Awenia’s Peculiar Magic

It’s hard to believe I live in a castle now. Well, I live in a castle for the moment, at least until this internship is over and I have to go on to … to whatever’s next.

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Waking up in a fairytale

Right now, it still feels as if I’m waking up in a fairytale every morning. I’m sure that will change—even if, right now, I can’t imagine ever getting used to waking up in a freaking castle.

Anyway, that’s not even the point of this. I’ve been trying to perfect my image, my persona, for when Awenia opens to the public. The Queen is off on some recruiting mission; she’s trying to get more Fae to be part of Awenia’s staff. She wants to get them all moved in and settled into their roles before the whole place is teeming with tourists, as she says. I have a feeling it will take a while before we are at the “teeming with tourists” stage, but what do I know?

And again, that’s not even the point of this. Because I’ve been trying to perfect my image, I’ve been spending a lot of time wandering around Awenia. And I can tell you right now, it’s weird up in here. Stuff changes every day. And I don’t mean like, someone comes along and plants flowers.

I mean, like, a whole  building disappears overnight. Or sometimes just for a few hours. Small forests come and go here.

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Beyond the Queen’s roses

And today, beyond the Queen’s roses, a circle of stones appeared. Now, I am one hundred percent, bona fide pureblood Lios Alfar, but I’ve never seen a place where stuff changes like this. It’s like the whole place is made of some kind of magical liquid or something, and sometimes stuff just oozes into other …. no, that sounds pretty foul; forget I said it like that. I’ll work on a new metaphor.

Now, my home Realm of Cymrien has a lot of stone, but it’s mostly used for farm fences, shoring up shorelines (yeah, I know. We can’t always have perfect word usage), and the occasional large building. But wood is sacred to the gods, and Cymrien temples are made of wood. While I’m sure visitors from elsewhere would be amazed by some of our live wood temples, I’ve always been fascinated by monuments made of dead stone. Our templebuilders, despite some dissent in the ranks, won’t even use petrified wood for temples, because this wood has died. Many of us do wear jewellery made of petrified wood, however. But I’m getting off topic. Again. 

The point is, a freaking circle of stones appeared just outside the Queen’s castle. And I’d never seen one before, not up close anyway. I mean, there are some big stones up in the Fae Forest outside of town, but they’re mostly just single stones, or like three stones piled up together to make some kind of giant, peculiar table.

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I might have run toward the stones

I might have run toward the stones. OK, I did run. But who knows how long stuff will stay, and it was important to me to get close enough to at least take a selfie for Ma and Da back home.

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Stone Circle Selfie!

I used my drone to take this stone circle selfie. I love that you can see the Book Forest and the Awenia Treehouse in the background. I’ve not been in the treehouse myself yet, but the Queen tells me it will be a centre of diplomatic activity in Faerie, and also a place for her and her husband, Nathaniel, to get away from it all. She also says the views are great. I am looking forward to seeing it one of these days.

So, the stones. Well, they are beautiful. And the roses growing here are life-blood red, different from the roses so nearby in the Queen’s garden. Now, I’m not the most observant girl, me; but I am sure I felt some kind of presence inside the circle. It had a calming and peaceful effect, which is the same feeling I get inside of a live wood temple, which if you don’t know is a circle of trees planted just so. Their roots grow together, they are carefully tended so that their branches intertwine, and eventually they grow into a roof so well woven that it keeps rain out. Some of them are thousands of years old.

I will have to ask Her Majesty how such spirit can go into a material I always considered devoid of spirit.

Meanwhile, I think I’ll just spend a few hours lying on my back in this circle, smelling the grass, watching the changing shadows.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Gaia Bento Mesh Head
Ears: Swallow, Pixie Ears
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne Skin, Sunshula
Hair: Exile, Break The Rules
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Lizette Argent Wench Dress Set (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Rings: Yummy, Unicorn Rings
Shoes: Ingenue, Winifred Booties (Available NOW at Salem!)

Environment:
Location: Awenia, Faerie
Castle: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle
Roses: {anc} Sugar Rose Field
Stone Circle: Rivendale, Stone Circle (Available NOW as Rivendale’s hunt gift at the Fallen Gods 11th Anniversary Celebration!)
Treehouse in the distance: LAQ, Serene Tree & Windmill House
Poses: all from An Lar

 

 

The Ancient and Honourable Company of Fae Pirates?

So, after the trip to Helgen Francis, I thought I was done with this spate of weird dreams. It’s not as if nothing interesting has happened since then, either. The Book Forest has rearranged itself. I went off adventuring to Eclectica for the first time in ages. And, possibly coincidentally, there have been whisperings through the grapevine that The Gypsy Davey has been seen in Awenia. I thought I was safe. I thought I had finally gotten over the strangely vivid dreams that’d been plaguing me for months beforehand.

I was wrong.

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The Ancient and Honourable Company of Fae Pirates?

“The Ancient and Honourable Company of Fae Pirates? You have got to be kidding me.” The disembodied voice that had welcomed me to this Company (a company of one, it seemed, but more on that later) faded off into the distance. Then the only sounds were wind, the unending sounds of the sea rising and falling, and the chittering of a small purple dragonet who didn’t seem to want to leave me alone and kept hovering there near my shoulder.

“I don’t even like ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day'”, I muttered. “First person who says ‘Arr, Matey’ to me gets shanked. Or at least glamoured into a very small fish.”

