The Big Tea

Well, it finally happened. Her Majesty, Queen Gwyneth, Mistress of All She Surveys, had one of her people invite me for a morning tea in the Remembrance Garden.

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Welcome, she said.

“Welcome,” she said, as if it were the most natural thing to be meeting up like this, after all this time. “I know I have promised you a face to face meeting for some time. In that time, I’ve had a lot of things to contend with, and that’s one of the reasons why I simply had you released from the Faery Realm in the Wylds. It had been too long.”

“I’ll say,” I muttered. “I hope you will forgive me for not using all the honourifics and proper forms of address, Gwyneth.”

“Under the circumstances,” she replied, “I think that’s quite understandable. Fenella. Fen.”

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Oh, I did not trust this woman.

I could feel my lips tightening. “How can you even call me that, after what you did to me?” Oh, I did not trust this woman. “You kept me a prisoner. That fucked with my livelihood. A livelihood I had to take up when I was catapulted from our home Realm into  whatever this is.”

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I know it must feel strange

“I know it must feel strange, for this to have waited so long,” Gwyneth said, “but in that time I’ve been busy building a new Realm after having had to abdicate the old one, putting together Awenia, so to speak. And I haven’t left other things out. I’ve searched, now that I have the Internet again, for Richard. For Emma.

“And what about Kevin?”

“Fen, I don’t think he made it,” Gwyneth said. “There was so much blood.”

“I don’t think any of us made it,” I said flatly. “I think we all died and were somehow transported. How else would you explain any of this?”

“Come and sit,” she said. “Let’s have some tea and discuss all of this— or as much as we can possibly get through in a couple of hours, OK? And then, then— I have a proposal for you.”

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Fine, I said.

“Fine,” I said. I came here for tea: might as well have some tea.

“I didn’t know what to do,” Gwyneth said, probably anticipating another angry question from me. “That’s why I’ve waited so long. I didn’t have anything to offer you, any information, any idea of what happened. I had nothing to give you that you’d have valued.”

“And you do now?” I drummed my fingertips on the table.

“What my adoptive Father said to me was that I could never have gotten to the Realm we were in, this series of Realms, without already having Faerie blood in me. I think that has to be the same for you; otherwise you’d have perished.”

Perished?” I snickered. “Who even says that?”

“Hello? PhD in English?”

Then we both laughed, and for a few seconds, it felt like it always did; like we were the best friends in the world and this was just another morning-after tea. And then, there was an awkward silence.

I broke it, finally. “So, you think Richard, Emma, and Kevin might not have had any Fae blood in them.”

“I don’t know what to think,” Gwyneth said. “I remember, not long after I first crossed into Jasper Cove, starting to receive some odd photographs; one was of Richard and me kissing.”

“But that had just happened, before we left the LARP,” I said. “How could you have a print out of something like that?”

“I don’t know,” Gwyneth replied. It felt heavy in the air.

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She’d heard nothing from the others.

“I’ve heard nothing from the others,” she admitted. “Not even a peep, not the slightest indication that they were out there. So, when I finally realised who you were—do you remember that awful radio show?—I had to keep you. I told myself I’d explain it to you, that if two of us were together, we might draw the other two—three.” She hastily corrected herself.

“You really think Kevin didn’t survive.” I looked down at my left hand, the one with Kevin’s ring on it.

Gwyneth leaned forward. “I don’t know,” she said. “I just don’t know.”

I considered.

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that like attracts like.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that like attracts like,” I said. “Somehow, no matter where I end up, other svart alfar find me. And for whatever reason, when I was so confused and upset and everything was going wrong, I ended up on your altar. What’s to say the others won’t, eventually, as well?”

“It’s been years,” Gwyneth said. “Then again, it had been years for you as well.” She rested her elbows on the table, put her chin in her hands. Such a Gwyneth-like gesture. I almost liked her for a minute there. “OK,” she continued. “I have a proposal for you.”

“Should I be scared?” I asked.

“I don’t think so,” she replied. “Awenia will open to the public soon—well, soon is a relative term—and I’d like you to stay here and help Wulfrich with security.”

“Captain Wulfrich?” I responded. “From the Wylds?”

“Yes. He’s a loyal sort,” Gwyneth said. “If what you say is true, like attracting like and all, let’s stick together. Let’s make our story public. Maybe we’ll get some bites if we put out a line with bait.”

