Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Cross of St. Numerius

As much as I love Blomberg-style vampire killing kits I have to admit they get a bit repetitive. Jason McKittrick combats that with "The Cross of St. Numerius", a clever variation of the familiar trope.

"I've been seeing so many of these very formulaic vampire hunter kits all over the place that I wanted to do kind of a fresh take on it. I looked at it from the point of view that if vampires really were infernal creatures then everything in the kit would be a relic or religious in some way. I wanted to make the ultimate item for killing vampires. Part relic, part weapon. I had the Spear of Destiny very much in mind when I was making this. I've attached some hi res pics for your viewing pleasure!"

I like how this set takes the familiar features of a traditional vampire hunting kit and goes in a new direction. Creating a faux artifact is a brilliant way to reframe the idea into a more interesting context. Christian mythology is so rich, filled with regional and doctrinal variations, that there's a way to tie almost anything into it.

The set just happens to be available on Ebay.


CoastConFan said...

If you approach a vampire killing kit in scope of a very specialized exorcism, then you might get something like this. In such a situation, I agree that the components would highly charged such as relics or items that have been deeply and powerfully consecrated.

You have to wonder, however, if the vampire was from another religion, how effective the holy implements would be in that case. It’s like the old joke, “Oy vey, have you got the wrong vampire” shtick. This could get very dicey if you don’t know the religion of a vampire; even worse, how do you kill/turn an atheist vampire, with a copy or Darwin or Nietzsche? Hopefully I haven’t offended anybody, I’m just thinking out loud, so to speak.

I like the kit, my only gripe is the constant over aging of the linen rag paper, which shouldn’t ever get much tone change from when it was new. I have book pages from the 1500s that are still pristine and I have had medieval vellum pages that looked as good as the day they were created. The popularity of cheap wood pulp paper starts from the middle 1800s and becomes more acidic as the sulfur content increased through the1920s. That is the stuff you are simulating with the yellows and staining, not 500 year old paper. Btw, paper was introduced somewhat late into Europe, replacing vellum see

ArtSnark said...

well done!

David Grubbs said...

Beautifully crafted! My only quibbles are with the back-story:

1) Gregory VII was an 11th-century pope; in the 2nd century, there wasn't even a Gregory I yet.

2) There was no Vatican in the 2nd century; in fact, I don't think Roman papacy was centered in the Vatican until after the 14th century, at the latest.

3) The True Cross was (according to legend) not discovered till the early 4th century.

Not to nitpick, but a back-story is a kind of prop too: anchoring an outre prop in some verifiable history boosts its impact, I think.

Jason McKittrick said...

Yikes! Thanks for pointing that out. It's actually just a typographical error on my part. That's what you get for typing late at night! Thanks man!

CoastConFan said...

I didn’t want to pile it on, but yes --

That early on, there was no pope, just a Bishop of Rome .

But of interest there was a Church of Jerusalem which ceased to exist and would be easy to attribute relics for a prop back story.

Emperor Constantine’s mom, Helena was the one credited with turning up the first fragments of the true cross. Later there were enough parts around to build Noah’s Ark. In a sense, the Christian church we know now begins with Constantine and the bible with the Council of Nicea that set up dogma and canon and also put the parts of the bible together.

Back story is easy to change and there are a lot of unknowns and grey areas to stick in artifacts and documents to prop up a prop.

Phil said...

David - Well the basic background is sound enough. It just needs some changes to its timeline.

I'm with you though, when I make up histories, I tend to be nitpicky about it. or example, I did a good bit of research on 1880's fishing when I did the text pieces of my Deep One Relic.

Jason McKittrick said...

I accidentally typed Second instead of Eleventh Century A.D. I'm working on another project with artifacts from the second century so that explains the mix up.

It reads correctly now. Thanks everyone for pointing it out.