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.

Don’t Go Into the Basement!

I vaguely remember this phrase as something we used to yell as primary school kids when we were watching one of those ridiculous horror movies where the characters do all the stupid things, like split up, follow the scary sound, and of course, go into the basement.

If only I had thought of that bit of wisdom before I got it into my head that I should explore the Castle’s basement yesterday.

Of course, it’s my castle, but I haven’t bothered to enter every single room: that would take me a month! I’m much too busy with realm building right now, anyway, but yesterday I had a few quiet hours, and so I went down into the basement, marvelled at the glorious kitchen that Bran has put together, and began checking what all was in the various basement rooms. One was empty—maybe I can convince Nathaniel to us that one as a workshop so I don’t have to build him a man-cave as an outbuilding. Another was clearly a pantry, stocked floor to ceiling with stuff that is apparently very important for the smooth running of a castle.

But it was the third room I entered that gave me a bit of a turn.

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I entered some kind of a workshop.

It was some kind of a workshop. Only the weird kind, not the kind Nathaniel would have. It was full of things that resembled robotic body parts.

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Wing models?

If I had to guess, I’d say these were models of some kind of steampunk-y wingcraft. But I didn’t have to guess, and besides, that wasn’t the weirdest thing in the room.

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The walls were covered with weird prints.

The walls were covered with weird prints, some disturbingly of human anatomy. But it was the shelf full of various body parts made of metal that really got me. Arms, legs, even a face. Where was I?

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Where am I? Come on, steampunk brain girl, answer me!

“Where am I? Come on, steampunk brain girl, answer me!” Not that I usually talk to wall paintings, mind. The room was just creepy enough that I thought she might answer. But, no luck.

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I moved on to the desk, which was easily as creepy as the shelf.

I moved on to the desk, which was easily as creepy as the shelf. Well, if you didn’t count the body parts, that is.

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Stuff was left here as if someone had been interrupted while working.

Stuff was left here as if someone had been interrupted while working, including a glowing hand made of metal. Did I even want to know? I certainly didn’t go delving into the little mini-file that was on the desk. I had no desire to know what someone who had a shelf of metal body parts might consider “odds” and “ends”.

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This mechanical heart was pretty despite its creepiness.

There was one thing that was pretty despite its creepiness. On the back of the desk was some kind of mechanical heart. And although I couldn’t see any way for it to be turned on or off, the gears were all moving. It also had an eerie blue glow about it. I wondered how it was made, and indeed, why anybody would make such a thing.

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Extra gears?

At least one of my questions was partially answered: there was a sheet of parchment upon which had been placed a variety of metal gears. I guessed that at least some of these would find their way into other hearts at some point? I glanced back at steampunk brain girl. Maybe they would find their way into some metal steampunk robot person’s brain? I shuddered.

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Finally something that didn’t creep me out!

Well, hello! As I turned from the desk, suppressing a shudder at the anatomical charts on the wall—one of them was just a bunch of surgical instruments. I mean, really? Who wants that on their wall?—I saw something I’d only ever seen before in pictures. An original Macintosh computer, complete with cheery hello screen. An ancient Mac, still running. At least whoever put together this macabre little workshop had some good taste inside them. It was rather odd, I thought, that there was absolutely nothing else on the computer desk. Almost like whoever hangs out here really didn’t spend much time at the computer. Then again, we’re talking about a machine with 128K of RAM that shipped with only a 3.5″ floppy drive for storage. Can you imagine?

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I thought, briefly, about just taking it.

I thought, briefly, about just taking it. After all, it is my castle, and whoever put all this stuff in here obviously did not go through Bran or me for permission. Perhaps Nathaniel authorised this? Of course, anybody who collects and presumably tinkers with stuff like mechanical hearts and glowing metal hands might not be kindly disposed to someone liberating their stuff, even if someone is the Queen.

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Well bloody shaken

I was well bloody shaken by the whole experience, even though I doubt I was in that room for more than five minutes. And I didn’t look back when I left: I’ll have nightmares for a week about that disembodied metal hand.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista, Lia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Bloom (Bloom is this month’s group gift at 7 Deadly s{K}ins! You can pick it up at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Nails: Cazimi, Depths of Winter
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Clothes: Sorumin, Modern Princess Gacha (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Reign, Ballet Flats, Thigh High
Hair: Stealthic, Haven (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Circlet: Coquette, Fairy Crown
Necklace and Armlets: RealEvil Industries, Anabella Set (Available NOW at Fameshed!)

