Holidays in Awenia

I should not complain. This is the sort of job any faerie should be proud to have. But there are things about it that drive me up the wall.

For example, Her Majesty did not like that I chose a yellowish skin tone when she told me I needed a more exotic skin colour in order to impress the tourists. So I’ve now gone with something darker, of which she approves. “Oh, good: they’ll think you’re a svart alfar, like TAC, only more presentable to the public and nicer.”

2018.12 BLOG forreals - 1

I did at least get to keep the rainbow hair

I did at least get to keep the rainbow hair.

Bran decided that I should help him shoot some holiday shots in the village square. “But it’s after Christmas,” I said.

“Nonsense, Angharad: it’s only the fifth day of Christmas, traditionally speaking, and our potential guests want to see what we do in the Realm at Yule time, and you know that’s not just one day. Even though many of them are mortal and Christian, tourists who come here will likely be a little more knowledgeable about the histories of their holidays than the ones we read about so often on those web papers.”

“Web pages, Bran,” I corrected gently.

He scowled. “You and the Queen, always ready with the corrections. Can I help it if I’m ignorant of these things? I do quite like video games, you know.”

Yes, you could help it, I said to myself. “Fine; let’s take some photographs of the Square all decorated for Yule,” I said, this time out loud.

2018.12 BLOG forreals - 2

The Carousel

“Wait,” I asked, after about five minutes of Bran snapping photos of me all over the square. “Why do I have to be in all these photos?”

“It’s for the brochure,” Bran replied, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to say.

“The brochure? Nobody told me about a brochure.”

“Well, we do have to have promotional materials, and you are our hospitality co-ordinator,” Bran explained.

2018.12 BLOG forreals - 7

This is fun, remember?

“This is fun, remember?” Bran wanted me to smile. He wanted me to smile a lot.

2018.12 BLOG forreals - 6

Not that much fun.

“Not that much fun,” I retorted. “Do you want me to glamour some fangs or something?”

“Wrong time of the year for that, missy,” said Bran.

Missy? Seriously?

2018.12 BLOG forreals - 5

Do faeries even need postboxes?

“Let’s get you by the postbox with all the presents,” he said.

“Faeries don’t even need postboxes, you know.”

“I know that,” said Bran, “and you know that, but this is a London postbox, and Her Majesty feels nostalgic about her home city, so we try to bring bits of it here for her from time to time.”

“You stole this postbox.”

Bran coughed. “Davey acquired the postbox. I didn’t ask questions.”

“Is that real post sticking out of it?”

“Of course: wouldn’t be authentic any other way.”

“But what about people’s letters?”

“Davey assured me he’d waited until after the last pickup for that day,” replied Bran. “If the postman was late on the pickup, the post can’t have been that important.”

I had no idea what to say to that, so I just let him move me along.

2018.12 BLOG forreals - 4

Big finish!

“Now it’s time for the big finish! Lean back a little so I can get most of the tree in the shot, and, yes, big, big smile! Oh, that’s lovely!”

I rolled my eyes, but then I had an idea. “Can you take a close-up shot of me like this?” I asked.

2018.12 BLOG forreals - 3

Getting in to the spirit?

“Are you finally getting into the spirit, when we’re almost finished, Angharad?” he asked.

“Nope. I’m going to send this to my parents back in Cymru. They will hate this hairstyle.”

Style Card
Lovely Town Dress: The Annex, Ingrid Dress (Available until the 18th of January at The Trunk Show)
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Gaia Bento Mesh Head
Skin: The Plastik, Elvenne in tone Chennus
Hair: Raven Bell, Chronos hair and Chronos Bento Braid
Ears: Swallow, Pixie Ears
Shoes: Breathe, Vivien Heels

Environment:
Carousel: IrrISIStible, Carousel (At SWANK until 31 December)
Christmas Trees: Half-Deer, Bottlebrush Christmas Trees
Deer: Love, Fantasy deer, winter prince of the forest
Adorable Weeble Gnomes: Balderdash, Gnome (At SWANK until 31 December)
London Postbox: Love, Christmas Post Box
Festive Lamps: CJ Creations, Winter Street Lamp
Holly Garland and Sparkly Bits: The Looking Glass, Our Festive Joy
Village Square Buildings: SOF Designs, Tudor Building Set
Poses: An Lar

 

Midwinter Ball?

