The Beautiful Age

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I decorated the Parlour in the Tree House.

I decorated the Parlour in the tree house. I found some beautiful salon furnishings from The Looking Glass at another one of those faraway shopping faires. This one is called The Secret Affair, and I regularly do a multi-Realm hop to get there whenever I hear that it’s on. And of course I found a beautiful new gown from those geniuses at Silvan Moon Designs. It comes in many beautiful colours, but I thought given the salon décor, I should go with red! I got a new hairstyle from Queue Marlowe over at Analog Dog Hair as well, and I love it so much: It is so bohemian and freeing. I also went to a couple of antique markets and found some beautiful photos of courtesans, actresses, and ladies of the night, mostly from the Belle Epoque, the Beautiful Age. They decorate the walls of the parlour.

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Parlour, View 1

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Parlour, View 2

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Parlour, View 3

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Parlour, View 4

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Parlour, View 5

All the furniture, the candles, the chandelier, the bar, the privacy screen, it’s all from The Looking Glass. What a great job Sharni Azalee did on this beautiful décor set. I love this room now! And of course because I loved the room so much, I had to invite a friend over.

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Meet Myst!

Meet Myst! Myst is a lovely friend and a designer of beautiful clothing. We had a lovely conversation, and lots of fun!

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We shared some secrets….

We shared some secrets….

Myst and I are discovering we have a lot in common.

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And isn’t she beautiful?

And isn’t she beautiful? Look at those eyes.

Myst helped me place some of the beautiful pictures that are on the walls; I really love how the pictures go with the décor.

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We decided we would do this more often!

We decided we would do this more often!

After Myst left to go home, I settled down on one of the settees and fell asleep. And I had a dream….

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Once upon a time, there was a captive faery.

Once upon a time, there was a captive Faery. In her own land, she had been the daughter of a King. But there was a club in Old Nu Jyorck in that time catered to rich mortal men who had, well… they had a lust and love for the Fae.

One of their members was a powerful magician, trained by famous hermeticists from Italy. He devised a spell that would subdue even wild Fae energy and keep it contained, making the Faery an indentured servant to the magician’s will. And so they kept them there, and used them for the entertainments of their various guests.

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Sometimes, the captive faery’s countenance was so sad.

Sometimes, the captive faery’s countenance was so sad. Her wings felt clipped. Sad songs were made more sad by the little glamour she could use to enhance her performances.

You may ask, why did the faeries work when they were essentially slaves to the magician’s will? Well, I can only tell you the story of this one faery. She cried and begged to be let free, but the magician would only tell her that if she served him there for seven years, he would release her. And so she did what she was told, and suffered along with the rest of the faeries, none of whom would talk to her about their agreements with the magician, whatever they were.

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Like all faeries, she had a voice that could rival the mythical human angels.

Like all faeries, she had a voice that could rival the mythical human angels. On nights when she was singing, the club was full of wealthy men, all of whom listened, rapt, as she sang.

Night after night, she fended off the advances of the mortal men, knowing there were other faeries at the club who welcomed that sort of work.  And year after year, she watched those faeries come and go, She knew that if she went to the magician and asked him, he might change her contract. But she just couldn’t imagine herself in that position, so she continued to sing.

What happened to her? I do not know. The story handed down to me didn’t say much else. I like to believe she was eventually released, that she went back to her life in Faerie tougher and sadder, and that she kept her family safe from threats ever after.

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I do know that she was famous, in her way.

I do know that she was famous, in her way. There is a series of postcards (postcards were very popular in this time) that feature her. Some of the other faeries are featured as well, but none so often as this one.

Her name was Glorian.

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When I wake up, I am in the same red dress in which I fell asleep.

When I wake up, I am in the same red dress in which I fell asleep. I feel somehow that I have been shown a little piece of unknown Fae history, something that I need to investigate. I wonder if Sharni got her inspiration from that club, or maybe I just superimposed it on to my dream.

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I looked back on to my dream, thinking of Glorian.

I looked back on to my dream, thinking of Glorian. How can I learn more of her story? What about the Fae underclass in Old Nu Jyorck? Perhaps I should visit there again, maybe find where the club was. But I don’t even know its name. My dream didn’t tell me that. Maybe I will ask Dyisi to help me with a vision quest.

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Yes, I think I will ask Dyisi about that, the next time I see her.

Yes, I think I will ask Dyisi about that, the next time I see her. How to tell that story. How to experience what Glorian experienced, the dark side of The Beautiful Age. How to bring it to life somehow. And how to find out if there are other Realms where Faeries are treated this way. I consider, for a moment, how different my life is from hers. My privilege. My power. My influence. What can I do for those less fortunate than myself?