This wasn’t a problem because apparently there were no other people. Perhaps the Company were all off doing some raiding. But as we seemed to be, well, becalmed (not terribly far from land, but still), my mind kept going to more sinister places.

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What if the crew had all been murdered?

What if the crew had all been murdered? What if I was sent here to help them, but I arrived too late? And of course, the same fate might be awaiting me.

The little dragonet chittered.

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What are you trying to tell me?

What are you trying to tell me, little fellow? I wondered. I may have even asked it out loud: it wasn’t like anybody would be making fun of me for inappropriately chatting up a dragonet.

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The Opposite Direction

I walked the length of the disturbingly empty ship to the stern, the bit that was closest to—well, some people might call it land: it appeared to be a building on an otherwise barren rock rising out of the sea. Still nothing. Even though I had no idea what the dragonet was trying to tell me, it chittered excitedly while looking in a completely different direction than I was.

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Where’d they go, Henry?

“Where’d they go, Henry?” I asked the dragonet. “You don’t mind if I call you Henry, do you? I’m Gwyneth.”

The dragonet made a chittery-scolding sound. Maybe he was trying to give me the location of the rest of the crew, assuming they existed. Maybe he just had bad associations with the name Henry.

“Of course, I can’t argue with this outfit, Henry,” I rambled on. “If I were actually going to be a pirate, even a dream pirate, I would totally wear something like this.” The dress with all its frills was a lot of fun, but I couldn’t decide whether my favourite piece was the leather thigh-high leggings or the strapped boots. It is, of course, a good thing that Fae Queens don’t actually walk on the earth; we hover a few centimetres above it as a rule. I haven’t put weight on my feet in years, and I think stiletto heels might just do me in. They are absolutely gorgeous, though. For a fleeting moment, I wondered why I didn’t have any weapons. “Aren’t pirates usually armed to the teeth, Henry? Maybe not Fae Pirates, hm?”

Once again, Henry chittered excitedly. I could only assume he was agreeing with my assessment of the pirate outfit.

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Glad

“I’m glad you agree with me, Henry,” I said. “We’d have had Words if you didn’t.”

Henry made a sound suspiciously like a burp.

And then, in perfect English, he said: “Your Majesty. The crew are marooned on that island with all the trees over there.” He used a wing to point. “You were the only expert we could get on short notice.”

Expert? I blanched.

“My name isn’t Henry; it’s Beauregard. You’ll need to pilot the ship to the island.”

I squinted. “Looks close enough to swim from to me.”

“Looks are deceiving, Your Majesty,” Henry—I mean, Beauregard—continued. “These are serpent-infested waters.”

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I have no idea how to pilot a ship!

“What? I’ve no idea how to pilot a ship!” I exclaimed.

“Well, the Navigational Owl has flown off, said something about mating season,” said Beauregard.

“Navigational….owl?” I asked.

“Sure; all AHCFP ships have one,” replied the dragonet.

“AHCFP,” I said.

“The Ancient and Honourable Company of Fae Pirates?” Beauregard sighed. “You recall I welcomed you to our numbers when you arrived on board.”

“That was you?” I asked.

“Of course,” he said. “I have different tones of voice for different purposes. I’m not two dimensional, you know.”

“I never said you were!” I envisioned that this argument could go on like this for some time, so I just sighed and approached the large steering wheel.

After that, it all gets muddled. I think we were entering some kind of vortex where we were Sure To Drown when I finally woke up.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Seattle (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Rings, Claws, and Dragon Bracelets: RealEvil Industries, Dragon Rings
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Eyes: Zombie Suicide, Starry Night Eyes
Clothes: Silvan Moon Designs, Buccaneer Celeste (Available on 4 September at We Love Role-play!) —includes dress, leggings, boots, and hat
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Nori (Available at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar
Subdermal Heart: Ama, Forever Yours
Wings: The Plastik, Maliana Bento Wings
Septum Ring: Venge, Kelpi Nosering
Beauregard (or Henry) the dragonet: Hextraordinary, Dragonet Companion (rare!) (Available NOW at The Arcade Gacha!)

Location: Athan Selidor, Beyond The Island
Poses: All from Frolic Poses
Lighting: LumiPro
Facial Expressions: Lelutka AXIS

 

Kiss That Frog

Sometimes, a Princess’ life is … surreal.

In this dream, I am wandering around the Book Forest. You know, just soaking up the atmosphere, trying not to contemplate the sheer insanity of a forest made up of things that used to be trees but are now books. Because the book forest makes perfect sense if you think about it. It really does.

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I had to stare

And then, the strangest and yet most completely normal thing ever happened. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, but I happened to glance down and there was this … frog. With a crown on his little head. He was obviously disgusting and slimy, as frogs are wont to be, and of course I found myself filled with curiosity, rather than revulsion, because that’s how things go in dreams.

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No. Freaking. Way.

“No. Freaking. Way.,” I thought to myself. “This is absolutely not happening. Of all the faerie tales I could get stuck in, why this one?” I’m a now kind of faerie princess, not a stuck-in-a-story-I-can’t-escape kind of faerie princess. Or, you know. I have  been up ’til now…

I turned away. “Forget it,” I said. “I am absolutely not going to kiss you.”

“You say that now,” croaked the frog. “Give me a chance.”

