Return Of The Light

I think we choose to celebrate darkness, madly and wildly, until it catches us deeply and seems unwilling to let us go. Once darkness has had you like that, you end up either celebrating it even more wildly, or retreating, as I have done, into a more peaceful world.

Peace, my friends

I am aware of the unimaginable size of my hubris when I say I have retreated into a more peaceful world. Had I all the will and magic of the universe, I would wish for all of us, each of us, to create the world we wish to live in. I know and am grateful for the immensely lucky hand which the gods have dealt me. Let’s be honest: if you were reading about me in a book, or in some poor writer’s memoirs, you would rename me Mary Sue, wouldn’t you? Trust me: I’m not blind. I would have done the same, had I come across my story before I lived it.

See the sun arising

See the sun arising
See the sun arising
Darkness is gone

We sing this together in midwinter, as the days begin to lengthen seemingly infinitesimally. And even in the cold haze of the early Faery morning, see, there is the sun, or some hazy projection of it, at least. Above the castle, the birds have already begun their day, and down below, the demifae are just ending their nights’ revels. For this small time, the Realm sleeps. Well, it seems to sleep.

The Realm sleeps only from a distance.

Closer-in, you will find the winds doing their work, moving snow around, you will find the lights above DJFae’s Dance Floor swirling their merry spiral, waiting for the happy steps of those our Danya inspires to dance (which is just about everybody who listens when she spins).

FluffyCat The Bookseller

You will find FluffyCat the Bookseller at his appointed post, because when do you need a good book more than on a blustery winter night? I ask him, What do you recommend? and he replies, On this night, there is no better book than Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising to steady your spirit with a story. I’m sure I have a signed edition here, Your Fae Majesty. Tempting, but I am only allowed to have so many copies of The Dark Is Rising. Someone else will be the lucky reader—of this one.

Snow, or mist? My own Book Garden seems more magical than usual, now that we have had midwinter snow.

It is not a time of newness, this, so when new things appear in the winter’s dark, we take notice.

Ode To The Moon

This pleasing cottage, called Ode To The Moon and created by the ever-imaginative Dragonia of Dragon Magick Wares, even came with its own tiny island. Whoever will live here will have their own holiday tree, not to mention half a dozen sheep—no; that one in front is a (tiny) reindeer.

Snowy Book Forest

How do we ascertain the anchor of a Realm? Is it the largest feature? Is it the most beautiful place? Is it the spiritual centre? If it is the most long-standing, then the Book Forest is at Awenia’s heart, if not its physical centre: there has been a Book Forest in Awenia for as long as there has been Awenia. For me, that’s about six years, but the folk who live here know this length of time as “for-ever”.

Our Sacred Meadow

The demifae have changed the altar from autumn to winter; no-one ever sees them do it, but it’s always efficient and perfectly on time. Can you see the tiny faery up in the Winter Guardian tree? Sometimes we can sight them when the seasons turn, just admiring their handiwork. You may know that the guardian trees in our Sacred Meadow relocate seasonally: do you see the Spring Guardian there in the distance? It’s as if she is only a few steps away. Calibri is the little pony who helps visitors find their way around Awenia; he’s strayed from his place by the portal. The unicorn is Lampen, one of the two unicorns who live here regularly.

Sleeping Demifae

And look! There’s a demifae, fast asleep on the altar Yule log. They must have worked through the night, making sure midwinter came to us on time. Here: let’s leave them some extra marshmallows for when they wake up.

As always, on this day, particularly after Fluffycat reminded me of The Dark Is Rising, I think of Susan Cooper’s beautiful poem, “The Shortest Day”. Do you know it?

I’ll put a couple of links below, but here is the text as I sent it in this year’s holiday card from Awenia.

The Shortest Day

The Shortest Day 

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us—listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome, Yule!

Poem by Susan Cooper

Here is an NPR recording of Susan Cooper reading some lines from the poem and talking about it last year at this time.

Oh, my darlings, I do dearly love you. And I do hope for peace.

Notes & Credits

  • The Avatar:
    • Gwyneth is wearing Silvan Moon Designs’ stunning Royal Yule Gown, available now at We Love Roleplay.
    • Her skin is Petrichor’s Lazulian Femme (quartze) for a base, topped with the Draziele Holiday Tattoo, Frost, also from Petrichor.
    • These eyes, also from Petrichor, are the Koele eyes.
      • Both the eyes and the tattoo are available now at Saturnalia.
    • Gwyneth’s hair is from Kuni, the Duda Hair
    • The brass crown is from Fika, the Duchess Fringe Tiara
    • The Candle Mantle and Crown are from Static, Candlelight Crown & Mantle, also available at Saturnalia. (that’s a great event; y’all should all go to it [no, I am not blogging for them!])
    • Makeup is from SlackGirl (eyeshadow) and TheMars (lipstick)
    • Gwyneth is in a Maitreya Mesh body and the Catwa HDPro Soft head. Her shape is home-made and handmade.
  • The Environment
    • Shot on location in Awenia Faerie.
    • Stunning Tree: The Looking Glass: The Shrine Tree, a One-of-a-Kind (well, two-of-a-kind!) item. You can come visit it.
    • Fir Tree in Peace photo: HarshLands, Fir Trees
    • Frame and Lights in Peace photo: {anc} Frame & Stool
    • Sim Surround: Landscapes Unlimited, Sweetwater Valley
    • Solar System: Landscapes Unlimited, Off Sim Starry Night
    • FluffyCat’s Book Wagon: Kraftwork, Travelling Bookseller
    • FluffyCat Herself: Foxwood, Fluffs
    • Ode To The Moon Cottage: Dragon Magick Wares, Ode To The Moon
    • Stage: {anc} Dreaming Stage
    • Sheep: [anc} Dreaming Sheep
    • Reindeer: Hextraordinary, Romping Reindeer
    • Small Tree: {anc} Noel Tears Tree
    • Large Tree: {anc} Snowy Day Christmas Tree
    • Items In Book Forest: There are so many! IM me in world or ask me in a comment if there’s something specific you want to know about. The book path is by Una, and the central house is 8f8’s Storyteller’s Burrow house.
    • Winter Guardian: HarshLands, Winter Guardian. Kadaj Yoshikawa has created guardian trees for all four seasons, and they are integral to the Awenia Sacred Meadow. You can see the Spring Guardian also in the photo that features the Meadow.
    • Pony and unicorn: Teegle! I love Teegle and can spend hours playing with my pretty unicorns and ponies.
    • Yule Log: Hextraordinary, Yule Log
    • Demifae on Yule log: CF, Forest Fairy, Snow Sit

(thanks to fellow blogger & photographer Justyn Time for the following video link! — not super happy with the harp background, but you can see the book!)









Tomorrow, the sun will rise on a light-er day. Be peaceful, and love one another.

Season of Celebration

The last three months of the mortal calendar year, beginning with the end of our spiritual year and ending with the beginning of the next mortal calendar year, are always a whirlwind for me.

It’s easy to let it overwhelm you.

If you start out sprinting, you’ll lose your stamina by the end of the season, and that does no good for anybody. That’s years, decades, even, of advice speaking.

But then The Looking Glass makes a gown like this!

