So, What’s It Like To Be A Troller?

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In the Troll’s Shadow

You have no idea. “Gosh, is your father also your uncle?” “Do you all grow so tall because of troll manure?” “I heard you secretly worship the troll and are trying to bring him back to life.” “I figured you’d be covered with dirt or drool or something.” “Wait, do they even allow people from Trollhaugen on the Internet?”

Oh, very funny. I’ve never heard any of those jokes before.

Yes, I grew up in Trollhaugen. Yes, I also went to University. Yes, I was once Miss Trollbride. Yes, I know how to spell. No, I do not intend to marry a close relative by blood. No, I do not enjoy rolling around in excrement. Satisfied? No?

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Well, you can just bite me.

Well, you can just bite me. If it weren’t for the fact that my homeland is built around a large troll turned to stone by our Realm’s spiritual founder, Saint Megan of the Book, I probably wouldn’t even exist right now, because my ancestors would have been eaten by that same large troll, who then would have probably moved on to your homeland and eaten your ancestors, because when you eat as much as a troll, renewable resources dry up pretty quickly.

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Yes, I was once Miss Trollbride

Yes, I was once Miss Trollbride. That’s a picture of me in the dreaded earring cage. Being Miss Trollbride is actually a huge honour, I’ll have you know. We beautiful maidens spend a whole night in that godsforsaken cage, all to remind everyone that there but for the grace of Saint Megan go we. And it’s not exactly a comfortable night, by the way: you’re so high up in the air and swinging back and forth, to say nothing of the way they actually get you up there. Let’s just say it’s creepy, even when you know there is no more snot up there, not to mention earwax. I’d say I still have nightmares about it, but that would be dramatic.

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The fact is, Trollers love nothing more than books.

The fact is, Trollers love nothing more than books. A book saved our Realm—well, many books, and there’s nowhere in the multiverse where you will find such a love for them. Maybe we don’t have huge libraries here, and maybe there’s no University, but we are a Realm of storytellers and story listeners. I mean, growing up in a place like this is a little bit like having grown up in a fairy tale.

And maybe that’s why people are so condescending of us.

And maybe that’s why some of us are embarrassed to be Trollers.

I’m a combination of both, I guess. Having spent a few years Out In The World, I do know that people from Trollhaugen are looked upon with some disdain, much as people on the Internet look down on unwashed pieceworkers from Nebraska who happened to grow up next to Carhenge. First of all, Hugh (that’s our troll’s name) is much, much bigger than Carhenge. And second, we didn’t ask him to come here. We didn’t make him. Nobody looked at our Realm and said, “Golly gee, I think I’ll erect a big old Troll!” No. We defeated him. So take that, Alliance, Nebraska.

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Fact is, Our Troll is Beautiful.

Fact is, our Troll is Beautiful. OK, he is beautiful in a looming, grotesque sort of way, but my people have turned him into something that is known throughout all the many Realms. And you would not believe the number of Amazing Authors, Poets, Storytellers, and Artists of all descriptions who have graced our Trollmouth with their words and images. As writers’ retreats go, Trollhaugen is unique, and even though most of our people are deeply involved with the land, that love for the earth also, we believe, creates a keen understanding of the truths that tie the universe together with stories.

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The Western Vista

There are also no finer views to be had of neighbouring Realms than those from our Trollsteps. I am in these pictures for scale, by the way: I am a tiny little blonde head in a black dress and you probably can’t even see that I am scowling at you in this picture. In the morning, I love to climb up the steps and watch the sun illuminate Tensor’s Flying Market in the distance. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live there: all that lightning. I heard they dance with Goblins.

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Look: Here is my Scowl Face.

Look: Here is my Scowl Face.

So, yes. I am from Trollhaugen. This is my mother’s house, and behind me is hay to feed our single horse. My mother is a blacksmith, and a good one; without her, I would never have been able to leave Trollhaugen for university. And without St. Megan of the Book, neither one of us would be able to tell our tales.

You’re welcome.

