Short Time

It’s been so long. Yes, as usual, I have spent all my time working. The practical side of faery is no less real than anything else you read, but it does not leave everyone’s favourite svart alfar very much leisure time. This is my last faery tour job before I take a short holiday, and it involves a bit of a journey, so I can tell you a bit about what’s been going on with me: I’m sure you’re all vitally interested.

Setting off in the morning

Awenia’s under re-construction this summer, so I signed up to work on fairytale tours. Fairytale tours are a racket and a half, but they keep me busy and you know how I hate to be bored. This was my last tour of the season, last assignment, even, and it was going to be a piece of piss; just spend a night at Merrywether Cottage while the Faery Aunties were gone to market so this particular fairy tale princess could enter the climax of whatever story the legend matrix picked for her. It’s a complicated spell system, and I’m not sure even the story wizards understand it, but basically my job was to keep her alive and on course long enough for the plot to create itself around her organically. What can I say: it’s not an exact science, and I’m only a stand-in, anyway.

I do really like this horse, though. Her name is Omega, and she has this amazing Aurora coat design. This year, Cinnamon won the contract bid to do all the animal art for the tales, so there have been the most beautiful horses everywhere you look. Obviously I’m biased, but I’ll miss Omega most of all when I have to go back to Awenia to get us ready for autumn tourist season opening.

Forced Perspective

I remember when I visited the Harry Potter studio park when it opened up in Watford Junction. It feels like a lifetime ago now, but it must only have been, what, eight, ten years? Anyway, everything was so close together, and docents explained how camera angles and forced perspective could make everything seem bigger than it was, closer or farther away, that sort of thing. Kevin was nodding away like he understood it all, and he probably did. I nodded too. When you’re immersed in it, it’s easier to realise how you can feel utterly separated from a castle that’s barely fifty yards away if you’re not meant to know it’s there.

This is a roundabout way of saying the ride to the cottage was short and I probably could have had a nice spar with some of the guys in the barracks before I headed out, but the story says it’s a day’s travel, so I took it at its word.

Evidently, the residents did as well, because nobody was home. Garden demifae explained the three fae aunties had gone out to the market early that morning and weren’t expected back and that “Little Fair One” marched out before lunch time with a picnic basket and said she’d be back eventually. Bless their little cotton socks, the fae aunties did not have any benches in their garden, so I liberated Omega from her tack and settled down in a nice forked tree to wait. Luckily, I had some contraband AirPods Pro and my equally if not more contraband iPhone with me, so there was at least some music (I have batteries. Don’t ask).

I fell asleep.

The Omega Full Moon Demifae Fan Club

When I woke up, there were three interesting things.

  1. No tourist.
  2. No fae aunties
  3. Omega was being fawned over by four demifae

I couldn’t really do anything about any of these things.

Well, I could laugh

I could laugh at one of them, so that’s what I chose to do in the moment. Because Omega was soaking it up like the Arabian princess she was. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss Awenia’s beautiful unicorns, especially my favourite dark chocolate unicorn of train station fame, but if I’m honest I’d just about swap my whole summer’s wages if they’d let me take this horse back home with me. I’m sure Gwyneth wouldn’t mind. We’ve got plenty of land for fae horses, and the tourists love them.

As the moon began to set, I started to worry, though. Surely the aunties should have been back by now. I didn’t want to take the demifae away from their new toy, and a few minutes more in a fairy tale wouldn’t hurt anyone, so I let it be.

“Don’t worry,” said a gravelly voice.

The Legend Matrix

“The fuck are you?” As an aside, when you jump half out of your skin, coming down hard onto the split trunk of the tree you’ve been dozing in for something like six hours hurts like fuhuhuhuhuck.

And then there was a gravelly laugh. “Well, you’re new, aren’t you? I’m the legend matrix. You didn’t wonder why there are so many dragons with polyhedral dice everywhere along the fairytale tour routes?

OK, I had actually noticed that.

I bit my lip. “Thought you were a fucking design feature,” I said.

“You are not entirely incorrect,” said the dragon. “I suppose you could say I am the central design feature.” He laughed again. It sounded a little bit like if a puppet made entirely out of paving stones had an asthma attack. I guess if you’re the central design feature, you get to laugh at your own jokes.