“Public?” I said. “I know something happened and the Veils have fallen, but really?”

“Oh, good,” Gwyneth said. “You know about that.”

“Wasn’t hard to deduce,” I replied. “One day I’m operating under cover of secrecy, every Realm a potential landmine, and the next day government agencies are fine with hiring me and I’m allowed to be me, at least some of the time.”

Gwyneth shook her head. “I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for you.”

“No, you can’t.” My right hand clenched reflexively into a fist.

Svart will always be welcome here,” Gwyneth said. “I don’t have any illusions about anybody being more evil than anybody else, except in some isolated incidents where a being is more selfish and justifies horrible things more easily than most others. We are all the same, and the public must learn to see us as such.”

“So you put me in a position of some authority, and people will think you’re amazing and open-minded,” I retorted.

“So you stay here, you and I do some magick on the side, and maybe we scry Emma or Richard. Or Kevin.”

“Will you stop talking about Kevin as if he’s dead!” I couldn’t take it any more. “I’ve never taken this ring off, you know.”

“I suspected,” Gwyneth said. “So, do we have a deal?”

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I stood up.

I stood up. “Reservedly,” I said, “we have a deal.” Then I whistled for Harris (yes, I call the dark unicorn Harris), and I just rode away while Her Smug Majesty stood there agape.

I turned away as Fen, or TAC, or whatever I am to call her, rode away on a unicorn of all things. As if life couldn’t get any weirder. Then, I climbed the stairs of the Serenity monument.

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Halfway up, I stopped to think.

Halfway up, I stopped to think. What if she was right about all this? Could we find Richard, Emma and maybe even Kevin? I shook my head. Probably too much to ask for.

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Hope.

But, if there’s any one thing that’s gotta me this far in my unbelievable and fantastical life, it’s Hope. I shall hope.

Style Cards:

The Amazing Catwoman
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Lulu
Skin: The Plastik: Elvenne Skin, Charcus
Ears: Illusions, Sylph Ears
Hair: Truth, VIP Gaea
Clothes: Noble Creations, Mama Erzule (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!) (includes hat!)
Eyes: Seydr, Versicolor Eyes, Autumn (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Necklace: Rozoregalia, Lezato
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

Gwyneth
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Monday (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears HD
Eyes: Seydr, Versicolor Eyes, Druid (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Gown: Senzafine, Elswyth (Available NOW at We Love Role-play!)
Hair: Truth, VIP Gwen
Head and Chest adornments: Bauhaus Movement, Susanne Set

Environment
The Serenity Monument: Kaelis Ember, Find Here Amenity
Tea Set: Trine Epiphany, Artisan Tea Set, Summer
Ground Cover: The Looking Glass, Harmony Garden Daisies (Available NOW at Swank!)
Tea Table and Chairs: The Looking Glass, Harmony Garden Tea Time (Available NOW at Swank!)
Bounding Trees (with birdhouses): Harmony Garden Birdhouse Trees (Available NOW at Swank!)
All Poses from The Black Tulip
Facial Expressions Created with Lelutka AXIS

 

 

 

The Gypsy Davey’s First Awenian Tour

That makes it sound as if I am going on tour in Awenia. The Author is a bit florid with language today, methinks. (Really? I would never say ‘methinks’.)

No; the fact is, I’d heard through the grapevine about what Queen Gwyneth is doing with Awenia, and despite the fact that we are no longer… well, you know… I still like to check up on her.

She’s made the entry point for Awenia’s faerie in the big dancing square—at least, I hope that’s what it is—and although parts of it remain unfinished, I think she’s done a really passable job so far.

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Her Majesty has done a passable job so far.

I was pleasantly surprised, really. I guess in the standard stereotypical view of Queens, Her Majesty isn’t exactly a ‘detail’ person. So the fact that she’s concentrated on getting the big picture worked out first and is obviously waiting to concentrate on the little bits and bobs—or perhaps getting her many minions (not the yellow kind) to do that for her—makes a kind of sense.

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View from the Dancing Square

Here is the view from the Dancing Square. Now, I notice all kinds of little things, but as you can see, the big trees are all in, and the landscaping has been done. Of course, she’ll eventually add some ground cover and possibly some smaller trees, but structurally it looks passable to me. And yes, ‘passable’ is a compliment as far as I’m concerned.

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I’m glad she kept the music shop.

