Dancing Under the Lantern Tree

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Whom do I trust?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We must get Saoirse’s skin back.

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

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

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

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

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Under the Lantern Tree

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

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

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“I might have vented a bit,” I said.

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

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“We should summon Dyisi,” Arahaelon said.

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

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

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Dyisi shrugged.

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

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I felt that anger rise within me again.

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

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“That would fit…”

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

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

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“Those who are using her…”

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

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

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

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

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Arahaelon brooded for a bit.

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

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Dyisi looked to Rire.

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

 

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The night air developed a chill.

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

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Arahaelon closed his eyes.

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

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

 

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“A good idea.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Lantern Tree

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

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

Style cards for Arahaelon and Dyisi are coming soon!

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

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Unprepared

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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.

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“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?”

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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…..

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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. 

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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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Blink, and you could miss it….

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This month’s GENRE theme is Victorian!

There is always so much going on! If you’re not careful, you could miss stuff. For example, this month’s GENRE theme is Victorian! Genre is one of those events that has been going on for a few years and has had a few spikes and dips, but the last couple of months have been amazing. Last month was Viking, and I forgot to tell you about it, or I had too much other stuff to talk about, or my work schedule got out of hand (likely), so I didn’t get around to that. This time around, I promised myself I’d talk about Genre. I also haven’t got a chance to talk very much about what’s happening at Hairology this month, so I want to show you three different outfits in this post. Don’t worry: I do have an epic story post coming, hopefully tomorrow! But tonight is all about Fa-fa-fa-fa-fashion!

This dress is Senzafine‘s Zenobia gown, and her textures are really striking, no matter what colour you choose. I can never choose, so I tend to fatpack her gowns, but that’s because I have a hard time with, you know, choices.

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Here, you can see a glimpse of the bodice detailing.

Here, you can see the glimpse of the bodice detailing; I love the smocking on the front. The skin I’m wearing is another of the new offerings from 7 Deadly s{K}insIzara has really hit it out of the park for the SL Skin FairMaliThe skin is built around 7 Deadly s{K}ins’ new body appliers, and they are so easy to use. Mali is a Lelutka face applier. I kept Gwyneth a redhead for this post, because I love the red eyebrows on this skin. The freckles are also great.

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Stealthic hair from Hairology!

The hair here is Stealthic, for Hairology, which closes in a few days. The hairlines and textures on Stealthic‘s hair have been impressing me since I first discovered them at the 2015 Hair Fair, and this is one of my favourites to date: Cadence. This is Lelutka’s new Cate Bento mesh head, which is a little softer than the Simone. The ears are Swallow‘s Elf Ears High Definition, the eyes are from Mesange: the Bering eyes are available for a few more days at We ❤ Roleplay. I found the Earthstones Velvet Rose Choker at The Liaison Collaborative.

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Another great hair from Hairology!

This next outfit features another great hair from Hairology, Runaway’s Jasmin. The skin is another of 7 Deadly s{K}ins‘ releases for Skin FairWednesday. These are the same eyes from Mesange: I just loved the purple colour with this dress, and I kept the rose choker on her as well.

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Beautiful furniture from Raindale adorns this set for the whole shoot.

Beautiful furniture from Raindale adorns this set for the whole shoot: these items are from the Birdside gacha. It was at the February Crossroads events, but you can find it at Raindale’s main store now. The gown is from BareRoseTasha in purple. The gown comes in sections, and it’s beautifully shaped. it comes with boots, but here Gwyneth is wearing the Harriet Booties from Wicca’s Wardrobe, which are also available at Genre, along with the dress.

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No shoot featuring this dress would be complete without a picture of the amazing BOW.

No shoot featuring this dress would be complete without a picture of the amazing BOW. When I tried this dress on, the first thing I noticed was that I had a huge bow on mah butt! And I kind of love it!

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Not everything at Genre is formal Victorian.

Not everything at this month’s Genre is formal Victorian: this is Poeme‘s Neo-Victorian in Damasque, here worn with some black legging appliers and the Wicca’s Wardrobe boots.

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This is the new Catwa Lona head.

