Three Twisted Knots

Not all those who wander are lost.

Moonbathing

There are uncountable ways to see Faerie. Each of us, when (or if) we reach Faerie, will see it in our own way and from our own perspective. Tonight, I am seeing Faerie beneath a full moon.

I think when Faerie is lit only by moonlight, you can see a lot more of the glimmerings and magickings going on. You can see our low-hanging clouds preparing tomorrow’s mist, for example, And you can see the light of the mushrooms in the little faery circle as well.

As we prepare for the formal beginning of Awenia’s tourist season on Midsummer, we are seeing the usual changes and growing occur on the land. This bridge has aligned itself with the more formal bridges, where it used to be little more than a tree from one island to another.

No matter what I think I already know about my Realm, there’s always more to learn and discover.

I have just this evening noticed that my gallery has nearly doubled in size. I suppose this means I’ll be supporting more art in the months and weeks to come. That doesn’t bother me at all. Friðrós continues to work on the Court, and a week away from her deadline, she’s nearly done. I’ll be more than satisfied if we are ready to open to tourists a week early; that way whatever little disasters are meant to occur we’ll have them well in hand (one hopes!)

As for what’s on the horizon generally, there is the Vintage Faire, which opens on the 11th of June. The gown I’m wearing here is from Silvan Moon Designs, and it will officially see release at Vintage Faire. Vintage Faire is one of those events that’s part serious re-enactment, part whimsy, and I think we can look forward to some fun times, if the preview I’ve seen thus-far are any indication. In any case, this Lady of Selidor gown comes in multiple colours and offers what I think is a very flattering shape. This is the Lilac colourway, no surprise I’d choose that one, of course!

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Against the brickwork of the expanded Gallery, I’m struck by the possibilities, artistic and otherwise. Possibility, of course, creates work, and there’s no shortage of that already, but we can almost now see some of our work coming into focus as we let the Realm guide us into what it wishes to become, instead of our aspirations for it.

I feel as if I’ve walked across this bridge a dozen times already just tonight, back and forth, a new detail here, more glimmerings there. And really, there remains only one thing more.

And that of course is just to let the Realm itself speak to me and tell me what things must remain the same, what things must change, and which things are likely to be lost in the interim. And so, Realm of Inspiration so named, speak to me.

Forgive me: we may be a while.

Notes & Credits:

What’s Gwyneth Wearing?

  • The Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Lady of Selidor, coming soon to Vintage Fair!
  • The Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Eden, in Tone 1
  • The Ear Tips: Arise, Elf Ear Color Dips
  • The Eyes: Avi-Glam, Sublime Eyes, 17 Rare (At the Arcade)
  • Jewellery: all by Rozoregalia. Headpiece: Alugim Headdress (Ribbon); Choker: Uzyum (Reidam); and rings: Uzyum (Luna)
  • Nails: Venge, Stiletto Nails, Mariposa
  • Hair: Miwas, Genie
  • Earrings: LittleFish, Moonchild
  • Eyeshadow: SlackGirl, Shadow 50
  • Lips: TheMars: Caramel Lip Light

Location: Fae Awenia

  • Bridges & Lanterns: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree Bridge and The Shrine Tree Lanterns
  • Prominent tree: HPMD, Garden Tree 10

Just a few photos, please

Some of you know that my Chamberlain, Brán, has an on-again, off-again love affair with photography. He just got a fancy new camera, and of course he had to try it out on me eventually.

Sacred Grove

He started, as he often does, in the Sacred Grove; it’s his favourite place to take pictures, he says, because everything changes and he doesn’t have to drive the change: the land itself and the demifae take care of all that. I love this dress from Poets Heart; it’s at this lovely Faire called Enchantment, where they have a different theme every few months. Right now it’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so there are several Fae and Fae-friendly merchants exhibiting. The dress of course comes in a multitude of colours, but I like this one; the graduated shades speak to me of dawn and dusk, my two favourite times of the day.

The unicorn you can see behind me in the picture is called Tuille, and the reason I’m thinking to tell you that is that this dress has a overlay that reminds me of tuille. It’s a light but dense net that feels like silk and of course it’s got those beautiful flowers sewn in as well.

More Queenly?

About half an hour into the shoot, Brán asked me, “Do you think it would be possible for you to put on something more Queenly, Your Majesty?”

“More Queenly?” I hadn’t given it much thought: it was just an ordinary Friday, really; crowds haven’t started to increase here because everyone is still recovering from Faire and of course they all have to go back to their day jobs. “When I wear something, I think it becomes Queenly, Brán.”

“I just meant…”

“More seemly? More mediaeval?” I chuckled. “No, no; don’t worry. I’m only teasing, and I know what you meant. I’ll find something and meet you in the goldwood?”

