Book Forest Expanded (The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 4)

I watched out the window as the boundaries of the Book Forest expanded. It’s funny, when things like this happen: you don’t actually see things moving—it’s just that a few seconds, or minutes, or hours later, you note that something has changed position.

The Book Forest is its own entity. It began as a concept in my mind, I admit, and I did have something to do with the first little iteration of it, but since then, as with all the wild places of Faerie, it has developed a mind and soul of its own. I noted the changing boundaries for a few days, but I stayed away because I knew the Book Forest would take care of itself. When the boundaries seemed to settle (or at least have been in the same place for a couple of days), I took Bran and his trusty smartphone camera, and we went down to take a look at the new Forest.

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The Book Forest

This is my favourite photo that Bran took as we explored the remade. Book Forest. He took so many pictures!

This entry is going to be image-intensive: there are 26 photos of the book forest. I’ll do my best to keep the text within reason!

As with all the best forests, the first thing I felt when I walked into the Book Forest is this wonderful silence. The outside world just falls away.

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The outside world fell away.

The outside world fell away, and suddenly we were in the world of “once upon a time”.

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Joy and wonder

I was overcome by a sense of joy and wonder. The first thing I noticed was this beautiful area that looked like a homage to writing and to books themselves.

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Stop shooting me!

“Stop photographing me and concentrate on the forest!” I admonished. “Bran, seriously; look where we are.”

Bran looked at me and winked. “I am looking, Your Majesty,” he said.

“Perv,” I shot back.

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Look at all the little chairs!

“Look at all the little chairs! Some of them are even shaped like books!” I couldn’t resist the urge to play storyteller.

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Bran seemed to like it too.

Bran seemed to like it too: he just kept photographing me as I laughingly told him to stop. I loved that the statue behind me was supported by two armloads of books, that the mushroom table had a stack of books on it. There was just so much to see.

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I wanted to tell stories here forever.

I wanted to tell stories here forever; there was something about the ambiance of the place, magical, removed, and yet so solid.

But there were many other things to see, so I stepped down from the tree stump podium and we walked further in to the forest.

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The next stop was a tiny house.

The next stop was a tiny house with books on the steps as if somebody had just run in to make a cup of tea.

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A mysterious air….

There was a mysterious air about the little cottage, as if magic occurred there. I wondered if it was the residence of some Author or other.

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Seriously, stop photographing me!

“Seriously, Bran—stop photographing me! If you do it again, I will make a photo face!”

The camera clicked. Again.

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I warned you!

“I warned you, Bran!” I shouted. “You know not to test me!”

To my embarrassment, there was no other sound than the electronic click of Bran’s mobile phone camera.

I sighed. “Fine. Let’s see what’s in this house.”

Bran insisted that it was rude to just walk into someone’s house, even if nobody was there. Some part of me, the part that grew up in Southeast London where places have bars on the windows, knew that. But Queen Gwyneth, you know. She goes anywhere she likes.

In the end, I folded. “Fine; but let’s look through the window at least.”

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It looked like someone was just moving in.

It looked like someone was just moving in: there was an empty bookshelf, and the only inhabitants were two cats. I do like cats.

“Maybe we could get to know whoever lives here,” I mused.

“Maybe,” Bran said. “But there’s more to see.”

“Yes, yes, yes,” I said.

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Beautiful trees behind the house.

There were beautiful trees behind the house. “You know what?” I said. “I really like that all the paths are made from books.”

“Oh, you noticed that, huh?” Bran smirked. “Your powers of observation are truly staggering, Your Majesty.”

“I don’t think you’re allowed to talk to me that way, Bran.”

“I have a photograph of you making a very rude selfie face, Your Majesty.”

“Fine.”

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Signs everywhere

There were also little signs everywhere; I liked that touch. And there were beautiful lamps, even though we didn’t need them in the bright sunlight of Faerie during the day. The fairytale books with their pop-up paper castles and other little touches gave us something new to look at every time we turned.

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Book Fort!

“Bran, Bran! Look! It’s a book fort! Take a picture of that!”

“I already did, My Lady.”

He was way ahead of me.

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Happily ever after

Once again, I was caught by these signs. Up ahead, there was this amazing glowing door set in to a rock.

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Another “strange” sign

There was another “strange” sign in front of the glowing door (See what I did there?). I wanted to go through it, but Bran resisted. I won, of course, but when I tapped on the door, nothing happened. How annoying.

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Somewhat changed, but still recognisable.

The book forest had kept some of its old features, and this little ruin was one of them. There were new features here, of course—and weirdly, some of them seemed to have come from my Frog Prince dream a couple of weeks ago. How very odd. The moon on a stand was here, and the little figuring of the frog prince himself looking into a mirror. I just shook my head.

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Candy Apple Tree

I loved this candy apple tree, next to another one of those beautiful pop-up books. It was hard to keep all the little details straight: I could see I was going to have to come here again and again.

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Stump House

This little house made from the largest stump I’d ever seen, had also been a feature of the old forest, but the surrounding roses and trees were new. I guess the book forest’s expansion provided more room for beautiful things. And I’m never one to discount the appeal of beautiful things.

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Book bed and bridge

The little area with the bed made from a book and the table full of interesting things was till there, as was the bridge. But there were new book piles, even a large book arch.

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Then I turned around, and this little house took my breath away

Then I turned around, and this little house took my breath away. When I checked, it was empty. “It’s just waiting for someone small to move in,” I told Bran.

“Like… Clutie, for instance?” Brian asked. He was smirking.

“She’d never leave me,” I said.

“How wonderful for you.” The expression on his face said everything. Bran and Clutie… yeah; they don’t get along.

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Wow, look at that book arch!

“Wow! Look at that book arch!” I couldn’t wait to stand under it. “Bran, Bran! Take a photograph!” I shouted.

Brian smirked. “I thought you didn’t want me to make any more photographs of you, on pain of your selfie face,” he said.

“I changed my mind.”

Bran rolled his eyes.

