Kitties And Bunnies And Bears! Or, How I Visited The Spirit Valley Of Kuruk And Did Not Find My Centre Or Experience Perfect Bliss And Tranquility

You have to go. That’s what everyone says, anyway. Sometime in your life, where your life is defined as that period of existence between physical birth and physical death, you must at one time or another visit the Spirit Valley of Kuruk. I will note that visiting the Spirit Valley of Kuruk is a challenge, because it has appeared only once in my physical lifetime (that I know of).

Once I heard that the Spirit Valley was visible and within a day’s travel, I just dropped everything and went, all by myself. I felt it needed to be a personal and solitary journey.

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The Spirit Valley’s Beauty Is Unmatched

One thing no-one will deny is that the Valley itself is singularly beautiful. With a landscape marked by stunning chalk paintings (which look to be well-kept by those who live there), it’s easy to just stand there, awestruck, when you first enter the basin. For me, the paintings were overwhelming. It was only after I had taken many of them in that I began to notice the rock formations themselves, the many paths and caves. It seemed made by a miracle, the sort of place where anything could happen. So, as I stepped into the Valley, I was prepared for a magical experience.

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La-Dee-Dah!

And magic did occur soon after I took that first step. For there, asleep on a rock, was an adorable turquoise kitty cat with ickle pink ears! I couldn’t help it: I squealed.

Now, if you’ve ever woken up an adorable turquoise kitty cat with ickle pink ears (and who hasn’t, really?), you know that the adorable turquoise kitty, as a rule, does not like to be disturbed while she is sleeping.

There was hissing. Hackles were raised. Claws were displayed. Clearly, the kitty was just here for the sunlight and nap spots.

“Fine,” I said, and made to walk away. Everyone knows the first thing you have to do in the Valley is take a picture with the Big Bear by the singing bowls at the big fire circle. I’m not really sure if he has a name: I was really just there for the photo opp.

Halfway across the circle, I heard a loud ‘MEOW’, and sure enough there was the adorable turquoise kitty! She was trotting up behind me fast. ‘Look, you!’ she said. ‘I don’t know what you are, Miss Biped, but you woke me up, so now I’ll be visiting the Valley with you. That means you have to feed me.’

Well, all right then. I was in the company of an adorable, verbal turquoise kitty cat with a sarcastic streak. Super. I may sound sarcastic, but in fact it was very nice to meet a talking kitty cat; I’ve always wanted to know what’s on their adorable little minds.

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The Obligatory Tourist Photo!

And here we all are, mugging for the camera with one Big Bear and one Little Bear! This photo cost me five dollars! Five dollars for a single photo? I suddenly began to wonder about the spiritual basis of the Spirit Valley itself, or at least of the Photo Bear, who had impressive looking teeth.

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Still, looking up was a treat. So I did that.

Still, looking up was a treat. So I did that instead of thinking about how many photos I wanted to pay that kind of money for. Luckily, my mobile phone is easily stashed inside even the smallest vest, which I might have been wearing that day.

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Time to plan our next move!

Still, I was here, and I was going to see as much of the legendary Spirit Valley as I could before nightfall. Bears make me kind of nervous at night, if I’m honest.

‘We’re going over there!’ said the adorable, talking turquoise kitty cat.

‘What if I don’t want to?’ I had not yet realised that one does not argue with an adorable, talking turquoise kitty cat.

‘Well, La Dee Dah says you do!’ said the cat. And she hoisted her tail and ran up the mountain, up a roundabout trail, and toward a cave.

‘Caves are dangerous!’ I called out. ‘Is that your name, then? La Dee Dah? That’s a mouthful. Can I just call you “La” for short?’

‘No!’ came the sharp reply, followed by a loud yowl. ‘Shit! I fell’.

Great, adorable talking turquoise kitty cat has a potty mouth. I sighed and followed. ‘Do you need help? I could pick you up.’

‘Touch me at your peril, you winged abomination!’

I chose to avoid peril and watched as she clawed her way out of the ravine into which she’d fallen.

Up and up we climbed, until we came to…

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Bones. Lots and lots of bones.

There were skeletons. Like humanoid skeletons. In chains. ‘La Dee Dah!’ I shouted. That was going to take some getting used to. ‘We do not sit in skeletal laps! You don’t know who’s been gnawing on those bones!’

It was at this point I noticed that her eyes were rather glow-y. I feared the worst.

Instead, she just muttered, ‘Spoilsport’, and stalked off in another direction. ‘I guess you want to see the Pretty Pretty River’, she said.

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Pretty Pretty River

As a matter of fact, I did, so I didn’t argue and followed her down the steep slope onto what felt once again like mostly level ground. Now, you may think La (I can call her that in my head) was being sarcastic, since she’d been mostly sarcastic since we met, but in fact the river in the Spirit Valley of Kuruk is called the Pretty Pretty River. It may be translated from some language that involves a lot of tonal humming and clicks, or maybe a bear roar? I don’t know.

