Glimpses of the Light of Va’loth

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Beacon

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

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A bright beacon

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

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

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

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Dancing Green

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

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What you could miss

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

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

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

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

Justice

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Don’t even think about trying to escape.

Don’t even think about trying to escape….

From the Author: Yeah, I know; I’m not a one-photo-is-a-blog-post kind of girl, but sometimes an image just hits me over the head so strongly I can’t escape (see what I did there?) and the picture itself takes… um… five or six hours to composit, even with my (ha!) mad skilz.

The outfit, from Silvan Moon Designs (come on; with those colours and texturing, was there any doubt?), is the new Crystalline Warrior Dress Set. It includes the boots, the leggings, the dress, and the cape, and I have it on good authority that the cape has pockets!  This seriously scare-your-enemies outfit comes in seven vibrant colours, and it’ll be available at the February round of We Love Roleplay. And I cannot tell you how happy I am that January is about to be over and we’ll have a new round of WLRP to enjoy on the fourth of February!

I shot this at The Looking Glass, because I loved that sunset. There’s so much to see in Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen‘s beautiful region: every time I go there I find something new, some new little space to explore, and I heartily recommend you take a trip there and don’t just visit The Looking Glass‘ main store (though you should totally do that too). Stay a spell, look around, soak up the atmosphere.

Style Card:
Outfit That Makes Your Enemies Tremble: Silvan Moon Designs, Crystalline Warrior Dress Set, Sapphire (includes top, leggings (appliers) cloak and boots) —Available soon at the February Round of We Love Roleplay, opening on 4 February. That’s a Monday: set a reminder on that fancy mobile phone of yours!
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Vera Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia applier in T1 (All current Lumae Skin Lines are on sale at the Lumae Main Store for just L$100 apiece)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Gwenevere A, Light Blondes (rare)
Lipstick: Cazimi, Dark Cherry
Helm: Cubic Cherry, Valkyrie Helm
Bracelets: Empyrean Forge, Wayfare Bracelets
Sword: Empyrean Forge, Khazid’hea Sword
Scales: Death Row Designs, The Reanimator, Scales
Pose: Parking Ticket, The Stance
Location: The Looking Glass at Horizon Dream (way up high!)

Magic Storytime in the Book Forest

Sometimes we get guests! And by guests, I mean, people (for some definitions of people) who come into the Book Forest to read lots of lovely stories to whoever happens to be there.

Storytime is an important Book Forest tradition that continues on no matter who’s there to read or be read to, to tell or be told to.

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The Literary Tent

This evening’s special guest chose The Literary Tent, possibly because it just showed up in the Forest a couple of days ago, and possibly because it’s a mite nippy in the Forest this time of year and she felt it was cosier.

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But who was our special guest?

But who was tonight’s special guest? You probably will figure it out if you look at the title of the book she’s talking about with all our Book Forest animals. It’s the one and only Gretel of the fairy tale, all grown up and happy to share her story with the world!

She started by introducing herself and letting the animals ask a few questions.

“But why are you wearing jeans?” asked the chocolate bunny

“Because I can.”

“And how come your hair is blonde?” asked the blue-haired unicorn.

“Because it grew that way.”

“Did you really forgive your mum for all that stuff?” asked the adorable grey kitten.

“After years of therapy, sure.” She sensed the questions were going to get tougher. “But that’s all the Q&A we have time for: I want to tell you my story, and also tell you about this magical book!”

“Ooh, it’s a magical book, just like us!” The baby dragon leaned over to nuzzle the griffin sparrow.

“That’s right!” said Gretel. “This is a magic book, because, while I’m going to tell you my story today, I also want to show you how you can come back here and just touch this book, and it will read you the story and even show you pictures!”

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Wow! The actual gingerbread house!

The hedgehog in the hat piped up, “Wow! The actual gingerbread house!”

“That’s right. All the pictures in this book are of my actual story, all gathered from the events as they occurred. Don’t ask: it’s magic,” she said, only a little sternly.

