Sojourn in Severina

When the boat landed in Severina, the first thing that caught me was the wind.

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More than a sea wind….

More than a sea wind, it seemed to come from everywhere. I could barely keep my wings straight.

But we had business to do. You see, there are some Realms where you can, erm, acquire things that you might not be able to get in others. Of course, some of these things are not the sort of things you’d pick up at your local chemist, even if your local chemist happens to be a wizard named Alcazar or something.

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Checking my List

I checked my list mentally (it never does to write these things down) as we approached the little shop under the docks of Severina. We’d made the appointment days before, and the proprietress had assured me everything we needed was in stock.

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Dark and Empty

But to our surprise, the shop was dark and empty, save for the lanterns hanging beneath the arch. Inside the arch, there were many candles, as if someone had just been there and left for a moment, but there was no note on the door or an other communication; not even a Wisp.

I felt deflated. It’s not easy to set up a meeting like this. I checked the time on my iPhone; yep, right time zone, right Realm, right address… just no proprietress.

“Maybe she had an emergency,” Bran said. He was trying to calm me down: it didn’t really work.

“Right. I need to be by myself for a while,” I said. “This is a serious disappointment. I need that magic for Awenia.”

“Of course, Your Majesty,” he replied.

I sighed. “Don’t call me that here,” I said.

Bran rolled his eyes and gave me that superior Sidhe look of his. “You are My Majesty, and I will address you as such,” he said.

What could I do but nod? “Well; post somebody here, and I’ll just take a little while.

“As you wish, Y-…” Despite his declaration, Bran cut himself off.

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I flew up to the highest point I could easily reach.

I flew up to the highest point I could easily reach. In the background, I could see the Halls of Story, and in the distance, the spires of Aetherea glowed. It was calming, though the winds were still wild.

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I took a few deep breaths.

I took a few deep breaths. Up so high, the air is colder, different. It’s head-clearing. I needed to breathe and not get so caught up in timeliness. After all, different Realms have different customs and mores. Maybe she got called away and didn’t have anything to write on. Maybe it’s customary here to be half an hour late for everything. Maybe she got hit by a large bus full of exuberant Fairelanders (Don’t laugh! it’s happened before!).

But there was time, time to breathe a little more, time to calm down and quiet my impatience. Time to think.

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Thinking is dangerous.

Thinking is dangerous, of course. When I visit all the Fairelands Realms, I always come back to thinking about Awenia, what she will be, how she will move forward in this strange new world we’ve been thrust into. With the lifting of the Veil, we have both opportunities and challenges to face. I considered turning her sky purple and imagined the twinkling lights of Severina adorning her. Then, I considered the towering spires of Aetherea, how beautiful they were in the distance. Or the stained glass marvel of the Halls of Story. All exotic, all strange, all deeply beautiful in themselves.

I stood there for ten minutes, fifteen, half an hour.

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In the distance, the clouds glowed

In the distance, the clouds glowed, mirroring the strange glyphs on the massive trees of Severina.

And then, a Wisp appeared. “My Lady, greetings from Délarissa, the proprietress of M&M Industries of Severina.” The voice changed to the one I’d heard only days before on the phone. “I’m so sorry to say I’ll be late for our appointment this evening. My little boy is ill and while I’ve found a sitter, she’s in another Realm and I must travel there to drop him off. I shall be with you before midnight, and I ask you, kindly, to wait for me. I can apply a discount to your purchases for your trouble, of course, and you’re very welcome to share a pot of tea with me when I arrive.” The voice changed again, to the wisp. “Have you any answer?”

I drew my glamour around me. “Yes,” I said. “Tell your mistress we shall wait for her gladly, and send our best wishes for her son’s swift recovery.”

“Noted, My Lady,” replied the wisp, then brightened and disappeared into the winds.

I sent a short message to Bran to let him know what had transpired.

And then, I took out my eReader and settled down on the massive tree stump to read. Never mind the wind: never mind the twinkling lights. Sometimes, you have to just wait. And always, always, a good book waits for you.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Bento Mesh Head, Simone
Skin: Lumae LeLutka – Deia – Ethesi // Neutral (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in Pools of Ethuil!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Collar Adornment: Ama, Forever Yours Collar
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Moonstone Gown (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in Aetherea!)
Hair: Analog Dog, Storm (A and E), and huge thanks to Queue Marlowe for sorting a little hair detail for me!