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Rose petals, like a kiss

Now, sometimes funny things happen around you when you’re a Faerie Queen. In this case, it was hundreds of rose petals, just falling from the big book arch. So I blew them at Bran. To thank him for the photograph, of course.

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The Narnia Wardrobe

I call this the Narnia Cupboard. It’s been here since the Book Forest first sprang out of the surrounding woodlands. I like to think it was the first thing that appeared here, and maybe everything else sprang from it. It’s special.

But we were approaching where the paths converged, nearly back to the Book Forest’s entrance. I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. I only get to discover a place for the first time, once.

Until it remakes itself again, that is.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Seattle (Available NOW at  Ultra!)
Nails: Cazimi, August VIP Nails (You can pick this up at the Cazimi Main Store!, but only if you’re a member of the Cazimi VIP Group)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: AviGlam, Doll’s Eyes
Gown: Junbug, Pippa Gown (Available NOW at Equal10!)
Hair and Antlers: Analog Dog (natch), Doe (Available FOR JUST TWO MORE DAYS at The Gacha Garden!)
Autumn Necklace & Earrings: Bliensen & MaiTai, Augumn (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Book of Shadows Necklace: Maxi Gossamer, Soul Catcher Book of Spells
Rose Petals: Persefona, Floating Rose Petals 2

Location: Awenia, The Book Forest
There are so many things to credit here that I know I will leave some out and possibly put some in that aren’t shown properly in photographs. If you have questions or would like to know more about any item, just leave a comment here or message me in-world (Gwen.enchanted), and I’ll give you whatever information I can. Also, some of the items have stories around them, and I am not able to resist telling a good story, ever.

Book Paths and Forest Bounding Books: Una, Book Path. (This is now a group gift at the Una Main Store!) Una Daxter sent me this, I think because I played her Alexandra gacha about a million times at a Fantasy Gacha Carnival. It’s one of the coolest things anybody has ever given me, and I have blogged and photographed and credited it more times than I can count. It was absolutely the inspiration for the Book Forest, and I cannot thank her enough for that small gift. Although it’s been in every blog post featuring the Book Forest, I haven’t told this story before. I love it very much.
Forest Entrance Book, Brown Book Scenes, Leaf Book, Book Bed Fae Swing (with a tree): BananaN, all from Story Book Gacha except the swing. (You can find this at the BananaN Main Store!)
Tree Stump Chairs and Podium, Mushroom Seats, Tree Spirit With Books: Merchants of Dreams, Writers’ Place. This was a live auction item from the 2015 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire. It’s not available. It was given to me by the people who won the auction so that it could be placed at the Milk Wood Writers’ Colony, and there is a copy of it there in Gossamer Down so that anyone can use it to hold workshops and meetings.
Cabin, Doors of Durin, and Pink and White Pop-Up Castle Book: Spell, A Forest Tale Gacha, Cabin; Spell, Middle Earth Gacha; and Spell, Once Upon a Time Gacha  (You can find all of these at the Spell Main Store!)
Butterfly Tree with Faeries: Simply Shelby, Butterfly Tree (Available at the Simply Shelby Main Store!)
Lighted Book Tree: {e}lusive Designs, Book Tree With Lights. ({e}lusive is in between stores at present; however you can find their stuff at the {e}lusive Marketplace Store.)  Dema Fairport, who created this beauty, is a SL creator, DJ, and photographer. She was in my Visionaire class, and we’ve been friends ever since.
Lanterns, Wishing Well, and Bridge: Raindale, Maplemoor Gacha. (You can find this at the Raindale Main Store!)
Signs: All these signs are from the stunning 8f8 Storyteller’s Burrow gacha. (You can find this, and lots of other amazing stuff, at the 8f8 Main Store!)
Big Book Fort: Cheeky Pea, Book Nook gacha, Book Fort (You can find this at the Cheeky Pea Main Store!)
Ruins: Ionic, Sacred Ruins (Available at the Ionic Main Store!)
Décor in Ruins:
-Silver Moon on Stand:
Air, Frog Moon Silver (Available NOW atEnchantment!)
-Table:
Dust Bunny, Autumn Calling, Wooden Table (You can find this at the Dust Bunny Main Store!)
-Book on Table With Rose:
Konpeitou, Beauty and the Book w/Rose (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
-Frog with Mirror (on table)
Konpeitou, Frog Prince Mirror (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
-Alchemy Book Scene: Stormwood, Alchemy Book Scene!)
-Story Book on floor (and many other story books scattered around the forest): Divine Creations, Tell Me a Story (It looks like Divine Creations has some Real Life and isn’t active in SL at the moment, but you could probably find pieces of this gacha on the Marketplace.)
Candy Apple Tree, Fairy Tale Chairs, Table, Parfaits, Daisies & Ladybirds, Will-O-Wisp Tree, Glam Poppies, Persian Carpet Grass:  (Available at The Looking Glass’ Horizon Dream Region!) I’m a proud Looking Glass fan.
Stump House: Since 1975, Fairytale Garden House (Available at the Since 1975 Main Store!)
Magical Tree House: Kazza, Abode Tree (I couldn’t find this at their main store; it was an ultra rare from a fantasy gacha. You can find it on the SL Marketplace, but it’ll cost you.)
Roses: {anc} Sugar Rose Field (Available at the {anc} Main Store!)
Giant Book Chair and Wonderland Book Arch: Boudoir. (Available at the Boudoir Main Store!)
Trees: There are so many different trees in here I’d go nuts listing them all for you, but they’re from places like Rivendale, Harshlands, Keke, and Happy Mood. You can go to every single one of these places and find the most amazing stuff ever.

Thank you to everyone who previewed the expanded Book Forest and gave suggestions, reactions, or just was nice to me while I went through all my obsessive stories about Cool Stuff. These people include, but are not limited to: Mystical Edenflower, Nyza Stillwater, LLRiven, and Nathaniel Ballard.

