Fate In Lamented Fens

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Fate steps up from the depths

Will you know it? Will you know that moment, the one where Fate turns? So many folk, they don’t know it, even when they look back on it. If only, they think, if only I had known. If only my fate had made itself more clear to me.

Oh, my sweet child.

Hello.

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Deceptive Moonlight

You have asked, and I have come. We are together now. Don’t mind the colour of the sky: here in the Fens the sky is always so close. It’s only that we cannot touch it. Well, not just yet.

Now, look through the moss, and you will see the most extraordinary things.

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Turn back?

Turn back, you say? Turn back to the boardwalk, the path, linger beneath the glass jar lights? Oh, but it’s so simple there. And you are not simple, are you? No? I thought not.

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A compromise

Let’s go just a little off the path. Just a few steps. That’s easy enough for you, isn’t it?

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Closer

We live in a modern age, surely. You don’t fear the dead, do you?

I myself enjoy the mist here, how it wraps around my ankles. Little cat feet. That was Carl Sandberg, you know. A poet; he was a poet.

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Now that you’re here….

Now that you’re here, let’s discuss your fate.

Fate, you see, is very simple. It’s like the path we just left.

You want Fate to be a thing that operates completely outside you. And that’s comfortable, isn’t it, the thought that Fate itself just steps in and makes your life what it is and will be.

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Like lamps.

But really, if you think about it, there is no Fate. There is you, and your choices. Fate might be just a lamp, a minuscule event, or feeling, or experience that pushes you toward one thing or another. So Fate is a lamp.

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This moon is a lamp.

This moon is a lamp.

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These candles are a lamp.

These candles are a lamp.

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And I? I am also a lamp, of sorts.

And I? I am also a lamp, of sorts. You’ve been following me all this time, haven’t you?

It’s only that, when you turn, I turn. And you won’t see me. You won’t.

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Who is watching you?

But I’ll see you. I’ve got good eyes like that. Very, very good eyes.

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The sky. The water. The Edge.

One day, not today but someday, I’ll invite you to come with me and touch this sky of mine. The sky is everywhere, you understand. It’s all around us. It’s only that you can’t touch it, not yet.

But when you’re ready, take my hands.

It’s only one step from here.

Credits and Notes:
Location: Lamented Fens is one of 18 regions in this year’s Relay for Life of Second Life’s annual Fantasy Faire. The region is sponsored by The Forge and designed by Riven (lrriven) and Skeleton (kitori unplugged), with quest written by the team and coded by Remnant Ashbourne. It is a creepy wonder of a Realm, full of moss and live oak trees and more depths than you could imagine down below the surface of that cloudy water. Lamps to guide you, voices to compel you, a choose-your-own-adventure sim quest, what more could a Fairelander desire? It’s only one step from here. You too can visit Lamented Fens, but be sure to do it before the 10th of May, when the Fairelands will, as every year, dissolve back into the Mists.

Items featured at this year’s Faire:
Items featured at the 2020 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: Petrichor, Viscivorus Skin in Serious (Find it at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Body Feathers: Trap & Petrichor, Viscivorus Harpy Body Feathers (Find them at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore, or at the Trap Store, also in Sirens Lore!)
Ears: Petrichor, Viscivorus Ears (Find them at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Hair: Raven Bell, Zylith (Find it at the Raven Bell store in Auxentios’ Pass!)
Dress: AtaMe, Pisces Goddess dress in Ruby (Find it at the AtaMe store in Zodiac!)
Necklace: Rise Design, Mythos Necklace (Find it at the Rise Design Store in Melusina’s Depths!)

Other Stuff in this Look:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Nova Bento Mesh Head
Eyes: Euphoric, Animal Eyes
Lips: Jumo, Metallic Lips
Gloves: RealEvil Industries, Aewel Fairy Gloves
Wings: Evolved Creatures, Fae Wings 8.2

Kitty Photobomb! BLOG

SURPRISE PHOTOBOMB BLOOPER END OF POST!

Adorable and completely appropriate cat portrayed by the ever-present Scougs (dyisi).

Beltane in Lunafae with The Amazing Catwoman!

Look, folks. She is going to come in here in a couple days and tell you she’s had some kind of revelation. Me, I’m just happy to be on tap to serve the Fairelands once again this year. Realms participating run the gamut, but as my first day in the Fairelands as an official watcher happened to be last night, I was happy to be assigned first to Lunafae, where there was sure to be a lovely Beltane gathering.

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Skin Paint by Petrichor, Feathers by Trap & Petrichor, Hair by Raven Bell!

I got my skin painted by Petrichor that morning, and there is just nothing better than having a singularly talented skin artist like Vae perfect your look. As always, she is at the Faire, and once you’ve stepped into her spa you won’t ever want to leave. In addition to the beautiful skin paint, she and her pals at Trap are also offering these beautiful feathers with which you can accessorise the skin paint. Maybe for the first time ever, I felt it would be perfectly all right to walk around wearing next to nothing, because wearing this skin paint is like being a walking canvas, a living work of art. I was so happy to find that one of my favourite hair colourists, Raven Bell, had a whole bunch of new dyes that would look great with this and other great skin paints. Raven is also at the Faire, of course, and you can’t ask for a better stylist if what you want to play with is colour.

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Speaking of colour….

Speaking of colour, Lunafae is full of just the richest greens, greens that remind me of my time in the great forest before I ended up working for Her Uppity Majesty full time. It’s not a bad gig, you understand: I just like this one better and I wish it were year-round. That said, Good Queen What’s-Her-Name does shut down the tourist trade in Awenia Faerie for the whole of the Fantasy Faire, which means that happily I am drawing two paycheques for this period I’m working at the Faire. Most of which I’ll donate to the American Cancer Society by the end of next week, anyway. But that’s how it goes when you live in a world where folk just get sick and die. You do everything you can to help science find a way to save them, lengthen their lives, more gently manage their pain. That’s just what you do.

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Do I seem soft to you?

Do I seem soft to you? I’m feeling soft this year. Maybe it’s some kind of ageing thing. This may be why the pointiness of all these feathers is making me happy.

Lunafae itself makes me happy, to be honest. I find the whole place eerily soothing. Certainly from up on the ridge, you could not ask for a more peaceful place. Not really my style, but hey; I’ve had worse. And it’s just tempting fate to tell you about any of those times, so we just won’t go there. Walking down the water stairs in the late spring sun is a lovely thing, though: I recommend it to you. Don’t mind the statues in the arches: they are mostly not wearing a lot of clothes, plus they are four hundred bajillion times bigger than you so it stands to reason you could outrun them.

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So much to see!

When you reach the bottom of the steps, there’s so much to see. Ridge upon ridge of beautiful mini-meadows, lovely places to sit and shoot the breeze with the many demifae that populate the region, and a not inconsiderable number of bunnies. Enough bunnies that I wondered briefly if Sonya Marmurek were secretly wandering around just sort of introducing bunnies into the local ecosystem.

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But enough conspiracy theories….

But enough conspiracy theories: I’m sure that you, like me, are weary of them at this point. I’m really sick of that one about the mysterious globe in the Zodiac realm; I really do not believe you will be turned into an astrological rabbit if you pass under it 7 times… or is that where all these bunnies are coming from? They’re everywhere, all over the Fairelands. We will investigate this further; I’m sure of it.

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Bunnies! Everywhere!

