LitFest Tours Part 1: Tales from Mudrana

Over the last week, Fairelanders have been joining tours of individual lands and telling stories about them. These we will be preserving on this website – and some will be made into special tales to be recorded for Fantasy Faire radio. We’re also going to share some of these stories here, starting with Tales from Mudrana.

 

Mudrana – picture by Justen Tyme.

A Story from Mudrana
by FidgetsWidgets

It was a big frog to be sure …

Well, that was an understatement. It was HUGE! And Fidget was having third and fourth thoughts about her plan.

Still, if she wanted to ride the dragonflies, she had to get to them. And to get to them, well a particular kind of Dinkie bravery was required.

Taking a deep breath; whiskers a-quiver, she put one paw in front of the other and began the climb.

A steady drone of noise from the frogs and the flying things played in her ears … helping to steady her focus on the green slimey moss that was growing on the surface of the godfrog statue.

Wafting up from the purple-centered blooms was a delicate fruity scent, while the yellow-centered blooms on the other side had a kind of mineral quality to their sniff.

She was fortunate in that — because if either one of them had smelled of chocolate or bacon … well! Climbing would have been an impossibility.

So up, and up, and up, and up, and up she went …

And at just that moment, the lands began to quake, the HUGE godfrog began swaying … was it a katastrophy for our brave Dinkie?

Some blame it on a monster they call Lag. Others blame it on something called Knew Servers.

And if you want to hear the rest? My deary … you’ll have to ask her yourself! I suggest you lay down a trail of gummi worms to draw her attention.

Picture by FidgetsWidgets

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Perils of Youth: a Tale of Mudrana
by Lyr Lobo, aka Cynthia Calongne
Fantasy Faire 2017

“Come back here!” Esme said, her roar sounding fierce.

Mynx knew better than to stop. She knew Esme would follow, but at a snail’s pace. Instead, her gaze drifted to the lilies where the light twinkled, a strange haze that drew her deeper.

She danced across the lilypods, feeling them shift in the water as her feet dashed over them. The leaves swayed, displaying wee frogs that stared as she danced past. They croaked a song unfamiliar to her.

Picture by Lyr Lobo.

The lilypods rose to form a graceful trail, lining the hill. A distant light flashed above them, beckoning her to draw near. Mesmerized, she took a few steps, only to snap out of her reverie as Esme called to her.

“Do not go up that hill without me. Mynx! I’m warning you. I’m going home if you don’t slow down this instant!”

Unwilling to go alone, Mynx turned to wait for her. Exasperation fueled her next words.

“Getting too fat to catch me, Esme?” she said, glancing back to see if it worked. She knew how to goad her. They were childhood friends, approaching the edge of womanhood, which took a lot longer than they would admit. Feminine and at the brink of their power, the two girls couldn’t be more different.

Mynx was tall, athletic and strong. She looked good, but her tomboy ways kept interested parties at bay. In contrast, Esme was luscious, a ripening peach that turned many a head. It was only her hesitant manner, fed by a lack of confidence that made would be suitors pass her by.

Mynx stamped her foot as she watched Esme tiptoe from one lilypod to the next. Her gait resembled an old woman, cautious as she stepped onto one and tapped the next with her toe, testing to see if it would hold her weight. This was going to take all day!

“Come on, already. They’re safe. I ran over them, fast as I could! You can do it!” Mynx said, growling.

Esme frowned as she inspected the next pod, tapping it with one foot on it before shifting her weight to test it.

“Oh my sweet beehive, at this rate, it will take forever!” said Mynx, growling. “I’m not going to wait much longer.”

As Esme stepped on the next lilypod, a frog jumped, landing next to her. “Ribbit,” said the frog, his eyes bulging. He wore a fancy vest and a top hat, but Mynx saw that his lower half was bare.

Mynx’s eyes narrowed, not due to the roguish frog. She saw her friend fall on her backside, landing hard on the leaf as it rolled beneath her. The side she sat on dipped low into the water. Esme clung to it as her foot kicked against the water.

“Dashed plucky frogs,” Mynx snarled under her breath before hollering, “Come on already. Quit fooling around and get up here!”

It must have worked. Esme prodded the frog with her toe, nudging at his belly, but her foot slipped from its target and landed in his crotch.

“Ribbit!” said the frog, roaring in pain as he retreated to the next pad.

