Morning After

New Blog Headers - 9

Gwyneth:

So, yeah. I was talking about Clutie in my last post, and about how she just annoys me to pieces these days.

As it happens, the morning after my little excursion into the Wylds, I was just sitting on the couch, playing with one of those winged cats I like so much—I don’t know why; they just fascinate me. I was thinking about what I’d do in the Bower for the Winter Solstice, and whether or not I would need to get some demifae in to do a bit of heavy lifting (it always amuses me that I get creatures no longer than the length of my hand to do my heavy lifting), when I felt a familiar buzzing in my head.

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See? I really was just minding my own business.

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And the next thing I knew, I was arguing with Clutie.

And the next thing I knew, I was arguing with Clutie.

‘No’, I said. ‘I have no interest in trying on winter gowns today. As you can see, I’m very comfortable on this large sofa with this fascinating cat, and I intend to keep on doing this until noon at the very earliest.’

‘But Your Majesty’, Clutie reminded me, ‘I am still your handmaiden, no matter’ (and here she sniffed, perhaps judgmentally) ‘what kind of journey your soul is taking in to night at this moment. And being your handmaiden means that I must prepare you for events to come. And whether you like it or not, it is December, and that means Year Turn parties and Winter Solstice gatherings, and halls filled with light and music’. She sniffed again. ‘I will not have my Queen in a hall full of light and music wearing…’ she wrinkled her nose. ‘What exactly are you wearing, Your Majesty?’

‘Pink footie pyjamas’, I answered, with as much grace and dignity as a grown woman could have, saying the words “pink footie pyjamas”, while actually wearing pink footie pyjamas. Granted, that’s not a lot of grace and dignity.

Danae coughed to hide her laughter; it didn’t work completely, because Clutie turned and gave her the most potent eat shit look I think I’ve seen since that time I suggested to Maric that he dress up as Santa Claus for all the children of the village. Serious lead balloon, that was.

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Not three minutes later, I was fuming as Clutie, Danae, and their cohort (whose name I didn’t catch) fitted me in to what was, granted, a gorgeous dress.

Not three minutes later, I was fuming as Clutie, Danae, and their cohort (whose name I didn’t catch) fitted me in to what was, granted, a gorgeous dress.

Clutie, who was ignoring my crankiness completely, flitted back and sighed with dramatic happiness. ‘Oh! I knew you would look marvellous in this one: I had it sent in specially for you. It’s made by Junbug.’

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I was still bored when they posed me in front of a rose curtain and started messing with my hair again.

I was still bored when they posed me in front of a rose curtain and started messing with my hair again.

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Honestly, I felt like a mannequin with the gift of speech when Clutie finally told me to smile and had her cohort (Sorcha! That’s her name!) snap a photo of me with that Polaroid camera I bought her in Nu Jyorck.

Honestly, I felt like a mannequin with the gift of speech when Clutie finally told me to smile and had her cohort (Sorcha! That’s her name!) snap a photo of me with that polaroid camera I bought her in Nu Jyorck.

‘You look like a goddess, Your Majesty’, she said.

I made a noncommittal noise, although in fact, I did like the dress. The shoes had little butterflies for heels, and I liked those too.

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‘Don’t you think this one’s too formal?’ I asked Clutie after they’d all stopped pinning me in to it.

‘Don’t you think this one’s too formal?’ I asked Clutie after they’d all stopped pinning me in to it.

‘Can you ever really be too formal?’ was Clutie’s response. ‘Besides, you love this designer. It’s Silvan Moon Designs. You have this dress already in a sort of ice white colour, but I thought you might appreciate wearing blue and gold again, you know’.

I sighed. ‘Maybe in the summer’, I said, ‘we’ll go back to the Summer Court colours then.’

Clutie pouted. ‘You’d never wear this gown in summer’, she asserted.

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‘This is true’, I replied. ‘Fine; I’ll think about it’.

‘This is true’, I replied. ‘Fine; I’ll think about it’.

Then she had Sorcha photograph me again, and we went on to the next dress.

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At least this one was red, though it seems she has a thing for trains this year.

At least this one was red, though it seems she has a thing for trains this year.

‘This one’s also from Junbug‘, Clutie informed me as she did something with the crown she insisted on fitting on me “just to see how it looks”. Never mind that I’ve worn this crown dozens of times before and it always looks good: it’s one of Evangeline Miles’ designs, so it’s practically perfect in every way.

