“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I felt … disconnected. The fact is, there’s so much going on right now. Nathaniel and I have barely bothered to act like newlyweds, we’ve both been so busy. And the children are, well. They are a challenge; let’s just leave it at that for now. I didn’t know what I needed to make this feeling of disconnection go away, so I went out into the Forest, because being in the forest often helps me find answers I’m seeking.

At first, I was still consumed by stress and discontent.

At first, I was still consumed by stress and discontent.

At first, I was still consumed by stress and discontent. So many things going on. Dyisi and Maric are both missing. Aoibheann is apparently a tiny ball of golden light. One of my children jumped on a demon’s back. Another of my children missed my wedding. And the third one apparently can’t be bothered to walk: she just flies everywhere.

I sank down onto the mossy ground in a clearing, closed my eyes, and just wished for peace and contentment. Just for a moment. I don’t know how long I sat there, just concentrating on my breathing and wishing, almost, that I could be back teaching summer courses in Cambridge and with the biggest problems in my world being how to juggle my marking load with the yearly schedule of LARPs and whether or not Richard would kiss me again. Almost.

Then, I felt a nudge at my right hand.

Then, I felt a nudge at my right hand.

Then, I felt a nudge at my right hand. When I opened my eyes, I kid you not, I was surrounded by animals. Deer, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, cats, a hedgehog, and even an odd little field mouse. The creature who’d nudged my hand was a young unicorn; I reached in my bag and produced the stash of nuts and seeds I take with me on these junkets into the Forest. Of course, then everybody wanted a nibble, so I was glad to share. And so were they. There wasn’t any fighting or carrying on about who got more than whom, just me and a host of animals sharing a snack on a summer day. I sat with the animals for some time, just enjoying the camaraderie.

As the day grew long, we all settled down for a nap, but unsurprisingly they were all gone when I awoke.

Now I still have just as much to think about....

Now I still have just as much to think about….

Now, I still have just as much to think about, but somehow my burden seems lighter, having enjoyed a long afternoon with some of the less-mentioned beings who inhabit my realm. Funny, while I was spending time with the animals, I wasn’t bothered by a single demifae demanding I come look after a garden, or any high-minded Sidhe Lords who think to bend me to their political will by use of clever words and flattery.

  1. Figure out why Aoibh is a little glowing ball;
  2. Find out what’s up with Maric and Dyisi;
  3. Teach Eilian some manners;
  4. Get closer to Drysi so she doesn’t grow away from me too fast;
  5. Teach Bronwyn to walk;
  6. Make sure Wren doesn’t feel left out;
  7. Seek out Janus and ensure his return to Faerie;
  8. Find my mother;
  9. Spend some quality time with Nathaniel;
  10. Begin planning the formal wedding, even though it’s not til next year; and
  11. Find some way in amongst all these important things to keep my Kingdom running smoothly and fairly.

Well. That’s not too much to do, is it?

This post was inspired by Alia Baroque’s brilliant PURE Eden skin and Persephone tattoo, juxtaposed with my discovery of these gorgeous {anc} bunnies. Check out the style card for specific credits and links!

Style Card:

Body: Maitreya

Skin: Fallen Gods, Pure, Eden (Wayward Carnival)
Tattoo: Fallen Gods, Persephone (flowering, soft) (Genre)
Crown: Lode,Snapdragon BIG (red)
Wings: Arhi big wings (rare)
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Mesh Eyes (Borealis) (Wayward Carnival)
Dress: Cellar Door, Roman Tunic Red (The Secret Affair)
Hair: Analog Dog (Natch!) Molly (Hair Fair)
Necklace: EarthStones, Feuilles Lariat Necklace
Animals:
Bunnies: {anc} Cotton Bunny, Sugar (Wayward Carnival)
Foxes: Half Deer, Fennec Fox: Stargazer, Playful, Sleepytime
Cats: Fashionably Dead, Cat: Curious, Sitting, Standing Up
Unicorn: Culprit, UniQrn, Snow Leopard Baby
Hedgehog: Fashionably Dead, Hedgehog 1
Squirrel: Raya Johnson, Mesh Full Perm Squirrel
Mouse: Schadenfreude, Queen of the Field Mice
Deer: Just Animals, Deer 1 Standing
Mushrooms:
Half Deer, Dreamscape Mushrooms
Roawenwood: Tangleshimmer Grove Mushrooms
Landscape: Enchanted Forest Clearing, Studio Skye
Background Building: The Looking Glass: Enchanted Walkway
Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never stay home without it!

A Peek Into the Life of a Privileged Demifae

Hello. I am Clutie.

Hello. I am Clutie.

Hello. I am Clutie. You might have heard Queen Gwyneth mention me; I’m sure she talks about me a lot, because the fact is she couldn’t live without me. Now, a lot of you probably think that I do nothing but sit around and eat bonbons all the time, but the truth is I do a lot of important things around the Treehouse and in the Great Seelie Forest. Here, I’m about to check on the herb pots that stay on our oven counter. Bran likes to have herbs and spices fresh and near him when he works overseeing the cooks in the kitchen, and I am just happy to do my part!

Another important task: dancing on the kitchen counters.

Another important task: dancing on the kitchen counters.

Another important task of mine is dancing on the kitchen counters. It is vital that the home of a Seelie Queen have at least a small measure of good cheer at all times, and since the Seelie Queen herself is, frankly, a wee bit surly most of the time (and I have no idea why! I mean, she’s the Queen for Bran’s [the god, not the Steward; so confusing!] sake!), this task falls to me. Everyone else is racing around trying to keep her happy: I merely spread good cheer in a general way. I think my mere presence ups the cheer factor in a room by at least 15%, possibly more (but I’m modest!).

Now, I won't say I ever get the urge to do naughty things....

Now, I won’t say I never get the urge to do naughty things….

Now, I won’t say I never get the urge to do naughty things, but it’s hard to resist fresh cherries, particularly when one might get a mouthful of whipped cream along with them. But Bran gets so cross if I take a little cherry off the top of a little cake! He’s all, “No, No, No! There have to be seven cherries!” And then he replaces the cherry with a new one. Which I then take. I can play this game for hours!

Of course, even I eventually get tired.