Location: The Castle, Awenia
Building: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle (Available at the Rivendale Main Store!)
Everything in the workshop that is not a print, a chalkboard, or a Macintosh: Rivendale, Tinkertopia Gacha (Available NOW at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!) See below for specifics of the gacha pieces.
Lonely Little Macintosh: Insurrektion, Back to the 80s Gacha

Tinkertopia SL

 

 

Dressing Room

I love my castle. Designed by Riven (of Rivendale), it’s a joy to live in. I was never so happy to see a building appear in the Realm than when I saw that castle out the window of the (almost) equally beautiful Treehouse. I think in time we shall use the Treehouse for community events as it’s more suited to a Fae tourist destination than the castle. With Enchantment in the air, I of course had many new gowns to wear, and I’m stocking up for autumn. Faith tells me autumn is just around the corner; really it is, and even though it almost always appears to be summertime in Faerie, we do have temperature fluctuations.

The one drawback to the castle is that it’s so big I get lost in it sometimes! And the fact is, it’s not completely decorated yet, even though it’s been in the Realm for coming up on nine months now. Imagine my delight when Bran told me as we made our way home from the Enchantment faire that he’d given instructions to some of the staff to decorate the parlour just below our bedroom tower as a dressing room for me!

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My Dressing Room

My dressing room is full of mirrors and comfortable seating, in case I ever end up with a large enough Court that there are ladies who wish to come and assist me in getting dressed. Bran made sure I knew he’d gotten the seating from The Looking Glass, so of course it was pre-approved before I even entered the room itself. One wall is covered with a large wardrobe, and another holds a generous vanity. As you can see, the windows have bookshelf seating, from Noble Creations, which means the room has a bit of multipurpose built in. I can imagine reading on a rainy day (yes, we do have those!) while a lovely mortal musician gives us all some soothing background music. Just the thought of that makes me smile. Mirrors from Refuge and anc adorn the walls, and there’s even a copy of the beautiful clock from Erstwhile Station. The only thing I’ll add after the fact is possibly a rug, although the floor designs are so beautiful in this part of the castle.

Now, those of you who follow this blog (all two of you!) probably know who my go-to dress designers are. You’ll recognise the delicate, detailed, and altogether competent hand of Junbug on this gown I’m wearing. I picked up the Storm Violet gown at the Enchantment faire, and I must admit I got it in more than one colour, so I’m sure you’ll see it again, because September is just around the corner.

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Exquisite sleeve detailing

The detailing on these sleeves is exquisite, isn’t it? I also love the necklace, which is a quick-stop find from Swallow. Those marvellous ladies at Little Bones did my hair, and I’ve never been so happy to have extensions braided and waved; it’s given my hair such a loft and lustrous texture.

I loved the dressing room so much I made Bran bring all the folks who’d had a hand in decorating it straight to me, and I gave them all a kiss! Nothing like seeing a Sidhe blush. So cute!

I confess I was so tired of Bran taking photographs of me on this day that I just threw my hands up and told him I’d have no more photography of the dressing room, thank you very much; I wanted to curl up with a book in my new safe haven. I think he was a tad miffed. But since I’ll be spending an awful lot of time in this room, I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for photographs in the months and years to come.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista, Lia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Brooklyn (Available on August 28 at Blush!)
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Gown: Junbug, Storm Violet Gown (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Hair: Little Bones, Poison (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Necklace: Swallow, Magic Necklaces (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Crown: Dreaming Thicket, Ladies Crown, Countess (Available NOW at The Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)

Location: Awenia, The Castle
Castle: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle (Available in the Rivendale Main Store!)
Chairs: The Looking Glass, The Encounter Chairs (You can pick these up at The Looking Glass main store!)
Mirrors: Refuge, Fairy Tale Mirror Silver; and
{anc}, Looking Glass Magic, Heaven
Bookcase Window Seats: Noble Creations, Fantasy Sofa Relax (Available at the Noble Creations Main Store!)
The Looking Glass: Will-O-Wisp Tree (You can pick this up at The Looking Glass main store!)

 

 

A Little Prophecy

Not a full day after I had that weird dream about the talking frog, Bran informed me that we’d received an invitation to the latest theme event for one of my favourite off-Realm faires, Enchantment. And you’ll never guess what the theme is! OK, probably you already guessed, given the title and lead-in here. It’s The Frog Prince. Now, obviously there was going to be lots of fun stuff at this event, so I grabbed Bran, and off we went.