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‘I do rather like the fit of this one’, I finally admitted.

‘I do rather like the fit of this one’, I finally admitted.

Danae and Sorcha made my nails and lips the same colour as the dress, and of course they glamoured the shoes to match as well. Proper little artists, they are.

‘How many more?’ I murmured wearily to Clutie.

‘Just one more’, she promised. ‘And I saved the best one for last, of course’.

‘Why do we play this game, if you always know the one I’m going to pick as my favourite before I do?’

‘Because it amuses me to know you well, Your Majesty’, she replied. I just about swatted her, but, you know. My nails were still wet.

‘Better colour those black’, she instructed to Danae and Sorcha. Sorcha blinked once, twice, and I’d swear steam came out of her ears.

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‘Oh!’ I twirled! I giggled. ‘This is gorgeous, and you don’t even have to tell me who designed it.’

‘Oh!’ I twirled! I giggled! ‘This is gorgeous, and you don’t even have to tell me who designed it. I can tell by the colour alone. Why didn’t you tell me there was an Evangeline Miles design to try on? I never would have snapped at you, not even a little bit.’

Clutie sniffed again.

I rolled my eyes. ‘Are you coming down with a cold, Clutie dear, or are you just so fucking superior you can’t hold it in?’

Clutie huffed. ‘Your Majesty! I never! Your attitude is unbecoming of a Queen sometimes.’

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At that, I laughed out loud.

At that, I laughed out loud. ‘Well, at least some things never change,’ I said. I spread my arms out. ‘Now, this dress makes me want to dance. Is there a Solstice Ball this year?’

Clutie clapped her hands. ‘Of course! Nothing could keep us from celebrating the Return of Light, My Queen.’

‘Good’, I replied. ‘This is for that, then. And wherever did you find this gorgeous jewellery?’

‘Oh, now, this is from Vae at The Plastik. She sent it over on approval, with compliments. Shall I send her some faerie gold?’ Clutie’s little helpers tittered at this.

‘No; I shall send her some real gold’, I replied. ‘No reason to make her grumpy. Besides, I think she may be a demon, and I’d rather not piss her off. Hard to tell, really, with some people. And I’ll visit Evie myself to tell her how gorgeous this dress is. And the crown of candles! You’ve outdone yourself, Clutie.’

Clutie puffed with pride. ‘Actually, Danae found this while we were touring round that faire you like to go to, the one about Roleplay. It’s from Paper Moon.’

‘Well, it’s perfect’, I declared. ‘Makes me feel creative. You know, I think we should put a carpet of grass in this atrium, give the tree something to feel under her feet, and us as well. What do you think of that?’

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‘A marvellous idea, Your Majesty’, Clutie replied.

‘A marvellous idea, Your Majesty’, Clutie replied. ‘Sorcha, do take another photo, would you?’

Sorcha grumbled that she never got to be in any of the photographs. ‘Oh, do stop moaning’, Danae said, and she levitated the camera to photograph us all together as I struck another dancing pose. ‘There, now’.

‘I could have thought of that’,  Sorcha said, sullen.

‘But you didn’t’, Danae said.

Just then there was a crash from somewhere behind me, and musical cursing.

‘What the fuck?’ I turned, but Clutie obscured the arched doorway with a wall of mist.

‘Sorry, Your Majesty; they’re not ready for you yet’, she said.

‘Who is this “they”?’ I peered into the room, squinting, then raised my hand to clear the mist.

‘Oh, please don’t, My Queen’, Clutie said. ‘Kern’s so excited about this, and I don’t want to ruin his fun. Let’s just say there’s a surprise waiting for you when we’re done here’.

I raised a brow. ‘Oh, fine’, I said, ‘but it had better be good’.

