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

Show & Tell

It was my favourite part of primary school. Show & Tell Day. At our primary school, it was on a Tuesday, and you had to tell the teacher ahead of time if you were going to bring something and it couldn’t be alive or have any allergens, so that peanut-eating hamster was totally out.

‘Who has something to show the class’?

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Show & Tell: ‘I do! I do’!

That’s me, always the one with her hand raised. Other kids giggled. It was years before I knew I should mind when other kids giggled.

Today, I have a lot of things to show you!

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Seventh Oracle Gown

First of all, because you have to talk about the dress, there’s this gorgeous Seventh Oracle Gown from Silvan Moon Designs that I’m wearing! It comes in six colours, but today I felt purple, so there you go! I love these puffy sleeves! You can get this dress later today at We Love Roleplay, which opens at I think 1pm SLT.

I’m here at the new Awenia Faerie landing point, because I had to inspect the cafés, of course, and because we’re oh-so-close to being able to welcome you in to take some photographs and enjoy the scenery. Do be sure and follow the food guidelines.

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Don’t mind the hecklers in the back

As for what those three are up to, I wouldn’t hazard a guess. But I’m sure those books they’re sitting on came from my Book Forest. That’s Studio Dire’s plush Kenku plotting something with Lord Bartleby Von Tinkleton and that pesky little Book Mouse. Whatever’s about to happen, it cannot be good. Well, it’ll be good for them, of course. The rest of us might be wise to steer clear.

The new Awenia Landing Point promises everything you might wish for in a Fae Tourist Trap Landing Point: You can get food! You can, um, get food! Also, there’s food. And books. And some ruins. And helpful signs to show you where to go.

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But this is only the beginning—

But this is only the beginning! Here’s your portal arch: if you visit us, you’ll see it first of all. It’s well-lit, so you should be able to find it if you need to make a quick exit, though why our benign little corner of Faerie would make you want to flee, I’m sure I cannot imagine.

Behind me of course is the famed ‘Awenia Statue’, which is really known as ‘The Last Hope’. It was created by Death Row Designs and was part of their Dangarmon build from the 2016 Fantasy Faire. It’s a focal point of every big build I do.

And all around us, making the atmosphere perfect and beautiful, is this amazing surround from Landscapes Unlimited. But wait until night falls and you’ll see even more wonder.

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The night sky is particularly captivating.

Somniel Edelman over at Landscapes Unlimited has outdone himself with the Off-Sim Starry Night surround that is also in place here. Those are his clouds in the background as well, but you can only see bits of them in this photograph. Lovelies, this is a working, moving, changing, star system. The moon changes phase. There are meteors. Stars twinkle. Sometimes I just stare up and look at it because it’s so beautiful. Thank you for creating such a wonder, Som.

On the island behind me, you can see the Queen’s Gallery, which is the next and smaller phase of the little vanity gallery I used to keep at Haven. Haven doesn’t exist any more, so don’t take that landmark unless you fancy falling to the unfinished ground-level far below! The gallery was created with the ruins building kit from Fanatic because it’s easy and awesome, and I’ll take you on a better tour once it’s all finished.

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Of course, there’s a Book Forest.

It wouldn’t be Awenia Faerie without the Book Forest, and it’s in the works and almost ready, I promise! It has a new entry arch and you can see just a bit of what’s behind that arch in this photo.

About the Avatar:
Today, Gwyneth is in a really beautiful skin from Mignonne, Abbey. It’s in her lightest Albino tone. The brows are from Simple Bloom, the Liv Autumn Neutral brows in the lightest blonde tone. The eyeshadow is recent from Tone2, Petals, and it’s at their main store with lipsticks and eyes in complementary shades. This lipstick is from theMARS, Apple Crush, though it’s blended a bit using the Lelutka head tools. This is a Lelutka Evolution Lake mesh head, and I’m still crazy in love with it: it takes skins and shaping beautifully. All the jewellery is from Rozoregalia: the necklace is Uzyum (Hakurei), and you can get it at Fameshed. The headpiece is Gyuria (Last Note) and it’s at their main store. The hair is from Monso, Jennie, and it’s also at Fameshed. Body is Maitreya, ears are Swallow’s Elf Ears High Definition, which are pretty much my favourite ears. These eyes are from Amicale+Oliviari, Glisten Eyes, and I picked them up at the WIP event just this morning. Earlier photos show different eyes, the Unexpected Journey Arwen eyes from Seydr. And of course the gown is Silvan Moon Designs’ new Seventh Oracle Gown, and you can get it at We Love Roleplay in a few hours!

