Return Of The Light

I think we choose to celebrate darkness, madly and wildly, until it catches us deeply and seems unwilling to let us go. Once darkness has had you like that, you end up either celebrating it even more wildly, or retreating, as I have done, into a more peaceful world.

Peace, my friends

I am aware of the unimaginable size of my hubris when I say I have retreated into a more peaceful world. Had I all the will and magic of the universe, I would wish for all of us, each of us, to create the world we wish to live in. I know and am grateful for the immensely lucky hand which the gods have dealt me. Let’s be honest: if you were reading about me in a book, or in some poor writer’s memoirs, you would rename me Mary Sue, wouldn’t you? Trust me: I’m not blind. I would have done the same, had I come across my story before I lived it.

See the sun arising

See the sun arising
See the sun arising
Darkness is gone

We sing this together in midwinter, as the days begin to lengthen seemingly infinitesimally. And even in the cold haze of the early Faery morning, see, there is the sun, or some hazy projection of it, at least. Above the castle, the birds have already begun their day, and down below, the demifae are just ending their nights’ revels. For this small time, the Realm sleeps. Well, it seems to sleep.

The Realm sleeps only from a distance.

Closer-in, you will find the winds doing their work, moving snow around, you will find the lights above DJFae’s Dance Floor swirling their merry spiral, waiting for the happy steps of those our Danya inspires to dance (which is just about everybody who listens when she spins).

FluffyCat The Bookseller

You will find FluffyCat the Bookseller at his appointed post, because when do you need a good book more than on a blustery winter night? I ask him, What do you recommend? and he replies, On this night, there is no better book than Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising to steady your spirit with a story. I’m sure I have a signed edition here, Your Fae Majesty. Tempting, but I am only allowed to have so many copies of The Dark Is Rising. Someone else will be the lucky reader—of this one.

Snow, or mist? My own Book Garden seems more magical than usual, now that we have had midwinter snow.

It is not a time of newness, this, so when new things appear in the winter’s dark, we take notice.

Ode To The Moon

This pleasing cottage, called Ode To The Moon and created by the ever-imaginative Dragonia of Dragon Magick Wares, even came with its own tiny island. Whoever will live here will have their own holiday tree, not to mention half a dozen sheep—no; that one in front is a (tiny) reindeer.

Snowy Book Forest

How do we ascertain the anchor of a Realm? Is it the largest feature? Is it the most beautiful place? Is it the spiritual centre? If it is the most long-standing, then the Book Forest is at Awenia’s heart, if not its physical centre: there has been a Book Forest in Awenia for as long as there has been Awenia. For me, that’s about six years, but the folk who live here know this length of time as “for-ever”.

Our Sacred Meadow

The demifae have changed the altar from autumn to winter; no-one ever sees them do it, but it’s always efficient and perfectly on time. Can you see the tiny faery up in the Winter Guardian tree? Sometimes we can sight them when the seasons turn, just admiring their handiwork. You may know that the guardian trees in our Sacred Meadow relocate seasonally: do you see the Spring Guardian there in the distance? It’s as if she is only a few steps away. Calibri is the little pony who helps visitors find their way around Awenia; he’s strayed from his place by the portal. The unicorn is Lampen, one of the two unicorns who live here regularly.

Sleeping Demifae

And look! There’s a demifae, fast asleep on the altar Yule log. They must have worked through the night, making sure midwinter came to us on time. Here: let’s leave them some extra marshmallows for when they wake up.

As always, on this day, particularly after Fluffycat reminded me of The Dark Is Rising, I think of Susan Cooper’s beautiful poem, “The Shortest Day”. Do you know it?

I’ll put a couple of links below, but here is the text as I sent it in this year’s holiday card from Awenia.

The Shortest Day

The Shortest Day 

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us—listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome, Yule!

Poem by Susan Cooper

Here is an NPR recording of Susan Cooper reading some lines from the poem and talking about it last year at this time.

Oh, my darlings, I do dearly love you. And I do hope for peace.

Notes & Credits

  • The Avatar:
    • Gwyneth is wearing Silvan Moon Designs’ stunning Royal Yule Gown, available now at We Love Roleplay.
    • Her skin is Petrichor’s Lazulian Femme (quartze) for a base, topped with the Draziele Holiday Tattoo, Frost, also from Petrichor.
    • These eyes, also from Petrichor, are the Koele eyes.
      • Both the eyes and the tattoo are available now at Saturnalia.
    • Gwyneth’s hair is from Kuni, the Duda Hair
    • The brass crown is from Fika, the Duchess Fringe Tiara
    • The Candle Mantle and Crown are from Static, Candlelight Crown & Mantle, also available at Saturnalia. (that’s a great event; y’all should all go to it [no, I am not blogging for them!])
    • Makeup is from SlackGirl (eyeshadow) and TheMars (lipstick)
    • Gwyneth is in a Maitreya Mesh body and the Catwa HDPro Soft head. Her shape is home-made and handmade.
  • The Environment
    • Shot on location in Awenia Faerie.
    • Stunning Tree: The Looking Glass: The Shrine Tree, a One-of-a-Kind (well, two-of-a-kind!) item. You can come visit it.
    • Fir Tree in Peace photo: HarshLands, Fir Trees
    • Frame and Lights in Peace photo: {anc} Frame & Stool
    • Sim Surround: Landscapes Unlimited, Sweetwater Valley
    • Solar System: Landscapes Unlimited, Off Sim Starry Night
    • FluffyCat’s Book Wagon: Kraftwork, Travelling Bookseller
    • FluffyCat Herself: Foxwood, Fluffs
    • Ode To The Moon Cottage: Dragon Magick Wares, Ode To The Moon
    • Stage: {anc} Dreaming Stage
    • Sheep: [anc} Dreaming Sheep
    • Reindeer: Hextraordinary, Romping Reindeer
    • Small Tree: {anc} Noel Tears Tree
    • Large Tree: {anc} Snowy Day Christmas Tree
    • Items In Book Forest: There are so many! IM me in world or ask me in a comment if there’s something specific you want to know about. The book path is by Una, and the central house is 8f8’s Storyteller’s Burrow house.
    • Winter Guardian: HarshLands, Winter Guardian. Kadaj Yoshikawa has created guardian trees for all four seasons, and they are integral to the Awenia Sacred Meadow. You can see the Spring Guardian also in the photo that features the Meadow.
    • Pony and unicorn: Teegle! I love Teegle and can spend hours playing with my pretty unicorns and ponies.
    • Yule Log: Hextraordinary, Yule Log
    • Demifae on Yule log: CF, Forest Fairy, Snow Sit

