The Spirit of the Juniper Tree

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They should know we’re watching.

They should know we’re watching. And in hindsight, many of them will say they do, they did. And yet.

And yet.

And yet we still bear witness to all the secrets and horrors that mortal lives suffer, and even welcome. Is it any wonder we dryads have no great love nor devotion to humanity? Better to stay hidden, lest we be drawn into their drama, we say. Unlike our treacherous and arguably royal cousins, the Sidhe, we gain no pleasure from tricking an unarmed enemy. But over and over, we’re forced to witness every imaginable betrayal.

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How do we bear it?

How do we bear it? By remembering that we are souls of wood, that we do not have to be soft, that only the laws of the wild magic, such as they are, apply to us, and we need not be bound by mortal folly.

Even so, even so. Even so, there are happenings that will move even the slow and steadfast heart of a dryad. Most of us have a story: this one is mine.

I have lived as the spirit of many trees, moving from seedling to sapling, slipping away when death comes near, and many years ago, I lived in a juniper tree that was sat in the forecourt of a wealthy man and his wife.

The wife had a liking for trees, and she believed in many things it was not seemly to believe in for a woman of her age and time. She wanted a child, badly, and she came out and sat beneath my tree every single day. She told her husband she was praying. And she was, after a fashion: she was beseeching the faeries to bring her a child, whether it be her own or a changeling she did not mind.

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She left me gifts

She left me gifts, apples mostly. That always made me laugh. Could I not walk over to one of the apple trees and pick my own? Is a gift a gift, if one can get it oneself with so little trouble? I am sometimes plagued by these philosophical questions. But suffice it to say that apples did not interest me overmuch.

No, it was the day she cut her finger peeling one of those apples that she got my attention. She gave herself a good nick, and blood dropped onto the snow. That’s when I started listening, because while human drama doesn’t interest us, human blood, even to a tree spirit, is a lovely, lovely treat.

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I went away and conferred with the Council.

I went away and conferred with the Dryad Council. And bicker, bicker bicker, back and forth, but finally I was allowed to place a magical juniper berry into the woman that would certainly cause her to bear a child. It had to be done while she was asleep beneath the tree, which was a bit of a faff, but I’m perseverant (most of us are).

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And there follows the tale you may know.

And there follows the tale you may know, of this beautiful lady finally conceiving and bearing a child, and of her being so pleased with the baby boy that she died of happiness on the spot, once she had looked upon him.

Mortals. What are they thinking? What was she thinking, dying of happiness because she’d borne a child, with no consideration of its future, its welfare? I cursed myself for my softness in helping this lady’s wish to be granted, because while I’m not the oldest dryad in the forest, I’m old enough to know how these tales go.

Child born, mother dies, father remarries evil stepmother.

It’s drilled into us. This is how the stories go. And even if the second wife wasn’t evil to begin with, fairy stories will twist her to evil, and that’s exactly what happened here.

After a long mourning period, the man of course remarried, and his new wife gave him a daughter, and that’s about the time the story twisted her to evil.

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She became obsessed with her daughter’s future.

She became obsessed with her daughter’s future and decided that the best way to ensure house and lands for the girl would be to kill her older brother. Of course, it took her years to come up with this plan, by which time her daughter and the boy were beautifully bonded as siblings, despite the fact that the stepmother did nothing but abuse the boy. No-one ever called her out on this behaviour, not even her husband (also known as the boy’s father). So by the time she got around to killing him, he was something like ten years old and the girl was perhaps seven. I do not know: time goes by so quickly for mortals; for trees it is a bit more slow.

But you know the next bit of the story too, don’t you? You know that she killed her stepson by decapitating him, and then to cover up what she’d done, she placed him in a position where his sister would surely find him and knock his head off, effectively making the girl believe she was the murderess and not her mother.