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A Magical Vista

There is nothing more satisfying than calling such a beautiful place as Awenia home, my friends. I hope you’ll be able to visit us once we’re totally open. Of course, the whole of Faerie is overseen by The Looking Glass’ stunning Shrine Tree; its lanterns can be see far and wide, and they echo in the lanterns you’ll see on Awenia’s bridges as well. On the left is our Sacred Meadow, and I hope you’ll find plenty of space in your visit to Awenia to let your mind find a calm spot there. The Queen’s personal residence is visible in the distance on the right, but please do us the courtesy of choosing to visit her lovely home (sometimes known as Rivendale’s Dreamy Castle) only during a planned tour.

Notes & Credits:
Most things are credited in the blog post above; please ping me in-world if you’d like to know about something else. Huge thanks to all the amazing creators who make their vision real and give me the building blocks to put together spaces like Awenia Faerie, including but not limited to:
Somniel Edelman, Landscapes Unlimited
Sharni Azalee & Marcus Inkpen, The Looking Glass
Corwin Lacourte, Hextraordinary
Nodnol Jameson, Kraftwork
Kadaj Yoshikawa, Harshlands
LRRiven, Rivendale
Banana Mellow, BananaN
You guys make my life more beautiful.

 

 

Magic Storytime in the Book Forest

Sometimes we get guests! And by guests, I mean, people (for some definitions of people) who come into the Book Forest to read lots of lovely stories to whoever happens to be there.

Storytime is an important Book Forest tradition that continues on no matter who’s there to read or be read to, to tell or be told to.

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The Literary Tent

This evening’s special guest chose The Literary Tent, possibly because it just showed up in the Forest a couple of days ago, and possibly because it’s a mite nippy in the Forest this time of year and she felt it was cosier.

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But who was our special guest?

But who was tonight’s special guest? You probably will figure it out if you look at the title of the book she’s talking about with all our Book Forest animals. It’s the one and only Gretel of the fairy tale, all grown up and happy to share her story with the world!

She started by introducing herself and letting the animals ask a few questions.

“But why are you wearing jeans?” asked the chocolate bunny

“Because I can.”

“And how come your hair is blonde?” asked the blue-haired unicorn.

“Because it grew that way.”

“Did you really forgive your mum for all that stuff?” asked the adorable grey kitten.

“After years of therapy, sure.” She sensed the questions were going to get tougher. “But that’s all the Q&A we have time for: I want to tell you my story, and also tell you about this magical book!”

“Ooh, it’s a magical book, just like us!” The baby dragon leaned over to nuzzle the griffin sparrow.

“That’s right!” said Gretel. “This is a magic book, because, while I’m going to tell you my story today, I also want to show you how you can come back here and just touch this book, and it will read you the story and even show you pictures!”

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Wow! The actual gingerbread house!

The hedgehog in the hat piped up, “Wow! The actual gingerbread house!”

“That’s right. All the pictures in this book are of my actual story, all gathered from the events as they occurred. Don’t ask: it’s magic,” she said, only a little sternly.

“But how does the magic book work?” asked the tall hare.

“All you have to do is touch it and tell it you want to see my story in pictures and hear someone read it to you,” Gretel explained.

“So I could touch it with my horn?” asked the blue-haired unicorn.

“Sure,” said Gretel.

“How about noses?” asked the fat white squirrel.

“That will work too.”

“Antlers?” asked the gruff-voiced reindeer.

“Yep. It all works!”

Everybody was amazed—so amazed that Gretel used the book as she told her story, adding in little bits and pieces that she only tells when she’s speaking to groups in person.

The best part is, she left a copy of the book right here in the book forest, so when you visit, you can hear all about Gretel and her story too.

Do you want your own magical copy of Hansel and Gretel? You can get it on the Second Life Marketplace!

Style Card:
Amazing Magical Book: Albion Scriptworks, Hansel and Gretel Story Book Combo (Available on the Second Life Marketplace)

Literary Tent: KraftWork, The Literary Tent (Available at The Liaison Collaborative)

Gretel:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Aida Bento Mesh Head
Skin: The Skinnery, Maite Lelutka Mesh Head Applier, in Snow
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Guenevere B, Light Blondes (rare!) (Available at GachaLand)
Blouse: !go! Luba Corset (4)
Trousers: Spirit, Sienna Jeans Black
Shoes: Beyond the Mists, Ribbon tie Dance Shoes
Cats on Gretel: Sweet Thing, Cabootie Cat, Head Plop and Shoulder Bud

Location: Awenia, The Book Forest
Alas, Awenia has drifted back into the mists after our open month of December 2018. You can visit again sometime in May of 2019, we think!
Poses: Bang, Ground Sits
Animals: too many to mention, but if you want to know about specific ones, IM me in world and I’ll try to give you the information you need!

Thanks to the geniuses at Albion ScriptWorks for creating such a whimsical and fun product. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Another Visit to the Rainbow House

It felt good to be back. I mean, I know it’s not my house, but I think if I had a house like this, I would want it to look exactly so.

