A Dream Of Spirits

The fox journey has seemed at times surreal, at times frustrating, and at all times inscrutable. I do not understand why this spirit fox picked me, why he keeps showing up in my dreams, why he so desperately wants to show me this or that.

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I thought I was alone

But this time, I thought I was alone. It seemed I woke at the end of a bridge, and there was something abnormally quiet about it, at least at first.

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A sense of solitude

I really might have been the only person in the world, for those few minutes.

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Little visions

But then little visions began to come to me, little flashes of what else there was to see here.

And so I walked on, looking and discovering as I went. From path to bridge to little farm,  all seemed still and calm and somehow holding its breath as if waiting for something…

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And that’s when I met the owl.

The owl was the first living being I’d seen since waking up at the bridge. ‘Well, look at you’, I said. ‘You’ve got your very own perch, nobody around for miles, you’re the king of the castle, aren’t you’?

Have you ever heard an owl laugh? It is disconcerting; I’ll tell you that. ‘I am in fact the god of the village’, he replied with absolutely no irony. ‘But you’ll travel farther than just here today’, he said—like he knew so much. ‘It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this’.

Yes, he really said that. And then I felt a soft weight in the crook of my arm, and there was a much younger little spirit fox, and this one was a beautiful purply-blue colour.

‘Oh’! I said. ‘You got me another fox’!

‘Another fox’? asked the owl. ‘Has another one come down from the forest, then’? He looked, well, as nervous as I could ever imagine an owl looking.

‘No, no; this is a white fox that has been visiting me in dreams’, I explained.

‘Oh, that one’. He nodded, as if he knew so much. ‘Well, perhaps you’ll see him again when you get up there’. He nodded toward a break in the wall. ‘Best get moving’.

And so I did.

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Up the long set of steps we went

And so we went out the gate and up a set of natural-looking steps that led up a hill (I don’t think it could be called a mountain) on a winding path.

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We came into a forest

We came into a forest guarded by two red foxes. That’s when my familiar fox appeared on my shoulder. ‘Watch those two’, he said.

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Mist in the forest

‘I can only watch one of them at at time’, I replied; ‘they’re too far apart’!

He snorted. ‘Oh, you’ve turned white now have you, little one’? he teased. ‘Any day now you’ll be calling me papa’.

The little one in my arms snorted.

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What are you telling us?

‘What are you telling us’? I asked. ‘Is that spirit fox for “not bloody likely”‘?

My (ha!) spirit fox laughed at us then. ‘Well, you’ll have to go on and explore without us’, he said. ‘We have some work to do here in the Kitsune Forest’, but you’ll see us again before long’.

It wasn’t as much fun to explore now that I’d had time with the foxes, but I won’t soon forget the beautiful market. It sounded every bit like a live market, except there was no-one there that I could see.

And when I woke up later, in my own bed in Faerie, both foxes were nowhere to be found. I am sure they will find me again; they seem impossible to avoid, after all.

Credits and Notes:

The Kitsune Tales round is still open at Enchantment until the 31st of this month! You’ll find so many lovely things there, some of which are shown in photographs above!

Items featured at Enchantment:
Dress: Les sucreries de Fairy, Yoko, Red Dress 3
Face Makeup: Venge, ‘The Legend’
Earrings: Bliensen + MaiTai, Kitsune, red
Cuddle Fox: Jinx, Cuddle Pup (in Spirit, then White)
Shoulder Fox: Harshlands, Mini Spirit Fox
Shoes and Socks: Exia, Akaru Zouri

Other items in this look:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Evolution Lake Mesh Head
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Flora skin for Lelutka in tone Celtic
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Eyes: Anatomy, Fading Eyes
Hair: Kokolores, Kitten
Lipstick: The MARS, Apple Crush Dark

Location: All these photos were shot in the beautiful region of Kintsugi, Spirited Beyond. It is a stunning and contemplative build, presented on multiple levels, with some beautiful stories to experience as you travel through it. It’s currently featured on the SL Destination Guide, but there’s a link above for your ease of travel!

