All posts by duchessflux

Reminiscing: Why I Relay

Reminiscing - Why I RelayWhy I Relay.

I relay because of a phone call that changed my life forever. 5 years ago my brother phoned to tell me that he hadn’t been feeling well; it didn’t sound serious, perhaps he was afraid to scare me, he was after all my big brother. I was so proud of my brother for overcoming his sever learning disability and pursuing a college degree, so our call quickly changed to a story he was writing for class. Growing up my brother could barely read, I beamed with pride. My brother was my hero in every sense of the word and I couldn’t fathom a world without his presence; for surely the sun would stop shining and birds would cease to sing. He is my shining star.

I relay because a few days later my brother informed me that the doctors diagnosed him with lung cancer, Stage 4. I rallied because we were going to beat this, I was determined. We laughed, we cried, we told stories and mostly we told each other how much we loved each other and how proud we were of each others accomplishments. It was never a good-bye, it was a love that was to nourish our spirit and strengthen our fight against this disease. The big C… I can hardly bring myself to even say the word.

I relay because of twenty minutes. Twenty minutes. I drove ten hours through the night a few weeks later to visit my brother. The drive seemed to last for an eternity. My mind played memories of growing up and of things my big brother did that brought a smile to my face. I thought about the things we could do while I visited and I thought about vitamin concoctions I read about on the internet. I thought about his diet and the stories I read from survivors. I stopped for coffee, I was tired and had to pee; I shouldn’t have stopped for coffee. I waited in line for 20 minutes thinking about the difference in my brother’s voice during our last conversation. I continued to drive, armed with my smile and arsenal of love. My brother died 20 minutes before my arrival. Twenty minutes.

I relay because from that second on I lost a piece of me. It was as if this darkness enveloped my world and even after it dissipated the residual energy hung over me like a wet drape. Heavy and limp. I think of my brother every day. I hated the big C. I cursed it. In a blink of an eye it managed to steal my brother from me and leave behind a trail of heartache that went well beyond me. There should be a word stronger than “mourning.” There is no word in the English language that could effectively describe the loss of a piece of yourself. There just isn’t.

I relay because one day there will be a cure. I am positive of this. I relay for those who are fighting, those who survived, and for those who are left behind. I relay because I have hope. I relay because each year a tiny part of me returns when I read other’s stories and as silly as this sounds… as I round the track on SL with Gopu. I give a piece of myself to everyone I encounter and they give it back ten-fold. I relay for my brother and my family. I relay with a dream that the world will become cancer free.

Dedicated to David, the world is a better place because of you. I miss you. Everyday.

Items in image are credited on Threads and Tuneage.

Duchess and Irina Reporting from Fairelands, Day 3

Faery Court
Fairelands calling, Fairelands calling! Today there’s to be a concert of Keeba Tammas and her band, The Tiny Maniacs, and we’re both huuuuuge fans of Ms Tammas, so we don’t want to miss this. We start to prepare already in the afternoon in our small inn room at the Faery Court. We pick an outfit, find matching shoes, apply cosmetics, comb our hair neatly, yet when the look is ready we’re not satisfied, so we start over – five times. When we finally deem ourselves presentable in our mermaid tails, we swim across the lake towards Heavenslough and walk the rest of way, only to find our entry barred by a man twice as tall as me and wider than the double doors of the Mayor Hall.

“Sorry, ladies, you’re late. We’re full.” The man speaks to us.
“But… but … We’re reporters, surely we’re in the VIP list!?” I cry out pleadingly, and state our names and the newspaper we represent.
The man looks over a book beside him and then shakes his head. “Sorry, ladies, you’re not on the list.”
“Bah, there’s gotta be something you can do?!” The annoyance and fury in Duchess’ voice is clearly audible.
“No, ma’am. The sheriffs are watching ever so vigilantly and if I were to let you in, they’d surely call off the concert and arrest everyone. What do you think would happen if the audience was to find out it was because of you two?”
Duchess and I look at each other, both imagining the outcome of us being locked up in a cell with an angry mob, and neither of us finds the result very appealing.

“There’s gotta be a way to sneak in….” Duchess murmurs at me when we’re out of the bouncer’s hearing-range. “Let’s walk until we’re out of his vision and then try to get in through all those bushes. Good thing we’re at the Fantasy Faire, I don’t think mer-folk can walk this easily on land elsewhere.” She chuckles a bit, keenly studying our surrounds for a hidden entry.

Luckily for us, we do find the perfect, mermaid-sized gap amongst the vegetation. We begin to crawl through carefully, trying to avoid breaking our costumes. However, the moment our hands touch the earth of Heavenslough, we see a pair of small boots before us. We lift our gazes slowly and there’s a sheriff standing right there, dangling two pairs of handcuffs in her tiny hands. “Now, now, ladies. You have two options. Crawl back where you came from, or spend the night in a cell… And no, running is not an option. This place is crawling with sheriffs and two mermaids are rather easy to spot.”