“But how does the magic book work?” asked the tall hare.

“All you have to do is touch it and tell it you want to see my story in pictures and hear someone read it to you,” Gretel explained.

“So I could touch it with my horn?” asked the blue-haired unicorn.

“Sure,” said Gretel.

“How about noses?” asked the fat white squirrel.

“That will work too.”

“Antlers?” asked the gruff-voiced reindeer.

“Yep. It all works!”

Everybody was amazed—so amazed that Gretel used the book as she told her story, adding in little bits and pieces that she only tells when she’s speaking to groups in person.

The best part is, she left a copy of the book right here in the book forest, so when you visit, you can hear all about Gretel and her story too.

Do you want your own magical copy of Hansel and Gretel? You can get it on the Second Life Marketplace!

Style Card:
Amazing Magical Book: Albion Scriptworks, Hansel and Gretel Story Book Combo (Available on the Second Life Marketplace)

Literary Tent: KraftWork, The Literary Tent (Available at The Liaison Collaborative)

Gretel:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Aida Bento Mesh Head
Skin: The Skinnery, Maite Lelutka Mesh Head Applier, in Snow
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Guenevere B, Light Blondes (rare!) (Available at GachaLand)
Blouse: !go! Luba Corset (4)
Trousers: Spirit, Sienna Jeans Black
Shoes: Beyond the Mists, Ribbon tie Dance Shoes
Cats on Gretel: Sweet Thing, Cabootie Cat, Head Plop and Shoulder Bud

Location: Awenia, The Book Forest
Alas, Awenia has drifted back into the mists after our open month of December 2018. You can visit again sometime in May of 2019, we think!
Poses: Bang, Ground Sits
Animals: too many to mention, but if you want to know about specific ones, IM me in world and I’ll try to give you the information you need!

Thanks to the geniuses at Albion ScriptWorks for creating such a whimsical and fun product. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Another Visit to the Rainbow House

It felt good to be back. I mean, I know it’s not my house, but I think if I had a house like this, I would want it to look exactly so.

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A smile and a sigh of relief

I couldn’t keep the smile off my face when I went back to the Rainbow House. Once more insulated from the beautiful but cold landscape outside, I just let myself sink into its comforting atmosphere.

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Home is where the hearth is

The kitchen was clearly a kitchen to cook and live in: no faffy china cabinets or drawers full of “good” silver that’s never used. It was dominated by a working hearth with multiple cooking surfaces and a sturdy oven. The touches of beauty and decoration were simple: flowers on the baking counter and farm table, wreaths of leaves on the walls, a couple of printed tapestries with trees. Nearly everything else had an obvious, practical use.

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Beautiful flowers—and cocoa!

I love how attuned to nature and the workings of plants so many of our Fae Folk are. Here it was the middle of a cold winter, yet on two kitchen surfaces there were beautiful flowers that looked as if they’d been plucked from a summer garden and just brought in that morning.

And, yes, as Clutie had already realised, there was a hot cocoa bar set up on the sidebar near the kitchen’s single circular window. I had just a little taste, more so I could taunt her with the fact I hadn’t brought her back with me (she was busy readying the castle for New Year’s) when I returned home.

Then, I noticed that on the kitchen table, there were two cups set out for tea, some toast, and a teapot. A quick check proved one cup of tea was still quite hot and the other hadn’t been poured yet. I suspected I’d interrupted the shy inhabitants at their breakfast.

“I’m so sorry if I’ve interrupted your breakfast,” I said, quietly but clearly. “Your home is so beautiful, and I love exploring new places. Please, if you ever get the chance to visit Awenia Faerie proper, pop round to the castle and I’ll give you a full tour of my house. I’m going to head back there now, and leave you all in peace.”