Deer and Loafing in the Fairelands

It all started one night, early in the Great Fantasy Faire, when I and some of my favourite beings had arranged to meet at a favourite skin-painter and fantasy clothing and jewellery maker, The Plastik. I arrived first, of course (I’m always early, despite what they say about me). The atmosphere inside the store in the Realm of Chaddul Ro was festive, to say the least, and I found myself caught up in the happy clamour of the crowd. Eventually, I began to wonder where they all were, so I went outside to wait for them.

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I waited patiently near the store’s distinctive signpost.

I waited patiently near the store’s distinctive signpost. The crowds grew thicker, and I’m sure they simply didn’t hear me when I called their names. One by one, they came out to meet me. At this point, I realised they were all deer. OK, they were adorable, diminutive deer, but deer nonetheless.

“Are you aware,” I asked, “that you are all, um, deer?”

“Well, you’re one to talk,” said WrenDeer. “Look at you: you’re like Fairy Princess Tiara Deer.”

“I am not!” I retorted.

“Hate to break it to you,” said RivenDeer, “But I’m afraid it’s true. MoxyDeer, do you have a mirror on you somewhere?”

MoxyDeer had a mermaid crown and a fetching fin. “What, you think we actually carry hand mirrors around with us?” She made a face. “Talk to DyisiDeer: she’s got mirrored sunglasses.”

I had only to stare into DyisiDeer’s round sunglasses to realise what they were saying was true: I, too, was an adorable, diminutive deer. “Well, aren’t we all so cute!” I said.

KitoriDeer made a rude noise. It might have been a burp, or perhaps it was someone else’s voice. “I am not cute,” she declared. “I am possessed by the souls of my enemies, and I shall not rest until they are defeated.”

Nobody thought to ask her who her enemies were. We all decided we should just continue our plans to explore the Fairelands together. Perhaps we would find a way to regain our former shapes soon enough. Or at least find some good grass.

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WrenDeer, RivenDeer, MoxyDeer, GwenDeer, KitoriDeer, and DyisiDeer, preparing to take on the Fairelands, one meadow at a time!

We found ourselves in the Mystical Realm of Raven’s Perch.

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Here we all are, visiting the Lady of Roses in her ruby casket.

We all look a little confused. But the roses were mighty tasty.

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The Raven’s Perch Memorial was the next stop on our tour.

What a lovely setting. With nice, dewy grass and a topping of autumn leaves. Also, rose petals! These Fairelands were pretty nice!

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As I watched the mist rise out of the trees, I felt a wave of solemnity brush across my heart.

Soon, we would have to leave these beautiful dark meadows and move into another Realm. But where would our adventure take us next?

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On to The Hill we raced!

Soon we found a flock of goats to blend in with! No one would ever suspect that we weren’t part of their merry band of mischief!

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DyisiDeer! It is not OK to kick a fellow goat in the face!

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And KitoriDeer—is that a bloody knife in your mouth? You do not need a goat’s skin to be a goat! You must be a goat from the inside!

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Dyisi Deer soon forgot she’d tried to kick another of our goat herd in the face, or perhaps she was just chilling with the rams.

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MoxyDeer, clearly a learner by observation, shepherded her adorable unicorn toward DyisiDeer and the rams.

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RivenDeer, confused as she looks here, was actually making good headway with the ram on the left. Perhaps her Tesla Fairy impressed him.

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Of course, all bets were off when RivenDeer realised that tree bark was just as tasty as long meadow grasses. And did you notice she has two different coloured eyes? Weird, baby.

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Somebody told me once that herding *cats* was meant to be hard. “They know nothing,” I told Anastasia, my equally adorable pegasus companion.

At which point I noticed that DyisiDeer had acquired an anteater. Well… I guess we’d be great at picnics, then.

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And speaking of picnics….

Here’s DyisiDeer, KitoriDeer, and MoxyDeer enjoying an awkward family picnic photograph. Well. I think MoxyDeer’s unicorn was enjoying it—look at that cheeky goat plying her with food! MoxyDeer and DyisiDeer both look a little nervous, if you ask me. KitoriDeer, on the other hand, looks as if she might be explaining, in detail, how to eviscerate fellow deer and devour their livers.

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“DyisiDeer! Get out of that pumpkin cart!” I shouted.

“Fight the power!” DyisiDeer replied. “It’s my pumpkin cart now. And oh, my little green seeds, these pumpkins? You guys have got to taste these!”

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Elsewhere, MoxyDeer stalked rabbits.

Elsewhere, MoxyDeer stalked rabbits. I’m not sure she got that “herbivore” memo. Luckily, as we were all deer, tiny, adorable deer, we could understand the language of Forest Creatures.

“Help! Help!” cried Vanilla Rabbit. “That MerDeer is going to eat us!”

“Calm your cottontail,” replied Chocolate Bunny. “You will notice that her eyes are firmly on that pumpkin cart over there. Before they’re done, all the deer will be orange, and the meadow grass shall be ours!”

He wasn’t wrong. Let’s just say I was very, very glad to see a river between this realm and our next destination.

Except of course that we were all full of pumpkin by this time and maybe we shouldn’t have been in swimming for at least an hour, but we pretty much all curled up and went to sleep. I’m not sure how long we slept.

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When we awoke we were still adorable, diminutive deer. Only the members of our little herd had changed.

There was WrenDeer, and NateDeer, and GwenDeer and DyisiDeer. NateDeer fell asleep before we were done planning our evening. WrenDeer said she was going upstairs to get her PJs, but she never returned. To this day, we have never seen WrenDeer again. Nobody knows what happened to RivenDeer, either. Perhaps she was taken away to the Fairy Fairelands by her little Tesla horn ornament. That might sound naughtier than I meant it to be.

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NateDeer

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DyisiDeer

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WrenDeer

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GwenDeer

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Dyisi Deer looks surprisingly grandmotherly in this photograph.

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Then, like some gory horror-film magic, KitoriDeer appeared.

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Here we are, milling around, waiting to see what will happen next!

What happened next was KitoriDeer told us that if we didn’t get moving on to the rest of the Fairelands, she would personally serve our lungs to her demonic overlords.