It lived up to its name, though. There were many lovely trees and even a frog carved out of the rock. ‘Look, La Dee Dah’, I said, ‘his eyes are the same colour as your fur’!

She didn’t answer me, or really even acknowledge that I’d spoken, so intent was she on getting back to the great circle in the central part of the basin.

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This is my long-suffering look

I sighed the sigh of the long-suffering Divine Being who has just had her view of the Pretty Pretty River cut short. And I followed her, because what else was to be done, really. She was so small she might get hurt out there alone. There were, after all, bears.

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From this side, the big scary bear rock looked much more menacing.

From this side of the circle, the bear rock looked much more menacing. I tried to concentrate on the Pretty Pretty River, which does actually run all the way round the bottom of the Valley; I didn’t expect I’d get much closer to it for the duration of our time together.

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Unmatched Natural Beauty

Even though the trip wasn’t turning out the way I’d imagined, I couldn’t blame it on the scenery. As we turned toward the circle again, I was struck by the megalithic stones that flanked the entrance to the circle from across the Pretty Pretty River. I took a breath. La was having none of my hesitation; she just romped on out to the centre of the meadow, not bothering to walk the spiral in or out. Apparently the wrath of the bear gods does not descend upon adorable talking turquoise kitty cats. Apparently.

Once again, she ran ahead of me. It’s a good thing she’s so brightly coloured; I’d surely lose her if she had any sort of natural camouflage. Another reason to make sure she stayed with me: I suspected that after dark she’d glow in the firelight, and some bear would be all, ‘Look, an adorable turquoise marshmallow’! I still had to sprint to keep up.

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Step away from the bunny!

I found her cuddled up with a bunny. A bunny. Oh, I’d heard the rumours, rumours that the Fairelands this year were overrun with bunnies, possibly spawned by the very likely evil blue glowing globe in Zodiac. I’d also heard rumours that they were being manufactured by the Fairchylde Herself, or at least by one of those insane Fantasy Faire Radio DJs. Those folks are weird, baby. But we love them. I personally did not love them enough to forgive them for the Plague Of Bunnies the Fairelands were currently experiencing, but of course your mileage may vary. It is also suspected that Princess Sonya Of Critter Meadow might be involved, but she just seemed so nice that one time I met her. But while I was sifting through conspiracy theories in my head, La was still cuddled up with a bunny. A bunny!

‘La! We do not cuddle bunnies‘! I shouted. The accomplice bunny just glared at me balefully as I spoke. They have great big teeth, you know, bunnies. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that’s what really happened to the skeletons up there on the cliffside.

‘I can’t hear you’! La replied. She began grooming herself.

‘Fine’, I muttered. ‘La Dee Dah! We do not cuddle bunnies!’

The adorable talking turquoise kitty cat stood up, arched her back, and hissed at me. ‘You are not my real mum’, she said. ‘I do what I want’. She sneezed. ‘And I have decided that we are going to climb up the other side of the basin because I want to meet a real bear’.

Oh, good; another hike. Luckily, I have wings.

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How about this one?

‘How about this one’? I suggested. ‘He looks important’.

‘Can you not smell‘? she replied. ‘Or do they not teach you the difference between stuff that’s real and stuff that’s been carved out of stone and is some kind of bear god where you come from’? There may have been eye-rolling. ‘I’m gonna need a nap’.

I had heard that cats sleep 12-15 hours a day. ‘How long a nap do you need’?

‘Dunno. But after that we’re going back home and you’re going to feed me’.

I seem to have a new life-mate.

It didn’t take long for La to find the bear she was looking for. After a short exchange in growls, grunts, and paw movements, they came to an understanding.

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Nap Time!

I ended up sitting on a pillow next to a bear deep in meditation and probably afraid to move for fear of cat claws, for four solid hours while La took a nap.

And that, my friends is How I Visited The Spirit Valley Of Kuruk And Did Not Find My Centre Or Experience Perfect Bliss And Tranquility.

Credits And Notes:
Location: The Spirit Valley of Kuruk, sponsored by Spyralle and designed by Loki Eliot,  is one of 18 regions in this year’s Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. You can visit the Spirit Valley and maybe even find your centre and experience perfect bliss and tranquility, but you will have to do it before the tenth of May, when the Fairelands will recede, as they do every year, back into the mists. Although the Fairelands return year after year, each Realm is unique and will not be seen again, at least not on this plane.

Items featured at this year’s Faire:
Skin: Petrichor, Viscivorus Skin in Quelea, with 30% lightening tattoo applied (Find it at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Ears: Petrichor, Viscivorus Ears (Find them at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Hair: Raven Bell, Nereid Hair (Find it at the Raven Bell Store in Auxentios’ Pass!)
Clothes: Laced Up Stamped Leather Top and Skirt, in Dark Brown (Find it at the MishMash Fusion Store in Lamented Fens!)
Long Necklace, Bracelets: Rise Design, Banje Bracelets, Banje Necklace (Find them at the Rise Design Store in Melusina’s Depths!)