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A long, last look

And that’s what I did, but not before taking one long, last look at the Rainbow House. There’s no way to know if it’ll still be here next time I come looking: these little Realms have a way of shifting and sometimes even closing in on themselves. But I’m sure I’ll keep a lookout: you never know when (or where!) magical places will appear again.

Style Card:
Items Featured at the Winter’s Hollow Event:
Rainbow House: Dragon Magick Wares, Elemental A Frame
Gwyneth’s tunic: [QE] Designs, Daphne Sweater Dress, Winter Magic
Gwyneth’s boots: [QE] Designs, Silvan Boots, Winter Magic
Homey Hearth: Candle & Cauldron, Kitchen Witch Hearth
Beautiful flowers on the baking counter: Circa Living, Versailles Floral Vase Stand

Other stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Elvi, T1 (All current skin lines are on sale for 100L at the Lumae Main Store)
Eyebrows: alaskametro, Glitter Eyebrows
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Ahji (a recent release at the Analog Dog Main Store)
Eyes: Euphoric, Enigma Eyes
Baking Table: O.M.E.N., Messy Baking Table
Wall Tapestries: DRD, Vagabond
Kitchen Table, Chairs, & Clutter: All from Apple Fall
Hot Cocoa Bar: Peaches, A Raven’s Feast
Poses: All from An Lar

My Well-Kept Secret

Yes, I have one. I know I frequently wax rhapsodic about ballgowns and the like, talk about beautiful venues, and explore exotic pocket universes.

But….

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Sometimes there’s nowhere I’d rather be than here

Sometimes there’s nowhere I’d rather be than here, Haven. Even though it’s my private home, and it’s not all that special, blah, blah, blah….

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Oh, who am I kidding? 

Oh, who am I kidding? This place is spectacular: that’s why I created it this way. I could sit on my outdoor tree daybed and just stare at the water for days. And then the stars. But seriously, sometimes all a girl needs is a comfy pair of pyjamas and a good book. This book is special, by the way: I’ll be telling you more about it in a couple of days.

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For now, I’ll just relax.

But for now, I’ll just relax, savour the feeling of flannel on skin, and not worry that I’m in a ponytail, have no idea which crown I’m wearing this evening, and indeed kind of want to ditch the whole runup-to-Yule craziness, stay in my PJs, drink a gallon of hot cocoa, and enjoy my beautiful interactive copy of Hansel and Gretl.

Style Card:
featured—
Comfy PJs: The Annex, Winter Jammies (This is new at The Annex Main Store)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Swoon (New at the Analog Dog Main Store)
everything else—
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Greer Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Eyebrows: Alaskametro, Glimmer Eyebrows
Eyes: Euphoric, Enigma Eyes
Environment—
Location: Awenia, Haven
Special Book: Albion ScriptWorks, Twice Upon a Time, Hansel and Gretl
Tree Bed: Trompe Loeil, Lysa Branch Bed

Finally, Awenia is open to the general public! You can arrive in Faerie itself, or you can start at our official landing point, The Great Awenia Forest. For at least the month of December, the region is open for exploration and photography. When you land at either of the two landing points noted above, please read the rules about rezzing stuff and being respectful and all that, and we’ll give you a few extra landmarks as well just to get your explorations started. Over the past couple of years. Dyisi and I have worked really hard on making bits of Awenia, and I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together. In January, Awenia will close to visitors, and we will re-open sometime in mid-May to take you through the Light Half of the Year and into the Darkness again. Please visit, take your time exploring, and if you’re so inclined, help us out a bit with the tier by dropping some coins into the tip jars scattered round the Realm. 

Out of Legend

You think we come from some fairy story?

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You think we trip down the pages?

You think we trip down the pages, as if they were steps from one of your fantasy castles? I assure you, we are there. But that is not where we come from.

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You think we are the stories?

But the stories! you say. You think we are the stories? Oh, of course, we are in your stories. But that is not where we come from.

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You think we are the stuff of legend?

Are we the stuff of legend? You think we are elements of your myths. We are in your myths and legends. But that is not where we come from.

