Don’t Go Into the Basement!

I vaguely remember this phrase as something we used to yell as primary school kids when we were watching one of those ridiculous horror movies where the characters do all the stupid things, like split up, follow the scary sound, and of course, go into the basement.

If only I had thought of that bit of wisdom before I got it into my head that I should explore the Castle’s basement yesterday.

Of course, it’s my castle, but I haven’t bothered to enter every single room: that would take me a month! I’m much too busy with realm building right now, anyway, but yesterday I had a few quiet hours, and so I went down into the basement, marvelled at the glorious kitchen that Bran has put together, and began checking what all was in the various basement rooms. One was empty—maybe I can convince Nathaniel to us that one as a workshop so I don’t have to build him a man-cave as an outbuilding. Another was clearly a pantry, stocked floor to ceiling with stuff that is apparently very important for the smooth running of a castle.

But it was the third room I entered that gave me a bit of a turn.

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I entered some kind of a workshop.

It was some kind of a workshop. Only the weird kind, not the kind Nathaniel would have. It was full of things that resembled robotic body parts.

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Wing models?

If I had to guess, I’d say these were models of some kind of steampunk-y wingcraft. But I didn’t have to guess, and besides, that wasn’t the weirdest thing in the room.

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The walls were covered with weird prints.

The walls were covered with weird prints, some disturbingly of human anatomy. But it was the shelf full of various body parts made of metal that really got me. Arms, legs, even a face. Where was I?

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Where am I? Come on, steampunk brain girl, answer me!

“Where am I? Come on, steampunk brain girl, answer me!” Not that I usually talk to wall paintings, mind. The room was just creepy enough that I thought she might answer. But, no luck.

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I moved on to the desk, which was easily as creepy as the shelf.

I moved on to the desk, which was easily as creepy as the shelf. Well, if you didn’t count the body parts, that is.

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Stuff was left here as if someone had been interrupted while working.

Stuff was left here as if someone had been interrupted while working, including a glowing hand made of metal. Did I even want to know? I certainly didn’t go delving into the little mini-file that was on the desk. I had no desire to know what someone who had a shelf of metal body parts might consider “odds” and “ends”.

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This mechanical heart was pretty despite its creepiness.

There was one thing that was pretty despite its creepiness. On the back of the desk was some kind of mechanical heart. And although I couldn’t see any way for it to be turned on or off, the gears were all moving. It also had an eerie blue glow about it. I wondered how it was made, and indeed, why anybody would make such a thing.

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Extra gears?

At least one of my questions was partially answered: there was a sheet of parchment upon which had been placed a variety of metal gears. I guessed that at least some of these would find their way into other hearts at some point? I glanced back at steampunk brain girl. Maybe they would find their way into some metal steampunk robot person’s brain? I shuddered.

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Finally something that didn’t creep me out!

Well, hello! As I turned from the desk, suppressing a shudder at the anatomical charts on the wall—one of them was just a bunch of surgical instruments. I mean, really? Who wants that on their wall?—I saw something I’d only ever seen before in pictures. An original Macintosh computer, complete with cheery hello screen. An ancient Mac, still running. At least whoever put together this macabre little workshop had some good taste inside them. It was rather odd, I thought, that there was absolutely nothing else on the computer desk. Almost like whoever hangs out here really didn’t spend much time at the computer. Then again, we’re talking about a machine with 128K of RAM that shipped with only a 3.5″ floppy drive for storage. Can you imagine?

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I thought, briefly, about just taking it.

I thought, briefly, about just taking it. After all, it is my castle, and whoever put all this stuff in here obviously did not go through Bran or me for permission. Perhaps Nathaniel authorised this? Of course, anybody who collects and presumably tinkers with stuff like mechanical hearts and glowing metal hands might not be kindly disposed to someone liberating their stuff, even if someone is the Queen.

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Well bloody shaken

I was well bloody shaken by the whole experience, even though I doubt I was in that room for more than five minutes. And I didn’t look back when I left: I’ll have nightmares for a week about that disembodied metal hand.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista, Lia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Bloom (Bloom is this month’s group gift at 7 Deadly s{K}ins! You can pick it up at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Nails: Cazimi, Depths of Winter
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Clothes: Sorumin, Modern Princess Gacha (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Reign, Ballet Flats, Thigh High
Hair: Stealthic, Haven (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Circlet: Coquette, Fairy Crown
Necklace and Armlets: RealEvil Industries, Anabella Set (Available NOW at Fameshed!)