Without checking to find out who her demon overlords actually were, we swiftly ran, as only a herd can run, toward our next destination: Dawn’s Promise.

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There is something amazing about the light in Dawn’s Promise.

I could almost forget that I was standing next to KitoriDeer, who had a knife that could cut me.

All my worries and fears were briefly resolved when AraDeer showed up in very sexy horns and wings. My heart leapt at the thought of leaping with him. I even left a big patch of flowers uneaten right next to me in hopes he’d come over and talk to me.

I say my worries and fears were briefly resolved because on AraDeer’s tail, KaeDeer arrived. Now, it’s true, she has very sexy horns and an equally sexy tail, but evil glowed red in her eyes, and her dark wings beat with the sound of two or three tortured souls. Don’t want to hyperbolise.

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Here we are, milling around a bathtub full of flowers. And by “milling”, I mean, “grazing”.

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We were at this point joined by the delightful MikaDeer, who sported a unicorn’s horn with a shiny star ornament on it.

Nevermind that KitoriDeer had now begun stalking the peacocks by the Dawn’s promise Special Hippie Tie-Dye Gazebo. At least I think that’s what it’s called. My adorable pegasus and I were just enjoying the wind on the meadow, while at the same time steadfastly avoiding KaeDeer’s dark but undeniably attractive gaze.

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And, my friends, we began to frolic!

Well, most of us, that is. At this point, I began to wonder if KaeDeer wasn’t just slightly upset that she wasn’t getting her soul quota or something, because that stare of hers was becoming downright unnerving.

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Speaking of KaeDeer, aren’t those beautiful horns?

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“Psst!” My Little Pegasus said (I had ceased calling her Anastasia). “I think KitoriDeer wants us to see her, er, rear end.”

“Luckily,” I replied, “We are blocking it with our rear ends.”

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KitoriDeer’s attention soon turned to the peacocks, though she was still rather too close for comfort. We…. pretended to frolic, but were actually avoiding her.

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AraDeer begins to stalk rabbits as well. I contemplated giving him that whole “herbivore” speech, but than I remembered how well it hadn’t worked on MoxyDeer, and I moved on.

Meanwhile, KaeDeer, well, grazed peacefully. I deerhmfed in her general direction. Some demon overlady she turned out to be!

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MikaDeer began the frolicking in earnest!

Look at her leap! Her lion’s mane is so attractive! If only she weren’t, well, leaping right into the path of KaeDeer. I wasn’t close enough to warn her, but I know she has street smarts: she is an adorable, diminutive deer, after all.

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Mika continued to frolic!

As she frolicked, I grazed my way unobtrusively across from where KaeDeer was grazing, as much as it unsettled me. AraDeer trotted round the front of the bathtub, perhaps to come to her rescue as well. Of course, it could have been the rabbit behind KaeDeer. We may never know the truth.

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When I saw KitoriDeer and KaeDeer beginning to converge upon MikaDeer, I did what I always do when I’m terrified or squicked.

“Kittens!” I cried. And lo! There were kittens.

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So. Many. KittyCats. KaeDeer’s murderous gaze never left me. I do not think she was happy about losing the chance to have MikaDeer for lunch.

But no deer should eat other deer for lunch.

I say again, herbivores, people! (I mean, deer!)

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It was like a kitten bar!

A kitten bar, where adorable, diminutive deer could come and fill their wells of cuteness.

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We enjoyed the Kitten Bar for a few more minutes.

Even KaeDeer eventually succumbed. “Oh, Em, Gee, you guys are so cuuuute!” she cried. “Fuck’s sake!”

Ah, my work here was done. It was time to visit The Rose.

In The Rose, everything is ordered. It is like a large, formal garden that you are allowed to shop in. Also, there is a nice grazing meadow up on the top of the Realm.

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As the land was ordered, so were we.

And, we acquired a new herd member! LilaDeer joined us then, wearing  beautiful dark glasses and a fetching cane (which he wore fetchingly in his antlers and might have used as a weapon, had we been in dire need).

We wished to graze the gardens until our bellies were full, but we felt ourselves becoming more and more ordered. Someone suggested we dance the CanCan, and at that point, I knew it was time to visit The Spirit Pool.

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In The Spirit Pool, there are many guardians.

Some of them have lanterns. And some of them have tentacles. It was interesting to see which guardian we chose. How odd that the majority of our now-growing herd chose the the Tentacle Guardian. Only KitoriDeer chose the Lantern Guardian. I don’t really know what that means. I found this whole segment very confusing. KaeDeer said it was something about wisdom. I said, “Let’s go for a swim.” Everybody else screamed, “Later! We want to sit on this Tentacle Guardian a little bit longer.”

Oh, fine.

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We really do look quite majestic don’t we?

Well, I mean, they. I’m not in this picture.

But.

We are all one herd. Therefore, I look majestic, too.

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LilaDeer looks especially majestic here, don’t you think?

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Finally, we jumped into the water and found a MerDeer’s paradise!

“Hey, guys!” LilaDeer and I called. “Come over here; it’s like a Mer birthday cake, and we’re the antlered candles!”

“Hey, guys?” I called. “LilaDeer, I don’t think they’re listening.”

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Nobody seemed as excited about the Mer birthday cake as LilaDeer and I were.

“DyisiDeer,” MikaDeer said, very gently and kindly, “I don’t know if you know this, but sand’s gonna hurt your stomach. You can’t graze down here.”

DyisiDeer released a stream of bubbles as she replied, “Well, logically I shouldn’t be able to breathe down here either, but, yeah. It’s magic, MikaDeer.”

MikaDeer impressed us all by surrounding herself with a beautiful bubble. “I can breathe logically!”

I was jealous.

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“Hey!” I shouted, despite the fact that I shouldn’t be able to talk at all, “Look at this stone! It’s got antlers, just like us!”

“Not all of us,” replied MikaDeer.

I deersighed. “DyisiDeer,” I said. “Grazing.”

“I totally have the munchies,” DyisiDeer said.