This is the new Catwa Lona head. One of my favourite styles from the March Hairology is from Iconic; this is Esme, and I’ve been wearing it around just casually for weeks now. This is a Lumae freckled applier for Catwa, Ella, also available at Skin Fair. The eyes are once again Mesange; these are the Capriccio Eyes, which you can get for a few more days at The Chapter 4. The necklace is from Empyrean ForgeBreccia.

So, yeah; not a lot of my usual scintillating content here, but do take a trip to Genre. You’ll be glad you did. And don’t forget to visit the Skin Fair before it closes!

No style cards for this post: everything’s in the text, and I’m kinda tired, and it’s Dyisi’s RL birthday, so I have to think of her right now. 🙂

Changes and Accomplishments

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Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up and say, “Hey; I want to be a redhead!”?

Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up and say, “Hey, I want to be a redhead!”? Well, I mean, unless you’re a redhead already, in which case the point is kind of moot. But that’s how I woke up this morning. The mist was thick on the ground as I made my way through the book forest. I noticed a few new things there, but I didn’t have time to investigate. I had a sense of purpose.

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Somehow, I knew the bower would be there.

Somehow, I knew the bower would be there. Of course, it looks different here from the Wylds. It’s bigger. But here’s bigger, you know? The trees are bigger. They feel older. Maybe it’s because I’m older. And the structure that’s defined my bower for the last several seasons is here, too. It’s comforting, like a church, but for someone like me, whose windows look out into eternity and whose walls don’t shut out the world, the wood, the flowers.

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I took a deep breath. And for a moment, I found serenity.

I took a deep breath. And for a moment, I found serenity. But my new Realm wasn’t out of surprises for me yet: I knew there was yet more for me to discover.

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I took a moment to centre myself.

I took a moment to centre myself and take in the ambiance of the oak tree. I could feel the growing forest behind me: DI felt no need to turn and look, but of course I wanted to turn and look. Then, I rounded the oak tree to come closer to the Green, and I gasped at what I saw.

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Tucked beneath that giant oak tree was a little boho paradise.

Tucked beneath that giant oak tree was a little boho paradise. Pink ivy leaves covered the trunk and roots of the tree, set into which was a shelf with a beautiful clock. And floating parasols!

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Who could resist sitting here for a while? Not me.

Who could resist sitting here for a while? Not me. I found the morning drifting in to noon. As always in a magical Realm, time moves differently here. I recalled how the raven tower had made me think of my bower in the Wylds, and I smiled as I thought of those gorgeous windows, open to the sky, behind me. I longed for a book, a good book, to appear, and I found myself holding a book by Neil Gaiman I didn’t know existed. Apparently he’s retelling Norse myths now! Well, that ate up a few hours, as you might imagine.

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Eventually, as the sun moved into afternoon, I wandered back in to the flower meadow.

Eventually, as the sun moved into afternoon, I wandered back in to the flower meadow. How large it seemed, how open. So different from how it had been almost completely enclosed by forest in the Wylds. I wonder if this is my new mindset: an open-ness to things, a receiving, an acceptance. The flowers glowed with their own light as the hazy noon wore into afternoon, and I took some pleasure in feeling small inside my bower. A bower that will be open to everyone, a place for all to visit.

Oh, and then I felt tired—as if I’d done some act of creation just by walking through the flower field. I made my way back toward the beautiful couch and that book of Norse myths. Suddenly I was struck by a thought, and `I nearly laughed aloud.

What would that ludicrous reporter, Cherish Gelato, think of this place? I imagined her poking around, putting her nose into places it doesn’t belong, wondering why there were unfinished places that just look like vast fields of grass, and my explaining to her that this was not a Realm that came in to being overnight; that it must grow like a garden.

And then she’d ask me: “Are you proud of what you’re creating here?”

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Am I proud? “You bet your sweet arse I am.”

Am I proud? 