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Absolutely not.

“Absolutely not,” I retorted. “I do not have to resort to kissing frogs! I have the Internet! I have thousands of Realms where I can go, any night of the week, if I want a date. I am a princess, not a cliché.”

The frog made a sound between a snort and a laugh: it was hard to tell, because his voice was every bit as repulsive as he was. “You’ll change your mind,” he said. “Look: I’m out of my natural habitat here. Can’t you just take me back to the palace and let me stay with you for a bit? I’m a nice frog, I promise.” His tongue flicked out wildly to grab an insect I hadn’t noticed. Yuck.

“I really don’t think so,” I replied.

“Look, Your Highness. I have a nifty crown; that must mean something, right? And I’m a good conversationalist. I promise only a small percentage of our discussions will be my trying to convince you to kiss me.” Was that a smile on his wide, ugly face?

“Hmm.” I considered it for a moment. “OK, but if I tell you to stop trying to convince me, you will change the subject immediately. Is that clear?”

“Sure, sure, whatever you want,” replied the frog. “But hurry up and get me home; I need a much more humid environment than this weird forest made of paper books. Who on earth thought that was a good idea, Princess? Who designed such a place?”

I narrowed my eyes. “I did, you abhorrent amphibian. This whole Realm is my creation. I probably even imagined you into being, now that I think about it.”

“Oh! A lovely conversational topic!” said the frog. “The nature of existence! If I am your creation, I wonder if I truly have free will, or if free will itself is merely a construct that my brain imagines so that I don’t lose all hope or argue myself insane wondering whether my choices are truly mine, or if they are determined by you, My Lady.”

Super. The frog was going to have an existential crisis and wipe himself out of existence any second now. I pondered. And then I smiled.

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I picked up the frog.

I picked him up. “All right: I’ll give it a shot. Let’s head back to the palace, and I’ll figure out what the best environment for you will be. We’ll look it up on the Internet.”

“What, pray tell, is the Internet, Your Highness?”

I smiled widely. “You’ll love it!” I declared. “It’s the greatest source of information and fun conversational topics ever!”

And then I had a little laugh with myself, just in my head. Because Dear Prince Froggie had never heard of the Internet.

And that meant he probably had never heard the story of the geek princess and the frog. Because, you know. In my world, princes are a dime a dozen. But a talking frog?

That’s freaking fantastic!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Texas (Available NOW at eBento!)
Nails: Cazimi, Influence Nails (Available NOW at the Designer Showcase!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Arte, Nordic Eyes
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Princess Tiana Gown (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Eudora, 3D Arianne Pumps (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Tia (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Necklace and Crown: Bliensen & MaiTai, Principessa (Available NOW at The Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Wings: Fancy Fairy, Titania 2.0 Bento Animated Iridescent Fairy Wings
Frog Prince: Unrepentent, The Frog Prince

Location: Awenia, The Book Forest
Building: Ionic, Sacred Ruins
Silver Moon on Stand: Air, Frog Moon Silver (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Table: Dust Bunny, Autumn Calling, Wooden Table
Book on Table: Konpeitou, Beauty and the Book w/Rose
Frog with Mirror (on table) Konpeitou, Frog Prince Mirror (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Book Castle: BananaN, Storybook Gacha, Castle and Books

I talk a lot about how much I love the Enchantment Event. It’s one of my favourite recurring events in Second Life, both in terms of the stuff you can find there and the careful attention that the Ippos team put into the event design itself. Unlike lots of other events that have gone to the “stuff you can buy all stuck together in one big room” model, Enchantment always, always, creates an inspiring environment around the story theme. If you love story as I do, and if these tales speak to you, you cannot afford to miss Enchantment, and you’d better stock up on Lindens before you go, because otherwise you won’t be able to afford everything you want!

Kiss That Frog
Peter Gabriel
Jump in the water
Sweet little princess
Let me introduce his frogness
You alone can get him singing
He’s all puffed up, wanna be your king
Oh you can do it
C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon
Lady kiss that frogSplash, dash heard your call
Bring you back your golden ball
He’s gonna dive down in the deep end
He’s gonna be just like your best friendSo what’s one little kiss
One tiny little touch
Aah, he’s wanting it so much
I swear that this is royal blood
Running through my skin
Oh can you see the state I’m in
Kiss it better
Kiss it better
(Kiss that frog)

Get it into your head
He’s living with you, he sleeps in your bed
Can’t you hear beyond the croaking
Don’t you know that I’m not joking

Aah, you think you won’t
I think you will
Don’t you know that this tongue can kill
C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon
Lady, kiss that frog

Let him sit beside you
Eat right off your plate
You don’t have to be afraid
There’s nothing here to hate
Princess you might like it
If you lower your defense
Kiss that frog and you will get your prince
Get your prince

(Singing now…!)
Jump in the water, c’mon, baby, jump in with me
Jump in the water, c’mon baby get wet with me

Jump in the water, c’mon, baby, jump in with me
Jump in the water, c’mon baby get wet, get wet, get wet

(While scatting:)
Kiss that frog. Kiss that frog. Lady, kiss that frog.
Kiss that frog. Lady, kiss that frog.
Kiss that frog. Lady, kiss that frog.

Jump in the water, c’mon baby jump in with me
Jump in the water, c’mon baby jump in with me
Jump in the water, c’mon baby jump in with me
Jump in the water, c’mon baby jump in with me
Jump in the water, c’mon baby get wet with me.