Style Cards:

Pyjama Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Madelyn (Catwa Head Appliers, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Celtic)
Hair: Pink Hustler 8160
Pyjamas: Cracked Mirror, Footie Pajamas, Pink

The Cat: Half-Deer, Winged Cats
The Couch: Fallen Gods, Justine
The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Tulip Fairy Companion
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: !bang

White Dress Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Madelyn (Catwa Head Appliers, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Celtic)
Makeup: Izzies, Catwa Silver Glitter Makeup (Available at the United and Kind event!)
Hair: Sinkitlia, Giselle
Gown: Junbug, Elia in Mist (Available at Uber!)
Crown & Bracers: G-Spot, Dyonysus’ Bride
Necklace: The Forge, Ember in Bronze (Available at the United and Kind event!)
Shoes: Violetility, Fairy Shoes

The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Tulip Fairy Companion
The Wardrobes: Scarlet Creative, Nerites Wardrobe, Venice Wardrobe (both from past Arcades)
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: POSEsion

Blue Dress Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Hair: Truth, Xia
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Yulia (Lelutka Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone 1) (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth: Xia
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Victoria Faun Gown (COMING SOON to Winter Solstice in the Mystic Realms, opening December 9!)
Shoes: Illi, Maitreya Roslyn Rose Heels

The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: POSEsion

Red Dress Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Hair and Hair Jewellery: Mina & Empyrean Forge, Harmony (Available NOW at FaMESHed!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears, Season 5
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Yulia (Lelutka Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone 1) (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Gown: Junbug, Odette (Available NOW at FaMESHed!)!)
Shoes: Illi, Maitreya Roslyn Rose Heels
Crown and Collar: Evie’s Closet, Alateriel

The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Tulip Fairy Companion
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: POSEsion

Ombre Grey Dress Pictures
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Stella
Hair: Spellbound, Lionhearted
Eyes: Mesange, Kelpie Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Yulia (Lelutka Head Applier, Maitreya Body Appliers, in Tone 1) (Available NOW at the Lumae Main Store!)
Gown: Evie’s Closet, Amalthea (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Shoes: Illi, Maitreya Roslyn Rose Heels
Necklace and Earrings: The Plastik, Serra Chain and Earrings (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Crown: Paper Moon, St. Lucia Wreath, Fir, Midnight (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)

The Fairies:
Clutie: Ohmai, Gerbera Fairy Companion
Danae: Ohmai, Dandelion Fairy Companion
Sorcha: Ohmai, Tulip Fairy Companion
The Rose Curtain: Half Deer, Fairy Curtain
The Skybox: Spellbound, Atrium Skybox

Poses: Black Tulip, The Darkness In Me Series

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never subject poor, poor Gwyneth to yet more fancy dress fittings without it!

Into the Dark

New Blog Headers - 9

Gwyneth:

There is, in a Realm that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, a magic shop. It claims to be a “Magick Shoppe”, but that’s neither here or there. I discovered it by accident once when I was out looking for … oh, I don’t know. Something. Anyway, the fellow who runs the shoppe [sic] is a powerful wizard. Old-school wizard, the kind of guy who has a first floor (Americans: second floor) full of nothing but magical texts, which are not  for sale, and a ground floor full of herbs, potions, ingredients, and pre-prepared spells, which are for sale. I got talking to this guy once about the differences between Fae magic and what he calls ceremonial magic, which I guess is a fancy name for wizarding magic, and he mentioned having helped some Fae once.

And, you know. He does custom work.

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I hesitated at the door.

I hesitated at the door. It wasn’t yet mid-morning, and he’d said he preferred to work in the evenings. But then his unmistakable voice, deep like a euphonium and every bit as loud, came from inside the shop.

“Well, don’t just stand there dithering, Your Queeniness. I think you’d better come in.”

So I did. I told him what I wanted. He sent me out shopping on the high street of the town (And I did pick up some lovely things!), told me to come back in the afternoon and he’d have something for me.

It was a potion. “Best drink it here”, he said, “so I can gauge whether or not you’re going to have a bad reaction. We should know in an hour or two”.

It was vile. Not like Dyisi’s concoctions, which always end up tasting like Piña Coladas. I just about gagged. Had to stop halfway through.

“No, no”, he said. “You have to chug it like you’re at your first university party.”

I glared and finished the rest in one swig. When I could speak again (probably a full thirty seconds later), I said, “I never went to any university parties. I was too busy studying”.

“Well, that was your first mistake, Queenie.” He smirked.

That was the moment I first thought maybe I should have gone to Dyisi instead. But surely she’d tell Kern, and then he’d tell Clutie, and then all the Seelie Fae would be aghast at what I was doing and all the Unseelie Fae would turn up their noses… no. Best no-one knew.

Then the dizziness started. “It’ll pass”, he assured me. “Once you’re over it, you should get yourself home and to bed, though. You don’t want to go through this transition on the High Street.”