Calling Spring

So much time alone. Even here in Faerie we are touched by the current human pandemic; our tourism has ceased for the foreseeable future, as we are not a wholly magical set of Realms like the Fantasy Faire, and our tourist base is largely in Realms where travel is heavily controlled.

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We get depressed, too.

Now, of course, we’re lucky here in my little pocket Realm: if we were a big tourist destination like Awenia, we’d see even more isolation. But, being the stewardess of a tiny Realm has its positives, as well.

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I called Spring

It’s not like you can just get on the horn and go, ‘Yo, Spring! Get me some flowers, immediately‘! You have to concentrate. You have to see the flowers in your mind. You have to be in a space where, if magic did occur, flowers could in fact appear in some way or another (like through this window, for example).

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Being Delighted

And then of course it’s only polite to be properly delighted when Spring does in fact send you exactly what you were asking for.

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And more!

When that happens, of course, there’s only one thing to do:

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Let Spring know you love it

Let Spring know you love it, in no uncertain terms. Make sure it knows. Even if you whisper it completely to yourself, Spring will hear: trust me.

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Send It Forward.

Then, send it forward, far and wide, everywhere you can reach. Don’t worry: Spring knows you can’t reach everywhere. But there are plenty of others who will help you pass Spring along. We’re everywhere.

Credits and Notes:
My friend Mystie, also known as Mystical Edenflower, has a little shop in Second Life called MishMash Fusion. She will be the first person to tell you that she is not a super amazing original mesh creator, but the woman is a goddess with style and texture, and when she showed me a photograph of this dress (in another colour), I knew I had to photograph it.

She called the dress Unchained Melody, and I love that song: it’s part of the soundtrack of my childhood. It was released the year before I was born (so now you all know that I am super old). The most famous woman in that year was apparently Julie Andrews, and while this isn’t a perfect Julie Andrews avatar, it gives a nod to her.

Dress: MishMash Fusion, Unchained Melody (You can get it soon at the Garden Of Hope event, which is a Relay For Life event, so a percentage of what you spend there will go to the American Cancer Society.) Garden Of Hope opens on the 29th of May!
Shoes: Ingenue, Audrey for SLink kitten
Body: SLink Physique Redux
Head: Lelutka, Evolution Lake Mesh Head
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Cora in the European tone
Brows: Simple Bloom, Liv Spring Neutral
Hair: Tableau Vivant, Luminay
Earrings, Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Kitty Pearl

 

 

 

An Unfamiliar Path

I don’t have to tell you, because of course you already know, that my mythology, my fae essence, is rooted in the West. There’s a poetry to the land of my ancestors, be they my human family long left behind, be they the Shining Throng of the Sidhe, or be they the gods and goddesses from whom we are said to have sprung.

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Reappearance

I was not surprised so much as, well, interested, when the spirit fox came round again. Possibly my surprise was subdued because he visited me in the dreamlands. I’m rarely surprised in the dreamlands. Of course, if I say that I’m sure to be surprised soon….

‘Are you sure you’re comfortable like that’? I asked him. He seemed balanced precariously on my shoulder. 

‘I am a spirit fox’, he said. ‘Comfort does not concern me’.

I took this to mean that he was not in any physical body, or if he did have a physical body it was far away at this time. 

‘Do you like this garden’?

The question seemed out of place, but I answered it anyway. ‘Well, it’s different from gardens I’m used to’, I admitted. ‘I have seen gardens like this in pictures, but really, it’s very sparse, isn’t it? I like a bit more …. garden in my garden, I guess’.

When he laughed, it was like a circle of bells, nothing you’d expect to come out of a fox’s mouth. Then again, I wasn’t looking at him: perhaps the sound did not come out of his mouth at all.

I felt something cold on my neck and on my right wrist, and when I looked down, I could see that a silver bracelet with a stylised fox face had wrapped around my wrist. When I reached up to my neck, I could feel the same face there too. 