(thanks to fellow blogger & photographer Justyn Time for the following video link! — not super happy with the harp background, but you can see the book!)









Tomorrow, the sun will rise on a light-er day. Be peaceful, and love one another.

Spiderweb

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, she cast her wishes
Into the air like feathers from an owl.

Like feathers from an owl

Like feathers from an owl, they twirled and blew
And who knows why the sky accepted them
And who knows for what purpose wishes drop
The air itself turned thicker, that she felt
But nothing else revealed itself: not yet.

Down the path she walked

And so she made her slow and careful way
Past the teller’s house, and through the door
All made of books, the substance of her life.
Beyond that first door, something felt awry,
As different as her mind from yesterday.

Something felt awry

Something felt awry, yes, out of placement,
She’d have said, if she’d been thinking clearly,
But she wasn’t. Just echoes of wishes
Occupied her mind: they were pervasive.
It was enough to make her think, Turn back.

Turn back, she thought

Turn back, she thought, but only in her head.
And as the path grew darker, she could feel
A weight upon her back. It grew and grew
Until she was convinced she’d have a stoop
Forever; that’s how heavy this weight seemed.

The Tree Of Shadows

She reached the Tree of Shadows just in time
To feel a finger tapping on her cheek.
Another finger tapped her shoulder, then
A rhythmic pulsing clear upon her back.
And so of course she turned to find the cause.

What have I done?

“I take them back!” she said. “Yes, every wish.
“I take them all back: I will keep them all!”
And from her back, the golden spider laughed.
“It’s good for you that I am not a cheat,”
The spider said. “You get one chance at this,
“No more. Are we agreed?” The spider clicked,
Then spoke no more with words. The wind went low,
As if the wood itself listened in then.

A close escape!

A close escape! She knew she’d made a deal
And felt the oath fix tight into her heart.
No more idle wishes: she’d have to work
At that one, but she knew she’d make the rule,
And keep it, if she wanted to survive
In her own space and keep her sanity.

Spiderweb, Spiderweb

Notes & Credits:
The Golden Back Tattoo: Nefekalum, Embed, Gilded. Available at Necrotize!
The Night Blue Skin: Wyrd, Alva, in special fantasy tone Frozen. Available at Trick Or Treat Lane through the first of November!
The Stunning Spider-Dress: Oubliette, Arachne Dress, Onyx. Available at Trick Or Treat Lane through the first of November! (comes with the leg ribbons as part of the dress panty)
The Equally Stunning Spider-Necklace: Oubliette, Arachne Necklace. Available at Trick Or Treat Lane through the first of November!
The Ice Blue Crown: Eve, Valindra’s Crown, Black Ice
The Multicoloured Eyes: Petrichor, Jamus Eyes
The Spider-Shoes: Sheba, Willow Heels
The Neatly Coiffed Hair: Magika, Midnight
The Spider: Salt & Pepper, Web Crawler Spider Companion, Gold
Environment:
Location: Awenia Faerie
Book Forest bits & Bobs:
Sign: 8f8, Storyteller’s Burrow, Sign
Background Books: Multiple creators; IM Gwen Enchanted in world if you want to know more!
Book Path, Una, Book Path
Creepy Tree with musical instruments: HarshLands, Cursed Tree
Instruments:
Violin: UnKindness, The Unveiling Violin
Cello & Harp, DRD, Victorian Music Room, Cello, Harp
Tuba: MadPea Cursed Collection, Tuba
Owl: MoonAmore+Cureless, Owlsome Owl
Spiderwebs: DDD, Dewdrop Cobwbs

I wanted to write something about the fickleness of wishes, and I remembered Joan Osborne’s song Spiderweb. It worked with a lot of great Halloween items, and the Nefekalum Tattoo gave our spider the perfect portal from which to emerge.