Defeated, we return to the Faery Court, where we decide to chill out at the dock, have a cocktail, two, or three while observing the people, and of course give grades to the handsome male-folk who pass us.

Photography by Duchess Flux
Text by Irina Strazytski


MERMAID: Tahitian Pearl by Mer-chandise Cove ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at The Faery Court
CROWN: Sumiana Crown {spring} by aisling ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Hopes Horizon
NAILPOLISH: Pixiedust Gold by Bliensen + MaiTai ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at The Faery Court
ARMBAND: Gilgalad Armband by Bliensen + MaiTai ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at The Faery Court
REMAINING ITEMS: Please see complete details at Duchess’s Blog Threads and Tuneage


OUTFIT: Mermaid Treasures Boutique – Loving Salacia Mermaid @ The Faery Court
JEWELRY: AZE Designs – RFL Fluted Scallop Nekky & Tiara @ Asperatus
SCALES TATTOO: Even Tide – Mer Scales Bold (purple) @ Blackwater Glenn
NAIL POLISH: Bliensen + Maitai – Mermaid (Slink hands required) @ The Faery Court
REMAINING ITEMS: Please see complete details at Irina’s Blog, Dark Chest of Wonders


Duchess and Irina Reporting from Fairelands, Day 2

Fairelands Junction (Sponsored by Sanctuary RP Community)
Fairelands calling, Fairelands calling! It’s time to continue our journey through the Fantasy Faire and our next stop is Blackwater Glenn. This untamed woodland settlement is breathtakingly beautiful, although I’m a bit vary of the marshes, there just might be eels waiting for an opportunity to attack me, and I don’t find the thought of eels very appealing. As any good female reporter would do, we check out the stores first.
Blackwater Glenn
“Okay, hit it.” Duchess says to me when we find a nice spot for the report after the shopping spree.
“One, two, three, testing… Is this thing on? Testing..” I tap the microphone less than gently as it doesn’t seem to turn on. “Testing … WORK! YOU WRETCHED THING!!” I shout out with all the fury I can muster and of course just then the microphone works.
Duchess looks like she wished that the earth could swallow her at this very moment as I’m yelling like a madwoman, and in live report no less.
“Erm, sorry about that!” I flash a smile to the camera and resume my report. ” Irina and Duchess live from Blackwater Glenn! As you can see, this beautiful swamp-ish -”
“Irina!! You can’t say swamp-ish! It’s not even a word!” Duchess exclaims.
“Hrrrmmpfff…” The smallest of sighs escapes from me. “This beautiful village in a forestal area, with a few marshes scattered here and there, is the perfect example of how a man and nature can exist in harmony.. and now for the shopping opportunities here…. “

One and half hours later we’ve finally covered all the local merchandise and it’s time to move on.

Heavenslough Sponsered by Creators of Fantasy

Next our path takes us to another marshland, Heavenslough. Also this place is incredibly beautiful. We’re rushing back and forth exploring the flora and the fauna, watching the little animals, admiring the massive falls at the center of everything – and of course shopping like no tomorrow.

Having learned from my previous mistake, I make sure the microphone works before we start our report. “Irina and Duchess live from Heavenslough! Behind us, you can see an ancient rock formation, which is often used in druidic rituals and -.” I sneak a glance into the bog on my left only to gravely regret it a moment later, for I see two tentacles briefly reaching out from the murky water. “Duchess!!! There’s a swamp-monster in there!! Look!!” I point to the spot where the water now lays completely still.
Duchess stares at the water for a moment and rolls her eyes. “There’s nothing in there, just water. Go on with the report.”
I step a little closer to Duchess just in case, my gaze flickering between the water and the standing stone we’re here to report, my voice quivering ever so slightly. “ .. The large boulder is also regarded as a shrine to the deities of the nature and many forest-dwellers wander here frequently to pray, make offerings or just to meditate. Also if you look carefully – “
“SON OF A TROLL!! There – is – a monster!!!” Duchess’ eyes caught finally unnatural movement at the water on our left. “Tactical retreat! TACTICAL RETREAT!!”

The microphone and camera fall into the ground and we run like little elves into the safety of the traveled paths. Thankfully, we meet a pleasant and brave gentleman, who agrees to get our equipment back to us for a small, nominal fee.