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Question of Trust

‘What is this’? I tugged at the bracelet and realise I could remove it; that helped a little. ‘Do we have some kind of a pact now’?

‘Oh, please; no’. There were the bells again. ‘I’m nowhere near old enough to force you to do anything’. He jumped off my shoulder and landed neatly on the ground. ‘See’? He turned around three times, dog-like. ‘Only one tail’.

‘I’ve heard spirit foxes can have more than one’, I started slowly. ‘How old do you have to be before you get more tails’?

‘Couldn’t possibly tell you’, he said. 

‘Can’t, or won’t’?

More bells.

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Come along…

‘Come on, then’, said the spirit fox. ‘We have a journey to take’. 

Credits And Notes:

Enchantment is open! The theme for this round is Kitsune Tales, and you’ll find some wonderful things there, a few of which Gwyneth is wearing in the photographs above.

Enchantment items featured here:
Spirit Fox and Mini Spirit Fox: Harshlands, Spirit Fox
Hair: HMH, F 135
Choker and Bracelet: RAWR! Kitsune Set
Dress: c*C*c,  Akayashi Kitune, in Black
Eyes: La Malvada Mujer, Alpha Eyes
Shoes: Eudora, Kitsune

Other Stuff in this look:
Body: Legacy 
Head: Lelutka Lake Bento Mesh Head
Backdrop: Ex Machina, Karensansui — Japanese Minimalist Garden

Photos shot at my home studio in Awenia. Alas, we’re not open to the public right now. 

 

An Orchard In Elemaria

When I came back from the rather less than formal ball held in the Drifts of Anamnesis, a desert which somehow became an oasis at exactly the right time, I admit I was feeling a bit drained and a bit sad.

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But who could possibly feel sad in this gown?

I know what you must be thinking, of course. ‘But who could possibly feel sad in such a beautiful gown, Your Fae Majesty’?

And you’d have a point. Silvan Moon Designs has created the most wonderful spring gown in an array of colours appropriate to the season. I was so proud to wear Dance of Spring to the informal ball; it almost didn’t matter that nearly everyone else was dressed rather less than formally. This periwinkle colour is to die for, isn’t it? And the gown’s crushed velvet falls so beautifully. I admit I sneaked out of the Fairelands to visit the carnival of fashion and hijinks that is We Love Roleplay, and that’s where I found this beautiful gown. I’m sure they still have a few left if you hurry to the carnival.

But the truth is, sometimes even when one is wearing a fabulous dress, it’s still possible to feel a bit sad. Even a lot sad.

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There’s a voice inside my head

I’m one of those people with a running narration going on all the time: it’s like a voiceover in my head. And that night, the voice wanted me to remember and feel sad about the fact that the Great Fantasy Faire was ending for another year. And I did feel sad, and I did remember. I remembered the first chilling steps I took into Lamented Fens and how I grew to love that darkness. I remembered the sheer joy of Heliodor and the rush of being in a Realm of light. And the more filtered light of Autumnium, yes, that too. There was the darker call of Siren’s Lore, the inescapable bottoms of Melusina’s Depths, the madcap hysteria of Mistakes Were Made. I recalled dancing on turtles in Cassiopeia, listening to the words of great authors in the Drifts of Anamnesis, seeking the pleasure of the Bard Queen in Queensgarden. My surprise at entering Agra Adara and finding it was not at all what I thought it would be. Ambigula, a living art installation, Isle of Shadows with its scary giant bunnies, the frozen distance of Auxentios’ Pass, and of course the cosmic order (and chaos) of Zodiac. The stunning basin of the Spirit Valley of Kuruk will stay with me always, and of course, the Fairelands Junction bridged all these gaps and brought me closer to every Realm simply and easily, this time from a crystal desert cave. My two homes away from home, Elemaria and Lunafae, will be the hardest to leave behind. I’ve written from both these realms, and while the Fairelands were too vast this year for me to write from every one of them, I considered my next steps, and the next day, carefully, as I prepared for my last morning in the Fairelands.