“Oh, that would be perfect!” I helped Brán create the goldwood, a little pocket dimension, just for some of his photography practice.

More Queenly!

At the same Faire I mentioned earlier, Enchantment, the lovely designers Bee and Solas who together are Silvan Moon Designs have debuted this beautiful gown, called Titania. It features a lovely fitted kirtle and a sideless surcoat, so I was sure it would fit Brán’s definition of ‘Queenly’.

As you can probably see, the surcoat is a lovely rich velvet, and the dye design at the bottom is just lovely, isn’t it? I wasn’t at all unhappy to be photographed in this gown, even if my original intention had been to save it for the formal Court opening closer to Midsummer. Then again, I suppose only Brán and I and a handful of people will see the gown—unless I put these photographs up on the Internet. Then I’ll have to find a new gown for Midsummer Court. Oh, what a dilemma! If you know me, you know I don’t need an excuse to go gown shopping, but I’ll pretend I do just for this occasion.

Another Angle

Here’s another angle, so you can see the way the surcoat is cut.

Portraiture Experiment

Brán is experimenting more with classical portraiture, so he had me pose very straight for this photograph. I told him I didn’t think the neck position was very comfortable, so he made it quick. Still, I like the way it turned out.

I should mention that whilst I was at the Enchantment Faire I had my nails done by Vixn Dagger. Her brand is called Venge, and every time I get the opportunity for her or one of her lovely assistants to do my nails, I jump right on it The way she’s painted these perfect butterfly wings is wonderful, isn’t it? She can do this design in lots of colours, but I chose this dusky pink one because again, sunrise, sunset, twilight. My times.

Once we were done with the picture-taking, I went down to have a look at the work Rós is doing on the Court. I am so glad I gave her free rein there, because the building she’s chosen is simply perfect. I stayed around long enough to approve her choice of Court furniture and wave off the white tablecloths on the mezzanine —looked too much like we were setting up for a wedding reception.

I spent the rest of the day working on plans for the new Awenia Floating Fae Market, a new feature in Awenia Faerie for the upcoming summer holiday season, and I’ll tell you more about that soon!

Notes & Credits:

Many of the items in the photos here are featured at Enchantment. Enchantment will close on the 31st of May, so head over there soonish!

Items Featured at Enchantment:

  • Gwyneth’s Beautiful Fae Skin: Lumae, Amesha, Gossamer tone
  • Sacred Grove Gown: Poet’s Heart, Titania Gown
  • Goldwood Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Titania Gown
  • Necklace (Sacred Grove photos): Static, Elixir of Alteration
  • Nails: Venge, Stiletto nails, Mariposa

Everything Else:

  • Head: Lelutka, EvoX Avalon
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Tuille the Unicorn: Teegle, Unicorn Teeglepet (Horn and tattoos from Valkyrie Designed)
  • Summer Goddess Statue: Harshlands, The Summer Guardian
  • Large background tree: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree (one of a kind)
  • The Goldwood: IrrISIStible, Extraordinary Garden Backdrop
  • Hair: Both hairs are by No Match. The long braid is called No Plastic; the updo is No Hugs.

Back ‘Home’

From Friðrós:

Well, Fae Awenia is now Home, whatever that means. I’m getting the lay of the land, learning the way from here to there and back again, for whatever that might be worth. For my first job, Her Majesty assigned me to get the new Fae Court building into shape, make sure it all works—basically make it pretty. You’d think that would be easy, but some of the stuff she’s acquired at the Faire is littering up the area, so that had to be dispatched before anything else.

She has essentially given me an empty building to decorate. I heard her standards are pretty high, so I’m going to be at this a little while. The deadline is midsummer; that gives me a little more than a month.

I’m up for the challenge.

Huldufólk magic is home magic. We put things in order, tidy and beautify. So I feel up to the challenge. Queen Gwyneth knew what she was doing when she chose me for this position, particularly if she wants me to be doing more things like this going forward.

First Steps

I moved the big Elf statue around into the garden, so that’s one task completed. But you know….

I just don’t like it.

I’m really not sure about the building she’s chosen. Sure, it’s nice and elfy, but I just don’t like it. It’s nice and open, but there’s something unwelcoming about it. I think Queen Gwyneth needs a nice, open, welcoming space. I might try to convince her to make the whole place a garden, with maybe a small structure for formal meetings, but I don’t know if she’ll listen to me: it’s her building, after all.

I’ll figure it out.

Maybe I’ll make some dioramas of potential buildings and spaces. I know she purchased the plans for those structures in Wandering Woods. I wonder if that style building would make her happy. I’d like it better if it were more of a gazebo, but maybe that’s a prejudice on my part.

Just a few steps, really.

