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

PROM-PIT Spot, Take 1

Music swells, a romantic chord progression working up from the fifth to the one, and then, a calming….

VOICEOVER:

She’s always wanted this. Your little girl. Your princess. Your… angel.

Well, maybe not your angel….

But it’s her dream, to wear a beautiful gown, to have her hair done, to step out with all her friends….

Even if, for her own safety and the safety of others, you have had to have a pocket universe installed in your home and calling the entities with whom she associates friends is….

Musical riff

VO: well, it’s a bit of hyperbole really, isn’t it? But she wants this. She needs this.

So innocent and vulnerable!

She wants to feel like any other seventeen-year-old. Innocent, vulnerable, catching the eye of that cute…. um, well, being across a crowded room. It’s important to her development as a teenager—and as a demon.

That’s why we created PROM-PIT. It’s the best way for your demon child to experience that traditional coming-of-age celebration party, the high school prom, without making national news or feasting guiltily on the entrails of the junior class for weeks afterward.

Perfectly Recalled

PROM-PIT turns that pocket universe into a beautiful formal dance dreamscape. Popular themes include:

  • Come Sail Away
  • I Will Remember You
  • Don’t Stop Believin’
  • Born This Way
  • Frozen Frolic
  • Spring Fling
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Harvest Moon
  • Christmas Cotillion

First, we terraform and decorate! Don’t worry; we have safe holding spots in case your lovely one is a bit territorial!

Then, we’re there to document the occasion! Our photographers and videographers will take a few hours before the festivities begin so you and your loved ones will have a scrapbook to remember her the way she was on this beautiful night.

Candid Shots, Too!

We include candid shots of your precious spawn having genuine fun! Because every teenager deserves to have this much fun, at least on this one special night.

We’ll even take it to the limit!

We even know how to make sure we capture at least one photograph of her after she’s, well… broken a few rules and might be getting a bit too loud for the neighbours! Good thing those pocket universes are completely soundproof, isn’t it?

If your precious demon child is beginning to long for a “normal teenage experience,” whatever that is, why not give us a call? There’s no obligation, and our quotes are quick and reasonable.

These wonderful years are so fleeting, aren’t they? Our little darlings grow up so fast. They blood their first kills, mature, leave the nest (and maybe some survivors!), and move on into the world.

The most valuable thing in the world, in the universe, is a memory.

Make one this year, with PROM-PIT

When she’s on her own island, calling sailors to their dooms or luring the unwary in to her net of lust and lies, she’ll thank you for this beautiful scrapbook. You’ll each get a copy.

The Woman She Could Be

Call PROM-PIT today, and help her see the woman she could be. At least for a little while.

Notes and Credits:

  • The one-of-a kind demon skin: Wyrd, Anya, in special demon tone Blot (This will be at the Dark Style Fair, which opens on 9 October!)
  • The Stunning look-how-my-hooves-gleam-in-this-dress gown, Senzafine, Hecate Gown (You can get this right now at We Love Roleplay!)
  • Horns: Petrichor, Anathaema Bare Horns (Back at the Petrichor Main Store now!)
  • Gold Face Tattoo: Nefekalum, Guardian
  • Gold Body Tattoo: Nefekalum, Avalon’s Gift, Gold
  • Hair: Exile, Eri
  • Head: Catwa, HDPro Soft Mesh Head
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Wings, Tail & Hooves, Sweet Thing, Demon Wings, Demon Tail, Demon Hooves
  • Nails: Venge, Maitreya Stiletto Nails, “Flourish”
  • Eyes: Yoshi, Lee Eyes
  • Special thanks to Lucia Blackheart, Bu Lionheart, and Qyrsha, from the amazing and supportive Petrichor discord group, for help with finding just the right demon parts and being kind to me even though I’d never really put together a demon before. Thanks to all of you, she’s the perfect Demon Prom Queen!

Val, Chapter Two: Why Don’t You Ever Write Your Äiti?

Dear Mum,

I wanted to wait until at least two interesting things had happened so that I would not be writing you letters as short as text messages. That way you could not text me and say my letters were too short! Also, I wanted to have my flat as finished as possible before I wrote this first letter so you could have some pictures of where I am writing from. Then, in the next letter, I’ll send more pictures of the shop and pictures from around town. That way, you can get to know the town I’m living in.

The End!

So, I’ll kind of start from the end, because look! This is where I’m writing you from! I had the day off from the shop, and I’ve spent it putting this monstrosity together! Had to sweet-talk the landlord into opening the roof access panel so I could get the flatpack up here more easily: otherwise I’d have had to somehow hoist it out my window and up the ladder access. I mean, I could have done it obviously, but it would have been more difficult and I might have had to buy a stranger a pizza. Anyway, it all arrived yesterday, and after four hours of remembering enough school Swedish to curse IKEA in it, I have this very serviceable covered table. I added the string lights (and I’m slightly miffed they don’t call them fairy lights over here) myself.