I think, mortals, that there should be rules about this sort of thing. There really should be. First of all, it is not acceptable to die of happiness on the day of your child’s birth. That opens the child up to a future of torment over which you, happy mother, will have no power.  Secondly, if you’re going to murder your child, evil stepmother, it should not be acceptable to pin the blame on the surviving child whom you mean the death to benefit. Think of the psychological scars!

Luckily for the boy, the sister knew quite a bit about fairy tales, and after having seen her mother cook the boy up into blood puddings, which her mother and father ate happily at a dinner where she could only cry, she had enough wits still about her (a miracle, considering her day: oh, it makes me fume even now to think of it!) to gather up the boy’s bones and bury them beneath my branches.

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I sang with the wind all night.

I sang with the wind all night, and in the morning, because of the girl’s quick thinking and my not inconsiderable talents, there rose from the branches a beautiful tufted bird with snapping black eyes and a voice that could make a Sidhe queen’s frozen heart melt.

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We conferred briefly.

We conferred briefly, the boy and I, and then he went off to collect the things you know from the rest of the story: the gold chain, the red shoes, the mill stone. Chain to the father, shoes to the sister, mill stone to crush the stepmother. Magically, the bird becomes the little boy all alive again, and seemingly regardless of the stepmother’s corpse out there somewhere in the forecourt, the man and his two children go inside and have their dinner. Which, I just have to hope, did not include any leftover puddings from the last meal served at that table.

And that’s my story of that one time I softened my heart and tried to improve a mortal’s life. I’m so glad this is a fairy tale and not a fable. If it were a fable, I’d have to come up with a pithy moral, like, The family that kills together, chills together, or something equally macabre.

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Juniper Tree and Juniper Bird, from Rivendale.

Style Card:
The Juniper Tree: Rivendale, Juniper Tree (At Enchantment until November 30th)
The Juniper Bird: Rivendale, Juniper Bird (At Enchantment until November 30th)

The Dryad:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Lisa Bento Mesh Head (New at Uber)
Hair: Raven Bell, Willow (At Enchantment until November 30th)
Skin: Fallen Gods, Wood Nymph, Spring
Ears: Eclectica Elf Ear, Creature Version
Wings: Evolved Creatures, Fae Wings
Eyes: Seydr, Hallows Eyes, Grave
Leather catsuit: !go! Findis Overalls, Brown
Wrapped Tree Top: Shi, Tree of Life Creepers Top
Boots: Illi, Medieval Archer Boots

Environment:
Location: Awenia Faerie
Apple Trees: The Little Branch, Apple Tree
Wishing Well: Hextraordinary, Wishing Well (At Enchantment until November 30th)
Basket of Apples: Finishing Touches, Basket of Apples
Stone Wall: Artisan Fantasy, Maiden Tor Stone Wall
All poses, except tree sits (included with the tree) are from Frolic Poses (Beseeching, Harbinger, and Fairy)

 

Fitcher’s Bird (in her own words)

I am not weak. Now I have brought my sisters back, alerted my brothers, and made myself a creature of legend, there remains only the long, long walk that will trap the monster who intends me to be his bride.

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See how I glitter.

See how I glitter? He will never know me. Am I clever? Oh, yes; yes, I am clever. I don’t even feel guilty about it, burning this man who wronged me and all his associates and posessions to the ground.

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His precious castle

Only a shell of his precious castle will be left. My brothers are thorough.

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But I feel beautiful, and strong

But I feel beautiful, and strong, like the bird I am emulating. This bird is a beautiful fantasy, a vengeful warrior, an irresistible decoy. I wonder, when he sees me, will he want the bird, too? Of course, he can lure me no longer with his worn-out ruse.

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Sure as the Spirit Maiden

Sure as the Spirit Maiden who watches over his courtyard (and I’m not above seeing the irony in that, by the way), I know my path, down from the steps, away from the carnage to come, down to the forest, where I will await him and his broken form as he returns from returning my own sisters to our home, as he greets my brothers’ hunting party (he does not know they are hunting him), as he begs for a scrap of bread and a cup of wine before he goes. How I would laugh if I could watch him.