There really are bunnies everywhere. Not that I’m complaining; who doesn’t like bunnies? OK, I do know a few people who do not like bunnies. But if you choose to avoid the bunnies, there are plenty of other creatures to interact with here: notably, the demifae are everywhere, and as they’re my close relations, I’m often up for spending time with them.

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Inspired to Dance!

Of course, demifae are known for their singular dancing ability, so it’s always a good time to dance (well, maybe stumble!) along with them. They never seem to mind if you miss a step, as long as you do not step on them.

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A Beltane Frolic

Worthy of a Beltane frolic and able to produce one whenever you might visit, Lunafae is pure magic. And there are so many lovely little spots, you could miss something if you didn’t take the time to explore absolutely everything.

Now, it’s true that the shopping at the Fantasy Faire is unmatched in all the Realms, and the opportunities to support a great charity are innumerable here as well. But while you have time, while these Realms are within your reach, take the time to explore. Somewhere, hidden in the details, you’ll find that thing you didn’t know you were looking for.

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Harping Fairy And Fae Harpy!

I couldn’t resist the play on words this photograph called up, so to end my first report from this year’s Faire, yes, late but not too late, here is a photo of Your Amazing Catwoman as a Fae Harpy, hanging out with a Harping Fairy. You’re welcome!

Credits & Notes:
Location: Lunafae, one of 18 Regions in the 2020 Relay for Life of Second Life’s annual Fantasy Faire. Sponsored by The Looking Glass and designed by Sharni Azalee. You too can visit Lunafae, but come before the 11th of May, when the Fairelands will fade into the mists once again, only to reappear in new guises next year.

Items featured at the 2020 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: Petrichor, Viscivorus Skin in Stellata (Find it at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Body Feathers: Trap & Petrichor, Viscivorus Harpy Body Feathers (Find them at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore, or at the Trap Store, also in Sirens Lore!)
Ears: Petrichor, Viscivorus Ears (Find them at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Hair: Raven Bell, Umbriel (Find it at the Raven Bell store in Auxentios’ Pass!)
Head Sparkles: Raven Bell, Umbriel (Find it at the Raven Bell store in Auxentios’ Pass!)
Eyes: Rainbow Sundae, Beautiful Creature Eyes, Bright 05 (Find them at the Rainbow Sunday Store in Mistakes Were Made!)

Other Stuff In This Look:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Erin
Wings: Egosumaii, Archangelum Alis (medium size) (Egosumaii Main Store)
Clothes: Enfant Terrible, Lumen (at The Fantasy Collective)

 

 

 

So, What’s It Like To Be A Troller?

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In the Troll’s Shadow

You have no idea. “Gosh, is your father also your uncle?” “Do you all grow so tall because of troll manure?” “I heard you secretly worship the troll and are trying to bring him back to life.” “I figured you’d be covered with dirt or drool or something.” “Wait, do they even allow people from Trollhaugen on the Internet?”

Oh, very funny. I’ve never heard any of those jokes before.

Yes, I grew up in Trollhaugen. Yes, I also went to University. Yes, I was once Miss Trollbride. Yes, I know how to spell. No, I do not intend to marry a close relative by blood. No, I do not enjoy rolling around in excrement. Satisfied? No?

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Well, you can just bite me.

Well, you can just bite me. If it weren’t for the fact that my homeland is built around a large troll turned to stone by our Realm’s spiritual founder, Saint Megan of the Book, I probably wouldn’t even exist right now, because my ancestors would have been eaten by that same large troll, who then would have probably moved on to your homeland and eaten your ancestors, because when you eat as much as a troll, renewable resources dry up pretty quickly.

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Yes, I was once Miss Trollbride

Yes, I was once Miss Trollbride. That’s a picture of me in the dreaded earring cage. Being Miss Trollbride is actually a huge honour, I’ll have you know. We beautiful maidens spend a whole night in that godsforsaken cage, all to remind everyone that there but for the grace of Saint Megan go we. And it’s not exactly a comfortable night, by the way: you’re so high up in the air and swinging back and forth, to say nothing of the way they actually get you up there. Let’s just say it’s creepy, even when you know there is no more snot up there, not to mention earwax. I’d say I still have nightmares about it, but that would be dramatic.

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The fact is, Trollers love nothing more than books.

The fact is, Trollers love nothing more than books. A book saved our Realm—well, many books, and there’s nowhere in the multiverse where you will find such a love for them. Maybe we don’t have huge libraries here, and maybe there’s no University, but we are a Realm of storytellers and story listeners. I mean, growing up in a place like this is a little bit like having grown up in a fairy tale.

And maybe that’s why people are so condescending of us.

And maybe that’s why some of us are embarrassed to be Trollers.

I’m a combination of both, I guess. Having spent a few years Out In The World, I do know that people from Trollhaugen are looked upon with some disdain, much as people on the Internet look down on unwashed pieceworkers from Nebraska who happened to grow up next to Carhenge. First of all, Hugh (that’s our troll’s name) is much, much bigger than Carhenge. And second, we didn’t ask him to come here. We didn’t make him. Nobody looked at our Realm and said, “Golly gee, I think I’ll erect a big old Troll!” No. We defeated him. So take that, Alliance, Nebraska.

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Fact is, Our Troll is Beautiful.

Fact is, our Troll is Beautiful. OK, he is beautiful in a looming, grotesque sort of way, but my people have turned him into something that is known throughout all the many Realms. And you would not believe the number of Amazing Authors, Poets, Storytellers, and Artists of all descriptions who have graced our Trollmouth with their words and images. As writers’ retreats go, Trollhaugen is unique, and even though most of our people are deeply involved with the land, that love for the earth also, we believe, creates a keen understanding of the truths that tie the universe together with stories.

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The Western Vista

There are also no finer views to be had of neighbouring Realms than those from our Trollsteps. I am in these pictures for scale, by the way: I am a tiny little blonde head in a black dress and you probably can’t even see that I am scowling at you in this picture. In the morning, I love to climb up the steps and watch the sun illuminate Tensor’s Flying Market in the distance. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live there: all that lightning. I heard they dance with Goblins.

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Look: Here is my Scowl Face.

Look: Here is my Scowl Face.

So, yes. I am from Trollhaugen. This is my mother’s house, and behind me is hay to feed our single horse. My mother is a blacksmith, and a good one; without her, I would never have been able to leave Trollhaugen for university. And without St. Megan of the Book, neither one of us would be able to tell our tales.

You’re welcome.

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St. Megan of the Book

Style Card:
Items featured at the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Wings: Lassitude & Ennui, Bento Fairy Wings, Purple RFL (Lassitude & Ennui at Fantasy Faire!)
Coming soon to We Love Roleplay (4th May):
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, River Daughter Gown
Other Stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: Lumae, Elentari Fantasy Skin (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store for L$100!)
Eyes, Lipstick, Eye Makeup: Izzie’s, sparkle makeup (Gacha)
Necklace: Cae, Cressida
Rings: Avaway, Vanessa Rings

Trollhaugen is one of sixteen regions created for the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. Trollhaugen is home to this year’s Literary Festival, where some wonderful writing events have been scheduled. Trollhaugen is sponsored by the Lost Unicorn Gallery and designed by Beq Janus and Elizabeth Jarvinen (polysail). The Faire closes on the 5th of May, so make sure and visit Trollhaugen before it fades back into the Mists.

 

Through Ishtar’s Gate

Through Ishtar’s Gate, the streets of Midas beckon us:
We venture in to Babylon Unfallen.

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Why not dance upon a lion?

