Byzantine Iron Rod


The Byzantine Empire


An iron rod with the seal of the empire on its end


It is always red hot and emits vinegar vapor


Quickly blinds anyone within close proximity


Always active

Collected by

Warehouse 5


Ancient Archives





Date of Collection

813 AD


Origin Edit

For the Byzantines, the Emperor is a reflection of divine authority. Because God was perfect, his reflection on earth must be perfect as well. Therefore, the Byzantine Emperor must have an unblemished body, especially the face. Any scaring or disfigurement would disqualify someone from taking the throne. The Emperors would mutilate his political rivals to prevent them from taking the throne, most often by cutting the nose. But Emperor Justinian II Rhinotmetos (the Slit-nosed) managed to become the Emperor despite his disfigurement. After Justinian II, political rivals were blinded or castrated instead of the more merciful nose cutting.

An example of this is when Emperor Basil II won against the Bulgarians at Kleidon. He arranged the captured Bulgarians into groups of one hundred and blinded 99 of them while leaving one with one eye to lead them home. It is said that when Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria saw his blind soldiers he died of a heart attack. The most common method to blind people was to use a red hot iron, pour vinegar on said iron and putting the iron next to the persons eyes. The vinegar vapor would then corrode the corneas.

This particular iron was used for generations by the Byzantine Emperors. Due to the iron being used so often it became an artifact.

Collection Edit

The Warehouse has known about the existence of this artifact since the day the Warehouse was moved to Constantinople. The Warehouse let the Emperors to keep and use the iron at the Imperial Palace. With Iconoclasm on the rise, the Regents planned to move the warehouse elsewhere. On the final day of the Warehouses presence in the Byzantine Empire, an agent sneaked in to the Imperial Palace, collected the rod and left the city with the last batch of artifacts.

For safety purposes, Agents are not to remove the rod from the protective glass casing or to move the rod to a shelf other than the most bottom shelf.

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