Finding Details in Astrid’s Nemeton

Throughout the Faire Realms, we find so many beautiful things to experience. This Faire Season, I have discovered places both beautiful and magical. Of course, our lives are filled with things beautiful and magical no matter where we are, but Faire Season brings all these things to the forefront.

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Reflecting on the magical

Reflecting on the magical details we always find in the Fairelands made me think of the place that’s been our home for the last week, Astrid’s Nemeton. So I walked about and did just a little bit of exploring.

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Enchanted by Cats!

I was completely enchanted by a group of long-haired cats who were based around a circle of standing stones with glowing runes carved upon them. My Futhark isn’t that good, despite my background, so I’ll have to photograph these and check out their meanings when I get back to the cabin and have wifi. The cats were quite talkative. They seemed surprised that I wasn’t on some Quest. I told them I was just here on holiday, and they invited me to have a play with their butterflies. I like butterflies.

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Like a butterfly.

“You are a little like a butterfly,” said one of the cats, “with those wings.”

That made me laugh. “I suppose I am,” I replied.

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A pretty purple butterfly.

“A pretty purple butterfly,” said another cat.

“Well, I’m honoured by your compliment,” I said. “And you yourselves have lovely silky coats. Am I allowed to touch you?”

Two cats jumped down from the tops of the stones, and suddenly I was surrounded by five purring felines, all demanding chin scritches.

That was a fun way to spend a little time.

I had other things to do, though, so I headed away toward Pools of Ethuil, since I love the atmosphere there so much.

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Lovely, tiny huts!

On my way back around, I chanced upon a couple of little huts that would be perfect for some of the demifae in our Realm. I shall have to get my builders onto making some huts like these: I know my little subjects would enjoy them very much.

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Just let me think….

Just let me think: a round base, a tipi-style top, and a lovely tree to grow round the whole thing– yes, I think we could do that in Awenia. My head is full of ideas now!

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So much more to do…

But for now, I have so much more to do! And, sometimes at this point, the high middle, of the Faire, it begins to feel a bit like work. I know that must sound ridiculous, since really I’m just enjoying my life and going to parties and finding beautiful things, but the politicking. And the socialising. They’ll make anybody tired after a while.

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Glad to have my private space.

I’m so glad I have my little blog to put down my personal thoughts in. I know no-one will probably ever read it, and some that do may look at me and sneer, since I’m a Queen and should have no problems, ever, but I love being able to write things out. And it helps me keep a list of things for later. Like maybe convincing one of those beautiful cats to come home with me. And building huts for tiny fae at home.

But for now, on to Pools of Ethuil, where I’ll relax for a little bit before preparing for the evening.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka Bento Mesh Head, Simone
Skin: Lumae LeLutka – Deia – Ethesi // Neutral (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in Pools of Ethuil!)
Eyes: Banana Banshee, Faelynn Eyes (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm of Aetherea!)
Eyelashes: Raven Bell, Mystic Lashes (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay For Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm Erstwhile!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Necklace: Illusions, Niobium Silumira Necklace (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm of Willows of Nienna!)
Headpiece: Gauze & Trap, Faunus Crown, Fae (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm of Erstwhile!)
Gown: The Annex, Olivia Gown, Purple (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm of Erstwhile!)
Hair: Limerence, Jassy

Adorable Fae Huts: The Nerdy Birdy, Shabby Hut (Available NOW at the 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, in the Realm of Astrid’s Nemeton!)

Location: The 2018 Relay for Life of Second Life Fantasy Faire, Astrid’s Nemeton, Sponsored by Rivendale and Gwen Enchanted and Designed by LRRiven

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Why I Relay

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I took Dyisi down beneath the mystical portals of the Fairelands Junction.

I took Dyisi down beneath the mystical portals of the Fairelands Junction for our special time together at the Great Faire. I wanted to show her how beautiful the memories of all the Fairelanders were when placed into a special cove. The air was alight with candles, and the roots of the trees went deep, down into the river, symbolising the depth of caring Fairelanders have for their loved ones who are suffering and memorialising those who have gone before.

This year, I have not been as present at the Faire as I have in previous years. The boys are taking over most of the merchanting duties for me now, and I admit I’ve settled nicely in the Faerie Haven at White Owl Island. It feels good to sit back and let work be done by others. But I knew I’d have to visit the Faire at least once this year, to connect with my long-time friend Dyisi and to marvel at the way the Realms shine when they are chosen to be part of the Faire.

I thought Dyisi would love this memorial spot, but instead she grew melancholy.

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“Do you want to talk about it?” I asked.

“I guess I probably should,” she said, and she followed it up with some of those Greek terms of endearment she uses. I persist in thinking they are complimentary.

I said, “See how quiet it is here, but for the water, the birds. Let there be peace. You know you can tell me anything.”

“What about,” Dyisi said, “If we just break the fourth wall for a moment?”

I lifted a brow. “What do you mean?”

“Well, you know how you’re a character from Gwen Enchanted’s imagination?”

I shifted uncomfortably. “It’s not something I usually think about.”

“Yeah, I know,” Dyisi replied. “She gets Queen Gwyneth to be her mouthpiece most of the time.”

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She put her arm around me.

She put her arm around me. “Well…” and here she paused to look up in to my eyes, above her glasses. Briefly, I glimpsed the galaxies within before she looked down again. “I, too, am a character from someone’s imagination.”

I blinked. “Not Gwen Enchanted’s imagination, I hope; that’d be… well, slightly creepy and incestuous.”

