Rendezvous

New Blog Headers - 10

The Amazing Catwoman:

You just never know what people are going to throw at you, do you? Owen said, ‘Meet me up on the roof in an hour. I’ve got a proposition for you.’ He waggled his eyebrows, just like old times. I knew it wasn’t that kind of proposition, but Owen’s known I have a crush on him for long enough that I guess he feels he can play with me a little bit.

And I never really minded all that much: it wasn’t like Owen and I were ever going to end up in the sack: his warm and fuzzy feelings about illegal svart alfar apparently stop when the clothes come off, or something.

Anyway, it was raining.

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I found this umbrella up on the roof, and it was a good thing, too.

I found this umbrella up on the roof, and it was a good thing, too. By the time I’d climbed up out of the shop’s second floor balcony and onto the roof proper, it was pissing down. The landscape seemed to crumple in on itself, until the roof was all there was. And the sheeting rain helped that effect: the greater sky was lost inside the rain. I was happy the umbrella had lamps: I’d not have been able to see two feet in front of me if it weren’t for those. Even the soft glow from the windows was lost in the downpour.

I waited for half an hour, thanking the gods I’d changed in to leathers before I went up. In my line of work, you have to be prepared for anything.

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Finally, he showed up.

Finally he showed up.

‘Well?’ I asked. ‘I’m getting drenched up here, yeah?’

Owen laughed. ‘It’s actually something I’m investigating right here. This set of rooftops has some very strange properties.’

I looked around. ‘Looks like a regular rooftop to me’, I said.

‘You’d think that, wouldn’t you?’ Owen folded his arms, brushed a hand through his damp hair, ducked beneath my umbrella. ‘Glad you found that, by the way: it always rains up here.’

‘We should stash a few more if we’re going to be working together up here’, I replied. ‘So, what’s the deal?’

‘We’ve got a full moon coming up in a couple of days’, he said. ‘I want you to stick around at least until then, meet me back up here. I’ll feed you, take care of your expenses; no worries about that. And then you can see what I mean’.

I was dubious. ‘Owen, we’ve not seen one another in how long?’

‘Two years’, he said (a little too quickly). ‘Well, two years and change’.

I lifted a brow. ‘I thought it was longer’.

‘Nope’, Owen said. ‘That’s about how long it’s been since you broke away from the House.’

‘I had to’, I said.

‘I know. Everybody does eventually’, he replied. ‘Don’t worry about it. Just do this one thing with me, and then maybe we’ll go our separate ways.’

‘Maybe?’

‘Maybe.’

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears, Naturals
Eyes: Mesange, First Date Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Cinnamon, in tone Oak
Hair: Shi, Discorded (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Top: E-Clipse Design, Nemo Jacket (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Trousers: Lassitude & Ennui, Hand-Stitched Leather Leggings (Maitreya Appliers)
Boots: JustDesign, Ara Boots in Earth
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Umbrella: E.V.E., Aerial Screw Parasol (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)

Setting:
Rooftop: Milk Motion: The Rooftops of Paris

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never subject you guys to cliffhangers involving The Amazing Catwoman without it!

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Positively Faux Street

New Blog Headers - 11

The Amazing Catwoman:

Pocket Universes all have this feel about them, like they’ve been stamped onto a sheet of paper about a dozen times, only nobody’s bothered to re-ink the stamp. You spend as much time as I have in this business, you get to know them the second you step in to one.

Now, granted, not all pocket universes are bad. Some of them are perfectly decent club and shopping districts. Some of them are decent hideouts. In fact, I’ve even been to one or two pocket universes I actually liked. But the fact is, when you get hired to do a job in a pocket universe, you’re doing something illegal (almost always), or you’re doing something somebody doesn’t want somebody more important than they are to know about (always always).

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One thing I can guarantee: if you land in a pocket universe that has as its portal a pair of Big, Impressive Elfin Doors and you’re not then in Elf Land, it’s not one of the good ones.

One thing I can guarantee: if you land in a pocket universe that has as its portal a pair of Big, Impressive Elfin Doors and you’re not then in Elf Land, it’s not one of the good ones. Just a bit of wisdom from your old buddy TAC. Because damn. This pocket universe was really not one of the good ones. I could tell it the moment I stepped through the Massive Elfin Doors.

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And whether you’re in a good pocket universe or a bad one, it always takes a moment or two to get your bearings.

And whether you’re in a good pocket universe or a bad one, it always takes a moment or two to get your bearings, but that’s true of all portal travel. Worst portal sickness I ever had was on a trip to Manchester, I kid you not.

Anyway, the fixer had set me up with a place to stay, which was a blessing, since the whole PU (I love that abbreviation) seemed to be made up of one street of shops and a lonely little city park, bordered by forest on one side and God Knows What on the other.

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As luck would have it, it was upstairs from an art studio. Or maybe it was a gallery. I get those two mixed up.

As luck would have it, it was upstairs from an art studio. Or maybe it was a gallery. I get those two mixed up. Never gave a fuck about art anyway. I put my shit away and started to settle in for the night, but since I was meant to report for work in the morning, I figured I’d take a look around, see what there was to see.

As it turned out, there wasn’t a hell of a lot to see. Every place except the art studio/gallery/whatever was locked up tight, even the address I was meant to report to the next morning. Come to think of it, the clerk at the art studio/gallery/whatever hadn’t been there when I’d come back downstairs, either.

Great. I’m in a two-bit pocket universe with only one street, and the only unlocked building is a fucking art studio. Gallery. Whatever.

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The park was a disappointment, too.

The park was a disappointment, too. Not even a fucking bench. Just a lit up tree with lights all in it (because it’s never too early for Christmas in Pocket Universe Land), a big clock, and some weird statue of a girl apparently losing a battle with a dandelion. Awesome. I went back to my special room, probably the only living inhabitant of the whole universe, such as it was, and I just meditated until I fell asleep. Because damn. The least they could have done was bought me dinner, you know?

Fucking bright sunlight woke me the next morning. At least there was a shower, and since I was the only person in the universe, plenty of hot water, booyah. And when I got out of the shower, I noticed somebody had left a styrofoam cup of coffee (really? do they even make styrofoam in pocket universes?) and a shabby-looking croissant on the table in my room. Delish.

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They told me I’d meet my contact in the coffee shop.

They told me I’d meet my contact in the coffee shop. Luckily, it wasn’t shut tight in the morning: I hoped the coffee would at least be better than that swill I’d swallowed with the croissant (because fuck knows when I’d get another meal, you know?).

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It did not take me long to realise this was not the sort of coffee house I’d been thinking of.

It didn’t take me long to realise this wasn’t the sort of coffee house I’d been thinking of. For fuck’s sake, the whole place looked like some teenager’s dream of what an Amsterdam coffeehouse looked like, except of course the teenager’s from somewhere in Ohio….

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Oh, hell no. I turned to walk out.

Oh, hell, no. I turned to walk out. Figured I’d ring my fixer as soon as I could get a signal and let him know there was no way there could be any good work in a place like this.

“Tacey! Wait!” I stopped dead. Nobody’d called me that in years. And the voice was familiar. Jesus fuck.

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“Owen?” I stared at the fellow who’d materialised in front of me.

“Owen?” I stared at the fellow who’d materialised in front of me. “What the fuck do you want?”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears, Naturals
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysian Eyes, Chocolate
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Lexy (Freckled), in tone Chestnut (Available through 30 November at TWE12LVE. Additional appliers, including body appliers, available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store.)
Hair: Emo-Tions, Maureen (available at Hairology!)
Top: Jangka, Hyperia Jacket (Available at We❤ RP!)
Belt Pouch: Noble Creations, Medici Pouch (A prize for the 5th Fantasy Cream Hunt!)
Trousers: Lassitude & Ennui, Hand-Stitched Leather Leggings (Maitreya Appliers)
Boots: JustDesign, Ara Boots in Earth
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Emo-Tions, Precious (Available at We❤ RP!)

Big, Impressive Elfin Doors: Violetility, Ultimate RP Door Elven (Stone)
Streetlight: BlackJack, Amsterdam Gacha, Streetlight (Available at 6 Republic!)
Street: BlackJack, Amsterdam Gacha, Straight Road (Available at 6 Republic!)
Art Studio Building: Death Row Designs, The Joint Coffee Shop, Coffee Shop (Available at 6 Republic!)
Art Studio Interior: Artisan Fantasy, Art Studio Gacha (Available at 6 Republic!)
Clock:Mistero Hifen,  Il Tempo Perfetto
Dandelion Status: Mistero Hifen, Dream 2
Light Tree: Happy Mood, Garden Tree 08 With Lights
Corner Trees: Roawenwood, Autumn Fire Tree (Available at We❤ RP!)
Coffee Shop Interior: Death Row Designs, The Joint Coffee Shop (Available at 6 Republic!)

Poses: All from An Lar, some from the Daydreamer Series, some from the Layna Series

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never subject you guys to cliffhangers involving The Amazing Catwoman without it!

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The Back Forty

New Blog Headers - 10

The Amazing Catwoman:

So, yeah. I said my mobile was working in that strange forest I landed in. About two hours after I discovered the crag above the water, right after I’d put together a makeshift campsite and managed to gig a couple of frogs for dinner, I got a call from my fixer. Security gig, small town, infested with demons, probably last a week or so, basic demon cleaning, no biggie, nice payoff at the end, accommodation provided by the town in question.

Sounded like a sweet job, so sure, I took it.

You know, nothing is ever the way they pitch it to you. Nothing.

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What. The Actual. Fuck.

At first, I thought I might have travelled to the wrong Realm by accident; that’s been known to happen. But no; I was shortly met by Zeke, my contact. Seriously? There are actually people named Zeke? Who the fuck even knew that? And what were his parents even thinking? Jesus. Or Whomever. Zeke took me through the nearly deserted town, explaining that most of the population had deserted the place, “On account of this demon infestation, see?”

“No offence,” I said, and I winced inwardly at that: I think people who say “no offence” usually mean to give quite a lot, but I didn’t, really I didn’t, “but it looks like the population has been gone for quite some time.”

“Week or two, tops,” he insisted. “And why’d they send a demon to take care of a demon infestation, anyway? No offence.”

“Would you like to know how many knives I’ve got stashed in these boots, Zeke?” I asked. “I’m no demon; I’m a svart alfar, and I’m not seeing any evidence of demons around here, so you’d better produce one or I’ll be heading back to my fixer without doing jack shit for you, and you’ll still pay my fee, or you’ll meet some real demons. A lot of very interesting people work for my boss.”