Other Stuff in this look:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Nova Bento Mesh Head
Bracelets and Short Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Wayfare Bracelet, Wayfare Choker, Wayfare Duo Necklaces
Wings: BentBox, Feathered Wings
Eyes: Euphoric, Talula

Special Guest Star: La Dee Dah, as herself (Dyisi)

Justice

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Don’t even think about trying to escape.

Don’t even think about trying to escape….

From the Author: Yeah, I know; I’m not a one-photo-is-a-blog-post kind of girl, but sometimes an image just hits me over the head so strongly I can’t escape (see what I did there?) and the picture itself takes… um… five or six hours to composit, even with my (ha!) mad skilz.

The outfit, from Silvan Moon Designs (come on; with those colours and texturing, was there any doubt?), is the new Crystalline Warrior Dress Set. It includes the boots, the leggings, the dress, and the cape, and I have it on good authority that the cape has pockets!  This seriously scare-your-enemies outfit comes in seven vibrant colours, and it’ll be available at the February round of We Love Roleplay. And I cannot tell you how happy I am that January is about to be over and we’ll have a new round of WLRP to enjoy on the fourth of February!

I shot this at The Looking Glass, because I loved that sunset. There’s so much to see in Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen‘s beautiful region: every time I go there I find something new, some new little space to explore, and I heartily recommend you take a trip there and don’t just visit The Looking Glass‘ main store (though you should totally do that too). Stay a spell, look around, soak up the atmosphere.

Style Card:
Outfit That Makes Your Enemies Tremble: Silvan Moon Designs, Crystalline Warrior Dress Set, Sapphire (includes top, leggings (appliers) cloak and boots) —Available soon at the February Round of We Love Roleplay, opening on 4 February. That’s a Monday: set a reminder on that fancy mobile phone of yours!
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Vera Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia applier in T1 (All current Lumae Skin Lines are on sale at the Lumae Main Store for just L$100 apiece)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Gwenevere A, Light Blondes (rare)
Lipstick: Cazimi, Dark Cherry
Helm: Cubic Cherry, Valkyrie Helm
Bracelets: Empyrean Forge, Wayfare Bracelets
Sword: Empyrean Forge, Khazid’hea Sword
Scales: Death Row Designs, The Reanimator, Scales
Pose: Parking Ticket, The Stance
Location: The Looking Glass at Horizon Dream (way up high!)

Out of Legend

You think we come from some fairy story?

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You think we trip down the pages?

You think we trip down the pages, as if they were steps from one of your fantasy castles? I assure you, we are there. But that is not where we come from.

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You think we are the stories?

But the stories! you say. You think we are the stories? Oh, of course, we are in your stories. But that is not where we come from.

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You think we are the stuff of legend?

Are we the stuff of legend? You think we are elements of your myths. We are in your myths and legends. But that is not where we come from.

It is easy to blur the borders: we are in a forest made of books, after all. A forest made of stories, legends, myths.

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You will find us in the shallow forest.

You will find us in the shallow forest, to be sure. On the edges, in the stories, in the tales handed down from your grandma and her grandma before her; you will find us there. But that is not where we come from.

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But what happens in the deeper forest?

But what happens in the deeper forest, beyond your simple paths, the house too small to live in but perfectly decorated with the plates set out for tea? What happens when you go so far in that stories begin to tell themselves? Well, we say. Well, then—you are closer.

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And what’s that behind you?

And what’s that behind you? Surely it’s only a shadow. Light filtering through cut paper, light bleeding out from twinkle trees, obscured by a solid object. You tell yourself that’s what shadow is. That’s what shadows do. Isn’t it?

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You think we are tragic creatures? 

You think we are tragic creatures? You think we are sad? No, no: we are watching. We are waiting. We are thinking.

We are waiting for those words that echo all throughout the forest, all throughout legend and myth and fairy tale.

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Oh! Here they are.

Oh! Here they are. Those words that bring our souls out into the moonlight, that let us give you just enough of us to want more, and more always.

Listen: in the stillness of the snow, the words whisper from every tree, every book, every bough, every light:

Once upon a time.

That is where you will find us.

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And here is the secret.

And here is the secret. Listen: I will only tell it once. You may revisit it in a hundred stories, but this is the only time you will hear it from my, from our, lips.

There is no difference between the copse of trees at the bottom of your garden and the ancient forests you wander when you can. It is only that in those ancient forests we rise wilder, and you can take a journey on foot to a place where you can believe in us.

There is no difference between the oldest story ever told and the story that springs into your mind now, fully formed. They are the same, and we are in both of them.

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All forests are one forest.

All forests are one forest. All legends are one legend. Each forest is new. Each story is new.

But I did not tell you where we come from, you will say. I have been telling you all along. We come from the breath between the lifting of the pen and the word on the paper. We come from the shoot of green that struggles up through the snow. We come from the deepest forest, the oldest story, and we are as present in the three trees in the schoolyard and the library book as we are, as we ever were, there.