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O Fitcher’s Bird, how com’st thou here?

Oh, and all the guests, they greet me in my glory as they pass:

O Fitcher’s Bird, how com’st thou here?
I come from Fitcher’s house quite near.
And what may the young bride be doing?
From cellar to garret, she’s swept all clean
And now from the window she’s peeping, I wean.

I have accomplished this by arranging a clean, white skull with a crude wig and placing it in one of the castle’s side windows. He’ll never know the difference.

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It was never me he saw

It was never me he saw, anyway. He saw only a woman who appeared to exhibit total obedience to him. My ruse. My trick. My pretence. I do not even shiver in the bitter cold; my rage and triumph warms me as I wait, wait, here at the crossroads, for my nasty little bridegroom with his bent back and his bathtub full of bodies up in the tower.

Oh, look: here he comes now.

This stunning dress, complete with wings and headpiece, comes from The Looking Glass‘ Sharni Azalee. Its inspiration is the Grimm Brothers tale Fitcher’s Bird. When I opened this box and saw the photo for this dress, I gasped, for real. It is absolutely stunning, properly fitted, easy to wear. Thank you, Sharni, for such an amazing dress. It felt as if it were made just for me, and I know loads of other fantasy fashion fiends will feel the same way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Spencer Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia, Tone 1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Ciara (Available at the Truth Main Store, but only if you’re in the VIP group!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: S0ng, Demi Eyes
Stunning Gown, Wings, Headpiece, Snake Belt & Wrap: The Looking Glass, Fitcher’s Bird (Available Saturday, 10 November at Enchantment‘s Brothers Grimm round!)

Environment:
Castle: By Nacht, Forfax Castle
Statue: Titans, Spirit Maiden
Trees:
Birches, The Little Branch, Mystic Birch
Candle Cage Trees: The Roawenwood, Winter White Wedding Trees
Forest Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Path: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
All Poses from An Lar

 

A Little Prophecy

Not a full day after I had that weird dream about the talking frog, Bran informed me that we’d received an invitation to the latest theme event for one of my favourite off-Realm faires, Enchantment. And you’ll never guess what the theme is! OK, probably you already guessed, given the title and lead-in here. It’s The Frog Prince. Now, obviously there was going to be lots of fun stuff at this event, so I grabbed Bran, and off we went.

Whoosh! Of course everything there was beautiful. And I might have almost blown the Royal Budget, but when you’re the Queen everything works out for you in the end, so I didn’t worry too much. Weirdly, one of the things I found was a beautiful gown from Silvan Moon Designs. Well, there’s nothing weird about finding a beautiful gown from there…. but it was weird that it exactly matched the dress I’d dreamed about just the night before. Sometimes, my mind astounds even me.

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Into the Ruins I skipped!

I also found this stunning dress from Noble Creations, and a nice new crown from Bauhaus Movement that’ll be lovely for autumn, assuming it ever gets here. Helpers were on hand from two of my favourite hairstylists, Analog Dog and No Match. Also weirdly, the new style from Analog Dog was exactly like the one in my dream. Of course I made a deal to have Queue (we’re totally on a first name basis now!) come round to the castle and plait my hair for me sometime in the near future, but once I got the extensions from No Match in, I knew I’d have them in at least for a week. Unless I get bored…. you know how it is.

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The Ruins

As Awenia reshapes itself around me, little nooks and crannies are always springing up. This one is built around what appear to be the ruins of an old church, or maybe a monastery. That’s odd in and of itself, since you don’t find many Christian-style churches in Fae lands, but you never know about the history of a place. I also know that many of the demifae like to reclaim lands like this for their own purposes, so maybe that’s what happened here. I loved the little benches; their maker’s mark says they come from Raindale, which doesn’t surprise me at all: I’ll have to find out who sourced those. I recognised two trees as obviously being from Sharni Azalee’s beautiful nursery in The Looking Glass realm: one of them looks just perfect for stealing kisses with Nathaniel when I bring him here later to show him the Ruins. I think he’ll like this part of the Realm. That’s if I can get his attention away from his ongoing Words With Friends games. I swear, for someone to whom technology is completely new, he’s caught on very quickly. Of course, he still describes it as “the library in my trousers,” so maybe we do have a little way to go there.