Fun fact: Our elevation here in Myserie is 4,190 ft in weird American reckoning, which makes it 1,277 m. That is only 88 metres shorter than Ridnitšohkka! So you know what I had to do, right? I had to get a flat on what they call here the 7th floor because they don’t believe in the ground floor. I’ll measure it properly at some point, but if we assume that each living-space storey is roughly 3m and the commercial space storey is, say, 3.5m, I’m only 66.5m short of that summit when I’m in the flat, and up on the roof, you could subtract 3 more metres. No wonder I feel so dizzy all the time here: it’s not like I’m used to even hills where we live. I have more photographs from the roof, but I know what you want to see first, so I’ll show you the flat itself.

I will get better lights soon

I took this picture really early in the morning with my iPhone on a tripod using my Apple Watch. You can see that I used the flash: I hate doing that, but it was really dim in the room. I like being far enough up that I won’t need curtains, and it’s not like they have three months of round the clock daylight here, anyway, so I won’t need blackout blinds. I’ve only met one witch so far with a familiar who can fly, and he likes me: I taught him how to say Perkele.

Now you can see my little face

Look, I even moved the tripod closer so you can see my face: You always tell my can’t see my face in pictures. I promise I am getting enough to eat, even if mostly I am not cooking very much.

Now, here is my little kitchen!

I like my little kitchen: Thank you for the Moomin poster. He is keeping me company every morning when I make my first cup of coffee before I go to the shop for my second cup of coffee. And yes, that’s the Eiffel Tower stool from my bedroom at home. I took it apart and brought it with me because I wanted something to be familiar here. I’ve had it for my whole life, and it just makes a place feel like home, you know? I know there’s not enough art on the walls yet, but I like that picture of the Aurora, makes me think of the elevation here at least. And you can’t see it in this picture, but there’s also a photo looking onto Pirkkala from the water.

I have a bed!

You worried I would just sleep on a couch or something, but no, I got a proper bed and everything. It’s even on casters so I can turn it to face against the winter if I like. And a clock that doesn’t rely on scary technology, just electricity, see? I do listen, Äiti. I was going to put a rack on the wall to hang stuff, but somebody told me they charge you money if you put holes in the wall, so I didn’t do that and just went for those little containers there. I will get something bigger maybe in time. And look, there’s my Ukonvasara I made in uni. I’m glad we kept the print of it all this time. Maybe I will see about inking it differently and seeing about making some reproducible prints. There seem to be a lot of pagans here, though they are predictably mostly Wiccans. I wish First Nation culture had held on here a bit better, and maybe we will see it rise with some of the unmaskings lately made. I only hope that like so many other American risings it will not need to become contentious in order for sides to be heard and acknowledged and not erased.

So high up!

And now for the pictures you’re going to hate!

You know I have to do this part, mum! Like that time I went zip-lining in north Wales and sent you the video without telling you what I’d done? Yes, well—the best thing about living up here is that I can do this!

Now, don’t be afraid: you know we have excellent balance, mother.

Look, I’m smiling!

And here I’m even almost smiling! You always say I should smile more!

Hey—if you look down onto the street below me, you can see the coffee shop where I go for my second cup of the day. Too bad I didn’t catch the odd old guy who’s always wandering around there.

Of course I miss you.

Do I miss you? Of course I miss you. I miss everybody. I miss Tampere. I even mis Ula. I miss Iivo and the Kalevala shop and I will miss going to Lapland for Midwinter if I can’t make it back. And I will miss the ice castle and the winter market, too. My path, though. Remember? My path. It’ll lead me back to you one day, and I know that every time my path leads me back to you, there will be song and camaraderie and the sharing of all things good.

Love,
The youngest of yours,
Valoisa

Notes & Credits

Val is a role-play character created for Myserie City RP. While I started roleplaying in Second Life something like nine years ago, I haven’t been on a straight-up role-play sim in a few years, and I’m having a lovely time enjoying just immersing myself in role-play and working with a new and different character for the first time in a long time. All these photos were taken on-sim, and I’ll take more inside the city itself once Val gets her bearings and I have a few more regular places where she hangs out.

