Under the Lantern Tree

Under the Lantern Tree BLOG - 1

Sometimes, things just appear in the garden, and I don’t know what they’re for.

Sometimes, things just appear in the garden, and I don’t know what they’re for. Take that weird house opposite the gallery, for example. I mean, I guess we’ll hold dances there or something, but at the moment it’s just sitting there. But when this Lantern Tree appeared, with its comfortable seating and characteristic beautiful touches (how could it be from anywhere but The Looking Glass?), I knew exactly what it was for, and I had a use for it right away. Obviously, it’s for late night discussions of things that matter. So I asked Arahaelon to come along, and we began to discuss the situation with Saoirse.

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“I might have vented a bit,” I said.

“I might have vented a bit, I said, “when I found out that my vision was of her being abducted as a seal. The penny dropped when Dyisi asked her who had her skin; then I realised what was happening.”

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“We should summon Dyisi,” Arahaelon said.

“We should summon Dyisi,” Arahaelon said. So this we did. Dyisi arrived with Rire, and we went on with the conversation.

I summarised what we’d already talked about for Dyisi, and Arahaelon asked if Dy could shed a little more light on Saoirse’s state of mind.

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Dyisi shrugged.

Dyisi shrugged. “Is story as old as time,” she said. “She fell for someone who, in turn, used her and took her skin, Ah, forced her to do such deeds that she has done. Though she does noht with to harm anyone… just get her skin back and be free of those who control her. Is why she picked simple boat. Is why when ordered to do more … drastic … measures she picked empty house. Well, empty as that none of people who lived within were there at time. Also, she needs to be within water soon, or she will noht make it.”

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I felt that anger rise within me again.

I felt that anger rise within me again. “Unbelievable arseholes,” I said. “Did she tell you who has her skin? Where they are? I’m just so pissed off about this. Obviously, I’m angry about the graffiti and the boat and my house—I’ll never get that little bed with the iron birdies on it back—but it really appears she was not acting of her own free will. That said, I would hope she’d have come to one of us before all that had to happen.”

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“That would fit…”

“That would fit,” Arahaelon said, “with the story I’m getting from these messages on her phone.” He passed the phone to me so I could take a look. “If her skin has been taken, then we must get it back.”

Dyisi applied her usual calm to the situation. “When faced with death… as it is… I understand why she had noht come to any of us. Such mortality places you within a different mindset. But, nai, her skin must be returned to her.

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“Those who are using her…”

“Those who are using her to further their goals… they must face a higher court than what is on the Island. Especially since it is not just island they are attacking.”

I agreed. “Nathaniel might have some contacts on the mainland, “but he’s away in Mysthaven and won’t be back until next week, I think? We’ll have to give it some thought ourselves.” I smirked. “I could always check with Cherish Gelato. She’s sure to know some wild rumours, at least.” And I nodded to Arahaelon. “Certainly, we must retrieve her skin; she will survive without it, but there is the matter of how well the skin is being kept, of course.

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“Let’s hope they don’t see her as expendable.”

“I hope whoever’s done this doesn’t see her as expendable: the idea of a selkie’s skin being destroyed—well, we’d have to talk to the selkies themselves about that one.”

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Arahaelon brooded for a bit.

Arahaelon brooded for a bit. I noticed his eyes: they looked like storm clouds. “What if we use her as bait to draw these people out? I’m sure the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs would be happy to help us hunt them down. It would go a long way towards shortening her sentence. Despite how much I understand her plight, she must still serve time for what she has done. Had she come to us earlier, much destruction and pain could have been avoided. And as Dyisi points out, she will also have to answer for parts she might have played elsewhere.”

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Dyisi looked to Rire.

Dyisi looked to Rire. He just gave the satyr a shrug; he was dutifully doing his job at standing guard. “It is your call on what to do,” she said finally. “I have no say in such a matter. However, I will also speak to may own contacts over there, as our reach tends to be … deep.” She left it there, not going in to specifics as to what exactly this group she was affiliated with did.

 

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The night air developed a chill.

The night air developed a chill, so I shrugged my wings back on. “I worry about using this girl as bait. She seems … Volatile? Scared. And scared people do stupid things. I’m on the fence. I see how she could help us catch these criminals, but I’m not happy about putting her in a position where the only decision she might make would be a wrong one.”

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Arahaelon closed his eyes.