Whoosh! Of course everything there was beautiful. And I might have almost blown the Royal Budget, but when you’re the Queen everything works out for you in the end, so I didn’t worry too much. Weirdly, one of the things I found was a beautiful gown from Silvan Moon Designs. Well, there’s nothing weird about finding a beautiful gown from there…. but it was weird that it exactly matched the dress I’d dreamed about just the night before. Sometimes, my mind astounds even me.

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Into the Ruins I skipped!

I also found this stunning dress from Noble Creations, and a nice new crown from Bauhaus Movement that’ll be lovely for autumn, assuming it ever gets here. Helpers were on hand from two of my favourite hairstylists, Analog Dog and No Match. Also weirdly, the new style from Analog Dog was exactly like the one in my dream. Of course I made a deal to have Queue (we’re totally on a first name basis now!) come round to the castle and plait my hair for me sometime in the near future, but once I got the extensions from No Match in, I knew I’d have them in at least for a week. Unless I get bored…. you know how it is.

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The Ruins

As Awenia reshapes itself around me, little nooks and crannies are always springing up. This one is built around what appear to be the ruins of an old church, or maybe a monastery. That’s odd in and of itself, since you don’t find many Christian-style churches in Fae lands, but you never know about the history of a place. I also know that many of the demifae like to reclaim lands like this for their own purposes, so maybe that’s what happened here. I loved the little benches; their maker’s mark says they come from Raindale, which doesn’t surprise me at all: I’ll have to find out who sourced those. I recognised two trees as obviously being from Sharni Azalee’s beautiful nursery in The Looking Glass realm: one of them looks just perfect for stealing kisses with Nathaniel when I bring him here later to show him the Ruins. I think he’ll like this part of the Realm. That’s if I can get his attention away from his ongoing Words With Friends games. I swear, for someone to whom technology is completely new, he’s caught on very quickly. Of course, he still describes it as “the library in my trousers,” so maybe we do have a little way to go there.

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Bran made me pose like this.

Bran made me pose like this, because he loves the extensions. Here, they are still new so the ends look shiny and perfect. He’s another one who’s embraced technology wholeheartedly. I still can’t get Clutie to log in to the castle computer system, but she says that’s because they don’t make hardware in her size. I just don’t argue with her about it.

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Royal Dress, by Noble Creations

Then, he wanted to get another shot of me in the beautiful Royal Dress by Noble Creations. He still wasn’t happy that all the sleeve detail wasn’t showing, so he had to take like five more photographs. If Bran had been raised in a more modern Realm, he’d be a fashion photographer, for sure. He really has an eye for it.

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A little closer.

“Now, let me get a little closer to you, Your Majesty,” Bran said. “I want to make sure we have a nice shot of that beautiful crown.”

“Did you know,” I said, trying not to be too self-conscious, “that Bauhaus Movement included this necklace as a gift with the crown? I have no idea how they afford to do that.”

“I guess the best designers just know their markets enough,” he replied, though I could tell he wasn’t really thinking about it too hard.

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I really did wonder, though.

I really did wonder, though.

Bran cut into my thoughts. “Oh, yes!” he said. “Look at those slashed shoulders!”

I swear, any minute now I was expecting him to tell me to Work It, Baby! or something.

“Just get a nice photo of my face, and let’s stop?” I asked. “It’s hot, and this dress is getting prickly. It’ll be great in October, though.”

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Portrait

Bran obliged.

“I want to remember this skin paint from 7 Deadly s{K}ins,” I said. “It’s called Focus. I could use a little more of that in my life.”

And would you believe he laughed? He caught himself when I mock-glared at him. “Well, far be it from me to contradict you, Your Highness.”

“I’m finding a frog and putting it in your bed!” I said.

He shuddered. “We’d better get home, then,” he said, “so I can make you forget about all that with an exquisite lunch. Fresh salmon today, with couscous and vegetables from Clutie’s garden.”

“Mm, Clutie does have a way with aubergines,” I said. “Which reminds me to get you a recipe for baba ghanoush.”