Making a new space, a proper space, is just a few steps, really. It’s a process like anything else, but from start to finish, reinventing and reimagining spaces, really, is simple. First, you have to imagine. After that, it’s one small action after another. But now I think I’ll take a nice nap here in the space. It’ll be all right.

Notes & Credits:

What’s Friðrós Wearing?

Items Featured at Enchantment:

  • The simple but beautiful gown: glYph, Cassia for Lara Petite
  • The alluring necklace: Static, Elixir of Alteration, Acoration
  • The perfect lipstick: Shiny Stuffs, EvoX Soft Glossy Gloss 3

Other Stuff:

  • Hair: Bonbon, Jasmine
  • Eye Makeup, Tone2, UBU, Gilded Lily
  • Earrings: Swallow, Earrings E02 for Let EvoX Elf Ears
  • Eyelashes: Michan, Maya Lashes
  • Head: Lelutka EvoX Ceylon
  • Body: Maitreya

Be the change you want to see. Folks are always saying that. I know I’ve mentioned this Faire has had me more in disguise than in me-guise (that’s a word now), and I’m sure no-one reading this little blog remembers way back in those strange days after Jasper Cove fell and before the Wylds rose, so you may not know that I, Your Queen, have been a shape-shifter.

It’s true.

As one of the few positive things to come out of my short sojourn at Castle Shithole, the unicorn guise has served me well over the years, and I suppose I do not talk about it a lot, possibly because I always have so many other things to talk about.

Anyway.

One afternoon I was preparing to make the journey from Isles of Tarrin down into Featherfall, and in an unholy coincidence, that horrible Cherish Gelato from Faewatch spotted me. It was easy enough to duck into a convenient shop, change into the unicorn, and continue my journey. There are, after all, so many horses and horse relatives in Isles of Tarrin that eluding a pursuer as a horse or horse relative would seem the simplest solution—and so it was.

There was just one little issue.

It was, as I said above, absolutely the perfect solution to avoiding Ms. Gelato.

Being a unicorn, however, was not the perfect solution for Featherfall itself.

Featherfall is entirely knitted

That’s because, as I’d forgotten to remember, Featherfall is entirely knitted. The whole thing. The ground. The trees. The houses. The food. Well, that creepy bear didn’t look knitted, but I am hardly a knitting expert. Everyone else seemed to be having a lovely time, though, so I tried not to think overmuch about the creepy bear and instead chose to do some exploring.

Pro tip: hooves and knitted terrain do not work as well as you would think! Which is to say they work together even worse than you might think. I tripped up a lot. And you could not have paid me enough to attempt to balance on one of the many yarn balls set out for people to have a go on: even people balancing on two legs seemed a bit wobbly: I shudder to think what it’d have been like with four.

A working gait at last

I did eventually manage to find that an extended trot worked for handling the inevitable bits of fluff I was picking up on my hooves every time I took a step. At least I no longer felt I was in danger of unravelling the entire Realm and being left alone in some primordial void with Creepy Bear.

This could have been fun!

If it weren’t for that unspeakably annoying Cherish Gelato, this might have been a fun outing. I’d be tripping through here on my tiptoes and potentially using wings, and I could have enjoyed the death-by-cute landscape much more. If my existence had a bane, I’d choose for it to be Ms Gelato, although she’s hardly important enough so my existence does not in fact have a bane at all.

Eventually, I saw the next Realm

After lots of trotting with my knees artificially up in order to avoid the aforementioned unravelling nightmare scenario, I began to see glimpses of the next Realm around corners, and it was Wandering Woods, and that was perfect, because Wandering Woods is excellent for unicorning in.

I stopped up my trot

I stepped up my gait and headed out of the Knitted Nightmare as quickly as I could. Just as I was about to cross over into Wandering Woods, I’m sure I heard her shrill voice screaming for someone to get her off this infernal yarn ball. I hope the locals sacrificed her to Creepy Bear.

Notes & Credits:

From the Author: another disclaimer—I loved Featherfall. I do know something about knitting, and in fact I used to teach knitting many moons ago before my arthritis got bad enough that I had to make some choices. Featherfall was a very brightly lit region, so when it came time to photograph an avatar there, I knew I wanted someone who wouldn’t wash out against a bright landscape. Gwyneth as unicorn seemed the most fun way to go, until I thought about it a few days after I’d shot the photographs and considered that navigating a knitted landscape with hooves rather than feet might be a bit of a challenge. And the bear really was creepy.

Featherfall was one of twenty-one regions in the Relay for Life of Second Life’s 2021 Fantasy Faire. Alas, the regions have faded back into the mists, so you will never be able to visit Featherfall yourself, but there are plenty of pictures and reminders you can see throughout the meta verse if you know where to look! Featherfall was designed by Kayle Matzerath and sponsored by Abraminations.