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A smile and a sigh of relief

I couldn’t keep the smile off my face when I went back to the Rainbow House. Once more insulated from the beautiful but cold landscape outside, I just let myself sink into its comforting atmosphere.

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Home is where the hearth is

The kitchen was clearly a kitchen to cook and live in: no faffy china cabinets or drawers full of “good” silver that’s never used. It was dominated by a working hearth with multiple cooking surfaces and a sturdy oven. The touches of beauty and decoration were simple: flowers on the baking counter and farm table, wreaths of leaves on the walls, a couple of printed tapestries with trees. Nearly everything else had an obvious, practical use.

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Beautiful flowers—and cocoa!

I love how attuned to nature and the workings of plants so many of our Fae Folk are. Here it was the middle of a cold winter, yet on two kitchen surfaces there were beautiful flowers that looked as if they’d been plucked from a summer garden and just brought in that morning.

And, yes, as Clutie had already realised, there was a hot cocoa bar set up on the sidebar near the kitchen’s single circular window. I had just a little taste, more so I could taunt her with the fact I hadn’t brought her back with me (she was busy readying the castle for New Year’s) when I returned home.

Then, I noticed that on the kitchen table, there were two cups set out for tea, some toast, and a teapot. A quick check proved one cup of tea was still quite hot and the other hadn’t been poured yet. I suspected I’d interrupted the shy inhabitants at their breakfast.

“I’m so sorry if I’ve interrupted your breakfast,” I said, quietly but clearly. “Your home is so beautiful, and I love exploring new places. Please, if you ever get the chance to visit Awenia Faerie proper, pop round to the castle and I’ll give you a full tour of my house. I’m going to head back there now, and leave you all in peace.”

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A long, last look

And that’s what I did, but not before taking one long, last look at the Rainbow House. There’s no way to know if it’ll still be here next time I come looking: these little Realms have a way of shifting and sometimes even closing in on themselves. But I’m sure I’ll keep a lookout: you never know when (or where!) magical places will appear again.

Style Card:
Items Featured at the Winter’s Hollow Event:
Rainbow House: Dragon Magick Wares, Elemental A Frame
Gwyneth’s tunic: [QE] Designs, Daphne Sweater Dress, Winter Magic
Gwyneth’s boots: [QE] Designs, Silvan Boots, Winter Magic
Homey Hearth: Candle & Cauldron, Kitchen Witch Hearth
Beautiful flowers on the baking counter: Circa Living, Versailles Floral Vase Stand

Other stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Elvi, T1 (All current skin lines are on sale for 100L at the Lumae Main Store)
Eyebrows: alaskametro, Glitter Eyebrows
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Ahji (a recent release at the Analog Dog Main Store)
Eyes: Euphoric, Enigma Eyes
Baking Table: O.M.E.N., Messy Baking Table
Wall Tapestries: DRD, Vagabond
Kitchen Table, Chairs, & Clutter: All from Apple Fall
Hot Cocoa Bar: Peaches, A Raven’s Feast
Poses: All from An Lar

Holidays in Awenia

I should not complain. This is the sort of job any faerie should be proud to have. But there are things about it that drive me up the wall.

For example, Her Majesty did not like that I chose a yellowish skin tone when she told me I needed a more exotic skin colour in order to impress the tourists. So I’ve now gone with something darker, of which she approves. “Oh, good: they’ll think you’re a svart alfar, like TAC, only more presentable to the public and nicer.”

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I did at least get to keep the rainbow hair

I did at least get to keep the rainbow hair.

Bran decided that I should help him shoot some holiday shots in the village square. “But it’s after Christmas,” I said.

“Nonsense, Angharad: it’s only the fifth day of Christmas, traditionally speaking, and our potential guests want to see what we do in the Realm at Yule time, and you know that’s not just one day. Even though many of them are mortal and Christian, tourists who come here will likely be a little more knowledgeable about the histories of their holidays than the ones we read about so often on those web papers.”

“Web pages, Bran,” I corrected gently.

He scowled. “You and the Queen, always ready with the corrections. Can I help it if I’m ignorant of these things? I do quite like video games, you know.”

Yes, you could help it, I said to myself. “Fine; let’s take some photographs of the Square all decorated for Yule,” I said, this time out loud.

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The Carousel

“Wait,” I asked, after about five minutes of Bran snapping photos of me all over the square. “Why do I have to be in all these photos?”

“It’s for the brochure,” Bran replied, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to say.

“The brochure? Nobody told me about a brochure.”

“Well, we do have to have promotional materials, and you are our hospitality co-ordinator,” Bran explained.

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This is fun, remember?

“This is fun, remember?” Bran wanted me to smile. He wanted me to smile a lot.

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Not that much fun.

