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 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

 

The Forest Meets the Trees (or, Corporate Art)

Everybody who knows me, if asked the question, “Is Her Majesty a Forest Person, or a Tree Person?” would answer that I am a forest person. I appreciate that details make up the things we see around us, and I appreciate details, but I am far more interested in the complete picture than individual pieces of it.

So when I got the invitation from Arahaelon for a lost weekend in Helgen Francis, I pictured long walks in the parks, the view of the Gyldenport bridge, evenings in the city. The address he gave me was for what sounded like a very posh hotel, just on the outskirts of the city, and he told me not to worry about anything; he’d have it all set up for me.

Don’t worry about clothes, shoes, your hair, anything. I’ll meet you at 8:00 in the hotel lobby. -A

Well, that sounded promising. I pictured those romance novels where Hero always knows exactly what size Heroine is, right down to the unmentionables, and every dress fits perfectly. Still, I brought along an overnight bag, just in case he got it wrong.

Hotel Snobette was indeed a very posh hotel! The porter who greeted me at the door gave a bow, seemed to know exactly who I was, and told me we could bypass check-in. Then he took me up to a large suite on the second floor, took my bag, unpacked it for me, and refused the tip I offered, stating he was paid enough for his services and enjoyed his job.

The room opened into a hallway, to the left of which was the bedroom and bath suite. The front was a foyer. I investigated the bedroom first, and found that Arahaelon had indeed gotten all the details right as I shimmied into the dress. Ooh, a Senzafine! Deliciously strapless, matched perfectly with the shoes he’d chosen, and with a lovely line. I got dressed, spent an hour with the hairdresser who arrived a few minutes later, and then made my way into the foyer to pass the time until 8:00.

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I opened the French doors

The first thing I did was open the French doors to the balcony. Oh, what a beautiful breeze! The hairstylist, someone from Emo*Tions, had done my hair in what she said was a popular Helgen Francis style this summer, Vindblåst. Their version of it is called Chrystal. 

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Oh, that breeze!

Oh, that breeze! I half-closed my eyes for the joy of it. I’d taken the precaution of having my skin painted properly before I arrived in Helgen Francis, because the ladies at 7 Deadly s{K}ins always know just what to do.

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I stepped out on the balcony

I stepped out on the balcony to get a different look at the room and the inner courtyard of the hotel a few doors below. When I turned around, something caught my eye.

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I couldn’t stop staring

It caught my eye, and held it. I couldn’t stop staring. While at first I’d taken in the whole of the room, I now realised the art on the walls was, well… dreadful. There was no other word for it. On second thought, I could come up with several: hideous; horrendous; monstrous; abominable; nasty. More came to mind, but why belabour the point?

I caught the hairdresser as she was leaving and asked her to take a photo of me with other examples of this fine *cough* artwork.

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Save me!

I texted this photo to Arahaelon with the simple message, Save me! Now, Arahaelon isn’t omnipresent in my life, but he is reliable when he is there, so I wasn’t surprised when he showed up half an hour early.

He kissed me on the cheek and complimented my appearance first of course; that’s only proper. But then he looked at the walls. “You weren’t kidding,” he said. “At least I got here before you took out that sickle you carry and slashed it to bits.”

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Me? I would never!

“Me?” I asked, affecting innocence. “I would never, ever, ever do such a thing!”

“Sure you wouldn’t.” Arahaelon tapped a message. “Valet will be downstairs with the car in about thirty seconds. Let’s go before you cause actual damage.”

I just laughed.

Of course, hours later when I returned, I found the artwork had been changed to line drawings of trees.

Much better.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Texas (Available NOW at  eBento!)
Nails: Cazimi, BotM, Dan’s Metallics & Glitters (You can pick this up at the  Cazimi Main Store!)
Ears: Swallow, Magic Pixie Ears
Eyes: AviGlam, Doll’s Eyes
Gown: Senzafine, Maris Gown (Available NOW at The Trunk Show!)
Shoes: Reign, Jolie Heels
Hair: Emo*Tions, Chrystal (Available FOR JUST TWO MORE DAYS at Cosmopolitan!)
Necklace: Swallow, Magic Necklace (Available NOW at Kustom9!)

Environment: FoxCity Photo Booth, The Neighborhood
Furniture, LAQ Decor, Sofa Set
Corporate Art: I feel I shouldn’t name the artist here, because Gwyneth panned so badly. If you’re curious, feel free to IM me in world, and I’ll send you to the artist’s web page, although you may be surprised at how much it will cost you to have one of these pictures in real life!

Don’t Go Into the Basement!

I vaguely remember this phrase as something we used to yell as primary school kids when we were watching one of those ridiculous horror movies where the characters do all the stupid things, like split up, follow the scary sound, and of course, go into the basement.

