Three Twisted Knots

Not all those who wander are lost.

Or: How I avoided a shortcut, made a smol dragon happy, and got a (pleasant) surprise.

From The Amazing Catwoman:

When you work for someone like Gwyneth, you have to accept that because her adoptive Sidhe father once told her Princesses of Faerie do not ever let their feet touch the ground, she is unlikely ever to visit the questionable pub where the person who bred the little dragon she would now like to adopt does business. So it becomes your job. Of course, it does have its perqs, as you can see from the photo here. This little graphite dragon was passed over by other buyers, so Cab sent her home with me after our second or third meeting. I named her Nyx. She hasn’t seen Nyx yet, but I’ll introduce them at some point. After I have procured her one of her own.

When I think about it, I recognise that her life has similar trials to my own; she just walks through it differently. I don’t see the point of taking the amount of time she does to put herself together, but then she probably doesn’t see the point of teaching magic sword drills to plebs, so we’re even in that respect. More people know who she is than know who I am, I guess. Is that a liability? Not sure I see that either.

Stop Flitting!

‘Nyx, is everything OK? You seem jumpy’.

Truth was, she’d been agitated ever since we cut through that alley with all the fog. But Cab only works out of this one place, and I’d had a long day. Cutting through the alley saved us probably ten minutes. Of course, I don’t speak dragonchitter, and her telepathy isn’t advanced enough yet for her to send me more than impressions.

The impression I got was that she very much wanted to go back to our nice, warm hotel room above the city, event though she was also looking forward to seeing Cab, and she was hoping we might see some other dragons, although Cab rarely brings them in unless he is exchanging.

Did you hear something?

Tonight’s not the night, Cab said, over a couple of flavoured Belgian beers (my treat). New clutchlings aren’t ready yet; give it a few more days—you will be in Antwerp for a few more days, yes? And I’ll send a message to you when I’m ready. I think I’ll delivery this one’.

I thought about that for a few seconds. ‘I will certainly ask Her Majesty if she would welcome a personal delivery’, I said. I mean, I don’t see what the problem would be, but she’s sometimes prickly.

Then, we talked about Nyx and how well she’s doing over the rest of our beer, and I left the pub, already feeling like I was late for my dinner and my bed. I guess I’m getting old now: I just don’t see the fun in staying out all night and then going to work the next morning.

I stopped on my way back to the alley cut-through to re-button my boot. Seriously, the new Jangka shadow uniforms are very spiffy, but there are a lot of buttons. Her Spendthrift Majesty got them at the Chronicles & Legends faire when we were in Ippos a week or so ago, and I think she mostly wanted them because the Chronicles & Legends theme is “Creatures of the Night” and it amuses her to think of me and the rest of the Guard as creatures of the night, even though we’re out in the daytime too, when she needs us.

Yeah; I grumble to myself. Don’t you? If you said no, you’re lying.

That’s when Nyx started to chitter even more. ‘Did you hear something sweetie’? I asked. ‘I’m not hearing anything, and my hearing is pretty good, but I bet yours is better’.

I looked around, didn’t see anything, shrugged. But when I started for the alley, she dug her claws into the leather reinforced sleeves and actually made a move as if to nip my ear!

Fine, have it your way!

‘OK, OK’! I finally relented. ‘I will not take us through the back alley on the way home. But you’re the one who’s been thinking about a roaring fire and a nice dinner for the last hour and a half, so you remember that when we’re home thirty minutes later than we would have been’.

And, I shit you not, for the first time I heard it, clear as day, properly voiced, not too loud, not too soft.

Nyx’s voice, inside my head. At least we will get home if we go that way.

I know nothing ever surprises me any more.

That surprised me.

Sponsored items from the cool creators who send me stuff to take pretty pictures of:

Other Fancy Stuff:

  • Har: Rama, Joy
  • Eyes: Lovelysweet, Morgause Eyes
  • Dragon: Moon Rabbit, MR DRAGO (Available at Access)
  • Creepy Alice: Sutura Creations, Bad Alice
  • Backdrop: Varonis, Dayport Backdrop Scene
  • TAC is styled on a Maitreya body with a Lelutka EvoX Raven head.

From Gwyneth:

I don’t mind handling the various diplomatic responsibilities of my role. I knew these would be a reality when I decided to create a Realm that would be a bridge between the Fae Realms and the more mundane worlds out there. Still, particularly when the diplomatic season is just starting to heat up in the spring, I find it tiring.

