An Oracle in The Rose

Funny thing about the Great Faire: you never know what will happen to you when you cross into a new Realm. I found myself in The Rose, for example, blindfolded.

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I held a pendulum in my hand; around my neck was another.

I held a pendulum in my hand; around my neck was another. And I knew, somehow, that I was up high. It might have had to do with the combination of bright sunlight I could feel and sense, and the wind that left me chilled despite what felt like direct sunlight.

When I toed my way to the edge of the platform I was on, I realised that there was a sheer drop all around. And me without my wings.

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All hail the power of thought, for then I found myself in a darker place, and I could feel warm tiles beneath my barely-shod feet.

All hail the power of thought, for then I found myself in a darker place, and I could feel warm tiles beneath my feet.

I stilled and placed one hand on the necklace, then let the pendulum dangle between my fingers. I stilled myself, and as my breathing became quiet and regular, I felt, ever so slightly, the pendulum tug against my fingers.

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I turned. What else could I do?

I turned. What else could I do? And I began to walk in the direction the pendulum seemed to want me to go.

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I felt I’d climbed hundreds of steps when the pendulum finally stilled again.

I felt I’d climbed hundreds of steps when the pendulum finally stilled again.

And what did it have to show me? A formal garden, beautiful in its way, full of statues. It seemed to be all right then to take the blindfold off. Of course, I had no time to look at myself; I was too occupied with looking at The Rose itself.

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There were roses, of course.

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There were lions.

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More than one lion, in fact.

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A dome view that spanned several realms.

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I might have mentioned the lions….

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Oh, and rose petals. Rose petals everywhere.

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Inside, scattered lights and archways. And more roses.

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Did I mention the roses?

In the end, I was exhausted. All the steps, all the walking. At the end of my day, I still had no idea what the pendulum had been trying to show me, not until I had left the Realm for other spaces.

And then I looked back, and suddenly the answer seemed obvious.

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It was The Rose, herself.

Of course! It was The Rose, herself. Why did I have to be blindfolded to discover her? Do we look more closely when we cannot see? How else can I experience the Realms differently as I spend the last few days of the Great Faire wandering the wondrous Fairelands?

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Raven (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Eyes: Mesange, Iram Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at On9!)
Tattoos: Even~Tide, Magical, Gold Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Opal, Omega Appliers (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Necklace and Pendulum: Otherskin, Home  (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Dress and Pauldron: Luas, Ashe, Maitreya Purple (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Feet: SLink, Pointe Feet
Shoes: ChicChica, Fairy Pointes

Location: The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire, The Rose, Sponsored by Fallen Gods and designed by Alia Baroque.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never blog Fantasy Faire without it!

 

Getting Ready

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Gwyneth:

I love decorating. Always have. What I don’t like is the idea that I’m decorating maybe for people other than myself. The Atrium has to be a place where I can receive beings of all races and creeds, and it needs to have an appealing and comfortable atmosphere. I also need to be able to host visitors in the Atrium, so I’ve designated two of the rooms there as guest rooms for visiting folks.

I guess one of the guest rooms should have a more mortal feel to it, and I’ll make the other decidedly Fae. I’m not going to redecorate every damn room just because, say, a vamp or a demon drops by.

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One half of the room was easy enough!

One half of the room was easy enough! That genius at Fallen Gods made this couch. He calls it “Justine”, but I’m not sure if mine actually has a name. Anyway, lots of people can sit on it at once, and it has the plus of coming with many matching pillows and accessories, so it easily fills half a room.

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And of course, I had to get the place ready for Yule as well.

And of course, I had to get the place ready for Yule as well. I found the most amazing tree, created by a designer I’m only just getting to know, Dema Fairport. It’s a tree made out of books! I giggle in anticipation of what Nathaniel will say when I show it to him. She also designed this hearth, which gave me a perfect space to put in all those Fairytale Villains collectibles I picked ups. couple of years ago. And yes, the big box on the floor by the tree is for Nathaniel. I put in a formal dining table because I suspected I’d need one; Bran will be pleased. And of course I had to put the espresso machine in a place of honour, if only so that Nathaniel will have nightmares.

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All that magic is tiring!

All that magic is tiring! Well, for a moment or so. When I am back in my little grove, my energy replenishes more quickly than I thought it would, this being sort of Faerie-Light. In any case, I felt ready to do at least one of the bedrooms.

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Of course, my guests have got to have somewhere comfortable to sit…

Of course, my guests have got to have somewhere comfortable to sit, so I chose this bench from Death Row Designs, because it’s mundane with a bit of a Fae flair to it with the curtain and the sparkly lights and all.

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Here’s the rest of the guest suite!

Here’s the rest of the guest suite! Luckily for me, Death Row Designs makes the most gorgeous stuff, so I just picked up the whole set from them and there you have it!

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Of course, I had to test the bed….

Of course, I had to test the bed. It’s fluffy, yet firm and comfortable. I think my guests will like it very much.

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Whew! Now just one thing left to do.

Whew! Now just one thing left to do….

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Happy Holidays from Gwen Enchanted!