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Morning in Elemaria

I awoke in Elemaria and descended the long staircase to the spiral star labyrinth at the forest junction. In spring, butterflies like to follow Fae royalty, so I had a few to contend with. I don’t mind them, just so you know. But they do get a bit buzzy.

In the glorious May sunshine, I sent the butterflies out to do their work. Flower pollination is serious business at this time of year. And I thought about pollination, about the kind of growth that irritates your nose and makes you briefly grumpy with life. What could I plant now, just as myself, that might be worthy of this land, these Fairelands, our kingdom and community, our spirit?

My fingers lingered over the spirit star of Elemaria woven into the bodice of my gown. This, my loves, is the Elemaria Spirit Gown, and I cannot tell you where to go and get it, for there is only one, and I am fortunate to wear it in the name if Elemaria and Light and the rising star of Hope. I don’t often showcase one-of-a-kind gowns, because I want you all to be able to find the treasures I show you, but I am now wondering why I do not do that. Perhaps over the next few weeks I’ll photograph some of the beautiful one-of-a-kind dresses I’ve collected over the years.

Forgive me for the fashion tangent: it’s just my nature. I was thinking what could I plant, what could I give, what would be a thing from me, more than the time (and, let’s be real, the money) I spend every year to help our Faire be a success and help us grow and help more and more people. What would that thing be?

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It came to me in the form of an apple.

And then it came to me, in the form of an apple. Because one thing my darlings, one thing I am told I’m very good at, is offering inspiration. I have a life that revolves around teaching, the arts, music, writing, and helping light the spark of creativity in folk both young and old.

So no this isn’t the apple you’re thinking of, even though I am come straight from fairy tale and myth to be with you here.

This is the apple of inspiration. You can see it in the emblem carefully painted on its curved edge. It’s an emblem you see if you ever look at any of my work. It’s an emblem you see if you ever look at me: it’s tattooed once on my real life wrist, and again in the belly of a symbolic salmon on my real life chest. This is the Awen, the symbol of divine inspiration, said to represent the three rays of poetic inspiration shining straight down from the gods themselves.

And so today, at the centre of the spirit labyrinth of Elemaria, I give you this apple. Here, I will plant it in the forest nearby. And because inspiration is not an ordinary apple, but a magical one, it may bear fruit sooner than you think.

Fairelanders all, be you world builders, paper pushers, music folk, organisers of parties, readers of books and tellers of tales, sculptors of meshes and images, willing to bring your sense of wonder, thank you. And don’t worry: this is not just my apple tree. This is your apple tree, too. You can sit beneath it with anybody you like, discover gravity in your own way, learn the ways of magic, marvel at the star within that mirrors, not-so-coincieentally, the spirit star of Elemaria I’m thinking of now. Take it with you. Plant your own. Bring back your baskets of apples to share with all the world.

Look at what we can grow.

Items featured from this year’s Faire:
Skin: Petrichor, Viscivorus Skin in Serinus (first set of photos) and Pareities (second set of photos) (The Faire is closed now, but I’m sure these skins will be at the Petrichor Main Store soon enough!)
Ears: Petrichor, Viscivorus Ears (These beautiful ears come with each of the Viscivorus skins, and they’ll be available at the Petrichor Main Store before you know it!)
Gowns: Silvan Moon Designs, Dance of Spring (first set of photos) (Find it at We Love Role-play!); Silvan Moon Designs, Elemaria Spirit Gown (one-of-a-kind, and my honour to wear). The Elemaria Water Gown was available at the Faire and will I hope be available soon at the Silvan Moon Designs Main Store

Other Stuff in this look:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Nova Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Ayashi, Amalia Hair (a rare Gacha from The Epiphany) (first set of photos); EMO*tions, Hairbase B and hairpieces A and K (at the EMO*tions Main Store)
Crown (second set of photos): Rivendale, Evenstar Crown

Elemaria was one of 18 regions in the 2020 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. It was sponsored by Silvan Moon Designs and designed by Bee Dumpling and Solas Enchantment.