Of course, even I eventually get tired.

Of course, even I get tired. But when I lie down for a quick nap, I make sure I’m somewhere the Family and Her Majesty can see me, because I know it cheers them up just to know that I am there.

So, that’s a little bit about me, Clutie, Executive Demifae to Her Majesty Queen Gwyneth of Faerie. Maybe next time I will explain my excellent hair-braiding skills, or my expertise in garland-weaving. There is so much to talk about, and we haven’t even left the kitchen yet!

Style Card:
Petite Avatar: Entice, Fairy Avatar, Luna. (Not a new release, but new to me; a conversation with someone from Entice led me to discover this little beauty, and I was so impressed with her simplicity and the attention to detail in the design that I knew I had to write about her. Clutie is a big part of Gwyneth’s life, and the similarity between this av and the way I ordinarily describe Clutie in role-play was so close, I knew it was her just from seeing the promo photos.) She’s available on Marketplace for just L$200, which is frankly a steal, but you can get her and her sister, Oceana, for L$10 apiece at the summer hunt now taking place in the Entice Main Store! The hunt is on til July 26th.

Location: The Tree House, The Great Seelie Forest

Kitchen Counters and Table: DDD
Cake: Apple Fall Harvest Cake

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never stay home without it!

A Chat With My Daughter….

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

Talk about something that feels weird to say! Yesterday for once, I wasn’t completely caught up with meetings and suchlike, so I made a cup of tea and spent some time talking with Drysi.

It’s so funny: Drysi was the dark crystal. I thought we’d be at odds from day one. And maybe we will be at odds, eventually, but so far she’s shown herself to be a damn sight more responsible than her brother (more on that later!) and a hell of a lot more down to earth (literally and figuratively speaking!) than her sister.

She's just in the background here.

She’s just in the background here.

She’s just in the background here, but I will get her closer up sometime soon. Even so new out of the crystal, she’s acquired her own style—they all have, I guess—and, I don’t know. She reminds me of myself, even though I felt that dark side pulling at her and I know she is more her father’s child than mine. I remember feeling so odd when I checked on her crystal sometimes, like there was a shadow over it. It worried me.

That said, we had a good conversation. We talked about how much we both liked the scrying pool, though she didn’t know it was called that (or what scrying was, actually; had to define that one for her). She wondered if we could go back together sometime when there weren’t scary horse creatures there, and I allowed that we could. (Note: I really will tell you all this story at some point; suffice it to say that my son is apparently an idiot and he has a date with a Kelpie one year and a day from last Sunday.)

She wanted to know about books with stories in them, and I pointed her to the right shelf upstairs in the library. And then, of course, I recalled that I had to take Wulfrich to the place where the Kelpie had taken her and Eilian the other night, and it had to happen before sundown: given the current political climate none of us want to be in the Unseelie Lands much during the dark hours. I felt bad, just having a cup of tea and leaving her there. But Bran will take care of things. He is so capable. Sometimes I think he’d make a better Queen then I do, and to be honest, he might look just as good in many of my gowns. 😉

There's something to be said about slinky casual, I think.

There’s something to be said about slinky casual, I think.

There’s something to be said about slinky casual, I think. No big skirts to get in the way. This dress feels almost like a dressing gown, but it looks like I’m on my way to a party. Which I think is how a Fae Queen should look most of the time.

Wulfrich, the big softie, was openly appreciative of the dress. I think sometimes he feels as proprietary about me as any of the other important men in my life; it’s just that his days are filled with different sorts of battles than mine are.

He brought half a dozen of my Knights with him, and they scouted all round the perimeter of the area. It’s a beautiful place, the lair of this half-Kelpie, half-Incubus. I sensed his demon side when we were in close enough proximity, and of course that fed in to why I made the deal with him that I did. Of course he ended up thinking he’d won a victory, but as far as I’m concerned all my creatures (and they are all my creatures) deserve to live their lives in whatever way works best for them.

That’s how I feel about all my creatures, even the ones who might mean me harm. They’re unlikely to end my life, and if I’m foolish enough to put myself into a situation where I must bargain with them, then that’s my responsibility.

Style Card:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Sientje blonde (in the NEW Pineapple skin tone!), available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!
Hair: RedMint, Hair Number 38’15 (New at Hair Fair!)
Gown: FINESMITH, Goddess, in Sky (New at the FINESMITH Main Store!)
Jewellery: EMO-tions, Cecile (necklace and armband)
Sandals: Carrie’s Boutique, Silver Gem Change Sandals
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears

Location: The Tree House, The Great Seelie Forest

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never stay home without it!

What If….

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

My children have emerged. That sounds more accurate than saying they are born, since I did not give birth to them. I merely gave life. Merely.

The night was such a blessing. Eilian and Drysi arrived talking up a storm to one another, but Bronwen was quiet and new as dew. I won’t go in to more now, because I want to believe my children are possibilities and not the shadow that pass over them from the past. I won’t.

Three Parents

Three Parents

Janus couldn’t stay away. I hope he will decide not to stay away on a regular basis. I miss him so.

After what probably seemed like a short meet and greet, Bronwen grew tired and the others were pretending not to be, so I whisked us all, the family (Nathaniel, me, Wren, Eilian, Drysi, and Bronwen) off to the tree house, where Bran made hot chocolate for everyone and we got the children settled into their bedrooms.

Poor Nathaniel was so tired out he just crashed.

Janus left through the tree roads, but I hope, I know, he will be back.

In a few days, mine and Nathaniel’s handfasting will take place.

Bran brought me a second mug of hot chocolate, and I just, I don’t know. I started thinking about my life.

“No one is ever allowed to know what might have been,” said Aslan. But it doesn’t stop me speculating about it.

What if I'd grown into one of those sassy Croyden party girls?

What if I’d grown into one of those sassy Croydon party girls?

What if I’d grown in to one of those sassy Croydon party girls? The sort of girl who doesn’t think she’s dressed without a pair of 4-inch heels and shows as much skin as possible, particularly when it’s 0°C outside.

What would she have thought about my house? “Great staircase, but you really ought to get some colour in here. You should redo this kitchen in avocado, mate.”

That.. doesn’t bear thinking about.

