Dream-Stepping and Wind Singing (in which I actually blog a dress)

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth: Did I mention I step in dreams? The realm walking lark is fun to begin with but gets old unless you close your eyes, some days, and just turn a corner. A turning, a knot, another path to travel, another way through the woods. Inspiration takes many forms. A place. The light. A set of words that trips a memory. And sometimes, it’s a dress.

There Will Be No Miracles Here.

There Will Be No Miracles Here.

There will be no miracles here. And yet the ground is lit with fairy lights. And there are fireflies. And the dress, the dress, the dress. O Sign, I beg to differ. There are miracles. This one is called WindSong, and it’s from Evie’s Closet, featured at We ❤ RP this month. I couldn’t help myself: I bought it in every colour. This is Violet. Please click through to see the full size picture. I hope you’ll be glad you did. Photo location here is the spectacular L’Arc en Ciel, which I discovered, as I do so many amazing places, through Ziki Questi’s Blog.

This one's more about the dress than the photo.

This one’s more about the dress than the photo.

Here’s a daylight photograph, taken in Frisland. Btw, if you haven’t been to Frisland, you should go and visit. I take a lot of photographs there: the terrain is gorgeous, everything always looks wonderful, and the light is spectacular.

WindSong in Pink

WindSong in Pink

When I first saw this colour, I was surprised: I’m used to those pastel pinks or hot pinks, but this one is more of a salmon, and I quite like it. The photo above was taken at Pandora Box of Dreams.

WindSong in Gold

WindSong in Gold

This photo was also taken at Pandora. I had a lovely time trekking through the sim, and the group join fee for rez rights is only L$50, so of course I joined the group.

Our Friend Bambi

Our Friend Bambi

Joining the group meant I got to photograph Gwyneth, at a great location, in an amazing dress, with Our Friend Bambi, AKA Axix’s Forest Deer. But, you know. He has birds on his antlers that kind of match the dress. That makes it fashion-topical, right? Besides, you can see the gorgeous leaves on the translucent overdress really well in this picture, since it’s a close-up. Also, Bambi’s nose was itchy. He has such allergies in the spring.

WindSong in Green

WindSong in Green

I almost went back and reshot this photograph, because I thought Gwyneth looked, well, a little mad in it (English mad, not American mad, natch). But Dorina said, “No, no! I love that she looks a little mad! You should make her look more mad!” Honestly, could you pose with these two creepy owls at noob-riddled Eclectica and not look mad? Eclectica is actually gorgeous: it’s just in the Destination Guide, so loads of people, including guys who desperately want to share their freenises, go there. (Brief IM conversation: Hi, UR so pritty! Get out of my fucking light. Block User)

WindSong in Grey

WindSong in Grey

This photo was also taken at Eclectica, but I wanted a dramatic sky, so I ditched the region windlight (I usually do anyway) and went for Torley Linden’s Pleasantrie, which offers a fast-moving sky in an unreal blue. I’ve saved the grey dress for last, because this is my favourite colour of this dress. It’s so nearly blue. And the gold leaves, which were the first thing that caught my eye about WindSong, show up beautifully both against the opaque parts of the gown and in the translucent lace. The dress itself has a look both realistic and whimsical, the kind of look that would make my costuming friends swoon with envy. And I like making my costuming friends swoon with envy; I do.

I should also tell you that I didn’t actually discover this dress for myself: Luna discovered it and showed it to me. We are both big Evie’s Closet groupies, so I wasn’t surprised she wanted me to see the dress. There then followed That Conversation. The one we have about Really Good Dresses, or Perfect Hair. The one where Luna says, “OK, if I get this colour, you won’t get it, right?” and I nod solemnly and buy it anyway and then just don’t wear it to rp in on the sim where we both rp…. Yes, that conversation.

Dear Luna: I am really sorry about the gold dress. But I promise I will never wear it in the Wylds and, um, the photograph is OOC because Gwyneth would never make friends with Bambi like that. Oh, wait, she would.

I am in so much trouble.

