From: "David Farnell" <azzageddi@…>
Date: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:25 am
Subject: Re: [dglist] The Castaigne collection
Thsi one is ripped off from m'man Herman Melville. See http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.html?id=2407
Item# (whatever)a and (whatever)b LARGE BELL and CLOCKWORK STRIKER
The Bell is easily the largest item in the Collection, nearly as large as the Great Mingun Bell of Myanmar, weighing 88 metric tons and standing over 20 feet high. At the top, the massive rings where it would attach to its mount have been torn half away from the body of the bell, and one of the rings is split, indicating that some flaw allowed the bell to tear away from its mount under its own weight. A crack runs down from the opening at the top and splits the face of "Una," the first maiden of the Twelve Hours which circle the bell in bas-relief. The maidens hold hands, and their faces are identical, except for Una's; even discounting the crack, her smile has a look of sadness and perhaps even horror that belies her dancing form.
The Bell has numerous inscriptions in Latin and Italian. In both languages, around the lip of the Bell is "Bannadonna Made This," linking the Bell to an inventor-engineer who was briefly famous in northern Italy during the late 15th century. The name of the city [any ideas on this, Davide?] is that of a city-state that was briefly celebrated and successful, but which failed and was abandoned after a series of disasters.
Accompanying the Bell is its Striker, an anthropomorphic clockwork figure. It is 2.3 meters tall, made of brass and bronze, and holds a large mace with which to ring the hours. It is meant to advance along a track (now missing) to the bell every hour, sitting in a chair (also missing) between strikings. Its body is textured to resemble scale armor, with the name "Talus" across its chest. There is a hole from a musket in the "u"; damage to the internal workings seems to have been repaired at some point. The face is featureless, and the arms are manacled, with chains dangling from them to a belt around the waist. If it really was built by Bannadonna, its technology would have been well beyond its time.
According to legend, the Bell was rung only once, and not by its Striker. It was installed in the highest bell tower of its time in Europe. Its builder was attempting to modify the face of the hour Una before its first ringing; he lost track of the time, and was killed when Talus crushed his skull. During his funeral, a citizen rang the bell; it tore free of its mountings and crashed through the tower to the ground, killing the ringer. The city repaired bell and tower, but the weakened tower fell during an earthquake soon after, which destroyed most of the city.
Ringing the Bell today would require recasting and remounting it, though it need not be hung in a tower. Completing repairs on the Striker and providing it with a proper track and so on would be relatively simple. The Bell's mount is also meant to be clockwork, causing the Bell to turn slowly so that the Striker hits the clasped hands of the appropriate Hours each time.
Ringing the Bell always results in disaster. If rung by a human, that human will certainly die, somehow, and the surrounding area will fall into misfortune. If rung by the Striker, Talus, the effects are much worse. The vibrations of the Bell are sympathetic with call of the whales of the Lake of Hali, and will bring the area into a state of near-merger with Carcosa. Entropy will increase, causing things to break and shift far more easily. Magic will work more easily as well, as reality becomes fluid. Dreamlands magic and creatures from the Dreamlands may find ways to exist in our world.
If Talus rings the Bell, the area within the sound of the Bell will come into full conjunction with Carcosa, and be devoured by the Vampire City. It won't stop there: the Bell will be the epicenter of a progressive rot, a cancer in the world, which will grow daily as long as Talus keep striking the hours. After approximately one year, the entire Earth will have been swallowed by Carcosa.