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Bran made me pose like this.

Bran made me pose like this, because he loves the extensions. Here, they are still new so the ends look shiny and perfect. He’s another one who’s embraced technology wholeheartedly. I still can’t get Clutie to log in to the castle computer system, but she says that’s because they don’t make hardware in her size. I just don’t argue with her about it.

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Royal Dress, by Noble Creations

Then, he wanted to get another shot of me in the beautiful Royal Dress by Noble Creations. He still wasn’t happy that all the sleeve detail wasn’t showing, so he had to take like five more photographs. If Bran had been raised in a more modern Realm, he’d be a fashion photographer, for sure. He really has an eye for it.

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A little closer.

“Now, let me get a little closer to you, Your Majesty,” Bran said. “I want to make sure we have a nice shot of that beautiful crown.”

“Did you know,” I said, trying not to be too self-conscious, “that Bauhaus Movement included this necklace as a gift with the crown? I have no idea how they afford to do that.”

“I guess the best designers just know their markets enough,” he replied, though I could tell he wasn’t really thinking about it too hard.

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I really did wonder, though.

I really did wonder, though.

Bran cut into my thoughts. “Oh, yes!” he said. “Look at those slashed shoulders!”

I swear, any minute now I was expecting him to tell me to Work It, Baby! or something.

“Just get a nice photo of my face, and let’s stop?” I asked. “It’s hot, and this dress is getting prickly. It’ll be great in October, though.”

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Portrait

Bran obliged.

“I want to remember this skin paint from 7 Deadly s{K}ins,” I said. “It’s called Focus. I could use a little more of that in my life.”

And would you believe he laughed? He caught himself when I mock-glared at him. “Well, far be it from me to contradict you, Your Highness.”

“I’m finding a frog and putting it in your bed!” I said.

He shuddered. “We’d better get home, then,” he said, “so I can make you forget about all that with an exquisite lunch. Fresh salmon today, with couscous and vegetables from Clutie’s garden.”

“Mm, Clutie does have a way with aubergines,” I said. “Which reminds me to get you a recipe for baba ghanoush.”

Off we went home. I should really spend more time at home: I haven’t explored the entire castle yet, and you know there are always surprises to be found here.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Focus (Available until AUGUST 18 at Designer Circle!)
Nails: Cazimi, Influence Nails (Available NOW at the Designer Showcase!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Gown: Noble Creations, Royal Gown (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Eudora, 3D Arianne Pumps (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Hair: No Match, No Spell (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Necklace and Crown: Bauhaus Movement, Frog Prince (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Eyelashes: Besom, Sassy Lash (Available NOW at Kustom9!)

Location: Awenia, The Ruins
Structure: Delirium + Lunacy, Ancient Temple
Benches: Raindale, Heathergate Bench
Ground Cover: Keke, Dotty Grass
Big Trees: The Looking Glass, The Kissing Tree (Available NOW at Enchantment!); and
The Looking Glass: Will-O-Wisp Tree (You can pick this up at The Looking Glass main store!)

Sometimes a Story

Sometimes, a story…

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…doesn’t need words.

Style Cards:
Style Cards:
Gwen:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Perla (Available NOW at the Hipster Fair! The Fair closes on 3 March, so hurry up!)
Eyes: Song, Nagi Eyes
Gown: Infinity, Bella Princes (rare!) (Available NOW at  Enchantment!)
Shoes: Infinity, Ballerina (rare!) (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Hair: Runaway, Cindy
Headpiece: Bauhaus Movement, Bella Headpiece Yellow (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Bracelet: Bauhaus Movment, Bella Bracelet (Available NOW at Enchantment!)