Honestly, I find spring tiring. I and the other magical guardians of Awenia have done so much work to make sure everything is in place and things are set to grow and flower and move through their year as they should, frankly we’d all like to take a nap until Beltane.

But that’s not my lot, so I’m getting ready to head to a museum meeting in Antwerpen this week.

So tired!

I was so tired I called on Clutie to help me out with the pre-trip glamours.

‘Fine, but you have to take me with you’, she said.

‘Clutes, you hate this kind of thing’, I said, trying to reason with her. ‘What if we plan an outing to that cool Elf Forest you like when I get back? Lots of eye candy there’.

Clutie sniffed. ‘No. I want to go with you’.

I tried another tack. ‘Do you really want a bunch of beings who aren’t used to demifae fawning all over you’? I asked.

‘I’ll glamour myself into a fairy dragon and sleep on your shoulder the whole time, and if anybody bothers me, I will bite them‘.

‘You haven’t really read over the definition of diplomacy, have you, dear’?

Clutie folded her tiny arms and tapped a foot against the imaginary floor whilst floating in front of me. ‘That’s the deal. You want my help for unbreakable glamour while you’re on this little jaunt, I come with you on the little jaunt’.

At this point, I have known Clutie long enough to know that when she starts tapping that foot, there is no arguing with her: she is getting her way and that’s that.

‘Fine’, I said, ‘But I want cool eyeshadow’.

Those Hexumbra Dragons Really Came Through!

‘That I can arrange easily’, Clutie replied. ‘The Hexumbra Dragons visited earlier in the month, and they brought some beautiful designs for you to try’.

I admit I squealed when I saw the Unicorn colour. I’ll have to keep that in my weekly glamour rotation! The lipstick ended up perfect as well—as usual Clutie did a great job. You can see her here, already glamoured up as her little fairy dragon. She even did my hair and nails and found just the right jewellery. Not just a great employee, Clutie, but also a steadfast friend.

‘Time for us to get moving’, I said as I made a move to stand up. ‘Sorry I didn’t get to finish the coffee, but I love the magic cloud’.

‘Super cute, isn’t it’? Clutie was already starting to fall asleep on my shoulder. ‘Don’t forget your wings’.

Can’t have a Faery Queen without wings!

I shrugged to bring the wings out and made sure they were just the right combination of colours. ‘Imagine the kerfuffle if I arrived in a city Realm without wings’! I laughed. ‘There would be screaming in the street’!

Clutie was already asleep, so really the only response to my banter was little fairy dragon snores.

Notes & Credits:

Sponsored items from the cool creators who send me stuff to take pretty pictures of:

  • Skin: ND/MD: Ani, in Snow. Available at the ND/MD Main Store
  • Eyeshadow (photos 2 & 3): Hexumbra, Blythe, in Unicorn. Available at the Hexumbra Main Store
  • Lipstick (photos 2 & 3): Hexumbra, Kimberly HD lipsticks (shown faded using the Lelutka HD Lips fade feature). Available at Orsy Event.

Other Fancy Stuff:

  • Hair: Exile, Titania (photo 1); and Exile, Laie (photos 2 & 3)
  • Ears: Andore, L.E.X. Elf
  • Ear Adornments: Andore: Wild Flower
  • Earrings & Necklace: Heartsdale Jewellery, Mists of Avalon
  • Outfit: Meva, Andrea Dress (Picked up at Anthem)
  • Shoes & Socks: Eudora 3D, Ada Heels & Socks
  • Wings: Aii & Ego: Fairy Wings
  • Backdrop, including floor/walls, windows, screen, small table, and curtain: Amitie, Essential Backdrop (At Equal 10)
  • Poses: Amitie, Essential (At Equal 10)
  • Vanity & clutter: Granola: Giselle Vanity
  • Magical coffee: LuluB! Magical Coffee, Purple (Available at Farmer’s Market)
  • Clutie as a Fairy Dragon: SEmotion Libellune Fairy Dragon XS, SPECIAL

From The Author:

My first couple of weeks back at work after yet another bout with illness really took it out of me, hence the lateness of this blog post that I’d planned for Enchantment. The event is over, but the story still wanted to be told, and those are some cool swords.