But assuming my life followed the same path, the path where the four of us were in that accident and only I woke up on the shores of the river…

What if I’d not grown into the person I’ve become now?

Would I have become a fae servant in my own kitchen? Serving some other Fae Queen?

Would I have become a fae servant in my own kitchen? Serving some other Fae Queen?

Would I have become a fae servant in my own kitchen? Serving some other Fae Queen?I imagine my house-proudness, how I’d turn my magic, what little there might be of it, to the growing of herbs in the counter garden, the height of the fire.

The sort of house-manager who has one perfectly serviceable dress in a variety of colours, all made by her own hand.

The sort of house-manager who has one perfectly serviceable dress in a variety of colours, all made by her own hand.

The sort of house-manager who has one perfectly serviceable dress in a variety of colours, all made by her own hand.

The kind of woman who has one unbelievably beautiful necklace, given to her by a lover who left her, a thing she can’t bear to put away, ever.

A woman who remembers her old life a lot more clearly than I do now. A woman who reads in her spare time and might be instructing the children in literature, since none of them will ever be interested in cooking.

But what if the whole thing had never happened?

And into my head comes a picture of me, laughing because I'm at a great LARP, probably with Richard, in a big house.

And into my head comes a picture of me, laughing because I’m at a great LARP, probably with Richard, in a big house.

And into my head comes a picture of me, laughing because I’m at a great LARP, probably with Richard, in a big house. Fen is probably taking this photograph, maybe with my iPhone. I can tell because I’m laughing. Fen, Fenella, always knew how to make me laugh. And I don’t have to think about the last time I saw her, my best friend, so much blood.

I’m imagining this photo the way I used to look. So short. With my Welsh granny’s face and my professor dad’s hair, and my professor mum’s broad shoulders, and my euphemistically “child bearing” hips.

In this picture I’m happy because we are in a big, beautiful house, and oh what weird things there are on the mantelpiece, and here we are in this house, and we pretend to live here, what fun!

The next picture changes.

I am longing, all the time we're here for this LARP, longing and longing, for it all to be true.

I am longing, all the time we’re here for this LARP, longing and longing, for it all to be true.

I am longing, all the time we’re here for this LARP, longing and longing, for it all to be true. Only I know it can’t be, but what if it is? That’s how I walked through the world, before. Knowing, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there was no magic. And yet not believing it.

I wonder if my children will grow up and wish for a world in which they are not magical. I wonder if that will happen.

Style Cards:

Three Parents:
Janus’ Clothes & Ears: Gauze
Nathaniel’s Clothes: Junbug
Nathaniel’s HairWasabi Pills
Gwyneth:
Body: SLink
Skin: Pink Fuel
Hair: EMO-Tions, Cersei (available at The Instruments)
Dress: Jumo: Mother Of Dragons, Gold (Available at The Instruments)
Wings: Falln, Rose Vine Wings (Orange)
Crown: Lode: Head accessory, Vesna, yellow (Rare)
Halo Headpiece: Zyn
Arm Vines: RFyre
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Lipstick: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Greedy Oranges (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Face Makeup: Madrid Solo, The Vow
Neck Corset: Silvery K

What If…
Body: SLink
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, FREYA, Cotton Candy (Available at Alice In Sexyland!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Inu
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Dress and Shoes: Jinx, Gweneth, Royal Purple (Available at Fair Play!)
Necklace: Otherskin, Salvation (Available at Fair Play!)

Would I… and The Sort Of…
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, FREYA, Cotton Candy (Available at Alice In Sexyland!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Motive Braid, Bangers Bang 3
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Mistique, Aurora, Red (1); and Green (2) (Available at Fair Play!)
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty
Necklace: Otherskin, Salvation (Available at Fair Play!)

And Into My Head… and I Am Longing…
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, FREYA, Cotton Candy (Available at Alice In Sexyland!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Bangers (with Bang 3)
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Dress: BMe, Fishwife Dress (Available at Fair Play!)
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty
Necklace: Otherskin, Salvation (Available at Fair Play!)

Location:
Gwyneth’s Treehouse in The Great Seelie Forest

Notable Props:
Treehouse: LAQ
Kitchen Decor: DDD
Mewnicorn: Quirk & Co.
Andolyls Rapunzel Tower: DRD
Wall Planeterium: Nomad

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it!

skinlogodiapFair Play Logo

Midsummer’s Night

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

So many things rising. This week, my week, the week of Midsummer.

I flew to check the children and remind them they must come out of the crystals soon, and I happened upon Dyisi and Aoibheann.

There is a mystery to be sorted there. Not one I have time to figure out now. A birth, a handfasting, a demifae uprising, Goblins making trouble, and of course Dyisi’s plan to contain Gwythyr, which Aoibheann seemed to dismiss last night; I’m sure that was unhappily received by Dyisi.

How long the twilight lasts.

How long the twilight lasts.

How long the twilight lasts. Once Dyisi and Aoibheann disappeared (and I do mean disappeared), I counselled Wren to go back to the village, for I could hear the revels starting.

For myself, I headed downstream, away from the tree and the meadows and the rising music.

So many things there were, to think about.

So many things there were, to think about.

So many things there were, to think about.

But first, the children. With my back to the tree, I positioned the crystals again, imagining myself as the tree, tapping in to Ardan’s considerable resources and adding my own, heightened of course at this time of year. Now, a cloud beneath them to ease the passage. Then, a softening of the crystals themselves. And all ready for tomorrow.

Then of course there was the matter of the handfasting.

Then of course there was the matter of the handfasting.

The of course there was the matter of the handfasting, and a prayer to the Goddess that it go smoothly and joyfully. And that after everything, Nathaniel still wants me.

A quick searching after Aoibheann's mystery: what happened to her in the Twilight Realm?

A quick searching after Aoibheann’s mystery: what happened to her in the Twilight Realm?

A quick searching after Aoibheann’s mystery revealed no easy answers, but I think there will be more to this. What happened to her in the Twilight Realm?

And a further reaching, a remembering, back to that day at the Faire.

And a further reaching, a remembering, back to that day at the Faire.