  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Lelutka Evolution: Fleur
  • Skin: Wyrd, Alva in T1
  • Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, LivSpring Neutral
  • Chin Dimple: Izzie’s, Chin Dimples
  • Ears: Lumae: Leevi Medium Ears
  • Tattoo: Nefekalum, Embellishment, Titanium
  • Piercings: All From Lelutka, Fleur Facial Piercings, except
  • Septum: Venge, Kelpie Nosering; and
  • Forehead Crescent: Punch, Trine
  • Tank Top: Shovelheads, Women’s Viking Tank
  • Trousers: Neve, Minnie Pant
  • Boots: Eudora 3D, Thar Boots
  • Covered Table (on roof): Chez Moi, Applewood Picnic Table
  • Couch: Fourth Wall, Saga Sofa
  • Coffee Table: Fourth Wall, Hala Coffee Table
  • Kitchen: Merak: Happy Kitchen
  • Eiffel Tower Stool: BackBone, Breakfast In Paris Stool
  • Bed: Bazar: Stockholm Bed
  • Cabinet: Bazar, Stockholm Bedroom Cabinets
  • Lamp, Clock, Stool: Bazaar, Stockholm Bedroom

Val, Chapter 1

I don’t really know what chapter this is, so we’ll start with one since that’s where everybody else starts and I might as well fit in in some way.

I am Valoisa Saga. I am from Tampere, in Finland. I am ninety, very young for an Elf, but you didn’t hear me say that. It is more fashionable on the Internet to say otherkin, but then that also translates to nerd, so I guess I can say that too.

But really, call me Val. It’s easier, and I guess it’s true that not even Finns all speak good Finnish.

Yesterday was my first day working at Immortal Ink in Myserie, Oregon. I’m glad I got a job in the Pacific Northwest. The rest of the USA seems a little too crazy. I mean, everybody back in Tampere thinks I’m crazy for wanting to come back here at all, but weed’s legal, and The Netherlands is a shithole. Just sayin’. OK, probably not all of The Netherlands. But definitely Amsterdam. Amster, Amster, dam, dam, dam, dam.

There’s plenty to hate about Immortal Ink, but I’ll improve it over time, and Old Jimbo (OK, he’s actually called Deadeye, but I’ve already named him Jimbo) is only an arse on days ending in ‘y’. Fact is, it’s nice to be the best artist in the shop. OK, the only artist in the shop. I’m laughing. But enough snark. Still laughing. There is never enough snark. History time!

My last day in Tampere

So, this was my last day in Tampere. Iivo said he was sorry to see me go, but he also was sorry he didn’t have a place for me at the studio; since the old owner was packing up most of the operation and moving to Spain, he expected business to go down a bit. I like Iivo, but he’s a bit limp when it comes to taking chances. Then again, he’s got a full house for tattooists and I’m only just certified in body mod. I guess, given the area, it’s a buyer’s market.

Goodbye, Iivo. Goodbye, Kalevala, Goodbye, drunk Finnish boys who want bears inked on your arses.

My last day, and it was August, so it stood to reason: sataa kuin Esterin perseestä. That’s vulgar, so I’ll just say it was raining cats and dogs. I don’t mind the rain: I’m not a stupid film witch, and I never met any real ones who melt anyway.

Mum planned to take me, even though Iivo said he would if I wanted him to. Nearest portal is Kangasala; Tampere is a magical wasteland, which I guess is probably why so many fae businesses do well there. Half the coffee shops are run by us elves, and of course being Finland elves are the majority of the Fae population, with a pretty good divide between Lios and Svart, not that we make much of a distinction these days. It’s the stupid western colonials who continue with their uppity pomp and circumstance and Victorian made-up stories about Seelie and Unseelie courts. We laugh about this, you know. Brits, Americans, they all had so much great mythology to draw from, and they picked Scottish words from the North of Scotland, which OK, are at least derived from Scandinavia where we like to think the first elves came from (yeah; that’s probably cultural superiority; people think Santa Claus comes from here, too), but give me a break. Seelie and Unseelie. Just because I am prohibited by blood from outright lying to you doesn’t mean I won’t outright fuck you up if you give me reason to. Why not fucking you up for sport makes me part of some special and different clan, I have no idea. My older sister Ula will fuck you up for sport: does that make her Unseelie? No fucking clue.

Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about on the drive to Kangasala, because Mum had to give me a lecture reminding me that American Fae have this antiquated system, and I’m all, ‘Mum, I picked a place that doesn’t do that, I looked it up, they don’t do the stupid winter and summer court thing, there’s no Queen Of Air And Darkness,’ And I totally did the funny voice. The look she gave me!

There’s no Queen of Air And Darkness

I should have let Iivo take me. At least there would have been beer. Mum wasn’t even going to let me vape in the car.

“You call me the minute you get there,” she said.

“Mum,” I said. “It’s a portal. It takes seconds.”

“You still call me.” She started to tear up.

“Mum,” I said. “You can come visit.”

Her mouth opened, then closed. “I am not made for America,” she said. She walked round the back of the car and grabbed the big suitcase and a smaller bag. Oh paska, Mum, you did not. “Here. You’re taking it.”

