There But for the Graces…

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“They comin’, Mama.”

“They comin’, Mama.”

“Who comin’, cher?”

“Spirits, Mama. They outside.”

“You in the Hounfor again, cher? Without permission?”

“I’m sorry, Mama. I was lookin’ at the books.”

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“You not old enough for them books, cher.”

“You not old enough for them books, cher.”

“I’m seventeen, Mama.”

“Like I said.”

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“They gettin’ closer.”

“They gettin’ closer.”

“Well, what did you think they was gonna do, cher? They always out there. You sit tight. At least you in a safe place.”

Mama is yellin’ from the kitchen. I know I ain’t suppose to be in here; not without a “grownup”. But she don’t want to teach me anything. She leave me in the house all alone and all I want to do is learn. She think I don’t know who I am, what I am, what we are. So today when she go out to do the shopping, I get all dressed up because I’m a Witch Queen, me. And I ain’t goin’ in there in my camisole. 

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And it ain’t fair.

And it ain’t fair, not teachin’ me anything. I ain’t a little girl; I’m seventeen, and I had a dream demons was comin’ in through the chimney vent, and they was after me because my power make them hungry, and I ain’t got no training and no shields, so I’m a proper target, me. 

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I can still hear them.

I can still hear them. They callin’ my name. How they know my name? They probably stole our mail or something. 

“Mama! Mama, how they know my name?”

“They know everybody name, cher. They don’t know your secret name unless you tell them, so don’t you dare.”

They scrapin’ claws across the wall outside. Spirits ain’t suppose to have claws. I’m scared now.

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So I sit down at the spirit table, and I wait.

So I sit down at the spirit table, and I wait. 

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And the lights get brighter.

And the lights get brighter, and the rose starts glowin’, and all the sounds in the world go quiet except for the spirits outside, but they ain’t making noise regular folks can hear, them. 

For a minute, two minutes, it’s like music. All those voices. They singin’ to me. They tell me their names. They got names. And stories. They ain’t scary. Why I ever think they scary? 

There’s a little noise nearby, a door softly opening and closing, but it ain’t important. Little girl tellin’ me about her papa and how she miss him, that’s important. 

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Everything feels blurry and far away.

Everything feels blurry and far away. I tell the little girl, no, her daddy ain’t here, but if I see him in town, I tell him how she miss him. I know I’m talkin’ out loud and I know I don’t need to but I do anyway. 

They’s a creak as Mama sits down on the stool opposite me. “Oh, baby,” she say. “Oh, baby girl.”

Mama always say to people visiting, you don’t like my face when I talk to spirits, sometimes it get ugly and screwed up, you just look at them pretty witch balls up on the wall, and I tell you everything with my voice and you won’t miss nothin’ important.

“I ain’t no baby, Mama.”

“I know, cher. You ain’t no more.”

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“Mama, you feel distress lookin’ at me, you just watch them witch balls, OK?”

“Mama, you feel distress lookin’ at me, you just watch them witch balls, OK?”

“OK, cher.”

Then, everything go dark.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Eternal Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Vyra (Available NOW at Appliqué!)
Hair: Fabia, Arina (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Headpiece: Aisling, Ezrah Crown
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Union of Souls Gown (Coming October 19 to The Trunk Show!)
Boots: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Witch Boots

Setting: The Looking Glass, The Hounfor (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)

No, I didn’t grow up in New Orleans. But I did go to college in Lafayette, Louisiana (Thass the capitol of French Louisiana, cher. Thanks are due once again to the amazing imaginations of Sharni Azalee, Bee Dumpling and SolasNaGealai, and Izara Allen-Zuta, whose combined talents always spark fun stories like this.)

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A Month Of Hair With Gwen! Or: Why my SL Partner hates the word “fatpack”

It may have come to the attention of some people that I am into SL hair. OK, it may have come to the attention to some people that I might well one day find myself on a virtual street corner with a sign reading Will Work For Hair. I mean, it’s not like, an addiction or anything. I can quit any time! I mean, it’s not like I spent all my money at the annual Truth sale (mostly because I already had everything I could ever want up to that point) and I really don’t mind if Queue Marlowe sends more than one reminder that she has new styles at the Analog Dog Main Store, because it’s a super good thing when I can just go there the minute I log in and not be spending the next X hours wondering when I’ll be free of Y obligation so I can go and shop! And so what if I can tell many brands of SL hair from a distance, just because I know the textures/style/whathaveyou.

