Dancing Under the Lantern Tree

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Whom do I trust?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We must get Saoirse’s skin back.

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

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

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

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

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Under the Lantern Tree

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Sometimes, things just appear in the garden, and I don’t know what they’re for.

Sometimes, things just appear in the garden, and I don’t know what they’re for. Take that weird house opposite the gallery, for example. I mean, I guess we’ll hold dances there or something, but at the moment it’s just sitting there. But when this Lantern Tree appeared, with its comfortable seating and characteristic beautiful touches (how could it be from anywhere but The Looking Glass?), I knew exactly what it was for, and I had a use for it right away. Obviously, it’s for late night discussions of things that matter. So I asked Arahaelon to come along, and we began to discuss the situation with Saoirse.

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“I might have vented a bit,” I said.

“I might have vented a bit, I said, “when I found out that my vision was of her being abducted as a seal. The penny dropped when Dyisi asked her who had her skin; then I realised what was happening.”

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“We should summon Dyisi,” Arahaelon said.

“We should summon Dyisi,” Arahaelon said. So this we did. Dyisi arrived with Rire, and we went on with the conversation.

I summarised what we’d already talked about for Dyisi, and Arahaelon asked if Dy could shed a little more light on Saoirse’s state of mind.

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Dyisi shrugged.

Dyisi shrugged. “Is story as old as time,” she said. “She fell for someone who, in turn, used her and took her skin, Ah, forced her to do such deeds that she has done. Though she does noht with to harm anyone… just get her skin back and be free of those who control her. Is why she picked simple boat. Is why when ordered to do more … drastic … measures she picked empty house. Well, empty as that none of people who lived within were there at time. Also, she needs to be within water soon, or she will noht make it.”

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I felt that anger rise within me again.

I felt that anger rise within me again. “Unbelievable arseholes,” I said. “Did she tell you who has her skin? Where they are? I’m just so pissed off about this. Obviously, I’m angry about the graffiti and the boat and my house—I’ll never get that little bed with the iron birdies on it back—but it really appears she was not acting of her own free will. That said, I would hope she’d have come to one of us before all that had to happen.”

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“That would fit…”

“That would fit,” Arahaelon said, “with the story I’m getting from these messages on her phone.” He passed the phone to me so I could take a look. “If her skin has been taken, then we must get it back.”

Dyisi applied her usual calm to the situation. “When faced with death… as it is… I understand why she had noht come to any of us. Such mortality places you within a different mindset. But, nai, her skin must be returned to her.

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“Those who are using her…”

“Those who are using her to further their goals… they must face a higher court than what is on the Island. Especially since it is not just island they are attacking.”

I agreed. “Nathaniel might have some contacts on the mainland, “but he’s away in Mysthaven and won’t be back until next week, I think? We’ll have to give it some thought ourselves.” I smirked. “I could always check with Cherish Gelato. She’s sure to know some wild rumours, at least.” And I nodded to Arahaelon. “Certainly, we must retrieve her skin; she will survive without it, but there is the matter of how well the skin is being kept, of course.

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“Let’s hope they don’t see her as expendable.”

“I hope whoever’s done this doesn’t see her as expendable: the idea of a selkie’s skin being destroyed—well, we’d have to talk to the selkies themselves about that one.”

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Arahaelon brooded for a bit.

Arahaelon brooded for a bit. I noticed his eyes: they looked like storm clouds. “What if we use her as bait to draw these people out? I’m sure the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs would be happy to help us hunt them down. It would go a long way towards shortening her sentence. Despite how much I understand her plight, she must still serve time for what she has done. Had she come to us earlier, much destruction and pain could have been avoided. And as Dyisi points out, she will also have to answer for parts she might have played elsewhere.”

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Dyisi looked to Rire.

Dyisi looked to Rire. He just gave the satyr a shrug; he was dutifully doing his job at standing guard. “It is your call on what to do,” she said finally. “I have no say in such a matter. However, I will also speak to may own contacts over there, as our reach tends to be … deep.” She left it there, not going in to specifics as to what exactly this group she was affiliated with did.

 

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The night air developed a chill.

The night air developed a chill, so I shrugged my wings back on. “I worry about using this girl as bait. She seems … Volatile? Scared. And scared people do stupid things. I’m on the fence. I see how she could help us catch these criminals, but I’m not happy about putting her in a position where the only decision she might make would be a wrong one.”

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Arahaelon closed his eyes.

Arahaelon closed his eyes for a moment before continuing. “She would be closely supervised bait, but I do see your point. She will always be bound to the one who has her skin.” He considered for a moment, rotated his head to the side. “We may not have to, though. We could simply text them back and lure them out ourselves.”

Dyisi sniffed, gave a half-shrug. “Perhaps, paidi mou, you should bring this up to this, ah, Bureau before doing such things. So that they can be at ready. Nai?”

 

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“A good idea.”

“A good idea—who’s our Bureau contact, Arahaelon? Or is that safely with Nate in Mysthaven, as well?” I sighed. “I don’t relish going back there, but I could make a special trip if it were important. I reserve the right to be a complete bitch to everybody, though.”

“Yes, of course they will be notified,” Arahaelon said. “I have a close relationship with our contact: there is no need to be a bitch to anyone, unless you really want to, Dear Queen.” He winked at me in that way that he does. If I were mortal, I’d have been flushing beet red and offering to bear his children. “I will see if I can replicate Saoirse’s style in these messages,” he continued.

“Then if that is all, nai?” Dyisi seemed to have someplace to go.

I nodded. “Yeah; that probably about does it for this evening. I’m glad you were both able to join me. It might be time for me to see what Bran is up to in the treehouse: he was talking about decorating my office.” I winced. “I don’t really want an office.”

Arahaelon actually laughed at me, not that I was surprised. “How will you ever cope?”

I just stuck my tongue out at him. “You know where to find me if you need me,” I said.

Dyisi and Rire disappeared, presumably back to her beach house on the Island, and Arahaelon also disappeared, presumably back to his house on the Island. And me? I walked back to the treehouse, through the magic flower meadow. When I got to the path, I turned around for one more look at the beautiful Lantern Tree. And it seemed I saw myself and Arahaelon sitting there, and the people we sat with varied, and they kept changing. I think we will be using this tree as a meeting place for a long time to come.

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The Lantern Tree

Style Card:
The Lantern Tree, from The Looking Glass, will be available as a gacha for the upcoming round of Enchantment, which opens on 12 August.

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Emo-Tions, Alanis (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes (Available NOW at Lost and Found!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Savory (Full face and body Omega applier)
Makeup: VENGE (formerly Vengeful Threads), Catwa Luna Makeup (Available NOW at THE COVEN!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Necklace: VENGE (formerly Vengeful Threads), Evening Lord Necklace (Available NOW at THE COVEN!)
Top: Facepalm, Play the Game (Available NOW at Fable!)
Leggings: The Muses, Ariane Legging (Omega Applier)
Boots: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots

Style cards for Arahaelon and Dyisi are coming soon!

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

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