“So I shouldn’t worry?”

Worry

I was going to worry anyway.

“Nothing to worry about at all.”

“And why’s that?”

The glowing D20 slowed, stopped, and began to spin in the opposite direction. “She came to me and asked me to,” and then there was some static and a voice played back through what must have been a speaker somewhere in the dragon’s abdomen, “Just get me out of here, OK? This is not what I paid for!” Some static. “And so I did.”

I paused. “You didn’t send her home did you?” I could foresee that lawsuit.

“Of course not.” The D20 slowed again. “I am the central design feature of the legend matrix, not the all-powerful dragon god of the multiverse. That would require additional upgrades.”

Of course. “So what did you do?”

“I created her plot, of course. She seemed to want to spend her entire fairy tale tour in a castle, so I sent her to one.”

I frowned. “I mean, don’t they usually start off as peasant girls or get kidnapped or something?”

Another gravelly laugh. “When they’re the real protagonists, yes. But when they’re merely the prize to be won, sure, they can live in the castle. But rest assured, I have followed her form to the letter. She will live in a castle and have many servants. She will wear fine dresses and dance at many balls. And in the end, she will marry a prince. So what if she has to kiss a few frogs first? She didn’t specifically exclude it.”

And that’s why I bought a miniature copy of the official fairy tale tour guardian dragon statue in the gift shop before I took myself and my salary (codename Omega) through the realm portal back to Awenia.

Sometimes, even my crap summer jobs have happy endings.

Stay safe out there in the human hinterlands,
The Amazing Catwoman

Notes & Credits:
Enchantment closes today! It’s your last chance to see the beautiful build, enjoy the atmosphere, and grab some Sleeping Beauty souvenirs while they’re all in one place to take home to your own castle. Even if you’ve already been, you probably missed something: it’s an event full of wonderful stuff, beautifully and lovingly designed, and always full of wonder.

Enchantment items featured here:
Omega’s Skin: Cinnamon, Aurora Teeglepet skin (also comes in versions for Jinx Centaur and Waterhorse; matching wings are also available for your Teeglepet Pegasus)
TAC’s circlet: Air, Thorns Crown Gold
Demifae Fan Club: Titans, The Aurora Fae
Guardian Dragon: Cerridwen’s Cauldron, The Guardian Statue

Other Amazing Stuff:
TAC’s stunning new Drow Skin: Wyrd, Nightshade (This is at the Wyrd Main Store, and I cannot tell you how over the moon I am to have been the first person to test this amazing graphite/purple drow skin. It is perfect, and perfectly TAC)
Head: Lelutka Evolution, Nova
Body: Maitreya
Hair: Sintiklia, Connor
Ears: Andore, Hu-gu
Eyes: Yoshi, Alina (I’ve recently fallen madly in love with Yoshi eyes; expect to see lots of them here)
Clothes: Jangka, Hawkeyes outfit black, and Hawkeyes boots black
Castle: Harshlands, Devonshire Castle Keep
Omega Herself, Teeglepet, Arabian

The Way Things Grow

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I should be used to it, really.

I should be used to it, really. Used to the way things appear and disappear and remake themselves. It is Faerie, after all.

But that never stops me from just staring in raw wonder at some of the things that crop up.

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A new faerie circle

In the Sacred Grove, there’s a new faerie circle with lovely illuminated grass and mushrooms that, I kid you not, smell of strawberries. Our demifae are a wonder. I did find one of them and ask, and the only thing she’d tell me was they got the mushroom spores from Keira Raindale. That’s no surprise: the lady is a mistress of whimsy: of course the mushrooms smell like strawberries.

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I picked up some friends

Apparently, bunnies like me today. And this is Tuille, one of our resident unicorns. He’s feeling very spiffy since he told me he had always wanted to be a viking unicorn and so we found him some beautiful tattoos and a horn etching from Devras at Valkyrie Designed. Behind him, you can see where the demifae have made their summer goddess altar; this is our summer guardian tree, and while she may move on when autumn comes, I doubt she will ever stay far away.

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Everything illuminated

I just can’t get over the illuminated grass in this faery circle. And beyond it, you can see the rocks surrounding a new little pond (I must take a dip in there later!). And the Cats and Caitsidhe were apparently so happy with our hosting a Summerlands for cats here that they’ve added a temple in the roots of the Shrine Tree. I’m glad they’ve chosen us.

