Fredrick Godsey was a respected member of the Cryptozoologist
Society of San Francisco. The society had a number of
influential members and wealthy backers, which were two
of the reasons he found himself there that night, attending
a clandestine auction of things that weren't supposed
to be. The third reason was Lot 23: The Iraqi Specimen.
The last few days had been nerve-racking.
The nameless organization that held these auctions made
it a habit to keep the location a secret until only a
few hours before the event.
At exactly 12 midnight, on the 29th
going into the 30th of June, he found himself in Madrid
sitting in a sports club at the bottom of a large indoor
swimming pool, drained of course (both the pool and him
from his sudden flight halfway round the world), waiting
patiently through the other lots. If the specimen were
here, really here, and real, really real, he was about
to set the entomology world, as a whole, on its ear.
He waited patiently through the lots of aluminum foil
type metal with strange glyphs that would unfold back
into their original shape when crumpled and wadded into
tiny little balls. He waited patiently through the lots
of prototype engines that ran on alcohol, hydrogen, salt
water, chocolate, or nothing at all. He waited patiently
through the lot containing rough drafts of Hamlet,
King Lear, and Othello written by Sir
Francis Bacon and the lot involving 12 dozen stone tablets
found with the Dead Sea scrolls baring an intact map of
the human genome in it's entirety.
Finally, there it was Lot 23, encased in a rough hexagonal
chunk of amber, the Iraqi Specimen, the heretofore-unknown
largest insect in the world. At a length of 18" inches
and an estimated wingspan of 15" inches it easily
beat out both the stick insect and birdwing moth, the
two previous record holders, respectively.
Professor Godsey gasped at the sight of the thing, the
sound echoing off the pool's tiled walls. This would be
his Baird's tapir. This would be his Przewalski's horse.
This would be his coelacanth. He couldn't care less about
the story surrounding how it came here, the belief of
it to be the last vestiges of the Sumerian god Pazuzu
eternally encased in a golden tomb. Please. Didn't Pazuzu
have a bit part in that Exorcist movie? Professor Godsey
was a man of science. A cryptozoologist. He cared little
for ancient myths and even less for the sensationalized
versions of them.
His hand was up even before the auctioneer had finished
presenting the item. He didn't bat an eye when the opening
bid started at a million even. He didn't even notice the
attractive young woman of Middle Eastern descent sidle
up next to him until she spoke.
"I know why you're here." She whispered anxiously.
He ignored this. Wasn't it obvious why everyone was here?
"You must win." She added.
"I intend to my dear," He muttered, eyes locked
upon the auctioneer, ears focused upon the ever-increasing
It was then he felt the barrel press into his ribs. He
allowed himself the slightest of glances downwards. A
revolver. Ceramic. Snuck through the door and past the
thugs with their sensor wands and an almost supernatural
sense of paranoia.
"You don't understand." She hissed. "333,
Choronzon, the female half of the Beast. 107, Oval, the
messenger of the Beast. 107 + 333 = 440. You don't understand.
There are those here who must not have it. It must not
fall into their hands."
And Professor Godsey suddenly fancied himself to be Alan
Quartermain or Indiana Jones. And there was the slightest
of buzzing next to his ear. "What is that? Kabala?"
The girl was almost hysterical now, eyes darting about
like angry wasps, scanning faces in the crowd around them.
"440! To annihilate, cease, disappear! The number
of the great dragon ATEM. The world slayer! The Beast
of the Apocalypse!"
He had missed the relevance of all this. "What?"
The buzzing near his ear had grown louder. Some in the
crowd had suddenly started making swatting motions, motions
that distracted the auctioneer. A chaos was slowly building.
The buzzing grew louder, echoing off the tile walls, sounding
as though coming from everywhere at once.
"Pazuzu's number is also 107! Pazuzu is the messenger
of the Beast!" The woman wailed.
And then there were insects, a great flurry of flying,
crawling, burrowing, biting, stinging, insects that instantly
flooded the pool. It left 5 dead. It left 15 traumatized.
It took Professor Fredrick Godsey's left eye. And it simply
took the attractive young lady of Middle Eastern descent
along with her ceramic revolver.
And in the aftermath of this plague of insects it was
discovered that the God in Amber had vanished.
Things like this happen at these auctions all the time…
a creature has remained in physical contact with
the God in Amber for one hour, the artifact will
consider the creature their owner. In order for
another creature to gain control of the artifact
they must remain in physical contact with it for
one our during which time the current owner must
remain more than 100 feet away from it.
The owner of the God in Amber gains the following
abilities provided that they remain within 100
feet of the artifact:
Climb: The owner can climb walls as though they
were under the effect of a continuous spider
climb spell (as described in the d20 Modern™
Abilities: The owner can cast insect plague
and web (as described in the d20 Modern™
Core Rulebook) up to 5 times per day.
Swarm: The owner can inflict light wounds
(as described in the d20 Modern™ Core Rulebook)
up to 10 times per day. The target feels as though
they were bitten by dozens of tiny bugs.
Buzz: The owner can cast shout (as described
in the d20 Modern™ Core Rulebook) up to
5 times per day. The spell functions the same
as described save that the sound produced is a
The owner also has the ability to create up to
six Acolytes of the God in Amber. An acolyte can
be any humanoid creature touched by the owner
while they are in contact with the artifact. Acolytes
gain the ability to cast web and spider
climb 3 times per day. They can venture further
than 100 feet away from the artifact without losing
their abilities, however their powers must be
renewed each day through physical contact with
the owner and the God in Amber. The owner can
also communicate with the acolytes through telepathy
provided the owner is in contact with the artifact.
This communication is only one way.
spells function as though cast at 10th level.
Matt Kline ~ Art: Todd Coss