Location: The 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, Severina, Sponsored by BattleBeast Breedables and Designed by Lokii Violet

Greetings from Astrid’s Nemeton!

We’ve settled in to our digs for the duration of the Great Faire, in the intriguing Realm of Astrid’s Nemeton. It seems to be a mixture of Asatru and Druidic cultures. The denizens here are (mostly) friendly, although some of them have rather large teeth!

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Greetings from Astrid’s Nemeton!

We brought fae steeds, of course, as one can never be too sure what mounts there will be in these far-away and often strange Realms. I spent the first day of the Faire exploring our Realm on horseback: there was so much to see and do! It is possible to hire a boat and sail the waterways that marble the Realm throughout.

We are in a beautiful little house upon which a tree with iridescent leaves grow: this seems to be the style throughout the Realm. These houses remind me of nothing so much as the temple at Angkor Wat, even though those buildings are made of a different kind of stone. I never visited it, but I recall seeing photographs in some class or other at uni, or maybe it was secondary school: my old life seems to run together so much.

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Queue Marlowe did my hair!

Although I’m fortunate enough to be able to visit Queue’s Realm and have her do my hair from time to time, I always look for her braiding and styling booth first of all when we reach the Faire: there is nothing so wonderful as being able to enjoy the Faire in a beautiful new hairstyle and be able to tell people where I got it! She calls this braid style Janire, and I’m sure I’ve met the woman it’s named after somewhere or other. I don’t know why, but I have a strong, sharp memory of the taste of broccoli whenever I think of that name. Perhaps we had memorable broccoli together at some dinner or other? I do like broccoli.

As with all years, I will do my best to share with you, whether or not you can hop Realms as easily as we can, our experiences at the Faire. We’ve been so busy since the Faire opened on Thursday that I’m only just getting around to looking at the photographs I’ve taken. Luckily, the Faire has great wifi and I’m able to post right from our little house!


From Gwen: Co-sponsoring a Fantasy Faire region with LRRiven of Rivendale is such an honour! But it’s also a lot of work! Obviously, Riven as the region designer did so much more than I did, and Kitori Unplugged (aka Skeleton) tirelessly provided so many scripts that made everything Just Work, but the concept we created and the story we worked toward have been building for a year in one form or another. Indeed, we’re already thinking about next year! 

I’m hoping that for the next week I can partially relax, take in the Faire, and share many wonderful pictures and stories with you. Although these photographs were taken on Thursday just before the Faire opened, I’ve been so busy that this is the first chance I’ve had to post anything. 


Coming soon:

More from Astrid’s Nemeton
The Soundtrack of Erstwhile
A cubic *ton of things I haven’t thought of yet!


Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Lulu
Skin: Lumae, Elvi (Nylisa) (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Pools of Ethuil!)
Eyes: Banana Banshee, Faelynn (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Aetherea!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Noble Creations, Goddess Artemis
Hair: Analog Dog, Janire (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Falls of Hope!)
Headpiece: On a Lark, Gardenia Crown
Boots: !go!, Fay Boots Red
Horse: WaterHorse, Riding Horse, English WarmBlood
Horse Skin: Cinnamon, Celestial Pearl
Unicorn Mods: Jinx, Unicorn Set (Not new, but you can get it at the Jinx store in the Fantasy Faire realm of Tiny Town!)
Horse Tack: Aerith Tack FF18 (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Tiny Town!)

Location: The 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, Realm of Astrid’s Nemeton, sponsored by Rivendale and Gwen Enchanted, designed by LRRiven.

FF18_Poster_SQUARE (Optional)

February Fashion Show!

Sometimes, we find beautiful things in the unlikeliest of places. I think cities like Nu Jyorck excel at this kind of thing. Great artwork on the sides of tenements, sculptures made out of rubbish, and of course the annual February Fae Fashion Show, which takes place in a different abandoned building every year. And while I’m certain my ongoing friendship with Arahaelon is behind many things that happen to me in Nu Jyorck, it still gave me a thrill when the FFS (best initials ever!) crew got in touch to say they’d like me to be in the show this year!

All the models are Fae, though the audience is a mix: Nu Jyorck has such a fae-worshipping vibe that tickets are pretty hot, even for the most expensive city in most Realms. Of course, official photos of the show itself can only be distributed by the FFS corporation and its official publicist, but when you’re a participant, they give you promotional rehearsal photos to share!