Gold sunlight fills the squares, and the shadows
Are complements, and not for hidden things.

Here, walking is flying; why not dance upon a lion?
Why not worship with mosaics for a day?

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Why not become a statue?

And if the mood should take you, why not now become a statue
On a pedestal that seems reserved for you?

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See through the glass of marble

O Babylon, we see you through the glass
Of marble, ancient tells, made-over tales

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O Babylon

But sing Inanna’s scion consecrate
And watch: The myths return through Ishtar’s Gate.

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Through Ishtar’s Gate

Style Card:
Items Featured at the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: Fallen Gods, Blessed by Ishtar, the 2019 limited edition Awakening skin (Fallen Gods on Midas!)
Dress: Evie’s Closet, The Feyre Fairy Dress (Evie’s Closet on Midas!)
Nails: Dark Passions, Koffin Nails: Butterfly Fantasy Nails (Dark Passions on Twilight Spring)
Other Stuff:
Stealthic’s Dawn Hair
Izzy’s Sparkle Eyes, Lipstick and Makeup
Egosumaii’s Fae Wings
Hope’s Creations Arran Tootsie Bows
Musu’s Glitter Bomb Maitreya Body Glitter
Maitreya Lara Mesh Body
Catwa Keme Bento Mesh Head
Slink Pointe Mesh Feet (People should make more shoes for pointes!)

Midas is one of the sixteen regions that form the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, sponsored by Fallen Gods and designed by Alia Baroque. Step into ancient Babylon and visit Midas before the fifth of May, 2019!

You think you know us

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You say we are dark

You say we are dark because we come from down below
I say we are dark because we are the face of shadow

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You say we are freakish

You say we are freakish
with our shocks of silver hair
But I have seen your partners
with their bleachpots and their envy stare
At us who tend the blooming crystals,
mine the silver, mind the dark

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Where the mists embark

And I have seen your kind come slumming
down to where the mists embark

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Light comes filtering

Did you know light comes filtering
from places other than on high?
I laugh at you, you primatives,
you ice picks in the dark folks’ eye.

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See our ghostly glory

Hear our footsteps? That you will not.
We are silent, ghostly glory

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Come among us

Come among us; feel out presence
Lit by bioluminescence

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Laud our efficacious Goddess

Laud our efficacious Goddess
And her perspicacious largesse

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Let her soothe you with her waterfalls

Let her soothe you with her waterfalls
For she is old and wondrous wise

And when we turn your eyes to her
Our thirst for depth begins to stir

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To Rise

It’s then and only then, and then
She reaches out her mystic hand
And moves our souls
And teaches them
To Rise.

Style Card:
Items featured at the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: The Plastik, Amatheia Skin, Aroliah (The Plastik at Fantasy Faire!)
Gown: Senzafine, Calariel (Senzafine at Fantasy Faire!)
Necklace: Chimaera, Geode Necklace (Chimaera at Fantasy Faire!)
Hair: Raven Bell, Ethiel (Raven Bell at Fantasy Faire!)
Everything Else:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Eyes: AviGlam, Joy Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyebrows: Alaskametro: Glimmer Eyebrows

Twilight Spring is one of sixteen regions that make up the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. Twilight Spring is sponsored by The Roawenwood and designed by Searlait Nitschke. Remember, the Fairelands sink into the mists sometime around the fifth of May, 2019, so come visit soon!

 

Glow Baths and Dragon Dances in The Shrine Tree

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As Quiet As the Night Is

As Quiet As the Night Is, That’s how The Shrine Tree light is

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Come In

And you know you will come in, you will; you will

If we invite you in, you will, you will

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To see your sense of wonder

To see you sense of wonder, we will lift you to the lanterns;

We will let you taste our sweetest cakes

But only if you dare

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Do you dare?

Do you dare, do you dare, slip beside us for a glow-bathing?

Do you dare, do you dare, do you dare?

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We are watching from the lanterns

We are laughing just beyond you

We are watching from the lanterns

Do you dare, do you dare, do you dare?

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And if you venture past the lanterns….

And if you venture past the lanterns

We will let you dance with dragons

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Round the fire shrine

Round the fire shrine we’ll let you taste our mead

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It will make you dance ’til morning

It’ll make you dance ’til morning, but your feet won’t even feel it:

Not until you stumble home in seven years.

You’ll be ragged as a bean sidhe, but your memories will sustain you,

Won’t they?

Never mind: we’ll visit soon, to drink your tears.

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Fire Shrine Dance

Style Card:
Featured items from the 2019 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire:
Skin: The Plastik, Amathela, in RFL colour Aleatrice (The Plastik at Fantasy Faire!)
Clothes: Evie’s Closet, Aelinor Skirt & Top, Blue (Evie’s Closet at Fantasy Faire!)
Circlet & Bracelets: Kotolier, Folium Bracelet & Circlet in Water (Kotolier at Fantasy Faire!)
Shoes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Evie Sandals (1313 Mockingbird Lane at Fantasy Faire!)
Other Stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Hair: Doe, Silva
Body Glitter: Musa, Glitter Bomb Maitreya
Ears: Soul, Uni Ears, Luin
Wings: Evolved Creatures, Fae Wings

The Shrine Tree, sponsored by The Looking Glass and designed by Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen, is one of sixteen Realms in the Fairelands this year. Give yourself a gift and visit this gorgeous place before the Faire closes on the fifth of May! The Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire is the largest virtual charity event in the world, and we help fight cancer with our stories and songs and flights of fancy. Everything you buy, everything you donate, helps a great cause.

 

 

Glimpses of the Light of Va’loth

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Beacon

Sometimes, a focal point is so overwhelming it’s the only thing you see. That’s why it’s a focal point, after all. That’s what it’s like in Light of Va’loth. The towering statue, be she goddess, heroine, or legend, is impossible to look away from: she is visible from nearly every point on the region, and she carries a bright light. She is mysterious and fascinating, impossible to ignore.

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A bright beacon

She’s so bright, she might even be blinding. That’s why, once you’ve spent your time staring at and being overwhelmed by She whom we can only assume is the Light, Herself, consider turning away.

Consider looking at the rivers, the bridges, the buildings, the trees, as if they were not overwhelmed by this light.

Consider the clarity of the water, the lovingly layered levels of an ancient (Elven?) city. Consider the lights that hang from the trees.

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Dancing Green

Imagine yourself and your beloved on Va’loth’s dancing green, yes, still in her shadow, but protected now, by her stone sleeves, from whatever approaches above; in this bower, you are safe.

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What you could miss

And really, just think: If you turned toward the Light and stared only at the Light, you might find yourself slow-moving as a statue or an unfortunate troll in the morning. You might find yourself so hypnotised, so mesmerised, by that light, by the hope it carries, that movement, thought, the passive understanding of what happens around you, all these things might fade. And there you would be, a silhouette, one foot poised toward the next step, staring at a light.

It’s enough to make you wonder, isn’t it: What was She staring at?

