So, What’s It Like To Be A Troller?

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In the Troll’s Shadow

You have no idea. “Gosh, is your father also your uncle?” “Do you all grow so tall because of troll manure?” “I heard you secretly worship the troll and are trying to bring him back to life.” “I figured you’d be covered with dirt or drool or something.” “Wait, do they even allow people from Trollhaugen on the Internet?”

Oh, very funny. I’ve never heard any of those jokes before.

Yes, I grew up in Trollhaugen. Yes, I also went to University. Yes, I was once Miss Trollbride. Yes, I know how to spell. No, I do not intend to marry a close relative by blood. No, I do not enjoy rolling around in excrement. Satisfied? No?

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Well, you can just bite me.

Well, you can just bite me. If it weren’t for the fact that my homeland is built around a large troll turned to stone by our Realm’s spiritual founder, Saint Megan of the Book, I probably wouldn’t even exist right now, because my ancestors would have been eaten by that same large troll, who then would have probably moved on to your homeland and eaten your ancestors, because when you eat as much as a troll, renewable resources dry up pretty quickly.

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Yes, I was once Miss Trollbride

Yes, I was once Miss Trollbride. That’s a picture of me in the dreaded earring cage. Being Miss Trollbride is actually a huge honour, I’ll have you know. We beautiful maidens spend a whole night in that godsforsaken cage, all to remind everyone that there but for the grace of Saint Megan go we. And it’s not exactly a comfortable night, by the way: you’re so high up in the air and swinging back and forth, to say nothing of the way they actually get you up there. Let’s just say it’s creepy, even when you know there is no more snot up there, not to mention earwax. I’d say I still have nightmares about it, but that would be dramatic.

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The fact is, Trollers love nothing more than books.

The fact is, Trollers love nothing more than books. A book saved our Realm—well, many books, and there’s nowhere in the multiverse where you will find such a love for them. Maybe we don’t have huge libraries here, and maybe there’s no University, but we are a Realm of storytellers and story listeners. I mean, growing up in a place like this is a little bit like having grown up in a fairy tale.

And maybe that’s why people are so condescending of us.

And maybe that’s why some of us are embarrassed to be Trollers.

I’m a combination of both, I guess. Having spent a few years Out In The World, I do know that people from Trollhaugen are looked upon with some disdain, much as people on the Internet look down on unwashed pieceworkers from Nebraska who happened to grow up next to Carhenge. First of all, Hugh (that’s our troll’s name) is much, much bigger than Carhenge. And second, we didn’t ask him to come here. We didn’t make him. Nobody looked at our Realm and said, “Golly gee, I think I’ll erect a big old Troll!” No. We defeated him. So take that, Alliance, Nebraska.

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Fact is, Our Troll is Beautiful.

Fact is, our Troll is Beautiful. OK, he is beautiful in a looming, grotesque sort of way, but my people have turned him into something that is known throughout all the many Realms. And you would not believe the number of Amazing Authors, Poets, Storytellers, and Artists of all descriptions who have graced our Trollmouth with their words and images. As writers’ retreats go, Trollhaugen is unique, and even though most of our people are deeply involved with the land, that love for the earth also, we believe, creates a keen understanding of the truths that tie the universe together with stories.

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The Western Vista

There are also no finer views to be had of neighbouring Realms than those from our Trollsteps. I am in these pictures for scale, by the way: I am a tiny little blonde head in a black dress and you probably can’t even see that I am scowling at you in this picture. In the morning, I love to climb up the steps and watch the sun illuminate Tensor’s Flying Market in the distance. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live there: all that lightning. I heard they dance with Goblins.

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Look: Here is my Scowl Face.

Look: Here is my Scowl Face.

So, yes. I am from Trollhaugen. This is my mother’s house, and behind me is hay to feed our single horse. My mother is a blacksmith, and a good one; without her, I would never have been able to leave Trollhaugen for university. And without St. Megan of the Book, neither one of us would be able to tell our tales.

You’re welcome.

