What treasure is this?!?

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I am running an opening session in a world similar to the Chris Perkins world Iomandra. It's a world of islands run by A Dragonborn Empire. There is a core set of islands and an outter rim where the empire doesn't hold a lot of away and the pirates, bandits, and smugglers make it a dangerous place to live.

On a small island with little to trade and little action the party comes together.

The Dragonborn Empire has cornered a pirate ship that has hidden in a cave in the harbor outside of town. There are pirates scouting some old ruins out of town and some setting up a cannon on a hidden bluff to ambush the empire ships.

The pirates kidnapped a prisoner from the nearby prison island because he is the key to finding a treasure on the island. Too bad he is in an empire prison for being a political terrorist to the empire. That has their attention.

The town is mostly oblivious to this all. It's a cause for conversation that there are empire ships blockading the harbor but little trade comes and goes anyway. They would rather it all just blew over.

The party though discovers the pirates and what they are up to. Treasure on their home island. That belongs to us they cheer.

So I have the npcs, the encounters, the monsters etc. but what is the treasure?

I was going to make it dragon eggs that can explode but meh...

I want a treasure that the party will say "holy crap!". As in that's a tremendously clever,unique idea. I can see why the pirates were after it. Rather than gold and jewels I want a treasure that grabs them and tosses them onto the next adventure.

Any ideas?
    Any treasure that will cause the party to say "holy crap!" is something to be kept out of the hands of the party.
    Of course, you don't have to physically take it away from them.  Just making it impossible to use in the broken manner they would want. 
    One idea:  If the next adventure is going to be a quite different location, the device is a mass teleporter, able to take the party anywhere no matter what distance and despite any defenses.  But...
    Shortly after the party discovers this and realizes how useful this could be [teleport into vault, loot, and leave], the empire and/or the pirates will arrive in force, leaving the party no choice but to jump into the teleport and port away.  When they arrive at whereever, they find the teleporter is out of gas, and they have no idea where to find more [or rather just enought idea to be led into the next adventure.]  If they were going to someplace you didn't want them, the rush caused them to mistake the direction, or a pursuing soldier managed to break a part which caused them to go off course or...
     The epic level item will continue to misfire in various ways until the party is epic level.
Dragon eggs that they can hatch if they want to (suggest that if they want to keep them, they take the Fey Beast Tamer theme, reflavoured, or the Moteborn theme, similarly reflavoured), and which will later grow into mounts (pact dragons, for instance) at which point they give up the theme for a different one, and gain a nice mount.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
You could include thingamajigs (Dragon 410). Basically  future tech stuff that ends up in D&D and is very fragile/prone to epic failure.
They are till lower heroic tier and like the Perkins world has dragons as the overlords so I am bit hesitant to give them hatching dragon eggs. that would blow their mind. 

I am not trying to outpace their powers with items but rather hook them into the setting as a cool and wondrous place. 

The thingamajigs article had some neat inspiration.  Some Tesla-esque steam punk style weapons or Eldrich machinery a la Eberron would be cool. So far I was going to have the treasure dropped a couple of times as an eavesdropped reference by the pirates as the Chest of Gold. And then have the party find the treasure on the wild and have them come over a ridge and see a long crashed airship with faded paint on the bow naming the ship the Chest of Gold.  The target for the pirates would be the stil intact  elemental components that would still be alive and more or less insane after the crash and long imprisonment.  

Other ideas

A huge dragon egg that binds a demon within.  It is to be used as a terror device.
An eldrich cannon that has sentience and would act as a NPC should the party try to mount it on a ship of their own. 

 
Consider making it something that has symbolic significance rather than being powerful, per se. It might not even be all that valuable in terms of material composition, but has some enormous cultural, national, or historical importance such that the pirates (and others, if they knew what/where it was) would absolutely want to get their hands on it.
Moved to House Rules & Homebrew per VCL request.
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