Get wet, get wet.
Get wet, get wet.
Get wet, get wet.
Get wet, get wet.

A walk in the Garden at Storybrooke

My disturbing dreams continue.

I am so angry with Father I could just spit!

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So Very Angry.

So very angry. He has all this land, all this Land of Ronaofa, and I am his only child, biology notwithstanding. He has adopted no one else, and I am old enough now to take a husband and begin a household of my own.

Father’s dislike for Nathaniel has softened over the years but never completely gone away, even though he has come to respect my intended more and more as a scholar. So his decision to purchase a home for us in a faraway Realm, in some huge city, feels like a slap in the face. There is no political advantage to this move. We could do so much good work here in the libraries.

I couldn’t look at him after this pronouncement. It was so unfair! As if my own father doesn’t want me near him any more. So instead of staying to fight with him, because I’m not a bloody teenager any more, I went off for a walk in Storybooke Gardens.

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The perfect house

Of course, it was just my luck that I came upon the perfect house about ten minutes in to my walk. I was just beginning to feel better, too.

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Heart on the door

It even has a heart on the door! When I think of a place like this, and then compare it to some dingy high rise in a city I’ve never even been to? I just want to scream. Right. Right. Breathe, Gwyneth; Breathe.

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Storybrooke Gardens

I walked away from the beautiful house to view it better from a distance. Storybrooke Gardens is one of my favourite places to spend time when I need to clear my head. Valene brought me here many years ago with some of the kittens, and I’ve always loved it.

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I won’t dwell on my anger.

I won’t dwell on my anger. I’ll just enjoy this day, this walk, the way this new Silvan Moon Designs gown floats around my ankles, and I’ll find some beautiful things to look at.

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I asked a friendly-looking mushroom where I should go.

I asked a friendly-looking mushroom where I should go. Well, I mean, he was smiling. That’s friendly, right? Right?

His voice was whispery and wispy, and the only word I could make out was “Alice”. That was a good shout: I remembered there was a part of the Gardens dedicated to Alice in Wonderland, and who doesn’t love Alice? I thanked him and moved on.

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What a beautiful, whimsical place!

What a beautiful, whimsical place! There were little statues of frogs and bunnies and playing cards—something new everywhere I looked. I could stay here for a while, I think.

So I did. I sat down at the table and pretended to have tea with the Queen of Hearts, possibly to convince her to cut off Father’s head. That was satisfying.

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Eventually, it was time to return.

Even so, I knew I’d have to go back to Ronaofa and either speak to Father or ignore him until dinner time.

I chose the latter. It’s summer: dinner won’t be for hours.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Focus (Available NOW at Cosmetic Fair!)
Eyebrows: Ottilie, Tomie Brow (Available on 5 August at The Floating Market Event!)
Nails: Dark Passions Koffin Nails, Dark Orchid (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Eyes: Arte, Reborn Eyes
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Lady Penelope Gown (Available on 7 August at The Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)
Necklace: Baiastice, Boudicca
Circlet: Junbug, The Sabrina Circlet
Hair: Stealthic, Cadence

Location: Storybrooke Gardens

Glamour

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This whole “model” lark is great fun!

This whole “model” lark is great fun! After becoming the SpokesFae (their term, not mine) for Bhanél‘s MadBhanél decided they liked the image I was portraying: a real Fae Queen representing their product. So they’ve created a new fragrance, and they’ve based it on the Fae lifestyle their customers are so enamoured by.

And, get this: It’s called Glamour. I’m sure there’s been another fragrance named that, somewhere out there. But the company says this one will be different, based on Fae Glamour, of course. Although as far as I know, there is no actual magic in the perfume formula: that would be quickly stopped by the various national boards that control drugs. Those poor agencies have now been tasked with overseeing irresponsible and manipulative uses of magic. I don’t even want to think about the inter political relationships inside those departments now.

Anyway, I love the scent, believe it or not, so it’s easy to stand around with big bottles of the stuff and look as if I want nothing more than to bathe in it.

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Here is the first shot from the pre-release campaign!

Here is the first shot from the pre-release campaign! It will just feature the word Glamour”, and I think one sentence, but I have no idea what their marketing department will have that sentence be. Would you believe it took nearly four hours to get these two photographs? There are other angles and poses as well, but this is going to be the one everyone associates with the product. And it’s not like very many people read the blog of the Queen of the Back 40 Faeryland, right?

And now I have to get on to the business of summer, which is going to mean changing some things around in Awenia. That of course means you’re going to see some landscaping photographs in the very near future!

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Emerald, in Snow (Available NOW at Lost And Found!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Clothes: Silvan Moon Designs, Miss Fisher Gown (Available NOW at Vintage Fair!)
Hair: Maraschino, Daisy Hair
Nails: Cazimi, Fade To White
Shoes: Astralia, Half-Pointe
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Heritage Necklace
Armbands and Gloves: RealEvil Industries, Arwen Gloves and Arm Bracelets
Backdrop: Ersch, Gatsby
Roses: E.V.E, Chained Roses
Perfume Bottles: Tres Blah, Jolie—Vintage Bottle
Stars: E.V.E, Dancing Stars Fireflies, White
Clouds: Air, Nebula
Poses: Black Tulip, Pose Up! set

Sojourn in Severina

When the boat landed in Severina, the first thing that caught me was the wind.

