Contractual Obligation

It’s not like I just sit around eating bonbons, you know. Not like some faeries. No, I have to work for a living. And occasionally that means doing stuff I don’t like, even if I kind of do like it in the end. That probably made no sense, but I can clarify by telling you that I just got done doing an ushering gig for some events at The Looking Glass. Now, The Looking Glass is one of those pocket Realms created by someone who has an amazing sense of design. Sharni is one of those creating wizards who just makes everything look so beautiful. I love visiting her Realm, and it’s almost impossible for me not to bring some of her beautiful creations home with me when I visit.

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So, this event had a steampunk theme.

So, this event had a steampunk theme. And I don’t mind steampunk, but there was of course a uniform involved. Obviously, there was a “no leggings” rule. And high heels. I mean, it wasn’t as bad as that time I had to get gussied up like the cover of a bad fantasy novel and tag unicorns… And I kind of like the hat. Luckily, the folks at The Looking Glass are accepting enough of my kind that I didn’t have to change my skin. In honour o that, I got a beautiful new skin painting from 7 Deadly s{K}ins, and I can’t even say how much I love the amazing work that Izara does. Nothing like being at home in my own Svart Alfar skin with a great skin painting.

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As I walked down the steps, I had to be careful of the heels.

As i walked down the steps, I had to be careful of the heels. Azoury makes beautiful shoes, but I did nearly lose my balance on the second step. They always say the first one is a doozy, but I think I must have got overconfident.

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I’d better be more careful.

I’d better be more careful, I thought to myself. Nothing like an usherette who can’t even stand up on her own two feet. I adjusted the hat from Wicca’s Wardrobe. I love this hat. I’ll probably wear it even after I’m done with this short-term gig. I got my hair done by the talented Truth Hawks for the occasion: I wanted something that, I don’t know, softened my look a bit. And it was nice to go back to the natural silver of my race. And then I thought about softening. I was in this mostly-prim steampunk outfit—and I was really pleased the uniform they chose was from Silvan Moon Designs, by the way. I know they mostly make girly gowns, but there was just something a bit snarky and spirited about this little dress. And I’m nothing if not snarky and spirited.

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I took the next step much more carefully.

I took the next step much more carefully. And although I wasn’t really looking forward to the job, I was sure the music would be great. How could it not be, in such a place? Briefly, I wondered about the audience, who might be there, what potential problems I might have to manage.

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As it turned out, there weren’t any problems.

As it turned out, there weren’t any problems. The event went off without a hitch, I enjoyed listening to the music even if I only got to sit down for an hour or so in the middle of the show. If it weren’t for the natural stealth-glamour of the Svart Alfar, I am sure my feet would be hurting like a bitch right now.

So why did I tell you all this? Well, I guess it’s because I want you to know that at least I’m working again and not hiding in the forest, as I have been for the last month or so. And also, I was looking for some news from the outside world. You see, yesterday, when I looked out from the forest dock, I found that there was nothing but mist across the Sound. It was as if White Owl Island never existed. And where does that leave me? I can camp, I can hunt, I can work with whatever creatures I find in the wood, but I know this little Realm is built upon pure Faerie. It’s over there somewhere, probably through the mists. I felt sure someone at The Looking Glass would know what was going on—there are some powerful magicians who frequent the place—but the folk who would converse with me either didn’t know or wouldn’t say.

Disconcertingly, when I arrived back at my camp in the forest, there was…. something. Something different. Some change in the air, and I’m not talking about the onset of the dark half of the year. Something that just smelled like change, but not a dying change. It may be that Little Miss Queeniepoo has got herself all powered up for winter and is somewhere in Faerie chanting and dancing her heart out, or whatever it is that they do, and who knows. Maybe I’ll wake up in a clearing of pink pumpkins. All this time, she’s known about me and hasn’t spoken to me, not one word. It’s not surprising: Gwyneth when I knew her was always a bit avoidant (and I mean “a bit” in the English sense, which is to say she avoids anything that puts her off balance) around personal conflict issues. Still… if this Realm that feels like home really is Gwyneth’s Realm, I know I must confront her sooner or later. Of course, I’ll pick sooner; she’ll pick later. We might get it done by Midwinter.

