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For Simple Vanity by NightsongWS For Simple Vanity by NightsongWS
Created for the January 2013 "Mirror, Mirror" Story Challenge at RuntimeDNA.
For this challenge, all participants had to create a story and image to go with it.  Whichever came first didn't matter so long as both were included. :D  The Master's Twist this month stated that Master's Level participants had to center both their story and image around a mirror.


Evil queens are not born. They are made.

The sharp thump of a heavy object settling onto the carpeted stone floors of the room announced the mirror's arrival, its former bearers grunting slightly as they gently eased it into place before a blank stretch of wall. With a bow, they then left, leaving the door to her room open behind them.

She rose to her feet quickly, ignoring the chill breeze caused by her heavy, ivory-hued skirts sweeping in a broad circle around her ankles, and walked swiftly toward the reflective oval set into an ornate metallic frame. Gazing at it through narrowed eyes, she picked critically at the details. Golden foil that had all but worn away to reveal the copper underneath. Roughly hewn ironwork, once meticulously painted with gold, now starting to flake and reveal a patchy, gritty layer underneath. A heavy, cumbersome stand that was sure to trip her every time she walked past it.

Only the glass of the mirror looked still new, reflecting each of the details of the room with the purest, crystal clear detail.

She kicked at the stand experimentally with one silken-slippered foot. With a scowl, she retreated back a few paces to survey the room. Mirrors of all shapes and sizes twinkled back to her, sending bright, dizzying washes of colors across the walls as the candles bobbed and flickered with the wind of her passage. Although the room was but dimly lit by candlelight, this was more than enough to cause the polished silver, glass, and nickel to glint and dance with bright points of reflected fire. Only the wall behind the newest addition remained bare, its position one of prominence in a room furnished with a king's ransom of glittering glass and gold.

Glancing down, she pursed her lips slightly as she looked into the hand mirror she always carried with her. Her favorite possession, it was ever a reach away. Her reflection, gilded slightly by the golden cast to the mirror's glass, shone back at her, causing her to smile. She stroked the mirror slightly with her free hand, her fingers caressing a well-worn path across a back studded with priceless diamonds and rubys.

With a sigh, she then looked up and steeled herself for the inevitable task: seeing if this mirror truly was all the merchant claimed, the most clear, truthful mirror in all the world that would ever speak to her of her beauty and grace. So many merchants had claimed this but every mirror was just the same as the last. Those of the best workmanship remained to grace her walls, while the rest she callously threw out her window to shatter on the cobblestones below.

Her reflection looked back at her, softly lit by a halo of candlelight, showing skin clear of imperfections, glowing waves of bright gold hair, and the finest laces of the land hugging her lithe, gently curvaceous body.

Musing slightly to herself that this mirror, while beautiful, was nothing more than a curiosity, she absentmindedly chanted a child's rhyme to herself.

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"

A chill swept through her, sending icy prickles through her veins. She froze in shock, staring at the antique mirror before her as her reflection shuddered and faded, to be replaced by that of an ancient tree. She turned her head, starting to call out for the guard ever outside her door, but the door to her room abruptly slammed shut. It locked with an audible click. Glass burst in shards around her in the moment the door closed, but she didn't even have time to shield her eyes before she felt a taloned hand gripped her by the throat. She pulled back, pushing futily against the mirror's frame, but the hand held her fast and prevented her escape.

Stepping forward, an eldritch woman stood before the gnarled, twisting tree and looked over the vain princess with the same critical gaze that the young woman had bestowed upon her mirrors.

"Yes... you'll do nicely," she whispered in a sibilant voice. "We need new life. You will bring them to us. Bring them all...."

"And, together, we shall live forever."

The young princess sighed and closed her eyes, feeling herself falling, down, through the floors of the castle, through a vast and empty darkness, though her body stayed upright in the dryad's hold. Her mind receded to a single point, and she felt herself lost in the ringing silence.

* * *

An eternity later, she blinked and startled awake. Standing before the mirror, she saw only her reflection looking back at her.

She shook her head at the folly of daydreams, and arranged her black silk skirts neatly around her before setting off for a walk through the castle. A new, young guardsman with a charming smile had recently been posted to the far end of the barracks stables and, she thought to herself, she'd pay him a visit.

She walked from the door, absent-mindedly brushing traces of soot and dust from her skirt. Her hand mirror, its glass cracked and blackened, was left, forgotten, on the floor.


Oh, boy. Where to begin?

It's late, I only gave myself a few days to work on this, and I didn't get in -half- of the things I wanted to. But it's in on time!!! I'm -definitely- going to stop and rework this one to finish it properly!

Products Used:
Room: Sage Babylon, Dream Home: Great Room Details, Great Room Details Eclectic, Sage Babylon Expansion, Victorian Circus Hoops, Timeless Reflections Vanity, V4 MFD Expansion: Wonderland (hand mirror), Ron's Smoke, Ron's Angel Dust, Ron's Bokeh.

Inner Mirror:
DesignFera Gothic Trees, V4, V4 Creature Creator Morphs, Forest Dryad, Medusa, Warrior Maiden Braith, Wynter Hair, Wyntertide.

V4, Christine Hair, VI: Jester, Princess Alex, Evening Star Dress, VI: Underpinnings, Catarina Dress (materials), Celtic Delight, Fae Realm (slippers), Modern Muses: Bastienne (SSS added).

If I missed anything, drop me a note and I'll track it down to add to the list. :)
Add a Comment:
spartiAtes Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013
Wonderful work!!!
yphirendi Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013
The light is just amazing !
armieri Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013
Excellent render
Ikke46 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
Wow, gorgious scene !! :nod:
Mirriejam Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
Beautiful :)
Kachinadoll Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Beautiful! :iconifeelfluffyplz:
AOGRAI Featured By Owner May 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Would it have been better if the dryad's hand were to actually gripping her neck? The thumb? Nonetheless, an exquisite piece of work. And the concept is truly imaginative. Nice....
NightsongWS Featured By Owner May 26, 2013   Digital Artist
Not -too- imaginative. LOL! I was inspired by my own favorite set of twisted fairy tales. It wasn't like this, but the general idea of pairing mythologies was similar. This is one I -definitely- still want to go back and add to, though, so thank you for the feedback!!!
AOGRAI Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No it was really well done, you should not be too harsh on yourself. ;)
medllusion Featured By Owner May 25, 2013
Odilicious Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great concept and render!
tats2 Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
NightsongWS Featured By Owner May 24, 2013   Digital Artist
Thanks!! :D
MidnightDsignedStock Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
THIS IS FREAKING AWESOME.. how did you do this?
NightsongWS Featured By Owner May 24, 2013   Digital Artist
A whole lot of patience. :D Thanks!!!
deviney Featured By Owner May 24, 2013
this is FANTASTIC! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NightsongWS Featured By Owner May 24, 2013   Digital Artist
Only due to your brushes!!!! HUGS! You know I love those brushes, they set us all free to make the stories in our minds!!!
mhgraphx01 Featured By Owner May 24, 2013
That is awesome! Well done.
NightsongWS Featured By Owner May 24, 2013   Digital Artist
Aeon--Soul Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Professional General Artist
Awesome work!
NightsongWS Featured By Owner May 24, 2013   Digital Artist
Thanks!!! :D
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
May 24, 2013
Image Size
209 KB


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