This is the 3rd AI Artifact, a magic item based on an image generated by an AI from randomly generated words. In this case, those words are “flippant”, “dispensable”, and “absent”. If you want to know what this is about, you can find the rules here.

The prompt used (and modified)

This is what I entered into the image-creating AI Midjourney in order to generate these pictures:

/imagine prompt magic artefact that is flippant, dispensable, absent, in the style of a video game asset

As you can see below, this prompt yielded four vaguely box-shaped things. I have the feeling that “in the style of a video game asset” is prone to such geometry, so I decided to change the prompt going forward to

/imagine prompt magic artefact that is flippant, dispensable, absent, no background

and the results were a little more interesting. Then I decided to go barebones and drop the “magic artifact” and replace it with “an item” and “a fantas prop“. Again, interesting, but not really the style I was looking for. At least I have enough to chose from now. I will have to think about the prompt a bit more.

While I don’t want to make you wait any longer than strictly necessary, here is one last thing I tried. I’ll just leave it uncommented, so you can make up your mind about this one.

/imagine prompt magic artefact that is flippant, dispensable, absent, and not a box, in the style of a video game asset

The Image – flippant, dispensable, absent

And here is the prompt that I decided to pick something from – “a magic artifact that is … without background”.

And here is the actual pick, upscaled and thus more detailed. I am not sure why exactly I picked this one, other than a mix of “unusual” and “I want to write how I would make this”. But it’s a choice.

So, the question becomes, what is flippant, dispensable, and absent? Glad you asked.

The Distilled Library

It was an experiment. Had it worked as intended, the world would be a different place now, at least for those with an interest in learning and reading. Instead, the experiment created an item that looks like something about to explode, but not quite. In actual fact, it is teetering at the brink of catastrophic failure.

The experiment sought to combine books – a whole library worth of them – into a single volume that could offer the reader any page from that vast collection. The scientist behind this sought to make knowledge more accessible, but she underestimated the knowledge’s own desire to be free. Every book contains a spark, but distilled into a single volume, all those sparks turn into an inferno.

The Distilled Library contains a thousand and more books compressed into a single glass dome. The bottom, once flat, has been warped over time by the forces raging within. At some point, years after it was created, a crack formed in the glass over the span of months. Eventually, bright energy began to erupt from inside in extreme slow motion.

The Librarian

The experiment’s original scientist was drawn into the item when it was created, and now serves as the collection’s librarian on the inside. Whether she exists as a mere force between all those volatile book sparks, or has a physical representation of the virtual library to move through, is anyone’s guess.

As a living being, she has the ability to tame the sparks by engaging with them. As she reads, the energy buildup can be contained to a point where the fledgling explosion has slowed to an immeasurable crawl. At least for now. Should she ever stop reading, for whatever reason, the effects are sure to be catastrophic.

Using the Distilled Library

Probably a function of the explosion waiting to happen, it is possible for the librarian to communicate with the outside world, and vice versa. This way, it is possible to ask her questions, which she can theoretically answer with the knowledge of an ancient library at her fingertips. Having read them all countless times over, she hardly ever has to research a subject prior to answering. But what she much rather likes to do is to introduce anyone communicating with her to some of the more obscure books in her care – whether they are interested or not.

For a simple book: roll a book type and a topic. Insert “of” in between. Done.
Example: Codex of proactive Sailing

For a more complex book: roll a book type and twice on topic, recombining the two halves.
Don’t forget the “of”.
Example: Folio of planar Engineering

For an all-out obscure schollar’s delight: roll a Book Type, “of”, then twice on Topic to recombine the two halves, then roll on Addendum, and twice on Topic again with recombining.
Example: Atlas of painful shanties as derived from colossal Bookkeeping

d12Book Type
The type of obscure book
01planar Transportation
02arcane Inventory
03blood-fueled History
04sustainable Manufacturing
05colossal Engineering
06painful Parasites
07excitable Incantations
08lost Locations
09civil Shanties
10proactive Sailing
11inter-social Commerce
12paranormal Bookkeeping
13introspective Painting
14mindful Cooking
15perfected Crafts
16imperative Studies
17social Persuasion
18seductive Intricacies
19permanent Obsolescence
20ecstatic Rumbling
The descriptor and topic of said book
01as it pertains to
02in relation to
03cross referenced with
04through the lens of
05reconsidered through
06with respect to
07as paralleled by
08as seen through
09tempered with
10perceived as
11interspersed with
12by virtue of
13considered at
14as derived from
15for the performing of
16not considering
18influenced by
Addition to the title of said book

Never stop reading!

Should the librarian ever stop reading the books inside the library, terrible things will happen as the frozen explosion speeds up and an literally overwhelming amount of energy will be released within a split second. The effects are comparable to a nuclear blast, except that on top of fiery destruction, the explosion creates a fallout zone of knowledge, where random, separate sentences from the books contained within seep into people’s heads over the following weeks.

Do you feel more flippant already?

Let me know what you think about this take on an AI-generated image. Not sure whether I managed to fit all the words into the story properly, but I’ll go with “the AI already did that for me”. I am in love with that random table, and I hope you’ll find it as useful as I do.

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Thanks for stopping by, and remember to Be Inspired!