This is not your world. Were you to step into it, My Fae Realm of Awenia, you would change, because it, the Realm, would change you. There is no way to enter Faerie, any Faerie, and return the same. I know this as well as anybody knows it, because I have stepped into Faerie many, many times, and I never return the same.
I’ll welcome you anyway, as I always do; it’s my duty after all, and sometimes even my pleasure.
Welcome, I should say, to Faerie as it is today, and if you’ve been here before you’ll notice there’s not a castle here any more. Yes, yes, I still have to get Angharad to change those signs. Poor girl: she was far too settled in her magical little room, and so she has been quite the sourpuss about my replacing the castle with a more open Court building. Sooner or later she will come to admire the gardens.
Not everything has changed with the seasons; Clio is still happily mostly living in the Formal Book Garden, and whilst there are some new additions to the Book Forest, there is nothing so overwhelming as last year’s upheaval. And yes, the cats still live in the storyteller’s cottage, and if you’re lucky you can find a goddess come to life on the hill above the book path.
Our Fae Lily of the Valley blooms here, and a special variety they are indeed. These beautiful plants, and the Raindale Mushrooms as well, I picked up at one of the many pre-Faire Faires, Chronicles & Legends. These Faires must all have a special theme; that’s kind of their thing, and this one amused me by having a theme of Seelie vs Unseelie. These names people paste on our kind, they always amuse me. As if there were some stark dividing line between seasons, and moods, and morals, and the fae. I smirk every time someone suggests to me that because I was first a Summer Queen that I am somehow morally more … ordered? light? gods forbid, good? than the Winter Queen, but then of course, here I am also the Winter Queen, and I hear my share of laughter on the icy winds. How shocking it must be to find that we, like humans, are complex. Multifaceted. Not paper dolls.
I think if I were in a book, I’d want to be in sepia, a halfway colour that renders more from shade than contrast. I’d want to be shaded, smudged, full of depth and the suggestion of colour.
But turn the page and I would be there in the late-spring dark, glowing pale against the lightless sky, spotlit by the moon herself, and seeming drawn from cold yet calling summer. Calling summer, I would step out of the dark page and examine the light as if it were a physical thing, a paintbrush tool to flick across my glamoured features, made soft for you because our perfection would blind you, sweet mortal, even as you longed to see us for who we are.
Of course you are welcome here. The Fae Realm of Awenia is a welcoming land. So green against the mud-time of your Bostons, so blue compared to your overcast Londons, so quiet next to your crowded New Yorks, no matter what names they are called by. Perhaps that’s why I’d appear first in sepia, so that you would see those shadows first of all instead of this saturation your eyes may be overwhelmed by when you come to us at last.
No, this is not your world. But it could be, if only you were willing to change. And even if you say you are unwilling to change and stay, unwilling to become part of the Realm and embrace its mystery and novelty, a part of you will always be Awenia, even if you are here only for a day.
Nathaniel says there should be a disclaimer.
That just makes me smile.
No-one ever reads the terms and conditions. It’s all fine, really. Just press ‘Accept’.
Most of what Gwyneth is wearing and some other items featured in this post are from the just-opened Chronicles & Legends event.
Notes & Credits
Items featured at Chronicles & Legends: Seelie vs. Unseelie:
The Gown: (A)MAZE/Viki, Alyara. This gown comes in multiple colours, and each colour way has both a light and a dark version. It’s stunning.
The Wings: Celeste, Seelie Bento Wings. Beautifully mod, so I was able to tint them to match the gown.
The Eyes: Arte, Luce Eyes
The Circlet: Kotolier, Circlet Lacrima
The Nails: Rawr!, Fae Nails
The Lily of the Valley & Purple Mushroom: Raindale, Lilibell Set
Head: Catwa HDPro Soft
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Elise
Brows: Simple Bloom, Liv Spring Soft Arch
Eyeshadow: Mewsery, Glitter Girl
Lipstick: TheMars, Betty Lip
Shot on location in Awenia Faerie, Court Island
Court Building: Compulsion, Elven House
Fountain: Titans, The Etoile Fountain
Mermaid Statue: Titans, The Siren Statue
Floating Lotus Flowers & Lily Pads: Rivendale, Purple & Pink Lotus, Green Lily Pad
Seals: HEXtraordinary, Seal Wanderers
Clio: Teeglepet Arabian
Bridge: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree Bridge
Chronicles & Legends opened on 10 April and will close on 2 May. It’s worth the trip!