So, here are the outfits I’m modelling at the best fashion ticket in Nu Jyorck!

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The Annex: Larkin Gown, for The Trunk Show, Purple

The Annex has such a way with things that are both sexy and simple. The cut of this gown may seem to leave little to the imagination, but it’s flared enough that it moves well on the dance floor, too. And the colours! Such an intense purple here, but the fabric is reflective enough that it appears to be several different shades. The lovely people at No Match handled the hair for this gown: it’s their No Promise style. The necklace is by Vae of The Plastik fame: it’s called Sawola. Zibska, such a deft hand with pastels, did the makeup; their Adelia line works perfectly here. Underneath the eyeshadow and lipstick, the skin painting was accomplished by the amazing folks over at 7 Deadly s{K}ins. Where would I be without them?

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Here’s a closer view, mostly so you can get an idea of how the bodice on the gown falls.

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The collaboration that is Silvan Moon Designs never fails to amaze and delight, and this classy gown is no exception. The pearl collar and neckline are the only adornments on a dress that is just perfectly cut with a great tulip shape. The delicate brocade fabric really sets off the dress, and once again No Match did some magic on my hair for this style: the look is called No Halo, even though I kind of felt as if I were wearing a halo because of this gorgeous Avaway Diadem the organisers put me in.

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Avaway Diadem

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Ghee: Overblown Lace Pashmina, for Sense.

I love it when I get to play with more modern, “casual” clothing styles, even though I think you could wear this pashmina a lot of different ways. Here, it’s paired with an old pair of jeans from my personal wardrobe and some great boots from Empire, the Nelumbo Boots. The hair is by TruthAstra.

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Yummy Truth Hair!

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Silvery K: Soiree Beil Dress and Gloves

Such a fun dress from Silvery K! It comes with matching gloves as well. The shoes are from Pure Poison, the Aurora Sandals, and they might as well have been made for this dress. Hair by MonsoJunghwa. The FootPaw Industries necklace is from my personal collection.

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Cazimi did an amazing job on my nails, don’t you think?

And mm, sexy lace detailing on the bodice and gloves from Silvery K.

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Shanghai: Bella Gown, Rose (for Enchantment)

Now, I’ve seen this before at big Nu Jyorck events. Somehow, they think you’re “more fae” if you come from a “fae realm”. That is, if you come from the Metaverse equivalent of a cultural backwater, you’re somehow more legit as a fae. Which means that they’re always going to try and put you in fairytale gowns and wings and pretty headdresses because they think you’re somehow more honest in those outfits than a Nu Jyorck native would be. Well, that’s poppycock, of course, but I do love a great ballgown, and this is definitely one. The meticulously crafted petals set the whole dress off beautifully, and that skirt is so reflective you feel like you’re wearing liquid gold. Magika provided the hairstyle, Talk Like That, with the headdress by Elise (Silvia) and choker by Empyrean Forge (Majesty) that look like they were made for each other.

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I think this is just a zoom of the same shot, but I like that you can see more of the headdress here. 

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Liz: Abrielle Dress, for Sense

Now, this is a dress I could wear almost anywhere, particularly as the hope of spring is alive in most places. Liz‘s Abrielle Dress has such fun lines, and I love the pearl embellishments. The shoes are from Like DesignDoll Shoes. They are also a lot of fun, and Nani did this incredible Kenna thing with my hair!

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This dress just makes me smile!

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Salt: Belle Gown, for Enchantment

Salt did a beautiful Belle Gown, and of course you know they had to put me in some legit wings sometime! These were crafted by Drastic, and are called Butterfly WingsDeLa did the hair for this outfit: the style is called Melora, which makes me think of that series of fantasy novels I loved as a little kid, the ones with all the dragons.

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Here, you can see the great Cazimi Nails, but the necklace is obscured by my hand, I’m afraid.

I hope the necklace will be visible in some of the official Show photos: it’s from Bliensen & Maitai, and I’ve always liked their work.

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Alter: Viviana Asymmetric Wedding Dress, for Sense

I wouldn’t necessarily wear this dress to get married in, but I’d wear it just about anywhere else. It’s from Alter, the Viviana Asymmetric Wedding Dress, and I love the high-low effect and the loveliness of the bodice here. The BareRose Lace Wings fit beautifully with it, and the jewellery is from Adorsy, the Emily necklace and armbands. These stunning shoes are from Cult: they’re the Desire HeelsExile created this hairstyle, called Jemma.

