Category Archives: Fairelands

Posts about the Fairelands themselves: sim teasers, descriptions, sim builder interviews.

Farewell to the Fairelands

Gwyneth in Blackmoor BLOG - 1

Now cometh the enveloping mists
Slowly spreading like tendrils
The migration inevitable
Across the vast emptiness

Alas these lands of wonder
Enchanted as they are
A heartbeat of light beating
Must yet succumb

The world makers wait
Knowing it comes
They embrace their children
Until the very last

The vigilent warriors
Watch from the walls
Grasping tightly
To these shores fleeting

Yet, hope will not fade
Far into time forward
Another place, another time
The beloved awaits rebirth

Never fading from memory
Shining brilliant across the seas
Ever brighter in its absence
In grand tales of the heroic

We release you then to the mists
A prolonged embrace now outstretched hands
Strength and love ever bind us
Farewell sweet lands.

If only just for now.

Bee Dumpling
May 2nd, 2016

LitFest Tours Special: Story from OtherWorld

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Seven Empty Thones
By Saffia Widdershins

“What do you see?”

“I see seven thrones on top of the highest hill, in the shade of the standing stone and the great tree,” said the young King.

“Are they all thrones?” asked his First Minister. “Look more closely.”

“Ahhh … only two are thrones,” said the young King. “They’re more decorated than the others. But even the others are … I don’t know … more formal? It seems a strange word to use here, where nature is so predominant.”

He was silent for a moment, considering. The First Minister watched him, a half smile on his face. It is possible to be proud of your King in many ways, especially when your King is young.

“Then perhaps a King, his Queen and their advisors,” he said. “Look how they are set out – a line, but curved a little. The advisors … like arms spread out to embrace. And there … that strange little stool by the foot of the thrones.”

“Perhaps a place for a prince or princess to sit and learn the business of government,” suggested the First Minister.

The King frowned a little. Young or old, the First Minister reflected, kings do not care for the thought that they need to be training up their successors.

The thrones face inward,” the King said suddenly. “Towards the land. If they turned them around and looked out over the sea, what a jolly view they would have!”

“But inland is where the people would gather,” said the First Minister gently.

“That’s true,” said the King. “I wonder if it was for judgements or law giving. Perhaps it was for entertainment … to hear music, or to see plays. Or fire dancers. That would look splendid – although they’d have to be careful not to let that huge tree catch on fire!”

There had been fire dancers who came to the palace three years previously. The King had not forgotten.

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But now his attention was still on the tree. “I wonder how old it is. Centuries, I’d think. You could have a whole town of houses in that tree – like the Dumbodins build, in the Creen Uplands. But none of their trees are as big as this! And all alone … I wonder if it was lonely.“

His voice dropped. He had no brothers, but even if he had, he would still have been set apart. And honest friends for a King, a young King, were not easily come by.

“I know these plants,” he said suddenly. “The mushrooms … and that one – there – with trailing fronds that glow. I have seen them in the palace gardens.”

The First Minister nodded. “Yes, you will find them in many gardens. And more … The island … the island can be found. Or rather an echo of that island. Somewhere to the west of here, beyond the Gulf of Rhionis.”

“So I can visit it?”

“Oh yes,” said the First Minister. “Though some say … it is an echo of this island. A loving – and much-loved – reflection.”

“The tree is there? And the thrones?”

“The tree is there. But the thrones … are not.”

“Perhaps,” said the young King thoughtfully, “the thrones have decayed. With time, you know.”

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“Perhaps,” said the First Minister. “But legends tell of a court of fair folk, wise and learned, who would gather here in a pavilion of crystal, to tell tales and to hear tales told. And that people would dance here on a magical boat, anchored high in the trees.”

The young King gave an astonished laugh. “A boat? In the tree? How did they get it there?”

“Legends say that it was lifted there – and held aloft – by a kindly dragon.”

The young King laughed again. “Now that really could do some fire damage to the tree!”

“Indeed.”

Somewhere in the chambers, a clock chimed a musical note. All the palace clocks were musical and gentle reminders of the passing time, but the young King’s face fell.

“Already? But there’s so much more to see – and talk about! The dragon skull, resting on the edge of the island. Was that the dragon who held the boat, do you think?”