Style Card:
Body: 
Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Lulu
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Arnica, Drow Version (Available NOW as part of the Trick Or Treat Hunt, or for sale at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears
Eyes: Whymsical Marketplace, Fantasy Eyes in Werewolf Amber
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Belladonna Ravenwood Dress Set (Available NOW at the Fallen Gods Tenth Anniversary Event!)
Hair: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Rumor (At the Truth Main Store!)
Hat: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Wellington Hat (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Boots: Azoury, Atlantis Boots
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Collar: Footpaws, Celtic Filigree Garnet Collar

Poses: An Lar, The Zelena Series (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)

Location: The Looking Glass

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). 

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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!

Rendezvous

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The Amazing Catwoman:

You just never know what people are going to throw at you, do you? Owen said, ‘Meet me up on the roof in an hour. I’ve got a proposition for you.’ He waggled his eyebrows, just like old times. I knew it wasn’t that kind of proposition, but Owen’s known I have a crush on him for long enough that I guess he feels he can play with me a little bit.

And I never really minded all that much: it wasn’t like Owen and I were ever going to end up in the sack: his warm and fuzzy feelings about illegal svart alfar apparently stop when the clothes come off, or something.

Anyway, it was raining.

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I found this umbrella up on the roof, and it was a good thing, too.

I found this umbrella up on the roof, and it was a good thing, too. By the time I’d climbed up out of the shop’s second floor balcony and onto the roof proper, it was pissing down. The landscape seemed to crumple in on itself, until the roof was all there was. And the sheeting rain helped that effect: the greater sky was lost inside the rain. I was happy the umbrella had lamps: I’d not have been able to see two feet in front of me if it weren’t for those. Even the soft glow from the windows was lost in the downpour.

I waited for half an hour, thanking the gods I’d changed in to leathers before I went up. In my line of work, you have to be prepared for anything.

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Finally, he showed up.

Finally he showed up.

‘Well?’ I asked. ‘I’m getting drenched up here, yeah?’

Owen laughed. ‘It’s actually something I’m investigating right here. This set of rooftops has some very strange properties.’

I looked around. ‘Looks like a regular rooftop to me’, I said.

‘You’d think that, wouldn’t you?’ Owen folded his arms, brushed a hand through his damp hair, ducked beneath my umbrella. ‘Glad you found that, by the way: it always rains up here.’

‘We should stash a few more if we’re going to be working together up here’, I replied. ‘So, what’s the deal?’

‘We’ve got a full moon coming up in a couple of days’, he said. ‘I want you to stick around at least until then, meet me back up here. I’ll feed you, take care of your expenses; no worries about that. And then you can see what I mean’.

I was dubious. ‘Owen, we’ve not seen one another in how long?’

‘Two years’, he said (a little too quickly). ‘Well, two years and change’.

I lifted a brow. ‘I thought it was longer’.

‘Nope’, Owen said. ‘That’s about how long it’s been since you broke away from the House.’

‘I had to’, I said.

‘I know. Everybody does eventually’, he replied. ‘Don’t worry about it. Just do this one thing with me, and then maybe we’ll go our separate ways.’

‘Maybe?’

‘Maybe.’

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears, Naturals
Eyes: Mesange, First Date Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Cinnamon, in tone Oak
Hair: Shi, Discorded (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Top: E-Clipse Design, Nemo Jacket (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Trousers: Lassitude & Ennui, Hand-Stitched Leather Leggings (Maitreya Appliers)
Boots: JustDesign, Ara Boots in Earth
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Umbrella: E.V.E., Aerial Screw Parasol (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)

Setting:
Rooftop: Milk Motion: The Rooftops of Paris

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never subject you guys to cliffhangers involving The Amazing Catwoman without it!

7ds

One of those Days….

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Gwyneth:

The days grow short; the nights grow long. Well, that was profound, wasn’t it? Obviously my future as a poetic genius is secured.

It’s funny how different the season feels to me as a “real” Winter Queen. I don’t feel like hiding. I feel like going out, exploring, all those things. Of course, I’m sometimes very tired after, but instead of just sleeping quietly, I’ve become a bit stroppy, especially with Clutie, whose incessant cuteness just bugs me no end now for no reason I can understand except maybe just her, I don’t know, lightness or something. Which doesn’t make any sense. She’s always been annoying, but now I feel it on another level.