Off we went home. I should really spend more time at home: I haven’t explored the entire castle yet, and you know there are always surprises to be found here.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Focus (Available until AUGUST 18 at Designer Circle!)
Nails: Cazimi, Influence Nails (Available NOW at the Designer Showcase!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Gown: Noble Creations, Royal Gown (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Eudora, 3D Arianne Pumps (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Hair: No Match, No Spell (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Necklace and Crown: Bauhaus Movement, Frog Prince (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Eyelashes: Besom, Sassy Lash (Available NOW at Kustom9!)

Location: Awenia, The Ruins
Structure: Delirium + Lunacy, Ancient Temple
Benches: Raindale, Heathergate Bench
Ground Cover: Keke, Dotty Grass
Big Trees: The Looking Glass, The Kissing Tree (Available NOW at Enchantment!); and
The Looking Glass: Will-O-Wisp Tree (You can pick this up at The Looking Glass main store!)

The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 3

After Bran suggested home, I couldn’t get there fast enough. Of course, Awenia is a small Realm, so it’s not difficult to fly from town to the castle, particularly when there’s a great swath of empty land beneath you. I wonder what I’ll put there. Hm.

Once I’d changed clothes, Bran had one of the footmen bring me a chair and a table, with the promise of tea to come. The Senzafine dress was a little bare on the arms and the front, so I took my hair down and added some new gloves I found at Fameshed.

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“It’s hard to see anything from here!”

“It’s hard to see anything from here!” I called out. Could Bran even hear me from the kitchen? Where was he, anyway?

“Yes, Your Majesty,” came the reply from just a little ways away on the balcony below. How clever! Bran had set up a little temporary food and drink preparation area there. Given that the kitchens are actually about three floors below, I suppose that makes sense. “It’s because of the mists. We are so close to the mountains and so much higher than the landscape you are viewing that the mists stay here almost all the time.”

Great. Bran, my majordomo, is Elfsplaining atmospheric conditions to me. “I never had this problem in the treehouse,” I grumbled.

“Similar elevation, farther from the mountains,” Bran offered.

I looked across to the treehouse. I missed it a little bit. “No; I think it’s actually higher,” I said, thoughtful. In my head, I suddenly heard Valene‘s voice in my head. ‘You want to be where it’s the highest. That’s where the top CaitSidhe usually are.‘ I sniffed the misty but surprisingly not moist air. “Bran? Do you think we should move back to the treehouse?”

CLATTER

“What, Your Majesty? Dweezil, could you clean that up, please? Few more moments on the tea!”

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Comfy Chair

“Ooh, this is a comfortable chair, Bran.” I decided to ignore his obvious negative reaction to moving back to the treehouse. “Wherever did we get it?”

“You picked it out at Noble Creations,” Your Majesty, Bran replied without a hitch. “It’s only just arrived.”

“Well, I love it,” I said. I leaned forward to gaze into Awenia Town. I picked up small changes occurring: some brickwork added here, a new sparkle bush there…. “I wonder what I’ll put in between here and the town: right now it’s just an open field. The nursery and the farmhouse are all gone.”

“You’d mentioned expanding the Book Forest,” Bran said.

“Oh, yeah; I did,” I replied. “How’s that tea coming?”

“Slowly, I’m afraid, Your Majesty. You know magical prepared tea is not as good, and I didn’t think to bring the electric kettle up here.”

I sighed. “No matter; I’m thinking on… ooh, what is that?”

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Well, well, well….

Well, well, well. If it wasn’t my old best friend Fenella, also known as The Amazing Catwoman, for reasons I never could discern. Running about in a leather dress with a raven on her shoulder.

“Bran, looks like we have a TAC sighting!” I said. “See if you can send someone down and get her an audience with me, finally? We really do need to talk.”

“Is this the right time, Your Majesty?”

“We always ask that and it never is, which means that now is the best time for it,” I replied. “I’m tired of saying, ‘I’ll get to that when I’m less busy,’ and then having her disappear for another year.”

Bran sniffed. “Shall I send Clutie?”

“Gods no,” I replied. “She and TAC will hate each other. Send that new footman, the one from the restaurant. No; he’s a snob. Um, Send Dweezil and a couple of pixies. That ought to get her worked up.”

“Good as done, Your Majesty,” Bran replied. His voice came closer. “And look, here’s your tea!”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ferna (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Elf Ears Dior
Eyes: Cazimi, Mandala Regular Eyes (Omega) (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Dress: Senzafine, Arabian (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Exile, Long Beach (Available NOW at Summerfest!)
Nails: Cazimi, Solids, Sea Sand (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Lipstick: Cazimi, Nude Matte (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Foot Jewellery: Curb! Laina Footjewelery
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar

Chair, Table, and Rug: Noble Creations, Noble Sitting Place (Available NOW on the NEW midnight madness board at the Noble Creations Main Store!)