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Dancing Elf

Our dancing elf statue ended up here? I expected to find this in the Book Forest; which reminds me, I must get over there and explore sometime soon: there’s no telling what the stories have been getting up to. You can’t stop stories, no matter how hard you try. Stories just are. They persist, and if you won’t tell them, they’ll tell themselves.

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The little dryad!

Haha! I didn’t even notice this lovely little dryad the demifae placed here on the summer guardian altar. What thoughtful little creatures they are. And they’ve left a guard, right in her hand. I hope they’re giving you regular breaks, guard of the guardian.

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Next Stop?

I stepped across to spend some time with the memory of our gone-forward cats, and shed a few tears for cats I’m missing especially right now. I think it’s safe to say the sacred grove is ready.

I do still want to spend some quiet time in that bathing pool, though. Maybe soon.

Notes and Credits:
The Halter With Tassels: PaperMoon, Gelsey Halter (get it at Midsummer Enchantment—hurry, the event closes on 26 July!)
Those Amazing Boots: Wicca’s Originals, Lyndis Boots (get them at Midsummer Enchantment—hurry, the event closes on 26 July!)
The Hair That Makes You Wanna Know How Gwyneth Got Such Amazing Hair: Analog Dog (natch!) Fluttercup (it’s new at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
But Those Jeans Though: Blueberry, Evie Jeans
Gloves? Those are so cool!: Masoom, Petra Gloves (these are at the currently-running [til 25 July] Cosmopolitan)
Choker: Kibitz, Tricia’s Choker (at Kustom9)
Sparkly Antlers: Attic, Fairy Horn (also at Kustom9)
Circlet: Amias, Edana
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Evolution Lake
Skin: DeeTalez, Jane for Lelutka Evolution, in Celtic
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition

Environment: Awenia Faerie, Sacred Grove (open soon!)
Amazing Fairy Circle: Raindale, Fairy Circle (get it at Midsummer Enchantment—hurry, the event closes on 26 July!)
Grove Trees include:
Happy Mood: Garden Tree10 – A (ground shape2) LI:14
Happy Mood: Fallen Tree – flowers LI:9
Little Branch: AppleTree, BuckTHorn, DownyBirch, GreenAsh, HawThornTree
Summer Guardian Tree: HarshLands, The Summer Guardian
Offering Table: *ionic* Forest Tree Table
Bonsai Dryad: *HEXtraordinary* Bonsai Dryad
Summer Guardian Roses: Heart, Classic & Wild Roses
Summer Guardian Food Offerings: Kopfkino, Royal Pavilion various food
Cat Shrine: Maru Kado
Ground Cover: Happy Mood, Sweet Garden Grass 08, Raindale, Fairy Grass
Tuille the Unicorn: Teegle, Unicorn
Unicorn Mods: Skin, Cinnamon, Silver Buckskin. Tattoos and horn: Valkyrie Designed, unicorn horn, engraved light brown, and tattoo, Celtic Shields

ping me in world if you’d like to know about anything else!

 

The Hazards of Contemporary Life, According to The Amazing Catwoman

First of all, they always put you up in a place with a name that only sounds good. “423 Windsor Terrace, LakeView, Limenós” sounds pretty posh, doesn’t it?

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Yeah. Only the view was posh.

Yeah. Only the view was posh.

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The rest was Neo-Modern Flophouse, but I was only there for one night, so.

The rest was Neo-Modern Flophouse, but I was only there for one night. At least there were no bugs in the bed, and it’s not like it was dirty. Everything was reasonable, just not as nice as the view. Well, the armchair was pretty good.

I was only there for a quick job, and then it was onto a train to a ferry port and out to Awenia, where I was still mostly hiding out in the big forest and keeping far away from her up in Faerie. One of those “What Could Possibly Go Wrong” moments could have happened right then, except I was too smart for it. Totes McGoats.

All I had to do was show up at the Limenós main train station, cast a spell on a couple of marks, and then slip down into the station to head for the Dragonstar, and then home, or as close as I get to it these days. Simples. I didn’t even have to work too hard on the glamour, though of course it’s still not OK to be Svart Alfar no matter what Stupid Event Or Other has convinced people it’s OK to be Elfy in public or whatever.