Zeve raised both hands, backed up a couple of steps. “Whoa there, little lady. Nobody needs to be siccing demons on anybody, not with the problem I’ve got.” All this time he’d been leading me down an overgrown street. “Here we go,” he said finally. “Village Garage.”

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Yep: it was a garage, all right.

Yep: It was a garage, all right. And holy mother of fuck, there was an old Dodge with the engine on pumping out black smoke like it was in the middle of a full-on engine failure.

“What’s up with the Dodge?”

“That’s the demon.”

“You’re shitting me.”

“I would not shit you about the demon Dodge,” Zeke intoned.

“Right.” I covered my nose with my hand. “Yeah, OK; I can smell the sulphur. You got one of those face masks you use when you’re working with something smelly that might give you some kind of lung disease if you inhale too much of it?” I asked.

“Got a bandana,” he said.

“Great.” Great. Zeke handed me an oily bandana, which I duly tied around my nose. “You know I get a bonus if I clear up your problem in short time,” I said.

“Go for it,” Zeke replied. “I’ll leave you to it.” And he was off down the street. Coughing a bit.

“All right, you little fucker,” I said. “Come out where I can see you.”

“No.”

“Don’t make me fill this car up with chlorine,” I said.

“You wouldn’t. There’d be an explosion.”

“I would. Whole town’s deserted because of you and your little friends,” I said. “And I am not a very patient demon cleaner.”

“It’s just me.” The demon actually managed to sound petulant. “The others got bored.”

“Bored.”

“Yeah: too easy. Once we trashed the church, whole population, vamos.” I think it snapped its fingers.

“Except Zeke.”

“Yeah, except him. I’m working on him.”

“What do you want a shitty little town in the middle of nowhere for?” I asked.

“I dunno. Something about a vortex of evil to take over the whole universe,” the demon replied. “It’s the same shit every job. We’re always going to take over the universe, and we never do, and then there I am, barely a fortnight later, stuck in the belly of a car that still takes leaded petrol, because that is my lot.”

“So you don’t believe there’s actually a vortex here that’ll help your masters take over the universe.”

“Fuck no. This is just make-work. All the big boys are busy with politics at the moment. They have to keep us out of trouble.” A black shape began to manifest out of the smoke the Dodge was coughing up. I could swear it shrugged. “I used to think one day they’d put me on politics, but that was a fucking pipe dream,” it continued.

“So quit.”

“What?”

“You heard me: quit.”

“Can’t. Got debts.”

I rolled my eyes. “You demons have such a fucking caste system.”

The black smoke took a vaguely humanoid shape. It managed to manifest a pair of red eyes. “Very impressive,” I said.

“You don’t sound impressed.”

“I’m not, actually. Seriously: there are whole cities out there with huge demon populations. You could corrupt a couple of kids, pay off your debt in no time.”

“Seriously?”

“Sure. Plenty of work for lesser demons: your boss just isn’t very imaginative.” I scoffed. “The whole ‘vortex of evil’ plot; so overdone. Somebody’s been watching too much Buffy.”

“I loved that show.”

“Me too, but it’s not the same as real life.” The Dodge stopped coughing up smoke and the engine stilled. “Seriously, I’ll pop you off into a Realm where you can just walk into a bar, meet some loser, start stripping souls, make yourself a tidy retirement fund.”

“Yeah?”

“Sure. Here.” I opened up the bag I carry for this kind of work. “Pocket dimension. Pop in there and I’ll transport you to the right place, once I check in with Zeke and let him know the job’s done.”

The amorphous head tilted. “You’re not having me on?”

“Nope. You got kids out there thinking sex with demons would be pretty rad. You can take two, three souls a night that way, and nobody’ll even miss them.”

Shadowy fingers worked as the demon did some internal calculations. “Could pay off my debt in a year that way.”

“You owe six hundred souls?”

“Nine hundred, actually. Married a human and had four kids with her.”

I whistled. “That’ll do it. Yeah; into the bag with you.”

And that was that. It went willingly into the pocket dimension, and I closed the bag with the drawstring. Five day job? Five minute job.

Of course, once I checked in with Zeke I had to wait until sunset to catch the portal out: it was one of those old fashioned ones that only works at dawn or twilight.

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So I wandered around a little.

So I wandered around a little. Discovered what is probably the only intelligent life in this town. Checked in with the fixer, made sure Zeke paid him, made sure the funds plus my bonus were in my account. Swapped the bag with one of the demon relocation team. Then, I got myself back to that forest as quick as I could manipulate the Realm stream, because another couple of frogs would not be a bad way to end the evening.

And here’s some more fashion bloggy stuff!

Once again, I’m featuring one of the great hairstyles available at the 2016  Hair Fair! Hair Fair is open until 31 July, and a percentage of the proceeds of all sales go to benefit Wigs For Kids. Hair Fair is the best place to stock up on the latest and greatest hairstyles available on the Grid!

With that in mind, and because there is going to be no way to write a separate story around all the hair I picked up at Hair Fair (I bought a lot of hair…. no one who knows me will be surprised by this!), here are some editorials of other styles I can’t wait to put on TAC for role-play and blog stories in the near future:

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41’16, from Red Mint!

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69HF, from Barberyumyum!

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Blowdry, from Atelier Pepe!

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Cross, from Little Bones!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Soul Uni Ears, Blix
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Skin: The Plastik, Draziele, Aeshma
Hair: Mina, Odyle (available at Hair Fair! Hair fair is NOW OPEN!)
Clothes: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Nimue Outfit (Available at We❤ RP!)
Boots: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Montana Boots (Available at We❤ RP!)
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, The Dreamer, Fortuity Vibrant
Poses: PosESion, from the 100 poses for $399 set currently on sale at their Main Store
Setting: The Village and Bar Deco, which is a gorgeous sim with so many photo opportunities! (Another great discovery thanks to Ziki Questi’s fantastic blog)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. The Amazing Catwoman never talks lesser demons into shady pocket dimension transfer deals without it!

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Ramblings about We <3 RP, Skins, and More!

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Gwyneth:

There’s not really a story today. Mostly, I’m just going to be talking about some of the fun stuff that’s available at We ❤ RP this month, and also about a new direction I’m taking.

actually bought a sim! Yes, that’s right. As it turns out, we need a little more space for a forest bit in our upcoming role-play sim, so I took the plunge. While the Amazing Dyisi Oppewall is down designing us a Pacific Northwest-style rainforest, I’ve been putting together an OOC office and home in the clouds. I’m going to need a space to myself while I’m working on my PhD in the upcoming months and years, so it seemed like as good a time as any to fashion a real just-for-me, OOC home. I’ve also got new skins to show you from 7 Deadly s[K]ins and (YES!) Curio!

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So, here’s a view of my OOC office.

So, here’s a view of my OOC office. I self-indulgently put some of my favourite photos from past blog posts up on the wall, because they make me feel happy. The cool lamp is from Epic Toy Factory, a hunt gift from the 2016 Fantasy Faire and a memento of their sim, Tinker’s Hollow. The table is from Thor, and I’m pretty sure I got it at a Love To Decorate event a while ago, but I couldn’t promise that. The skybox itself is one of RageWorks‘ beautiful designs, the Classical White. Great camera angles, plenty of space for stuff, and a crisp design that makes me feel like working on stuff.

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What’s Gwyneth Wearing?

What’s Gwyneth Wearing? The outfit is comprised of two of my favourite things that are at We ❤ RP this month, Emo-Tions beautiful Linea bra, and the Leather Pants from Yasum, in Metallic. The shoes are from Reign, the Kiko Flats, and they’re available at FaMeshed. The hair is Analog Dog (natch!), one of her Fantasy Faire releases, Omega. I picked the light brown colour way to go with this fabulous new skin from  7 Deadly s[K]ins, which you can see more closely in the photo below. Body is Maitreya, feet are SLink, ears are Lumae‘s Leevi Long Ears, and the eyes are the Soul Sidhe Eyes. The head is the new Helena head from Catwa, which I bought because it looks a little older than the Jessica Gwyneth had been in, and it reflects Gwyneth’s IC maturation into an ageless Sidhe.

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New Skin Colours at 7 Deadly s[K]ins!

And (yay!) there are new skin colours at  7 Deadly s[K]ins! This is the Sand shade, and the face is Leslie. Izara is now making Omega appliers, which work beautifully on my Catwa head. This is Leslie version 2, which I chose because I love that eyeliner. In this photo you can also see the beautiful detailing on the Emo-Tions bra; it looks even better in world.

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Here’s a view of the (faux!) fireplace wall in the skybox.

Here’s a view of the (faux!) fireplace wall in the skybox. I’m having such fun decorating this place, but you know I’ll change it all around in 3 months when we move from summer into autumn. That said, decorating is fun! The cats on the rug are from Mutresse; they’re a common from the Witty Cats gacha at the current Arcade Gacha. I love this one because they’re all animated: here, one cat is giving another a massage! The two baby pegasi, also at the Arcade Gacha, are from Hextraordinary; they never seem to stop having great ideas for beautiful collectibles and gorgeous things to put in your home. These two beauties are the rares, the Nesting Crystal and the Nesting MidnightThe Pegasus Pony Hatchling is on the left bookcase, and I’m not ashamed to say I played this gacha 50 times. The ponies are all so beautiful; I only wish I could display them all… Wait, I can  display them all, because I have my own sim! OMG THE PRIMS.

Right! Also on the bookcase is another one of the 50-pull prizes from the Arcade Gacha, the Princess of the Swans, from OMEN. The books on both shelves are the product of Stormwood‘s really cool Literati Book Set, which has add-on HUDs that let you customise books to various genres and types. I have Fantasy, Children’s, Crime, and I think some Library books up there. The fighting hedgehog is from Loki, a memento of the 2016 Fantasy Faire Echtra sim, and it was a hunt gift. On the mantelpiece is another lovely memento of FF 2016, the Lucentia music box from The Looking Glass, whose creations never cease to delight and amaze. The mirror is from Mushilu.