But then, Sharni Azalea makes a gown like this, and you realise that Wyrd Witch could paint a skin so perfectly to go with it…and suddenly it doesn’t matter that you were trying to ease into the Party Quarter, such as it is, and you can’t resist trying on half a dozen different hairstyles, makeup changes, and the first party of the season becomes the same sort of goal that it would be if it were the only party of the season, all thanks to the amazing and talented designers you’re proud to know.

It’s enough to give a Faery Queen hope!

And hope, my loves, in hard times—hope is sometimes the only blessing we have. And really, even if you’re the Faery Queen in Awenia, who can resist trying on four different Exile hairstyles until you find exactly the one you want? I ask you: Who could resist that? It’s a rhetorical question of course, my darlings, because the answer is absolutely no-one, and you already knew that.

We are near halfway through October, and that means the first big parties are just around the corner. And so my loves, I advise you to do as I say, not as I do, and take it at an easy pace. Take it gently. Feel it as a quiet wonder, and not that brittle, excited wonder you feel right before the biggest disappointment of your life.

And if you can’t do that, well.

Dance.

Dance your feet off.

Shouldn’t everything be a dance?

Because, really—if you play it right—shouldn’t everything be a dance?

Be safe out there. Mind your manners. Don’t tell lies. And if you fancy dancing, head over to Trick Or Treat Lane to get your skin painted this glorious shade of leaf, and then make your way to the Archipelago, where you will find the Fallen Gods 13th Anniversary Celebration in full swing, and where you can yourself get The Temple Peacock Dress.

Notes and Credits:
Skin: Wyrd, Anya in Leaf, one of three special colours for this season, available exclusively at Trick Or Treat Lane.
Dress & Earrings: The Looking Glass, The Temple Peacock Dress, available at the Fallen Gods 13th Anniversary Celebration Market.

Head: Catwa, HDPro Soft
Feather Brows: DS’Elles, Feather Eyebrows for Catwa
Eyes: LeForme, Lili Eyes
Body: Maitreya
Nails: Venge, Stilletto, Tranquility
Hair: All from Exile—
1. Lesha
2. Versailles
3. Smolder
4. Jenna

What We Become

They tell you when you start the road
They tell you that the road is long
They don’t tell you it never ends
They don’t tell you that it’s all hills

And I am tired

It’s beautiful, it’s beautiful
It’s long, it’s hard, and I am tired
And here among these picture books
Perhaps I’ll rest a little while

Not my quarter

They’re all well-kept, the picture books
Like someone reads them every day
Not overgrown, like my quarter,
With dead grass, and mushrooms, and moss.

It’s a stark difference

It’s a stark difference, isn’t it?
From picture-book to literature,
Look how they throw their things away
And paint the wood in shades of grey

What do they know?

For all that rhyme and whimsy lost
Another suited mannequin
Can take its place among the rest
And lurch through life without a song

But does the moon make up for it?

The thinning of the atmosphere,
I admit, makes the sky more clear
But does the moon make up for it?
I don’t think so. No; I do not.

Watch the pages fly

My anger turns into an orb
My wings release me from the flames
You don’t respect this treasure trove?
I’ll burn the whole place to the ground.

Weep for Alexandria

Now, find me in a gallery
Called Weep for Alexandria
Some artist painted tears on me
And said I must have felt despair.

Despair? You fool. No: that is hate.
At what I watched you do to them,
My books, my scrolls, my poetry
And all the people who loved them.

I give and give, and every time
You answer me ungratefully
No more chances, children of earth
This time the fires will never end.

Notes and Credits:
Burn It All Down Gown: Senzafine, Maerwynn (Get it at We Love Roleplay!)
Weary As My Soul Skin: Poema, Metis (This is at The Darkness Event. Poema does an amazing job with skins that look middle aged and older; you should really check out her work)
Crystal Earrings Of Hope Still Surviving Despite All This Stuff: Mini A Chuu & ~MF~, Ticha Crystallic Earrings
Above It All Wings: Deviance, Sidhe Wings, Unseelie
Done With This Hair: Sintiklia, Tumelo
Seeing Red Circlet: Deviance, Erulisse Circlet, The Priestess
Blood On My Hands Tattoo: Nefekalum, Gilded (roses)
Pointy Like Knives Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Body: Maitreya; Head: Lelutka, Lake
Environment:
Location: Awenia Faerie, The Book Forest
Stunning Picture Books: Happy Mood, Pop Up Book, Your Story With Stuffed Animals
Moon & Stars: Landscapes Unlimited: Off Sim Starry Night
Tree With Green Sap: HarshLands, Magic Sap Tree
Winter Tree: The Looking Glass: Dead Wood, Large Tree
Burning Library: TRIIN, Ruined Castle

I will be talking to the manager.

I answered them all. All the questions. I was truthful. I was clear. I did not mince words or skip things or dance around subjects. And it seemed pretty straightforward. You apply to be in a fairy tale, and you tell them what kind of fairy tale you want to be in, and you pay the deposit, and then they put you in the fairy tale.

Does this look like a castle to you?

Does this look like a castle to you? No? That’s right! It’s not a castle. I was very very clear about that. I said I wanted to live in a castle. Not once did I use the word cottage. Not once did I use the word hovel.

And yet, here I am.

And yet, here I am. It’s been a week. My notes go unanswered, even though I put them in the post box as indicated. The three women who live here and take care of me insist that I call them my Aunties. They call me “Little Fair One” to my face, and “Little Smart Mouth” when they think I can’t hear them.

At least something about this place is smart, hm?

At least something about this place is smart, hm? I mean, obviously, Sleeping Beauty at least in a couple of versions, lived with three transformed fairies who took care of her until she pricked her finger anyway, but that is not what I signed up for; it’s not what I paid a deposit for, and no-one seems to be responding to my strongly-worded notes. I don’t know how these people expect to keep a fairytale tourism business running if they offer such poor service.

Ooh, golly, let me show you round my humble home!

Ooh, golly, let me show you round my humble home! And I do mean humble. Here is the entry foyer; as you can see, there are no footmen, no servants, not even a mouse to take my cape. There is a hall stand, a stairway, and that’s pretty much it.

The Aunties spend a lot of time here in the kitchen.

The Aunties spend a lot of time here in the kitchen, which means I spend as little time here as possible. Would you believe they tried to get me to peel potatoes my first night? Potatoes? I explained to them that carbs are really bad for me. Auntie One (I have no idea what their names are) said, “Oh, well, I guess we can substitute with carrots.” Wow.

Their lounge is full of kitsch

Their lounge is full of kitsch and mementos from their pasts, maybe? Or maybe they’re just props. Pictures and silhouettes of former residents, Half a tonne of music boxes. I asked about some of them. “Oh, that was one of our favourite Little Fair Ones,” they said, about the blonde cherub on the wall there. “She went on to do great things.” Then One clucked at Three and Two gave them both a dark look and they all three shut up. At least there are books there, and at least they don’t bother me too much. Funny they haven’t even asked me about any balls or anything. I’ve been here a week. Maybe management has already contacted them about the mistake and they’re just waiting for the fix. Yesterday, a spinning wheel appeared by the lounge front window. I think they’re just torturing me now.