Although the fairelands exist only in our memories and our photographs once they’ve receded back into the mists, they are never forgotten. This year, the spirit that built those lands raised over $73,000USD for the American Cancer Society. We are a blessed and mighty community, and I am proud to be part of it. Good night, Fantasy Faire 2020. You were a beauty.

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Sunset over the Fairelands, 10 May 2020

 

The Rabbit Hole in Isle Of Shadows

I was feeling sad. After all, it was the last day of the Faire, and soon I’d have to take a portal back to Awenia and pick up all the pieces I’d left dangling for the last two seasons. I flew up to one of the clouds that hover over the Fairchylde in Isle of Shadows, and, well, OK— I just kind of felt sorry for myself for a while.

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Aaaaallll byyyyy myyyyyseeeeeeelf…..

I promise I didn’t sing that song. For long.

Of course, then I noticed how much there was to see from this vantage point….

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First of course, there was the Fairchylde Herself.

First of course, there was the Fairchylde Herself, and that just made me want to look farther and farther.

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Hello, teeth!

Hello, teeth! Haveit Neox’s beautiful snakes intertwining to hiss or kiss, possibly a bit of both.

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The Isle itself, with Siren’s Lore visible in the distance.

And then there was the Isle itself, with Siren’s Lore visible in the distance.

After that, well. A few more disturbing things caught my eye.

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Bunnies!

Bunnies! On a cloud! What could those nefarious little critters be up to?

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There were hordes of them!

There were hordes of them! Bunnies, everywhere! Could it be… Could it be the bunny energy was being generated by the Fairchylde Herself? I shuddered to think.

And then, I knew I must investigate further.

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Giant Bunnies!

Giant bunnies?! The reality was more terrifying than I could possibly have imagined.

So I did what anyone would do under the circumstances!

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I started to flee!

‘You don’t have to run, you know’.

It was a soft voice, barely accented, but I didn’t recognise the origin.

‘I don’t? But the Faire is almost over, and I’m being attacked by giant bunnies’!

‘No-one is attacking you. Calm down. I’m Kuro, and I’m taking you to your next adventure’.

‘My what’?

‘Your next adventure, Your Majesty’. The fox twitched its red eyebrows. ‘Here; let me jump up on to your shoulder’.

… to be continued.

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The Faire is Ending…. but Enchantment is OPEN!

Credits And Notes:
Location: Isle Of Shadows, sponsored by Seanchai Library and designed by Aelva & Emme Eales,  is one of 18 regions in this year’s Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. You can visit Isle of Shadows, but you will have to do it before midnight SLT tonight, 10 May, 2020, because that’s when the Fairelands will fade back into the mists for another year.

Do not despair! The Faire returns every year, and on its heels is another one of my favourite events, Enchantment!

Enchantment item featured here:
Spirit Fox: Harshlands, Spirit Fox (Find it at Enchantment!)

Items featured at this year’s Faire:
Skin: Petrichor, Viscivorus Skin in Chrysatos (Find it at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Ears: Petrichor, Viscivorus Ears (Find them at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Outfit: Devious Mind, Fiora (Find it at the Devious Mind store in Zodiac!)

Other Stuff in this look:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Nova Bento Mesh Head
Wings: Egosumaii, Fae Wings

Why do you come to Siren’s Lore?

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Siren’s Lore

The Lady in the Sky, she says, ‘Why did you come here’?

And I say, ‘I came here to dance’.

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I came here to dance

And she just looks at me, all level, even though she is miles above me. ‘You take a walk first, and then we talk again’, she says.

So I do that; it’s not every day the Lady in the Sky just comes round and tells you to do something.

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Beauty here

I’m in the Realm of Siren’s Lore, and yes; it is beautiful here. It’s full of lush green and moss, the trickle of water everywhere, and around every corner there is some new thing to see.

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A little beauty here….

A little beauty here…

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A little danger there….

A little danger there….

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A little more beauty here…

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A little (maybe a lot!) more danger there….

