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The item grants wishes when a person holds it and says a phrase "I wish..." followed by their desire. The item also hates lack of variety and will actively bend odds of things happening so that it is lost or misplaced.

Now, what would be a good strategy to locate and reclaim the item after you know it exists and it just slipped out of your hands?

The catch: The wishes are granted in such a way that everyone apart from those who hear the wish has their memory altered to believe the effects of the wish have always been the actual state of reality.

Note: The question assumes no preparation while before the item is lost. Let's consider only actions one can take after the fact.

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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately this question is very broad. Without knowing how the magic item got lost, or any properties about it that would help with finding it, us trying to come up with a plan to find it is rather futile. $\endgroup$ – Anketam Nov 1 '16 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ So this item would naturally gravitate to "Lost & Found" centers? They may lose it but it's the one place it will always somehow return to. X3 Can you open a lost and found? $\endgroup$ – Tezra Nov 1 '16 at 12:26
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    $\begingroup$ Ah, Sauron's little-discussed, first attempt at creating the One Ring. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Nov 1 '16 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ I wish to have everything that I have ever desire to appears before me! $\endgroup$ – user6760 Nov 1 '16 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ Added one more reclamation point to mine. Asking nicely for it back! LOL. $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Nov 1 '16 at 14:22
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Sounds like a good reason for your character(s) to

Go on a fun-filled quest through the magical world you have built in search of the macguffin!

Alternatively, if what the item likes is variety, simply make sure you're the most interesting person in the world and it will find its way back to you. Or hey, over the course of the fun-filled quest, shape your previously boring characters into the most interesting people in the world and have the macguffin return to them. Moral of the story? If you try really hard and put yourself out there, all your dreams will come true!

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How does anyone find anything that they've lost? This can be shockingly mundane, but still an exciting search.

How to Find said Item

Step 1--Try to recall the last time you remember having it. (Did I leave the club with it? Yes. Ok, everything AFTER the club)

Step 2--Retrace your steps. Work backwards from where you are. Did you take a cab? Call the cab company. Maybe you even remember the name of the driver. If you keep bugging them and learn that your cabbie suddenly won the lottery or perhaps something stranger, then you might trace it back to him--and then track him down, and find that he has lost it as well. You might convince him to retrace HIS steps along with you, with the idea that you'll share the artifact. Who knows!? The possibilities are endless.

Step 3--Should you not find it by retracing your steps, asking questions of people nearby (or of the cab company) may supply you with leads. If not, there's always the newspaper/news. If you learn of something that "fits the profile" for the item being used, you may be able to trace it that way.

How to reclaim the item

I think that any sufficiently motivated person who understood what it could do would use the above steps. The current owner may actually be plagued by the former owner, or even by several owners past who have joined forces to reclaim what has been cruelly dashed from their hands. Or they haven't joined forces and are all wanting it back and are at cross purposes.

Reclaiming the item could take a number of routes.

1--Stealing it back.

2--Taking it by force. With or without killing the current owner.

3--Using legal means

4--nicely asking for it back because the person doesn't yet know what they have.

Number 3 is unlikely because of how quickly it passes on, however, if the individual is powerful enough (perhaps because of previous wishes) they might employ a staff for retrieval AND use the system to their advantage.

Someone who has been chasing the object for a long time may actually have an idea of how and why it works, because they have studied it, tracing it back through multiple owners. Greed doesn't have to be the motivator--the person can just be intrigued by the pattern and might share the information with all the others who have lost it. ("Let's form a Monkey's Paw Club! I can do the newsletter! My uncle once had it, and he died a broken man. It's fascinating! Look! I have a map of the globe with possible sightings through the ages!")

All in all I would absolutely say that is NOT a problem. It's an Opportunity for so very much fun for the reader! Rich with possibilities.

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I wish you were mine until my dying breath

Or is that a bit too simple?

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  • $\begingroup$ problem is you cant make the wish not to lose it, since you have already lost it when you realize that the magic item likes to change owners. $\endgroup$ – Anketam Nov 1 '16 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ - Firstly, the question is about how one can go about finding it once it's lost (so can't wish anything before the fact). Secondly, this wish has such a clear way in which it can go wrong (the item gets bored and wants to change owner? Why not make its current one fall under a bus?) $\endgroup$ – Sanuuu Nov 1 '16 at 10:51
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, Pete, you're dead -- or soon will be. Your dying breath may come sooner that you expect especially the magic item fills wishes in its own whimsical fashion. $\endgroup$ – a4android Nov 1 '16 at 11:38
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    $\begingroup$ Assuming you've lost it once or twice, and found it again, then perhaps wishing it never gets lost again would be the sensible way to go. $\endgroup$ – a4android Nov 1 '16 at 12:03
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    $\begingroup$ @ErinThursby And the other half is? $\endgroup$ – a4android Nov 2 '16 at 12:16
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Depends on how it slipped out of your hands, and does it emit anything that would help it stick out. For example if it was radioactive that would help with locating it.

If it decided to jump off a bridge into a river and float out into the ocean, good luck on trying to find it.

If it caused a person to envy the magic item to the point they stole it, then be practical and call the police and report a stolen shiny object. Let them perform standard police forensics to figure out who stole it and try to recover it for you before it goes seeking a third owner.

Once you get it back you can make a wish that it would never leave you.

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Your best bet is probably to attract it back to you. Become someone who people would wish to be with, however you can. Focus on being interesting, not just great. Be someone people want to meet, not someone people want to be. Don't let anyone know that you know about the wish-granter. Opportunistically search your acquaintances, even your oldest friends(memory altering) for the wish-granter.

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