My little room might as well be for a servant!

And speaking of torture— my little room might as well be for a servant! It doesn’t even have a proper door. I mean, sure, it’s got some castle décor and there’s a pillow with a crown on it, but other than that, I’m experiencing the top of the wattle-and-daub line, here. And that’s not a compliment. I’m taking a lot of snapshots to make my eventual complaint more colourful when I finally make it back home.

Well, sometimes we just have to take matters into our own hands.

Well, sometimes we just have to take matters into our own hands, don’t we. I’m going upstairs with a pair of scissors, I am. And I’m ripping that crown off the pillow. That’s what I’m going to do.

It should be hours before the Aunties get back from market day.

It should be hours before the Aunties get back from market day. They were gone ’til nearly midnight last time, and they came back with hardly any shopping. The market must be a long way away and it must not have very much, is all I’m saying.

Out in the front garden, there’s a statue of a dragon guardian, and I’m sure he can help me out. Dragons always know what to do.

C’mon, help me out here!

C’mon, help me out here! I paid good money for this, and I know you must have a direct line to whomever’s in charge. Anybody with a big glowing orb is important; at least that’s what my GM always says. You don’t want to be named in my official complaint, do you? Just get me out of here, OK? This is not what I paid for.

Notes & Credits:

Enchantment’s Sleeping Beauty round closes on the 31st of August! That’s in just a few days. So you only have a few days to rush down there and fulfil all your fairytale needs! This is a great round, full of beautiful story-inspired items for your home, great clothes, beautiful hair, accessories, and some surprises that you didn’t know you needed until now.

Pictured items featured at Enchantment:

  • Hair & Crown: Love, Rose Hair
  • House: Hisa, Merrywether Cottage
  • Porch Dragons: Banana Peel: Dragons O De Moors
  • Princess Bedroom: StarSugar, Sleeping Beauty Gacha Items, including: Bed, Side Table, Crown Pillow, & Pink Rug
  • Dragon Statue: Cerridwen’s Cauldron, The Guardian Statue

Other Nifty Stuff
(Avatar):

  • Skin: Wyrd, Saga, T2
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Catwa, Blueberry
  • Eyes: Avi-Glam, Siren Eyes
  • Ears: Andore, Delfiya Ears
  • Necklace: Rise Design, Cap d’Agde Necklace
  • Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Princess Buttercup Gown

Other Nifty Stuff
(Environment):

  • Hall Stand: Second Spaces, Coven Hall Stand
  • Hall Desk: Kraftwork, Fairy Cottage Desk
  • Hall Desk Knicknacks, 3rd Eye Twisted Fables, Fairy Gifts
  • Living Room
    • Light: Petrichor, Triin Celestial Lamp
    • Couch: Kraftwork, Fairy Cottage Couch
    • End Tables: Petrichor, Clarus Table (short)
    • Lamps: Kraftwork, Fairy Cottage Old Lamp
    • Table Under Window: Petrichor, Clarus Table (long, cloth)
    • Wand Stand: Petrichor, Rinik Wandholder
    • Book: The Plastik, Anthophilia Book
    • Hourglass: Ohmai, 100 Years Of Waiting Hourglass*
    • Spinning Wheel: HopScotch, 100 Years Of Sleep*
    • Book Stack: 3rd Eye Perceptions, Grimm Storys book 1
    • Bookshelf: Moonlight Shadow, Old Bookshelf A Iron
    • Music Boxes: Various, from The Looking Glass, 3rd Eye Perceptions, Aine Marie Flanagan (I collect SL music boxes; contact me for details)
  • Kitchen
    • All kitchen fixtures: Artisan Fantasy, fantasy kitchen
    • Table: Apple Fall, Pottery Dining Table
    • Chairs: Apple Fall, Steadfast Dining Chairs
    • Chandelier: Di’Cor, Jacqueline Chandelier
    • Wall Art: The Looking Glass, Live, Love, Laugh Succulents

All poses: An Lar
Photographic lighting: LumiPro & Nifty Windlights
Post Editing: Affinity Photo on a 16″ MacBook Pro

* Way back in the long-ago, there was another kind of Enchantment event. These two items are from the Sleeping Beauty round of that event. I was, no pun intended, enchanted to find that I still had a few things from that event in my inventory, and it was fun to use them in photos for this one.

Show & Tell

It was my favourite part of primary school. Show & Tell Day. At our primary school, it was on a Tuesday, and you had to tell the teacher ahead of time if you were going to bring something and it couldn’t be alive or have any allergens, so that peanut-eating hamster was totally out.

‘Who has something to show the class’?

Show & Tell 2 BLOG

Show & Tell: ‘I do! I do’!

That’s me, always the one with her hand raised. Other kids giggled. It was years before I knew I should mind when other kids giggled.

Today, I have a lot of things to show you!

Show & Tell 3 BLOG

Seventh Oracle Gown

First of all, because you have to talk about the dress, there’s this gorgeous Seventh Oracle Gown from Silvan Moon Designs that I’m wearing! It comes in six colours, but today I felt purple, so there you go! I love these puffy sleeves! You can get this dress later today at We Love Roleplay, which opens at I think 1pm SLT.

I’m here at the new Awenia Faerie landing point, because I had to inspect the cafés, of course, and because we’re oh-so-close to being able to welcome you in to take some photographs and enjoy the scenery. Do be sure and follow the food guidelines.

Show & Tell 4 BLOG

Don’t mind the hecklers in the back

As for what those three are up to, I wouldn’t hazard a guess. But I’m sure those books they’re sitting on came from my Book Forest. That’s Studio Dire’s plush Kenku plotting something with Lord Bartleby Von Tinkleton and that pesky little Book Mouse. Whatever’s about to happen, it cannot be good. Well, it’ll be good for them, of course. The rest of us might be wise to steer clear.

The new Awenia Landing Point promises everything you might wish for in a Fae Tourist Trap Landing Point: You can get food! You can, um, get food! Also, there’s food. And books. And some ruins. And helpful signs to show you where to go.

Show & Tell BLOG

But this is only the beginning—

But this is only the beginning! Here’s your portal arch: if you visit us, you’ll see it first of all. It’s well-lit, so you should be able to find it if you need to make a quick exit, though why our benign little corner of Faerie would make you want to flee, I’m sure I cannot imagine.

Behind me of course is the famed ‘Awenia Statue’, which is really known as ‘The Last Hope’. It was created by Death Row Designs and was part of their Dangarmon build from the 2016 Fantasy Faire. It’s a focal point of every big build I do.

And all around us, making the atmosphere perfect and beautiful, is this amazing surround from Landscapes Unlimited. But wait until night falls and you’ll see even more wonder.

Show & Tell 7 BLOG

The night sky is particularly captivating.

Somniel Edelman over at Landscapes Unlimited has outdone himself with the Off-Sim Starry Night surround that is also in place here. Those are his clouds in the background as well, but you can only see bits of them in this photograph. Lovelies, this is a working, moving, changing, star system. The moon changes phase. There are meteors. Stars twinkle. Sometimes I just stare up and look at it because it’s so beautiful. Thank you for creating such a wonder, Som.