Style Cards

Violet
Dress: 
Evie’s Closet, WindSong, at We ❤ RP this month
Hair: Truth, Daniela
Hair Flowers: Liquence
Necklace: (L’Arc en Ciel) Evie’s Closet, Briar Rose
Necklace: (Frisland) tea.s, Eden
Shoes: Deviance, Milady’s Slipper, Amethyst
Skin: Curio, Simone, Moondrop
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears

Pink
Dress: 
Evie’s Closet, WindSong, at We ❤ RP this month
Hair: Analog Dog, Chance
Jewellery: Evie’s Closet, Briar Rose
Shoes: Deviance, Milady’s Slipper, Melon
Skin: Curio, Kai, Moondrop
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears

Gold
Dress: Evie’s Closet, WindSong, at We ❤ RP this month
Hair: Exile, Dream of Paradise
Jewellery: Krystal, Candace, at We ❤ RP this month
Shoes: Deviance, Milady’s Slipper, Butter
Skin: Curio, Isabelle, Moondrop
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Our Friend Bambi was played by Axix, Forest Deer

Green
Dress: Evie’s Closet, WindSong, at We ❤ RP this month
Hair: D!va, Asami
Jewellery: Krystal, Candace, at We ❤ RP this month
Shoes: Deviance, Milady’s Slipper, Emerald
Skin: Curio, Kai, Moondrop

Grey
Dress: Evie’s Closet, WindSong, at We ❤ RP this month
Hair: Calico, Helenia
Jewellery: Evie’s Closet, Briar Rose
Shoes: Deviance, Milady’s Slipper, Onyx
Skin: Curio, Simone, Moondrop
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears

Cranberry Cove: Lectures from Issy

Suddenly I was just there in her back garden.

Suddenly I was just there in her back garden.

I fled the cellars; I just couldn’t be there any more. And I had to have a shower. All hail modern plumbing! I was barely out and dressed when I felt a buzzing. Isabella wanted me. And suddenly I was just there in her back garden. I kind of knew what was coming.

I always feel like a schoolgirl.

I always feel like a schoolgirl.

I always feel like a schoolgirl, called up on the carpet for something or other, when she summons me.

She knew I’d met with Gwythyr, knew something terrible had happened.

I tried to downplay it, but she wasn’t buying it. She wanted to know how I felt about everything in Ash, whether I wanted to accept his power, whether he had taken any of hers.

I told her I thought he’d overlooked her influence and that he only wanted to ruin me.

She said she could help get rid of his influence in me, that we’d meet later when the moon was uncovered so we could sort it out.

She can sort it out.

She can sort it out.

She wanted to know if I’d choose him, or her. I told her there wasn’t a choice.

Then she asked me how I felt about leading the Seelie of Ashmourne. I told her I didn’t feel up to the challenge, but that I knew it was something I had to do.

There was more talk to be had about this — that much was clear.

Wren came out of the house, with toast!

Wren came out of the house, with toast!

But then Wrennie saved my bacon, no pun intended. She came out of the house, with toast. She gave me a slice: it was sticky with too-sweet American strawberry jam, but I took it anyway, and it was great.

How do I get myself into these messes? I made a hasty retreat, citing tiredness and the need to get some paperwork in order for the university. I’m sure she’ll call me back later, when she’s ready.

Philosophy and Paradox

"Nathaniel," I said. "Let's go get a drink," I said.

“Nathaniel,” I said. “Let’s go get a drink,” I said.

“Nathaniel,” I said. “Let’s go get a drink,” I said. “It’ll be fun,” I said.

“OK,” he said (well, not really; Nathaniel doesn’t really know the word “OK”, but he’d use it if he did, I promise.

We headed out of his cottage, only to be met by Galyanna and Orie. Galyanna said she had to speak with Nathaniel about something Super Sekrit and Private (fuck you, Princess!), so she’d send him along to meet us at the tavern later. Us? Oh, right.

And that's how I got stuck taking Orie to the pub.

& that’s how I got stuck taking Orie to the pub.

And that’s how I got stuck taking Orie to the pub. Jesus, the guy just won’t leave, and now I’m expected to fucking babysit him? Lovely. Grand. Great. And all those other things my mum says when she means we’re all about to enter the ninth circle of Hell together.

Nathaniel and Galyanna and their Super Sekrit Business omg!1!

Nathaniel & Galyanna & their Super Sekrit Business omg!1!