But, what is Gwyneth wearing?
Fantasy Faire Featured Items (all links point to the specific store where you can find the item):
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Aetheria Gown, in Lapis (Get this dress at the Silvan Moon Designs store in the Midas region!)
Halo: Air, Gothic Halo, in Gold (Get this item at the Air store in the Shrine Tree Region!)
Circlet and bracelets: Kotolier, Herba bracelets and Circlet in Gold. (Get these at the Kotolier store in the Midas region!)
Torc: Lassitude & Ennui, Torc Necklace, Dragon, in gold. (Get this at the Lassitude & Ennui store in the Midas region!)
Eyes: Musa, Amla Eyes RFL edition. (Get these at the Musa store in the Sanguinely Garden region!)
Everything Else:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Skin: Lumae, Genus Project Elska Applier T1 (All current skin lines are now available for just L$100 at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Mali

The Light of Va’loth is one of the 2019 Fantasy Faire regions. It is sponsored by Titans and Solarium and designed by Kilik Lekvoda. I am sure I will be setting some stories here as the Faire progresses.

Still Standing in San Mora

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You know what? I don’t care any more.

You know what? I don’t care any more. I’ve been living in this city for gods know how long, and I’ve watched the people come and go, and I’m just not interested in any of their bull any more.

I will walk where I want, dress how I want, eat what I want, go out at night without a burly male escort, and if anybody wants to stop me, well. They’ll have to go through me first.

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Dyisi came to visit yesterday.

Dyisi came to visit yesterday. I think she was pretty impressed with my new squat. I’m on the tenth floor of a mostly burned out building, so I have this amazing balcony that’s like half a floor, just exposed to the outside. And there’s nobody above me because those levels got melted, I think. Metal’s all bent, anyway.

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“You see that dome?” she wanted to know. “Super creepy.”

“You see that dome?” she wanted to know. “Super creepy.”

“Huh.” I frowned. “I can’t remember if it was there yesterday or not. I mean, looks like it’s meant to be there, right?”

“Are you fucking kidding me? That thing is a menace. It looks like the scariest part of a circus met the scariest part of a steampunk horror novel, and they are both converging on us. You mark me, tomorrow it’ll be closer and there’ll be some weird music coming from it or some shit like that.”

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“Frankly, I think those creepy metal birds are worse,” I replied.

“Frankly, I think those creepy metal bird things are worse,” I replied. I half-turned to point out the window (well, OK, the wall) behind us to point out one of the improbable things, which at the moment was just making lazy circles around an incongruous lake. “That is a cage on wings, and I keep having these nightmares they’re going to come over here and enslave us all.”

“Yeah; all thirty of us,” Dyisi replied. I think she just likes to piss me off by saying completely ridiculous things like that. There are at least 250 of us here in San Mora, surviving in the best way we can. Some people say there are even more if you count the other side of the city, but I’m not so sure. I only trust what I can see, which I think is the best way to survive in the world. Well. In my world, anyway. I sighed. “Come on; let’s go down to the roadhouse and see if we can score some beer.”

“I’d rather have a joint.”

“You always say that.”

I’ve rigged up a series of ladders to take me down the whole ten floors in a rush, ladder by ladder. I slide down them with one foot on either side of the ladder. Dyisi kept yelling at me to slow down, but I just ignored her. I’m sure I flipped her off more than once. And I have no idea what that last finger gesture she replied with was. The fact is, if Dyisi and I aren’t constantly bitching and moaning at each other and insulting each other a mile a minute, that’s when the apocalypse has actually happened. Laughed in a guy’s face last week when he called San Mora “post-apocalyptic”. Had to explain that truth of the world. I am not sure he believed me, but what can you do? I keep trying to explain to people that hope doesn’t have to die just because we’re certain now there is no god, given what we’ve been through. This is when we need hope most. I was telling Dy this story as we reached the roadhouse. Downstairs was too crowded, so we climbed up to the second level. Nobody likes it there because a wall got blown out in one of those firefights from last month. I’m not bothered. Ceiling’s still working, which means the floor’s all good. Right?

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Would you believe it: she found a fucking ukulele.

Would you believe it: she found a fucking ukulele.

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Seriously?

Seriously: I just turned away and pretended I didn’t know her. By this time my wings had come out: I don’t know why they only do that when I’ve had a little bit to drink. “You are not going to actually play that thing.”

“Nah; I was thinking I”d just sit here and hold it like I’d just finished a beer and my best friend was about to go down and get me another one,” she said.

I sighed. One more trip down the stairs in four inch heels. Some of us have hooves and are much better at going up and down things, but no; Dy must have me serve her beer. Sometimes she’s a right bitch, but she’s the only friend I’ve got, you know? Pays to keep on her good side. I went for the beer.

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“You know what I did earlier today?” I asked her when I got back upstairs. “I went to the old park, and I danced on the dead wall.”

“You know what I did earlier today?” I asked her when I got back upstairs. “I went to the old park, and I danced on the dead wall.”

She laughed. “Does it make you feel better about life to do shit that pisses everybody else in the whole universe right off?”

I shrugged.

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“I’m tired of being careful.”

“I’m tired of being careful,” I said.

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“Besides, it’s not like anybody is out there looking for me.”

“Besides, it’s not like anybody out there is looking for me. You ever seen my face on one of those missing posters?”

Dy sighed. “I guess not.”

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“Well, maybe if I make a big enough fuss, somebody’ll care enough to look for me if I go.”

“Well, maybe if I make a big enough fuss, somebody’ll care enough to look for me if I go.”

Dyisi frowned. “I’d look for you.”

“Assuming you weren’t gone first.”

“In which case you’d look for me.”

“Yeah, probably.”

“Probably? You’d be out there morning noon and night, because you love me.”

“Do not.”

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“Anyway, it was nice to be alone, even if I did have to go to the dead wall to do it.”

“Anyway, it was nice to be alone, even if I did have to go to the dead wall to do it.”

Dyisi snorted. “I still think it’s silly to call it ‘the dead wall’. For all we know, they are all alive and well, somewhere better than here.”

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The Dead Wall

“Nobody’s seen or heard from any of them,” I replied. “I think if my picture were up there, it would mean I have died, too.”

Dyisi shook her head. “Cynical, cynical.”

We wandered out into the street. It was one of those sunny, dusty afternoons, the kind of afternoon you always get in San Mora.

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Dyisi on a police car.

At one point, Dyisi jumped on top of a police car and yelled something about how the PoPo couldn’t get her any more because there weren’t any… I think she might have been a bit drunk.

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“You know this isn’t real, Gwyneth.”

“You know this isn’t real, Gwyneth,” Dyisi said.

“Are you having a moment of existential ennui?” I wasn’t even sure what ‘existential ennui’ was, to be honest. It just sounded good.

“Nope,” Dyisi said. “Towers of Nope. You’re stuck in a Fairelands Realm.”

“What are you talking about?” I shifted uncomfortably on the gazebo floor.

“You’re not actually a street urchin in a post-apocalyptic novel, you know.”

“I’m not?”

“Nope,” Dyisi said. “Towers of Nope. You wandered in here because this is one of the Realms that’s part of the Great Fantasy Faire this year. You got lost in the story. It’s a common hazard.” She blew across her nails for absolutely no reason.

“You mean I could just get up and walk out of here? And I’d find somewhere else?”

“Yep,” Dyisi said.

“Right! Let’s do that, then.”

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So, we got up and just walked out of San Mora.

So, we got up and just walked right out of San Mora. The closer we got to the fence, walking with purpose to Another Place (where, we didn’t know), the more I remembered.

“Have you noticed that we keep having stand-alone adventures this year? It’s like we’re episodic.”

I lifted a brow. “Wow, Dy; that’s awfully meta for you.”

“I am the epitome and the ultimate representation of meta. Then again, so are you.”

