The Job that Wasn’t There

I’m not the one who ends up in situations like this. Usually, I hear such stories from The Amazing Catwoman. Her scrapes and follies with insane handlers and crazy situations are great campfire tales, but I would not want to live through them. Of course, she handles these situations with rage, whereas I have always tried to look at the ups and downs of my life with humour—and often it doesn’t matter whether I am laughing at myself, someone else, or the universe as a whole.

Not long ago, I got my chance to experience this level of frustration for myself.

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The dock was in poor repair.

The dock was in poor repair. That was the first clue. Even stepping carefully and slowly, some boards had to be avoided altogether.

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My senses told me something was awry.

I had been asked to come and tell stories about the stars from the Rom at a planetarium celebration. Now, of course we have many stories about the stars, and I was looking forward to the chance to tell them to an audience not well versed in the affairs of the travelling folk. It was the planetarium’s 25th anniversary, according to the island curator who approached me, and so they wanted not just any Romani, but a “famous” Romani. They told me to come in armour, because the island was largely uninhabited and just below the planetarium, there had been an unfortunate incident where some eccentric’s menagerie had got a bit out of hand. Well, all right, I replied, though armour isn’t really the traditional dress of my people. Don’t worry, they said. You’ll only need it for the walk from the dock to the planetarium; then you can change into something you like better.

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I walked through an arch and arrived in a deserted town.

I walked through an arch, as instructed, and arrived in a town that appeared wholly deserted. Of course, there was nothing in the information the curator sent that had even hinted at a completely deserted town.

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Deserted for some time?

I surmised that this part of the island, at least, had been deserted for some time: I mean, how often have you seen a town with a pay phone booth that didn’t offer free wifi or credit payments lately?

Still, I shook my head and walked on. There was always the possibility that only this part of the island was deserted. My instructions told me to proceed up a hilly path, then turn right to take the steps up to the planetarium on the island’s highest point. The warning about the menagerie-gone-terribly wrong scenario suggested this was a place of danger and the reason they had insisted I arrive in armour.

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I wore armour for this?

By the time I reached the top of the hill, my body was complaining about the dense armour and heavy cloak. I ditched the cloak but kept the armour on, just in case, and soon found myself in the company of two massive stone elephants. I scanned the overgrown, thorn bush-laden area and saw the tops of other stone figures on the train above.

I could not help it: I sat down on a half-broken stone wall and laughed my arse off. I wore armour for this?

A walk up the further steps confirmed it: there were stone zebras, stone antelope, stone tigers, stone lions. It was easy to conjecture a history where someone’s menagerie did indeed go wrong—and then some event changed things and turned all the animals to stone. It could have been That Event We Don’t Talk About, but that was months ago. It is a pity that Dyisi has faded into the mists: she might have some insights about other connected events, possible repercussions, and all those other things I prefer to understand only on a subconscious level.

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Sure enough, the planetarium was deserted.

Sure enough, the planetarium was deserted. And not just deserted: it was also falling apart. Inside, the orrery-style mechanism continued to operate, and that gave me pause. Had this event, whatever it was, happened very recently? And if so, how could it be that the disrepair of the planetarium looked to be months if not years old?

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Only one thing left to do

In my mind, there was only one thing left to do. I dragged my mostly-new drone out of my backpack and took a selfie in front of the broken-down planetarium to send to the guy who had hired me. Yes, I channeled TAC’s rage and used it for myself.

Then, I just walked back down to the pier, got in the little motorboat, made my way back to the mainland, and got the first transport back to Awenia. I wonder if I’ll hear from that guy.

Something tells me… not.

Style Card:
Body: Signature Gianni
Head: Lelutka Andrea
Skin: The Plastik,
Skin: The Plastik, Drazaren Skin (Homme), Alloas
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Lucent Eyes
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Dairon Ears
Hair: No Match, No Bills
Clothes: Noble Creations, Glory Armor (includes boots!) (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)

Location: Erebus Harbor, a beautiful region created by the folks at Dirty.Pretty

Coming Home to the Forest

I know I said something about spending a little time in Awenia Faerie, but the truth is the forest is close enough to touch from there, and the Romani camp is inviting. You hear all these rumours about how there’s never anybody there, but that’s a load of bull. They’re always there: you just don’t see them. That is, unless the vardos have left for other pastures for a little while. But the Awenia Forest Romani are the most settled bunch of travellers I know, and it’s all because the hunting is good and there’s plenty of room, and it being such a magical place, they feel comfortable and at home there.