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“No,” said the First Minister. “That was a young dragon, I believe, and full of strength. The dragon’s skull … that was a dragon who grew unimaginably old and rested, full of years.” Was there a wistful note in the First Minister’s voice?

The King’s gaze was still fixed on the painting.

“Your Council will be waiting,” said the First Minister.

“Yes,” said the King, a little glumly. Then he looked around the room, at the paintings that shone like jewels in this dark wood panelled room, where the light came gently through the mullioned windows.

“But we can come again tomorrow and see them?”

“Perhaps not tomorrow,” said the First Minister. “For your days are full, and very busy. But I promise you – we will come again and see more.”

“Good!” said the young King, and he moved to the door.

But the First Minister paused and looked around the room, at the fourteen bright paintings, each showing a different imagining of a different realm. And he sighed, very softly, for he knew – as the King did not – that when they came again, the realms would be there …. But utterly changed.

For that was the magic of the Fairelands.

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LitFest Tours – Stories from the Regions: Blackmoor

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The Ballad Beyond
by Saffia Widdershins

Alone in the mists, the fae waited, her fair hair covered by a dark red hood. At her side, the little unicorn shivered and stamped a nervous foot. The motion caught her eye and she looked down at him and smiled.

“Patience.”

He shook his head, but then stilled as though he heard something.

Sharp elven ears heard it too. The fae drew a deep breath, audible as the sigh of wind over night seas, and she stepped further back into the shadows.

Footsteps, approaching slowly. A slight shuffle, as though one leg was dragging.

Slowly a figure approached, through the tunnel and into the park. Slowly, it made its way down the wooden walk between the watchful gargoyles towards the lighted bank of candles on the broken, half-forgotten shrine. There he stopped – for it was a man, wizened, old and bent. He gazed at the candles for a long moment.

Then with a sigh that was nearly a groan, he reached inside his shabby cloak and lifted out a candle, a rare beeswax candle, tall and elegant. He leaned forward stiffly to light it from one that already burned there, and then set it down in an empty space, taking care it was set upright and proud.

Then he stepped back and gazed at it for a while.

“Tam.”

She spoke softly but he clearly heard, for he stiffened and then straightened a little. But he did not turn towards her.

Ah well, he had always been proud.

“Tam,” she said again, and now she stepped forward, the little unicorn trotting at her side.

“I came to see you, Tam,” she said softly. “To see if you have forgotten … “

He was still staring at the candles, obstinately silent, as though to give her words was to give her power over him.

He had not forgotten, then.

“Do you light the candle for me, Tam? Or do you light it for her?”

She was close enough to him now to see the tear making a track down his face, although he still held his face averted, staring ahead.

“Was she good to you, your Jennet? Did she love you like I loved you? Or did she just want a name to give as the father of her babe? How soon did the life of mortals begin to weary you, Tam Lin?”

At that old, old name he turned suddenly, showing her his face for the first time, facing her fully. Despite what she had known, she shrank back. And he saw it and smiled grimly, displaying the ruins of teeth in a face lined with wrinkles.

“Yes,” he said, and his voice was hoarse, as though from years of disuse. “You did this. You gave me the life of the fae lands, but forgot to give me youth. Jennet died … as mortals must. She was full of years – and they were good ones, the years we spent together, watching our children grow and in time, rule the land. And their children … ten generations now between me and the Lord of Blackmoor, and yet still I live.”

She took a step towards him, her hand raised and held out to him.

“Then come with me,” she said. “True Thomas, my Tam Lin, come along with me. It may be harder to find now, but the way is still there. We will not take the hard road, we will not take the soft. We’ll take the bonny, bonny road to fair Elfland, and we’ll take it together. And there … I will give you the gift you crave – your youth.”

And he laughed softly.

“Ah, my Queen … my fairest Lady … you never understood mortals, did you? You think I crave my youth again? No.

“I crave what you stole from me. My death.”

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Blackmoor
by Midniight Dae

I never really felt that I knew my father, but I lit a candle for him anyway and wished him well in his next incarnation. Things had been tense between us since my mother died and he discovered that his bereft daughter wasn’t willing to concede to his every whim. Banging on the table with his knife wouldn’t get him dinner any faster, and after I threatened to throw it in his lap, he got the message. Yes, things got tense.