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St. Megan of the Book

Style Card:
Items featured at the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Wings: Lassitude & Ennui, Bento Fairy Wings, Purple RFL (Lassitude & Ennui at Fantasy Faire!)
Coming soon to We Love Roleplay (4th May):
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, River Daughter Gown
Other Stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: Lumae, Elentari Fantasy Skin (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store for L$100!)
Eyes, Lipstick, Eye Makeup: Izzie’s, sparkle makeup (Gacha)
Necklace: Cae, Cressida
Rings: Avaway, Vanessa Rings

Trollhaugen is one of sixteen regions created for the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. Trollhaugen is home to this year’s Literary Festival, where some wonderful writing events have been scheduled. Trollhaugen is sponsored by the Lost Unicorn Gallery and designed by Beq Janus and Elizabeth Jarvinen (polysail). The Faire closes on the 5th of May, so make sure and visit Trollhaugen before it fades back into the Mists.

 

Through Ishtar’s Gate

Through Ishtar’s Gate, the streets of Midas beckon us:
We venture in to Babylon Unfallen.

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Why not dance upon a lion?

Gold sunlight fills the squares, and the shadows
Are complements, and not for hidden things.

Here, walking is flying; why not dance upon a lion?
Why not worship with mosaics for a day?

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Why not become a statue?

And if the mood should take you, why not now become a statue
On a pedestal that seems reserved for you?

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See through the glass of marble

O Babylon, we see you through the glass
Of marble, ancient tells, made-over tales

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O Babylon

But sing Inanna’s scion consecrate
And watch: The myths return through Ishtar’s Gate.

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Through Ishtar’s Gate

Style Card:
Items Featured at the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: Fallen Gods, Blessed by Ishtar, the 2019 limited edition Awakening skin (Fallen Gods on Midas!)
Dress: Evie’s Closet, The Feyre Fairy Dress (Evie’s Closet on Midas!)
Nails: Dark Passions, Koffin Nails: Butterfly Fantasy Nails (Dark Passions on Twilight Spring)
Other Stuff:
Stealthic’s Dawn Hair
Izzy’s Sparkle Eyes, Lipstick and Makeup
Egosumaii’s Fae Wings
Hope’s Creations Arran Tootsie Bows
Musu’s Glitter Bomb Maitreya Body Glitter
Maitreya Lara Mesh Body
Catwa Keme Bento Mesh Head
Slink Pointe Mesh Feet (People should make more shoes for pointes!)

Midas is one of the sixteen regions that form the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, sponsored by Fallen Gods and designed by Alia Baroque. Step into ancient Babylon and visit Midas before the fifth of May, 2019!

Vistas

Since my first Fantasy Faire in 2014, and in the five subsequent years I’ve been blogging, helping with LitFest, working together with friends on collaborative writing projects for the Faire, and even helping with sponsoring regions and offering little bits and pieces of world building, I’m amazed with the sheer scope of the event. I love not only the little details of each region, but the beauty of regions viewed from other regions.

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Trollhaugen and Tensor’s Flying Market

This year, I got the opportunity to help with a region that is literally a flying machine. One of the things Riven had in mind when the designed Tensor’s Flying Market was what amazing views Fairelanders could experience from its many balconies, windowed gardens, and floating islands.

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The Highest Point

From the highest point of the Market, where the wind ships dock, you can look down upon the stunning Fairelands Junction and Midas regions in their entirety.

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Wind Ships

Of course, the wind ships themselves are lovely to look upon, even from a distance.

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Midas from one of the western lounges

Every level of the Flying Market is built with what can be seen beyond it in mind. I love these garden lattices, reminiscent of Mashrabiya I recall seeing in Singapore and other points east.

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Trollhaugen from the east side of Tensor’s Flying Market

Each of the lounges has plenty of seating space for Fairelanders who need a rest, or just a little space away from the rest of the Faire. You’ll find them throughout the Flying Market.

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So many stunning views

There are so many stunning views that I have spent most of the last 24 hours capturing as many as I could from this side of the Faire. It’s enough to make me want to concentrate on these beautiful views for the rest of the event, though I know at some point the story gods will take over.

Get to the important bit! What’s Gwyneth Wearing?