Nyza:
Body: Belleza Jake,
Head: GA.EG Evan,
Hair: NO MATCH_NO.PAST B.
Eyes: Mesange Killarney Eyes, 11,
Pants: Clermont Blue Breeches,
Shoes/Tights: Clermont 18th Century Shoes,
Shirt: Noble Creations Beastie Jacket Blue (Available NOW at Enchantment!)

Environment:
Ruins: 3rd Eye Perceptions, Forgotten Ruins Set (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Garden: The Looking Glass, The Beast’s Lair (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Poses:
Photo 1: Luanne’s World, Bento Poses, I Give You My Heart
Photos 2 & 3: K&S, Souls
Photos 3, 4, 5: Poses embedded into the Beast’s Lair set by The Looking Glass
Photo 6: I am so sorry: I didn’t make a note of it, and I can’t find it. If you recognise it, please leave me a message.

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

 

Dancing Under the Lantern Tree

From Gwen Enchanted: Some of you know that my real life is very busy. This has been one of those weeks with work, and I’m sorry not to have been blogging more. I’m going to try to up my pace in the weeks to come, but things are very busy where I work, and I can’t promise my post-work exhaustion level is going to improve any time soon. I remain hopeful, though. On to today’s post!

It’s been a quiet week in Lake White Owl Island… wait. 😉 No, really; things have been very quiet. Arahaelon has been away, presumably talking with our Bureau of Supernatural Affairs contact. I haven’t been to visit Saoirse in a few days, but I do feel sorry for her. I know selkies can survive for whole lifetimes without their skins, but it has got to be annoying not to have it and be able to just splash down and hang out with all the other selkies.

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I can’t seem to stay away from the Lantern Tree.

I can’t seem to stay away from the Lantern Tree. It’s such a beautiful spot, and I love the oasis feel it has to it, especially with the river of faerie there in the background. At dusk, or just past, when everything is starting to blend down into blues and purples, is my favourite time to be there.

At the same Enchantment event, I found this beautiful dance ensemble from Silvan Moon Designs. It comes in an array of bright colours, so of course you know I had to go with the red. Glamoured my hair (a new style from Queue Marlowe, the genius behind Analog Dog Hair) and my eyes (painted by Jadis Ashland of Mesange) brown and just played in the lamplight for hours last night.

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Even as an “adult” (hahaha!) I never stop playing “let’s pretend”.

Even as an “adult” (hahaha!) I never stop playing “let’s pretend”. Of course, at the moment I can’t get the captive faeries out of my head, so I was thinking what if you had a racket like that going in some quasi-Gorean world where there was this idea that all women, be they faeries or amazons or goblins, are meant to be slaves. What would happen to someone like me in a place like that?

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How do we get the idea that we’re not beings of power?

How do we get the idea that we’re not beings of power? I mean, I get the concept; I do. I did sociology in secondary school, and I recognise the classic signs of abuse, and I know why abused people don’t “just leave”. But there’s something intriguing about stories of entire races, groups of people, people who were formerly empowered, being enslaved or overcome by another group of people (where “people” is really “any kind of sentient being” here; we could even be talking about an alien invasion, I guess). I guess as a much younger woman I read stories like The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty and was intrigued by them, but in my life, I keep ending up being the person who has to make the decisions. Maybe it’s like that line from The Handmaid’s Tale: “There are two kinds of freedom, ladies: freedom to and freedom from. You are now being offered freedom from. Don’t underestimate it.”

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Whom do I trust?

I wonder now. Whom do I trust? Who could I give away my decisions to? Not Nathaniel: He is burdened enough, and he overthinks everything, which means that things seldom get done on his watch.

Arahaelon? Well, he’s great to look at, but he’s a bit of an egomaniacal arse, and he and Skel seem to have something going. I can certainly ask him for help with Island things: he’s pretty much in charge there, anyway.

Dyisi? Gods, no. She hands back any responsibility you give her with a smile.

