Renewed by the beauty of Agra Adara, we crossed the inland sea to arrive at Autumnium. Scarce could the change be greater; from the arid lands that washed around the golden domes and minarets of that now distant haven of peace and the golden lands of Autumnium, a place forever caught between the greens of summer and the white and grey of winter.
Here the the trees grew tall, rich in yellow and orange and ochre and red, boughs heavy with leaf even as the ground lay under a carpet of golden grass heavy with leaves that had already fallen. Through these trees the wind blew gently, stirring branches and rippling through the wheat-like grass with a gentle sigh of warmth.
We followed the paved road up from the docks and through the trees the were a small town raised steep blue roofs and taller round towers between the surrounding blanket of trees. here were throngs of people, laughing, happy, and moving freely from shop to store and back as music floated down from high towers.
At the centre of the town was a great throng laughing, singing dancing, with more up on the hill above, moving among standing stones. These stones stood apart from the golds and yellows of Autumnium, for they lay among a rich carpet of green grass looking like an emerald amongst the amber grass and trees. Nor were the people dancing between and around the stones, so to did swirls of light and colour, turning and twirling between the ancient stones. Then, as I watched, two magnificent winged horses swept down from the burnished blue sky, their riders tall and fair, to land on the grass. Riders and mounts bowed us as we passed along the road below them, and I found myself longing to once again stay our journey, but we had tarried enough along our path, and so we moved on.
It was a lovely day in the Fairelands when three bold explorers set out to… explore… yes, that was the word. They had met while doing the Bard Queen’s Quest and found they had much in common, so decided to take a little trip around the less traveled areas of the Fairelands just to enjoy the beauty.
Continuing on the Blogger Challenges, the easiest one is surely Faire Folk. Creating a character is not that different from creating a look, and surely anyone volunteering to blog fantasy knows how to create a character. The rest of the challenge — choosing one of the Fairelands as that character’s home and taking pictures there — might be more of a challenge, depending on one’s computer, but that’s what the early access is for! Somewhat less laggy environments to combine character creation and Faireland region photography.
Beyond the borders of Heliodor the lands changed. Verdant grass and trees gave way to scrub, then rock and sand. As they changed, so did the say above, turning to the pale blue of burnished steel, the Sun hot and painful to the eyes. Hard and unwelcoming, these were lands that gave birth to doubt and the desire to turn back from our path and seek again the haven offered by the elves of Heliodor once more.
But onward we strove, company and horses wilting in equal measure under the heat of the Sun and huddled against the cold nights that awaited at the end of each day. We were drawn by the mystical promise of Agra Adara, and when its golden domes and slender minarets rose through the horizon’s haze, we all could not help but be lifted in spirit and pace, despite the Sun’s heat until at last we came to the gates of the city as it sat between the seas of sand and water.
Standing as a beacon of light in the surrounding darkness of desert and sea, Agra Adara is a place that defies description for those who have not seen it. Scarce have I found a place more strange to my eyes: the peoples here be-robed in white or bright colours even to their heads, their skins warmed brown by the Sun, their eyes bright stars filled with greeting, their houses and buildings natural palaces of cool air, rich carpets and tiles that carried the heat of the body away through the very soles of our boots.
Look, folks. She is going to come in here in a couple days and tell you she’s had some kind of revelation. Me, I’m just happy to be on tap to serve the Fairelands once again this year. Realms participating run the gamut, but as my first day in the Fairelands as an official watcher happened to be last night, I was happy to be assigned first to Lunafae, where there was sure to be a lovely Beltane gathering.