(1311-06-16) Charting Courses
Summary: A gift to mark the end of a year of tumult.
RL Date: 17/06/2019
Related: None.

Amongst the richer tributes received by the heiress of Chavaise upon the occasion of her 17th natality — from Mereliots near and far, aspiring suitors reckoning up the increase in her years, old friends of the Rose Sauvage who might once have celebrated with her — she'll notice at some time or another a crisply-folded square of heavy parchment addressed to her in her aunt Emmanuelle's hand, and sealed with the customary mandrake flower and keys pressed into purple wax.

The message within contrives despite its brevity to take up the better part of the page with bold strokes in purple ink so dark it appears black.

My dear Desarae,

You have charted your course well through this last, most arduous year of your life. I am hardly alone amongst your kin in finding myself replete with pleasure and pride to see you as you are now becoming, a true credit to your house.

May your natality usher in a year of good fortune and of joy.

Emmanuelle Shahrizai

Enclosed is a small pouch. Black velvet without and purple velvet within, its drawstring is a ribbon of golden silk pulled tight and then knotted loosely about the pouch's neck to keep it shut and its contents safe. It yields up to Desarae a narrow golden ring, a trifle thicker than is usual for a lady's finger. The collaboration of a master jeweller and a master astronomer, its circumference is engraved with the twelve houses of the Zodiac — with a tiny diamond substituting for the sign of her birth. Worn, it will remain closed; unworn, it unfolds at a touch into an impossibly dainty miniature Ptolemaic armillary sphere, composed of six delicate bands charting the courses of celestial bodies about an imaginary earth. The wearer is invited thus to picture herself as the still centre of a boundless universe of motion.

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