Castle: Dreamy Castle, by Rivendale, designed by LRRiven. This continues to be one of my favourite castles ever, as it was built with living in mind! It’s so huge I haven’t decorated it all yet, but that gives me great opportunities to, I don’t know, buy more furniture….! 🙂

 

The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 2

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OK, so from time to time I get curious.

OK, so from time to time I get curious. And even though Bob (unicorns hate people names: I call him that to piss him off) and I have been having a great time frolicking around the great forest (more on that later), I decided it couldn’t hurt to check out what she is doing with Faerie. I mean, Faerie is my home too, even if I am a dark elf. So I glamoured myself to look a little more like those happy little light elves of happiness, and I landed in the remembrance garden at Awenia—I figured that was one place she wouldn’t change much, and I was right.

I’d barely landed before I was surrounded by black feathers, and this raven just landed on my shoulder and stayed there. I’m thinking of naming him “Go the fuck away”, since that’s the sentence I seem to say to him most. He hasn’t left yet. As I type, he and Bob are grousing over dinner and whether or not it’s acceptable for GTFA (I like the sound of that) to pluck out bits of Bob’s mane in order to line some nest or other, which they’re probably building together in the deserted little cave we’re calling home now, at least until she decides the forest needs to turn into something else. It’s summer; she’s at the height of her power, so gods know what she is planning here in the forest.

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The view, however, was very different.

The view, however, was very different. OK, so there’s a lot of empty space: I guess she’s not quite finished. But this town bit, that looks like it might end up being a fun place to hang out, at least when the crowds get so big I can get lost in them. I suppose I could contact Wulfrich and see about working guard in Awenia again, even though we haven’t spoken in yonks.

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Looking back at the remembrance garden

Here we are looking back at the remembrance garden. I have to say I love this drone I got for working my last job: it was a magical tech company in Nu Jyorck and they manufacture these amazing drones that fly around behind you. They’re completely silent because they’re powered by magic and not batteries, and they don’t make that annoying wind that so many of them do, again, because they’re powered by magic and not batteries, and they don’t need any moving parts to fly. Anyway, that’s how I took this picture; GTFA (it’s pronounced “Gitfa”) and I are just looking back at the garden. I’m wondering what kind of crap she’s going to put in here now that she’s moved the earth all around to create that windy hill path up to the garden. Of course, gardening isn’t my strong point, but I’ll be interested to see what she puts here. I mean, not that I’m interested. But I did sneak into one of her offices once and photoscan the plans for Awenia, so I do kind of know what she’s up to.

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It looks pretty good down here!

And, frankly, it looks pretty good down here. This big dancing/eating/whatever square is going to be a big hit with the tourists: they can lurk around the edges of Scary Faery Town and still tell their friends what an adventure they had. Of course, if they’re planning on staying here for more than one day, they’re SOL: there are two inns in town and they’re both right in the town centre. Maybe she’ll put something further out on the edge for the squeamish; I’ve got no clue as there weren’t any actual drawn plans with the stuff I … acquired. There were just notes and bits and bobs about what to tell this or that minister when they started asking questions. She’s got her husband doing all the paperwork, of course: that guy may actually be too nice for her. Not that he’d look twice at someone like me: I mean, look who he married. Miss Tall Bright and Seelie. Forget that short, dark bitch with the potty mouth and the extra long ears. Yeah. I’m a real winner with the menfolk: that’s why I get my own unicorn companion, folks.

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Nearly Full Dark

Anyway, it was nearly full dark when GTFA and I made it down to the town (that was a lot of walking!) so I decided to come back for a longer tour of the town/village/whatever sometime when it was more light. I mean, obviously  can see in the dark, but the iPhone is still pretty shite when it comes to imaging at night, and the drone’s not much better for all the magical extras it’s got.

Besides, GTFA suddenly started cawing his fucking head off like something was coming to get us both. So I headed back to the forest, which is where I am now, and I’m writing all this shit on my phone because it’s not like she thought to put in an electrical outlet for my MacBook Pro, is it? Luckily, my battery is powered by magic and gets an extra charge from the sun this time of year, so the phone isn’t about to die any time soon. For once, as I looked across the water, I missed the too-bright shores of White Owl Island. At least I could have charged the damn notebook there.

