248: Sin of Vanity

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Dear Patrons,

Welcome to 2023, out with the old, into the New Year. Last year has been a little hectic and the updates have been pushed back somewhat but I still strive to catch up and post a couple more in quick succession. Although the pressure of writing may be a little heavy for the next few days so forgive me if I'm unable to post detailed recipes or short story narratives for a while until I recharge. However, who knows if a sudden bout of inspiration strikes me and a new story takes fruit, or an expansion to an older one. Now, however, you shouldn't be disappointed with this update as we delve into the world of fine antiques again along with some artworks and a short backstory. I hope you enjoy this iteration of an update and the stories that these images may evoke might spark stories within your own imaginations.

Bon app├ętit!

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I. VANITY (1 free color artwork, 1 full artwork with 2 variations of the same scene)

That is an interesting intaglio above the mirror. It feels like I've seen this before. What is it?

Some say it is a sigil of an ancient pagan God. We know him with other names. Pan. Osiris. Cernunnos. The Green Man. The seducer the naturalist. He who brings us from one world to the next. The one who is behind it all. He is a mercurial character. He is everything, he is nothing. He is life, and he is death.

And what about this mirror?

Oh, this Vanity's origin is still quite a mystery to us, even to the experts. It was definitely used by Hollywood royalty as far back as the Golden Era, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly... but we suspect even further back to the era of the stage and plays of the great Bard himself. Today, we lease this item for very special occasions to the rich and famous. 

It is nothing like I've ever seen before. The craftsmanship is remarkable.

And that is why it isn't for sale, in case you were wondering. None of the items that are located in this room are. 

Oh, that's a pity. Especially well, you know, if you know who I am, I have ways to get what I want.

Oh, yes sir. I know very well who you are, good sir. Everything you see here in this room is the master exhibit, only for show, and only available for purchase to a very select and exclusive group. Only the best kind. You, sir, are not a member... yet.

Oh. you hurt my feelings. Normally, my kind of people will take that the wrong way but I'm not like any other Hollywood producer. No, no. Is there a way to meet your employer or join your very exclusive group? I was invited by one who told me to come here and mention a certain phrase. 'Beyond the liminal veil, the Sacred Venus becomes a Hairless Doe'?

Ah. And the messenger?

The pair you call the Libertine and the Consort.

Yes. Good sir. I'll notify my employer regarding your interest regarding this antique Vanity to my employer. We'll be in touch.

-- the end? --

Alternate renderings & works in progress.

II. Works in Progress (1 shaded artwork + 2 black & white sketches)

The first is a pair, ready to be parted.

The second lies on a bed among her peers.

The third is a display of half the woman she used to be.

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