Memories of the past? Janus. I could have given everything to Janus, but he left us, and I haven’t heard from him since the children were born. Mornoth. If I hadn’t been so soured on the Wylds by the time he came along, maybe we could have had something. I don’t even think about people like Richard any more, unless someone asks to be told the story of how I ended up away from the Realm where I was raised, anyway. Side note: must really look up Fen/Tac and apologise to her at some point. There are rumours that she’s in the Forest somewhere, but they are just rumours, I’m sure.

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Nevertheless, I’m in this life now, and I suppose I have to live with it.

Nevertheless, I’m in this life now, and I suppose I have to live it. No matter how weird that sounds to say out loud. Dyisi says I always run away. Well, I’m trying not to run away, but the prospect of Great Adventures elsewhere (not to mention shopping) usually takes me at least a bit farther afield than most of the White Owl Island residents.

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Still, the whole question of how someone like Saoirse could be so badly used by another is haunting.

Still, the whole question of how someone like Saoirse could be so badly used by another is haunting. And, frankly, depressing. What kind of person uses another’s very nature to enslave and subdue them against their will? I suppose all those stories that titillated me as a kid were about people who chose their fate, or at least found that once they’d been placed in the situation they were in, they found it satisfying. The real story of someone stealing Saoirse’s skin and then blackmailing her with it is significantly less romantic.

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We must get Saoirse’s skin back.

So, I shall set myself a task. While Arahaelon is working on the legal ins and outs, I will talk with Dyisi— and we, we will get Saoirse’s skin back.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Analog Dog, Theory (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Dandy Eyes (Available NOW at Hipster Men Event!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Studio Elf Ears Dior
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Destiny (Full face and body Omega applier)
Clothes: Silvan Moon Designs, Princess Parizade Dhoti, (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Shoes: Supernatural, Opulent Anklet

The Lantern Tree, from The Looking Glass, is available as a gacha NOW at Enchantment!

Location: White Owl Island Faerie. If you’re looking for a great contemporary fantasy roleplaying sim, why not check us out? White Owl Island, Where Everybody Knows Your Shape.

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Wrong Turn

Sometimes, Realm-Hopping isn’t as straightforward as I pretend it is for those who can’t do it. You’ll never find two beings who travel between Realms and do it the same way unless one of them taught the other, and even then, the student’s method will evolve into something more personal, which they might teach to someone else, and so on.

Once upon a time I had an amulet given to me by a goddess, who then turned out to be a false goddess, interested only in her own power and gratification. Once I tore myself away from her, I had to kluge together my own methods. It often felt like I was stepping forward into the dark. I know Dyisi would have scolded me if she’d known how many risks I was taking, and rightly so. As I scolded Fenella—or Tacey, or whatever she’s calling herself these days—when she rocked reality and fell naked upon my altar up in the old Faerie bower.

That’s another thing I need to come clean about: I’m going to leave the Wylds. It’s too much. There is too much drama, too many dark machinations. I hope I will still be able to keep my promise to Mornoth, because Mornoth, bless him, is a very good creature who’s been thrust into a very bad situation…. and I’m rambling again.

The other day, I took a wrong turn.

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The other day, I took a wrong turn.

Honestly, I don’t know how it happened. One minute, I was set on travelling to a Realm where there’s a special faire on for people who love the moon, and then I started thinking about my Mother (my bio one) and how she was imprisoned for so long. I know, rookie mistake. But I landed in one of the weirdest little created universes I’ve ever seen.

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This pocket universe was obviously created by someone who loves the moon.

This pocket universe was obviously created by someone who loves the moon. Everything in it, with the exception of the homage to Scottish artist Nathan Coley’s outdoor artwork, is representative of or associated with the moon. I couldn’t resist photographing myself with this copy of the installation, as I never got a chance to see the real one. I wish Nathaniel knew more about modern art: he and I could discuss why the kerning isn’t right on this copy for hours on end, most likely.

