A Little Prophecy

Not a full day after I had that weird dream about the talking frog, Bran informed me that we’d received an invitation to the latest theme event for one of my favourite off-Realm faires, Enchantment. And you’ll never guess what the theme is! OK, probably you already guessed, given the title and lead-in here. It’s The Frog Prince. Now, obviously there was going to be lots of fun stuff at this event, so I grabbed Bran, and off we went.

Whoosh! Of course everything there was beautiful. And I might have almost blown the Royal Budget, but when you’re the Queen everything works out for you in the end, so I didn’t worry too much. Weirdly, one of the things I found was a beautiful gown from Silvan Moon Designs. Well, there’s nothing weird about finding a beautiful gown from there…. but it was weird that it exactly matched the dress I’d dreamed about just the night before. Sometimes, my mind astounds even me.

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Into the Ruins I skipped!

I also found this stunning dress from Noble Creations, and a nice new crown from Bauhaus Movement that’ll be lovely for autumn, assuming it ever gets here. Helpers were on hand from two of my favourite hairstylists, Analog Dog and No Match. Also weirdly, the new style from Analog Dog was exactly like the one in my dream. Of course I made a deal to have Queue (we’re totally on a first name basis now!) come round to the castle and plait my hair for me sometime in the near future, but once I got the extensions from No Match in, I knew I’d have them in at least for a week. Unless I get bored…. you know how it is.

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The Ruins

As Awenia reshapes itself around me, little nooks and crannies are always springing up. This one is built around what appear to be the ruins of an old church, or maybe a monastery. That’s odd in and of itself, since you don’t find many Christian-style churches in Fae lands, but you never know about the history of a place. I also know that many of the demifae like to reclaim lands like this for their own purposes, so maybe that’s what happened here. I loved the little benches; their maker’s mark says they come from Raindale, which doesn’t surprise me at all: I’ll have to find out who sourced those. I recognised two trees as obviously being from Sharni Azalee’s beautiful nursery in The Looking Glass realm: one of them looks just perfect for stealing kisses with Nathaniel when I bring him here later to show him the Ruins. I think he’ll like this part of the Realm. That’s if I can get his attention away from his ongoing Words With Friends games. I swear, for someone to whom technology is completely new, he’s caught on very quickly. Of course, he still describes it as “the library in my trousers,” so maybe we do have a little way to go there.

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Bran made me pose like this.

Bran made me pose like this, because he loves the extensions. Here, they are still new so the ends look shiny and perfect. He’s another one who’s embraced technology wholeheartedly. I still can’t get Clutie to log in to the castle computer system, but she says that’s because they don’t make hardware in her size. I just don’t argue with her about it.

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Royal Dress, by Noble Creations

Then, he wanted to get another shot of me in the beautiful Royal Dress by Noble Creations. He still wasn’t happy that all the sleeve detail wasn’t showing, so he had to take like five more photographs. If Bran had been raised in a more modern Realm, he’d be a fashion photographer, for sure. He really has an eye for it.

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A little closer.

“Now, let me get a little closer to you, Your Majesty,” Bran said. “I want to make sure we have a nice shot of that beautiful crown.”

“Did you know,” I said, trying not to be too self-conscious, “that Bauhaus Movement included this necklace as a gift with the crown? I have no idea how they afford to do that.”

“I guess the best designers just know their markets enough,” he replied, though I could tell he wasn’t really thinking about it too hard.

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I really did wonder, though.

I really did wonder, though.

Bran cut into my thoughts. “Oh, yes!” he said. “Look at those slashed shoulders!”

I swear, any minute now I was expecting him to tell me to Work It, Baby! or something.

“Just get a nice photo of my face, and let’s stop?” I asked. “It’s hot, and this dress is getting prickly. It’ll be great in October, though.”

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Portrait

Bran obliged.

“I want to remember this skin paint from 7 Deadly s{K}ins,” I said. “It’s called Focus. I could use a little more of that in my life.”