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The Amazing Catwoman in Rosemoor

Now, there are often things at We ❤ RP that aren’t Gwyneth’s style, but luckily The Amazing Catwoman is always here to help me out if I need someone else to look great in things that are a bit too, hm, badass for Gwyneth. Here, she’s wearing the Wicca’s Wardrobe Eileen outfit. Her hair is also from We ❤ RP; made by Emo-Tions, it’s Warlord, which comes in sizes for both men and women Her skin is, as often, from  7 Deadly s[K]insit’s the very beautiful Ymke in Faun. I just love the spots, which you can see more clearly in the next photo.

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This skin was released for the 2016 Fantasy Faire.

This skin was released for the 2016 Fantasy Faire, but should now be available in the  7 Deadly s[K]ins Main Store. If ever you’re looking for something specific and you can’t find it in the main store, by the way, you can always IM Izara Allen, and she will be able to tell you where you can find it or source it for you. The 7DS group is also a great resource; most of the time it costs a (small!) fee to join, but she does make it free for special occasions. You can find all the group links in her profile. These eyes are from Gauze; they’re the Paradox Cat Eyes. The ears are also from Gauze; they’re the High Elf Ears, in the Drow colourway. The body is Maitreya, and the mesh head is the Catwa Gwen, because I’ll buy anything called “Gwen”! No, seriously; try me. 😉

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Rosemoor.

I found Rosemoor through Ziki Questi’s Blog, which is where I find a lot of great places to photograph. This is only one view of this gorgeous sim; you can see more in Ziki’s blog post, or why not visit the sim and see for yourself? It’s gorgeous, and the windlight the sim designer has chosen just gives the whole place a slow, relaxed, almost nostalgic feel. I loved visiting and photographing there. The above photographs of The Amazing Catwoman were all taken in Rosemoor. Such a yummy and beautiful place.

Now, I had so many beautiful things to show for this blog entry that I decided to take just some quick editorials of outfits I put together and loved. So bear with me, because I’m just going to give the style cards under the photos.

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Senzafine and Aisling!

Senzafine always hits the ball out the park with her beautiful designs, and this one is no exception; it’s the Ysmay gown in the blue from colour pack 2. I love that her colourways are so consistent; the gowns always go perfectly with the Aesbrenni slippers she released a while back. I always wear those slippers with her gowns.

And yay! Aisling has made another beautiful crown! I love jewellery from Aisling. The crown is called Nealane, and it, along with the Senzafine gown, is available at this month’s We ❤ RP. The crown is great because it comes with a colour-change HUD that gives you a lot of options for both metals and gems. The hair is from Damselfly, also a We ❤ RP release; it’s called Cedar.

Body is Maitreya, head is Catwa Helena, ears are Lumae Leevi Long Ears, feet are SLink, and the skin is Leslie in Sand from  7 Deadly s[K]ins.

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And then there’s this fun, sexy design from !go!.

And then there’s this fun, sexy design from !go!. It’s the Lottia dress and panties, also available at We ❤ RP. For this outfit, I changed Gwyneth back in to one of the Lumae skins she commonly wears; this one is the Eirtae skin in colour way Shell, released for a Genre event a while back. I love that Lumiya Rae has made appliers for the BentBox Sylvan Ears; you can pick those up, along with the skin, at the Lumae Main Store. Body is Maitreya, head is Catwa Helena, feet are SLink, and the foot jewellery is from Carrie’s Lingerie, the Silver Sandals. They come with a gem change HUD so you can match them to whatever you’re wearing. This hair, by the way, is from Magika. The style name is Love Song, and it’s available at the Magika Main Store.

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Last, but not least…

Last, but definitely not least, here is a beautiful new outfit from The White Armory, just released in The White Armory Main Store. This is the Guardians of Mirkwood dress set, in Hunter. Now, Bee Dumpling has been designing clothes in Second Life for a long time, and I, like every other fantasy fashion junkie, have been buying her stuff for as long as I’ve been in SL. She is always right on the trend with designing things for mesh bodies, and this is a Maitreya fitted garment that works beautifully. The trousers (thank the gods!) are both system and applier, so The Amazing Catwoman can wear these beautiful Moccasin Boots from Maitreya over them with no problem. Like all the shady hunter/ranger types out there, Tac is always frustrated when she can’t fit boots over a pair of mesh trousers, and her poor player spends hours (I am not making this up!) searching on the SL Marketplace for boots that will actually work with ranger-style outfits, because Tac lives in these when she’s working in a fantasy environment, and there’s nothing worse than suddenly discovering your trousers are peeking through your boots at an inopportune moment. Throws you right off your stride when pickpocketing in the better parts of town. 😉

The other amazing thing about this outfit for TAC is that she is in a Curio skin! Gala Phoenix has amazingly released all her original skin tones as appliers for mesh bodies! And they look beautiful. Along with this, she’s also released three new faces. This one is Pout. There aren’t any Omega appliers or mesh head appliers yet, but I shall keep hoping. Some of you know that before Gala had to take a break from SL, I pretty much wore nothing but Curio skins, and now that she’s releasing more, I just go to her shop every time I get a notice and fatpack that shit. Gwyneth absolutely adores her lighter tones and hopes desperately for Catwa or Omega head appliers in the near future! This is the Bean Light colourway. I think it looks great on TAC, and I can’t wait to try some of the others. Body is Maitreya, hair is Tableau Vivant, Luminay, from last month’s Collabor88, the necklace is Miamai‘s Rise In The Sun, and the ring is Aisling‘s The Good Wife. Eyes and ears are Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes and High Elf Ears (Drow).

Mystery &amp; We &lt;3 RP BLOG - 11

Just one more photo!

Just one more photo! Now, the thing about Guardians of Mirkwood is that you have to look at the back! I love this beautiful design on the back of the jacket, so I had to show it to you. It’s one reason why I put TAC in such a short cropped hairstyle for this photoshoot; I wanted you to be able to see the beautiful line of this jacket from the back.

Whew! Such a long info dump; thank you if you’ve read this far. I’ll get back to my regular story-blogging later in the week. I’m about to have exciting stuff to show you from Hairology, and The Vintage Fair is just around the corner, as well. Collabor88 opens in just a few days, too: I can feel my Linden Balance slipping even as we speak…

No Style Cards today; everything’s noted below the photographs themselves.

I am instructed to thank Dyisi Oppewall for something, so I shall thank her for helping me have what was for me a very difficult conversation with a friend last night. Thanks for holding my virtual hand, and I shall continue to butter your biscuits for the foreseeable future.

General thanks also go to Moxy Macbeth for being awesome, and to Lanella Little for restoring my faith in youth. Dickensian Dreamer also helps keep me sane, and my life would not be complete without the inimitable (and occasionally snoring) Benbold. 

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never ramble for hours about clothes and skins without it!

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment: The Golden Delta

Tac Blog Header

The Amazing Catwoman:

Well, first of all, it’s too fucking sunny here. Delicate drow skin, even when expertly painted by one of the amazing women at 7 Deadly s{K}ins, is very delicate. I still can’t seem to change from my drow skin, probably thanks to Herself’s magic or something, is really not handling the sun and sand of this Golden Delta well. I hope they assign me someplace shady tomorrow.

The Realm seems amply protected by magic, so I don’t know why they need me here anyway. I haven’t been issued a staff yet, so I’m armed with only a dagger and a sharp tongue.

 

 

TAC in TGD BLOG - 2

Did I mention it’s too fucking sunny here?

Did I mention it’s too fucking sunny here?

However, in trying to discover a shady place, I found so many beautiful things. You have to hand it to the Egyptians: they really did statuary well. And there is a powerful, primal ambiance. Should have nipped in to a contemporary realm and got some sunblock, though I’m fairly well protected by clothing. My skin is freckling white like crazy, though—again, I had the 7 Deadly s{K}ins ladies bring out the best in it. Not that I mind the freckling, on the whole—goes with these amazing hoof boots I picked up from a shop called Avatar Bizarre. In fact the whole outfit is from them. Nice, sun-repellent clothing with some beautiful scale accents on the collar and cuffs. I love that the leggings are nice and tight and fit into the boots. Makes me feel sexy even though I’m all covered up. Which, really, I kind of prefer to those places where they make me dress like a Frank Frazetta painting from the 70s or something. Except mostly they’ve never heard of Frazetta and they think I’m completely out of my mind when I say shit like that. Yeah. Trying to keep my otherworldly origins out of conversations is difficult, particularly now that I’m free.

TAC in TGD BLOG - 3

You might wonder why I decided to come back to Fantasy Faire….

You might wonder why I decided to come back to Fantasy Faire, if I’m yearning for modern-day accoutrements. The fact is, my little escapade with too much world-jumping really did shake me. I don’t want to get stuck someplace before I’m better at it. And the fact is, I never finished the training.

TAC in TGD BLOG - 1

Look! I have HOOVES! On my BOOTS!

But the great Fantasy Faire only comes round once a year, and I love how so many wonderful wizards and sorceresses come together to create these beautiful spaces. Bringing so many realms together so that people can experience them all at once must surely be a great magical endeavour, and I can only smile with unexpected delight as I take a step from one realm into another just as easily as that Satyr, Dyisi, might do it. I must go back and finish my world-hopping training. It’s essential for my job.

I’m rambling. Hard to be focused on duty when the world is so beautiful. And frankly, it’s not the ass-end of faerieland, and I’m not avoiding Herself, who seems to know me from somewhere else. It can’t be Gwyneth Evans, even though the first name is the same. I watched Gwyneth Evans bleed out. Or I think I did. I was in some kind of a trance.

God, the shopping here is amazing. I mean, I know I’m meant to be looking out for shady characters, but I can’t resist spending a little money here and there.

Best, probably to make the best of it, until they assign me somewhere else, and soak up all the Egyptian atmosphere I can get.

And of course you know what that means….

TAC in TGD BLOG - 4

AWYEAH! Selfie with ANUBIS!

AWYEAH! Selfie with ANUBIS!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Gwen
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears Drow
Skin: 7 Deadly Skins, Ymke Drow (Available at the Fantasy Faire!) (Maitreya and Omega Appliers sold separately!)
Hair: No Match, No Passion
Clothes: Avatar Bizarre, Zaahn Female (Available at the Fantasy Faire!)
Boots: Avatar Bizarre, Unicorn Boots (Available at the Fantasy Faire!)
Location: The Golden Delta

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

Wishing On a Star

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I’m wishing on a star
To follow where you are
I’m wishing on a dream
To follow what it means

Whenever I was ill as a child, my mum would stay home from work with me, and we’d watch The Tenth Kingdom, which is like the dumbest miniseries ever made, but it’s about falling into Fairyland, where Fairyland is a Fairy Tale land. And it’s nothing like Faerie, for real, but I always loved it as a child, and sometimes I’d love nothing more than to sink in to something like that now. Of course, that’s impossible. No DVD players in the Wylds. If people even watch DVDs any more.