I was there to light a candle, when I first saw the stranger. Hesitant footsteps down the tunnel sent me scurrying for cover. The sanctuary is a desolate spot, especially on one of our usual foggy winter evenings. I scrambled up the bank, familiarity allowing me to move slowly and silently. I was above the tunnel when he emerged. By his grey hair, he was older than I, but not by much. My own face held its share of lines. The sweat of sudden fear was quenched by cold fingers of fog, but the folks of Blackmoor soon learn the ways of silent disappearance.

I saw him again, a few nights later, near the shrine for hope. By then I’d heard he had been asking about me, but caution outweighed curiosity and I had no desire to confront him on another night of fog and scarce company. I backed away, careful on the slick cobbles, and vanished easily into the evening.

I was meditating near the waterfalls when he finally cornered me. It’s one of my favourite places, but that didn’t excuse stupidity. He backed away when he saw my frightened glances, looking for an escape route.

“I only want to talk. The Arcadia inn at the main square in an hour?” He backed away when I nodded, but I never stopped gripping my dagger until I reached the roadway and the streetlights.

When I reached Arcadia, he was staring outside, as bemused as most outworlders, staring at what appeared to be a lake inside the building. I muttered the words of power from behind him and the normal inn returned to view. We like to keep our inn for locals only, but occasional guests are permitted. I waved the barmaid over, and she brought two flagons of the better ale.

“You have something that you want from me?”

“No, not at all,” he looked down at his hands then back to me, and I noticed some very familiar blue eyes. “I think we share the same father.”

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“Gemfire and Obsidian”
by Talia Sunsong

“Catch me if you can!” said Gemfire. She beat her wings faster and dove into a fog bank.

“Gemfire, no, that’s heading towards Blackmoor. It’s dangerous.” Eran called at Gemfire’s fleeing back. “The elders said never to go to Blackmoor.”

The only answer was Gemfire’s laughter, that somehow sounded more hollow as it echoed off the fog.

“Come back! Oh, curses.” Eran dove into the fog after her. “Where is she?” Eran could see nothing in the dense fog. He slowly flew forward. Strange trees with twisting branches appeared in the fog.

“Whoa!” Eran dodged a branch that seemed to reach out to grab him. He scrutinized the tree, in case it was actually trying to grab him. It stood motionless.

“It must have just been my imagination. The tree looked like it was moving, because I was moving in the fog.”

He could see the thick branches of more trees poking through the clouds of fog. If he kept flying, he might find himself entangled in a branch, or hit his head on trunk.

“Gemfire jokes that I am thick headed, but it still would hurt to ram a tree.”

Eran flew down to the ground. He landed on an uneven stone path. Immediately, a cold dampness soaked through his Fae shoes. Shoes made of flower petals did not offer much protection from the cold.

They were made for the sunnier lands that Fae lived in.

“Gemfire, where are you?”

Eran strained with his sensitive ears to hear any sound of Gemfire.

All he heard was the dripping of water echoing inside of a tunnel, and a murmur of a waterfall many yards away.

I hope she didn’t hit a tree, thought Eran with a sense of foreboding.

This place was so dark compared to the Fairylands he lived in.

There was a low sound, of a foot scuffing on stone.

“Gemfire?”

Eran crept forward. The sound had come from the other end of a tunnel. He hesitated at the opening. It was dark and smelled of rotting vegetation. Everything told him this was a dangerous place to go, yet if Gemfire was hurt inside the tunnel, he had to go to her.

Eran entered the tunnel. He felt the clinging of a hundred threads of spider silk.

“Yuck!” Eran wiped the web off his face. Something landed on his left shoulder.

Spider? thought Eran, brushing his shoulder quickly. He felt dampness. It was drops of water dripping from the top of the tunnel onto him.

There was another scraping noise. Eran moved more quickly through the tunnel. It opened next to a gray body of water with a wooden walkway over it. Winged stone gargoyles sat atop columns next to the walkway. A shadow moved on the walkway.

“Who is it?” said Eran.

There was a low laugh. “Me,” said a gravelly voice.

Eran spun around. He saw no one. “Who spoke?”

“Don’t you have eyes to see?” said the rasping voice.