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There were even versions of the moon for sitting and sleeping.

There were even depictions of the moon for sitting and sleeping. This one was up a nonsensical spiral staircase that just kind of ends at a window. And why the moon globe is just standing here is anybody’s guess—maybe the creator isn’t finished with his or her refuge.

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For a moment, I let myself wonder why anybody would even create such a thing.

For a moment, I let myself wonder why anybody would even create such a thing. But then, why do I create the things I create? My little empty (so far) town, my book forest, my tower by the water. And what was with this weird wind? It seemed calculated to blow my skirt up at just the wrong angle. Then I giggled and decided the creator of this little hideaway was obviously some kind of a perv with a fantasy on for women in short skirts exposing their knickers or more. Some sort of magical shag shack. Ugh. Then I felt a bit dirty, but really, how different is a place like this to, er, anywhere in Faerie on Beltane?

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But, musings aside, I had some shopping to get to.

But, musings aside, I had some shopping to get to. I’ve got my eye on some new hairstyles for spring, and I’m thinking lavender is exactly the right colour for me this year. Well, for this minute anyway. Who knows what’ll happen when I get to the next Faire?

Faires….Oh, that puts me in mind of the great multi-Realm Fantasy Faire. That’s only a couple of months away! My favourite Faire of the year. Because it’s all for a charity I can care about, I am becoming more involved this year and will be helping with some of the literary events that happen across the Faire. Apparently my background in mortal English literature isn’t as useless as people make it out to be!

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I took one last look back at the Shag Shack….

I took one last look back at the Shag Shack…. and wouldn’t you know it, that fucking wind caught my skirt again. It’s a good thing I was alone: I don’t fancy showing half my arse to just anybody, you know.

Credits:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Mesh Bento Head
Hair: Sintiklia, Scarlet (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Serendipity Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Ella (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Makeup: Arte, Astrid Eyeshadow and Catya Glossy Lipstick
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Elf Dior Ears (Available NOW at Fetish Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Nails: Astralia, Moon Shine Nails for Bento Hands (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Dress: Dead Dollz: Shy Breeze, Purple (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Shoes: Violetility, Luna Heels

Scene:
Stairs: {anc} No Limits, Stairs to Moonlight
Crescent on Landing: {anc} Moonlight Lounge, Moon Boat
Moon globe on landing: Hideki, Steampunk Moon
Crescent behind stairs: PoseIt, Crescent Moon for Moonbeam Flapper Poses
Suspended Full Moon: BellEquipe, Moon Light
Suspended Crescent Moon: Ariskea, Fae Dreams, Moon of Us, Purple
Huge Full Moon, Medieval Fantasy, Giant Full Moon
Portal: Spell, Portals to other Dimensions
Gate behind stairs: CubeRepublic, Moon Gate
Lamp suspended from Stair Landing: Happy Mood, Globe Lamp M (moon)
Crescent Moon mounted to Stair Landing: Mori, Moonlight Silver
Moon with Blankets below Stairs: Pixel Mode, Lover’s Midsummer Night Moon
Small Standing Crescent Moon: Naminoke, The High Priestess Crescent
Lamp suspended from Sign: Happy Mood, Globe Lamp S (moon)
Full moon suspended from Sign: Keke, The Sky is the Limit, Moon
Moon mounted on branches/antlers: E.V.E, Snow on Branches Winter Bush White
Portal Behind Sign: Jinx, Gweles Stones, Magical
Standing Crescent Moon behind Sign: Air, Lost Moon standing, gold
There Will Be No Miracles Here sign: Fetch, No Miracles Sign

Photographed in Phototools No Light Windlight; all lighting in the scene comes from the LumiPro and created projectors.

Special thanks are due to Brez Lander, who, when I asked what you call a place where a guy brings women for the express purpose of seducing them, came up with “shag shack”. Thanks, Brez!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never light a model in complete darkness, in a set that took hours to build and which I will completely rip out within 24 hours, without it!

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