So, yeah. I am, in the vernacular, a hair ho. I blog Hair Fair. I blog Hairology. I blog for Analog Dog even when I buy the hair myself. I blog a lot of hair I buy myself, to be honest. I won’t list hair creators I love in any kind of order, because there’s always something new, and hair creators like everybody else go through different style phases: what I like one month might not be the same as what I like the next month either, so I don’t let it worry me too much.

So, because I just got back from Germany and I’m way backed up on a lot of things, here is a run-down of all the hair I acquired in the last 30 days or so….

First, a trio of hair you can get for yourself at Hairology, which opens on the 10th of October!

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Kokolores, “Toril”

Here’s a quick updo from KokoloresToril, which I imagine is one of those hairstyles we’re all familiar with. You have to go out, you’re in a hurry, and there’s nothing more pleasing than a little messy bun action!

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Tukinowaguma, “Kist”

Tukinowaguma has for Hairology this fun ponytail, Kist. Because everybody needs a ponytail. Or five. Or a dozen… yeah, you know how that goes.

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No Match, “No Return”

Finally, No Match has this great long style that looks almost wet, No Return. I’m always impressed by their textures, but this is one of those styles I predict Gwyneth will be wearing a lot over the next couple of months: it’s dressy enough to look a little glamours and casual enough not to have caused those poor little demifae servants of hers too much trouble.

Obviously, there’s a lot more hair coming to Hairology this month: I will be showing you some of it in the weeks to come!

Second on the list: there’s no way you can write a hair roundup without mentioning TruthTruth Hawks has been making SL hair for mumble years, and when it comes to sheer variety of style and number of releases that still look good, nobody does it better.

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Truth ,”Apple”

This is Apple, which you can still pick up at Uber until the 23rd of October. As often of late, this style includes a Hairstyle HUD that lets you show the long hair in the front or back, changes the fringe (bangs, Americans!), or get rid of the long hair altogether and just make it into a neat bun.

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Truth, Pollila

Polilla isn’t a new Truth hair; you can buy it at the Truth Main Store, and the moths are optional and colour-change with a HUD. I like this style on Gwyneth, because it’s both fairly dressy and (with the moths) shows a bit of her whimsical side as well.

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Truth, Ophelia

Ophelia. Wow. I love this hair. It comes in a windblown and plain version, changeable with the hairstyle HUD, and you can also have it fall completely to the back, to either side, or with both sides in front. Because it is an October release for the Salem event, you can turn each side of the hair a different colour, which is kinda fun if you’re into all that Gothy witchy supernatural stuff. 😉

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Truth, Athena

Finally, here’s Athena, which was the Truth VIP Group gift for October. If you love hair and you’re not a member of the Truth VIP Group, you really ought to be. Yes, there is a L$300 charge to join the group. But you get a new fatpack of hair every month, which you might pay just a little more than L$300 for if you bought it in the store, and you also get to interact with a great group of people if you enjoy meeting tons of strangers who are great conversationalists and probably just as addicted to hair as you are. Athena can be worn with or without the wavy wisps in front (yes, I know Truth spells it “whisp”, but I just can’t), changeable via the hairstyle HUD.

Third, you also can’t have a SL hair roundup post without spending generous amounts of time (and money) on Analog Dog. Well, or I couldn’t. Queue Marlowe is a genius with curls, and she knows just how to add a bit of Flexi to mesh hair to make it look real and wonderful and alive. My first proto-fashion-blog post was made in something like 2009 or 2010, on my old LiveJournal, about Analog Dog Hair, and it was entitled, “Hairgasm”. Need I say more?