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A closer look at wings, hair, and necklace? Yes!

So, that’s all eight outfits I was asked to model for this badly-kept-secret fashion show in the steamy underbelly of Nu Jyorck! It was a great experience. I hope they’ll ask me again sometime.

Style Cards:
Most details are in individual descriptions; however:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Nena (Available at the BRAND NEW 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store! —don’t forget to update your landmarks!)
Eyes: AzDesign, Mandala Blue Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Nails: Cazimi
Venue: Trompe Loeil, Cathedral Catwalk Skybox
Poses: All from An Lar; Various Series

 

Modern (Royal Fae) Living!

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I first saw it from the Treehouse.

I first saw it from the treehouse. The morning sun split one tower away from the others. I guess Nathaniel had been out doing something at Mysthaven, because he wasn’t with me. There were so many things going on in Awenia, in my Faerie, just then: I was busy adding some things in to the book forest and making enough spaces for the Fae who would one day call Awenia home to live. I suppose I hadn’t thought of the need for a castle… until I saw this one.

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As soon as I was reasonably put together, I ventured out to explore.

As soon as I was reasonably put together, I ventured out to explore. By that time, there were already flowers and trees springing up around the edges of the castle lands.

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And what better way to explore a newly arrived, majestic, obviously empty castle than on stag back?

And what better way to explore a newly arrived, majestic, obviously empty castle than on stag-back? I couldn’t think of one, so that’s the way I chose to do it.

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There followed some serious rumination on my part.

There followed some serious rumination on my part: namely a quick trot round the perimeter and a text message to Nathaniel: We’re Moving. Obviously Yule Decorations Will Come First. Because I knew Nathaniel would be fine with that. I mean, it’s not like I gave him no warning at all. I think last time I decided we were moving, I probably just — no, wait. Last time I decided we were moving, it was because somebody blew our house up. Right. But I think there was at least one time where he walked up to me on the street and said, “Love, where’s our house gone?” That’s probably just what he gets for marrying me. I should come with a Caveat Emptor clause.

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Nevertheless, he showed up that evening just as I was putting the candles in the reception.

Nevertheless, he showed up that evening just as I was putting the candles in the reception. He looked kind of uncomfortable. “Should a Queen—I mean, former Queen—really do her own decorating and furniture moving, even if it’s with magic?” he wondered.

“One. I am not a former anything. I am still a Queen: I abdicated Wylds, not Queendom altogether,” I said. Perhaps I was a bit snappish, but he keeps on pretending I’m no longer a Queen at all. Seriously, who does that? “And two: Bran has been helping with the furniture, and magic is more fun and more cost effective than minions.”

“Clearly,” was his reply. He still looked uncomfortable.

“These candles are pretty tall,” I said.

“I remember when I used to call you ‘shorty’,” he replied. Oh, boy. It was going to be one of those nights.

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“Look! Holiday treats for our guests!”

“Look! Holiday treats for our guests!” I said.

“We don’t have any guests,” Nathaniel replied. “Therefore, they are for us. Nice gingerbread.”

I sighed and moved the gingerbread men around so it wouldn’t look like My Beloved Consort had taken one. “Clutie made these, you know,” I said.

Nathaniel might have choked. Or it could have been a cough.

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“What do you think of our tree?” I asked.

“What do you think of our tree?” I asked. “I found it at one of those holiday markets. It’s from The Looking Glass.”

“So, Clutie didn’t make it.”

“No, Clutie didn’t make it.”

“What’s Bran doing?”

“Eterior decorations. He says he has never decorated a place with electricity before.”

“That should be interesting,” Nathaniel said.

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“Hey, is that mistletoe?” he asked.

“Hey, is that mistletoe?” he asked.

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“Of course it’s mistletoe,” I replied.

“Of course it’s mistletoe,” I replied. “You don’t really think I’d put up Yule decorations without mistletoe somewhere, do you?”

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He didn’t answer, but then it didn’t really matter. I do still love him so.

He didn’t answer, but then it didn’t really matter. I do still love him so. I know our relationship probably looks a little weird, but it’s still the best relationship a Fae Queen could hope for.

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“Do you think our relationship looks kind of weird?” I asked.

“Do you think our relationship looks kind of weird?” I asked.

“Don’t be silly: we’re perfectly normal, darling,” Nathaniel said.