Esme knelt on one knee, preparing to stand. She cried out as she slipped, the water splashed around her, making the leaf slippery. She lost her grip and slid toward the water.

The frog’s tongue whipped out and snapped around her ankle. He yanked her back onto the lilypod as she shrieked and kicked at him.

“Ow!” said the Frog as he tugged with his tongue, dragging Esme flat on her face. Alarmed, Esme cried out as she rolled over and kicked at him.

“Get off of me,” she hollered.

Mynx, fearing for her friend, broke her disguise and snapped open her wings. She flew fast, swooping at the maligned frog, who yanked back his sticky tongue, his eyes bulging out of their sockets. Any other time, she would have enjoyed the sight, but Esme let out another cry.

Her placid friend lost her grip on the slippery lilypod and slipped from into the water.

Mynx flew fast, grabbing her by the ankle as Esme’s head dipped under the water. She strained she flew, her wings beating fast. Her friend was no dainty miss dry, she thought as she struggled to carry her wet friend.

They flew up to the summit of the rise, where Mynx dropped Esme onto the grassy hill.

“Ow!” said Esme, turning to glare at her.

Mynx fluttered to the ground, coiling her wings back into their hiding place. She sat down next to her friend and let her toes wiggle in the soft, strange grass that twitched as she settled onto it. The scene played across her mind, and a laugh escaped her.

Esme friend gaped at her. “How can you laugh?” Esme looked so bedraggled that Mynx let out a roar of laughter. The once beautiful curls were dripping wet, and a wet leaf stuck to Esme’s eyebrow.

“It’s not funny,” said Esme, shaking the wet curls out of her face.

“Oh, but it is. Your frog prince came to your rescue. What did you do? You kicked him. And not in a good way.”
“Did not!”

“You sure did. Whatever hope he had for a family is now a thing of the past.” Mynx laughed so hard that tears formed at the corners of her eyes.

They sat back, dazed by the mishap. After a few moments, Esme grinned.

Behind her, Mynx noticed the hapless frog hopping up the path. Her giggles grew as she caught sight of his soggy top hat.

He announced to no one in particular.

“Fine. This is the thanks I get — a swift kick in the unmentionables followed by whiplash of the tongue. Females! You’ll be the death of me,” said the frog, gesturing at them with his cane.

A deep rumble shook the ground beneath them. The hill pitched and rolled as it drew back. Mynx grabbed Esme with her right hand and buried the frog under the crook of her arm, ignoring their protests. She took to the air, her wings straining to elude the new threat.

The ground rolled back as two eyes, one green and one blue, stared at them. The frog in her arms squirmed, his little feet kicking at her arm as he tried to jump.

Picture by Lyr Lobo.

“I am alive,” said the Frog King, his voice reverberating as he wiggled a sticky tongue at them.

Ursula At The Deep Deep Well

I love to think that I am a person with solid roots in reality, yet these days – I confess – there are times when I almost feel more comfortable among the Faire Folk than in my RL environment.

No, I’m not „losing it” and I have no intention whatsoever to give up material reality and move into one of those lovely houses in Dawn’s Promise or The Rose, however wonderful these lands are. The explanation lies elsewhere.

Cancer is omnipresent, yet it is still surrounded by many misconceptions worldwide. Many people are convinced that a tumour can be infectious, others believe that people with cancer „brought it on themselves”, because they had failed to take proper care of their bodies and minds.

Fantasy Faire 2017 - At The Well

Cancer patients and survivors bear a stigma in many countries, even in the “developed” and enlightened ones. Other people often treat them – us – with a weird mixture of horror and pity, so we feel silenced and invisible, isolated from the “normal” crowd, left alone with our worries and fears in the Twilight Zone.

No wonder many people are reluctant to seek professional help about some alarming symptoms… and when they finally do seek help it is often too late, so they indeed face pain and suffering that generates anxiety and pity in others… this is how the vicious circle of fear and misunderstanding is perpetuated and running, taking more victims at every roll.

You, Faire Folk, are different. You do understand. You frolic around and laugh, but between two silly somersaults you – we – talk about pain, treatments, fear and sadness, losses and suffering with engaging openness… and always, always with hope.

“There’s no worse disease than ignorance” – an anonymous Mexican cancer survivor said once. I’m trying to remedy this disease day after day in real life, and when I feel tired you help me get my legs back, Faire Folk. You’re a miraculous and painless cure for an ailment as dangerous as cancer itself.