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Sea gardens

And so I walk around the sea gardens, and I do enjoy it; I do. There are beautiful views, glorious works of art, calming and dangerous waters. It is a paradise.

And then I come back.

And then, the Lady in the Sky, she says, ‘Why did you come here’?

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I came here to dance

‘I came here to dance’, I say.

‘Very well’, she says. And then there is music and a whooshing of ocean spray.

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Top of the wall

And then I am dancing on top of the wall, with the visage of the Lady in the Sky behind me.

‘You could do worse’, she says, ‘than come here to dance, daughter’.

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Visit Siren’s Lore before the 10th of May, 2020!

Credits And Notes:
Location: Siren’s Lore, sponsored by Petrichor and designed by Sen Beresford,  is one of 18 regions in this year’s Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. You can visit Siren’s Lore and maybe even have a chat with the Lady in the Sky and end up dancing high above, but you will have to do it before the tenth of May, when the Fairelands will recede, as they do every year, back into the mists. Although the Fairelands return year after year, each Realm is unique and will not be seen again, at least not on this plane.

Items featured at this year’s Faire:
Skin: Petrichor, Viscivorus Skin in Decaocto, with lighter lips and lip stripe tattoo applied — really, Petrichor gives you so much with each of these skins it’s like having six different skins in one box!  (Find it at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Ears: Petrichor, Viscivorus Ears (Find them at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Outfit: Devious Mind, Ishara (Find it at the Devious Mind store in Zodiac!)

Other Stuff in this look:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Nova Bento Mesh Head
Hair: No Match, No Leave
Eyes: Euphoric, Talula

Kitties And Bunnies And Bears! Or, How I Visited The Spirit Valley Of Kuruk And Did Not Find My Centre Or Experience Perfect Bliss And Tranquility

You have to go. That’s what everyone says, anyway. Sometime in your life, where your life is defined as that period of existence between physical birth and physical death, you must at one time or another visit the Spirit Valley of Kuruk. I will note that visiting the Spirit Valley of Kuruk is a challenge, because it has appeared only once in my physical lifetime (that I know of).

Once I heard that the Spirit Valley was visible and within a day’s travel, I just dropped everything and went, all by myself. I felt it needed to be a personal and solitary journey.

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The Spirit Valley’s Beauty Is Unmatched

One thing no-one will deny is that the Valley itself is singularly beautiful. With a landscape marked by stunning chalk paintings (which look to be well-kept by those who live there), it’s easy to just stand there, awestruck, when you first enter the basin. For me, the paintings were overwhelming. It was only after I had taken many of them in that I began to notice the rock formations themselves, the many paths and caves. It seemed made by a miracle, the sort of place where anything could happen. So, as I stepped into the Valley, I was prepared for a magical experience.

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La-Dee-Dah!

And magic did occur soon after I took that first step. For there, asleep on a rock, was an adorable turquoise kitty cat with ickle pink ears! I couldn’t help it: I squealed.

Now, if you’ve ever woken up an adorable turquoise kitty cat with ickle pink ears (and who hasn’t, really?), you know that the adorable turquoise kitty, as a rule, does not like to be disturbed while she is sleeping.

There was hissing. Hackles were raised. Claws were displayed. Clearly, the kitty was just here for the sunlight and nap spots.

“Fine,” I said, and made to walk away. Everyone knows the first thing you have to do in the Valley is take a picture with the Big Bear by the singing bowls at the big fire circle. I’m not really sure if he has a name: I was really just there for the photo opp.

Halfway across the circle, I heard a loud ‘MEOW’, and sure enough there was the adorable turquoise kitty! She was trotting up behind me fast. ‘Look, you!’ she said. ‘I don’t know what you are, Miss Biped, but you woke me up, so now I’ll be visiting the Valley with you. That means you have to feed me.’

Well, all right then. I was in the company of an adorable, verbal turquoise kitty cat with a sarcastic streak. Super. I may sound sarcastic, but in fact it was very nice to meet a talking kitty cat; I’ve always wanted to know what’s on their adorable little minds.

