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The products of this fertile crafts-man’s imagination, are numerous and varied, bold testament to the legendary jeweler’s artistic design. Wrought of the finest white gold that can be mined, and inevitably adorned with a stunning profusion of elegantly-cut diamonds and rubies, these pieces of jewelry can lend a virtual radiance to their wearers.
Animal inspired designs seem to be a particular favorite of Rustof’s, with his famous panther and phoenix- shaped brooches being especially popular with the country’s wealthiest young women. And there are very few that can resist the urge to buy his famous serpent bracelets at first sight.
Hailing from the poor northern regions of the kingdom, the family of Rustof were among the many that fled to the capital, following the onset of a devastating famine that devastated the north in the fifteenth year of King Harold’s reign. Flocking to already overflowing slums of the capital Hagarin, they joined the desperate throngs of other refugees that battled the city-guards for passage into the he city as the latter attempted to turn back the hordes of famished peasants. King Harold, taking pity upon these destitute subjects of his, finally decreed that they be allowed in as legal migrants. A wise man like him eared the possibility of riois breaking out across the city, as many of the existing slum-dwellers were themselves the descendents of former migrants from the north.
However, the troubles plaguing the fate of Rustof’s family did not end with their arrival into the he city. Life was hard in the slums, and jobs scarce. The poverty confronting his family was further worsened by the fact that many of the city noble’s furious at having much of their domain overrun by a bunch of filthy, starving peasants, took their revenge by having their hirelings begin to extort an unofficial rent from the new-comers.
The family suffered so much from the extortions and beatings inflicted on them by the agents of various lords and ladies, that unable to endure it any longer, his father finally abandoned all his hope and hung himself.
At this point Rustof had his widowed mother would have probably starved, had it not been for the emergence of talent that Rustof never knew he possessed. A day came when one of their neighbors came tot heir house, wanting to know if they could somehow mend a chain that she had accidently damaged. This ancient bit of jewelery had been a gift from her deceased son, and it would upset her to no end if there was no one to repair it. Remebering the excellent repairs he had done on his some his father’s more delicate farm tools, Rustof offered to help her out in exchange fro for some coin. Somewhat fearful of the results that his efforts might bring about, he was amazed to learn how easily the snapped fragments came together in his hands. There was almost no effort involved, merely his innate talent working instinctively. It wasn’t long before his reputation spread out of the slums as servants brought to him the jewelry of their wealthy masters to be repaired. Soon his he and his mother had managed to bring a modest amount of comfort in their lives due tot he income he earned from fixing broken bits of jewelry. He became famous as the former refugee with a talent for fixing just about any bit of jewelry..
Word of this marvel soon reached the ears of one of the city’s most powerful individuals. Magus Shrkoth, famed for his powerful mastery of the magical arts, ah had once been himself part of an earlier wave of famished refugees that had flocked into the city decades ago as refugees loathed by the nobility. Rising to success on raw talent and the wisdom of a mage that had recognized the former urchin’s natural gifts, he was now a very wealthy and reknown figure,even if the resident nobility was quick to make clandestine jokes about his ‘‘peasant’’ back-ground. And now, as he hard beheld the wonders that an obscure slum-dweller by the name of Rustof had worked with a bracelet he had thought mangled beyond all recovery, he desired to give this man hailing from his home-region the same kind of essential support that he himself had received.
Awed awed when an emissary bearing the bold colors of the magus arrived at his modest tenement, bearing a formidable gold invitation, the bewildered young man left his home and arrived at the vast manse of the great man who had deigned to notice his existence. What could that great man want with someone as insignificant as me, wondered Rustof. As it turned out, the answer was his future. Meeting him personally at the great entrance of his home, the great mage wasted only a little time on small talk, before making his dramatic proposal. Would his young fellow-northerner be interested in being an apprentice to a professional jeweler? He had a a few contacts who would could make this very possible..
Thrilled out of his dreams, Rustof accepted. For the next few years, he toiled under a master goldsmith an and jeweler, learning all that could possibly be learned. Finally, after having mastered the fundamentals of his craft a he could he business, he left to start his own firm with some capital obtained from his benefactor.
In all this, Shrkoth’s aid was instrumental, with him even going so far as to get a glamorous and fashionable paramour of his to display the first pieces designed by Rustof at a grand ball thrown by some of the city nobility. Dazzled by the undeniable beauty of these master-pieces, the young socialites of the city found themselves yearning to dazzle onlookers the way the young woman did, drawing all eyes towards her..
Within a few years, Rustof became the most famous jeweler in the entire land. But is there more to the appeal of his marvelous designs than their considerable aesthetic beauty?
Unbeknown to the overly-groomed fans that greedily covet the fine works of Rustof , his master-pieces have actually been enchanted with a potent magic. As his final gift and contribution to Rustof, the mage gave him a set of expensive and highly specialized tools that were enchanted to never succumb to over-use.
But the jeweler was unaware that these instruments given to him by the great mage, woud actually grant any bands of jewelry of put together by them, an extremely subtle glamor. Giving the wearer of any of Rustof’s master-pieces the ability to command immediate attention from all on-lookers, especially those of the opposite sex, they go a great way to explaining the famous success of a former peasant refugee.
But the jewelry crafted by him also caries a much darker side.
A day before Rustof launched the grand opening of his jewelry work-shop, Shrkoth’s lover broke the news to him that she would be leaving him for a young noble-man. Wealthy though the mage was, he lacked the family connections and vast reserves of treasure that had been harvested from centuries of deprivation inflicted on the unfortunate peasants that had inhabited the fiefdom of the young man’s ancestors.
Filed with fury, the mage chose to put a slight twist tot he enchantment he had cast for his young friend..
If a young woman wears anything made by Rustof over a prolonged period, she begins to experience thoughts of assiting the poor and need in any way need be. Together with this new-found concern for the less fortunate, also comes a certain disdain for wealthy young emn that care nothing for the sufferings of the peasants that toil to so that they can continue to lavish ever more expensive gifts on the woment hey court.
These notions do not genuinely stem from the mind of the woman in question. Instead, they are but part of the same enchantment that makes her so alluring to al those handsome, wealthy young bachelors out there. Projected into her mind in such a gentle, non-intrusive way as they are, she has no reason to suspect that these previously unknown emotions are the result of a sinister manipulative force. Hardly a mind-control device.
But it is still quite capable of getting its way should gentle persuasion fail. Should the young woman decide to resist the gentle entreaties of the jewelery, it takes its revenge by ceasing the positive effects of the enchantment. But its vengeance does not end there.
Slowly, but surely, as romantic interest in its victim begins to wane, her mind becomes bombarded with sly suggestions that she is becoming physically repellent with every passing day. Paranoia takes over, and a futile quest begins to recapture the lost beauty she once possessed. At its worst, this could result in the young woman starving herself to death as she gets increasingly driven to loose her imaginary bloat.
But the enchantment is still somewhat merciful, for as anyone who musters enough strength put her vanity and obsession with rich young noblemen aside for a moment, and answer the call to do good with even the most discreet act, can tel you that the the enchantment will begin working in full swing again, ending a potentially self-destructive pattern of thought. Provided she continues the good work..