On the island behind me, you can see the Queen’s Gallery, which is the next and smaller phase of the little vanity gallery I used to keep at Haven. Haven doesn’t exist any more, so don’t take that landmark unless you fancy falling to the unfinished ground-level far below! The gallery was created with the ruins building kit from Fanatic because it’s easy and awesome, and I’ll take you on a better tour once it’s all finished.

Show & Tell 6 BLOG

Of course, there’s a Book Forest.

It wouldn’t be Awenia Faerie without the Book Forest, and it’s in the works and almost ready, I promise! It has a new entry arch and you can see just a bit of what’s behind that arch in this photo.

About the Avatar:
Today, Gwyneth is in a really beautiful skin from Mignonne, Abbey. It’s in her lightest Albino tone. The brows are from Simple Bloom, the Liv Autumn Neutral brows in the lightest blonde tone. The eyeshadow is recent from Tone2, Petals, and it’s at their main store with lipsticks and eyes in complementary shades. This lipstick is from theMARS, Apple Crush, though it’s blended a bit using the Lelutka head tools. This is a Lelutka Evolution Lake mesh head, and I’m still crazy in love with it: it takes skins and shaping beautifully. All the jewellery is from Rozoregalia: the necklace is Uzyum (Hakurei), and you can get it at Fameshed. The headpiece is Gyuria (Last Note) and it’s at their main store. The hair is from Monso, Jennie, and it’s also at Fameshed. Body is Maitreya, ears are Swallow’s Elf Ears High Definition, which are pretty much my favourite ears. These eyes are from Amicale+Oliviari, Glisten Eyes, and I picked them up at the WIP event just this morning. Earlier photos show different eyes, the Unexpected Journey Arwen eyes from Seydr. And of course the gown is Silvan Moon Designs’ new Seventh Oracle Gown, and you can get it at We Love Roleplay in a few hours!

Show & Tell 5 BLOG

A Magical Vista

There is nothing more satisfying than calling such a beautiful place as Awenia home, my friends. I hope you’ll be able to visit us once we’re totally open. Of course, the whole of Faerie is overseen by The Looking Glass’ stunning Shrine Tree; its lanterns can be see far and wide, and they echo in the lanterns you’ll see on Awenia’s bridges as well. On the left is our Sacred Meadow, and I hope you’ll find plenty of space in your visit to Awenia to let your mind find a calm spot there. The Queen’s personal residence is visible in the distance on the right, but please do us the courtesy of choosing to visit her lovely home (sometimes known as Rivendale’s Dreamy Castle) only during a planned tour.

Notes & Credits:
Most things are credited in the blog post above; please ping me in-world if you’d like to know about something else. Huge thanks to all the amazing creators who make their vision real and give me the building blocks to put together spaces like Awenia Faerie, including but not limited to:
Somniel Edelman, Landscapes Unlimited
Sharni Azalee & Marcus Inkpen, The Looking Glass
Corwin Lacourte, Hextraordinary
Nodnol Jameson, Kraftwork
Kadaj Yoshikawa, Harshlands
LRRiven, Rivendale
Banana Mellow, BananaN
You guys make my life more beautiful.

 

 

The Known Alone

Dear Gwyneth,

I’ve begun this letter many times. Sometimes I even finish it. The first time, maybe even the first ten times, I wrote it, it started, continued, and ended with apologies. I think I’m past that now, which is one reason I hope that once I finish this letter, I may hit “send” and not regret it too much.

It is the unknown that excites the ardor of scholars, who, in the known alone, would shrivel up with boredom. —Wallace Stevens

Well, we are more than three months into a pandemic lockdown as I write this, and I am in the known alone, because venturing into the unknown isn’t practical right now.

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So, I Googled you.

So, I Googled you. Of course I’ve done this many times over the years. I don’t know how long ago it was when I discovered you had a blog, but I’ve been reading it off and on, in between teaching terms and workshops. I don’t know if you’ve Googled me. All that software that says it’ll tell you stuff like that costs money and looks a bit dodgy if you ask me.

You remember that big old house my parents inherited from my granddad? You can see it out the window in the photograph above. Yeah; it’s mine now, for about ten years. They’re rolling over in their Tory graves every time they think of me now, because about ten people are living there at the moment. Usually I live there too, but the whole pandemic thing scared me when it first started, so I locked myself down in the garden house.

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I’m lucky.

I’m lucky. But then I think I was predisposed to be lucky. Now I just try to be grateful for it while not being an arsehole because of it.

I don’t think I ever took you and Fen and the others to the garden house; my mum lived here most of the time because she and my dad couldn’t stand one another. The garden is full of her things, and it’s a good place to remember her.

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I garden.

You’d laugh: I garden. Well, I keep the garden from dying. Most of these are wildflowers my mum loved, hollyhocks and Queen Anne’s lace and some campion, lots of clover. Oak, birch, and cherry trees, and I’m uncomfortable this year in the midst of all this growth.

Most of the kids in the big house are students of mine who either pay some rent or need a place to crash when their lives fall apart. They are respectful kids—I say kids; they’re older than you and I were when I last saw you. Anyway, they take pretty good care of the place and I have only had to go up there once since March when the country locked down.

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Time and time

Time and time. It’s funny: all that time we knew each other, all through uni, or mostly through uni, anyway, I knew you were special. I never would have guessed you were one of the Fae, though. I’ve wondered, often, why you hid it. Your parents seemed perfectly human, no Court allegiance sigils on the door, and you, I mean, I would almost have said that you were not at all concerned with the magical world. I guess a lot of us humans try not to be; it’s easy to have an inferiority complex if you consider that someone you know could be holding phenomenal cosmic powers, to quote Aladdin because I don’t know what else to quote here and my life revolves around other people’s words, except when it revolves around my own.

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And yes; I’m bored.

And yes, I’m bored. Don’t get me wrong: I live a lot of my life online, and so some things haven’t changed all that much. Classes go on, virtually. Workshop pieces trickle in via email. The publication date for my next book is still the same, though we’re concentrating less on physical book sales than ever before.

I would have said, at the beginning of all this, that my life wasn’t going to change at all, that I’d just move out to the garden house and treat it as a writing holiday, and for the most part that’s been true. It’s not as if I have a family, a wife, even a girlfriend.

But I’m restless now. My friend Des, you won’t know him, tells me it’s impossible to be restless if you never go anywhere in the first place.

But that’s really why I’m writing.

When all this is over, I want to visit Faeryland. The most recent craze to “go with the fairies” has died down a bit, and I know your Realm is a tourist spot. I’m not asking for special treatment, or a place to stay: I’ll arrange it all through DreamTime travel; they’ve got a pretty good reputation and I have a little spare cash lying about.

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This is Covie

This is Covie— he used to be called just The Book Dragon, but now he’s Covie The Book Dragon, because aside from the cats (they’re not around right now) and the birds, he’s the only creature I see on a daily basis. Every day I ask him if he has some new books for me. He never answers, because he is a plush dragon guarding a small pile of books. I promise I’ve not gone mad here.

Anyway, I’ve got this far without apologising or trying to promise you anything except for that bit about not being mad above, so it’s looking promising.

When all this is over, I’d like to plan a holiday to Awenia, spend a few weeks there, and maybe we could see one another? It’s been thirty years; I think that’s maybe long enough to rebuild.