Location: The Castle, Awenia
Building: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle (Available at the Rivendale Main Store!)
Everything in the workshop that is not a print, a chalkboard, or a Macintosh: Rivendale, Tinkertopia Gacha (Available NOW at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!) See below for specifics of the gacha pieces.
Lonely Little Macintosh: Insurrektion, Back to the 80s Gacha

Tinkertopia SL

 

 

A Fluidity

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Gwyneth:

The walk to work is short, which is both a blessing and a curse. I’d love to take the Vespa, but the kerb is too high. Must talk to the Council about maybe taking a bit of kerb out so my house doesn’t look so forbidding and far away from everything else. Not that I want tourists, or worse yet, little kids, to come barging in to my front garden. I’d like to keep my Tardis post box, thank you very much.

Things are quiet now, with most of the regular customers on holiday. And even in our community, it’s not like people go on holiday to spend lots of time in a bookshop. No; they come in, pick out some mind candy to relax with on the beach, and then I never see them again.

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It’s a quiet time

So yes, it’s a quiet time. But it gives me time to read, myself, which I don’t often get. And the warm weather means I can spend some time outside when there aren’t customers inside. Oh, who am I kidding? I could spend time outside even when customers are in there. It’s not like anybody’d have the cheek to steal from me. When tourists come in for more than just a beach read, it’s often to ogle the Fae Queen Who Also Runs A Bookshop. Jesus fuck; it’s not like we Sidhe don’t read, you know. We read a lot. We have a shitload of time for reading, being functionally immortal. I myself often get through a couple of books a day, particularly when the shop’s slow.

Of course, lately there’s been this group of three or four little kids who come in to the shop and seem to be using it like a library. Which I don’t mind: we don’t actually have a library on White Owl, which seems remarkable, if only because it reinforces the stereotype that Fae don’t read. Anyway, I guess they’re between ten and thirteen years old, these kids, and they seem to be playing some sort of roleplaying game, which interests me, but only from a distance, and only in that it reminds me that I’m really here at all because of a roleplaying game.

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“Right, you lot; it’s closing time!”

“Right, you lot; it’s closing time!” I swear, I have to practically kick them out of the store every afternoon. Why can’t they go down to the beach or go hunting the ghost in the lighthouse like normal children of their age? Why aren’t they learning how to glamour themselves so they can get along in Sleeper World across the Sound? Where are there parents? And then I remember there’s that big foster home: maybe they come from there.

“I’m not kidding; you guys don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” It amuses me to quote 90s songs at kids who will only hear about 90s alternative music if they take a rock music history class sometime.

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Finally they’re gone and I can close up. Yay!

Finally they’re gone and I can close up. Yay! So I go through the motions of checking upstairs, magicking books back into place, and tidying up the customer areas. I don’t bother to bring the used books in from outside: they’re protected from the inevitable rain by the awning and maybe a little more, and to be honest, there’s nothing valuable there: nothing would give me more pleasure than to imagine people hanging out at the shop long after I’ve retired to wherever I’m going for the evening. I mean, that’s what book shops are for, isn’t it?

As for me, it’s time to head home. I pass the restaurant, the ice cream parlour, and walk out to the exposed —well, I guess you’d call it a crag— upon which my house sits. But that’s not where I’m headed. Nathaniel won’t be home for hours, or he’ll be home in five minutes: time runs differently in Mysthaven than here, and differently again in Faerie. So much to be unable to keep track of.

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No, I’m heading for a favourite tree.

No; I’m heading for a favourite tree. It’s the best place ever to watch the sun set over the mountains, do a little merfolk spotting out in the sea, daydream. It’s the golden hour, the magical slant-y light time. And maybe I close my eyes for a little while.

Nathaniel knows where to look for me, after all.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny (new at the Mesh Body Addicts Fair and gorgeous!)
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae Bare, T1 (The Eirtae Bare skin has been updated and is available at the Lumae Main Store now!)
Hair: (photo 1) No Match, No Further (Available at The Liaison Collaborative!)
(photo 2) No Match, No Pressure (Coming tomorrow to Hairology!)
Tunic: The Style Loft (Available at Fable!)
Circlet, Coquette, Fairy Crown
Necklace: Tantalum, Slumber Necklace (Available at Fable!)
Poses: Photo one: Johanna Leimes*; Photos 2 & 3, !bang

*Credit where credit is due: I queried over on SL Blogging Support about a pose that would work for leaning on a wall, reading a book, and smoking. Several people gave possibilities, and Joanna IMed me and offered to create a custom one! What she came up with was perfect, and I’m forever grateful. You can find out more about Johanna at her blog: http://plumproads.blogspot.ie/

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never just pretend that Gwyneth leads a nice normal life as the owner of a bookshop in very obviously suspicious circumstances without it!

