Arrival

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A Small Place

“I know this must look like a small place to you. You see what you can perceive with whatever perceptions were given you by the gods. I cannot convey to you the vastness of it, not really; you’re not equipped to handle it. That’s not meant to be patronising, or belittling, I promise: it’s just an explanation.

“Fine, Fine. This is your dream, and I’m not required to explain it to you, but your dream form and level of consciousness suggests human. You beings usually like an explanation.

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Hello? Ears?

“Ah. of course. My apologies. Humans and fae look very much alike to us here, and I hope you’ll understand that’s not intended to be any sort of slight, either.

“Why don’t we start over? Let’s take it as a tour, shall we? There are two Watchers here, the winged cat on the tree root, and the big sleepy cat.

“Yes, I know, both of them have their eyes closed. If you don’t want human-style explanations, stop making human-style observations.

“Are we good? Good.

 

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The Spirit Summoners

“Each cat is specially called here by the Spirit Summoners; they build a unique calling altar for each cat, and depending on the cat, they may meditate at this altar for different periods of time. Not all cats are able to come away in good time. We’ve been summoning this particular cat, your cat, for a good long while, but she was very worried about you and wanted to make sure you were in a safe place before she came to us. The visual representation isn’t important to them, but when one of you gets chosen to experience an arrival, we place it there so you feel connected in your own way.

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Elsewhere

“What you observe elsewhere is a representation of what happens here simultaneously in each overlapping moment.

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So there is playing, and flying

“So there is playing and flying and cuddling and napping. There’s play-fighting and stalking and more than a little hilarity.

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Taking the wings

“Cats arrive here as kittens, and some of us choose to stay that way. Some of us like our old world forms. Eventually, most of us decide to take the wings and help other cats. Giving back is important here, and while it may come as a shock, one cannot simply chase butterflies in perpetuity.

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You are not alone in your sadness.

“You are not alone in your sadness. As I told you, the cat we are awaiting stayed overlong in her physical life with you. It takes some time, especially when a relationship between human, er, fae, and cat is as long as yours was in cat lifetimes, for a cat to separate from their earthly family. In special circumstances like these, we arrange for you to be here to dream-see your cat’s arrival to our shore. Familiar smells, as you will know, are very helpful to us.

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Their Own Boat

“Each cat travels in their own boat, piloted by a winged cat used to traversing whatever afterlife river will bring them here according to their belief systems.

“Ah! I think I see them. Yes, she will be a kitten, maybe younger than you remember her. But she will remember you.

“Yes, that’s why you’re here. You’ve been summoned to dream-see this cat’s arrival into the next life.

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The Catcher

“No, no; don’t mind me. I like my perch here. The cat waiting to grab the light rope is our Catcher, and of course it’s OK if you run. She needs to know how important it is that she join us here.

“Of course, you can stay a little while. And if you’re good at dream-walking, you might visit us again. But we do change. She will change. And— no, I cannot tell you what happens after this Realm for us. It is not permitted to tell, and it is not permitted to know.”

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Goodnight, Minerva.

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Minerva

From The Author: Minerva, most beautiful kitty of kittiness, was adopted from the Battersea Dogs and Cats’ Home, the world’s oldest animal shelter, in November of 2005 by me, my late husband Joe, and my then-13-year-old son, Gavin. On Sunday, 8 September, she left this life. All cats go to heaven. She gets a special one.

Credits:
Special thanks to the beautiful people at The Looking Glass, who created The Shrine Tree. I won this region build in an auction at the 2019 Fantasy Faire, and as it takes a while to place these perfect things in world, I was not sure where The Shrine Tree itself belonged. Turned out, it belongs as the focal point of the Cat Summerlands. The trees, the grass, the butterfly flowers, and importantly, Minerva’s Summoning Altar, were all designed by Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen of The Looking Glass. 