Roleplay News from Sanctuary at Raven’s Perch: April 26th

Wednesday, April 26th
The Ruins of The Spider Queen
Miriamne and the Spider Queen.
Today The Snake Cultist and the Heroes of Sanctuary continued ever deeper beneath the Oasis. First they came upon the scene of a terrible battle of long ago, where bones lay strewn beneath many webs of spiders. The webs were thick and constant throughout, spread everywhere, above and below. The scent of death yet hung here, as there were some rats that did not die so long ago.

The Adventurers

First our adventurers came across a huge spider, that immediately sprinted for Bast. It was a long battle. Misfired spells hit Lord Larkin, penetrating even his stout armor. Ogun’s Daughter and Miriamne both had to heal him.

Bast attacking ahead of the others.

At one point, the spider, trying to crawl up a web, fell on Miriamne’s head! Fortunately before it could do much damage, it was blasted free. It was a true group effort!
During the fight, Mia hit the Cultist with a burst of pink flower petals. It was a mighty strike that caused him damage and to sneeze like mad. He then wandered off, believing that he heard the singing of his dead wife.

Mia, Astrid, and Skylar

Finally, Lord Larkin had his due of the creature. It had lost three legs, mostly to Skylar, but now with a mighty blow It was very much destroyed.

A Terrible Foe

Astrid found the Gem of Defense this time, and gave it over to Miriamne, just as she found The Spider Queen.

Astrid

The adventurers continued on. Soon enough they came across the Spider Queen and two of her young. She questioned them. She was also…hungry. It seems however that she had spoken to the Djinn whose domain this was already, and knew what was about. She had an Eye on the Snake Cultist, who had returned, but before she could do a thing, he found the sixth Gem of the Scepter behind her, and, even as he had begun to degrade from the nature of what he held, he blasted her to smithereens. The two child-spiders cried out in horror, and fled.

The Sapphire Djinn.

The Snake Cultist promptly removed himself no doubt to find the next Gem on the Morrow. The Sapphire Djinn meanwhile arrived. She asked Skylar and others to tea, as she’d now be lonely here without the Spider Queen to talk to. She revealed that Miriamne must now find the seventh Gem and be the one, as the Pure One, to battle the Cultist. She said that she would do it for her Home, Sanctuary, and for the family of her erstwhile Liege.

Miriamne in the Ruins of the Spider Queen.

The Latest News On The Lilypods at Mudrana: April 26th

Wednesday April 26th
The Enchanted Gem

The boy had been eaten by the Sunrise Fish and trapped inside. The Mother alone was tricked by the Pook into serving him in the form of a frog until he adopted the guise of a Prince once she served him.

His trickery got the Pook everything he wanted, and the woman was content until she found a strange orange gem near the pond.

The Lilypods were unsure what they would do next, and with Strifeclaw freed but missing they had no other guidance.

Spirits_003

It was late that night that once again Brinley was approached by the Dark Spirits. She told them that no one would be detered from their ritual and that the results had obviously been for the best. The spirits warned that that the Bard King and Unweaver would now be focusing their attentions on the Lilypods more than ever.

Brinley pointed out that she and the others were prepared to fight. The spirits warned her that the Unweaver and Bard King had no need to fight to achieve victory.

Spirits_007

“There will come minions, possibly even in disguise, who will try to take the gem you seek. They will take from you precious things, and seal the fate of the Godfrog and this pond to death, rather than lose.”

Spirits_002

“Know this child…and spread our final warning. The Lilypods cannot find the Sunrise Gem in Mudrana alone. Search all the Lands today if you wish, but the enchantment upon it will prevent you from finding it. Only one who is considered an enemy to the Land of Mudrana can find it.”

Lilypod in Fallen Sands

Distressed, Brinley told the other Lilypods and they searched the Fairelands, but came up empty handed. Their guardian of the Air had no power over stones, the Guardian of the Earth Stone was still missing, and Dogstar was tired and occupied after the celebration the day before.

Frustrated, they returned home to think of a way to find the Sunrise Gem without the aide of their guardians before it was too late.