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More than a sea wind….

More than a sea wind, it seemed to come from everywhere. I could barely keep my wings straight.

But we had business to do. You see, there are some Realms where you can, erm, acquire things that you might not be able to get in others. Of course, some of these things are not the sort of things you’d pick up at your local chemist, even if your local chemist happens to be a wizard named Alcazar or something.

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Checking my List

I checked my list mentally (it never does to write these things down) as we approached the little shop under the docks of Severina. We’d made the appointment days before, and the proprietress had assured me everything we needed was in stock.

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Dark and Empty

But to our surprise, the shop was dark and empty, save for the lanterns hanging beneath the arch. Inside the arch, there were many candles, as if someone had just been there and left for a moment, but there was no note on the door or an other communication; not even a Wisp.

I felt deflated. It’s not easy to set up a meeting like this. I checked the time on my iPhone; yep, right time zone, right Realm, right address… just no proprietress.

“Maybe she had an emergency,” Bran said. He was trying to calm me down: it didn’t really work.

“Right. I need to be by myself for a while,” I said. “This is a serious disappointment. I need that magic for Awenia.”

“Of course, Your Majesty,” he replied.

I sighed. “Don’t call me that here,” I said.

Bran rolled his eyes and gave me that superior Sidhe look of his. “You are My Majesty, and I will address you as such,” he said.

What could I do but nod? “Well; post somebody here, and I’ll just take a little while.

“As you wish, Y-…” Despite his declaration, Bran cut himself off.

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I flew up to the highest point I could easily reach.

I flew up to the highest point I could easily reach. In the background, I could see the Halls of Story, and in the distance, the spires of Aetherea glowed. It was calming, though the winds were still wild.

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I took a few deep breaths.

I took a few deep breaths. Up so high, the air is colder, different. It’s head-clearing. I needed to breathe and not get so caught up in timeliness. After all, different Realms have different customs and mores. Maybe she got called away and didn’t have anything to write on. Maybe it’s customary here to be half an hour late for everything. Maybe she got hit by a large bus full of exuberant Fairelanders (Don’t laugh! it’s happened before!).

But there was time, time to breathe a little more, time to calm down and quiet my impatience. Time to think.

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Thinking is dangerous.

Thinking is dangerous, of course. When I visit all the Fairelands Realms, I always come back to thinking about Awenia, what she will be, how she will move forward in this strange new world we’ve been thrust into. With the lifting of the Veil, we have both opportunities and challenges to face. I considered turning her sky purple and imagined the twinkling lights of Severina adorning her. Then, I considered the towering spires of Aetherea, how beautiful they were in the distance. Or the stained glass marvel of the Halls of Story. All exotic, all strange, all deeply beautiful in themselves.

I stood there for ten minutes, fifteen, half an hour.

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In the distance, the clouds glowed

In the distance, the clouds glowed, mirroring the strange glyphs on the massive trees of Severina.

And then, a Wisp appeared. “My Lady, greetings from Délarissa, the proprietress of M&M Industries of Severina.” The voice changed to the one I’d heard only days before on the phone. “I’m so sorry to say I’ll be late for our appointment this evening. My little boy is ill and while I’ve found a sitter, she’s in another Realm and I must travel there to drop him off. I shall be with you before midnight, and I ask you, kindly, to wait for me. I can apply a discount to your purchases for your trouble, of course, and you’re very welcome to share a pot of tea with me when I arrive.” The voice changed again, to the wisp. “Have you any answer?”

I drew my glamour around me. “Yes,” I said. “Tell your mistress we shall wait for her gladly, and send our best wishes for her son’s swift recovery.”

“Noted, My Lady,” replied the wisp, then brightened and disappeared into the winds.

I sent a short message to Bran to let him know what had transpired.

And then, I took out my eReader and settled down on the massive tree stump to read. Never mind the wind: never mind the twinkling lights. Sometimes, you have to just wait. And always, always, a good book waits for you.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Bento Mesh Head, Simone
Skin: Lumae LeLutka – Deia – Ethesi // Neutral (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in Pools of Ethuil!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Collar Adornment: Ama, Forever Yours Collar
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Moonstone Gown (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in Aetherea!)
Hair: Analog Dog, Storm (A and E), and huge thanks to Queue Marlowe for sorting a little hair detail for me!

Location: The 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, Severina, Sponsored by BattleBeast Breedables and Designed by Lokii Violet

“You Are About to go on a Long Journey….”

Well, all the fortunetellers say that, don’t they? And obviously, the Great Faire is coming up soon, so we will be taking a long journey there, and then the long journey of days itself so that we can enjoy the all-too-short wonders of the greatest gathering of folk in all the wide Realms.

But that chance meeting with the fortuneteller at the art gallery opening just made me think, and you know what happens when I think.

(Not that! Keep quiet, you cretins!)

What happens when I think is, I dream.

And I did in fact dream about going on a journey.

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A journey that required a boat.

A journey that required a boat.

I wasn’t quite myself on this journey.

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And I had the certain knowledge that this was the most important journey I’d ever taken.

And I had the certain knowledge that this was the most important journey I had ever taken.