Seriously. Is this not a spectacular dress? It’s from Poet’s Heartand their store is located in the beautiful Shrine Tree region, sponsored by The Looking Glass and designed by Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen.

The Dryad tattoo comes from Seydr, also to be found in Shrine Tree. Gwyneth is wearing Crystal, and I thought it worked beautifully with both the gown and the hair from Magika. (Nina is a relatively new release, but alas, you’ll have to leave the Fairelands to find the Magika Main Store).

These beautiful eyes are from Musa, called Sphene. They are Omega eye appliers, and this is one of the RFL colours. Must makes its home in Sanguinely Garden, sponsored by United InshCon and designed by Eldowyn Inshan and Katz Republic.

This stunning tiara comes from Zuri, as so many beautiful crowns do. Zuri have their Fairelands home in Nightshade Blossoms, sponsored by Secrets of Gaia and designed by Rowan Thursday and Kylie Todriya.

Everything else is pretty standard for Gwyneth: Maitreya mesh body, skin from Lumae, ears from Swallow.

Don’t forget to keep checking in on the blog throughout the Faire: I’ll be posting at least every couple of days, and I have a lot more beautiful places and clothes and skins and sparkly bits to show you!

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Wrapped In Light

We keep our darkness wrapped in light
Enough to help us chart a course
Through every obstacle in sight
With all the courage we can force
We keep our darkness wrapped in light.

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We keep our darkness wrapped in light

Wrapped in light (wrapped in light)
Keep your darkness wrapped in light
No-one wants to know the demons in your heart
Wrapped in light (wrapped in light)
Keep your darkness wrapped in light
No-one listens to you when you fall apart

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No-one listens to you when you fall apart

We keep our fears in jars capped tight
Stacked up on shelves a hundred high
Make sure they’re hidden: that’s polite
While all that life goes floating by
We keep our darkness wrapped in light

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Wrapped in light, wrapped in light

Wrapped in light (wrapped in light)
Keep your darkness wrapped in light
No-one wants to know the demons in your heart
Wrapped in light (wrapped in light)
Keep your darkness wrapped in light
No-one listens to you when you fall apart

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Keep all those treasures out of sight
The memories, the de ja vu
And though sometimes it won’t seem right
Sing songs so you can travel through
We keep our darkness wrapped in light

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Sing songs so you can travel through

Wrapped in light (wrapped in light)
Keep your darkness wrapped in light
No-one wants to know the demons in your heart
Wrapped in light (wrapped in light)
Keep your darkness wrapped in light
No-one listens to you when you fall apart

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Keep your darkness wrapped in light

Keep all that darkness wrapped in light
Through every obstacle in sight
Make sure it’s hidden: that’s polite
And though sometimes it won’t seem right
Keep all that darkness wrapped in light.

Through every obstacle….
Make sure it’s hidden…
And though sometimes…
Keep all that darkness…

Style Card:
Many of the items in this post are featured in the current round of Enchantmentwhich is open til 7 March.

Enchantment Items:
Clothes: Hot Dog, Elven Robe
Hair: De La, Legolas
Face Jewels: Shiny Stuffs, Catwa LOTR Jewel
Lips: Shiny Stuffs, Catwa LOTR Kisses
Throne: Titans, The Woodland Throne
Statue: Titans, The Lady of Light Statue
Lamps: Cerridwen’s Cauldron, Elven Standing Lamps
Willow Tree: Organica, Weeping Willow
Poses: An Lar, The Arwen Series

Other Items:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma Applier (All current skin lines are on sale at the Lumae Main Store for just $L100)
Shoes: !go!, Fay Ankle Boots, Brown
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Trees: All (except the willow) from Heart, Ancient Oak Forest Set

Once again, I’m astounded by the beauty and breadth of Enchantment. This round’s theme is Lord of the Rings, and there are so many beautiful things to see! I wish I had more time for blogging right now, because I want to show you everything!

 

Fae Paris

From the Author: I’ve been away for a bit. In fact, I’m technically taking off through the first half of February from blogging, but that’s subject to change, as you can see here! Last week, I had a lovely holiday in Penzance, and if you’re curious, you can see some photos from my trip here. It was a great chance to relax and rewind all by myself, and frankly I love the sea in the dead of winter.