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Anyway, I went out into the Wylds to see how things looked.

Anyway, I went out into the Wylds, to see how things looked. The waterfall behind me seemed ready to freeze, though I know it won’t.

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Things were glowing and beautiful, and the bare trees danced against the sky.

Things were glowing and beautiful, and the bare trees danced against the sky.  I felt alive and free, and much better about the darkening night, particularly when there is so much extra light from the Faery Aurora behind me.

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The glowing ferns made me feel happy to be alive.

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And I did spend a moment thanking Her Who gave me the world.

And I did spend a moment thanking Her Who gave me the world. It seemed only right.

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For once, I didn’t feel small, as dawn rose over the stone circle and the aurora faded. I felt beautiful.

For once, I didn’t feel small, as dawn rose over the stone circle and the aurora faded. I felt beautiful.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, First Date Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Yulia (Lelutka Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone 1) (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Gwen (NEW at FaMESHed! {And yes, I’ll buy anything named GWEN!})
Clothes: Silvan Moon Designs, Ranger of Islavare (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Boots: Gauze, Swift Boots

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never explore the Wylds on cold winter nights without it!

Positively Faux Street

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The Amazing Catwoman:

Pocket Universes all have this feel about them, like they’ve been stamped onto a sheet of paper about a dozen times, only nobody’s bothered to re-ink the stamp. You spend as much time as I have in this business, you get to know them the second you step in to one.

Now, granted, not all pocket universes are bad. Some of them are perfectly decent club and shopping districts. Some of them are decent hideouts. In fact, I’ve even been to one or two pocket universes I actually liked. But the fact is, when you get hired to do a job in a pocket universe, you’re doing something illegal (almost always), or you’re doing something somebody doesn’t want somebody more important than they are to know about (always always).

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One thing I can guarantee: if you land in a pocket universe that has as its portal a pair of Big, Impressive Elfin Doors and you’re not then in Elf Land, it’s not one of the good ones.

One thing I can guarantee: if you land in a pocket universe that has as its portal a pair of Big, Impressive Elfin Doors and you’re not then in Elf Land, it’s not one of the good ones. Just a bit of wisdom from your old buddy TAC. Because damn. This pocket universe was really not one of the good ones. I could tell it the moment I stepped through the Massive Elfin Doors.

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And whether you’re in a good pocket universe or a bad one, it always takes a moment or two to get your bearings.

And whether you’re in a good pocket universe or a bad one, it always takes a moment or two to get your bearings, but that’s true of all portal travel. Worst portal sickness I ever had was on a trip to Manchester, I kid you not.

Anyway, the fixer had set me up with a place to stay, which was a blessing, since the whole PU (I love that abbreviation) seemed to be made up of one street of shops and a lonely little city park, bordered by forest on one side and God Knows What on the other.

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As luck would have it, it was upstairs from an art studio. Or maybe it was a gallery. I get those two mixed up.

As luck would have it, it was upstairs from an art studio. Or maybe it was a gallery. I get those two mixed up. Never gave a fuck about art anyway. I put my shit away and started to settle in for the night, but since I was meant to report for work in the morning, I figured I’d take a look around, see what there was to see.

As it turned out, there wasn’t a hell of a lot to see. Every place except the art studio/gallery/whatever was locked up tight, even the address I was meant to report to the next morning. Come to think of it, the clerk at the art studio/gallery/whatever hadn’t been there when I’d come back downstairs, either.

Great. I’m in a two-bit pocket universe with only one street, and the only unlocked building is a fucking art studio. Gallery. Whatever.

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The park was a disappointment, too.

The park was a disappointment, too. Not even a fucking bench. Just a lit up tree with lights all in it (because it’s never too early for Christmas in Pocket Universe Land), a big clock, and some weird statue of a girl apparently losing a battle with a dandelion. Awesome. I went back to my special room, probably the only living inhabitant of the whole universe, such as it was, and I just meditated until I fell asleep. Because damn. The least they could have done was bought me dinner, you know?