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Analog Dog, “Kaye”

Kaye is an easy ponytail with that characteristic Analog Dog Flexi swing. It’s not over the top (though Queue would certainly argue that there is nothing wrong with over the top if you know how to do it!), and although it’s a simple style, the ease of the front makes it look so classy. It’s new at the Analog Dog Main Store.

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Analog Dog, “Radius”

Also new at the Analog Dog Main Store is Radius, a straight-chopped wavy style that, while it’s blunt on the ends, has a lot of wavy-curly swing to it. It’s just long enough to warm your shoulders without getting caught underneath your coat collar!

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Analog Dog, “Ulna”

 

Ulna is self described by Queue as a messy bun, and that’s exactly what you get here. It’s lovely and high, so you can wear it with a variety of different styles. Also new at the Analog Dog Main Store.

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Analog Dog, “Sigma”

Now, not everybody is a genius with braids, but Queue Marlowe definitely is. This is Sigma, created for the Lootbox event, and it’s a gacha. This style is actually one of the commons, and it’s perfect for Faerie Queens whose demifae helpers love to braid their hair and cause all sorts of crown-like havoc on top of their heads. The Lootbox event is open until the 20th of October, so you still have eleven days to go and play for this hair (L$75/pull).

The rest of this post is hair I’ve picked up at various events or bought at main stores over the last 30 days. I did buy more hair than this, but the rest of it was for The Amazing Catwoman, and she refuses to be part of a hair roundup because she is independent and fierce and stuff.

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Limerance, “Mermaid”

Limerance‘s Mermaid is so long you can see my shoes! I love super long hairs, and I’m so glad they seem to be coming back into style: I’ve seen a number of them around the grid lately and it makes me so happy! This is once again a gacha hair from Lootboxit’s $L75/pull, and you can play for it until the 20th of October. This is the common style; the rare has a pulled-back front.

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Foxy, “Bella”

Foxy‘s Bella hair was at Kustom9 last month, but I suspect it’ll be up in their main store soon. This is another super-long hair, and it has a hairstyle HUD so you can put bits of it to the front, also. You can’t ever have too many long, straight styles. Can you?

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Monso, “Daenarys”

A few years ago, there were a million Game of Thrones hairs out there, but this one from Monso is one of my favourites: Daenarys does a good job with both the front and the back (I should have photographed the back!), and the front wisps add quite a lot to the look. It was released for the October round of FaMeshed, so you can still get it easily.

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Exile, “Just Another Night”

Exile‘s Just Another Night is again not a new hairstyle. But I wanted it in their great greyscale colours because we are heading into winter now and Gwyneth will need to silver herself up at some point. You can get it at the Exile Main Store, which has recently had the first store refurbishment I can remember, and this is a Bento hair: it come in both a gently waving Bento version and a plain (non-moving) one.

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Mina, “Harper”

Also available at the October round of FaMeshed is Mina‘s Harper, a long, loose braid with a lot of wispy extra hair poking out around it. It’s a great style for Gwyneth, and I imagine she’ll be in it a lot this autumn.

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Moon, “Solstice”

Oh gods yes! Another super-long, this one from MoonSolstice was also at last month’s Kustom9, but should be available in their main store soon. Solstice is so cool, I was in it for days! It even has extra strands you can hold in your hand, with an embedded pose that does not (and I can state this firmly) interfere with dancing!

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Nani, “Cora Crow”

Nani‘s Cora Crow, also available at the Salem event, is a whimsical little number that you can wear with or without the crow’s nest on top. He’s kind of hard to see in this photo, but there is a crow in the nest!

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Ayashi, “Janko”

This is Janko, by Ayashi. It’s not a new hair, but I picked it up at The Secret Hideout a couple of days ago. I love the fringe (bangs, Americans!) and the long curls. 🙂

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Phoenix, “Cassandra”

And finally (thank you for getting this far!), Cassandra, by Phoenix. Wow, there is a lot of great hair at the Salem event! Another very long straight style, Cassandra comes in the usual huge number of Phoenix colours, and don’t forget that if you’re part of their in-world group, there’s a special VIP HUD you can access when the group is active that gives you loads of rainbow colours!