I thought back to my night with Mornoth. So many new thoughts and feelings swirling round inside my head. He’d promised to help me. I knew he’d help me more. But I needed something to bring out the darkness inside me, something that would make me not resist the winter I knew was inside my nature.

“Do you think we’ll have to repeat the process in the spring?” I asked.

“Unlikely, but my fee remains the same if we do”, he replied.

“Why not?”

“What I’ve given you is just a catalyst”, he explained. “There is a dark side to your nature; we are just helping it along a bit.”

Suddenly, my head felt a bit more clear. “Time to go?”

“Time to go.”

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I hesitated in the doorway.

I hesitated in the doorway. Had I forgotten something? My head began to buzz strangely.

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I just knew I’d forgotten something.

I just knew I’d forgotten something.

“Go now, Your Majesty!” He thumped his fist on the counter.

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I flung the door closed and staggered into the street.

I flung the door closed and staggered into the street. It’s a good thing I do so much Realm-hopping; the way home is easy for me.

And when I got there, I didn’t pause to say even a cursory hello to Bran, who was busy with something anyway. I had to use the handrail going up the stairs, and I’m afraid I just threw myself into bed.

I don’t know how long I slept.

I also don’t know how I came to be awake in the garden, up on the memorial dais. But there I was.

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I put a hand to my face, felt the etchings there.

I put a hand to my face, felt the etchings there. Noticed my hair had gone silver-white again. Could glamour to blonde quickly, but… a glance at my hand told me anything yellow would clash against my ashen skin. A crown that felt like silver wire. And. Oh, Lady of my Life, I felt the antlers on my head. I pulled at them, but they had clearly grown while I was sleeping, and come to think of it, I did have a bit of a headache.

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That was when the world shifted.

That was when the world shifted. Everything went dark, the darkest night I could imagine. That’s also when the wolf appeared. He snuffled around the hem of my dress and seemed OK with being petted when I reached down. A white wolf. I had some half-remembered folklore in my head about white wolves, but I couldn’t call it up, probably because I was still dizzy, and—you know, antlers are surprisingly light. I wasn’t all that thrilled when my hand came away sticky with spiderwebs. Great. Why can’t I have shiny, pretty antlers like the ones Aoibheann got? Or at least an antler candelabra like Gwythyr. Why spiderwebs?

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Then again, I thought, spiders aren’t all that bad.

Then again, I thought, spiders aren’t all that bad. It kind of made me giggle. The wolf snapped at something, which made me laugh even harder.

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We made our way down into the enchanted garden.

We made our way into the enchanted garden. I was pleased to see it was still the same, though my beautiful forest had turned orange and red and yellow with autumn leaves. I didn’t see another living creature, so I asked the wolf the question that was in my mind. “What do you think all this is about?”

“Initiation”, said the wolf in a growling voice.

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That’s when the feathers started falling.

That’s when the feathers started falling. I reached out for one, but they slipped through my fingers.

Glowing like a gaslamp, a will o’ the wisp appeared, then morphed into a tiny dark Faerie. A tiny dark Faerie, holding a raven twice his size in his hands. And a very sharp knife. He swiftly sliced through the raven’s flesh and cut out its still-beating heart. “For you, Your Majesty”, he said.

I stared.

“Hurry up now, or it’s no good: I’ll have to get another one.”

I couldn’t deny that it smelled good. He lifted the tiny heart toward my mouth. I didn’t swallow it whole. I savoured it. The bird twitched, and the Fae dropped it onto the ground, where the white wolf finished it off in a couple of bites. I wiped blood from my mouth.

Without another word, the Fae flitted off into the forest.

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I tried to follow it, but it disappeared.

I tried to follow it, but it disappeared. I felt wings sprout from my shoulders then, and I was giddy again, twirling and dancing in the autumn woods. Around me, raven feathers swirled and dipped.

They were beautiful.

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But what was it all for?

But what was it all for? I felt a chill in the air, and it sent a thrill through my body. I felt heavy with life and desire, as if the raven’s heart had somehow given me something more than the wizard’s potion could ever have done. Maybe I hadn’t needed the potion at all.

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And what to do now?

And what to do now? I wondered only for the barest slice of a second. I felt the call of the Underhill. And I knew just who could help me with all the excess energy I seemed to have collected. “You want to stay here?” I asked the wolf.