How Did Gwyneth become such a gorgeous unicorn?

  • Unicorn Avatar: Teegle, Teeglepet Unicorn Avatar
  • Unicorn Avatar Skin: Cinnamon, Pixie
  • Unicorn Avatar Sparklies: Abaddon Arts, Stardust Rainbow
  • Unicorn Avatar Tail: Abaddon Arts, Dorsa Slender Tail
  • Unicorn Avatar Mane: Abaddon Arts, Isabella Mane
  • Unicorn Avatar Rose Drape: Mythril, Chantilly Rose Drape RFL

You can find most of the accessories at the Teegletown Mall, and of course the avatar is at the Teegle Main Store!

Come the day

We used to say
That come the day
We’d all be making songs
Or finding better words
These ideas never lasted long

The way is up

The way is up
Along the road
The air is growing thin
Too many friends who tried
Were blown off this mountain with the wind

Meet on the ledge

Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I’m gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again

Yet now I see

Yet now I see
I’m all alone
But that’s the only way to be
You’ll have your chance again
Then you can do the work for me

I’m gonna see all my friends

Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I’m gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again

It all comes round again

Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I’m gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We’re gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again

Notes & Credits:

These photographs were taken in the 2021 Fantasy Faire region of Valhalla, designed by Alia Baroque and sponsored by Fallen Gods. Sadly, you can no longer visit Valhalla; the Fairelands faded back into the mists on Wednesday, 12 May, Each year, new Fairelands emerge, but this Valhalla will never exist in this form again. Alia Baroque is a veteran Faire Worldbuilder, and he has brought to life many iconic places from history and myth over the years, but (at least until he blows it away next year), Valhalla is my favourite so far. It spoke to me on multiple levels, and all of them were beautiful.

“Meet on the Ledge” is a song from British folk rock band Fairport Convention. I’ll include a YouTube link at the end of this post.

Get to the business, Author! What’s Gwyneth Wearing?

Items featured at Fantasy Faire and Enchantment:

  • The Stunning and Super Frilly Gown: Kotolier, Fraurein (Featured at Fantasy Faire, but this dress should appear in the Kotolier Main Store soon!)
  • The Equally Stunning and Suspiciously Perfectly Matching Shoes: Kotolier (at Enchantment)

Everything Else:

  • The I-woke-up-like-this Mane Of Golden Hair: Stealthic, Metropolis
  • The Never Too Many Roses Flower Wreath: Elise, Silvia
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Lelutka, EvoX Avalon
  • Skin: Lumae, Amesha in T2 (at the Lumae Main Store)

There will be a few more retrospective Fantasy Faire posts coming to Three Twisted Knots in the coming days. As always, I took so many more photos at the Faire than I could possibly write stories for, and so some stories come late, and some come as a retrospective, and some get tucked away in a drawer somewhere for later…. and you know what happens to those; you have to imagine there’s this well of unwritten Faire Tales somewhere on my computer that will one day, like my Second Life inventory, consume me utterly—but that day is not today.

You caught me

I was wandering again. Aside from the Big Events, this year, I travelled the Great Faire mostly in one disguise or another. It was fun, and somewhat easier, as I was not in a mind to deal with other beings overmuch, and frankly, there are plenty of other Fae Queens at the Faire: my celebrity is mercurial, just like me (and just like them!)

There was no better place to wander this year’s Faire than Wandering Woods. And although as Wandering places go, it was rather orderly, what makes a place is not always its stunning architecture, or its defining features; no, what makes a place is the light.

The beauty of blue

Yes, the light. Wandering Woods, faded now into the mists, might as well have been an ode to the colour blue. Now, I know many Faery Queens fancy purple, and many others like metallic golds and silvers; still others prefer the darker blacks and reds. Me, my favourite colour is and has always been blue, even back when I lived out a seemingly ordinary human childhood in the London of a world I can no longer see. Despite my astrological affiliation with Air (Aquarius is an air sign; I have never understood that, but then I have little use for 5th century astrology, and I won’t bore you with cosmology here, but let’s just say it doesn’t carry a lot of weight in my spiritual world). Wow, Gwyneth, that was a long parenthetical. Why don’t you start again? Despite my astrological affiliation with Air (No! No cosmology! Don’t do it, girl!), I love water and would surround myself with it if I could. Tangentally (she’s doing it again!), I have exactly zero interest in being a mermaid. That makes me think that I am somehow Different, but then again, it isn’t as if my life has had the sort of trajectory anybody expected when I began it only about 30 years ago (by my reckoning).