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Towers Of Nope

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Analog Dog, Merida (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Eyes: Mesange, Iram Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at On9!)
Ears: Eclipse Arts Studio, Elf Ears Dior
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Opal, Omega Appliers (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Necklace: Otherskin, Mashallah (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Dress: Syren’s Song, Ursa, Purple (Available NOW at The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire!)
Shoes: Violetility, Luna Heels

Location: The 2017 Second Life Fantasy Faire, San Mora, Sponsored by Death Row Designs and designed by Jaimy Hancroft, Eowyn Swords, and Morbid Deceit

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

 

Why I Relay

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I took Dyisi down beneath the mystical portals of the Fairelands Junction.

I took Dyisi down beneath the mystical portals of the Fairelands Junction for our special time together at the Great Faire. I wanted to show her how beautiful the memories of all the Fairelanders were when placed into a special cove. The air was alight with candles, and the roots of the trees went deep, down into the river, symbolising the depth of caring Fairelanders have for their loved ones who are suffering and memorialising those who have gone before.

This year, I have not been as present at the Faire as I have in previous years. The boys are taking over most of the merchanting duties for me now, and I admit I’ve settled nicely in the Faerie Haven at White Owl Island. It feels good to sit back and let work be done by others. But I knew I’d have to visit the Faire at least once this year, to connect with my long-time friend Dyisi and to marvel at the way the Realms shine when they are chosen to be part of the Faire.

I thought Dyisi would love this memorial spot, but instead she grew melancholy.

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“Do you want to talk about it?” I asked.

“I guess I probably should,” she said, and she followed it up with some of those Greek terms of endearment she uses. I persist in thinking they are complimentary.

I said, “See how quiet it is here, but for the water, the birds. Let there be peace. You know you can tell me anything.”

“What about,” Dyisi said, “If we just break the fourth wall for a moment?”

I lifted a brow. “What do you mean?”

“Well, you know how you’re a character from Gwen Enchanted’s imagination?”

I shifted uncomfortably. “It’s not something I usually think about.”

“Yeah, I know,” Dyisi replied. “She gets Queen Gwyneth to be her mouthpiece most of the time.”

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She put her arm around me.

She put her arm around me. “Well…” and here she paused to look up in to my eyes, above her glasses. Briefly, I glimpsed the galaxies within before she looked down again. “I, too, am a character from someone’s imagination.”

I blinked. “Not Gwen Enchanted’s imagination, I hope; that’d be… well, slightly creepy and incestuous.”

“Oh, like your desperate love for Her Majesty isn’t creepy?” Dyisi allowed herself a little laugh. “No, no; I am a character from someone else’s imagination, and she is a very good friend to Gwen Enchanted.

I rubbed my chin, shook my head. “Confusing.”

“That it is, Davey,” said Dyisi, with a sigh. “This place makes me think of the imagination from which I spring, and I’d like to tell you a story from her perspective.”

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“I’m listening,” I said. And I held her.

“I’m listening,” I said. And I held her.

A few words from the mind behind the satyr..

First off, let me thank Gwen.. who has been an amazingly dear friend to me for years now.. for allowing me to say a few words.  Her blog has been a great source of entertainment and touching stories that is more than just a labor of love.  But an outlet for her beautiful and talented soul.  So I thank her from the bottom of my heart to be apart of not just her stories, but her life.  As well as her dear husband Joe, who also touched my life in a very remarkable way.  He is missed deeply.

There is also another woman who has been an influential part of my life, as well as having been my rock.  My mother.  She passed in June of 2013 after a short battle with lung cancer. Her diagnosis was in March of that same year.  So we did not have a lot of time in the end, and even though I am told not to have regrets, I do.  It’s hard not to, especially when her life ended so quickly.  Things I wish I could have said, wishing I could have been there at her side when she finally passed.  While I still hold to these regrets, I also look back at the life we lived.  She was an amazing woman, strength in the face of all adversities..  Be it her time spent in the Marines during Vietnam, or the life our family lived.  Her sense of humor never wavered and in that taught me to laugh when things feel hopeless.  For that, I will forever be thankful.  She also did her best to try and protect me from death, even though it’s inevitable.  This does include her own death as she insisted I stay home… three thousand miles away.  Despite my better judgement, I listened to her, because she is my mother..

Cancer is not new to my family, as it has claimed so many on my mother’s side.  Her father passing from leukemia, while lung cancer claimed her mother, aunt, and a year after mom died, one of her sisters.  Even my cousin’s little girl fought leukemia, which I can happily say she is in full remission.  At the beginning of this year, a close childhood friend had lost her battle with cervical cancer.   This monster is all too familiar to me, and so this is why Fantasy Faire has become important to me ever since I discovered it. I thank the creators and participants.. vendors and supporters..   for all that they do for the American Cancer Society.  Helping those who work tirelessly to defeat this monster so that no one else.. no more of our loved ones and own selves..  will fall into it’s clutches.

Thank you.

I’d never seen tears from Dyisi before, but now I did. And I confess I buried my face in her hair to staunch my own.

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I shall not tell you how we spent the rest of our night together.

I shall not tell you how we spent the rest of our night together; I shall only say that the unlikely friendship between Gypsy and Satyr—and the unlikely friendship between American expat and Seattle dilettante—continues to be a force for good in the world.

Let all your stories out. Let all your tears flow. Recognise that together, we are stronger than cancer, stronger than the losses we have sustained because of it, strong enough to go on. Those candles burn for every beloved person who has passed to the other side of the Veil, for every beloved person who wakes up to fight another day, for all of us who contribute, with our time and our money and the love in our hearts (which knows no end). 

2015.RFL.Gwen Enchanted

Catalina Staheli’s “Why Do You Relay” photo of The Amazing Catwoman, from the 2015 Fantasy Faire.

Catalina Staheli took this photograph of The Amazing Catwoman at the beginning of the 2015 Fantasy Faire, my (Gwen Enchanted’s) first year as a Fantasy Faire blogger as part of her “Why Do You Relay” series. That was the year my husband, Joe Raftery, was moved from curative to palliative care. My heart was on my sleeve then, and it is now, as well. Eight months after this photograph was taken, I became a widow. Fairelanders, one of my SL tribes, supported me through his illness. My roleplaying tribe, which includes Dyisi, whose beautiful words are above, were with me constantly. My real life family stayed by my side and have never left me. I am rich, rich in friends and rich in family. I am also rich in memories. Why do I relay? I relay because, at fifty-one years of age, I am still too young to be a widow. 

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Style Cards:
The Gypsy Davey:
Head: Catwa, Justin
Body: Signature
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Bo (Guys Group Gift for April, Available NOW at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Raven (Available NOW at the 2017 Fantasy Faire!)
Outfit: Silvan Moon Designs, The Fairelands Traveler Tunic Set (Available NOW at the 2017 Fantasy Faire!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5

Dyisi:
Body- Maitreya Laura
Hair – little bones. Chel
Ears – [][]Trap[][] Gelf Ears
Eyes – Plastik Galaxie Eyes, Arc
Hooves – Gauze
Tail – Leo Tail v5
Skin – Plastik Briane Freckled
Horns – Plastik Swyrl Horns, Ray
Top – !gO! Spring lace top 1 (Now at this month’s round of Shiny Shabby)
Shorts – L&B Swear Denim Shorts
Lip ring – .:ellabella:. Blowing Bubbles
Belly chain – .Charm. Moon
Necklace – .Eldritch. Bog Cailleach Vial
Necklace – Plastik Twiggled Necklace, silver
Arm chains – Zaara Rasksha
Thigh chains -Zaara Rasksha
Septum Ring – Zaara [Goa Party]: Baga nosering
Bracelets – Zaara [Goa Party]: Friendship bracelets
Glasses – Zaara [Goa Party]: Retro sunglasses
Bindi – ~Soedara~ Pearl Berjuang Tari

Location: Fairelands Junction, Sponsored by Ruins of Xenark Roleplay Community and designed by Saiyge Lotus.