I'm wishing on a star

I’m wishing on a star

I want all this to be over. I want to relax into my season of non-ruling with an air of festival and light, and all the candles lit, and all the bonfires ablaze for the last apple harvest and for Yule.

To follow where you are

To follow where you are

After that radio show yesterday, all I want is to forget everything, just be plain Gwyneth Evans from New Cross again. But maybe now, now that I looked into the face of this girl called Tac and found Fenella, maybe I can answer some of the questions that have been nagging me for the last — what is, it three? four? years? What happened to us all on that day? Why didn’t we end up in the same place? How did Fen turn in to such a badass, and if she’s out there, what about Richard, and Kevin, and Emma? Can we find them? How would we even start looking? Fen doesn’t seem to recognise me, and I guess after my Quickening I changed a lot physically. Becoming Queen has changed me. Glamour has changed me. The heady feel of magic in my veins like blood has changed me.

I'm wishing on a dream To follow what it means

I’m wishing on a dream
To follow what it means

I hope that once Fenella realises who I am, we can have a real conversation. What will it be like to talk with her? Now, for the first time since the Bower changed to bring in autumn, I long for the summer treehouse again, because I want a cosy kitchen to bring Fenella to, a comfortable space with a big table and a kettle on the boil, instead of this season’s formal temples with their pavilions and archways. I guess the only properly comfortable space I have to invite someone in to will be my Residence. Bran could be unobtrusive. We could sit at the table and have tea and biscuits like civilised people, and then once she’s done yelling at me about keeping her in the Wylds for so long, I can find out about her life.

God, Fen. Fenella. My best friend. My other best friend. How did I not feel her presence near me?

I must set this meeting for very, very soon.

“Wishing on a Star” theme from The Tenth Kingdom by Anne Dudley, performed by Miriam Stockley. 

If you want some background for this post, here is the first post in Gwyneth’s blog, which tells the story of how she came to leave the mundane Realm. 

Three recent posts from Tac also give some history:
What I did after my summer holiday
History part 1
History part 2

Style Card:

Head: Catwa Jessica
Skin: Izzie’s, Catwa Taleah Applier, Frost, Maitreya and SLink appliers, Frost, plus freckles appliers also from Izzie’s.
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Hands and Feet: SLink
Eyes: IKON, Triumph Eyes, Electric
Hair: Calico, Magli (Available at Fair Play)
Necklace: Cae, Interlaced
Dress & Wings: Independent Objects, Liliana Fairy, Jera (Available at Fair Play)

Ballroom: The Looking Glass, Enchanted Ballroom
Moons and Stars: Refined Wild, Nightly Netting

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

Fair Play Logo

Faewatch: The Goblin War!

Faewatch - 1

Presented by Cherish Gelato

The Goblin War

[Theme Music, Fade up, and….]

Voiceover: Welcome to the Faewatch radio programme, with your presenter, Cherish Gelato!

[Glissando]

CG: Good morning, all you Faewatch listeners! As you know, we’ve had a lot of secondhand news lately about a war being fought between the combined courts of the Wylds and what we estimated to be an immense goblin force, tens of thousands of them.

CG: Of course, we hear so much about what happens in the Wylds of Faerie secondhand that we sometimes don’t know what’s true and what’s a fabrication. But you know Faewatch always tries to give quality information, the best quality we can get, so we’ve gathered together four individuals who were actually involved in the war and put them in to the same room to give us a run-down of what occurred from several points of view. On my left here, we have The Gypsy Davey, who helped prepare the Queen’s Bower to receive the all-important Sithen Rose. On my right, we have Tac, who is an archer in the Seelie forces and was present at the battle. Next to Tac, here’s Princess Drysi, one of the three Royal Children, and the first time we’ve had the chance to interview one of these enigmatic Fae. Next to The Gypsy Davey is seated Dyisi, Seer to the Wylds. And of course, seated just down at the end of the table, Seelie Queen Gwyneth herself. Thank you all for coming.

CG: Your Majesty, you’re looking radiant today. Your beauty eclipses the sun. I’m honoured to be in your presence. Can you tell us a little bit about the conflict and how it all played out.

SQG: For most of the major battle, I was in our makeshift infirmary, tending to the wounded. We were unprepared for the number of wounded we’d have during the first wave of the battle. However, some of the other people here were there, so I’d like to direct this question to Dyisi, who has been invaluable in the war effort. I also understand you have one of my archers here as well, so she might be able to answer a little better than I could.

Gwyneth in the infirmary

Gwyneth in the infirmary

CG: Thank you, Your Majesty. Let’s redirect that question to Dyisi, and Tac, if you feel the need to put in any details, just let me know.

D: It was a war, nai.  Noht unlike other wars that I have seen.  Though I can noht say that I had as much of a hand as others may choose to see it.  There was those who sought to bring such unbalance, and thus I lent what I could to correct such being a thing.  Ah.. nai..  But it was just as any other war that has existed as long as such unbalances are too exist.

CG: I understand all wars have similarities. Can you give us an idea of whether the goblins were vanquished? My listeners are very interested in how the Fae of the Wylds are faring.

D: I would guess they had been, nai..  we are still here are we noht?  I would think that had a different outcome have been met, this ah.. interview.. would noht be within this parallel.  Though had this been another parallel, I would noht be here.   As for Fae, I would think asking they who are fae would be.. ah as they say..  better down payment?

T: If I can answer that, at least partly, I can tell you that at the end of the battle the goblins retreated back into their hold, their numbers much diminished. Commander Wulfrich did a good job of making sure that our forces were where they needed to be at the right times.

Here's a reference photograph of Tac, dressed for archery.

Here’s a reference photograph of Tac, dressed for archery.

CG: That’s excellent news. Thank you, Dyisi, and thank you as well, Tac. Princess Drysi, what was your role in the conflict?

PD: Due to my youth and inexperience, and so as to not put myself or anyone else in danger, I was not able to participate  in the battle. I instead worked to hone my fighting skills so I may be better prepared  for any future attack on my people.

CG: You show a real flair for leadership, Your Highness. I hope I’ll be able to speak with you and your siblings at length sometime soon! But let’s get back to the conflict. Your Majesty, you said there were many wounded. Can you give us an idea of numbers?

SQG: I’m afraid I can’t at this time. We have only a few beds in our infirmary, so it was reserved for the more serious cases, while those who could be moved were patched up and sent back to their families for convalescence. Our healers will be looking in on all the wounded over the days and weeks to come. Numbers in Faerie, as you know Cherish, are always subject to change.

CG: I understand there were some fantastic beasts helping out during the battles. Oracle Dyisi, can you tell us a little bit about the Jabberwock?

D: Aahh nai nai..  One who I have summoned from Tulgey Woods.  I had sent him to help Maric and those of his command.  I have been told that Jabberwock had ..mn..  what was said.. melted faces?  Nai…  Did as he would.  From what had others also gave told of, he frightened goblins to flee.  Which, according to many.. is hard to do. He has returned though to his home.

SQG: I didn’t see the Jabberwock, but Dyisi nearly scared me to death when she showed up in my Bower with the Bandersnatch.

Gwyneth reacts to the Bandersnatch.

Gwyneth reacts to the Bandersnatch.

CG: The Bandersnatch? Dyisi, are you in command of every character from Wonderland?

D: Last I was aware, two beasts do noht an entire land of Wonder.  Mmmn..  excuse.. three.  However, Bandersnatch and Jabberwock were given to me as summons to help during another.. war.  One I shall noht go within details of.  If that is of mind to you.  Nai?  But, they protect White Bishop and who I ask of them to.

CG: Of course; my journalistic integrity is impeccable, and I shall never question you about things you don’t want to talk about. Well, listeners, it seems that even Satyrs have secrets they’d rather not reveal, and Dyisi’s revolve around a little girl named Alice! Now, let’s take a quick break and I’ll see you all back here in a moment.

[Glissando]

CG: And welcome back to the Faewatch Radio Programme, a very special panel interview with key players in the Goblin War: Seelie Queen Gwyneth, her daughter Princess Drysi, the Seer of the Wylds, Dyisi, Tac, an archer in the Seelie forces, and The Gypsy Davey, who has been preparing the way for the Sithen Rose to be replanted in the Queen’s Bower.

CG: It looks like most of the major players on the side of the Seelie Forces have survived the war. Your Majesty, how is King Maric faring?

SQG: My Lord King has retired to another realm to rest and recuperate.

CG: That sounds ominous. Let’s move on.

CG: Tac, you’re the only foot soldier here: can you give us a glimpse of your view of the battle?

Tac: Well, it was like most other wars I’ve been in: I guess I agree with Dyisi on this point. As an archer, I wasn’t in the midst of the fray, but rather above watching it. There were some beautiful moments, like when Princess Thalia threw this massive ball of water at the goblin forces with her trident, and then the Jabberwock just came and mowed them all down and the rest of them went running. We were picking them off like rabbits at that point. [she laughs] Honestly, unless it had been a complete rout with the goblins winning, there was no way any of our forces could have been overrun. We had too much protection on the ground with warriors like King Maric and Arahaelon and Commander Wulfrich fighting for all they were worth, and the little guys like me up in the trees taking care of oncoming onslaughts.

CG: Tac, thank you for a brief and informative overview. How is it a clever girl like you is stuck in the archery forces and not commanding a regiment of your own?

PD: Good question.

Tac: [after a brief pause] Well, I’m sort of not from the Wylds. I landed here and have been held here against my will, for something I have no idea about what I did, and I can’t go home until I have a conversation with Her Majesty, and she never has time for me. They’re not about to let me command a regiment, even if I’m smarter than half their section commanders. They don’t want anybody who can realm-walk getting out of their realm. All I want to do is go home to my house and get started on my work again.

[A strangled chuckle can be heard]

CG: Princess Drysi, did you have something add to that? And, Your Majesty, we try to have an open forum here; perhaps you could have your conversation with Tac right here on our radio programme!

[Audible laughter and an air of amusement permeate the room]

PD: No, no thank you; I’m all right.

SQG: While it’s true that I did intend to have a conversation with Tac, I’m afraid my schedule has been very full and….