Ban Síde

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Gwyneth:

Oh, do not fear the winter night
The broken branches dull with snow
And do not fear the death of light
Or any fright that dreams bestow

And neither fear the fox’s cry
Nor fear a tapping at your door
Or worry over some old lie
That doesn’t matter any more

But when the thread is wearing thin
And time fragments to feathery
Then, as you fear the fear within
You may be frightened now of me

 

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Cold, cold, always cold.

Cold, cold, always cold. It is the first feeling when I rise and the last before I fall. And now another Realm, another town, another street to walk down. Another song, another rhyme, another soul run out of time.

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I am called.

I am called. I am cold. I am hungry. Is this the house? No; not this one. Carry on; carry on.

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Closer now.

Closer now. I smell it clearly. From this window, or the next. No, not this one. Next year, maybe. Carry on; carry on.

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Oh, here.

Oh, here. Now here. This door; this light. Now I breathe and start the keening, carry on into the night. And sing until the widow’s weeping on the floor her hands as cold as the hands she still is holding. Always cold; always cold. Wail from sundown, wail to midnight, wail all night and let them cry. Now the gasping, now the weeping; tears are always the reply. Only when the widow’s broken, only when the bond is cut, then the others of us sweep the soul away, elf-struck.

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Finally.

Finally, when songs are over, I can walk away. Forget syllabic, rhyming sing-song, I say to myself, but echoes always follow me. The wailing. The keening. The grief of a hundred loves, all weighing on whatever thing—I don’t even remember now—whatever thing I did to deserve this burden.

And then I see a statue of a Fae harper.

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It’s easy: I rise with the clouds until I’m there.

It’s easy: I rise with the clouds until I’m there, perched on her knee, hand to her hand, and something stirs inside the bronze casting, something that is still alive, trapped for a century or more.

—Lady, who bound you?

—Bound me? This is where I live.

—But once you had a body.

—Of course. That was long ago.

—But don’t you long to escape?

And as if an echo comes her reply:

—But don’t you long to escape?

—Escape? I cannot escape.

—But once you had another calling.

—Of course. That was long ago.

Her laughter is like harp strings, tings of brass.

—I’ll not move until they melt me down and sell me. But you could go, give it up, let the others carry the keening.

—They’d find me.

—Not if you know how to run.

And now I look into the green-cast eyes and think, is there hope? Might there be hope?

—I know how to run.

She laughs again.

—But where? Do you know where to run?

—I confess I do not.

—But I do.

—Tell me.

—So simple it is, you’ll think you thought of it yourself, and you’ll think no more of me. I need a promise.

—Anything.

—Promise you’ll remember me.

—If your words save me, I could never forget you.

—Then promise, and be bound.

—I promise. I will never forget you.

—Now run, run as fast and as far as you can, and think of oceans and deep water, and when you think you cannot run any more, you must fly into the air and fall and ask for haven. You will meet water, and then you will be free.

—It seems too simple.

—All things are. Now run, before they call you for another keening.

I leave a kiss on the cast fingers, find the ground, and flee. I run until I think I cannot run any more, and there before me is a cliff, above an ocean, so I dive. I cry for haven.

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So I dive.

So I dive, and falling seems to take forever, and in an instant I see the beach and the rocks and the waves and the houses and the trees and in each house a sleeping soul or more, and then the water breaks my fall and I am cold and colder still again, and then it’s dark.

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Ugh!

Ugh! I woke up from a dream of drowning. I was thinking how much I hate dreams about drowning, when I realised I was actually in a rather large body of water. Fuck me: I’ve never dreamed myself physically into another place before. And what was all that about being a Bean Sí? I coughed water and treaded water and turned around and found an accessible shore: the other side seemed to be a sheer cliff.

It took a while, but I did manage to swim to the beach. And I don’t know why I didn’t just lift and fly: I don’t think I remembered I could fly until I was already on the sand. I guess that’s what happens when your thoughts are addled by dreams and drowning, one after the other.