If only I had thought of that bit of wisdom before I got it into my head that I should explore the Castle’s basement yesterday.

Of course, it’s my castle, but I haven’t bothered to enter every single room: that would take me a month! I’m much too busy with realm building right now, anyway, but yesterday I had a few quiet hours, and so I went down into the basement, marvelled at the glorious kitchen that Bran has put together, and began checking what all was in the various basement rooms. One was empty—maybe I can convince Nathaniel to us that one as a workshop so I don’t have to build him a man-cave as an outbuilding. Another was clearly a pantry, stocked floor to ceiling with stuff that is apparently very important for the smooth running of a castle.

But it was the third room I entered that gave me a bit of a turn.

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I entered some kind of a workshop.

It was some kind of a workshop. Only the weird kind, not the kind Nathaniel would have. It was full of things that resembled robotic body parts.

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Wing models?

If I had to guess, I’d say these were models of some kind of steampunk-y wingcraft. But I didn’t have to guess, and besides, that wasn’t the weirdest thing in the room.

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The walls were covered with weird prints.

The walls were covered with weird prints, some disturbingly of human anatomy. But it was the shelf full of various body parts made of metal that really got me. Arms, legs, even a face. Where was I?

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Where am I? Come on, steampunk brain girl, answer me!

“Where am I? Come on, steampunk brain girl, answer me!” Not that I usually talk to wall paintings, mind. The room was just creepy enough that I thought she might answer. But, no luck.

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I moved on to the desk, which was easily as creepy as the shelf.

I moved on to the desk, which was easily as creepy as the shelf. Well, if you didn’t count the body parts, that is.

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Stuff was left here as if someone had been interrupted while working.

Stuff was left here as if someone had been interrupted while working, including a glowing hand made of metal. Did I even want to know? I certainly didn’t go delving into the little mini-file that was on the desk. I had no desire to know what someone who had a shelf of metal body parts might consider “odds” and “ends”.

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This mechanical heart was pretty despite its creepiness.

There was one thing that was pretty despite its creepiness. On the back of the desk was some kind of mechanical heart. And although I couldn’t see any way for it to be turned on or off, the gears were all moving. It also had an eerie blue glow about it. I wondered how it was made, and indeed, why anybody would make such a thing.

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Extra gears?

At least one of my questions was partially answered: there was a sheet of parchment upon which had been placed a variety of metal gears. I guessed that at least some of these would find their way into other hearts at some point? I glanced back at steampunk brain girl. Maybe they would find their way into some metal steampunk robot person’s brain? I shuddered.

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Finally something that didn’t creep me out!

Well, hello! As I turned from the desk, suppressing a shudder at the anatomical charts on the wall—one of them was just a bunch of surgical instruments. I mean, really? Who wants that on their wall?—I saw something I’d only ever seen before in pictures. An original Macintosh computer, complete with cheery hello screen. An ancient Mac, still running. At least whoever put together this macabre little workshop had some good taste inside them. It was rather odd, I thought, that there was absolutely nothing else on the computer desk. Almost like whoever hangs out here really didn’t spend much time at the computer. Then again, we’re talking about a machine with 128K of RAM that shipped with only a 3.5″ floppy drive for storage. Can you imagine?

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I thought, briefly, about just taking it.

I thought, briefly, about just taking it. After all, it is my castle, and whoever put all this stuff in here obviously did not go through Bran or me for permission. Perhaps Nathaniel authorised this? Of course, anybody who collects and presumably tinkers with stuff like mechanical hearts and glowing metal hands might not be kindly disposed to someone liberating their stuff, even if someone is the Queen.

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Well bloody shaken

I was well bloody shaken by the whole experience, even though I doubt I was in that room for more than five minutes. And I didn’t look back when I left: I’ll have nightmares for a week about that disembodied metal hand.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista, Lia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Bloom (Bloom is this month’s group gift at 7 Deadly s{K}ins! You can pick it up at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Nails: Cazimi, Depths of Winter
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Clothes: Sorumin, Modern Princess Gacha (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Shoes: Reign, Ballet Flats, Thigh High
Hair: Stealthic, Haven (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Circlet: Coquette, Fairy Crown
Necklace and Armlets: RealEvil Industries, Anabella Set (Available NOW at Fameshed!)