Just then a shout came up from outside. “Your Majesty! Come and see the outdoor lights!” Bran sounded as excited as I’d ever heard him.

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“Gosh, Bran—that’s a lot of lights,” I said.

“Gosh, Bran—that’s a lot of lights,” I said.

“I know! Aren’t they amazing?”

I winced. “They are breathtaking,” I replied.

Nathaniel winked and kissed me on the cheek. “I’ve got to get back to Mysthaven, but only for a few hours, love. Can’t wait to see what you’ve done to the place by morning.”

And then he was gone. And I, well. I let myself think, as I wandered around the still mostly empty castle, how it should look. I added a few pieces here and there.

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I wondered if one day I’d be “that crazy old fae lady in the castle who lives all alone and feeds the birds.”

I wondered if one day I’d be “that crazy old fae lady in the castle who lives all alone and feeds the birds.” I could see it.

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I could see myself walking the battlements, alone.

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Alone up close, alone from afar.

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Ever-hopeful at the front entrance….

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And ever-disappointed.

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By the time the sun was high in the sky the next day, I’d done our bedroom (in Early Modern Noble Creations, of course!)

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And I’d added some outdoor seating.

And I’d added some outdoor seating. There is an entire roof terrace and balcony that’s just for our private apartments, so I can make it as comfortable and modern as I like.

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A more casual and quiet family eating space.

A more casual and quiet family eating space is up here as well, with room for Wren and Drysi should they care to visit, or maybe even more intimate friends, though I can’t think of whom I’d put in that place except Dyisi, at least for now.

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I’ll miss the treehouse. But you can see it from here.

I’ll miss the treehouse. But you can see it from here. We’ll turn it into a community centre, as Bran and Clutie expressed strong opposition to its disappearing altogether.

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And who can say what tomorrow will bring?

Style Cards:

Castle: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle. What a gorgeous and adaptable build this is! It’s a castle that feels like a home and not a fortress or a box, and I can’t wait to finish decorating it. How fortunate I am to know such genius and amazing creators. Riven, thank you so much for making such a wonderful and perfect castle. 

Gwyneth:
Blue Outfit:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Helana
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Clothes:
Sweatshirt: Emery, Contemplation Sweatshirt
Trousers: The Muses, Anane Legging Pant
Scarf and Leggings: The Annex, Knitted Scarf, Blue Legwarmers (Available NOW at the Pay It Forward Event!)
Boots: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots, Blue
Hair: Truth, Apple
Headpiece, Krystal, Celt Circlet
Poses: An Lar
Location: Awenia, Faerie

Red Dress:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Helana
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Dress: The Annex, Olivia Gown (Available NOW at Genre!)
Hair: Sintiklia, Sheba (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Headpiece, Junbug, The Sabrina Circlet
Necklace and Ring: The Plastik, Anais Jewelery Set
Poses: An Lar
Location: Awenia, Faerie

Nathaniel:
Hair: Argrace Shirogane Reds hair
Eyes: Ikon Sunrise Eyes, Verdigris
Body: Slink Physique Male
Head: Labyrinth Head Shape D
Clothing:
Jacket A&D Clothing Paolo Blazer
Pants – AB Deacon Jeans
Shoes – YMCA boots from Ducknipple

Decor:

Castle Exterior
Garland over front door: The Looking Glass, Our Festive Joy (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Wreath: CJ, Winter Wreath Helleborus
Column Trees: Tarte, Twinkle Trees
Crystal Trees: Hayabusa
Ground Cover:
The Looking Glass, Dawn’s Promise Flower Fields, Dream Fields
{anc} Sugar Rose Fields
Christmas Tree: Swallow, Christmas Tree
Bare trees with Crystals: {anc}, Tears Tree
Wildflowers:
Foxgloves, Heart
Secret Garden Flowers, keke
Forest patch: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Birds:
{anc} Forget Swallow, No Limits Flock of Flying Doves
String Lights: Vespertine, Twinkle Fairylight Curtains

Castle Interior:

Lounge/Living Room:
Couch and assorted decor: Libertine, Justine
Tapestries: Prema, Laurin DeVinna
Sweets Table: Noble Creations, Christmas Table (Available NOW at Genre!)