“Hey, let’s go on to the next Realm,” I said. “We don’t want a sick DyisiDeer. KaeDeer might– oh, wait. KaeDeer must have been sucked into the void.”

“There was a void?” asked LilaDeer.

“Yeah, totally,” I said. “Come on.”

And then, we were off to Mudrana.

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In Mudrana, I was a beautiful Fairy PrincessDeer, upon a beautiful lily pad!

Nevermind that there was a frog screaming at me. He was not a nice frog. Reluctantly, I left the beautiful lily pad and went to the big lily pad where everyone else was frolicking.

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OK, it kind of looks like we are lounging around doing nothing and I am trying to graze a lily pad. But we were totally frolicking.

“I don’t like it here,” said LilaDeer. “It’s wet.”

“I think we should go swimming again,” said MikaDeer.

Three deer said in unison, “No grazing underwater, DyisiDeer!”

Luckily for MikaDeer, the next Realm held many underwater treasures.

From Mudrana, we crossed the lily pads and dove into the underwater paradise of Opal’s Flight.

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In Opal’s Flight, there are many wonders.

Of course, being adorable, diminutive deer, we mostly stood around staring and being slightly confused. Except for KitoriDeer, who seemed convinced that the world should see her tail. “KitoriDeer,” I said, “Have you no shame?”

“Shame?” She cried. “Shame? Look at my tail! My tail is amazing!”

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Of course, it was really the underwater amphitheatre we were in that was amazing.

Unfortunately, as adorable, diminutive deer, we couldn’t find any really good adjectives to describe it.

“Do deer eat fish?” asked AraDeer.

“No,” said MikaDeer. “We are herbivores. Did you not get that memo?”

“I am,” LilaDeer declared once again, “tired of swimming. Can we please go somewhere hot and dry:”

“Happy to oblige,” I said, having seen the Map. “I happen to know that the next Realm is called Fallen Sands.”

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Snowman grazing!

In Fallen Sands, we frolicked until we were very tired, then found the most amazing gift: a snowman, half-melted, upon the desert sands.

As it turns out, snowmen are totally tasty. I kid you not. DyisiDeer perched upon the umbrella while the rest of us grazed the snowman. LilaDeer just laid back and enjoyed the sun. “More, more!” he said.

“I think the next Realm is some kind of city,” I said.

“Woot!” said KitoriDeer. “Garbage! Cities are full of the best stuff to eat!”

DyisiDeer wrinkled her nose. “And you thought I was weird for grazing underwater!”

“Is it far?” asked MikaDeer.

“Just around that corner,” I said. “It’s so weird how everything changes in the blink of an eye here isn’t it?”

Everybody nodded. Being adorable, diminutive deer, we are OK with not needing to restate everything in our own words. Also, we have small vocabularies.

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I’m sure AraDeer was about to deer kiss me in San Mora.

But something about KitoriDeer’s third eye just kept weirding me out.

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We staged this photograph.

The caption is, “No, mom, we totally aren’t going to throw a party with beer and deer of the appropriate and attractive gender while you are away in Deertopia for that couples’ rutting weekend.”

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Whoa! We were the captains of San Mora!

Not only did we have a party with beer and deer of the appropriate and attractive gender, we also found a car! While AraDeer and LilaDeer argued over who should drive, I envisioned myself as a sexy hood ornament. MikaDeer climbed into the back seat and took a nap.

I… KitoriDeer was very interested in the blood splatter on the pavement.

“I don’t think San Mora is a very wholesome city.”

“Doubtless,” replied KitoriDeer. “Garbage looks hazardous, though. Better lick up this blood before my hooves fall off from radiation poisoning or something.”

I stared at KitoriDeer. “What did you say?” I asked.

She repeated the sentence verbatim.

I was still confused.

Pirates in Egregore!

What joy to pretend to be pirates.  LilaDeer and I took the helm, although I’m pretty sure it was My Little Pegasus doing the actual steering.

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We were so in control of this ship!

AraDeer and MikaDeer inspected the supplies, while DyisiDeer undertook stewarding duties and maintained she was the only one smart enough to be the ship’s doctor. Suddenly, I was even more confused than usual. “Has anybody seen KitoriDeer?” I wondered.

“She said she had a special errand to run and that she’d be back soon,” replied MikaDeer with a shrug. “I wasn’t gonna ask.”

“Probably for the best,” AraDeer agreed.

“Why is she even in our herd, if we aren’t sure whether or not she’s going to murder us?” wondered LilaDeer.

“Because she’s in the herd,” DyisiDeer said. “We are a herd.”

“What does that even mean?” I really wanted to know.

“It means we stick together and stuff,” replied DyisiDeer. “And we find good grazing, keep each other safe from bad stuff, that kind of thing.”

“Is it wrong to be sort of homesick and sentimental for the every deer for himself kind of creed?” LilaDeer wanted to know.

“Yes,” said AraDeer.

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At that moment, we heard the sound of violins.

And over the sweet, beginning chords of a cheap karaoke track, KitoriDeer, drunkenly off-key, began to sing:

Every night, in my dreams
I see you, I feel you….

AraDeer swore.

“I hate that fucking song,” said LilaDeer.

I looked at DyisiDeer. DyisiDeer looked at me. As if compelled, we began singing along.

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KitoriDeer positioned herself on the prow of the ship.

LilaDeer looked at Aradeer. “I’m sure we could figure out these cannons.”

MikaDeer obliged them all by firing the cannons, except of course this is Fantasy Faire. So of course the cannons went off in perfect rhythm with KitoriDeer’s singing and DyisiDeer and my singing along and the karaoke track.

At one point, I shouted at AraDeer, “It’s karaoke! You have to sing along.”

“No,” said AraDeer. “I do not.”

“Help me set the ship on fire,” suggested LilaDeer.

“No setting the ship on fire!” screamed MikaDeer. “That would be wrong, and they’d never let us back into the Fairelands if we did that!”