Whew! That’s a lot of hair, Gwen! And just think, I have so much more to show you as the month goes on! Look for some more amazing Hairology styles, to name just a little bit, and I might have a surprise in store for you before the end of the month, but I can’t tell you what it is because then it wouldn’t be a surprise!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona
Eyes: Mesange, Byzsntium Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Rood
Sweater: Riot, Sansa Sweater (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Leggings: Riot, Sophie Leggings (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Boots: Baiastice, Haan Shoes (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries, Celtic Filligree Amythest + Aelean Ruby

Hair: 20 different hairs; see individual photos above.

Backdrop: D.U.S.T., Dreams caught in bubble

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August’s End

It was a Hot Summer Night.

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On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

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Will he offer me his mouth?

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Yes.

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Will he offer me his teeth?

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Yes.

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Will he offer me his jaws?

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Yes.

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Will he offer me his hunger?

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Yes.

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Again, will he offer me his hunger?

 

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Yes!

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And does he love me?

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Yes.

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Yes.

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On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

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Yes.

 

Style Cards:
Formal photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Pink Hustler, 8134 (Available for a few more days ONLY at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Skye Eyes
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s[K]ins, Cecily (all-in-one Omega applier!) (Cecily is the September Group gift, COMING SOON to the 7 Deadly s[K]ins Main Store!)
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Pennies From Heaven Gown (Available NOW at The Trunk Show!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Shoes: SlackGirl, Bling Shoes

Tree Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: EMO-Tions, Marlee (Available NOW at The Trunk Show!)
Eyes: Mesange, Aspen Eyes (Available NOW at The Hidden Chapter!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Miriam (Catwa face applier)
Headpiece: Venge (Formerly Vengeful Threads), Anisah Head Adornment (Available NOW at Genre!)
Dress: Petite Mort, Royal Serene Lace Dress
Tree Top: .shi, Tree Of Life Creepers Top (and floating leaves)
Gloves: Drastic, Walnut Moss Maitreya Hand Branches
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Shoes: Rhude, Jhani

Many thanks to Lord Nyza Stillwater, who indulged me by posing with me in these photographs. And no, I wouldn’t say yes to all the boys. But I would say it to Him.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never tell a love story through 70s iconic pop songs without it!

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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On Being a Tree

No, seriously. Have you ever thought about actually being a tree? I had a roleplaying character once, back when I was, I don’t know, fifteen (or at least mentally), whose main power was that she could turn in to a tree and spread an aura of unshakeable calm. The boys in my D&D group loved that, I can tell you.

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To start out with, though, it is possible.

To start out with, though, it is possible to become a tree. Obviously, you need the right environment. Duh, Faerie. And the right attitude. This, for me, can present a problem. So in lieu of the right attitude, I choose the right clothing. I mean, it’s really the same thing, isn’t it?

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You start with a garment that pretty much covers your torso in tree-ness.

You start with a garment that pretty much covers your torso in tree-ness, add some tree-style gloves (which are a bit scratchy but look fabulous), put in some floaty leaves for good measure….

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And you finish it up with shoes that are made of actual oak leaves.

And you finish it up with shoes that are made of actual oak leaves. I kid you not. Or, as Fen might have said before she became The Amazing Catwoman and developed a worse potty mouth than I used to have, “For-real-sies”. No, I am not making this up. Don’t ask her: she’ll probably tell you to fuck off.

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You have to find just the right kind of light.

You have to find just the right kind of light. The sort of light that filters over you and makes you imagine that if only you were a bit more still, you could make slanting light fill the forest, call sunbeams, green the ground with a translucent leaf.

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You have to appreciate shadow.

You have to appreciate shadow. Because what tree doesn’t grow up in the shadows of other trees? Well, aside from those fake tree plantations, or maybe trees in an orchard, or — yeah, whatever: we’re talking about actual, real forests here, not some artificial construct made by other hands, be they mortal or Fae.

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You have to really want to be a tree.

