A story no one tells

One day, when the world was young, the Lord of Pain awoke, and decided that he wanted a flower. This is not the sense in which you or I want a flower. Rather, he wanted a flower to be under his domain, to be a thing of Pain, forever enmeshed in his word.

Now, there was no Lady of Flowers, for flowers were not of sufficient importance in the time before we walked the land. Pain did not know how to find the Lady of Trees, to ask of her such a favor, and he was unsure if flowers grew on trees anyway. He did know that flowers had sap in their stems, and sap is much like blood, and he was good friends with the Knight of Blood, so he paid him a visit.

He found Blood in a valley, wielding a sword that blotted out the sun every time he lifted it above his head, only to bring it crashing down upon the body of a great beast, hacking off chunks of flesh that ran red with the thing's blood. Pain asked Blood what he was doing, and Blood replied that he busy carving Hope into manageable pieces. Pausing from his labor, he wiped the blood from his brow (for he did not bother to sweat as mere a fluid as salted water), and asked Pain why he had come.

Pain told Blood of his desire, and Blood agreed to help, on one condition. The flower must be the color of Blood, that all would know who helped Pain get his wish, adding to Blood's already-great honor. This was a simple thing to agree to, for Pain was blind, and did not much care for colors. Once they had shaken hands on this, Blood told Pain to speak with the Mistress of Love, for Love had a great fondness for flowers.

Love was easy to find, for her smell ran off from her like a river that crashed along and hit one soundly in the face before capering off like a mad imp. She was, like she always was, naked, for it is the nature of Love to bare all. Being blind, Pain could only know this from the lack of sound her nonexistent garments made as she moved about. He told her of his desire for a flower, and she, too, agreed to help him with one stipulation. The flower must smell like her, so that all who hold it will think of Love. Her smell was pleasant enough to a Lord of the world like him, so he agreed to this too. Then, she told him that flowers were being held hostage by Winter, and that Pain would need to talk to him.

Winter was a curious being. He accepted no title, and would not call anyone by theirs. He was callous and rude, and always spoke the truth. For this, his counsel was much valued. Many a primal one went before Winter for the privilege of being insulted by him.

Pain came to Winter's hovel, and Winter called him a fool for coming to that cold place. It was true. Pain then asked him if he could have a flower, and Winter replied that he was withholding flowers on account of a dispute with that self-righteous idiot Summer, who styled himself a Marquis.

Disheartened, Pain still asked if he could have just one flower, that looked like Blood and smelled like Love and felt like Pain. Winter laughed, and said yes, on one condition—the flower must grow only in summer, for he hated Blood and Love and Pain and Summer alike, and the worst punishment he could think of was to lock all them together in a small room. And with that, he gave Pain the Rose, and it was his.