The Cats:
Narrator Cat: Pixicat, Bastet Sphinx Cat (Sit)
Spirit Summoners: Left, Half+Deer Winged Cat, Crouch. Right, Jian, Forest Cat, Static-Stare.
Winged Cats: All by Half+Deer, Half Deer Wing Cats (various)
Big Sleepy Watcher Cat: Half+Deer, Giant Sleepy Cat (at Collabor88 and another inspiration for this post; thank you Halogen Magic for the beauty you have brought to my world.
Kitten who looks a bit like Minerva (in the boat): Jian, Kitten Collection.
Catcher Cat: Fashionably Dead, Cat 12 – Curious
Boat: Raindale, Ethemelle Boat
Bridges: The Looking Glass, Dawn’s Promise Bridges

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth (freckled) T1
Eye Makeup & Tears: Amis, Ali’s Sorrow
Eyelashes: auNaturel, Crybaby Lashes
Ears: Ritual, Fae Ears
Hair: Exile, Lily
Ear Adornments: Axix, Angelic Whisper
Hair Adornment: Bauhaus Movement, Amanda Headband (1)
Clothes: Una, Bloom (Jacket, Shirt, & Skirt)
Shoes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Kammira Sandals (available at We Love Roleplay, and why I picked this outfit– because I wanted to photograph these shoes!)

Location: Awenia Haven. Awenia isn’t currently open to the public, but if you want to PM me in-world, I’ll let you come visit Minerva’s Cat Summerlands if you like.

 

 

The Door Into Autumn

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It’s not what you’d think.

It’s not what you’d think. You’d think, if someone told you there was a door to autumn, that beyond this door there would be sweet smelling coffee drinks. And maple leaves. But the truth is, the journey to autumn, although it is always the same, is always changing. That was paradoxical. I am allowed to be paradoxical.

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I came through this door only moments ago.

I came through this door only moments ago. Before I entered, I was wearing a much less colourful dress. And while that might not seem significant to you, it’s not like dresses just naturally come in eight colours that can be changed with the touch of a button. No; for me, it takes a little energy and a little glamour: Faerie Queens are not, despite the hype, all-powerful.

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It’s a balancing act, like everything else.

It’s a balancing act, like everything else, I think. Autumn is, I mean. It amuses me to think there’s some way-above-my-pay-grade Seasonal Authority, and somewhere in their office there’s a Forecasting Bureau. And they decide whether it’s going to be (for most people; obviously individual experiences vary) a joyful, or sad, or weird Autumn.

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I’ll put my tokens in ‘joyful’ every time.

Now, I’ll put my tokens in ‘joyful’ every time, because I am that kind of a self-centred, sappy, lazy creature whose understanding of the world begins and ends with my own self-interest. There: that was both introspective and factual!

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But my darlings, I have seen the future….

But, my darlings: I have seen the future.

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And it is weird.

And it? Is weird.

Style Card:
Gown:
Senzafine, Althea, a gorgeous tunic-style gown available at We Love Roleplay until 30 September. Comes in 8 colours. If you get the palette pack, you get a HUD that will change their colours with a button. NO LIE! 😀
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth, Ritual’s newest in-store release. This is in T1, all freckled up, because nobody does freckles better than Ritual. This skin is available in a big selection of shades at the Ritual Main Store.

Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Hair: Kokolores, Runa. An asymmetrical bob with great textures, available at The Liaison Collaborative until 26 September.
Makeup: Alaskametro, Impressionist. I don’t usually use “special” SL makeup unless it’s at least as good or as interesting as the makeup The Author does in Real Life, and the example here is just one of several beautiful makeup looks in the palette. You can pick it up at Uber until the 22nd of September.
Hand Jewelry: Meva, Celtic Hand Jewelry. Again, I don’t always focus on jewellery and rings and stuff, but this piece, available at  We Love Roleplay until 30 September, was just exceptional, and I suspect Gwyneth will be wearing it a lot this autumn.
Wings: Egosumaii, Fae Wings. Obviously, I have dozens of wings, and these just matched colour and style perfectly for this post. I mean, a Fae Queen has to have lots of wings, right? It’s purely for ceremonial reasons, I assure you. Anyway, you can get these at the Egosumaii Main Store.