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Gotcha! Spell went off without a hitch.

Gotcha! Spell went off without a hitch; these two marks couldn’t see Elfin magic for whatever reason, and I didn’t stick around to find out what the premixed spell was actually going to do to them; that’s above my pay grade most of the time. I was just happy they were parked on a side street and about to engage in the time-honoured tradition of pre-trip snogging to notice a shady elf in leather lurking around behind them. I do like it when they give me these jobs within walking distance of the getaway train, though. Makes for better reading, less indigestion, you get the picture. With an hour to go before my train left, I had enough time to get a good seat, maybe even upgrade a class and put my feet up for the ten-hour trek to the ferry port.

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There is no escape.

And although I was sure I wasn’t followed down into the subway that led to the Dragonstar platform, there is at least one entity I can’t get away from, and that’s her. Ever since it became socially acceptable across multiple Realms to be supernatural, She has been getting work as a model for some perfume company, and this fucking “We’re All Mad Here” advert has been everywhere. You can’t open a fucking magazine or in this case walk down a set of fucking steps without being fucking bombarded.

Yeah. This was all I needed. I should be steeled to it by now, but I just can’t move beyond being angry with regard to that little situation where she kept me prisoner for half a year and then didn’t even bother to talk to me. And then her house got blown up and she had other things to worry about. Bleah. I was going to need chocolate on the train, and lots of it. Luckily, Limenós is famous for very good chocolate, and I knew just the place to get some of the hot, liquid variety before I boarded the train and probably some of the dark, melt-in-your mouth type as well.

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Of course, then things got a little more complicated.

Of course, then things got a little more complicated.

Great. Of all the entities to run into at the bottom of a subway, I have to meet quite possibly the most attractive dark unicorn I’ve ever seen.

Now, if you’ve ever played the The Amazing Catwoman Home Game, you know that I once had to dress up as a fantasy novel cover and tag unicorns at some stupid unicorn preserve. And let’s just say that not very much has changed in the last three years since I had to do that gig.

So that’s why the unicorn looked at me and said, in a voice that brushed soft like feathers against my mind, because they don’t usually speak out loud, “Well met, elf maiden. Why must you cover your beautiful skin?”

I sighed. “You’re not long off the preserve, are you?”

“Long enough to know that companions such as you are a rarity here,” he replied smoothly.

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I tried to find a way to blame this on her.

I tried to find a way to blame this on her. Clearly the advert had summoned the worst possible encounter possible for me.

“Look, I’m sure you’re very nice and all….”

“You couldn’t pronounce it,” he said.

“Do you think I don’t know that? I’m sure you’re very nice and all, but I’ve got a train to catch.”

“Are you on the Dragonstar? That’s my destination as well. These Limenóans aren’t very good at recognising magical needs though, are they? They keep trying to give me apples. I mean, apples are OK….”

“…but chocolate is better.” I couldn’t resist.

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“You are so right!”

“You are so right!” He brought himself up to his full height, which was considerably taller than me.

“I don’t suppose, if you’re heading for the Dragonstar as well, that you’d mind getting a friendly mythical beast a bit of the old bitter cacao?”

I rolled my eyes. “I could trouble myself, but I’m in rather a hurry.”

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He struck a gait.

He struck a gait. “Not to brag, but I’ve got a first class ticket and unicorns are always allowed a female travelling companion.” He snorted. “It’s meant to keep us calm.”

Suddenly this was all looking a bit more attractive. And besides, assuming someone did decide to come looking for me, who looks more innocent than an elfin maid (yes, fine!) accompanying a majestic unicorn? “Well, since you’ve appealed to my higher nature,” I said….

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And that’s how I found myself on the back of a dark unicorn.

And that’s how I found myself on the back of a dark unicorn, buying chocolate at the poshest chocolate shop in the Limenós Main Station (and that’s pretty posh), and getting a quarter car to myself in first class with stable space for a unicorn and a bed three times as comfortable as the one I slept in last night.

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I have no idea how long I’ll stay the travelling companion of a dark unicorn.

I have no idea how long I’ll stay the travelling companion of a dark unicorn, but things will rarely be dull. And who knows? It could be the start of a beautiful relationship. I can’t believe I actually just said that.

