Black Poplar Emporium
Gifts of art and soul from the Underworld
It took a long time before Hades realized that the shades he governed were hurt when he offered him gifts. Sometimes the gifts were the bones they shed before they drank from the Lethe in preparation for their next life. Sometimes they were beautiful things chiseled from rock and stone and mineral abundant in the walls and ground of the underworld itself, or poetry painted in molten wax. But the truth was, Hades saw an intimate beauty in these pieces derived from the hearts and souls of those who had transcended suffering
Hades watched the deluge of offerings swell in the throne room. Pieces of memories and appreciation woven into molten wax artworks and other gifts littered the tables and lined the walls. Unlike his relatives in Olympus, Hades had never been comfortable accepting gifts for doing what he considered to be his job. But as he sat on his throne, the stoic mask slipped to reveal his pleasure that the shades' feelings of reverence for their queen drew them to mark her return from the upperworld each year with a shower of gifts and a quiet reception. This was all the gift he needed.