Fucking bright sunlight woke me the next morning. At least there was a shower, and since I was the only person in the universe, plenty of hot water, booyah. And when I got out of the shower, I noticed somebody had left a styrofoam cup of coffee (really? do they even make styrofoam in pocket universes?) and a shabby-looking croissant on the table in my room. Delish.

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They told me I’d meet my contact in the coffee shop.

They told me I’d meet my contact in the coffee shop. Luckily, it wasn’t shut tight in the morning: I hoped the coffee would at least be better than that swill I’d swallowed with the croissant (because fuck knows when I’d get another meal, you know?).

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It did not take me long to realise this was not the sort of coffee house I’d been thinking of.

It didn’t take me long to realise this wasn’t the sort of coffee house I’d been thinking of. For fuck’s sake, the whole place looked like some teenager’s dream of what an Amsterdam coffeehouse looked like, except of course the teenager’s from somewhere in Ohio….

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Oh, hell no. I turned to walk out.

Oh, hell, no. I turned to walk out. Figured I’d ring my fixer as soon as I could get a signal and let him know there was no way there could be any good work in a place like this.

“Tacey! Wait!” I stopped dead. Nobody’d called me that in years. And the voice was familiar. Jesus fuck.

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“Owen?” I stared at the fellow who’d materialised in front of me.

“Owen?” I stared at the fellow who’d materialised in front of me. “What the fuck do you want?”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears, Naturals
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysian Eyes, Chocolate
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Lexy (Freckled), in tone Chestnut (Available through 30 November at TWE12LVE. Additional appliers, including body appliers, available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store.)
Hair: Emo-Tions, Maureen (available at Hairology!)
Top: Jangka, Hyperia Jacket (Available at We❤ RP!)
Belt Pouch: Noble Creations, Medici Pouch (A prize for the 5th Fantasy Cream Hunt!)
Trousers: Lassitude & Ennui, Hand-Stitched Leather Leggings (Maitreya Appliers)
Boots: JustDesign, Ara Boots in Earth
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Emo-Tions, Precious (Available at We❤ RP!)

Big, Impressive Elfin Doors: Violetility, Ultimate RP Door Elven (Stone)
Streetlight: BlackJack, Amsterdam Gacha, Streetlight (Available at 6 Republic!)
Street: BlackJack, Amsterdam Gacha, Straight Road (Available at 6 Republic!)
Art Studio Building: Death Row Designs, The Joint Coffee Shop, Coffee Shop (Available at 6 Republic!)
Art Studio Interior: Artisan Fantasy, Art Studio Gacha (Available at 6 Republic!)
Clock:Mistero Hifen,  Il Tempo Perfetto
Dandelion Status: Mistero Hifen, Dream 2
Light Tree: Happy Mood, Garden Tree 08 With Lights
Corner Trees: Roawenwood, Autumn Fire Tree (Available at We❤ RP!)
Coffee Shop Interior: Death Row Designs, The Joint Coffee Shop (Available at 6 Republic!)

Poses: All from An Lar, some from the Daydreamer Series, some from the Layna Series

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never subject you guys to cliffhangers involving The Amazing Catwoman without it!

hairology-november   [NC] - Noble Creations - LOGO   7ds

A Fortnight in Farthingdale

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The Amazing Catwoman:

My sojourn in the gorgeous forest that I may make a home in was once again interrupted by another phone call from my fixer. His name, or the name he gives me anyway, is Jeremy.

Perfect job for me, a two week guard gig at a Mabon festival in the large town of Farthingdale, in some Realm on the mediaeval side of things. No idea about the accommodation, simple portal outside of town, meet with the Chief of Guards, get your assignment, settle in, and watch for brigands, keep the townspeople from getting too crazy during the big Mabon festival they hold there on the day of the Autumnal Equinox, the 21st of September. Stick around a few days after it’s done to take care of stragglers. No problem; I like mediaeval gigs, as long as I’m not forced to drink crap lager and engage in arm wrestling matches with local ruffians who can’t seem to stomach the idea of a woman in armour that doesn’t make her look like she’s about to go subdue monsters with her baps.

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Of course I took the gig.