Spiderweb — Joan Osborne
I dreamed about Ray Charles last night
And he could see just fine
Dreamed about Ray Charles last night
And he could see just fine you know
I asked him for a lullaby
He said “Honey I don’t sing no more”
No more no more no more
Ray don’t sing no more
He said “Since I got my eyesight back
my voice has just deserted me.
No ‘Georgia On My Mind’ no more
I stay in bed with MTV.”
Then Ray took his glasses off
And I could look inside his head
Flashing like a thunderstorm
I saw a shining spider web
Spider web
Spider web
Spider web
In Ray Charles’ head
I dreamed about Ray Charles last night
He took me flying in the air
Showed my own spider webs
Said, “Honey, you had best take care.
The world is made of spider webs
The threads are stuck to me and you
Be careful what you’re wishing for
‘Cause when you gain you just might lose”
You just might lose your
Spider web
Spider web
Spider web
What Ray Charles said
When you’re feelin’ lonely
When you’re hidin’ in your bed
Don’t forget your string of pearls
Don’t forget your spider web
When I go to sleep tonight
Don’t let me dream of brother Ray
No, no, no, don’t
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he sees
Just like him best the other way
Spider web
Spider web
Spider web
What Ray Charles said
In Ray Charles head
All I got’s my spider web
Keepin’ me alive
c’mon Ray

https://youtu.be/Txu8tss7aJ4

Season of Celebration

The last three months of the mortal calendar year, beginning with the end of our spiritual year and ending with the beginning of the next mortal calendar year, are always a whirlwind for me.

It’s easy to let it overwhelm you.

If you start out sprinting, you’ll lose your stamina by the end of the season, and that does no good for anybody. That’s years, decades, even, of advice speaking.

But then The Looking Glass makes a gown like this!

But then, Sharni Azalea makes a gown like this, and you realise that Wyrd Witch could paint a skin so perfectly to go with it…and suddenly it doesn’t matter that you were trying to ease into the Party Quarter, such as it is, and you can’t resist trying on half a dozen different hairstyles, makeup changes, and the first party of the season becomes the same sort of goal that it would be if it were the only party of the season, all thanks to the amazing and talented designers you’re proud to know.

It’s enough to give a Faery Queen hope!

And hope, my loves, in hard times—hope is sometimes the only blessing we have. And really, even if you’re the Faery Queen in Awenia, who can resist trying on four different Exile hairstyles until you find exactly the one you want? I ask you: Who could resist that? It’s a rhetorical question of course, my darlings, because the answer is absolutely no-one, and you already knew that.

We are near halfway through October, and that means the first big parties are just around the corner. And so my loves, I advise you to do as I say, not as I do, and take it at an easy pace. Take it gently. Feel it as a quiet wonder, and not that brittle, excited wonder you feel right before the biggest disappointment of your life.

And if you can’t do that, well.

Dance.

Dance your feet off.

Shouldn’t everything be a dance?

Because, really—if you play it right—shouldn’t everything be a dance?

Be safe out there. Mind your manners. Don’t tell lies. And if you fancy dancing, head over to Trick Or Treat Lane to get your skin painted this glorious shade of leaf, and then make your way to the Archipelago, where you will find the Fallen Gods 13th Anniversary Celebration in full swing, and where you can yourself get The Temple Peacock Dress.

Notes and Credits:
Skin: Wyrd, Anya in Leaf, one of three special colours for this season, available exclusively at Trick Or Treat Lane.
Dress & Earrings: The Looking Glass, The Temple Peacock Dress, available at the Fallen Gods 13th Anniversary Celebration Market.

Head: Catwa, HDPro Soft
Feather Brows: DS’Elles, Feather Eyebrows for Catwa
Eyes: LeForme, Lili Eyes
Body: Maitreya
Nails: Venge, Stilletto, Tranquility
Hair: All from Exile—
1. Lesha
2. Versailles
3. Smolder
4. Jenna

PROM-PIT Spot, Take 1

Music swells, a romantic chord progression working up from the fifth to the one, and then, a calming….

VOICEOVER:

She’s always wanted this. Your little girl. Your princess. Your… angel.

Well, maybe not your angel….

But it’s her dream, to wear a beautiful gown, to have her hair done, to step out with all her friends….

Even if, for her own safety and the safety of others, you have had to have a pocket universe installed in your home and calling the entities with whom she associates friends is….

Musical riff

VO: well, it’s a bit of hyperbole really, isn’t it? But she wants this. She needs this.

So innocent and vulnerable!

She wants to feel like any other seventeen-year-old. Innocent, vulnerable, catching the eye of that cute…. um, well, being across a crowded room. It’s important to her development as a teenager—and as a demon.

That’s why we created PROM-PIT. It’s the best way for your demon child to experience that traditional coming-of-age celebration party, the high school prom, without making national news or feasting guiltily on the entrails of the junior class for weeks afterward.

Perfectly Recalled

PROM-PIT turns that pocket universe into a beautiful formal dance dreamscape. Popular themes include:

  • Come Sail Away
  • I Will Remember You
  • Don’t Stop Believin’
  • Born This Way
  • Frozen Frolic
  • Spring Fling
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Harvest Moon
  • Christmas Cotillion

First, we terraform and decorate! Don’t worry; we have safe holding spots in case your lovely one is a bit territorial!

Then, we’re there to document the occasion! Our photographers and videographers will take a few hours before the festivities begin so you and your loved ones will have a scrapbook to remember her the way she was on this beautiful night.

Candid Shots, Too!

We include candid shots of your precious spawn having genuine fun! Because every teenager deserves to have this much fun, at least on this one special night.

We’ll even take it to the limit!

We even know how to make sure we capture at least one photograph of her after she’s, well… broken a few rules and might be getting a bit too loud for the neighbours! Good thing those pocket universes are completely soundproof, isn’t it?