From The Amazing Catwoman:

Oh, look: it’s ,me again. I know I’m not always so chatty up in here because She of course gets all the glory and the kudos and the pretty dresses. Not that I would wear the pretty dresses. But you know, I had so many questions from our Queen’s Guards in training around this whole Sword & Sorcery fair she made them all attend with her, I figured I would give you (whoever the heck you are: I don’t know you from FørsteAlv) a little glimpse of what it looks like when they make me teach the n00bs.

Today we’re going to talk about something different…

‘OK, barn, the bit you probably already know is the Swords bit. You know, that’s when we give you a wooden stick and tell you to hit the practice dummy and Wulfrich shouts at you explaining you’re dead already’.

There was a chorus of various flavours of ‘yes’, with some groans sprinkled in. Apparently, some die more violently than others. I should come watch training more often.

What you know already…

‘Now, that’s what you get when you first decide to intern with or enrol into the Queen’s Guards. But we’re all some kind of Fae, and that means we are magic. That’s where the Sorcery bit can apply to you’. I looked around for signs of interest. There were a few, but I had to wonder what Wulfrich does to these kids to make them so stony-faced. ‘Come on; some of you have had some magic in your backgrounds’. Silence.

‘Fine’, I said. I put the rapier away and faced them. ‘Let me show you what I mean’.

Lesson one: Magic is hard.

‘Lesson one’, I said. ‘Magic is hard‘. I began to concentrate. ‘Now, my magic tends to have a signature that’s kind of like spots or sparks of fire. Now that we have magical signature-enabled cameras, I can even see it once in a while. So first I have to think about my magical being, and then I have to consider, imagine very carefully and precisely, hm… two rapiers, let’s say’.

The ‘block’ position

There was an audible gasp from the barn. Maybe they were listening after all.

‘Now, this is the block position; something I can do when the swords are idle’, I said. ‘And you can still see the magical signature around me, for now. But as I get more into the process of it, you’ll find that the signature goes away’.

Slashing

‘Here is a sideways slash’, I said, using my arms to direct the blades. ‘I’ve been using magical blades for a long time, and I can make them do pretty much anything I want, including rotate round me like a little “come closer and I’ll kill you” kind of sign’. Some scattered giggling.

The ready position

‘In the “ready” position, the blades mostly just hang about looking kind of daunting, and that’s exactly what you want them to do. Any fight I can win without ever landing a blow or drawing blood is a win’. This got nods; I know Wulfrich says the same thing to them, and it’s what all sword masters should do. ‘For those of you who haven’t done it, killing is not something we come back from easily. Some humans seem to do it without a care in the world, but we magical beings, life force stopped does something to us. I hope you never have to find out what that something is’.

I took a step back and sheathed the twin blades. ‘Any questions’?

Notes & Credits

Featured (Sponsored) Items featured at the last round of Enchantment:

  • The Outfit: Exia, Athena Top & Pants
  • The Armour: Exia, Athena Armor
  • The Shoes: Antaya, Nuri
  • The Rapier: Vae Victis, Swansong Bloodsworn Blade
  • The Twin Swords: Quills & Curiosities, Spellcraft Sabres

Other Fancy Stuff:

  • TAC is styled on a Maitreya body and a Lelutka EvoX Raven Head.
  • Skin: Petrichor, Vareni Fades, Shalani
  • Hair: Rama, Joy
  • Environment: shot on location at the Queen’s Guards’ training pitch, Awenia

From Friðrós:

Well, Her Majesty will want to know about this. So I should document it, I guess. I have a little camera, and Viska’s along with me, so she can help me take some photographs: Huldufólk, much as I wish it weren’t so, aren’t great with technology unless we’re in a Realm that’s bound to something technological. So strangely, I was happier with a mobile phone back home in Iceland than I am here in Faerie, even though Queen Gwyneth is pretty good with technology and even Nathaniel has managed to get the hang of a spreadsheet (or so he says).

A place in the wood just … opened up

Now, of course Faerie is replete with odd little places and things you’d never expect to find: it’s Faerie. And now that I’m beginning my third year here, I guess the truth is I’ve been concentrating more on myself than on the place itself. Her Majesty says I need to recognise that even the Fae grow and change, that if we don’t, we’re going to be as stagnant as the Fae Courts of old, and we will find ourselves existing only in story, until the growers and changers forget or have no more use for the stories. Then, she says, we face our ultimate disappearance. She gave me this lecture last year, as well, talking about how she’d seen a vision of reality unravelling before her eyes and that she’d seen herself in that vision. I mean, she’s a Fae Queen, so frankly you have to take everything she says með smá salti. With a grain of salt. Idioms sound better in the old tongue.