Tac: Your Majesty, I’ve been here since Midsummer, and it’s now past Samhain and heading toward Yule. I would really like to get the hell out of this backwater realm and get back home.

SQG: I’m sure we can arrange a meeting very soon. [a brief pause] You know, you look very familiar. Are you sure we haven’t met face to face before?

Tac: Your Majesty, if we’d ever met face to face, I would already have asked you about my incarceration in your Realm and I would have asked you to let me go home.

CG: Well! It seems you two have a lot to talk about, but that’s not really the subject of our discussion today. I am sure, Tac, that Her Majesty will meet with you just as soon as she has a little time in her schedule. Princess Drysi, your hair keeps changing colour! Is that something that happens to you when you get anxious?

PD: I, well… on top of the combat training my mother has also taken a moment to teach me a little about glamouring; so far i’ve only really figured out how to change my hair.  I guess I’m so used to it now it just happens without me thinking.

CG: That’s a good trick and a great skill! No doubt many of our mortal ladies would love to be able to accomplish this. Your Majesty, how easy is for a fae to change your hair colour with a glamour?

SQG: Due to a curse I sustained years ago, I’m unable to change my hair colour. But the concept is very simple for the Fae. As we are made of magic, magic course through us. And Drysi, I remember when I first learned how to glamour clothes and nail colours and things like that: for several weeks I just kept changing them, but there was a point where it became so normal to me that stuff just kept changing on its own.

Tac: I had to learn glamour in a hurry, because when I left my home Realm, I ended up as a being who was illegal in that world, and my housemates had to teach me very quickly how to become anybody I wanted to be. [she laughs] Can you believe I went from being a massage therapy student to an archer in the Seelie Army?

SQG: Wait. A massage therapy student?

Tac: Yeah.

[There are 5 seconds of complete silence.]

CG: Davey, what can you tell us about the Sithen Rose?

TGD: The Sithen Rose is traditionally the heart of any Fae Sithin that exists within a larger Realm. The Wylds Sithen Rose needs some tender loving care, so I was summoned by Dyisi to come and create a place for it, then help get it planted in the ground.

Davey with the Sithen Rose

Davey with the Sithen Rose

SQG: Fenella. Fenella Wallin.

Tac: How the *censored* do you know that?

CG: Why don’t we take a quick break, and we’ll be back in a moment.

[Glissando]

CG: Welcome back, listeners! Well, it seems we have a few revelations today! I will look forward to getting you all back on to the show to answer some more questions and talk more about your lives in the Wylds. But for now, that’s all the time we have! Thanks so much to our guests, especially Her Majesty Seelie Queen Gwyneth, who was so kind as to come across to our studios today and bring these lovely people with her.

[Theme music]

Style Cards:

Gwyneth in the Infirmary:
Head:
Catwa Jessica
Skin: Pink Fuel Morgana Catwa Applier in Porcelain, Maitreya and SLink appliers for body and hands
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Hands and Feet: SLink
Eyes: IKON, Triumph Eyes, Nymph
Corset: Cila, Shara Elf of Luna, Silver *rare* (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival)
Hair: Emo-tions, Tariel
Crown: The Annex, Snow Queen Crown *rare*
Necklace: Aisling, Lavi Necklace
Wings: Remarkable Oblivion, Eternity Wings, Innocence
Boots: Schadenfreude, Amargosa Boots
Tattoo: Things, Airell
Apothecary Cupboard & Contents: Artisan Fantasy Apothecary Gacha (Available at the Artisan Fantasy Main Store)
Apothecary Chest of Drawers: PPK, Healer Small Cabinet
Apothecary Box: Artisan Fantasy, Portable Apothecary
Infirmary Beds: PPK, Healer Exam Bed

Gwyneth Meeting Dyisi and the Bandersnatch in the Bower:
Head: Catwa Jessica
Skin: Izzie’s, Catwa Taleah Applier, Frost, Maitreya and SLink appliers, Frost
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Hands and Feet: SLink
Eyes: IKON, Triumph Eyes, Nymph
Circlet: Junbug, The Sabrina Circlet
Hair: Analog Dog, Gwen
Necklace, Cae, Cernunnos
Leggings and Sweater: M.BIRDIEstory, Loozy (Available at Uber)
Boots: 22769, Jika-Tabi Red Leather
Flower Circle: The Looking Glass, Dream Fields Circle (New from The Looking Glass)
Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Wood

The Amazing Catwoman:
Body, Hands, & Feet
: SLink Physique (original)
Hair: Elikatira, Brenna
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, November Girls’ Group Gift (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store, SLink and other appliers also available there)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Mayfly, Luminous Mesh Eye, Deep Paris
Necklace, Otherskin, Selene
Boots: 22769, Jika-Tabi Blue Leather
Clothing: Azuchi Archer, Shirt Pants and Vest (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Bow: Gauze, Huntsman Bow & Quiver
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Wood

The Gypsy Davey:
Body, Hands, & Feet: SLink Physique (original)
Hair: EMO-tions, Michael
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Damien Box 5, Smoked (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store, SLink and other appliers also available there)
Ears: BentBox, Sylvan Ears (Available at We Love Roleplay)
Eyes: IKON, Sovereign Eyes, Electric
Sweater: Body Factory, Schott Sweater, (Available at Sad November)
Jeans: Ar2 Style, Biker Jeans
Necklace: Earthstones Celtic Claddagh Necklace
Boots: 22769, Jika-Tabi Black Leather
Rose Wall: Artisan Fantasy Wall Building Kit
Sithen Rose: The Looking Glass, Hearts Like China Roses
Surrounding Roses: {anc} Sugar Rose Field

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

7ds

The Amazing Catwoman: A History, Part 2

The Amazing Catwoman:

The Amazing Catwoman:

Right, so I have a few hours before I have to go down and do Goblin Guard Duty for Her Seelie Won’t-Let-Me-Out-Of-Her-Realmness, so I guess I’d better record a little bit more about what happened to me in House Geasan and how things went after the five people who lived there (yes, even Shari!) accepted me into their occasionally merry and always interesting band of mayhem.

Shari spent weeks teaching me how to glamour my skin. Every day, we’d get it a shade or two lighter and more human looking, and every night it’d go away, and every morning she’d throw something at me because I hadn’t made the glamour strong enough to hold up overnight.

“What are you gonna do,” she used to ask, “when the Secret Police come crashing through our doors one day and discover you’re a Svart? You’ll be sent off to Faerie, tortured til you can’t stand up, or worse!”

I often retorted that House Geasan would be in even more trouble for harbouring a Svart than I would be for being one, but she didn’t really buy it.

Anyway, the morning finally came up when she didn't throw anything at me.

Anyway, the morning finally came when she didn’t throw anything at me.

Anyway, the morning finally came when she didn’t throw anything at me. I was sleeping on an old couch that belonged to some relative of David’s by this point, in a room that used to be a cellar closet but, once we’d (well, I’d) scrubbed all the damp out and cleaned up the walls, added an old trunk and an armchair, a couple of lamps and an ottoman, most of which were already in storage in the cellar anyway, David said I could have the room for myself, and Shari became much nicer to me after that—except for the throwing random shit at me in the mornings bit.

I stretched. There wasn’t a window in the cellar, so there was no way to tell what time it was.

“Breakfast, you pale bitch!” Shari finally called from the kitchen. I went upstairs to find that she was actually cooking breakfast. I don’t think I’d ever realised Shari ate anything but crisps and seaweed before this. “And you can have the day off,” she said. She even smiled at me.

So I spent the day mostly lounging on the couch.

So I planned to spend the day mostly lounging on the couch.

So I planned to spend the day mostly lounging on the couch. It felt good!

My respite didn’t last long, though.

“You want to start learning some magic?” Owen asked.

“You want to start learning some magic?” Owen asked; it was probably some time after noon. Owen was the resident magic expert in the House, and he did things like help the team hide themselves when necessary, provide distractions, that sort of thing. Back then, I didn’t know what they all did for a living, but, yeah. I knew it was probably not completely on the up and up.

“I thought it was my day off,” I replied.

“I thought it was my day off, I replied.

“Smart-arse. Nobody gets a day off,” Owen said.

“Shari said I could have the day off!”

“Shari is an idiot,” Owen said. “Nobody gets a day off. Here.”

He threw a stack of notebooks at me, which my memory says I caught neatly.

He threw a stack of notebooks at me, which my memory says I caught neatly.

He threw a stack of notebooks at me, which my memory says I caught neatly: goddess knows what actually happened.

“What am I meant to do with these?” I wondered.

“What am I meant to do with these?” I wondered.

“You’ll need them for writing shit down.” Owen came and sat down in the arm chair. He handed me a ballpoint pen. “Now, you want to start simple. Write down all the steps you go through to glamour yourself. And,” he squinted at me. “You really ought to do something about your eyes. They look weird.”

“Look,” I said. “I already told Shari. I’m not changing my ears, and I’m not changing my eyes.”

He shrugged. “Your funeral, but you should learn to glamour them for when you start running jobs with us. Lios Alfar have light eyes, green, grey, blue, doesn’t matter, but they’re always light.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Yeah; yours are still yellow even when you do that,” he said, unaffected by my sarcasm. He pointed at the notebooks. “Start with your glamour. How you manage it. How you make it strong. Writing it down will help you remember.”

Yeah, I remember that pretty clearly. After that, there was a lot of writing and writing and writing.

Once I’d got the knack of writing down spells, David took me through physical training, which was rough, but fun. After that, I started doing small jobs with the team, mostly light corporate espionage, but at least I was able to earn my keep.

And I'll never forget the day I bought my first actual for-me outfit.

And I’ll never forget the day I bought my first actual for-me outfit.

And I’ll never forget the day I bought my first actual for-me outfit with the money I’d earned. Oh, the feel of leather again, instead of charity shop stuff and hand-me-downs from girls who’d long passed through the House.

I remember that day because that was the day Owen came down into the cellar again.

“I brought you something,” he said. And he pointed to the crate.

“I brought you something,” He said. And he pointed to the crate.

“What the fuck is that?” I said, staring at the small mountain of books he’d placed there.

“Your next lesson,” he said as he settled in to the arm chair. “Those are grimoires.”

“Grimoires?” I said. “You mean books of magic.”

“Grimoires?” I said. “You mean books of magic?”