Near, far, wherever you are (sang KitoriDeer)
I believe that the heart does go on (sang DyisiDeer and me)

“Goddamn it,” said AraDeer, and sang,

Once more, you open the door….

And then there was a loud bang and we found ourselves on the outskirts of Anansi.

“OK, I am not sure about this Realm,” admitted DyisiDeer, who had recovered from Titanic Karaoke very smoothly. The only thing I’ll admit was I was still humming. “There’s a freaky clown face up here somewhere,” she continued.

“I think we can avoid that,” said KitoriDeer. She, too, had recovered admirably. She was studying the map over my shoulder. I could feel the handle of her knife (yes, the bloody one) against my neck. “Don’t worry, I’m not gonna cut you,” she said.

“I wasn’t worried,” I said. I’m sure I sounded totally sincere.

MikaDeer made an affirmative noise. “Yeah, if we go around this way, we can avoid scary clown face. I think it’s all art back here.”

“Art?” AraDeer was interested. “Art is cool.”

And in fact, there was art everywhere. Adorable unicorn houses. Obtuse buildings. Several exclamations of, “What the fuck is that? I love it!” and “Seriously? Who puts teal and pink together?”

In the end, the very end, we found ourselves compelled to be art ourselves.

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Four little monkeys and six adorable, diminutive deer jumpin’ on the bed!

“Stop shoving!” said LilaDeer. “KitoriDeer, you are on my head.”

“You better be glad I’m not on your ass,” said KitoriDeer with a (more than usually) maniacal laugh.

“I’m GwenDeer’s blanket,” said DyisiDeer.

“You people just don’t understand how to be comfortable,” MikaDeer declared as she sat complacently in her pirate hat, hogging the blankets.

Monkeys chittered. They may have been advancing on us.

“I don’t think the monkeys are really happy with us,” I said.

AraDeer looked at the monkeys. He looked at GwenDeer, DyisiDeer, MikaDeer, LilaDeer, and KitoriDeer. “I’m on a horse,” he said.

We ended our tour where most Fairelands tours begin, in the Fairelands Junction.

I had a chance to get a photograph of MikaDeer in her spiffy pirate’s hat!

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MikaDeer also had a paintbrush.

“These trees are huge,” she said, with her mouth full.

“I think we are due at least one last bit of frolicking, I said.

“I agree,” said AraDeer.

“Frolicking is good,” said KitoriDeer.

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And there, in the safety of the Fairelands Junction, we frolicked.

There was serious frolicking. There was lighthearted frolicking. There might even have been cavorting.

And that, my friends, is the story of Deer and Loafing in the Fairelands, every word of which I swear is as true as possible, under the circumstances.

We would like to sincerely thank Vae of The Plastik for The Plastik Deera Gacha, the most fun we have had in many a month. Thanks are also due to Wren, who arrive at out initial deer meet up in a hat and inspired the rest of us to bling our deer. If you haven’t made the trip to The Plastik‘s Fantasy Faire Store on Chaddul Ro to play this gacha, you really should. Or, you know, you could always IM us in world; most of us have, erm, a few extras if you want some commons.

The players:
GwenDeer: Gwen Enchanted
DyisiDeer: Dyisi
MoxyDeer: Moxy Macbeth
KitoriDeer: Kitori Unplugged
WrenDeer: Wren Darling (Dickensiandreamer)
RivenDeer: Riven (lrriven)
NateDeer: Nathaniel Ballard (BenBold)
AraDeer: Arahaelon (Giovanni Tiepolo)
KaeDeer: Kae (Kaelis Ember)
LilaDeer: Lilacor (Zoasa Viper)

Locations:
Every single shopping Region in the 2017 Fantasy Faire, with the additions of Opal Flight (entertainment region) and Fairelands Junction.

Photographed and written by Gwen Enchanted. Thanks to the players, my best friends in Second Life and indeed in any Life, for joining with me for three nights of complete madness and mayhem as we took the Fairelands by stampede!

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

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Rage Quit?

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The Atrium was eerily quiet when I returned.

The Atrium was eerily quiet when I returned. I wanted it that way, or that’s what I thought. I was surprised to see four tiny unicorns—well, three alicorns and one unicorn, but who’s counting? I had a lot to think about.

See, I think I mentioned I was planning on leaving the Wylds. And I know myself well enough to know that if I spend too much time dithering over something, I just won’t do it. So… I mean, it wasn’t even a plan. I had to show up at the Mallorn Tree in the Wylds to facilitate the transfer of power, even if it was weirdly from Winter Queen Gwyneth to Summer Queen Gwyneth.

But everything about being back there made my stomach hurt. Clutie was bugging the shit out of me. Bran was openly hostile that he couldn’t have his new Nintendo Switch with him: I made him leave it on White Owl because I’ve seen an iPhone disintegrate inside of a day in the Wylds, and I really didn’t want to deal with trying to replace that. Seriously, his Zelda addiction is becoming a bit of a problem. And Wulfrich? He was armed to the teeth and had half a dozen Knights stationed in strategic places around the edge of the Mallorn dais. It was like he expected someone to attack us.

I did tell them what I was going to do.

Well, I suggested I might decide to retire from Queening. I decided a clean, fast break would be the way to go, because frankly, I could see Mornoth becoming more and more dependent on me. And you know, the sex might be great, but I’d far rather have a quiet night on the couch with Nathaniel than some dramatic otherworldly encounter at this point in my life. Maybe it’ll change later, but to be honest, being Queen is a little piece of hell, especially in a world where it’s all drama, all day, all night. I mean, seriously. It’s like a Mexican soap opera up in here. I had no idea how long it was going to take, or whether I’d have to go through some crazy sex ritual with Mornoth (not that I’d complain about that) in order to cut myself loose. I just figured I’d declare him King and get the fuck out of Dodge before the Seelie Nobility decided to fry me in butter.

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I already feel so different, and it’s only been a few hours.

I already feel so different, and it’s only been a few hours. Confused. Some residual anger. But beneath it all, I feel free.