“Oh, like your desperate love for Her Majesty isn’t creepy?” Dyisi allowed herself a little laugh. “No, no; I am a character from someone else’s imagination, and she is a very good friend to Gwen Enchanted.

I rubbed my chin, shook my head. “Confusing.”

“That it is, Davey,” said Dyisi, with a sigh. “This place makes me think of the imagination from which I spring, and I’d like to tell you a story from her perspective.”

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“I’m listening,” I said. And I held her.

“I’m listening,” I said. And I held her.

A few words from the mind behind the satyr..

First off, let me thank Gwen.. who has been an amazingly dear friend to me for years now.. for allowing me to say a few words.  Her blog has been a great source of entertainment and touching stories that is more than just a labor of love.  But an outlet for her beautiful and talented soul.  So I thank her from the bottom of my heart to be apart of not just her stories, but her life.  As well as her dear husband Joe, who also touched my life in a very remarkable way.  He is missed deeply.

There is also another woman who has been an influential part of my life, as well as having been my rock.  My mother.  She passed in June of 2013 after a short battle with lung cancer. Her diagnosis was in March of that same year.  So we did not have a lot of time in the end, and even though I am told not to have regrets, I do.  It’s hard not to, especially when her life ended so quickly.  Things I wish I could have said, wishing I could have been there at her side when she finally passed.  While I still hold to these regrets, I also look back at the life we lived.  She was an amazing woman, strength in the face of all adversities..  Be it her time spent in the Marines during Vietnam, or the life our family lived.  Her sense of humor never wavered and in that taught me to laugh when things feel hopeless.  For that, I will forever be thankful.  She also did her best to try and protect me from death, even though it’s inevitable.  This does include her own death as she insisted I stay home… three thousand miles away.  Despite my better judgement, I listened to her, because she is my mother..

Cancer is not new to my family, as it has claimed so many on my mother’s side.  Her father passing from leukemia, while lung cancer claimed her mother, aunt, and a year after mom died, one of her sisters.  Even my cousin’s little girl fought leukemia, which I can happily say she is in full remission.  At the beginning of this year, a close childhood friend had lost her battle with cervical cancer.   This monster is all too familiar to me, and so this is why Fantasy Faire has become important to me ever since I discovered it. I thank the creators and participants.. vendors and supporters..   for all that they do for the American Cancer Society.  Helping those who work tirelessly to defeat this monster so that no one else.. no more of our loved ones and own selves..  will fall into it’s clutches.

Thank you.

I’d never seen tears from Dyisi before, but now I did. And I confess I buried my face in her hair to staunch my own.

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I shall not tell you how we spent the rest of our night together.

I shall not tell you how we spent the rest of our night together; I shall only say that the unlikely friendship between Gypsy and Satyr—and the unlikely friendship between American expat and Seattle dilettante—continues to be a force for good in the world.

Let all your stories out. Let all your tears flow. Recognise that together, we are stronger than cancer, stronger than the losses we have sustained because of it, strong enough to go on. Those candles burn for every beloved person who has passed to the other side of the Veil, for every beloved person who wakes up to fight another day, for all of us who contribute, with our time and our money and the love in our hearts (which knows no end). 

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Catalina Staheli’s “Why Do You Relay” photo of The Amazing Catwoman, from the 2015 Fantasy Faire.

Catalina Staheli took this photograph of The Amazing Catwoman at the beginning of the 2015 Fantasy Faire, my (Gwen Enchanted’s) first year as a Fantasy Faire blogger as part of her “Why Do You Relay” series. That was the year my husband, Joe Raftery, was moved from curative to palliative care. My heart was on my sleeve then, and it is now, as well. Eight months after this photograph was taken, I became a widow. Fairelanders, one of my SL tribes, supported me through his illness. My roleplaying tribe, which includes Dyisi, whose beautiful words are above, were with me constantly. My real life family stayed by my side and have never left me. I am rich, rich in friends and rich in family. I am also rich in memories. Why do I relay? I relay because, at fifty-one years of age, I am still too young to be a widow. 

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Style Cards:
The Gypsy Davey:
Head: Catwa, Justin
Body: Signature
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Bo (Guys Group Gift for April, Available NOW at the 7 Deadly s{K}ins Main Store!)
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Raven (Available NOW at the 2017 Fantasy Faire!)
Outfit: Silvan Moon Designs, The Fairelands Traveler Tunic Set (Available NOW at the 2017 Fantasy Faire!)
Ears: Mandala, Steking Ears Season 5

Dyisi:
Body- Maitreya Laura
Hair – little bones. Chel
Ears – [][]Trap[][] Gelf Ears
Eyes – Plastik Galaxie Eyes, Arc
Hooves – Gauze
Tail – Leo Tail v5
Skin – Plastik Briane Freckled
Horns – Plastik Swyrl Horns, Ray
Top – !gO! Spring lace top 1 (Now at this month’s round of Shiny Shabby)
Shorts – L&B Swear Denim Shorts
Lip ring – .:ellabella:. Blowing Bubbles
Belly chain – .Charm. Moon
Necklace – .Eldritch. Bog Cailleach Vial
Necklace – Plastik Twiggled Necklace, silver
Arm chains – Zaara Rasksha
Thigh chains -Zaara Rasksha
Septum Ring – Zaara [Goa Party]: Baga nosering
Bracelets – Zaara [Goa Party]: Friendship bracelets
Glasses – Zaara [Goa Party]: Retro sunglasses
Bindi – ~Soedara~ Pearl Berjuang Tari

Location: Fairelands Junction, Sponsored by Ruins of Xenark Roleplay Community and designed by Saiyge Lotus.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never blog Fantasy Faire without it!