If your precious demon child is beginning to long for a “normal teenage experience,” whatever that is, why not give us a call? There’s no obligation, and our quotes are quick and reasonable.

These wonderful years are so fleeting, aren’t they? Our little darlings grow up so fast. They blood their first kills, mature, leave the nest (and maybe some survivors!), and move on into the world.

The most valuable thing in the world, in the universe, is a memory.

Make one this year, with PROM-PIT

When she’s on her own island, calling sailors to their dooms or luring the unwary in to her net of lust and lies, she’ll thank you for this beautiful scrapbook. You’ll each get a copy.

The Woman She Could Be

Call PROM-PIT today, and help her see the woman she could be. At least for a little while.

Notes and Credits:

  • The one-of-a kind demon skin: Wyrd, Anya, in special demon tone Blot (This will be at the Dark Style Fair, which opens on 9 October!)
  • The Stunning look-how-my-hooves-gleam-in-this-dress gown, Senzafine, Hecate Gown (You can get this right now at We Love Roleplay!)
  • Horns: Petrichor, Anathaema Bare Horns (Back at the Petrichor Main Store now!)
  • Gold Face Tattoo: Nefekalum, Guardian
  • Gold Body Tattoo: Nefekalum, Avalon’s Gift, Gold
  • Hair: Exile, Eri
  • Head: Catwa, HDPro Soft Mesh Head
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Wings, Tail & Hooves, Sweet Thing, Demon Wings, Demon Tail, Demon Hooves
  • Nails: Venge, Maitreya Stiletto Nails, “Flourish”
  • Eyes: Yoshi, Lee Eyes
  • Special thanks to Lucia Blackheart, Bu Lionheart, and Qyrsha, from the amazing and supportive Petrichor discord group, for help with finding just the right demon parts and being kind to me even though I’d never really put together a demon before. Thanks to all of you, she’s the perfect Demon Prom Queen!

An Extra Place at the Table

It is October in Awenia. And so we watch the world change, and sometimes we make the world change, as our magical year turns toward its ending. And yes, we believe that inside all endings there are also beginnings, and that is how we see the world on a wheel. Our Three Realms, Land, Sea, Sky, they all live in this wheel and on this cycle. As we near the turning point of the cycle, we mark where our old year passes into the new. In Awenia, because we are a Realm of inspiration, this marking goes on throughout the month of October.

To remember our departed, recently and ancient, every table gains an extra setting at this time.

An Extra Place

In some traditions, this practice is known as the Dumb Supper, and everything is prepared oppositely with everything usually on the right placed on the left, for example. Here, there is so thin a veil every day between worlds and realms, we do not bother with this ritual aspect.

Instead, we concentrate on beauty

Instead, we concentrate on making the space beautiful, welcoming, inviting, in the hopes that our honoured departed, be they recently gone from us or from many centuries ago, will find our tables to their liking.

For this year’s Sacred Meadow Table, I have found the most beautiful tableware, produced by master craftswoman Nodnol Jameson and her Kraftwork house. These arrived just as I was beginning to Turn Awenia to Autumn. They were part of a larger seasonal decorating package called a Decorate that I have enjoyed receiving for many years. This time of year, the contents are often focused on the more popular aspects of our Autumn holidays, the spooky fun, and the spooky creepy, and while we love those things in Awenia as well (Her Majesty will personally kiss you if you bring her candy corn!), we do take a more meditative view of these days.

Cats and Cups

So, this month, while you’re getting ready for your spooky fun and working on memorising your best ghost story or perfecting the perfect Hallowe’en costume, take a moment, if you can find one, and consider why we honour the dead. Why do we venerate our ancestors? For what reasons do we hold them in our memories and our hearts? How would the repast before us be possible, if we truly existed on our own, in some bubble, and had no ancestors, no giants on whose shoulders we could stand?

A Place at the Table

And, if the spirit moves you, set an extra place at your table, too. And have dinner with your father, your grandmother, your long-lost relative who gave some part of themselves so that you could be you.

Back, and Forward

Now, imagine—in a hundred years’ time, in five hundred years’ time, who will set a place at their table and hope to share a meal with you?

Notes and Credits:
The table setting: Kraftwork, Fall Dinnerware, for the 2020 Halloween DecoCrate
The Table, Chairs, & Benches: Raindale, Maplemoor
The Cats (both stone and sleeping) Maru-Kado
The Unicorn & Pony: Teegle
The Pond: Two Moon Gardens
The Statue: HarshLands, Spring Guardian
The Standing Stones: Studio Skye, Skye Standing Stones
The Castle In The Distance: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle
The Ground Cover: Happy Mood, Sweet Garden Grass 08
Prominent Trees: The Little Branch
Purple Bush: Cube Republic, Useful Bush
Environment: Landscapes Unlimited, Sweetwater Valley
Stars: Landscapes Unlimited, Starry Night

Look Back With Love; Look Forward With Hope

What We Become

They tell you when you start the road
They tell you that the road is long
They don’t tell you it never ends
They don’t tell you that it’s all hills

And I am tired

It’s beautiful, it’s beautiful
It’s long, it’s hard, and I am tired
And here among these picture books
Perhaps I’ll rest a little while

Not my quarter

They’re all well-kept, the picture books
Like someone reads them every day
Not overgrown, like my quarter,
With dead grass, and mushrooms, and moss.

