I had clearly offended Velasco and trivialized the item I had travelled across the Atlantic to see. The man flung his arms around in rage: Cards?... He stuttered, Do you not know what this relic is?
He paused to catch his breath, and brush back the mane of grey hair from his face. What you see before you is the ancient book of the Artifactum! Not only the arcane library of all knowledge, but the library itself, and portals to the dimensions in which those pages reside.
I had no idea what the old man meant, until he held up one of the cards to my face, and uttered a few strange syllables. When my head had cleared, I found myself in different place entirely!
The Artifactum is a set of 31 (or so) cards. They are loosely based on the traditional Rhine ESP cards, and are an evolution of the 'Alchemical Artifactum'. The main differences are in the context, design and mechanics of the cards.
A Magical Context.
Rather than the rather dry, pseudo-scientific context of traditional ESP cards, the Artifactum provides a setting more in tune with the serious mage. As you are not limited to testing for ESP, the Artifactum provides more mystery, a far greater depth, flexibility and potential. More importantly - the Artifactum provides a Magical performance context.
Mechanics of the Artifactum.
The Artifactum uses the same five symbols used by the ESP deck, but has more depth and flexibility. Unlike the traditional ESP set, each card is individual. Each card has a unique design and a unique scope of meaning. Additionally, each card now has both a 'suit' and 'value'. This means that you are not limited to just five cards used for matching or pairing routines. You can now apply many principles from traditional card magic too.
How they Work.
Each card is marked on the back, with a system that is both deceptive to the audience and easily read by the Mage. This two-digit marking acts as a code, unlocking a rich system of imagery, symbolism and meaning embedded in each card.
For example - knowing the 'suit' and 'value' from the markings allows you to know what the actual image on the card is. This is achieved with little effort or memory work on your behalf, as the system provides you with a simple visual code.
Not only do you know the image, but you can describe a magical landscape that 'lies behind' the image on the card. An Artifactum practitioner can use the image on the card to stimulate the imagination of the person on stage, and have her step into the imagined landscape depicted on the card. What is more, due to the marking system, the mage knows exactly where she is going and can describe the imaginary landscape in detail.
Furthermore - each card has its own unique meaning, making the Artifactum a powerful reading deck. As with the visual symbolism, the meaning of the cards is governed by a clear and simple system. All you need to remember is one or two key words for the each of the five 'suits' and one or two key words for each of the five 'values'. By combining these, we arrive at a unique and deep meaning for each card.
Perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of the Artifactum is that it can be used for authentic Magic. This may not be for everyone (sadly, a percentage of magicians do not believe that Magic actually exists and will go out of their way to tell you so).Â However, for those who know - the Artifactum is potentially a powerful tool creating authentic Magic; a set of magical altars that you carry around in your pocket.
At this level, the 'trick' acts as a trigger for the Magic and a convincer that allows genuine Magical forces to be raised.
It is a versatile and powerful tool for the performer, and a Magical laboratory for the true Mage.
The Artifactum can also be used as a more magical and visually intriguing set of playing cards or ESP cards, to give a more esoteric setting for many of your favourite effects.
You can use it for guided visualisation routines, readings or real magical work. Or you can mix and match using elements from all of these.
Although we give plenty of routines and ideas to get you started, the Artifactum is really a laboratory for you to explore your own ideas and evolve your own routines. This is anything but a 'one trick pony,' and you will be finding new uses for this magical artefact for years to come.
With the Pro set, you get:
A deck of the Artifactum cards, professionally printed and hand aged.
A draw-string bag to keep your treasure safe.
A Hardback book of over 200 pages explaining the system and full of ideas and routines for you to play with. - NO PDF IS AVAILABLE FOR THE ARTIFACUM.
Open the door to the Artifactum and let it reveal its secrets to you.
[Below - Strictly optional!]
The Moonskin Artifactum case.
The Artifactum Board - not only a portable board for performing the Artifactum, but a complete additional routine in its own right.
'Angels of the Artifactum'. A complete set of cards as an optional add-on to the Artifactum set (this is for those of you begging for the original Alchemical Artifactum to be re-released).