And that’s send a happy Yule greeting to all of you! My beautiful tree, my beautiful hearth, the most important gift all wrapped up and others to follow.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Hair: Emo-Tions, Avril (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Avenge, Arwen Elf Skin (Catwa Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone Ivory) (Available NOW at  Winter Solstice in the Mystic Realms)
Clothes: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Lilly, Winter Dreams (Available NOW at  Winter Solstice in the Mystic Realms!)
Crown: Aisha, Holly Crown, Black and Gold (Available NOW at We❤ RP)
Jewellery: Empyrean Forge, Wassail Necklace (Available NOW at Winter Solstice in the Mystic Realms!)
Shoes: Violetility, Fairy Heels

The Scene:
Couch: Fallen Gods, Justine
Fireplace: {e}lusive designs  (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Book Tree: {e}lusive designs, Book Tree (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Fairy Collectibles: Ohmai, Fairytale Villains Collection
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox
Skein: Jian, Christmas Cats, Grey Kitten
Urðr: Pixicat, Sphynx Cat Sitting
Guest Bedroom Furnishings: Death Row Designs, Bed and Breakfast Set, Bed and Breakfast Bench. (Bench Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!) (B&B Set Available at NOW at The Crossroads!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never decorate for Yule without it!

 

Morning After

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Gwyneth:

So, yeah. I was talking about Clutie in my last post, and about how she just annoys me to pieces these days.

As it happens, the morning after my little excursion into the Wylds, I was just sitting on the couch, playing with one of those winged cats I like so much—I don’t know why; they just fascinate me. I was thinking about what I’d do in the Bower for the Winter Solstice, and whether or not I would need to get some demifae in to do a bit of heavy lifting (it always amuses me that I get creatures no longer than the length of my hand to do my heavy lifting), when I felt a familiar buzzing in my head.

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See? I really was just minding my own business.

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And the next thing I knew, I was arguing with Clutie.

And the next thing I knew, I was arguing with Clutie.

‘No’, I said. ‘I have no interest in trying on winter gowns today. As you can see, I’m very comfortable on this large sofa with this fascinating cat, and I intend to keep on doing this until noon at the very earliest.’

‘But Your Majesty’, Clutie reminded me, ‘I am still your handmaiden, no matter’ (and here she sniffed, perhaps judgmentally) ‘what kind of journey your soul is taking in to night at this moment. And being your handmaiden means that I must prepare you for events to come. And whether you like it or not, it is December, and that means Year Turn parties and Winter Solstice gatherings, and halls filled with light and music’. She sniffed again. ‘I will not have my Queen in a hall full of light and music wearing…’ she wrinkled her nose. ‘What exactly are you wearing, Your Majesty?’

‘Pink footie pyjamas’, I answered, with as much grace and dignity as a grown woman could have, saying the words “pink footie pyjamas”, while actually wearing pink footie pyjamas. Granted, that’s not a lot of grace and dignity.

Danae coughed to hide her laughter; it didn’t work completely, because Clutie turned and gave her the most potent eat shit look I think I’ve seen since that time I suggested to Maric that he dress up as Santa Claus for all the children of the village. Serious lead balloon, that was.

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Not three minutes later, I was fuming as Clutie, Danae, and their cohort (whose name I didn’t catch) fitted me in to what was, granted, a gorgeous dress.

Not three minutes later, I was fuming as Clutie, Danae, and their cohort (whose name I didn’t catch) fitted me in to what was, granted, a gorgeous dress.

Clutie, who was ignoring my crankiness completely, flitted back and sighed with dramatic happiness. ‘Oh! I knew you would look marvellous in this one: I had it sent in specially for you. It’s made by Junbug.’

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I was still bored when they posed me in front of a rose curtain and started messing with my hair again.

I was still bored when they posed me in front of a rose curtain and started messing with my hair again.

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Honestly, I felt like a mannequin with the gift of speech when Clutie finally told me to smile and had her cohort (Sorcha! That’s her name!) snap a photo of me with that Polaroid camera I bought her in Nu Jyorck.

Honestly, I felt like a mannequin with the gift of speech when Clutie finally told me to smile and had her cohort (Sorcha! That’s her name!) snap a photo of me with that polaroid camera I bought her in Nu Jyorck.

‘You look like a goddess, Your Majesty’, she said.

I made a noncommittal noise, although in fact, I did like the dress. The shoes had little butterflies for heels, and I liked those too.

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‘Don’t you think this one’s too formal?’ I asked Clutie after they’d all stopped pinning me in to it.

‘Don’t you think this one’s too formal?’ I asked Clutie after they’d all stopped pinning me in to it.

‘Can you ever really be too formal?’ was Clutie’s response. ‘Besides, you love this designer. It’s Silvan Moon Designs. You have this dress already in a sort of ice white colour, but I thought you might appreciate wearing blue and gold again, you know’.

I sighed. ‘Maybe in the summer’, I said, ‘we’ll go back to the Summer Court colours then.’

Clutie pouted. ‘You’d never wear this gown in summer’, she asserted.

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‘This is true’, I replied. ‘Fine; I’ll think about it’.

‘This is true’, I replied. ‘Fine; I’ll think about it’.

Then she had Sorcha photograph me again, and we went on to the next dress.