“Not that much fun,” I retorted. “Do you want me to glamour some fangs or something?”

“Wrong time of the year for that, missy,” said Bran.

Missy? Seriously?

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Do faeries even need postboxes?

“Let’s get you by the postbox with all the presents,” he said.

“Faeries don’t even need postboxes, you know.”

“I know that,” said Bran, “and you know that, but this is a London postbox, and Her Majesty feels nostalgic about her home city, so we try to bring bits of it here for her from time to time.”

“You stole this postbox.”

Bran coughed. “Davey acquired the postbox. I didn’t ask questions.”

“Is that real post sticking out of it?”

“Of course: wouldn’t be authentic any other way.”

“But what about people’s letters?”

“Davey assured me he’d waited until after the last pickup for that day,” replied Bran. “If the postman was late on the pickup, the post can’t have been that important.”

I had no idea what to say to that, so I just let him move me along.

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Big finish!

“Now it’s time for the big finish! Lean back a little so I can get most of the tree in the shot, and, yes, big, big smile! Oh, that’s lovely!”

I rolled my eyes, but then I had an idea. “Can you take a close-up shot of me like this?” I asked.

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Getting in to the spirit?

“Are you finally getting into the spirit, when we’re almost finished, Angharad?” he asked.

“Nope. I’m going to send this to my parents back in Cymru. They will hate this hairstyle.”

Style Card
Lovely Town Dress: The Annex, Ingrid Dress (Available until the 18th of January at The Trunk Show)
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Gaia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne in tone Chennus
Hair: Raven Bell, Chronos hair and Chronos Bento Braid
Ears: Swallow, Pixie Ears
Shoes: Breathe, Vivien Heels

Environment:
Carousel: IrrISIStible, Carousel (At SWANK until 31 December)
Christmas Trees: Half-Deer, Bottlebrush Christmas Trees
Deer: Love, Fantasy deer, winter prince of the forest
Adorable Weeble Gnomes: Balderdash, Gnome (At SWANK until 31 December)
London Postbox: Love, Christmas Post Box
Festive Lamps: CJ Creations, Winter Street Lamp
Holly Garland and Sparkly Bits: The Looking Glass, Our Festive Joy
Village Square Buildings: SOF Designs, Tudor Building Set
Poses: An Lar

 

My Well-Kept Secret

Yes, I have one. I know I frequently wax rhapsodic about ballgowns and the like, talk about beautiful venues, and explore exotic pocket universes.

But….

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Sometimes there’s nowhere I’d rather be than here

Sometimes there’s nowhere I’d rather be than here, Haven. Even though it’s my private home, and it’s not all that special, blah, blah, blah….

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Oh, who am I kidding? 

Oh, who am I kidding? This place is spectacular: that’s why I created it this way. I could sit on my outdoor tree daybed and just stare at the water for days. And then the stars. But seriously, sometimes all a girl needs is a comfy pair of pyjamas and a good book. This book is special, by the way: I’ll be telling you more about it in a couple of days.

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For now, I’ll just relax.

But for now, I’ll just relax, savour the feeling of flannel on skin, and not worry that I’m in a ponytail, have no idea which crown I’m wearing this evening, and indeed kind of want to ditch the whole runup-to-Yule craziness, stay in my PJs, drink a gallon of hot cocoa, and enjoy my beautiful interactive copy of Hansel and Gretl.

Style Card:
featured—
Comfy PJs: The Annex, Winter Jammies (This is new at The Annex Main Store)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Swoon (New at the Analog Dog Main Store)
everything else—
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Greer Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Eyebrows: Alaskametro, Glimmer Eyebrows
Eyes: Euphoric, Enigma Eyes
Environment—
Location: Awenia, Haven
Special Book: Albion ScriptWorks, Twice Upon a Time, Hansel and Gretl
Tree Bed: Trompe Loeil, Lysa Branch Bed

Finally, Awenia is open to the general public! You can arrive in Faerie itself, or you can start at our official landing point, The Great Awenia Forest. For at least the month of December, the region is open for exploration and photography. When you land at either of the two landing points noted above, please read the rules about rezzing stuff and being respectful and all that, and we’ll give you a few extra landmarks as well just to get your explorations started. Over the past couple of years. Dyisi and I have worked really hard on making bits of Awenia, and I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together. In January, Awenia will close to visitors, and we will re-open sometime in mid-May to take you through the Light Half of the Year and into the Darkness again. Please visit, take your time exploring, and if you’re so inclined, help us out a bit with the tier by dropping some coins into the tip jars scattered round the Realm. 

Out of Legend

You think we come from some fairy story?

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You think we trip down the pages?

You think we trip down the pages, as if they were steps from one of your fantasy castles? I assure you, we are there. But that is not where we come from.

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You think we are the stories?