It’s funny, a dream like that, where you’re someone else. I could feel the knowledge of having navigated a small craft around into a closed harbour, the careful manoeuvring to get it up against the shore properly, the movement of the rudder. Before me, a great tree rose out of the grassy bank, and as I looked up into her branches, I could have sworn she wore the face of a woman.

Style Cards:

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Spring (Available NOW at the Spring Flair Event!)
Eyes: Astrae, The Elder Eyes (Available NOW at The Makeover Room!)
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Sparrow Lightheart Gown (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Wings: Evolved Creatures, Fae Wings v 2
Hair: Tableau Vivant, Selene
Headpiece: Nanika, Lesya Crown

Mysterious Blond Man:
Body: Signature Gianni
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Brent
Head: Catwa, Skell Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Lightstar, Baldur
Eyes: Anatomy, Emilio Eyes, Blue
Clothes: Silvan Moon Designs, Knight of Ravensgate Tunic (COMING SOON to the 2018 Second Life Relay for Life Fantasy Faire!)

Adorbs Fairy Boat: JTD Leaf Boat, textured and scripted by the amazing Kitori Unplugged, AKA Skeleton
Manly Viking-Style Boat, Hopscotch, I See The Light

Female Pose: An Lar, from the Jupiter Series
Male Pose: Exposeur, from the That Boy Series

Setting: Pacific Northwest Forest on Awenia, designed by Dyisi.

We Are All The Story

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Alone in the woods…

Alone in the woods, I am looking for something. I don’t know what I am looking for, but that’s not unusual.

I hear a noise, not far away, and I turn to see

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Another version of me, telling stories to animals.

Another version of me, telling stories to animals. Her/my voice rises and falls, and they are rapt. Dragons flutter round the edges, bunnies cavort; even the squirrels have her/my attention.

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So why am I here?

So why am I here, when I am also there? And what does she have that I don’t have? The forest grows dark around me, and I fear I will be lost.

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“The forest grew darker around her, and she feared she would be lost,”

“The forest grew darker around her, and she feared she would be lost,” says the storyteller/me. And suddenly I realise, not what she has the I haven’t, but what I have that she hasn’t.

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She is telling a story about me.

She is telling a story about me. I am the writer and I am also the protagonist. I am the captive and the captivator. I am the creatrix and the created.

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“We are all the story,” she says.

“We are all the story,” she says. “We are all the beginning and the end of drama, quest, beginnings, middles, and ends. We are all of it.

I am all of it.

You are all of it.

Build your story. Star in it. Create yourself as you create something else. What more magic can there be?

Style Cards:
Gwyneth in the woods
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Gaia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Carter (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyebrows: Alaskametro, “Glimmer” Eyebrows
Eyes: Song, Nagi Eyes
Gown: The Annex, Antonia Gown, Warm (Available NOW at  We Love Roleplay!)
Hair and Garland: Tableau Vivant, Silvana (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Photo Background: Serenity Style, ChoiBoi Mystic Forest Backdrop

Gwyneth with the animals
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Neve
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Carter (Available NOW at Skin Fair!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyebrows: SCS Fresh Eyebrows, Blonde
Eyes: Song, Nagi Eyes
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Lady Ariana Gown, Blue (Available NOW at  We Love Roleplay!)
Hair: Mina, Carmen
Wings: Muse, Miss TWA 2015 Wings
Necklace and Earrings: Empyrean Forge, Springleaf Necklace and Earrings
Crown: Bauhaus Movement, Rapunzel Crown
Photo Background: Kraftwork, The Book of Dreams
Animals:
Bunnies: anc, Cotton Bunny Cappuccino
Puppy Dogs: anc, Flottante Puppy Cream
Raccoon: Jian, Raccoon Static
Winged Cat: Half Deer, Winged Cat, Contemplate
Black and White Cat: Fashionably Dead, Cat 11- Sitting
Sitting Dragon, Alchemy, Dragonette, Air (rare)
Marble Foxes: Jian, Marble Fox
Faunicorn: Jinx, Faunicorn 5
Squirrel: HEXtraordinary, Fat White Squirrel
Tabby Cat: Fashionably Dead, Cat 12, Curious
Flying Dragons: Half Deer Solstice Dragons Leafwing, Infinite Light, and PermaFrost
Unicorn: Culprit, UniQrn, SnowLeopard Baby

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February Fashion Show!

Sometimes, we find beautiful things in the unlikeliest of places. I think cities like Nu Jyorck excel at this kind of thing. Great artwork on the sides of tenements, sculptures made out of rubbish, and of course the annual February Fae Fashion Show, which takes place in a different abandoned building every year. And while I’m certain my ongoing friendship with Arahaelon is behind many things that happen to me in Nu Jyorck, it still gave me a thrill when the FFS (best initials ever!) crew got in touch to say they’d like me to be in the show this year!

All the models are Fae, though the audience is a mix: Nu Jyorck has such a fae-worshipping vibe that tickets are pretty hot, even for the most expensive city in most Realms. Of course, official photos of the show itself can only be distributed by the FFS corporation and its official publicist, but when you’re a participant, they give you promotional rehearsal photos to share!

So, here are the outfits I’m modelling at the best fashion ticket in Nu Jyorck!