Environment:
Photo Box: KraftWork, The Book of Dreams. I’ve used this background before, and you know, it just never gets old. You can pick it up at the KraftWork Main Store, and while you’re there, you should become part of their VIP group, because it’s an awesome place to be.
Shrooms: Half-Deer, Dreamscape Mushrooms. I mean, who doesn’t love Half-Deer? These and other lovely things are available at the Half-Deer Main Store.
Ground Cover: Balderdash, Hearts Lament. Balderdash stuff is always beautiful, and the genius who creates it, Saiyge Lotus, is pretty amazing herself. Pick this and other beautiful things up at the Balderdash Main Store.
Rain, though I’m not sure you can see it, is The Simplest Rain Set, from Dysfunctionality, available at the Dysfunctionality Main Store.

Hedy Lamarr’s Attic

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It’s my refuge.

My attic’s my refuge. Now, you might think, “Hedy, what are you doing in your attic wearing a spectacular gown?

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The truth is, I had a Thing earlier tonight.

The truth is, I had a Thing earlier tonight. Sure, a girl can walk away from her mortal life and retire somewhat quietly into Faerie, but celebrity never dies. There is apparently no Nu Jyorck fashion opening without Hedy Lamarr on the red carpet. And of course when there’s a new Trunk Show and Silvan Moon Designs has a new dress, it’d just be wrong for me not to show up, because who could argue with Bee Dumpling and Solas Na Gelai? These are two fashion sorceresses not to be trifled with. In fact, I should probably hesitate before naming them as sorceresses: their wrath could be epic!

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I even smiled at the folk.

I even smiled at the folk. And that’s not my milieu. But I did it anyway. It was easier being a star when I didn’t have to smile so much

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And it’s even easier being alone in my beautiful attic.

And it’s even easier being alone in my beautiful attic. My servants won’t come up here because it’s full of cobwebs and old things.

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And me.

And me. It’s full of me. Full of things like furniture I got from Spencer Tracey and a signed poster from Samson and Delilah. Cecil B DeMille. Not a fae, but randy as a satyr in June.

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There’s Spencer Tracey’s furniture.

There’s Spencer Tracey’s furniture. I should stack those chairs more efficiently, but I can’t be bothered. It also pleases me that none of the clocks up here work, and they’re all set to different times. And the telephone? It doesn’t work. Ha!

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A Bust Of Me

Here I am with a bust of me! Just kidding: I have no idea who the bust is meant to represent. It’s one of my favourite things in the attic, though.

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I love dressing up.

I love dressing up. It’s the people, human, fae, and otherwise, that I don’t like. When I had to live as an older woman during the last twenty or so years of my life on Earth, I never saw anyone. I’d spend hours on the phone, though. It’s not as if I’m a misanthrope: I just hated the lie of ageing. It’s too bad humans don’t understand eternal youth.

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Nothing beats a stunning gown.

I don’t know when I’ll be out and about again, but nothing beats a stunning gown. If you’re visiting Second Life, you can get this glorious dress at The Trunk Show, up until the 18th of September. Tell them Hedy Lamarr sent you.

Thank you, Bee & Solas, for inspiring me to create a Hedy Lamarr avatar! Those of you who know me know I love to create specific avatars around historical and fictional figures; it’s my way of SL cosplaying, and I have great fun doing it. I’m sure this won’t be the last avatar Silvan Moon Designs inspires me to make!

 

Style Card
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Dinner at Eight (Available at The Trunk Show!)
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project Baby Face
Hair: Beusy, Athene
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth, Tone 2 (Available at the Ritual Main Store!)
Ears: Ritual Elven Ears
Necklace and Earrings: Cae, Flourish
Eyelashes: Izzie’s, Genus Glossed Up Makeup Set (Powder Pack)
Eyes: The Face, Genus Unique Eyes Palette (Powder Pack)
Eyebrows: Adored, Tish Brows, Blackout Baby Edition
Shoes (Even though you can’t see them!) SlackGirl, Janice

Environment:
Poses:
In the attic: An Lar, The Spoiled Princess Series
On the Runway: Nantry, Who Are You Wearing?

