Quizzing Glass

Quizzing Glass
Wondrous item, uncommon

Typically found in a small leather-clad box or velvet pouch, this single lens in a platinum frame fits neatly over one humanoid-sized eye. Close inspection of the platinum frame reveals tiny characters from every known alphabet and system of writing stamped into the metal, jumbled together in a surprisingly pleasing pattern. A cord or metal rod with a ring attaches to the frame to prevent the lens from falling onto the floor.

When held up to an eye and looked through, the monocle translates any visible written language to the wearer's native tongue. It offers several interpretations for phrases which don't cleanly translate, projecting them into the wearer's mind and listening for the wearer to pick the best translation. This process happens subconsciously. The text may look blurry for a moment as the monocle uses the wearer's mind to translate, but then the translated text asserts itself and comes into focus.

After every hour of continuous use, the wearer must make a Constitution saving throw DC14 or suffer a headache until their next short rest. While the headache persists, all rolls involving visual acuity, such as Wisdom (Perception) and Intelligence (Investigation), suffer disadvantage.

Around the College, professors sometimes call this item a Comprehension Monocle, or simply a "Comp". These indispensable items make researching ideas in old tomes so much easier for anyone. The College tried to keep them a secret, but about twenty years ago a rich merchant dealing with foreign contracts found a poor student's price to steal one, and then everybody wanted one.

Note: I looked up "monocle" on Wikipedia, and "Quizzing Glass" was one of the variations in use from the 1790s onward. That entertained me, so I swiped it wholesale.

Part of T.W.Wombat's #City23 project. See the Fellport Index for all entries.

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