Of course I took the gig. Portal landed me there sometime in the late morning, but it was nearly noon by the time the Guard Chief had me all checked out. It’s surprising, really, how much bureaucracy there is in backwater mediaeval Realms: it’s almost like they’re so bored they have to create paperwork in order to give their lives some meaning.

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Guard cabins, I was told, were outside the city gates, natch, beyond the big statue of the lady harper.

Guard cabins, I was told, were outside the city gates, natch, beyond the big statue of the lady harper. So off I went. My hovel was the first one on the right. Apparently that means I’m the first of the hired help to arrive this Mabon season. I suppose I should thank Jeremy for giving me the downlow on the job early: otherwise I might be stuck in a tent in the woods. Not that I mind tent camping, mind you, but while I was ready to be in a tent for a fortnight, I do prefer someplace with a cot. Of course, the cabins looked pretty ramshackle, though the roofs were well-thatched.

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Ah, Hovel, Sweet Hovel, at least for the next couple of weeks.

Ah, Hovel, Sweet Hovel, at least for the next couple of weeks. There were only three or four more identical-looking cabins spaced evenly on the road out of town; that is, before the road dead-ended into thick forest. There are always thick forests surrounding villages like this: otherwise highwaymen would never make their cut and the local economy would flounder.

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I paused briefly before entering Hovel, Sweet Hovel.

I paused briefly before entering Hovel, Sweet Hovel. I might have said a brief prayer to Her Whom I worship, just to beg briefly for running water and decent tea-making facilities. It’s not like I can ask for more, gig like this.

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I have to say, I was stunned when I walked in.

I have to say, I was stunned when I walked in. These little places usually have a weird sense of style, and this one was no different—but it was bigger than it looked on the outside, and I don’t think it was magic: I think it might have just been good engineering and the fact that a single large room looks bigger than a bunch of smaller ones tacked together by a long corridor and a series of narrow doorways. The English could learn a bit about open plan homes by just looking at places like these. Not that they would.

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My new temporary home sported running water and decent washing facilities!

My new temporary home sported running water and decent washing facilities! And the bed, while narrow and absolutely meant for one person (no hanky panky for you guards at our revels, missy!), looked comfortable. I dumped my pack between the end of the bed and the washbasin: I’d unpack later into the cabinets in what looked to be a decently equipped washroom cabinet….even if it did have a picture of two pelicans just staring at me. Not quite as weird as The Morrigan sort of staring over my bed with her Bad Raven Self, but you learn to shut things out when you have to stay in as many weird places as I do.

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And speaking of weird…. let me tell you about the kitchen.

And speaking of weird…. let me tell you about the kitchen. So, I’m used to these out-of-the-way Realms being full of what I’d think of as anachronisms, but never before have I seen what amounted to a modern flat kitchen just sort of slapped into a stone hut with a thatched roof. Running water, glassware and crockery for four, a hob with a usable kettle, and, Oh, Thank You Goddess, decent tea! Once again, it was definitely made for one: there’s only a stool and a tiny table for eating, but fuck it; I don’t like people much anyway, particularly when I’ve already been told I have to masquerade as a lios alfar for the next fourteen days. No glamour-dropping here, though I may change up my skin just to give myself a little giggle.

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That said, aside from the two ends, the cabin was strangely bare.

That said, aside from the two ends, the cabin was strangely bare. I wonder if they repurpose it for different things throughout the year: there were some scuff marks on the floor that suggested at least one large piece of furniture had been recently removed. Again, there was no couch, just a single armchair with a huge stack of books beside it. I guess I’m definitely being told what to do with my down time, eh?

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Nope, I do not look a thing like Her Morriganness.

Nope; I do not look a thing like Her Morriganness. And once I’d had a chance to investigate, I realised the privacy screen between the bed and the rest of the cabin was, well. Not all that private.

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Still, it could be worse. I could be in a tent in the woods….

Still, it could be worse. I could be in a tent in the woods, sharing a kettle with a brace of trolls from Goddess knows where and digging latrines a ladylike distance away from aforementioned brace of trolls.

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The next two weeks might not be so bad, after all….

The next two weeks might not be so bad, after all….