“Mum.”

“You’re taking it.”

“Fuck’s sake, Mum.”

She folded her arms across her chest. “And you’re kissing me goodbye.”

You know what? My mum is sixteen hundred years old. I am her youngest child, her baby. She averages one child every other century or so. It occurred to me it was not wise to say no to her at this time. I opened my arms, palms out in the universal gesture of surrender. I put my arms around my mother and felt her arms around me. I kissed her goodbye.

And I took the suitcase, and the goddamn kantele, and I walked through the sithen gate, knowing she’d follow, knowing she’d watch, knowing she’d cry before and after, but not during, that all-important, “Yeah, mum, I made it,” phone call.

And that was the end of my last day in Tampere

And that was the end of my last day in Tampere. And, I guess, the start of the new chapter.

Notes and Credits:

  • Val is a role-play character for Myserie, a Second Life roleplaying region. You can learn more about Myserie on the Myserie Role-play Site.
  • Val’s tank top has artwork designed by me, The Author, (Gwen Enchanted) and made into a lovely tank top by the amazing Mystie (Mystical Edenflower) who is MishMash Fusion. This tank top and some other tank tops inspired by Val’s journeys may be for sale soon. All artwork is original and designed by me. The translation of the Finnish text is, “My Hovercraft Is Full Of Eels”. I kid you not.
  • Body: Maitreya
  • Head: Lelutka Evolution, Fleur
  • Skin: Wyrd, Alva, in T1
  • Tattoo: Nefekalum, Embellishment, Titanium
  • Eyebrows: Simple Bloom, Liv Spring Neutral (tinted)
  • Ears: Swallow, Pixie Ears
  • Eyes: Arte: Skjoldmøy Eyes
  • Eyelashes: Cazimi, Tidy Lashes
  • Hair: Stealthic, Rebellion
  • Facial Piercings: All Lelutka piercings for Fleur head, except;
  • Septum piercing: Venge, Kelpie Nosering
  • Jeans: LaPointe & Bastchild, Swear Daisy Jeans
  • Boots: Eudora3D, Morgan Boots

A Dream Of Spirits

The fox journey has seemed at times surreal, at times frustrating, and at all times inscrutable. I do not understand why this spirit fox picked me, why he keeps showing up in my dreams, why he so desperately wants to show me this or that.

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I thought I was alone

But this time, I thought I was alone. It seemed I woke at the end of a bridge, and there was something abnormally quiet about it, at least at first.

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A sense of solitude

I really might have been the only person in the world, for those few minutes.

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Little visions

But then little visions began to come to me, little flashes of what else there was to see here.

And so I walked on, looking and discovering as I went. From path to bridge to little farm,  all seemed still and calm and somehow holding its breath as if waiting for something…

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And that’s when I met the owl.

The owl was the first living being I’d seen since waking up at the bridge. ‘Well, look at you’, I said. ‘You’ve got your very own perch, nobody around for miles, you’re the king of the castle, aren’t you’?

Have you ever heard an owl laugh? It is disconcerting; I’ll tell you that. ‘I am in fact the god of the village’, he replied with absolutely no irony. ‘But you’ll travel farther than just here today’, he said—like he knew so much. ‘It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this’.

Yes, he really said that. And then I felt a soft weight in the crook of my arm, and there was a much younger little spirit fox, and this one was a beautiful purply-blue colour.

‘Oh’! I said. ‘You got me another fox’!

‘Another fox’? asked the owl. ‘Has another one come down from the forest, then’? He looked, well, as nervous as I could ever imagine an owl looking.

‘No, no; this is a white fox that has been visiting me in dreams’, I explained.

‘Oh, that one’. He nodded, as if he knew so much. ‘Well, perhaps you’ll see him again when you get up there’. He nodded toward a break in the wall. ‘Best get moving’.

And so I did.

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Up the long set of steps we went

And so we went out the gate and up a set of natural-looking steps that led up a hill (I don’t think it could be called a mountain) on a winding path.

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We came into a forest

We came into a forest guarded by two red foxes. That’s when my familiar fox appeared on my shoulder. ‘Watch those two’, he said.

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Mist in the forest

‘I can only watch one of them at at time’, I replied; ‘they’re too far apart’!

He snorted. ‘Oh, you’ve turned white now have you, little one’? he teased. ‘Any day now you’ll be calling me papa’.

The little one in my arms snorted.

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What are you telling us?

‘What are you telling us’? I asked. ‘Is that spirit fox for “not bloody likely”‘?

My (ha!) spirit fox laughed at us then. ‘Well, you’ll have to go on and explore without us’, he said. ‘We have some work to do here in the Kitsune Forest’, but you’ll see us again before long’.