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

Deer and Loafing in the Fairelands

It all started one night, early in the Great Fantasy Faire, when I and some of my favourite beings had arranged to meet at a favourite skin-painter and fantasy clothing and jewellery maker, The Plastik. I arrived first, of course (I’m always early, despite what they say about me). The atmosphere inside the store in the Realm of Chaddul Ro was festive, to say the least, and I found myself caught up in the happy clamour of the crowd. Eventually, I began to wonder where they all were, so I went outside to wait for them.

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I waited patiently near the store’s distinctive signpost.

I waited patiently near the store’s distinctive signpost. The crowds grew thicker, and I’m sure they simply didn’t hear me when I called their names. One by one, they came out to meet me. At this point, I realised they were all deer. OK, they were adorable, diminutive deer, but deer nonetheless.

“Are you aware,” I asked, “that you are all, um, deer?”

“Well, you’re one to talk,” said WrenDeer. “Look at you: you’re like Fairy Princess Tiara Deer.”

“I am not!” I retorted.

“Hate to break it to you,” said RivenDeer, “But I’m afraid it’s true. MoxyDeer, do you have a mirror on you somewhere?”

MoxyDeer had a mermaid crown and a fetching fin. “What, you think we actually carry hand mirrors around with us?” She made a face. “Talk to DyisiDeer: she’s got mirrored sunglasses.”

I had only to stare into DyisiDeer’s round sunglasses to realise what they were saying was true: I, too, was an adorable, diminutive deer. “Well, aren’t we all so cute!” I said.

KitoriDeer made a rude noise. It might have been a burp, or perhaps it was someone else’s voice. “I am not cute,” she declared. “I am possessed by the souls of my enemies, and I shall not rest until they are defeated.”

Nobody thought to ask her who her enemies were. We all decided we should just continue our plans to explore the Fairelands together. Perhaps we would find a way to regain our former shapes soon enough. Or at least find some good grass.

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WrenDeer, RivenDeer, MoxyDeer, GwenDeer, KitoriDeer, and DyisiDeer, preparing to take on the Fairelands, one meadow at a time!

We found ourselves in the Mystical Realm of Raven’s Perch.

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Here we all are, visiting the Lady of Roses in her ruby casket.

We all look a little confused. But the roses were mighty tasty.

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The Raven’s Perch Memorial was the next stop on our tour.

What a lovely setting. With nice, dewy grass and a topping of autumn leaves. Also, rose petals! These Fairelands were pretty nice!

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As I watched the mist rise out of the trees, I felt a wave of solemnity brush across my heart.

Soon, we would have to leave these beautiful dark meadows and move into another Realm. But where would our adventure take us next?

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On to The Hill we raced!

Soon we found a flock of goats to blend in with! No one would ever suspect that we weren’t part of their merry band of mischief!

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DyisiDeer! It is not OK to kick a fellow goat in the face!

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And KitoriDeer—is that a bloody knife in your mouth? You do not need a goat’s skin to be a goat! You must be a goat from the inside!

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Dyisi Deer soon forgot she’d tried to kick another of our goat herd in the face, or perhaps she was just chilling with the rams.

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MoxyDeer, clearly a learner by observation, shepherded her adorable unicorn toward DyisiDeer and the rams.

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RivenDeer, confused as she looks here, was actually making good headway with the ram on the left. Perhaps her Tesla Fairy impressed him.

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Of course, all bets were off when RivenDeer realised that tree bark was just as tasty as long meadow grasses. And did you notice she has two different coloured eyes? Weird, baby.

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Somebody told me once that herding *cats* was meant to be hard. “They know nothing,” I told Anastasia, my equally adorable pegasus companion.

At which point I noticed that DyisiDeer had acquired an anteater. Well… I guess we’d be great at picnics, then.

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And speaking of picnics….

Here’s DyisiDeer, KitoriDeer, and MoxyDeer enjoying an awkward family picnic photograph. Well. I think MoxyDeer’s unicorn was enjoying it—look at that cheeky goat plying her with food! MoxyDeer and DyisiDeer both look a little nervous, if you ask me. KitoriDeer, on the other hand, looks as if she might be explaining, in detail, how to eviscerate fellow deer and devour their livers.

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“DyisiDeer! Get out of that pumpkin cart!” I shouted.

“Fight the power!” DyisiDeer replied. “It’s my pumpkin cart now. And oh, my little green seeds, these pumpkins? You guys have got to taste these!”

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Elsewhere, MoxyDeer stalked rabbits.

Elsewhere, MoxyDeer stalked rabbits. I’m not sure she got that “herbivore” memo. Luckily, as we were all deer, tiny, adorable deer, we could understand the language of Forest Creatures.

“Help! Help!” cried Vanilla Rabbit. “That MerDeer is going to eat us!”

“Calm your cottontail,” replied Chocolate Bunny. “You will notice that her eyes are firmly on that pumpkin cart over there. Before they’re done, all the deer will be orange, and the meadow grass shall be ours!”

He wasn’t wrong. Let’s just say I was very, very glad to see a river between this realm and our next destination.

Except of course that we were all full of pumpkin by this time and maybe we shouldn’t have been in swimming for at least an hour, but we pretty much all curled up and went to sleep. I’m not sure how long we slept.

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When we awoke we were still adorable, diminutive deer. Only the members of our little herd had changed.

There was WrenDeer, and NateDeer, and GwenDeer and DyisiDeer. NateDeer fell asleep before we were done planning our evening. WrenDeer said she was going upstairs to get her PJs, but she never returned. To this day, we have never seen WrenDeer again. Nobody knows what happened to RivenDeer, either. Perhaps she was taken away to the Fairy Fairelands by her little Tesla horn ornament. That might sound naughtier than I meant it to be.

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NateDeer

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DyisiDeer

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WrenDeer

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GwenDeer

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Dyisi Deer looks surprisingly grandmotherly in this photograph.

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Then, like some gory horror-film magic, KitoriDeer appeared.

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Here we are, milling around, waiting to see what will happen next!

What happened next was KitoriDeer told us that if we didn’t get moving on to the rest of the Fairelands, she would personally serve our lungs to her demonic overlords.

Without checking to find out who her demon overlords actually were, we swiftly ran, as only a herd can run, toward our next destination: Dawn’s Promise.

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There is something amazing about the light in Dawn’s Promise.

I could almost forget that I was standing next to KitoriDeer, who had a knife that could cut me.

All my worries and fears were briefly resolved when AraDeer showed up in very sexy horns and wings. My heart leapt at the thought of leaping with him. I even left a big patch of flowers uneaten right next to me in hopes he’d come over and talk to me.

I say my worries and fears were briefly resolved because on AraDeer’s tail, KaeDeer arrived. Now, it’s true, she has very sexy horns and an equally sexy tail, but evil glowed red in her eyes, and her dark wings beat with the sound of two or three tortured souls. Don’t want to hyperbolise.

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Here we are, milling around a bathtub full of flowers. And by “milling”, I mean, “grazing”.