Don’t fight it. Come in. I have more stories to tell you. So many more.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Elvi (All current skin lines are in the Lumae Main Store)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Sassafras
Eyes: ADD Andel, The Three Forest Eyes
Gown: Senzafine, Emmeline Gown (Available now at We Love Roleplay)
Necklace and Earrings: Empyrean Forge, Fortuna
Circlet: A&A, Winter’s Malice Circlet
Antlers: Attic, Long Antler White
Nails: Cazimi, Winter Ombre Nails

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Book Forest
There are so many things in the book forest that I cannot begin to list them all. But Awenia is open to the public throughout the month of December: Please come and experience it for yourself!

 

 

 

The Fae Duchess of Doncaster

Her Ladyship, Beatrice Canderiel, the Fae Duchess of Doncaster, spent a day in Dublin, where she was photographed with her prize dogs at Trinity College.

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Fae Duchess of Doncaster, with Dogs

After her formal photographic meeting, she invited the photographer to come with her to one of Dublin’s many beautiful parks, where she intended to show an eager class of primary school students how to find fairies in the wild.

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One can whistle

One can whistle, she explained as she put her lips together and blew, eliciting gasps of outrage from the primary school teachers (and possibly an assistant Headmaster or two). However, she said in a swift correction, there are those who believe that whistling is unseemly for ladies; she herself, she asserted, had never been bound by the sanctimoniousness of society.

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Sometimes, she said, a flick of the finger is enough

Sometimes, she said, a flick of the finger is enough. She proved this by attracting an amethyst fairy to come and sit on her hand, while its little friend hovered, watching with an animalistic curiosity.

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Eventually, she enticed a third fairy

Eventually, she enticed a third fairy. This one was robed in rose, and seemed to be more skittish than the rest; it flew and flitted all about her head as the children chortled. By this time, many of the children had found their own fairies to observe; Lady Beatrice was quick to remind them that snaring small supernatural beings is strictly forbidden by the Fae Concealed Commission, which oversees such oversights.

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Fond Farewell

In the end, she bid the students, teachers, assistant headmasters, reporters, photographers, hangers-on, and several gazeboed geezers who just happened to be standing (and we use that term loosely) on the corner as she retreated back to Trinity College to collect her pups and be on her way to the Fair Ferry, where she drifted back to Doncaster, no doubt to be greeted by gaiety wherever she went.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Keme Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Cinnamon, Tone (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Zoya (Available at the Truth Main Store, but only if you’re in the VIP group!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: S0ng, Demi Eyes
Necklace and earrings: Empyrean Forge, Minuet
Gown and Hat: Silvan Moon Designs, A Murder of Crows Gown Set (Available on 4 November at We Love Roleplay!)

Environment:
Trinity College Set:
Building: Sempiternal, Stone Eden Skybox (at Fameshed)
Dogs: {anc}, Flottante Puppy, milk

Lost Garden Photos:
Location: Awenia, Ruined Garden
Columns and Statues: The Looking Glass, Lost Garden
Foreground Trees: The Looking Glass, Dead Wood
Orange Grass: Balderdash, Rattlin’ Bog Grass Tufts
Fairies: all from HEXtraordinary, Faerie Maidens (at the Gacha Garden)

Autumn Reminiscence

I miss my Gran. Of all the people in my (adoptive) English/Welsh family, it’s her I’d really like to talk to. Because she’s the one who knows how it all happened, I’m sure of it. She handled the deal with the Sidhe, she arranged the “private” adoption for my London parents. And that means she might know who my father is, or at least be able to tell me a good story.

But I’ve followed that advice given to me by the Ferryman years ago. I’ve never tried to find my old family, and that includes Gran. At first, it was hard, but living in Realms without technology created some distance. Now that I do have access to technology again, I’ve too much to do to waste even a few hours on what I suspect would be either fruitless—or painful.

She had the best house in mid-Wales, set back, and in October I’d visit her, from about mid-October through the first week of November. Going to the University school had its perks, and one of them was being able to take holiday without them getting all uptight about it.

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Now I can see it only in memories

Now, I can see it only in memories. And when I remember it or dream of it, I’m always some funny amalgamation of who I am now and who I was then. Here I’m in one of my Elf-Clan outfits (though when I look more closely, it really looks like the work of Senzafine, and I’d know that stuff anywhere). I remember that tree being the tallest tree in the world, and the little lighted garden shed my grandmother tended plants in all year round.

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Two perspectives

In my memory, I can look at it both with the sense of wonder I always felt going there, and from a more calculated, adult perspective. While we visited at other times of the year, my Autumn trip was always just me, alone. My parents, unlike me, couldn’t get away from their lecture halls for three weeks in October and November. No; for that time, she wanted me there by myself. She wanted me for Samhain.

I used to think Hallowe’en was pretty naff, and Gran used to make jokes about it, too. But, she said, it was also the old New Year, and she wanted her granddaughter there with her, to celebrate that time.

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What do I remember?

I don’t remember us doing anything particularly special or anything that in my child mind felt strange or weird around that time. We had a nice dinner, sometimes with my Great-Aunts from Aberystwyth when they could be bothered to come. Gran always set an extra place at the table: she said it was for Granddad, whom I never met. Eventually, I read about dumb suppers, probably in secondary school, and I recall asking her about it.