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St. Megan of the Book

Style Card:
Items featured at the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Wings: Lassitude & Ennui, Bento Fairy Wings, Purple RFL (Lassitude & Ennui at Fantasy Faire!)
Coming soon to We Love Roleplay (4th May):
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, River Daughter Gown
Other Stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: Lumae, Elentari Fantasy Skin (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store for L$100!)
Eyes, Lipstick, Eye Makeup: Izzie’s, sparkle makeup (Gacha)
Necklace: Cae, Cressida
Rings: Avaway, Vanessa Rings

Trollhaugen is one of sixteen regions created for the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. Trollhaugen is home to this year’s Literary Festival, where some wonderful writing events have been scheduled. Trollhaugen is sponsored by the Lost Unicorn Gallery and designed by Beq Janus and Elizabeth Jarvinen (polysail). The Faire closes on the 5th of May, so make sure and visit Trollhaugen before it fades back into the Mists.

 

Through Ishtar’s Gate

Through Ishtar’s Gate, the streets of Midas beckon us:
We venture in to Babylon Unfallen.

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Why not dance upon a lion?

Gold sunlight fills the squares, and the shadows
Are complements, and not for hidden things.

Here, walking is flying; why not dance upon a lion?
Why not worship with mosaics for a day?

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Why not become a statue?

And if the mood should take you, why not now become a statue
On a pedestal that seems reserved for you?

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See through the glass of marble

O Babylon, we see you through the glass
Of marble, ancient tells, made-over tales

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O Babylon

But sing Inanna’s scion consecrate
And watch: The myths return through Ishtar’s Gate.

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Through Ishtar’s Gate

Style Card:
Items Featured at the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: Fallen Gods, Blessed by Ishtar, the 2019 limited edition Awakening skin (Fallen Gods on Midas!)
Dress: Evie’s Closet, The Feyre Fairy Dress (Evie’s Closet on Midas!)
Nails: Dark Passions, Koffin Nails: Butterfly Fantasy Nails (Dark Passions on Twilight Spring)
Other Stuff:
Stealthic’s Dawn Hair
Izzy’s Sparkle Eyes, Lipstick and Makeup
Egosumaii’s Fae Wings
Hope’s Creations Arran Tootsie Bows
Musu’s Glitter Bomb Maitreya Body Glitter
Maitreya Lara Mesh Body
Catwa Keme Bento Mesh Head
Slink Pointe Mesh Feet (People should make more shoes for pointes!)

Midas is one of the sixteen regions that form the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, sponsored by Fallen Gods and designed by Alia Baroque. Step into ancient Babylon and visit Midas before the fifth of May, 2019!

You think you know us

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You say we are dark

You say we are dark because we come from down below
I say we are dark because we are the face of shadow

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You say we are freakish

You say we are freakish
with our shocks of silver hair
But I have seen your partners
with their bleachpots and their envy stare
At us who tend the blooming crystals,
mine the silver, mind the dark

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Where the mists embark

And I have seen your kind come slumming
down to where the mists embark

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Light comes filtering

Did you know light comes filtering
from places other than on high?
I laugh at you, you primatives,
you ice picks in the dark folks’ eye.

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See our ghostly glory

Hear our footsteps? That you will not.
We are silent, ghostly glory

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Come among us

Come among us; feel out presence
Lit by bioluminescence

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Laud our efficacious Goddess

Laud our efficacious Goddess
And her perspicacious largesse

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Let her soothe you with her waterfalls

Let her soothe you with her waterfalls
For she is old and wondrous wise

And when we turn your eyes to her
Our thirst for depth begins to stir

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To Rise

It’s then and only then, and then
She reaches out her mystic hand
And moves our souls
And teaches them
To Rise.

Style Card:
Items featured at the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: The Plastik, Amatheia Skin, Aroliah (The Plastik at Fantasy Faire!)
Gown: Senzafine, Calariel (Senzafine at Fantasy Faire!)
Necklace: Chimaera, Geode Necklace (Chimaera at Fantasy Faire!)
Hair: Raven Bell, Ethiel (Raven Bell at Fantasy Faire!)
Everything Else:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Eyes: AviGlam, Joy Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyebrows: Alaskametro: Glimmer Eyebrows

Twilight Spring is one of sixteen regions that make up the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. Twilight Spring is sponsored by The Roawenwood and designed by Searlait Nitschke. Remember, the Fairelands sink into the mists sometime around the fifth of May, 2019, so come visit soon!

