Story for the Day: Adiethian Gold
Adieth was the predeceasing Empire that gave rise to Marridon. It was a glorious kingdom on the Easter Continent that died out after the Great War. Many Adiethians who abandoned their god quit the continent and traveled west across the sea, and when they landed, they established Marridon, or Marradryn as it is known in Old Common, the land of the godless. They began their journey into the wonders of science and left behind all notion of magic, but the treasures they brought with them from the East endure in the houses of those who still keep to the old ways. Adiethian gold is said to have magical properties, though the scientifically inclined cannot find any proof of this. The amber tinged gold is purported to bring luck to those who keep it with them at all times. Perhaps that is why Danaco's luck never seems to run out.
“I have never been surrounded by such peers. I am really quite oppressed,” Danaco breathed,in a thrill of ecstasy, giving each item around him its due consideration. “Absolutely exquisite. I would give worlds to take these stunning ornaments off your hands. Were I a wizard, I should find a spell to translocation your sitting room entire on my ship. Do make me your heir-at-law, that I might be so fortunate as to be a caretaker of these beautiful treasures.”
“Point of fact, Captain,” said the wizard, his beard curling in a grin.
He reached toward one of the adjacent shelves, and from one of the higher ledges, he pulled down a small box, unfurnished and unremarkable, held together with a velvet band. The velvet was pulled aside, the box was placed on the table and was opened, and with a demure inflection, the wizard turned it toward the captain, watching and waiting for his reaction with private delight.
“Something by way of a reward for your services, Captain,” said the wizard, rocking on his toes. “I know your love for the Empire Era and how much respect you have for Adiethian culture of our forebears. I believe that whomever the lady was who possessed this treasure should like very much for you to have it.”
Danaco peered into the box, and nestled in the folds of gossamer packing was a golden earring, its wide band well burnished, its loop smooth and perfectly worked. It sat in a triumph of golden complacence, its arch begging to be touched. A hand unconsciously extended toward it, but Danaco’s mind soon roused from the charm of being allowed to see such an enthralling piece, and he took his hand from the box.
“Surely, Master Wizard,” he exclaimed, his hand on his chest, “you cannot mean to give this to me.”
“I believe I do, Captain.”
“Indeed, you cannot mean it. It is a prize from your most venerated collection!”
“One that you should have, Captain,” the wizard professed. “It is one of a set, and the second one was never found. It does have tremendous value, of course, but I should rather have both together, if I can.” He carefully took the earring from the box and held it up to the light. “Real Adiethian gold, Captain,” he whispered, in a tone of wonder. “No wooden inlay, no false clasps, you see— only solid gold, and quite heavy really for such a thin hoop.”
He weighed the earring in his hand and gave it over to Danaco, who welcomed it with the affection of a true disciple, his eyes wide, his aspect rapt in tremulous fascination.
“Oh, is not she lovely!” Danaco avowed, holding the earring by its clasp. “Only look how she pageants herself! That aurulent tinge is absolutely -- have you ever seen such an colour, sir? Oh, she is radient! I am absolutely dissipated, my friend. Even cradling her in my hand gives me such pleasure unconscionable. But, surely, sir, you ought to keep her. She is your rightful property. She has been with you this long while. I should be taking a daughter from you—and she has so many friends here--”
“I insist, Captain,” said the wizard, putting a hand on Danaco’s shoulder. “You know how to care for precious things better than anybody, and I have no doubt that you will give this piece an exemplary home.”
Danaco pressed the earring to his cheek and fondled it. “You will tease me,” he purred, nuzzling it. “But she is worth a monstrous large fortune, sir.”
“One I know you don’t care for, Captain. All your interest is honouring and preserving our national history, and as you make your life one of travel, Captain, perhaps her pair will eventually find you. You have the Luck of Myrellenos with you, and an earring like that is of little use to me sitting here alone.”
Danaco playfully hushed him. “How you injure her feelings, master wizard! He did not really mean it, my beautiful bauble,” he murmured, caressing the earring. “There are many antique friends aboard my ship you might sit down to tea with. How eager they shall be to have a dalliance with you, my cosset, but you must be a lady and never mind them. They can never equal your splendour. Suppose, sir, I never do find her pair, sir. She shall be a widow forever.”
“She will have you for company, Captain, and I have no qualms about your keeping her safe. Please do take it and say no more about it. I cannot thank you enough for returning my staff. Indeed, an earring, even one from the Empire Era, seems a mere trifle compared to the importance of this piece,” said the wizard, holding it up to the light.“It is the prize of my collection, and one I should never be without, if I could somehow forgo the nonsense of aging, as you do, Captain, but I do little these days other than sell my potions and get on with dying.”
To read the rest of the story, join our Patreon campaign HERE, and receive our next novella at the end of the month,