And would you believe he laughed? He caught himself when I mock-glared at him. “Well, far be it from me to contradict you, Your Highness.”

“I’m finding a frog and putting it in your bed!” I said.

He shuddered. “We’d better get home, then,” he said, “so I can make you forget about all that with an exquisite lunch. Fresh salmon today, with couscous and vegetables from Clutie’s garden.”

“Mm, Clutie does have a way with aubergines,” I said. “Which reminds me to get you a recipe for baba ghanoush.”

Off we went home. I should really spend more time at home: I haven’t explored the entire castle yet, and you know there are always surprises to be found here.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Focus (Available until AUGUST 18 at Designer Circle!)
Nails: Cazimi, Influence Nails (Available NOW at the Designer Showcase!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Gown: Noble Creations, Royal Gown (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Eudora, 3D Arianne Pumps (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Hair: No Match, No Spell (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Necklace and Crown: Bauhaus Movement, Frog Prince (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Eyelashes: Besom, Sassy Lash (Available NOW at Kustom9!)

Location: Awenia, The Ruins
Structure: Delirium + Lunacy, Ancient Temple
Benches: Raindale, Heathergate Bench
Ground Cover: Keke, Dotty Grass
Big Trees: The Looking Glass, The Kissing Tree (Available NOW at Enchantment!); and
The Looking Glass: Will-O-Wisp Tree (You can pick this up at The Looking Glass main store!)

Checkmate

The Gypsy Davey:

The Gypsy Davey:

We heard of a vineyard looking for hands, so we travelled west, to the island of Checkmate.

We arrived to a morning rainstorm.

We arrived to a morning rainstorm.

We arrived to a morning rainstorm, and took our time exploring the island before searching out the vineyard owner and seeing what work he might need from we realm-hoppers. The boys were on me all morning about the length of my hair: Dyisi’s magic has given me more than my colour back, and my hair seems to be growing inches every day. I have to keep it braided or pulled back, or it gets everywhere.

The boys discovered this folley on one end of the island, high above everything else.

The boys discovered this folly on one end of the island, high above everything else.

The boys discovered this folly on one end of the island, high above everything else. It wasn’t in poor repair and in fact looked like someone had been there recently: there were candles lit in the windows and the divan inside looked as if someone might have slept in it the night before. “We could sleep here Uncle,” one of the little ones said. I reminded him that we have cosy vardos and that we’d need to check the horses before we went much further, but then we took a walk a little further on.

Once the sky cleared, I thought I'd give the boys a little lesson in perspective.

Once the sky cleared, I thought I’d give the boys a little lesson in perspective.

Once the sky cleared, I thought I’d give the boys a little lesson in perspective. There were crows wheeling about everywhere: the creatures seem to follow me. “So,” I asked them. “Am I taller than this lighthouse?”

“No, Uncle,” said one of the big ones; I think he’s called Michael, but I forget these things. They’re just the boys. “The lighthouse is far away, and you only look bigger than it is.”

“Now, why is that?” I asked, and we had a lively discussion of how things could be the size of your thumb when you’re miles away but dwarf you when you got up close.

Then, of course, we checked the horse and saw to the wagons.

Then, of course, we checked the horses and saw to the wagons.

Then, of course, we checked the horses and saw to the wagons. The morning was beginning to wear, so I wanted to get in touch with the vineyard owner, who was sure to know that there were travelling folk on his land already.

He turned out to be an all right fellow, and his wife offered us tea, which we accepted.

He turned out to be an all right fellow, and his wife offered us tea, which we accepted.

He turned out to be an all right fellow, and his wife offered us tea, which we accepted. We found vines in need of a little tender loving care. The vineyard owner looked us over in the way they do, sniffed, said, “Well, you’ll do! I can use you for a week or so.” This life, you’ve got to be glad of what work you can get, but by the time the sun was higher in the sky, the day began to grow hazy, the way a day does after a morning rain. I figured I’d best go back to the vardo and exchange my raincoat and boots for something a little more forgiving of hard work and sweat.