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So, I decided I should put in an appearance.

So, I decided I should put in an appearance. What could it hurt, right? So there I was, walking down the path to the encampment, thinking about mostly nothing, when all of a sudden the smell of a roasting hedgehog came through the trees to me.

Well, that made me want to hurry. After all, getting the best of a roast hedgehog is often down to who’s there first. Hedgehogs aren’t all that big.

So there I go, speeding into the encampment, and as the path widens out into the vardo ring, there are Lash and Timbo, smirking at me.

“Well, look who’s here!” said Lash.

“I don’t see nobody,” replied Timbo.

I rolled my eyes. “Step aside, boys; I smell hedgehog!”

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Step aside, boys! I smell hedgehog!

And then Shelta Margaret pipes up from her bench next to the dugout for the clay ovens. “You stop plaguing Davey, boys. He’s late enough as it is.”

Late? “I just got here,” I said. “How can I be late?” Questioning Shelta Margaret is never a good idea, but I just couldn’t help myself.

“Word came down you were in Awenia, what, a moon course ago?” Shelta Margaret narrowed her eyes at me. “This is the twenty-seventh hedgehog I’ve put into the clay oven for you. Boys are about to mutiny, especially since we’re coming up on deer season. ‘Oh, no, Shelta Margaret! Don’t you make us eat no more hedgehog!’ And I just say, ‘I gotta, boys: never know when Davey’s coming through the forest.” And now here you are, clear as morning. Welcome home.”

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A whole hedgehog

The boys went fishing. And me? I got a whole hedgehog, all to myself.

Style Card:
Body: Signature Gianni
Head: Lelutka Andrea Bento Mesh Head
Skin: The Plastik, Drazaren Skin (Homme), Alloas
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Lucent Eyes
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Dairon Ears
Hair: No Match, No Risk
Jumper (Sweater, Americans!): Boyberry, Cable Knit Jumper, Charcoal
Shorts: Chuck’s, Kaike Shorts, black
Trainers: Gabriel, Leather Sneakers, black

Environment
Location: Awenia Forest
Poses: All from Wrong: Bento Static Male Poses – 46

The Gypsy Davey’s First Awenian Tour

That makes it sound as if I am going on tour in Awenia. The Author is a bit florid with language today, methinks. (Really? I would never say ‘methinks’.)

No; the fact is, I’d heard through the grapevine about what Queen Gwyneth is doing with Awenia, and despite the fact that we are no longer… well, you know… I still like to check up on her.

She’s made the entry point for Awenia’s faerie in the big dancing square—at least, I hope that’s what it is—and although parts of it remain unfinished, I think she’s done a really passable job so far.

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Her Majesty has done a passable job so far.

I was pleasantly surprised, really. I guess in the standard stereotypical view of Queens, Her Majesty isn’t exactly a ‘detail’ person. So the fact that she’s concentrated on getting the big picture worked out first and is obviously waiting to concentrate on the little bits and bobs—or perhaps getting her many minions (not the yellow kind) to do that for her—makes a kind of sense.

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View from the Dancing Square

Here is the view from the Dancing Square. Now, I notice all kinds of little things, but as you can see, the big trees are all in, and the landscaping has been done. Of course, she’ll eventually add some ground cover and possibly some smaller trees, but structurally it looks passable to me. And yes, ‘passable’ is a compliment as far as I’m concerned.

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I’m glad she kept the music shop.

I’m glad she kept the music shop: it seems to be one of the only features of the previous faerie incarnation that has held on. Now there’s even a little stage propped up on a green near the shop; presumably she will sponsor some performances there—or the music shop will, I guess. I recall there also being a small stage setup inside the shop itself; I wonder if there’ll be differences between the kinds of acts that get booked for one or the other. Something to think about.

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Of course, they’d never book me there.

Of course, they’d never book me there. The stampede of women would be unmanageable, given the relatively small size of the green and of Awenia Town itself.

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So… where to next?

So… where to next? I ambled down the High Street, passing by a couple of shops and a couple of residential buildings, until I got to the end, where one can turn a corner and find themselves in such unsavoury places as the offices of FaeWatch (how could she allow that rag to have an office in her Realm?), a psychic (obviously not a proper Gypsy psychic), a craft store (seriously?) and a pub, which is more like it. But it was the scene across the wide farm-facing street that caught my eye.