It wasn’t as much fun to explore now that I’d had time with the foxes, but I won’t soon forget the beautiful market. It sounded every bit like a live market, except there was no-one there that I could see.

And when I woke up later, in my own bed in Faerie, both foxes were nowhere to be found. I am sure they will find me again; they seem impossible to avoid, after all.

Credits and Notes:

The Kitsune Tales round is still open at Enchantment until the 31st of this month! You’ll find so many lovely things there, some of which are shown in photographs above!

Items featured at Enchantment:
Dress: Les sucreries de Fairy, Yoko, Red Dress 3
Face Makeup: Venge, ‘The Legend’
Earrings: Bliensen + MaiTai, Kitsune, red
Cuddle Fox: Jinx, Cuddle Pup (in Spirit, then White)
Shoulder Fox: Harshlands, Mini Spirit Fox
Shoes and Socks: Exia, Akaru Zouri

Other items in this look:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Evolution Lake Mesh Head
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Flora skin for Lelutka in tone Celtic
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Eyes: Anatomy, Fading Eyes
Hair: Kokolores, Kitten
Lipstick: The MARS, Apple Crush Dark

Location: All these photos were shot in the beautiful region of Kintsugi, Spirited Beyond. It is a stunning and contemplative build, presented on multiple levels, with some beautiful stories to experience as you travel through it. It’s currently featured on the SL Destination Guide, but there’s a link above for your ease of travel!

The Ancient and Honourable Company of Fae Pirates?

So, after the trip to Helgen Francis, I thought I was done with this spate of weird dreams. It’s not as if nothing interesting has happened since then, either. The Book Forest has rearranged itself. I went off adventuring to Eclectica for the first time in ages. And, possibly coincidentally, there have been whisperings through the grapevine that The Gypsy Davey has been seen in Awenia. I thought I was safe. I thought I had finally gotten over the strangely vivid dreams that’d been plaguing me for months beforehand.

I was wrong.

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The Ancient and Honourable Company of Fae Pirates?

“The Ancient and Honourable Company of Fae Pirates? You have got to be kidding me.” The disembodied voice that had welcomed me to this Company (a company of one, it seemed, but more on that later) faded off into the distance. Then the only sounds were wind, the unending sounds of the sea rising and falling, and the chittering of a small purple dragonet who didn’t seem to want to leave me alone and kept hovering there near my shoulder.

“I don’t even like ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day'”, I muttered. “First person who says ‘Arr, Matey’ to me gets shanked. Or at least glamoured into a very small fish.”

This wasn’t a problem because apparently there were no other people. Perhaps the Company were all off doing some raiding. But as we seemed to be, well, becalmed (not terribly far from land, but still), my mind kept going to more sinister places.

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What if the crew had all been murdered?

What if the crew had all been murdered? What if I was sent here to help them, but I arrived too late? And of course, the same fate might be awaiting me.

The little dragonet chittered.

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What are you trying to tell me?

What are you trying to tell me, little fellow? I wondered. I may have even asked it out loud: it wasn’t like anybody would be making fun of me for inappropriately chatting up a dragonet.

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The Opposite Direction

I walked the length of the disturbingly empty ship to the stern, the bit that was closest to—well, some people might call it land: it appeared to be a building on an otherwise barren rock rising out of the sea. Still nothing. Even though I had no idea what the dragonet was trying to tell me, it chittered excitedly while looking in a completely different direction than I was.

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Where’d they go, Henry?

“Where’d they go, Henry?” I asked the dragonet. “You don’t mind if I call you Henry, do you? I’m Gwyneth.”

The dragonet made a chittery-scolding sound. Maybe he was trying to give me the location of the rest of the crew, assuming they existed. Maybe he just had bad associations with the name Henry.

“Of course, I can’t argue with this outfit, Henry,” I rambled on. “If I were actually going to be a pirate, even a dream pirate, I would totally wear something like this.” The dress with all its frills was a lot of fun, but I couldn’t decide whether my favourite piece was the leather thigh-high leggings or the strapped boots. It is, of course, a good thing that Fae Queens don’t actually walk on the earth; we hover a few centimetres above it as a rule. I haven’t put weight on my feet in years, and I think stiletto heels might just do me in. They are absolutely gorgeous, though. For a fleeting moment, I wondered why I didn’t have any weapons. “Aren’t pirates usually armed to the teeth, Henry? Maybe not Fae Pirates, hm?”

Once again, Henry chittered excitedly. I could only assume he was agreeing with my assessment of the pirate outfit.

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Glad

“I’m glad you agree with me, Henry,” I said. “We’d have had Words if you didn’t.”

Henry made a sound suspiciously like a burp.