You have to really want to be a tree. And I’m not taking about sort of going, “Yeah; it might be nice to be a tree.” I’m talking about full-scale, bark-fetish level tree envy. Like, “O how marvellous it would be to have a thousand year lifespan and never have to talk to another human being again as long as I lived, assuming someone didn’t chop me down and turn me into, I don’t know, some evil marionette and make me talk as if I were a … OK, obviously I’m going off on a bit of a tangent here.

Moving on.

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Finally (and this is the hard part), you must actually be still.

Finally, and this is the hard part, you must actually be still. Which, OK, I am not very good at. But I trust that once I have all these things in place and once I learn to be still, I shall be a very good tree indeed.

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All that remains after that, of course, is to just let it happen.

All that remains after that, of course, is to just let it happen.

Hm.

I pretty much suck at that bit, too.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Pr!tty, Yoshi (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Aspen Eyes (Available NOW at The Hidden Chapter!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Miriam (Catwa face applier)
Headpiece: Venge (Formerly Vengeful Threads), Anisah Head Adornment (Available NOW at Genre!)
Dress: Petite Mort, Royal Serene Lace Dress
Tree Top: .shi, Tree Of Life Creepers Top (and floating leaves)
Gloves: Drastic, Walnut Moss Maitreya Hand Branches
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Shoes: Rhude, Jhani

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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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.

Dancing under the lantern tree BLOG - 6

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

Under the Lantern Tree BLOG - 1

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.

Under the Lantern Tree BLOG - 16

“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.”

Under the Lantern Tree BLOG - 2

“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.”

Under the Lantern Tree BLOG - 5

“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.

Under the Lantern Tree BLOG - 7

“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.”

Under the Lantern Tree BLOG - 6

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.”

Under the Lantern Tree BLOG - 9

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.

 

Under the Lantern Tree BLOG - 3

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.”

Under the Lantern Tree BLOG - 15

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?”

 

Under the Lantern Tree BLOG - 8

“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.

Under the Lantern Tree BLOG - 17

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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Unprepared

Riven-FGC BLOG - 10

You know that feeling when you’re transported to another Realm in your dream, and you’re pretty sure it’s not an ordinary dream?

You know that feeling when you’re transported to another Realm in your dream, and you’re pretty sure it’s not an ordinary dream? As in, pretty sure you’ve been dream-napped b some super-important spirit or Elder Fae, or perhaps a deity, either to get told off or given something, which is mostly just cryptic advice?

No?

Well, anyway. I found myself in a dark realm. The floor looked like marbled clouds. And of course there was a voice from out of nowhere.

You are unprepared, said the voice.

Riven-FGC BLOG - 9

“Unprepared for what?” I asked.

“Unprepared for what?” I asked. I could not see anything beyond the circle of the light that shone pretty much directly into my eyes.

You will certainly find out when the time comes. The voice held a hint of laughter. Stupid self-important messengers of Fate (or whatever).

“That is not really helpful,” I replied. “How am I meant to know what I’m unprepared for if nobody tells me?”

Riven-FGC BLOG - 11

Maybe, said the voice, you’re just meant to be aware you’re unprepared.

Maybe, said the voice, you’re just meant to be aware you’re unprepared. 

I sighed audibly, and I think there was some noise from far away.

I can take you to a place where you might learn more, the voice said, relenting.

Then, there was a noise like insects, like maybe locusts…..

Riven-FGC BLOG - 2

And I found myself in a grove, deep in some forest, crackling with magical energy.

And I found myself in a grove, deep in some forest, a grove crackling with magical energy. “Well,” I said to myself, (but out loud so whatever generated the voice could hear me), “this is certainly different from the last drop point.”

As well it should be, hissed the voice. This is the primordial druid’s grove. See how time is stopped here. Only the magic itself, and magic within magic, can move or think. Or perhaps it is just that everything else moves and thinks with such slowness that even I cannot comprehend it. 

Riven-FGC BLOG - 1

Absolutely nothing looked familiar.

Absolutely nothing looked familiar, unless you count that trees and logs and structures themselves look familiar, at least to an extent.

I’ll leave you now, said the voice. And I wager you will find some answers here. Take care to stay inside the magic circle—but of course you know that rule already. Then there was a ripple of laughter on the wind, and that presence was gone.