Well, you have to have one. And I’ve been remiss, because there wasn’t one last year; there was so much going on with intrigue and all the mess over at White Owl. 

But, of course there’s planning to be done. And because Nathaniel is busy doing all that bureaucratic bs I abhor, I have taken on the heavy mantle of planning the Winter Ball. 

And that means choosing a venue. Now, unlike ordinary balls, we Fae get to just magically erect an impressive building anywhere we like. It makes for fewer lost guests, better entertainment, and many more starry-eyed mortals by the time the night is over. Much better than going someplace and picking a building over which I don’t have total control.

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 9

The Looking Glass’ Basilica is my first choice for this year

The Looking Glass’ Basilica is my first choice for this year’s ball. Awenia has to open with a huge party, of course, and I’ve already lined up the impressive DJ Fae to handle the entertainment: now I just have to inspect the building and make sure it’s exactly what we need. I decided to try out one of the likely candidates for this year’s Winter Ball Gown as well, because seeing how the dress looks in the hall is so important, don’t you find?

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 15

A Winter Gown

I liked this gown so much I decided to wear it all day. It’s a major contender, I think. It’s from Silvan Moon Designs, which of course means it fits impeccably and the style details cannot be beat: just look at the snowflake motifs on the bodice! The diaphanous drapes only add to the sensation that you may actually be wearing a very well-behaved snowstorm. 

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 10

A really good gown requires little accessorising

A really good gown, of course, requires little accessorising. I was glad for the simplicity of this circlet and matching necklace, which speak both to the power of the winter stag god and the triumph of the moon. These pieces are from Supernatural, and to be honest, I’ve had them for a while and I’m not sure where I picked them up. They’ve proven to be versatile and suitable for many occasions. I think white gloves are just plain necessary for a gown like this, certainly in the wintertime. For a touch of formality, you can’t ever go wrong getting your hair done by the wonderful people at Truth; this style is called Makena, and they do several different versions of it. 

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 13

The real test

Of course, the real test of a ball gown is how well it moves, and this one seemed to glide across the Basilica’s highly polished floors with ease. Perhaps before I make the final decision, I’ll ask Nathaniel to take a few hours off and come dance with me, just a little, in the main atrium. 

I’m so impressed with the interior of this as a potential ballroom. The combination of pillars, stonework, and stained glass is remarkable. 

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 14

Only one question remains

Only one question remains: is it perhaps too big?

How will we ever fill it?

And then— then, I think of all the many families and houses who are connected to us in some way. All we have to do is not plan the ball directly on Midwinter, as that’s when all the regional and family balls will be held. Maybe we’ll do it a wee bit later, after mortal Christmas but before the calendrical New Year. 

I’ll just send out Save the Date cards. Bran can handle all the arrangements. And we? We will fill this hall.

Style Card:
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Snow Queen Gown (Available at Enchantment!)
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Spencer Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia, Tone 1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Eyes: Arte, Hayat Eyes
Circlet and Necklace: Supernatural, Hyun Headpiece and Necklace
Hair: Truth, Makena

Glorious Building: The Looking Glass, The Basilica (Also available at Enchantment; you can see some more photographs about the building in this entry 

I am consistently blown away by the creative minds of our Second Life content creators. Bee and Solas, thank you so much for this gown and all the other beautiful things you’ve made this year. I hope as we move into the holiday season that both of you and everyone else associated with Silvan Moon can take the time to look upon your creations and recognise the beauty and blessing you bring to this scrumptious table I sometimes get to set.

 

The Basilica

So, you guys know I love beautiful things. And that I’m always building stories around beautiful things made by some of the genius creators in Second Life. Sometimes, something comes along that’s so stunning it’s impossible to write a story about it except inasumuch as I can tell you about it objectively. I shot a lot of pictures of Gwyneth inside the building, and if there’s a story, it’ll be there. But for now, I’m basically going to fangirl a building. You’re welcome.

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 1

The Basilica

Created by Marcus Inkpen of The Looking Glass for this round of Enchantment, here is a glorious nod to classical architecture. I created a piazza around it because of course it needed one, but don’t worry: there are some uninterrupted shots of the exterior later on in our journey.