And then, in perfect English, he said: “Your Majesty. The crew are marooned on that island with all the trees over there.” He used a wing to point. “You were the only expert we could get on short notice.”

Expert? I blanched.

“My name isn’t Henry; it’s Beauregard. You’ll need to pilot the ship to the island.”

I squinted. “Looks close enough to swim from to me.”

“Looks are deceiving, Your Majesty,” Henry—I mean, Beauregard—continued. “These are serpent-infested waters.”

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I have no idea how to pilot a ship!

“What? I’ve no idea how to pilot a ship!” I exclaimed.

“Well, the Navigational Owl has flown off, said something about mating season,” said Beauregard.

“Navigational….owl?” I asked.

“Sure; all AHCFP ships have one,” replied the dragonet.

“AHCFP,” I said.

“The Ancient and Honourable Company of Fae Pirates?” Beauregard sighed. “You recall I welcomed you to our numbers when you arrived on board.”

“That was you?” I asked.

“Of course,” he said. “I have different tones of voice for different purposes. I’m not two dimensional, you know.”

“I never said you were!” I envisioned that this argument could go on like this for some time, so I just sighed and approached the large steering wheel.

After that, it all gets muddled. I think we were entering some kind of vortex where we were Sure To Drown when I finally woke up.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Lelutka, Simone Bento Mesh Head
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Seattle (Available NOW at Ultra!)
Rings, Claws, and Dragon Bracelets: RealEvil Industries, Dragon Rings
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Eyes: Zombie Suicide, Starry Night Eyes
Clothes: Silvan Moon Designs, Buccaneer Celeste (Available on 4 September at We Love Role-play!) —includes dress, leggings, boots, and hat
Hair: Analog Dog (natch!), Nori (Available at the Analog Dog Main Store!)
Necklace: RealEvil Industries, Passion Collar
Subdermal Heart: Ama, Forever Yours
Wings: The Plastik, Maliana Bento Wings
Septum Ring: Venge, Kelpi Nosering
Beauregard (or Henry) the dragonet: Hextraordinary, Dragonet Companion (rare!) (Available NOW at The Arcade Gacha!)

Location: Athan Selidor, Beyond The Island
Poses: All from Frolic Poses
Lighting: LumiPro
Facial Expressions: Lelutka AXIS

 

Revisiting the Book Forest

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Would you go?

Would you go? Would you walk into the wardrobe and take your winter coat and travel to Narnia in winter?

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Entering the Book Forest makes me ask such questions of myself.

Entering the Book Forest makes me ask such questions of myself. It is a place where there are no limits to the imagination. As small as it is, it seems dense and immense when you’re inside it. And it brings so many lovely things back into my head. Although my duties in Faerie are many, particularly now that we are having such an influx of people who are a bit afraid of being on the Island. I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t try to separate it from the contemporary Realm it lies in and try to rewrite history.

Then again, rewriting history is a dangerous practice. Dyisi would surely warn against it.

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Is it running away, if you are recreating?

Is it running away, if you are recreating? Again, Dyisi would probably say yes. But then she thinks I run from everything.

And, OK, maybe I’ve been prone to do that… in the past. But I love this Realm, this little town, these whimsical shops and pathways. And the Book Forest, more than anything, is the centre of the whole idea. You can put anything together. Everything can be juxtaposed. You can have a bakery next door to a magic shop. You can have an Amsterdam canal front in sight of a princess tower. You get what I mean.

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I was always fascinated by juxtaposition.

Even in London, I was always fascinated by juxtaposition. And I guess it’s no surprise: London’s sense of history rams gracefully (yes, really!) up against its boldness, its newness. The reflection of society and history, the calling-out of the ages, many ages all together, is nowhere more apparent than in London.

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And of course it’s true that nowhere looks less like London than the Book Forest.

And of course it’s true that nowhere looks less like London than the Book Forest. But there are books about London here, I’m sure of it. Somewhere along the book paths or in the book stacks. They must be here, because there’s always a book about London.

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It’s funny. When I was a little girl, I used to imagine that I could turn a corner in St. Martin’s Passage and find myself somehow in a magical realm.

It’s funny. When I was a little girl, I used to imagine that I could turn a corner in St. Martin’s Passage and find myself somehow in a magical realm. That mindset, that life, that me seems so far away now. As far away as a story. As far away as a book. A character. Something I just read about. Even my (adoptive) parents are a faded memory now. It’s so much like a store that I wonder if I should write it one day, get it published in a mundane Realm without obvious magic, where people long for stories like mine. But there are many stories to live, I think, before it’s time to tell mine properly.

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And then, from the Paradise Lost statue, pages fly as if escaping the book.

And then, from the Paradise Lost statue, pages fly as if escaping the book. Should I return them? Or are they going somewhere special?

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I decide to follow.

