It isn’t worth it to follow the Shining Throng around everywhere. At best, it’s tiresome, fun old dad jokes told in tandem by Queen Gwyneth, Nathaniel, Security Chief Wulfrich and First Officer Brán notwithstanding. And those are the high points.
At worst, I worry I’m becoming more like her. I noticed my eyes glowing yesterday.
I mean, they’re not glowing now, but I swear they were yesterday.
After being in the Queen’s Service for just over a year, I feel that I know a few things about Deep Faerie. That’s what my parents call the kind of pocket Faeryverse Gwyneth has created for her own purposes—and I’m pretty sure even she doesn’t know what they are.
Anyway, the Fae like to think they’re unpredictable. But the truth is, everything that happens in a small world, like Awenia, tends to stay … small. And that means there are only so many paths you can take. From this, I can derive that in fact the Queen and her various hangers-on are in fact going through all the same steps, over and over. Like a dance no-one is even sure they’re doing.
I think it’s why I looked so forward to coming to Faire this year. Last year, when it was all new for me, I was just excited to be part of Queen Gwyneth’s orbit. This year, I’m branching out a bit, I guess. Or trying to. And unlike Awenia, the Faire is big. Today, I discovered a Faire Realm called Living Echoes.
It was easy to feel pulled in, not just by the beauty of the place, but by the feel of it, the ambiance. I felt like I could stay there forever.
And then I noticed the glowing ghosts of beings; I’m surprised it took me so long, because they were everywhere.
As I drew closer, each figure became more complete, more fully realised, although in the end they were still unformed, not—oh.
Then, I realised the significance of the name. All these beings were echoes. I wondered briefly what I might look like to them. But they mostly stayed where they were, or they moved in seemingly programmed patterns— like a dance.
No; the irony of what I just suggested about Her Majesty and the Shining Throng does not escape me when compared to the echoes of beings in this Realm.
And then I decided to forget all that, because it’s so beautiful in this Realm I don’t have to ask questions about it. I decided I’d just soak it in, and not wonder about any greater meanings or deep philosophy: I can leave that to philosophers.
My grandfather used to love bridges. He would brave the trolls every time, just to cross a bridge, and he loved to stand, like this figure, in the middle and look out over the water, or the chasm, or whatever the bridge spanned. He said he could stand and look out over the world forever, from a bridge, said it was like being in magical twilight, that he could feel the pulse of the universe there.
Gwyneth told me once, during one of those conversations where she was bonding with me, that when she was younger she was obsessed with unicorns. I remember telling her that all little girls are obsessed with unicorns. Then she told me about her friend Tack, whose name isn’t really Tack, and how it was really Tack who was obsessed with unicorns. She started pretending to be obsessed with unicorns too, to make fun of Tack—and the one day she found she loved them as much as Tack did.‘Everyone’, she said, ‘is obsessed with something. I’m sure I was obsessed with something before I picked that obsession with unicorns’.
Now, I can’t stop wondering: if everyone is obsessed with something, then what’s my obsession? Maybe it changes from day to day.
As obsessions go… I guess unicorns aren’t so bad. I don’t think I should pick the same obsession as the Faerie Queen, though. My eyes might start glowing again.
I could pick bridges, I suppose: it’s in my family history. My grandfather had whole albums of all the bridges he’d visited.
On second thought, that sounds like a lot of work. Hard pass.
Or what about stone circles? Awenia has a lot of those. They change a lot, though. I half expect there to be a circle in the book forest one day with books instead of stones.
And then, I noticed something that made me stop stock-still. I stopped thinking about obsessions altogether. Because there was a portal in the middle of that stone circle. And, for lack of a better term, I became obsessed with the idea of walking through it.
When I walked through the portal arch, I ended up high above the rest of the Realm.
And there I was, in the middle of a group of dancing “echoes”. I felt like we were all having a good time. I tried to match their steps, even though I am not the world’s greatest dancer.
Nobody is ever going to write poems about my grace at dancing…
Anyway, this was fun! We were all having such a good time.
Suddenly I didn’t want to be part of the echo dance line any more.
And as much as I hate to admit it, the only thing I could think of was making my way back to Her Majesty and the rest of the Throng as quickly as possible.
One of the perqs of being in Service to the Realm of Awenia is that I can always find my way back to Queen Gwyneth with no trouble. The down-side to this is that it’s transitive magic: she can also find her way to me with no trouble as well.
The next time I visit Living Echoes, I’ll avoid the dancing glow brigade and just enjoy the forest. But I kind of want to bring Her Majesty here, just to see what she’d make of it.
Notes, Credits, & SLURLs
- Living Echoes is one of twenty regions that make up the 2022 Relay for Life of Second Life’s Fantasy Faire, to benefit the American Cancer Society. Aarkenfen is designed by by Kadaj Yoshikawa and Janire Coba and sponsored by Harshlands & Belle Epoque. Fantasy Faire opened on the 22nd of April at 12pm SLT (that’s US Pacific Time!). Visit before the 8th of May, when all the Fairelands will fade back into the mists, never to be seen again as they are this year.
- Friðros’ Dress: 1313 Mockingbird Lane: Maia Dress
- Friðros’ Necklace: Mini A Chuu, Luna Moonlight Butterfly Necklace
- Friðros’ Shoes: Lassitude & Ennui, Dryad Boots
- Friðros’ Skin: ND/MD, Sia in Satin Tone
- Other stuff, not featured at Fantasy Faire: Earrings: Swallow, E02; Hair: Magika, Celeste; Body: Maitreya; Head: Lelutka, EvoX Ceylon; Eyeshadow: Dotty’s Secret, Cleo; Lipstick: Shiny Stuffs, CosmoGirl