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At least this one was red, though it seems she has a thing for trains this year.

At least this one was red, though it seems she has a thing for trains this year.

‘This one’s also from Junbug‘, Clutie informed me as she did something with the crown she insisted on fitting on me “just to see how it looks”. Never mind that I’ve worn this crown dozens of times before and it always looks good: it’s one of Evangeline Miles’ designs, so it’s practically perfect in every way.

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‘I do rather like the fit of this one’, I finally admitted.

‘I do rather like the fit of this one’, I finally admitted.

Danae and Sorcha made my nails and lips the same colour as the dress, and of course they glamoured the shoes to match as well. Proper little artists, they are.

‘How many more?’ I murmured wearily to Clutie.

‘Just one more’, she promised. ‘And I saved the best one for last, of course’.

‘Why do we play this game, if you always know the one I’m going to pick as my favourite before I do?’

‘Because it amuses me to know you well, Your Majesty’, she replied. I just about swatted her, but, you know. My nails were still wet.

‘Better colour those black’, she instructed to Danae and Sorcha. Sorcha blinked once, twice, and I’d swear steam came out of her ears.

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‘Oh!’ I twirled! I giggled. ‘This is gorgeous, and you don’t even have to tell me who designed it.’

‘Oh!’ I twirled! I giggled! ‘This is gorgeous, and you don’t even have to tell me who designed it. I can tell by the colour alone. Why didn’t you tell me there was an Evangeline Miles design to try on? I never would have snapped at you, not even a little bit.’

Clutie sniffed again.

I rolled my eyes. ‘Are you coming down with a cold, Clutie dear, or are you just so fucking superior you can’t hold it in?’

Clutie huffed. ‘Your Majesty! I never! Your attitude is unbecoming of a Queen sometimes.’

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At that, I laughed out loud.

At that, I laughed out loud. ‘Well, at least some things never change,’ I said. I spread my arms out. ‘Now, this dress makes me want to dance. Is there a Solstice Ball this year?’

Clutie clapped her hands. ‘Of course! Nothing could keep us from celebrating the Return of Light, My Queen.’

‘Good’, I replied. ‘This is for that, then. And wherever did you find this gorgeous jewellery?’

‘Oh, now, this is from Vae at The Plastik. She sent it over on approval, with compliments. Shall I send her some faerie gold?’ Clutie’s little helpers tittered at this.

‘No; I shall send her some real gold’, I replied. ‘No reason to make her grumpy. Besides, I think she may be a demon, and I’d rather not piss her off. Hard to tell, really, with some people. And I’ll visit Evie myself to tell her how gorgeous this dress is. And the crown of candles! You’ve outdone yourself, Clutie.’

Clutie puffed with pride. ‘Actually, Danae found this while we were touring round that faire you like to go to, the one about Roleplay. It’s from Paper Moon.’

‘Well, it’s perfect’, I declared. ‘Makes me feel creative. You know, I think we should put a carpet of grass in this atrium, give the tree something to feel under her feet, and us as well. What do you think of that?’

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‘A marvellous idea, Your Majesty’, Clutie replied.

‘A marvellous idea, Your Majesty’, Clutie replied. ‘Sorcha, do take another photo, would you?’

Sorcha grumbled that she never got to be in any of the photographs. ‘Oh, do stop moaning’, Danae said, and she levitated the camera to photograph us all together as I struck another dancing pose. ‘There, now’.

‘I could have thought of that’,  Sorcha said, sullen.

‘But you didn’t’, Danae said.

Just then there was a crash from somewhere behind me, and musical cursing.

‘What the fuck?’ I turned, but Clutie obscured the arched doorway with a wall of mist.

‘Sorry, Your Majesty; they’re not ready for you yet’, she said.

‘Who is this “they”?’ I peered into the room, squinting, then raised my hand to clear the mist.

‘Oh, please don’t, My Queen’, Clutie said. ‘Kern’s so excited about this, and I don’t want to ruin his fun. Let’s just say there’s a surprise waiting for you when we’re done here’.

I raised a brow. ‘Oh, fine’, I said, ‘but it had better be good’.

Style Cards:

Pyjama Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Madelyn (Catwa Head Appliers, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Celtic)
Hair: Pink Hustler 8160
Pyjamas: Cracked Mirror, Footie Pajamas, Pink

The Cat: Half-Deer, Winged Cats
The Couch: Fallen Gods, Justine
The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Tulip Fairy Companion
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: !bang

White Dress Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Madelyn (Catwa Head Appliers, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Celtic)
Makeup: Izzies, Catwa Silver Glitter Makeup (Available at the United and Kind event!)
Hair: Sinkitlia, Giselle
Gown: Junbug, Elia in Mist (Available at Uber!)
Crown & Bracers: G-Spot, Dyonysus’ Bride
Necklace: The Forge, Ember in Bronze (Available at the United and Kind event!)
Shoes: Violetility, Fairy Shoes

The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Tulip Fairy Companion
The Wardrobes: Scarlet Creative, Nerites Wardrobe, Venice Wardrobe (both from past Arcades)
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: POSEsion