Set:
Backdrop: WeArHOuSE, Attic Backdrop (also comes as a skybox)
Decor: Too much to mention, most things from Nutmeg, 8f8, Scarlet Creative, and DustBunny. If you want to know about something specific, ping me in world.
Bust: Nutmeg, Forgotten Library Bust
Backdrop for red carpet shots: Madras, Royal Entrance

The Power of Hope

No; I don’t know what happened.

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In a moment of reflection

In a moment of reflection, I began considering our land and its predicament. I took myself to the water ritual dais and meditated for a while upon the great axe left there, sunk in the stone, for some foretold ruler whom many now believed would never come.

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What to do; what to do?

What to do; what to do? I was no great priestess; I had not been blessed with second sight or any measure of magic.

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The power of hope

What I did have, I realised as I stood there, with the mists rising fast around me, was some understanding of and belief in the power of hope.

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The moon both rose and fell

At that moment, it seemed that the moon both rose and fell, fell upon me, and if I were sentimental or superstitious, I might say it felt like music, even though it didn’t, really. But it felt like music.

Then, I turned.

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The moment we first saw one another.

The moment we first saw one another. I suppose I would say this is a moment to tell our grandchildren about, but even as young as we still are, I fear we won’t have grandchildren.

But I’ll tell you about it anyway. Or as much as I can. I don’t really know what happened, and she says she doesn’t know either. And believe you me, I have tried to coax the story out of her more times than you have, and she’s got a temper on her, my Gwen.

It happened in an instant. One minute I was sitting in the mead hall, having a drink with my fellows and speculating on next year’s raids, and the next minute I was on top of the Axe Rock. There was a little flash of light from below, and then this beautiful woman was turning toward me.

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He fell right on the rock.

That’s right. I looked up, and he was falling right out of the sky, trying to keep his balance and land on his feet. I was proud when he succeeded.

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So, no shit; there I was….

So, no shit: there I was! And I was like, well. If the gods dropped me here, I’d better have a go at this axe then.

Really? Do you have to say it like that?

Like what?

Like you would if you were twelve.

Surely you’re not going to scold me about my language. Who’s telling this story? Me. It is my story, and I will say “No shit; there I was” if I like.

I did start the story.

You have a tongue, woman.

Yes. Yes, I do.

Anyway; it’s not like you really need me to tell you the rest of the story; the whole world knows the story now. That was the day I first laid eyes on my Gwen and the day she first laid eyes on me. And of course, I was like, well. If the gods dropped me here, I’d better have a go at this axe then.

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It’s my axe now.

It’s my axe now. And that is the tale of how, in one day, in the space of one minute, I met both my destinies. If you were my grandchildren, I’d tell you to go to bed now, and maybe you should even if you’re not my grandchildren.

Good night, Enchantment.

Style Card:
Items featured at this King Arthur round of Enchantment, which closes in only a few hours:
Nordic Ritual Platform, Nordic Ritual Altar, and Axe in the Stone: Harshlands, whose note about why they designed the pieces they did inspired me to weave a little story around them.
Moonlight: Puke Rainbows, Sparkling Moonlight
Davey:
Armour: The Scarlet Fae, Valinor
Gwyneth:
Dress, Colar and Armwarmers: Les Sucreries de Fairy, Aveline
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth, Nimue

The rest of the stuff:
Davey:
Body: Belleza, Jake
Head: Catwa, Skell
Hair: No Match, No Refuge
Skin, Not Found, Ash (currently at Shiny Shabby)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season Five
Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle
Hair: Little Bones, Reason (currently at Uber)
Shoes: Beyond the Mists: Ribboned Dance Shoes (Pure)

 

Like A Ghost

Like a ghost, she comes.
Over the water gliding gladly
See her there among the stones.

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See her there among the stones

See her there among the stones
Glows she like a moonlit pearl
Like a ghost she comes.

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Glows she like a moonlit pearl

Glows she like a moonlit pearl
Stars above her, sea below
Over the water gliding gladly

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Over the water gliding gladly

Over the water gliding gladly
Watch the world beneath the waves
Glows she like a moonlit pearl.

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Stars above her, sea below

Stars above her, sea below
Like a ghost she comes
Watch the world beneath the waves
Like a ghost she comes
Over the water gliding gladly
Like a ghost she comes
Glows she like a moonlit pearl
Like a ghost she comes
See her there among the stones?
Like a ghost, she comes.

