Feb 07 2013

I’ve figured out why the Vatican hoards its wealth!

St. Peter’s Basilica is not actually named that because of its architecture, but for the Basilisk living beneath it! Lore tells of Basilisks converting various substances into gold, which explains the Vatican’s enormous wealth!! It also explains why they’re so reluctant to give the wealth away, because the evil Basilisk will turn the Pope into stone as revenge!!!! Quick, we need to find a wizard and a goblin forged blade!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wait. I think I’m crossing my mythologies. Catholics don’t believe in silly things like Basilisks or goblins. They believe in crackers that magically turn into flesh and people rising from the dead. My bad, it’s all so confusing. I blame the NyQuil.


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  1. 1

    The heads of the Catholic church aren’t stupid enough to think you can transmute copper into gold.
    Superstition into gold, on the other hand…

  2. 2

    “Wait. I think I’m crossing my mythologies. Catholics don’t believe in silly things like Basilisks or goblins.”

    What was the author of Revelations on at the time?

  3. 3
    Chaos Engineer

    Basilisks are all over the book of Isaiah…the King James Version uses the synonym “Cockatrice”. http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/search.php?cx=partnerpub-3004108712154911%3Ac4rrh3xku7n&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=ISO-8859-1&safe=on&q=cockatrice&hs=1&sa=Search

    Isaiah 14:29 reminds us that a cockatrice is a baby dragon. Adult dragons need a bed of gold coins in order to sleep comfortably. Isaiah 12:1-8 asserts that the Jewish Messiah will want to set up a petting zoo with cockatrices in it; so we need to maintain a breeding population.

  4. 4

    I get 14:29, but what does Isaiah 12:1-8 have to do with a petting zoo?

  5. 5
    Argle Bargle

    I blame the NyQuil.

    That’s the trouble with today’s youf, they’re not willing to take the blame. Instead they slander some inanimate object which can’t sue.

  6. 6

    “That’s the trouble with today’s youf, they’re not willing to take the blame. Instead they slander some inanimate object which can’t sue.”

    Duh! It’s cheaper this way and it annoys the lawyers. A classic win-win situation.

  7. 7

    Well, that would certainly explain all the statues they have.

  8. 8
    Chaos Engineer

    Tychabrahe – sorry, that was a typo. I meant Isaiah 11:1-8: “And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.”

  9. 9

    If there’s a baslisk down there making gold out of things, why on earth would you want to kill it? Send ninja negotiators to promise it a union contract with shorter hours, better food, and more spacious catacombs. Then use the goblin forged blade to hack your way out of the place. Yes, I know the baslisk could turn anyone in our way to stone. The hacking is just for fun.

  10. 10
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    It’s no wonder they also fear D&D enough to keep raising moral panics over it and similar, as players have worked out ways to kill basilisks thousands of times over.

  11. 11

    This post was not a successful attempt at humor.

  12. 12

    I’ve seen a plausible hypothesis that has the author of the Revelation getting into some bread made with ergot-contaminated rye. Ergot produces lysergic acid amides, a class that includes LSD. If it wasn’t ergot, or some other psychoactive fungus, there’s always schizophrenia. Nowadays, old Saint John would have his own radio show.

  13. 13
    Gregory in Seattle

    “So I was talking to this tauren the other day.. No, I mean a worgen.. I.. No.. Wait, which one’s a cow and which one’s a dog? Ugh! All the talking animals are STUPID!”

    (If you play the most recent World of Warcraft expansion, you’ll get the joke.)

  14. 14
    Gregory in Seattle

    @stever #12 – The reputed author of Revelations was John of Patmos. Tradition holds that he was an aristocrat who was exiled to the island of Patmos during the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Domitian (and most now accept that he was not the same John who wrote the gospel and three epistles that bear the same name.)