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We were at this point joined by the delightful MikaDeer, who sported a unicorn’s horn with a shiny star ornament on it.

Nevermind that KitoriDeer had now begun stalking the peacocks by the Dawn’s promise Special Hippie Tie-Dye Gazebo. At least I think that’s what it’s called. My adorable pegasus and I were just enjoying the wind on the meadow, while at the same time steadfastly avoiding KaeDeer’s dark but undeniably attractive gaze.

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And, my friends, we began to frolic!

Well, most of us, that is. At this point, I began to wonder if KaeDeer wasn’t just slightly upset that she wasn’t getting her soul quota or something, because that stare of hers was becoming downright unnerving.

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Speaking of KaeDeer, aren’t those beautiful horns?

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“Psst!” My Little Pegasus said (I had ceased calling her Anastasia). “I think KitoriDeer wants us to see her, er, rear end.”

“Luckily,” I replied, “We are blocking it with our rear ends.”

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KitoriDeer’s attention soon turned to the peacocks, though she was still rather too close for comfort. We…. pretended to frolic, but were actually avoiding her.

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AraDeer begins to stalk rabbits as well. I contemplated giving him that whole “herbivore” speech, but than I remembered how well it hadn’t worked on MoxyDeer, and I moved on.

Meanwhile, KaeDeer, well, grazed peacefully. I deerhmfed in her general direction. Some demon overlady she turned out to be!

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MikaDeer began the frolicking in earnest!

Look at her leap! Her lion’s mane is so attractive! If only she weren’t, well, leaping right into the path of KaeDeer. I wasn’t close enough to warn her, but I know she has street smarts: she is an adorable, diminutive deer, after all.

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Mika continued to frolic!

As she frolicked, I grazed my way unobtrusively across from where KaeDeer was grazing, as much as it unsettled me. AraDeer trotted round the front of the bathtub, perhaps to come to her rescue as well. Of course, it could have been the rabbit behind KaeDeer. We may never know the truth.

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When I saw KitoriDeer and KaeDeer beginning to converge upon MikaDeer, I did what I always do when I’m terrified or squicked.

“Kittens!” I cried. And lo! There were kittens.

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So. Many. KittyCats. KaeDeer’s murderous gaze never left me. I do not think she was happy about losing the chance to have MikaDeer for lunch.

But no deer should eat other deer for lunch.

I say again, herbivores, people! (I mean, deer!)

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It was like a kitten bar!

A kitten bar, where adorable, diminutive deer could come and fill their wells of cuteness.

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We enjoyed the Kitten Bar for a few more minutes.

Even KaeDeer eventually succumbed. “Oh, Em, Gee, you guys are so cuuuute!” she cried. “Fuck’s sake!”

Ah, my work here was done. It was time to visit The Rose.

In The Rose, everything is ordered. It is like a large, formal garden that you are allowed to shop in. Also, there is a nice grazing meadow up on the top of the Realm.

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As the land was ordered, so were we.

And, we acquired a new herd member! LilaDeer joined us then, wearing  beautiful dark glasses and a fetching cane (which he wore fetchingly in his antlers and might have used as a weapon, had we been in dire need).

We wished to graze the gardens until our bellies were full, but we felt ourselves becoming more and more ordered. Someone suggested we dance the CanCan, and at that point, I knew it was time to visit The Spirit Pool.

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In The Spirit Pool, there are many guardians.

Some of them have lanterns. And some of them have tentacles. It was interesting to see which guardian we chose. How odd that the majority of our now-growing herd chose the the Tentacle Guardian. Only KitoriDeer chose the Lantern Guardian. I don’t really know what that means. I found this whole segment very confusing. KaeDeer said it was something about wisdom. I said, “Let’s go for a swim.” Everybody else screamed, “Later! We want to sit on this Tentacle Guardian a little bit longer.”

Oh, fine.

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We really do look quite majestic don’t we?

Well, I mean, they. I’m not in this picture.

But.

We are all one herd. Therefore, I look majestic, too.

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LilaDeer looks especially majestic here, don’t you think?

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Finally, we jumped into the water and found a MerDeer’s paradise!

“Hey, guys!” LilaDeer and I called. “Come over here; it’s like a Mer birthday cake, and we’re the antlered candles!”

“Hey, guys?” I called. “LilaDeer, I don’t think they’re listening.”

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Nobody seemed as excited about the Mer birthday cake as LilaDeer and I were.

“DyisiDeer,” MikaDeer said, very gently and kindly, “I don’t know if you know this, but sand’s gonna hurt your stomach. You can’t graze down here.”

DyisiDeer released a stream of bubbles as she replied, “Well, logically I shouldn’t be able to breathe down here either, but, yeah. It’s magic, MikaDeer.”

MikaDeer impressed us all by surrounding herself with a beautiful bubble. “I can breathe logically!”

I was jealous.

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“Hey!” I shouted, despite the fact that I shouldn’t be able to talk at all, “Look at this stone! It’s got antlers, just like us!”

“Not all of us,” replied MikaDeer.

I deersighed. “DyisiDeer,” I said. “Grazing.”

“I totally have the munchies,” DyisiDeer said.

“Hey, let’s go on to the next Realm,” I said. “We don’t want a sick DyisiDeer. KaeDeer might– oh, wait. KaeDeer must have been sucked into the void.”

“There was a void?” asked LilaDeer.

“Yeah, totally,” I said. “Come on.”

And then, we were off to Mudrana.

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In Mudrana, I was a beautiful Fairy PrincessDeer, upon a beautiful lily pad!

Nevermind that there was a frog screaming at me. He was not a nice frog. Reluctantly, I left the beautiful lily pad and went to the big lily pad where everyone else was frolicking.

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OK, it kind of looks like we are lounging around doing nothing and I am trying to graze a lily pad. But we were totally frolicking.

“I don’t like it here,” said LilaDeer. “It’s wet.”

“I think we should go swimming again,” said MikaDeer.

Three deer said in unison, “No grazing underwater, DyisiDeer!”

Luckily for MikaDeer, the next Realm held many underwater treasures.

From Mudrana, we crossed the lily pads and dove into the underwater paradise of Opal’s Flight.

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In Opal’s Flight, there are many wonders.

Of course, being adorable, diminutive deer, we mostly stood around staring and being slightly confused. Except for KitoriDeer, who seemed convinced that the world should see her tail. “KitoriDeer,” I said, “Have you no shame?”

“Shame?” She cried. “Shame? Look at my tail! My tail is amazing!”

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Of course, it was really the underwater amphitheatre we were in that was amazing.

Unfortunately, as adorable, diminutive deer, we couldn’t find any really good adjectives to describe it.

“Do deer eat fish?” asked AraDeer.

“No,” said MikaDeer. “We are herbivores. Did you not get that memo?”

“I am,” LilaDeer declared once again, “tired of swimming. Can we please go somewhere hot and dry:”

“Happy to oblige,” I said, having seen the Map. “I happen to know that the next Realm is called Fallen Sands.”

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Snowman grazing!

In Fallen Sands, we frolicked until we were very tired, then found the most amazing gift: a snowman, half-melted, upon the desert sands.

As it turns out, snowmen are totally tasty. I kid you not. DyisiDeer perched upon the umbrella while the rest of us grazed the snowman. LilaDeer just laid back and enjoyed the sun. “More, more!” he said.

“I think the next Realm is some kind of city,” I said.

“Woot!” said KitoriDeer. “Garbage! Cities are full of the best stuff to eat!”