And a further reaching, a remembering, back to that day at the Faire. A turn, to make sure I was mirroring the tree properly, but I must keep my back to it, for already the revels were distracting me. My muscles and my spirit told me I wanted to be on the green, dancing, but so much work to be done: dancing later. I’d get no sleep this night, anyway.

Oh, the dance of summer should energise me, but at the end of my work and my searching and the questions with no answers ... I just felt tired.

Oh, the dance of summer should energise me, but at the end of my work and my searching and the questions with no answers … I just felt tired.

Oh, the dance of summer should energise me, but at the end of my work and my searching and the questions with no answers … I just felt tired.

And behind me, always, the music on the green, our mortal musicians, our revels.

And behind me, always, the music on the green, our mortal musicians, our revels.

And behind me, always, the music on the green, our mortal musicians, our revels.

One of the mortal musicians, a ginger bastard, tried to shove his tongue down my throat when I kissed him in payment for his services. I bit him. Perhaps he’ll remember not to be so free with the Fae Queen in future.

Why did thinking of that make me suddenly want to dance, to spin in front of him and remind him, and anyone who hears his tales once he returns to the world of day and night, that one does not shove one’s tongue into the mouth of the Faerie Queen. And I think of him as I might think of an insect. And now I want to dance.

So much to do.

So much to do.

So much to do.

But now, let there be revels.

But now, let there be revels.

But now, let there be revels.

Fae Queen dances on the green,
Fae King nowhere to be seen.
Flame, she dances with the faeries,
Skirts red as midsummer berries.
Crowned with roses, crowned with pearls,
Envy of the mortal girls
Love her, hate her, can’t ignore her
Never free of gossip’s murmur
Sing her summer passions flown
Know she walks each day alone.

Style Card:
Skin: Pink Fuel: Sora V2 Alabaster
Body: SLink
Lipstick: 7 Deadly s{K}ins: “Greedy Oranges” (New and available at 7 Deadly s{K}ins Mainstore!)
Face Tattoo: Madrid Solo, The Vow
Neck Corset: Silvery K, Silver, Red Rose Option
HairEmo*Tions: Cersei (New and available at The Instruments)
Dress: Jumo: Mother of Dragons (New and available at Teleport to The Instruments)
Wings: Falln: Rose Vine Wings Silver
Headpiece: Noctis: Briar Rose, Blooddrop
Halo: Zyn: Morning Song Halo, Summer Kiss

This round of The Instruments is amazing, by the way. If you haven’t been there, you should go. I don’t blog for them: I just really, really loved the stuff they have available this month. 

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it!

Wicked Wylds: Where The Magic Is Real

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

Once upon a time, there was a collection of people, people whose imaginations were bigger than their back gardens, people whose desire to tell stories and live more than one life captured their thoughts and dreams.

A couple of those people created a place where those thoughts and dreams could come to life, and they called it Wicked Wylds.

This is where I spend my Second Life roleplaying time. WW is not the sort of place you go if you just want to kill some monsters or have lighthearted intimate relations with pointy-eared elves. I mean, you could do those things, but there is a much, much larger story of which your actions can be a small part, or a large part.

In WW you can have come from anywhere. Maybe you were about to go into the shop to buy some milk and suddenly felt dizzy. You might wake up on an idyllic hillside and wonder if you’ve had some kind of stroke or maybe just dropped dead. Maybe you are a realm-walker, and the Wylds is just a convenient stopover between Asgard and Wonderland.

Maybe you are a demon who longs to role-play in a meticulously detailed Hell with a rich cast of characters who will engage you.

Maybe you are a changeling who has lived as a human for so long, and one day, one day, you open the door to Faerie.

Maybe you are an ordinary (ha!) person who dreams of interacting with so many different kinds of beings than you encounter at your day job in the bank.

Maybe you just want to be taken to where the magic is real.

You can’t find Wicked Wylds through a Second Life search. But you can take a look at the Tumblr to see what’s going on Read the histories, the rules, all that admin stuff there, or you can request it from one of the admins in-world. You can seek out members of the admin staff on SL and IM us. Tell us your story and we’ll talk about how it might fit into ours.

There is so much room for growth and there is no end to the stories we might write together.

Some of the people who live in or are frequently found in Mysthaven: L-R: (back row) Gwyneth, Seelie Queen in Faerie; Nathanial, Mysthaven Steward and Queen's Consort; Aoibheann, Lost Rabbit and Lord Maric's Consort; Lord Maric, Lord of Mysthaven and by a strange twist of fate the current Unseelie King; (front row) Wren Darling, Fae Teen and Nathaniel's adopted daughter; Dyisi, Elder Satyr, Realm-Walker, teller of tales and talker of riddles.

Some of the people who live in or are frequently found in Mysthaven:
L-R: (back row) Gwyneth, Seelie Queen in Faerie; Nathanial, Mysthaven Steward and Queen’s Consort; Aoibheann, Lost Rabbit and Lord Maric’s Consort; Lord Maric, Lord of Mysthaven and by a strange twist of fate the current Unseelie King; (front row) Wren Darling, Fae Teen and Nathaniel’s adopted daughter; Dyisi, Elder Satyr, Realm-Walker, teller of tales and talker of riddles.

Admins to IM: Vedis Seid (sim owner and the architect of hell); Faermorn Violet (plot spinner and the architect of Faerie); Suboki Paine (RP and Tech Admin); Benbold (RP Admin); Dickensiandreamer (RP Admin); Dyisi Oppewall (Rp Admin); Gwen Enchanted (RP Admin, Welcome Wagon, Fae Dreamer, and the Blogger of Record).

Spiffy photo taken with the indispensible aid of a LumiPro. Go look at the web page. Yes, I know they’re expensive. If you want to take amazing photos in SL, they’re worth every Linden.

Every day a new birth 

Gwyneth:

So I was just waking up yesterday. I was in the pyjamas I’d got in Cambridge; they won’t last long, but they are soft and comfy and oh so very pink.

And then there was an unfamiliar presence in the room, and an unfamiliar voice asking where he was.

unfamiliar presence, unfamiliar voice

It’s not that this is all that unusual in the Wylds.  We’ve recently had a guy displaced from some airport in New York, convinced he was going back there any minute.