Today’s Roleplay News On The Outbreak at San Mora: April 26th

Wednesday April 26th
Day Three – Behind the Scenes

SanMora-Day Three

Suspicion builds as the Arklay survivors continue to have their questions deflected and dissuaded by the soldiers and avoided by the smiling scientists who may hold the answers they so desperately want. Guided through the city and always under watch, the Arklay survivors devised an impromptu plan to find out what goes on behind the scenes.. and what the San Morans are hiding behind those false smiles… but timing is everything and our survivors were almost thrown off track when the plan went astray.

Looking for their chance, several of the Arklay ship’s crew wait patiently to make their move, praying the moment comes quickly as one of their own is carried away for medical attention, deep into the heart of the San Mora Laboratories.

Will the Arklay survivors get another chance to execute their plan?

What is the San Mora soldiers true motives and will the separated Arklay survivors find out before its too late?

Join us tomorrow at 12pm – 2 pm SLT in San Mora to find out what happens next..

Roleplay News from Ynys Seamaide at The Spirit Pool: April 26th

Wednesday April 26th
Temptation And Threats From The Taint

Yesterday, the Envoys of Seamaide and their foreign aides were heartened by the revelation of clues that would lead them to the artifacts of the elements. Even more encouraging was the discovery of one of the artifacts: the artifact of Air, found by a winged female from another land.

Growing Group

As they gathered at the Spirit Pool for the seventh day since the Golum told them they had ten days to rid the world of the taint, the Envoys shared information with concerned beings from other lands. Three such beings volunteered to dive into the water in search of the artifact of Water, yet undiscovered. Such bravery was appreciated by the Envoys, who tried their best to warn the volunteers of the dangers they would face. The brave volunteers were undaunted by the reports of illness and other tolls the tainted water had taken on those who had attempted to navigate it in search of the artifact of Water.

And then the mood of spirit and cooperation was … tainted … by a hooded figure who told the group that the Femorians would escape their cages in three more days and rise to destroy the world. This dark figure taunted the Envoys, speaking ill of the Heart Tree, the very soul of Seamaide.

Hooded Male

The mood of the Envoys and aides was darkened by the hooded male, but they banded together, all aware they were forbidden to spill blood at the Spirit Pool, which was overseen by the Goddess herself.

And yet the hooded male continued to taunt the group until the appearance of the Spirit Wolf of Seamaide, a creature revered by all citizens of the land. It sniffed of the hooded stranger and the wolf’s swishing tail and launch-ready position told the interloper that he was little more than prey to her.

Spirit Wolf_001

The hooded male escaped, but the Spirit Wolf followed in pursuit. The Envoys dismissed the incident and continued the search with the help of the foreign aides. Not long thereafter, a shout was heard across the land, “One step closer to cleansing!” ((Attributed to Ktahdn Vesuvino))

With three days left, the Envoys of Seamaide and concerned citizens of other lands have located two of the four artifacts of the elements. They have not given up hope that they will succeed. Help them find the cure for the Taint!

((Note: Search the Spirit Pool sim for the artifacts with the Seamaide roleplay symbol on them. If you find all four and RP at one of the remaining scheduled Seamaide RPs at Fantasy Faire—check the schedule!–to demonstrate you have the items before the grand finale on the 29th, you will qualify for a special, unique gift only for those who participate in the Seamaide quest and RP.)

More About Seanan McGuire, our special guest at the Lit Fest

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

People who enjoyed hearing Seanan McGuire at the LitFest on Monday, and who would like to read some of her works, can find a real treat today on her publisher’s website.

This June, Seanan McGuire returns to her rich multiverse of fantasy worlds with Down Among the Sticks and Bones, the second book in the beloved Wayward Children series.

Her publishers, Tor, want to give you a chance to read the book that started it all before Down Among the Sticks and Bones comes out: Every Heart a Doorway, the transformative book that won the 2017 Alex Award and was named to the 2016 Tiptree Honor List, is currently nominated for the 2016 Nebula Award for Best Novella, and that NPR called a “mini-masterpiece of portal fantasy — a jewel of a book that deserves to be shelved with Lewis Carroll’s and C. S. Lewis’ classics.”

If you sign up for theTor.com Publishing monthly newsletter. they will send you the link to download the ebook edition of Every Heart a Doorway for free!

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

This offer is available worldwide from until 11:59 PM ET on Wednesday, April 26th.

You can read more about the offer here!

You can also read an excerpt from Down Among the Sticks and Bones here.

A RFL of SL Event