“Go to the head of the class,” Owen said. “Now, put away that novel, and if I ever see you put down a grimoire like that, I’ll beat you with it before I make you straighten each page magically and mend the spine.”

“So…. You want me to read these.”

“So…. You want me to read these.”

“I want you to study them. Somewhere inside those books, and those are all the grimoires we have at the house, you’ll find things that you can and can’t do, and we’ll ascertain and develop your personal magical style from what you come up with.”

“But there have got to be like twenty books there!”

He nodded and smiled. “And some of them are handwritten, so this won’t be an easy task.”

“Couldn’t I just do more physical training and let David beat me up again?”

Owen snorted. “And why should David get to have all the fun, hm? There are only seventeen books, by the way.” I think he had to count while we were talking.

I sat down on the couch and stared at the books as if they might attack.

I sat down on the couch and stared at the books as if they might attack.

I sat down on the couch and stared at the books as if they might attack. “You know I don’t like to read, Owen,” I said evenly.

“Says the girl who’s got A Wizard of Earthsea propped open on her night table,” Owen said.

“That’s different: it’s a novel.”

“Think of these as novels too,” Owen suggested.

“Think of these as novels too,” Owen suggested. “Only they’re novels written by people, about their real lives. It’s a little like reading someone else’s diary. There’s all kinds of personal shit in therm.”

I still wasn’t convinced. But I did know I was losing this argument.

“Fine,” I snapped. “Just start with the one on the top, I presume?”

“Fine, I snapped. “Just start with the one on the top, I presume?”

Owen sighed. “I don’t care which one you start with. But I want you to study each and every one.”

I knew it was foolish to ask the next question. “And then?”

“And then,” Owen said, with a smug smile, “you can start writing your own grimoire.”

“And then,” Owen said with a smug smile, “you can start writing your own grimoire.”

Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Style Cards:

First set of photos (cami and jeans):
Body: Maitreya
Hair: Mina, Elin (Available at Tres Chic!)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Malika, Chestnut (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store; Maitreya and SLink appliers also available there!)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene
Clothes: Echo, Seri Cami, Hali Skinny Jeans (Available at the Echo Main Store!)
Shoes: Ingenue, Pandora Flats, Noir

Second Set of Photos (leather jacket):
Body: 
Maitreya
Hair: 
Mina, Grace
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Malika, Chestnut (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store; Maitreya and SLink appliers also available there!)
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: 
Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes
Ring: 
Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: 
Otherskin, Selene
Clothes and Boots: Flippant, Sometime (Available at the Flippant Main Store!)

Scene:
Couch, Rug, Crates, N4ARS, Bombay Set
Lamps: What Next
Armchair:
Atelier Visconti
Ottoman: Trompe Loeill

Special thanks to Moxy Macbeth for lending me some lamps! Even though she was super fine!

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

WLTB 500x500

skinlogodiap

The Princess in the Forest

The Amazing Catwoman:

The Amazing Catwoman:

Once upon a time, there was a brave adventurer, and her journey took her to many far lands. And in these far lands, she came across many wondrous beings and experienced many wondrous things.

But one thing, she did not like very much. One day, she was out hunting ghosts and got herself all turned around. And because she knew what she was doing with her realm-hopping skills (and they were mad skilz!), she zapped herself into another realm to get away from the Bad Ghosts. Only this realm had Sharks. So then she zapped herself into a quieter realm, but in this one she was a freaky Queen with weird servants in a very quiet house with music that had no backbeat. So of course she hopped out of that realm too, and then she got really confused.

And she isn’t sure what happened next, because after that the only thing she really remembers clearly (aside from some guy named Russel and a VW minivan) is landing, on her back, on an altar. In Faerie.

Problem was, it was the Faery Queen’s altar, and the Queen found out about it, and apparently there might have been some sort of temporal rift or some shit like that.

So then she got stuck in this realm because the Queen put a Geas on her to stay until she sorted her shit out. As if.

She got this gig guarding the Queen’s Realm against Goblins, and she wasn’t sure there were any goblins, and she spent her days off out in the Great Fae Forest, hunting and fishing and generally exploring.

And then one day she came upon the Wyld Weald. Which is some sort of scary old forest.

Anyway, in the Wyld Weald, she met a girl. A very skinny girl.

Here is a picture of the very skinny girl.

Here is a picture of the very skinny girl.

Here is a picture of the very skinny girl. Well, this is a picture of the very skinny girl after she’d hurriedly pulled her clothes on and made a move to step out of the water.

You see, the bold adventurer had surprised the very skinny girl while she was bathing. Now, the bold adventurer was very smart, so when she heard splashing sounds and humming coming from the pool up ahead— oh, fuck it.

Right. I heard these splashing sounds from the pool, so I knew there must be a (very unwary!) sentient being there, particularly as she was humming something I almost recognised. I mean, it sounded a bit like an Adele song. But then everything sounds a bit like an Adele song sometimes, doesn’t it? Stop staring at me blankly: you know what I mean.

So I snapped a twig loudly and swore or something, just so she’d know it was a humanoid coming up on her. I might even have shouted out a hallo or something: I don’t remember.

Anyway, she called out that she was just getting dressed, and could I please give her a minute, so of course I did.

With no fear whatsoever, she stepped up out of the pool and greeted me.

With no fear whatsoever, she stepped up out of the pool and greeted me.

With no fear whatsoever, she stepped up out of the pool and greeted me. She was right cheeky! I liked her immediately. Said no way could I steal her campsite, but she’d welcome me to stay there for a bit if I wanted, as she hadn’t seen another soul in days.

I gave her my name and some tips about keeping her little fire going.

I gave her my name and some tips about keeping her little fire going.

I gave her my name and some tips about keeping her little fire going. I was surprised that a woman alone out this far into the Unseelie Woods and into a place stranger even than that would be travelling without a weapon: she seemed completely fearless and said she’d been catching fish with her hands. That’s a nice trick, but I thought she’d do better with an arrow, so I gave her one.

She seemed suspicious at first of my gift.

She seemed suspicious at first of my gift.

She seemed suspicious at first of my gift, but then I remembered that some Fae who are into protocol and such have these rules about gift-giving. I briefly explained that I don’t follow those bullshit rules: an arrow would work as a makeshift spear and keep her from freezing her hands off in the cold water of the lake. I guessed its tributary river would be the one that flows through the middle of this Realm of Faerie; I’d follow it to get back to my post the next day I had guard duty, but til then, I had nothing to do, so it seemed like as good an idea as any to spend some time with this chick.

You know how girls talk: we ended up sharing some stuff about our lives.

You know how girls talk: we ended up sharing some stuff about our lives.

You now how girls talk: we ended up sharing some stuff about her lives. Turned out she was estranged from her mother, whom she said didn’t care about her but was more interested in her two more ‘perfect’ siblings. And then she said she was grown from a crystal.

Fuck. I realised I was talking to one of the Princesses.

Fuck. I realised I was talking to one of the Princesses.

Fuck. The penny dropped at that point and I realised I was talking to one of the Princesses, Drysi. And her mother was the Seelie Queen I’d been going on about. I’d told her about the Geas, see, I don’t know why she seemed so easy to talk to, but I will tell you she didn’t remind me of any Royal Sidhe I’ve met in any other Realm. She seemed quite casual, not concerned with my parentage or heritage, which to my mind puts her probably more on the Unseelie side of the spectrum. Then again, the gossip in the guard’s mess says that nobody really knows who the sire of these kids is, except that both King Janus (missing in action, presumed busy in another Realm) and the Queen’s Consort, Nathaniel (apparently some sort of vampire-fae hybrid, if you believe rumours), claim to be their fathers. So they have two fathers (and there’s some question about a former Unseelie King, whose name nobody will utter, having had a fling with Queen Gwyneth—ye gods, how the Royal Sidhe do get around!—before she and Janus became a couple, so there are rumours about him as well. Nobody will say his name, but the guards mostly refer to him as HUM (His Unseelie Majesty), and there are whispers that he’s come back from the dead. I swear, this Court is seriously fucked up. It’s like Dark Shadows up in here.

“Look,” she said, kind of awkwardly, “I don’t think you have all that much to fear from my Mother.”

“Look,” she said, kind of awkwardly, “I don’t think you have all that much to fear from my Mother. She’s all full of love, like people say, and she’s kind and gentle and stuff. She just believes I’m the born troublemaker, dark to the core, from before birth or whatever you want to call it.” And she rolled her eyes! She reminded me of nothing so much as my older sister when she used to have fights with my parents as a teenager. Luckily, I was the younger sister, so they went easier on me. Though I still think my mum would shit bricks if she saw me now.

I explained that I just didn’t know what to expect from Queen Gwyneth. I figure I’ll fall in love with her like everybody’s supposed to, and then I’ll forget any grievance I had against her. That’s how Royal Sidhe work, you know. They get inside your head and fuck around with your thoughts and feelings til you can’t see straight. Honestly, the way she was talking about her siblings, you’d think they were both shining with Seelie Goodness and she was marred with the Dark Mark or something.

I didn't tell her much about my past, but I did think about it.

I didn’t tell her much about my past, but I did think about it.

I didn’t tell her much about my past, but I did think about it. She was just so easy to talk to. Then again, maybe I fell into Royal Sidhe glamour full force and don’t even know it. She can’t lie outright: none of us can, but we all learn how to bend the truth to suit our purposes. It’s the only way to get by in the world if you’re fae, dealing with mortals, who fucking lie all the time. I was never very good at lying, come to think of it, even back during my mortal life. It was something Gwyneth and I bonded over: she was shit at lying as well and always got caught because she couldn’t bear to tell an untruth to her parents, or to our teachers, anything like that. I did mention to Drysi that I’d had a good friend with the same name as her mum. Not like it’s all that uncommon a name.

Anyway, we stayed up talking long into the night.

Anyway, we stayed up talking long into the night.

Anyway, we stayed up talking long into the night. Drysi seems lonely. She did say the Satyr, Dyisi, was really all right and I could trust her, but I’m not so sure about that.

I brought down a pheasant with the bow and showed her how to pluck it. We roasted it over the now hot fire and ate it on the stick, passing it back and forth, while we talked.

And I’ve got one more day before my next guard shift, so I think I’ll choose to spend it hanging out with Drysi. i think she’s a good kid. Heh. Kid. She looks my age but is really only a couple of months old. How fucked up is that?

So I like Drysi. I really do.

So I like Drysi. I really do.

