Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Blue Rose

Faraban carefully unwrapped the silk to expose a vibrant blue rose nestled within the folds. He held it up and twirled the thornless stem. “An impossible flower for an impossible beauty. The blue rose, a symbol of my house since ancient times."
- from Mayfly Requiem by Courtney M. Privett

The blue rose does not occur in nature. White roses can be dyed blue and a blue color can be obtained through genetic modification, but there are no natural blue roses. Still, there is cultural significance associated with this impossible flower. Some cultures utilize the blue rose as a symbol for royalty, or for fantasy and impossibility. It signifies unattainable love in Chinese folklore.

In the Malora Octet, the blue rose is part of the heraldry of the corrupt Eryaucra dynasty. The flower was selectively bred over centuries and was only grown in the gardens of the Lunamar palace. In Mayfly Requiem, Faraban uses an Eryaucra Blue to propose to his intended bride. The symbol is seen on both his clothing and his banners. It is not as prominent in the Echoes of Oblivion trilogy because Faraban's son, Rastaban, is not fond of tradition and chooses to disregard many of the old symbols. The rose is still present in the kingdom of Ganebra, but it no longer has the significance it did to Faraban.

The blue rose has decided to make a reappearance in Arrow of Entropy, which is why I'm revisiting it now. The metalsmith Catta Metavanya forges a suit of armor for the narrator, Zella Thula. The armor is decorated with scrollwork and blue roses. This causes some distress to the book's deuteragonist, who is quite familiar with the ancient symbolism even though it has been long-forgotten by everyone else. Zella later comes into possession of a blue rose necklace, the design of which was inspired by her armor.

Below is Zella's necklace, which I made this afternoon. Each component of it ends up being significant to her story -- the blue rose, the pair of bees, and the eight larger beads that separate the smaller ones. I'm 20,000 words into writing this book now, so you'll have to wait a little longer to find out just how the blue rose and this necklace play into her life.

Visual reference I made for Zella Thula's necklace (Arrow of Entropy).

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