    Anyway, like most Greek isles, Patmos has a volcanic origin. There are a lot of caves in its steep hills, many of which will accumilate gases from deep under the earth: methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and ethylene. When inhaled, these gases can result in a sense of euphoria; over time, the brain begins to suffer from oxygen depravation and hallucinations set in. This was almost certainly the source of the Oracle at Delphi’s visions, and very likely John of Patmos, too.

  15. 15

    Come on now, there’s no such things as basilisks. Let’s not take anything on faith here.

    Besides, they are hoarding all that money for our own good. They are saving us from all that money.

  16. 16
    Marcus Ranum

    Don’t cross your mythologies. It would be bad. Total photonic reversal. Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

  17. 17


    Good safety tip, there, Marcus.

  18. 18

    Oh. My. doG.

    Thanks for being back, Jen! And especially thanks for being Jen!


  19. 19

    Quick, we need to find a wizard and a goblin forged blade!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So, this is what passes for humour on these boards? Pathetic, Jen. Everyone knows that goblin goods are sup-par, warrantless, and made with slave labour. Dwarf gear on the other hand will outlast the moutains they were forged under. Consider Thorin and Company for your adventuring needs! Here’s what some of our satisfied customers had to say:

    “Oh yeah, once you go dwarf, your enemies go blorf. That’s the sound of a goblin head getting caved in by a huge mace fyi.”
    - Dain II, son of Nain.

    “Wait FUCK they have dwarven mail… abort! abort! Just fucking leg it!”
    - A goblin, attributed posthumously.

    THORIN AND COMPANY – squad to battlefield coverage.

  20. 20
    Joey Maloney

    “Your Holiness, did you hoard all this wealth?”

    “Hell, no, my redecessors whored most of it!”

    Thanks, I’m here, all weak.

  21. 21

    As a matter of fact, the basilisk as well as the basilica actually are etymologically related. Both words stem from the Old Greek word “basileus”, meaning “king”. While the mythological beast is named after the diminuitive form “basiliskos”, i.e. “little king”, the hall like building is named after the Latinized adjective “basilica” in “basilica domus”, i.e. “the kingly hall”, “the King’s Hall”. Obviously alread in ancient Greek and Roman times these halls had nothing to do with kings any longer, but the buildings served as useful places for public gatherings and all kinds of activities – markets, law proceedings etc. In the late ancient times, basilicae were used as churches and churches modelled on the architecture of basilicae with its oblong plan and the three naves. Basically, if you took the church towers away, the majority of churches would look like ancient basilicae – hence the name “St. Peter’s Basilica”.

    Did I mention that I love cultural history very much? :)

  22. 22

    @poxyhowzes: I agree, second and perhaps even third. Looking forward to seeing Jen at Darwain Day in the fair city of Seattle, but, alas, no basilisks. Or, shall I say, none I am aware of.

  23. 23

    You were getting too close to the truth and the Pope has resigned before the whole institution is outed as a pagan Basilisk worshipping cult!

  24. 24
    Christoph Burschka

    Apparently, the answer is: “The pope was saving up for his retirement fund.”

  25. 25

    The basilisk may be real, but most of the gold was collected as tithe from the elves.

  26. 26

    Wait a minute! Might the appearence of the gold in Rome be linked to the disappearence of leprechauns from Ireland in some way? I mean, the RCC has had a stronghold in Ireland since the sixth century, they have had time to pull off any shady deal with the naitves. Ponzi scheme, followed by using destitute leprechauns as indentured labor sold to the dwarves? The RCC is certainly callous enough.

  27. 27

    That’s explain it, Benny was eaten by the Basilisk and the catlick church is trying to cover it up by some made up story about him retiring.

  28. 28

    neleabels – Thanks for the background info on the root word basileus. It’s a very old word, from pre-post-literate Greece.

    I’ll throw in that a city may have many cathedrals, but only one basilica which is the primary cathedral.

    Interestingly, my dictionary gives word basilisk the same derivation, little king.

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