 

Glow Baths and Dragon Dances in The Shrine Tree

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As Quiet As the Night Is

As Quiet As the Night Is, That’s how The Shrine Tree light is

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Come In

And you know you will come in, you will; you will

If we invite you in, you will, you will

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To see your sense of wonder

To see you sense of wonder, we will lift you to the lanterns;

We will let you taste our sweetest cakes

But only if you dare

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Do you dare?

Do you dare, do you dare, slip beside us for a glow-bathing?

Do you dare, do you dare, do you dare?

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We are watching from the lanterns

We are laughing just beyond you

We are watching from the lanterns

Do you dare, do you dare, do you dare?

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And if you venture past the lanterns….

And if you venture past the lanterns

We will let you dance with dragons

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Round the fire shrine

Round the fire shrine we’ll let you taste our mead

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It will make you dance ’til morning

It’ll make you dance ’til morning, but your feet won’t even feel it:

Not until you stumble home in seven years.

You’ll be ragged as a bean sidhe, but your memories will sustain you,

Won’t they?

Never mind: we’ll visit soon, to drink your tears.

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Fire Shrine Dance

Style Card:
Featured items from the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: The Plastik, Amathela, in RFL colour Aleatrice (The Plastik at Fantasy Faire!)
Clothes: Evie’s Closet, Aelinor Skirt & Top, Blue (Evie’s Closet at Fantasy Faire!)
Circlet & Bracelets: Kotolier, Folium Bracelet & Circlet in Water (Kotolier at Fantasy Faire!)
Shoes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Evie Sandals (1313 Mockingbird Lane at Fantasy Faire!)
Other Stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Hair: Doe, Silva
Body Glitter: Musa, Glitter Bomb Maitreya
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, Luin
Wings: Evolved Creatures, Fae Wings

The Shrine Tree, sponsored by The Looking Glass and designed by Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen, is one of sixteen Realms in the Fairelands this year. Give yourself a gift and visit this gorgeous place before the Faire closes on the fifth of May! The Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire is the largest virtual charity event in the world, and we help fight cancer with our stories and songs and flights of fancy. Everything you buy, everything you donate, helps a great cause.

 

 

Huntress

I’m going to be shooting in The Shrine Tree today, but if you know anything at all about me, you know that it takes forever for me to put together an outfit. This is something of a joke in my role-play group. I put together a couple of test shots with this outfit, because it’s special. And yeah; that means I’m going to talk about an outfit. Don’t worry: I promise there will be stories this Faire. I promise!

When you blog a Fantasy Faire, you get to sample some wonderful items. You get some amazing things from some of the best and best known creators in Second Life. Sometimes creators you’ve never come across before come into your life, and sometimes beloved creators you despaired of ever seeing anything new from rain beauty down upon you and wonderfulness happens. This is one of those times.

Now, you guys know my heart belongs to Lumae Skins— but there is no one, absolutely no one, better at creating glorious hand-painted skins than Vae of The PlastikThis year, she has released a line of skins with markings that might be mer, might be fae, can be anything, and as usual, they come in an astounding array of colours. The skin line is called Amathela, and this is the special RFL colour, Aleatrice.

The Plastik makes some of the most beautiful fantasy skins on the grid, so they’re in the ‘best and best known creators’ slot in this sentence. Magika hair rebranded not long ago and their new textures are absolutely to die for, particularly if you like things that are glittery and iridescent. I’ve been wearing the Genus Project heads off and on since they were in beta, but this is the first time I’ve photographed the Baby Face head. These stunning purple eyes are from Musaalso an RFL item; they are the Amla Eyes. The creator I’d never encountered before here is Kotolierand I’ve already blogged one of their beautiful, simple circlet and bracelet sets in a previous blog post. Against the complexity of the skin, against some of the complicated hairstyles and dresses Gwyneth wears, these stunning little circlets particularly will be part of my Second Life wardrobe for a long time to come. The wings are from Evolved Creatures, a gift from the glorious Dyisi from a couple of Fantasy Faires back, when we discovered them being used as part of the costumes for the Fairelands Players’ production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These lovely, whimsical shoes are the Evie Sandals (and you’ll get why that’s so cool, if you haven’t already, in a minute!) from 1313 Mockingbird Lane, who always manage to create the most fun, quirky, whimsical-goth-ignited loveliness you’ve ever seen. But oh, oh, oh, my darlings! And Oh! again. You may remember that a few years back, I joyfully and enthusiastically blogged every single new Evie’s Closet release that I could, given time constraints and the fact that, well, you just can’t always take as many pictures as she has colours. Real Life has taken the talented (and downright niceEvangeline Miles away from Second Life for some time, and my thought was that she was so so busy she was unlikely to come back. Well, you may already know this, but Evie has a Fantasy Faire store up on the Midas region, and there are some absolutely gorgeous things there! In fact, discovering that Evie had new things will be making changes in my blog plans for the rest of the Faire, because every single release in her store is glorious and gorgeous, and I bought all of them. I absolutely did, and I’d do it again.