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears, Naturals
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysian Eyes, Ivy
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Maeve (Freckled), in tone Oak (Available through the Buy Now event, a Second Life Marketplace event that offers exclusive items on Marketplace. The skin comes with Omega face appliers, Omega body appliers, Slink hand and feet appliers, Tango breast appliers, and Phatazz booty appliers. Other appliers are available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store.)
Hair: Tukinowaguma, Aloisi (available at Hairology!)
Clothes: Moon Elixir, Rebel Pants & Top in Cocoa (Available at We❤ RP!)
Boots: Illi, Brown Archer Boots
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Sweet Lies, Triskel Medallion
Poses (In order):
An Lar, Marilyn Series 5
!bang, Taurus 1
!bang, Taurus 3
!bang, Taurus 4
!bang, Taurus 5
Bauhaus Movement, Shattered Minds 20
Bauhaus Movement, Shattered Minds 23
Bauhaus Movement, Shattered Minds 28
Bauhaus Movement, Luna, 31
!bang, Stand 350
Location Details:
Tree Gate: Sweet Revolutions
Town Gate: Stormwood
Town: Death Row Designs
Forest: Studio Skye
Harper Lady Statue: Death Row Designs
Guard Cabin: Khaleesi’s Shin~Anigans Store, Viking Hut (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Room Divider: Fetch
Bed: Aisling
Wash Stand with Shelf & Sink: Noble Creations
Charcoal Wash Stand: Magic Happens By Monavie (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Kitchen: Trompe Loeill
Morrigan Tapestry: The Rabbit Hole
Armchair with Books: 8f8
Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. The Amazing Catwoman never takes a two-week gig in the middle of nowhere for a raucous Mabon Festival without it!

skinlogodiap   final-poster-for-sos   h091016

 

 

Ramblings about We <3 RP, Skins, and More!

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Gwyneth:

There’s not really a story today. Mostly, I’m just going to be talking about some of the fun stuff that’s available at We ❤ RP this month, and also about a new direction I’m taking.

actually bought a sim! Yes, that’s right. As it turns out, we need a little more space for a forest bit in our upcoming role-play sim, so I took the plunge. While the Amazing Dyisi Oppewall is down designing us a Pacific Northwest-style rainforest, I’ve been putting together an OOC office and home in the clouds. I’m going to need a space to myself while I’m working on my PhD in the upcoming months and years, so it seemed like as good a time as any to fashion a real just-for-me, OOC home. I’ve also got new skins to show you from 7 Deadly s[K]ins and (YES!) Curio!

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So, here’s a view of my OOC office.

So, here’s a view of my OOC office. I self-indulgently put some of my favourite photos from past blog posts up on the wall, because they make me feel happy. The cool lamp is from Epic Toy Factory, a hunt gift from the 2016 Fantasy Faire and a memento of their sim, Tinker’s Hollow. The table is from Thor, and I’m pretty sure I got it at a Love To Decorate event a while ago, but I couldn’t promise that. The skybox itself is one of RageWorks‘ beautiful designs, the Classical White. Great camera angles, plenty of space for stuff, and a crisp design that makes me feel like working on stuff.

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What’s Gwyneth Wearing?

What’s Gwyneth Wearing? The outfit is comprised of two of my favourite things that are at We ❤ RP this month, Emo-Tions beautiful Linea bra, and the Leather Pants from Yasum, in Metallic. The shoes are from Reign, the Kiko Flats, and they’re available at FaMeshed. The hair is Analog Dog (natch!), one of her Fantasy Faire releases, Omega. I picked the light brown colour way to go with this fabulous new skin from  7 Deadly s[K]ins, which you can see more closely in the photo below. Body is Maitreya, feet are SLink, ears are Lumae‘s Leevi Long Ears, and the eyes are the Soul Sidhe Eyes. The head is the new Helena head from Catwa, which I bought because it looks a little older than the Jessica Gwyneth had been in, and it reflects Gwyneth’s IC maturation into an ageless Sidhe.

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New Skin Colours at 7 Deadly s[K]ins!

And (yay!) there are new skin colours at  7 Deadly s[K]ins! This is the Sand shade, and the face is Leslie. Izara is now making Omega appliers, which work beautifully on my Catwa head. This is Leslie version 2, which I chose because I love that eyeliner. In this photo you can also see the beautiful detailing on the Emo-Tions bra; it looks even better in world.