It’s just that it doesn’t often happen in my bedroom. Well, it never has before. This place is securely warded, so no one who intends me harm is likely to get in.

And yet, there was a tall blond man in the bedroom. Who’d apparently slept on my couch.

so of course I served him tea!

So of course I served him tea! Bran and Wulfrich were understandably suspicious: Wulf would have taken him into the security office and interrogated him, but I could see he was upset, so I’ve put that off, at least for now.

the fellow was undeniably strange

The fellow was undeniably strange. He reminded me of no one so much as some of the odd refugees we used to get at the Lucky Leaf.

He spoke of things like neo wood and some kind of fake fire. I had real trouble following his conversation, but I found myself oddly fascinated by the realm from which he must have come.

Probably the funniest thing he said was that he expected Bran would have to have a certification to handle fire!

He didn’t remember his name, or anything, he said, about what he’d been doing before or during his realm shift.

Bloody fit, though….

He was bloody fit, though. Tall, blond, from the facial features I’d guess of Nordic or Saxon descent, if there’s such a thing where he comes from.

I tried to calm him.

I tried to calm him, but I don’t think I did a very good job of it: he worried the food might be poisoned, spoke of Faerie as mythical; of course, they all do, at first: I certainly did.

I should have had Wulfrich escort him to Mysthaven. But he was lost and floundering and at least he seems to be able to communicate with me. I don’t know what the villagers will make of him, and my Fae nature tells me it will be great fun to see him encounter his first demifae, interact with Faerie in general.

I’m putting him in Bran’s room for now. There’s time to take him to the village later, assuming he hasn’t disappeared back to his home realm tomorrow, where Faerie will just seem like some strange dream.

He agreed to be called Tam, at least until he remembers his real name, assuming he has one. The concept of names even seemed to throw him off.

Every day a new birth, and all things are possible in Faerie, as always.

She is clothed in strength and dignity; she laughs without fear of the future

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth: I’d have said anyone other than me would be more fitting to have this quote from Proverbs apply to them, but I woke to find it painted upon my body.

I couldn’t concentrate.

I drew wards on my hands.

Finally, I went into the village, where I met with Dyisi.

Along the way, I don’t know. I became more lighthearted. Which is to say I think I lost my mind.

By the time I’d got to Mysthaven, I was in such a happy and manic mood I could even be amused when Dyisi admitted it to me that she had counselled Nathaniel to propose marriage to me.

Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw, Heather.

Kern and Dyisi matched wits. Or should I say Kern got close to Dyisi and stood on the end of her staff and I think he had some kind of a sexual awakening, which I know is difficult to imagine because Kern is the randiest demifae I’ve ever met, and they’re all randy. Oh, fine. Most of them are randy.

So now if Nathaniel, who is not Sidhe and part unholy predator, and who can lie, asks me for my hand in marriage, I’ll have to wonder if he’s doing it because Dyisi suggested it.

Some days, I do not enjoy being a girl.

I didn't stay in the village long.

I didn’t stay in the village long.

I didn’t stay in the village long. I made my way back to the Residence as soon as there was some even remotely usable excuse. Where I took a long walk through our Seelie Lands and found myself finally in the lily pond, just dabbling my toes and communing with the fish.

I couldn't shake this weird feeling, though.

I couldn’t shake this weird feeling, though.

I couldn’t shake this weird feeling, though. There must be something to having a relationship, a friendship even, with Dyisi. It was the oddest thing: I could just feel her there, even though I’d left her back in the village. I suppose it could be worse, though: I could be getting midnight visits from Gwythyr.

Probably shouldn’t have said that.

Structural Strain Theory

It's not like I didn't have anything to do.

It’s not like I didn’t have anything to do.

It’s not like I didn’t have anything to do. I did. I had plenty to do. Bran was on me about, I don’t know, something that needed my seal on it. And sooner or later I’m going to have to have that argument with Wulfrich about whether or not Fae Queens are allowed to have their own exits and entrances to their own treehouses. And even that might have been all right, if it weren’t for the seventy-seven demifae following me around for this or that or the other thing. And I was sick of all three. So I went to Mysthaven and planned to spend the afternoon just hanging out with whoever walked by.

IMG_0338

Dyisi happened to walk by first. Or rather, I walked by her.

Dyisi happened to walk by first. Or rather, I walked by her. Now, as somebody who can put together a sentence involving multisyllabic words, Dyisi is quite a breath of fresh air. But otherwise, as a conversational partner she leaves something to be desired. You ask her a question. She evades. You press. She starts putting off weird Satyr question-go-home vibes and then suddenly you find yourself changing the subject to avoid offending her. Except I’ve never really seen her get offended. We played conversational tennis for a while, and I finally thought I was making some headway until I realised she’d cornered me into talking about myself again.

Then Nathaniel emerged from the castle, and there was another kind of conversational tennis.

Then Nathaniel emerged from the castle, and there was another kind of conversational tennis.

Then Nathaniel emerged from the castle, and there was another kind of conversational tennis. It wasn’t really any more fun. Between his need to prove to me how much more multisyllabic he could be than anybody in the realm and Dyisi’s need to avoid all questions, ever, I began to wish for nothing so much as to be discussing dandelion seeds with Clutie. And Clutie? Can go on about dandelion seeds.

Then, Aoibheann appeared and things took a turn. For the worse.

After that, Aoibheann appeared and things took a turn. For the worse.

After that, Aoibheann appeared, and things took a turn. For the worse. At first, it was suggested that I’d missed Maric and Aoibheann announcing their engagement at my Spring Equinox party. Which got me pretty angry. But then it turned out that Nathaniel’s just a drooling imbecile and he assumed the announcement had been made at the party—even though he was there all night, with me, and is Maric’s Steward, and didn’t actually hear it himself. Because that would happen. Maric can barely shake his willy without Nathaniel’s assistance, it would seem, so I have some doubts as to whether either of them is capable of announcing anything without the other.

Aoibheann was going on about some pottery thing she’s making—why am I so cross with everyone?—and didn’t seem to realise that there was any difference between a Consort and a Fiancée, and you know what? Fuck it.

I was ready to leave. But Wren was there too, and I can't be mean to her: she's the only little kid I ever liked.