Anyway, I was just taking a walk, and I had some writing to do, so I had a notebook with me, thinking about what the purpose of my little life should be, and I thought I was heading straight into the Pangurlands so I could pet the new kittens, but… yeah, I don’t know what happened. I ended up in what looked like the ruins of a temple or some such, not a place I’d ever seen before. In fact it looked way too broken-down for anything Her Majesty would want in Her Faerie. I figured it was worth exploring. And it didn’t look all that big. Viska was sure it would be safe.

Was there something behind me?

The whole place had a springy, summery vibe, which makes sense given the time of year and Gwyneth’s devotions to the seasons themselves and the cycle of the Earth. I’ll grumble another time about how since technically we’re not on Earth we shouldn’t have to mirror Earth, but whatever. There were flower vines everywhere wrapping round the robust trees. It was easy to imagine this as a place Nature Herself had recaptured from some ancient human or human-like hands, but then I came to a series of strange boulders marked with symbols both familiar and foreign. This one… I thought I heard a voice behind me just as I found it… this one reminded me of the Awen from which Awenia takes its name, the symbol of bardic inspiration in Her Majesty’s pre-alchemic-cosmology Druidry. See, there are three rays coming down and you could imagine the semicircle there as a sun sign. Maybe these were things the Queen herself had built and forgotten?

Sitting With Inspiration?

I couldn’t resist stopping for a few minutes and spending time with what to me was if not an Awen, quite Awen-like, if you will. Or even if you won’t. It’s my report, so I’ll make it how I wish. I think there’s always more going on in the creating mind of someone like Her Majesty than one can see straight-up; her creations are real and have echoes, repercussions, rippling ever-outwards. It makes one wonder if this isn’t why she confines herself to little universes: she doesn’t want to affect a planet’s worth of people, places, other nouns. Whether or not she remembers this place, I’m sure she’ll want to know about it anyway, especially if there were more of the strangely-marked stones elsewhere in the… dare I call it a grove? Was it a grove, a temple, a shrine? So many words for similar things.

Further in, more arcane symbols awaited me.

Further in, more arcane symbols awaited me. This one, I could not interpret, so after I got Viska to shoot this photograph, I also sketched the symbol in the notebook, just to make sure I had the details in my head. It’s not as if Her Majesty really takes special note of anything I’m doing these days; she’s barely spoken to me since the turning of the year. But stranger things have happened: maybe this will be the one time she quizzes me, and of course I want to be ready. It’s worth noting that the landscape beyond the … wherever I was … had this odd quality of being both inviting and somehow forbidding, as if it was somehow designed to seduce the unwary. There was something about the quality of green and gold light that made me cautious. I guess I have learned a little bit in the last couple of years.

A shiver ran through me as the light began to fade. How long had I been here, anyway?

Moon Arch

As I turned and looked for the way I’d entered this magical copse, I spotted a third glowing stone, this one in the shape of an archway. It seemed to mark the entrance to a sunlit pool, beyond which was another archway, perhaps made of trees. I didn’t dare go in that direction, but I did take a few minutes to consider the roughly rendered moon phases on the top of the arch. The moon here is in her first quarter; I wonder what would happen if I returned (assuming I could ever find this place again!) when the moon was full or nearly so. I imagined as I sat there that perhaps the while scene, the whole surrounding landscape, might change and morph into something different, though I didn’t dwell on what that landscape might be. I yawned. The shadows were definitely growing longer.

From somewhere behind me, Viska buzzed irritably. ‘We’d better go, Rós. It’s gonna get dark’. Those were pretty much the first words she spoke to me the whole time: she’d been flitting about doing whatever it is demifae do when they’re flitting about. They’re not big on explanations, and why should they be?

‘Well’, I said, ‘if you can find the way out, lead the way’.

She sniffed, tickled my ear with a wing. ‘You big folk. Couldn’t find your way out of a flour sack’.

I shrugged. I wasn’t about to engage her; I wouldn’t want to give her an excuse to leave me for whatever lurked here when the light left. ‘I’m glad you’re here with me’, I replied. ‘Who knows what would become of me if I were alone’?