It is easy to blur the borders: we are in a forest made of books, after all. A forest made of stories, legends, myths.

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You will find us in the shallow forest.

You will find us in the shallow forest, to be sure. On the edges, in the stories, in the tales handed down from your grandma and her grandma before her; you will find us there. But that is not where we come from.

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But what happens in the deeper forest?

But what happens in the deeper forest, beyond your simple paths, the house too small to live in but perfectly decorated with the plates set out for tea? What happens when you go so far in that stories begin to tell themselves? Well, we say. Well, then—you are closer.

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And what’s that behind you?

And what’s that behind you? Surely it’s only a shadow. Light filtering through cut paper, light bleeding out from twinkle trees, obscured by a solid object. You tell yourself that’s what shadow is. That’s what shadows do. Isn’t it?

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You think we are tragic creatures? 

You think we are tragic creatures? You think we are sad? No, no: we are watching. We are waiting. We are thinking.

We are waiting for those words that echo all throughout the forest, all throughout legend and myth and fairy tale.

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Oh! Here they are.

Oh! Here they are. Those words that bring our souls out into the moonlight, that let us give you just enough of us to want more, and more always.

Listen: in the stillness of the snow, the words whisper from every tree, every book, every bough, every light:

Once upon a time.

That is where you will find us.

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And here is the secret.

And here is the secret. Listen: I will only tell it once. You may revisit it in a hundred stories, but this is the only time you will hear it from my, from our, lips.

There is no difference between the copse of trees at the bottom of your garden and the ancient forests you wander when you can. It is only that in those ancient forests we rise wilder, and you can take a journey on foot to a place where you can believe in us.

There is no difference between the oldest story ever told and the story that springs into your mind now, fully formed. They are the same, and we are in both of them.

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All forests are one forest.

All forests are one forest. All legends are one legend. Each forest is new. Each story is new.

But I did not tell you where we come from, you will say. I have been telling you all along. We come from the breath between the lifting of the pen and the word on the paper. We come from the shoot of green that struggles up through the snow. We come from the deepest forest, the oldest story, and we are as present in the three trees in the schoolyard and the library book as we are, as we ever were, there.

Don’t fight it. Come in. I have more stories to tell you. So many more.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Elvi (All current skin lines are in the Lumae Main Store)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Sassafras
Eyes: ADD Andel, The Three Forest Eyes
Gown: Senzafine, Emmeline Gown (Available now at We Love Roleplay)
Necklace and Earrings: Empyrean Forge, Fortuna
Circlet: A&A, Winter’s Malice Circlet
Antlers: Attic, Long Antler White
Nails: Cazimi, Winter Ombre Nails

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Book Forest
There are so many things in the book forest that I cannot begin to list them all. But Awenia is open to the public throughout the month of December: Please come and experience it for yourself!

 

 

 

Small World

Every day’s the same. I get out of my beautiful bed with all the fluffy pillows. I attend to my personal toilette. I put on the single dress in the wardrobe. I make my way up to the tower roof to eat the breakfast that will be waiting on the table there. And then, I go down into the garden.

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Surrounded on all sides

I am surrounded on all sides, by walls, flowers, topiary, trees. This is my garden, or I’ve always thought of it as my garden.

There are times when I think I know it so well I’ll scream from the sameness of it all. But then sometimes, something changes.

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A new tree

Today, it’s this heart-shaped tree of roses. It’s just enough to delight me for a time, to make me reach for the familiarity elsewhere in the garden. There used to be a bench here, but now there are just the three identical benches around the garden’s central circle. I wonder if other things in the centre will change, and I wonder when.

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I must be a princess.

I must be a princess, yes? I know from the storybooks on the ground floor that only princesses get locked up in towers and taken care of by forces they cannot see. It seems the only explanation for why I’ve been here for as long as I can remember, why I see no-one. I know that princesses in towers are either being groomed for their destiny, or somehow separated from it.