“Better hunting in the forest than in Mornoth’s bed”, he replied.

Psychic little fucker.

Style Cards:

Magick Shoppe Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Eyeshadow: Arte, Yuki Eyeshadow, Gems
Lipstick: The Skinnery, Matte Lip Potion
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD
Eyes: Mesange, Serndipity Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: Lumae, Eirtae, T1
Hair: No Match, No Sleep (Available at Hairology!)
Dress: Evie’s Closet, Thisbe, Purple (Available at We ❤ RP!)
Shoes: Death Row Designs, Frilly Shoes, Black
Magick Shoppe: Death Row Designs, Magick Shoppe (Now available at the Death Row Designs Main Store!)
Poses: All from Black Tulip, The Darkness In Me (Available at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Bower Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Feet: SLink, Pointe
Head: Catwa, Destiny
Ears: Swallow, Ears Elf HD
Eyes: Mesange, Lionsong Eyes (Omega appliers)
Skin: La Petite Morte, Belle, Diamond (Catwa applier, Maitreya applier)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Marissa
Crown: The Forge, Autumn Crown, Gold/Silver (Available at The Seasons Story!)
Antlers: Cerebrus Xing, Spindle Antlers, Snow (Available at The Seasons Story!)
Dress: Silvan Moon Designs, Well of Souls (Available at the Fallen Gods 9th Anniversary Event!)
Raven Feathers: Persefona, Floating Raven Feathers
Shoes: ChicChica, Fairy Pointes, Night
Memorial Structure: Kaelis Ember, Here Find Serenity
Wolf: Tender Loving Care, Standing Wolf White (Available at Cosmopolitan!)
Magic flowers: The Looking Glass, Ichi Fields
Forest: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Poses: All from Black Tulip, The Darkness In Me (Available at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I never make Gwyneth drink foul-tasting potions that may or may not turn her into a Proper Dark Faerie Queen without it!

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Memory Lane: Another Dream of Shining Lands

Gwyneth:

Gwyneth:

These dreams of Shining Lands are not unpleasant: I’m just not sure where they’re coming from. Remembering my past is not always pleasant, but remembering the LARP is. It was such an important part of my life back then, and I got to play so many wonderful roles. In some ways, I think it prepared me for the next phase in my life better than anything else could have: I had the experience of being so many people through roleplaying that sometimes my role here feels like an extended game, although I have found, sometimes in violent and unpleasant ways, that it’s really, really not.

On our way back from Nu Jyorck, the strange city where I attended a charity banquet on the arm of one Duke Taliyen (I’ll tell you more about it later, promise!), I had a dream about Shining Lands. The dream took place during the last year I was there before everything changed, before the accident, and I was playing a sorceress.

We needed to secure this beautiful garden for the Light Elves.

We needed to secure this beautiful garden for the Light Elves.

So I was there in my travelling gown, because we were meant to be on our way from one place to another, when Kevin noticed this bridge and said it would be perfect to drop a couple of wards here so the enemy couldn’t get us. I don’t even remember who the enemy was meant to be.

The closer I got to this garden, the more I loved it.

The closer I got to this garden, the more I loved it.

The closer I got to this garden, the more I loved it. We were playing in this ruined abbey in Cornwall, and  guess they just let this garden grow right into the bridge. It was amazing.

Once I got into the garden, after I'd dice-rolled for the wards, I was totally enthralled.

Once I got into the garden, after I’d dice-rolled for the wards, I was totally enthralled.

Once I got into the garden, after I’d dice-rolled for the wards, I was totally enthralled. Flowers everywhere. Richard refused to do anything but walk through really fast, because he’s allergic to everything. He was allergic. I keep having to correct that recently: I thought I’d got over it. Both Fen and me were spinning around in the garden like a couple of idiots, and then she started singing, “The hills are alive, with the sound of music,” and then we giggled so hard Kevin actually grabbed her by the shoulder and kissed her to shut her up for fear the other team would hear us laughing.

It was a good dream. I don't know why it seems so weird that I had a good dream.

It was a good dream. I don’t know why it seems so weird that I had a good dream.

It was a good dream. I don’t know why it seems so weird that I had a good dream. Well, OK. I might have some idea about why it seems so weird.