That seemed to satisfy her sense of propriety without invoking any bargain, promise, deal, or whatever else you call those troubles humans get themselves into with the most accomplished glamourists in all the Realms, the demifae. She flitted ahead of me and started to glow so that I wouldn’t lose her as we made our way out of the … OK, I’m going to call it a temple grove. If I’d felt more comfortable with her I’d have made a firefly joke, or maybe just suggested that her bum might be on fire, but, yeah. Once again, I wasn’t tempting fate in that moment.

She had us back in the forest bordering the Pangurlands in no time, but I was too tired to visit the new kittens. I know, I know. There should always be time to visit new kittens, but it’s true: I was completely exhausted. Felt like I’d walked miles, uphill. And, as you probably already guessed, when I looked back into the forest there was no sign of any grove, no slanting gold and green light, no hint of glowing stones.

It turns out Awenia has more secrets than I knew.

Items Featured at Enchantment:

Environment:

  • The Magical Grove, or Temple, or Copse: Synnergy Tavis, Forgotten Temple Backdrop. This is a 360° backdrop with great details throughout.
  • The Mysterious Glowing Stones: Harshlands, Sorcerer’s Rocks.

Friðrós

  • Friðrós’ walking outfit: Jangka, Ciriel. Includes outfit, armour, armbands, & boots.

Other Fancy Stuff:

  • Friðrós’ stunning skin: ND/MD: ANI. This beautiful skin is at the Risky Business Event until NOON SLT today (that’s 26 February, 2023). If you’re an ND/MD VIP group member, wear your group tag and get 33% off; after that it goes home to the ND/MD Main Store, where it’ll be full price.
  • Friðrós’ loverly strawberry blonde hair: Exile, Bree. Available at the Exile Main Store.
  • Friðrós’ jewellery: EarthStones, Sun Moon Stars necklace, earrings, bracelet. Available at the EarthStones Main Store.
  • Friðrós’ enchanting light hazel eyes: Shimm, CLXXIII, Set II. These are at the Abstrakt Event until 5 March, after which they’ll return to the Shimm Main Store.
  • Friðrós wears a Maitreya body with the Petite add-on. Her new look is styled on a Lelutka EvoX Avalon head.

Well, they suck.

And I’m not just saying that because I’m The Amazing Catwoman and therefore a surly rebel. I mean, that might have something to do with it, but really: who books the official Queen’s Guard photo shoots for Valentine’s Day? Like, I’m not even a fan of Valentine’s Day: it sucks. But just having listen to my fellow Guards sulk about how their spouses/significant others/various flavours of fuckbuddies were going to be so so upset with them that they were taking time out of this special day to stand around and wait for their names to be called and get a photo taken completely robbed me of the will to live. Well, it completely robbed me of the will to live after I admitted that I effing hate Valentine’s Day and let a whole bunch of people go ahead of me, so I was sitting there in the Library (Why? Why in the freaking Library?) for hours. By the time it was all over I had a serious vendetta against Cupid. Or Hallmark. Or whoever invented the whole stupid day. OK, obviously the day itself never did anything to me, and wishing away a whole day would probably royally screw the cosmos or some shit like that, but seriously.

Out of Balance

To make matters worse, of course it’s Brán who’s taking the photographs, because he is “an avid amateur photographer”, and Her Fae Majesty does not understand photography. Every time books shifted in the library, it knocked the camera off the tripod, and by the time he got around to me, I think he had also lost the will to live, because even as boring, stand-in-the-middle-of-the-banners-and-we’ll-make-you-look-like-a-dork photos go, this one is appalling. Did he just decide it didn’t matter if TAC’s photo was off-balance? Or maybe he plans to just slice bits off of it. I have no idea. He’s like one of those Instagram people who just discovered filters, too: if a photo doesn’t have some kind of an obvious overlay, he’s not having it. I guess I’m lucky he didn’t turn me some kind of rainbow colour.

Oh, Fine. I’ll just stand here all evening, shall I?

I think he must have realised he’d set that shot up all wrong, because then he said, ‘You know, as your second in command and all that…’ (Wulfrich had left hours ago, of course — and trust me; it’s better not to ask what he gets up to when he’s on leave…) ‘…we really should have a couple of extra shots of you, just for posterity’s sake’.

I may have — OK, I glared.

‘Just give me a little smile’?

‘Will it make this end soon’?

‘Just one more. You know, you’re really very attractive: it’s just you’re so mouthy‘.