Blue Dress Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Hair: Truth, Xia
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Yulia (Lelutka Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone 1) (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth: Xia
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Victoria Faun Gown (COMING SOON to Winter Solstice in the Mystic Realms, opening December 9!)
Shoes: Illi, Maitreya Roslyn Rose Heels

The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: POSEsion

Red Dress Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Hair and Hair Jewellery: Mina & Empyrean Forge, Harmony (Available NOW at FaMESHed!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Yulia (Lelutka Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone 1) (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Gown: Junbug, Odette (Available NOW at FaMESHed!)!)
Shoes: Illi, Maitreya Roslyn Rose Heels
Crown and Collar: Evie’s Closet, Alateriel

The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Tulip Fairy Companion
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: POSEsion

Ombre Grey Dress Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Hair: Spellbound, Lionhearted
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Yulia (Lelutka Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone 1) (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Gown: Evie’s Closet, Amalthea (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Shoes: Illi, Maitreya Roslyn Rose Heels
Necklace and Earrings: The Plastik, Serra Chain and Earrings (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Crown: Paper Moon, St. Lucia Wreath, Fir, Midnight (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)

The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Tulip Fairy Companion
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: Black Tulip, The Darkness In Me Series

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never subject poor, poor Gwyneth to yet more fancy dress fittings without it!

Hope in Blackmoor

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Gwyneth:

Rest turns to sleep, sleep turns to dreams, and the FaireLands turn over into a new day. A day that made me realise something. Well, a lot of somethings, but we’ll get to those in a minute or twenty, as soon as I’ve collected my thoughts.

Our universe, our metaverse, is full of a million wonders. And I, without humility (what Sidhe is possessed of humility?) can say that I am one of those wonders. But the magicians who make the FaireLands? The magicians behind the magicians who create this once-a-year spectacle of light and sound and literature? These are the wonder-makers.

It’s because of those magicians, in so many ways, that I can be who I am: Gwyneth Evans become Gwyneth, Queen of Faerie, born in the mind of a different kind of magician and risen, kneaded, and risen again in the kitchen of story.

Many of my wanderings during this year’s Great Faire have been informed by magicians behind magicians: in this case, the wonder makers and thought experimenters of the Fantasy Faire LitFest. Each day, a different Realm came up as a tour for writers, and word-weavers came along to look at the Realms and write something down about them.

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A different guise.

So I shall take on a different guise for you today. I am Gwyneth, but I am something different.

Something, perhaps, from a sonnet:

Hope Always Remains
In this dark land, she spreads her golden wings
And calls for mist to clothe her shining limbs.
Before the dawn, her smothered spirit sings
As if her destiny lies in a hymn
Or maybe some inhuman synonym.
What calls to her at last? It is a sound
And when she stirs, her steps feel tugged by whim
Her feathers lift her just about the ground
And when she finds the source, she stands, spellbound.
Where river pours itself onto the rocks
And makes the stones and crevices rebound
As if the water goddess bends and talks
And calls the mist to clothe her where she stands
To bless her with the waterfall’s pure hands.

(Gwen Enchanted, LitFest Tour, Blackmoor)

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In this dark land, she spreads her golden wings and calls for mis to clothe her shining limbs.

Blackmoor. Land of darkness. Land of gargoyles. Land of enough cemetery architecture to make the most eyelinered up goth in Gothtown, Gothy McGothface, tear up and buy every Sisters of Mercy album. On vinyl. Again.

In fact, it would be easy to walk through Blackmoor and not see anything but the darkness.

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But did you look up?

But did you look up? Up into the trees? Up into a night lit with stars beyond counting?

Did you look up?

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Did you travel to the edge of the land and look back upon the glimmering stars?

Did you travel to the edge of the land and look back upon the glimmering stars against the waterfalls?

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Did you balance between a meadow and a waterfall?

Did you balance between a meadow and a waterfall, trying not to be distracted by the glimmering lights overhead?

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I looked back from where I’d come.

I looked back from where I’d come. Such a long way. That may have been the point where I realised I had hieroglyphs painted on my golden (!) skin, a scarab around my neck, wings like a bird’s rather than a butterfly’s. And I thought of myself as a vessel carrying the past into the future. Carrying my story. Carrying all my stories. Carrying my friends and family, and being carried when I cannot carry myself.

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Sometimes it seems like the hardest thing to reach for is hope.

Sometimes it seems like the hardest thing to reach for is hope.

And yet, like the golden-winged girl in that poem made by my personal magician, I think sometimes it is not so far away at all.

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Hope Always Remains

What if, even in the darkest of lands, hope yet remains? What if the golden light of hope fills us, and our bodies, our souls, vessels that carry the past into the future, also carry hope?

Every life is a box.

Pandora’s box.

And every bit of hope is a star in the darkness, the mist of the water goddess, green shoots from the earth, ideas from the air.

It’s in every box. It’s in every life.

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Far away from Blackmoor, on a cliff above the beach at White Owl…

Far away from Blackmoor, on a cliff above the beach at White Owl, there sits a harper made of stone. She plays hope. Her box, at the bottom, contained a little sliver of hope named Words, and Music. Other people have the same kind of sliver. Still others have slivers named Science. Other slivers are named differently, but everyone has at least one.