It's the sense of foreboding these dreams always end with. As if they're trying to tell me something.

It’s the sense of foreboding these dreams always end with. As if they’re trying to tell me something.

But there’s this sense of foreboding these dreams always end with. As if they’re trying to tell me something. And I’ve learned enough about dreams since I fell in to Faerie or whatever that I know it has to be significant when I’m spinning and laughing with my best friend and then the dream is sucked away and the last thing I hear is Richard’s voice screaming, “Gwyn, no! Don’t get up! Don’t get out of the car!”

So, yeah. That happened. It was a pretty good dream up ’til then.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Chastity, in Pineapple, with Maitreya Appliers (Chastity is a NEW skin line available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store, where you can also pick up the Maitreya Appliers!)
Dress: Independent Objects, Catherine in Black (Available at Fair Play!)
Hair: Exile, Sugar (Available at the Arcade Gacha!)
Ears: Kahli Designs, Faux Elf Ears, Silver
Necklace: The Forge: Bodicea’s Necklace
Belt: The Forge, Bodicea’s Belt
Staff: The Forge, Aura Moon Staff
Shoes: Aisling, Tess Orty Shoes

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

Fair Play Logo

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Comeuppance, Part 1

The Amazing Catwoman:

The Amazing Catwoman:

I admit it: I do reckless things. It’s one of the qualities that make me good at my job. It also gets me in to trouble, and I have realised this last world-hopping jaunt, the one where I kind of forgot who I was at the end, has landed me in a heap of trouble in Fair Fucking Elfland. Clutie was all full of dire warnings about temporal rifts and OMG THE WHOLE UNIVERSE OUT OF BALANCE, and of course the whole Incident got escalated to her. And I admit that I myself have not remained untouched, but I’m not really talking about that.

I was out roaming in the Unseelie Forest, as you do.

I was out roaming in the Unseelie Forest, as you do.

I was out roaming in the Unseelie Forest, as you do. And I felt something, something shimmering just out of reach. As, you know, you do. I was glad I had my new bow on me: I managed to sneak away to this faire held by the Fantasy Collective, and I couldn’t resist it. My new armour comes from there as well.

Then something changed, though I couldn't have told you what it was at the time.

Then something changed, though I couldn’t have told you what it was at the time.

Then something changed, though I couldn’t have told you what it was at the time. Feathers appeared in my hair though, almost never a good sign. At least they were white and not black. Black might indicate ravens, and I think having to deal with Nemaine right now would destroy whatever confidence I have left.

Speaking of left—should I go that way?

Speaking of left—should I go that way?

Speaking of left—should I go that way? Hm. Another weirdness: usually I know what direction things are in, just sort of naturally. Left, I thought, would take me toward the river that separates the Unseelie lands from the Seelie half of the forest. Like a lot of Fae, I’m of mixed heritage, though I prefer the Unseelie lands: there’s less prejudice, less name calling, and of course I’m less likely to run in to her. Why I’m seemingly the only person in Faerie who doesn’t trust her, I couldn’t tell you. And it’s not that she’s a bad person; it’s just that she’s the Queen, and you cannot fucking trust Fae royalty; that I know with certainty.

Or ... should I go right?

Or … should I go right?

Or… should I go right? I couldn’t decide; it was very frustrating. But I heard the sound of a waterfall in that direction: fuck. I was definitely turned around. Toward the waterfall would be toward the Seelie lands, wouldn’t it?

There was something else in that direction, though: a different kind of mist than we have here, the sort that burns off in the morning and makes you wet through to whatever you’re wearing beneath your —wait. My armour changed, too. Well, this couldn’t be good, even if the armour was, wow. Well fitting and perfectly coloured for my skin, and leaves in my hair, a long tunic with just the right amount of sway…. and comfy boots, my goddess, comfy boots.

Wow…I heard music, tinny and upbeat, with drums I’ve come to associate with more ‘modern’ realms. But in Faerie, I shouldn’t be able to perceive that stuff. A van. Shouting. Someone asleep in the driver’s seat. I shook my head. That’s just leftover stuff from one of those realms, I told myself. I’m not that girl. But I really have to go back to Russell: he’ll be so upset when he wakes up and I’m not there. We were going to Cornwall. Cornwall. What a funny name for a place. Does it actually have walls made of corn?

And then, like the chiming of a bell in my head that rang straight down into my heart, it came.