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Here’s a view of the (faux!) fireplace wall in the skybox.

Here’s a view of the (faux!) fireplace wall in the skybox. I’m having such fun decorating this place, but you know I’ll change it all around in 3 months when we move from summer into autumn. That said, decorating is fun! The cats on the rug are from Mutresse; they’re a common from the Witty Cats gacha at the current Arcade Gacha. I love this one because they’re all animated: here, one cat is giving another a massage! The two baby pegasi, also at the Arcade Gacha, are from Hextraordinary; they never seem to stop having great ideas for beautiful collectibles and gorgeous things to put in your home. These two beauties are the rares, the Nesting Crystal and the Nesting MidnightThe Pegasus Pony Hatchling is on the left bookcase, and I’m not ashamed to say I played this gacha 50 times. The ponies are all so beautiful; I only wish I could display them all… Wait, I can  display them all, because I have my own sim! OMG THE PRIMS.

Right! Also on the bookcase is another one of the 50-pull prizes from the Arcade Gacha, the Princess of the Swans, from OMEN. The books on both shelves are the product of Stormwood‘s really cool Literati Book Set, which has add-on HUDs that let you customise books to various genres and types. I have Fantasy, Children’s, Crime, and I think some Library books up there. The fighting hedgehog is from Loki, a memento of the 2016 Fantasy Faire Echtra sim, and it was a hunt gift. On the mantelpiece is another lovely memento of FF 2016, the Lucentia music box from The Looking Glass, whose creations never cease to delight and amaze. The mirror is from Mushilu.

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The Amazing Catwoman in Rosemoor

Now, there are often things at We ❤ RP that aren’t Gwyneth’s style, but luckily The Amazing Catwoman is always here to help me out if I need someone else to look great in things that are a bit too, hm, badass for Gwyneth. Here, she’s wearing the Wicca’s Wardrobe Eileen outfit. Her hair is also from We ❤ RP; made by Emo-Tions, it’s Warlord, which comes in sizes for both men and women Her skin is, as often, from  7 Deadly s[K]insit’s the very beautiful Ymke in Faun. I just love the spots, which you can see more clearly in the next photo.

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This skin was released for the 2016 Fantasy Faire.

This skin was released for the 2016 Fantasy Faire, but should now be available in the  7 Deadly s[K]ins Main Store. If ever you’re looking for something specific and you can’t find it in the main store, by the way, you can always IM Izara Allen, and she will be able to tell you where you can find it or source it for you. The 7DS group is also a great resource; most of the time it costs a (small!) fee to join, but she does make it free for special occasions. You can find all the group links in her profile. These eyes are from Gauze; they’re the Paradox Cat Eyes. The ears are also from Gauze; they’re the High Elf Ears, in the Drow colourway. The body is Maitreya, and the mesh head is the Catwa Gwen, because I’ll buy anything called “Gwen”! No, seriously; try me. 😉

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Rosemoor.

I found Rosemoor through Ziki Questi’s Blog, which is where I find a lot of great places to photograph. This is only one view of this gorgeous sim; you can see more in Ziki’s blog post, or why not visit the sim and see for yourself? It’s gorgeous, and the windlight the sim designer has chosen just gives the whole place a slow, relaxed, almost nostalgic feel. I loved visiting and photographing there. The above photographs of The Amazing Catwoman were all taken in Rosemoor. Such a yummy and beautiful place.

Now, I had so many beautiful things to show for this blog entry that I decided to take just some quick editorials of outfits I put together and loved. So bear with me, because I’m just going to give the style cards under the photos.

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Senzafine and Aisling!

Senzafine always hits the ball out the park with her beautiful designs, and this one is no exception; it’s the Ysmay gown in the blue from colour pack 2. I love that her colourways are so consistent; the gowns always go perfectly with the Aesbrenni slippers she released a while back. I always wear those slippers with her gowns.

And yay! Aisling has made another beautiful crown! I love jewellery from Aisling. The crown is called Nealane, and it, along with the Senzafine gown, is available at this month’s We ❤ RP. The crown is great because it comes with a colour-change HUD that gives you a lot of options for both metals and gems. The hair is from Damselfly, also a We ❤ RP release; it’s called Cedar.