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I’m still short.

I’m still short. I still like some of the same music, but I stopped dyeing my hair black and I binned the eyeliner collection years ago. I mean, I could probably still rock it if I put my mind to it, but I’d mostly rather put my feet up and enjoy my middle age at this point, you know?

You don’t have to answer this email. But I’m putting all my contact information at the bottom here, so you can get in touch if you want to. If you would rather I didn’t visit Awenia, that’s OK; just please let me know. Otherwise, I’m thinking this will all be over probably in the autumn, and I’ll plan to visit for a couple of weeks maybe in early October so I don’t run into your Samhain high season.

I think I’m going to press “send” this time.

Love (not that kind; the kind old friends share),
Richard Caper

Notes & Credits
Plot:
Gwyneth, the primary narrator of Three Twisted Knots, is a character I’ve been roleplaying and writing stories about for almost eight years, and she is why there’s a blog here at all. Richard Caper is a blast from the past, one of the people who was with her in the automobile accident that set her on the path she now walks. He has featured prominently twice in the blog, and here are those links if you would like to read more of his story. 
The keeping of journals
“The past is never where you think you left it.” –Katherine Anne Porter

Richard Caper Avatar:
Body: Signature Gianni
Head: Lelutka Evolution Skylar
Skin: Poema, Zeus (Get it at Vintage Fair!)
Eyebrows: Arte, Fiore brows
Hair: Dura, Game 4
Facial Hair: Volkestone, Zek
Clothes: Cold Ash, Chelsea Boots, Larkham Jeans, Montana Tee
Eyes: Euphoric, Natha
Earring: Kunst, Eden
Necklace: EarthStones, Hoot Owl

Environment:
Location: Awenia (not currently open to the public)
Exterior—
Garden House: Trompe Loeil, Soleil Garden House
Big Trees (oak, birch, cherry), all from Heart
Flowers & Underbrush, all from Heart, except
Rose Field: {anc} Sugar Rose Field; and
Grass Clumps: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree Grass Clumps
Outdoor Table: The Looking Glass, Harmony Garden Tea Time Table & Chairs
Rockery & Birdhouse Tree: The Looking Glass, Harmony Garden Birdhouse Tree & Rockery
Gate and Fence: Pandemonium, Tall Pointed fence & gate
Fox Fountain: Foxwood, Fox Fountain
The Big House: Compulsion, Tudor Manor
Path: Happy Mood, Dirt Road
Interior—
Desk & Clutter: Nutmeg, Familiar Mess Desk, Chair, Cabinet
Bed: Nutmeg, Disarray Bed Dark
Lounge Furniture: Nutmeg, Dreamy Pastels Armchair, Coffee Table, Floor Pillows, Sofa
Dining Nook Table and Chairs: Apple Fall, Pottery Dining Table and Chairs
Breakfast Food: Apple Fall, Elvira Plate with Egg, Avocado, & Toast, Plate with Sliced Grapefruit, Rose Tea
Tea Pot: The Secret Store, Folk Teapot – Olive
Napkins and Towels: Second Spaces, Kitchen Colletion, Napkiins & Towels
Covie The Book Dragon was portrayed by the 2016 Lucentia Dwagi, a treasured memento of Fantasy Faire from 2016.

Fox Mother And The Faerie Meadow

How alike we are, the Faery Queen and me, the Fox Mother. Centuries and continents and worlds divided, and yet we were born from the same desire, the same seeking if you will. We are the longing to explain the ineffable. We are the why the full pot of rice has disappeared without a sound. We are the chiming bell of Fate, though perhaps not Fate Herself.

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Greetings from Fox Mother

Perhaps this is why—no, no; it is why—I was so disappointed when I found that Her Majesty the Fae Queen of Awenia had visited one of My Realms, passed through on a day, and departed all without so much as a word to me, or even a note. A postcard like this one would have been lovely, and it might even have been enough, though tea and perhaps a nice stroll through my home together would have been better. She was guided by a young kitsune who has taken a liking to her, from which I surmised that we have another thing in common, and that is a love of animals and animal spirits.

For these reasons, I find myself travelling Realm-far and Rain-wide to the tiny Fae Realm of Awenia. It really is such a small thing, isn’t it?

Unlike Her Majesty, I have brought gifts. It is proper.

I have brought a Torii, for I know she and her Shining Hoarde of Aos Sí perceive, as we do, a transition from the secular to the sacred world. I presumed she would have some sort of spiritual sanctuary in her Realm, and I was not wrong; in fact it was the largest single land mass in the tiny place.

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This is no ordinary Torii

I will of course leave a little note for Her Majesty to let her know I passed by on this day when she seems not to be in residence. I will tell her, this is no ordinary Torii; this is an Inari Torii, and it vibrates with the tones of the forest, of prosperity, of craftsmanship, and sometimes, though I am not a friend to war, of warriors. This is no ordinary Torii, for it was crafted by the great artisan Kadaj Yoshikawa, who calls magic from the air with abilities that, while they may not be magic, they are indistinguishable from it. Some say he is a very lucky kitsune-mochi, and his seventy-five foxes all contribute to his considerable creative inspiration.

So, yes, first a gate, because the way should be marked. And secondly, well. Another gift. Seventy-five little gifts. Look here they are!

My darlings, my darlings, are you all with me?

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Yes, mother, yes, mother, here are we

Yes, Mother, yes, Mother; here are we.

Did you know that when Fox Mother laughs, flowers fall from heaven? Yes, yes; when I see them all here, my darlings, these seventy-five precious foxes, no more and no less, darlings, I feel joy First, we first take stock of the Realm into which we have passed. Seven little islands; you will have to divide yourselves, but the passages through to each look simple. And there are many cats in this forest made of paper. Some islands are larger than others, and I think this one is only for the Realm portal itself and perhaps tea. This sign, Come From Myth. It’s an invitation, I think.

Now we will for the first time move through this gate, and you will all see a Faery meadow for the first time. But be careful! Your tricks and Fae tricks are not unrelated.

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Here is Her Majesty’s stone temple

Look: here is Her Majesty’s stone temple! Each set of stones is laid out like the numbers on one of their western clock faces. Yes, yes, the incense clock makes your eyes water, my love.

And you! What are you doing?

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These small creatures are treacherous

No, no, my love! These small creatures are treacherous; they will give you food that will turn to ashes in your mouth; their gifts turn to leaves sometimes like ours.

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Foxes love hot dogs!

Leaves, schmeaves, leaves schmeaves, foxes love hot dogs, French fries and cheese! Fairy meadow, fairy gold, foxes love pizza and burgers and cold drinks that freeze their brains, freeze their brains, oh!

You must not eat the fairies’ fare; their fingers have bewitched it!

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Foxes love pizza!

Bewitched, beswitched, beswitched, bewitched, foxes love pizza: it’s their favourite dish! Have a sniff; you’ll understand. Take the pizza from my hand! Lady Mystie, Fairy Hippo, self control meter on zero!

Do not sleep where the faeries go! And careful where the mushrooms grow!

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Foxes love naps!