‘This had better be the best freaking photograph you have ever taken, Your Seneschalness. Or I may behead you in your sleep. Come to think of it, I might anyways’.

‘Anyway‘. Brán really infuriates me sometimes. ‘You should spend more time with Her Majesty: It might improve both your grammar and your demeanour’.

OK, that made me laugh. ‘You have no fucking idea what you’re talking about, Brán. The shit she and I used to get used to back in … well, back where we grew up. If anything, spending more time around me might loosen her up a little bit’.

I don’t hate this one.

And that, of course, is when the snooty twerp shot the only photograph of the bunch that I actually like.

End of story: I GTFOed as fast as I could GTFO once that was all over, and I went straight home to my unicorn (shut up!) and had a nice, hot bath, and I did not interact with any other living creatures, unless you count the birds in my back garden, and I more feed them than interact with them, for the next three glorious days. After that, I’m set to help usher in the spring tourism season but standing around in my admittedly pretty spiffy day uniform and impressing humans with my exotic-ness. I swear to all the gods, if anybody touches my ears without permission, I will void my contract, along with probably the contents of their stomachs if I gut them just right.

Notes & Credits:

Items available at Enchantment:

  • Official day uniform of Her Majesty’s Awenian Fae Guard: Art&Ko, Sword Girl Set (sword included!)
  • Eyes: Yoshi, Lyn Eyes

Other Stuff:

  • Skin: Nuve, Emily Fantasy Skin, Ebony
  • Hair: Stealthic, Beam
  • Ears: Aii, Spirit Ears
  • Head: Lelutka, EvoX Ceylon
  • Body: Maitreya, Petite
The choice is simple

If anyone every asked me whether I’d choose Swords or Sorcery, given the choice (no-one ever did!), it’s a foregone conclusion I’d choose Sorcery. I mean, do I look like a Swords faery to you? Of course both paths have their advantages, and it’s always a smart idea to have ties with those who follow the other path, so to speak, since sooner or later you’re going to come up against someone who would want to harm you in a physical way; this is why Wulfrich and Tac are so useful in their way. Tac, of course, is still a bit of a mystery to me; I think Davi knows her better than I ever will at this point. But, yes, Sorcery.

Takes it out of you

Of course, Sorcery takes a lot of energy. Not, of course that Swords do not; I have seen the warriors after practice, and after battles. Both disciplines, assuming one follows either, are demanding masters.

Today, I am rejuvenating my personal protections, which must be done every season, and as we’ve just crossed over into Spring (not that many Realms will show it yet), I must go through the whole process. Later in the year, the rejuvenations require less work and leave me with less of a headache.

This is the long ritual, the one that requires a formal altar and which must be done in a place of magic removed from my own Realm. There are pocket realms created for this purpose, and at this time of the year, they are of course very popular. Of course, says the sage who admits me, someone where in the universe, it’s always this time of year—meaning, I suppose that the realm sages aren’t about to go hungry any time soon.

Which reminds me, I will need a full meal tonight.

Success, at last

And finally, after what seems days of fasting and chanting, here we have it. The last step is to make it invisible; it’s one thing to theorise that Fae Queens walk around in special little bubbles and quite another to prove it’s truth.

But yes. Given my background, the long lives I’ve lived since leaving my home Realm and since the bonds of the glamour imposed upon me by others were released, I’m pleased with Sorcery as a lifestyle choice, even though it makes for some lonely nights.

Ironically, when I return home after this necessary venture, it will only be for a day or so: once Nathaniel has finished his work in the land of administrativia, we’ll spend a couple of days at the latest Enchantment faire, which is ironically themed around Swords & Sorcery. Of course, we’ll go as ourselves, but few will recognise us: most of the punters will be in costume, and many of the magical beings in the world will be in other kinds of costume. Worth a look if you can make it; Enchantment is always good fun, the site is always beautiful, and of course you can’t beat the shopping!