I glanced back to see Nathaniel and Galyanna engaged in what looked like a fairly intense conversation. He’s so much bigger than her! You’d never know she could probably break him into ash with her little finger given the opportunity (and an order from her Mistress Demoness Most High [or is that low?]) of course).

We found Aoibheann sitting by the fireplace.

We found Aoibheann sitting by the fireplace.

We found Aoibheann sitting by the fireplace, surrounded by empty glasses. She did not look well at all, and she sounded even worse. At first, I thought it was some kind of PTSD following her trip to New York to visit the Damondreds the day before, and possibly extra special trauma upon seeing me-not-me, but as it turned out, she was just tired from the trip and appeared to have some kind of a fever. When Nathaniel arrived a few minutes later, I asked him if there was an herbalist or something in the village, but he didn’t seem to know. Since Astrid and Bastion disappeared, I haven’t seen anybody doing much healing, and Helene hasn’t been around much either. You’d think as long as I’ve been here at this point I’d know a little something about healing, but the fact is I don’t.

Aoibheann asked if I'd seen Maric.

Aoibheann asked if I’d seen Maric.

Aoibheann asked if I’d seen Maric: I hadn’t. She said she had something to give him; as it turned out, that was the skipping stone Wren had got her that I think she actually mean to use to attack the ducks but was smart enough not to mention.

We’re so used to talking freely, the three of us, and even though Orie had spoken, I’m not sure Aoibh really realised he was there. Then again, his bad attitude is big enough for an army, so when he’s around it’s like you’re carrying him and his whole family or something, so maybe she did. But whatever happened, Orie asked about the Shadow Roads, where you could go on them, and I told him you could go just about anywhere, and so he wanted to know if we could get him back to WWI, like anybody with a working brain would want to go back to fucking WWI. Then again, consider the source.

Orie wants to go back to 1914.

Orie wants to go back to 1914.

So the upshot is, Orie wants to go back to 1914. Orie wants to go back to 1914 because he hasn’t got a clue what’s about to happen to him, and he doesn’t know about how many people died. Of course, the Americans didn’t lose as many people as we did, so I guess his chances are better than many? I don’t know: the only important fact I remember about WWI is that it prompted the rise in American modern poetry, since so many American poets were finally able to get published owing to the large number of young poets who’d died int he war. And of course the war poets, who were all anti-war (because they all had souls, duh). I didn’t think the Americans had even entered WWI in 1914. I didn’t even think WWI started in 1914, but I don’t know war dates. I do know the Americans weren’t even in at first. But whatever. Gag, war shit. One of the great things about being here is I don’t have to think about guns and bombs. Orie pisses me off because he carries a gun everywhere and talks constantly about war. What kind of asshole goes to fairyland and does that? There are so many more productive things to do with your life. Right. Right. Rant over, I promise. But Orie– ORIE has some woman he’s in love with, and it’s her he wants to go back to, not the war? Except if that were true why is he always going on and on about the glories of war and hefting his weapons around everywhere? Whatever. Right. Right. Rant over. I really promise this time.

We tried to explain about the rules of time travel, as we understood them.

We tried to explain about the rules of time travel, as we understood them.

Nathaniel and I tried to explain about the rules of time travel, as we understood them. It turns out we need a course or something, because we’re not really clear except that we can’t visit our own futures or muck with our own timelines. We tried to explain this to Orie, but with his usual reasoned, adult attitude, he declared he didn’t care, that he’d do anything to get back to her. This is the kind of personality disorder I think you have to have to become a superpower in the twenty-first century. And that’s why I’m glad I don’t live there anymore. Fuck everybody else: I just want what I want.

Obviously, it’s in my nature to be sympathetic, so I was sympathetic. I think Nathaniel did a better job than I did. Orie actually started throwing his toys out of the pram (his axe on the floor, I mean), and many kind words had to be said. He really seems to believe he’s in some kind of Hell. I did not reply that Hell was actually a foxhole in 1918. I thought I showed admirable restraint.

In the middle of all this, I managed to get one of Hal’s kids to bring Aoibheann a blanket to wrap around herself at least: even right next to the fire she was shivering like crazy. We also discovered that Hal has no absinthe, and this was a sad moment.