And then, like the chiming of a bell in my head that rang straight down into my heart, it came.

And then, like the chiming of a bell in my head that rang straight down into my heart, it came.

Geas. Fuck. I was being summoned. But I can’t leave Russell. But I must. She did it. She called me to the fucking Seelie Residence.

Just then, I was about as far away from anywhere I wanted to be as one pointy-eared Fae can get.

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

“You have got to be fucking kidding me,” I said.

“No joke, and do please try to control your tongue, Tacey,” said Nathaniel. He’s her new husband. He’s so goddamn nice, he’s hard to be around. Not to mention very easy on the eyes, that Nathaniel. But I can’t afford to lust after her consort: even though we Fae don’t have this thing about owning our lovers that many mortals do, my life is complicated enough already without a sexy redheaded vampire in it. Big mental X on that.

TAC, I repeated, for the umpteenth time. It's TAC.

TAC, I repeated, for the umpteenth time. It’s TAC.

“TAC,” I repeated for the umpteenth time. “It’s TAC”.

“No, TAC, I am not kidding you,” Nathaniel said. Fucking over cultured English arse. “You will be checking tickets for tonight’s banquet, and you will wear the Queen’s colours while you do it, and you will be polite and personable, and you will ensure that our guests have no fears or concerns about what might be occurring outside that door.”

“I’m bouncing at a Royal banquet?”

“That you are. And for the next three weeks, you’ll stay here in Faerie, and you’ll have a long talk with Dyisi about how reckless and dangerous to our Realm your recent activities have been. Do I make myself clear?”

“Crystal,” I replied, because I couldn’t think of anything better to say.

“Good,” he replied and he didn’t give me another look, not for a long time. And that was just as well, because then Clutie put me in the Queen’s Knight clothes. Which are perfectly serviceable, except they make me look like a fucking Court Jester. The only thing that makes this outfit worth wearing is this fucking amazing polearm. She might want us to look like courtiers, but she knows where to import weapons. This spear comes from MacMoragh & Museand it may be the most beautiful weapon I’ve ever held. Not giving up the bow, but shit, if you have to have a spear, this is the one you want.

All in all, the evening was a simple job, except for this one woman, Cherish Gelato. And may I just say what a stupid fucking name that is? Cherish Gelato? Are you a woman or a dessert? Make up your mind!

Anyway, Ms. Gelato did not want to surrender her ticket because it had the Queen’s signature on it. What an imbecile. A document, any kind of document, with the Queen’s signature on it is powerful, and sometimes she forgets to enchant them so they’re useless. So her knights, her fucking Guards, have to inspect every ticket. Cherish Gelato’s turned out to be unenchanted and therefore very powerful magic that we absolutely cannot allow to go home with her.

And she pitched a goddamn fit. Oh, it was a souvenir. Oh, she’d cherish (see what I did there?) it always. Oh, it would go on her wall in a place of honour. Oh, she’d hide it away in a safe. Oh, she might sell it on eBay….

Yeah. No.

It took half the guests staring her down and Nathaniel backing me up to get her to surrender that stupid little piece of paper. “I don’t know what the problem is,” the Queen said when she finally showed up, “Cherish Gelato easily has a dozen signed photos of me. She doesn’t need an invitation, too.”

Ms. Cherish Gelato, refusing to surrender her ticket.

Ms. Cherish Gelato, refusing to surrender her ticket.

Finally, with Nathaniel, Dyisi (whom I’m trying to avoid, frankly), a very convincing Fae Bard called Maeve, and Sabre, a visiting Unseelie Royal Sidhe who seems to have some diplomatic standing, all standing over her, she was convinced to hand the damn thing over.

This? Is going to be the longest three weeks of my life.

Group photo, from left to right:
Mikachu, Wren, Nathaniel, The Amazing Catwoman, Sabre (in the back), Dyisi, Cherish, and Maeve.
Thanks to my amazing and patient rp friends who let me take nearly an hour to put this photograph together.