But where was I? Ah, yes; I was in Wandering Woods. Now, Friðrós wrote about Wandering Woods, early-on in the Faire; in fact it was the first Faire Realm she visited, and she was all wide-eyed and excited about it when we spoke on FaceTime the next day. But what she was describing seemed to me in many ways to be your typical Elfin Realm from Dayes O Yore. I know it shows my privilege that I might even be able to consider that Elfin Realms might be “typical”, but bear with me. Friðrós, you see, is from Iceland. The Huldufólk don’t get off their island very often, as a rule, and so Faery there looks very much like Iceland itself, meaning it is full of beautiful mosses and mountains, but not so many Tolkeinesque (find a better word) buildings and (I’m only guessing here) maybe more artic foxes and fewer examples of Stately Statuary. She did go on about the height of the trees, if I recall.

Stately Statuary

Of course there is some Stately Statuary, but more interesting to me was the sky above it, the ground cover beneath it, and how the buildings themselves seemed to bridge the gap between earth and sky with their almost Gothic roofs and spires. The Realm boasted tall flowers, truly blue grass, and of course some of the best shopping to be had at this year’s Faire. Elves are very good at shopping, which should surprise no-one.

Juxtaposition

I know I say this every year, so repeat along with me: what makes the Fairelands so magical is the juxtaposition of so many Realms so close together for the short time we can visit them. You can see the two Realms of Isles of Tarrin and Somniatoris Arx behind me in this photograph, filtered through the beautiful blue light of Wandering Woods. I think there are no more beautiful vistas in all the metaverse than those we see from one Realm to the next in the Fairelands.

Friðrós has of course told you about the many spirals in the Realm, but she missed out what was surely my favourite place: a shrine to the Forest Goddess that you’d miss if you didn’t look closely.

Forest Goddess Shrine

There’s a feeling of serenity throughout Wandering Woods, but I felt it here the most. In fact, there was even a place for people to come and sit, read, meditate, or write.

Magical Furniture

When a docent engaged it, a set of magical furniture appeared. She explained to me that one of the many Fairelands writing groups met here for the duration of the Faire. I was curious. I knew there was a literary festival that ran at the same time as the Faire, but even after all these years, I hadn’t known there were writing groups that met here! I think I will visit some of this next year.

Wandering Woods was one of those places I went back to again and again during this Faire season.

I’ll miss it.

Notes & Credits:

Wandering Woods, one of 21 regions in the 2021 Relay for Life of Second Life’s annual Fantasy Faire, was designed by Kilik Lekvoda and sponsored by Titans. I am sorry to say you can no longer visit Wandering Woods. The Fairelands disappeared into the mists on the 12th of May, and next year’s Fairelands will have different regions to explore.

I should also leave a special note of thanks to Kilik Lekvoda for inviting the Milk Wood Daily Dash and half hour Snatch groups to meet in Wandering Woods. Kilik, you gave us a beautiful place to write, and I’m so thankful. If you don’t know about Milk Wood, it’s a writing region owned by Harriet Gausman and funded through the donations of folks who attend the many writing groups, seminars and other events that take place there. The Daily Dash happens every week day at 6am and 6pm SLT, and the Snatch happens at 8am.

What’s Gwyneth Wearing?

  • The Beautiful Faery dress is featured at Enchantment. It’s Dreaming Thicket’s Fairy Ring Dress.
  • The Stunning Skin is featured at Enchantment. It’s Lumae’s Amesha in fantasy tone Gossamer.
  • The Pretty Wings are from MishMash Fusion. If Mystie hasn’t put these out in the MishMash Fusion Main Store, IM her until she does!
  • The shoes are from Mosquito’s Way. They’re the Raisie leg wraps.
  • The Butterfly Hair is from Phoenix, and it’s called Leslie.
  • Gwyneth is styled on a Maitreya Lara mesh body and a Lelutka EvoX Avalon mesh head.

From Davi:

I … woke up like this. I’ve learned not to ask how these things happen. I’ve learned not to speculate about the reasons behind them, the physics, the wherefores and whatevers. But often, no matter what predicament I find myself in, there is a definite why.

The Candle Path

In this case, and at this time, it seemed there was a place the Faire wanted me to see. I can hear you asking, Davi, really. The Faire wanted you to see a place? Are you truly beyond all scientific help now? and to you I say Bah. I believe the Faire has a mind, a spirit, and a personality all its own, and the Faire decided, Davi should take to the water and explore the Candle Path today. And so, here we are.

The Author wants me to tell you a story. A few years ago, the Highest Faire Authority asked the very talented Riven to make some candles. These would be special candles, that people could buy in remembrance of a loved one. They would stay in their place in the Faire until the Faire ended, then be sent back to the person who’d bought the candle so they could have it with them. The Author has … well, several of these candles. They’ve remained for sale at Faires since then.

But back to me. Yes, I see what I did there.

