Key pendant by arianhwyvar of Silver Owl Creations.
Brass tone skeleton key, vintage bronze enameled copper wire, antiqued brass chain, goldtone bead cage, topaz swarovski crystals, citrine, opal swarovski crystal, freshwater pearls, red fire polished beads. 4" long including the bail; the cage and the top of the key are each approx. 3/4" across. Will come with an antiqued bronze steel cable chain with an antiqued brass lobster clasp, 20" long, fully adjustable.
In fact, let's say if the bidding goes over $50, the pendant will instead come with a nicer antique brass rollo chain, adjustable between 15" and 20"
(If you look close, there's an opal swarovski crystal hanging inside the cage. And I can't help but think of the pearls and red gems running along nearby like a rescue party, just waiting to jump in.)
Click here to bid!
It is the way of kings to shower their queens with gifts; it is the way of queens to develop fondnesses, hobbies, collections. And so the master jeweler and I, his apprentice, noticed a pattern in the requests coming from the castle.
The new-wed queen wanted cages.
Jeweled cages, cages of gold and silver, copper and brass; cages set with rubies and garnets like blood fresh and spilled, set with emeralds like leaves in summer. Every three months, like clockwork. She would request a cage, we would spend two months crafting it - for the cages were ornate, fanciful, each one different and more elaborate than the last - my master would deliver it, and a month later she would request a new one.
"Why cages?" I asked my master. "Why so many?"
He barked out a laugh, short and unpleasant. "How should I know how royal minds work? Ask her yourself."
So I did. When the new cage was finished (topaz and citrine like the sun), I brought it to her myself. I climbed the winding stairs to her tower, claustrophobic in cold rough stone, and knocked hesitantly on her door.
"Come in," she said softly.
I opened the door.
Oh, we had made so many cages! They hung from the high ceiling, sat on shelves, on windowsills. I gasped at the sight of them, glittering in the sunset, and it was a moment before I noticed the queen. She sat before the window, nearly blending into the wall in her simple dove-grey gown. Her lips quirked in a slight smile at my dumbstruck expression. "May I?" she asked, reaching one hand toward me, toward the golden cage, and catching the opal that slid from her lips with the other, setting it in her lap. As I handed her the cage, I saw the way her gown sagged from the weight of opals. They flashed, milky and bright all at once. I marveled at this, her fairy gift and the source of our kingdom's new wealth.
She cleared her throat gently.
"Ah! Oh - I'm sorry! I have never seen so many. I - I have never seen you." For she was as beautiful as her opals - no, more so.
She smiled as she examined the cage. "Most haven't. Your king keeps me here. To keep me safe, he says. Safe from the commoners who would mob me for my opals." The opals fell gently as she spoke, clinking into her lap. "Would you do such a thing? Would your family?"
"Of course not!"
She nodded, latching the small door, her fingers trailing down metal curls.
I screwed up my courage. "Your majesty? Why cages?"
She half-smiled again and raised a hand. My gaze followed hers - her room, her small study, a circle of stone, circumscribed by bands of iron. I looked back down at her, and she inclined an eyebrow. I flushed, understanding.
I bowed my head. "I-"
"Sapphire next, please," she interrupted, looking steadfastly out the too-small window, at the dying light. "Like the sky. Tell your master."
"Yes, your majesty."
She looked down. "Thank you," she said quietly. She caught the opal that fell from her lips, patted it dry, and pressed it into my hand - still warm, bright and iridescent and veiled. I bowed to her, and I left.
And to my shame, I have never returned.
With this post, Blogathon is half over! Team Venture burst into applause at this news.
How to feed blogathonners, by emilytheslayer.
Team Venture is singing "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego". The couch contingent is making up a secret handshake.