Arahaelon closed his eyes for a moment before continuing. “She would be closely supervised bait, but I do see your point. She will always be bound to the one who has her skin.” He considered for a moment, rotated his head to the side. “We may not have to, though. We could simply text them back and lure them out ourselves.”

Dyisi sniffed, gave a half-shrug. “Perhaps, paidi mou, you should bring this up to this, ah, Bureau before doing such things. So that they can be at ready. Nai?”

 

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“A good idea.”

“A good idea—who’s our Bureau contact, Arahaelon? Or is that safely with Nate in Mysthaven, as well?” I sighed. “I don’t relish going back there, but I could make a special trip if it were important. I reserve the right to be a complete bitch to everybody, though.”

“Yes, of course they will be notified,” Arahaelon said. “I have a close relationship with our contact: there is no need to be a bitch to anyone, unless you really want to, Dear Queen.” He winked at me in that way that he does. If I were mortal, I’d have been flushing beet red and offering to bear his children. “I will see if I can replicate Saoirse’s style in these messages,” he continued.

“Then if that is all, nai?” Dyisi seemed to have someplace to go.

I nodded. “Yeah; that probably about does it for this evening. I’m glad you were both able to join me. It might be time for me to see what Bran is up to in the treehouse: he was talking about decorating my office.” I winced. “I don’t really want an office.”

Arahaelon actually laughed at me, not that I was surprised. “How will you ever cope?”

I just stuck my tongue out at him. “You know where to find me if you need me,” I said.

Dyisi and Rire disappeared, presumably back to her beach house on the Island, and Arahaelon also disappeared, presumably back to his house on the Island. And me? I walked back to the treehouse, through the magic flower meadow. When I got to the path, I turned around for one more look at the beautiful Lantern Tree. And it seemed I saw myself and Arahaelon sitting there, and the people we sat with varied, and they kept changing. I think we will be using this tree as a meeting place for a long time to come.

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The Lantern Tree

Style Card:
The Lantern Tree, from The Looking Glass, will be available as a gacha for the upcoming round of Enchantment, which opens on 12 August.

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Emo-Tions, Alanis (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Sanford Eyes (Available NOW at Lost and Found!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Savory (Full face and body Omega applier)
Makeup: VENGE (formerly Vengeful Threads), Catwa Luna Makeup (Available NOW at THE COVEN!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Necklace: VENGE (formerly Vengeful Threads), Evening Lord Necklace (Available NOW at THE COVEN!)
Top: Facepalm, Play the Game (Available NOW at Fable!)
Leggings: The Muses, Ariane Legging (Omega Applier)
Boots: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots

Style cards for Arahaelon and Dyisi are coming soon!

Location: White Owl Island Faerie. If you’re looking for a great contemporary fantasy roleplaying sim, why not check us out? White Owl Island, Where Everybody Knows Your Shape.

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Threats

Every day, a new threat. The whole Island is jumpy over it. At first I thought maybe it was one of the children pulling a prank — some objectionable graffiti; nothing we couldn’t handle.

And then, they set a boat on fire in the harbour. One of our new residents put it out, with the help of Aodhan.

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And I? Well, I fled to Faerie.

And I? Well, I fled to Faerie. There does not seem to be much for it, except to wait until this storm, whatever it is, passes, though I recognise that we are no more safe here than are the souls on the Island proper.

I will send a Wisp tonight to let Dyisi know. And Bran says he can make little signs, but only if I let him use the colour printer.

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As always, there is so much to think about.

As always, there is so much to think about. I thought I’d left things like this behind in the Wylds, but I guess every place comes with its own challenges. And I think I’d rather be dealing with this threat than handling mad demifae queens and sadistic ghosts of faerie kings past.

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Nothing’s ever black and white.

Nothing’s ever black and white (see what I did there?!). It all comes down to our thinking, our responses, our strength.

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Still, there are so many variables.

Still there are so many variables. Who is the culprit? How did they get on to our Island? What’s the end game? Does it matter? How are we to keep hundreds of souls from being exposed to a hostile world?

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I notice with some trepidation that the Faery Throne has relocated into my garden.

I notice with some trepidation that the Faery Throne has relocated into my garden. This probably means I’m going to need it.

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I don’t know what I think about that.

I don’t know what I think about that. But I do know that sooner or later I’m going to have to step up and be at least seemingly responsible. Or get Bran off the Nintendo and get him to be responsible. That actually sounds much more fun. Maybe I’ll hide it while he’s making those flyers.

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Just a harmless little prank, right?