This year, we have a path boundaries by those candles. Some of them, the ones reserved in memory of a loved one or a group, are floating and or lit, and others remain in the water. Aren’t they beautiful?

The Bard Queen’s Islen

Just over the border from the Cerulean Bombora in the venerated and ever-changing Fairelands Junction, you can see even more candles. These memories are important, every one of them.

We are all on this path

As I rose completely out of the water and felt my strong fin holding me up, I thought about how much simpler it might be, being now a water creature, to move from here to there on this water path, of course it brought my mind to travelling.

These Fairelands will have receded far into the mists by the time you read this, but do not forget the road, the path. The path of remembrance, the path of change, the path of transformation, these are all revealed by the presence of the senses. The addition of light, of taste and feeling, of sound. This is how we find the path. And every little candle represents a few more coins we give to help illuminate so many paths.

We are all on this path, whether we are suffering now, loving someone who has suffered or is suffering, or just remembering all the beautiful souls we have encountered along the way.

illumination

Illumination, noun
1. (mass noun) Lighting, or light
2. The art of illuminating a manuscript
3. Clarification
3.1 Spiritual or intellectual enlightenment

Lexico

It doesn’t just mean “light”.

And so, although depending on The Author’s whim it may be another year before I sing to you again, friends, I offer you a wish.

I wish for you Illumination.

Notes & Credits:

The Cerulean Bombora was one of 21 regions in the 2021 Relay for Life of Second Life’s annual Fantasy Faire. It was designed by Bee Dumpling, Solas Enchantment, and Saiyge Lotus and sponsored by Multifarious Conceptions.

Items featured at this year’s Fantasy Faire:

  • Davi’s stunning skin: Petrichor & Trap, Kalari Vors Skin, Voravi. It should be available at Petrichor’s Main Store soon!
  • Davi’s circlet: Reliquary, Ryme Circlet (This came with the Raven Bell Hair)
  • Davi’s crystal hair: Raven Bell, Percival Hair, Crystal. It should be available at Raven Bell’s Main Store soon!

Other Items:

  • Davi’s stunning Mer-Tail is from The Cove.It’s the Tidal Tail, and both the animations and the colours are superb. Pick one up at The Cove Main Store.
  • Head: Lelutka Evo Skyler
  • Body: Belleza, Jake

From Davi:

I keep changing. I’m always changing. I have been a Romani traveller, I have been a forest elf, I have been so many things over the last decade, and yet that feeling of home, that sense of a place that grounds and anchors a being, has never been mine. I am long removed from the travelling life, yet I am still a traveller. Now, I move down different paths. Sometimes even time seems like just another road. But there are few places that combine both breath-stealing beauty and carefully crafted distance the way that Somniatoris Arx does.

The feeling of being small

To begin with, Somniatoris Arx is immense. Even the window repairs need scaffolding, it seems. I have in my time visited cathedrals. I have even visited cathedral cities. But Somniatoris Arx is both a cathedral and a city, and there is no middle ground, no park, no bounding river, and very little green.

That does not change the fact that it is breathtaking.

Still, it is breathtaking.

Probably because of the gothic architecture, I got a real sense of being inside history somehow whilst in Somniatoris Arx, but it was not my history.

Not my history

Never seen a fellow quite like this, for example, and the figures in the stained glass were equally impenetrable. But we do not always know where things come from, in the Fairelands; we have them for such a short time, and we only know what histories they bring to us as they are.

Of course, there are scholars who’ve written their PhDs around aspects of this or that Faireland; the number of researchers scurrying around Somniatoris Arx was enough to make me chuckle. I imagine them, snapping photos, taking notes, surveying things. They’ll write proposed histories of this Realm, based on the evidence they are able to collect during the barest amount of time. And they’re bound to miss things. For example, I was sure I saw the silhouette of a man in one of the spire windows, but when I looked again, he was gone. He—well, I assume it was a he, because he appeared to be wearing a bowler hat—seemed almost as out of place as I felt. Maybe I’ll pick up some dandy clothes and come back to this Realm before the Faire ends, although we’re all too close to that ending for me now.

Juxtaposition

During the Great Faire, because the Fairelands are so many and so packed together, we experience the strangest juxtapositions. I know Her Majesty already mentioned this, from the other side of that gate, but part of me really thought she should have been in this stonebound building and I should have been next door, with the green grass and the tufty flowers and the colourful banners. It might have reminded me of my Romani, you know. I could have set up shop and told a few fortunes, read some palms, sold a little this and that.

I was compelled to stay a while

But something, whether it was Mr Tall, Dark and Hooded over there, or maybe just the quality of the light, compelled me to stay, for a little while at least.