Style Cards:

TAC Roaming the Unseelie Forest:
Skin
: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Andrea (the NEW B UNIQUE skin, available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Eyes: Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ear
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Bow: Storybook, Heartseeker Bow (Available at The Fantasy Collective)
Boots: Gauze, BP Swift Boots, Fantasy
Hair: Homage, Frenchie Redux, Lohans
Clothes: The White Armory, Woodland Guardian Tunic Set (Available at The Fantasy Collective)
Necklace: Otherskin, Selene

TAC Under the Arch:
Skin
: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Andrea (the NEW B UNIQUE skin, available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Eyes: Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ear
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Bow: Storybook, Heartseeker Bow (Available at The Fantasy Collective)
Clothes: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Nirenil Outfit, Woodland (Available at The Fantasy Collective)
Hair: AII (the ugly and beautiful), Forest Witch Hair V2 With Feathers (Available at The Fantasy Collective)
Torc: The Forge, Torc, Ultra-Rare
Headpiece: Wicca’s Wardrobe, Laerlorn Headpiece, Summer (Available at The Fantasy Collective)
Boots: Lassitude & Ennui, Endenion Boots, Brown/Gold

TAC as a Queen’s Knight:
Skin
: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Andrea (the NEW B UNIQUE skin, available at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store)
Body: Maitreya Lara
Eyes: Gauze, Paradox Cat Eyes
Ears: Gauze, High Elf Ear
Ring: Aisling, The Good Wife
Tunic: SenzaFine, Beriawen Tunic (Available at The Fantasy Collective)
Necklace: Alegria, Dragon Scale Necklace, Silver
Hair: Mina, Lena/ Guusje (long) Mina (windblown, in the group photo)
Boots: Gauze, BP Swift Boots, Naturals
Spear: MacMoragh & Muse, Obara’s Spear (NEW at the MacMoragh & Muse Main Store and not on MP yet)

Group Photo Style Cards:


Wren:
Hair
: *ARGRACE RYO -Golden Blonde
Ears
: *~*Illusions*~* Fairy Ears
Eyes
: InkHeart Dorian Eyes-Bottle
Rat: Alchemy-Rat Familiar-Brown
Boots: Cazimi Eben Boots-Brown
Wings: Faeline Fairy Wings-Youoko-Lime
Shape: oddbAlls’ FINN Shape for Girl Child
Pants: the Lounge- Medieval Lounge Pants-Burlap DkBrown
Tunic: {Exalted} Woodland Strider-Tunic-Green
Belt: {Exalted} Ranger-Belt

Nathaniel:
Body – MA Designs Complete Avatar, Riley 1
Skin – DNA Damien Type 1
Hair – Wasabi Pils Orion Mesh Hair (Cinnamon)
Eyes – Ikon Sunrise eyes, Verdigris
Clothing – [S] James Pants and Boots, .Luminary. Henry Top

Sabre:
Wasabi Pills Erik Mesh Hair.
Zed Mesh fur lined Black Goth Strap Boots
Zed Mesh Goth Distressed Black full Length Coat
Zed Mesh Lace-up Leather straight leg Pants

Cherish:
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Daisey, Apricot (Rare)
Hair: Olive, The Daisy Hair (Rare)
Dress: Aphorism, Inanna Dress, Vine, White
Coat: Aphorism, Inanna Coat, Ebony
Necklace: Le Forme, Aegon Necklace, Butterfly, Gold

Dyisi:
Skin – Plastik Astrali Basic Vaaliarah
Hair – little bones. Shaaswat
Hands – Slink Mesh Casual
Tattoos: .ARISE. – Maori Facetattoo
Tiki Tattoo – Bora
Plastik – Asaia Markings
Jalwa – Kheleeji Swirl
Top: [RA] Fashonista Scarf in White
Pants: Artizana Sari Pants in Indigo
Jewelery: Kibitz – Tulip Nose Chain
Zaara [Goa Party] – Baga Nose Ring
Friendship bracelets
Retro sunglasses *silver-blu*
Schnadenfreude – Long Water and Earth necklaces
Earthstones – Tumbled Stone Necklace (Rasta)
Belly Crystal -Amethyst
.:ellabella:. – Xerim’s Conundrum
RO: Hipster Bag – Coffee
~Soedara~ – Pearl Berjuang Tari Bindi (Silver)
Goat parts: [Gauze] – Faun hooves
Illusions – Nivicola horns (Runes)
Shape: Self Made
Staff of Doom: Self Made

Maeve:
TWA Bravado Gown
.::S::. Zania Grey Hair
Elizabeth by RUBY Skins (old lady skin)
CCD- Luxury Optical- Victorian Lace

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