Hope. Like music in the night, like stars in the darkness, like a cure for cancer. It lives in every body. And in everybody.

Feed it.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Jessica
Ears: Soul, Uni High Elf Ears
Skin: Fallen Gods, Blessings of Isis
Eyebrows: The Skinnery, The Lyre Brows, 5
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Epsilon (Available at the Fantasy Faire!)
Necklace: Musa, Seraph (Available at the Fantasy Faire!)
Dress: Poet’s Heart, Joy (Available at the Fantasy Faire!)
Shoes: Bliensen & Maitai, Dreki Anklet (Available at the Fantasy Faire!)
Setting: Blackmoor and (last photo) White Owl

Yes, the Second Life Fantasy Faire officially closed last night! But the sims are still up and will be for a few days! If you haven’t been already, go check them out now!

Thank you, everyone who works together to create and sustain the Second Life Relay for Life, and thank you, everyone who creates and sustains Fantasy Faire. The event itself is uplifting and inspiring, but nothing prepared me for the joyful and understanding and creative magicians I’d meet there. You are all stars in the darkness.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never explore the Fairelands without it!

Off on an Adventure? And, A Tree Grows in the Treehouse…. That’s not weird, is it?

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

I woke up in the middle of the night to do the sorts of things that even Fae Queens must do in the middle of the night, and there was… well.

There was a tree. In my bedroom. Like, right at the foot of my bed. It wasn’t the sort of thing I could miss, especially as there was a large lantern hanging off a branch positioned directly above my pillow.

Seriously, Universe? A tree? In my bedroom?

Seriously, Universe? A tree? In my bedroom?

Seriously, Universe? A tree? In my bedroom? I mean, obviously I live in a treehouse. But a whole extra tree? And this one comes with books, all written in a foreign language. I don’t even recognise the text. Dyisi took a look at them earlier, and she just sort of ‘meh’ed and then we moved on to talking about boys and clothes. Yes, Dyisi and I talk about boys and clothes. Stop laughing.

So when I got back from the place where even Fae Queens have to go....

So when I got back from the place where even Fae Queens have to go….

So when I got back from the place where even Fae Queens have to go… after the moonlight had clothed me in autumn, I did what any sane Queen would do upon realising there’s a strange tree full of books growing in her bedroom.

Because, duh. That’s what trees are for, right? You climb the tree, you have a think, you climb down off the tree, and it disappears from your bedroom, yes?

No.

What does happen is you go over to your little makeup table and you find an invitation. To a ball.

What does happen is you go over to your little makeup table and you find an invitation. To a ball.

What does happen is you go over to your little makeup table and you find and invitation. To a ball. In a far-off realm.

Apparently some relative of Father’s needs a Royal Sidhe on his arm for some charity event. He needs someone who’s unknown and a bit exotic. Of course, the invitation doesn’t say this, but I picked it up from touching the scroll.

It’s a more contemporary Realm than ours, much more contemporary. And it has an openly Fae upper class. Should be an interesting trip. I think I’m going to go: Father wouldn’t have given my name to anyone if he thought there’d be trouble. Certainly he wouldn’t do a thing like that.

I did spend some time thinking about it, though.

I did spend some time thinking about it, though.

I did spend some time thinking about it, though. Should I, or shouldn’t I?

There is so much going on in our Realm. A plague we don’t understand. Demifae uprisings. Goblin wars. But– a chance to ride in a limousine, have my nails done for real instead of just glamoured, check some email, post to my ‘blog’ openly instead of hiding out in an Internet Cafe in a nearby realm where they don’t like Fae at all.

And I could use the break. I think I really could.

Getting Dressed

Getting Dressed

Clutie and Dani are all excited about the trip: they want to dress me once beforehand so we can see what I’ll look like on the night. They’re hard to refuse, those two.

So Clutie and Dani do my hair and fix me up in a dress that will work in a modern realm.

So Clutie and Dani do my hair and fix me up in a dress that will work in a modern realm.

So Clutie and Dani do my hair and fix me up in a dress that will work in a modern realm; : we’ll take this one, though I reserve the right to buy something new if it catches my eye! I do like what they did with the beads and the braid, though. They’re the best hairdressers ever, these two. I’m taking Clutie with me, for sure.

Should I worry about the children? About the plague? About the war? I know I should, but I want to get away. I need to get away. Does that make me a runner? Am I a running runner? Maybe I am. But I’m going. Going to have a nice time with a guy I don’t know at a party in a Realm where I’ve never been before, and the Court is just going to have to deal with it, because I’m the Queen and I say I’m going, so there.

I will be gone IRL from Friday-Monday, at a music conference with friends in Darkest Somerset. So while Gwyneth is away dancing her feet off, I’ll be singing my head off with friends old and new. Enjoy the long weekend, everyone, and I’ll see you when I get back!

