Acrylic Trail Cameras
Threat Level
Active Status
Other Names
Remote Viewers, Gold Screens, Peepers, Halvs, Paintin' Toms, Bob Ross CCTV

Description: Acrylic Trail Cameras are the most common colloquialism in the Society for a series of antique picture frames with a useful, highly aberrational remote viewing ability. Simpler English, they're used to monitor an area with no trace of video equipment or anything like that. If an aberrant is too smart for standard trail cameras, these things have no physical presence to warn an aberration. Useful for everything from tracking a target for an ambush down the valley, to having an IED ready to manually trigger.

Physically, these are lovely antique picture frames. Made of metal, enamel decorations, they come in different styles but all have the initials "E.H." on the back side of the lower edge.

These frames are totally useless without a very specific media. You must paint a scene with nearly absolute accuracy to an actual real life perspective, and slot it into the frame while the painting and its real perspective are still the same. Do it right and the painting will be "coupled" with the real perspective, and will update continuously, showing the perspective as if there was a CCTV camera there. Trees will blow in the wind, people or creatures passing into the view will be rendered in the same style and detail of the original painting, potentially with colors that weren't in the original painting.

I want to make it clear that these frames are only as useful as the quality of the original painting. The big limiting factor for the utility of this artifact is the relationship between image quality and actually coupling the damn things. Finely detailed paintings are hard to get sufficiently accurate, especially in a forest. Easier to couple with a vague painting, which is okay if you're only trying to track an aberrant's location, but not okay if the whole point is to find out what it looks like. A fuzzy watercolor splotch isn't useful for recon, or figuring out which head you should aim for.

You need a skilled, fast painter to make these things useful in the field. If you can, might be a good idea for an outfit's artist to not also be a trigger-puller. I should know; I was an art student when a Warder outfit in the area got their warrior-painter banged up by an aberration. Brother knew an uncle knew a friend, and I've been painting for those guys ever since. Saved me from unemployment.

This is getting long, so I'll save some specific tips and uses of these frames down in the notes below. Also, photographs don't work. You're not clever for being the thousandth guy to suggest trying that. If a guy in your outfit is sitting in the middle of the forest with an easel and a canvas, leave him alone and don't step on the leaves in front of him.

Background: Far as I've heard, all of these frames are the work of a single master craftsman. Mr. E Halvorsen, Norwegian fellow who lived in the mid 1800s. For a bit more detail, I'm going to hand this over to the Data Collection Center crew of New Haven, CT.

Side note, it's a tradition for Society painters to make a pilgrimage to Halverson's gravesite. I've done it.

Location and Population: We have no idea on how many of frames that are out there. No evidence on how long it took this one guy to make one nor how long he was actually active his craft.

Personally, I know of a dozen or so frames circulating around the Society. Seen three with my own eyes. Ownership of these things isn't codified or regulated; a few outfits, big and small, have one in their arsenals. Others are passed around regions to where they're needed, obviously New England has a few. I'm pretty sure a few fancy Warders have a frame passed down in their family's tradition, but a frame isn't something you go bragging about. Great Circle owns at least one, available for emergencies.

Government probably has one, or a hundred.

Hunting or Procurement Methods: These are pretty nice pieces of art in themselves, the frames. Norman likes how they look, so keep an eye out in antique shops and auctions and the like. I know some of you guys have a hobby with bits of Americana, so look for the "E.H." initials and generally outstanding craftsmanship. These frames have actually been flagged for acquisition by the Great Circle; you'll be fully reimbursed and extra, so buy them.

And if you see one hanging on a wall in some estate, pretend the art is wonderful and exquisite and get it. Art for some of you is the guts of an AR, but pretend for the Society's sake.

And if they insist on keeping the frame, they're probably not a Norman.

Encounter Logs: If you've got stories, contact the Seattle DCC and I'll add them to the archive. No actual videos, though - a lot of Warders are barely getting these pages on their phones in the field.

Additional Notes: A few extra notes, from my personal experiences.

  • These frames can sometimes work for indoor monitoring. It might be easier to "couple" the painting to reality without the wind messing with things, but if a spooky aberrant can watch you paint the hallway for an hour, they might work around it.
  • If you're using a frame as an ersatz cell camera for an aberrant, make sure the painting isn't just blank grey walls with three shades of grey. Put an object in there so whatever you're keeping locked up will be rendered clearly.
  • I haven't said this, but it's worth mentioning; any kind of painting will do. Example photo is watercolor, nickname is acrylic, oils work too. Sketches won't work, though.

If you've got more to add, again, contact the Seattle DCC. Written by Warder Gierson.


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