Just a harmless little prank, right? I’m sure it’ll all work out somehow. And if not, well, I didn’t manifest this Realm-hopping ability for nothing, right?

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Analog Dog, Ima (Available UNTIL JULY 16 at Hair Fair!)
Eyes: Mesange, Elixir Eyes (Available NOW at On9!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Savory (Omega all-in-one applier) (AVAILABLE NOW at Mesh Body Addicts!)
Tunic: Pixicat, Breeze Tunic
Jeans: Graffitiwear, Art Jeans (Maitreya appliers)
Headpiece: Bauhaus Movement, Aurora Necklace and Forehead
Boots: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots

Poses: All from An Lar, The Julia Series

Location: White Owl Island Faerie. If you’re looking for a great contemporary fantasy roleplaying sim, why not check us out? White Owl Island, Where Everybody Knows Your Shape.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never make Gwyneth tell you how irresponsible she is (again!) without it!

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Nightswimming

HF4 BLOG - 1

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night…..

I’ve been singing this song to myself for days. And like all earworms, even though it’s beautiful the repetition can get to you after a while. So I went to a Realm of Water to sing to myself and hopefully get it out of my system.

Don’t forget: the Midsummer Enchantment event closes tomorrow, so you only have one more day to pick up this beautiful tunic from Arcadia, or these gorgeous Bento wings from PsychoByts, or these lovely Dark Passions nails!

Something about this song has caught me. It was always beautiful, always a picture of reminiscence and longing. Why do I need this song right now?

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The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago

The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago
Turned around backwards so the windshield shows
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse

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Still it’s so much clearer

Still it’s so much clearer
I forgot my shirt at the water’s edge

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The moon is low tonight

The moon is low tonight
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night

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I’m not sure all these people understand

I’m not sure all these people understand
It’s not like years ago
The fear of getting caught

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Of recklessness and water

Of recklessness and water
They cannot see me naked
These things they go away
Replaced by everyday

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Nightswimming, remembering that night

Nightswimming, remembering that night
September’s coming soon

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I’m pining for the moon

I’m pining for the moon
And what if there were two

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Side by side in orbit, around the fairest sun?

Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, white, forever drum
Could not describe nightswimming

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You, I thought I knew you

You, I thought I knew you
You I cannot judge
You, I thought you knew me
This one laughing quietly underneath my breath
Nightswimming

The photograph reflects, every streetlight a reminder

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Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night

 

“Nightswimming”, Music and lyrics by Peter Buck, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry. REM, from Automatic for the people, Mike Mills on piano, Michael Stipe singing.

 

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Emo-Tions, Dessia (Available NOW at Hair Fair!)
Eyes: Mesange, Fiery Eyes (Available NOW at The Chapter 4!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Savory (Omega all-in-one applier) (COMING SOON to Mesh Body Addicts!)
Wings: PsychoByts, Pixie Bento Wings (Available FOR ONE MORE DAY at the Midsummer Enchantment event!)
Tunic: Arcadia, Iona Summer Cincher (Available FOR ONE MORE DAY at the Midsummer Enchantment event!)
Jewellery: Emo-Tions, Aurora Necklace and Forehead
Boots: Sweet Lies, Ragnarok Boots

Poses: All from Bauhaus Movement, Into the Deep, Immerse Yourself (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Location: Phabolaois Stran. I had to go back there. You should visit, too!

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never basically sit here and sing an REM song to you without it!

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Rage Quit?

Flounce Aftermath BLOG - 1

The Atrium was eerily quiet when I returned.

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

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

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

I did tell them what I was going to do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There was no response.

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

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

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I gritted my teeth.

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

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

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

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

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

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“Gwyneth? Love? We need to talk.”

“Gwyneth? Love? We need to talk.”

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

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

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

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

Atrium: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

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

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A Fortnight in Farthingdale

New Blog Headers - 11

The Amazing Catwoman:

My sojourn in the gorgeous forest that I may make a home in was once again interrupted by another phone call from my fixer. His name, or the name he gives me anyway, is Jeremy.

Perfect job for me, a two week guard gig at a Mabon festival in the large town of Farthingdale, in some Realm on the mediaeval side of things. No idea about the accommodation, simple portal outside of town, meet with the Chief of Guards, get your assignment, settle in, and watch for brigands, keep the townspeople from getting too crazy during the big Mabon festival they hold there on the day of the Autumnal Equinox, the 21st of September. Stick around a few days after it’s done to take care of stragglers. No problem; I like mediaeval gigs, as long as I’m not forced to drink crap lager and engage in arm wrestling matches with local ruffians who can’t seem to stomach the idea of a woman in armour that doesn’t make her look like she’s about to go subdue monsters with her baps.