It’s a stark difference

It’s a stark difference, isn’t it?
From picture-book to literature,
Look how they throw their things away
And paint the wood in shades of grey

What do they know?

For all that rhyme and whimsy lost
Another suited mannequin
Can take its place among the rest
And lurch through life without a song

But does the moon make up for it?

The thinning of the atmosphere,
I admit, makes the sky more clear
But does the moon make up for it?
I don’t think so. No; I do not.

Watch the pages fly

My anger turns into an orb
My wings release me from the flames
You don’t respect this treasure trove?
I’ll burn the whole place to the ground.

Weep for Alexandria

Now, find me in a gallery
Called Weep for Alexandria
Some artist painted tears on me
And said I must have felt despair.

Despair? You fool. No: that is hate.
At what I watched you do to them,
My books, my scrolls, my poetry
And all the people who loved them.

I give and give, and every time
You answer me ungratefully
No more chances, children of earth
This time the fires will never end.

Notes and Credits:
Burn It All Down Gown: Senzafine, Maerwynn (Get it at We Love Roleplay!)
Weary As My Soul Skin: Poema, Metis (This is at The Darkness Event. Poema does an amazing job with skins that look middle aged and older; you should really check out her work)
Crystal Earrings Of Hope Still Surviving Despite All This Stuff: Mini A Chuu & ~MF~, Ticha Crystallic Earrings
Above It All Wings: Deviance, Sidhe Wings, Unseelie
Done With This Hair: Sintiklia, Tumelo
Seeing Red Circlet: Deviance, Erulisse Circlet, The Priestess
Blood On My Hands Tattoo: Nefekalum, Gilded (roses)
Pointy Like Knives Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Body: Maitreya; Head: Lelutka, Lake
Environment:
Location: Awenia Faerie, The Book Forest
Stunning Picture Books: Happy Mood, Pop Up Book, Your Story With Stuffed Animals
Moon & Stars: Landscapes Unlimited: Off Sim Starry Night
Tree With Green Sap: HarshLands, Magic Sap Tree
Winter Tree: The Looking Glass: Dead Wood, Large Tree
Burning Library: TRIIN, Ruined Castle

Short Time

It’s been so long. Yes, as usual, I have spent all my time working. The practical side of faery is no less real than anything else you read, but it does not leave everyone’s favourite svart alfar very much leisure time. This is my last faery tour job before I take a short holiday, and it involves a bit of a journey, so I can tell you a bit about what’s been going on with me: I’m sure you’re all vitally interested.

Setting off in the morning

Awenia’s under re-construction this summer, so I signed up to work on fairytale tours. Fairytale tours are a racket and a half, but they keep me busy and you know how I hate to be bored. This was my last tour of the season, last assignment, even, and it was going to be a piece of piss; just spend a night at Merrywether Cottage while the Faery Aunties were gone to market so this particular fairy tale princess could enter the climax of whatever story the legend matrix picked for her. It’s a complicated spell system, and I’m not sure even the story wizards understand it, but basically my job was to keep her alive and on course long enough for the plot to create itself around her organically. What can I say: it’s not an exact science, and I’m only a stand-in, anyway.

I do really like this horse, though. Her name is Omega, and she has this amazing Aurora coat design. This year, Cinnamon won the contract bid to do all the animal art for the tales, so there have been the most beautiful horses everywhere you look. Obviously I’m biased, but I’ll miss Omega most of all when I have to go back to Awenia to get us ready for autumn tourist season opening.

Forced Perspective

I remember when I visited the Harry Potter studio park when it opened up in Watford Junction. It feels like a lifetime ago now, but it must only have been, what, eight, ten years? Anyway, everything was so close together, and docents explained how camera angles and forced perspective could make everything seem bigger than it was, closer or farther away, that sort of thing. Kevin was nodding away like he understood it all, and he probably did. I nodded too. When you’re immersed in it, it’s easier to realise how you can feel utterly separated from a castle that’s barely fifty yards away if you’re not meant to know it’s there.

This is a roundabout way of saying the ride to the cottage was short and I probably could have had a nice spar with some of the guys in the barracks before I headed out, but the story says it’s a day’s travel, so I took it at its word.

Evidently, the residents did as well, because nobody was home. Garden demifae explained the three fae aunties had gone out to the market early that morning and weren’t expected back and that “Little Fair One” marched out before lunch time with a picnic basket and said she’d be back eventually. Bless their little cotton socks, the fae aunties did not have any benches in their garden, so I liberated Omega from her tack and settled down in a nice forked tree to wait. Luckily, I had some contraband AirPods Pro and my equally if not more contraband iPhone with me, so there was at least some music (I have batteries. Don’t ask).

I fell asleep.

The Omega Full Moon Demifae Fan Club

When I woke up, there were three interesting things.

  1. No tourist.
  2. No fae aunties
  3. Omega was being fawned over by four demifae

I couldn’t really do anything about any of these things.

Well, I could laugh

I could laugh at one of them, so that’s what I chose to do in the moment. Because Omega was soaking it up like the Arabian princess she was. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss Awenia’s beautiful unicorns, especially my favourite dark chocolate unicorn of train station fame, but if I’m honest I’d just about swap my whole summer’s wages if they’d let me take this horse back home with me. I’m sure Gwyneth wouldn’t mind. We’ve got plenty of land for fae horses, and the tourists love them.