Riven-FGC BLOG - 3

“Well, great. What do I do now?”

“Well, great,” I said. “What do I do now?”

“You could always try listening,” said a voice that could almost have been the wind, or maybe the wind through leaves.

I turned toward the dryad. “I didn’t think you could be frozen,” I said. “You’re made of magic, like the Sidhe.”

“We often appear frozen, to other beings,” replied the Dryad. “When we move at the pace of trees, well. We are simply slower than others.”

“So what should I be listening for?”

“I don’t know. But I would like to see you dance. Would you mind dancing for me?”

Oh, great, I thought. This is no ordinary dryad. She is some sort of elder spirit, and I won’t get anything until I give her exactly what she wants. So, I said, “Very well,” and imagined music in my head until I could find the feet to dance.

Riven-FGC BLOG - 6

I started slowly, as I always do.

 

I started slowly, as I always do, and oddly I could feel the candles flickering in rhythm with my movements.

Riven-FGC BLOG - 5

The dryad squealed with delight when I leapt into the air.

 

The dryad squealed with delight when I leapt into the air. “Oh, what a pair of legs!” she gushed. “Why, you might almost have propelled yourself outside of that protected circle, where I could really talk to you….”

“Not going to happen,” I replied flatly.

“I could give you a great gift,” she said slyly.

“And what might that be?”

“My embrace,” she replied. “Imagine, living forever, calm in the forest, with none of your petty little worries to bring you down. ”

“I’ve danced for you,” I said.

“So you have,” replied the dryad. “I suppose you think I owe you something now.” If I didn’t know better, I’d say the voice sounded sad.

“That’s the way these things usually work, isn’t it?”

“Very well.”

Riven-FGC BLOG - 7

And then, the wind rose….

 

And then the wind rose, so strongly I thought I might fall over. In front of me there seemed to be a wall of sand, or something fluctuating.

I could not look away.

And on that wall, I saw an image of a beautiful, playful, brown-spotted seal, swimming without a care. She flops up to sun on a rock and falls asleep. And then, a quiet boat cuts across the water from behind her; she only wakes up when the net is dragging her into the boat.

Riven-FGC BLOG - 8

And then, I was back int he druid’s grove.

 

And then, I was back in the druid’s grove.

“Did you see it? Did it help?” wondered the dryad.

“I did see it, and I’m not sure,” I replied. “But I honour your rank and age, and I will be honoured likewise if we should meet again, beautiful sister of the wood.”

“One day you will ask to embrace me,” said the dryad.

“Perhaps,” I replied.

And then I woke up to sunlight streaming through the curtains in the treehouse, and Bran coming in with fresh coffee and fruit. On the whole, I think I far prefer living in a tree to actually being one.

Style Card:

Dark World:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Nyne, Dabour (Available on 10 August 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)
Dress: AdoreZ, Dream Dress (Available NOW at Fable!)
Shoes: SlackGirl, Bling Shoes (Available NOW at Fable!)
Necklace: The Little Bat, Goddess Necklace (Available NOW at Fable!)

Druid’s Grove:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Sintiklia, Bloom
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)
Clothes: Noble Creations, Ancient Persian (Bracers, Greaves, Pauldrons, Tiara, and Veil) (Available NOW at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)

Setting:
Daisy fields, tree tunnels, stump, three small trees, scrying pool, candles, and the Dryad Herself, all from Rivendale, the Druid’s Grove Gacha (Available NOW at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Large Tree & Grass Surround: Hayabusa, Elegant Tree Plane
Ruin: 22769 [bauwerk], Ruins
Deer: All from the Half Deer Fallow Deer set; pictured are Nostalgia, Leap, Watchful, Graze, and Walk
Wolves: Jian, Grey Wolf Set; pictured are Sleeping and Static Look L
Foxes: Kite, Foxy Pups; pictured are We’re Cute and Sleeping
Fairy: Boudoir, Enchanted Flying Fairy

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never give Gwyneth vague dream premonitions without it!

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