So I like Drysi. I really do. How bad could her mother really be? No; don’t answer that. I have, after all, met Kevin’s mother. We called her The Iron Mum. Probably we shouldn’t have done that, but we did anyway.

Here's a picture of Drysi up close.

Here’s a picture of Drysi up close.

Here’s a picture of Drysi up close. Sure she’s super skinny, but I think she has a beautiful face. And just about the coolest ears I’ve ever seen: she says she inherited them from her father. I tactfully didn’t ask which one.

Style Cards:

The Amazing Catwoman:
Body: 
SLink
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Unicorn Dark Grey Smooth (Available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store: SLink body appliers also available there)*
Hair: No Match: No Exception (Available at the No Match Main Store)
Clothes: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Nirenil (Featured at the July 2015 Fantasy Collective and now available at the Wicca’s Wardrobe Main Store)
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene, Black (Available at the Otherskin Main Store)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears (Available at the Gauze Main Store)
Eyes: Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes, Amber (Available at the Gauze Main Store)
Bow: EZ Storybook, Heartseeker Bow (Available at EZ Weapons/The Forge Main Store)

Princess Drysi:
Skin
: The Plastik
Hair: Magika
Clothes: Fashionably Dead Designs, Tissa (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Eyes: Gauze
Ears: Gauze

*Note: If ever there is a skin from 7 Deadly s{K}ins on the blog that you can’t find in the Main Store or on Marketplace, all skins can be ordered direct from Izara Zuta in Second Life!

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

skinlogodiap

The Amazing Catwoman: A History

The Amazing Catwoman:

The Amazing Catwoman:

So I had this chat with Dyisi, who is a Satyr. I’d never met a Satyr before, let alone a female one: I don’t think they really tell you about female Satyrs in school mythology, although I guess there have to be some, else where do the baby Satyrs come from? Not that you ever hear about baby Satyrs either, come to think of it.

Anyway, Dyisi had obviously been conscripted by her to tell me what a bad little elf I’d been. I listened less than patiently while she explained to me about paradoxes and some shit like that. She caught me at a bad time: after the whole ‘guard this event’ business, I’d wandered off as far into the Unseelie part of the forest as I possibly could, because I was having a problem.

See, I spend most of my life glamoured to the hilt. And all through that event, my glamour kept wavering, and it didn’t seem like there was much of anything I could do about it. After the event, I couldn’t hold it at all, so I ran off because I didn’t want anyone who was at that event, certainly not the Queen’s Consort of the Captain of her Guard, to see me as I was … as I am.

As I am. What a funny phrase that is. “As I am” has changed so much over the last three years.

My birth name is Astrid Fenella Tacey Wallin.

My birth name is Astrid Fenella Tacey Wallin.

My birth name is Astrid Fenella Tacey Wallin. My dad’s Swedish and my mum’s English. I have an older sister, Fiona. I have three  first names because each member of the family gave me one when I was born. Astrid from my dad, Fenella from my mum, and Tacey from my sister, who was three at the time and might have been trying to say “Stacey”, but nobody’s sure. Anyway, my mum  looked “Tacey” up: it is a real name, just really uncommon, and it means “quiet”. Fuck that.

This picture here was taken on the best night of my life, two weeks before everything changed. My fiancée, Kevin, took the picture. It was right after he became my fiancée. You can’t see the rock in this picture, but never mind that: he took rock pictures after we got back to his place that night.

In rock picture number one, he made me laugh.

In rock picture number one, he made me laugh.

In rock picture number one, he made me laugh. “What? I said. “You want me to just point to the ring and smile or something?” I hate it when he catches me laughing, because I don’t like how small and squinty my eyes get when I laugh, so I asked him to take another one, same pose, without me laughing.

Here's that one. I like it a little better.

Here’s that one. I like it a little better.

He is a really good photographer: he is … was … studying it in uni. I don’t know where he is now. After what’s happened to me, I can’t imagine he’s dead. But maybe he is. There was a lot of blood.

Even though it doesn't show the rock, this is my favourite picture anybody has ever taken of me, ever.

Even though it doesn’t show the rock, this is my favourite picture anybody has ever taken of me, ever.

Even though it doesn’t show the rock, this is my favourite picture anybody has ever taken of me, ever. In some pictures, you have to pretend you look good. But I think he made me beautiful in this one.

And these photos, plus my beautiful engagement ring with the amethyst and the zirconia, are the only things I have left of my old life.

It was Gwyneth convinced me to get into LARPing, and I’m glad she did, because without the LARP, I’d never have met Kevin. And I liked the dressing up bits of it. I was never into the fighting stuff: I mean, they taught me some archery once and I was rubbish, so I just never went any further with it. I was happy to be  Kevin’s wench and dress up in cute fantasy clothes that made me look prettier than I am. Sometimes I got to dress up as his slave girl: he always liked that. It was only a game, though: I’m much too cheeky to be a slave, really. And I had one useful talent: I was in massage school at the time, so I could offer massages for goods and services, which usually went over well with the kind of people you sometimes meet at LARPs—computer guys who spend their weekends pretending they’re in a fantasy novel. I know it’s a cliché, but I’m sure some of them didn’t know many girls, I guess, would be the polite way to put it.

But anyway. Gwyneth and I grew up across the street from one another, and we’ve been … we were … best friends for as long as I can remember. We went to the same school, but in secondary school we went to different places. I always knew she was way smarter than me, but when everything changed, she was in the process of becoming a university professor like her parents. And I was in massage school. I guess it was an unlikely friendship.

Enough about that, though. We were on our way home from this big LARP, the last event of the summer, put on by this huge LARP conglomerate called Shining Lands. It’s basically like a big campout, only we hate camping so we stay in the lodge, with lots of role-play and a pretend war, and lots of guys in armour they made themselves. The costumes are brill. Last big party of the event is this big charity auction to benefit Shining Lands and enable them to rent spaces and put on other events. Gwyneth always made something for it—she’s a keen knitter—and Kevin would auction off a photoshoot in character or something. Richard, I don’t know what Richard did. Emma was kind of new to LARPing and just along with us for the ride. Anyway, I’d dressed up in this metal bikini getup with a collar and armbands, and I’d got a good price for a series of massage treatments over the next six months, as long as the winner was based in London. That poor guy who spent £300 to get massages from me must have been pretty pissed off when he heard the news. And why am I even worried about him? I don’t even remember his name.

I remember being pissed off because as we got into the car Gwyneth whispered to me that Richard had (finally) kissed her. I was like, “Why didn’t you let me take a picture of it?” I was always doing that: taking candid shots of people doing what they do. I used to get lectured about bringing my iPhone into events, but fuck them. It’s play. I play with my iPhone. I didn’t have time to bitch at her, because we had to leave the carpark in a hurry or get charged more. So I pulled a pair of jeans and a t-shirt over the metal bikini and played car boot Tetris for as long as I could stand it, then just told them to throw shit in the back of the MPV and we’d sort it later. I was right pissed off that they hadn’t done the packing earlier, but blah blah blah. Nobody listens to Fen.

We were heading for the M11. We got to the merge and everything was fine. Richard and Gwyn were arguing about who got the best stuff at the rialto, Emma was reading a book, and Kevin was handling the satnav. I don’t know how I didn’t see the lorry, but we must have been in each other blind spots or something, because he barrelled in to us at full speed just as I was about to complete the merge. The MPV went over on its head and there was a shitload of glass. Kevin wasn’t moving, and I was having trouble breathing, and there was some sort of a scuffle in the back seat: I don’t know what that was about. I was trying to get the damn window down so I could crawl out, but then, I don’t know. It was like my lungs were filling up with water, and I couldn’t breathe, and then everything went dark. The last things I remember hearing were loads of car noises, honking, some sirens in the distance, and Richard screaming Gwyneth’s name over and over, telling her not to get out of the car. Then, everything went black and I felt really floaty, and I heard this voice, like in the movies when Jesus calls people to heaven or something, only it didn’t say, “Welcome my child,” or any such bullshit as that.

It just said, “Svart Alfar”.

I remember pain, like I fell on something spiky, but only bruised myself. And I don’t know how long I was out.

When I came to, I was on some kind of camp bed in a bright room—the light hurt my eyes, I remember.

When I came to, I was on some kind of camp bed in a bright room—the light hurt my eyes, I remember.

When I came to, I was on some kind of camp bed in a bright room—the light hurt my eyes, I remember.

“I think she’s coming around.” A deep voice, an unfamiliar accent.

“Pity. I was hoping she’d bought it during the night.”

“Shari, it’s a big room. We all have to share. You’re sharing it, full stop.”

There was a sigh from the other end of the room. I uncurled slowly—everything hurt—and opened my eyes.

Shari was a tiny thing.

Shari was a tiny thing.

Shari was a tiny thing—I thought even I could take her in a fight—and her room looked like some boarding school princess bedroom, with the fancy computer and the pretty pictures and the loft bed with fairy lights.

I squinted and tried to focus a little more clearly on Shari.

I squinted and tried to focus a little more clearly on Shari.

I squinted and tried to focus a little more clearly on Shari. Was she… her eyes were funny. And her head seemed too big. And she had ear cuffs on that made her ears look pointy, and her hair was half blue and half blonde. Wow, talk about your fantasists. She’d have been a big hit in LARP-land, I thought.

“Your name, Svart. What’s your name, and who do you work for?”

“What?” I continued to squint toward Shari.

“OK, let’s get some things straight, right off the bat,” Shari said.

“OK, let’s get some things straight, right off the bat,” Shari said. “This is my room. You are here because I am a nice person and I am letting you share it. That is your corner. The rest of the room belongs to me.”

I ignored the guy’s question and nodded at Shari; she seemed to have the authority, at least in this room.

“Your name, Svart.

I tried to speak. My mouth was so dry. It came out “Mumble, mumble, Tacey Willan mumble, London, United Kingdom.” My voice was getting clearer with each word. “And what the living fuck is a Svart?”

“You are, you lying sack of shit, and we need to know who you work for and how you found our safe house.”

I blinked a couple of times. The only thing in my limited field of vision was Shari and her fairy bed.

“She’s got no idea,” Shari said.

“She’s got no idea,” Shari said. She hopped off the stool and stood beneath the fairy lights. “Great, we’re in some kind of fucking soap opera where beautiful dark elf chick comes to us with no memory and ends up being the saviour of the world or something.”