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The Obligatory Tourist Photo!

And here we all are, mugging for the camera with one Big Bear and one Little Bear! This photo cost me five dollars! Five dollars for a single photo? I suddenly began to wonder about the spiritual basis of the Spirit Valley itself, or at least of the Photo Bear, who had impressive looking teeth.

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Still, looking up was a treat. So I did that.

Still, looking up was a treat. So I did that instead of thinking about how many photos I wanted to pay that kind of money for. Luckily, my mobile phone is easily stashed inside even the smallest vest, which I might have been wearing that day.

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Time to plan our next move!

Still, I was here, and I was going to see as much of the legendary Spirit Valley as I could before nightfall. Bears make me kind of nervous at night, if I’m honest.

‘We’re going over there!’ said the adorable, talking turquoise kitty cat.

‘What if I don’t want to?’ I had not yet realised that one does not argue with an adorable, talking turquoise kitty cat.

‘Well, La Dee Dah says you do!’ said the cat. And she hoisted her tail and ran up the mountain, up a roundabout trail, and toward a cave.

‘Caves are dangerous!’ I called out. ‘Is that your name, then? La Dee Dah? That’s a mouthful. Can I just call you “La” for short?’

‘No!’ came the sharp reply, followed by a loud yowl. ‘Shit! I fell’.

Great, adorable talking turquoise kitty cat has a potty mouth. I sighed and followed. ‘Do you need help? I could pick you up.’

‘Touch me at your peril, you winged abomination!’

I chose to avoid peril and watched as she clawed her way out of the ravine into which she’d fallen.

Up and up we climbed, until we came to…

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Bones. Lots and lots of bones.

There were skeletons. Like humanoid skeletons. In chains. ‘La Dee Dah!’ I shouted. That was going to take some getting used to. ‘We do not sit in skeletal laps! You don’t know who’s been gnawing on those bones!’

It was at this point I noticed that her eyes were rather glow-y. I feared the worst.

Instead, she just muttered, ‘Spoilsport’, and stalked off in another direction. ‘I guess you want to see the Pretty Pretty River’, she said.

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Pretty Pretty River

As a matter of fact, I did, so I didn’t argue and followed her down the steep slope onto what felt once again like mostly level ground. Now, you may think La (I can call her that in my head) was being sarcastic, since she’d been mostly sarcastic since we met, but in fact the river in the Spirit Valley of Kuruk is called the Pretty Pretty River. It may be translated from some language that involves a lot of tonal humming and clicks, or maybe a bear roar? I don’t know.

It lived up to its name, though. There were many lovely trees and even a frog carved out of the rock. ‘Look, La Dee Dah’, I said, ‘his eyes are the same colour as your fur’!

She didn’t answer me, or really even acknowledge that I’d spoken, so intent was she on getting back to the great circle in the central part of the basin.

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This is my long-suffering look

I sighed the sigh of the long-suffering Divine Being who has just had her view of the Pretty Pretty River cut short. And I followed her, because what else was to be done, really. She was so small she might get hurt out there alone. There were, after all, bears.

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From this side, the big scary bear rock looked much more menacing.

From this side of the circle, the bear rock looked much more menacing. I tried to concentrate on the Pretty Pretty River, which does actually run all the way round the bottom of the Valley; I didn’t expect I’d get much closer to it for the duration of our time together.

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Unmatched Natural Beauty

Even though the trip wasn’t turning out the way I’d imagined, I couldn’t blame it on the scenery. As we turned toward the circle again, I was struck by the megalithic stones that flanked the entrance to the circle from across the Pretty Pretty River. I took a breath. La was having none of my hesitation; she just romped on out to the centre of the meadow, not bothering to walk the spiral in or out. Apparently the wrath of the bear gods does not descend upon adorable talking turquoise kitty cats. Apparently.

