“The Devibha. Its name roughly meaning “planetqueen” in Sanskrit, this flawless gem was found in the mines of Kollur around 1500, and the uncut stone was regarded as having no peer in heaven or on earth–as a result it was given as a wedding present from the king of a Rajput kingdom to his bride, who he believed it had no equal. His wife died, tragically, only three days later. But during those three days, legend has it, the planet itself obeyed her every whim when she wore her diadem.”

“This led to a tradition that the Devibha granted phenomenal power–the power of a queen–over the earth itself, but did so at the price of a drastically shortened life of only a few days. The stone passed from owner to owner in the Indian subcontinent, never staying in the same hands for long; few were eager to wear it, for the idea of bending the planet to one’s will loses some luster if it means death in a few days. It made its way from India to Britain as spoils after the sack of Mysore, and at some point during the Regency it was also cut into its current shape and placed in a new setting.”

“The last known owner was Lady Paget, who never wore the Devibha. Upon her death in 1962, it was donated to the Museum.”

After reading the tag, I cast it aside and picked out the remaining broken glass. The diadem fit neatly, and when I gave it the slightest thought, the ground rumbled with an earthquake.

Three days to live seemed like a fair price to pay for such power.

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