I’ll save you cried the blue kitsune
If I don’t you’ll lie there through May!
Though the month is almost through
I will pounce and rescue you
Oh, but now I’m here, so sleepy
Wait: do I smell something cheesy?

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Foxes love Mac & Cheese!

Cheesy, creamy, creamy cheesy, Foxes come and eat: it’s easy! We have burgers, we have fries! We have salve to clear your eyes! Little lovelies, come with us! We’re not evil; you can trust! Just ignore your mother there: too many berries in her hair!

Blue fox pounces, black fox jumps
Red fox nips them on their rumps
Another red fox waiting there
While fur’s flying through the air
Who will get the first hot bite?
Faeries bet there’ll be a fight!

Leave it alone, my loves! ‘Ware the Fae!

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Foxes love triple burgers!

Don’t beware us, dare us, share us! Your Fox Mother does not scare us! Look how how high we’ve stacked the bun-up with its flag up to the sun-up! Bread and lettuce, never mind: rarer meat you’ll never find!

Sniffing here and whining there
Blue fox once more catching air
To beat her brothers to the prize
Faery ointment in her eyes
White fox waiting for the surplus
Eat the burger! You will thank us!

Stop, my darlings! Stop! These little creatures are dangerous! Or… this is your home now, after all. Perhaps you should make friends. Imagine the tricks you can do together! What a delightful little crepe plate! Thank you, Mistress Moynihan. No, no; I don’t need your fairy ointment to see you all. What a lovely sparkly dress you have. Here, let me give you something in return. No, no; it’s just a talisman. If you hold it, you can come and visit me in my Realm.

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Foxes love chocolate (fox-friendly, we promise!) milkshakes!

Shakes and burgers, fries and steaks! See how long this blue fox takes! Willow fairy’s so bored now: Aren’t milkshakes kitsune chow?

Turquoise kitty bets a dollar
Chipmunk laughs and tries to top her
In for a penny, in for a pound
Hustle-Kitty stands her ground
Chipmunk pokes Fox with a French fry
That’s not gonna work: hey, let’s try
Putting whipped cream on his nose!
Foxes are fun when their brains are froze!

Soon, Willow Fairy got distracted
Cat, chipmunk and Foxxie chatted
Til Willow found the fiddlers
To entertain their visitors
With vats of mead, they danced ’til dawn
Then slept it off on the Fae Queen’s lawn.

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Awenia By Night 

Awenia by night, so lovely: now I know the way
You’ll be seeing more of me, Queen Gwyneth of the Fae.

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Come From Myth? Thank you: we will.

To: Her Majesty Queen Gwyneth
Dreamydale Castle
Awenia

My Dear Queen Gwyneth,
How sorry I was not to meet you when you visited Kintsugi these few weeks back. I hope you enjoyed this beautiful part of My Realm. I have come to repay you the favour of your kind visit, but it seems you are not at home. No matter: I have left you some gifts, and I hope you will receive them with joy and find them a treasure always. They are in your Sacred Meadow. Please do make arrangements to meet me for tea should you chance to visit again.
Kindly look after these gifts for me: they are priceless tokens of my esteem for you.
Please, take good care, and give my regards to all your little meadow Fae; they are delightful creatures.

Fox Mother
<paw print>

Notes & Credits:
Enchantment’s Kitsune Tales Round Closes today, 31 May, 2020!
 If you need beautiful kimonos, fox masks, enticing footwear, kitsune-inspired jewellery, fox makeup, a fluffy tail, or perhaps seventy-five spirit foxes of your very own, you have only a few more hours to go and visit Enchantment before it closes!

The Cast:
Fox Mother: The Author
—Fox Mother’s Costume, including hair, skin, headpiece, kimono: irrISIStible, Japanese Kitsune Outfit Available at Enchantment for today only!
—Necklace: Supernatural, Kitsune Necklace Available at Enchantment for today only!
—Eyes: Anatomy, Fading Eyes
—Body: Maitreya
—Head: Lelutka Evolution Lake
Lady Mystie: Myst Edenflower
Turquoise Kitty Cat: Dyisi
Chester The Chipmunk: himself
Seventy-Five Spirit Foxes: Jinx Fox Gacha, Pounce, Sitting, Snoozy, Stretch, Companion, and Shoulder Rider (cuddle pup is great too but not pictured here!) Available at Enchantment for today only!
Two Larger And More Imposing But Still Seriously Into Junk Food Foxes: Harshlands, Spirit Fox, idle, feeding — Available at Enchantment for today only!
Whimsical, blameless demifae: Titans: The Lunafae Fairy, Animesh NPC

The Setting:
Location: Awenia Faerie (not open to visitors at the moment, sorry!)
Inari Torii: Harshlands, Inari Torii Available at Enchantment for today only!
Stone Circle: HEXtraordinary, Druid’s Temple Ruins
Twinkly Grass: Keke, Dotty Grass, Summer
Green Grass: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree Grass Clumps
Bridges With Lanterns: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree Bridges
Portal Clock: RH Design House, Cafe In The Park, Music Clock
Prominent Tower on its own island: Death Row Designs, Boho Princess
Come From Myth Sign Frame: Figure 8, Vintage Theatre Frame Blue (original sign texture by Gwen Enchanted)
Leafy Tree Woman: Harshlands, The Summer Guardian
Fairy Mushroom Circle: The Looking Glass, Lunafae Sleepy Fae Mushroom Circle, Large
Ginormous Tree With Lanterns: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree (not available for sale)
Big Treehouse Visible In Night Shot: LAQ, Serene Tree And Widmill Home

THE FOOD!
All from Vespertine, Comfort Food Gacha, including: Baked Pizza, Choco Milkshake, French Fries, Hamburger, Hot Dogs, Mac & Cheese, and Triple Hamburger

Invaluable Resources:
Fourth Wall: Quick Credits HUD (It’s at their main store. You want it. I mean it.)
LumiPro: Don’t leave your skybox without it!

If you are curious about anything else, just ping me: I am very nice!

 

 

Love Letter

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LunaFae

It happens every year. Even though I try to visit all the regions in our beautiful Fantasy Faire, even though I aspire to photograph each one and write something from each one, I often end up feeling more at home in one special one than anywhere else. This year, it’s Lunafae.

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The Little Things

From the aerial vista to the little details, it’s as if every detail was placed exactly and precisely in the right place. Now that I’ve had a little experience with various bits and pieces of the Faire, I have some idea of how much time and work it takes to put all the little pieces in place in exactly the right way.

My late husband, the engineer, admires the way everything is laid out. Like a clock, he says.

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Bird On A Lamp

I say, is it a clock? If it is a clock, it is a love clock. Lunafae is a love letter to the moon.

He calls me a hippie and fluffs my very short hair. “You’re like a very soft hedgehog,” he says.

“Let’s look at the moon stones,” I say.

Each of these photos shows one of the moonstones. Each one comes with a different quote about some aspect of the moon. I love walking around the garden’s edge and discovering each of the stones as I go. My poor, long-suffering late husband shakes his head and talks about how the stones were put together and how all the maths work.

In fact, he gets so engrossed in how the maths worked and working out the phases of the Lunafae clock, I just head to a bench, stretch out, and soak up the day.