“You bet your sweet arse I am.”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), V (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Hiraeth Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Wednesday, snow (Full body skin and head applier, Available NOW at Skin Fair! These are 7 Deadly s{K}ins’ NEW. body appliers, and they are amazing and easy to use, and so fast!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Necklace: Earthstones, Flight of Fancy Necklace (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Peaches and Cream Dress, Blue (Available SOON at Shiny Shabby!)
Shoes: Ingenue, Gretchen Flats, Dove (Available NOW at The Arcade Gacha!)

Scenes:
Book Path: Una, Book Path
Book with trees: BananaN, Story Book Gacha Scene 3
Table and Chairs, Wishing Well: Raindale, Maplemoor Set
Grass: Alirium, Downy Grass
Birch Trees: The Little Branch, White Birch Cluster
Windowed Structure: Kaelis Ember, Find Here Amenity
Big Tree: Cube Republic, Auchmore Oak
Magical Flower Field: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields
Boho Hangout Spot: The Looking Glass, In My Boho Garden (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Background Trees: Various trees by Studio Skye, The Little Branch, Happy Mood, Heart, Trompe Loeil
SimSurround: Landscapes Unlimited, Rolling Hills Large Skybox Environment

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never create an organic magical realm without it!

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Moonlight And Ravens

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Things just appear.

Things just appear. I guess it goes back to that idea of thoughts being things that I was thinking about yesterday when I discovered the greenhouse. This Realm isn’t growing on its own and coming up fully formed, the way the Wylds did around Janus and me. It’s both more structured and more organic. I pass a place and say, ‘Hm, there should be a tea shop here or something’, and a few days later I’ll notice there’s a tea shop there. That’s a lame example, especially with what I’m about to tell you, but it’s at least simple.

Last night, I was walking the Realm, and I came across this gorgeous tower, just kind of sitting there, lonely on the edge of the water but for the ravens circling it as if it were some kind of beacon. There was a low, pink, full moon that just made me smile. The structure itself reminded me of my old garden bower in the Wylds. I must go back there sometime soon. I began to miss my bower, but more than that, I know I have obligations. I don’t like obligations, and I don’t think I’m very good at fulfilling them, but I also know Mornoth is counting on me, so off I’ll go. Maybe next week. Maybe in a fortnight. But sometime before Beltainne.

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I climbed to the top of the tower…

I climbed to the top of the tower, and suddenly there were ravens swooping everywhere! The moon lit up the clouds, and it seemed the clouds lit up the sky, and there I was, with one raven pecking his head off on the low tower kerb (is it a kerb? I don’t know much about tower architecture, but we’ll call it that!), and it felt like fifty others just randomly swooping down.

I don’t know what possessed me to wear these heels while I was walking around the Realm. They’re not practical. But then, I’m not practical. And a bubble dress is not practical. And ravens aren’t practical, and my own wings aren’t practical, and we could go on until we come to the moon Herself not being practical, and then we’d have insulted a goddess and we’d be answerable to Her, and there would be repercussions.

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But something, something about the tint of the moon, got me thinking along another path.

But something, something about the tint of the moon, got me thinking along another path. What if, what if, as I manifest things round my Realm, as I walk into the future (as we are all walking into the future), what if every moment is a portent?

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Then, I felt the cold spring wind, and I looked toward the gothic structure I’d climbed.

Then, I felt the cold spring wind, and I looked toward the gothic structure I’d climbed. What if every moment is a portent? Stone and spires, trees and ravens, and somehow, yesterday’s growing roses all sifted together in my mind, in my heart, and left me longing for a place I’ve never been. A place where ravens perch and wheel. A place where vines climb like tenacious spirits, like growing souls, ever upwards. A place where dawn meets the moon. A place where roses weep. What sort of place might that be? I pictured myself walking down its wide paths, touching the stones with my hands, pricking my finger on a thorn. And then the funniest thing happened. When I looked down at my hand, there was blood. The raven before me, focused solely on his dinner, did not look up. The ravens above my shoulders did not respond. There were no caws or cries against the wind and the moon at the sight of my blood, fae blood, the kind of blood that can make addicts of vampires and lovestruck puppets of men. I placed my bleeding finger on the stone. And it seemed to me, though I know I did not see it, that a rose grew there.

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And I longed, I did, for a place I’ve never been.