DyisiDeer wrinkled her nose. “And you thought I was weird for grazing underwater!”

“Is it far?” asked MikaDeer.

“Just around that corner,” I said. “It’s so weird how everything changes in the blink of an eye here isn’t it?”

Everybody nodded. Being adorable, diminutive deer, we are OK with not needing to restate everything in our own words. Also, we have small vocabularies.

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I’m sure AraDeer was about to deer kiss me in San Mora.

But something about KitoriDeer’s third eye just kept weirding me out.

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We staged this photograph.

The caption is, “No, mom, we totally aren’t going to throw a party with beer and deer of the appropriate and attractive gender while you are away in Deertopia for that couples’ rutting weekend.”

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Whoa! We were the captains of San Mora!

Not only did we have a party with beer and deer of the appropriate and attractive gender, we also found a car! While AraDeer and LilaDeer argued over who should drive, I envisioned myself as a sexy hood ornament. MikaDeer climbed into the back seat and took a nap.

I… KitoriDeer was very interested in the blood splatter on the pavement.

“I don’t think San Mora is a very wholesome city.”

“Doubtless,” replied KitoriDeer. “Garbage looks hazardous, though. Better lick up this blood before my hooves fall off from radiation poisoning or something.”

I stared at KitoriDeer. “What did you say?” I asked.

She repeated the sentence verbatim.

I was still confused.

Pirates in Egregore!

What joy to pretend to be pirates.  LilaDeer and I took the helm, although I’m pretty sure it was My Little Pegasus doing the actual steering.

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We were so in control of this ship!

AraDeer and MikaDeer inspected the supplies, while DyisiDeer undertook stewarding duties and maintained she was the only one smart enough to be the ship’s doctor. Suddenly, I was even more confused than usual. “Has anybody seen KitoriDeer?” I wondered.

“She said she had a special errand to run and that she’d be back soon,” replied MikaDeer with a shrug. “I wasn’t gonna ask.”

“Probably for the best,” AraDeer agreed.

“Why is she even in our herd, if we aren’t sure whether or not she’s going to murder us?” wondered LilaDeer.

“Because she’s in the herd,” DyisiDeer said. “We are a herd.”

“What does that even mean?” I really wanted to know.

“It means we stick together and stuff,” replied DyisiDeer. “And we find good grazing, keep each other safe from bad stuff, that kind of thing.”

“Is it wrong to be sort of homesick and sentimental for the every deer for himself kind of creed?” LilaDeer wanted to know.

“Yes,” said AraDeer.

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At that moment, we heard the sound of violins.

And over the sweet, beginning chords of a cheap karaoke track, KitoriDeer, drunkenly off-key, began to sing:

Every night, in my dreams
I see you, I feel you….

AraDeer swore.

“I hate that fucking song,” said LilaDeer.

I looked at DyisiDeer. DyisiDeer looked at me. As if compelled, we began singing along.

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KitoriDeer positioned herself on the prow of the ship.

LilaDeer looked at Aradeer. “I’m sure we could figure out these cannons.”

MikaDeer obliged them all by firing the cannons, except of course this is Fantasy Faire. So of course the cannons went off in perfect rhythm with KitoriDeer’s singing and DyisiDeer and my singing along and the karaoke track.

At one point, I shouted at AraDeer, “It’s karaoke! You have to sing along.”

“No,” said AraDeer. “I do not.”

“Help me set the ship on fire,” suggested LilaDeer.

“No setting the ship on fire!” screamed MikaDeer. “That would be wrong, and they’d never let us back into the Fairelands if we did that!”

Near, far, wherever you are (sang KitoriDeer)
I believe that the heart does go on (sang DyisiDeer and me)

“Goddamn it,” said AraDeer, and sang,

Once more, you open the door….

And then there was a loud bang and we found ourselves on the outskirts of Anansi.

“OK, I am not sure about this Realm,” admitted DyisiDeer, who had recovered from Titanic Karaoke very smoothly. The only thing I’ll admit was I was still humming. “There’s a freaky clown face up here somewhere,” she continued.

“I think we can avoid that,” said KitoriDeer. She, too, had recovered admirably. She was studying the map over my shoulder. I could feel the handle of her knife (yes, the bloody one) against my neck. “Don’t worry, I’m not gonna cut you,” she said.

“I wasn’t worried,” I said. I’m sure I sounded totally sincere.

MikaDeer made an affirmative noise. “Yeah, if we go around this way, we can avoid scary clown face. I think it’s all art back here.”

“Art?” AraDeer was interested. “Art is cool.”

And in fact, there was art everywhere. Adorable unicorn houses. Obtuse buildings. Several exclamations of, “What the fuck is that? I love it!” and “Seriously? Who puts teal and pink together?”

In the end, the very end, we found ourselves compelled to be art ourselves.

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Four little monkeys and six adorable, diminutive deer jumpin’ on the bed!

“Stop shoving!” said LilaDeer. “KitoriDeer, you are on my head.”

“You better be glad I’m not on your ass,” said KitoriDeer with a (more than usually) maniacal laugh.

“I’m GwenDeer’s blanket,” said DyisiDeer.

“You people just don’t understand how to be comfortable,” MikaDeer declared as she sat complacently in her pirate hat, hogging the blankets.

Monkeys chittered. They may have been advancing on us.

“I don’t think the monkeys are really happy with us,” I said.

AraDeer looked at the monkeys. He looked at GwenDeer, DyisiDeer, MikaDeer, LilaDeer, and KitoriDeer. “I’m on a horse,” he said.

We ended our tour where most Fairelands tours begin, in the Fairelands Junction.

I had a chance to get a photograph of MikaDeer in her spiffy pirate’s hat!

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MikaDeer also had a paintbrush.

“These trees are huge,” she said, with her mouth full.

“I think we are due at least one last bit of frolicking, I said.

“I agree,” said AraDeer.

“Frolicking is good,” said KitoriDeer.

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And there, in the safety of the Fairelands Junction, we frolicked.

There was serious frolicking. There was lighthearted frolicking. There might even have been cavorting.

And that, my friends, is the story of Deer and Loafing in the Fairelands, every word of which I swear is as true as possible, under the circumstances.

We would like to sincerely thank Vae of The Plastik for The Plastik Deera Gacha, the most fun we have had in many a month. Thanks are also due to Wren, who arrive at out initial deer meet up in a hat and inspired the rest of us to bling our deer. If you haven’t made the trip to The Plastik‘s Fantasy Faire Store on Chaddul Ro to play this gacha, you really should. Or, you know, you could always IM us in world; most of us have, erm, a few extras if you want some commons.

The players:
GwenDeer: Gwen Enchanted
DyisiDeer: Dyisi
MoxyDeer: Moxy Macbeth
KitoriDeer: Kitori Unplugged
WrenDeer: Wren Darling (Dickensiandreamer)
RivenDeer: Riven (lrriven)
NateDeer: Nathaniel Ballard (BenBold)
AraDeer: Arahaelon (Giovanni Tiepolo)
KaeDeer: Kae (Kaelis Ember)
LilaDeer: Lilacor (Zoasa Viper)

Locations:
Every single shopping Region in the 2017 Fantasy Faire, with the additions of Opal Flight (entertainment region) and Fairelands Junction.

Photographed and written by Gwen Enchanted. Thanks to the players, my best friends in Second Life and indeed in any Life, for joining with me for three nights of complete madness and mayhem as we took the Fairelands by stampede!

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

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