Today is the last day for this spectacular King Arthur round of Enchantment. Don’t miss it!

Style Card:
Items featured at Enchantment:
Stones: Titans, Druidic Standing Stones, Grey
Lady of the Lake Statue: Titans, Lady of the Lake
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Lady Evaine Gown Set
Crown: Bliensen + Maitai, Tintagel (gold/white)
Poses: Fashiowl, Ginebra

Other stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Ears: Lumae: Leevi Long Ears
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth Skin, T1
Hair: Little Bones, Torte (at the current round of Uber)

Thanks for bearing with me while I’ve been having another little holiday from SL and from blogging. Enchantment is among my favourite of the recurring SL events I have the privilege blogging, and this round’s King Arthur focus is spectacular. Today is the very last day for this round of Enchantment, so be sure and visit before it’s gone!

 

 

The Greening

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The Guest House

So it may come as a surprise to you that I slept part of the winter away in the Guest House. This is a beautiful floating island house created by the architects at The Looking Glass, and it’s so cosy. I love the castle, but it’s so big! Now, of course, it isn’t drafty, because when Riven re-engineered it, she insulated it properly, right down to the cellar level, but sometimes I just like to be in a place where I can get up from bed and walk right over to the kitchen to do my toast, you know? Probably it’s a throwback to my former life in student digs.

Anyway, the winter just zoomed past, didn’t it? And then we were all at the Great Faire, where this year I did a lot of shopping and let other people tell their stories as much as I could. It was hard to let that happen sometimes, so I suppose you will hear a little of me in those stories if you look at them hard enough.

But the truth is, I have not been much in Faerie over these past few months.

So when I was awakened by a thump (hint: it was me being rolled out of my cosy little bed!) yesterday, I was not best pleased.

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I am not best pleased, I said.

I walked out onto the porch, squinting into the sunlight. “I am not best pleased,” I said.

You are not best pleased? How nice for you.

Uh, oh. I know that voice. “My Lady!” There are few people who would cause me to stop in my tracks and just wonder what I had done wrong, especially since my relationships with my parents (both sets) are somewhat distant at the moment. But of course, this was no person. “How may I attend you?”

Get your blasted Realm in order, for starters. 

I took a breath. But She was not finished.

Oh, don’t come at me with your apologies, and your I’m so tireds. I have just spent most of the night and half the morning retconning your little … wait a minute: do you even know what month it is?

“Um, June?” I said. There. I answered it right.

So it is. And do you know what I have removed from this little realm just this morning?

I swallowed. Then, there was that dizzying sense that you get when a Goddess is picking you up and dragging you several hundred feet to make a point.

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What did you do?

“What did you do?” I exclaimed, as I thumped down into the garden island, and none too gently.

Well, first, I got rid of the goddamned ice skating pond. Then, I got rid of the snow and made the grass regrow. Did you know you have animals on that farm across the water who are still hibernating? 

Oh, right. “Well, I have been really busy, and I guess I thought the Land would just….”

You thought. Really? When has a season ever happened here without your influence? This is a created Realm, Missy, but that’s no excuse to make winter eight months long! 

Eek. She called me “Missy.” She’s going to go full-on Welsh Granny if I’m not careful.

“I’m sorry.”

Sorry does not set the table, Gwyneth. Really. This is your realm; you must be more responsible with it. So. Last night and this morning, after I received complaints finally from some of the demifae in your Realm, I have been greening the place up: you get to do the farm, though. And that godawful city park. And I’m not touching the creepy carousel in the centre of town—what were you thinking with that one?

Again, there was that sense of dizziness.

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I looked over my shoulder.

I looked over my shoulder and saw the still-frozen farm island next to all the middle-of-summer things. “I really am sorry, Lady,” I replied. “It won’t happen again.”

See that it doesn’t. And don’t even think of trying to change yourself this summer. You’re stuck with standard sun kissed Seelie. No fancy hair colours, no special alabaster skin: none of that for you. This year, you get to feel what it’s like to have something imposed on you, like a season, that you cannot control. Perhaps then you’ll be more inclined to treat the smaller creatures in your Realm with something akin to compassion.