As the moon began to set, I started to worry, though. Surely the aunties should have been back by now. I didn’t want to take the demifae away from their new toy, and a few minutes more in a fairy tale wouldn’t hurt anyone, so I let it be.

“Don’t worry,” said a gravelly voice.

The Legend Matrix

“The fuck are you?” As an aside, when you jump half out of your skin, coming down hard onto the split trunk of the tree you’ve been dozing in for something like six hours hurts like fuhuhuhuhuck.

And then there was a gravelly laugh. “Well, you’re new, aren’t you? I’m the legend matrix. You didn’t wonder why there are so many dragons with polyhedral dice everywhere along the fairytale tour routes?

OK, I had actually noticed that.

I bit my lip. “Thought you were a fucking design feature,” I said.

“You are not entirely incorrect,” said the dragon. “I suppose you could say I am the central design feature.” He laughed again. It sounded a little bit like if a puppet made entirely out of paving stones had an asthma attack. I guess if you’re the central design feature, you get to laugh at your own jokes.

“So I shouldn’t worry?”

Worry

I was going to worry anyway.

“Nothing to worry about at all.”

“And why’s that?”

The glowing D20 slowed, stopped, and began to spin in the opposite direction. “She came to me and asked me to,” and then there was some static and a voice played back through what must have been a speaker somewhere in the dragon’s abdomen, “Just get me out of here, OK? This is not what I paid for!” Some static. “And so I did.”

I paused. “You didn’t send her home did you?” I could foresee that lawsuit.

“Of course not.” The D20 slowed again. “I am the central design feature of the legend matrix, not the all-powerful dragon god of the multiverse. That would require additional upgrades.”

Of course. “So what did you do?”

“I created her plot, of course. She seemed to want to spend her entire fairy tale tour in a castle, so I sent her to one.”

I frowned. “I mean, don’t they usually start off as peasant girls or get kidnapped or something?”

Another gravelly laugh. “When they’re the real protagonists, yes. But when they’re merely the prize to be won, sure, they can live in the castle. But rest assured, I have followed her form to the letter. She will live in a castle and have many servants. She will wear fine dresses and dance at many balls. And in the end, she will marry a prince. So what if she has to kiss a few frogs first? She didn’t specifically exclude it.”

And that’s why I bought a miniature copy of the official fairy tale tour guardian dragon statue in the gift shop before I took myself and my salary (codename Omega) through the realm portal back to Awenia.

Sometimes, even my crap summer jobs have happy endings.

Stay safe out there in the human hinterlands,
The Amazing Catwoman

Notes & Credits:
Enchantment closes today! It’s your last chance to see the beautiful build, enjoy the atmosphere, and grab some Sleeping Beauty souvenirs while they’re all in one place to take home to your own castle. Even if you’ve already been, you probably missed something: it’s an event full of wonderful stuff, beautifully and lovingly designed, and always full of wonder.

Enchantment items featured here:
Omega’s Skin: Cinnamon, Aurora Teeglepet skin (also comes in versions for Jinx Centaur and Waterhorse; matching wings are also available for your Teeglepet Pegasus)
TAC’s circlet: Air, Thorns Crown Gold
Demifae Fan Club: Titans, The Aurora Fae
Guardian Dragon: Cerridwen’s Cauldron, The Guardian Statue

Other Amazing Stuff:
TAC’s stunning new Drow Skin: Wyrd, Nightshade (This is at the Wyrd Main Store, and I cannot tell you how over the moon I am to have been the first person to test this amazing graphite/purple drow skin. It is perfect, and perfectly TAC)
Head: Lelutka Evolution, Nova
Body: Maitreya
Hair: Sintiklia, Connor
Ears: Andore, Hu-gu
Eyes: Yoshi, Alina (I’ve recently fallen madly in love with Yoshi eyes; expect to see lots of them here)
Clothes: Jangka, Hawkeyes outfit black, and Hawkeyes boots black
Castle: Harshlands, Devonshire Castle Keep
Omega Herself, Teeglepet, Arabian

Val, Chapter 1

I don’t really know what chapter this is, so we’ll start with one since that’s where everybody else starts and I might as well fit in in some way.

I am Valoisa Saga. I am from Tampere, in Finland. I am ninety, very young for an Elf, but you didn’t hear me say that. It is more fashionable on the Internet to say otherkin, but then that also translates to nerd, so I guess I can say that too.

But really, call me Val. It’s easier, and I guess it’s true that not even Finns all speak good Finnish.

Yesterday was my first day working at Immortal Ink in Myserie, Oregon. I’m glad I got a job in the Pacific Northwest. The rest of the USA seems a little too crazy. I mean, everybody back in Tampere thinks I’m crazy for wanting to come back here at all, but weed’s legal, and The Netherlands is a shithole. Just sayin’. OK, probably not all of The Netherlands. But definitely Amsterdam. Amster, Amster, dam, dam, dam, dam.

There’s plenty to hate about Immortal Ink, but I’ll improve it over time, and Old Jimbo (OK, he’s actually called Deadeye, but I’ve already named him Jimbo) is only an arse on days ending in ‘y’. Fact is, it’s nice to be the best artist in the shop. OK, the only artist in the shop. I’m laughing. But enough snark. Still laughing. There is never enough snark. History time!