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Now this? This is a kissing tree.

Now this? This is a kissing tree if ever I saw one. It’s too bad the Faerie Realm is almost deserted at the moment: I can imagine just standing here and, you know, whistling or singing. I could collect dozens, maybe hundreds of kisses in the span of an hour. Perhaps I shall suggest a Gypsy Davey Kissing Station for a village féte or something.

This little park was truly lovely. It has everything one needs for a good park: beautiful flowers, trees, an ancient structure to bound it from the nearby light forestland, and of course restful benches.

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Restful Benches

I can imagine myself, having taken off my coat and letting my shirttails go where they will, reclining, just enjoying the breeze. Hm… I probably need a book here to look more legit, but let’s be honest—I don’t think I even own a book. I’m a lover, not an intellectual.

Ahh… I ended my reverie, as another detail caught my eye, this one completely silly.

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The Line Forms Here, Ladies!

Why of course my castle is “This Way”! Ignore all those other signs.

The line forms here, Ladies!

Style Card:
Body: Signature Gianni
Head: Catwa, Skell Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Brent (Brent is this month’s group gift for men at 7 Deadly s{K}ins! You can pick it up at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Ears Dairon
Eyes: AviGlam, Dramatic Eyes
Clothes: Noble Creations, Prince Lawrence Outfit (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Avatar Bizarre, Crowley Boots
Hair: No Match, No Offence
Hairbase: Unorthodox, Good V2 Hairbase

Location: Awenia Faerie
Kissing Tree: The Looking Glass, The Kissing Tree (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Thisway Thatway Tree: Titans, Thisway Thatway Tree
Bench: Raindale, Heathergate Bench

More Glamour!

Bhánel wants more photographs! It turns out that Glamour, by Bhánel, will be marketed to different groups of people in different ways. The first campaign, which I showed you here, is targeted toward “sophisticated young professionals who want to project a classy, classic image.” The second campaign is targeted toward “younger, more adventurous women.” The idea is that Glamour can turn you into anybody. Here’s a still from the first shoot we did around the second campaign!

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Glamour—Get Your Halo Dirty

I love the whole concept of this photo. The deep red and pink tones give the distinct impression of something not quite “wholesome”, to use a human term, and juxtaposed against the neon halo and wings, the statement is about as risqué as I’m going to get in a photograph. This silver dress, by The Annex, is new for The Trunk Show wedding faire, which I think has already opened its doors to the public.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Poppy Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Berlin (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Nails: Cazimi, Depths of Winter (Available at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Lipstick: Cazimi, Tinted Lipgloss (Naturals) (Available at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Ears Elf Dior
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Gown: The Annex, Imogen Gown (Available NOW at The Trunk Show!)
Shoes: Rebel Hope, Tia Mesh Stiletto (Available at the Rebel Hope Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Yuko (Yuko is the most recent VIP gift for the Truth VIP Group. You can pick it up at the Truth Main StoreIt only costs L$350 to join this group, and the rewards are worth far more than that! Why aren’t you a member yet?)
Necklace: The Plastic, Hallows (You can get this at The Plastik Main Store!)

Environment: FoxCity, Photo Booth, Halo Limited (Available NOW at Limit8!)
Poses: from Nina Rosario, Pose Set 70

I think I’m Paranoid….

Have you ever had that feeling, the one where you’re sure someone is watching you, or following you, but then when you turn around, there’s nothing there?

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I think I’m paranoid

I think I’m paranoid, or at least I was in last night’s dream. I was walking down this completely unreal corridor, because no one would paint an actual corridor that shade of teal. I mean, if they did, I wouldn’t know them. And I was certain, just positive, that I was being followed, except when I turned around there was nothing there.

Now, I’ve lived in the magical universe long enough to know that it’s possible for something invisible to be following me. But I’m also magical enough to know when something invisible is following me. And there wasn’t a thing there, I swear.

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And complicated….

To make it more complicated, every time I turned back forward, I’d get the feeling again. There wasn’t anybody else around. I could see no one. Feel no one.

And it was another one of those dreams where I didn’t look like myself, but i had to admit I was pretty hot with the purple-grey drow skin paint job. And the wings felt like heaven.