Aoibheann stumbled up and off to bed.

Aoibheann stumbled up and off to bed.

Aoibheann stumbled up to go off to bed, leaving piles of overturned furniture in her wake, and Orie stalked out after some more ranting (Gawd, people who rant are so annoying!), so Nathaniel and I took ourselves to bed, as well.

I guess nights like this should reaffirm my faith that we are all still alive in some real sense of the word, but I find all this to-ing and fro-ing about where’s the right place to be just annoying now. I suppose from a position of privilege it’s easy to have that attitude. I have to remember what it was like not to know. I did even tell Orie that I was like him when I first fell out of my “ordinary” life, whatever that means. Angry and confused and unsure whether I was alive, dead, or dreaming, or worse. It didn’t seem to make much of a dent, but maybe I’m remembering it wrong. I got so cross with him toward the end I just started concentrating on Aoibheann, which I probably should have been doing from the beginning since she’s my BFF and she was ill. I’ll have to check on her today to see whether she’s better.

I don’t have a usual ending line for these journal entries. Maybe I should make one.

FAE OUT. No. No, that’s lame. Not as lame as FAEd out, though. Nothing is that lame.

 

 

Ducks and Damondreds

I felt unsettled, so I took a chance.

I felt unsettled, so I took a chance.

I felt unsettled, so I took a chance. I really wanted to see Alec and Isabella. I ended up on a city street, a little square of houses and businesses surrounding a park. I found Alec (funny how I call them Alec and Isabella here but I can’t bear to address them that way in person) sitting on a park bench, feeding bread crumbs to a family of ducks. He said he thought I’d be Nathaniel as if he were expecting him. And I guess that makes sense: Nathaniel definitely needs to talk to Alec, but I knew he was busy with village business.

He complimented me on the glamour, and I said the Gwyneth equivalent of ‘aw shucks’, or something. I’m really not remembering things very well these past few days. Could it have something to do with the whole fucking world falling apart? Hmmm….

We had one of those good, mentor-ly chats, like the ones we used to have back in Jasper. He said he was proud of me, and that I was doing things right. He seemed surprised to hear the Seelie were still stepping into the Mallorn like a bunch of fucking lemmings. (OK, he didn’t put it that way, but…) We talked about my princessly status and whether or not I was up to leading fae, and I admitted I probably was not, but we both made noises about my learning stuff and the loyalties of the few Seelie left being uncomplicated. I do think they’re a bunch of staid fuckers, but I like them, I guess. I just never felt they liked me very much. Alec put it all down to the millennia of ingrained traditions, and how they’re unused to change, and then had to deal with all those changes happening at once. I guess if I were them I’d consider crossing over, myself. I desperately wanted to be accepted by them, but in the end I’m glad I never became altogether comfortable within the sithen society. It would have hurt so much more to see this happening, now. And maybe I’d be one of them, queuing up to go wherever it is they’re going. Alec had just started into the predictable speech about how death is not an ending when I was saved by familiar voices: Aoibheann and Wren came out to look a the ducks.

Oh, Wren! I missed her.

Oh, Wren! I missed her.

Oh, Wren! I always forget how much I miss her until I see her, and then it all comes rushing back. She’s still my favourite of all the little kids I’ve met, ever. And she’s still doing the little boy in drag thing, which I hate to giggle about, but it’s so cute I just want to hug her, which would make her vomit, so I don’t. She arrived with Aoibh in tow, very excited about the ducks, and very quick to chastise her father for feeding them bred. Without a word of argument, he put the bread away, and that was the last we saw of ducklings coming to see us: they did their own thing while Wren exclaimed and Aoibheann watched, seeming a little ill at ease with the whole ‘duck’ thing.

I worried she’d freak out when she saw me glamoured, but she didn’t recognise me at all and introduced herself as, “Evie, I guess.” So I told her who I was and it took a minute, but I think she finally saw me under all the hair and, OK, a little bit of makeup.

Wren seemed just as surprised as she was, but she didn’t make a very big deal about it: I guess when you’re the daughter of a goddess and whatever Alec is, you get used to the weirdness at a young age.

I explained to Wren how she could always identify me.

I explained to Wren how she could always identify me.