On to our story….

Some of you know I’ve recently been very interested (some might say “obsessed”) with the Belle Époque, particularly with the lives of prominent women in Paris. Now, by “prominent women”, I do not mean the wives of important men. No; I mean women who did just fine on their own, thank you, sometimes with the help of an influential man (or several), but always under their own names. I’ve investigated several of these women, and probably my favourite resource is this one. It’s full of images of postcards of the era. Through this, I became fascinated with the life of Cleo de Merode, one of the most famous of these women.

Cleo never showed her ears in photographs or in public. There were wild speculations. Some gossips suggested she didn’t actually have ears at all!

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The mysterious Cleo de Merode

Ah, the mysterious Cleo de Merode: known to many, known by few. Of course, as a Fae Queen, I have a different set of resources than those available to just anyone, so when I became interested in these women and their fashions and the way they comported themselves around Paris (or even America’s Gilded Age), it was only natural for me to delve a little deeper.

And once I’d done that, the secret of Cleo de Merode’s ears was only to simple to divine:

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She was, of course, Fae

She was, of course, Fae. This is a memory picture from one of our own, transcribed from the mind of a Fae Parisian contemporary of hers. The gentlefae was quite enamoured of her, but of course Mme de Merode never took a public partner, though she was romantically linked (e.g. “gossiped about”) with many gentlemen of the day.

Famously obsessed over by Belgian King Leopold II and much beloved of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, Cleo’s profile was particularly famous.

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Of course, Klimt never had the opportunity to paint her like this.

Of course, Klimt never had the opportunity to paint her like this, with her hair brushed out of the Marcel Wave recently made popular, and her ears uncovered. One assumes that perhaps her glamouring skills were low, or maybe she just had difficulty concentrating on several things at once, as most of us learn how to glamour our ears to look human at a fairly young age.

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Mists of Paris

Pictured here on the balcony of her Paris flat, she must have felt comfortable that no human eye would catch her in the mists (possibly natural; possibly fae) as she spent time with close Fae friends and allowed herself a few moments of natural reflection.

As it’s my latest obsession, I’ll certainly be talking more about the Faeries of the Belle Époque and Fae Paris. And besides, the clothes were to die for!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Steffi Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma in T1 (All current Lumae Skin Lines are on sale at the Lumae Main Store for just L$100 apiece)
Hair: Exile, Hana (New at the Soiree Event)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Clothes: Belle Epoque, Undimmed Eyes (gloves, trousers, shoes, and shirt) (These are available at The Epiphany until 12 February—Belle Epoque is the first place I look whenever I need something vintage-y and classy)

Environment:
Paris Flat: Minimal, Paris Views Scene (At Uber)
Poses: All from An Lar

My first video tutorial

Believe it or not, my silence over the last few days hasn’t been the usual hermiting. I’ve been putting together a shaping tutorial for Bento mesh heads. It all started when I got obsessed with the Belle Époque and started creating avatars to represent famous women from that time period in history.

Here’s what I came up with. It’s long, and there’s no sound. But you might find some interesting tips and tricks here.

Style Card:
Bento Head: Catwa, Blueberry Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Cinnamon applier in Tone 1 (All Lumae skins are on sale for 100L right now at the Lumae Main Store)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Eyes: Euphoric, Enigma Eyes
Hair (last photo) Exile, Haven

The Stained Glass Grove

I love winter time. I know as a (mostly) Seelie Queen I may not be meant to say that. But it’s true. Being Queen in winter used to scare me: I spent my first winter as Queen asleep (I kid you not). Now that I’ve settled in to my role, or, I suppose, created it, I am more used to the changes that happen to me in the autumn and winter, particularly as the Wheel winds down after Samhain. In years past, the changes have mostly been to mood and attitude: this year my appearance and most notably my hair colour has changed with the seasons. I have been a dark brunette since sometime in November, and just today when I awoke, I noticed a few strands of grey. Who knows what will happen to me over the next few weeks?