Library:
Christmas Decorations: The Looking Glass, Our Festive Joy (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Candelabrae: Spyralle, Cathedral Candelabra
Books: StormWood, Literati Book Set

Tower Bedroom:
Bed: Noble Creations, Adult Reflections Bed (Available NOW at Cosmopolitan!)
Vanity: Noble Creations, Vanity Set
Curtains: Noble Creations, Classic Curtains
Unicorn Tapestry: MeadowWorks
Rug: Atelier Visconti, Helena Carpet

Tower Exterior Terrace:
Living Furniture: Artisan Fantasy, Gazebo Gacha (Available NOW at The Imaginarium!)
Dining Arch: Noble Creations, Magical Arch (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Dining Table: Indulge, Home Dining

 

A Dream of Wings

Why would I dream about wings, you might ask? You might think that since I’m Sidhe, I can have wings whenever I want, so I have no need of flying dreams.

You’d be wrong: everyone has flying dreams. But this one, I think, was more about the wings themselves than about flying.

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Encased in glass…

Encased in glass, my only companion a rose. It might have been watching that live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast the other night. There was something disconcertingly dark about the whole thing, but we are coming into that time of the year, aren’t we?

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Just me and a rose. Where have I heard this story before?

Just me and a rose. Where have I heard this story before? Then again, I was always the only person not afraid of the Sithen Rose. Possibly that was unwise on my part, but I’d rather not be afraid of things if I don’t have to be.

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Of course, there is always the chance that I am slightly more intelligent than the rose.

Of course, there is always the chance that I am slightly more intelligent than the rose. Of course, if that’s the case, why am I in this glass case? I do, after all, have wings.

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Wings, and wings upon wings.

Wings, and wings upon wings. Like most flying dreams, this one ended with me falling, falling into nowhere, and awakening with a start.

There is nothing lovelier, though, than having wings. No matter the colour, size, or number of spiderwebs. Wings are wings.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: The Plastik, Golha (Amethyst) (Available NOW at Season of the Witch!)
Hair: Ayashi, Janko Hair
Headpiece: Bliensen & MaiTai, Kira Tiara/Crown
Dress: Purple Moon, Goth Bride Gown (Available NOW at  The Trunk Show!)

Photo Backdrops: D.U.S.T., Forgotten Door; and
Inspire Pose, Studio Street 07

Rose Prop: WetCat, “A Single Rose”

Confined Spaces and the Consilium Arcanum

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Meditate, Breathe, Centre.

Meditate, Breathe, Centre. It may be that I am nervous. My contact is Arcturus Treem, who’s a Consilium Arcanum …. would you call him a civil servant? I guess he is. We’re to meet later today at his magic shop, Cave of Wonders, to discuss the opening of Awenia up to humans and other magical beings. The townsfolk have been pretty open to it so far; they want to encourage passage between beings, and now that the walls are down, we can do this. I’ve done some research on the few other Realms that have taken this course of action, and they’re mostly coming from the other direction: human Realms who want to open themselves to other beings. I can’t help but wonder about their reasons, but I suppose that’s what Treem wants to talk to me about as well.

I’ve been here since last night, in a Seattle where I used to have to travel glamoured— but when I arrived, no one batted an eye at my obvious differences. The staff at the hotel were very nice, but the room is very small, which I suppose I should have expected. It’s not like this is a diplomatic visit from a Queenly sort of viewpoint. One plus for the staff: the moment the concierge saw me, he asked if I’d like a large mirror put in my room. Of course I said yes: if Nathaniel or Wren or even (gods help me) Drysi want to get in touch, the mirror is the easiest way for them to reach me when I’m so far away. Will O’ the Wisps get… well, they get distracted sometimes. I am so happy I met up with the talented Queue Marlowe and got her to braid my hair over at Analog Dog before I hopped back here and boarded a ferry to Seattle, because they still don’t have great Fae portal service here.

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The truth is, I’m impatient.

The truth is, I’m inpatient. You never would have guessed that about me, I’m sure. Our meeting is set for two o’clock this afternoon, and here I am, awake at barely ten, already full of a dazzling hotel breakfast that included Belgian waffles and syrup and so much whipped cream. It’s a good thing my body can function completely off carbs and fat!

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I know what I have to do.

I know what I have to do. Basically, I have to convince this guy that I’m opening up the Realm for positive and legal reasons, namely better communication among different types of beings, and of course the tourism dollars won’t hurt. And I need not to go off on tangents about love and light and all that stuff. I need to speak as a town representative and not a Fae Queen.