Style Cards:

Seriously, Universe?
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Fallen Gods, OpalFae (Eden) (Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Hair: Olive, The Powder Hair
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Undies: Erratic, Fiona, Nude
Tree: HarshLands, Fantasy Book Tree

Autumn Fae Photos:
Body: 
Maitreya
Skin: 
Fallen Gods, OpalFae (Eden) (Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Hair: 
Olive, The Powder Hair
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Outfit: Flippant: Cicada Fall Fae (This was the August Group Gift at Flippant’s Main Store,so you only have a few more days to get it: after that, it goes up to 179L.)
Tree: HarshLands, Fantasy Book Tree

Getting Dressed:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Fallen Gods, OpalFae (Eden) (Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Hair: Olive, The Powder Hair
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Undies: Erratic, Fiona, Nude
Shoes: Deviance, M’Lady’s Slippers, Sapphire
Dressing Table: Aisling, Coquette (Available at Festival of Sin!)

Hairdressing with Clutie and Dani:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: Fallen Gods, OpalFae (Eden) ((Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Hair: No Match, No Siren (Available at Enchantment!)
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, High Elf
Dress: Mistique: Elora Gown, Blue (Available at the Illumination Point Event!)
Shoes: Deviance, M’Lady’s Slippers, Sapphire

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it! 

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Remembering Shining Lands

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

My first LARP, I guess I was eighteen or nineteen years old. It was my first year at uni, and some of the people from the science fiction society got me into a tabletop gaming group and then suggested I come to this LARP with them. They had some stuff I could use for a costume and I didn’t need much of a character description, just something I could work with for the weekend. OK, I said, I’d go, on the condition that we stay in the lodge and not in the campground, because I hated camping. My parents sent me on an adventure holiday once when I was a kid and I was camping with three other girls in a tent, and there were spiders, and I think a badger tried to eat us. Anyway, I don’t camp. I said I’d pay the lodge fee for the three of us, and they were sold. I mean, who wouldn’t choose running water and a bed, no matter how narrow and uncomfortable, over being attacked by badgers in the middle of the night. Right?

The first thing I discovered when we got to the LARP site, naturally, was the Rialto.

The first thing I discovered when we got to the LARP site, naturally, was the Rialto.

The first thing I discovered when we got to the LARP site, naturally, was the Rialto. We arrived early, and not all the merchants were set up: this was one corner where everyone seemed t have their wares out but they were all in the business of loading and unloading and none of them were open for trading yet.

As I was weaving my way in and out of the stalls, a guy asked if he could take my picture; I said sure, because I didn’t mind being photographed even back then. I was always a bit of a ham, to be honest. So he snapped a couple of pictures and I thought nothing more of it. Later in the weekend, it turned out he was the court photographer: this picture made it into the LARP newsletter. And that’s how I met Kevin, who ended up being Fen’s fiancée.

By the time Kevin was done taking my photograph, the jewellery seller had appeared.

By the time Kevin was done taking my photograph, the jewellery seller had appeared.

By the time Kevin was done taking my photograph, the jewellery seller had appeared. She was amazingly costumed and had painted her face and body with the most amazing designs. I remember asking about them and she was only too happy to show them to me. She was more interested in showing me her jewellery, of course, and all of it was lovely. I wished I could buy one of everything, but I’d spent most of my pocket money on the lodge fee, so I didn’t have much left for extra food, much less jewellery. That’s when she slyly told me that even though it was a LARP of course she took credit cards….

So I ended up buying a necklace and a pair of earring then and there.

So I ended up buying a necklace and a pair of earring then and there.

So I ended up buying a necklace and a pair of earrings then and there, and over the two years I played LARP with this group, I’m sure I bought a dozen more pieces from her. She had excellent taste and just knew where to find the best stuff. She didn’t make it herself; said she didn’t have the talents or skills it took, but once I saw her working on a beading project that made me think otherwise. I never said anything to her about it, though now I kind of wish I had. It’s funny, when I think of my past, I always think of how I’d interact with the people from my past as I am now. Gwyneth the Fae Queen could tell Elayne from My Pretties to take a year off the jewellery cart circuit and take a course in metal casting or something, help her turn into the artist she wanted to be. Gwyneth the uni LARPer just made supportive noises and kind of wished she could help more people.

This stall with the swords and Greek gods was always at the LARPs as well.

This stall with the swords and Greek gods was always at the LARPs as well.

This stall with the swords and Greek gods was always at the LARP rialto as well, though I didn’t meet the guy who ran it til much later: half the time he parked next to Elayne and asked her to run his stall. I don’t think he made much money except on the swords, but Richard said he made quite a bit; I just didn’t see all the people who bought swords from him.

I’m laughing at myself now because you know how when you get into memories, you start remember this or that and then your brain goes all chatty with the things you remember and the details, even insignificant ones like whether or not that guy sold lots of swords, keep coming back to you?

To be honest, I don’t even know why I’m thinking of Shining Lands today. I’ve been thinking about my past a lot over the past couple of months, and today I suppose it’s just al coming out. For the last couple of weeks, if I’m honest, I’ve had this disconcerting feeling that things from my past are just going to pop up anywhere and everywhere I turn, as if my past is just around the corner. Even things that I’ve not thought about in ages, like the time those photographs of Richard suddenly appeared in my chamber at the old Seelie sithen. I remember being convinced at the time that he was going to somehow re-enter my life and that things would get very complicated. It never happened though, and that thread of my history remains unexplored.

At the end of the weekend, there's always a ball.