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 2

The gods are in the details

I think you have only to look at the beautiful detail touches on the building to recognise what a great design this is.

And sometimes, when something is really great, it prompts us to learn stuff. So I’ve spent a couple of days (probably way less time than Marcus took!) researching this stuff and finding out a lot about basilicas and what they are, what they stand for, that kind of thing. I had only heard of basilica in reference to a church, but it also refers to ancient Roman public buildings, the sorts of places you might use for an official function, like a big court meeting or maybe a huge party that couldn’t be contained in your generously sized, rich Roman citizen type building.

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 12

Rear doors and windows from inside

The Basilica Of Marcus Inkpen (I think that’s a nice official name; don’t you?) also owes a debt to the Christian adaptations of the style; stained glass windows are a feature throughout, with larger ones at either closed end of the building and above both doors.

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 5

Exterior front glass detail

As the only sources of bright colour in the building, these windows stand out and draw the eye, whether seen from inside or outside.

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 3

Rear doors and windows

The lamps set off the rear doors perfectly. Here as well, you can see a smaller version of the front facade, with windows on either side instead of the columns that define the front.

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 9

Avatar For Scale!

Still, when you look at a photo of the building itself, you might get the sense that it’s enormous, but not quite how enormous, so here is a shot of Gwyneth about halfway up the steps at the front of the building. I promise there’ll only be one more photo of her in the rest of this post. (But just so you know, she’s wearing a beautiful gown from Silvan Moon Designs!)

The interior of the building can be imagined as three “rooms”, although there are no interior doors. There is a central square area and two identical areas that branch off on either side. Any of them would be large enough to hold a coronation ball for your favourite King or Queen, or even a fanciful Faerie masquerade. Not that I have any, um, plans for this building, nopenope.

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 16

Don’t forget to look up!

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you to look up when you’re in the central chamber. The dome encloses a moving heliotropic sculpture of a central sun (that’s what heliotropic means — ooh, check out my big vocabulary!) with three planets in simple orbits, against a field of stars. I was mesmerised, and I remember actually squeeing to the friend I was with at the time, something along the not-very-intellectual lines of “OMG LOOK UUUUUP!” Yeah. I get caught up in stuff sometimes: you might have noticed.

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 6

And speaking of domes….

Here is a clear shot of the detail on top of the basilica dome. And, OK, it’s not hard to make something perfectly cylindrical in Second Life, but it is hard to texture it so perfectly that you can imagine how the stone would feel if you touched it. That’s what this building is like.

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 7

More domeage

Is domeage even a word? My spellchecker isn’t sure, but I think that if it isn’t it really ought to be. Here is a view of the dome from the side; it should give you an idea of how some of the statuary looks when viewed from this height.

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 4

From a different perspective

I know this photograph appears somewhat dark in blogpost land; but once they’re up on Flickr, I hope you’ll see why I chose it: namely, to give a sense of perspective and how many different layers and levels make up the outside.

Fearful Symmetry B LOG - 1

As for the inside…

As for the inside, well, you really have to experience it. Marcus has masterfully created a floor that looks polished to a perfect shine by inserting an upside-down build beneath the main one. I’ve seen this done a few times before, but with shadows placed in exactly the right, um, places, this one stands head and shoulders above the rest, and not just because it is seriously tall.

Fearful Symmetry BLOG - 8

Full Disclosure & Stuff

So, I’m not going to lie to you guys—I would never!—The Basilica of Marcus Inkpen comes with a hefty price both in L$ and LI. Land Impact for the full build is a whopping 977, and the price at Enchantment is L$15,000. But. If you have ever wanted a glorious Roman building somewhere in your Second World, if you want in your Collection Of Buildings (I know you have one!) a near-perfect example of classical architecture, even if it’s just to show your friends from time to time, and you’d like to help support one of the best artisans in Second Life, here’s your chance.

Bodacious Building: The Looking Glass, The Basilica (Available at Enchantment)
(The following items are only visible in the first photo)
Piazza: Created from the Mad Pea Roads and Walls Kit
Piazza Trees: The Little Branch, Olive Tree v2
Piazza Fountain: Atelier Visconti, Frozen Fountain
Piazza Market Stalls: Wishbringer, Market Stall Large
Bounding Buildings: Tarte, Temple Pergola
Avatar: (in two photographs) Gwyneth, but more on that (and the beautiful Silvan Moon Designs gown!) later.