Residual anger, yes. Because nobody saw fit to tell me that my daughter Bronwyn was apparently imbued with the spirit of the former Unseelie Queen, Faermorn. Which of course would be why the former Unseelier King, Gwythyr, kept following her all over the fucking universe. What a disgusting pair, those two. I mean, of course it was impossible to dislike Faermorn, blah, blah, blah, so seductive, blah, blah, blah, forget about any male fae  (or mortal for that matter) attention when she was within a hundred mile radius, blah, blah, blah, so wise, blah, blah, blah, such a grand and lovely goddess, blah, blah, blah, couldn’t fucking stay dead.

So basically, I said to Mornoth, “Ah, my friend, my Unseelie Seneschal. I come not to command you, but to abdicate. Surely you all know how to bring spring to the land without my ineffectual leadership and assistance?” Once he let me in on the truth about Faermorn possessing my daughter, I just lost it. “The spirits of Gwythyr and Faermorn have never wished to know peace. Their marriage wasn’t cursed enough: they had to curse everybody else—including my daughter? If it weren’t for those two, I’d blame myself: after all, I created this Realm, at least half of it. But every single time I’ve tried to smooth the way, every single time I’ve reached for even a season of peace, it’s war this and mayhem that and curses this and bad magic that and mad demifae queens—and I’m sure the Undying Gwythyr must have had something to do with that, aren’t you?—and I. Am. Done.”

I clapped my hands and brought down power from the Mallorn tree, and I pronounced Mornoth King of Faerie, and I kissed the fuck out of him, and then I just disappeared.

And you know what? I don’t think I’m going to miss all that drama. Seriously, if, years from now, you hear the words, “I’m so bored and I wish I were back in the Wylds fighting yet another pointless war,” you (all of you, anybody who’s reading this) have my permission to burn me alive. That at least won’t be boring.

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Of course, the moment I moved from the Portal Room into the lounge, my jaw dropped.

Of course, the moment I moved from the Portal Room into the lounge, my jaw dropped.

“Bran!” I shouted. “Why the fuck is there a feast laid out on my dining room table? Do not even tell me I am expecting visitors!”

There was no response.

“I am not kidding around here! I will put on a pair of stilettos just to put 1,500 psi onto that fucking Gameboy of yours!”

Oh, that got his attention. “It’s a Nintendo Switch, Your Majesty!” he called, presumably from the guest quarters. “I’m having a bit of a break in the hoovering and just trying to level up.”

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I gritted my teeth.

I gritted my teeth. “Why, Oh Seneschal Mine, do the guest room floors need hoovering?” Butter wouldn’t fucking melt, I promise.

Bran emitted a high-pitched squeal of glee; he must have got his level. Either that, or it was a shrewd ploy so he could put me off for a few more minutes.

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I turned away from the door. “Whatever,” I muttered.

I turned away from the door. “Whatever,” I muttered. “It’s not like this decision can in any way be changed or reversed, Bran!” I shouted back to him. “We are staying in White Owl where there are hot showers and microwaves and espresso machines and Nintendo Switches and the Internet!”

Just then, I hear the familiar chime that indicated someone was about to invade my space by appearing in the mirror that hangs over the feast table. Well, that was just great. Who the fuck could possibly be foolish enough to want to get in touch with me now?

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“Gwyneth? Love? We need to talk.”

“Gwyneth? Love? We need to talk.”

Oh, this was shaping up to be a great night.

Style Card:
Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: GA/EG, Barbara Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Blake (Available NOW at Uber!)
Eyes: Mesange, Manderley Eyes (Omega Appliers) (Available NOW at Lost & Found!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears, High Definition
Skin: Lumae, Misty, for GA/EG Barbara Bento Mesh Head (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Hands: Vista, Bento Prohands
Crown: Olive, The Joanna Crown (Available NOW at The Loot Box Event!)
Clothes: Pink Rayne, Esmerelda Skirt and Top (Available NOW at Inspiration SL!)
Belt: Sweet Poison, Alanna Belt
Shoes: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots

Scenes:
Portal/Throne Room:
Tiny Alicorns/Unicorn: Jian, My Lil’ Equine (Available NOW at The Loot Box Event!)
Grass: Garden of Dreams, Grass Type A
Bench: Elysium, Fridtjof fantasy bench
Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain

Lounge:
Feasting Table: Noble Creations, Antique Dining Table and Chairs (Available NOW at The Secret Affair!)
Candle Table: Second Spaces, Frozen Elegance
Hearth: {e}lusive design, Fireplace
Knicknacks: O.M.E.N., Fairytale Villains
Tree Artwork: Lybra, Quasi-The Tree
Magic Mirror: Black Light Studios, Star Mirror
Photo of Nathaniel Ballard: Nathaniel Ballard, Portrait at Desk

Atrium: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never rage-quit (I mean abdicate!) without it!

elusive-logo lumae-logo    mesange-logo-noir    [NC] - Noble Creations - LOGO

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!

h021017   1deathrownewlogo   7ds

The Farthingdale Landing

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The Gypsy Davey:

The lads had already set up the fortunetelling tent and card stand, and of course my vardo, before I arrived. I’ve been travelling, you see, which is a large part of what I do… well, that and wooing women, of course. We are all of us bound by our stories, and in many ways, although I am a bit of a legend, I am the same as the next guy.

You may think me arrogant. Feel free. Over the past years, and for centuries before that, I have whistled and sung, taken care of the lads and the family, and so now, at least for a little while, I’m content to let them take care of the logistics. I’d lingered too long in a lush forest land with another in a string of beautiful mortal women. Sometimes I think I find them as irresistible as they find me. But when the message came through that we were setting up for the Farthindale Mabon festival, I felt called back onto the road. Our last kiss was something to remember.

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The portal was what I’d expected.

The portal was what I’d expected: they never put these things in the middle of town. It was nice that there was a pub right nearby, though at first I questioned the lads’ decision to place the vardo right next door to it. When I saw the lay of the land, I realised they had chosen the only place that was suitable: outside Farthingdale, there’s nothing but forest and huts and some ruined castle about a quarter mile down a narrow track through thick forest.

