Glass of Preserved Beauty Item in Tremanac | World Anvil

Glass of Preserved Beauty

The frame of this silver hand mirror is set with 3 blue gemstones and the handle is made from ivory. Despite it's age the image reflected it in remains crystal clear.   The mirror was originally owned by Countess Faria Eleway who lived in the northwest of the Holy Kingdom of Caresnas. The Countess was renowned as a great beauty and this mirror was supposedly given to her by an admirer. It was not long after receving the mirror that the countess' servants began to notice that the mirror never left the countess' side and that she would almost constantly be checking her appearance in it.
Though joy and hope she did lack.
Years on end she kept the pact,
Friends and lovers came and went.
On grieving, no time was spent.
As time went on, changes were noticed in the countess' behaviour. She lost her appetite and was more easily irritable than before. The two things that didn't change were her appearance and her constant need to check how she looked in the mirror.
  At first some thought she may have been turned into a vampire, but she was frequently seen out during the day, and a discreet query with the local temple confirmed she had not been turned. Despite this the servants were still concerned and kept a close watch om her.
Through their careful observations it became clear to the servants that the countess wasn't sleeping at all. Instead she would sit up all night, sometimes reading, other times just looking out the window, but always with the mirror by her side so she could frequently look into it.
In glass she glances every hour,
Living only by it’s power.
Should she fail to look anew,
Time will then demand it’s due.
  As the years passed more than just the servants became concerned about the lack of change in the countess' appearance. Much could be done with cosmetics and magic, but there began to be rumours that she may have elven blood.   War with the Ancient Kingdom of the Forest was an ever present threat so these rumours forced the king to summon Faria to Shaon. It was there that the truth of the mirror was revealed. A sliver of Faria's soul had been placed in the mirror which allowed her to constantly return her body to the state it had been in when the sliver was stored there.   The mirror was taken from Faria and she was imprisoned for the crime of consorting with dark powers. The intention had been to question Faria to learn where the mirror truly came from but within several hours of the mirror being taken Faria began to age rapidly. Magical healing had no effect and while there was an attempt to bring the mirror back to her, this took too long and she passed away.   The mirror was locked away for decades and forgotten about undtil it was discovered by a maid in the castle, Lucia of Ashbridge, looking for ways to supplement her income. Originally planning to just sell the mirror, Lucia was surprised when a face other than her own appeared in the mirror and offered to help her. With the mirror's advice Lucia managed to improve her situation dramatically, marrying into the nobility.   The mirror was passed down to Lucia's descendents until it reached the hands of her great-granddaughter, Julia. Julia was a beauty in her own right and when she tried to use the mirror like her predecessors the face in the mirror revealed it's darker nature and tried to possses her. Fortunately Julia was training as a mage and had developed an iron will. After fighting off the mirror's assault she contacted the temple to have them deal with it. But the mirror had other plans and lured one of the family maids into stealing it away with promises of eternal youth and beauty.   The mirror lived up to it's end of the bargain by having it's new owner repeat the ritual to store a sliver of her soul in the mirror. Moving to the Empire of Dalthion this new owner changed her name to Corellia Varell and made use of her looks and the mirror's advice to gain a comfortable life. Corellia had relatively simple tastes which frustrated the mirror, so it betrayed her by persuading a new victim to steal it way. Within hours Corellia died of what looked like old age.   The mirror has continued this pattern of luring in people with promises of eternal beauy, always seeking to place itself in the midst of power and luxury. When it finds someone of great beauty it attempts to posses them as Faria and the others who placed pieces of their soul in it seek to return to life. At times it has suceeded, but since the mirror can't posses someone and maintain their looks at the same time it has generally abandoned these victims as they age.   Despite being considered an object of evil by many, it has survived by being useful. The mirror has centuries of knowledge and experience with those in power making it an asset to any seeking to raise their status. It is also highly skilled at finding those people who will help to keep it from being destroyed.
This was written for Spooktober 2022 for the Mirror prompt. Other Spooktober articles can be found in the Tremanac Spooktober 2022 page.
Item type
Only those with great beauty have anything to directly fear from this mirror. To those of plain appearance the mirror can be a source of advice, though care is needed as the mirror acts for itself and has betrayed many previous owners.   Those the mirror thinks are attractive are at the greatest risk as it will either try to presuade them to store a part of their soul in it or try to possess them. Neither ends well.
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Cover image: Moonlit Hill by Tanai Cuinsear


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