Still, that unsettling feeling, though.

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I think I’m paranoid, manipulated…

I really do think I’m paranoid, manipulated probably by my own turncoat thoughts. Because every I turned around there was absolutely nothing behind me.

Strangest thing.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Scarlet
Skin: Lumae, Elvi – Kialaya (Available ON 1 AUGUST at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Dark Passions Koffin Nails, Dark Orchid (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studios, Nepthune
Eyes: Musa, Apatite Eyes
Dress: Pixicat, Ava Dress
Tights: The Little Bat, Lia Stockings (omega applier) (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Shoes: Cult, Desire Heels
Necklace: Devious Mind, Cassia Forest Necklace
Hair: Sintiklia, Mbali
Wings: Material Squirrel, Thethys Wings

Environment: CYMK Time For the Moon Night, 2
Large Invisible Unicorn: Heartistic, Midnight Unicorn

The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 3

After Bran suggested home, I couldn’t get there fast enough. Of course, Awenia is a small Realm, so it’s not difficult to fly from town to the castle, particularly when there’s a great swath of empty land beneath you. I wonder what I’ll put there. Hm.

Once I’d changed clothes, Bran had one of the footmen bring me a chair and a table, with the promise of tea to come. The Senzafine dress was a little bare on the arms and the front, so I took my hair down and added some new gloves I found at Fameshed.

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“It’s hard to see anything from here!”

“It’s hard to see anything from here!” I called out. Could Bran even hear me from the kitchen? Where was he, anyway?

“Yes, Your Majesty,” came the reply from just a little ways away on the balcony below. How clever! Bran had set up a little temporary food and drink preparation area there. Given that the kitchens are actually about three floors below, I suppose that makes sense. “It’s because of the mists. We are so close to the mountains and so much higher than the landscape you are viewing that the mists stay here almost all the time.”

Great. Bran, my majordomo, is Elfsplaining atmospheric conditions to me. “I never had this problem in the treehouse,” I grumbled.

“Similar elevation, farther from the mountains,” Bran offered.

I looked across to the treehouse. I missed it a little bit. “No; I think it’s actually higher,” I said, thoughtful. In my head, I suddenly heard Valene‘s voice in my head. ‘You want to be where it’s the highest. That’s where the top CaitSidhe usually are.‘ I sniffed the misty but surprisingly not moist air. “Bran? Do you think we should move back to the treehouse?”

CLATTER

“What, Your Majesty? Dweezil, could you clean that up, please? Few more moments on the tea!”

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Comfy Chair

“Ooh, this is a comfortable chair, Bran.” I decided to ignore his obvious negative reaction to moving back to the treehouse. “Wherever did we get it?”

“You picked it out at Noble Creations,” Your Majesty, Bran replied without a hitch. “It’s only just arrived.”

“Well, I love it,” I said. I leaned forward to gaze into Awenia Town. I picked up small changes occurring: some brickwork added here, a new sparkle bush there…. “I wonder what I’ll put in between here and the town: right now it’s just an open field. The nursery and the farmhouse are all gone.”

“You’d mentioned expanding the Book Forest,” Bran said.

“Oh, yeah; I did,” I replied. “How’s that tea coming?”

“Slowly, I’m afraid, Your Majesty. You know magical prepared tea is not as good, and I didn’t think to bring the electric kettle up here.”

I sighed. “No matter; I’m thinking on… ooh, what is that?”

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Well, well, well….

Well, well, well. If it wasn’t my old best friend Fenella, also known as The Amazing Catwoman, for reasons I never could discern. Running about in a leather dress with a raven on her shoulder.

“Bran, looks like we have a TAC sighting!” I said. “See if you can send someone down and get her an audience with me, finally? We really do need to talk.”

“Is this the right time, Your Majesty?”

“We always ask that and it never is, which means that now is the best time for it,” I replied. “I’m tired of saying, ‘I’ll get to that when I’m less busy,’ and then having her disappear for another year.”

Bran sniffed. “Shall I send Clutie?”

“Gods no,” I replied. “She and TAC will hate each other. Send that new footman, the one from the restaurant. No; he’s a snob. Um, Send Dweezil and a couple of pixies. That ought to get her worked up.”