I’m glad she kept the music shop: it seems to be one of the only features of the previous faerie incarnation that has held on. Now there’s even a little stage propped up on a green near the shop; presumably she will sponsor some performances there—or the music shop will, I guess. I recall there also being a small stage setup inside the shop itself; I wonder if there’ll be differences between the kinds of acts that get booked for one or the other. Something to think about.

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Of course, they’d never book me there.

Of course, they’d never book me there. The stampede of women would be unmanageable, given the relatively small size of the green and of Awenia Town itself.

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So… where to next?

So… where to next? I ambled down the High Street, passing by a couple of shops and a couple of residential buildings, until I got to the end, where one can turn a corner and find themselves in such unsavoury places as the offices of FaeWatch (how could she allow that rag to have an office in her Realm?), a psychic (obviously not a proper Gypsy psychic), a craft store (seriously?) and a pub, which is more like it. But it was the scene across the wide farm-facing street that caught my eye.

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Now this? This is a kissing tree.

Now this? This is a kissing tree if ever I saw one. It’s too bad the Faerie Realm is almost deserted at the moment: I can imagine just standing here and, you know, whistling or singing. I could collect dozens, maybe hundreds of kisses in the span of an hour. Perhaps I shall suggest a Gypsy Davey Kissing Station for a village féte or something.

This little park was truly lovely. It has everything one needs for a good park: beautiful flowers, trees, an ancient structure to bound it from the nearby light forestland, and of course restful benches.

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Restful Benches

I can imagine myself, having taken off my coat and letting my shirttails go where they will, reclining, just enjoying the breeze. Hm… I probably need a book here to look more legit, but let’s be honest—I don’t think I even own a book. I’m a lover, not an intellectual.

Ahh… I ended my reverie, as another detail caught my eye, this one completely silly.

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The Line Forms Here, Ladies!

Why of course my castle is “This Way”! Ignore all those other signs.

The line forms here, Ladies!

Style Card:
Body: Signature Gianni
Head: Catwa, Skell Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Brent (Brent is this month’s group gift for men at 7 Deadly s{K}ins! You can pick it up at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Ears Dairon
Eyes: AviGlam, Dramatic Eyes
Clothes: Noble Creations, Prince Lawrence Outfit (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Avatar Bizarre, Crowley Boots
Hair: No Match, No Offence
Hairbase: Unorthodox, Good V2 Hairbase

Location: Awenia Faerie
Kissing Tree: The Looking Glass, The Kissing Tree (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Thisway Thatway Tree: Titans, Thisway Thatway Tree
Bench: Raindale, Heathergate Bench

A Little Prophecy

Not a full day after I had that weird dream about the talking frog, Bran informed me that we’d received an invitation to the latest theme event for one of my favourite off-Realm faires, Enchantment. And you’ll never guess what the theme is! OK, probably you already guessed, given the title and lead-in here. It’s The Frog Prince. Now, obviously there was going to be lots of fun stuff at this event, so I grabbed Bran, and off we went.

Whoosh! Of course everything there was beautiful. And I might have almost blown the Royal Budget, but when you’re the Queen everything works out for you in the end, so I didn’t worry too much. Weirdly, one of the things I found was a beautiful gown from Silvan Moon Designs. Well, there’s nothing weird about finding a beautiful gown from there…. but it was weird that it exactly matched the dress I’d dreamed about just the night before. Sometimes, my mind astounds even me.

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Into the Ruins I skipped!

I also found this stunning dress from Noble Creations, and a nice new crown from Bauhaus Movement that’ll be lovely for autumn, assuming it ever gets here. Helpers were on hand from two of my favourite hairstylists, Analog Dog and No Match. Also weirdly, the new style from Analog Dog was exactly like the one in my dream. Of course I made a deal to have Queue (we’re totally on a first name basis now!) come round to the castle and plait my hair for me sometime in the near future, but once I got the extensions from No Match in, I knew I’d have them in at least for a week. Unless I get bored…. you know how it is.

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The Ruins

As Awenia reshapes itself around me, little nooks and crannies are always springing up. This one is built around what appear to be the ruins of an old church, or maybe a monastery. That’s odd in and of itself, since you don’t find many Christian-style churches in Fae lands, but you never know about the history of a place. I also know that many of the demifae like to reclaim lands like this for their own purposes, so maybe that’s what happened here. I loved the little benches; their maker’s mark says they come from Raindale, which doesn’t surprise me at all: I’ll have to find out who sourced those. I recognised two trees as obviously being from Sharni Azalee’s beautiful nursery in The Looking Glass realm: one of them looks just perfect for stealing kisses with Nathaniel when I bring him here later to show him the Ruins. I think he’ll like this part of the Realm. That’s if I can get his attention away from his ongoing Words With Friends games. I swear, for someone to whom technology is completely new, he’s caught on very quickly. Of course, he still describes it as “the library in my trousers,” so maybe we do have a little way to go there.