And I longed, I did, for a place I’ve never been. A place that may not even exist—yet.

A place where Ravens Perch.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Alice Project, Mikayla (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Bering Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: Lumae, Ella, for Catwa (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Necklace: Rozoregalia, Alugim, Dark Gold
Dress: Bender, Agra Dress, Grey (Available NOW at On9!)
Wings: Lassitude & Ennui, Bento Fairy Wings, Gold/ Purple (Available NOW at We ❤ Roleplay!)
Shoes: ChicChica, Clotilde, Gold

Scene:
Tower: Rivendale, Gothic Tower
Ravens close to Gwyneth: Axix, from the LadyCrow pose set
Swooping Ravens: aQ creating lifestyles, Ravens
Flying Ravens: Souled Out, Free Roaming Murder of Crows
Big Red Tree: Hayabusa Design, Old Tree
Pink Moon: Medieval Fantasy, Giant Full Moon
SimSurround: Landscapes Unlimited, Rolling Hills Large Skybox Environment

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never foreshadow the 2017 Fantasy Faire without it!

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Vagabond: Or,The Coming of the King

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Enticing the Gypsy Davey to set up a residence in Faerie again won’t be easy.

Enticing the Gypsy Davey to set up a residence in Faerie again wouldn’t be easy. You’d need a special place, for an erstwhile Rom Baro. You’d need a place like Vagabond.

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I hesitated at the door.

I hesitated at the door. The boys had spent the last couple of days putting together what they promised would be a vardo fit for a baro, but you can never be too sure. Still, as I contemplated the exterior art, and the general placement of the caravan (as far away from Her Perniciousnes as possible), it seemed like something The Davey might like. It’s not like I’ve ever met him or anything. I think he’s my step great-uncle or something, but I wouldn’t want to presume.

I’m An. That’s short for Annwn, which is a Welsh word that means the land of the dead. It’s an unlucky name, but my granny thought my green eyes could withstand the force of the land of the dead, so that’s what she named me. My mum isn’t fond of the name; she always wanted me to go by Ann when I went to school that time, but I thought it was silly to have two ‘n’s when it’d be pronounced the same with only one; plus, easier to write. Job done.

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Speaking of jobs, my job that day was to clean and decorate the baro’s vardo.

Speaking of jobs, my job that way was to clean and decorate the baro’s vardo. Quite a lot of his chete got sent on ahead; I never saw so much stuff belonging to a travelling Rom. Must take a dozen boys to heft his cases, and I’ll bet his travel vardo is just filled to the brim with boxes. That’s what comes of not having a wife, my mum would say.

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But of course, the Gypsy Davey is more than just an errant Gypsy Baro.

But of course, the Gypsy Davey is more than just an errant Gypsy Baro. That’s what I was thinking as I carefully directed the boys to put the stencilled hutch in just so and made sure the lamps gave the dark corners a good wash. The boys had placed the vardo so that the back windows caught water off the lake, so there would be lots of daylight. But, you know, we are not just a daylight people. I grabbed a box of tiles I’d been collecting for some purpose or other and grouted them together after carefully spacing them in a pattern haphazard enough to look as if it was thrown together, just to give the back wall a bit more colour.

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I hung beads and lace and a couple of printed hangings in the back corner.

I hung beads and lace and a couple of printed hangings in the back corner. That’s also where I placed the candlatch, because I thought it would be a good spot for meditating on an evening, looking over the water like that. You could almost get jealous of such a place, if you didn’t know the kind of bullshit anybody chosen “baro” would have to go through with us lot. Especially living as we do in Faerie, slipping in and out of the mists and that. Not a lot of Fae Rom around these days; most Romany are human, but we’re brothers and sisters to the human Rom even as we are to one another, and sometimes we intermarry, but if your family is in Faerie, hm. Not so much. You want to preserve the Fae magic, you know? Not that it gets diluted when a girl beds a mortal Rom, but there’s a lessening. Yeah, OK; it gets diluted, but that sounds dirty and racist and I’m no racist even though I’d never marry a Gaje boy.

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My eyes mean I don’t have many prospects among the Rom.