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The Annex: Larkin Gown, for The Trunk Show, Purple

The Annex has such a way with things that are both sexy and simple. The cut of this gown may seem to leave little to the imagination, but it’s flared enough that it moves well on the dance floor, too. And the colours! Such an intense purple here, but the fabric is reflective enough that it appears to be several different shades. The lovely people at No Match handled the hair for this gown: it’s their No Promise style. The necklace is by Vae of The Plastik fame: it’s called Sawola. Zibska, such a deft hand with pastels, did the makeup; their Adelia line works perfectly here. Underneath the eyeshadow and lipstick, the skin painting was accomplished by the amazing folks over at 7 Deadly s{K}ins. Where would I be without them?

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Here’s a closer view, mostly so you can get an idea of how the bodice on the gown falls.

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The collaboration that is Silvan Moon Designs never fails to amaze and delight, and this classy gown is no exception. The pearl collar and neckline are the only adornments on a dress that is just perfectly cut with a great tulip shape. The delicate brocade fabric really sets off the dress, and once again No Match did some magic on my hair for this style: the look is called No Halo, even though I kind of felt as if I were wearing a halo because of this gorgeous Avaway Diadem the organisers put me in.

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Avaway Diadem

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Ghee: Overblown Lace Pashmina, for Sense.

I love it when I get to play with more modern, “casual” clothing styles, even though I think you could wear this pashmina a lot of different ways. Here, it’s paired with an old pair of jeans from my personal wardrobe and some great boots from Empire, the Nelumbo Boots. The hair is by TruthAstra.

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Yummy Truth Hair!

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Silvery K: Soiree Beil Dress and Gloves

Such a fun dress from Silvery K! It comes with matching gloves as well. The shoes are from Pure Poison, the Aurora Sandals, and they might as well have been made for this dress. Hair by MonsoJunghwa. The FootPaw Industries necklace is from my personal collection.

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Cazimi did an amazing job on my nails, don’t you think?

And mm, sexy lace detailing on the bodice and gloves from Silvery K.

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Shanghai: Bella Gown, Rose (for Enchantment)

Now, I’ve seen this before at big Nu Jyorck events. Somehow, they think you’re “more fae” if you come from a “fae realm”. That is, if you come from the Metaverse equivalent of a cultural backwater, you’re somehow more legit as a fae. Which means that they’re always going to try and put you in fairytale gowns and wings and pretty headdresses because they think you’re somehow more honest in those outfits than a Nu Jyorck native would be. Well, that’s poppycock, of course, but I do love a great ballgown, and this is definitely one. The meticulously crafted petals set the whole dress off beautifully, and that skirt is so reflective you feel like you’re wearing liquid gold. Magika provided the hairstyle, Talk Like That, with the headdress by Elise (Silvia) and choker by Empyrean Forge (Majesty) that look like they were made for each other.

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I think this is just a zoom of the same shot, but I like that you can see more of the headdress here. 

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Liz: Abrielle Dress, for Sense

Now, this is a dress I could wear almost anywhere, particularly as the hope of spring is alive in most places. Liz‘s Abrielle Dress has such fun lines, and I love the pearl embellishments. The shoes are from Like DesignDoll Shoes. They are also a lot of fun, and Nani did this incredible Kenna thing with my hair!

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This dress just makes me smile!

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Salt: Belle Gown, for Enchantment

Salt did a beautiful Belle Gown, and of course you know they had to put me in some legit wings sometime! These were crafted by Drastic, and are called Butterfly WingsDeLa did the hair for this outfit: the style is called Melora, which makes me think of that series of fantasy novels I loved as a little kid, the ones with all the dragons.

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Here, you can see the great Cazimi Nails, but the necklace is obscured by my hand, I’m afraid.

I hope the necklace will be visible in some of the official Show photos: it’s from Bliensen & Maitai, and I’ve always liked their work.

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Alter: Viviana Asymmetric Wedding Dress, for Sense

I wouldn’t necessarily wear this dress to get married in, but I’d wear it just about anywhere else. It’s from Alter, the Viviana Asymmetric Wedding Dress, and I love the high-low effect and the loveliness of the bodice here. The BareRose Lace Wings fit beautifully with it, and the jewellery is from Adorsy, the Emily necklace and armbands. These stunning shoes are from Cult: they’re the Desire HeelsExile created this hairstyle, called Jemma.

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A closer look at wings, hair, and necklace? Yes!

So, that’s all eight outfits I was asked to model for this badly-kept-secret fashion show in the steamy underbelly of Nu Jyorck! It was a great experience. I hope they’ll ask me again sometime.

Style Cards:
Most details are in individual descriptions; however:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Nena (Available at the BRAND NEW 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store! —don’t forget to update your landmarks!)
Eyes: AzDesign, Mandala Blue Eyes
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Nails: Cazimi
Venue: Trompe Loeil, Cathedral Catwalk Skybox
Poses: All from An Lar; Various Series

 

I want adventure in the great wide somewhere….

I admit it. Even I love when Disney gets it right. And, I guess I’m the right age for this….

I love Beauty and the Beast.

I love Beauty and the Beast. I very nearly wrote my thesis on it, but got talked out of it because there were so many novels and stories on the same topic coming out at the time.

I know this, of course. I know it because, duh, I read them all! I don’t care if the writer has subject verb agreement problems and an ongoing love affair with the apostrophe, if it’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I’ll give it a shot.

So when Bran popped in one morning this week to tell me that one of the lovely people from Silvan Moon Designs had dropped by with a dress for me to try on approval, for the recently opened Enchantment Faire, let’s just say…. there was squeeing. In fact, I jumped up and down with glee.