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Bran made me pose like this.

Bran made me pose like this, because he loves the extensions. Here, they are still new so the ends look shiny and perfect. He’s another one who’s embraced technology wholeheartedly. I still can’t get Clutie to log in to the castle computer system, but she says that’s because they don’t make hardware in her size. I just don’t argue with her about it.

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Royal Dress, by Noble Creations

Then, he wanted to get another shot of me in the beautiful Royal Dress by Noble Creations. He still wasn’t happy that all the sleeve detail wasn’t showing, so he had to take like five more photographs. If Bran had been raised in a more modern Realm, he’d be a fashion photographer, for sure. He really has an eye for it.

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A little closer.

“Now, let me get a little closer to you, Your Majesty,” Bran said. “I want to make sure we have a nice shot of that beautiful crown.”

“Did you know,” I said, trying not to be too self-conscious, “that Bauhaus Movement included this necklace as a gift with the crown? I have no idea how they afford to do that.”

“I guess the best designers just know their markets enough,” he replied, though I could tell he wasn’t really thinking about it too hard.

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I really did wonder, though.

I really did wonder, though.

Bran cut into my thoughts. “Oh, yes!” he said. “Look at those slashed shoulders!”

I swear, any minute now I was expecting him to tell me to Work It, Baby! or something.

“Just get a nice photo of my face, and let’s stop?” I asked. “It’s hot, and this dress is getting prickly. It’ll be great in October, though.”

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Portrait

Bran obliged.

“I want to remember this skin paint from 7 Deadly s{K}ins,” I said. “It’s called Focus. I could use a little more of that in my life.”

And would you believe he laughed? He caught himself when I mock-glared at him. “Well, far be it from me to contradict you, Your Highness.”

“I’m finding a frog and putting it in your bed!” I said.

He shuddered. “We’d better get home, then,” he said, “so I can make you forget about all that with an exquisite lunch. Fresh salmon today, with couscous and vegetables from Clutie’s garden.”

“Mm, Clutie does have a way with aubergines,” I said. “Which reminds me to get you a recipe for baba ghanoush.”

Off we went home. I should really spend more time at home: I haven’t explored the entire castle yet, and you know there are always surprises to be found here.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Focus (Available until AUGUST 18 at Designer Circle!)
Nails: Cazimi, Influence Nails (Available NOW at the Designer Showcase!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Gown: Noble Creations, Royal Gown (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Eudora, 3D Arianne Pumps (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Hair: No Match, No Spell (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Necklace and Crown: Bauhaus Movement, Frog Prince (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Eyelashes: Besom, Sassy Lash (Available NOW at Kustom9!)

Location: Awenia, The Ruins
Structure: Delirium + Lunacy, Ancient Temple
Benches: Raindale, Heathergate Bench
Ground Cover: Keke, Dotty Grass
Big Trees: The Looking Glass, The Kissing Tree (Available NOW at Enchantment!); and
The Looking Glass: Will-O-Wisp Tree (You can pick this up at The Looking Glass main store!)

The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 3

After Bran suggested home, I couldn’t get there fast enough. Of course, Awenia is a small Realm, so it’s not difficult to fly from town to the castle, particularly when there’s a great swath of empty land beneath you. I wonder what I’ll put there. Hm.

Once I’d changed clothes, Bran had one of the footmen bring me a chair and a table, with the promise of tea to come. The Senzafine dress was a little bare on the arms and the front, so I took my hair down and added some new gloves I found at Fameshed.

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“It’s hard to see anything from here!”

“It’s hard to see anything from here!” I called out. Could Bran even hear me from the kitchen? Where was he, anyway?

“Yes, Your Majesty,” came the reply from just a little ways away on the balcony below. How clever! Bran had set up a little temporary food and drink preparation area there. Given that the kitchens are actually about three floors below, I suppose that makes sense. “It’s because of the mists. We are so close to the mountains and so much higher than the landscape you are viewing that the mists stay here almost all the time.”