“Clever clogs,” she said. And there the discussion ended.

We never went to the village Bonfire Night celebration. Instead, Gran got my uncle Huw around to build a huge bonfire in the back garden, which was once Granddad’s barley and vegetable patch, she always said. Now I think of it, it was a bit too big for the usual back garden, but mid-Wales is much more spread out than London, so I never questioned it. I’d watch from the window of the big house: you could just see the garden area if you looked just-so through the trees. He spent hours building a tower of logs while Gran and I made the Guy out of straw. She’d invite all her friends and a few children I knew from the village, and we’d have our own fire, far from the crowds and the fireworks.

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October

I’m sure I’m thinking about this now because it’s just turned October, and though Faerie doesn’t change with the seasons as profoundly as other places, we still celebrate them and consider the cyclical nature of the world and the Realms around us. Lately, I’ve been thinking: if I could relive any event from my childhood, it wouldn’t be Mum’s lavish birthday parties, or getting my PhD, or even that first kiss from Richard. It would be staring, transfixed, at a fire that seemed ten times as tall as I was, sparklers in my hands. But I wouldn’t go back to one of the ones with loads of people. I’d go back to the last one, the year I was twenty-one, the one where it was just Gran and me. She got village boys to build the pyre, and we made the Guy same as always. The boys scampered off to the village celebration, so it was just us, staring up at the fire, silently watching the effigy burn. Uncle Huw had died just a few months earlier, so it felt like a sombre occasion. Gran had tears in her eyes for part of that fire, and I thought at the time she was grieving for her son.

Now I wonder if she wasn’t also bracing herself against the knowledge that I too would disappear from her life before the next Bonfire Night.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Nyne, Tahari
Skin: Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma, T1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Song, Frost Eyes
Tunic: Senzafine, Velista Tunic (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Leggings: Senzafine, Alaire Applier Leggings
Boots: Senzafine, Telcontar Boots
Necklace and Earrings: Empyrean Forge, Homecoming

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Box (platform)
Autumn scene, including large tree, garden shed, couch, lights, bridge, pumpkin, swing, and boulder: Trompe Loeil, Ceres Outdoor Scene
Poses: All from An Lar

 

 

You Know How I Feel

Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel

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It’s a new dawn

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Fish in the sea you know how I feel
River running free you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree you know how I feel

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Dragonfly out in the sun

Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don’t you know
Butterflies all havin’ fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That’s what I mean

And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

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Stars when you shine

Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel

—Nina Simone, ‘Feeling Good’

(Video Link below credits)

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Cate Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia, T1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Makeup: Cazimi, Bengali Bride
Hair: Exile, Strange and Unusual
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Heritage Necklace
Gown: Azul, Nanceee, in Amythest (Available for two more days at theThe Spoonful of Sugar Festival!)

Environment:
Location: Awenia, The Box
Backdrop: FoxCity, God Is A Woman
Pose: PosESioN, Throne Series

The gown in this post is featured at The Spoonful of Sugar Festival,a charity event benefiting Doctors Without Borders. Doctors Without Borders provides medical aid to vulnerable people and in crisis situations. There’s a lot to see over the six regions of the Festival, but you have until the 30th of September to see everything. So pace yourself, and don’t forget to bring enough L$, because there are many places along the way to give your support to Doctors Without Borders, including five shopping regions.

Spoonful Of Sugar AD 2018

 

The Certainty of Rain

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Hottest summer anyone can remember.

This year has been something else. It’s been the longest, hottest summer anybody can remember. And here I was, thinking I was the luckiest Naiad alive: spend a summer studying folklore and literature in Paris, get to know the Nymphs of the Seine, practice my not-very-good French on a city full of every kind of being you can imagine. So I’m packed into a student flat on the top floor of what would be called a flophouse in any other country but here is called a “mansion” (it is to laugh). With four other Nymphie-types, one of whom is a fire elemental and is loving this weather.

I, however, am not. I spent evenings out on the open roof, and then sometimes I climb up a little higher if I need to spend time in what wind there is.

Rain had been in the forecast for days. I got home from class, hiked up the five flights of stairs, and immediately walked into the shower—fully clothed because I was really not feeling patient—then out onto the roof to get some air.

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Dark clouds fell across the sky.

Dark clouds fell across the sky. I looked up hopefully. Sometimes we Naiads have a sense that can tell us when rain is coming, and my fingers were tingling. This could be the night!

This is probably the last summer I can ever do anything like this. With Britain leaving the European Union (and whose stupid idea was that, anyway? I wasn’t even old enough to vote at the time) next March, there will be predictable problems with student visas, particularly if you’re classed Supernatural. There is even a party in the UK that wants to restrict the Supernatural population only to “indigenous British, Irish and Welsh species,” which makes absolutely no sense at all. So I’m having no fun because it’s too hot, I can’t get to the river enough because my course load is so heavy, and there’s no rain.

Finally, there was thunder, and then the rain started. Oh, yes!

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I climbed up onto one of the chimneys.