And as predicted (because so many Fairelands are this way), the shopping was, to borrow a phrase from Her Majesty’s new intern, “epic”. I bought some fancy stuff for later on in the Faire; I’m sure I’ll get a chance to wear it, because there’s a party every night, and all of them might as well be fancy dress.

Another view from above.

I couldn’t help climbing as many of the spires as it was possible to climb, and if I’m honest, I felt far more natural in the lofty heights than in the thronged streets below. One thing I never did really get a glimpse of was whatever is behind those brass pipes that connect the stained glass feature behind the buttressed hall where the remains of a so-called fallen angel lie. I didn’t photograph the angel, for a couple of reasons: first, it seemed a bit creepy; second, there were hundreds of tourists everywhere, and although the docents tried to keep them out, I swear to you there were children climbing on the remains; and finally, some part of me decided it would be disrespectful and possibly evoke the sacrilege response, and you know if anybody’s going to get fitted up for not maintaining proper decorum, they’ll pick the swarthy fellow in homespun and not the screeching urchins in the frilly collars.

Or possibly I’m just jaded.

Not a day for rebellion

Either way, it just didn’t seem like a good day for rebellion, so I let it be.

That’s an awfully wordy way to say, yeah, so I went to Somniatoris Arx and didn’t even get a photo of the Fabled Angel.

One last chat with Tall Dark and Creepy

The superb skyline notwithstanding, I took only a few more minutes to ponder the significance of Tall, Dark & Creepy, and then I did in fact cross the border into the Isles of Tarrin. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, I very much needed to see about a horse.

But here’s one last look at the stunning spires of Somniatoris Arx for you.

Somniatoris Arx

That’s how I’ll remember her: not because of the fabled angel, or the shopping, or even the stained glass oddities. I’ll remember how, from one of the tallest spires in the lower city, I almost loved Somniatoris Arx, even though I knew that no matter what fine clothing I found, or what friends I made, I’d forever be an alien if I chose to stay.

From The Author:

Please note that I, The Author, adore Somniatoris Arx. When it came time to write a blog story from there, I chose the blog narrator who would feel least at home in the Realm, because I thought he’d come up with some interesting insights instead of just fawning over the stained glass as Gwyneth might have, complaining about the staircases, as TAC surely would have, or just gaping and going, wow, it’s so big, as Fridros surely would have.

Notes & Credits:

Somniatoris Arx is one of twenty-one regions that make up the Relay for Life of Second Life’s 2021 Fantasy Faire Fairelands. Good news: The Faire has been extended until 12 May, so you can click on the link above to head to the landing point at Somniatoris Arx until that day. Somniatoris Arx is sponsored by ContraptioN and designed by Walter F Wainwright and Victor Eton.

Items in photos that are featured at this year’s Faire:

Other Stuff:

  • Davi’s hair: Wasabi, Raven Hair
  • Body: Belleza Jake
  • Head: Lelutka Evo Connor

Amid the magic crystals

We planned to attend the Faire’s glamorous masqued ball, but truth be told, large gatherings are making me a bit anxious these days. Of course, there are many satellite parties, so the Fairchilde was our choice for later in the evening. It only made sense that I spent my day before the ball in the lovely airborne Isles of Tarrin.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that there are other Realms out there at least as magical as our Awenia, and so when I’m given the opportunity to visit beautiful places, I make it my business to learn as much about them as possible. Here, the islands seem to be kept aloft by some kind of mystical energy emanating from these large crystals embedded into their bases, as you can see. Very little of Tarrin is accessible from ground, or I suppose, sea level; you can see the single dock behind me. They say it’s best to see the place from the air.

Winding Streets

The streets themselves resemble nothing so much as the winding alleyways and twisting streets of places I remember visiting with my human parents as a child. One summer we spent what was to me a glorious week in Tenby; my mother had been ill and wanted a place where you could see the ocean from the window, so the view from the cottage we let for the week was spectacular. The route to the sea was down a series of garden paths; you had to be careful where you stepped because there were cobblestones and they are not kind to little feet in water shoes. My Welsh grannie came along for part of that trip, I remember. She took me out to St. Catherine’s Island at low tide and told me that mer-people lived there once, “but now you’ll find only selkies; they just ruin the whole damned neighbourhood wherever they go.” I was maybe ten or eleven, and I don’t think I’d ever heard my grandmother curse before.

Gosh, I do ramble when I’m on a rambling street. That’s what the streets here remind me of.

Sometimes, what’s beyond is intriguing, too…

The Isles are framed, almost, by a series of small stepping-stone islands which form the walking path to the town itself. I couldn’t help but notice that the neighbouring Realm of Somniatoris Arx was beautifully framed from one of them.