Sometimes, while my life is never exactly straightforward, it does not suck to be me.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Lulu Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Argrace, Kazuha
Eyes: Anatomy, Meow Eyes
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Story, Walnut (Available NOW at Designer Showcase!)
Tunic: Senzafine, Meilikki (Available NOW at We ❤ Role-play!)
Boots: Senzafine, Telcontar Boots
Bracers: Lakrya, Yasha Mesh Bracers (Available NOW at We ❤ Role-play!)
Necklace: Bliensen & Maitai, Celtic Collar (Available NOW at We ❤ Role-play!)

Unicorn: Water Horse, Riding Unicorn
Unicorn Skin: Wren Works, Black Opal
Unicorn Mane and Tail: Flying Horse Head Studios, Glitterati
Unicorn Hooves: Cinnamon, Elven Unicorn Hooves

Greetings from Astrid’s Nemeton!

We’ve settled in to our digs for the duration of the Great Faire, in the intriguing Realm of Astrid’s Nemeton. It seems to be a mixture of Asatru and Druidic cultures. The denizens here are (mostly) friendly, although some of them have rather large teeth!

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Greetings from Astrid’s Nemeton!

We brought fae steeds, of course, as one can never be too sure what mounts there will be in these far-away and often strange Realms. I spent the first day of the Faire exploring our Realm on horseback: there was so much to see and do! It is possible to hire a boat and sail the waterways that marble the Realm throughout.

We are in a beautiful little house upon which a tree with iridescent leaves grow: this seems to be the style throughout the Realm. These houses remind me of nothing so much as the temple at Angkor Wat, even though those buildings are made of a different kind of stone. I never visited it, but I recall seeing photographs in some class or other at uni, or maybe it was secondary school: my old life seems to run together so much.

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Queue Marlowe did my hair!

Although I’m fortunate enough to be able to visit Queue’s Realm and have her do my hair from time to time, I always look for her braiding and styling booth first of all when we reach the Faire: there is nothing so wonderful as being able to enjoy the Faire in a beautiful new hairstyle and be able to tell people where I got it! She calls this braid style Janire, and I’m sure I’ve met the woman it’s named after somewhere or other. I don’t know why, but I have a strong, sharp memory of the taste of broccoli whenever I think of that name. Perhaps we had memorable broccoli together at some dinner or other? I do like broccoli.

As with all years, I will do my best to share with you, whether or not you can hop Realms as easily as we can, our experiences at the Faire. We’ve been so busy since the Faire opened on Thursday that I’m only just getting around to looking at the photographs I’ve taken. Luckily, the Faire has great wifi and I’m able to post right from our little house!


From Gwen: Co-sponsoring a Fantasy Faire region with LRRiven of Rivendale is such an honour! But it’s also a lot of work! Obviously, Riven as the region designer did so much more than I did, and Kitori Unplugged (aka Skeleton) tirelessly provided so many scripts that made everything Just Work, but the concept we created and the story we worked toward have been building for a year in one form or another. Indeed, we’re already thinking about next year! 

I’m hoping that for the next week I can partially relax, take in the Faire, and share many wonderful pictures and stories with you. Although these photographs were taken on Thursday just before the Faire opened, I’ve been so busy that this is the first chance I’ve had to post anything. 


Coming soon:

More from Astrid’s Nemeton
The Soundtrack of Erstwhile
A cubic *ton of things I haven’t thought of yet!


Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Lulu
Skin: Lumae, Elvi (Nylisa) (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Pools of Ethuil!)
Eyes: Banana Banshee, Faelynn (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Aetherea!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Noble Creations, Goddess Artemis
Hair: Analog Dog, Janire (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Falls of Hope!)
Headpiece: On a Lark, Gardenia Crown
Boots: !go!, Fay Boots Red
Horse: WaterHorse, Riding Horse, English WarmBlood
Horse Skin: Cinnamon, Celestial Pearl
Unicorn Mods: Jinx, Unicorn Set (Not new, but you can get it at the Jinx store in the Fantasy Faire realm of Tiny Town!)
Horse Tack: Aerith Tack FF18 (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Tiny Town!)

Location: The 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, Realm of Astrid’s Nemeton, sponsored by Rivendale and Gwen Enchanted, designed by LRRiven.

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