My last day in Tampere

So, this was my last day in Tampere. Iivo said he was sorry to see me go, but he also was sorry he didn’t have a place for me at the studio; since the old owner was packing up most of the operation and moving to Spain, he expected business to go down a bit. I like Iivo, but he’s a bit limp when it comes to taking chances. Then again, he’s got a full house for tattooists and I’m only just certified in body mod. I guess, given the area, it’s a buyer’s market.

Goodbye, Iivo. Goodbye, Kalevala, Goodbye, drunk Finnish boys who want bears inked on your arses.

My last day, and it was August, so it stood to reason: sataa kuin Esterin perseestä. That’s vulgar, so I’ll just say it was raining cats and dogs. I don’t mind the rain: I’m not a stupid film witch, and I never met any real ones who melt anyway.

Mum planned to take me, even though Iivo said he would if I wanted him to. Nearest portal is Kangasala; Tampere is a magical wasteland, which I guess is probably why so many fae businesses do well there. Half the coffee shops are run by us elves, and of course being Finland elves are the majority of the Fae population, with a pretty good divide between Lios and Svart, not that we make much of a distinction these days. It’s the stupid western colonials who continue with their uppity pomp and circumstance and Victorian made-up stories about Seelie and Unseelie courts. We laugh about this, you know. Brits, Americans, they all had so much great mythology to draw from, and they picked Scottish words from the North of Scotland, which OK, are at least derived from Scandinavia where we like to think the first elves came from (yeah; that’s probably cultural superiority; people think Santa Claus comes from here, too), but give me a break. Seelie and Unseelie. Just because I am prohibited by blood from outright lying to you doesn’t mean I won’t outright fuck you up if you give me reason to. Why not fucking you up for sport makes me part of some special and different clan, I have no idea. My older sister Ula will fuck you up for sport: does that make her Unseelie? No fucking clue.

Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about on the drive to Kangasala, because Mum had to give me a lecture reminding me that American Fae have this antiquated system, and I’m all, ‘Mum, I picked a place that doesn’t do that, I looked it up, they don’t do the stupid winter and summer court thing, there’s no Queen Of Air And Darkness,’ And I totally did the funny voice. The look she gave me!

There’s no Queen of Air And Darkness

I should have let Iivo take me. At least there would have been beer. Mum wasn’t even going to let me vape in the car.

“You call me the minute you get there,” she said.

“Mum,” I said. “It’s a portal. It takes seconds.”

“You still call me.” She started to tear up.

“Mum,” I said. “You can come visit.”

Her mouth opened, then closed. “I am not made for America,” she said. She walked round the back of the car and grabbed the big suitcase and a smaller bag. Oh paska, Mum, you did not. “Here. You’re taking it.”

“Mum.”

“You’re taking it.”

“Fuck’s sake, Mum.”

She folded her arms across her chest. “And you’re kissing me goodbye.”

You know what? My mum is sixteen hundred years old. I am her youngest child, her baby. She averages one child every other century or so. It occurred to me it was not wise to say no to her at this time. I opened my arms, palms out in the universal gesture of surrender. I put my arms around my mother and felt her arms around me. I kissed her goodbye.

And I took the suitcase, and the goddamn kantele, and I walked through the sithen gate, knowing she’d follow, knowing she’d watch, knowing she’d cry before and after, but not during, that all-important, “Yeah, mum, I made it,” phone call.

And that was the end of my last day in Tampere

And that was the end of my last day in Tampere. And, I guess, the start of the new chapter.

Notes and Credits:

  • Val is a role-play character for Myserie, a Second Life roleplaying region. You can learn more about Myserie on the Myserie Role-play Site.
  • Val’s tank top has artwork designed by me, The Author, (Gwen Enchanted) and made into a lovely tank top by the amazing Mystie (Mystical Edenflower) who is MishMash Fusion. This tank top and some other tank tops inspired by Val’s journeys may be for sale soon. All artwork is original and designed by me. The translation of the Finnish text is, “My Hovercraft Is Full Of Eels”. I kid you not.
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Lelutka Evolution, Fleur
  • Skin: Wyrd, Alva, in T1
  • Tattoo: Nefekalum, Embellishment, Titanium
  • Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, Liv Spring Neutral (tinted)
  • Ears: Swallow, Pixie Ears
  • Eyes: Arte: Skjoldmøy Eyes
  • Eyelashes: Cazimi, Tidy Lashes
  • Hair: Stealthic, Rebellion
  • Facial Piercings: All Lelutka piercings for Fleur head, except;
  • Septum piercing: Venge, Kelpie Nosering
  • Jeans: LaPointe & Bastchild, Swear Daisy Jeans
  • Boots: Eudora3D, Morgan Boots

The Moment It Happened

Snapshot_031 BLOG

I think I said, ‘What’? Yes; it must have been

I think I said, ‘What’? Yes; it must have been
Unable as I was to think beyond
The stomach-fall, the tightness in my chest
Consideration left me and I stopped.

But context is important, we know this,
So I will tell you what transpired before
The moor-bell rang a message-bearer in
And made the thorn bush wrap me in a fist.

Snapshot_021 BLOG

We, all of us, were having a good day

We, all of us, were having a good day
Before the envoy came to break my heart
Look, here we are preparing songs for plants
My little handmaids tuning up their throats

By singing silliness first each to each
And silliness to rhyme and rhyme to thought
And thought to word and word to magic wrought
Another round of flower-growing songs

Snapshot_030 BLOG

We sing to them because it helps them grow

We sing to them because it helps them grow
And magic voices carry more than breath
So grow they do: we light them from within
With energy no mortal eye can see.