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I stepped up on to a boardwalk.

I stepped up on to a boardwalk. The day was fine, which was good, because the water was cold and the sun was a welcome friend.

And then I looked ahead.

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This was a very long boardwalk.

This was a very long boardwalk, with an inexplicable bend in the middle, as if someone thought it’d just be fun to make the journey half again as long as it would have been—or maybe there’s some rule against straight boardwalks. Is there a rule against straight boardwalks? Next time I’m in a Realm with an Internet connection, I shall have to check.

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Onward.

And so, having no idea where I was, no immediate notion of how to get back to Faerie, and no plans for the day, I continued up the hill and on to the next adventure, whatever that would be.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Dyana
Ears: BentBox Sylvan Ears
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae Bare, T1 (The Eirtae Bare skin has been updated and is available at the Lumae Main Store now!)
Hair: Mina, Neah (available at Hair Fair! Hair fair is open until 31 July!)
Clothes: Silvan Moon Designs (A collaboration between The White Armory and Blue Moon Enterprises), Aquella Marina Dress in Grey (Available at the Fantasy Cream event!)
Circlet: Coquette, Fairy Crown
Leg Wraps: Empire, Forsythia (Available at We❤ RP!)
Shoes: ChicChica, Fairy Pointes for SLink Pointe Feet
Location: Private Sim (for now!)
Poses (In order):
1. “Cold, Cold, Always Cold” an lar Daydreamer Series — Fantasy
2. “I Am Called” an lar Beauty Series — Allure
3. “Closer Now” Bauhaus Movement — A Night of Madness
4. “Oh, here” Bauhaus Movement — Again
5. “Finally” Bauhaus Movement — Cherry
6. “I Rise With the Clouds Until I’m There” Bauhaus Movement — Annia 2
7. “So I Dive” Roquai Poses — Dive
8. “Ugh!” Roquai Poses — Surface
9. “I Stepped Up On To A Boardwalk” Imeka — Lucy 1
10. “This Was A Very Long Boardwalk” Imeka — Lucy 2
11. “Onward” Imeka — Lucy 2

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never suggest that my primary rp character is actually a Ban(shee) On The Run (sorry!) without it!

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Talking of Designers….

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I said recently that as a Fae Queen, I think it’s important for me to keep on top of fashion. I’m very clear about what I like, and I don’t talk too much about what I don’t like, because what I don’t like is kind of arbitrary and has mostly to do with my own taste than anything else. If you’re reading my blog regularly, you know that I love the hair designer at Analog Dog, for example. And that I greatly enjoy the skin painting of folks like 7 Deadly s{K}ins and Curio and Fallen Gods. The truth is, I don’t wear designs I don’t like, because even my life is too short to wear designs I don’t like. There are a lot of great clothing designers out there in all the Realms, and there are many, many people and companies on my list of designers I love. But. If I had to pick just one. If someone said to me, you can only wear one designer’s clothes for the rest of your reign… Well, OK, I’d smack that person, tell them to get a life, and probably have them escorted out of Faerie. But if I had to seriously answer that question, “Who is your absolute favourite designer ever, world without end, amen,” the answer would be Evangeline Miles. 

Evangeline Miles’ clothing studio is called Evie’s Closet, and I’ve been hearing her name bandied about since long before I was in a position to wear such lovely things all the time. Even in Jasper Cove, all those years ago, there were whispers that a person just had to go to Evie’s Closet if they were looking for a beautiful gown.

Well, there’s a new gown from Evie’s Closet! Now, I read all the fashion information that’s to be had both in Faerie and in all the other Realms, so I know when someone is coming out with something new. I also know that the caravans, mostly manned by mortals, taking goods to great faires like We Love Roleplay, often take a detour through Faerie in order to shorten their journeys from their respective Realms. One such caravan came through our lands recently, and well. Let’s just say the caravan driver loved our Fae Mead very much.

Available tomorrow at We Love Roleplay, here is "Evonyn".

Available tomorrow at We Love Roleplay, here is “Evonyn”.

Available tomorrow at We Love Roleplay, here is Evonyn, Evangeline Miles’ newest design for Evie’s Closet.