Notes & Credits:

Items Available at Enchantment:

  • The magical dress: BMe, Lady of the Lake Gown, Water
  • The flowing hair: No Match, No Saviour
  • The Altar: Lorien, Dark Magic Altar

Other Stuff:

  • Backdrop: Milk Motion, Old Castle Staircase
  • Skin: ND/MD, Joe
  • Lipstick: Shiny Stuffs, Fit for a Princess
  • Eyeshadow & Liner: Shiny Stuffs, Witching Hour
Not the act of ‘singing’ in the season of ‘spring’

I cannot ever know what’s in the hearts of readers, assuming I have any after having deserted you all for two seasons. I suppose the fact that I am thinking about etymology this morning may make you roll your eyes and feel that you could do without me for another two seasons, but I am not interested in your opinion, because I am a Queen of Faerie, and if I want to think about etymology, I will think about etymology. I remember sometimes how Dyisi-who-was used to laugh at me for being over concerned about the meanings of words.And so this early morning, on the eve of Imbolg, I am considering this question of Singing-In; that is, not the act of singing in the season of spring, but the act of magically pushing the Wheel, whether we be individuals or hordes, to bring the advent of a new season.

So why’d you use such imprecise language, Your Majesty?

I admit it comes from my desire to be better understood, if you must know. Someone shared something with me a short time ago that called to my mind the common misunderstandings between the words invoke and evoke. And of course because I am a Queen with an academic background, I now wonder about the precise way, in English, to describe, or maybe even to codify, the act of Singing-In.

Awenia: Still becoming

Awenia, my base Realm and Queendom, is still in the process of becoming itself. I suspect it always will be. But on this day we celebrate Imbolg, the concept of spring being in the belly of the divine, waiting to come forth, and that’s why the Singing-In is important.

The symbols of our land are many

It is hard to choose a place to start, but this snow fae statue has always been a favourite, so I begin with snowdrops, here in the shadow of the Shrine Tree, on the public meadow. All places are starting places, after all.

But is this an invocation, or an evocation?

OK, Gwyneth… your point?

And that brings me to the circle-round question: am I invoking spring, or evoking spring? Some of you might say it doesn’t matter: that’s all right. You’re free to say that. It does matter. I suspect that while this evocation might include an invocation, the Singing-In is itself an evocation. After all, to evoke is to call forth, whilst to invoke is to call upon.

Now, it’s no surprise to anyone that I follow an old path, but I’ll bore you with cosmology some other time. Suffice it to say there are other pagan religions than witchcraft, that there are other cosmological compasses than the four, sometimes five alchemical elements seen over and over again in even contemporary expressions of asatru and druidry, and that what passes for magical (or magickal, you crowleyites) knowledge in the so-called first world is not all there is.

So I invoke my gods, my ancestors, and the animae that surrounds everything. I honour the realms and let the song come. And that, my darlings, stripped of all detail and specificity, is how we sing-in spring.

Notes & Credits:

  • The Stunning Skin: ND/MD, Joe—available now at the ND/MD Main Store
  • The Unforgettable Gown: Blue Moon Enterprises (BMe), Solstice—available now at the BMe Main Store
  • The Snow-droppy Hair: Magic, Dolly
  • The Circlet: Celeste, Bethany
  • The Necklace & Earrings: Rise Design, Rothenburg
  • The Piercing Eyes: Shimm, CLXIX
  • Gwyneth’s body is the Maitreya Petite. Her head is a Lelutka EvoX Gaia
  • Take a listen to Maddy Prior’s song about Spring and Birth at the YouTube link below. And, you know—listen to as much Maddy Prior as you possibly can because she’s pretty amazing.
  • The Favourite Fae Statue: Titans: Mushroom Fae Statue
  • The Snowdrops: Cube Republic, Snowdrop Drifts
  • Other things in Awenia: Too many to mention, but get in touch with me in-world if you’re dying to know what something is. Note that Awenia as a region is not just a labour of love and the seat of Gwyneth’s power as a Fae Queen, not just the leading Fae Tourist Trap in the multiverse, but also the showcase for The Author’s personal collection of wonderfulness. Be prepared to find that something you want to know more about is a one of a kind item and unlikely to be obtainable. ❤
Not my best August

I’ll be honest with y’all: it’s been a month for The Author. She would like you to know that attempting to sell a house from a long way away is no easy task, that illness sucks, and that she will be taking some time off to attempt to re-engage her blogging mojo after this post.

There’s just been no time, she says, and I kind of believe her, because I haven’t seen her very much this month either. She has even received “slightly worried” IMs from a few folk who know how to reach her via Discord.

I wish we could have told you more stories this month.

Truth is, it’s quiet in Story Land

I guess its been quiet in Story Land for The Author, Sometimes it’s like that.

She would like me to remind you all that there are several places on the west coast of Scotland where if you squint and the mist’s not too thick, you can see Ireland.

Notes & Credits.