Great. Bran, my majordomo, is Elfsplaining atmospheric conditions to me. “I never had this problem in the treehouse,” I grumbled.

“Similar elevation, farther from the mountains,” Bran offered.

I looked across to the treehouse. I missed it a little bit. “No; I think it’s actually higher,” I said, thoughtful. In my head, I suddenly heard Valene‘s voice in my head. ‘You want to be where it’s the highest. That’s where the top CaitSidhe usually are.‘ I sniffed the misty but surprisingly not moist air. “Bran? Do you think we should move back to the treehouse?”

CLATTER

“What, Your Majesty? Dweezil, could you clean that up, please? Few more moments on the tea!”

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Comfy Chair

“Ooh, this is a comfortable chair, Bran.” I decided to ignore his obvious negative reaction to moving back to the treehouse. “Wherever did we get it?”

“You picked it out at Noble Creations,” Your Majesty, Bran replied without a hitch. “It’s only just arrived.”

“Well, I love it,” I said. I leaned forward to gaze into Awenia Town. I picked up small changes occurring: some brickwork added here, a new sparkle bush there…. “I wonder what I’ll put in between here and the town: right now it’s just an open field. The nursery and the farmhouse are all gone.”

“You’d mentioned expanding the Book Forest,” Bran said.

“Oh, yeah; I did,” I replied. “How’s that tea coming?”

“Slowly, I’m afraid, Your Majesty. You know magical prepared tea is not as good, and I didn’t think to bring the electric kettle up here.”

I sighed. “No matter; I’m thinking on… ooh, what is that?”

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Well, well, well….

Well, well, well. If it wasn’t my old best friend Fenella, also known as The Amazing Catwoman, for reasons I never could discern. Running about in a leather dress with a raven on her shoulder.

“Bran, looks like we have a TAC sighting!” I said. “See if you can send someone down and get her an audience with me, finally? We really do need to talk.”

“Is this the right time, Your Majesty?”

“We always ask that and it never is, which means that now is the best time for it,” I replied. “I’m tired of saying, ‘I’ll get to that when I’m less busy,’ and then having her disappear for another year.”

Bran sniffed. “Shall I send Clutie?”

“Gods no,” I replied. “She and TAC will hate each other. Send that new footman, the one from the restaurant. No; he’s a snob. Um, Send Dweezil and a couple of pixies. That ought to get her worked up.”

“Good as done, Your Majesty,” Bran replied. His voice came closer. “And look, here’s your tea!”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ferna (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studio, Elf Ears Dior
Eyes: Cazimi, Mandala Regular Eyes (Omega) (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Dress: Senzafine, Arabian (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Exile, Long Beach (Available NOW at Summerfest!)
Nails: Cazimi, Solids, Sea Sand (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Lipstick: Cazimi, Nude Matte (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Foot Jewellery: Curb! Laina Footjewelery
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar

Chair, Table, and Rug: Noble Creations, Noble Sitting Place (Available NOW on the NEW midnight madness board at the Noble Creations Main Store!)

Castle: Dreamy Castle, by Rivendale, designed by LRRiven. This continues to be one of my favourite castles ever, as it was built with living in mind! It’s so huge I haven’t decorated it all yet, but that gives me great opportunities to, I don’t know, buy more furniture….! 🙂

 

The Changing Landscape of Awenia, 2

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OK, so from time to time I get curious.

OK, so from time to time I get curious. And even though Bob (unicorns hate people names: I call him that to piss him off) and I have been having a great time frolicking around the great forest (more on that later), I decided it couldn’t hurt to check out what she is doing with Faerie. I mean, Faerie is my home too, even if I am a dark elf. So I glamoured myself to look a little more like those happy little light elves of happiness, and I landed in the remembrance garden at Awenia—I figured that was one place she wouldn’t change much, and I was right.

I’d barely landed before I was surrounded by black feathers, and this raven just landed on my shoulder and stayed there. I’m thinking of naming him “Go the fuck away”, since that’s the sentence I seem to say to him most. He hasn’t left yet. As I type, he and Bob are grousing over dinner and whether or not it’s acceptable for GTFA (I like the sound of that) to pluck out bits of Bob’s mane in order to line some nest or other, which they’re probably building together in the deserted little cave we’re calling home now, at least until she decides the forest needs to turn into something else. It’s summer; she’s at the height of her power, so gods know what she is planning here in the forest.