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Of course I took the gig.

Of course I took the gig. Portal landed me there sometime in the late morning, but it was nearly noon by the time the Guard Chief had me all checked out. It’s surprising, really, how much bureaucracy there is in backwater mediaeval Realms: it’s almost like they’re so bored they have to create paperwork in order to give their lives some meaning.

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Guard cabins, I was told, were outside the city gates, natch, beyond the big statue of the lady harper.

Guard cabins, I was told, were outside the city gates, natch, beyond the big statue of the lady harper. So off I went. My hovel was the first one on the right. Apparently that means I’m the first of the hired help to arrive this Mabon season. I suppose I should thank Jeremy for giving me the downlow on the job early: otherwise I might be stuck in a tent in the woods. Not that I mind tent camping, mind you, but while I was ready to be in a tent for a fortnight, I do prefer someplace with a cot. Of course, the cabins looked pretty ramshackle, though the roofs were well-thatched.

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Ah, Hovel, Sweet Hovel, at least for the next couple of weeks.

Ah, Hovel, Sweet Hovel, at least for the next couple of weeks. There were only three or four more identical-looking cabins spaced evenly on the road out of town; that is, before the road dead-ended into thick forest. There are always thick forests surrounding villages like this: otherwise highwaymen would never make their cut and the local economy would flounder.

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I paused briefly before entering Hovel, Sweet Hovel.

I paused briefly before entering Hovel, Sweet Hovel. I might have said a brief prayer to Her Whom I worship, just to beg briefly for running water and decent tea-making facilities. It’s not like I can ask for more, gig like this.

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I have to say, I was stunned when I walked in.

I have to say, I was stunned when I walked in. These little places usually have a weird sense of style, and this one was no different—but it was bigger than it looked on the outside, and I don’t think it was magic: I think it might have just been good engineering and the fact that a single large room looks bigger than a bunch of smaller ones tacked together by a long corridor and a series of narrow doorways. The English could learn a bit about open plan homes by just looking at places like these. Not that they would.

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My new temporary home sported running water and decent washing facilities!

My new temporary home sported running water and decent washing facilities! And the bed, while narrow and absolutely meant for one person (no hanky panky for you guards at our revels, missy!), looked comfortable. I dumped my pack between the end of the bed and the washbasin: I’d unpack later into the cabinets in what looked to be a decently equipped washroom cabinet….even if it did have a picture of two pelicans just staring at me. Not quite as weird as The Morrigan sort of staring over my bed with her Bad Raven Self, but you learn to shut things out when you have to stay in as many weird places as I do.

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And speaking of weird…. let me tell you about the kitchen.

And speaking of weird…. let me tell you about the kitchen. So, I’m used to these out-of-the-way Realms being full of what I’d think of as anachronisms, but never before have I seen what amounted to a modern flat kitchen just sort of slapped into a stone hut with a thatched roof. Running water, glassware and crockery for four, a hob with a usable kettle, and, Oh, Thank You Goddess, decent tea! Once again, it was definitely made for one: there’s only a stool and a tiny table for eating, but fuck it; I don’t like people much anyway, particularly when I’ve already been told I have to masquerade as a lios alfar for the next fourteen days. No glamour-dropping here, though I may change up my skin just to give myself a little giggle.

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That said, aside from the two ends, the cabin was strangely bare.

That said, aside from the two ends, the cabin was strangely bare. I wonder if they repurpose it for different things throughout the year: there were some scuff marks on the floor that suggested at least one large piece of furniture had been recently removed. Again, there was no couch, just a single armchair with a huge stack of books beside it. I guess I’m definitely being told what to do with my down time, eh?

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Nope, I do not look a thing like Her Morriganness.

Nope; I do not look a thing like Her Morriganness. And once I’d had a chance to investigate, I realised the privacy screen between the bed and the rest of the cabin was, well. Not all that private.

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Still, it could be worse. I could be in a tent in the woods….

Still, it could be worse. I could be in a tent in the woods, sharing a kettle with a brace of trolls from Goddess knows where and digging latrines a ladylike distance away from aforementioned brace of trolls.

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The next two weeks might not be so bad, after all….