Fitcher’s Bird (in her own words)

I am not weak. Now I have brought my sisters back, alerted my brothers, and made myself a creature of legend, there remains only the long, long walk that will trap the monster who intends me to be his bride.

Grimm Bros BLOG - 2

See how I glitter.

See how I glitter? He will never know me. Am I clever? Oh, yes; yes, I am clever. I don’t even feel guilty about it, burning this man who wronged me and all his associates and posessions to the ground.

Grimm Bros BLOG - 4

His precious castle

Only a shell of his precious castle will be left. My brothers are thorough.

Grimm Bros BLOG - 3

But I feel beautiful, and strong

But I feel beautiful, and strong, like the bird I am emulating. This bird is a beautiful fantasy, a vengeful warrior, an irresistible decoy. I wonder, when he sees me, will he want the bird, too? Of course, he can lure me no longer with his worn-out ruse.

Grimm Bros BLOG - 7

Sure as the Spirit Maiden

Sure as the Spirit Maiden who watches over his courtyard (and I’m not above seeing the irony in that, by the way), I know my path, down from the steps, away from the carnage to come, down to the forest, where I will await him and his broken form as he returns from returning my own sisters to our home, as he greets my brothers’ hunting party (he does not know they are hunting him), as he begs for a scrap of bread and a cup of wine before he goes. How I would laugh if I could watch him.

Grimm Bros BLOG - 8

O Fitcher’s Bird, how com’st thou here?

Oh, and all the guests, they greet me in my glory as they pass:

O Fitcher’s Bird, how com’st thou here?
I come from Fitcher’s house quite near.
And what may the young bride be doing?
From cellar to garret, she’s swept all clean
And now from the window she’s peeping, I wean.

I have accomplished this by arranging a clean, white skull with a crude wig and placing it in one of the castle’s side windows. He’ll never know the difference.

Grimm Bros BLOG - 1

It was never me he saw

It was never me he saw, anyway. He saw only a woman who appeared to exhibit total obedience to him. My ruse. My trick. My pretence. I do not even shiver in the bitter cold; my rage and triumph warms me as I wait, wait, here at the crossroads, for my nasty little bridegroom with his bent back and his bathtub full of bodies up in the tower.

Oh, look: here he comes now.

This stunning dress, complete with wings and headpiece, comes from The Looking Glass‘ Sharni Azalee. Its inspiration is the Grimm Brothers tale Fitcher’s Bird. When I opened this box and saw the photo for this dress, I gasped, for real. It is absolutely stunning, properly fitted, easy to wear. Thank you, Sharni, for such an amazing dress. It felt as if it were made just for me, and I know loads of other fantasy fashion fiends will feel the same way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Spencer Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Lelutka Deia, Tone 1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Ciara (Available at the Truth Main Store, but only if you’re in the VIP group!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: S0ng, Demi Eyes
Stunning Gown, Wings, Headpiece, Snake Belt & Wrap: The Looking Glass, Fitcher’s Bird (Available Saturday, 10 November at Enchantment‘s Brothers Grimm round!)

Environment:
Castle: By Nacht, Forfax Castle
Statue: Titans, Spirit Maiden
Trees:
Birches, The Little Branch, Mystic Birch
Candle Cage Trees: The Roawenwood, Winter White Wedding Trees
Forest Trees: Studio Skye, Enchanted Woods
Path: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
All Poses from An Lar

 

The Fae Duchess of Doncaster

Her Ladyship, Beatrice Canderiel, the Fae Duchess of Doncaster, spent a day in Dublin, where she was photographed with her prize dogs at Trinity College.

Victorian BLOG - 5 (1)

Fae Duchess of Doncaster, with Dogs

After her formal photographic meeting, she invited the photographer to come with her to one of Dublin’s many beautiful parks, where she intended to show an eager class of primary school students how to find fairies in the wild.