My eyes mean I don’t have many prospects among the Rom. My granny thought of themas a good omen. “Fae eyes,” she called them. “You have the Seelie eyes, girl.” Over and over again when I was a kid. Other people have not been so kind, and the eyes, coupled with the unlucky name, well. I’ve heard myself referred to as “that demon girl” on more than one occasion, and once I even got in a fistfight about it.

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I took a break once the sun shifted and I’d got the bulk of the living space done.

I took a break once the sun shifted and I’d got the bulk of the living space done. Grabbed a beer out of the cooler and drank it furtively, since I don’t want to sully what reputation I’ve got drinking during daylight. Even in February the boys chose to go off for a rabbit hunt once they’d got all the big stuff in place; they left the fiddly bits for me.

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And then, there was only one little bit to go.

And then, there was only one little bit to go. I hummed as I carefully arranged silk flowers, along with some real ones, mostly to test if what they say about Davey’s virility is true. (If it is, when I come back in a month, those real flowers will still be blooming bright along with the silk ones, filling the whole vardo with the scent of springtime and sex and other things a good Romany girl pretends she doesn’t know about.

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There was a certain mischievous (bordering on naughty) rush to relaxing on The Davey’s own bed.

That said, there was a certain mischievous (bordering on naughty) rush to relaxing on The Davey’s own bed. I wriggled my hips into the duvet and made sure my boots were clean before I lay down there, “just to test the mattress, see if it’s fit,” I whispered to myself. It’s OK if you tell a lie, if you know it’s a lie. It’s the lies people tell when they don’t know they’re lies; those are the bad ones. Anyway, it wouldn’t matter in a few days: Davey would come back, or he wouldn’t come back; I’d meet him, or I wouldn’t; he’d see something more than a demoness in my eyes—or he wouldn’t. I swung my legs off the bed and monkey-swung down to the living area (there’s a ladder, but who needs it when it’s so easy to fall).

And then, you know, I went back to my mum and dad’s vardo, not so far away but without such a view of the water, and I did not think of the scents that lingered on the clothes I unpacked into the hutch, the drifting mist of him everywhere through his possessions. An, you’re a dreamer, I said to myself. The land of the dead does not unite with the spark of life. But then, you know. The wind came through the window, and it smelt of the sea and I thought I could smell his sheets, sheets I’d lain upon. And, I confess, I sinned.

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An is wearing a set of beautiful pigtails from Pink Hustler; the style is called PH 8169. Her tunic is from the February Treasure Box; it’s Rogue from Unrepentant, and it comes in a beautiful variety of colours. Those amazing eyes are Omega eye appliers from Out of Orbit, and they really are called Seelie Eyes. Her skin is the new Cashew tone from 7 Deadly s{K}ins, which will be released at the upcoming Skin Fair. The stunning vardo in these photographs is Death Row Designs’ beautiful Vagabond collection, which is coming soon to The Arcade GachaThe Arcade opens on the first of March, so prepare your pocketbooks, because this is a huge gacha collection, and ever little piece of it is beautiful. The gacha key is available on the Arcade Shopping Guide, but it’s also below for your viewing pleasure.

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DRD Vagabond Gacha Key

Style Card:

Setting: Awenia
Vardo: Death Row Designs, Vagabond RARE Trailer
All the decorations in the vardo are from the Death Row Designs Vagabond gacha.

Annwn:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Catya Mesh Bento Head
Hair: Pink Hustler, PH 8169 (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Out of Orbit, Seelie Eyes (Omega Appliers)
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Cashew (New colour COMING SOON to the Skin Fair!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Nepthune Ears (Available FOR ONE MORE DAY at Fetish Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Tunic and belt: Unrepentant: Rogue, (Part of the February Treasure Chest!)
Leggings: Lassitude & Ennui, Handstitched Leather Leggings (Maitreya appliers)
Boots: Paper Moon, Huck Boots

Special thanks are due to Nathaniel Ballard (BenBold Resident), who created my new watermark for Enchanted Photography. Thanks, Nate!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never create a new Romany character just to decorate the Gypsy Davey’s new vardo without it!

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