Once again, she ran ahead of me. It’s a good thing she’s so brightly coloured; I’d surely lose her if she had any sort of natural camouflage. Another reason to make sure she stayed with me: I suspected that after dark she’d glow in the firelight, and some bear would be all, ‘Look, an adorable turquoise marshmallow’! I still had to sprint to keep up.

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Step away from the bunny!

I found her cuddled up with a bunny. A bunny. Oh, I’d heard the rumours, rumours that the Fairelands this year were overrun with bunnies, possibly spawned by the very likely evil blue glowing globe in Zodiac. I’d also heard rumours that they were being manufactured by the Fairchylde Herself, or at least by one of those insane Fantasy Faire Radio DJs. Those folks are weird, baby. But we love them. I personally did not love them enough to forgive them for the Plague Of Bunnies the Fairelands were currently experiencing, but of course your mileage may vary. It is also suspected that Princess Sonya Of Critter Meadow might be involved, but she just seemed so nice that one time I met her. But while I was sifting through conspiracy theories in my head, La was still cuddled up with a bunny. A bunny!

‘La! We do not cuddle bunnies‘! I shouted. The accomplice bunny just glared at me balefully as I spoke. They have great big teeth, you know, bunnies. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that’s what really happened to the skeletons up there on the cliffside.

‘I can’t hear you’! La replied. She began grooming herself.

‘Fine’, I muttered. ‘La Dee Dah! We do not cuddle bunnies!’

The adorable talking turquoise kitty cat stood up, arched her back, and hissed at me. ‘You are not my real mum’, she said. ‘I do what I want’. She sneezed. ‘And I have decided that we are going to climb up the other side of the basin because I want to meet a real bear’.

Oh, good; another hike. Luckily, I have wings.

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How about this one?

‘How about this one’? I suggested. ‘He looks important’.

‘Can you not smell‘? she replied. ‘Or do they not teach you the difference between stuff that’s real and stuff that’s been carved out of stone and is some kind of bear god where you come from’? There may have been eye-rolling. ‘I’m gonna need a nap’.

I had heard that cats sleep 12-15 hours a day. ‘How long a nap do you need’?

‘Dunno. But after that we’re going back home and you’re going to feed me’.

I seem to have a new life-mate.

It didn’t take long for La to find the bear she was looking for. After a short exchange in growls, grunts, and paw movements, they came to an understanding.

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Nap Time!

I ended up sitting on a pillow next to a bear deep in meditation and probably afraid to move for fear of cat claws, for four solid hours while La took a nap.

And that, my friends is How I Visited The Spirit Valley Of Kuruk And Did Not Find My Centre Or Experience Perfect Bliss And Tranquility.

Credits And Notes:
Location: The Spirit Valley of Kuruk, sponsored by Spyralle and designed by Loki Eliot,  is one of 18 regions in this year’s Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. You can visit the Spirit Valley and maybe even find your centre and experience perfect bliss and tranquility, but you will have to do it before the tenth of May, when the Fairelands will recede, as they do every year, back into the mists. Although the Fairelands return year after year, each Realm is unique and will not be seen again, at least not on this plane.

Items featured at this year’s Faire:
Skin: Petrichor, Viscivorus Skin in Quelea, with 30% lightening tattoo applied (Find it at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Ears: Petrichor, Viscivorus Ears (Find them at the Petrichor Store in Sirens Lore!)
Hair: Raven Bell, Nereid Hair (Find it at the Raven Bell Store in Auxentios’ Pass!)
Clothes: Laced Up Stamped Leather Top and Skirt, in Dark Brown (Find it at the MishMash Fusion Store in Lamented Fens!)
Long Necklace, Bracelets: Rise Design, Banje Bracelets, Banje Necklace (Find them at the Rise Design Store in Melusina’s Depths!)

Other Stuff in this look:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Nova Bento Mesh Head
Bracelets and Short Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Wayfare Bracelet, Wayfare Choker, Wayfare Duo Necklaces
Wings: BentBox, Feathered Wings
Eyes: Euphoric, Talula

Special Guest Star: La Dee Dah, as herself (Dyisi)