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The view, however, was very different.

The view, however, was very different. OK, so there’s a lot of empty space: I guess she’s not quite finished. But this town bit, that looks like it might end up being a fun place to hang out, at least when the crowds get so big I can get lost in them. I suppose I could contact Wulfrich and see about working guard in Awenia again, even though we haven’t spoken in yonks.

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Looking back at the remembrance garden

Here we are looking back at the remembrance garden. I have to say I love this drone I got for working my last job: it was a magical tech company in Nu Jyorck and they manufacture these amazing drones that fly around behind you. They’re completely silent because they’re powered by magic and not batteries, and they don’t make that annoying wind that so many of them do, again, because they’re powered by magic and not batteries, and they don’t need any moving parts to fly. Anyway, that’s how I took this picture; GTFA (it’s pronounced “Gitfa”) and I are just looking back at the garden. I’m wondering what kind of crap she’s going to put in here now that she’s moved the earth all around to create that windy hill path up to the garden. Of course, gardening isn’t my strong point, but I’ll be interested to see what she puts here. I mean, not that I’m interested. But I did sneak into one of her offices once and photoscan the plans for Awenia, so I do kind of know what she’s up to.

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It looks pretty good down here!

And, frankly, it looks pretty good down here. This big dancing/eating/whatever square is going to be a big hit with the tourists: they can lurk around the edges of Scary Faery Town and still tell their friends what an adventure they had. Of course, if they’re planning on staying here for more than one day, they’re SOL: there are two inns in town and they’re both right in the town centre. Maybe she’ll put something further out on the edge for the squeamish; I’ve got no clue as there weren’t any actual drawn plans with the stuff I … acquired. There were just notes and bits and bobs about what to tell this or that minister when they started asking questions. She’s got her husband doing all the paperwork, of course: that guy may actually be too nice for her. Not that he’d look twice at someone like me: I mean, look who he married. Miss Tall Bright and Seelie. Forget that short, dark bitch with the potty mouth and the extra long ears. Yeah. I’m a real winner with the menfolk: that’s why I get my own unicorn companion, folks.

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Nearly Full Dark

Anyway, it was nearly full dark when GTFA and I made it down to the town (that was a lot of walking!) so I decided to come back for a longer tour of the town/village/whatever sometime when it was more light. I mean, obviously  can see in the dark, but the iPhone is still pretty shite when it comes to imaging at night, and the drone’s not much better for all the magical extras it’s got.

Besides, GTFA suddenly started cawing his fucking head off like something was coming to get us both. So I headed back to the forest, which is where I am now, and I’m writing all this shit on my phone because it’s not like she thought to put in an electrical outlet for my MacBook Pro, is it? Luckily, my battery is powered by magic and gets an extra charge from the sun this time of year, so the phone isn’t about to die any time soon. For once, as I looked across the water, I missed the too-bright shores of White Owl Island. At least I could have charged the damn notebook there.

Hm. You know what I noticed? I noticed that Faewatch has an office on the other side of town. It’s closed at the moment; I’m guessing she ran everyone out of Awenia except her little minions when she started revamping the place. I’ll bet Cherish Gelato would love to get her hands on these photos…. and others I’ll take, when I come back tomorrow.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Lulu
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Ferna (in fudge) (Available NOW at The Chapter Four!)
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ear, Bane
Hair: Mithril Apothecary, Chamomile
Clothes: Noble Creations, Woods Queen (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Pauldrons: Storybook, Morrigan, Raven
Eyes: Anatomy, Meow Eyes, Neon Green
Necklace: Bliensen & Maitai, Luan
Shoes: Noble Creations, Roman Sandals (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Raven: Jian, Raven Collection Companion
Raven Feathers: Persefona, Floating Raven Feathers (black)
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife

Invasion of the Steampunk Cats!

It was a pretty ordinary Friday night, the sort of Friday night I spend in Awenia when Nathaniel has business in Mysthaven.

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Ordinary in that I was the last person out the pub.

Ordinary, in that I was the last person out the pub. But some of the brownies and the other Sidhe and I had got into a debate about — do you know, I can’t even remember, because it wasn’t important, even though it seemed vitally so at the time — and we weren’t afraid to drink an awful lot of mead while having this debate. We never are.

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I looked out across the flower meadow.

At this point, I’d said goodnight to everyone, sent them on their way, and then, completely by chance, I looked out across the flower meadow.