Eran looked up and realized the stone gargoyle was speaking. “By the Fae gods, you are alive.”

The gargoyle lifted a leg to scratch at a spider crawling on its side.

“Of course I’m alive. Where have been, that you have never seen a stone gargoyle speak?”

“In the Fae lands,” replied Eran automatically.

“Hah!” said the gargoyle, narrowing his eyes as if Eran had lied.

“These are the Fae lands.”

“The Fae lands are not like here. They are sunny and warm, with a great tree many Fae live in.”

“These are the Fae lands, foolish boy,” sneered the gargoyle. “Why are you here?”

“I’m looking for my friend, Gemfire. She’s Fae too.”

The gargoyle laughed. “She’ll be staying here then, with Obsidian.”

“What?” Eran stepped closer to the gargoyle. “Gemfire, stay here, in this dark place? Where is she? Show me.”

“Show yourself, boy. Obsidian is wooing her now. With his magic and dark beauty, you don’t stand a chance.”

“Where?” Eran clenched his jaw tight. How dare anyone use love spells on Gemfire. No one would take her from him.

“Obsidian is starting to play his magic lyre. That always works on the ladies.” The gargoyle jerked his head towards a spot down the walkway over the murky water. The faint sound of music drifted across the waters.

Not wasting another second, Eran ran down the rickety walkway towards the music. A board suddenly cracked under his foot, and he leapt to the next one to avoid twisting his ankle. The walkway ended at a series of alcoves. Most were dark and forgotten things, but there were candles burning in an alcove down a pathway to his right.

The music drifted from that direction, as well as the sweet notes sung by a man.

Eran ran closer. In the candle light he could the face of a man, slender and youthful looking, like many magical creatures with long lives who looked eternally young. The eyes seemed dark and full of cunning, the lips twisted into a self satisfied smile. The man strummed a lyre and sang a crooning song of desire for a beauty to come to him.

A woman stepped closer to the man. Her red hair and gem like wings caught the candlelight.

“Gemfire!” cried Eran.

Gemfire turned to Eran, her eyes widening in surprise.

“Eran, you’re here?”

“I followed you. We’re not supposed to come here, remember the elders said to stay out of Blackmoor.”

“Eran is your name?” said the man with disdain. Eran looked at the man. Now that he was close, he realized the man did indeed have Fae wings. Although they were jet black wings with chips of shiny crystals like obsidian.

“Eran is my name, and you are Obsidian, I would guess?”

Obsidian raised his eyebrows. “I am Obsidian.”

“He was playing a song for me,” said Gemfire. “It was so beautiful! Please sing it again, Obsidian.”

“No more songs, Gemfire. It’s time to leave.” Eran held out his hand to Gemfire to pull her away from Obsidian.

“Eran said that his elders told him to stay out of Blackmoor, so Eran should obey his elders.” Obsidian pierced Eran with his look.

“Come Gemfire, time to go.”

“Gemfire can stay.” Obsidian set down his lyre and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Oh, Eran. I can stay for a while. I’ve never been here and it’s such a lovely place. I never knew there were Fae here.”

“I still haven’t shown you the waterfall,” said Obsidian picking up his lyre and holding out his hand to Gemfire. “You must see it.”

Eran heard the extra emphasis Obsidian put on the word “must”. He could hear the magic tones underlying the word “must”. It was a command spell.

“Gemfire, do not listen to him,” said Eran, but Gemfire had already taken Obsidian’s hand and they were flying down the path. Eran flew after them.

Holding Gemfire close, Obsidian flew rapidly down the twisting pathway. Eran dashed after them, barely avoiding collisions with boulders and trees.

Obsidian and Gemfire landed on the grass at the top of a tall waterfall. Obsidian strummed his fingers across his lyre.

“Come with me my beauty, Gemfire. Stay with me my love. Be by my side, Gemfire, and forget about the others.” Obsidian sang, his dark eyes meeting Gemfire’s eyes.

“Don’t listen, Gemfire, it’s a spell!” yelled Eran.

“Ignore the voice of others, listen only to me,” sang Obsidian. “The other one will be caught by a tree.”

A tree bent down and tried to entwine its branches around Eran. Eran threw himself sideways. The tree missed getting a grip on Eran, but a twig scratched Eran’s face.