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Barely ten minutes after I embark on this train of thought, there’s a chime from the mirror.

Barely ten minutes after I embark on this train of thought, there’s a chime from the mirror.  I stand up, compose myself.

“Who?”

“Arcturus Treem, Miss…. I’m sorry; I don’t know your last name.”

“I don’t really have one any more, Mr Treem. Most people who address me formally use “Your Majesty”, but I’m not coming to you as a Queen. Gwyneth is fine.”

“In that case, it’s Arcturus or Art if you prefer.” He is an older gentleman, with crinkles around his blue eyes and the weathered look of a man who’s seen many seasons. “I only wanted to check in with you and see if we were on track for our meeting this afternoon. I see you’re settled in nicely. Is that the Abbot House?”

I smile. He’s not difficult to talk to, which is a good thing. “Yes; that’s right. They’ve been lovely here. Such a surprise after…”

He raises a brow. “Have you had bad experiences elsewhere, Gwyneth?”

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“Um…”

“Um…” I swallow. Not everyone has the same set of memories as I do now, but I expected the magician might be a little more informed. Then again, he is human. Maybe I need to put Skeleton or Nathaniel on research which folk have two different sets of memories, and which folk do not.

There’s that eye-crinkling smile again. “You remember the Cataclysm. Good. Not all Fae do, of course: those who are confined to their own realms mostly, but it’s important to make sure before we begin any conversation.” He nods as if I’ve passed a test.

I exhale. And I smile. “Great. We’re on the same page. So yes, walking into Seattle last night, unglamoured, was very interesting. And while I recognise that whoever perpetrated the Cataclysm has been a very bad boy or girl, I can’t say I’m altogether displeased with the result.”

He laughs outright at that. “Very diplomatic, Your Majesty. I begin to see some of that Sidhe charm I was expecting from someone like you. Did you know, the flowers on the paintings in your room look as if they’re alive?”

I glance back to the now super-saturated paintings. “I have that effect on things. It’s part of being what the Fae call a Life-Bringer, but I don’t claim that title. I believe just about anything can be accomplished if the challenges are met with love, rather than trickery, greed, violence…. That’s one reason why I want Awenia to be a Fae town open to everyone: I want different beings to see the good in each other, learn about their differences, learn to co-exist. Because even if they think they have co-existed for a long time, there are bound to be problems.”

“No need to launch into your sales pitch right away,” replies Art with another one of those smiles. “I can’t keep the mirror communication up for long: for me, it requires a rather difficult spell. One thing I’d love to acquire from you in Awenia, as a Fae town where trade will be encouraged, is a proper magic mirror. Do you have a mirror smith?”

“Of course we do, and a good one too,” I reply. “I think we can make that happen for you.”

“All paid for, of course,” he is quick to reply. “I could not accept a gift from you, for many reasons.” He meets my eyes. “But before we sit down in the shop to do business this afternoon, I was wondering if you’d like to have lunch with me, just so we can get to know one another a little better, lay some ground rules for future interactions, if you will.”

I smile. “That sounds like a great idea.”

“Wonderful. I’ll pick you up at your hotel around eleven thirty, and then we’ll have a while to natter about whatever we like before we get down to business. Now I’ll bid you good morning, and thank you very much for your time.”

I don’t wrinkle my nose at the ‘thank you’; I know it’s a human custom and I used to do it myself. But I’ll have to make sure Mr Treem knows what’s meant by ‘thank you’ to one of us. “It is nothing,” I reply. “I’m happy and honoured to be here, and I look forward to our meeting later.”

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I even blow him a little kiss before I dismiss the mirror communication. Can’t hurt.

I even blow him a little kiss before I dismiss the mirror communication. Can’t hurt.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: The Plastik, Golha (Amethyst) (Available NOW at Season of the Witch!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Moira A (Available NOW at The Epiphany!)
Headpiece: Cae, Lasa Circlet
Bracelets: The Plastik, The Aeliora Cuffs (Available NOW at The Season’s Story!)
Dress: Oubliette, Royal Vega Dress (Available NOW at  Season of the Witch!)
Boots: !go, Fae Boots Brown

Photo Backdrop: Mary Etc., After Hour Background (Available NOW at Designer Circle!)

Thanks are always due to the incredibly talented Queue Marlowe of Analog Dog who created such.a lovely set of hairs for The Epiphany. I’ll be showing you the other versions soon!

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Nag, Nag, Nag!