Body is Maitreya, head is Catwa Helena, ears are Lumae Leevi Long Ears, feet are SLink, and the skin is Leslie in Sand from  7 Deadly s[K]ins.

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And then there’s this fun, sexy design from !go!.

And then there’s this fun, sexy design from !go!. It’s the Lottia dress and panties, also available at We ❤ RP. For this outfit, I changed Gwyneth back in to one of the Lumae skins she commonly wears; this one is the Eirtae skin in colour way Shell, released for a Genre event a while back. I love that Lumiya Rae has made appliers for the BentBox Sylvan Ears; you can pick those up, along with the skin, at the Lumae Main Store. Body is Maitreya, head is Catwa Helena, feet are SLink, and the foot jewellery is from Carrie’s Lingerie, the Silver Sandals. They come with a gem change HUD so you can match them to whatever you’re wearing. This hair, by the way, is from Magika. The style name is Love Song, and it’s available at the Magika Main Store.

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Last, but not least…

Last, but definitely not least, here is a beautiful new outfit from The White Armory, just released in The White Armory Main Store. This is the Guardians of Mirkwood dress set, in Hunter. Now, Bee Dumpling has been designing clothes in Second Life for a long time, and I, like every other fantasy fashion junkie, have been buying her stuff for as long as I’ve been in SL. She is always right on the trend with designing things for mesh bodies, and this is a Maitreya fitted garment that works beautifully. The trousers (thank the gods!) are both system and applier, so The Amazing Catwoman can wear these beautiful Moccasin Boots from Maitreya over them with no problem. Like all the shady hunter/ranger types out there, Tac is always frustrated when she can’t fit boots over a pair of mesh trousers, and her poor player spends hours (I am not making this up!) searching on the SL Marketplace for boots that will actually work with ranger-style outfits, because Tac lives in these when she’s working in a fantasy environment, and there’s nothing worse than suddenly discovering your trousers are peeking through your boots at an inopportune moment. Throws you right off your stride when pickpocketing in the better parts of town. 😉

The other amazing thing about this outfit for TAC is that she is in a Curio skin! Gala Phoenix has amazingly released all her original skin tones as appliers for mesh bodies! And they look beautiful. Along with this, she’s also released three new faces. This one is Pout. There aren’t any Omega appliers or mesh head appliers yet, but I shall keep hoping. Some of you know that before Gala had to take a break from SL, I pretty much wore nothing but Curio skins, and now that she’s releasing more, I just go to her shop every time I get a notice and fatpack that shit. Gwyneth absolutely adores her lighter tones and hopes desperately for Catwa or Omega head appliers in the near future! This is the Bean Light colourway. I think it looks great on TAC, and I can’t wait to try some of the others. Body is Maitreya, hair is Tableau Vivant, Luminay, from last month’s Collabor88, the necklace is Miamai‘s Rise In The Sun, and the ring is Aisling‘s The Good Wife. Eyes and ears are Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes and High Elf Ears (Drow).

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Just one more photo!

Just one more photo! Now, the thing about Guardians of Mirkwood is that you have to look at the back! I love this beautiful design on the back of the jacket, so I had to show it to you. It’s one reason why I put TAC in such a short cropped hairstyle for this photoshoot; I wanted you to be able to see the beautiful line of this jacket from the back.

Whew! Such a long info dump; thank you if you’ve read this far. I’ll get back to my regular story-blogging later in the week. I’m about to have exciting stuff to show you from Hairology, and The Vintage Fair is just around the corner, as well. Collabor88 opens in just a few days, too: I can feel my Linden Balance slipping even as we speak…

No Style Cards today; everything’s noted below the photographs themselves.

I am instructed to thank Dyisi Oppewall for something, so I shall thank her for helping me have what was for me a very difficult conversation with a friend last night. Thanks for holding my virtual hand, and I shall continue to butter your biscuits for the foreseeable future.

General thanks also go to Moxy Macbeth for being awesome, and to Lanella Little for restoring my faith in youth. Dickensian Dreamer also helps keep me sane, and my life would not be complete without the inimitable (and occasionally snoring) Benbold. 

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never ramble for hours about clothes and skins without it!