I decide to follow them, and they lead me past the book hourglass as if they’re searching for something.

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Chasing book pages is every bit as fun as you think it is.

Chasing book pages is every bit as fun as you think it is, which is to say it isn’t fun at all, unless you like chasing things. Now would be a good time to have a dog, I guess. We run past a replica of the Doors of During that appeared here last week, and the pages pause, as if considering whether to enter. I hope they don’t: I haven’t been through that door myself yet.

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They pause and turn toward the book steps.

They pause and turn toward the book steps. There are other fluttering pages here: maybe they long to be with their own kind? Oh, great; I’m now ascribing sentience to a bunch of floating pages. Perhaps Faerie has finally driven me mad? That bitchy little Demifae queen would be so happy.

Make up your minds little pages!

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Maybe I should just accept the fact that they’re not going anywhere.

Maybe I should just accept the fact that they’re not going anywhere. Stand here, juggle them a bit, look cool. I look cool, right? I mean, here I am juggling papers. Because that’s a cool thing to do on a Friday night. It’s not like there could ever be anything better to do. I’ll bet they just want to stay here. I take a deep breath and try to give in to the pages, stay still with them.

But then, they’re off again, and of course I’m compelled to chase them.

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They fly over to the door of a house that’s made from a tree.

They fly over to the door of a house that’s made from a tree. Wait– when did that appear? Faerie changes so rapidly. I know it’s a mirror of my mind, but am I so flighty? Maybe I am.

Under the door of the house they all go, but there’s a light on in the window, and I swear I smell pipe smoke. I don’t think now’s a good time. Hopefully the inhabitant, if there is one, will be able to find a place for the pages.

As for me, I wander back toward the front of the forest.

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And there I find… a wardrobe.

And there I find… a wardrobe. Again. And it brings us full circle. I’ve been so many places, but will I go here? will I just walk through?

It’s a portal like any other.

All I have to do is step through.

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But… not today.

But… not today. Today I’ll just curl up with a book and a kitten. Books and kittens. There’s no better way to end a day in the book forest. And maybe tomorrow I’ll see what’s behind those doors. Both of them.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: No Match, No Again (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Circlet: Venge, Anisa Head Adornment
Eyes: Mesange, Artic Eyes (Available NOW at On9!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s[K]ins, Vyra, in a NEW SKIN TONE, Dew, which is lovely on Gwyneth! Poster with more information below!
Tattoo: Misschievous, Chandelier Tattoo (faded)
Nails: Cazimi, Whimsy Nails (Maitreya Appliers)
Dress: The Muses, Daphne (Available NOW at We ❤ RP!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Boots: !go!, Fay Brown Boots

Props:
Wishing Well and Bridge: Raindale/Maplemoor
Paper Books with cardboard pop-ups: Sepia book with castle: BananaN, Story Book Gacha
Paradise Lost Statue: by Nacht: Paradise Lost (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
House made from a Tree Trunk: Since 1975, Fairytale Garden House
Book with Floating Letters: Violatility, La Literature Surrealiste Light
Hourglass and Book with Steps and Pages: Disorderly, Timed Literary
Ruins: Ionic, Sacred Ruins
Doors of Durin: Spell, Lord of the Rings Gacha, Doors of Durin (Chap4)
Book Paths: Book Forest Door, Una, Book Gacha
Wardrobe: 22769, Imaginarium (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Poses:
Poses with Pages: Elephante, Story of Love (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Pic with Cat: Le Poppycock, Book Lovers (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)
Standing Poses: An Lar, the Bronte Series (Available NOW at The Liaison Collaborative!)

Many of the new Book Forest items are from the current round of The Liaison Collaborative, which has a literary theme! The wardrobe in particular is worth a mention: it’s 22769‘s Imaginarium

As always, thanks for reading. I love you guys.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never visit the Book Forest without it!

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August’s End

It was a Hot Summer Night.

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On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

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Will he offer me his mouth?

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Yes.

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Will he offer me his teeth?

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Yes.

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Will he offer me his jaws?

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Yes.

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Will he offer me his hunger?

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Yes.

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Again, will he offer me his hunger?

 

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Yes!

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And does he love me?

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Yes.

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Yes.

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On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

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Yes.