I was ready to leave. But Wren was there too, and I can’t be mean to her: she’s the only little kid I ever liked.

I was ready to leave. But Wren was there too, and I can’t be mean to her; she’s the only little kid I ever liked.

And then I wished I had left, because there was Aoibheann going on about Maric getting down on one knee after the Spring Equinox gathering at Ardan (not my party) and asking her to be his wife.

And I just could not take it any more. I pretended the (glamoured) bird on my (glamoured) couch had an urgent message for me about bumblebees, and I dissolved the whole couch and the demifae with it, and then I took myself back to the treehouse and locked myself in the bedroom and instructed Bran to call for an artist and a dressmaker. Because fuck them.

Faewatch - 1

Exclusive: Royal Treehouse Tour!

Seelie Queen Gwyneth Opens Her Home to FaeWatch

—by Cherish Gelato
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Seelie Queen Gwyneth’s fabulous treehouse is the tallest thing in the Great Seelie Forest.

So many rumours surround the Wylds’ Seelie Queen, Gwyneth. She comes from another world. Her three children, who have yet to be born, are waiting for the return of their (official) Royal father, King Janus before they will leave their incubation crystals. Her relationship with the Court of the Mists is far more solid—and physical!—than many in the Fae Lands would like. Her dangerous world-hopping hobby has been the subject of much speculation. She still pays homage to the mercurial and violent Isabella, who wounded Ardan, the Fae Court’s sacred tree, in a fit of pique. Isabella herself is rumoured to be wed to an ancient demon of unspeakable power. She never knew her mother. Her adoptive father, Prince Blaise of Roanóafa, fled the Ashmourne Wylds Seelie Sithen because she attacked him during her quickening. I decided to find out the truth behind these rumours, and I also wanted a look at the Seelie Forest which grew during her winter hibernation.

Queen Gwyneth welcomed me into her home just after the Spring Equinox. The reclusive young Queen opened her home to me, and our artist captured some beautiful images. She also granted me an interview and promised to answer some of our burning questions!

Our tour began where all visitors enter the Seelie Forest.

Our tour began where all visitors enter the Seelie Forest.

There is only one way to enter the Seelie Forest, and that is by magic. I travelled from the Village of Mysthaven to the sacred tree in the Summerlands, Ardan. Queen Gwyneth’s personal guard met me there and explained that as a mortal, I’d have to be blindfolded to be transported to the Great Seelie Forest. Both my artist and I were happy to be blindfolded rather than struck blind by magic! The trip was quite short, and Wulfrich, the Queen’s personal guard, was a delightful travelling companion. Her Majesty herself met us in the arrival grove and offered us food and drink, which we politely refused (can’t be too careful!).

She took us first to see what she describes as her favourite statue: a goddess that holds an ivy plant in her hands. Each day, the ivy plant dies and grows anew.

The Arrival Grove

The Arrival Grove

At first, I was disconcerted by the little lights that seemed often to dance and cavort around the Queen as we wandered through the bower: she explained that these are Will O’ The Wisps, and they are not purely decorative in nature: they’re used to send messages back and forth between the Fae who live in different parts of Faerie.

A conversation bower.

A conversation bower.

As we moved through the Seelie Forest, Her Majesty showed us some of her favourite places, the first one being what she called a “conversation bower”.

“It’s just a place,” she explained, “where anybody can come and relax and talk. I like to make sure all my Fae can feel comfortable in our forest, so there are many places like this throughout the wood.”

The Dancing Grove

The Dancing Grove

Just adjacent to the conversation bower is the Dancing Grove, a wide, circular space where many Fae come out to dance most nights. Fae are very in touch with their bodies, she explained, and so many of them love to dance. The only problem apparently is finding good musicians: they often have to be imported from the mortal realm. Sometimes, she said, people are afraid to visit Faerie because of things they’ve heard, like waking up the next morning to find that twenty years have passed. “We really don’t mean for that to happen,” she explained.

The Waterfall Cave

The Waterfall Cave

Around the edge of the wood, there are wide meadows and a lovely rose garden, which Brendan, my artist, refused to sketch because he felt the statue in the middle of the garden was following him with her eyes. This cave is one of several around the forest: it’s a very neat little space with a single comfortable-looking room. “Can we go in?” I asked. She replied that no; her foster sister lives there, and we wouldn’t want to invade her privacy, but she did show us the vegetable garden next to the rock formation, adding that her foster sister is a keen gardener. Wulfrich seemed to find this statement very funny, but I never did get the joke.

More Will O' The Wisps followed us as we made our way around the edge of the forest.

More Will O’ The Wisps followed us as we made our way around the edge of the forest.

We had to stop and rest a few times on our way around the forest, although the Queen and her Guard never seemed to tire at all. Ah, the blessings of being immortal and magical! As Her Majesty made her way around a large fairy mushroom circle and into the Seelie gathering place where there is a large half-circle of stones and an altar of some kind, she explained that the little fae, or demifae, like to congregate in the areas where magic is strong in the forest, and the stone circle is a very magical place. There must have been hundreds of them, all flitting about. It was here that we saw our first flying demifae, and I admit I was entranced! Even though I have interviewed many Fae as part of my work for FaeWatch, I never cease to be amazed by these charming creatures!

Now, it was finally time to visit the Royal Treehouse.

Now, it was finally time to visit the Royal Treehouse.

Queen Gwyneth took us through a flowered path that met another path, this one lined with trees. She introduced us to another statue, whom she called the Guardian of the Gate, and said he was there with his lantern to point the way toward the treehouse, though how anybody could miss that imposing structure seemed a mystery to me.

The tree-lined path.

The tree-lined path.

She invited us to walk through the tree-lined path, little lights still dancing round her ankles, and then explained that we would first walk up the stairs and then reach the treehouse by means of two magical ladders.

The first magical ladder.

The first magical ladder.

One has only to grasp these ladders, Her Majesty explained, and then one is transported up to the next level. This is a startling experience! When I reached out to grasp the ladder, I felt a dizziness in my head and a strong sense of vertigo. I had to close my eyes to calm myself, and by the time I opened them, I was already on an observation balcony, where there is a lovely view down to the cave—I was already so high up that I could see the entire Great Seelie forest all spread out below me. What a beautiful sight that was!