The next two weeks might not be so bad, after all….

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Trinity
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ears, Naturals
Eyes: Avi-Glam, Elysian Eyes, Ivy
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Maeve (Freckled), in tone Oak (Available through the Buy Now event, a Second Life Marketplace event that offers exclusive items on Marketplace. The skin comes with Omega face appliers, Omega body appliers, Slink hand and feet appliers, Tango breast appliers, and Phatazz booty appliers. Other appliers are available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store.)
Hair: Tukinowaguma, Aloisi (available at Hairology!)
Clothes: Moon Elixir, Rebel Pants & Top in Cocoa (Available at We❤ RP!)
Boots: Illi, Brown Archer Boots
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Necklace: Sweet Lies, Triskel Medallion
Poses (In order):
An Lar, Marilyn Series 5
!bang, Taurus 1
!bang, Taurus 3
!bang, Taurus 4
!bang, Taurus 5
Bauhaus Movement, Shattered Minds 20
Bauhaus Movement, Shattered Minds 23
Bauhaus Movement, Shattered Minds 28
Bauhaus Movement, Luna, 31
!bang, Stand 350
Location Details:
Tree Gate: Sweet Revolutions
Town Gate: Stormwood
Town: Death Row Designs
Forest: Studio Skye
Harper Lady Statue: Death Row Designs
Guard Cabin: Khaleesi’s Shin~Anigans Store, Viking Hut (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Room Divider: Fetch
Bed: Aisling
Wash Stand with Shelf & Sink: Noble Creations
Charcoal Wash Stand: Magic Happens By Monavie (Available at the Spoonful Of Sugar Event!) The Spoonful of Sugar event is a charity event to benefit Doctors Without Borders, an amazing charity that sends doctors all over the world to change and improve people’s lives.
Kitchen: Trompe Loeill
Morrigan Tapestry: The Rabbit Hole
Armchair with Books: 8f8
Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. The Amazing Catwoman never takes a two-week gig in the middle of nowhere for a raucous Mabon Festival without it!

skinlogodiap   final-poster-for-sos   h091016

 

 

Remembering Shining Lands

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

My first LARP, I guess I was eighteen or nineteen years old. It was my first year at uni, and some of the people from the science fiction society got me into a tabletop gaming group and then suggested I come to this LARP with them. They had some stuff I could use for a costume and I didn’t need much of a character description, just something I could work with for the weekend. OK, I said, I’d go, on the condition that we stay in the lodge and not in the campground, because I hated camping. My parents sent me on an adventure holiday once when I was a kid and I was camping with three other girls in a tent, and there were spiders, and I think a badger tried to eat us. Anyway, I don’t camp. I said I’d pay the lodge fee for the three of us, and they were sold. I mean, who wouldn’t choose running water and a bed, no matter how narrow and uncomfortable, over being attacked by badgers in the middle of the night. Right?

The first thing I discovered when we got to the LARP site, naturally, was the Rialto.

The first thing I discovered when we got to the LARP site, naturally, was the Rialto.

The first thing I discovered when we got to the LARP site, naturally, was the Rialto. We arrived early, and not all the merchants were set up: this was one corner where everyone seemed t have their wares out but they were all in the business of loading and unloading and none of them were open for trading yet.

As I was weaving my way in and out of the stalls, a guy asked if he could take my picture; I said sure, because I didn’t mind being photographed even back then. I was always a bit of a ham, to be honest. So he snapped a couple of pictures and I thought nothing more of it. Later in the weekend, it turned out he was the court photographer: this picture made it into the LARP newsletter. And that’s how I met Kevin, who ended up being Fen’s fiancée.

By the time Kevin was done taking my photograph, the jewellery seller had appeared.

By the time Kevin was done taking my photograph, the jewellery seller had appeared.

By the time Kevin was done taking my photograph, the jewellery seller had appeared. She was amazingly costumed and had painted her face and body with the most amazing designs. I remember asking about them and she was only too happy to show them to me. She was more interested in showing me her jewellery, of course, and all of it was lovely. I wished I could buy one of everything, but I’d spent most of my pocket money on the lodge fee, so I didn’t have much left for extra food, much less jewellery. That’s when she slyly told me that even though it was a LARP of course she took credit cards….

So I ended up buying a necklace and a pair of earring then and there.

So I ended up buying a necklace and a pair of earring then and there.