Enchantment’s Twisted Fairy Tales ends tonight, in just a couple of hours. Featured items:

  • R3d, dress & scarf, Bianca
  • SFU (Six Feet Under), Heartsong Crown
  • MooH! Moon Swing

Other nifty stuff:

  • Skin: ND/MD, Izi, currently available at the Reborn Event
  • Hair: Doux, Adrienne
  • Footwraps: Friday, fae wraps
  • Nails: Eventyra, Meow at the Moon
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Lelutka, EvoX Gaia
  • Tree: Cube Republic, Old Oak Tree

I have been called many things, I grant you.

I have been called many things, I grant you, but “safe for children” is not among them. That said, it remains that here we are together, and here you are, deciding whether to follow me or turn around and go home. Now, I could be my usual self and tell you that following me would bring you everything you might ever desire, but we are thinking creatures, are we not? You know that no-one ever gets everything they might ever desire: there is if nothing else that pesky truth that new desires are ever cropping up to make the fulfilled ones seem pale. Humans, so full of desires. I love that about you. Your little wants outpacing your needs, so often compelling you to do things that bring you pleasure, and of course shame. “Shame” is a word I do not understand, except in the abstract. I know it is something that you feel sorrow or remorse for, but there seems to be a deeper component of “shame” that we in the Wild cannot grasp, except insomuch as human shame is an excellent … well, if we were talking about a machine, I would say that shame is an excellent lever, I guess. a way in which to make you operate exactly as predicted. Simplistic, deep, and hidden. I like things that are hidden.

Are we on a voyage?

Are we on a voyage’, I hear you ask. And the answer is yes, of a sort. This boat has only one stop, though. It can take you to the world of story. And I’m afraid it’s a one-way trip. You’ll have to find your way back all on your own. Of course I’m a storyteller: aren’t we all storytellers? My stories only serve to introduce the deeper tales that await you as you travel through the deeper lands of fairytale. You can be anyone there, a pauper, a princess, a king, a cat. Who you are is immaterial, certainly to us who call those lands home. Whether you gain your heart’s desire or are defeated by a dragon? Also immaterial. It is your beliefs and your desires that drive us. And as much as you might like it, we never tell the same story twice. All stories change according to who is in them, and you are in this one, now.

I don’t understand the question.

Do I ever feel ‘remorse’? I don’t understand the question. Let me look. Guilt for doing something wrong. Sorrow around committing a sin. No; these are not concepts that have any meaning for me, for us. We don’t work that way. You are, as we are, all characters. Characters have their own motivations for doing what they do, and we have no control over their actions. We only give a situation, a premise, a set of obstacles. How, and if, you overcome them—well, that’s up to you, isn’t it? But let’s cease this talk of morals and ambiguous ‘feelings’, shall we? Would you prefer a forest, or a castle, for your destination? How would you like to be called? Do you enjoy sweets? Apples? How about music? Good, good. Of course there is a story for you; why would you even ask? There is a story for everyone.

Enchantment Awaits You

Lovely, lovely; these answers will do; they’ll do perfectly. Of course you feel like you know the place already: It’s in your bones, you see, you humans. At the bottom of your stomachs, in the back of your minds, on the beginning edge of everything you do, there is the Story. And here, on the sometimes confusing paths of our world, you’ll walk your story. Of course, of course; you can move into another story, if you choose to do so. But you must finish each story before you begin the next. Yes, no matter how the ending looks from here. No, no; not yet. We begin. We begin the same way every time.

Once Upon a Time…

Notes & Credits

Enchantment’s Twisted Fairy Tales round is open!

Items from Enchantment seen in this post:

  • The Clothing (including headdress): Les sucreries de Fairy, Once Upon a Time
  • The Eye Makeup: Shiny Stuffs, Stepsister eyeshadow and liner

Other super cool stuff:

  • The Skin: ND/MD, Kat, in tone Snow, available now at the Orsy Event
  • The Lipstick: Shiny Stuffs, May Kisses
  • Body: Maitreya, Lara
  • Head: Lelutka, EvoX Gaia
  • Ring: On A Lark, Cypress Ring
  • Hair: Moon, Fox
  • Boat & Background: FoxCity, Cloudtop
The Clawful Truth

Cats, Travel, Musing, and More

CAZIMI

Makeup and Accessories

Oxblood & Wolf

Oxblood & Wolf | Mens Style from The Ox and The Wolf