I swear, sometimes I wish I actually had to do everything myself, because then I would not be surrounded by dozens of demifae, all twittering at me to do this or that, or make a decision about that other thing, and why don’t I want a big formal dining room in the treehouse, and on, and on, and on!

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“It’s not finished!”

“It’s not finished!” Clutie is jabbering in my ear as I survey the Treehouse living room. “You need a rug, another sofa, and what about something more formal in here? You never know who might be coming to visit!”

I sigh. I roll my eyes. “Clutie,” I say, “how many times do I need to tell you that this is my private home. There will be no diplomatic visitors. Friends come here, not dignitaries or emissaries. All that stuff will take place down in the pavilion.”

“But the pavilion is so open, Your Majesty.” She is whinging now, and right into my ear, and the timbre of her voice is beginning to drive me mad. Why did I pop to the Wylds and save her from the ire of the Unseelie Court, again?

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Now I’m pacing.

Now I’m pacing. “Look, the kitchen is finished.”

“There isn’t a spice rack,” Clutie says.

Her constant companion these days is Arabelle. All Arabelle ever seems to do is nod and voice her agreement with Clutie. She does this now.

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“Will you two shut up?”

“Will you two shut up?” I’m losing patience now. “Blah, blah, blah! How many times do I have to tell you: I cannot be in ten places at once. I have a town to finish, a Realm to polish, and then I have to go to the Supernatural Paranormal Whatsis Agency to apply for Open Fae Town Status, which is just dumb if you ask me. While I would love to spend the majority of my time here in the Treehouse snuggling up to my husband and entertaining you lot, I do have more important things to do.”

“It’s the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, Your Majesty.” Clutie’s smile is smug as she corrects me. “But we do really need a rug or something in here. These wooden floors are so cold.”

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I stalk back into the kitchen.

I stalk back into the kitchen. “And Bran insisted on a mediaeval kitchen in here, so I can’t even toast bread! I’m going to designate one corner of this kitchen as belonging in the twenty-first century, and I’m going to get a toaster and a proper electric kettle and a microwave in here, and Bran can bite me.”

“I don’t think Bran would ever bite you, Your Majesty. I mean,” and her smug turns sly, “unless you really wanted him to.”

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Now I’m angry.

Now I’m angry. “My relationship with Bran, and it’s none of your business anyway, is purely platonic and he’d probably drop dead of embarrassment if I ever tried to make it be anything more.” Great; she’s made me raise my voice. I take a deep, calming breath.

“That’s right, Your Majesty,” Clutie says, as if there’s nothing for her to worry about in the world. “Calm yourself down, and then let’s go talk about rugs for the living room.”

I actually growl. “Clutie.” And now my voice is soft, even, possibly dangerous. “You and Arabelle need to find something else to do. Right now. You are both dismissed, and I don’t want to hear another word from either of you until I’ve had two cups of coffee and some French Toast. Bran!”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Rood
Hair: No Match, No Return (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Headpiece: Una, Tiara Leaf
Suit: M.I.X., Autumn Jacket
Shoes: Empire, Xyris

 

House: LAQ, Serene Tree and Windmill House
Living Room Furniture: Libertine, Viscount Set
Kitchen Fixtures: Artisan Fantasy, Kitchen Collection
Kitchen Table and Chairs: Cheeky Pea, Modern Farmhouse Dining Set

Faery Companions: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion (Clutie); and Tulip Fairy Companion (Arabelle)

Wall Art:
“Now I’m Pacing”
Black and White Photo: Starfall 04, by Bear Silvershade
Kitchen Painting: The Last Dance, by Eucalyptus Carroll
“Will you two shut up?”
Foreground: Music in my Mind, Part 2, by Kody Meyers
Background: Ilse of Serendipity, by Sandi Benelli (top); and
Winds of Change, also by Sandi Benelli
“I stalk back into the kitchen”
Kitchen Painting: The Last Dance, by Eucalyptus Carroll

I try to buy the photographs of artists I admire when they have gallery shows and put their stuff up for sale. It seemed only right that I decorate my personal space with the photos I love the most, those of my peers. Kody Meyers is a particular favourite: He and I were classmates at the Visionaire Institute, and his style and the elegance of his compositions never cease to amaze and please me. I’m honoured to know so many talented photographers, and I hope I’ll be able to talk about that side of my Second Life a little more in blogs to come. 

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