Eight Magic Rings
Telemain had eight magic rings. They were all different, patterned brightly and intricately. He wore four on each hand, and his rings could do incredible things.
He had a ring that could open locked doors. It was blocky and ornate with an orange stone set at its center. This stone acted as its trigger, and by pressing on it and muttering an incantation, doors would fly open at his command.
He had a ring that helped with his transport spells. Telemain wore it on the first finger of his left hand. When he twirled his finger counterclockwise, it provided a direct channel for his transportation magic. This ring had required some adjusting before reliably serving its purpose, but Telemain had finally managed to perfect the model.
He had a ring that he was attempting to make into a portable magic mirror. This ring, too, was one of Telemain's own creations. It had a large emerald stone and already possessed magical properties. Thus far, he'd only managed to make the emerald swirl and fade to a light gray.
He had a ring that disguised the wearer. It was of an intricate design of intertwining tree branches. Each silver leaf was emblazoned with a dragon rune. Telemain wore it on the ring finger of his right hand and was careful to use it only when the situation demanded.
He had a ring charmed to imitate fairy singing. A pale blue band, one twist would emit the eerily haunting melody favored by fairies. Telemain had dealt with fairies on occasion, and this ring had been an intelligent choice. It marked him as a fairy friend and staved off any hostility while in certain parts of the Enchanted Forest. More than once, it had gotten him out of trouble.
He had a ring that would glow when ogres were near. It was of a garish design with a large rectangular stone. Telemain had discovered this property rather by accident and had admittedly walked purposely into other dangerous situations in order to test it.
He had a ring that repelled certain curses. It was a storage receptacle of sorts, containing an arsenal of magical wards. In order to activate one, Telemain had to only mutter a partial charm rather than an entire spell. It was unbelievably convenient, and he couldn't deny that the few seconds it extended in a disaster had saved his neck more than once.
His rings had helped him study magic. They'd also helped him out of more than one jam caused by his quest to study magic.
He'd taken great care in choosing his rings. Magical rings were nothing unusual. Thousands existed, with every imaginable function. Telemain had consciously picked the rings that would be most useful to him. He'd assigned them each a finger and learned to use them each successfully.
But the eighth ring was the one he treasured most. It was gold and plain, not gaudy or intricate like the others. It bore no special runes or dragon writing. It didn't glow in the presence of ogres or sing like a fairy. It wasn't ancient like some, and it had never been cursed.
His mind would still sometimes refer to it as the new ring. The others he'd worn for decades, but the eighth ring Telemain had owned for only a year.
He'd find himself often twirling it around his finger. Each time light glinted off of it, he'd have to stop and examine it again. It's presence on his hand continued to amaze and surprise him.
It sat on the finger he'd intentionally kept free. He'd planned to keep it empty for the rest of his life, had sworn he'd never have reason to fill it. This was the ring he'd most carefully chosen. And it wasn't the ring itself so much as its purpose in his life.
The eighth ring wasn't magic in the traditional sense. He owned no tool to measure its magical output nor any devices that could capably transfer its power. All of his extensive magician knowledge could not fully interpret his new ring.
Perhaps most of this ring's exceptional qualities stemmed from the fact that it was not one of a kind. Telemain often chose his rings because of their singular abilities, but the eighth ring had a twin. In appearance and function it was identical, differing only in proportions.
Even from where he sat at the table pretending to annotate a paper he'd written on the properties inherent to wizard staffs, he could see the other ring glinting on his wife's finger. Telemain usually prided himself on his focus, especially when it came to matters of magical theory, but that small band of metal had the ability to distract him completely every time.
It was the only ring Morwen wore. She'd never actually said as much, but he suspected she considered gaudy magic rings to be tacky and ostentatious. She wouldn't deny that his rings were useful, but she wouldn't be caught dead in them herself.
But she wore his ring, just as he wore hers. The truth of that statement and everything it meant still baffled him a year later.
As Morwen crossed the room, he caught her left hand, gently fingering the gold band. He marveled at the look of symmetry lent to their hands by the pair of matched rings and at the sense of utter completeness that accompanied them.
Telemain looked up to find his wife smiling tenderly at him. With another examining look at the ring, he raised her hand and pressed a kiss against her fingers. Then he returned the smile. This eighth ring was by far the best he'd ever owned.