“Your Majesty?” He was bemused, but then that’s Bran’s normal state. He’s somewhat like my beloved Nathaniel in this. “I don’t understand.” He stared at the dress. “You do not wear a lot of yellow,” he said.

“But it’s Belle’s gown!” I said.

He stared at me.

“Oh, for goodness’ sake!” I fired up the Apple TV and downloaded a copy of the animated Beauty and the Beast. I downloaded the live action version for good measure. And made Bran sit down and watch them both, plus the Lindsey Stirling video where she does like half the score on solo fiddle.

It is not often that you see a grown Sidhe cry. I admit I was smug.

After four hours of straight-up Beauty and the Beast, I was incapable of waiting any longer. “I have to put on this dress right now.” I said.

Bran didn’t protest, except to note that we had no ball planned. I retorted that I didn’t care, and I made him and Clutie follow me out with an iPhone and a gimbal, because I wanted pictures. Clutie just rolled her eyes, bless her. Then again, she’s seen the films.

Of course, we couldn’t escape the pixies.

.

Of course, it being always summer here in Faerie, we couldn’t escape the pixies. They are kin to us, but they’re also pests, and they love nothing more than the iridescent meadow that is my grove garden. So of course we had to deal with them: they certainly weren’t going to leave us alone.

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Look at those little photo-bombers!

I tried to strike some romantic and dramatic poses, but look at those little photo bombers!

“Try turning the other way, Your Majesty,” Clutie suggested. She’d enlisted the help of a couple other demifae, because Bran was impossible. He just kept looking at me and sniffling.

“Gwneth, you look so….so….” he’d say, and then start sniffling.

One of the pixies was particularly problematic: he(?) kept getting right up in my face and trying to land on my nose or something. To be honest, the other ones weren’t much of a problem, as pixies go: I think they just wanted to be near us while we worked, and of course they spend more time in the garden than I do. This one little guy was really getting on my nerves, though.

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At one point, I admit I lost my temper.

At one point, I admit I lost my temper. “Look, you little so-and-so,” I said. OK, I might have been slightly more profane than that. “If you don’t keep getting in my face, I’m going to call the redcaps. You hear me?” He was unfazed. He might have known we don’t really see a lot of redcaps in this little island of Faerie.

“Best just let him have what he wants, Your Majesty,” one of Clutie’s helpers said.

I scowled. “And what exactly is that?”

“He just wants to be in the pictures,” Clutie said. “They like attention, and because we’re not in a …technological wasteland, they pick up on the fact that you’ll probably post these photographs on social media so other people can enjoy them.”

I raised a brow: Clutie was using my own description of the Wylds against me.

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“If that’s what it takes,” I reasoned. “Go ahead, little guy: grab your moment of fame.”

“If that’s what it takes,” I reasoned. “Go ahead, little guy: grab your moment of fame.” I told him to smile, but I’m not sure pixies know how to smile, really. Or maybe they are always smiling: it’s hard to tell. Mostly they just buzz around little big fae bees and try to land on your nose, but when organised they can get pretty destructive. I remember my Gran blaming them for everything from spoiled milk in the fridge to that time one of her cats came back from the Great Welsh Outdoors inexplicably covered with gooseberry jam.

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After that, we just decided that as long as they weren’t causing trouble, we’d pretend they were part of the plan all along.

After that, we just decided that as long as they weren’t causing trouble, we’d pretend they were part of the plan all along. This seemed to please them, and I admit they put themselves into mostly pleasing configurations for the rest of the time Clutie and the three other demifae it took to handle the camera were taking pictures.

“Your Majesty, we should all go to the Enchantment Faire tomorrow,” Clutie prodded. “Who knows what else they’ve got there besides this gown? We might find some beautiful things for the castle. I’ve always wanted a talking candlestick.”

“Really?” I was convinced about going to Enchantment, but not about the candlestick. “Always?”

“Always,” she persisted.

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“I suppose we could take a day for a Faire based around Beauty and the Beast,” I said.

“I suppose we could take a day for a Faire based around Beauty and the Beast, I said. It didn’t take much convincing. “But I am not filling the castle with dancing cutlery, and no way are we bringing home a harpsichord.”

Clutie giggled, and we fell into a nice rhythm of singing songs from the musical as we shot more photos with our pixie hangers-on.

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Here’s my favourite one.

This one is my favourite, though after we spend tomorrow at the Faire who knows what lovely things we’ll have to do more creative play in the Bower. I could even get used to a tribe of dancing pixies wanting to be in most of the photographs.

If those little pests try to cover me with gooseberry jam though, all bets are off.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Venua (Available at the BRAND NEW 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store! —don’t forget to update your landmarks!)
Eyes: Izzie’s, Winter Eyes (fantasy)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Belle’s Enchanted Ball Gown (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Hair: Truth, Caralisa
Jewellery: Baiastice, Boudicca Crown, Bangles, Earrings and Necklace (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Wings: Bitter Heart Boutique, Skylar Wings
Pixies: Hextraordinary, Pesky Pixies (Available NOW at The Gacha Garden!)
Ground Cover: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields
Background Trees: Various; the big one is Pan’s Oak from Cube Republic
Poses: from Musa and Apple Spice’s range of gown poses