 

Style Cards:
Formal photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Pink Hustler, 8134 (Available for a few more days ONLY at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Skye Eyes
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Skin: 7 Deadly s[K]ins, Cecily (all-in-one Omega applier!) (Cecily is the September Group gift, COMING SOON to the 7 Deadly s[K]ins Main Store!)
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Pennies From Heaven Gown (Available NOW at The Trunk Show!)
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Shoes: SlackGirl, Bling Shoes

Tree Photos:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: EMO-Tions, Marlee (Available NOW at The Trunk Show!)
Eyes: Mesange, Aspen Eyes (Available NOW at The Hidden Chapter!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Miriam (Catwa face applier)
Headpiece: Venge (Formerly Vengeful Threads), Anisah Head Adornment (Available NOW at Genre!)
Dress: Petite Mort, Royal Serene Lace Dress
Tree Top: .shi, Tree Of Life Creepers Top (and floating leaves)
Gloves: Drastic, Walnut Moss Maitreya Hand Branches
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Shoes: Rhude, Jhani

Many thanks to Lord Nyza Stillwater, who indulged me by posing with me in these photographs. And no, I wouldn’t say yes to all the boys. But I would say it to Him.

Spiffy photos taken with the indispensible aid of my LumiPro. I’d never tell a love story through 70s iconic pop songs without it!

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

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On Being a Tree

No, seriously. Have you ever thought about actually being a tree? I had a roleplaying character once, back when I was, I don’t know, fifteen (or at least mentally), whose main power was that she could turn in to a tree and spread an aura of unshakeable calm. The boys in my D&D group loved that, I can tell you.

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To start out with, though, it is possible.

To start out with, though, it is possible to become a tree. Obviously, you need the right environment. Duh, Faerie. And the right attitude. This, for me, can present a problem. So in lieu of the right attitude, I choose the right clothing. I mean, it’s really the same thing, isn’t it?

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You start with a garment that pretty much covers your torso in tree-ness.

You start with a garment that pretty much covers your torso in tree-ness, add some tree-style gloves (which are a bit scratchy but look fabulous), put in some floaty leaves for good measure….

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And you finish it up with shoes that are made of actual oak leaves.

And you finish it up with shoes that are made of actual oak leaves. I kid you not. Or, as Fen might have said before she became The Amazing Catwoman and developed a worse potty mouth than I used to have, “For-real-sies”. No, I am not making this up. Don’t ask her: she’ll probably tell you to fuck off.

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You have to find just the right kind of light.

You have to find just the right kind of light. The sort of light that filters over you and makes you imagine that if only you were a bit more still, you could make slanting light fill the forest, call sunbeams, green the ground with a translucent leaf.

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You have to appreciate shadow.

You have to appreciate shadow. Because what tree doesn’t grow up in the shadows of other trees? Well, aside from those fake tree plantations, or maybe trees in an orchard, or — yeah, whatever: we’re talking about actual, real forests here, not some artificial construct made by other hands, be they mortal or Fae.

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You have to really want to be a tree.

You have to really want to be a tree. And I’m not taking about sort of going, “Yeah; it might be nice to be a tree.” I’m talking about full-scale, bark-fetish level tree envy. Like, “O how marvellous it would be to have a thousand year lifespan and never have to talk to another human being again as long as I lived, assuming someone didn’t chop me down and turn me into, I don’t know, some evil marionette and make me talk as if I were a … OK, obviously I’m going off on a bit of a tangent here.

Moving on.

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Finally (and this is the hard part), you must actually be still.

Finally, and this is the hard part, you must actually be still. Which, OK, I am not very good at. But I trust that once I have all these things in place and once I learn to be still, I shall be a very good tree indeed.

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All that remains after that, of course, is to just let it happen.

All that remains after that, of course, is to just let it happen.

Hm.

I pretty much suck at that bit, too.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Catwa, Lona Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Pr!tty, Yoshi (Available NOW at Hairology!)
Eyes: Mesange, Aspen Eyes (Available NOW at The Hidden Chapter!)
Ears: Swallow, Shiny Elf Ears
Skin: DeeTaleZ, Miriam (Catwa face applier)
Headpiece: Venge (Formerly Vengeful Threads), Anisah Head Adornment (Available NOW at Genre!)
Dress: Petite Mort, Royal Serene Lace Dress
Tree Top: .shi, Tree Of Life Creepers Top (and floating leaves)
Gloves: Drastic, Walnut Moss Maitreya Hand Branches
Collar: Footpaw Industries Celtic Filigree Amythest Collar (attached rose from Footpaw Industries AeLan necklace)
Shoes: Rhude, Jhani

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

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Under the Lantern Tree

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

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

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“I might have vented a bit,” I said.

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

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“We should summon Dyisi,” Arahaelon said.

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

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

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Dyisi shrugged.

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

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I felt that anger rise within me again.

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

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“That would fit…”

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

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

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“Those who are using her…”

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

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

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

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

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Arahaelon brooded for a bit.

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

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Dyisi looked to Rire.

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

 

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The night air developed a chill.

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

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Arahaelon closed his eyes.

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

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

 

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“A good idea.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Lantern Tree

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

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

Style cards for Arahaelon and Dyisi are coming soon!

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

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