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I took a few minutes to inspect the premises.

I took a few minutes to inspect the premises. Good, good— the lads will have to put a rug in that tent, though: don’t want the town ladies to get their dresses all mucky while they’re talking with the fortuneteller or the Aged Sage (that would be me, in a turban).

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The vardo was decently appointed.

The vardo was decently appointed: I like a spartan setup inside, just a bed and a couple of places to sit, perhaps a bookshelf, something to spend time with when I’m not working or supervising. This event goes on for a full fortnight, so it’ll be important to me to have some kind of refuge. Once again, I wished there were a place farther outside of town, but the proximity to the business could only be a good thing.

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I might be too old for this shit. And I’m certainly not dressed for it.

I might be too old for this shit, and I’m certainly not dressed for it, I thought, as I surveyed my tiny kingdom. I’d been to Farthindale before, for this festival, but it’s been years. And sometimes the grind of it all gets to me. I felt my feet itching already. While this was certainly going to be a lucrative job for us, I fancy a trip to the mountains, perhaps, someplace wild and cold. When we pack up here, we’ll look for mountains.

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Then, I realised I was being watched.

Then, I realised I was being watched. Or possibly that there was something for me to watch; these things are never clear to me, even after all these years. Across the green from me, at the sole table outside the pub, sat a woman cradling a mug of what smelled like very grotty coffee. Well. Of course I had to go over, introduce myself, that sort of thing. She wasn’t a looker, but she had the kind of hair that I wanted to put my fists into right away. Best save that for after the introductions, though.

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I always keep my distance, at first, particularly with one who looks so wary.

I always keep my distance, at first, particularly with one who looks so wary. Or possibly weary. Or possibly both. Of course I introduced myself with a smile, though I didn’t do that thing I do. Time for that later, assuming things got off to a good start.

Her name, it seems, is Diane. Or Katrina. I was confused on that detail.

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She looked tired, and cranky.

She looked tired, and cranky. She complained about the coffee. She had the jaded air of someone who’d seen a few tragedies. Still, she looked me over speculatively. She explained she was between jobs, looking for work. I countered that while we only hire family, there would be plenty of market stallholders looking for help in the days to come, and I knew there was an herbalist in town who was looking for pre-festival help, mixing poultices and such.

Her reply was that she didn’t know much about plants and she seemed far more interested in drinking than working, to be honest. I speculated (to myself, of course) that what she really wanted was some sort of position where she would have to do very little and could spend most of her time sleeping, fucking, and drinking. I say fucking only because she continued to appraise me. Her air was almost predatory, and I did wonder a bit what sorts of things she got up to when she was less sleepy.

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It finally occurred to me (I am such a genius) to ask her what she did for a living.

It finally occurred to me (I am such a genius) to ask her what she did for a living.

“I’m a fairy godmother,” she replied.

Well, that was a first. A coffee-addicted, cranky, not-a-morning-person, fairy godmother.

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She obliged me by showing off her wand a bit.

She obliged me by showing off her wand a bit. No pun intended, and if she’s got that kind of wand, we’ll have to renegotiate our budding relationship. It was impressive. She told me she could make it rain as well, and I asked her nicely not to.

I whipped the grey silk scarf out of my coat and twisted it into my fortuneteller’s turban. Women love a guy in a turban. “Why don’t we go and read your fortune?” I suggested. It wasn’t just an excuse to get her into the dark tent: I was actually curious.

She said sure, but advised me to skip the bit about the tall, dark stranger.

“Madam,” I said, “am the tall, dark stranger.” I made her laugh.

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Of course, I cannot reveal what took place at the fortunetelling table.

Of course, I cannot reveal what took place at the fortunetelling table; that would break client confidentiality. But we did speak of her future, hazy though it might be, and of her next fairy godmothering placement.

I asked her to meet me for a drink later, in the possibly misnamed “Fair Maid” pub.

Her reply was teasing. “If the drink is better than this so-called coffee,” she said, “Perhaps I might.”

I laughed, because from the smell of that coffee, it would be hard to find anything worse. I think she will meet me for a drink. Perhaps I’ll enjoy being so near the pub just outside of town. I think the pub just outside of town is where all the good stuff happens. More accurately, for the next fortnight it’ll be the pub where the Gypsy Davey makes all the good stuff happen.

Style Cards:

The Gypsy Davey:
Body: Slink
Head: Catwa, Justin
Hair: No Match, Yes!
Ears: Mandala: Steking Ears, Season 5
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Judas, Smoked (Omega and Slink appliers, all available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Clothes: LUXE Paris, Leather Jacket, Shirt, Tie & Pant (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Shoes: FATEstep, Anthony Boots v2

Diane/Katrina:
Hair: Analog Dog, Tantrum
Skin: Body & Soul, Lady Farah
Eyes: IKON, Sunrise Eyes
Shape: Atea, Marla Middle Aged Female Avatar (modded)
Dress: Floor Candy, Ava
Character Concept, Story & Dialogue: Nathaniel Ballard

Environment:
Town: Death Row Designs, Andolys—Belle’s Town
Stone Wall: Stormwood, Cobblestone Wall Kit
Tree Gate: Sweet Revolutions, Sylvan Tree Gate
Fortunetelling Tent: Ison, Fortune Tent (Purple)
Curtain: Maxi Gossamer, Shimmer Bead Curtain
Fortunetelling Sign: Sways, Fortunetelling Display Board
Fortunetelling Table: Magic Happens by Monavie, Magick Reading Table (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Vardo: Trompe Loeill, Tiena Caravan, Sylvan
Tarot Stand and Fortunetelling Machine: Kei’s, Rustic Tarot Stand; Kei’s, Fortune Teller Machine
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Pub: Death Row Designs, Dangarnan Tavern 1
Pub Sign: Lost Junction, Port Town Signs, The Fair Maid

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. The Gypsy Davey never takes a two-week gig in the middle of nowhere for a raucous Mabon Festival without it!

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