But the stories! you say. You think we are the stories? Oh, of course, we are in your stories. But that is not where we come from.

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You think we are the stuff of legend?

Are we the stuff of legend? You think we are elements of your myths. We are in your myths and legends. But that is not where we come from.

It is easy to blur the borders: we are in a forest made of books, after all. A forest made of stories, legends, myths.

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You will find us in the shallow forest.

You will find us in the shallow forest, to be sure. On the edges, in the stories, in the tales handed down from your grandma and her grandma before her; you will find us there. But that is not where we come from.

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But what happens in the deeper forest?

But what happens in the deeper forest, beyond your simple paths, the house too small to live in but perfectly decorated with the plates set out for tea? What happens when you go so far in that stories begin to tell themselves? Well, we say. Well, then—you are closer.

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And what’s that behind you?

And what’s that behind you? Surely it’s only a shadow. Light filtering through cut paper, light bleeding out from twinkle trees, obscured by a solid object. You tell yourself that’s what shadow is. That’s what shadows do. Isn’t it?

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You think we are tragic creatures? 

You think we are tragic creatures? You think we are sad? No, no: we are watching. We are waiting. We are thinking.

We are waiting for those words that echo all throughout the forest, all throughout legend and myth and fairy tale.

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Oh! Here they are.

Oh! Here they are. Those words that bring our souls out into the moonlight, that let us give you just enough of us to want more, and more always.

Listen: in the stillness of the snow, the words whisper from every tree, every book, every bough, every light:

Once upon a time.

That is where you will find us.

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And here is the secret.

And here is the secret. Listen: I will only tell it once. You may revisit it in a hundred stories, but this is the only time you will hear it from my, from our, lips.

There is no difference between the copse of trees at the bottom of your garden and the ancient forests you wander when you can. It is only that in those ancient forests we rise wilder, and you can take a journey on foot to a place where you can believe in us.

There is no difference between the oldest story ever told and the story that springs into your mind now, fully formed. They are the same, and we are in both of them.

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All forests are one forest.

All forests are one forest. All legends are one legend. Each forest is new. Each story is new.

But I did not tell you where we come from, you will say. I have been telling you all along. We come from the breath between the lifting of the pen and the word on the paper. We come from the shoot of green that struggles up through the snow. We come from the deepest forest, the oldest story, and we are as present in the three trees in the schoolyard and the library book as we are, as we ever were, there.

Don’t fight it. Come in. I have more stories to tell you. So many more.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Elvi (All current skin lines are in the Lumae Main Store)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Sassafras
Eyes: ADD Andel, The Three Forest Eyes
Gown: Senzafine, Emmeline Gown (Available now at We Love Roleplay)
Necklace and Earrings: Empyrean Forge, Fortuna
Circlet: A&A, Winter’s Malice Circlet
Antlers: Attic, Long Antler White
Nails: Cazimi, Winter Ombre Nails

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Book Forest
There are so many things in the book forest that I cannot begin to list them all. But Awenia is open to the public throughout the month of December: Please come and experience it for yourself!

 

 

 

Winter Glimpses of Awenia

That feeling of accomplishment, accompanied by multiple days of hard napping, is what I’m feeling right now.

Here are some glimpses of Awenia.

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The Ruined Garden

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Town to Tower

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Royal Residence

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The Book Forest

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Warm Pub on a Cold Night

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Post Card

Finally, Awenia Faerie is open to the general public! You can arrive in Faerie itself, or you can start at our official landing point, The Great Awenia Forest. For at least the month of December, the region is open for exploration and photography. When you land at either of the two landing points noted above, please read the rules about rezzing stuff and being respectful and all that, and we’ll give you a few extra landmarks as well just to get your explorations started. Over the past couple of years. Dyisi and I have worked really hard on making bits of Awenia, and I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together. In January, Awenia will close to visitors, and we will re-open sometime in mid-May to take you through the Light Half of the Year and into the Darkness again. Please visit, take your time exploring, and if you’re so inclined, help us out a bit with the tier by dropping some coins into the tip jars scattered round the Realm. 

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Awenia’s First Winter

It is finally here: December in Awenia Faerie. There is so much more to do, but we are ready for our midwinter gatherings, snow lies thick on the ground, and there are beautiful things to see wherever you look.

As Queen, I get the privilege of showing some of the highlights to you for the first time. And, you know me. I have to have a great gown to add a little sprinkle to the frosty cupcakes, and so…

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Silvan Moon Designs’ Selenia of Galacia Gown

This is a new gown from Silvan Moon Designs, Selenia of Galacia. It’s not only festive enough to walk around on an ice rink, but it has a nice, warm fur collar (not that Fae Queens feel the cold, you understand), and delightful pearly baubles strung so as to appear to be floating around it.

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Of course, skating is thirsty work, so Witches’ Brew provides coffee, cocoa, and cupcakes!