Location: The Castle, Awenia
Building: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle (Available at the Rivendale Main Store!)
Everything in the workshop that is not a print, a chalkboard, or a Macintosh: Rivendale, Tinkertopia Gacha (Available NOW at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!) See below for specifics of the gacha pieces.
Lonely Little Macintosh: Insurrektion, Back to the 80s Gacha

Tinkertopia SL

 

 

Dressing Room

I love my castle. Designed by Riven (of Rivendale), it’s a joy to live in. I was never so happy to see a building appear in the Realm than when I saw that castle out the window of the (almost) equally beautiful Treehouse. I think in time we shall use the Treehouse for community events as it’s more suited to a Fae tourist destination than the castle. With Enchantment in the air, I of course had many new gowns to wear, and I’m stocking up for autumn. Faith tells me autumn is just around the corner; really it is, and even though it almost always appears to be summertime in Faerie, we do have temperature fluctuations.

The one drawback to the castle is that it’s so big I get lost in it sometimes! And the fact is, it’s not completely decorated yet, even though it’s been in the Realm for coming up on nine months now. Imagine my delight when Bran told me as we made our way home from the Enchantment faire that he’d given instructions to some of the staff to decorate the parlour just below our bedroom tower as a dressing room for me!

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My Dressing Room

My dressing room is full of mirrors and comfortable seating, in case I ever end up with a large enough Court that there are ladies who wish to come and assist me in getting dressed. Bran made sure I knew he’d gotten the seating from The Looking Glass, so of course it was pre-approved before I even entered the room itself. One wall is covered with a large wardrobe, and another holds a generous vanity. As you can see, the windows have bookshelf seating, from Noble Creations, which means the room has a bit of multipurpose built in. I can imagine reading on a rainy day (yes, we do have those!) while a lovely mortal musician gives us all some soothing background music. Just the thought of that makes me smile. Mirrors from Refuge and anc adorn the walls, and there’s even a copy of the beautiful clock from Erstwhile Station. The only thing I’ll add after the fact is possibly a rug, although the floor designs are so beautiful in this part of the castle.

Now, those of you who follow this blog (all two of you!) probably know who my go-to dress designers are. You’ll recognise the delicate, detailed, and altogether competent hand of Junbug on this gown I’m wearing. I picked up the Storm Violet gown at the Enchantment faire, and I must admit I got it in more than one colour, so I’m sure you’ll see it again, because September is just around the corner.

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Exquisite sleeve detailing

The detailing on these sleeves is exquisite, isn’t it? I also love the necklace, which is a quick-stop find from Swallow. Those marvellous ladies at Little Bones did my hair, and I’ve never been so happy to have extensions braided and waved; it’s given my hair such a loft and lustrous texture.

I loved the dressing room so much I made Bran bring all the folks who’d had a hand in decorating it straight to me, and I gave them all a kiss! Nothing like seeing a Sidhe blush. So cute!

I confess I was so tired of Bran taking photographs of me on this day that I just threw my hands up and told him I’d have no more photography of the dressing room, thank you very much; I wanted to curl up with a book in my new safe haven. I think he was a tad miffed. But since I’ll be spending an awful lot of time in this room, I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for photographs in the months and years to come.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista, Lia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Brooklyn (Available on August 28 at Blush!)
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Eyes: Song, Luna Eyes (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Gown: Junbug, Storm Violet Gown (Available NOW at Enchantment!)
Hair: Little Bones, Poison (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Necklace: Swallow, Magic Necklaces (Available NOW at Kustom9!)
Crown: Dreaming Thicket, Ladies Crown, Countess (Available NOW at The Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)

Location: Awenia, The Castle
Castle: Rivendale, Dreamy Castle (Available in the Rivendale Main Store!)
Chairs: The Looking Glass, The Encounter Chairs (You can pick these up at The Looking Glass main store!)
Mirrors: Refuge, Fairy Tale Mirror Silver; and
{anc}, Looking Glass Magic, Heaven
Bookcase Window Seats: Noble Creations, Fantasy Sofa Relax (Available at the Noble Creations Main Store!)
The Looking Glass: Will-O-Wisp Tree (You can pick this up at The Looking Glass main store!)

 

 

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

The Certainty of Rain

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Hottest summer anyone can remember.

This year has been something else. It’s been the longest, hottest summer anybody can remember. And here I was, thinking I was the luckiest Naiad alive: spend a summer studying folklore and literature in Paris, get to know the Nymphs of the Seine, practice my not-very-good French on a city full of every kind of being you can imagine. So I’m packed into a student flat on the top floor of what would be called a flophouse in any other country but here is called a “mansion” (it is to laugh). With four other Nymphie-types, one of whom is a fire elemental and is loving this weather.

I, however, am not. I spent evenings out on the open roof, and then sometimes I climb up a little higher if I need to spend time in what wind there is.

Rain had been in the forecast for days. I got home from class, hiked up the five flights of stairs, and immediately walked into the shower—fully clothed because I was really not feeling patient—then out onto the roof to get some air.