Eran swooped down on Obsidian, and snatched the lyre from his hands.

“Gemfire, don’t listen to Obsidian. He is an evil Fae. He will just try to trap you with his evil ways,” sang Eran desperately. Gemfire’s eyes turned to Eran.

“Eran, you’re singing? You never sing.”

“Come away to safety, let’s leave this awful place.” Eran rose higher in the air, and Gemfire followed.

“I’ll get you next time,” called out Obsidian. “This isn’t over.”

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A Suitor for the Queen: Updates

Saturday, April 30th
The Final Challenge- Suitor for the Queen

In an atmosphere charged with tension the Court gathers once again, The Queen’s Guard Pelinor calls for attention.clears her throat… “Lords and ladies, courtiers and courtesans, please attend Queen’s table as Her Majesty wishes to knows the results of our efforts in testing out the would be suitors… among other things. We also have some insights into a few mysteries that have had us perplexed of late, I’m sure each of you has some concerns to voice regarding the path Her Majesty has embarked upon.”
Bump Wumpole places his gloved hand on the hilt of his bone axe as he looks around the room at those in attendance. In his short time here, the old king has learned many things about the Queen and her subjects… and of the bees drawn to the honey. He recalls with discomfort his own courtships; young dwarven maidens parading before a monarch. “This be no way to find a mate. For where is the jewel hidden among so many flowers?”… he shakes it off and attends to the Queen and her table.
Lady Malada informs the court that she has researched Prince Kelmor and his Kingdom of Alabaster and discovered that they do not exist. That there is no record what so ever. Once again the accusations fly, The Queen then brings up the question of the Necklace and the sword that were found in the possession of the orc. Lady Pelinor produces the necklace and the two are put together, forming a heart. The Queen holds them letting it sway from her hand, slowly becoming hypnotized by the movement. It was then that the Queen’s Guard Pelinor let the court know that it was the Prince’s sword that slew Northman. Chaos ensued as the Queen called for him to be removed from her presence. King Bump jumps on the table to fight the Prince.

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Prince Kelmore glares around the table coldly before turning to look back at the queen, “You asked me a moment before if I was working with the Dark Prince. I can honestly say I am not.” He leaps from his chair, grabbing the sword in hand and raising it to the sky, “I….. AM…. The Dark Prince!” A magic bolt crashes down to dissipate the disguise and reveal his true, dark form. A bright orb of swirling light form around him.
He points his sword at the Queen, “Here! Now you see me for who I am! The thing you despise and claim threatens you because of my dark origins! Do not think I was not sincere though in my courting! Many a night I’ve gazed upon you from below, desiring your hand but knowing you would cast me off only because i am of the shadows! But now you have seen! You can feel affection for me!” The Dark Prince demands that she make her choice.
The Queen speaks telling all “I believe I will choose the Bard Gage! He has been wise and true. Let us do a simple ceremony Pelinor and have done with it” Gage Colinsgrove would have swept her up in his arms a tthat moment, were the Dark Prince not still standing on the table…..

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The Dark Prince declares that if he can not have her, than noone can, and lunges, The Queen’s Guard swings into action and the lords and ladies all join in the fight untill the Dark Prince is driven from the Pavilion to fall into the firely lava below.
The Queen seeing the Dark Prince fall to his death, realizes that this has solved her delima, and decides not to wed anyone, but instead invites her suitors to make their homes in he court.

We would like to thank all who donated and came to see our roleplay. Thank you.

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Gage 6,500L
Kelmore 6,400L
Vindonus 4300L
Bump 3300L
Zarg, 800L

Favors 4100L

LitFest Tours: Stories from the Regions: Breeze

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“Breezes and Chocolate Rivers”
by Talia Sunsong

The people of Breeze lived in peace, but feared the nearby dark lands with the rivers of molten chocolate and the clock tower that kept ticking.

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The clock tower was counting the days until the dark villagers came to Breeze and took away the sunshine.

The dark ones would fly over Breeze in their sky boats with the big balloons blotting out the sun.

The Breeze windmills would turn, picking up speed as the dark ones sky boats rapidly approached.

The dark ones would bring their xylophones made out of skeleton bones and play their grim tunes.