Of course, skating is thirsty work, so Witches’ Brew provides coffee, cocoa, and cupcakes, among other delights. Even with so much in place, though: there is so much left to do. I fear tonight’s quick tour will be just that: a quick tour.

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The Dark of the Year

The Dark of the Year settles soft upon us now, and even when we have a clear day, there is often a hint of snow on the horizon. Mists rise up, obscuring even those things in the near distance into near-silhouette, and all light is magical. Behind the Realm’s iconic Last Hope statue, the Book Forest glimmers enticingly. and I cannot help but smile at the thought of our first holiday tourists arriving to see these shimmers and twinkles.

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The Land itself is a reflection of lights and shadows

The Land itself is a reflection of lights and shadows, and I think we will have to have some sort of festive dance or party, sometime soon, to celebrate Darkness flowing into the Return of Light. And, you know, nobody throws a shindig like the Sidhe.

If you’re curious, you can purchase the Selenia of Galacia Gown from Silvan Moon Designs at the We Love Roleplay holiday faire, which I think opens in just about fourteen hours. I plan to be there, with fur and pearls on!

Let me leave you with just one of the views you may see if you decide to visit Awenia Faerie.

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Awenia Faerie on a Winter’s Night

Style Card:
Perfect Winter Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Selenia of Galacia Gown (Available on 4 December at We Love Roleplay)
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Spencer Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Truth, Zoya
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Eyes: Go&See, Anona
Crown and Collar: Aisling, Sumiana Crown, Sumiana Collar (Ice)

Environment:
Location: Awenia Faerie
Poses: All from Hera, Seraph Bento Pose Set
Environment Details: too many to list: you’ll just have to come and see for yourself!

Finally, Awenia Faerie is open to the general public! You can arrive in Faerie itself, or you can start at our official landing point, The Great Awenia Forest. For at least the month of December, the region is open for exploration and photography. When you land at either of the two landing points noted above, please read the rules about rezzing stuff and being respectful and all that, and we’ll give you a few extra landmarks as well just to get your explorations started. Over the past couple of years. Dyisi and I have worked really hard on making bits of Awenia, and I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together. In January, Awenia will close to visitors, and we will re-open sometime in mid-May to take you through the Light Half of the Year and into the Darkness again. Please visit, take your time exploring, and if you’re so inclined, help us out a bit with the tier by dropping some coins into the tip jars scattered round the Realm. 

 

Book Forest Expanded (The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 4)

I watched out the window as the boundaries of the Book Forest expanded. It’s funny, when things like this happen: you don’t actually see things moving—it’s just that a few seconds, or minutes, or hours later, you note that something has changed position.

The Book Forest is its own entity. It began as a concept in my mind, I admit, and I did have something to do with the first little iteration of it, but since then, as with all the wild places of Faerie, it has developed a mind and soul of its own. I noted the changing boundaries for a few days, but I stayed away because I knew the Book Forest would take care of itself. When the boundaries seemed to settle (or at least have been in the same place for a couple of days), I took Bran and his trusty smartphone camera, and we went down to take a look at the new Forest.

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The Book Forest

This is my favourite photo that Bran took as we explored the remade. Book Forest. He took so many pictures!

This entry is going to be image-intensive: there are 26 photos of the book forest. I’ll do my best to keep the text within reason!

As with all the best forests, the first thing I felt when I walked into the Book Forest is this wonderful silence. The outside world just falls away.

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The outside world fell away.

The outside world fell away, and suddenly we were in the world of “once upon a time”.

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Joy and wonder

I was overcome by a sense of joy and wonder. The first thing I noticed was this beautiful area that looked like a homage to writing and to books themselves.

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Stop shooting me!

“Stop photographing me and concentrate on the forest!” I admonished. “Bran, seriously; look where we are.”

Bran looked at me and winked. “I am looking, Your Majesty,” he said.

“Perv,” I shot back.

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Look at all the little chairs!

“Look at all the little chairs! Some of them are even shaped like books!” I couldn’t resist the urge to play storyteller.

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Bran seemed to like it too.

Bran seemed to like it too: he just kept photographing me as I laughingly told him to stop. I loved that the statue behind me was supported by two armloads of books, that the mushroom table had a stack of books on it. There was just so much to see.

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I wanted to tell stories here forever.

I wanted to tell stories here forever; there was something about the ambiance of the place, magical, removed, and yet so solid.

But there were many other things to see, so I stepped down from the tree stump podium and we walked further in to the forest.

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The next stop was a tiny house.

The next stop was a tiny house with books on the steps as if somebody had just run in to make a cup of tea.

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A mysterious air….

There was a mysterious air about the little cottage, as if magic occurred there. I wondered if it was the residence of some Author or other.

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Seriously, stop photographing me!