Hm. You know what I noticed? I noticed that Faewatch has an office on the other side of town. It’s closed at the moment; I’m guessing she ran everyone out of Awenia except her little minions when she started revamping the place. I’ll bet Cherish Gelato would love to get her hands on these photos…. and others I’ll take, when I come back tomorrow.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Lulu
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ferna (in fudge) (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ear, Bane
Hair: Mithril Apothecary, Chamomile
Clothes: Noble Creations, Woods Queen (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Pauldrons: Storybook, Morrigan, Raven
Eyes: Anatomy, Meow Eyes, Neon Green
Necklace: Bliensen & Maitai, Luan
Shoes: Noble Creations, Roman Sandals (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Raven: Jian, Raven Collection Companion
Raven Feathers: Persefona, Floating Raven Feathers (black)
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 1

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“Take my portrait, Bran.”

“Take my portrait, Bran.” It was a simple enough suggestion. We were walking through what I can only describe as the New Awenia. We’d reached a lovely town square, graced by my beautiful Last Hope statue: for all my riches and advantage, it’s my most treasured posession, and it’s everywhere that I am. For me, it’s a symbol of Faerie and Fae sovereignty. For the Author, it’s something more, but this is my story.

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It might see odd that I would walk through Awenia wearing… this.

It might seem odd to you that I, a fairly modest Queen as Faery Queens go, would wander my Realm dressed in such a way. But it’s high summer, I’m in the height of my power, and frankly, the Realm itself is almost deserted except for some support staff (and the cats, of course). And Bran loved this little number I picked up at the We Love Roleplay faire last week: it’s from The Annex, and honestly, most of the thing I wear that people would consider sexy come from The Annex. The designers there just have a way of making things look both fetching and classy, which I know I’ve said before, but anyway. It’s called Astrid, in case you’re curious.

Bran has become quite a shutterbug and has got himself a DSLR. He swears it takes better photographs than the iPhone, but I don’t see much difference. This, apparently, is because I am a Philistine. He loves to follow me out wherever I go and take photographs, which is fine with me, but I think he has some kind of aspiration to be a fashion photographer. He’s been following me to modelling shoots as well. Sometimes I have to order him to stop asking the photographers and directors questions.

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I don’t think he’s quite there, though.

I don’t think he’s quite there, though. This is his idea of a sexy pose! When I looked at this photograph I laughed out loud. “I look like I’m about to fall over and hit my head on the wishing well,” I said.

To his credit, he didn’t pout. “Perhaps next time,” he said, “I shall just push you in.”

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It was clear the town had been restructuring.

It was clear the town had been restructuring since Midsummer’s fires blazed just a few weeks ago. No wonder I have been feeling so tired recently! All my magic’s been going to the Land, and the Land wants a complete refurbishment before we open Awenia to the public, paperwork willing, in the autumn.

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Imagine you’re home.

“Just look toward the castle,” Bran said before snapping this photograph, “and imagine that you are already there, that you’re already home.”

As it turned out, I really did want to go home after that. “Let’s just sit up on the tower,” I said, “outside mine and Nathaniel’s private apartments, and watch the changes from there.” Already I could feel wings straining against my shoulder blades. “It’ll be all misty up there, so I’ll have to put something on my legs,” I continued.

“Ooh!” Bran said as his own wings stretched out behind both of us. “Why don’t you get into that new Senzafine we got at the same faire?”

“That is a very good idea, my darling,” I said. And then we were airborne and I had no more time to consider my wardrobe. I’ll have so much to tell Nathaniel when he pops back in from wherever he’s been this week!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ferna (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Elf Ears Dior
Eyes: Cazimi, Mandala Regular Eyes (Omega)
Clothes: The Annex, Astrid (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Monso, Sua (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Nails: Cazimi, Solids, Sea Sand
Leg Wraps: Una, Sakura Leg Belts
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar

Town Buildings: Tudor City Builder Kit, by SOF Designs, designed by Firstleviathan Resident. There will be more photographs of what we’ve done with this kit to make Awenia even more special as it already is in the days and weeks to come.

The Last Hope statue is a one of a kind (well, two of a kind!) work of art from the amazing minds and hands of Death Row Designs. I had the good fortune one year to have enough money to spend a crazy amount on this item in the Fantasy Faire live auction. It really is my most prized possession in Second Life.