I tied my hair up, and when I got back, the boys had already tended a third of the little vineyard.

I tied my hair up, and when I got back, the boys had already tended a third of the little vineyard.

I tied my hair up, changed my clothes, and when I got back, the boys had already tended a third of the little vineyard. “Good work boys, but you know there’s a bigger one back beyond those trees.” There was groaning: they’d been working full-out in hopes this was the whole of the vineyard. “A man doesn’t plant a whole island with grapes and have only this little space to show for it,” I said. “It’s another lesson in perspective, boys.” More groans. Everything is a lesson, Uncle. Why can’t we go back to Faery, Uncle. How come your hair is so long, Uncle. What does that tattoo mean, Uncle. Shut up and be careful with the pruning shears, boys.

Finally we were done for the day, and the boys wanted to go exploring.

Finally we were done for the day, and the boys wanted to go exploring.

Finally we were done for the day, and the boys wanted to go exploring. Again. Our time wasn’t wasted: we found this beautiful little place, again, high up on a hill above everything else, and it looked like someone had taken a posh man’s living room and just arranged it on top of a mountain. Little lanterns hung as if by magic. “Sky’s going pink, boys,” I said. “We’ll have to get home.”

“But Uncle,” they said. “Uncle, there’s a beach! You can see it from here!” I sighed and let them lead me down a ways.

The way to the beach was down the same flight of steep stone steps we’d come up to find this place.

It was nice to look out over the vineyard we'd tended that day, think of a good day's work, and consider the next day as well.

It was nice to look out over the vineyard we’d tended that day, think of a good day’s work, and consider the next day as well.

It was nice to look out over the vineyard we’d tended that day, think of a good day’s work, and consider the next day as well. Almost, I could imagine myself the master of such a place. That is, until the urge for going got me. Then, well. The road.

Finally, we reached the beach, and the boys made me tired with all their running about, and that after a hard day’s work from all of them. Oh, to have that kind of energy again.

How eight boys who can't agree on the time of day managed to make a sand castle together is beyond me.

How eight boys who can’t agree on the time of day managed to make a sand castle together is beyond me.

How eight boys who can’t agree on the time of day managed to make a sand castle is beyond me. But there it is, just about to be washed away by the tide. The little ones didn’t even make a fuss about it. “We’ll build another one tomorrow, just like this one,” they said. Of course they will.

Home then, to the vardo and the farmhands coming round for a bit of music and dancing and seeing what it’s like to step and turn with a gypsy lady. And there will be farmer’s daughters and some posh girl who’s a niece of somebody who’ll wander round, but they will come later, after I’ve had my supper and a pint of something and perhaps a wee nap.

Style Cards:

Photos in Coat & Boots:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins: Ziggy (The Menstuff Hunt Prize, at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Hair: EMO*Tions: Michael (A new release from EMO*Tions!)
Clothes: Equinox: King’s Guard Tunic, Pants and Boots (At The Conquest event!)
Brooch: Miamai: Game Of Thrones House Emblem Brooch: Baratheon (Rare!) (Gacha, at the Conquest event!)
Ears: Mandala: Steking Ears

Photos in Shorts:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins: Ziggy (The Menstuff Hunt Prize, at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Hair: Besom: Derek (At The Mens Department)
Shorts: Trashed: Denim Shorts Smile (Menstuff Hunt gift)
Shoes: 2Real Footwear: Emotion LMT Limited Edition Shoes (The Mens Department)
Tattoo: Reckless: Bronx (The Mens Department)
Necklace: Otherskin: Wish

Location:
The Vineyard at Checkmate, a sim designed by Amae Moriarty, is a gorgeous place to visit and photograph. We enjoyed continuing our story there, and we hope you’ll go to visit too. Don’t forget to give at least a little donation if you stay a while: places like this need to stay up and running so we have beautiful spaces to visit in Second Life for a long time to come.