There’s a loud beeping sound, something harsh and out of place. Three sets of two beeps: beep-beep, beep-beep, beep-beep. It stops for a few seconds, then starts again. Then, by some grace, it stops altogether. I hear a murmuring voice in the background. But by this time, I know that voice is just the wind, and I suspect the beeping noise is some trick wrought by the unknown magician who imprisoned me here, something to make me not wander round the garden as if sleepwalking. It’s not the first time it’s happened: it sometimes happens more than once a day, but always at least once. Although it’s been happening for as long as I remember, it still shakes me, still brings gooseflesh to my arms. It’s so different from the quiet rush of the waterfall, the chittering of birds, wind in the trees.

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My beautiful statues keep me company.

Throughout the garden, there are beautiful statues, and they keep me company. I sometimes talk to them. I imagine they answer back, but I don’t know how a real conversation works. If another person, someone like me, walked into the garden and began talking to me, I think I’d run. Or faint. Fainting might be more seemly in this dress.

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Here is what I would look like right before I fainted.

Here is what I would look like right before I fainted. I’m sure I’ve seen a picture of a Princess fainting somewhere, and she was definitely doing this with her right arm.

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Days grow longer and shorter.

Days grow longer and shorter; that’s how I can tell there are seasons here. I get up when it’s light; I go to sleep when it’s dark. It’s an easy way to keep oneself on some kind of schedule. I don’t know why I need a schedule, but it seems important.

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The flowers change more often than anything else.

After I talk to the two statues, I make my way to the flower beds. The flowers change more often than anything else, but they are always in bloom. I used to think if I somehow stayed in the garden all night, I would find the beings who plant and maintain them, but I never can stay awake all night.

Someone is crying; it sounds a long way away. Faeries in the wood, I tell myself. Trying to trick me into somehow scaling the walls and going to find the baby. It’s a trap I’ve read about many times.

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Is someone watching me?

Is someone watching me? I wonder what it would look like from afar, if they were. They’d see the beautiful garden all spread out before them, the pink and blue sky, the lighted trees—and the lone princess, about to sit down on the bench where she always has her lunch. Lunch arrives in a little box, and I never see them leave it. Today it is a fresh salad with tomatoes. I pick out the onions. I do not like onions. I rationalise my dislike by telling myself that when a Prince comes (and he undoubtedly will; it’s in all the stories), I do not want to have bad breath and scare him away!

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Is there more than this?

I sometimes wonder if there even is more than this. If one day I’ll wake up and there will be nothing outside: no walls, no trees, just a big span of nothingness, whatever that looks like.

Sound of murmuring voices. Sometimes they get a bit louder, but I can never make out what they’re saying. Crying. A shout. A series of beeps.

It’s time for bed.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Cinnamon, Tone (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch) Top Shelf (Available at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Crown, necklace, and bracelet: AvaWay, Pearl Diadem, choker, and bracelet
Dress: The Annex, Lilith Gown in China (a VIP colour) (Lilith is available at The Trunk Show until 18 November)
Lipstick and Nails: Cazimi, Ravishing Reds
Eyes: Song, Demi Eyes

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Box
Tower: Poetica, Willow Tower
All Statues: By Nacht, various (Fallen Angel, Ladder Moon, Armillary Sphere, Forfax, Drawing Down the Moon, Proserpina, Brigid
Large Trees: HPMD, Garden Tree 09 With Lights
All Topiary and Topiary Benches: Rivendale, Fairy Labyrinth
Fountain: Rivendale, Fairy Labyrinth (rare fountain)
All bounding walls: Rivendale, Gothic Garden
Rose with Ladder: Boudoir, Painting Roses in Red
Background Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Poses: All from An Lar (An Lar Poses is sadly closing its doors after several years of offering some of the most subtle, and most versatile poses in Second Life (in my opinion). Everything at the An Lar Main Store is 50% off through the 31st of October.)