The entrance!

The entrance!

Up the second magical ladder we went; my artist was feeling so nauseous by the time we got to the top he chose not to capture that image. Then, we walked up a rope bridge and onto the entrance balcony. I could see another rope bridge on the other side, but Her Majesty said we should see the interior of the house first.

When we entered the house, I asked her if it would be all right to begin our interview. She agreed that this was a lovely idea. Her Steward, Bran, met us as the front door with offers of coffee, tea, fairy mead, or fae nectar—but again we refused.

Magical lamps in the entrance hall.

Magical lamps in the entrance hall.

CG: These are such beautiful lamps! How do they work?

Queen Gwyneth: They are lit by the demifae you see flying inside of them.

CG: But don’t they get dizzy? And how do you choose which fairies will have to go into the lamps?

QG: Oh, they consider it quite an honour to light these lamps. We had a party on the Spring Equinox, and the demifae held a lottery to determine who would get to “fly the lamps” that evening. I thought of taking them down after the party, but they wouldn’t hear of it!

The Great Room.

The Great Room.

CG: Oh, this is a marvellous living room! And your taste in art is exquisite, Your Majesty!

QG: Thank you! Painting is one of my passions, and some of the art is my own. This is our Great Room: we use it formally for social gatherings of course, but quite a lot of the time I’ll come in to find someone or other just lounging on a couch reading a book.

CG: Are all the Fae voracious readers?

QG: Goodness, no! We’re just like any other society: we have our intellectuals and our crafters, our cooks and artisans. I love to read, so a house filled with books makes me feel comfortable and secure. It reminds me of where I grew up.

The treehouse has a large kitchen with a table that the Queen explained can be made larger or smaller depending on the number of people who need to sit there.

The treehouse has a large kitchen with a table that the Queen explained can magically be made larger or smaller depending on the number of people who need to sit there.

CG: Ah, Your Majesty—that’s an excellent segue. Can you tell our readers about your early life, before you became Queen?

QG: [grows silent, pauses briefly] Yes, I suppose it’s no secret. I was raised by mortals and never knew I was Fae until I found myself, through a series of strange events I can barely remember, in the little village of Jasper Cove. There, King Alec saw my true Fae nature, and he and Queen Isabella began to teach me about my heritage. When Jasper Cove fell and we fled to the Wylds, my education was continued by my adoptive father, Prince Blaise, and his then-consort, Aislynn, along with Lady Siansa, one of the Ladies of the Seelie Court there. [She pauses again]. I never felt so loved as when the Prince adopted me. Even through the darkest times in the Wylds, when we feared Faerie would pull apart and cease to be, he supported me and stood by me. And he was … is a great warrior, Prince Blaise.

We moved onto the little balcony off the kitchen, where the view is again, spectacular and dizzying.

We moved onto the little balcony off the kitchen, where the view is again, spectacular and dizzying.

CG: And he’s … lost, your father? 

QG: [turns away, looks out over the forest] I have not heard from him for some time. I do not know where he is. Next question!

CG: Is it painful for you, that you are not now in contact with your father?

QG: I would prefer not to pursue that subject. Surely your readers would like to know more about what’s happening in the Faerie Courts now, rather than dwell upon the past.

CG: Well, people are curious about all aspects of your life, Your Majesty, but of course I respect your desire for privacy. Is it troubling to you, though, painful for you, that you have no real family around you?

QG: I do have a real family around me. I have my beloved King, Janus, my equally beloved Consort, Nathaniel, my sister Aoibheann, and all who are left of Faerie. They are my family. And I love them as fiercely as any birth and blood family.

CG: You mention King Janus, but there are rumours that he has deserted you and left the Wylds without a King. Is it true that the Lord of Mysthaven has usurped the Throne of Faerie and now sits beside you as King?

QG: Well, that’s a question full of speculation, isn’t it? And it seems that people will always assume the worst. My Lord King has indeed departed the Wylds for a little while; he had pressing issues that he could not ignore in another realm. And King Maric is no usurper: he only did what had to be done. Faerie was without a ruler while I slept for the winter: Our Realm needs a Winter King as surely as it needs a Summer Queen. He was anointed and accepted by our gods and by our mallorn tree, and yes; he does sit beside me as King. When My Lord King returns, the Unseelie Crown will pass back to him. Come; let me take you upstairs and show you our Library.

The Treehouse Library.

The Treehouse Library.

CG: Oh, do tell me about this library. Are all the books here magical?

QG: Not all of them: some of them are ordinary history books, novels; we have a wide and eclectic selection here. Most of the magical texts are contained in scrolls, and I’m afraid you wouldn’t be able to read them, Ms. Gelato.

CG: Oh, do call me Cherish, Your Majesty. I see there are only a few paintings on the walls up here: is that to keep down distractions when your people are reading and studying?

QG: Not at all: I just haven’t got around to hanging all the paintings yet. Perhaps we’ll invite you back when the House is fully decorated.

We proceeded to the Steward's Office, which is in the small room off the library and also houses the mechanism that operates the House's windmill.

We proceeded to the Steward’s Office, which is in the small room off the library and also houses the mechanism that operates the House’s windmill.

CG: Bran’s office seems positively Spartan in comparison to the rest of the House.

QG: [laughs] Oh, again, he’s just not got around to doing much with this room. Bran is constantly busy with the administrative bits and bobs of running the Fae Kingdom, so he says he has little time to decorate. I do keep teasing him about it, though. Perhaps if you put that bit into the published interview we’ll get him to hang a few pictures of his own!

CG: That could be! Now, tell me about your children, Your Majesty. When will they be born?

QG: We expect they will make an appearance sometime in the summer, but right now, Ardan is taking care of all their physical needs. I spend a lot of time near the tree, of course, because it is the centre of spirituality and magic in the Fae lands, and I can tell you they are growing beautifully and looking forward to meeting the world in the physical sense.

We continued downstairs into the Queen's personal chamber, where we were again offered something to eat or drink and (again!) refused politely.

We continued downstairs into the Queen’s personal chamber, where we were again offered something to eat or drink and (again!) refused politely.