And all the trouble surrounding White Owl at this time. The influx of refugees. The worry that there is a HS operative in our midst. The boat on fire. And tonight, the vandalism around Camlann and the word “Bloodsucker” written on the wall. We are entering a time of struggle and strife, my Islanders and me. But we will get through it. We will. I will find a way to help, to lift my people up and bring them further in to the light.

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I can’t wait to see Myst again.

I can’t wait to see Myst again. What a beautiful soul she is.

Style Card:

Salon Furniture and Décor (except for wall art): 
The Looking Glass, The Torch Singer Gacha Set, Available NOW at  The Secret Affair!)
Sharni Azalee’s stunning set of parlour/boudoir furniture inspired this entire post, inspired me to go looking for those actresses and courtesans to create the wall art for this parlour, which in turn inspired the story about Glorian. This is not one of those photoshoot sets I build and take down: this is now Gwyneth’s upstairs parlour in Faerie, the place where she greets intimate friends and guests. The only room more private in Gwyneth’s Treehouse is her actual bedroom, which is just down the hall from this beautiful parlour. Thank you, Sharni. Without your designs, my Second Life would be less beautiful.

Gwyneth in the Red Dress:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Analog Dog, Hyacinth
Eyes: Mesange, Arum Eyes (Available NOW at Hipster Men Event!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: Lumae, Ruby (Catwa Applier) (Available NOW at The Lumae Main Store!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, The Courtesan Gown (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Arm Roses: Death Row Designs, Ravishing Roses Body Jewellery
Headpiece: Zenith, Spring Rose Crown (Red)
Shoes: Illi, Maitreya Rosalyn Rose Heels

Gwyneth as Glorian:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Analog Dog, Hyacinth
Eyes: Mesange, Arum Eyes (Available NOW at Hipster Men Event!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: Lumae, Ruby (Catwa Applier) (Available NOW at The Lumae Main Store!)
Dress: Fallen Gods & Faida, Ars Amandi, Aurelia Intense (Rare)  (Available NOW at The Epiphany)
Jewellery: Earthstones, Mystic Bracelet and Necklace
Headpiece: LODE, Bellflower Crown (Light Violet)
Wings: BareRose, Fairy Bento Wings, Colour
Shoes: Saga, Bohemian Sandal

Myst:
Body: Slink Hourglass
Head: Catwa, Catya Bento Mesh Head
Hair: [DUE] After Monday V2
Eyes: IKON Triumph Eyes – Fjord
Skin: Pink Fuel – [PF] Sora <Alabaster> – Special Edition
Dress: Senzafine .:SF:. “Araceli” Gown – Dusk (Fitmesh)

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.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never give Gwyneth disturbing dreams about enslaved Fae without it!

TheLookingGlassLogoFullColor   MESANGE LOGO 2017   lumae-logo   silvan-moon-designs-logo-full

 

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Midnight at the Fair Maiden

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Gwyneth:

I continue to be plagued by strange dreams, dreams in which I am someone else, in a completely different world, with a completely different life.

I remember as a child reading a series of books by Diana Wynne Jones, about a series (well, several series, actually) of worlds in which there were varying degrees of magic and tolerance for magic. In every world, there were different versions of oneself, the only exception being in the case of special nine-lived enchanters, who had no cognates in other worlds. This, apparently, was how they got these nine lives. Anyway, I became fascinated with the books at first because there was a character named Gwendolyn, a name close enough to Gwyneth to spark my imagination. As I continue to dream my way through to whatever lesson these experiences are going to give me, I suspect I am getting glimpses of my lives in other worlds. Or maybe I just read too much speculative fiction as a child.

This dream was memorable, mostly because it included Dyisi, and “I” had no idea who or what she was! And oh, the things I thought about her, about Fae, about the world! I can’t imagine being raised in such a society, where a difference like pointed ears or a pair of horns means you’d be treated differently by everyone. No, wait. I can imagine that. I was raised in such a place. Even my own history becomes mutable, what with all these alternatives to consider.

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She came in right at midnight.

She came in right at midnight. I was cleaning off the bar, just about ready to head home.

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“We’re closed”, I said, without looking up.

“We’re closed”, I said, without looking up.

“Ah, but I have come so far”, replied a heavily accented voice, and I didn’t recognise the accent.

When I looked up, I couldn’t believe what I saw.

“I am just needing a few things”, she continued. Her glasses obscured her eyes, but there seemed to be a light glowing behind the lenses. And she had glowing horns. And a tail, and… yes, hooves. And for some absurd reason, there was a white crow perched on one of the horns.