So I ended up buying a necklace and a pair of earrings then and there, and over the two years I played LARP with this group, I’m sure I bought a dozen more pieces from her. She had excellent taste and just knew where to find the best stuff. She didn’t make it herself; said she didn’t have the talents or skills it took, but once I saw her working on a beading project that made me think otherwise. I never said anything to her about it, though now I kind of wish I had. It’s funny, when I think of my past, I always think of how I’d interact with the people from my past as I am now. Gwyneth the Fae Queen could tell Elayne from My Pretties to take a year off the jewellery cart circuit and take a course in metal casting or something, help her turn into the artist she wanted to be. Gwyneth the uni LARPer just made supportive noises and kind of wished she could help more people.

This stall with the swords and Greek gods was always at the LARPs as well.

This stall with the swords and Greek gods was always at the LARPs as well.

This stall with the swords and Greek gods was always at the LARP rialto as well, though I didn’t meet the guy who ran it til much later: half the time he parked next to Elayne and asked her to run his stall. I don’t think he made much money except on the swords, but Richard said he made quite a bit; I just didn’t see all the people who bought swords from him.

I’m laughing at myself now because you know how when you get into memories, you start remember this or that and then your brain goes all chatty with the things you remember and the details, even insignificant ones like whether or not that guy sold lots of swords, keep coming back to you?

To be honest, I don’t even know why I’m thinking of Shining Lands today. I’ve been thinking about my past a lot over the past couple of months, and today I suppose it’s just al coming out. For the last couple of weeks, if I’m honest, I’ve had this disconcerting feeling that things from my past are just going to pop up anywhere and everywhere I turn, as if my past is just around the corner. Even things that I’ve not thought about in ages, like the time those photographs of Richard suddenly appeared in my chamber at the old Seelie sithen. I remember being convinced at the time that he was going to somehow re-enter my life and that things would get very complicated. It never happened though, and that thread of my history remains unexplored.

At the end of the weekend, there's always a ball.

At the end of the weekend, there’s always a ball.

At the end of the weekend, there’s always a ball. Doesn’t matter which weekend it is or what the theme of the LARP is, the ball gives everybody a chance to dress up and not be crossing swords with the other side, even if just for one night. Everyone had to come down this staircase to get in to the event, and they positioned a photographer (Kevin, of course) at the bottom of the stairs who’d take your photograph if you wanted.

This is my ver first “Nerd Descending a Staircase” photo. Kevin laughed at that when I told him that was my immediate name for these pictures.

Aw, there I am again, close-up this time.

Aw, there I am again, close-up this time.

Aw, there I am again, close-up this time. I wanted him to take the close-up so I would remember that it was at this event where I bought this wonderful necklace. I don’t know where Elayne found it, but the tag by the clasp says, “Cae”.

And omg, that was the year I let them talk me into going to a VtM party near campus.

And omg, that was the year I let them talk me into going to a VtM party near campus.

And omg, that was the year I let them talk me into going to a Vampire: the Masquerade party on campus. I was never much into vampires or vampire games, even though they were all the rage at the time what with the backlash against the Twilight books.

The party was in this old church in Cambridge, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable.

The party was in this old church in Cambridge, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable.

The party was in this old church in Cambridge, and I remember feeling really uncomfortable, as if there might be real vampires lurking somewhere there. At the time I thought I was just being paranoid, but now…. well, now I don’t know. Now I think maybe there might really have been vampires there.

And why do I even think of that? Oh! I know: I’m thinking of that because it was the very first time Fenella came to visit me at my digs in Cambridge, and she came along to the party. Unlike me, she had great time. But unlike me, she met Kevin and he immediately asked her out on a date. From that night, they were together. Those two, wow. I always wanted to have someone like that in my life. And now I guess I do, and of course the great irony is that Nathaniel actually is a vampire, while Kevin was just pretending to be one.

Memories are such weird things. Anyway, after my first LARP, I decided to get serious about costuming.

Here I am in my standard Elf-Clan forest outfit.

Here I am in my standard Elf-Clan forest outfit.

Here I am in my standard Elf-Clan forest outfit. This photo was taken a couple of years after my first LARP, probably just a few months before everything changed. I didn’t make any of this stuff, of course, but I met this guy from Reading, Peter, and he and his fiancée did a lot of custom costuming work for LARP people. He really liked working with leather, so I got him to make this for me. It took ages, but I loved it so much. I was wearing one like it in brown when I got dumped in to Jasper Cove, so this black one I think is lost forever.