At the end of the weekend, there’s always a ball.

At the end of the weekend, there’s always a ball. Doesn’t matter which weekend it is or what the theme of the LARP is, the ball gives everybody a chance to dress up and not be crossing swords with the other side, even if just for one night. Everyone had to come down this staircase to get in to the event, and they positioned a photographer (Kevin, of course) at the bottom of the stairs who’d take your photograph if you wanted.

This is my ver first “Nerd Descending a Staircase” photo. Kevin laughed at that when I told him that was my immediate name for these pictures.

Aw, there I am again, close-up this time.

Aw, there I am again, close-up this time.

Aw, there I am again, close-up this time. I wanted him to take the close-up so I would remember that it was at this event where I bought this wonderful necklace. I don’t know where Elayne found it, but the tag by the clasp says, “Cae”.

And omg, that was the year I let them talk me into going to a VtM party near campus.

And omg, that was the year I let them talk me into going to a VtM party near campus.

And omg, that was the year I let them talk me into going to a Vampire: the Masquerade party on campus. I was never much into vampires or vampire games, even though they were all the rage at the time what with the backlash against the Twilight books.

The party was in this old church in Cambridge, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable.

The party was in this old church in Cambridge, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable.

The party was in this old church in Cambridge, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable, as if there might be real vampires lurking somewhere there. At the time I thought I was just being paranoid, but now…. well, now I don’t know. Now I think maybe there might really have been vampires there.

And why do I even think of that? Oh! I know: I’m thinking of that because it was the very first time Fenella came to visit me at my digs in Cambridge, and she came along to the party. Unlike me, she had great time. But unlike me, she met Kevin and he immediately asked her out on a date. From that night, they were together. Those two, wow. I always wanted to have someone like that in my life. And now I guess I do, and of course the great irony is that Nathaniel actually is a vampire, while Kevin was just pretending to be one.

Memories are such weird things. Anyway, after my first LARP, I decided to get serious about costuming.

Here I am in my standard Elf-Clan forest outfit.

Here I am in my standard Elf-Clan forest outfit.

Here I am in my standard Elf-Clan forest outfit. This photo was taken a couple of years after my first LARP, probably just a few months before everything changed. I didn’t make any of this stuff, of course, but I met this guy from Reading, Peter, and he and his fiancée did a lot of custom costuming work for LARP people. He really liked working with leather, so I got him to make this for me. It took ages, but I loved it so much. I was wearing one like it in brown when I got dumped in to Jasper Cove, so this black one I think is lost forever.

And ha, there I go again, talking vaguely.

And ha, there I go again, talking vaguely.

And ha, there I go again, talking vaguely about “when everything changed” or “getting dumped into Jasper Cove.” It’s been three years now, and Alec and the Boatman are a distant memory. I believe I must have died in the accident and then moved into another life here, wherever “here” is. I know enough of realm-hopping that I know it’s also possible there’s a version of me back in London, recovering from the accident, going on to live a good life, or dead, or in a coma—but I don’t believe I am that person any more. I remember thinking when I first arrived in Jasper Cove that I must be in a coma back home and this weird place was my coma dream. I don’t think that any more, because a coma dream wouldn’t go on for as long as this one has: my parents would have pulled the plug on me in deference to my lost quality of life. And then I’d have died in two worlds. I just don’t think that’s possible.

No: I think my life line split.

No: I think my life line split.

No; I think my life line split, somehow, when the accident happened, and my consciousness flew into Jasper Cove and created this me. I’ll have to ask Dyisi if such a thing is possible, but I can hear her already telling me that everything is possible and she doesn’t know everything and blah blah blah Dyisi talk, but how I love her anyway.

Well, that got maudlin and reflective all of a sudden, didn’t it?

Let me show you instead my favourite Court dress.

Let me show you instead my favourite Court dress.

Let me show you instead, my favourite Court dress. Peter and Katy didn’t make this, but they did introduce me to the seamstress who did. And I loved this antler headband so much I think I wore it to class a couple of times!

Kevin made me pose so you can see the slashing on the dress' arms.

Kevin made me pose so you can see the slashing on the dress’ arms.

Kevin made me pose so you can see the slashing on the dress’ arms. Even though my body’s different since my Quickening ages ago at the old Seelie sithen, I can imagine myself now wearing a dress like this (not the antlers, natch, or not at the moment anyway). I shall have one of the Court tailors look into recreating it for me.

Here I am reaching out, once again a request from Kevin.

Here I am reaching out, once again a request from Kevin.

Here I am reaching out, once again a request from Kevin. He really did like those sleeves.

But now the clock is striking 5:00. I’ve spent too long lingering over old memories today, and I’m still not sure why: I haven’t thought of these things in so long. I have a strategy meeting with Bran and Wulfrich over dinner, and I have to get dressed and ready for that. I’d better put my old life back in the drawer and remember that in my present life I have duties and responsibilities that can’t be avoided.

But I can’t stop thinking of the moment I introduced Fenella to Kevin and what happened when their eyes met. I wonder what happened to them. They were in the front of the MPV when it flipped. I hope they’re recovered, happy, married, expecting a baby. I wish that for them.