A sigh from somewhere to my left. The guy again. “Shari, shut up.” He cleared his throat. “Tacey,” he said, testing the name. I never use that name, but fuck it. “Tacey, what happened? Did someone drop you here? And if you don’t mind my asking, are you a runaway slave or something?”

I actually laughed at that—my first post-wakeup laugh. “Costume,” I said. “For a charity auction.” I didn’t think he needed to know more than that. “There was an accident. I need to get back to my friends.”

“No sign of an accident anywhere around here,” said the guy. “Look, my name’s David, so now you know that. I’m the security guy here.”

I stood up weakly.

I stood up weakly.

I stood up weakly, nearly lost my balance a couple of times. “Steady there,” David said. He held out a hand for me, but I refused to take it as an afterthought: reflexively though, my hand shot out. And then I saw my skin.

“What the fuck happened?” I asked. “Am I covered head to toe in bruises?” I started looking at my legs, my feet. All this silvered grey colour, with dappling in spots, almost iridescent in the light.

“You’re a Svart Alfar, idiot,” Shari said derisively. “A dark elf.” She smirked. “And you’re illegal.”

“Illegal?” I repeated. “How can I be illegal?”

“Simple,” David said. “Svart Alfar are against the law. Too magical. All deported to Faerie sixteen years ago. Any who manage to stay here are smart enough to glamour themselves to the nines and not get caught. So how’d you do it?”

“How’d I do what?”

“How’d you find our safe house?”

I sighed. “Look, arsehole,” I said. “I don’t even know what a Svart Alfar is, and the last thing I remember was a lorry barrelling into my MPV at full speed.” I didn’t see any need to tell them the whole story.

“You know what?” Shari tilted her head, and I could sort of see some mist around her. “She’s telling the truth. She’s got no idea.”

“You know what?” Shari tilted her head, and I could sort of see some mist around her. “She’s telling the truth. She’s got no idea.”

I eyed Shari. “What are you?”

“I’m an elf, like you, only I’m a Lios Alfar, a light elf. We’re not illegal.”

I looked at Shari. I looked at myself. “So I’m fucked,” I said flatly.

“Not necessarily,” David, who looked human from what I could see under his hat, replied. “Svart have incredible glamouring powers, and we could use another fighter.”

“A fighter? I’m no fighter,” I said. “I’m a massage student.”

Once I'd stretched a bit, I realised something: I felt stronger.

Once I’d stretched a bit, I realised something: I felt stronger.

Once I’d stretched a bit, I realised something: I felt stronger. “So Svart are fighters with incredible glamouring powers.”

“That’s right,” David said. “And we’re going to get in a shitload of trouble if we do anything other than report you to the authorities, so….”

“You’re fucking kidding me,” Shari said. “You want to take in this stray?”

“Can’t hurt, might help,” David replied. “Besides, how are we going to explain we have a Svart?”

“I don’t know,” Shari retorted. “We found it in our front garden, waited overnight, then rang the authorities when the offices opened?”

“And then they’ll send her to Faerie at best,” David said. “At worst they’ll decide she’s some kind of criminal and incarcerate her.”

“I’m not looking forward to either of those options,” I said quietly. “What do I need to do to learn what I have to learn in order to survive and then get out of your hair as quickly as I can?”

And that, minus a few details, is how I became associated with House Geasan. They taught me how to hide, how to fit in, how to fight. Of course, they also sold the metal bikini for money and made me wear secondhand rubbish for a year until I got to the point where I could steal my own. I came up with the alias of The Amazing Catwoman when I first looked in the mirror and saw my eyes. It must have been that evening, or maybe even that afternoon; I don’t remember too well.

To make a long story longer, that’s why I was so worried when my glamour stopped working in Faerie.

I admit it, I became a bit paranoid, wandering around the Unseelie Forest.

I admit it, I became a bit paranoid, wandering around the Unseelie Forest.

I admit it, I became a bit paranoid, wandering around the Unseelie Forest. I kept waiting for other Svart Alfar to jump out of the woods and claim me or take me hostage, or something.

Let's just say I didn't let go of that awesome spear Wulfrich issued me with.

Let’s just say I didn’t let go of that awesome spear Captain Wulfrich issued me with.

Let’s just say I didn’t let go of that awesome spear Captain Wulfrich issued me with.

And after my talk with Dyisi, I don't think I wanted to see anybody, not for a few days at least.

And after my talk with Dyisi, I don’t think I wanted to see anybody, not for a few days at least.

And after my talk with Dyisi, I don’t think I wanted to see anybody, not for a few days at least. So I spent my time in the forest, hunting and fishing, avoiding contact with various Fae, none of whom looked much like me or reminded me of any of the stories David and Shari and the other eight people (eight!) who lived at House Geasan told me. The one thing they did tell me was to avoid the Sidhe at all costs. And this Realm of Faerie? Is lousy with Sidhe. Half the people at that dinner were Sidhe, and I barely got a glimpse of Queen Gwyneth. How odd that a Fae Queen would have the same name as my former best friend who is probably dead or God knows where right now. What I do know is that Sidhe, particularly Royal Sidhe, are not to be trusted as their stock in trade is using other Fae races for their pleasure. Despite the fact that we Alfar have been around for much longer than the Sidhe, they seem to have made it to the top of the Fae food chain and are the unquestioned leaders of Faerie. Probably, I’ve heard it said, by stepping on the backs of the Lios Alfar. 

And of course I'm stuck in this realm because *she* detected something out of whack when I landed on her altar.

And of course I’m stuck in this realm because *she* detected something out of whack when I landed on her altar.

And of course I’m stuck in this realm because she detected something out of whack when I landed on her altar. Which means that sooner or later she’ll want to meet me and probably question me, and mark me as an Enemy of the State or something.

In the three years I’ve been doing jobs for and with House Geasan, I’ve never met another Svart Alfar. At this point, I think I’d probably drop dead if I did meet one.

So after three days in the Unseelie Forest, I returned to Captain Wulfrich. I expected punishment; instead I got a hearty clap on the back and a “welcome back”, and a “hope you enjoyed your time off hunting; we’ve got a new job for you.”

It seems there is some trouble with the Goblin Kingdom, so they have me guarding this bridge between their Mallorn Tree and the Seelie Lands.

It seems there is some trouble with the Goblin Kingdom, so they have me guarding this bridge between their Mallorn Tree and the Seelie Lands.

It seems there’s some trouble with the Goblin Kingdom, so they have me guarding the bridge between their Mallorn Tree, which even in Alfar lore is the centre of a Faerie Realm’s power, and the Seelie Lands. I’m swapping off with six other guards, all of whom are men, all of whom are taller and lighter than I am. Four of them make fun of my ears constantly; the other two are afraid of me. I don’t even know their names.

I'm spending my days doing battle exercises and getting used to the very weird concept of swordplay in a skirt.

I’m spending my days doing battle exercises and getting used to the very weird concept of swordplay in a skirt.

I’m spending my days doing battle exercises and getting used to the very weird concept of swordplay in a skirt.

I’m a little bummed about not being able to carry my spear while guarding, but Wulfrich says it’s safer to have a sword and a shield, so he’s the captain.

And no more of that gold and blue velvet nonsense: I’m in good battle armour, not the kind I used to wear in LARPs, which basically said, “Come at me, monsters! I shall vanquish you with my baps!” with the stag insignia of Queen Gwyneth’s Guards.

Sooner or later, I'll have to meet the Queen.

Sooner or later, I’ll have to meet the Queen.

Sooner or later, I’ll have to meet the Queen. And of course they all talk about her as if they’re in love with her: the rumour is that Sidhe Queens have this almost hypnotic influence over their subjects. I hope very much that one of the great unknown powers of the Svart Alfar is that we are immune to such tricks, but I somehow doubt it: if that were true, we’d be at the top of the Fae food chain, and not the Sidhe. Of course, they also say this Queen is different from other Sidhe Queens in that she accepts everybody on their own terms, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Every brush I’ve ever had with Fay Royalty over the last three years has led me to believe that none of them can be trusted, no matter what they tell you.

I can’t decide if I want to meet the Queen and get sprung from this Realm as quickly as possible, or if I want to put it off for as long as possible. I guess til that day comes, I’ll just stay here on this bridge, where nothing seems to be happening, squinting against that goddamn blinding tree, and thanking all the gods that leather, at the end of the day, is pretty good at absorbing perspiration.

Style Cards:

Fenella in London/Rock Shots
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Michelle (Exclusive for The Lexi Project!)
Hair: Exile, Under The Sun
Eyes: Dulce Secrets, Terra Firma Eyes, Hydrangea (Available at Designer Showcase!)
Lipstick: Dulce Secrets, Bee Stung Lipstick (Available at The Makeover Room!)
Dress and Shoes: Posh Pixels, Punkette (Available at Marvelous Monthly!)
Bracelet: Earthstones, Mesh Squared Bangles
Necklace: Maxi Gossamer, Clockwork Steampunk Heart
Necklace: Tantalum, Ultra Rare Steampunk Book Necklace
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

Fenella Waking Up at House Geason
Body: SLink
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Unicorn Dark Grey Smooth
Hair: Exile, Letters And Lipstick
Eyes: Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes, Amber
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Metal Bikini, Collar & Bracelets: Una Medieval, Irelia Silver
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

Shari at House Geason
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Michelle (Exclusive for The Lexi Project!)
Ears: Mandela, Steking Ears, Season 5
Hair: Elikatira, Gia
Eyes: Boudoir, Fairy Eyes
Necklace: Ellabella, Magi Necklace
Top: Serendipity, Secrets of the Ancient Dragon (Available at the Hidden Sanctuary Event, The Ancient Ones Return)
Jeans: Evilkyoot, Express Jeans
Boots: Ison, Cult Riding Boots, Black

The Amazing Catwoman in the Unseelie Forest
Body: 
SLink
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Unicorn Dark Grey Smooth
Eyes: Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes, Amber
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Hair: Calico, Quinn
Clothes: Blue Moon enterprise, Celtic Breeze (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Spear: MacMoragh & Muse, Obara’s Spear
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

The Amazing Catwoman Guarding the Bridge
Body: SLink
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, Unicorn Dark Grey Smooth
Eyes: 
Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes, Amber
Ears: 
Gauze, High Elf Ears
Hair: Calico, Quinn
Outfit: Phunk, Princess Warrior Armor, Sword, Shield & Boots
Brooch: Miamai, Game of Thrones House Emblems, Baratheon (rare)
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

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

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