In summer, we sing softer than in spring
Because we know that soon they’ll go to sleep
And lullabies are such enchanted songs
They work beyond words, frequencies, and years.

Snapshot_025 BLOG

And then at nightfall, it was story-time

Then, after singing, it was story-time
As it will always be when skies go dark
And just when they were making up their minds
Which tale to hear tonight, we heard the bell.

‘Moor Majesty, there is a messenger
‘With news from outside, far beyond the Realm.’
So foolishly I said, ‘Do let him in:
‘Despite the hour; I’m sure he’s due some cheer’.

Snapshot_006 BLOG

The moment when I vowed to burn it down

The moment when I vowed to burn it down?
That moment lasted longer than some lives.
‘Moor Majesty, a new Princess is born
Beyond the wall; her Naming is today

And I am sent to tell you from the King
That you will be unwelcome. Stay away’.
An ember in my gut turned stone to fire
In seconds. I am sorry for the plants.

uninvited

It is the contrast I remember now

It is the contrast I remember now
Like iron curtains drawn on a full moon.
I think I let him live, the messenger
But once the blood mist fell, all bets were off.

So I became the raven, or the swan
Black wings of death, a heart strangled by thorns
I salted all their earth. I cursed her palms
And learned how quickly grace to hate transforms.

Notes & Credits:
Almost all the items you see in these photographs are at Enchantment’s Sleeping Beauty event, which opened on the 8th of August and will close on the 31st. I can think of no more satisfying and engaging escape, whether dark or light, than to lose myself in a fairy tale, so that’s what I’ll be doing for the rest of August.
Avatar Items Featured at Enchantment:
Horns: Snowpaws, Luna Horns With Dead Leaves
Face Tattoo: Nefekalum, Uninvited
Dress: Poet’s Heart, Rosaura Gown
Staff: Skellybones, Scepter Of Thorns
Raven (really not as visible as he should be and you will see more of him later): Jinx, Animesh Raven Arm Pet
Poses: All from Diversion, Protector Of The Moors Poses
Setting Items Featured at Enchantment:
Bounding Rocks: Harshlands, The Moors Rocks
Throne: Harshlands, The Moors Throne (Aurora)
Animesh Faeries: Titans, The Aurora Fae
Magical Flowers: Simply Shelby, Mystical Fairy Flowers
Thorns: Love, Evil Thorns
Ground Roses & Petals, Rivendale, Ground Roses
Things Not Featured at Enchantment which are pictured here and pretty doggone cool:
Skin: Wyrd, Alva in T1
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Hair: Exile, Something Wicked
Body Tattoo: Nefekalum, The Fair Ones, Sidhe Galaxy SOI
Lipstick: Pink Fuel, Dazzle Me Haunted
Eyes: Madame Noir, Lizz Eyes
Gloves: Amias, Embla Gloves

 

 

Moor Dance

faedance_004 BLOG

You’ve seen the fairies dancing on the moor

You’ve dreamed of fairies dancing on the moor
How gracefully they start: how fair they are
But soon, they’re overcome with their own flight
They lose the roses nesting in their hair

faedance_002 BLOG

An audience of forest creatures stays

An audience of forest creatures stays
But carefully: those tiny feet still hurt
If they land on your spine or on your paws
And nobody wants broken foxes, no

faedance_003 BLOG

You’ve heard they should not fly, and this is true

You’ve heard they should not fly, and this is true:
Like bumblebees, they’re too big for their wings
So when one falls (at least, when not on us!)
We all have such a laugh, and you’d laugh, too

faedance_006 BLOG

But then you’d make a postcard out of it

But then you’d make a postcard out of it
(We’re very clear that cameras aren’t allowed)
Which we must confiscate, and that’s a chore
That’s why we don’t have people any more

faedance_001 BLOG

It’s so much simpler now to get a dance

It’s so much simpler now to get a dance:
They’d always pick the little girls before
But now we foxes, deer, and even owls
Will get a turn before the night is done

faedance_007 BLOG

If from afar you only see their grace

If from afar you only see their grace
And miss the darling clumsiness of them
And lose the laughter we find in their games
Then you have missed the best of them, and us
And that’s just fine: we stay mysterious
And you stay curious, and then the day
You stumble into Faerie without gear
Their laughter is the only sound you’ll hear.

Notes and Credits:
Enchantment opens on the 8th of August— that’s tomorrow! And get ready, because this is a beautiful round full of fairytale magic; the theme is Sleeping Beauty, and fantastic creators have made some beautiful things for you to see, play with, and take home to build your own fairy tales.
Dancing Fairy’s beautiful outfit: Les Sucreries de Fairy, Sleeping B in Purple (top, shorts, armbands, collar, crown, butterflies, wings) (Available at Enchantment on 8 August!)
Dancing Fairy’s lovely sandals: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Sharla Sandals (Get them at We Love Role-play!)
Dancing Fairy’s thorn tattoos: Rainbow Sundae, Beauty’s Thorns (Available at Enchantment on 8 August!)
Dancing Fairy’s Perfect Skin: Wyrd, Saga (At the Wyrd Main Store!)
Lovely Forest Background: Pink Magic, Forest Decor (Available at Enchantment on 8 August!)
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Nora
Hair: Tram, 0314
Eyes: Madame Noir, Manu Eyes
Ears: Swallow, Magic Pixie Ears