- "“Last winter, I found a block of ice floating in the sea. It was cold and all, but it wasn’t cold enough not to melt that thing. So I watched it while I smoked my pipe. And then the strangest thing happened. It suddenly came to shore, as if someone pushed it. I clambered down the rocks to see what it was, and to my surprise there was no sign of the ice. Instead I found this here statue. See, it’s green and smooth. Sort of looks like a naked girl. So you say you want to buy it? For heaven’s sake, why? It’s just a piece of junk. Nah, I think I’ll keep it. Hey, there’s no cause to draw a knife...Hey...Help!"
- —Guier Vanderhoff, Fisherman
The Jade Idol of Nuln is an attractive statuette that depicts an androgynous figure standing with one arm covering the chest and the other covering the groin. Made from smooth jade, it is an exquisite piece of art. But there’s something more to this idol, something far more wicked than its appearance would suggest.[1a]
Believed to have been brought to the Empire from distant Cathay, the Jade Idol first appeared in the marketplace of Averheim amidst a slew of other oddities, some merely decorative, others reputed to have magic. Tuergis the Fat, a foul Burgher who was known for his obsession with young men, found the form appealing and strangely seductive, so he purchased it. He placed it on his mantle, and it became the topic of many conversations at his sordid parties. More and more he found himself drawn to its unusual form, running his hands over the smooth stone, and as he did, darker imaginings surfaced in his mind. In time, he found his tastes in lovers were changing, gradually moving from the decadent to the perverse. Luckily for Tuergis, he was wise enough to sell the item before it could get a better hold on him. The Jade Idol drifted from owner to owner until it wound up in Nuln in the personal collection of Count Romanov, who had interest in such items as The Blessed Ones by Hals. Like Tuergis before him, he found the statue appealing, but instead of fleeing the evil impulses, he embraced them. He placed the statue in a bowl of blood, pleased by the strange aromas that wafted from the stone. He breathed them deeply, and they fired his imagination with disgusting images of physical pleasures. Before Romanov could truly unlock his secrets, he fell victim to his greed and died. His home burned down, destroying all of the contents of his home. The Jade Idol, whilst presumed destroyed, is still around, although who owns it, and where, remains unknown.[1a]