I climbed up onto one of the chimneys. Here, you can see the expanse of the city spread out below you, although at night it becomes Paris At Night, which is kind of dingy and dark, but it’s Paris, so people think that’s romantic.

Rain was falling in earnest now, and that made me feel alive and free and at home.

Right now it’s hard to feel at home anywhere. I mean, the Supernatural Ministry is arguing that water and tree spirits, Naiads and Dryads, have precedent because water and trees occur everywhere, but the Preserve Our Paranormal Party (the party of P) thinks we have our origin in Greece, so they want to deport us all to Greece. Greece? What would I do there? I’m a British citizen. I don’t speak Greek. And some of the Continental supernaturals are downright snobby. Kind of like the POPPs want us to be. Of course, because it’s a grey line with me, the other supernatural races who are under threat think it must be easy for us, so I don’t fit in with them either.

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Caught in the middle.

Caught in the middle, that’s me. I don’t belong in Greece. But if the POPPs have their way, I won’t have a home in England either. What happens to me? It’s easy to get into this vein where I feel sorry for myself and just want to dive into the Seine and never come out (thought that’d be a bad idea; it’s muddy down there).

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Eventually I wandered back to our balcony proper and just sat.

Eventually, I wandered back to our balcony proper and just sat, enjoying the water pooling under my body, the rain on my feet, the rain everywhere. It showed no signs of stopping.

“I’m going to close the window now, Gwen,” said Kari, the fire elemental. “This humidity is fucking with my mojo. You coming in?” She chuckled as she spoke, probably anticipating my response.

“I might really sleep out here,” I replied. “This is heaven for me, you know.”

“Suit yourself; I’ll leave it unlocked.” Kari shut the window.

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Dancing was the best solution

I made my way down to the upper roof and just decided dancing was the best solution. I have six months to worry about what to do in March. Maybe they’ll change the whole thing and make it OK for England to be my home as it always has been. Maybe I’ll have to take a crash course in Greek. I can’t do anything about it here, can’t do anything about it now, so why am I ruining this glorious rainstorm by dwelling on it? I didn’t even let my mind wander onto the environment and reason why this summer is so hot. It would only depress me further.

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Rain Dance

No, no use to dwell. Better to dance. Better to let the water take me over. I only have a few weeks left here, and then it’s back to cloudy Cambridge and the Lit department at Anglia Ruskin, where at least nobody stares at me like I ought to be deported.

Yet.

NB from HM Queen Gwyneth: I have no idea where this dream came from. It felt very much like the world I used to live in, only with supernatural elements disclosed and some unthinkable idea that the UK would ever leave the EU, which would be the dumbest thing ever, and nobody would ever allow that to happen. It was like living in some bizarre dystopian novel preface, where humans made every stupid decision they possible could and the author couldn’t pick the ones they liked best, so they decided to just throw them all in there. Climate change, Xenophobia, and this terror that World War III was on the horizon brimming in my mind. I obviously have more darkness and despair in my subconscious than I ever could imagine in waking life. Beginning to wonder if the dreams really are nothing more than just my mind doing what-if somersaults at night.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project Genus Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Juniper – Iriana (Available NOW at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Dark Passions Koffin Nails, Dark Orchid (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Eyes: Mesange, River Eyes
Dress: Pixicat, Ava Dress
Top: Decoy, Carmen Blouse
Jeans: Spirit, Undina Jeans
Shoes: Atelier Pepe, Maya
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Nimbus
Hair: Mina, Sandra
Makeup: Alaskametro, Babygoth
Eyelashes: CowTea, Doe-eyed Eyelashes
Skin Rain: Izzie’s, Wet Body and Face

Environment: Milk Motion, The Roofs of Paris
Poses:
Nantra, blame it on the rain
EvoLove, kiss the rain
Roquai Poses, Rain 1b (last photo)

We Are All The Story

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Alone in the woods…

Alone in the woods, I am looking for something. I don’t know what I am looking for, but that’s not unusual.

I hear a noise, not far away, and I turn to see

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Another version of me, telling stories to animals.

Another version of me, telling stories to animals. Her/my voice rises and falls, and they are rapt. Dragons flutter round the edges, bunnies cavort; even the squirrels have her/my attention.

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So why am I here?

So why am I here, when I am also there? And what does she have that I don’t have? The forest grows dark around me, and I fear I will be lost.

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“The forest grew darker around her, and she feared she would be lost,”

“The forest grew darker around her, and she feared she would be lost,” says the storyteller/me. And suddenly I realise, not what she has the I haven’t, but what I have that she hasn’t.

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She is telling a story about me.

She is telling a story about me. I am the writer and I am also the protagonist. I am the captive and the captivator. I am the creatrix and the created.

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“We are all the story,” she says.

“We are all the story,” she says. “We are all the beginning and the end of drama, quest, beginnings, middles, and ends. We are all of it.

I am all of it.

You are all of it.

Build your story. Star in it. Create yourself as you create something else. What more magic can there be?