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All Day

Fact is, I could really just sit and soak in Lunafae all day. In fact, I’ve done it more than once. There are so many places to sit and write, think, daydream. Visiting doesn’t seem enough: I kind of want to live there.

This year marks the fourth anniversary of my husband’s death from cancer. Every year the Faire is a place where I can be with other people whose lives have been forever changed by the disease in its many forms. And getting involved with Fantasy Faire is one thing I can do both to honour his memory and help in what small way I can to make a better future or a better present for cancer sufferers, survivors, carers, and families. I don’t do a “Why I Relay” post every year; it’s wrenching for me to remember and write about the experience of watching the love of my life fade away and die.

And so, instead, I pictures us walking hand in hand through the gardens of Lunafae.

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More Bunnies?!

And, OK, we’re speculating between ourselves about the strange bunny phenomenon at this year’s Faire. We can’t decide what’s causing it, but we’re having fun making up stories about it.

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A rough year needs a soft space

It’s been a rough year. I think it has been for everyone. A series of personal blows kept me out of work for some time, and then I started working from home when the UK went into lockdown. I got a late start on Faire blogging and photographing this year because working from home in the age of Coronavirus meant I didn’t feel confident to take holiday for the first week of the Faire and had to wait until week 2 to have the kind of time I need to put together the kind of photographs and blogs I create.

Ah; he’s done with the maths! Now we can begin again. And there we are, my late husband and me, walking through the gardens. We go slow, because we have all the time in the world. Like the moon, we grow dark and bright, dark again, and bright again, and we make tides and spur seasons, and some say we make magic.

We’ve stopped now to listen to the demifae harpist play some Irish standards on her glass harp that looks kind of backwards but isn’t completely. We sit on a bench. We hold hands. We lean on one another and watch the sunset. It’s how every day should end. How every day should have ended.

Love,
Gwen

Lunafae is one of 18 regions in this year’s Relay for Life of Second Life’s Fantasy Faire. You can visit Lunafae, but do so before the Fairelands fade into the mists after 10 May, 2020. Sponsored by The Looking Glass and designed by Sharni Azalee, Lunafae is a wonder to behold, and I hope that when you visit there, you will see even part of what I see. Long before I got to know Sharni, I admired her work from afar, and her beautiful creation this year has brought me so much I haven’t spent a faire day without visiting the region. 

Unicorn Sanctuary

FAE LADY LETITIA LUPERCALIA:
Volunteerism is my calling. I believe it comes from a higher place, the desire to help those less fortunate than oneself, to bring them along in the world and lift them up. And who, really, is less fortunate than a poor animal?

Even mythical animals receive such terrible starts in life. They are born to godless herds, forced to fend for themselves, and so many of them do not realise what lively and indeed lucrative, contributions they might make to the greater world.

Thankfully, there’s The Unicorn Sanctuary.

INTERVIEWER:
We’re honoured to be speaking with Fae Lady Letitia Lupercalia today, about her life’s work of rescuing and rehabilitating young Unicorns and helping them find their places in the multiple Realms that make up our tangled universe. Who are these fine young foals?

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Some of our success stories!

FLLL:
You will of course have seen news reports of some of our success stories. These delightful twin unicorn foals, Pinkberry and Smoothie, have just brought home to their sponsors an outstanding win at this years Flutterfoal Bowl. We are so proud to have representatives of The Unicorn Sanctuary winning medals all over the multiverse. They now also command a lucrative sponsorship from the famous frozen yoghurt company. Our newest little celebrities spend so much time training, they are sometimes too tired to snuggle with their Sanctuary brothers and sisters when they come home, but don’t worry for them! We have constructed them a special pillow paddock so they feel snuggly and warm even when they’re too tired to cuddle.

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All our unicorns are on a journey.

I:
Tell us about more of the Unicorns you have at the Sanctuary now, My Lady.

FLLL:
All our unicorns are on a journey, their own special journey. This one matches my dress so well I have thought of taking her home, but really she will need a few more months’ worth of education. She is still being very deferential to this Giant Sleepy Cat, and believe you me, this cat does nothing but sleep and purr and eat and, well. You know what else they do. “Goldiebelle”, I tell her, “You’d better find someone better to bow to!”

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The Old Guard

The Old Guard is our one remaining adult unicorn. He expressed a desire to stay and watch over all the little foals, and while it’s lovely to have him here, I must also remind the foals of what a bad influence he is. He did once take an assignment away from the Sanctuary, but he was returned when it was found he’d been inciting other members of his Myth Zoo (yes, that Myth Zoo!) herd to unionise. It was quite the scandal back in the day! He assures us he’s too old for all that, but I do sometimes find him whispering to the foals. One cannot be too vigilant. An agreeable nature is so important to one’s well-being and contentment, don’t you find?

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Some are simply hopeless

I:
Oh, what a cutie-pie!

FLLL:
Some, it must be admitted are, sadly, simply hopeless. Of course, even for these poor unfortunates, there may be a salvation: I’ve wired the Fae Duchess of Doncaster to see if she might take this one in as a charity case. She does have her eccentricities, and they might extend to a Unicorn as fated for disaster as this one. I can’t even bring myself to name it.

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All Unicorns deserve a good home!

I:
Do you have some words that keep you true to your mission?

FLLL:
All Unicorns deserve a good home; that’s my motto!

I:
What about visiting the Sanctuaries?

FLLL:
Oh, we love visitors! I hope if you get the chance you’ll come and visit one of our satellite Sanctuaries or even our main Sanctuary (although, let’s face it, getting to Awenia is more hassle than most people want to go through in a lifetime!) for one of our Open Days.

I:
What should our listeners know if they are interested in adopting a Unicorn Sanctuary Unicorn?

FLLL:
Well, we make it as easy as we can, but remember that our passion is the Unicorns themselves and their well-being! You’ll need a plan for how you’ll make your special Unicorn productive in its life and your community if you wish to adopt a Unicorn who’s graduated from our rigorous training programme! You’ll need an Exotic Magical Pet license or a guarantee that your application in progress will be reviewed favourably, and of course there is a nominal donation to help keep our Sanctuaries running. Remember that because we are a Fae organisation we are not obligated to take currency, so we decline most Realm-centred currencies and credit. We also hope you understand that gold certified “Fae” must be authenticated by our in-house experts. We spay and neuter each Unicorn who leaves our loving Sanctuaries, and exceptions cannot be made. Before your Adoption Application is approved, our representatives will make several home visits to ensure you can offer an appropriate home to one of our Unicorns. Applications must be filled out in person on the grounds of one of our Sanctuaries; as the Application is lengthy, you may wish to stay overnight in one of our comfortable Unicorn Hostels: make sure to arrange your accommodation before your visit, as Unicorns are placed very quickly and we wish to avoid your disappointment should you be unable to book a long enough accommodation to complete the Application.

I:
Well, thank you very much, My Lady Lupercalia! I’ll let you get back to your work. Remember, The Unicorn Sanctuary is a Registered Fae Charity and as such operates under the Fae Charity Council as disbanded by Their High Majesties, the rules of which are duly revoked each year at the Annual Fae Charity Council Excuse For A Revel In Place Of An Annual Meeting.