“Seriously, Bran—stop photographing me! If you do it again, I will make a photo face!”

The camera clicked. Again.

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I warned you!

“I warned you, Bran!” I shouted. “You know not to test me!”

To my embarrassment, there was no other sound than the electronic click of Bran’s mobile phone camera.

I sighed. “Fine. Let’s see what’s in this house.”

Bran insisted that it was rude to just walk into someone’s house, even if nobody was there. Some part of me, the part that grew up in Southeast London where places have bars on the windows, knew that. But Queen Gwyneth, you know. She goes anywhere she likes.

In the end, I folded. “Fine; but let’s look through the window at least.”

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It looked like someone was just moving in.

It looked like someone was just moving in: there was an empty bookshelf, and the only inhabitants were two cats. I do like cats.

“Maybe we could get to know whoever lives here,” I mused.

“Maybe,” Bran said. “But there’s more to see.”

“Yes, yes, yes,” I said.

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Beautiful trees behind the house.

There were beautiful trees behind the house. “You know what?” I said. “I really like that all the paths are made from books.”

“Oh, you noticed that, huh?” Bran smirked. “Your powers of observation are truly staggering, Your Majesty.”

“I don’t think you’re allowed to talk to me that way, Bran.”

“I have a photograph of you making a very rude selfie face, Your Majesty.”

“Fine.”

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Signs everywhere

There were also little signs everywhere; I liked that touch. And there were beautiful lamps, even though we didn’t need them in the bright sunlight of Faerie during the day. The fairytale books with their pop-up paper castles and other little touches gave us something new to look at every time we turned.

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Book Fort!

“Bran, Bran! Look! It’s a book fort! Take a picture of that!”

“I already did, My Lady.”

He was way ahead of me.

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Happily ever after

Once again, I was caught by these signs. Up ahead, there was this amazing glowing door set in to a rock.

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Another “strange” sign

There was another “strange” sign in front of the glowing door (See what I did there?). I wanted to go through it, but Bran resisted. I won, of course, but when I tapped on the door, nothing happened. How annoying.

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Somewhat changed, but still recognisable.

The book forest had kept some of its old features, and this little ruin was one of them. There were new features here, of course—and weirdly, some of them seemed to have come from my Frog Prince dream a couple of weeks ago. How very odd. The moon on a stand was here, and the little figuring of the frog prince himself looking into a mirror. I just shook my head.

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Candy Apple Tree

I loved this candy apple tree, next to another one of those beautiful pop-up books. It was hard to keep all the little details straight: I could see I was going to have to come here again and again.

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Stump House

This little house made from the largest stump I’d ever seen, had also been a feature of the old forest, but the surrounding roses and trees were new. I guess the book forest’s expansion provided more room for beautiful things. And I’m never one to discount the appeal of beautiful things.

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Book bed and bridge

The little area with the bed made from a book and the table full of interesting things was till there, as was the bridge. But there were new book piles, even a large book arch.

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Then I turned around, and this little house took my breath away

Then I turned around, and this little house took my breath away. When I checked, it was empty. “It’s just waiting for someone small to move in,” I told Bran.

“Like… Clutie, for instance?” Brian asked. He was smirking.

“She’d never leave me,” I said.

“How wonderful for you.” The expression on his face said everything. Bran and Clutie… yeah; they don’t get along.

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Wow, look at that book arch!

“Wow! Look at that book arch!” I couldn’t wait to stand under it. “Bran, Bran! Take a photograph!” I shouted.

Brian smirked. “I thought you didn’t want me to make any more photographs of you, on pain of your selfie face,” he said.

“I changed my mind.”

Bran rolled his eyes.

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Rose petals, like a kiss

Now, sometimes funny things happen around you when you’re a Faerie Queen. In this case, it was hundreds of rose petals, just falling from the big book arch. So I blew them at Bran. To thank him for the photograph, of course.

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The Narnia Wardrobe

I call this the Narnia Cupboard. It’s been here since the Book Forest first sprang out of the surrounding woodlands. I like to think it was the first thing that appeared here, and maybe everything else sprang from it. It’s special.

But we were approaching where the paths converged, nearly back to the Book Forest’s entrance. I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. I only get to discover a place for the first time, once.

Until it remakes itself again, that is.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Seattle (Available NOW at  Ultra!)
Nails: Cazimi, August VIP Nails (You can pick this up at the Cazimi Main Store!, but only if you’re a member of the Cazimi VIP Group)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: AviGlam, Doll’s Eyes
Gown: Junbug, Pippa Gown (Available NOW at Equal10!)
Hair and Antlers: Analog Dog (natch), Doe (Available FOR JUST TWO MORE DAYS at The Gacha Garden!)
Autumn Necklace & Earrings: Bliensen & MaiTai, Augumn (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Book of Shadows Necklace: Maxi Gossamer, Soul Catcher Book of Spells
Rose Petals: Persefona, Floating Rose Petals 2

Location: Awenia, The Book Forest
There are so many things to credit here that I know I will leave some out and possibly put some in that aren’t shown properly in photographs. If you have questions or would like to know more about any item, just leave a comment here or message me in-world (Gwen.enchanted), and I’ll give you whatever information I can. Also, some of the items have stories around them, and I am not able to resist telling a good story, ever.