And ha, there I go again, talking vaguely.

And ha, there I go again, talking vaguely.

And ha, there I go again, talking vaguely about “when everything changed” or “getting dumped into Jasper Cove.” It’s been three years now, and Alec and the Boatman are a distant memory. I believe I must have died in the accident and then moved into another life here, wherever “here” is. I know enough of realm-hopping that I know it’s also possible there’s a version of me back in London, recovering from the accident, going on to live a good life, or dead, or in a coma—but I don’t believe I am that person any more. I remember thinking when I first arrived in Jasper Cove that I must be in a coma back home and this weird place was my coma dream. I don’t think that any more, because a coma dream wouldn’t go on for as long as this one has: my parents would have pulled the plug on me in deference to my lost quality of life. And then I’d have died in two worlds. I just don’t think that’s possible.

No: I think my life line split.

No: I think my life line split.

No; I think my life line split, somehow, when the accident happened, and my consciousness flew into Jasper Cove and created this me. I’ll have to ask Dyisi if such a thing is possible, but I can hear her already telling me that everything is possible and she doesn’t know everything and blah blah blah Dyisi talk, but how I love her anyway.

Well, that got maudlin and reflective all of a sudden, didn’t it?

Let me show you instead my favourite Court dress.

Let me show you instead my favourite Court dress.

Let me show you instead, my favourite Court dress. Peter and Katy didn’t make this, but they did introduce me to the seamstress who did. And I loved this antler headband so much I think I wore it to class a couple of times!

Kevin made me pose so you can see the slashing on the dress' arms.

Kevin made me pose so you can see the slashing on the dress’ arms.

Kevin made me pose so you can see the slashing on the dress’ arms. Even though my body’s different since my Quickening ages ago at the old Seelie sithen, I can imagine myself now wearing a dress like this (not the antlers, natch, or not at the moment anyway). I shall have one of the Court tailors look into recreating it for me.

Here I am reaching out, once again a request from Kevin.

Here I am reaching out, once again a request from Kevin.

Here I am reaching out, once again a request from Kevin. He really did like those sleeves.

But now the clock is striking 5:00. I’ve spent too long lingering over old memories today, and I’m still not sure why: I haven’t thought of these things in so long. I have a strategy meeting with Bran and Wulfrich over dinner, and I have to get dressed and ready for that. I’d better put my old life back in the drawer and remember that in my present life I have duties and responsibilities that can’t be avoided.

But I can’t stop thinking of the moment I introduced Fenella to Kevin and what happened when their eyes met. I wonder what happened to them. They were in the front of the MPV when it flipped. I hope they’re recovered, happy, married, expecting a baby. I wish that for them.

Yes, yes, yes. 5:00. I’m late. Strategy and tactics, not eyes across a room a lifetime ago.

Style Cards:

Gwyneth’s First LARP Costume Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Hair: Lelutka, Kayla
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Dress: Whymsical Marketplace, Wiccan Maiden Medieval Dress (Available now at the Whymsical Marketplace Main Store!)
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes
Necklace: Aisling, Wilow Necklace
Eyes: IKON

Elayne of “My Pretties”:
Skin: 
Fallen Gods
Body: Belleza
Dress: Sweet Lies
Tattood: Fallen Gods
Collar: DeSSion
Hair: Moon

Gwyneth’s First LARP Ball Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes
Elf Ears: Kahli Designs Faux Elf Ear Silver
Hair: Elikatira, Piper
Gown: Mistique, Beitris Dark

Gwyneth’s Elf Clan Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Hair: No Match, No Flowers
Clothes (dress, skirt, jacket, boots, bracers): Fashionably Dead Designs Stories, Amaelle

Vampire Party Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Hair: Truth, Freya
Necklace: Le Forme, Aegon Necklace Lover Gold
Clothes (boots, jacket, pants): Yasum, Vintage (Available at the Fantasy Gacha Carnival!)

Gwyneth’s Experienced LARP Ball Photos:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Grazia (Available at the Summer Sale Event at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Body: Maitreya
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: IKON
Headpiece: Bauhaus Movement, Fly to the Angels (Available at Collabor88!)
Hair: Exile, Come What May (Available at We Love Roleplay!)
Dress: Junbug, Aria Azure (Rare) (Available at The Gacha Garden!)
Elf Ears: Kahli Designs Faux Elf Ear Silver
Necklace: Cae, Hedera
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never leave home without it! 

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