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Hey! You can’t park that thing in my meadow!

“Hey!” I screamed. Not my most sober or Queenly moment ever. “You can’t park that thing in my meadow!

I don’t know how I expected them to hear me through all that…. well, here is what I saw:

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Oh, HELLS no.

Oh, HELLS no. No way was a dilapidated airship setting down in my flower meadow.

Except, of course, it was.

Well, obviously I did the most intelligent thing ever. I stalked right the fuck over there to check it out.

Once the thing had settled down, I banged on the door (rather loudly, I admit — and it did make a satisfying clanging sound).

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Don’t get your panties in a wad: I’m comin’, I’m comin’.

A strong American accent came through the crack in the door. “Don’t get your panties in a wad: I’m comin’, I’m comin’!”

The door swung open to reveal a very large and, if I’m honest, ugly ginger cat. I mean, ugly is perhaps a strong word. He was ungainly, perhaps. Or maybe just unbeautiful. My search for adjectives notwithstanding, I just stared at him for a moment.

“Well never mind, then,” he said. “Forget that: it seems you’re not wearing panties at all, young lady.”

Oh, that was it. Ugly and cheeky? This cat was about to get a piece of my mind.

I drew myself up to my full height. “I may look like a young lady, O Ginger One, but I am also the Queen and ruler of this land, Awenia. And I would very much prefer that you not park an unsightly airship in my flower meadow.”

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The night wind picked up as another cat poked his head round the door.

The night wind picked up as another cat poked his head round the door. This one was black with eerie yellow eyes. “We heard,” said the black cat in a much better-modulated voice than Mr Ginger over there, “that Awenia was a new Realm we could come and explore and possibly find a home in.” She rubbed her cheek against the edge of the airship door. “We have a clan of sorts, and we search for the right sort of place to settle.” She looked up with her big eyes; I could have sworn there was an imploring smile there.

I thought for a moment. “Well, how many of you are there?” I asked.

Ginger shrugged. “See for yourself,” he said, nodding his head into the interior of the airship.

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Only nine?

“Only nine?” I said. “That seems a small number for a clan of cats.”

“Two of us are expecting kittens,” said the black cat proudly. “The black ones are all my children, except for that one lying on the floor: that’s my sister; she’s never been right.”

“I heard that!” yowled the floor-sitter. “You just don’t believe these kittens came from aliens!”

“No, darling; I do believe it,” said the black cat. “In any case, Felines and Fae work well together, do we not? And our initial survey of Awenia shows very few cats here. Why is that?”

I considered. The night wind was sobering me up nicely.

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I haven’t really given the matter much thought….

“I haven’t really given the matter much thought,” I said at last. “The truth is, I love cats and I’d love to have more cats about. But the fact remains you can’t leave this ship here. I have a little pocket universe we can stash it in if you are amenable to that.”

“Oh, pish-posh,” said Ginger. “For that matter, we’ve got our own. No need to come barrelling down on us like the Realm Police.”

I sighed. “I am the Realm Police,” I said. “We’re a small Realm, only just getting started, but I have great plans for us. Those plans could include you, if you like. Tell you what. You take the remainder of the night to look around the Realm, see if you find what you’re looking for, and in the morning we’ll discuss airship storage Is that all right with you?”

The black cat started purring her head off. I guessed that was a good sign. Of course, I didn’t want to insult them by offering them pets or treats, but when she butted her head against my hand, I couldn’t resist a little cuddle.

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Town’s that way, I said.

“Town’s that way,” I said. “Pub’s just closing so you’ll likely find food. Sheep and cattle behind the pub in the green, please don’t terrorise. We have a lot of birds, and I can negotiate a hunting schedule with you if you prefer live prey. Queen’s gardens in front of me; you’re welcome to roam there though you may find more pixies than anything edible. There are residences throughout, a nice book forest if you like to read, and my castle is on the opposite Realm corner. You never know what you’ll find there. I only ask that we meet again tomorrow, decide whether you’ll stay for a visit or a trial at living here, and work out what to do with the airship.”

“Agreed!” said the black cat, perhaps a little too quickly. “We are indebted to you for your hospitality.”

I frowned. “Hospitality is a right, not a privilege; there is no need to claim debt.”

The black cat wiggled her ears at me. “Different rules for cats, My Lady; different rules for cats. We’ll talk more tomorrow.” She let out a little screech, and the other seven cats came scurrying out the door. She and Ginger stayed behind to watch which directions they ran in; then the two of them went off in another direction entirely.