Photography by Duchess Flux
Text by Irina Strazytski

Duchess wears:
FAUN: Autumn Tribe Mesh Faun {Autumn Leaf} by Satyrs Moon ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Heavenslough
NECKLACE: Gilgalad by Bliensen + MaiTai ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Faery Court
ARM BANDS: Elf Armor by Death Row Designs ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Hope’s Horizon
REMAINING OUTFIT: See Duchess’s blog Threads and Tuneage

Irina wears:
TUNIC:22769 – [femme] Linnen Tunic (brown) @ Hope’s Horizon
SKIRT: 22769 – [femme] Battleskirt (brown leather) @ Hope’s Horizon
BOOTS: Death Row Designs – Elf Armor @ Hope’s Horizon
REMAINING OUTFIT: See Irina’s blog Dark Chest of Wonders

Duchess and Irina Reporting from Fairelands, Day 1

ImageFairelands calling, Fairelands calling! My name is Irina and I work for the prestigious Fairytale Gazette newspaper. Usually I work alone but ever since a small incident involving a misplaced camera and Mrs Mayor’s undergarments, my boss has banned me from even thinking about the camera, and thus I’m journeying to the Fairelands with Duchess, a famous photographer, who’s won various prizes, even.

“Remember ladies, especially you Irina, Fairytale Gazette is a Very Serious Newspaper, and I’d like you to conduct yourselves in a prim and proper manner and make a very serious reportage. And the newspaper will NOT pay for your shopping!!” Our boss gave us one final advice before we hopped to the Fairelands portal.

ImageOur first destination is Asperatus, a great flying city high up in the air.
“Holy Mother of Soup, Duchess! We’re on the sky and the city’s gonna fall and we’re gonna die! All of us are gonna dieeeeeeeeee!!!!” I shriek in panic once I notice I’m actually above the clouds.

Duchess cringes, especially when the other people gather around us to give us funny, even angry looks. “There’s only one person who’s life is in danger here and it’s not because the city comes crashing down, but because someone will strangle you if you don’t stop screaming! Look there!” She points at the giant balloons which maintain the city in the air. “Those will keep the city floating within the clouds. Now, remember what the boss said about manners, and we’ll go explore.”

I’m not too convinced, but when a bearded individual who’s watching us makes me a gesture as if he’d like to cut my throat, I decide it might be wise to stop screaming at least. As soon as I overcome the creepy feeling that there’s hundreds of meters of distance between me and the ground, this place is actually quite interesting. There’s all sorts of curious cogs, propels and gears, which all seem to serve some purpose, and of course there’s shops, and there’s nothing both me and Duchess like more than shopping. Our exploration is interrupted, though, while I’m trying on a fancy armour, when a lad runs past shouting “The sheriffs have jailed an effin’ building at the Palace of Tears!!!”

ImageWe rush into the Palace of Tears and there indeed seems to be some commotion, but not what we had expected. There’s a giant attacking the place, and I don’t mean a tall person but an actual giant!!

“We have to get a live of this, get your microphone!” Duchess shouts at me, while she’s vigorously searching through her belongings for her precious video camera.

Thankfully my microphone is near. “One, two, three, testing…. Irina from Palace of Tears calling with breaking news! As you can see behind me, there’s a giant attacking the palace and these half-horsemen – “

“Centaurs…” Duchess murmurs at me in a stagewhisper. “They’re called centaurs.”

“Erm..” I cough twice. “As I was saying these centaurs are rushing in there to repel the attack! We shall be following the situation closely, although from a safe distance.”

Duchess facepalms and grumbles something about a pansy reporter. “Safe distance in my butt, come on, we got to get closer!”

I can’t help but follow her as she starts rushing towards the heat of the battle. Once we draw nearer, we find out she’s actually not attacking but dancing. That’s rather embarrassing for us, so we decide to just say to the camera that the battle is now over and the good prevails. We do discover, though, that the sheriffs have indeed jailed a building, but fortunately, the good people who were gathered at the Palace of Tears are helping to pay the bail and the great hunt, which shall soon take place at the Palace of Tears, will be on.

Photography by Duchess Flux
Text by Irina Strazytski
Special thanks to Ceri Quixote of Quixote’s Dream for kindly letting us feature her as the Colossi giant in our reportage.


GOWN: Annette {Purple} by Luminary ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Hope’s Horizon
BELT: Boadicea’s Belt {Multi-Textures} by The Forge ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Asperatus
EARS: Fairy Ears w/ Wrapped Cords by Illusions ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Sanctum
ADDITIONAL ITEMS worn by Duchess from outside the faire can be found listed at Threads & Tuneage


GOWN: Rosa by the Luminary ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Hope’s Horizon
BOOTS: by Sax Shepherd Designs ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Hope’s Horizon
NECKLACE: by House of Rain ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Mourningvale Thicket
BOOK: Book: Leather Bound Spellbook by Talevin’s Designs ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Hope’s Horizon
ADDITIONAL ITEMS worn by Irina from outside the faire can be found listed at Dark Chest of Wonders