Victorian BLOG - 3 (1)

One can whistle

One can whistle, she explained as she put her lips together and blew, eliciting gasps of outrage from the primary school teachers (and possibly an assistant Headmaster or two). However, she said in a swift correction, there are those who believe that whistling is unseemly for ladies; she herself, she asserted, had never been bound by the sanctimoniousness of society.

Victorian BLOG - 4 (1)

Sometimes, she said, a flick of the finger is enough

Sometimes, she said, a flick of the finger is enough. She proved this by attracting an amethyst fairy to come and sit on her hand, while its little friend hovered, watching with an animalistic curiosity.

Victorian BLOG - 1 (1)

Eventually, she enticed a third fairy

Eventually, she enticed a third fairy. This one was robed in rose, and seemed to be more skittish than the rest; it flew and flitted all about her head as the children chortled. By this time, many of the children had found their own fairies to observe; Lady Beatrice was quick to remind them that snaring small supernatural beings is strictly forbidden by the Fae Concealed Commission, which oversees such oversights.

Victorian BLOG - 6 (1)

Fond Farewell

In the end, she bid the students, teachers, assistant headmasters, reporters, photographers, hangers-on, and several gazeboed geezers who just happened to be standing (and we use that term loosely) on the corner as she retreated back to Trinity College to collect her pups and be on her way to the Fair Ferry, where she drifted back to Doncaster, no doubt to be greeted by gaiety wherever she went.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Keme Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Cinnamon, Tone (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Zoya (Available at the Truth Main Store, but only if you’re in the VIP group!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5
Eyes: S0ng, Demi Eyes
Necklace and earrings: Empyrean Forge, Minuet
Gown and Hat: Silvan Moon Designs, A Murder of Crows Gown Set (Available on 4 November at We Love Roleplay!)

Environment:
Trinity College Set:
Building: Sempiternal, Stone Eden Skybox (at Fameshed)
Dogs: {anc}, Flottante Puppy, milk

Lost Garden Photos:
Location: Awenia, Ruined Garden
Columns and Statues: The Looking Glass, Lost Garden
Foreground Trees: The Looking Glass, Dead Wood
Orange Grass: Balderdash, Rattlin’ Bog Grass Tufts
Fairies: all from HEXtraordinary, Faerie Maidens (at the Gacha Garden)

Small World, Part 2

Another day, another breakfast. I get the feeling the weather may be about to turn; there’s a generous bowl of porridge this morning, a pot of coffee in addition to the usual orange juice. I wish once again that I could have coffee every day.

Halfway through, it starts to rain. Great. This means I will spend at least part of the day inside. So. Not. Thrilled.

Down the stairs I come

And yet, down the stairs I come, because there’s even less to do up there. I’ll try reading for a while, and I might or might not just give up since I’ve read them all (well, almost all of them: there is this huge and bloody dry one called The Silmarillion that I’ve given up on more times than I’ve read most of the others).

This is my nap face.

Maybe I’ll spend the morning napping on the couch on trying not to think about things too much. I don’t really like napping. This is my nap face, though. It’s a good nap face.

But there’s that damn beeping noise again. Beep-beep; beep-beep; beep-beep. Am I crazy, or is it more frequent today? I’m probably crazy. Or perhaps it’s the sound of an approaching Prince. Let’s go with that.

No luck.

Aaand.. that-was an abysmal failure. Super. The windows are still rain-streaked, and I’m sure this break in the rain is only temporary.

I hear laughter in the distance. Perhaps the gods or goddesses of fate are laughing at my stupidity, thinking I could get a nap on a rainy day in my lonely little world.

The music-box shelf

I wander over to the music-box Shelf. Sure, I’ve heard them all before, multiple times. But somehow, even though I know in my heart there must be more music then I can imagine Out There…the familiar tunes are comforting.

Small World 2 BLOG - 3

What does this stuff do?

What does this stuff do? I have no freaking idea. But I’m sure if I explored the much more dry books that reside in the cabinet below these shelves, I could figure something out. Of course, there’s no point in learning to make poisons if I’ve nobody to poison. Maybe this is all stock knowledge for the future. I could come away from this place with a stockpile of poisons, in case my Prince doesn’t turn out to be my perfect match. Then I’d be a widow with a really big dowry. This shelf is a relatively new addition to the tower, so I haven’t really explored it yet— but some of those bottles contain things that smell right nasty.