I showed Wren the necklace and the bracelet, and I told her she would always know it was me if she saw those two things. I didn’t tell her Nathaniel has an identical bracelet: I think she would have hurled.

Aoibheann wanted to know if red hair was somehow strange and if everybody here had blonde or black hair. I told her — and Isabella arrived and reiterated — that no, it’s just that my usual hair colour would spark more interest than I want to attract if I’m going to be interacting with mortals (and how weird is it to say that?) from time to time.

Isabella, not looking very goddess like, just beautiful.

Isabella, not looking very goddess like, just beautiful.

It was so great to reconnect with them all, to see Alec and Isabella together and relaxed like that. I envy their family; I wish I had a family like that. We talked about all the cool things we could show Aoibh. I so want to take her shopping, even if it’ll terrify her initially.

Travel is so exhausting — I was yawning and didn’t even realise it. And it was terrible timing, because just before I decided I had to go — there was this prickling under my skin — who should come down from having finished her homework (apparently) but Ember. She looks so much like other young teenage girls I’ve known, including me, now; she’s got a pout on her, as my mum would say.

Ember's got a pout on her.

Ember’s got a pout on her.

I almost wished I could stay for a few days at that point, but the prickling kept getting more and more pronounced, like my body was trying to tell me something. And I was so tired. I offered to take Aoibheann home with me, just like I knew what I was doing. Alec and Isabella seemed OK with it, so she took my hand and I brought us back to Ashmourne. It was a bit of a jerky trip: I hope I didn’t make her sick, but she didn’t look too green when we landed outside the castle. I didn’t hug her because she hates that, but I wanted to. Instead, I went off to hug Nathaniel, who doesn’t hate that.

Wow, my first solo realm trip. And nobody died.

Freedom Tastes like Bleecker Street!

I waited like a schoolgirl outside the head's office.

I waited like a schoolgirl outside the head’s office.

Alec had said Isabella would find me to discuss our potential agreement, and I admit I assumed she’d come to the castle, as she’d enjoyed hospitality from Lord Maric there many times before.

So today, I fled the disintegrating sithen and the sight of my people queuing up like lemmings to walk into oneness with the Mallorn tree, and even though Nathaniel was busy elsewhere and Aoibheann was nowhere to be found, I haunted the castle, looking for her. I ended up on the balcony, with a book, but I must have fallen asleep (it was dry reading, something about the history of the crusades– I just picked up the first book I touched on the bookcase), because suddenly she was just there, dressed as I remembered her from Jasper, crowned and queenly.

Suddenly she was just there.

Suddenly she was just there.

She had her back to me when I awoke, and of course she knew I was there; she always knows things like that. She said hello to me and told me Alec had said I was uncertain about the choice she was about to offer me.

A choice. Always a choice. I dream fondly of a world where I don’t have to make choices, but I should have known there would be one, some sort of bargain, anytime either of the two of them are involved. So I said that yes I had questions, but that I did not question her sincerity.

Maric, the ultimate conversational cockblock.

Maric, the ultimate conversational cockblock.

Our conversation was interrupted (natch), by Lord Maric (natch), who came out onto the balcony in a burst of flower language and not-so-veiled prophecies of doom-I-tell-you-DOOM.

He did at least acknowledge that he’d interrupted us. I have promised Nathaniel I’ll be more forgiving of the man, and it is his castle, so I suppose we were the trespassers. He said something about not being able to promise either of us safety unless we asked specifically for his protection, which sounded an awful lot like a blanket disinvite to Mysty Rosehaven land (which at least smells better than Castle Shithole. Remember Castle Shithole?)

We both acknowledged his concern. I said that it was not a negotiable point whether I’d be visiting frequently in order to see Nathaniel, and he replied that my “fae cat” (Nualla would so gag at that assessment!) should be able to get me there, so there was no worry about that. At least he seemed to understand that there would be no argument as regards my continued visits. I tried to warm up to him, really I did. Nathaniel says his heart is good and that he has the same values we do, and so I will continue to try. Apparently he has a hunger for fae blood, so I guess I look like a tasty rack of ribs to him or something, and he’s constantly having to hold back his fae hunger when he’s around any of us. Perhaps that’s why he always looks like such a sourpuss. Isabella didn’t spend much time before saying that we had to go and continue our conversation elsewhere. She reached out her hand to me, and I took it. Ashmourne faded before us as if we were walking into a Monet; all the colours faded into one another. And then my stomach dropped.