A frame within a frame

It would be easy, I suppose, to imagine that the two Realms almost frame one another. The spires of Somniatoris Arx might boast the best views of the Isles of Tarrin, at least for these few magical weeks of the Great Faire.

The Spires of Somniatoris Arx

I decided that Somniatoris Arx must be on my destinations list for this Faire, and in fact I was almost — almost — disappointed that I’d waited to show my face at Faire until the second week. Nobody would really see me until the Ball itself.

The reason for the masque

And that, my darlings, is the reason I was already masqued. It wasn’t in my plan to be recognised, bothered, spoken to, or at all interrupted that day. I daresay they see enough masqued Fae around here at the moment to know that maybe I did not wish to be disturbed.

From the air

The best way, they say, to see the Isles is from the deck of an airship, and so that’s what I did: I hired one for a tour around the town. It was the nicest way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

If you have time, and you are anywhere near the Fairelands, do take a few hours to walk the winding streets of Isles of Tarrin. Once the Fairelands recede into the Mists, you may never be able to walk them again.

Notes & Credits:

Isles of Tarrin is one of twenty one regions in this year’s Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. It is sponsored by Teegle and was designed by Teagar, Ketsui Naidoo, and Monstaar. You can visit it until the 12th of May, 2021, when the Fairelands will fade once again as they do every year.

What’s Gwyneth Wearing?

Items featured at this year’s Fantasy Faire:

  • The Gown: Senzafine, Eolande gown in RFL colour way Dawn (Get it in Wandering Woods!)
  • The Crown: The Annex, Princess Crown in RFL purple & Silver (Get it in Wandering Woods!)

SLURLs point to specific stores in the Fairelands!

Everything else:

  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Lelutka EvoX Avalon
  • Skin: Lumae, Amesha in T2
  • Hair: Monso, Ana
  • Jewellery: Kunglers, Adna Earrings & Necklace
  • Gloves: Kunst, Sophia Gloves
  • Under-Masque: The Nerdy Birdy, Spring Mask
  • Over-Masque: Astralia, Golden Angel Common Mask

A world of paper

First Voice:

To wear this world of paper, you must first
Imagine how the texture fits your form.
It wrinkles there, and here’s a dash of red,
and over there the shadow of a path.

The shadow of a path

Second Voice:

It’s not enough to be a paper doll;
No, you must learn to breathe in two, not three
Dimensions: forget depth, and think in shade
And light, but mostly light: when shadow’s lost

But mostly light

First Voice:

It’s easy to forget there’s only ink
And paper between you and all the noise
That ceases to exist here in this place.
But take a little something of it home:

Take a little something

Second Voice:

Whether a dragon’s tooth of just a thought
And hold it in your hand to keep you whole

Hold it in your hand

Third Voice:

The snowfall left a pillow on the ground
In Ling Xiao Long, a dragon stirred and woke
And whirled into an inky effigy
Surrounded by serenity he seems

Surrounded by serenity

First Voice:

At first an out of place brushstroke, but then
I see his curves reflected in the flowers

Second Voice:

And all the pillows fade to unimportance

Everything that held us is a lie.

Third Voice:

And everything that held us is a lie.

Notes & Credits:

The photos for this post were shot in the virtual region of Ling Xiao Long. Ling Xiao Long is one of twenty-one regions that make up this year’s Relay For Life of Second Life’s Annual Fantasy Faire. Ling Xiao Long is the designated “LitFest” region, where authors and poets and writers of all sorts come to talk about their trades and to write together. Tours of the Faire regions also depart from the marketplace at Ling Xiao Long.


Ling Xiao Long is sponsored by PaperFriends and designed by Fiona Fei. You can visit Ling Xiao Long in Second Life, but only until the 9th of May, when the Fairelands recede back into the mists until new magical lands rise to become the next Fairelands regions.

What’s Gwyneth Wearing?

O my darlings, Enchantment is just around the corner, bringing to us A Midsummer Night’s Dream, my favourite Shakespeare play, because I am a Summer Queen and I love a Summer Theatre. Many of the beautiful things Gwyneth is wearing will be featured at Enchantment, including:

  • The Stunning Rose Gown: Fugue, Midsummer Dream Gown in Rose, Distilled.
  • The Blossom Mask: Bliensen & MaiTai, Peaseblossom Mask
  • The Silver Tattoo: Nefekalum, Thisbe

Everything else:

  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Lelutka EvoX Avalon
  • Skin: Lumae, Amesha in T2
  • Jewellery: Kunglers, Adna Earrings and Necklace
  • Hair: Tableau Vivant, Chloras Add-On

Don’t worry! There are more Fairelands Stories to come; the faire isn’t over yet— but these things from Enchantment lent themselves beautifully to the story, and Enchantment opens just a little more than a week from now, on the 15th of May!

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