I hadn’t even noticed. “I have freckles!” Oh, please, no.

Oh, you poor thing. I guess you’re stuck with those until you decide to make a timely change to Autumn this year. 

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It does look really nice.

“It does look really nice,” I said, only somewhat sullen. “I’m so glad you put in the Shrine of Elistrae. I loved the one in Twilight Spring so much.”

Complimenting me isn’t going to get you out of this, Missy.

“No, My Lady; I didn’t think it would,” I said. “Trees look a little sparse on the garden island; shall I add more?”

It’s your Realm. I only micromanage you when I have to and when the well-being of other beings hangs in the balance.

“I really am….”

Stop apologising! I’ll not accept it, not until I see full-blown Summer here within the day and Autumn make a timely debut no later than twenty-first September; do you hear me? And on that day, there’ll be no silver elf hair for you either, Missy. You can wait ’til Winter again, and I haven’t decided if I’m going to turn you red or brown in September. That can be my little surprise.

“And the freckles?”

Don’t you like them?

I was afraid to answer.

Then, there was only laughter, at first harsh and then fading to wind as She eased Her Presence out of the Realm. Well, great. So much for summer sleep-ins. Guess I’d better go work on that farm.

Style Card:
Dress: Senzafine, Melody Dress (featured at the Vintage Fair, but coming home to the Senzafine Main Store this week!)
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Elvi (in Tone 6). (All current skin lines are just L$100 at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Hair: Exile, Swept Away
Necklace: Rozoregalia, Alugim Necklace (Miss You)
Shoes: Cult, Moon Ribbon Tip Toes

Environment:
Location: Awenia Faerie
Guest House: The Looking Glass, Victorian Dream II
Shrine: Roawenwood, Shrine of Elistraee (special auction item from the 2019 Fantasy Faire)
Gazebo: The Looking Glass, Shrine Tree Conservatory (special auction item from the 2019 Fantasy Faire)
Coffee Wagon: Atomic, Witches’ Brew Gacha
Clock and Benches, RH Design House, Cafe in the Park dacha

In the Dawn Age…

In the Dawn Age, you were not here. You and your men. Eventually, you came—and then you brought the demon Andels. You, and they, slaughtered us and the trees and the forests. But fear kept them away from the North. They could not subdue the North.

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And there we are, watching.

And there we are, watching.

Watching each of your ridiculous dynasties grind itself out in horrors of violence and betrayal.

Watching your loves dry away, your dragons grow small, your little beliefs scatter much like leaves.

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The faces in the trees are our eyes.

The faces in the trees are our eyes. And there are thousands of them.

Thousands of eyes.

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The creatures of ground and wood are our ears.

The creatures of ground and wood are our ears. And there are millions of them.

Millions of ears.

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We see the green.

We see the green through ravens’ eyes. We see the world. We hear the world.

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You call us “children”.

You call us children because we are small. Or you do not believe we exist at all.

How funny. How ironic.

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Such vigilant children.

Such vigilant children we are: our warriors are in the forests of the North now, blessing the North itself and blessing our allies there and beyond the Wall.

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Such steadfast children.

Such steadfast children we are: we are in so many trees, so many ravens, so many spiders, listening, watching, waiting, crouching.

Now that little Arya Stark has rid us of our greatest error, we can regroup and look again. We can watch our ally on the Throne. We can use the time we have now.

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And we will never stop watching.

And we will never stop watching.

Style Card:
Items featured at the current round of Enchantment:
Poses: These poses are all from Le Poppycock, part of a Children of the Forest gacha. The poses largely inspired this post. I wanted to tell this story about a character who would talk about her people’s legacy.
Trees, Props, Raven: All from the Le Poppycock Children of the Forest gacha.
Clothes & Wings: zOOm, Sensoria Dress, Headpiece, Bento Wings, here in brown and black
Other Stuff:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Noelle Bento Mesh Head
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Short Ears
Hair: .Shi, Kadosh
Skin: The Plastik, Vyrian Omega Appliers in Maritza