In the space of no more than a breath, I found myself on the roof of a 20-story building.

Isabella produced a roomy wool coat for me.

In the space of a breath, I found myself on the roof of a 20-story building. Around us, the noises of a city burned in my ears, and the smells of a city assaulted my nose. I’d forgot what that was like.

And I felt sick. I was dizzy and nauseated; it was like seasickness, motion sickness, something I never had before. I lost my balance a couple of times, but I didn’t embarrass myself by falling over or anything (thank you, Lady Siansa!)

It was freezing! Isabella, of course, was perfectly dressed for the weather (Girl Guide in a former life?), but I was still in a spring tunic, bare-armed, bare-legged, and bare-footed. She produced a roomy wool coat for me, which helped, and I glamoured some leg warmers, once I remembered what they felt like. Glamouring things was harder than in Ashmourne, which makes sense; my disconnection from sithen would make any small act of magic a feat in itself.

She told me that I had a choice. To go forward, she said, I would need to accept everything that I have become (whatever that is). To go back I’d have to be willing to lose my memories of everything that’s happened.

It was a no-brainer, I thought, but then I figured it was my only chance to ask some questions to which I needed answers. Then she threw me a curve ball.

“Before you make that choice,” she said, “I have a question for you…something I rarely ask others…what is it, Gwyn, that you think I am?”

Well, I knew the answer to that: Isabella is a goddess. Alec told me as much, and I suspected it when one blast of energy from her managed to turn Nathaniel into a living, breathing human being.

I answered the question, and she told me I was right, though she hadn’t been born a goddess. She said she was chosen to it. I didn’t know what that meant, either. She told me that my life would be harder, even if it would be filled with adventure. That she was necessarily vague because she could not reveal too much or too little.

Finally, I agreed. Of course I was going to agree: the idea of going back to London and trapping myself back in my old life is almost unthinkable to me now.

And then something happened. I don’t have a clear memory of it, but there was a blaze of light, and a being full of light was there in her place, was her, and she reached out to touch the necklace I was wearing.

I cannot draw this.

I cannot draw this.

This is what I remember of how she looked. I cannot draw this. I made myself too big in the picture. Also, I don’t think I managed to stand up for very long. I fell over. She caught me before I fell, and then she was the woman in the trench coat again, an Isabella in New York, just casually standing on a rooftop with a strangely dressed, pointy-eared blonde girl swooning in her arms.

I’d say it was embarrassing, but she was the only other one there, and I guess goddesses get that all the time, the swooning.

She said “Wear it well, Gwyn.” She meant the necklace, which felt imbued with power when I touched it, and even when I didn’t. I don’t think I could ever bear to take it off again, not after that.

And then she shouted, “Welcome home, Gwyn!” And she took my hand and we ran—

And we jumped off the roof of a 20 story building! And nobody noticed! I felt as if we flew, but we were definitely falling, only slowly. And no one saw a thing.

Oh, fuck me sideways, WE WENT SHOPPING. OMG, did we go shopping! Alec and Isabella have an apartment in New York City– how amazing is that? And I found this little artisan shop in Bleecker Street, and there were leather bracelets. With anchors. Nathaniel will love it. I bought four! I mean, he doesn’t have to wear it all the time. But I will. Because anchors. And goddesses. And we went to see THE BOOK OF MORMON, and the seats were amazing.

And, I admit it, Ashmourne smelled like heaven when I returned.

Once Upon a Time … Part 5, What Happened After….

For Part One: http://wp.me/p2VCul-kr
For Part Two: http://wp.me/p2VCul-lz
For Part Three: http://wp.me/p2VCul-lG
For Part Four: http://wp.me/p2VCul-lN

Gwyneth and Nathaniel fell in love.

Gwyneth and Nathaniel fell in love.

Gwyneth and Nathaniel fell in love. Even though Nathaniel was a vampire and Gwyn was a Seelie Fae, everyone knew it was the right match. Then one day, Queen Isabella returned and revealed herself as a Goddess, breathing life into Nathaniel but letting him keep his immortality. His Fae heritage was much stronger than he had originally thought, but that would only be revealed in time.