The dark ones would dance to the bones with their bodies jutting out at odd angles, sharp knees and elbows everywhere.

Even the unicorns would pick up the beat of the dark one’s song. Their hoofs would pound the strange rhythm.

The dark ones came to Breeze for its water, because water was life.

Water in the dark one’s lands turned to molten chocolate. The children were delighted, until thirst set in.
To live, the dark ones needed water from Breeze.

“We must keep them away!” The mothers would say, clutching their children to them.

“To the temple of the fish,” cried the village alchemist. “We must plan a defense.”

The villagers of Breeze gathered in the temple on the hilltop.

“We can’t fight them. We have no weapons,” said the farmer.

“We can’t reason with them, they won’t listen,” said the teacher.

“We can’t deny them the water, or they will die,” said the wisewoman.

“The dark ones will always return for the water,” said the mayor sadly.

“I have an idea!” cried the alchemist. “To the tower.” He rushed to the tower, and climbed the spiral stairs, around and around.

When he reached the top room. He opened his vials and his books.

“Raindrops from the underside of a double rainbow,” the alchemist murmured as he poured the raindrops into a cauldron.

“Breath from 200 hummingbirds,” he said as he pulled a stopper from a jar that looked empty, and tipped it over into the cauldron.

“And finally, the black stripes from a zebra unicorn’s mane.” The alchemist dropped long stiff hairs into the cauldron.

He held his hands over the cauldron and chanted. “From dark to light to clear, make the sweetness more dear. Turn the candy into what is more handy.”

The cauldron glowed an eerie light from pink to purple and back again. The alchemist bent down and whispered one final magic word at the cauldron.

Suddenly, the cauldron boiled, faster and faster, until with a “whoosh”, the steam mushroomed into a small cloud that coated the tower’s ceiling. The blue roof of the tower danced with sparks of energy. They gathered into a bolt of lightning that shot from the pole at the top of the tower roof.

The bolt flew towards the chocolate river that ran through the dark ones’ village. It hit the water with a splash and a sizzle.

The chocolate river hissed and boiled. It went from the color of dark chocolate, to milk chocolate, and to white chocolate. The river then turned clear.

The alchemist watched all this with his telescope, set up in the tower’s window.

“Eureka! I’ve done it.” The alchemist dashed down the spiral tower’s stairs. He ran across the village square, past the crowd of villagers.

“What was that lightning, alchemist?” asked the major.

“Come and see!” yelled the alchemist over his shoulder. He raced across the bridge separating the village of Breeze from the dark ones’ land. Several startled dark ones poked their heads out of their open, warped doorways.

A crowd of Breeze villagers and dark ones followed the alchemist to the chocolate river.

The alchemist bent over the river, and grabbed handfuls. He lifted his wet hands towards his face.
“You’ll be a mess, throwing molten chocolate on yourself!” cried the farmer.

Ignoring the farmer, the alchemist cupped the river liquid and splashed it over his face. Instead of a chocolate syrup face, clean water dripped over the alchemist’s features.

“I did it! I turned the chocolate to water.” The alchemist danced in glee.

A dark one shuffled forward. “No more chocolate river?”

“No more chocolate river. You have clean fresh water instead. You won’t have to come to Breeze anymore.”

“But,” said the dark one. “You won’t get to see our sky boats or hear our song or see our dance.”

The villagers of Breeze were struck silent.

“Come and visit us anyway,” said the wisewoman with a smile.

The dark ones smiled back.

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Where Breezes Blow
(A “Pooh Song” poem)
by Caledonia Skytower

The wind
that winds
intertwines
abreast
around
beneath.

A golden path
encircles
above
beside
betwixt
between.

It’s hard to know
just where you go
up high
below
somewhere
or no.

Lost and losing
in whirling
and spinning,
almost winning,
at last succumbing
to joy and laughter.

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The Darker Side
By Gwen Enchanted

You’d think it was a dream, when you first arrived. You would. You’d revel in the bright colours, the neat gardens, the compact and pretty houses, all differently coloured and all covered with the greenest grass to be seen in the Land. You’d think in a place so full of light, there could hardly be a dark. In a place so full of colour, there could hardly be any dullness. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that there would be nothing hidden, nothing going on beneath the surface, no lies, no subterfuge, no peril. Wouldn’t you.