The Unicorn Sanctuary: Where The Magic Can Be Yours!

Style Card:
Featured:
The Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Anastasia of Emeris Gown, currently at We Love Roleplay.
The Skin: Ritual, Elspeth, Tone 2, available at The Ritual Main Store.
The Hair: Dreaming Thicket, Rosemary Hair Gacha, Rose Queen Exclusive, available at The Imaginarium.
The Unicorn Foals: HEXtraordinary, Unicorn Foals Gacha, available at The Arcade.
Big Unicorn: Teegle, Fable The Unicorn
Big Unicorn Coat & Mane: Lunistice. Coat: Watercolor Wings; and Mane & Fluff: Ombre Mane and Fluff (now at The Ark).
Trees: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree Tapestry Trees and Twinkle Trees
Grass: The Shrine Tree, Grass Clumps
Sanctuary Walls: The Looking Glass, The Shrine Tree Walls
Giant Sleepy Cat: Half+Deer, Giant Sleepy Cat

Avatar:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Rings: Swallow, Princess Rings
Necklace: Empyrean Forge, Heritage Necklace
Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LaraDawn Soft Arch
Lipstick: Pink Fuel, Silky Shine True Red
Eyelashes: Wednesday, Doll House Eyelashes

A-Five! A-Six! A-Five, Six, Seven, Eight!

 

Thanks, as always, to the genius creators behind some of these beautiful SL creations! I knew I had to blog the Unicorn Foals, but a TP in and out of my region while they were rezzed made me realise the animations reset and they would move in tandem, which is what inspired the story of the post. I also knew I must be a very posh and possibly out of touch narrator here, and the dress from Silvan Moon and amazing hair from Dreaming Thicket just made it all so easy. Teegle continues to inspire with their gorgeous equestria, and I would be nowhere, nowhere I tell you, without the goddess behind Ritual Skins. Heartfelt thanks also and as always to Half+Deer for all the cats, every single one of them. 

 

Arrival

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A Small Place

“I know this must look like a small place to you. You see what you can perceive with whatever perceptions were given you by the gods. I cannot convey to you the vastness of it, not really; you’re not equipped to handle it. That’s not meant to be patronising, or belittling, I promise: it’s just an explanation.

“Fine, Fine. This is your dream, and I’m not required to explain it to you, but your dream form and level of consciousness suggests human. You beings usually like an explanation.

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Hello? Ears?

“Ah. of course. My apologies. Humans and fae look very much alike to us here, and I hope you’ll understand that’s not intended to be any sort of slight, either.

“Why don’t we start over? Let’s take it as a tour, shall we? There are two Watchers here, the winged cat on the tree root, and the big sleepy cat.

“Yes, I know, both of them have their eyes closed. If you don’t want human-style explanations, stop making human-style observations.

“Are we good? Good.

 

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The Spirit Summoners

“Each cat is specially called here by the Spirit Summoners; they build a unique calling altar for each cat, and depending on the cat, they may meditate at this altar for different periods of time. Not all cats are able to come away in good time. We’ve been summoning this particular cat, your cat, for a good long while, but she was very worried about you and wanted to make sure you were in a safe place before she came to us. The visual representation isn’t important to them, but when one of you gets chosen to experience an arrival, we place it there so you feel connected in your own way.

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Elsewhere

“What you observe elsewhere is a representation of what happens here simultaneously in each overlapping moment.

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So there is playing, and flying

“So there is playing and flying and cuddling and napping. There’s play-fighting and stalking and more than a little hilarity.

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Taking the wings

“Cats arrive here as kittens, and some of us choose to stay that way. Some of us like our old world forms. Eventually, most of us decide to take the wings and help other cats. Giving back is important here, and while it may come as a shock, one cannot simply chase butterflies in perpetuity.

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You are not alone in your sadness.

“You are not alone in your sadness. As I told you, the cat we are awaiting stayed overlong in her physical life with you. It takes some time, especially when a relationship between human, er, fae, and cat is as long as yours was in cat lifetimes, for a cat to separate from their earthly family. In special circumstances like these, we arrange for you to be here to dream-see your cat’s arrival to our shore. Familiar smells, as you will know, are very helpful to us.

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Their Own Boat

“Each cat travels in their own boat, piloted by a winged cat used to traversing whatever afterlife river will bring them here according to their belief systems.

“Ah! I think I see them. Yes, she will be a kitten, maybe younger than you remember her. But she will remember you.

“Yes, that’s why you’re here. You’ve been summoned to dream-see this cat’s arrival into the next life.

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The Catcher

“No, no; don’t mind me. I like my perch here. The cat waiting to grab the light rope is our Catcher, and of course it’s OK if you run. She needs to know how important it is that she join us here.

“Of course, you can stay a little while. And if you’re good at dream-walking, you might visit us again. But we do change. She will change. And— no, I cannot tell you what happens after this Realm for us. It is not permitted to tell, and it is not permitted to know.”

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Goodnight, Minerva.

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Minerva

From The Author: Minerva, most beautiful kitty of kittiness, was adopted from the Battersea Dogs and Cats’ Home, the world’s oldest animal shelter, in November of 2005 by me, my late husband Joe, and my then-13-year-old son, Gavin. On Sunday, 8 September, she left this life. All cats go to heaven. She gets a special one.

Credits:
Special thanks to the beautiful people at The Looking Glass, who created The Shrine Tree. I won this region build in an auction at the 2019 Fantasy Faire, and as it takes a while to place these perfect things in world, I was not sure where The Shrine Tree itself belonged. Turned out, it belongs as the focal point of the Cat Summerlands. The trees, the grass, the butterfly flowers, and importantly, Minerva’s Summoning Altar, were all designed by Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen of The Looking Glass. 

The Cats:
Narrator Cat: Pixicat, Bastet Sphinx Cat (Sit)
Spirit Summoners: Left, Half+Deer Winged Cat, Crouch. Right, Jian, Forest Cat, Static-Stare.
Winged Cats: All by Half+Deer, Half Deer Wing Cats (various)
Big Sleepy Watcher Cat: Half+Deer, Giant Sleepy Cat (at Collabor88 and another inspiration for this post; thank you Halogen Magic for the beauty you have brought to my world.
Kitten who looks a bit like Minerva (in the boat): Jian, Kitten Collection.
Catcher Cat: Fashionably Dead, Cat 12 – Curious
Boat: Raindale, Ethemelle Boat
Bridges: The Looking Glass, Dawn’s Promise Bridges

Gwyneth:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Skin: Ritual, Elspeth (freckled) T1
Eye Makeup & Tears: Amis, Ali’s Sorrow
Eyelashes: auNaturel, Crybaby Lashes
Ears: Ritual, Fae Ears
Hair: Exile, Lily
Ear Adornments: Axix, Angelic Whisper
Hair Adornment: Bauhaus Movement, Amanda Headband (1)
Clothes: Una, Bloom (Jacket, Shirt, & Skirt)
Shoes: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Kammira Sandals (available at We Love Roleplay, and why I picked this outfit– because I wanted to photograph these shoes!)

Location: Awenia Haven. Awenia isn’t currently open to the public, but if you want to PM me in-world, I’ll let you come visit Minerva’s Cat Summerlands if you like.