Style Cards:
Gwyneth in the woods
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Gaia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Carter (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyebrows: Alaskametro, “Glimmer” Eyebrows
Eyes: Song, Nagi Eyes
Gown: The Annex, Antonia Gown, Warm (Available NOW at  We Love Roleplay!)
Hair and Garland: Tableau Vivant, Silvana (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Photo Background: Serenity Style, ChoiBoi Mystic Forest Backdrop

Gwyneth with the animals
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Neve
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Carter (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyebrows: SCS Fresh Eyebrows, Blonde
Eyes: Song, Nagi Eyes
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Lady Ariana Gown, Blue (Available NOW at  We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Mina, Carmen
Wings: Muse, Miss TWA 2015 Wings
Necklace and Earrings: Empyrean Forge, Springleaf Necklace and Earrings
Crown: Bauhaus Movement, Rapunzel Crown
Photo Background: Kraftwork, The Book of Dreams
Animals:
Bunnies: anc, Cotton Bunny Cappuccino
Puppy Dogs: anc, Flottante Puppy Cream
Raccoon: Jian, Raccoon Static
Winged Cat: Half Deer, Winged Cat, Contemplate
Black and White Cat: Fashionably Dead, Cat 11- Sitting
Sitting Dragon, Alchemy, Dragonette, Air (rare)
Marble Foxes: Jian, Marble Fox
Faunicorn: Jinx, Faunicorn 5
Squirrel: HEXtraordinary, Fat White Squirrel
Tabby Cat: Fashionably Dead, Cat 12, Curious
Flying Dragons: Half Deer Solstice Dragons Leafwing, Infinite Light, and PermaFrost
Unicorn: Culprit, UniQrn, SnowLeopard Baby

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February Fashion Show!

Sometimes, we find beautiful things in the unlikeliest of places. I think cities like Nu Jyorck excel at this kind of thing. Great artwork on the sides of tenements, sculptures made out of rubbish, and of course the annual February Fae Fashion Show, which takes place in a different abandoned building every year. And while I’m certain my ongoing friendship with Arahaelon is behind many things that happen to me in Nu Jyorck, it still gave me a thrill when the FFS (best initials ever!) crew got in touch to say they’d like me to be in the show this year!

All the models are Fae, though the audience is a mix: Nu Jyorck has such a fae-worshipping vibe that tickets are pretty hot, even for the most expensive city in most Realms. Of course, official photos of the show itself can only be distributed by the FFS corporation and its official publicist, but when you’re a participant, they give you promotional rehearsal photos to share!

So, here are the outfits I’m modelling at the best fashion ticket in Nu Jyorck!

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The Annex: Larkin Gown, for The Trunk Show, Purple

The Annex has such a way with things that are both sexy and simple. The cut of this gown may seem to leave little to the imagination, but it’s flared enough that it moves well on the dance floor, too. And the colours! Such an intense purple here, but the fabric is reflective enough that it appears to be several different shades. The lovely people at No Match handled the hair for this gown: it’s their No Promise style. The necklace is by Vae of The Plastik fame: it’s called Sawola. Zibska, such a deft hand with pastels, did the makeup; their Adelia line works perfectly here. Underneath the eyeshadow and lipstick, the skin painting was accomplished by the amazing folks over at 7 Deadly s{K}ins. Where would I be without them?

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Here’s a closer view, mostly so you can get an idea of how the bodice on the gown falls.

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The collaboration that is Silvan Moon Designs never fails to amaze and delight, and this classy gown is no exception. The pearl collar and neckline are the only adornments on a dress that is just perfectly cut with a great tulip shape. The delicate brocade fabric really sets off the dress, and once again No Match did some magic on my hair for this style: the look is called No Halo, even though I kind of felt as if I were wearing a halo because of this gorgeous Avaway Diadem the organisers put me in.

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Avaway Diadem

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Ghee: Overblown Lace Pashmina, for Sense.

I love it when I get to play with more modern, “casual” clothing styles, even though I think you could wear this pashmina a lot of different ways. Here, it’s paired with an old pair of jeans from my personal wardrobe and some great boots from Empire, the Nelumbo Boots. The hair is by TruthAstra.

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Yummy Truth Hair!

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Silvery K: Soiree Beil Dress and Gloves

Such a fun dress from Silvery K! It comes with matching gloves as well. The shoes are from Pure Poison, the Aurora Sandals, and they might as well have been made for this dress. Hair by MonsoJunghwa. The FootPaw Industries necklace is from my personal collection.

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Cazimi did an amazing job on my nails, don’t you think?

And mm, sexy lace detailing on the bodice and gloves from Silvery K.

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Shanghai: Bella Gown, Rose (for Enchantment)

Now, I’ve seen this before at big Nu Jyorck events. Somehow, they think you’re “more fae” if you come from a “fae realm”. That is, if you come from the Metaverse equivalent of a cultural backwater, you’re somehow more legit as a fae. Which means that they’re always going to try and put you in fairytale gowns and wings and pretty headdresses because they think you’re somehow more honest in those outfits than a Nu Jyorck native would be. Well, that’s poppycock, of course, but I do love a great ballgown, and this is definitely one. The meticulously crafted petals set the whole dress off beautifully, and that skirt is so reflective you feel like you’re wearing liquid gold. Magika provided the hairstyle, Talk Like That, with the headdress by Elise (Silvia) and choker by Empyrean Forge (Majesty) that look like they were made for each other.