Faerie, as you may already know, is made of magic. You may turn a corner one day and find yourself in a massive library; the same turned corner just hours later might bring you into a grove of dancing demifae who … may not have your best interests in mind. Particularly as the year grows old, it is wise to be cautious.

Yesterday I turned one of those corners and found a portal almost identical to the one that stood in the White Owl Island city park and served as a quick coming and going tool for those who could use it. I glanced around to make sure nobody was watching, and I simply stepped through.

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I stepped through the portal

Now, I know I’ve just got done telling you to be cautious in Faerie in the wintertime, but there’s a certain lack of fear that comes with being Queen. Now that I am no longer pursued by him who was once the Unseelie King of the Wylds, I feel more confident about almost everything, and if I’m honest, not much surprises me any more.

The little pocket Realm I found myself in was completely bare of Fae, Mortals, magical creatures of any kind. I saw a horse and a couple of deer, but the moment I entered the Realm, I felt that unwavering sense of quiet that comes after a heavy snowfall. Have you ever been in a forest after a snowfall? It’s as if the whole world is covered with a blanket. Sound is muffled. What you do pick up on are details: your breath, water dripping, leaves shifting. Oh, it was wonderful to feel utterly and completely alone: I am rarely alone, particularly now that Awenia is coming alive with holiday tourists, Fae and mortal alike. Angharad does a good job, but she’s young and needs guidance. Luckily, I don’t have much to worry about, security-wise: Tac, Wulfrich, and Davey need no supervision, even if Tac still kind of hates reporting to me. But there are always questions and plans and events at which I must put in an appearance.

You see? I can’t even describe a quiet haven without thinking about all the things I have left behind in Awenia. But looking out into this simple and beautiful Realm made me want to forget it all, and it was all about the trees. I was glad that I’d worn a suitable winter gown: its high neck and fitted sleeves kept me comfortable even though it must have been cold. Even though I could warm myself with magic, I am reluctant to use too much energy changing the environment.

I love trees: we know that. Trees of all descriptions and sizes. But the copse of trees I saw when I came through that portal made me catch my breath.

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Stained Glass Trees

There were other trees in the tiny Realm, of course, but nothing I’ve ever seen compared to these. Their plain, straight trunks weave into twisted branches reminiscent of wrought iron. And the leaves. They were like perfect, translucent stained glass cutouts of leaves, even when some of them fell from the branches.

One wonderful thing about living in a Realm that’s not deathly afraid of technology is I always have my iPhone with me, and it’s got a great camera on it. (Bran would disagree, but he’s so far down the DSLR rabbit hole I have to pull him out forcibly to get my tea sometimes.) I did get some photographs of the trees, but I’m sure I did not do them justice.

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Look at those perfect leaves

Look at those perfect leaves: I’d never seen anything like it. Perhaps next time I come to this Realm (I marked it so I can make it back), I will ask the trees if they mind me taking just a little cutting from each of the different colour varieties, because I would love to have these in Awenia for the springtime—and all the other seasons as well.

And of course, you know by now that I can’t ever just stand back and watch anything: I have to go into it, experience it. So that’s exactly what I did.

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Magical Grove

This place brought new meaning to the term, “Magical Grove”, where we of the druidic persuasion worship the old gods and make new magic.

As I walked into the silver grass that filled the tree meadow, it began to snow softly. All I wanted to do was look up at those leaves against the nearly-white overcast sky, and even though I got a little snow on my eyelashes, it was all right. It was more than all right; it was bliss.

Next time I come here I’ll bring along a nice thermos of tea, and maybe one of our Fae horses so she can enjoy the meadow as well.

Style Card:
Beautiful Winter Gown: Antaya, The Lamia Gown (Now at the Winter’s Hollow event.)
Crazy Gorgeous Stained Glass Trees: Rivendale, Stained Glass Trees (in three colourways, also at Winter’s Hollow.)
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Crown and Antlers: Purple Moon, Ice Queen Crown and Antlers
Hair: Stealthic, Summer Haze
Skybox Environment: IrrISIStible, Never-ending Winter Mesh Skybox
Portal: Spell, Portals to other dimensions
Poses: An Lar