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Dark clouds fell across the sky.

Dark clouds fell across the sky. I looked up hopefully. Sometimes we Naiads have a sense that can tell us when rain is coming, and my fingers were tingling. This could be the night!

This is probably the last summer I can ever do anything like this. With Britain leaving the European Union (and whose stupid idea was that, anyway? I wasn’t even old enough to vote at the time) next March, there will be predictable problems with student visas, particularly if you’re classed Supernatural. There is even a party in the UK that wants to restrict the Supernatural population only to “indigenous British, Irish and Welsh species,” which makes absolutely no sense at all. So I’m having no fun because it’s too hot, I can’t get to the river enough because my course load is so heavy, and there’s no rain.

Finally, there was thunder, and then the rain started. Oh, yes!

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I climbed up onto one of the chimneys.

I climbed up onto one of the chimneys. Here, you can see the expanse of the city spread out below you, although at night it becomes Paris At Night, which is kind of dingy and dark, but it’s Paris, so people think that’s romantic.

Rain was falling in earnest now, and that made me feel alive and free and at home.

Right now it’s hard to feel at home anywhere. I mean, the Supernatural Ministry is arguing that water and tree spirits, Naiads and Dryads, have precedent because water and trees occur everywhere, but the Preserve Our Paranormal Party (the party of P) thinks we have our origin in Greece, so they want to deport us all to Greece. Greece? What would I do there? I’m a British citizen. I don’t speak Greek. And some of the Continental supernaturals are downright snobby. Kind of like the POPPs want us to be. Of course, because it’s a grey line with me, the other supernatural races who are under threat think it must be easy for us, so I don’t fit in with them either.

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Caught in the middle.

Caught in the middle, that’s me. I don’t belong in Greece. But if the POPPs have their way, I won’t have a home in England either. What happens to me? It’s easy to get into this vein where I feel sorry for myself and just want to dive into the Seine and never come out (thought that’d be a bad idea; it’s muddy down there).

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Eventually I wandered back to our balcony proper and just sat.

Eventually, I wandered back to our balcony proper and just sat, enjoying the water pooling under my body, the rain on my feet, the rain everywhere. It showed no signs of stopping.

“I’m going to close the window now, Gwen,” said Kari, the fire elemental. “This humidity is fucking with my mojo. You coming in?” She chuckled as she spoke, probably anticipating my response.

“I might really sleep out here,” I replied. “This is heaven for me, you know.”

“Suit yourself; I’ll leave it unlocked.” Kari shut the window.

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Dancing was the best solution

I made my way down to the upper roof and just decided dancing was the best solution. I have six months to worry about what to do in March. Maybe they’ll change the whole thing and make it OK for England to be my home as it always has been. Maybe I’ll have to take a crash course in Greek. I can’t do anything about it here, can’t do anything about it now, so why am I ruining this glorious rainstorm by dwelling on it? I didn’t even let my mind wander onto the environment and reason why this summer is so hot. It would only depress me further.

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Rain Dance

No, no use to dwell. Better to dance. Better to let the water take me over. I only have a few weeks left here, and then it’s back to cloudy Cambridge and the Lit department at Anglia Ruskin, where at least nobody stares at me like I ought to be deported.

Yet.

NB from HM Queen Gwyneth: I have no idea where this dream came from. It felt very much like the world I used to live in, only with supernatural elements disclosed and some unthinkable idea that the UK would ever leave the EU, which would be the dumbest thing ever, and nobody would ever allow that to happen. It was like living in some bizarre dystopian novel preface, where humans made every stupid decision they possible could and the author couldn’t pick the ones they liked best, so they decided to just throw them all in there. Climate change, Xenophobia, and this terror that World War III was on the horizon brimming in my mind. I obviously have more darkness and despair in my subconscious than I ever could imagine in waking life. Beginning to wonder if the dreams really are nothing more than just my mind doing what-if somersaults at night.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project Genus Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Juniper – Iriana (Available NOW at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Dark Passions Koffin Nails, Dark Orchid (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Ears: Swallow, Noldor Elf Ears
Eyes: Mesange, River Eyes
Dress: Pixicat, Ava Dress
Top: Decoy, Carmen Blouse
Jeans: Spirit, Undina Jeans
Shoes: Atelier Pepe, Maya
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Nimbus
Hair: Mina, Sandra
Makeup: Alaskametro, Babygoth
Eyelashes: CowTea, Doe-eyed Eyelashes
Skin Rain: Izzie’s, Wet Body and Face

Environment: Milk Motion, The Roofs of Paris
Poses:
Nantra, blame it on the rain
EvoLove, kiss the rain
Roquai Poses, Rain 1b (last photo)