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I think this is just a zoom of the same shot, but I like that you can see more of the headdress here. 

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Liz: Abrielle Dress, for Sense

Now, this is a dress I could wear almost anywhere, particularly as the hope of spring is alive in most places. Liz‘s Abrielle Dress has such fun lines, and I love the pearl embellishments. The shoes are from Like DesignDoll Shoes. They are also a lot of fun, and Nani did this incredible Kenna thing with my hair!

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This dress just makes me smile!

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Salt: Belle Gown, for Enchantment

Salt did a beautiful Belle Gown, and of course you know they had to put me in some legit wings sometime! These were crafted by Drastic, and are called Butterfly WingsDeLa did the hair for this outfit: the style is called Melora, which makes me think of that series of fantasy novels I loved as a little kid, the ones with all the dragons.

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Here, you can see the great Cazimi Nails, but the necklace is obscured by my hand, I’m afraid.

I hope the necklace will be visible in some of the official Show photos: it’s from Bliensen & Maitai, and I’ve always liked their work.

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Alter: Viviana Asymmetric Wedding Dress, for Sense

I wouldn’t necessarily wear this dress to get married in, but I’d wear it just about anywhere else. It’s from Alter, the Viviana Asymmetric Wedding Dress, and I love the high-low effect and the loveliness of the bodice here. The BareRose Lace Wings fit beautifully with it, and the jewellery is from Adorsy, the Emily necklace and armbands. These stunning shoes are from Cult: they’re the Desire HeelsExile created this hairstyle, called Jemma.

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A closer look at wings, hair, and necklace? Yes!

So, that’s all eight outfits I was asked to model for this badly-kept-secret fashion show in the steamy underbelly of Nu Jyorck! It was a great experience. I hope they’ll ask me again sometime.

Style Cards:
Most details are in individual descriptions; however:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Nena (Available at the BRAND NEW 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store! —don’t forget to update your landmarks!)
Eyes: AzDesign, Mandala Blue Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Nails: Cazimi
Venue: Trompe Loeil, Cathedral Catwalk Skybox
Poses: All from An Lar; Various Series

 

Faerie By Night

I should have mentioned I’d be away. I had a lot of travel planned for May, and coming off the heels of Fantasy Faire, I had a lack of energy for most things that kept me from doing much besides sleeping when I wasn’t working. Anyway, I’m sorry. I never expected my absence to be so long.

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The Fox Gate

One of the things I’ve been working hard on over the last six weeks or so is the creation of Faerie for White Owl Island. To me, Faerie is an outpouring of the Queen’s imagination, culminating in her own personal Realm, her own Faerie. Over the next few blog posts, assuming I can stay awake and am not too exhausted from being the only White Owl Island admin who is also holding down a full time job, I will do my best to give you a sense of what this Faerie looks like, and maybe why it’s so different.

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Tower Meadow

There’s more than one Tower in the Tower Meadow. I might have a collection of them.

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The hair is from Wasabi Pills, the eyes are from Mesange, the crown is from Junbug, the necklace is from Empyrean Forge, and the wings are from Evolved Creatures.

The skin Gwyneth is wearing is from 7 Deadly s{K}ins. It’s Naomi, currently at the EBento event, which will be open for at least another week. The hair, crown and necklace are all available at Fameshed.

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Fantastic Dress is from Silvan Moon Designs!

Silvan Moon Designs never ceases to please with their lovely texturing and great original mesh. This whole outfit was put together for the White Owl Island opening beach party, which was a big success. Thanks to everyone who came out, and additional thanks to Zander Greene for giving us an amazing night full of music and fun. My fellow admins, Moxy Macbeth, Dyisi Oppewall, Kitori Unplugged, Dickensian Dreamer, and Benbold Resident have done a great job of putting things together, and I’m excited at the number of applications that have been coming in!

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Of course, with the good sometimes comes the bad….

….and it appears that FaeWatch has set up an office in Faerie. Well, if nothing else, this means Cherish Gelato will be on the trail of all your favourite Fae celebrities and scandals! Gwyneth may not like it much on an IC level, but personally, I’m looking forward to all the embarrassing things Cherish may do both to herself and others.

I’m hoping to have some more cool stuff to show you in the near future, and I’ll do my best not to be a stranger. Exhaustion is a crazy thing to feel.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Strawberry (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Eyes: Mesange, Sheba Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Naomi, Omega Appliers (Available NOW at eBento!)
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Summersong (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Crown, Junbug, Crown Diadem Amethyst/Silver (Available NOW at Fameshed!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Rohanna of the Moors (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Shoes: Friday, Koko Wraps

Location: White Owl Island, Faerie.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never come back from an unscheduled blog-cation without it!

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