Erabella sighed as her husband paced his bedchamber, searching everywhere and mumbling, “I just can’t find it!” She walked over and gently put her hand on his shoulder. “My love, please, you have so many others you could wear instead. Why this one?” He turned abruptly to face her. “Because, darling, this codpiece is the biggest, and combined with these, my tightest pants, it is even more impressive. And therefore, I am more impressive! A king is only as powerful as his codpiece, you know that.” She threw up her hands. “Fine, then I’ll explain to the royal counselors why you are late, yet again, and I’ll go handle the state business myself.” “Great, great, that’s fine. I have to find a new girl to lure into the labyrinth anyway, since we’re now down a goblin for my army.” Erabella rolled her eyes. “For the last time, we have an army of ACTUAL PEOPLE, why do you need your own goblin army? And so many puppets, too! You’re a king with magic powers, and with far more important responsibilities. Why do you waste so much time on these things?” But he didn’t answer, just kept searching his chamber for the codpiece, muttering to himself about the time. She turned and strode out of the room. The kingdom still had to be run by somebody.
She grumbled to herself on the long walk down to the council room, where the counselors were likely gossiping and complaining about their tardiness. Technically, she wasn’t even supposed to be involved in state matters. Her role was traditionally one of artifice and childbirth, putting on a happy face while birthing as many (male) children as possible. But she was clever enough to not get pregnant, and her husband was more concerned with creating goblins and playing with puppets than he was with creating heirs. Erabella stopped at an impossibly large, gold-gilt-framed mirror just outside the door to the room, and adjusted her flower crown. It was her signature piece, and rotated throughout the year to reflect what could be made from the palace’s garden (with that famous labyrinth in its center). Currently, the magnolia, hyssop, linden blossom, and oleander formed a glorious and fragrant halo around her head. On anyone else it might have looked silly; on her, it was strikingly beautiful. This crown had been freshly made this morning, and seemed like it would last at least a week. Her florists did a wonderful job, and yes, she supposed it was her version of her husband needing an outrageous codpiece and skintight pants, though she did think her crown was the more attractive option, and also realized many people preferred her husband’s style. That man. He had suggested a crown made of goblin skin and children’s bones, with strings attached to make it move. She’d declined, much to his chagrin, though she’d smoothed things over by suggesting he make a codpiece of that nature, which delighted him.
That’s how her brain had always worked. She was fabulous at making compromises, of seeing the middle ground, but in a way that always allowed for her desires to be fulfilled. It’s what made her the real ruler of the kingdom, considering her husband had no stomach for politics or anything outside of his own niche interests. Her flower crown now perfectly straight, she nodded to the guard, who opened the door and announced her. “All hail the supreme Goblin Queen!” His voice echoed throughout the chamber as the council stood and bowed before her. “My good counselors, please sit,” she said, and as always, they did as she requested. “Shall we get down to matters of great importance? I apologize for the lack of my husband, the king. He’s busy with his puppets or whatever.” She flicked her hand, but she needn’t have bothered. More often than not, the king did not attend these meetings, and even when he did, he was grossly overshadowed by his wife.
Over the next several hours, they worked out ways to help their economy, stave off war, alleviate poverty, and most importantly, found a way to up the budget for her flower crowns and wardrobe. “A great day of work,” she remarked, standing from the table. “All hail the supreme Goblin Queen!” they said as she readied to leave. But suddenly, the door burst open, her husband striding in wearing a codpiece that was comically oversized. “Here I am, ready to tackle the work of being the king!” he said. “It’s quite alright, dear, we’ve already taken care of everything,” Erabella said to him, sweetly. “I was on my way to a beheading of our enemies, which I know you do not care for.” He shuddered at the thought. “But, I do believe a brand new room with never-ending staircases was just completed, why don’t you ask your head guard to take you to it?” He clapped his hands with glee, kissed his wife on the cheek, and ran out of the room, codpiece first. “He’s not the only one who likes to play with puppets,” she mused, and all of the counselors burst into laughter.
Scent Notes: A blooming flower crown of magnolia, hyssop, linden blossom, and oleander, sweet white chocolate, myrrh, freshly turned earth tinged with drops of brilliant blood.