Small World 2 BLOG - 1

Too much tea!

When I make my way back over to the bookshelf, possibly to read Gossamer Axe one more time, I see that someone or something has placed yet another tea service on the table. What’s with all this tea? No sandwiches, no biscuits, just tea. Obviously it’s not lunch time yet, but do they really expect me to drink all this tea? Three pots full? Perhaps it is some kind of tea test. What sort of test could you take with tea?

Beep-beep; beep-beep; beep-beep. Murmuring voices. A different series of beeps. Are they (whoever they are) trying to drive me round the bend?

I know: I shall ask the Wishing Fairy to take all these noises away.

Small World 2 BLOG - 4

My closest companion.

Sure, she’s a silver cast statue— but she’s the closest thing to a full-size companion I have in this place of weirdness. “Hey,” I say, “Wishing Fairy.” (I don’t know if that’s her real name but I’ve called her that since I’ve been here and she’s never objected) “Can you make those noises go away? I’m really tired of them.” And suddenly I have a coughing fit. I don’t know why. Great. My handkerchiefs are upstairs.

I go up to retrieve the handkerchief, and I feel dizzy on the stairs: that’s unusual. On the way back down, handkerchief in hand, I have to use the handrail. Still a bit dizzy, and the fall would be pretty bad, I assume.

At the bottom of the stairs, I take a few deep breaths and look out the window. The rain appears to have stopped, so I can get out of this stuffy tower, at least for a little while.

Small World 2 BLOG - 1 (1)

The reading bench

So, back to my favourite reading bench I go, copy of Gossamer Axe in hand. It’s one of my favourites, even though I don’t know the first thing about the kinds of music they talk about in the book. It’s my favourite first line ever, though.

“Chick with a harp.”

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa Keme Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Catwa Cinnamon, Tone (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Hair: Truth, Yuko
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Eyes: S0ng, Demi Eyes
Makeup: Cazimi, Flushed Blush cheeks, Tempting eyeshadow, Pastel Petals lips and nails
Circlet: Ersch, Bethany Headband
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Noelle Necklace
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Moonlight Dance Gown (Moonlight Dance is available at The Trunk Show until 18 November)

Environment:
Indoors
Tower: Poetica, Willow Tower
Stopped Clock: The Plastik, Waine Clock
Lights: Lucas Lameth, Glimmer of Hope and Crawling Lotus lamps
Ottoman with Crown: Nutmeg, Old Story Ottoman with Crown (at Shiny Shabby)
Couch: Trompe Loeil, Noelle Sofa
Music Box Shelf: The Looking Glass, Knick Knack Hutch
Top Shelf: The Looking Glass, Dawn’s Promise Music Box
Middle Shelf: HEXtraordinary, Rapunzel Music Box
Bottom Shelf: HEXtraordinary, Captured Faerie Light Lanterns, Absinthe and Rose
Creepy Potion Shelf: 22769, Witch Shelf Nature (At Salem)
Coffee Table: Silas Merlin, The Haze Metal Table
Teapots: The Secret Store, Folk Teapot (at The Epiphany), THOR, Teapot with herb tea, and 8f8, La Petite Joie, Tea Order
Bookshelf: 22769, Bookshelf (common)
Angel Statue (on wall): Quasi, Angels Wept
Fairy Statue: Lucas Lameth, Autumn Fairy, Female, Hover
Outdoors
Statues: By Nacht, Proserpina (L), and Brigid (R)
Bench, Topiary, and Walls: Rivendale, Fairy Labyrinth and Gothic Garden gacha sets
Yellow Brick Road: The Roawenwood, Yellow Brick Road

Poses: All from An Lar (An Lar Poses is sadly closing its doors after several years of offering some of the most subtle, and most versatile poses in Second Life (in my opinion). Everything at the An Lar Main Store is 50% off through the 31st of October.)

 

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.

G&T BLOG - 1

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.”

G&T BLOG - 6

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.”

G&T BLOG - 2

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.”

G&T BLOG - 3

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.

G&T BLOG - 4

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.

G&T BLOG - 5

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?”

G&T BLOG - 7

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.

G&T BLOG - 9

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.

G&T BLOG - 8

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