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I took a step back. “You’re not allowed”, I said.

I took a step back. “You’re not allowed”, I said. I lowered my voice: someone could be listening. “You can’t be here, if you’re not human. You’re illegal”.

“Illegal, am I?” she asked. “Why’s that?”

“Because of the Betrayal”, I said.

She shook her head. “Never heard of him”, she replied. “I am called Dyisi”.

“Gwyneth”, I said. This prompted a sharp laugh from the horned woman. “The betrayal. You know. When the Faerie said she’d keep us safe, but she broke her promise and so was turned to stone?”

“Was she now”. The woman—Dyisi—didn’t seem very impressed. “I’m no Fae; I’m a Satyr”.

“Doesn’t matter; you’re still illegal”, I said.

“Ah, well”. She tilter her head up to me. “I wonder if you’re not illegal, too?”

I shushed her with a gesture. And I could feel her reaching out with some internal power, to get at me, disturb my glamour, take me down with her. “You need to go”. I’m afraid I used my overbearing barmaid voice, the one I have to use on the old men, every night at half eleven, to get them all out of the door before twelve, so I can clean the place and get home before night workers’ curfew, one o’clock in the morning.

“So be it”, she said. And then, I kid you not, she just became more and more transparent until finally she disappeared.

So I finished what I was doing and locked up. Couldn’t stop thinking of her, though.

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You have to bash the pub door with your hip. I give it an extra push with my elbow.

You have to bash the pub door with your hip to close it properly; I like to give it an extra push with my elbow, just to make sure it’s locked. It’s a good thing the village has a curfew: the prince is afraid we’ll all be eaten by vampires, because of the betrayal, so nobody is allowed out on the streets after pub closing. Nobody but the barmaids ever see the ridiculous dance we have to do to close the pub door. I think the curfew’s funny for two reasons: first of all, if he were really serious about the vampire thing, why not make it sundown? And second, why make the only people in the village who have permission to be out after pub closing the pub girls? Aren’t we the most vulnerable? Anyway.

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Who was this “Dyisi”?

Who and what was this “Dyisi”? She had no fear of walking as a … different sort of person. She seemed surprised that anybody would.

How is that even possible?

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I mean, people everywhere know of the Betrayal.

I mean, people everywhere know of the Betrayal. We just happen to be the lucky (and by lucky I mean not) village on the edge of nowhere where the legend actually happened. People don’t visit us much because they fear they’ll be tainted with the stink of the Betrayal. All my uncles and aunts moved away long ago, and none of them can understand why my mum and dad stayed here to raise me, being what we are. Mum and Dad say it’s so I have to stare at her every day and learn my place in the world, since our kind are given to hubris.

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And they’re right.

And they’re right: having to look at that, day in and day out, would give any Fae (I feel funny even to say it: I’m meant to say “girl” whenever I mean “fae”. Or “boy”) cause to worry. See how her back is turned on the village’s High Street? That signifies how she failed to protect us when the Dark Fae came to steal our children, a century ago now. She is the only place in the world where we see an actual depiction of a Fae. They (we) are prohibited in every city, every town, illegal in artwork, and of course the penalty for being one, or being any member of a race not human, is death. I look at her pointed ears and remember how mine sometimes used to show, back when I was young enough not to keep the glamour up in my sleep. I can still feel the bruises on my bottom: Dad takes glamour very seriously, even if we’re not meant to know other things can be done with magic.

I walked down the lamp-lit street, mindful of every dark corner: who knows what could be lurking there, Mum says; I don’t know why you work in that place, she says, when we have a perfectly good toy shop that any girl would love to work in. The money, Mum, I say. It’s the money. She can’t think why I need money, but I can: Soon as I can afford transport, I’m getting out of here. Somewhere far away.

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I was still thinking of Dyisi when I reached our house.

I was still thinking of Dyisi when I reached our house. It’s at the other end of the village, even though that means about a five-minute walk. Mum thinks it’s the end of the earth, and she’s always waiting up for me, and she’s scared because the pub is on the edge of the forest, “and you have no idea what horrific things take place in there,” she’ll say. One day I’m going to walk all the way past the forest to the ruined castle and see if it’s really haunted. When I’m twenty-eight. By that time, I’ll have saved all the money I need to get out of here, and I’ll carry it all with me when I walk to the castle, just in case, as the stories say, there are other, less human, ways of getting out of the village.