You’d be wrong.

It’s funny when you grow up there, because you know instinctively to stay away from the insane drop-offs, the steep cliffs, the sorts of things no one notices if they keep to the paths. But you’ve been exploring, haven’t you? You’ve been behind the windmills, seen the little caches of stolen goods there. You’ve noticed the things tourists miss because they’re so busy with the delightful scenery.

I grew up in Breeze. And I know how to tie my laces in bows, and I know how to match bright colours with bright colours, and smile at the people passing, and always have a kind word. I also know how to lift a lady’s purse off a chatelaine with my fingernails, how to divest a man from a month’s wages with a lighthearted game of riddles, how to hide a king’s ransom in plain sight.

I come by it honestly, of course. My parents run a little shop in Breeze that’s nothing more than a front for the mob. That’s right: the mob. The smiling, kindly, might as well be from Munchkinland mob that thrives on the tourist coin and keeps the neighbours silent.

It took me years to realise why the other girls in school didn’t always want to play with me. My mother said it was because their fathers had had fallings out with my father many years ago. And of course that was true, as far as it went. My father explained to them that it cost this much to keep a shop in Breeze, payable directly to him. And when they balked, because he charged a great deal more than his father had, he turned to my mother and just said, “Celeste.” And one by one, their children got sick, and sicker, until they agreed to pay his price. Now, everyone is very healthy and everyone looks wonderful, and none of them want to have a thing to do with me.

Well. None of the girls want to have a thing to do with me. The boys, they all want to get to know me. They know I’ll inherit the family business, you see. My mother made sure the first child was a girl. And she teaches me, after school, how to mix a poison that looks like lemonade. How to prick a baby’s finger from a half mile away. How to smile and smile as you utter a curse under your breath that will haunt a man until he is dead and buried and carry on to his children.

My father teaches me how to intimidate people with a word or a glance. He tells me, “Don’t carry a dagger, carry a club: they’ll never expect a girl to go at them with a blunt instrument.” Don’t laugh: it’s good advice. I’m no cliche blade-wielding lady. And I couldn’t hit the broad side of a windmill with an arrow. But I do have surprisingly good upper body strength, and I know where a man’s kidneys are.

Not that I’ve ever had to use a club. Honestly, rocks are more readily available, less obvious, and just as effective. No one stupid enough to get in my way would ever think my physical closeness meant any danger to them at all.

So I walk up to the fountain and look over the Land of Breeze. And I smile. I smile like everyone else smiles, but for a very different reason.

##

Breeze002

She moved through the Faire
by Saffia Widdershins

Thomas leaned over me as I sat on the rim of the fountain.

“It will not be long, love, till our wedding day.”

He reached out his hand and stroked it over my shoulder, and then took the edge of the neckline of my gown between his fingers and adjusted it, pulling it upwards.

“Please leave it,” I said, trying hard to keep the edge of sharpness out of my voice. “I do like to feel the warmth of the sun on my shoulders.” For it was indeed a beautiful day, with just breeze enough to keep our lovely windmills turning.

He smiled then, that gentle, half smile that I had grown to dislike so much, the smile of someone who always knew better than I did. Someone who was always right.

“It’s not modest though, is it?” he said. “To be showing your … shoulders like that.”

Yet as he said that his eyes moved lower down, to where the curve of my breasts showed.

“Perhaps a little cape,” he said. “To cover your shoulders and … the rest. Like a good, modest wife.”

It was on the tip of my tongue that my mother was a wife of thirty years, and she still loved the feel of the sun on her shoulders when she stepped outside her little store to call across the sunny way to friends and visitors. But I said nothing. Thomas would just see it as another opportunity to explain that my mother was not quite … the thing. He had already hinted broadly that once we were married and settled in our pretty hillside home, I would have far less time for my family.

“Well,” I said, “for today I am still a market girl, and I need to take this jug of water back to Mother.”

I reached in to the fountains and pulled the jug up, now brimming with cool, fresh water. As I did so, I glanced up at the face of Opo, the fish god of olden times, who was still the conduit from which our water fell. Would Opo give me a way to avoid this disastrous marriage? Unlikely. After all, in the spring-time feastings, I had joined my friends by the fountain in wishing for a husband. They had all described young men of the village, each one recognisable. I was the only one who had wished for something different – a serious older man, with wealth and experience of the Fairelands. And when Thomas arrived less than a week later in Breeze, more than one of my friends declared he was my “Opo-sent” husband.”