Book Paths and Forest Bounding Books: Una, Book Path. (This is now a group gift at the Una Main Store!) Una Daxter sent me this, I think because I played her Alexandra gacha about a million times at a Fantasy Gacha Carnival. It’s one of the coolest things anybody has ever given me, and I have blogged and photographed and credited it more times than I can count. It was absolutely the inspiration for the Book Forest, and I cannot thank her enough for that small gift. Although it’s been in every blog post featuring the Book Forest, I haven’t told this story before. I love it very much.
Forest Entrance Book, Brown Book Scenes, Leaf Book, Book Bed Fae Swing (with a tree): BananaN, all from Story Book Gacha except the swing. (You can find this at the BananaN Main Store!)
Tree Stump Chairs and Podium, Mushroom Seats, Tree Spirit With Books: Merchants of Dreams, Writers’ Place. This was a live auction item from the 2015 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. It’s not available. It was given to me by the people who won the auction so that it could be placed at the Milk Wood Writers’ Colony, and there is a copy of it there in Gossamer Down so that anyone can use it to hold workshops and meetings.
Cabin, Doors of Durin, and Pink and White Pop-Up Castle Book: Spell, A Forest Tale Gacha, Cabin; Spell, Middle Earth Gacha; and Spell, Once Upon a Time Gacha  (You can find all of these at the Spell Main Store!)
Butterfly Tree with Faeries: Simply Shelby, Butterfly Tree (Available at the Simply Shelby Main Store!)
Lighted Book Tree: {e}lusive Designs, Book Tree With Lights. ({e}lusive is in between stores at present; however you can find their stuff at the {e}lusive Marketplace Store.)  Dema Fairport, who created this beauty, is a SL creator, DJ, and photographer. She was in my Visionaire class, and we’ve been friends ever since.
Lanterns, Wishing Well, and Bridge: Raindale, Maplemoor Gacha. (You can find this at the Raindale Main Store!)
Signs: All these signs are from the stunning 8f8 Storyteller’s Burrow gacha. (You can find this, and lots of other amazing stuff, at the 8f8 Main Store!)
Big Book Fort: Cheeky Pea, Book Nook gacha, Book Fort (You can find this at the Cheeky Pea Main Store!)
Ruins: Ionic, Sacred Ruins (Available at the Ionic Main Store!)
Décor in Ruins:
-Silver Moon on Stand:
Air, Frog Moon Silver (Available NOW atEnchantment!)
-Table:
Dust Bunny, Autumn Calling, Wooden Table (You can find this at the Dust Bunny Main Store!)
-Book on Table With Rose:
Konpeitou, Beauty and the Book w/Rose (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
-Frog with Mirror (on table)
Konpeitou, Frog Prince Mirror (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
-Alchemy Book Scene: Stormwood, Alchemy Book Scene!)
-Story Book on floor (and many other story books scattered around the forest): Divine Creations, Tell Me a Story (It looks like Divine Creations has some Real Life and isn’t active in SL at the moment, but you could probably find pieces of this gacha on the Marketplace.)
Candy Apple Tree, Fairy Tale Chairs, Table, Parfaits, Daisies & Ladybirds, Will-O-Wisp Tree, Glam Poppies, Persian Carpet Grass:  (Available at The Looking Glass’ Horizon Dream Region!) I’m a proud Looking Glass fan.
Stump House: Since 1975, Fairytale Garden House (Available at the Since 1975 Main Store!)
Magical Tree House: Kazza, Abode Tree (I couldn’t find this at their main store; it was an ultra rare from a fantasy gacha. You can find it on the SL Marketplace, but it’ll cost you.)
Roses: {anc} Sugar Rose Field (Available at the {anc} Main Store!)
Giant Book Chair and Wonderland Book Arch: Boudoir. (Available at the Boudoir Main Store!)
Trees: There are so many different trees in here I’d go nuts listing them all for you, but they’re from places like Rivendale, Harshlands, Keke, and Happy Mood. You can go to every single one of these places and find the most amazing stuff ever.

Thank you to everyone who previewed the expanded Book Forest and gave suggestions, reactions, or just was nice to me while I went through all my obsessive stories about Cool Stuff. These people include, but are not limited to: Mystical Edenflower, Nyza Stillwater, LLRiven, and Nathaniel Ballard.