“Good as done, Your Majesty,” Bran replied. His voice came closer. “And look, here’s your tea!”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ferna (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Elf Ears Dior
Eyes: Cazimi, Mandala Regular Eyes (Omega) (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Dress: Senzafine, Arabian (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Exile, Long Beach (Available NOW at Summerfest!)
Nails: Cazimi, Solids, Sea Sand (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Lipstick: Cazimi, Nude Matte (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Foot Jewellery: Curb! Laina Footjewelery
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar

Chair, Table, and Rug: Noble Creations, Noble Sitting Place (Available NOW on the NEW midnight madness board at the Noble Creations Main Store!)

Castle: Dreamy Castle, by Rivendale, designed by LRRiven. This continues to be one of my favourite castles ever, as it was built with living in mind! It’s so huge I haven’t decorated it all yet, but that gives me great opportunities to, I don’t know, buy more furniture….! 🙂

 

The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 1

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“Take my portrait, Bran.”

“Take my portrait, Bran.” It was a simple enough suggestion. We were walking through what I can only describe as the New Awenia. We’d reached a lovely town square, graced by my beautiful Last Hope statue: for all my riches and advantage, it’s my most treasured posession, and it’s everywhere that I am. For me, it’s a symbol of Faerie and Fae sovereignty. For the Author, it’s something more, but this is my story.

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It might see odd that I would walk through Awenia wearing… this.

It might seem odd to you that I, a fairly modest Queen as Faery Queens go, would wander my Realm dressed in such a way. But it’s high summer, I’m in the height of my power, and frankly, the Realm itself is almost deserted except for some support staff (and the cats, of course). And Bran loved this little number I picked up at the We Love Roleplay faire last week: it’s from The Annex, and honestly, most of the thing I wear that people would consider sexy come from The Annex. The designers there just have a way of making things look both fetching and classy, which I know I’ve said before, but anyway. It’s called Astrid, in case you’re curious.

Bran has become quite a shutterbug and has got himself a DSLR. He swears it takes better photographs than the iPhone, but I don’t see much difference. This, apparently, is because I am a Philistine. He loves to follow me out wherever I go and take photographs, which is fine with me, but I think he has some kind of aspiration to be a fashion photographer. He’s been following me to modelling shoots as well. Sometimes I have to order him to stop asking the photographers and directors questions.

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I don’t think he’s quite there, though.

I don’t think he’s quite there, though. This is his idea of a sexy pose! When I looked at this photograph I laughed out loud. “I look like I’m about to fall over and hit my head on the wishing well,” I said.

To his credit, he didn’t pout. “Perhaps next time,” he said, “I shall just push you in.”

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It was clear the town had been restructuring.

It was clear the town had been restructuring since Midsummer’s fires blazed just a few weeks ago. No wonder I have been feeling so tired recently! All my magic’s been going to the Land, and the Land wants a complete refurbishment before we open Awenia to the public, paperwork willing, in the autumn.

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Imagine you’re home.

“Just look toward the castle,” Bran said before snapping this photograph, “and imagine that you are already there, that you’re already home.”

As it turned out, I really did want to go home after that. “Let’s just sit up on the tower,” I said, “outside mine and Nathaniel’s private apartments, and watch the changes from there.” Already I could feel wings straining against my shoulder blades. “It’ll be all misty up there, so I’ll have to put something on my legs,” I continued.

“Ooh!” Bran said as his own wings stretched out behind both of us. “Why don’t you get into that new Senzafine we got at the same faire?”

“That is a very good idea, my darling,” I said. And then we were airborne and I had no more time to consider my wardrobe. I’ll have so much to tell Nathaniel when he pops back in from wherever he’s been this week!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ferna (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Elf Ears Dior
Eyes: Cazimi, Mandala Regular Eyes (Omega)
Clothes: The Annex, Astrid (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Monso, Sua (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Nails: Cazimi, Solids, Sea Sand
Leg Wraps: Una, Sakura Leg Belts
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar

Town Buildings: Tudor City Builder Kit, by SOF Designs, designed by Firstleviathan Resident. There will be more photographs of what we’ve done with this kit to make Awenia even more special as it already is in the days and weeks to come.

The Last Hope statue is a one of a kind (well, two of a kind!) work of art from the amazing minds and hands of Death Row Designs. I had the good fortune one year to have enough money to spend a crazy amount on this item in the Fantasy Faire live auction. It really is my most prized possession in Second Life.