Well, I thought sourly, Opo had made a big mistake this time. Perhaps I had been initially lured by Thomas’ conversation, his seeming wisdom, and his tenderness. But since we had become pledged to handfast, either he had changed … or I had. Although he was determined to make our home in the beautiful dwellings of Breeze, he was constantly criticising the people for being narrow, parochical and small-minded.

But to me it seemed that it was Thomas who was small-minded in his criticisms of people and places. Breeze is so lovely, with our little homes and stores half buried in to hillocks that shelter us from the breezes that drive our famous mills.

And Thomas could never bear for anyone to disagree with him about anything – least of all me. While being treated as a delicate flower had been delightful at first, the line between being a delicate flower and an idiot child had been a narrow one, and Thomas had definitely crossed it in his treatment of me.

At the same time, his courteous manners had faded too. Instead of taking the heavy water jug from me, as he would have done once, he suffered me to lift it to my shoulder myself, merely frowning at me as a little of the water splashed and spilled on my gown.

“You should be more careful,” he said reprovingly. “When the water has splashed, your gown is almost translucent.”

“And more will fall as I walk back to the store,” I said pointedly, but he made no move to help me, merely pacing beside me as we walked down the sunny grassy lane towards the store that was my mother’s.

“I’ll leave you here,” he said presently. “And we will meet this evening at 5 o’clock. Now, don’t be late – I know what a laggard you can be!”

“The last time I was late was ten days ago,” I said wearily, but he was already striding off, politely doffing his hat to people as he passed.

I sighed, and lifted the jug more firmly on my shoulder.

And then I saw him. Dark and slender, with thick dark unruly curls. Those eyes, set at a slight angle. And, of course, the ears. Little curling horns. And the hooves.

He was beautiful. He was trouble. And, as I gazed into those deep, dark eyes, I wanted him.

##

FF Tour Breeze Fish Head1_001

“Breeze”
by FidgetsWidget Resident

Time flew.
I flew.
… and still no butter pony.

Spells. Huts. Thatched roofs.
… but no butter pony.

Would the butter pony have melted in the warm sun?

I was looking for a butter pony.
It was not looking for me.

So what will I tell the storyteller now?

Once upon a tyme, there was a butter pony ….

FF Tour Breeze Giant 2_001

 

The Rise of the Blood King: Daily Updates

Sunday, May 1st
A Prophesy Fulfilled: Grand Finale

Today the heroes returned to the site of the prison of the escaped Blood King, so as to battle him, and save all of creation from his evil and rage. Belial tried to strike a deal, but the heroes were not having it.

Snapshot _ Dangarnon  3 May 1

Garret helped to carry the body of the old gypsy in, as Martine felt that she deserved to be there for the final battle, win or lose. Respect.

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The Blood King called up many terrible creations and blades of blood. Most were injured, but fought on until suddenly, the Old Gypsy rose! She was now the angel that she truly had been, made to wander the lands for her role in the creation of the Blood King in that long past battle in Hell, and thereby given another chance. The rage and hatred of the angels that fell, and her own, and the blood of angels and demons together created the terrible foe.

Snapshot _ Dangarnon The Gypsy Angel May 1 2016 Finale 3

The angel called upon the warriors to stop fighting..that hate could not defeat this foe.

The prophecy was finally understood, and Garret, revealed to have been a demon who had contributed blood, handed over the sword to the Angel who now faced the Blood King with it, and just…touched him. At that time…it…thanked her! And the spirits of all the fallen angels from that battle all were free! All that anger and hate…gone. Hatred could not defeat the Blood King..only love.

Garret handed over 4

Snapshot _  Dangarnon 1 May 1

Of course, Belial then jumped down from above, to run off laughing with a bone of the Blood King…crying out that the others had done his work for him…and something to the effect of…”SUCKERS!” The angel called him Snake Boy and attempted some fleas on his person, but without hatred…then she proceeded with the rest of the angels to heaven.

Snapshot _ Dangarnon 6 May 1

The End.