For a moment, I wondered what kind of creature Dyisi was, but I knew it would be pointless to ask: I’d be up against the court of Mum and Dad, and I’d have to wait ’til I’m thirty to get out of here, because they would make me quit my job at the pub tomorrow if they knew a creature with glowing horns had walked in, presumably out of the forest, and just fucking disappeared from inside a well-lit pub. Maybe that’s how Fae get around. Maybe they can just think themselves anywhere. Tomorrow I’ll try thinking myself into the  bathing chamber before Michaela. She thinks she’s so special, dating the son of the mayor. Wait til their wedding night, I think, and it makes me smile. I bet she loses her glamour when he puts it in her, and that’ll be the shortest marriage in the history of the village. Mum and Dad will say they didn’t know, she must be a changeling, and the whole village will go onto alert, and we’ll have martial law for a few months like the last changeling scare, but after she’s executed, everybody will forget.

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And so, into our house I went.

And so, into our house I finally went, after checking to make sure Dyisi wasn’t following me. Maybe she is some kind of evil spirit, and I only thought I saw her. Maybe she is some piece of me that I didn’t know existed because Mum and Dad don’t tell good little girls these things. Maybe Mum doesn’t have pointy ears beneath her glamour: maybe she has big glowy horns and a twitching tail!

I had to put my hand over my mouth to stop myself giggling when I came in and saw Mum.

“You’re home late,” she remarked.

“Nelson puked on the doorstep again,” I explained.

“That old arse. Well, he’ll die soon enough.”

So will we all, I guess. But I’m not going to die here.

Style Cards:
Dyisi (full style card will come eventually)
Body: Maitreya
Hair: No Match, No Lime (available at Hair Fair! Hair fair is open until 31 July!)

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Eyes: Soul, Sidhe Eyes
Skin: 7 Deadly s[K]ins, Maren, Powder (Available at Mesh Body Addicts, open until 29 July!)
Hair: Barberyumyum, 78AHF  (available at Hair Fair! Hair fair is open until 31 July!)
Clothes: Faida and Fallen Gods, Mythiara Rogue, Royale (Available at The Epiphany!)
Necklace: glYph, Miraculous Necklace, Purple
Boots: Lassitude & Ennui, Bernadette Boots, Grey (Available at We❤ RP!)
Poses: PosESion, from the 100 poses for $399 set currently on sale at their Main Store

Setting:
Sim: Private Sim
Buildings, pub, village, doors, streetlamps: Death Row Designs, Dangarnon, from the 2016 Fantasy Faire sim of the same name.
Statue: Death Row Designs, The Last Hope, a two-of-a-kind item offered for auction at the 2016 Fantasy Faire
Village Paths: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods

Pub Decor:
Bar: Fetch, Lyla Bar
Elk Head: Medieval Fantasy, Elk Trophy
Deer Head: Medieval Fantasy, Deer Hunting Trophy
Cider Bottles: Jian, Hillside Orchard
XXX Barrels: Jian, Hillside Orchard
Unicorn Head: Nomad, Unicorn Taxidermy
Shelves Behind Bar: Serenity Style, Five Minutes Shelf
Wine Bottles Atop Bar Shelves: Aphrodite, Wine bottle collection
Purple Bottle on Bar: Morgan Sim Designs, Stowaway Fae’s Shot o’ Rum Bottle
Artwork Behind Bar: Lilith’s Den: Yrdrasil Axis Mundi
Bar Torches: Death Row Designs, Dangarnon Torches

It is such a pity Dy and I didn’t play a longer scene in the pub, but it was bedtime for her! I’ve kept the pub intact up on the platform where I create such things, so you may see more of No-Fae-Allowed Village Gwyneth’s life in the future, if only so I can show you things like the amazing polar bear statue in one of the corners and the beautiful tables sourced from Noble Creations and Tia.

Yes, I am one of the two people who won the DRD Last Hope Auction at the 2016 Fantasy Faire, and every time I look at that statue, I think of the Fantasy Faire, my beloved husband (whom I lost to cancer in January), and my hope that one day little donations like mine will help to make a real change in the way we treat cancer, leading to a complete cure, for everyone. I am deeply in awe of the amazing DRD team, who created one of the most inspiring objects I’ve ever seen in Second Life or any other life, and one that I’m proud to say graces and will grace my every living space in SL, be it RP, creative office, or OOC hangout. Unlike its purpose in this work of fiction, in reality this statue represents hope, the hope we can give and the hope that goes on before us, hope’s everlastingness, its raw power, and sometimes, its sadness. 

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never create entire villages on a 1/4 sim sky platform for, um, one photo shoot, without it….

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