And they left the damn door open. Like a mug, I closed it behind them, making sure it wasn’t locked. I had a feeling this story would be continuing.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Java, in Marshmellow (Java was the Group Gift for May at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store. It should still be available there for another day or so!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Clothes: Noble Creations, Desert Princess (Desert Princess was at last month’s We ❤ RP event, and should be up at the Noble Creations Main Store soon!)
Hair: Tableau Vivant (in order of appearance), April I, Tempest, April II
Foot Jewellery: Astralia, Queen Legs
Circlet: The Plastik, Evenida Circlet
Wings: Naminoke, Rose Wings White

Airship: Death Row Designs, Steampunk Airship (Available NOW at Uber!)
Cats: Cica Ghost, gingers and light cats from the 50 Cats exhibition; black cats from the black cat family, all available at C I C A !)

Location: Awenia, just off the high street, sometime after midnight.

Greetings from Astrid’s Nemeton!

We’ve settled in to our digs for the duration of the Great Faire, in the intriguing Realm of Astrid’s Nemeton. It seems to be a mixture of Asatru and Druidic cultures. The denizens here are (mostly) friendly, although some of them have rather large teeth!

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Greetings from Astrid’s Nemeton!

We brought fae steeds, of course, as one can never be too sure what mounts there will be in these far-away and often strange Realms. I spent the first day of the Faire exploring our Realm on horseback: there was so much to see and do! It is possible to hire a boat and sail the waterways that marble the Realm throughout.

We are in a beautiful little house upon which a tree with iridescent leaves grow: this seems to be the style throughout the Realm. These houses remind me of nothing so much as the temple at Angkor Wat, even though those buildings are made of a different kind of stone. I never visited it, but I recall seeing photographs in some class or other at uni, or maybe it was secondary school: my old life seems to run together so much.

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Queue Marlowe did my hair!

Although I’m fortunate enough to be able to visit Queue’s Realm and have her do my hair from time to time, I always look for her braiding and styling booth first of all when we reach the Faire: there is nothing so wonderful as being able to enjoy the Faire in a beautiful new hairstyle and be able to tell people where I got it! She calls this braid style Janire, and I’m sure I’ve met the woman it’s named after somewhere or other. I don’t know why, but I have a strong, sharp memory of the taste of broccoli whenever I think of that name. Perhaps we had memorable broccoli together at some dinner or other? I do like broccoli.

As with all years, I will do my best to share with you, whether or not you can hop Realms as easily as we can, our experiences at the Faire. We’ve been so busy since the Faire opened on Thursday that I’m only just getting around to looking at the photographs I’ve taken. Luckily, the Faire has great wifi and I’m able to post right from our little house!


From Gwen: Co-sponsoring a Fantasy Faire region with LRRiven of Rivendale is such an honour! But it’s also a lot of work! Obviously, Riven as the region designer did so much more than I did, and Kitori Unplugged (aka Skeleton) tirelessly provided so many scripts that made everything Just Work, but the concept we created and the story we worked toward have been building for a year in one form or another. Indeed, we’re already thinking about next year! 

I’m hoping that for the next week I can partially relax, take in the Faire, and share many wonderful pictures and stories with you. Although these photographs were taken on Thursday just before the Faire opened, I’ve been so busy that this is the first chance I’ve had to post anything. 


Coming soon:

More from Astrid’s Nemeton
The Soundtrack of Erstwhile
A cubic *ton of things I haven’t thought of yet!


Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Lulu
Skin: Lumae, Elvi (Nylisa) (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Pools of Ethuil!)
Eyes: Banana Banshee, Faelynn (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Aetherea!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Noble Creations, Goddess Artemis
Hair: Analog Dog, Janire (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Falls of Hope!)
Headpiece: On a Lark, Gardenia Crown
Boots: !go!, Fay Boots Red
Horse: WaterHorse, Riding Horse, English WarmBlood
Horse Skin: Cinnamon, Celestial Pearl
Unicorn Mods: Jinx, Unicorn Set (Not new, but you can get it at the Jinx store in the Fantasy Faire realm of Tiny Town!)
Horse Tack: Aerith Tack FF18 (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Tiny Town!)

Location: The 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, Realm of Astrid’s Nemeton, sponsored by Rivendale and Gwen Enchanted, designed by LRRiven.

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