Gwyneth has never been a racy dresser. It comes from a background in academia, plus the pressures of being a Queen, plus my strong believe that an avatar doesn’t have to bare a lot of skin to be beautiful or desirable. So believe me when I say that I thought this was the dress I wouldn’t blog from Evie’s Closet this time around.

I was wrong.

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Huntress

Honestly, I have no idea what came over me! I suspect this came out of a conversation between the glorious Riven of RivendaleDyisi of Dyisiwood, and me. Riven is updating her avatar look and was looking for a skin or tattoo that would give her an iridescent glow. So I wanted to try the Plastik skin anyway, and the Genus Project heads have some great glow settings. I was trying to create a look that both shimmered and was interesting to look at for reasons other than the shimmeriness, and I think I did all right. I chose the Soul Uni Ears—Luin because The Plastik makes appliers specifically for them, and their shape works interestingly with the skin itself. Vae offers two versions of this ear applier: this is the non-Mer one.

This backdrop, Little Red, is from the clever minds at Adorably Strange Wares, another of those gloriously whimsical, kinda gothy but also sparkly creators I love so much. It’s one of their RFL items, and there are three more of these in their Faire store! Interestingly, the whole thing is an enclosure with sides that are alpha from the outside. The back of this side is the Deep Dark Forest, but the other side shows a fairytale castle. It’s a fun and versatile backdrop that I’ll probably use many times, maybe even before the Faire is over!

Later today, I’ll shoot some story blog photos in The Shrine Tree, and I think this outfit will really shine there.

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Close-up

Here is a shot of Gwyneth’s face, same pose (from Poseidon, by the way, also at the Faire!), just a slightly different camera angle. Poseidon is an old favourite of mine, and their fantasy poses are always smooth and come with great attention to detail (and in this case, a pretty spiffy dagger!)

I shot this in a flat, straight windlight, on Awenia, and the soft pink lights of the LumiPro area the only additional colour that’s been added to the photograph. Both photos were edited in Affinity Photo for the Mac; they have had a tiny touch of diffuse glow (at about 5% opacity), a lens blur of 1 pixel applied, and a matte filter with the desaturation effect stripped away.

Thanks for listening to me yammer on and basically fangirl this outfit for like four paragraphs. I appreciate your making it to the end of the post, and if you were here, I’d give you a cookie.

 

 

Glimpses of the Light of Va’loth

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Beacon

Sometimes, a focal point is so overwhelming it’s the only thing you see. That’s why it’s a focal point, after all. That’s what it’s like in Light of Va’loth. The towering statue, be she goddess, heroine, or legend, is impossible to look away from: she is visible from nearly every point on the region, and she carries a bright light. She is mysterious and fascinating, impossible to ignore.

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A bright beacon

She’s so bright, she might even be blinding. That’s why, once you’ve spent your time staring at and being overwhelmed by She whom we can only assume is the Light, Herself, consider turning away.

Consider looking at the rivers, the bridges, the buildings, the trees, as if they were not overwhelmed by this light.

Consider the clarity of the water, the lovingly layered levels of an ancient (Elven?) city. Consider the lights that hang from the trees.

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Dancing Green

Imagine yourself and your beloved on Va’loth’s dancing green, yes, still in her shadow, but protected now, by her stone sleeves, from whatever approaches above; in this bower, you are safe.

