Fortunately, I could with your aid obtain them surreptitiously from the collection of a certain Duke. Did I mention I already possess mystical means to prevent our discovery?”

  19. “We of Astarte’s sisterhood do not normally admit males into our mysteries, but I am certain an exception could be made for a young man such as yourself, truly created in the image of Adonis. And such a specimen of obvious, even prodigious, intelligence you are! If at midnight next Tuesday you were to appear at my chateau, my lackeys would certainly admit you to my boudoir, excuse me, chamber of mystic initiation. There I shall explain in particular how to transform your mouth from a vehicle of mere speech, into a wonderful instrument of rapturous enchantment. Selflessly, I shall even allow you to practice your new ability on my person. I must advise you that before I can instruct you in this and other arts, you must have recently communed with the Undines through total immersion in a bath. Afterwards, you will admit that your initiation will have been thoroughly accomplished. I promise.”

  20. “It is required of every warlock that he eventually pass on his magic through the exchange of clothing with a new student. For you to complete your initiation and receive your power, you must appear in the marketplace tomorrow morning wearing my distinctive attire. There you must wait until you are approached by men who you will no doubt assume to be the legal authorities. In fact, they are members of my coven, come to lead you away to the ceremony where you will acquire the secret of sorcery! No, you won’t see me again, since I am bound by tradition to leave this area and never return.”