Yes, yes, yes. 5:00. I’m late. Strategy and tactics, not eyes across a room a lifetime ago.

Style Cards:

Gwyneth’s First LARP Costume Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Hair: Lelutka, Kayla
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Dress: Whymsical Marketplace, Wiccan Maiden Medieval Dress (Available now at the Whymsical Marketplace Main Store!)
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes
Necklace: Aisling, Wilow Necklace
Eyes: IKON

Elayne of “My Pretties”:
Skin: 
Fallen Gods
Body: Belleza
Dress: Sweet Lies
Tattood: Fallen Gods
Collar: DeSSion
Hair: Moon

Gwyneth’s First LARP Ball Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes
Elf Ears: Kahli Designs Faux Elf Ear Silver
Hair: Elikatira, Piper
Gown: Mistique, Beitris Dark

Gwyneth’s Elf Clan Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Hair: No Match, No Flowers
Clothes (dress, skirt, jacket, boots, bracers): Fashionably Dead Designs Stories, Amaelle

Vampire Party Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Hair: Truth, Freya
Necklace: Le Forme, Aegon Necklace Lover Gold
Clothes (boots, jacket, pants): Yasum, Vintage (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)

Gwyneth’s Experienced LARP Ball Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Headpiece: Bauhaus Movement, Fly to the Angels (Available at Collabor88!)
Hair: Exile, Come What May (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Dress: Junbug, Aria Azure (Rare) (Available at The Gacha Garden!)
Elf Ears: Kahli Designs Faux Elf Ear Silver
Necklace: Cae, Hedera
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it! 

skinlogodiap

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Faida & Fallen Gods at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

A few times a year, there is in a far off Realm an event called the Fantasy Gacha Carnival. This Carnival lasts for about a month, and some of the finest wares one can imagine are to be found there. There’s only one catch: you have to gamble for them.

Now, I have never been much of a gambler, but when it comes to  dresses from my favourite designers, I admit I’m a complete sucker and will go in there with the rest of the punters. Luckily, I attend these events in disguise, though Wulfrich always insists upon a small security detail, as if any one of the beings from the various Realms represented there among both merchants and customers will recognise me and realise they could kidnap a Fae Queen if they played their cards right. I’ve never even seen anyone get kidnapped from one of these Carnivals. Then again, I’ve never taken Aoibheann to one.

Each item comes in both Common and Rare varieties, and it's possible to purchase a number of the same items.

Each item comes in both Common and Rare varieties, and it’s possible to purchase a number of the same items.

Each Item comes in both Common and Rare varieties, and it’s possible to purchase a number of the same items. When this happens to me, of course, I have a number of friends and charities to which the various items can go. This round, Fallen Gods teamed up with Faida and made a set of beautiful dresses. Above, you can see me wearing each of the Common varieties of the dress. This is about as close to casual as my public wardrobe gets these days, and one reason I love these dresses is I’ll be able to throw one on no matter what season it is and still look like a Queen.

Here are the Rare dresses.

Here are the Rare dresses.

Here I am wearing the Rare dresses. Both are beautiful, but in my opinion the white is simply stunning. Then again, I have always liked white, and I’ve aways liked poetry, so how could they possibly have gone wrong with me on this one?

The dress is called Poesia, and the various colours have different designations. Poesia, of course, means “poetry” in Italian, and there are four designations of dresses: del Fiori, “of the flowers,” Silvana, “of the forest,” della Notte, “of the night,” and del Cuore, “of the heart”. And so there will be beautiful dresses for half the women in Faerie this year, because I love all these dresses and I couldn’t leave the Carnival without a complete set!

Style Cards:

Top Photo:
Body: Maitreya
Hands and Feet: SLink
Skin: Fallen Gods, Eden, Pure (Now back home at the Fallen Gods Main Store!)
Dresses: Faida & Fallen Gods, Poesia, in (top row) del Fiori, Azure; del Fiori, Orange; Silvana, Forest; Silvana, Laguna; Silvana, Terra; (bottom row) del Notte, Black; del Notte, Royale; del Notte, Silver; del Cuore, Purple; del Cuore, Red (available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Circlets: Kibitz, Crown in various colours (from a previous Fantasy Gacha Carnival)
Shoes: Junbug, Valkyrie Sandals in various colours (from a previous gacha event)
Hair: Elikatira, Lalora (available at the current We Love Roleplay Round)
Ballroom: The Looking Glass, Enchanted Ballroom
Moons & Stars: Refined Wild, Nightly Netting

Bottom Photo:
Body: Maitreya
Hands and Feet: SLink
Skin: Fallen Gods, Eden, Pure (Now back home at the Fallen Gods Main Store!)
Dresses: Faida & Fallen Gods, Poesia, RARE, in colours: del Fiori, Rose; and del Cuore, White (available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Circlets: Kibitz, Crown in various colours (from a previous Fantasy Gacha Carnival)
Shoes: Junbug, Valkyrie Sandals in various colours (from a previous gacha event)
Hair: Elikatira, Lalora (available at the current We Love Roleplay Round)
Ballroom: The Looking Glass, Enchanted Ballroom
Moons & Stars: Refined Wild, Nightly Netting

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it!