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What you could miss

And really, just think: If you turned toward the Light and stared only at the Light, you might find yourself slow-moving as a statue or an unfortunate troll in the morning. You might find yourself so hypnotised, so mesmerised, by that light, by the hope it carries, that movement, thought, the passive understanding of what happens around you, all these things might fade. And there you would be, a silhouette, one foot poised toward the next step, staring at a light.

It’s enough to make you wonder, isn’t it: What was She staring at?

But, what is Gwyneth wearing?
Fantasy Faire Featured Items (all links point to the specific store where you can find the item):
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Aetheria Gown, in Lapis (Get this dress at the Silvan Moon Designs store in the Midas region!)
Halo: Air, Gothic Halo, in Gold (Get this item at the Air store in the Shrine Tree Region!)
Circlet and bracelets: Kotolier, Herba bracelets and Circlet in Gold. (Get these at the Kotolier store in the Midas region!)
Torc: Lassitude & Ennui, Torc Necklace, Dragon, in gold. (Get this at the Lassitude & Ennui store in the Midas region!)
Eyes: Musa, Amla Eyes RFL edition. (Get these at the Musa store in the Sanguinely Garden region!)
Everything Else:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Skin: Lumae, Genus Project Elska Applier T1 (All current skin lines are now available for just L$100 at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Mali

The Light of Va’loth is one of the 2019 Fantasy Faire regions. It is sponsored by Titans and Solarium and designed by Kilik Lekvoda. I am sure I will be setting some stories here as the Faire progresses.

Vistas

Since my first Fantasy Faire in 2014, and in the five subsequent years I’ve been blogging, helping with LitFest, working together with friends on collaborative writing projects for the Faire, and even helping with sponsoring regions and offering little bits and pieces of world building, I’m amazed with the sheer scope of the event. I love not only the little details of each region, but the beauty of regions viewed from other regions.

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Trollhaugen and Tensor’s Flying Market

This year, I got the opportunity to help with a region that is literally a flying machine. One of the things Riven had in mind when the designed Tensor’s Flying Market was what amazing views Fairelanders could experience from its many balconies, windowed gardens, and floating islands.

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The Highest Point

From the highest point of the Market, where the wind ships dock, you can look down upon the stunning Fairelands Junction and Midas regions in their entirety.

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Wind Ships

Of course, the wind ships themselves are lovely to look upon, even from a distance.

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Midas from one of the western lounges

Every level of the Flying Market is built with what can be seen beyond it in mind. I love these garden lattices, reminiscent of Mashrabiya I recall seeing in Singapore and other points east.

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Trollhaugen from the east side of Tensor’s Flying Market

Each of the lounges has plenty of seating space for Fairelanders who need a rest, or just a little space away from the rest of the Faire. You’ll find them throughout the Flying Market.

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So many stunning views

There are so many stunning views that I have spent most of the last 24 hours capturing as many as I could from this side of the Faire. It’s enough to make me want to concentrate on these beautiful views for the rest of the event, though I know at some point the story gods will take over.

Get to the important bit! What’s Gwyneth Wearing?

Seriously. Is this not a spectacular dress? It’s from Poet’s Heartand their store is located in the beautiful Shrine Tree region, sponsored by The Looking Glass and designed by Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen.

The Dryad tattoo comes from Seydr, also to be found in Shrine Tree. Gwyneth is wearing Crystal, and I thought it worked beautifully with both the gown and the hair from Magika. (Nina is a relatively new release, but alas, you’ll have to leave the Fairelands to find the Magika Main Store).

These beautiful eyes are from Musa, called Sphene. They are Omega eye appliers, and this is one of the RFL colours. Must makes its home in Sanguinely Garden, sponsored by United InshCon and designed by Eldowyn Inshan and Katz Republic.

This stunning tiara comes from Zuri, as so many beautiful crowns do. Zuri have their Fairelands home in Nightshade Blossoms, sponsored by Secrets of Gaia and designed by Rowan Thursday and Kylie Todriya.

Everything else is pretty standard for Gwyneth: Maitreya mesh body, skin from Lumae, ears from Swallow.

Don’t forget to keep checking in on the blog throughout the Faire: I’ll be posting at least every couple of days, and I have a lot more beautiful places and clothes and skins and sparkly bits to show you!

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