One Day, King Alec came to talk to Gwyneth and Aoibheann.

One Day, King Alec came to talk to Gwyneth and Aoibheann.

One day, King Alec came to talk to Gwyneth and Aoibheann. It was time, he said, to explain the reasons behind everything that had happened. As it turned out, King Alec had, at the time Tabitha hid her two children, been the powerful sorcerer behind the Welsh witch’s magic. He had observed all the hiding and conspiracy, and he had caught up with Tabitha and arranged for her to go to the northlands and be reunited with her lover. Although the two were happy together, they never bore any other children. But Alec and his wife, the Goddess Isabella, sought out the twin girls and watched them as they grew, paying special attention to those important places in their lives when tragedy or inspiration might strike. Isabella herself had whispered the truenames to both Gwyneth’s grandmother and Aoibheann’s friend, although she did not foresee what would happen to either of them in the days and years to follow. Alec, whose magic was great and powerful, transformed himself into the Boatman in order to save the two girls from certain death.

Aoibheann fell in love with a strong Seelie King.

Aoibheann fell in love with a Seelie King.

Aoibheann fell in love with a Seelie King. At first, she thought their love was doomed, but when Alec told Gwyneth and Aoibheann the story of their birth, she rejoiced, for as a full-blooded Sidhe, she could court and consort with her lover.

Gwyneth and Aoibheann were thrilled to find out they were twins!

Gwyneth and Aoibheann were thrilled to find out they were twins!

Even though they looked nothing alike, Aoibheann and Gwyneth were so happy when they found out they were twins! They spent many long hours learning more about one another and thinking about the future and what it would hold for them. It was still a sadness to both of them that their mother and father had never really known them, but King Alec insisted there was a way for them to have the family they had always wanted.

Gwyneth and Aoibheann were dressed in flowers.

Gwyneth and Aoibheann were dressed in flowers.

Search as he might, King Alec could not find Tabitha and her lover, whose name was never revealed. And so one day, he and Queen Isabella dressed Aoibheann and Gwyneth in flowers and claimed them as their own, making them equal Princesses of the Realm.

Aoibheann's coronation crown was made specially for her by skilled Fae jewellers.

Aoibheann’s coronation crown was made specially for her by skilled Fae jewellers.

They each were given special crowns and told that once Alec and Isabella grew bored of ruling in the new land, they would become the Twin Queens, and whoever they chose would rule alongside them. Of course, their choices were already made.

Sometimes, the two Queens held court together.

Sometimes, the two Queens held court together.

Sometimes, the two Queens held court together, and sometimes Gwyneth and Nathaniel held court. Aoibheann’s beloved Fae King was already tired of ruling, and he chose not to hear matters of the court, but he was always available to help make decisions that benefited the people and served their interests, for he was a good and true King.

Sometimes, Gwyneth and Nathaniel held court.

Sometimes, Gwyneth and Nathaniel held court.

While the official residence was a huge castle in the new land, Gwyneth and Nathaniel spent most of their time in a manor by the sea, while Aoibheann and King Llwyd stayed in in the beautiful light forest that covered the new land.

The official residence was a huge castle.

The official residence was a huge castle.

Aoibheann and Llwyd had four beautiful children, including one set of twins. Gwyneth and Nathaniel, whose father was revealed to be a full-blooded Seelie Sidhe, did not have any children, but their friend Valene, the Queen of all the Cait Sidhe, kept them busy with the many Cait who came in and out of their lives, so they were never lonely. Even though they worked together and ruled together, the two sisters remained the best of friends as they danced agelessly through the beautiful kingdom they ruled together. Aoibheann could hear the smallest noise in the forest, and Gwyneth always knew what was going to happen next week, even if she wasn’t sure about the next ten minutes. And their loves danced along with them, through all the days and years of their rules, until they too decided it was time to just relax and enjoy things, when Aoibheann and Llwyd’s children were old enough to rule the kingdom. And they made sure always to keep a lively tavern going in the village, so that any newcomers would feel welcome, and any strays would have a warm place to sleep and a good meal when they arrived. They even called it the Lucky Leaf.

The End.