CG: Your taste seems so simple and elegant, Your Majesty. I can’t think of a lot of Queens who’d be content living in a treehouse and having only a single room to themselves!

QG: [laughs] Well, the whole of the house really is my space, you know. I have privacy when I want and need it, and the house itself is a magical thing: I’m positive it has a life energy of its own. It did, after all, grow itself from the tree in which it’s situated. But you’re right: because I didn’t grow up as a Princess and spent most of my years before finding Faerie as an academic, my idea of a comfortable space might be a little different from that of other Royals. There is a lovely balcony off this room, though: come through, and I’ll show you some of the outside bits you were curious about earlier.

The Queen's Balcony has its own waterfall and a rope bridge, giving her a private entrance to the House.

The Queen’s Balcony has its own waterfall and a rope bridge, giving her a private entrance to the House.

CG: Oh, this is lovely! I’d have a hard time not spending all my days out on this balcony just enjoying the view of the forest below. Tell me, has Ardan recovered from his injuries yet?

QG: [pauses] You know, to an outsider, Ardan’s injury might not look like all that much, but I can assure you that when that unfortunate event happened, the whole of Faerie was shaken by it. And no; he has not fully recovered. We hope that when his growing season begins, as the year turns fully into Spring, he will make a full recovery.

CG: And — I know this might be a touchy subject, but you are still very much in contact with Isabella?

QG: Alec and Isabella will always be like foster parents to me. I would never have discovered my true nature if not for them. Our relationship remains cordial and close. More than that I’m not willing to speak about.

Down the second rope bridge, we found ourselves on another balcony, which the Queen said would be used as a social and dancing space.

Down the second rope bridge, we found ourselves on another balcony, which the Queen said would be used as a social and dancing space.

CG: Understood. I won’t go any further down that line of questioning, although if you ever feel like talking about it, you know that our readers will want to know! Now, is it true that you yourself do not spend all your time in Faerie, but rather travel to different realms on a fairly regular basis?

QG: I do travel between realms, it’s true. I have not done very much of that since I awoke, because there has been so much to do in Faerie. Making the land fertile is a full time job at this time of the year, so a Fae Queen’s work is never done. I am responsible for bringing life back to our land, so for this season especially, I will be remaining mostly in residence here at the House and of course holding Court in the Official Residence.

We made our way back up the other rope bridge and back through the front entrance, where the Queen pointed out the office and residence of her personal Guard, Wulfrich.

We made our way back up the other rope bridge and back through the front entrance, where the Queen pointed out the office and residence of her personal Guard, Wulfrich.

CG: Now Wulfrich, it looks like, has spent some time making this office his own.

QG: He has. Wulf has many years of travelling behind him before he came to us here in Faerie, and he’s collected so many wonderful things and stories over the years. And although he seems quiet when he’s on duty, few men are better storytellers than my Wulfrich.

CG: Oh, is he blushing? Wulfrich, are you embarrassed?

Wulfrich: My Lady Queen flatters me.

QG: Nonsense, Wulf. You know we cannot lie.

CG: That is true, then? The Fae cannot lie?

QG: [smiles] Yes, that is true. However, mortals are wise to be cautious around us, because there are many more ways to manipulate than the telling of simple lies.

We then went back to the Queen's chambers, where she relaxed on a divan and answered a few more questions for me.

We then went back to the Queen’s chambers, where she relaxed on a divan and answered a few more questions for me.

CG: Just one or two more questions, and then I’ll let you get on with the business of running the Faery Kingdom. Tell me about your relationship with the Queen of Caits.

QG: Queen Valene is a trusted friend, mentor, confidante, and a love of mine. She brings darkness to my light and wisdom to my worries. When we first fled to the Wylds, Valene was the first of the Fae to truly befriend me, and her love has sustained me over many a dark period.

CG: Are you lovers?

QG: Of course. No one can know Valene and not love her, as no one can look at me and not love me. [smiles]

Her Majesty, Seelie Queen Gwyneth.

Her Majesty, Seelie Queen Gwyneth.

CG: Rumour has it that you sustain a dizzying number of relationships with many different Fae. How do you keep them all straight?

QG: [laughs] It would be fair to simply say “I don’t understand the question,” and have done with that, Cherish. But I’ll be kind and try. We are all lovers, all the Fae, no matter what anybody may tell you. Every one of us is a creature of love. And I am the Queen of Love. Love, my darling, is what I am made of. Love is my essence, and it must be expressed both spiritually and physically. We are very physical beings, the Sidhe: touch comforts us and calms us; touch brings us closer to our magical natures; touch sustains and feeds us. Love is the pure expression of our need to connect, our desire to be one with one another. And love, pure love, is a well that never runs dry.

I admit that I had tears in my eyes, listening to the Seelie Queen talk this way, and though I am happily married, I could not deny that at that moment, I longed to kiss her.

CG: Oh, Your Majesty, thank you so much for allowing us to come and talk to you today. I hope we can come back again and learn more about the Fae of the Wylds. It seems there’s an ever-growing curiosity about your realm, and we are all looking forward to the many things you’re sure to accomplish as Queen.

QG: You’re very welcome, sweet Cherish, and I’d like to formally invite you, and your husband if he’s willing, to come and celebrate Beltane with us on the First of May.

We ended our interview there, and the Queen was whisked off by Bran and a demifae whose name I did not catch to attend to something having to do with asparagus. Wulfrich escorted Brendan and me back down to the Forest and then back to Ardan. Even though we had nothing t eat or drink while in Faerie, I think I shall die if I don’t go back there soon. What wonders have I seen, as the poet said. And that, dear readers, is what I hope will be the first of many glimpses into the life of the Seelie Queen.

Next week: Cherish wants to help you find out if your significant other is a Demon! She’ll take you through a quiz to help you find out if your boyfriend is a Prince of Hell!

OOC Note: This is the “Serene Tree & Windmill Home” by Winter DiPrima for LAQ Decor. I cannot tell you all how much I love this house! So much so that I keep making all my non-SL friends look at pictures of it. If they’re visiting me, they pretty much have to go on a virtual tour. And the number of people I’ve forced to come and visit me because of this house, well. It might actually give me a SL social life! 😉