I managed to talk the caravan driver out of one dress in each colour, and it cost me a pretty penny too, though I’ll probably send a servant to We Love Roleplay to pick up the dresses from the booth itself, since I suspect the caravan driver may have just pocketed the (real! I promise!) money I gave him.

How could anyone say no to a dress like this?

How could anyone say no to a dress like this?

How could anyone say no to a dress like this? It’s summery, the bodice detailing is so intricate, and it comes in five beautiful colours.

Personally, I'm in love with the lilac, but they are all beautiful.

Personally, I’m in love with the lilac, but they are all beautiful.

Personally, I’m in love with the lilac, but they are all beautiful. And I should probably mention the circlet—it’s the one I got from Fair Play, from Independent Objects, such a funny name for a jeweller, but I hear they do other things as well. The necklace is made by an artisan called just Coquette. It’s called Fairy Necklace, which I thought was appropriate.

Another lilac picture, in our magical flower field.

Another lilac picture, in our magical flower field.

Here’s another lilac picture, in our magical flower field.

I guess that even though I love the lilac so much I should show you the other colours.

Gold.

Gold.

This is the Gold colour. I guess some people would describe these colours as pastel, but I think of them more as dusty.

A closer look.

A closer look.

Hair by Analog Dog (natch!), Tiara from Le Forme, necklace from Empyrean Forge. I still love the way this bodice looks.

Blue.

Blue.

Here is the blue colour of this beautiful dress. I love how there are different colours in the tiers that are all different from the colours in the underskirt. Even using subtle, muted, colours, she manages to make the whole thing look perfectly put together. Mostly because it is perfectly put together.

Turn to the left...

Turn to the left..

Here you can see the back of the dress and how all the tiers interact together. You can also see that this necklace from EMO-tions falls down the back and has a lovely hanging jewel just at the small of the back. It’s called Fairytale. Ha! It’s like I have a whole fairy theme going… wait. Circlet is from On A Lark, whom I’m just not seeing enough of lately.

Sand.

Sand.

The Sand colour way offers the same subtle shading as the rest, but in an even more muted shading scheme. I love how the centre tier is almost but not quite a green.

Blush

Blush

Here is the Blush colour way. I really like this hairstyle by Lelutka with this dress: the simple and classical lines seem to fit so well with the dress’ construction. Necklace is by Cae, and the tiers is from The Plastik.

And now I almost feel a little guilty.

And now I almost feel a little guilty.

And now I almost feel a little guilty, for showing you something before it’s officially released. But it’s a beautiful dress from my favourite designer!

I have so many other things to tell you, but showing you this dress just sort of pre-empted everything, dodgy acquisition practice or no.

We Love Roleplay opens on 4 August 3pm SLT. 

Style Cards:

Lilac Dress:
Dress: Evie’s Closet, Evonyn, Lilac (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Group Gift in Marshmellow. Available free to group members at the 7 Deadly Skins Main Store
Hair: Analog Dog
Circlet: Independent Objects (Available at Fair Play)
Necklace: Coquette, Fairy Necklace (Seed of Inspiration at the Gacha Garden event!)
Flower Field: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields

Gold Dress:
Dress: Evie’s Closet, Evonyn, Lilac (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Group Gift in Marshmellow. Available free to group members at the 7 Deadly Skins Main Store
Hair: Analog Dog
Circlet: Le Forme, Aegon Tiara (rare!) (Available at The Epiphany)
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Timepiece
Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Path

Blue Dress:
Dress: 
Evie’s Closet, Evonyn, Lilac (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Skin: 
7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Group Gift in Marshmellow. Available free to group members at the 7 Deadly Skins Main Store
Hair: 
Analog Dog
Circlet: On a Lark
Necklace: EMO-tions, Fairy Tale
Stone Circle: Artisan Fantasy
Trumpet Mushrooms: Cerridwen’s Cauldron
Flower Field: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields

Sand Dress:
Dress: Evie’s Closet, Evonyn, Lilac (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Group Gift in Marshmellow. Available free to group members at the 7 Deadly Skins Main Store
Hair: Lelutka
Circlet: The Plastik
Necklace: Cae
Mushrooms: Roawenwood, Half Deer

Blush Dress:
Dress: Evie’s Closet, Evonyn, Lilac (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, August Group Gift in Marshmellow. Available free to group members at the 7 Deadly Skins Main Store
Hair: Lelutka
Circlet: The Plastik
Necklace: Cae
Ballroom: The Looking Glass, Enchanted Ballroom